It is a Thursday night, I have just returned home from work and now I don't know what to do with the rest of my evening. So I head to my room, pull out my 3 monster boxes of Magic the Gathering cards, and prepare to build a deck before my friends stop by. But where do I start?
Any veteran player in this game, including myself will tell you that there is a certain reason why we play. Deep inside our souls is a love for some aspect of this card game that keeps us all interested. Somewhere in our early stages of playing tournaments, or casual games with our friends, we were psychologically attracted to some aspect of the competition. Whether it be the different strategies involved, creativity, or shear competitiveness, something keeps us all fascinated and wanting more.
Deck building is quite possibly the most important skill you can have in this game. An average player can look much more skilled than he actually is, when playing with a great deck. However, it is much more difficult for a great player to perform when playing with only an average deck. My advice to younger players reading this article; go through the decks on this website, not just the Standard Type 2, but go into the fun/casual decks and take note of the cards being used, and the strategies involved. I have played this game for nearly 7 years now, and I still learn new things everyday.
I think the format for which we all build decks is very different. Yes, we all follow the same set of rules and guidelines, but I think it is a player's unique personality that shapes the way his deck is made. I feel that a player's deck is the ultimate test of his creativity and it reveals why he loves this game so much. I will start with myself as an example.
I love tribes, plain and simple. I never felt as much passion for this game as I did when the Onslaught block was released. I am a very loyal person, and because of that, I create my decks by utilizing the unique powers of certain groups of creatures. When it comes time to play, I represent that tribe so confidently, one might think I was a part of it. Goblins, Mercenaries, Rebels, Clerics, Zombies, Merfolk, Ninjas, Samurai, Elves, Angels, Dragons... you name it, I have tried it in a deck. I love playing in a large group game with my friends, sitting down, and seeing them worry about what tribe will be beating up on them this time. Goblins, Angels, and Zombies are some of my favorites. My loyalty to family, friends, and other relationships in my life carries over into the way I build my decks, and becomes evident in the confidence I portray when playing with my tribes. I am very excited to start incorporating Lorwyn into my decks...
However, there are many other styles of deck building besides tribal-themed decks. I think one of the most popular styles of deck-building is creating a combo-based deck. These players thrive on combining the powers of cards to create an elegant flow in the way they play. These decks are often centered around one of two powerful cards. They utilize the weaker abilities of less popular cards to fuel the powerful ones, and create massive amounts of control or damage.
There are hundreds of decks on this website that utilize Brine Elemental
, or Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir
, or Megrim
just to name a few. Combo-based decks are often some of the highest quality decks out there, and very difficult to beat. If you want to practice building a deck of this style, look at the abilities of some of your weaker cards, and categorize them by what their abilities do. Some cause you to draw, others give creatures -X/-X, some even cause opponents to discard. The idea is to utilize these weaker cards with powerful rares to enhance their abilities. The players who spend hours creating amazing combos are often the most competitive in the game. They are in it to win it, and focus their efforts on creating a deck with a guaranteed victory.