The Lands deck can be built in many different ways but something that should always be present is some number of Fastbonds. It should also have something that draws cards so you really can use Fastbond, like draw sevens or Howling Mine. Other than that it can be either a control deck or a combo deck.Read More
Arboria is a little used Legends card with a very special ability. If you read it you immediately understand that it is a really powerful card, but also that it's hard to use in a practical way. If you want Arboria to protect you from harm you can't even play lands and develop your mana so how can you win with it in play? Actually, Arboria has two "loopholes" you can use.Read More
At first this was not its own archetype, but instead bunched together with Lestree Zoo as just zoo. But we decided to split zoo into two different archetypes as they play out quite differently. The white zoo deck is a little more controlling than the more classic Lestree Zoo which focuses all its energy on killing your opponent as fast as possible. The deck is focused in white and green but often splash blue for power, Serendib Efreet and Psionic Blast. It can also play red but then it’s more often built like a Lestree Zoo.
The thing that makes it a zoo deck is that this deck also is built around a bunch of aggressive mana efficient creatures. White gives this deck access to Savannah Lions which means that you can play eight two power 1-drops together with Kird Ape or that you at least have a powerful 1-drop if you want to cut red completely. Other creatures you can use in the more aggressive builds are Argothian Pixies, Elvish Archer and Serendib Efreet but it’s also possible to add some more expensive creatures like Erhnam Djinn and even one or two Serra angel.
The thing that sets this deck apart from Lestree Zoo and Arabian Aggro is the use of white’s efficient removal in the form of Disenchant and Swords to Plowshares. These cards allow the deck to answer most of what the opponent does at the same time as you’re are hitting him or her with your creatures. But as these cards often take the space otherwise occupied by burn and because of the life Swords to Plowshares gives your opponent the deck become a lot less aggressive even if its still considered an aggro deck.
This deck is all about mana screwing you opponent completely without even playing a land destruction spell. Instead the game plan revolves around resolving a Living Plane to make all lands creatures. With Living Plane on the table you then start to pick off your opponent’s lands, which are now 1/1 creatures, by pinging them to death with a bunch of different cards. One of the most used ways to kill the lands is Tim, or as he’s actually called Prodigal Sorcerer. Other good cards are Fireball, Pyrotechnics, Rod of Ruin and if you want to be extra evil, Earthquake.
If you go for Earthquake you should build you deck to be able to operate without lands, that means mana dorks, Fellwar Stone and more. However, remember that the opponent also could use cards like that so it’s good to also pack some artifact destruction spells in your deck. Crumble is probably the top choice here as it’s in the main color and because the life doesn’t matter much if the opponent won’t play another spell for the rest of the game.
If you are a little slow to lock down the opponent it’s good to have some removal in the deck. If you play a red version, you can use the same cards that later will kill lands as removal in the early game. You should also think about how you will protect your Living Plane as most cards in your deck will need it to stay around. Either you play blue for counterspells or you could use green’s own counterspell, Avoid Fate.
Some other interesting cards are Drop of Honey and Sandstorm. Both are quite good at handling your opponent’s lands even if Sandstorm is more of a corner case card. Last but not least Pendelhaven could also be a really good inclusion as it makes your lands bigger than your opponent’s and Instill Energy can make Tim ping twice.
And one more thing, remember that with Living Plane on the battlefield, lands have summoning sickness. So if the opponent doesn't have white mana for his Disenchant he can't just play a Plains and kill your Living Plane. You will have a turn to take care of the pesky land.
When Fork was unrestricted in 2016 people started brewing on many different Fork decks. The most successful use of Fork seemed to be in big red decks like CandleFlare. But the deck that got Fork restricted in the first place in 1995 was this Fork Recursion Combo by Mark Chalice.Read More
Kobolds may not be the best deck in the game but it's still a valid deck that can pack a punch if the draws are with you. The kobolds are a unique tribe full of 0 cost creatures and a bunch of different lords that each boost all the kobolds in different ways.
You have Kobold Drill Sergeant which gives your kobolds +0/+1 and Trample(!), Kobold Overlord which gives them all First Strike and then Kobold Taskmaster which gives them +1/+0. And as the classic 0 mana kobolds all have 0 power the lords are quite important as you may understand. There is also a black and red Legendary lord by the name of Rohgahh of Kher Keep who gives your kobolds +2/+2.
One fun thing is that you actually have three different 0 mana kobolds so if you want, you can play 12 of them in a deck which with the lords make the total red kobold count 24. Then just pair this with Lightning Bolts, Chain Lightning and other burn spells for a fun aggressive deck. Maybe you also can play a couple of Blood Lusts as the Kobolds both gets First Strike and Trample from the lords?
Atog is one of those cards that laid dormant for some time until someone realized it's potential. The Atog deck of course plays a large amount of artifacts, because otherwise the Atog itself is just a 1/2 for two. But exactly which artifacts to play is open for discussions.
Some decks use Mana Vault, Su-Chi and Fireball for some nice synergy. Other decks take a more suicidal route and play a lot of cheap artifacts that first do some damage and then can be sacrificed to deal the finishing blow. Copper Tablets and Ankh of Mishra are probably the most common ones.
It's also common for the Atog decks to play a lot of burn in the form of Lightning bolt and Chain Lightning. If you want to splash another color, green should be high on your list as it gives you access to Berserk, and there are few things as scary as a berserked Atog.
Goblins is one of the few viable tribal decks in the format with both a bunch of different goblins and a lord to rule them all. The deck usually looks a lot like the Sligh deck but instead of going for the perfect mana curve you go all in on goblins and a playset of Goblin King. The best red goblins that you always see in these decks are Goblin Balloon Brigade and Goblins of the Flarg. The reason why they are better than the rest is because both of them have evasion of some sort.
Other goblins you can use are Mons Goblin Raiders, Goblin Digging Team and if you want to splash a color you also have access to Scarwood Goblins and Marsh Goblins. Besides the obvious Goblin King you can also use Gauntlet of Might, Goblin Shrine and Goblin Caves to strengthen you goblins.
If you splash green you can also use Pendelhaven to make your goblins more powerful.
In the early days of Magic the color pie wasn't as thought through as it is today and as blue was the color of "magic" it accidently got a little bit of everything, even though it probably shouldn't have. This makes it possible to build a deck with burn, counterspells, efficient creatures, card draw and different types of removal without the need of any duals at all.
There's only one "small" drawback, a drawback that gives the deck its name, Suicide Blue, and that is that many of the cards in the deck is quite treacherous. Serendib Efreet, Psionic Blast and Mind Bomb is all cards that hurt you as well and another often used card is Unstable Mutation which in time will kill your own creature.
But you can also play less dangerous creatures like Flying Men, Dándán, Zephyr Falcon and Phantasmal Forces for a more "safe" deck. Other solid cards that you can find in these lists are Unsummon, Boomerang, Counterspell and Energy Flux. The choices are yours.
The first Sligh deck was actually created in 1994 so you could say that this is one of the original decks. The name of the deck comes from the first player to have success with the deck, Paul Sligh, even though it was his friend Jay Schneider who built the deck and innovated the game.
Jay's innovation was to realize the importance of the mana curve, actually that concept didn't even exist before Sligh. The idea was that the deck should be able to use all of it's mana every turn in a efficient way so that it could kill the opponent before he or she was able to play all of his or hers expensive powerful cards. Therefore, the Sligh deck usually plays suboptimal cards just to get the curve mathematically correct.
In the 93/94 format the Sligh deck usually is mono red and contains all the good red aggressive cards like Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning and Ball Lightning. The creatures in the deck may not be the best creatures in the format but they do their job. Classic choices are Goblin Baloon Brigade, Goblins of the Flarg, Ironclaw Orcs, Granite Gargoyle and sometimes Dragon Whelp.
Erhnam Burn'em is a red and green aggro deck that get's its name from the biggest creature in the deck, Erhnam Djinn, and the red part that mostly consists of burn spells. As with many of the decks on this site Erhnam Burn'em can be built in many ways, even without Ernham Djinn if one wants a lower curve.
This deck is also quite popular as it can be very budget friendly; Taiga is one of the cheapest dual lands, the burn is also cheap and except for Erhnam Djinn the creatures is also quite cheap.
And talking about creatures, this deck usually plays cards like Kird Ape, Argothian Pixies, Elvish Archers and of course Erhnam Djinn. To complement the creatures, you find the classic burn suite with Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning and Fireball. If you want you can also throw in a couple of Berserks and maybe Giant Growths.
This deck has a simple plan, play a small creature or two, preferably with flying, and then use pump spells to end the opponent in just a few attack steps. The creatures of choice is first of all Scryb Sprite and Flying Men but as eight creatures isn't enough the deck often play Argothian Pixies and sometimes Serendib Efreet.
To make these small creatures able kill as fast as possible the deck uses cards like Pendelhaven, Giant Growth, Unstable Mutation and most importantly Berserk. The deck needs a lot of mana to be able to play all the pump in a single turn and sometimes also have mana for some protection so it's essential to play mana dorks like Birds of Paradise and Llanowar Elves. And one should not forget that even the 0-powered bird can act as an attacker because of all the pump spells.
Other cards that can be used are Psionic Blast for some reach, Avoid Fate for protection and Concordant Crossroads for more speed and as an answer to The Abyss.
And last but not least a fun little fact is that this is the deck that Magic's lead designer Mark Rosewater played at the very first World Championship in 1994.
The foundation of this deck looks a lot like Deadguy Ale but instead of using white for efficient and versatile removal it goes full aggro with cards like Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning. As with Deadguy Ale the creature base is made up by the usual black suspects, meaning Black Knight, Hypnotic Specter and Juzam Djinn.
The combination of black and red also gives this deck access to the powerful Sedge Troll. As with most other Juzam decks, those with a tight budget can use Su-Chi instead of Juzam Djinn, or you can choose to build the deck lower to the ground by skipping the 4-drops altogether and instead playing cheaper creatures.
As the name suggests, this is a mono white deck that plays a lot of small creatures. The creatures of choice are often among others White Knight, Savannah Lions and Tundra Wolves. Other cards that usually see play are Swords to Plowshares, Disenchant and of course Crusade. Sometimes you also find power houses like Armageddon and Serra Angel in the deck.
And then we have the sideboard which can be filled with a plethora of great answers to a lot of different strategies. It has Circle of Protections against burn and mono colored decks, City in a Bottle and King Suleiman against some of the most powerful creatures in the format and last but not least it has Divine Offering and Dust to Dust to combat artifact heavy decks.
The Zoo deck is one of the most classic decks in magic history and zoo decks are still being played today even in more modern formats. The most famous version of the old school zoo deck is Lestree Zoo which is named after Bertrand Lestree who piloted his zoo deck to the finals in the world’s first ever Magic World Championship in 1994.
There are many variants of zoo and here we are going to focus on the versions that focus in the colors red, green and blue. There is however also a white zoo deck on the site if you want to read about that.
The main plan for this deck is to play a bunch of mana efficient creatures and then use burn to annihilate your enemy as quickly as possible. The creature base is often made up by Kird Apes, Serendib Efreets and Erhnam Djinns and if you only play those the deck is sometimes called Arabian Aggro. Other usual suspects are Argothian Pixies, Whirling Dervish and Elvish Archers. It’s also not uncommon for this deck to play some sort of mana producing creature like Birds of Paradise.
Other cards that often see play are of course burn spells like Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning and Psionic Blast but you can also choose to play Giant Growth and Berserk. Another card that see quite a bit of play is Ice Storm which can help you keep your opponent of balance long enough for your creatures to finish him or her off. It also helps you with troublesome lands like Mishra’s Factory and Maze of Ith.
The foundation of this deck is a playset of Mana Vaults which are used to power out big creatures as Su-Chi, Juggernaut and Triskelion. The plan is to stick one or more of those big threats early and then ride them to victory while the opponent still builds up their mana or plays creatures that are easily outmatched by yours.
The deck usually also plays a full set of Copy Artifacts which makes it possible to follow up your big threat with a two mana copy even though you've already used your Mana Vault. You can also play Serendib Efreets and cut the Juggernauts to make all your creatures "bolt proof". Another consideration is of course the small but threatening creature Atog.
UR Burn is one of the top decks in the format and can be built in many different configurations. The foundation of the deck usually consists of 4 Serendib Efreet, 4 Lightning Bolt, 4 Chain Lightning and a couple up Psionic Blasts.
The rest of the deck can either be built to maximize the aggressive side with more burn, Electric Eels and/or Flying Men, or it could be built more as a tempo deck by adding counterspells and some control elements. You can also build the deck with some amount of main deck Blood Moons and Energy Fluxes if you want to be a little hateful.
Reanimating fatties is a strategy as old as the game itself; and if something is as old as the game itself of course you can build a deck based on it in 93/94. The game plan is the same as with any other reanimation deck in any other format, you just use different cards. That means that you first of all need a discard outlet to put a creature in your graveyard. Then you also need some cards that let you put creatures from your graveyard onto the battlefield.
The cards that you have at your disposal for the second part of the combo are Animate Dead, Resurrection, All Hallows Eve and to a lesser extent Hell’s Caretaker and Reincarnation. To bin your fatties, you can use cards like Jalum Tome, Bazaar of Baghdad and Mind Bomb. Just mix and match as you see fit to make up you deck. When it comes to the big monsters there are some problems as most of the big creatures in this format have horrible downsides. But some examples of creatures that you can use are Nicol Bolas, Chromium and Shivan Dragon.
Another reanimation target is the humongous Colossus of Sardia, but then you also need a plan for how to untap it. A couple of cool and interesting ideas that have been used in the past is getting another one with Transmute Artifact or sacrificing the monster with the card Sacrifice to end the opponent with a big Fireball, or to cast another Colossus of Sardia.
"In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."
Classic words that fits this deck perfectly! First you tax your opponent with Land Tax and then you make his or her death swift with the help of Land's Edge. Or to put it in Magic terms, you keep your land count lower than the opponents so that you can activate Land Tax over and over again to fill your hand with lands. Then you use Land's Edge to throw those lands at your opponent face. This is the foundation of the deck but the other part you can build in two different ways.
One way to go is to play cards like Swords to Plowshares, Disenchants and Ivory Tower to keep you alive until you can kill your opponent with the combo. The other way to build the deck as an aggro deck with a bunch of small creatures and Lightning Bolts and use the combo as the finisher.
Another card that can be played is Winds of Change, as it lets you exchange the lands in your hand to actual cards.
MirrorBall is an unusual deck that actually wants the player to take damage, but in controlled forms of course. Why? you may ask. The answer is quite simple, you want to use your life as a resource to put yourself ahead of the opponent and then use Mirror Universe to change life total with him or her. The main card the deck uses for this purpose is Sylvan Library but there are other good cards as well.
Channel lets you convert your life into mana and Force of Nature is a formidable finisher, especially when you can skip paying the upkeep cost. Last but not least, if you don't include a Force of Nature don't forget to put in another wincon that you can use after you change life total.