Monday, 29 August 2011

Looking back: My first Magic deck

I started playing Magic back in my first year of Uni, I had started going along to the Sci-Fi film nights, and one of the people running it told me about the second night the club also ran, for gaming. 

When I went along with some friends, I think all the regulars were playing was Magic (there was a handful of people there, enough for a multiplayer game that wasn't too big). We watched a few games to get the jist of it, then borrowed some decks off people there (I think the first time me and my two mates piloted the same deck as one), and we borrowed other peoples decks for the next week or so to learn the game. 

After that, we went to get some cards of our own (all from different places I seem to recall). I got a 9th edition Fat Pack (as that was the most recent thing not marked "expert" that I could find, I started around when Guildpack was released, although didn't following new releases for a while), and possibly something, else, I can't remember. Looking through the cards, I had about enough to make two decks (I don't know if they were both 60 cards or not, or if they had enough lands), so did that and practised (like solitaire) to see how they played (probably not great). I did end up also getting a White 9th Edition starter deck, so based my first deck I played at PSiFA (the film and game club) around that. 

As it was the first deck of a new player, it was not optimised at all, with a lot of random cards. Usual new player assumptions valued life a lot higher than I should have done (although, to be fair, in large multiplayer games, it is more valuable than in a two player game). I think at one point I was running a really low amount of land so couldn't play much, having a bad curve, various problems like that. I think at that point, the best opening play I could do was "Plains, Soul Warden, Ornithopter" [1], which was alright for multiplayer games as I'd gain a bit of life before people started using removal or attacking me. A lot of the cards were fairly defensive; I'm sure I was playing Holy Day and whatnot, and other Damage Prevention cards (bonus if they gained me life, yay life). 

In its hayday, it was a fairly decent deck, given the (casual multiplayer) environment, capable of some fairly silly (read: fun) plays on its own, but in combination with other peoples also silly decks, there were some very silly (read: awesome) interactions. 

Since then, I have made various other decks that are a lot better, but have kept this one around, mainly for nostalgia, and because its alright to play given enough other people also playing. 

Anyway, enough rambling, here is the deck as of my last updates to it (I added green after there were a few really good cards I couldn't resist putting in):

I know, there is a low end and a high end, and not much in the middle. Don't know if the mana base is good or not as I just threw a few cards in to add green (it was all white before). 

It should be obvious enough, but the deck is built around Soul Warden type effects (gain life when a creature enters the battlefield), and mainly relies on other people playing creatures, although there are a few cards to help this along - Crib Swap for example. The main win conditions are either a huge Serra Avatar or a swarm of Storm Herd (which can also gain me a huge amount of life with a Soul Warden in play). 

I'm not sure how much to change for this, there are some cards that can be removed, and some newer ones that can go in, so I will see how things go. The life trinkets (Angel's Feather) will be the first to go, they rely on me playing a lot of White spells, which is going to be happening less often now the deck is two colours. I have not been overly impressed with Heroes Remembered or Beacon of Immortality, as they either 'win more', or don't have much of an impact. Crib Swap and Chastise will be considered, spot removal is nice so I don't know. I will also think about Gift of Estates, as I like it for ensuring I have enough land, but if I lower the curve a bit it might not be needed, particularly if I remove some of the higher costing cards (maybe a Storm Herd). Story Circle is good, and very useful when you don't know what deck you will be playing, and can be a bonus in multiplayer if you get a colour that a few players are playing. It is mainly used to keep my life total up until I can cast one of the bigger spells. 

Of cards to put in, there was a new Soul Warden type card in New Phyrexia, Suture Priest, less life gain for me, but could actually kill my opponents, so is worth looking at. I might throw in a copy of White Sun's Zenith for a chuckle (and kitties!). I can think of a few others that I will have to look into, but I will see what I can get! Till then...

[1] For some reason, my friend Simon (who also started playing at the same time) didn't like Ornithopters and killed them on sight (he was a predominately Black player)

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