Magic: The Gathering Advice thread

I thought folks were having fun with KKBattousai’s M:TG thread, so I thought I’d start another. Besides, I need advice.

I decided to challenge myself (and my small store of out-of-date cards) by creating a monoblue creatureless deck. It isn’t hard (with Aether Storm, Feroz’ Ban, and various counterspells) to minimize the opposing creature threats. It is also not too hard to steal the other guy’s creatures (with Control Magic, False Demise, Ray of Command). But so far, the deck seems mostly geared toward pissing off an opponent, rather than actually winning the game.

Aether Storm and Creature Bond are, at present, the only things in my deck that take life from the other guy. Hopefully, I can take a creature or two from him that will allow some more damage-dealing. But it doesn’t seem strong enough. So, what would you suggest for this deck?

I also have a rules-interpretation question. Say I use Control Magic to take a creature, then Creature Bond it. If lethal damage is going to kil the creature, will Boomeranging the Control Magic hit the opponent with Creature Bond’s damage?

Maybe cause him to run down his deck? I can’t for the life of me think of any good cards for that. Right now millstone is the only thing that pops into my head. Also (I don’t know how ‘old’ your collection is), things that’ll force him/her to draw cards would be good. Is braingeyser the name of the card that did that back in revised (or was it before revised?)?

-Eonwe, whose information is too unused and outdated to be much good. :slight_smile:

Oh, and re: your creature bond question: yeah, the opponent will take the damage. Although, the rules have apparently changed a bit since I really played last, so things may work differently now.

Here’s how it goes down:

Your opponent casts Shock (or Terror, or whatever) targeting the Controlled, Creature Bonded creature.

In response, you cast Boomerang, targeting the Control Magic.

Both of you pass.

The Boomerang resolves, sending the Control Magic back to your hand. Control of the creature reverts to your opponent as a state-based effect.

Both of you pass (he might elect to do something funky, maybe Counterspell his own Terror, but let’s assume he doesn’t).

The Terror resolves. His critter dies. The Creature Bond effect triggers. Assuming no responses, it zaps him. So yes, he takes the damage, you do not.

That said, I’d dump Creature Bond, AEther Storm, and Feroz’s Ban entirely. By and large, they’re too expensive to be any good against small creatures, and those are the creatures that you need to worry about (big ones are easy prey for Control Magic, Ray of Command, Persuasion, Treachery if you can get it, etc)

As a way to win, consider Bribery. It’s a 3UU Sorcery from Mercadian Masques that lets you look through your opponent’s deck, choose a creature from it, and put it into play under your control. Decking (as with Millstone etc) is really slow, and it annoys a lot of people.

I have constructed creatureless decks along the same lines – starting with all/mostly blue, and trying to work from there. As you notice, though, the problem is that there aren’t too many direct-damage blue spells. The only nice one which comes to mind is Mind Bomb: casting cost 1 blue, deals 3 points of direct damage.

Try the blue spell, Reins of Power. It allows you to swap all of your creatures with an opponent for one turn; thus in a creatureless deck, it leaves your opponent creature-less. It may be tricky to use in a deck with spells that take control of individual creatures (as I found), but you might have better luck than I did. Fade Away (player pays one mana or sacrifices a creature for every creature s/he controls) would allow you to dispose of “your” creatures which you do not want your opponent to get back. Aether Storm might work with this, for when you judge there to be “enough” creatures in play. Problem is, all three spells are expensive (4-5 mana to cast, IIRC).

I gave up on the monoblue, creatureless deck in the end because blue is so slow. My creatureless-feature is now mostly green and blue (incl. RoP), with a little red depending on my mood. It’s been successful deck: it does more than just “annoy” the opponents, it does some damage to me as well as opponents, and is definitely not unbeatable.

I can’t stand players who set out to make unbeatable, rather than interesting/challenging, decks. They suck the life out of the game!

And of course, there’s the old Power Sink/Psychic Venom combo, but if you’re using tournament-legal limits, it doesn’t work very well.

Thanks for the advice so far. Any more would be appreciated.

But I gave the thread a generic title so that it could be a generic advice thread. Anyone else need some input on the Game of Cardboard Addiction™?

If you’re going to try decking, try Millstone and/or Grindstone (from Tempest), plus some Vision Charms (from, appropriately enough, Visions). Also, creatures such as Reef Pirates and Rootwater Thief have abilities that could help. Traumatize, from Odyssey, would also work towards this strategy. If you go with this, get ahold of a couple of Tormod’s Crypts (from The Dark, reprinted in Chronicles) to remove the opponent’s graveyard from the game - don’t want them recovering any of those cards or playing any flashbacks.

Another idea I’m working on, slowly, is the “Celebrity Look-Alike” deck.

One version of Dark Maze has a woman who looks like Paula Abdul. Harrow has a picture of Tori Amos.

Further recommendations?

Ialways thought tha the curled up beast on the Terror looked like Jerry Lewis and the Zombie at the Gate like Howard Stern.

Saltire, we lovingly refer to the game as Cardboard Crack.

Classic denial strategy? Probably my best advice is in the form of a single card. A card from Mirage that is devestating to many tournament decks. Bazaar of Wonders. Combines very well with card denial strategies, Millstone/Grindstone, and countermagic. The idea is to get them to expend one of each card in their deck and let the Bazaar lock them down. They’ll end up holding a lot of dead cards and sometimes not even get use out of those cards because the copy that made it into the graveyard got there by Millstone instead of actually being cast. Put in some graveyard control on your side(Tormods Crypt, Feldon’s Cane, Phyrexian Furnace, etc) and you can keep yourself from holding dead cards.

Also consider going U/W for Cornered Market because a deck that gives this fits is a deck that uses lots of special lands like Mishra’s Factory. I actually lost a game in a PTQ with an extended deck based on Bazaar to a Shivan Gorge(who would have thought anyone would play those!).

Don’t follow much in the way of mainstream entertainment, so I can’t help much with the card selection for a “Celebrity Look-Alike” deck, but I can help with strategy once you’ve got your cards selected!


few things:
Would you consider it poluting the theme to drop in a damage dealing artifact or land?

For mill/grind, you definately want traumatize.

relying on controlling your opponent’s stuff is fine, but does you no good if they play creatureless too.

Dump creature bond, it’s too situational. Psychic venom’s not a bad idea. (especially with mana shorts or power sinks or drain powers or an icy manipulator-type thing.)

1.) If you’re stealing creatures, consider the Tempest enchantment: Legacy’s Allure.
2.) Jerevan’s right about Mind Bomb (4th Edition). It forces your opponent to take three points of damage or discard a card for each point of damage. A dweeb player will throw his cards away. A good player is going to be down three life.
3.) Consider an oldie, but a goodie: The Black Vise (4th Edition). (I keep 4 just for multi-player games.) This is lethal if you find a way to generate a lot of mana, cast Prosperity (Visions) or cast A Stroke of Genius (Tempest, I think) or Braingeyser (Revised) on your opponent, and then play the Vise.
4.) There is at least one artifact that you can use to deal direct damage: Rod of Ruin (4th Edition, I think). Unfortunately, it takes three mana and a tap to deal one point of damage.
5.) Consider running your opponent out of cards. Mind Bomb, Millstone, and Grindstone can help with this. One good suggestion for this: use Thawing Glaciers (Alliances), a land, to ensure you can draw plenty of lands; play a Sand Silos (Fallen Empires) early so you can build up mana; play Tolarian Academy (Urza’s Saga) in conjunction with a bunch of artifacts; play mana-generating artifacts like Sol Ring & Mana Vault (both Revised); then on one turn use Drain Power (Fourth Edition) to steal your opponent’s mana; use Mind Over Matter (Exodus) to discard cards to untap the Academy; and hit your opponent with a mindboggling Braingeyser or A Stroke of Genius. If you use this approach, beware Feldon’s Cane (Chronicles).
6.) If you are playing a creatureless deck, you are probably going to take damage. If you’ve got one, and it’s an ultra-rare, play Mirror Universe (7th Edition). When you get down to 1 life, use the Mirror Universe and then use Mind Bomb or the Rod of Ruin to apply the coup de grace to your foe.

Jerevan: there should be some celebrity who looks like the female version of Elvis Ranger (Alliances). Yowsza!

Saltire: I forgot something. Cheat a little bit. Use 4 Mishra’s Factories. After all, they’re not critters until you pay mana.
Also, gonzoron, is right. Another creatureless deck could give you real problems. I have a red/white control deck that, with a bit of luck, would bitch-slap your blue deck silly.

Here’s my suggestion:

-put all the cards you own in a big box
-shake the box
-pull the cards out in stacks of 15
-booster draft
you’ll never have more fun

Well, unless he’s got some spare land or something to pitch, or worse, a madness card to play. :wink:

If my memory and are correct, Mirror Universe was only in Legends.

Jeebus! For some of us that would be a big box! Honey, we’re going refrigerator shoppin’.


That’s scary. At worst, AudreyK and I would have to buy a new pair of shoes. :slight_smile:

I think I could get away with a microwave oven box… maybe.

Not quite what the OP was asking for, but a friend of mine had/has (haven’t played him in a while, don’t know if he still has it) a red-blue deck which was close to unbeatable (at least, against anything I had). The red was nothing but direct damage, and the blue was nothing except permission cards (counterspells, boomerangs, etc). Any creature that didn’t get countered would get fireballed the next turn, anyway.

I knew that eventually, I would manage to cast a CoP: Red and a Repentant Blacksmith before he had a chance to counter them, but it never actually happened.

One warning, by the way, with an all-blue, no-creature deck: If your opponent has a Mishra’s Factory, he’ll wipe the floor with you.