The 10 MTG Dominaria United Limited Archetypes

In Dominaria United, all 10 color pairs have two signpost gold uncommons. All of them are legendary creatures, and their abilities can direct a coherent theme for your draft. In this article, I’ll introduce the 10 draft archetypes. Most can be characterized as the intersection of two monocolor themes: white is go-wide, blue is spells, black is death, red is aggro and green is domain.

For each archetype, I’ll highlight three uncommons and four commons that go up in value because they synergize with the theme of that color pair. This means that they get better, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the to-be-highlighted cards are premium picks. Especially early on, efficient common removal spells still take precedence.

You can never really go wrong by starting your draft with a removal spell. Essence Scatter doesn’t really count, but there was no better example in blue. In any case, if it’s no more than four mana and consistently removes an opposing creature, then it will often be a good addition to your deck. 

Before zooming into the archetypes, it’s always a good idea to check out the mana fixing available. Dominaria United Limited features a cycle of 10 common dual lands, such as Idyllic Beachfront. These lands also support domain, a mechanic which counts the number of basic land types among lands you control, and off-color kicker costs. As a result, drafting two colors plus a splash may become the default in this set.

Still, I anticipate that most decks will base themselves in two main colors. After settling into such a color pair, your draft picks should be informed by its themes and synergies, so let’s go over the archetypes.



Header - UW - Go-Wide Spells

Raff, Weatherlight StalwartTura Kennerud, Skyknight (Showcase Textured)

Traditionally, white-blue Limited decks are based around flyers. There are still plenty of flyers in Dominaria United, but white-blue’s main theme is a little different. 

White is about casting small creatures, creating tokens and going wide with mass pump spells. Blue is the color with the most instant and sorcery spells, along with several creatures that care about these card types. Accordingly, white-blue wants to go wide and cast as many instant or sorcery spells as possible. 

Raff, Weatherlight Stalwart acts as a payoff for doing both, while Tura Kennerud, Skyknight will transform instant or sorcery spells into an ever-growing army of tokens.

Runic ShotProtect the NegotiatorsResolute Reinforcements

Each color pair is associated with two uncommon kicker spells, all of which I’ll highlight in this article. For white-blue, it’s Runic Shot and Protect the Negotiators. Although everyone can pick them up, they’re particularly valuable when you’re drafting white-blue. Runic Shot can peck off large ground beaters when you’re attacking in the air, while Protect the Negotiators effectively adds a creature and an instant to your deck simultaneously.

When holding up mana for instants, it’s always great to have a fallback option in case the opponent didn’t play anything worth targeting. For blue-white drafters, Resolute Reinforcements is the perfect card to spend your mana on in such a situation because it provides multiple bodies for your go-wide plan.

Each color pair is also associated with two common kicker spells, all of which I’ll highlight as well. The blue-white ones, Stall for Time and Tolarian Geyser, both hint at a tempo strategy. 

To make the most of these spells, you’ll want to attack your opponent with evasive creatures while temporarily nullifying their best creatures. Haunting Figment and Griffin Protector are perfect for winning the damage race while keying off of the rest of your deck.


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