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BMoor's Magic The Gathering Deck Garage
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.


Kalonian Behemoth x1

Grazing Gladehart x2
Llanowar Elves x2
Blinding Mage x1
Vastwood Gorger x1
Razorfoot Griffin x1
Siege Mastodon x1
Nissa’s Chosen x1
Borderland Ranger x2
Timbermaw Larva x1
Hedron Scrabbler x1
Enormous Baloth x1
Frontier Guide x1
Territorial Baloth x1
Stampeding Rhino x1
Oran-Rief Recluse x1
Shepherd of the Lost x1
Giant Spider x1
Baloth Woodcrasher x1
Awakener Druid x1

Divine Verdict x1
Adventuring Gear x1
Sunspring Expedition x2
Armored Ascension x1
Primal Bellow x2
Tanglesap x1
Nature’s Spiral x1
Pacifism x1
Vines of Vastwood x1
Naturalize x2
Khalni Heart Expedition x1
Pitfall Trap x1
Might of Oaks x1
Oakenform x1

Kazandu Refuge x1
Plains x12
Forest x12
Graypelt Refuge x1
Turntimber Grove x1
Terramorphic Expanse x1
Kabira Crossroads x2


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 fall into.

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

4 Vines of Vastwood
4 Harrow
4 Pacifism
4 Trusty Machete

4 Terramorphic Expanse
10 Forest
10 Plains

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?

Good luck!







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Magic the Gathering Deck Fixes