Essential Magic Articles


Deck Issues: Creativity

by Arcanic_One

     Have any of you ever gotten the feeling of deck depression? I know I have. In the next few articles I will make, you’ll find several common problems I have noticed and a few solutions for each of them.

Case 1: Feeling your deck isn’t creative enough

     I’m fairly certain that most MTG players have had this issue. The feeling that you just aren’t thinking outside the box, or the old ‘It’s good, but it’s been done before.

Solutions: this issue can be helped by one simple statement: ‘Most deck ideas have been tried. ’ If you look carefully enough; you can probably find a deck for just about any theme or idea. Keeping this quote in mind will help on my next suggestion: you don’t necessarily have to have a completely new idea for a deck, you can make it creative by putting a spin on an old idea too. A classic kind of deck is probably something like a mono-white agro deck. Most of them work the same, like these examples:

http://essentialmagic.com//Decks/View.asp?ID=753366

http://essentialmagic.com//Decks/View.asp?ID=347808

http://essentialmagic.com//Decks/View.asp?ID=341743

http://essentialmagic.com//Decks/View.asp?ID=341743

     Notice any patterns or common occurrences?  Most of these decks have similar or ‘tribal’ creature types. Also; all of said examples also use things that will increase or benefit your creatures by increasing power and toughness.  (By enchantments or equipment mostly) Common cards that do this are enchantments like Glorious Anthem and equipment like Bonesplitter. This doesn’t mean that you have to stop using enchantments or equipment just because you see those cards often. This also doesn’t mean you have to stop using ‘tribal’ cards either. With tournaments, it is often difficult to branch out or make a completely different deck because of the limitations of the sets you have.

     Fortunately this is not the case in casual (or ‘classic’ format for you MTGO fans). In this department, we can branch out as much as we like. Say you want to use equipment but want to avoid the norm. Not an issue! In vintage, legacy, or epic battles over kitchen table bragging rights; this is an easy fix if you look hard enough. Here are a few steps to take to make your deck a little more creative if you wish.

1.     Get outside your comfort zone.   This may sound odd, but I put it up here for a reason. Most players stick with what cards or sets they know. For instance, if you learned to play in Time Spiral sets, you will want to stay in that set for card selection. If you do this; you immediately restrict the card pool you have to work with. If you use an engine like Em, the problem can often be solved simply by typing in what kind of rule and color you want and a click. If I may still use the example from above of the white deck; if you look for equipment or enchantments, you may notice something strange, such as equipment that makes your creatures hard to block like Whispersilk Cloak. Or an enchantment that does an odd benefit such as Angelic Voices or something like Absolute Law. Perhaps if you really wanted to be strange, you might even use something like Animal Boneyard already I have given some unorthodox equipment and enchantments, just by expanding away from Zendikar and Alara! If you can’t buy or get the card you need, hunt for a replacement from a previous or recent set!

2.     Look at the individual, then the masses what I mean by this is that you look at some interesting combos, then a deck as a whole. For example, using the Absolute Law enchantment combine with creatures that have protection from red, or using something like Distorting Lens. By expanding your card pool and by looking at combos, you can quickly fill in what the rest of your deck needs by using Em, or another site by looking at your deck and seeing the drain holes that need to be plugged, just by looking at individual combos, then the whole thing.

3.     Don’t be afraid to test the thing the most important part of trying out a newly creative deck is to test it. If it doesn’t work, well that’s ok, look at it, why you lost and how, what creatures worked, which ones didn’t? What did your opponent(s) have that made things difficult? You can replace cards and re-test it when you think it’s ready, and try again. Also, if it has constant weaknesses against things, make a sideboard . That’s what their there for.

These tips can apply to all decks, not just the mono-white or any mono deck. It can work with multiple colors too. I bet you’re expecting me to give you all a list using some of the cards I mentioned at this point; but I’d rather leave that up to you all! Respond and give me a link to let me know if this helped at all when it came to thinking outside the deck box! I’ll try to make another post when I can! Until then… Happy Building!

Last edited 1/26/2010 10:58:06 AM Page 1 of 1  Prev  Next  Go to page:

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