For players of the collectible card game Magic: The Gathering, this weekend marks Magic Game Day for the newly-released Shadows Over Innistrad set. To give would-be competitors some ideas, we're giving three deck suggestions so that you're not left out because you didn't know what to play.
Build with strict budgets in mind, the whole point of this deck is to draw cards and control the board. Doing that, you fill up your graveyard with instants and sorcerys until you can fire off a Rise From The Tides. In our playtests, we were getting between 14 and 18 zombie tokens out of the card. Using Brain In A Jar (which we recommend you play on turn three) is key because it can let you fire off Rise From The Tides (and any other of the deck's sorcerys) at instant speed. This is crucial when creating your zombies to minimize sorcery-speed effects that could decimate your undead army. Once created and their summoning sickness wears off -- something that happens almost instantly if done on your opponent's turn -- the game can be over in one fell swoop. The deck's sideboard is situational based upon whether you're facing creature-heavy or creature-light matchups. (Estimated deck value: $19)
For those looking for a more interactive play type, playing our three-colored vampires deck could be fun. Mostly black with splashes of white and red, this deck has few problems creating an army and giving its player plenty of "free" life thanks to the many lifelink and life gain options. The life gain options also pair up well with Cliffhaven Vampire and Defiant Bloodlord -- both of which add extra insult to injury for your opponent. There are also Madness triggers thanks to Call The Bloodline and Heir of Falkenrath to utilize Fiery Temper, Alms Of The Vein, and so on. One thing we noticed in playtesting on tappedout.net is that this deck can build up an army pretty darn fast, which could help underrun some of the power Standard decks like Ramp (below) and Bant Company. The deck's sideboard is mostly geared towards combating other creature-based decks and should be able to handle the up-and-coming W/U or W/G human decks well enough and also contains Infinite Obliteration to better handle Eldrazi-based threats. (Estimated deck value: $50)
A post-rotation update to the ramp deck we showcased for the previous Magic Game Day, this new version comes off as sleeker and more streamlined thanks to the removal of mana dorks like Whisperer Of The Wilds in favor of more straightforward solutions and opponent disruption. This red-green deck still uses mana ramp from green thanks to Sylvan Scrying and even the anti-Eldrazi planeswalker Nissa, Vastwood Seer to get the ball rolling, but replaces Animist's Awakening from the previous version with the more consistent Explosive Vegitation card from DTK. The new SOI card Sin Prodder proves to be a do-or-die decision for your opponent even though you're likely to hit a land here and there throughout the game. Sideboarding is geared to better handle Bant Company variations and creature-based decks such as the one above. In real-life testing at a recent local tournament, the deck dominated all save for the two Bant Company decks it faced. Even then, it held its own to the end and was but a top deck away from a match win. The strongest and most capable deck of the three, it's also the most expensive. (Estimated deck value: $202)
Regardless of which of the above decks you choose to build or if you have your own original build, we wish you good luck this weekend!