Color identity, color matchups & fighting unfavorable matchups

Hi all,

I’m pretty new to this game, still discovering the various aspects of its strategy. One topic I’m really interested in is how colors relate to each other, how you can detect a bad matchup and how you should alter your plan to fit the situation - especially in Pandora.

The identity I got from the colors (in a very rough draft - I know it doesn’t only sum up to that):

  • Green is big minions and taunts
  • Blue is mobility
  • Red is damaging events and burn
  • Yellow is… well I’m not sure. Pressure enemy orb?

From this I noticed a few global matchups.

  • Red is weak against Green because Green’s creature are hard to remove with small damage events
  • Red is strong vs Blue because mobility doesn’t allow you to dodge events
  • Blue seems strong vs Green because they can outmaneuver their big hulking creatures and can shrink them

So, yeah, first question: is this correct? What would you say the matchups are? Where does yellow stand into this (I frankly have no idea).

Second question: how do you adapt when you realize you’re going against a bad matchup?
For instance (recent experience): in Pandora, I drafted a mono red deck with lots of burn (including 2x Seifer Wraths, 3x Flame Bursts). I notice my enemy first 2 lands are forests, so I guess I’m going against a bad matchup. What should I do?

  • Turtle and hope my little damage increments from Shedim Brutes/Grim Guard bring my enemy in burst range?
  • Switch to a rushing strategy?

Thanks for your advice.

Edit: also, forgot one question: are their specific cards in each color that allow you to increase your odds vs their bad matchups?

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As for matchups, it’s always down to deck. Each deck can be made into multiple speeds and ranges, and then they get mixed up to cover each other’s weaknesses.

As for colors:

  • Green is big minions, taunts, and a lot of buffs. A dash of ramp, but not too much. Motif is obviously growth, there is a land-ramp and non-direct buffs present.
  • Blue is small creatures, jump, mobility, land moving shenanigans (and thus probably drugs) and quite a few spells. Ramp is pretty powerful, and there is a motif of creature transformation.
  • Red goes few ways. There are biggest and baddest taunts here and quite a few attack>hp critters. There are also plenty creatures with combat abilities, most interesting buildings, some interesting ranged creatures (and only “give ranged” effect), direct damage spells and a lot of indirect HP burn. Interestingly enough, this is the only color capable of buffing buildings. It’s all about fire, stone and inhospitability.
  • Yellow is most known for it’s rush - it’s fast, it’s haste, it can bounce a lot in one turn. Cards give you mana, they gives you cards that give you mana… if you can play them right of course. At the same time that ramp is only viable on the frontline. Otherwise there is a strong motif of sacrifice (HP or creatures) and a few cards that get buffed by playing events. Flight is also a major motif in yellow.

Is entirely devoted on how to counter the Yrush minions.

red is pretty good against blue, and yellow with it’s aoe and minions that deal one damage when placed.

For green, their mobility is pretty limited so blue and yellow decks can overwhelm them with their mobility. Also events like Frogify, Voice of truth, and Cards with death touch can either debuff or outright remove big buffed creatures. Just watch out for a well placed forest and Sagami Grovecaller!