BMoor's Magic The
MTG Deck Help for a new player
January 11, 2010
I just started playing MTG two weeks ago (I know, about
time!). The last card game I played, I was decent, but I was
never dominant at tournaments. This go around, I want to
have a deck that will win, but I don't want to go through
the hassle of spending a bunch of money on boosters to find
the right cards. I was hoping you can look at my deck I
built with my limited cards and help me build a tournament
legal deck that people will be afraid of and won't cost me
an arm and a leg. Thanks.
This is the trickiest kind of deck for me to fix, Naveed.
Because, you see, this isn't actually a deck at all. It's a
pile of cards.
Now, don't take that personally, Naveed. I know you're a
beginner and I want to help. That's why I'm telling you that
you haven't really "built a deck", you've gathered
together some cards of like color, added an appropriate
proportion of lands, and shuffled it. That's perfectly
legal, and if you showed up at Friday Night Magic you would
be allowed to compete, but you wouldn't stand a chance
against a "real deck".
You see, Naveed, a deck is a 60-card configuration designed
to adhere to a given strategy. Like, "monowhite Soldier
aggro", built to attack quickly with Soldiers who benefit
from each others' bonuses. Or "blue/green madness", designed
to use blue draw/discard effects to cast green Madness
spells on the cheap. While a deck's strategy will often be
summarized by what colors it plays, unfortunately you've
fallen into a trap that a lot of first-time deckbuilders
A deck's strategy means more than what color it is.
You seem to have built a "green and white deck". But
that doesn't say anything about what kind of deck it is.
Throughout Magic's history, there have been G/W token decks
that played lots of token generators and swarmed opponents,
there have been G/W lifegain decks that stalled out until
they had mana for a huge creature or three, there have been
G/W control decks that ground down the enemies' offense
until there was nothing left, there have been G/W combo
decks that played Wrath of God, dropped a creature, then
next turn Biorhythm to set everyone's life total to zero and
theirs to one....
The point I'm trying to make is that you can't just pack
your deck with cards you like and cast them, and hope that
you'll win that way. Your opponents will be playing spells
all designed to push ever closer to one coherent goal. Your
cards all do a multitude of different things. So if you want
to win, you need to select a goal. To that end, I'm going to
build a theoretical deck that you already have some of the
cards for, but should work a little better for you.
4 Steppe Lynx
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Kor Duelist
4 Grazing Gladehart
4 Knight of the Reliquary
Now, you see, this deck is G/W aggro. The whole point of
this deck is that you can drop a creature as early as turn
one and attack as hard and as often as possible. The deck
also has a landfall theme, so that you can get extra use out
of Terramorphic Expanse and Harrow. If you play a land, then
use Knight of the Reliquary's ability to get a Terramorphic
Expanse, sacrifice the Expanse for another land, then play
Harrow, five lands will have come into play that turn.
Meaning that Steppe Lynx will be a 10/11, you'll have gained
10 life from Grazing Gladehart, and the Knight of the
Reliquary will have also gotten +3/+3, since you sacrificed
a total of three lands as well. In addition, every card in
this deck is either common or uncommon, so you should have
no trouble obtaining the cards for it. Commons go for a
quarter each, and sometimes if you find someone who bought a
lot of packs, you can talk them into just giving you extra
commons on the grounds that they won't use them. Of course,
you should never go into a card shop expecting to receive a
handout-- be prepared to trade for what you need.
I hope I've made this clear enough. I don't mean to be
discouraging or to deride your deck, but at the same time,
you wouldn't have come to me if you weren't prepared to be
criticized, now would you have?
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