Interested in Magic: The Gathering? Be sure to tune in every Wednesday here on Geek & Sundry for new episodes of Spellslingers, where host Day plays epic battles of Magic: The Gathering against fantastic guests!
Episode 2 has us throwing down with Amy Okuda playing Day in a showdown between two decks that really showcase the variety of deck building approaches available! Amy ends up playing a Red/White aggressive deck known as Boros while Sean revists the Abzan of the plane of Tarkir. It was a phenomenal bout and if you want to recreate it for yourself, then look no further than right here! (If you haven’t seen the episode yet, then see it here!)
Amy Okuda – Boros (White/Red)
The Boros guild is the most obvious military arm of Ravnica. The deck is aggressive and has a lot of options to help you stay in control of the match. With cards like Healer’s Hawk, you have a cheap creature that flies and gains you life, for example. Beyond this, the Boros mechanic for this set is Mentor. When a creature with Mentor attacks, it can give a creature with less power that is also attacking a +1/+1 counter to make it bigger. Suddenly that small, hard to deal with bird is getting swoll and clawing your eyes out while it drinks fish oil and takes its vitamins.
This Boros deck is looking to win by bringing a tide of creatures down on your opponent and making sure they can’t deal with the onslaught. All of the creatures here also do something beyond just being beatsticks. Tajic, one of the signature Boros characters, is one such creature that makes it so that all of your other creatures don’t take damage in combat and he can give himself first strike if you decide to attack with him. Overall, the Boros have a myriad of options to subjugate your opponent and leave a bloody stain on the sidewalk for the Rakdos to cackle over.
One of my favorite cards for the deck is Response // Resurgence. It has an early game application that is exceptionally useful, but if you get to the late game and have a good wealth of creatures, you can swing and cause a lot of damage before getting a second combat phase! If your opponent blocked during the first combat, they might not actually be able to do anything against your second attack and your creatures still have first strike and vigilance! That means they are ready for anything which should hopefully be a game devoid of opponent’s creatures.
Sean “Day” Plott – Abzan (Green/White/Black)
This deck wants to gain all of the life. Almost every card in this deck interacts with life gain in a positive way for you and a potentially negative way for your opponent. Ajani’s Welcome is a key enchantment when coupled with cards like Ajani’s Pridemate or Epicure of Blood. As you’re gaining life, you might just be able to balance out damage you are taking from aggressive decks and whittle them down. The Abzan clan came about during the Tarkir block and was all about surviving in the harshness of the desert. They had a mechanic known as Outlast which let you tap the creature to gain a +1/+1 counter on it and make it bigger. While this deck doesn’t do that exact thing, the feeling of survival and persistence shines through and this deck is not only difficult for opponents to handle but has a good amount of flavor in the way its mechanics play out on the table.
Beyond Ajani’s Pridemate, you have utility cards like Knight of Autumn which lets you select what effect you want when it enters play. If you want to take the passive approach further as you grind your opponent down, then the Epicure of Blood mentioned before is your jam. As you gain life, your opponent loses a life. In the late game, you can get the extra effect out of Dawn of Hope. This enchantment lets you pay 2 any time you gain life to draw a card or you can pay 4 and get a 1/1 token creature with lifelink into play.
This is one of my personal favorite color combinations for 3-Color decks and it was exciting to see Sean share the same sentiment. This deck also has the new Vraska, Golgari Queen planeswalker card which is just phenomenal. She was exceptionally deserving of her rise to power and this card reflects just that.
What’s your favorite color of deck to play? Tell us in the comments! And keep your eyes peeled for new episodes of Spellslingers every Wednesday, here on Geek & Sundry!