A popular event for Magic: The Gathering players after the release of a set is Magic Game Day. It's a fairly casual two-day event (despite the name) where players get together to play in "Standard" format tournaments. For the uninitiated, the Standard format contains only the most recent sets. In this case it's those of the Tarkir block along with Magic Origins, Battle for Zendikar, and the latest set, Oath of the Gatewatch.
So, what decks might you want to build and bring for this next Magic Game Day? We have the following three suggestions:
Eldrazi decks are all the rage these days and that should come as no surprise seeing as the race has been decimating the plane of Zendikar since Rise of the Eldrazi. They came back in force in the previous set and are even more prevalent in Oath of the Gatewatch. This red-green deck uses mana ramp from green thanks to Sylvan Scrying, Animist's Awakening, and even the anti-Eldrazi planeswalker Nissa, Vastwood Seer to get the ball rolling. Whisperer of the Wilds is also in there to add both extra early and mid-game mana. Ideally, you can get your Oblivion Sowers out sooner rather than later so you can start stealing your opponent's resources as well.
To help keep you alive while you ramp up to Ulamog and the Desolation Twins, you have at your disposal both Radiant Flames and Kozilek's Return, with the return hitting everything again once you get to your mid-game when you can pop out a Dragonlord Atarka to heavily move things into your favor. The Jaddi Offshoots are also there to help keep creature threats at bay while allowing you to gain a little life back off of your land drops and buy you time. One Ulamog and/or the Twins hit the board, consider it game over for your opponent. Estimated value: $269
For those wanting something a bit different, this B/U/R Tutelage Mill deck should be worth a go. It's an updated version of a similar deck we suggested for the Battle for Zendikar gameday. The deeck is based around the Origins enchantment Sphinx's Tutelage. It can sometimes take a little time to get going and poses the risk of being underrun by an ultra-aggressive deck. Once it fires off, however, things tend to move pretty darn quick.
At first, the primary goal is to get the Tutelage on the board as quickly as possible. Thanks to the extreme rate of card drawing this deck is capable of, getting the card into your hand shouldn't be much of an issue. Raidiant Flames (sideboardable for Seismic Rupture if need be) and Send to Sleep (which can be like an early game Time Walk) are there to help slow things down. Bone Splinter, which should be used with the Salvage Drone for added card drawing, is also there for on-the-board threats. In later games, expect to need to throw in some extra counterspelling ability to keep the Tutelage on the board once your opponent boards in what he/she needs to get rid of it.
Once at least one Tutelage is on the board, then it's all about the card draw. Low-cost card drawing options like Tormenting Voice and Magmatic Insight not only add to the card draw tally and fire the Tutelage off twice per, but they also fill up the graveyard at a pretty nice pace to help ramp up to a cheap Treasure Cruise. Who cares about dealing damage to your opponent --just start drawing cards and force your opponent to mill as much of his deck as possible each turn. You'll find yourself surprised at just how quickly this can happen, especially if you can get Alhammarret's Archive on the board for that nice one-two finishing punch. Estimated value: $110
For those looking for an aggressive deck to thematically oppose the Eldrazi, this equipment-centered Aly deck should do the trick. It's a pretty cut-and-dry formula of build an army, give that army some shiny toys with which to play, and beat your opponent over the head with it all. As far as the toys go, you'll have at your disposal the Kor Ally generating Captain's Claws, economical Bone Saw, and tribal Stoneforge Masterwork. To get those toys sooner rather than later, Relic Seeker and Stoneforge Acolyte will be your best friends. To further the usefulness of the equipment, Weapons Trainer and Stone Haven Outfitter provide additional buffs. Working on the Ally theme, Firemantle Mage and Reckless Bushwhacker are there to provide a little extra oomph. Kytheon doesn't fit either of the deck's two main themes, but he is a wonderful one drop who can flip pretty early if things go your way and, if he does, will heavily tip the game in your favor.
The two instants in the deck, Deflecting Palm and Collateral Damage, exist for different reasons. You'll show your opponent the Palm later in games to avoid that kill strike from big, scary Eldrazi decks. There're more in the sideboard should they be needed in later games. The Collateral Damages should ideally be used with the Kor Ally tokens you've made using Captain's Claws for added surprise damage. Of course, it'll also be the card you'll most likely take out for Roast and Rendering Volley, should games two and three deem such a substitution necessary. The rest of the sideboard is designed to give the deck some flexibility in the latter games based upon what kind of decks you're facing at the time. Estimated value: $90
So there you have it. Three deck builds for you to consider for Magic Game Day on the weekend of February 13-14. Good luck and have fun!