New EDHREC Features - Tribes, Themes, & Colors Update

Tribes, Themes, Colors

EDHREC recently added some new functionality to the tribes, themes, and colors pages, so to start off the new year, we'd like to give you a quick rundown on how to best use these new features!

First, we'll talk about the "Related Info" block that cross-references popular combinations for decks that focus on more than one of these qualities. Second, we reorganized the main Themes page to make it easier to navigate the large number of themes we use to classify decks. To introduce these features, let's walk through some examples on how to use them.

Setting the Example

Suppose that we want to build a deck for Alela, Artful Provocateur. (Side note, "Alela" is also one of the few legendary creatures with a palindromic name, meaning her name is spelled the same way when written backwards, so bonus points for that. Can you think of another palindromic legendary creature before reading to the end of this article? Let's find out, together.)

Looking at Alela's commander page, we can see which themes are already popular for Alela decks, as seen above in the section between "View" and "Budget". Enchantments and Artifacts each make sense, since both of those words literally appear in Alela's rules text in a beneficial way. Likewise, Faerie (Tribal) and Flying also make good things happen in Alela's text box. Auras and Equipment make sense since they are subtypes of the aforementioned permanents, and the Cantrips theme tends to show up for commanders who have the words "Whenever you cast" in their text. Stax is... a choice that some deckbuilders make sometimes, especially in Esper colors, and we'll leave it at that.

Related Info

Now suppose we want to make an Alela deck that uses different themes and/or tribes than the popular builds. One way to approach this is to consider which tribes and/or themes are strong in Alela's colors, but haven't received much popular attention in Alela decks. We can find this information by using the navigation bar at the top of the page and selecting Commanders, 3 Color, and Esper, like so:

This will take us to the Esper page which features popular commanders and cards used in Esper decks.

Near the top of this page, there should be a button saying "Related Info (Click to expand)". If we click it, we get to see what tribes and themes are well-established in the chosen colors, like so:

From these lists, for the sake of an example, let's look into building Esper Zombie Tribal with Esper Curses.

If we click Zombies from that list, it will bring us to a page of Zombie Tribal decks in the specific white/blue/black colors we want, without having to visually sift out the green and red cards, like picking the broccoli and chili peppers out of your blueberry squid ink pasta. The Esper Zombie Tribal page has its own relevant information:

If you wanted to know which other color combinations have more than one commander making Zombie Tribal decks, there they are. If you wanted to know which themes are popular with Zombie Tribal decks, that information is also there.

Let's look at a theme page now: Curses!

Likewise, the theme pages have their own color-specific filters as long as enough decks were built with those constraints. If there were particular tribes that specialized in Curses, they would also be listed, but there aren't, because those decks haven't been built yet; we can't show you data that doesn't exist, but we can show you the Enchantments theme, which illustrates an existing Tribal example:

It turns out that God Tribal decks enjoy playing enchantment-heavy builds from time to time. Since the old-timey Theros-block Gods were enchantment creatures, themselves (Xenagos, God of Revels, for example), this also makes sense. If we click on "Gods" here, then we go to a page of card statistics for the precise overlap of decks that are both enchantment themed and God Tribal.

Hopefully these info blocks will help you with building and brainstorming in the colors you want, bringing easier access to related ideas, and showing tribes and themes that synergize with whatever strategy you are attempting.

Main Theme Hub

In addition to Related Info, the main Themes page has also been reorganized. Instead of a solid wall of card pictures, the big list of themes has been organized into smaller appropriate categories.

  • By Card Type - themes that are based on information in the card's type line
  • By Card Name - themes based around a specific named card
  • For Creatures - themes that require or imply a significant number of creatures
  • For The Library - themes defined by cards going into or out of the library
  • For The Hand - themes defined by cards going into or out of the hand
  • For The Field - themes defined by cards going into or out of the battlefield
  • For The Graveyard - themes defined by cards going into or out of the graveyard
  • By Strategy - themes that don't quite fit into the above categories

Some themes appear in more than one category. For example, Aristocrats involves sacrificing creatures, which implies creatures, cards leaving the field, and cards entering the graveyard, so it will appear in "For Creatures", "For The Field", and "For The Graveyard". This is intentional.

A Silly Alela Deck

For your entertainment, here's a pile of a deck based on picking fun artifacts and enchantments from Esper Lifegain, Esper Curses, Esper Sphinges, Yore-Tiller Treasure, and Sydri Vehicles. Enjoy!

PS: The Palindrome Answer

Did you guess what the other legendary palindrome commanders were?

*Temmet, Vizier of Naktamun. Temmet = temmeT. Palindrome!
**Also, Nin, the Pain Artist. Nin = niN!

Nate is a game developer, programmer, and writer from San Francisco. He is a co-host of the Commander Time! podcast, a former co-host of the Commanderin’ MTG Podcast, and does occasional programming with EDHREC's database making piles of theme pages. Nate can be found @commandtime and/or @misterplorg, and as a frequent guest streamer at MTG Lexicon.