MtG: Building some decks for and with my younger sister!

Hello dear friends of the Magic: the Gathering TCG!

In my last post about the poorly named “Beginner’s Tournament” I omitted to provide the card list of the deck my younger sister Nora

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

(Here to be seen cheering for Elemental Clash!)

…was running in the event, as a good friend reminded me of (thank you Tobi). So in this brief deck/strategy article I will share with you the two decks I built for and with my little sis. First off her White Flyers Weenie with a splash of blue as she played it in the tournament and then the second deck we built together – monored Dragons. As always, I will be providing you with the full decklist and follow that up with some of my strategic thoughts on the deck.

Let us get this started with

Nora’s WU Flyers Weenie (Casual Format):

Creatures…19

4 x Judge’s Familiar U/W

4 x Suntail Hawk W

4 x Soltari Priest WW

4 x Leonin Skyhunter WW

3 x Knight of Meadowgrain WW

Instants…7

3 x Path to Exile W

4 x Mana Leak 1W

Sorceries…3

3 x Armageddon 3W

Enchantments…8

4 x Curiosity U

4 x Honor of the Pure 1W

Artifacts…2

2 x Loxodon Warhammer 3

Mana Sources (Lands etc)…21

3 x Chrome Mox 0

4 x Adarkar Wastes

4 x Glacial Fortress

10 x Plains

My Thoughts About the Deck:

When I asked my sister Nora like two weeks ago, when she had “confessed” her interest in M:tG to me, what kind of deck she wanted us to build for her (and her deck knowledge is quite extensive already, having watched me and friends trying out multitudes of decks already), her answer or choice of deck type was a very wise one for a “newbie”: White Weenie. Nora said, and I fully agree, White Weenie would be the perfect beginner’s deck. When I suggested to “splash” a second color, we soon agreed on a straightforward White Weenie build with a touch of blue added – a combination I wanted to try out myself actually for quite a while.

So overall the deck we built together is a classic approach to the White Weenie archetype, particularly specializing in flying or, in the case of Soltari Priest, virtually unblockable Creatures, with blue added for countermagic in the form of very much splashable Mana Leak and a card that fits an all flyers or even unblockables deck perfectly:

Curiostiy, whilst being a Creature Enchantment, or Aura as they call it nowadays, and thus vulnerable, as it will die with the Creature it enchants, is just such an awesome draw engine in a deck like this, with 16 out of 19 Creatures being either Flyers or having Shadow (Creatures with Shadow can only be blocked and block other Creatures with Shadow – a pretty old and rare ability so opposition to your Shadow guys is highly unlikely). Drawing a Curiosity and slamming it onto one of your Creatures, best on Soltari Priest who has Shadow and Protection from Red, just means you draw two cards each turn. That is pretty awesome in my opinion. If you draw into multiples of Curiosity, the awesomeness increases even more.

Overall the deck, like every White Weenie, is built to overcome the opponent fast and furious with a rush of cheap but efficient Creatures. In this case we went mostly for Creatures with evasion (flying or shadow), with the exception of Knight of Meadowgrain which costs WW and is a Lifelinked 2/2 First Striker. With the 3 Chrome Moxen I, being a kind person, borrowed my sister, a first turn 2 mana Creature (your mana curve tops off at converted mana cost 2 when it comes to creatues, and only 5 cards in the deck cost more than 2 mana) is highly likely and apply consierable early pressure to the opponent. And since the “everything goes” rule, as I like to call it, in the beginner’s tournament we devilishly added 3 copies of kickass Weenie trump card Armageddon:

In a deck like this, Armageddon is just plain evil. First of all, you got your Moxen as mana sources that will survive Armageddon, then you will be able to field a huge army in turns 1 – 3 and then cast Armageddon to wreck your opponent’s plans who will, in most, cases, not have as many creatures or other nasty cards in play as you will have and furthermore, all you need is 1 – 2 extra lands to play after Armageddon so the deck is fully functional again (out of 42 non-land cards, 37 of your cards cost 2 mana or less). That is pretty much the killer in this deck and can devastate pretty much any other deck / opponent. The best case scenario would be first turn Mox, two one mana creatures or one two mana creature or one one mana enchanted with curiosity; second turn some more Creatures and turn 3 Armageddon. That will leave your opponent mana-less (unless they have some non-land mana sources such as “Mana Elves” or Moxen of their own), whilst you have one mana left in the form of your mox as well as a hard-to-block army of small but efficient creatures.

Other notable cards are the two kinds of mana friendly, new and wiedely superior version of good old Crusade: Honor of the Pure, which costs 1W instead of double white (making it great for two color decks) and gives the +1/+1 boost to your white creatures only, which is kickass.

Loxodon Warhammer is quite expensive to cast and attach (6 mana in total) but gives one of your Creatues an awesome +3 Power boost as well as Trample and Life Link, so we, my sister and I, thought it might be worth including. Maybe we would be better off with some awesome, card drawing Skullclamps, as, again, every card is allowed in the so called “Beginner’s Tourament”.

Another honorable mention would be Judge’s Familiar, who is just the better version of Suntail Hawk:

Simply lovable, isn’t he. And perfect for imprinting into Chrome Mox, which would make blue AND white mana in that case.

Well, overall this deck really rocks and has a ton of potential and in fact Nora’s win ratio even against some of my more competitive decks we tried out against her Blue/White Weenie was pretty high – at home. At the tourney she did not win a single game however, which she took with countenance to my surprise and great joy, which I attribute to her nervousness, which nobody even noticed, just making too many mistakes or due to the fact that she was not familiar with the mostly English opponent cards. In general she is shy of asking someone for clarifications in case she does not know any card and would rather be silent and lose instead of ask and maybe win, knowing what the opponent card does. But that will change over time as Nora, and that makes me really proud of her, said she would surely try again despite her “failure” in last Saturday’s tournament.

I was also considering to build a sideboard for her with Silver Knights against Red and White Knights and Soltari Monks against black, but that would only furhter confuse her at this point I guess.

OK so much for Nora’s tournament deck. The day after the tournament, Nora and I were up to building her a second deck, vastly different from the above one, which would be all about her favorite type of fantasy creatures – Dragons. And here is the result:

Nora’s Monored Dragons (Casual):

Creatures…11

3 x Mordant Dragon 3RRR

1 x Hoard-Smelter Dragon 4RR

3 x Spawn of Thraxes 5RR

1 x Thunder Dragon 5RR

3 x Bogardan Hellkite 6RR

Instants…8

4 x Lightning Bolt R

4 x Seething Song 2R

Sorceries…11

4 x Pyroclasm 1R

4 x Breath of Darigaaz 1R

3 x Geosurge RRRR

Enchantments…4

4 x Claws of Valakut 1RR

Lands…24

4 x Forgotten Cave

2 x Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle

18 x Mountain

My Thoughts About the Deck:

Well this decks mana curve when it comes to Creatures starts at 6 and ends at 8, featuring just 11 Creatures – all big, badass red Dragons!! The basic strategy (and we decided against Dragonspeaker Shaman) would be to burn down an early creature ambush by means of Lighning Bolt in conjunction with potential field sweepers like Pyroclasm and Breath of Daarigaz and then power out a first, devastating Dragon on turn 4 by means of mana ramp in the form of Seething Song and Geosurge.

The optimal draw would be Seething Song and Geosurge plus any 6 – 8 Mana Dragon, preferably your big bad boss Dragon:

You could incinerate some of your opponent’s early Creatures with your Lightning Bolts and Pyroclasms on turn 1 and 2 and then pull off an impressive Borardan Hellkite turn 3, which will burn down most of the remaining defenses that might have survived your fiery instants and sorceries. Of course any other of your various Dragons on turn 3 to 4 would spell major trouble for your opponent.

There are quite a few great Dragon creatuers in the deck besides Bogardan Hellkite, all having in common that they are 5/5 Flyers:

  • Mordant Dragon can be pumped by +1/+0 for 1R as often as you want or can and will deal as much damage to an opponent creature equal to the number of damage it dealt to the opponent when it attacked. That can be quite useful to take down any troublesome opponent Creature of choice.
  • Hoard-Smelter Dragon destroys any target artifact for 3R which is great in and off itself but he’ll also get +X/0 until end of turn, where X will be the converted casting cost of the destroyed artifact. Pretty neat!
  • Spawn of Thraxes, which Nora pulled twice out of one booster, one regular and one in foil (pretty kickass!!), will inflict damage to a Creature or Player equal to the number of mountains you control at the time it comes into play.
  • Thunder Dragon deals 3 damage to all non-flying Creatures in play when it enters the battlefield, thus potentially whiping out whole armies of small beaters / weenies.

Another great, great card we added to the deck is Claws of Valakut. It is an Aura (Creature Enchantment) for just 1RR that gives a creature First Strike and +1/+0 for each Mountain you control. With you Dragons all being 5/5 evasive Flyers and with a mountain-count of 18, this can get pretty ugly for your opponent and end games sooner than they had expected.

Also, Forgotten Cave thins out the deck by drawing you a fresh card via Cycling in case you don’t need it as a land. Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle is just in for the fun of it, but might be tremendously useful in some games:

Well so much about Nora’s second Magic: the Gathering deck and the plan or strategy behind it.

The biggest problem this deck would have nowadays I think would not be protection from red or something similar to that but rather the abundance of cheap Creature removal that is so common these days. You could have spent 3 cards and 8 mana to pull off a third turn Hellkite and you opponent could just pay 1 white and exile your Dragon via Path to Exile or similar, cheap cards. Playing against counter heavy control decks would also be a great problem, so I think Nora’s best bet for her next tournament would still be her White/Blue Weenie. Plus she is already more familiar with the latter and most of the cards in the deck are in German, whereas the Dragon deck consists mostly of English cards since I owned only very few of the cards in German Language.

Once she is more familiar with the Dragon deck cards, and she is pretty good at memorizing certain cards and their effects, Nora could have a try with her Dragons deck as well in a future tournament and catch some opponents by surprise!

Anyways what I will do now gives me great pleasure: Today my sister’s very first Elder Dragon Highlander (EDH or Commander as it is called officially now) arrived in the mail, the German version, especially ordered for Nora an entirely in German language so she will be able to play it without any language problems. I have the honor to open it up, having asked for Nora’s permission first of course, and see what lurks inside. When I see the awesome oversized commander on the box…

…I have sooo many great ideas how to “pimp” that deck to the max, again, only with my sister’s permission and together with her. So expect a “Nora’s First EDH/Commander Deck” article soon!! 😀

OK I am off to some fun unboxing action with the awesome product shown below so you all take care and

HAPPY GAMING!

Yours,

Andi

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2 thoughts on “MtG: Building some decks for and with my younger sister!

  1. Another interesting read, always like the mixture of articles about your own games and “official” games like Magic: The Gathering. Well, especially when it’s about Magic: The Gathering!

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