M:tG: Three Magic Decks I built on Christmas Day…

Dear readers!

Santa bestowed me with a great, great gift: Nothing less than a booster box of the Modern Masters Special Edition! This inspired me to revisit my all-time-favorite CCG Magic: the Gathering after having immersed myself fully in its competitor on the CCG market, Yu-Gi-Oh! So here are three decks which I built just this Christmas Day morning (Please note that all of the following decks are intended for casual play and were built more or less on a budget!):

Black-Green Beatdown:

Creatures…24

4 x Elvish Mystic (G)

4 x Elves of Deep Shadow (G)

4 x Putrid Leech (GB)

4 x Strangleroot Geist (GG)

4 x Dreg Mangler (1GB)

4 x Shambling Shell (1GB)

4 x Creakwood Liege (1 G/B G/B G/B)

Instants…4

4 x Putrify (1GB)

Sorceries…4

4 x Sign in Blood (BB)

Enchantments…4

4 x Rancor (G)

Lands…20

4 x Llanowar Wastes

1 x Svogthos the Restless Tomb

9 x Forest

6 x Swamp

About the Deck:

This deck unites some of the more powerful commons and uncommons from both of its colors, black and green, such as quality Creatures like Strangleroot Geist and Putrid Leech or great removal like Putrify. The deck includes only 8 rare cards; four copies of Llanowar Wastes and four copies of Creakwood Liege and can thus be called a “budget deck”. Let me highlight some of the cards I run in this deck, which has tremendous staying power with respawning Creatures such as Shambling Shell and Strangleroot Geist and things that can be used from the graveyard such as Dreg Mangler. Notably, there are some Creatures with Haste, the aforementioned Strangleroot Geist and Dreg Mangler, which is a highly unusual ability for black and green Creatures. Let me hightlight some of the cards I included in this deck:

Elvish Mystic and Elves of Deep Shadow give you some mana acceleration early on, so you can play a turn 2 Dreg Mangler of Shambling Shell. Putrid Leech can be boosted to be a 4/4 for only 2 mana at the mere cost of paying 2 life. Shambling Shell gives a Creature a +1/+1 Counter when destroyed or sacrificed and has the Dredge Ability, which you may or may not use to retrieve it from your graveyard. Strangleroot Geist is a Hasty 2/1 which respawns as a 3/2 when sent to the graveyard for the first time, while Dreg Mangler has good stats and can be useful during mid-/late-game as you can banish it from your graveyard, pay 5 mana and place three +1/+1 counters on any of your creatures. Creakwood Liege gives all you black Creatures +1/+1 and all your green Creatures +1/+1 as well and spawns a 1/1 Worm each turn, which will be a 3/3. Liege will turn your Dreg Manglers, Shambling Shells and Putrid Leeches into huge beaters, as they will get +2/+2 as they are both black and green. Rancor adds additional beating power and Sign in Blood draws you 2 new cards, while Putrefy is a highly efficient pinpoint removal card.

Three Color Max Attax:

Creatures…11

4 x Kiln Fiend (1R)

4 x Wee Dragonauts (1RU)

3 x Gelectrode (1RU)

Instants & Sorceries…23

4 x Brainstorm (U)

4 x Ponder (U)

4 x Giant Growth (G)

4 x Mutagenic Growth (G)

4 x Lightning Bolt (R)

4 x Reckless Charge (R)

3 x Brute Force (R)

Lands…22

2 x Terramorphic Expanse

7 x Mountain

7 x Island

6 x Forest

About the Deck:

This is a fun and potentially very explosive three color deck (red, blue, green) consisting of very few Creatues, but a ton of cheap and efficient Instants and Sorceries. The plan is to get out Kiln Fiend, Gelectrode or, best of all, Wee Dragonauts out and start inflicting major damage to your opponent with those. All of the Creatures in this deck grow or have a special ability that triggers whenever you play an Instant or a Sorcery. In a perfect game, you’d attack with Wee Dragonauts and play a bunch of your cheap but powerful Instants and or Sorceries to inflict major damage with the Flying Dragonauts. For example if you just play a Giant Growth, targeting Dragonauts, the “Wee-Ones” will attack as a 6/3, hard-to-block Flyer. Kiln Fiend even gets +3 ATK whenever you play an Instant or Sorcery and Gelectrode can be tapped to inflict 1 damage to any Creature or Player and untaps each time you play an Instant or Sorcery. It is best used to take out pesky opponent blockers or, if there aren’t any, to inflict some hard-to-prevent direct damage to your opponent.

Some notable cards: Brainstorm and Ponder draw you some cards while boosting your Creatures. Mutagenic Growth can be cast for free by paying 2 life, gives your Dragonauts +2 ATK and an additional +2/+2, making it a 5/3 Flyer. Reckless Charge is exceptionally useful as it gives a +3/+0 boost and Haste and can be played again for another stats boost via Flashback.

Fling-a-Tog:

Creatures…15

4 x Ornithopter (0)

4 x Myr Servitor (1)

4 x Atog (1R)

4 x Salvage Slasher (1B)

3 x Megatog (4RR)

Instants & Sorceries…12

4 x Shrapnel Blast (1R)

4 x Fling (1R)

4 x Seething Song (2R)

Artifacts…11

3 x Executioner’s Capsule (B)

4 x Lightning Greaves (2)

4 x Cranial Plating (2)

Lands…22

4 x Darksteel Citadel

4 x Great Furnace

4 x Vault of Whispers

2 x Swamp

8 x Mountain

About the Deck:

This Deck is all about flinging huge (Meg-) Atogs at your opponent, quite literally. The deck runs lots of artifacts and creatures that will grow huge by sacrificing said artifacts, like Atog and his big brother Megatog, or Creatures that grow larger with an increasing number of artifacts in your graveyard, namely Salvage Slasher.

The main plan is to get out Atog, or, even better, the Trampling Megatog and sack a bunch of artifacts to attack for huge amounts of damage, then sacrificing the monstrous ‘Tog for Fling, dealing an amount of direct damage to your opponent equal to the sacrificed creature’s power.

Here some cards of interest:

Ornithopter is a free to summon 0/2 Flyer, who can be good fodder for your Atogs or attack for some major damage if equipped by Cranial Plating. The latter gives its wielder +1 power for each artifact you control. With half of your deck being artifacts, that should be quite a formidable boost most of the times. Salvage Slasher on the other hand profits from destroyed artifacts, gaining +1 power for each artifact to be found in your graveyard. That means every artifact your Atogs and Megatogs will munch, will increase Slasher’s power. Myr Servitor can be very handy if available in multiples, as, as long as you have one in play, it will reassemble all its fallen breathren, to serve as Atog-food once again. Shrapnel Blast can be handy in pushing through the last few points of damage needed for the win, as it inflicts a tremendous 5 damage to any target with the additional cost of sacrificing an artifact, which you got aplenty anyways. Seething Song just serves as mana-ramp to get out Megatog earlier and Lightning Greaves not only protects your important Megatog, but also gives him Haste so he can swing in for some major damage on turn earlier. I am also running 12 Artifact Lands to have even more food for the hungry, hungry ‘Togs!

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