How to Draft Blue-White Flyers in Dominaria

U/W Flyers is not about raw aggression. That’s near impossible in Dominaria Draft outside of some very aggressive mono- or almost mono-red decks. U/W Flyers preys upon decks being slow enough in Dominaria that it’s easy to kill someone in the air while they develop their card advantage and late game. It’s about exploiting how slow the format is. This means that you want to prioritize good flyers and positive tempo cards, but not random small ground bodies that get blanked easily. I like cards like D’Avenant Trapper and Deep Freeze, but do not value cards like Call the Cavalry, Benalish Honor Guard, and Knight of New Benalia very highly. Those are playables, not optimals, for this strategy. You are looking to make sure you can keep attacking in the air and most of your cards are either flyers or cards that help your flyers be able to keep attacking each turn, or stop the opponent from racing you.

There are a lot of formats where this isn’t going to be a successful strategy. If you pay 3 for a 2-power flyer and your opponent pays 2 for a 2-power ground attacker, you can’t expect to race them. In Dominaria, the ground is very easy to stalemate, so 2-mana 2/2s are near unplayable. This creates the conditions under which U/W Flyers is an optimal strategy.

It’s important to remember that this game plan and these factors don’t automatically make a card better than another. They just influence the value of the cards in your deck. Casting cost, power toughness, and abilities also influence a card’s value, and are larger factors. For example, there are only two 2-drop creatures I really like in this deck, Mesa Unicorn and Relic Runner, so I tend to prioritize those over a card like Aven Sentry, which is a better fit. That’s because it’s important to have a few 2-drops so that you have at least a shot to play one on turn 2. But as I get these I will start taking them lower because the ideal scenario is to draw exactly one 2-drop per game and no more.

And, there are always cards that have heavy diminishing returns. The first Jousting Lance is amazing. I’ll always play two in this deck, but the second is a lot less valuable than the first and the third a lot less valuable than the second.


Here is the list of commons I consider optimal for this deck, in roughly the order of how highly I value them.


(D’Avenant Trapper fluctuates with your historic count.)

Playable but Not Optimal

These are the commons I consider playable but not optimal, in roughly the order of highly I value them.

(Serra Disciple also fluctuates based on historic count.)

There are a few cards I left off because they are almost a combo or impossible to rate in a list.

Opt: If I have 9+ Islands, then I’m happy to play any number of Opts. I will cut roughly 1 Plains for every two Opts. In this case, Opt would be toward the bottom of the optimal list. I usually find this deck to be more white-based, wanting 9/10 Plains and 7/8 Islands.

Cold-Water Snapper and Arcane Flight: I don’t consider either to be optimal, but they are a great combination. If you have enough creatures and a low enough curve that you can play two Snappers and three Arcane Flights, then that’s going to be broken. Deploy these two together appropriately based on how well your deck can support playing Arcane Flight, still have a reasonable creature count 15+, and how well your deck can play a 6-drop and still have a good curve.

Invoke the Divine: Great sideboard card but I do not like to main deck this card here. Take it higher as you get more playables and lower if you might be short cards. To start off, I would put it toward the bottom of the optimals.

Skittering Surveyor: Amazing for supporting splashes. Good at triggering historic and a serviceable body/artifact. Not good as a land source in this deck. I want to have 17 lands most of the time I’m in this archetype and going to 16 lands means that I don’t have three to cast Surveyor all the time. Surveyor is a good 18th land and a wonderful 19th land for decks that want that, but for archetypes that want 17 mana sources it is not impressive.

Uncommons, Rares, and Mythics

In order of how high I value them:

Merfolk Trickster, Tempest Djinn, and The Mirari Conjecture, Naban, Dean of Iteration, Naru Meha, Master Wizard, Sentinel of the Pearl Trident, Urza’s Ruinous Blast, and Karn’s Temporal Sundering are basically impossible to rate.

Every Island from 8-10 changes the value of Trickster and Djinn a lot. At 7 I wouldn’t take them over anything above. At 10 they are very good cards.

Conjecture is broken with four instants and four sorceries, and unplayable with one instant and one sorcery. Its value swings wildly.

In this archetype I would usually not play the legendary sorceries with fewer than three legends. At four they are good. At five they are great.

Naban and Naru depend on how many Wizards/Wizards with enters-the-battlefield effects you have. This number will usually be low. At none these cards are playable but not optimal. But each card that has synergy with them raises their value a lot.

Sentinel of the Pearl Trident is great with Sagas, and good with historic cards in general.

Playable but Not Optimal

Any cards I didn’t mention are cards I generally don’t play, and you probably shouldn’t either.

Remember that this is one of the archetypes where card values can swing wildly based on synergy with just a few other cards in your deck. For example, I prioritize legends a little higher early in Drafts because I have more time to get one of the good legendary sorceries or Blackblade Reforged. And when you start with cards like these, then the cards that make them better become a much higher pick. This deck should never be worried about being able to attack on the ground. Cards that let your flyers keep attacking, help you to win races, and stop opposing creatures are ideal. Courser and Trapper can help a ground creature get in here and there, but you can’t depend on drawing them, or on their living in a format with so much removal. This is one of the most tempo-oriented and least card advantage-oriented archetypes in this format. Plan your deck around attacking in the air.


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