New magic deck

I had an odd plan for a Green/Red Magic deck mostly based in Worldwake. I think I have the red portion down pretty well; it’s the green which gives me trouble. I’ve always hard a hard time with green. Green decks can be very sotrn,g but they’re so awkward to handle I just can’t quite do it.

(Format: Cardname /# in deck)
Forest /10
Mountain /10
**Teramorphic Expansion **/4 (I can play this, then immediately sac it for another basic land; it’s usually used to grab lands in larger multicolored decks)

**Lightning Bolt **/4 (How can you not, right?)
**Act of Treason **/4 (lets me take control of an enemy’s creature, handy for turning the tables)
**Burning Inquiry **/4 (all players draw three cards, then discard three for one Red mana)
**Zektar Shrine Expedition **/4 (the real damage meat: every land adds a counter; at 3 coutners, you sac the thing and pop a 7/1 trampler with haste into play, which does go away at end of turn)

Giant Growth /4 (always good, but maybe not right for this deck?)
**Borderland Ranger **/4 (let’s me search for and play a forest; plus it’s a 2/2 for two green)
**Leatherback Baloth **/4 (a 4/5… for three green mana)
Khalni Heart Expedition 4 (OK, this is the one I’m really not at all sure about. Yeah, it’s nice, but it’s really designed for 3, 4, or 5 color decks. And I don’t know that I really need more mana over more acceleration).

**Bloodbraid Elf **/4 (This is just a freakishly good card and defines creature combat these days It’s a 3/2 with Haste and Cascade for 2GR! In this deck, it lets me toss out Borderland Rangers, Lightning Bolts, the Expeditions, the best of all my Baloth.)
Right now, my setup is meant to pull lots of mana when I need it to trigger the Zektar Shrine Expedition, while letting me replenish my cards quickly to draw them. However, I don’t know that the Khalni heart is really helping. I’ve thought about trading out the Giant Growth for Earthquake or another card to clear the field, and trade the Khalni Hearts for a big “kicker sweeper” like Wolfbriar Elemental. If I had Chandra Nalaar, I’d probably use her.

Another option is to put in card recover and unleash the same Zektar SHrine expeditions multiple times.

I have to say I’m not convinced about Burning Inquiry; it seems to me that unless the deck is set up to use the cards put in the graveyard, that your opponent is slightly better off than you are. Both of you get to draw 3 then discard from your hand, but you’ll have a smaller hand than your opponent (normally) because you cast the Inquiry.

If you were to make some use of cards in your graveyard, then I can see the Inquiry being more useful.

If you have, or can get hold of, some Raging Ravines they might fit quite well, especially since they can be fairly described as “ever-growing.” A couple will help your mana fixing while adding a bit of punch in the late game.

The Khalni Heart Expeditions will add to your board position, which will help paying for the activation costs of the Ravines. (Also remember that if you activate the Ravines more than once before attacking with it, you will get a +1/1 counter per activation.)

Look through Zendikar for some Landfall tricks. That’s another thing the Expeditions are good for; it doesn’t matter how the lands enter the battlefield, just that they do.

Hmm… you are probably right here. Must think about this, because I have a tendency to die from lack of cards.

The other issue is that almost the only person I play with is ridiculously good with a massive card collection. He plays a lot. I once jokingly said he should try hitting the big tournaments and basically shrugged and said he just didn’t want to put in the time. Totally serious.

That’s when I realized I was outclassed by a country mile.

OK, try this: If I can get the Raging Ravines they’d be great, but let’s leave that off for now. I’ve enough rares to acquire as it is.

Seer’s Sundial instead of Burning Inquiry. We’ll also trade out the Giant Growth for Wolfbriar Elemental. That does leave me a little weak against hordes of creatures, but I should be able to put enough beef onto the field to hold them off. There are, of course, some really good stuff in the Mythic Rare category, but let’s be reasonable about what I can get.

I have two related criticisms: First, for a deck containing green, there’s not much mana acceleration in there. Second, I like to be able to cast something the very first turn, and it looks like the only thing you can cast first turn is Lightning Bolts (which are often more useful saved for creatures). These are related because there are a ton of mana acceleration options in green that cost only a single mana to play: There’s a reason that forest – Llanowar Elves is the most-played opening ever.

Are you restricted to recent cards (how recent?), or are older cards OK, too? I don’t know if Llanowars are still in the current standard tournament format, but there’s sure to be something similar that is. And if you’re not restricted that way, they’re common enough that they’re still pretty cheap.

I haven’t played magic for over a year so I don’t recognize most of the cards but…

Burning Inquiry is definitely card DISadvantage. If you draw it late in the game, with no cards in your hand, what good is it going to do?

Zektar Shrine Expedition seems a bit slow but, depending on the wording of the card (must be a new card, I don’t recognize it), might work good with your Terramorphic Expanse.

Khalni Heart Expedition seems too slow to be of any use. You need two land to play it and you can’t use it until you get two more land. So, it only works when you already have enough lands. It works with Zektar Shrine Expedition but that’s a combo with no way of seeking out either card.

But if you enjoy playing with the deck, go for it!

Is this a standard deck? I’m kind of assuming standard instead of block because of the Lightning Bolts and no significantly older cards.

I’m not a fan of Seer’s Sundial. I’d rather have something which I can use to draw cards on the opponent’s turn instead of my own. If I draw something I want to play I want to be able to do that, and even though it’s one of the lowest usage cost versions of the tome, I’m not impressed with the casting cost. If this is a beatdown deck, and it certainly seems to be so, you want to have things which help beat down.

Also, were you misremembering Borderland Ranger? It’s a 2/2 for 2G, not GG, which lets you put the land into your hand, so it doesn’t allow double-landfall trigger, it just helps you get land into your hand.

Things I’d consider for a landfall deck in G/R

Harrow - almost a must really, much better than the Khalni Heart Expedition, mostly because you can sacrifice a tapped land and get two untapped.
Plated Geopode - first strike is not an evasion ability but it is a strong enough ability, combined with instant speed land fetching via Harrow or a fetchland.
Jund and Naya Panoramas fit the bill here, and don’t sacrifice the tempo as much as Terramorphic Expanse, IME, it’s worth testing for your build. Getting a point of mana without spending a point can be good with a beatdown deck, but if your opening hand is two lands, wouldn’t you rather they both be capable of producing mana? This leaves you the flexibility to crack the land for landfall on their turn or use it for mana yourself.
Firewild Borderpost - Nice landfall enabler and accelerates you a bit, squeezing every last land drop out of a deck with no more than the average number of lands.
Searing Blaze - Makes your mana balance a bit harder, but the extra damage can be very nice, since your deck is mostly concerned with getting damage through.
Toxic Iguanar - is an often overlooked card which gets a lot better in a R/G deck and can hold the ground a lot on its own.
Vines of Vastwood - Since your beatdown creature is going to be free(and very vulnerable), why not spend GG to give it +4/+4 and the good half of shroud? All around versatility is good here too.
Electropotence - Like Vines, it can take advantage of the fact that your mana is not all tied up when your beatdown hits the board. It stretches the damage your temporary critters can do to either clear the way, or just smash face. It’s more mana intensive and slower than Vines though it can clearly generate more damage over time although it can’t save critters from targeted kill like Vines can.
Windstorm, Deadly Recluse, Ember Weaver, or some way to deal with flyers should probably be in your sideboard at least, depending on your local metagame.
Naturalize - I’m a control player at heart and I feel naked with no way of handling artifacts and/or enchantments, but if you’re comfortable doing so, freak freely.
River Boa or Mire Boa - Depending on your personal preference, gives you a regenerating defender or an aggressive evasion creature depending on how the game goes.
Branching Bolt - Probably worth testing if your games go on for a while. If you just run people over with the Zektar Shrine Expeditions then it’s not a big deal, but it’s one of the better new bolts.
Volcanic Fallout - Leaves more room for the big ones to fight in, you know. Hilarious with a Bloodbraid Elf on the stack.

Here are some more expensive suggestions.
Scute Mob - If you’re worried about your late game power, this guy is essentially a 5/5 for 1 after a few turns. Especially if you keep the other land-based accelerators like the Borderland Ranger.
Birds of Paradise - almost always a worthy addition to any multi-color deck which can reliably produce G on turn 1.
Lotus Cobra - The jury is generally still out on this one. It looked all cool and flashy when it came out, and my shiny foil one made me smile when I opened it, but as a way of reliably squeezing extra mana out of a deck I haven’t been that impressed. On the other hand, he essentially makes cracking a Panorama free, makes a Terramorphic Expanse produce two mana if you crack it as soon as you play it, has great synergy with Harrow, and has a lot of other cool effects on a deck with low mana requirements. Basically the dream deck for this card seems to be close to what you want to have. Probably worth testing, but don’t sink cash into them until you’ve tested with proxies is my recommendation.
Strength of the Tajuru - In a deck which can generate lots of mana and has creature-based damage is just a huge beating and can virtually cinch up a late game.
Comet Storm - if you find yourself frustrated by blockers a lot.
Omnath, Locus of Mana - is kind of stupidly good if you can swing it. If you decide to invest in this guy and play him, the best advice I can give you is to find some way of tracking the mana in your pool because you will need to know a lot. We’ve been using dice.
Garruk Wildspeaker - more for the longer game than anything else, but certainly good.
Sarkhan Vol - Better than Garruk probably.

Ok, that’s probably enough for now. :slight_smile:


I miss the days when I enjoyed Magic. :frowning:

These days, I just see my piles of CCG cards as useless lumps to be disposed of the instant I find a buyer. But I used to love making the decks, buying the cards…

Fortunately my wife enjoys playing, I taught her when we were dating ~15 years ago, and the older kids are learning too. After we moved away from our High School playgroup for college there was a long dry spell. A few people played, and we got a few games together, but it was difficult to keep it up. We decided that instead of looking for playgroups, we’d start one. So every few weeks we host a Magic night at our place. It has helped end our dry spell, even if it is more work. Recently we’ve been getting the kids friends as they’re getting old enough to play the game and are impressed by my collection and what I can teach them.

I’ve never cared for competitive Magic, I’m pretty much a Johnny with a tiny touch of Spike, but most of my playgroup are Timmies. They get massively turned off at the tournament scene because for them Magic is supposed to be a fun experience, not a duel to the death with your ego on the line, so our place is a good fit for them. I get to experiment with my weird decks on them and they don’t generally mind as long as I keep it reasonable. We have some house rules and those make things stupid sometimes, like my 0th turn Progenitus last week, and if I abuse them they express their displeasure by treating me to a gang slaughter. Then I get to play Wii until the next group game is ready to start or more people get out and we can do side duels.

But the reason we still get to have fun playing the game is because we decided we were going to bring the game to us instead of going to the game.


OK, I’ve got to ask: What houserule would enable a 0th-turn Progenitus? Is this just something straightforward like “each player gets to start the game with one creature in play”? Because they really should have seen something like that coming.

You and me both.

I got into Magic just after the launch (my first cards were two Revised starter decks), and played a lot for about 4-5 years. We had a group of 6-8 people, and got together every month or two for a day of gaming.

Eventually, several of the players moved away, and we moved on to other things. My “Magic era” coincided with the time when I really wasn’t much interested in D&D (it was during the back half of the 2E era). 3E D&D reignited my interest in RPGs, so now I’ve got a huge Magic collection which just collects dust. I’d sell it, if I had the time to go through the cards and find the good ones.

The thing was that you could start with two non-creature permanents, which did not affect other players, subject to the veto of the table(things which were too powerful, like Akroma’s Memorial, and Planar Portal, or just irritating like Winter Orb). The people who made the rule(and we’ve tried this in the past with similar results) intended it to be used mainly for putting in things like Lotus Vale, or Library of Alexandria. I put in Privileged Position and Lurking Predators(which caused some misgiving, but they allowed it). I went last, but by the time I went my Lurking Predators had turned up a Progenitus and a handful of other nasty critters. I decided that wasn’t really in the spirit of the rules and let them choose half of the cards I had gotten for free and shuffled them all back in, along with the Lurking Predators, so I didn’t quite go back to zero, but I erased almost all of my lead, especially since they let me keep out a Braids, Conjurer Adept. They put all the really good stuff back, dropped their stuff for free thanks to Braids, and then pummeled me unmercifully. Then groused about it all night. Kind of makes me regret not just leaving it all out and killing them all instead of trying to play nice.



Yup, it is Standard. I musta popped it into Gatherer a dozen times and still forgot to tell you.

Thanks for the advice all. I am definitely going with the Lightning Bolts, Act of Treason,m and Zektar Shrine - but I will take a peek at other things and try to put together a new deck plan. Just haven’t had the time yet.

Drop two Ankhs. :slight_smile: Should make for a quick game.

OK, Having delved a bit more than I would like into the advice :wink: , Here’s a plan.

Forest /6
Mountain /6
Naya Panorama /4
Firewild Borderpost /4

Bloodbraid Elf /4

Act of Treason /4
Zektar Shrine Expedition /4
Electropotence /4
Plated Geopede /4
Volcanic Fallout /4

Llanowar Elves /4
Vines of Vastwood /4
Scute Mob /4
Deadly Recluse /4

This deck leans more towards Red, I would say, and has (but maybe also needs) less serious mana accel. I don’t really know what’s going much with magic these days, so this may be jsut as stupid as my last concept. OTOH, it also has more int he way of commons and uncommons instead of rares, which I don’t have anyway.

It’s looking a lot better. Deadly Recluse seems like an odd choice but, overall, it looks like it will be fun to play.

How does it play? It looks like it has lost some of the focus. You may find yourself struggling to hit a landfall(I normally count a borderpost as half a land) or holding a Volcanic Fallout to keep from wiping your board but you don’t have much else in the way of creature control. I also don’t see a way, other than the panoramas, to get land into play at instant speed. Harrow makes Plated Geopode a serious threat. Also your colored mana producing lands went way down, so you’re sacrificing reliability of being able to cast stuff here.

You only have two ways to beat the average curve of one mana on turn one, two mana on turn two, three mana on turn three, etc. and that’s Llanowar Elves and the Borderposts. The Borderposts only accelerate you if you pay for them instead of bouncing a land, and the Elves are fragile(especially since your only removal is global). I’d probably drop in Harrow instead of Electropotence. Extra lands instead of the Deadly Recluse, and re-test.


It’s more a very lethal chump blocker, or at least that’s the intent. basically, for any kind of “oh noes they’ve got a 47/47 first strike flying ninja tiger double-dragon double-dog-dare-mythic-rare with shroud in play.”

Granted, if I can get by well enough with Act of Treason, I may trade it for more mana accel.

Have you done any more testing? How does it look?


Sadly, I haven;t heard from any of my local players in several weeks at this point. Just vanished or aren’t playing, so…