Going into any draft, the goal is to stay flexible and not move into one archetype too quickly, but sometimes this leads to playing more than two colors. Initially the plan was to play straight white/green but that plan ended up getting thrown out the window. This draft was a case of figuring out what to do when there is no clear archetype or color pair to fall into. Sometimes you end up with a pile of cards and are forced to build a deck out of them. In this case we ended up in all five colors, but tying everything together was the package of Hondens.

Honden of Infinite Rage is the most powerful one, but we didn't see it in the draft. Our deck did have five Hondens though, which is a lot. Gaining a bunch of life and drawing three or four cards was often the easiest way to really take over the game. The deck can gain a huge advantage this way but there also needs to be a way to end the game before milling yourself out! The deck didn't have that many win conditions, but there was one in particular that I was very happy to have: Maelstrom Wanderer. Casting Maelstrom Wanderer feels absolutely unfair; on top of the double cascade, giving your creatures haste is huge!

This was my first time drafting the Honden deck, and boy, is it a roller coaster to play with. The manabase is very weird; you need a bunch of the two color lands, and we had a ton in our deck. Some of the opening hands needed more lands, or a certain color, but it seemed like the deck cooperated for the most part. The one match we lost was almost single-handedly to Braids, Cabal Minion. In retrospect, it would have been nice to have more removal outside of Pacifism to be able to actually kill creatures rather than disable them.

It may seem tricky to draft a deck based around Hondens with all the different colors and the fact that they can be a bit slow. There definitely is some finesse required in order to make sure there is enough time to get the Hondens on to the board. However when we played against the more aggressively slanted Red/White deck it seemed like the easiest match of the three. This may have had to do with our opponent takings mulligans but even a single Honden of Cleansing Fire on the table is a huge issue for a deck relying on burning you out.

There are a couple different ways to draft the enchantment-based strategies in Eternal Masters, and getting Hondens definitely plays an important role. Many decks with Hondens will just incorporate one or two Hondens because they are only two color decks. This is where the advantage of adding colors comes into play, as having more Hondens in your deck makes each one that much more powerful. Having done a handful of Eternal Masters drafts, I had yet to draft all five colors before now — a lot of times it is correct to play more colors rather than less.

Thanks for reading,

Seth Manfield