Digital Deckbuilding - Archidekt Card Packages and EDHREC Staples

( Inga and Esika | Art by Wayne Reynolds)

Friendly greetings and welcome to Digital Deckbuilding! This is the third installment of our series focused on deckbuilding with online tools. I'm John Sherwood, deckbuilding dietician. This week I'm trimming the fat out of the deckbuilding process, using Card Packages on Archidekt and Staples from EDHREC to set a deck up for success with essential nutrition.

Juicing - Choose your Commander

Channeling some Technically Playable Paul Palmer energy, I used EDHREC's Random button to pick a commander to brew for this article. The result: Inga and Esika from March of the Machine. Pairing two characters from Kaldheim, this card is a power duo on a cat-drawn, flying chariot. Inga Rune-Eyes draws cards, and Esika, God of the Tree gives creatures a mana ability.

This commander is a recipe for extra value from creatures with enter-the-battlefield effects. Many enter-the-battlefield (ETB) creatures are sweet when they ETB, and Inga and Esika give every ETB creature a boost by turning them into mana dorks. Cards like Reclamation Sage and Eternal Witness get a second chance to help the deck by making mana to cast more creatures and draw more cards. The blending of these abilities produces a juice so Simic, they would serve it in the cafeteria at Novijen.

Appetizers - Choose your Archidekt Card Package

One way to add existing Card Packages directly to a deck appears on Archidekt's Deck Creation page. The menu includes four tabs. First from the left, the Default card packages provided by Archidekt cover basics every deck needs. Second, the Mine tab shows packages you made. Third, the Bookmarked tab shows packages you bookmarked. Finally, the All tab accesses every package hosted on Archidekt. The search bar searches the selected tab, and using any of these options is a great way to get the deckbuilding process started.

A screenshot of the Archidekt Deck Creation page, with the Card Package field expanded.

Adding Card Packages During Deck Creation

Default Packages automatically adjust to the color identity of your selected commander. (Except For the "Green Ramp" card package, which is exactly as advertised.) The "$" signs roughly represent the monetary cost of the included cards, based on the assessment of package creator. The arrow on the right side is a link to see the cards in a package, and the "+" sign button adds the package to the deck. I finished the first course on my Inga and Esika build by adding "Mana Base (2-3 Colors) $" and clicked Create Deck. When the deck page loaded, there were already eleven lands in the list, including one of each basic in my deck's color identity.

Grocery Shopping - Build your Deck

You can add more card packages after a deck is created. Starting from the deck screen, select Card Packages from the black option bar. If the Card Package option on the deck creation screen is an appetizer, then the deck screen's Package Selection menu is a supermarkets. With so many options, you shouldn't go grocery shopping hungry.

Screenshot of the expanded options for searching card packages.Package Selection from the Deck Screen on Archidekt

As an experiment, I set the max budget to "$" and picked "Commander/EDH" from Intended Formats, then typed "dorks" into the search bar. Lucky me, I found a package called Olive's Green Staples. It wasn't everything the deck needs, but most of the cards in the preview made sense to add, so I added the whole package. The package included Delighted Halfling and Arbor Elf, both of which I cut from the deck for...reasons.

Although I could be persuaded that Arbor Elf is a green staple, it feels like empty calories in this deck. Meanwhile, Delighted Halfling's ascent to staple status looks like a diet craze frenzy. At the time of this writing Delighted Halfling appears in over 86000 decks barely half a year after release. In comparison, Birds of Paradise appears in about 413000 decks, but it has the advantage of 47 printings since the beginning of Magic. I took them both out of the shopping cart and put them back on the shelf. (As a former grocery clerk and current respectful customer, I made sure to put them back where they belong.)

Bonus tip: if you run into trouble on Archidekt, ask for help on their Discord server. There was a bug with the package previews when I started working on this. I reached out to the Archidekt team on Discord and got a response same day.

Make your own Card Package

You can create, save and share your own card packages. Providing as much information as possible will make the package easier to search and identify if you make it public for the community.

The Archidetk Package Creation screen. The Package Creation Screen on Archidekt includes options to help identify the card package.

I wanted to create a card package catered to this deck, and I wanted it to be useful to other players. Creatures with ETB effects are useful in a variety of decks. My initial search syntax (game:paper)(legal:commander)(id:ug)(t:creature)(o:enters)(o:battlefield) produced over one thousand results. I refined the syntax a few times to fill important roles in the deck like removal, ramp and building the board state. I did this by doing a series of searches with additional oracle text condtions such as (o:destroy), (o:land) and (o:create). For more information on using syntax search, check out my first article: Digital Deckbuilding - Card Searches on EDHREC and Archidekt.

The completed card package included tutors, bounce effects, +1/+1 counters, counterspells and more. I feel it's a really well rounded core for this particular deck, and a diverse bunch of ETB effects other players might want in a similar Simic deck.


Buy this decklist from Card Kingdom
Buy this decklist from TCGplayer


View this decklist on Archidekt

Even though I created this package, I bookmarked it for demonstration purposes. Back on the the deck page, my Simic ETB Creatures package appears in both the Mine and Bookmarked tabs. I added it to the deck with the button shown in the bottom left of the next screenshot:

The Card Package screen from an Archidekt Deck Page, displaying a card package in the Bookmarked tab.The "Simic ETB Creatures" card appears in my Bookmarded tab.

The Salad Bar - Find Staple Cards on EDHREC

Vegetable cards, such as lands, ramp, draw and interaction are essential pieces of a healthy deck. Players too often push veggie cards to the side of their plate, resulting in decks that miss land drops, run out of gas or crumble when they meet resistance. EDHREC's Color Identity pages conveniently present popular staples buffet-style, so you can quickly grab the essentials and focus on finding your sizzling synergy pieces.

To navigate to a Color Identity page, open the drop-down menu for Commanders at the top of the screen on The color identities are sorted by Mono, 2-, 3- and 4+ Colors. Each of these pages has tabs for CommandersStaples, and Mana Staples. I took my first pass down the Simic salad bar on the Staples tab. Clicking the "+" icon on a card adds it to the clipboard. If any card is lettuce in an Magic salad metaphor, it's Cultivate.

Screenshot of Top Simic Staples in Card View on EDHREC. The plus icon is circled on the card cultivate.Add cards to the clipboard with the "+" button in EDHREC's card view.

I was feeling the heat to make a deadline on this article, so I switched to Table View to speed things up. Instead of showing full card images, the Table View condenses pertinent information into an organized spreadsheet. For cards you aren't familiar with, you can still see them via the hyperlinked card name. My favorite column on the Table View is the check boxes, which quickly add cards to the clipboard. Running down the list, I selected some cards I recognized and clicked the paperclip icon at the top of the page to export them.

The EDHREC clipboard, with Table View of Top Simic Staples in the background.I selected cards to with the checkboxes in Table View, and opened the clibpoard to export them to Archidekt.

EDHREC can export cards directly to Archidekt or Moxfield, or in text format to your device's cipboard. Selecting the Archidekt option will automatically navigate to the page shown in the next screenshot.

Import screen on Archidekt.Archidekt offers three options for importing cards from EDHREC.

Over on Archidekt, there are three options for importing the cards exported from EDHREC: Import to SandboxAdd to Your Decks and Create New Deck. The button for Add to Your Decks opens a pop-up menu to select the deck, with three more options for where those cards will appear in the selected deck. Those options are: Auto select categories, Maybeboard, and Sideboard. There is also a checkbox to add a color indicator for cards you imported, to make them easier to identify the next time you navigate to the deck page.

Dessert - Finish the Decklist

With staples like Arcane Signet, Command Tower and Sol Ring taking the first three slots in almost every deck's 99, I've heard some people accuse Commander of being a 96-card format. Are those cards vegetables? Sure they are, but you don't have to eat every vegetable. It's okay to cut some veggies to save room for dessert: those cards we play just because they make us smile. The Card Packages on Archidekt and Staples on EDHREC simply help you eat your veggies faster, so you can spend more time enjoying dessert.

Check out Paul Palmer's Technically Playable series for more great deck techs with randomly selected commanders. The complete deck list from this weeks build is available below. Tell me about your favorite dessert cards in the comments below, or share your own tips for using Card Packages and Staples to improve Digital Deckbuilding.


Buy this decklist from Card Kingdom
Buy this decklist from TCGplayer


View this decklist on Archidekt

Read more:

Digital Deckbuilding - How To Find EDH Combos On EDHREC And Commander Spellbook

Technically Playable - Uvilda, Dean Of Perfection/Nassari, Dean Of Expression

John Sherwood loves interaction, turning creatures sideways and interacting with sideways creatures. His deck building mantra is, "Run more lands." He has been a devoted Commander player since Zendikar Rising.

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