The Gameplan

Oh, Praxis my Praxis, how I doth love thee.  Praxis is widely considered to be the best color pair and I don’t disagree.  It splashes and beats down and ramps and stalls and burns and flys and silences and plays cards from the top of your deck and goes wide and goes tall and not many people are drafting it “correctly”.  I’m using air quotes here because drafting is an art form and I will never tell someone they are doing it wrong.

The typical Praxis gameplan that I see is playing early aggressive fire units, midgame efficient time units, and then splashing bombs and removal.  And that is a 100% fine way to draft praxis.  I’ve gotten several 7-wins drafting it this way.

But there exists another way, a road less traveled.  An aggressive ramp deck that floods the board and ends the game with alpha strikes!

That’s my secret, every warp card is good.

We can’t really go any further without talking about Warp.  This mechanic is busted.  Straight up.  Playing a card off the top of your deck is an amazing feeling.  Playing two in a row off the top is the kind of feeling that makes me happy I never did drugs.  Warp has a few hidden lines of text.

The first reads, “Draw a card.”  For those of you new to the CCG world, those are powerful words.  The second is, “You will hit your land drops on time on almost every turn.”  For everyone who has been power screwed or flooded this should make you sit up a little straighter.  There aren’t many worse feelings in a draft than drawing power after power every turn as your opponent continues drawing perfectly. To fully explain this concept I need to invoke the magical words Hypergeometric Calculation and then vanish in a smoke cloud to go write an article.  So until that happens, just trust me.   With enough warp cards, you can play less power and still hit your land drops.

Warp is not without its costs.  The cards themselves are slightly underpowered when played from your hand.  Warp requires specific deckbuilding concessions (Your deck needs to have 5-6 warp cards and it needs to have a solid top end).

How do you get into the deck?

To get into the boring Praxis good stuff deck, take Purify and efficient time and fire creatures.  But how do you get into Praxis Warp?  For starters, you can currently force Praxis Warp.  I don’t expect that to last for long and I would still advise staying open and trying to draft the open archetype.  Seeing several playable warp cards in the middle of pack one can indicate Warp is open. Cards like Avirax Familiar and Outlands Brute are often overlooked by the “boring” Praxis drafters, so even if time and fire are being cut you can still draft a Warp deck.  Don’t get me wrong though, if you see Purify and there isn’t a warp card in the pack, take it. The pick order for this pack goes something like:

Warp Cards -> Removal -> Fixing Strangers -> Beefy 6+ Drops -> Pack Hunt like cards.

Skycrag Draft Guide

What to prioritize in Pack 2

This is the first pack where you will not encounter any Praxis dual cards.  The Empty Throne was focused on the allied color pairs (Rakano, Elysian, Feln, Stonescar, and Combrei) and you will need to focus on individual Fire and Time cards.  Cloud of Ash is the number one card you want to see in packs 2 and 4.  This card has always been absurd in aggressive decks or decks that can flood the board.  Praxis Warp is both.  Towering Terrazons, Ageless Mentors, and Towertop Patrols are good pickups here.  Be on the lookout for single faction bombs, or cards where you only need to splash 1 faction.

One more thing to note for The Empty Throne packs.  Excavate is a total bomb here.  It says, “Pay 1: Draw the best Warp card from your void and gain 2 life.”

Torch

Packs 3 & 4

The last two packs should be focused on grabbing more warp cards, filling the holes in your curve, picking up removal and making sure you have enough late game.  You need to have at least 3 6+ drops.

Subtheme – Cost Reduction/Ramp

Easily the most obvious subtheme in Praxis.  And also my favorite because I get to talk about Stoneshaker.  This card regularly gets passed until its one of the last cards in a pack.  When you look at Stoneshaker it seems awful.  It reduces the cost of cards I might never see?  Blech.  A 1/1 for three power?  Blech.  And in any deck but Warp, I likely wouldn’t play it.  But the reality is that in the Warp deck Stoneshaker starts a snowball train that can be hard to stop.  Once this comes down you can start to make multiple plays in one turn.  Thanks to all the warp cards in the deck we’re “drawing” lots of cards which increases the power of Stoneshaker’s effect.  AND you can chump with him!  Unline with Avirax familiar and other unit-based ramp cards, Stoneshaker doesn’t need to stick around to see the mess he’s caused.

This is a very powerful subtheme and one that you should focus on.  There aren’t too many decks that can beat:  T2: Sauropod Wrangler, T3: Stoneshaker, T4: Towering Terrazon, T5: TWO Twinbrood Sauropods.

Troll Power Lies Within

Traps – Tokens

The go-wide strategy in this format is not tokens, its warp.  That being said, I’m still likely to play Humbug Swarm, but I’m not going to draft Talir’s Choice and Grenade because of it.

Underdrafted and Underutilized

This section is reserved for all of the “Bad” warp cards.  Brilliant Discovery is the most egregiously under-drafted card here.  Play this off the top and you’ve just drawn 3 cards for 4 power.  That would make it one of the best card draw spells in the game.  It also thins your deck.  And if your deck is playing 15 power the effect is significant.  I will say however that you probably only want 1 or 2 in a deck.  After that, you will likely run out of power to draw.

Common Traps

By far the biggest trap with any Praxis variant comes during the draft process and that is thinking you will pick up the necessary fixing “later.”  I like to take fixing first and add bombs accordingly.

1 Initiate of the Sands (Set1 #74)
1 On the Hunt (Set2 #5)
1 Forgotten Find (Set2 #40)
1 Stonescar Excavator (Set2 #14)
1 Grenadin Cannoneer (Set2 #20)
1 Reforge (Set2 #23)
1 Calderan Gunsmith (Set1 #46)
1 Hall of Lost Kings (Set1 #121)

Some of these cards ARE playable, just not in Praxis Warp.  Feel free to tell me why I’m incredibly wrong in the comments.

Deck Structure

Units: 23-25

Attachments: 0-2

Removal:  4-6

Power:  15-17

7-win Example Decklists

7-0

7-2

7-3

Cards I’m happy to play in this archetype:

Common

Uncommon

Rare and Legendary

1 Oni Ronin (Set1 #13)
1 Ornamental Daggers (Set1 #69)
1 Predator’s Instinct (Set1 #75)
1 Pummel (Set2 #6)
1 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
1 Temper (Set1 #10)
1 Torch (Set1 #8)
1 Young Gun (Set2 #3)
1 Blinkwolf (Set2 #7)
1 Bold Adventurer (Set1 #77)
1 Combrei Stranger (Set1 #410)
1 Elysian Stranger (Set1 #412)
1 Ornate Katana (Set1 #23)
1 Praxis Stranger (Set2 #248)
1 Pyre Adept (Set1 #21)
1 Rakano Stranger (Set1 #411)
1 Sand Viper (Set2 #42)
1 Sauropod Wrangler (Set1 #83)
1 Skycrag Stranger (Set2 #250)
1 Stonescar Stranger (Set1 #413)
1 Synchronized Strike (Set1 #88)
1 Trail Runner (Set2 #39)
1 Xenan Stranger (Set2 #251)
1 Amber Acolyte (Set1 #93)
1 Avirax Familiar (Set2 #46)
1 Granite Acolyte (Set1 #31)
1 Journeyman Armorer (Set2 #175)
1 Purify (Set2 #176)
1 Rebel Sharpshooter (Set1 #30)
1 Stoneshaker (Set2 #15)
1 Archive Curator (Set2 #50)
1 Audacious Bandit (Set2 #17)
1 Centaur Outrider (Set1 #35)
1 Guerrilla Fighter (Set1 #36)
1 Horned Vorlunk (Set1 #503)
1 Magma Javelin (Set1 #41)
1 Recogulator (Set1 #37)
1 Striped Araktodon (Set2 #54)
1 Thunderhoof Warrior (Set2 #25)
1 Towertop Patrol (Set1 #101)
1 Xenan Guardian (Set1 #102)
1 Amaran Archaeologist (Set2 #56)
1 Awakened Sentinel (Set2 #57)
1 Dustblind (Set2 #19)
1 Dusthoof Brawler (Set1 #49)
1 Gun Down (Set2 #26)
1 Pit Fighter (Set2 #27)
1 Towering Terrazon (Set1 #114)
1 Cannonbearer (Set2 #31)
1 Hellfire Rifle (Set1 #55)
1 Pack Hunt (Set2 #61)
1 Voyaging Lumen (Set2 #66)
1 Dormant Sentinel (Set1 #120)
1 Belching Behemoth (Set2 #68)

1 Alluring Ember (Set2 #172)
1 Excavate (Set1 #71)
1 Firemane Cub (Set2 #1)
1 Hidden Shiv (Set2 #4)
1 Bladekin Apprentice (Set1 #22)
1 Flame Blast (Set1 #2)
1 Noble Firemane (Set2 #174)
1 Oasis Seeker (Set2 #41)
1 Piercing Shot (Set1 #25)
1 Rakano Outlaw (Set1 #20)
1 Sandstorm (Set2 #43)
1 Temple Scribe (Set1 #502)
1 Xenan Initiation (Set2 #44)
1 Ageless Mentor (Set1 #90)
1 Amber Ring (Set2 #45)
1 Assembly Line (Set1 #29)
1 Determined Stranger (Set1 #92)
1 Dune Phantom (Set1 #89)
1 Fevered Scout (Set1 #512)
1 Forsworn Stranger (Set1 #416)
1 Granite Ring (Set2 #9)
1 Hipshot (Set2 #11)
1 Oni Quartermaster (Set1 #32)
1 Scorpion Wasp (Set1 #96)
1 Secret Pages (Set1 #81)
1 Unlock Potential (Set1 #76)
1 Ancient Lore (Set1 #105)
1 Bolster (Set2 #51)
1 Brilliant Discovery (Set2 #177)
1 Camp Physician (Set2 #52)
1 Cloud of Ash (Set1 #39)
1 Furnace Mage (Set1 #40)
1 Healer’s Cloak (Set1 #98)
1 Morningstar (Set1 #510)
1 Outlands Brute (Set2 #18)
1 Outlands Sniper (Set1 #42)
1 Praxis Displacer (Set1 #100)
1 Rebel Illuminator (Set1 #43)
1 Snapping Brushstalker (Set2 #53)
1 Swift Stranger (Set2 #24)
1 Battle-Tested Stranger (Set2 #58)
1 Centaur Raidleader (Set1 #50)
1 Elysian Pathfinder (Set1 #108)
1 Humbug Swarm (Set2 #60)
1 Lumen Defender (Set1 #115)
1 Time Weaver (Set2 #62)
1 Twinbrood Sauropod (Set1 #113)
1 Crowd Favorite (Set1 #58)
1 Frontline Cyclops (Set1 #53)
1 Lumen Shepherd (Set1 #117)
1 Plated Goliath (Set2 #64)
1 Stonescar Maul (Set1 #52)
1 Pillar of Amar (Set1 #122)
1 Granite Monument (Set1 #423)
1 Amber Monument (Set1 #420)
1 Diplomatic Seal (Set1 #425)

1 Pyroknight (Set1 #16)
1 Charchain Flail (Set1 #3)
1 Copper Conduit (Set1 #66)
1 Evelina, Valley Searcher (Set2 #48)
1 Song of War (Set1 #18)
1 Censari Brigand (Set1 #34)
1 Champion of Impulse (Set2 #173)
1 Dawnwalker (Set1 #86)
1 Shogun’s Scepter (Set1 #26)
1 Clever Stranger (Set2 #178)
1 Groundbreaker (Set2 #21)
1 Marisen’s Disciple (Set1 #104)
1 Steelfang Chakram (Set1 #38)
1 Steward of Prophecy (Set1 #97)
1 Vault of the Praxis (Set1 #480)
1 Xenan Obelisk (Set1 #103)
1 Beckoning Lumen (Set2 #59)
1 Obliterate (Set1 #48)
1 Pouncing Drake (Set2 #28)
1 Reliquary Raider (Set1 #110)
1 Shatterglass Mage (Set2 #181)
1 Striking Snake Formation (Set1 #112)
1 Waystone Infuser (Set2 #63)
1 Workshop Forge (Set2 #182)
1 Divining Rod (Set1 #109)
1 General Izalio (Set1 #56)
1 Passage of Eons (Set1001 #3)
1 Predatory Carnosaur (Set1 #118)
1 Worldpyre Phoenix (Set1 #54)
1 Steelbound Dragon (Set1 #60)

That’s it for Praxis!  Think I got something wrong or didn’t mention something important?  Comment below and let me know!  Be sure to check out our other Draft Guides and Draft Snaps.

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