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Magic: The Gathering
Tips and Decks

Remember to e-mail me for more deck ideas!


TIPS: Don't under estimate your opponents.
Don't count on getting a card that you want in the real game (people will probably destroy it, or chances are you won't get to draw it).
Beware of counterspells.
Arrange you deck in this manner to prevent land shortages. Land, Card with a low mana cost, Card with a high mana cost, land, Card with a low mana cost, card with a high mana cost, etc...
If you are short of land, buy a tournament or preconstructed deck, they have tons of land, and some good cards. Watch your money though.
Never buy Portal/Starter boosters (they are terrible).
Never buy Unglued boosters (no one plays with them)

Keep sending your ideas!!!

Deck building is a hard thing to do, especially if you're trying to do it right! I hope this article will be helpfull to improve your understanding and deck building techniques.

Before we get into the more technical stuff, i'll talk about a few important things. First of all each deck is different. This is a guide you can use to help you, but you could have a whole different approche. This is what i learned over the years. You might have a different style.

First thing you do when you make a deck find an idea. A theme for you deck is imprtant. You must have a main purpose so that all your cards work together. If you can't think of anything, look at your cards. Maybe you'll find a card that inspires you. After you find this idea, think about what colours would help you the most for you deck. Then just go through those colours and take out what ever would be good for you deck. You'll end up with a big stack of cards probably, that's ok. (don't worry about mana for now)

Next thing is to think about 3 things. Fist how do you deal damage? this is important, because even if you have all the defense in the world, it's no good if you cant hurt your opponent back. Second thing is Defense. How are you going to defend yourself? The last one's optionnal, how are you going to slow down your opponent? So you look through the big stack and take out only what you need, keeping in mind the 3 questions. Your deck should be balanced and all the cards should go together to form something deadly.

The cards you chose to make this deck is really up to you. All the cards should piece together to form something deadly. if you rely on one card to kill your opponent, chances are he'll counterspell it, destroy it, or what ever. it's better to have more then one way to kill.

Keeping all these things in mind, you keep smlimming down your cards gently. Don't forget that some cards can do the same work as others. for example if you need a few counterspells, you don't need 40 different cards that counterspell. Finnaly this blob of cards is starting to look like a deck.

Let's talk about deck size. i personnaly like to have a very small deck. the minimum is 40 and i try to keep my deck arround that size. Even if you have 4 of the same card, if you have a 80 card deck, the chances to find your favorite card are slim. Take out the cards that don't do much. When you play, take notes on what cards help you a lot, and cards that don't do n e thing. This is an easy way to improve your deck.

As for mana, i like to give about half the ammount of cards of each colour for mana.

A few things to remember:

- No deck is perfect. everysingle deck has a flaw. Try to see where you're wear and find a way to fix the problem.

- Try to keep your mana cost low, or at least have a way to have a lot of mana. Having huge creatures are great to have in play, but by the time you get enough lands to play it, your opponent may almost have killed your with an array of small 1/1 creatures.

Let's talk about speed. I like to play with speed. It's nothing big if in 50 turns, you get a big army together. If you can strike hard early on, you'll find that you can shrink your opponent's life really quick. And they won't be able to do much about it. For example, if you're playing with green, it's allways good to have small elves witch produce mana. you'll be able to get things in a lot quicker. If you play black have 4 dark rituals (those are awsome). if you have 2 of those in your hand, you can play a creature like a sengir vampire in first turn!

Last point i want to make, is try to allways improve yourself. What i've been doing for a while is me and my friends allways try to surpass one an other. And we have and we learn so much from this.

I hope this was helpful, have fun and learn from your mistakes.


4 Stone-Tounge Basilisk
4 Saproling Cluster
4 Symbolic Deployment
4 Overrun
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Quirion Elves
4 Quirion Explorer
4 Werebear
4 Chatter of the Squirrel
24 Forest

Here's how it works:

I use mana excell to play a whole lot each turn. Once I draw Saproling cluster or Symbolic Deployment. If you get Saproling Cluster, it is alot easier to win. Use it a few times each turn and use overrun so your weenies arn't weenies for long. If you get the Symbolic Deployment first, play it and tap you elves and other 1/1s untill you draw Saproling Cluster. Use it's ability to discard you hand and put in some saprolings. Tap the saprolings and a few mana to draw cards to put in more saprolings. Repeat untill 7+ saprolings and a Stone-Tongue Basilisk. Overrun, attack with all.

Hope you like it!!!

Enduring Renewal/Goblin Bombardment/Ornithopter by Brian Bailey of Flagstaff, Arizona
Enduring Renewal-Whenever you draw a creature card, discard it. Whenever a creature you control is put into a graveyard from play, return it to your hand.
Goblin Bombardment- Sacrifice a creature: Deal 1 Damage to target creature or player
Ornithopter- 0 Mana, 0/2 flyer
Play all of these cards together and sacrifice the ornithopter 20 times, or as many times as it takes, to kill the other player*Im not completely sure about the card texts, im doing it from memory. This is a good combo, but some times hard to get all the cards out. Use enlightened tutor to get Bombardment and Renewal into play, then they're gone*

Flametongue kavu -- when flametongue kavu comes into play it deals 4 damage to target creature
Horned kavu -- when horned kavu comes into play return target red or green creature you control to your hand

Heres how you use this play flametongue kavu to do 4 damage to target creature, then play horned kavu, return flametongue kavu to your hand and repeat. This is a great way to clear your opponents board of blockers for any
big nasties you have waiting for their chance to attack.

This is an idea I had for a kavu deck. I know most people say that kavu are useless, but i think this is a great way to use these so-called useless creatures.

12 forest
8 mountain
4 flametongue kavu
4 horned kavu
2 sparkcaster
4 bloodfire kavu
2 kavu climber
3 rooting kavu
2 kavu chameleon
2 kavu monarch
4 fertile ground
4 wild growth
2 blanchwood armor
4 predatory hunger
*Sounds Like a good idea to me, and I would suggest that anyone who has all those extra Kavus laying around like I do should try it*

11 Mountains
10 Islands
4 Fire/Ice
3 Prohibit
3 Scorching Lava
3 Planeswalkers Mischief
3 Breath of Darigaaz
4 Sunken Hope
3 Exclude
3 Bloodfire Dwarf
2 Index
3 Rushing River
2 Jilt
2 Disrupt
1 Planeswalkers Fury
2 Halam Djinn
*This guy insists the deck is great...but Planeswalkers mischief, in my opinion, is a horrible card. It seems good if you read it, but I have tried it in decks, and it has yet to actually come through for me. EVER. Anyway, other than that, the deck is good. Fire/Ice Kicks Ass.*

War Cadence-X and one red mana defending player cannot block unless he/she pays X.
Citadel of Pain-At end of each players turn they receive X damage. X is how many untapped lands the player controls.
Scoria cat(or a card with same ability.):3/3 gets +3/+3 when you control no untapped lands.

Do I have to explain this combo?
*Hmmm...seems to me that the Slither deck could have been the same not sure if theres a war cadence in there, but citadel of pain and scoria cat and all those other creatures were the main combo of the precon Slither*

Three Decks, Artifact, white, and Black by

(Artifact deck)
This deck uses cards like ornithopter for free artifact creatures. It then uses tolorian academy to produce lots of mana then it wins by stroke of genius causing the opponent to deck out.
(White lockdown)
This deck uses worship and lifeline so the enemy cant get you below 1 life. It also tends to have wall of glare and invonrability. Then the last part is made up of some small creatures and cards like pacifsm and arrest.
(Control black)
This deck uses lots of discard cards like ravenous rats and duress. It also uses skittering skirge and/or skittering horror.

You get a whole lotta slivers (make sure you've got Sliver Queen[4/4 summon legend, counts as a sliver, put a sliver token into play{1/1 sliver}]) and have a few Coat of Arms (for each creature beyond the first of the same type, those creatures get +1/+1). So, put in all your slivers, get a bunch of Sliver tokens out, then play Coat of Arms. My buddie got a whole bunch of 50/50, trample, flying, attacking does not cause Sliver to tap, etc. Slivers out and wiped me out. Alternatively, you could do it with Drakes, which is what I do.
*Basic Deck Idea, if you have the old cards. If not, slivers are very easy to find at card stores. This deck can be very effective these days, with all the five color support in the new sets*

I have this really great deck that is very useful against those pesky creature based decks. This deck uses Horseshoe crab (saga) and hermatic study (saga) and sigil of sleep (destiny) to return all the creatures you want to their hands. Horseshoe crab reads pay one blue untap horseshoe crab. hermatic study reads tap deal one damage to target creatre or player. Sigil of sleep says whenever enchanted creature deals damage to a player, return target creature that player controls to its owner's hand.
*Cool. Spiritmonger, here I come!*

This is the ultimate combo, however it is EXTREMELY hard to get out. First play recycle (skip your draw phase, whenever you play a spell draw a card), then play Mageta the Lyon (3/3 white creature, pay 2WW and discard two cards from your hand and destroy all creatures but Mageta) and Jolraal Empress of Beasts (3/3 green creature, pay 2GG and discard two cards from your hand and all of target players lands become 3/3 green creatures until end of turn). On your next turn donate the recycle to them and use Jolraal's ability then Mageta's ability. Result: They have no creatures, no land, and can't draw unless they play a card. COMPLETE shutdown! Throw in a lifeline for some REAL fun. Again this is extremely hard to do but, as can be seen, WELL worth it.
* This combo sounds very powerful, and its one flaw was already mentioned, it's diffuculty to get out. Once again, let the tutors help.*

Basically it uses a blanket of night which turns all mana into swamps.Then you play kormus bell which turns all swamps into 1/1 creatures. Then you play plauge wind which destroys all creatures you don't control. It is really fun!
*Good Idea, I would suggest adding couple of dingus eggs. Would you like extra damage with that land destruction?*

Garden of Paradise (68 card deck)

3 swords to plowshares
1 disenchant
3 Armageddon
4 dream thrush
4 propaganda
4 birds of paradise
2 wall of roots
4 wall of blossoms
4 spike feeder
2 jolreal's centaurs
2 spike weaver
2 uktabi arangutan
1 Argothian Wurm (guardian)
2 Volrath's gardens
2 Bottle Gnomes
1 Mox diamond
4 Gemstone Mine
4 Undiscovered Paradise
2 Reflecting Pool
2 Brushland
3 Island
2 Plains
7 Forest

Objective:Start with bottle gnomes and an array of strong walls to eliminate early creature threats. Use propaganda and spike weavers to stop your opponents creatues and disenchants and uktabi arangutans to eliminate his
artifactsand enchantments. Once you have out a sufficient creature horde armageddon and he will no longer be able to attack b/c of propaganda. Swords key creature spells he casts and remove them from the game. Then after armageddon turn his mana into lands he cant even use with dream thrushes while building your base even more with mox diamond birds of paradise and wall of roots. Get out the guardian and pump like crazy with spike feeders while continually gaining life. Attack and trample your opponent to death. Note do not try to cast guardian until your opponents land have been heavily depleted to avoid counterspells. Use volrath's gardens once you've secured your position and build life as quickly as possible.

Weaknesses: I've noticed red speed with a good alotment of burn spells can stop this deck or a fast shadow deck.

Reccomendations: I play this deck alot mainly because its a fun deck to play. You can have alot of fun in a chaos of 5 players with this deck as its slowness will make it more strong there this deck is best recommended for extended and type 1 enviroments. Although im not sure I'd play it in a tournament it is worth a try. Expiremental changes are encouraged.

First of all you will have to get Burial and Pummel decks. It is a combo of swamp and forest witha few extra cards you have to get. if you get these cards out it will become very powerful.

1 avatar of Might
1 Hunted wumpus
2 Craw wurm
2 lumbering Giant
1 deep wood wolverine
1 chromatic sphere
2 consume strength
1 dead ringers
1 Llanowar dead
1 savage gorilla
2 zombie boa
2 darba
1 living terrain
2 pygmy razorback
1 spitting spider
2 Snag
2 spore frogs
1 threasher beast
1 vitalizing wind
2 phyrexian Reaper
1 silverglade elemental
1 Blastoderm
11 forests
11 swamp
1 Elfhame Palace
1 Hickory Woodlot
*Sounds Ok to me, but I haven't tried it*

I live in Hawaii, and just happen to be in California right now, and I wanted to check out the mainland magic scene.
No luck so far, but here's a powerful type two deck currently making the rounds in Honolulu.
Guilty Spirit:
4 underground river
4 salt marsh
7 island
9 swamp
3 nether spirit
4 megrim
4 urza's guilt
4 duress
4 undermine
4 spite\malice
4 probe
4 recoil
4 counterspell
1 waterspout elemental

This is the most lethal two card combo I know: use energy vortex (mirage: use your mana to put X energy counters on the vortex, then they have to pay one for each counter on their turn or it deals them three damage apiece) be sure to save three mana, then at the beginning of their turn, mana short 'em. works especially well with black (dark rituals and lake of the dead) also, I know most people think phyrexian walkers are worthless, but stick four of them in a deck with four unholy strengths. if your lucky, you get a 2/4 out on the first turn.
*I have a few Vortexs that now have an actual!*

2x planewalkers favor
3x gaea's liege
3x rhox
2x whip silk
2x defense of the heart
3x quicksilver amulet
3x pattern of rebirth
4x avatar of might
2x spike hatcher
3x vitalizing wind
3x momentum
2x ancient silverback
1x chimeric staff
1x phyrexian processor
*Basic decent beatdown, works pretty well.*

sent by Jonathan
here is my 3 color deck my deck is NOT tournament legal!
7 islands
allied strategies
vodalian mystic
suq'ata firewalker
matathran transport
escape artist
cephalid retainer
labyrinth minataur
sandbar crcodile
travalers cloak

7 swamp
2 zombie assassin
dead ringers
diabolic intent
crypt cobra
bog imp
morgue theft
dark ritual
phyrexian bloodstock
arrogant vampire
drain life
dark banishing
zombie boa
hand of death
sinister strength

7 forest
lay of the land
wild might
monstrous growth
thicket elemental
crash of rhinos
ivy elemental
elvish hunter
savage gorilla
roots of life
nantuko elder
nantuko disciple
chatter of the squirrel
bad river(land)