The Value Midrange Archetype in Highlander

Welcome to the Value Midrange deck archetype for 7 Point Highlander! On this page you will find all the content related to this play style.

A Summary of the Value Midrange Archetype

Value Midrange decks attempt to gain advantage over other fair decks by getting a better rate on their exchanges. In essence, one of your spells or creatures can trade with something else on the opponent’s battlefield whilst also generating an additional card, creature, or other effect in the process. Since you seek to bury your opponent in this card advantage, Value Midrange decks often play the historically ‘best’ spells that have dominated past Standard environments, such as Jace the Mind Sculptor, Bloodbraid Elf, and Kolaghan’s Command. Value Midrange decks are incentivised to play as many of these effects as possible, so they often lean toward playing upward of 4 colours, with the most popular being Blue, Black, Red, and Green.

Value Midrange Deck Lists and Variations

One popular method of accruing card advantage is via spells with the Cascade mechanic, namely Bloodbraid Elf and Shardless Agent. Whilst this largely rules out the opportunity to play counterspells, this variation of the Value Midrange deck archetype makes up for it by having fewer ‘dead’ draws in a Midrange mirror-match. In fact, the Cascade versions can overpower Aggro, Tempo, Control, and Midrange decks alike via raw card advantage, making them a favourite in ‘fair magic’ metagames. Although it has trouble against unfair decks that attempt to enact a degenerate game plan on a different axis (such as fast Combo decks), Cascade Midrange has demonstrated time and again that you can come out on top by dominating fair matches with the help of Yidris Maelstrom Wielder letting you cascade into an Ancestral Visions!

Deck ListCascade Midrange

Other variants of Value Midrange also run the same Blue, Black, Red, and Green colour combination but forego Cascade effects entirely. What these decks lose in the raw power level of individual spells, they make up for in synergy and support spells that improve weak matchups. The most readily apparent is access to main deck counterspells such as Evasive Action, which whilst a ‘dead draw’ from a value perspective when behind, serve to shore up their conventionally weak matchup against Combo decks. Some versions simply enjoy running ‘good spells’ and turning a Tarmogoyf sideways, whilst others embrace the synergy offered by cards like Birthing Pod. The version linked below offers surface-level value propositions like upgrading Elvish Mystics into Baleful Strix, but the true synergy lies much deeper. With any expendable 2-cost creature on the battlefield, Birthing Pod offers a string of extra turns via Spellseeker to find Time Walk, followed by turning that Spellseeker into Kess, Dissident Mage on the extra turn, netting yet another free turn.

Deck ListBirthing Pod Midrange

When left to their own devices, both of these powerful variants offer relatively consistent mana with their combination of 10 ‘fetch’ lands, original ‘dual’ lands, and mana producing creatures such as Birds of Paradise. However crafty opponents with access to Blood Moon effects or timely Wasteland can pose a significant challenge. Some variants of Value Midrange opt for a more stable mana base at the cost of some level of power, by selecting only 3 of the typical Value Midrange colour pool; Blue, Black, Red and Green.

Both Jund Midrange (Black-Red-Green) and Temur Midrange (Blue-Red-Green) have access to this archetype’s green powerhouses like Tireless Tracker, Tarmogoyf, and Titania Protector of Argoth. Likewise, they make good use of red’s Lightning Bolt effects and the mana consistency offered by Wrenn and Six, with or without Wasteland. However their third colour presents interesting differences. For Jund, Black offers cheap hand disruption such as Thoughtseize and robust planeswalkers like Liliana the Last Hope, whereas Temur uses Blue to play an almost Tempo-style game plan via counterspells like Daze and the removal/evasive threat Brazen Borrower. Regardless of your choice of third colour, not only are Jund and Temur robust against Blood Moon, they can also play these effects in their Sideboards in order to punish the greedier versions of Value Midrange.

Deck ListJund Midrange

Deck ListTemur Midrange

As popular as the Blue, Black, Red and Green colour combination is, value prospects also lie within the use of White. 3-colour and 4-colour Value Midrange decks have used White multi-colour cards to success, including shoring up their aggressive game via Queen Marchesa, or generating value of Planeswalkers like Elspeth, Sun’s Champion. Some even use White cards like Ephemerate to offer a Combo element to their deck by ‘blinking’ Spellseeker to create Time Walk and Regrowth loops. These White-based Midrange decks often shift into a more ‘hybrid’ strategy, straddling the line between Midrange and Control or Combo, which allows them to remain flexible and pivot into the best role for any given matchup (at the cost of some level of power or consistency offered by Midrange alone).

Deck List5-colour Midrange-Combo

Deck ListMardu Midrange-Control

Building Value Midrange on a Budget

If you enjoy the sound of Value Midrange but you are on a budget, there are alternatives to Cascade Midrange that do not use power cards like Ancestral Recall. However the main cost to these 4-colour decks is their manabase, often requiring 6 of the original ‘dual’ lands in the Blue, Black, Red and Green colours. Given that Blue ‘dual’ lands are often the most expensive, the best bet for building Value Midrange on a budget is to opt for the Jund Midrange version. Whilst this deck still requires three dual lands such as Badlands, the remaining 72 cards consist of Modern, Legacy, or Commander staples meaning that cards are readily available for purchase or trade. Not only is it very feasible to play Jund competitively without Badlands, Bayou and Taiga, it isn’t necessarily a strict disadvantage as you can focus more on basic lands, cut the handful of double-colour cards like Hymn to Tourach, and move Blood Moon and Magus of the Moon to the maindeck to provide ‘free wins’ in certain metagames.

Playing 7 Point Highlander on a budget? Don’t forget to listen to listen to one of the 7 Point Highlander Cast’s seminal episodes on how to construct a good deck whilst on a shoestring!

Podcast – Building on a Budget

Highlander Value Midrange Video Content:

Compiled below are links to some excellent YouTube resources that can help you see versions of the Value Midrange deck archetype in action.

Watch this video to see Cascade Midrange in action:

Watch this video to see Kess-Pod Midrange in action:

Watch this video to see Ephemerate Midrange-Combo in action:

Enjoy!

Where to next?

Did Value Midrange fit the kind of deck archetype you’re looking for? Want to know more about other Midrange decks? Visit the Midrange hub here.

Some of the decks featured above also contain a combo sub-theme. If you’d like to know more about dedicated Combo decks or those that have a ‘combo finish’ element to them, visit the Combo hub here.

Although predominantly a Midrange deck, this archetype sometimes involves a tempo sub-theme like the ‘Temur’ variant of Value Midrange. If you’d like to know more about dedicated Tempo decks or those with a Tempo element to them, visit the Tempo hub here.

Dr Sarven McLinton

Sarven has been playing Magic the Gathering since Stronghold (1998) and is on The Highlander Points Committee. He is well-versed in a wide variety of deck archetypes but remains an avid student of the game. Sarven is a passionate writer and seeks to apply his extensive experience in research and statistics to gaming. By day, 'Dr McLinton' works as a Research Associate at the Centre for Workplace Excellence (CWeX) managing various projects investigating psychosocial factors at work, as well as lecturing Psychology Honours and supervising PhD candidates. By night, 'McLinton Sensei' teaches traditional Japanese Karate in South Australia's premiere sporting centre, the ARC Campbelltown. He holds a 4th-degree black belt and is a gold medalist, competing both nationally and internationally in Karate and Open-style contact tournaments.