Looking for a New Deck? Try These.

This Week in Popculture’s Cube: Looking for a New Deck? Try These.

There is one truth about this game that we all must face at one point or another: Magic decks have funny names.

No, really.

Shall I run through some of the worst offenders? Let’s see… there’s Naya Zoo, Moldy Cheerios, Team Geist, Hate Bears, Fruity Pebbles, Red/Green Monsters, Superfriends, KikkiPod, Tron, Full English Breakfast, and… the list goes on. Basically these names reflect two things: the fact that Magic players are endlessly inventive, and that they tell you absolutely nothing about what these decks do. We all do this to some extent – heck, I’ve dubbed my BW EDH with Vish Kal as commander “Death and Taxes” since it deals with a lot of sacrificing, as well as extort effects.

So, herewith are some other deck archetypes I’ve come up with that could confound your opponents:

  1. The Noob.

This deck consists of 60 basic lands. And nothing else. It’s strategy? Essentially you keep making land drops each turn, and after turn three you basically start saying “I can’t believe this. Flooded. Never seen this before in my life.” Repeat this until your opponent essentially takes pity on you and scoops.

  1. Mirkwood

Named for the dangerous forest in J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, this BG deck focuses on spiders and elves. Nothing says love like Llanowar Elves, Spider Spawning, and Deathrite Shamans.

  1. Perverted Oxen

It’s BR Minotaur tribal. And the less said about this, the better.

  1. The Yellow Brick Road

Want a little Wizard of Oz-themed action? Look no further. This mono-white deck (splashing green because… well, there’s an Emerald City in Oz) mostly focuses on Leonids, Scarecrows, and Golems. Dorothy can be reprinted by Elspeths.

  1. The D&D

Always wished there was a way for Dungeons & Dragons and Magic to mashup? Look no further. This five-color deck features creatures of the Soldier, Wizard, Cleric and Rogue types, and, of course, some dragons. Nicol Bolas may be a necessary part of all of this. This might work even better as an EDH deck.

  1. Halloween

Also called “Trick or Treat” this deck is built of everything terrifying: vampires, zombies, werewolves, spirits, horrors, demons, and so forth. Stuff like Grave Titan, Stromkirk Noble, Huntmaster of the Fells, and Lingering Souls are must-haves.

  1. Bacon and Eggs

Got a lot of Welkin Terns, Avens, and Boars? Well you’ve got yourself a protein-packed breakfast, as well as a deck name that will be leave those you play against scratching their heads.

  1. BUG Timesink

This deck relies specifically on one thing: tutoring. Make sure you’ve got plenty of fetch lands, as well as tutor effects, which Black, Blue and Green have in spades. Then proceed and ensure that each turn you take will require at least 20-30 minutes. You’re guaranteed a victory when your exasperated opponent scoops and leaves crying.

  1. Heaven and Hell

Angels. Demons. ‘Nuff said.

  1. Indiana Jones

This deck relies on effects that will tutor up artifacts (Chalice of Life/Death anyone?) as well a wrath effects. The Zendikar trap cards also could find a home here.

What’s YOUR Deck Obsession?


This Week in Popculture’s Cube: What’s YOUR Deck Obsession?

What’s YOUR Deck Obsession?

By Peter Kuebeck

It started innocently enough.

lingering soulsI was playing a BW deck on MODO a few years back and discovered the utter power of using Lingering Souls. Just a taste. But a taste was enough.

And thus began my addiction to tokens.

We all have our own deck addiction, or own obsession. We may not like to admit it. We may try to be cosmopolitan and play all deck types. All colors. All strategies.

But, in the end, we always come back to our first love, that first spark when Magic suddenly made sense.

And we forever try to improve upon it. To tinker with it. And we’ll never be satisfied. Ever.

Tokens pretty much define why I love Magic. There’s a mythic, epic, ancient sweep to the idea. The ability to put an army out onto the battlefield. To overrun the barricades of your opponent. Sweeping to victory at the head of a mighty host lives deeply in my memory, mostly because I was raised on epic, double-VHS-tape-boxed-set movies, and played a lot of Risk as a kid. I’m sure that for people who can’t help but play Burn, say, or UB control, there’s a similar itch.

My interest in token decks just kept getting stronger.

About a year ago I bought a playset of all the commons from the Kamigawa block, and was impressed with the number of effective 1/1 flyers. I put together a nice little casual BW aggro that relied on cheap spirits, Lingering Souls, Beckoning Apparitions, and some samurais. While certainly nothing that was going to win any tournaments, it turned out to be an effective “kitchen table” deck.

And so my journey down the rabbit hole went deeper.

Next up: my first-ever EDH, with Obezedat as commander, while not strictly a token deck, was BW and worked on the same kinds of principles.

And now my continuing project: my Modern Token Aggro.

Sometimes it’s Selesnya. Sometimes it’s BW. Sometimes it’s Junk. And I’m thoroughly convinced I’ll never be done with it.

But it always rests on this principal: how do I get the most tokens out, with the fewest resources, in the shortest amount of time?

voice of resurgenceCurrently, it’s mostly Selesnya, splashing black. It’s running Lingering Souls, Voice of Resurgence, Raise the Alarm, Collective Blessing, Armada Wurm, Spectral Procession,  and, among other things, Sylvan Caryatid for good measure. But it’s far from finished. I’ve got more lands coming (I just bought a playset of Razorverge Thickets). Maybe I’ll add in Sporemounds. Or Doomed Travelers. Primeval Bounty; Parallel Lives; Hero of Bladehold; Cenn’s Enlistment; Elspeth, Sun’s Champion; Ajani, Mentor of Heroes; Brimaz, King of Oreskos; Doubling Season. They’ve all either been in the deck, or been in contention. It’s a rotating roster of possibilities. Anything’s fair game.

I don’t mean for it to win tournaments. I don’t mean for it to be a breaker of worlds. But I mean for it to represent my vision.

It’s seeped into how I look at cards and sets. The fact that there’s going to be a tribe in Khans of Tarkir that is Junk-colored tickles me to no end. The possibility that Junk tokens could be a viable option in Standard once Return to Ravnice rotates out fills me with glee.

I’m continually looking for cards on StarCityGames or eBay that will fit in with my GWB token ideals. More and more frequently, as EDH looms larger in my Magic-related imagination, I’ve discovered a world of cards that fit the bill pre-Modern that I’m absolutely in love with. Breeding Pit. Night Soil. Decree of Justice. Death Mutation. Wonderful, wonderful stuff. It makes me feel like some sort of mad scientist.

So, tell me, friends: what’s your Deck Obsession? What Magic itch do you continually need to scratch? Let me hear about the deck you’ve always wanted to build – over, and over, and over again.