In our last lesson we covered the three major and most common deck archetypes for magic the gathering: Aggro, combo, and control. but many of you were likely wondering: Wait, what about other archetypes such as midrange and tempo? I really wanted to discuss and compare and contrast Midrange and tempo in their own isolated episode because I found that many magic the gathering players feel that they know what these terms mean but then when asked to define them often times have great difficulty sometimes, I’ve even heard players conflate and confuse the two thinking them synonymous with another and nothing could be further from the truth. you see midrange and tempo are two archetypes that compliment one another and in todays episode will not only be covering what exactly midrange and tempo both look like but we’re also going to discuss what winning strategies are with these decktypes and how they appear in both limited and constructed environments This is Tolarian Tutor the term midrange tends to get tossed around and can mean different things to different people but the core of midrange rests somewhere between the fast paced action of an aggro deck and the reactive, slower nature of control decks midrange decks function rather linearly progressing through their mana curve every turn by dropping increasingly powerful creatures and spells many magic: the gathering players consider midrange to be the purest way of playing magic as it seeks to simply line up it’s spells in sequential order and incrementally gain advantage over time the average card quality in a midrange deck also tends to be higher than other archetypes it doesn’t depend on synergy on other cards but rather how well the card is individually able to affect the game on it’s own as a result many of the cards in a constructed midrange deck are rares or mythic rares cards that have been pushed by design to be as a good card they can make without breaking the game lets take a look at a midrange deck currently in standard: Mardu vehicles. Mardu vehicles seeks to play it’s creatures and spells on curve starting with thraben inspector or toolcraft examplar on turn one then moving onto cards like scrapheap scrounger or heart of kiran on turn two, utilizing spells like unlicensed disintegration on turn three and gideon, ally of zendikar on turn four these are all powerful cards that can stand on their own that together make a powerful deck that can swell your opponent because midrange deck lies in an in-between place between aggro and control it does a pretty good job emulating one or the other after sideboard for example if a midrange deck gets paired against an aggro deck it may side in enough pieces to become a quasi control deck that can hold it’s ground and neutralize an aggro’s early attacks if facing a control deck midrange will likely sideboard aggro pieces striking earlier with hard to neutralize threats that will kill them before control’s finishers take the game looking again at mardu vehicles we can see how replacing toolcraft examplars and scrapheap scroungers with fumigates and archangel avacyn can help the deck stay defensive against an aggresive opponent when facing off against a control deck, mardu vehicles will sideboard in cards that are more aggresive or hard to remove, cards like selfless spirit or Chandra, torch of defiance instead of inventors apprentice or toolcraft examplars however midrange’s flexibility as an archetype is offset by the fact it can’t really commit fully to an alternate win strategy making it a jack of alltrades yet master of none style of deck ultimately, while a deck like mardu vehicles can do a pretty good imitation of an aggro deck it can’t out-aggro something like red-white humans or out-control a deck like blue-white approach midrange’s core-strength is to always play high-value, high-impact cards and keeping to this strategy is it’s main way of securing victory. midrange is like a jackhammer of a deck. seeking to overwhelm and blast away your opponent using powerful, pushed cards which each individually can hold their own as you progress along the mana curve in contrast, though tempo has some aggro and some control elements, it is much more of a precision instrument tempo is used to describe a category of decks whose win strategy centers around timing and mana advantage having the knowledge and resources to know when to play a card at the exact right moment to either pull yourself ahead or push your opponents back because tempo is always responding to the devolpment of the board it can play the role of both aggro and control very effectively by using low-cost and conditional cards tempo decks will usually get the win by using a undercosted threat that is protected throughout the game slowly chipping away at your opponent until their life reaches zero the kind of cards that are usually played in tempo decks are versatile and relevant to the board state in all stages of the game early, middle and late for example, non-creature cards like unsummon or paralysis push your opponent back, undoing all of their efforts by bouncing back a creature or making two of their creatures tapped and irrelevant for two turns other great low costed counter spells like daze or spell snare are often used in tempo but they’re also paired with cards that can paralyze any progress your opponents might make in the game. while tempo decks are rare in both limited and constructed formats one of the most recent examples in standard provides us with a good template of what creatures work well in a tempo deck that deck is blue white spirits blue white spirits uses great tribal synergy and flexibility to evade most threats targeting them on the board while using their abilities to get through for the win for example, rattlechains and selfless spirit do a great job of keeping your creatures on the board by giving them hexproof and indestructible at instant speed. other creatures like mausoleum wanderer and spell queller are fantastic not only for applying pressure, but also countering anything your opponent might want to play to develop their board nebelgast herald is another great card that allows you to tap down opposing creatures when it or any other spirit enters the battlefield combined with rattlechains, nebelgeist herald becomes an effective way to keep your opponent pinned down while your spirits finish them off tempo is one of the most difficult deck archetypes to play since you’ll need to know exactly when to play certain cards at which point during the game timing is everything for tempo. so whenever something new hits the board you’ll have to take stock of how exactly it affects the game and react accordingly like midrange decks, tempo doesn’t have much room for error. playing even the wrong land on a turn can be your un-doing while tempo decks are often hard to find in any given format they are still usually one of the best decks in whatever meta they’re in while tempo and midrange are a bit more rare to find than the broader archetypes of aggro, control and combo they’re still just as potent and powerful in their own right and as before the answer to the common question which of these archetypes should I play is whichever one appeals to you so, to review: today on tolaran tutor this is Tolarian community college. I’M the professor our professional consultant is Emma Handy Michelle Rapp is our script supervisor and remember, it’s not about winning individual games of magic. it’s about getting better- win or lose Don’t you love his hair? oh, hello! do you like Tolarian tutor and want to see this series continue? What about toher programs here at Tolarian community college and feel they have value to you? if so then maybe consider becoming a patron over at patreon where your support not only gets you great rewards such as signed magic the gathering cards, and even your name in the credits, but also helps this channel keep producing the content that you know and love you are the ones that keep this channel going and growing strong, so thank you!