Make sure all your mana is untapped people, because we’re rollin’ with some Magic baby!
I wish I could tell you that I’m a seasoned Magic: The Gathering player. While some people’s experience likely date back to high school, junior high or maybe even grade school, I actually got into the game quite late. I was turned on to it by a friend of a friend about two years ago. I now realize he might as well have given me a hit of crack, because I’m just as addicted to Magic: The Gathering as I would be to any drug. In the past, walking by the card section at Wal-Mart wasn’t a big deal. I didn’t even bat an eye. Now, I’m always looking for that next booster pack fix.
But the game itself was not exactly a walk in the park to figure out. Let’s face it, a guy like me doesn’t stand much of a chance trying to pick up the complexities of the game (which are legion) at this age, especially when others have 20+ years experience on me. That is where Duels of the Planeswalkers came in. Downloading the 2013 version on Xbox Live and playing it religiously nights and weekends was one the best training regimens available for a novice. That game crammed years worth of play time into my brain in just a few short weeks (to where I could hold my own against pretty much anyone online).
Now, the 2015 version was just released last week with an all new expanded deck builder! So in honor of this, I thought I’d take a look back at some of my all-time favorite decks from the 2013 and 2014 versions (one’s I’ve had the most successes with while play testing).
Get ready…as my upkeep step has just begun…
I have fond memories of this mono-white build for several reasons. For starters, it was literarily the first Magic deck I ever played with. Before I owned a single physical MTG card, I was using Peacekeepers online. A deck like this is perfect for a beginner for several reasons. First, the single color keeps things simple and easy to deal with. Second, the name of the game when using this deck is control. There are tons of nice cards in here (like Oblivion Ring, Pacifism and Intrepid Hero) that will allow you to manage your opponent’s side of the board when planning out your offensive maneuvers. Also, Odric rocks!
My second deck, and just as useful. While this deck is loads of fun to play, it’s like night and day compared to Peacekeepers. By nature, it’s a fast deck (with lots of Haste creatures and direct damage). I typically played it around one central strategy. The key to success here was to get the Krenko: Mob Boss card out. When tapped, it doubles the amount of Goblins on the battlefield (so four becomes eight, eight becomes sixteen, sixteen becomes thirty two, etc). Over-running an army of 4/4 flyers or huge green beast creatures with a flood of 1/1s is VERY satisfying. One night I even maxed out the game’s token counter. Fun times…fun times indeed.
To date, this may still be my favorite Magic deck of all time! The dual colored white/blue combinations found here are simply wonderful. The idea is to load up several specific creature cards with enchantments. The MVPs are no doubt the Invisible Stalker (who happens to be both Hexproof and Unblockable) and Geist of Saint Traft (who attacks with a 4/4 flyer each turn and comes as a complete surprise when activated). Also, stealing your opponents’ best creatures via Mind Control always results in some rage-quitting fun, while Followed Footsteps will allow you to sit back and slowly amass an army of cloned creatures each turn.
Personally, I’ve never been much for life decks. That is until I discovered my delectable little green vixen Sylvan. This deck combines the ability to boost your life counter exponentially, while also building up heavy creatures early in the game (swinging with a 20/20 by turn six or seven is a regular occurrence for me). By utilizing various enhancements, in addition to a synergy among other Elf creature types on the field, this deck is both elegant and deadly. It’s also another fast deck, as I try to top it off at around four mana. I’d say my most valuable tip is to make friends with the Wellwisher card...you won’t regret it!
Perusing my list, you’ll likely notice that it’s very 2013 centric. To that I say;, you’re right! Frankly, I wasn’t a huge fan of last year’s deck selection. Until Sylvan Might came along via DLC, I had actually reverted back to playing with my old standards in the previous version. There are some honorable mentions though. The red/blue Dodge and Burn (which makes it nearly impossible for you to cast what creatures you want) is by far the cheapest and most annoying deck from 2014. But I suppose that simply means it did its job. Also, any deck containing cards with the Annihilator ability were absolutely wicked!
I’ve been a bit busy as of late, but I’m looking forward to diving right into Magic 2015 and seeing what the new decks (and the advanced deck builder) have to offer! Let’s hope the 2016 version finally brings the much coveted Planeswalker cards themselves into the fray!
Want to talk shop on deck building or need a partner for Two-Headed Giant online? Hit me up on Twitter for all your Magic: The Gathering needs!