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Posts from the ‘Robbie Johnston’ Category


Guest Meddling: Blades of Victory (Magic 2011)

Not too long ago, I started playing with a group of people at my college on Monday nights. About half the group was newer players, taking their first steps into the world of Magic: the Gathering. These new players ran the gamut in skill level and what cards they had available to them, but one thing remained constant-they all wanted to improve their decks. 

Let’s be honest, it’s not very difficult to realize that, say, Bog Raiders and Canyon Minotaurs aren’t winning you any games (the exception being Limited, where both are decent picks, but that is an entirely different beast). However, I constantly find newer players asking for other people to make their decks better, and while I’m certainly all for helping people out, that’s no way to learn! 

Today I am taking the M11 Intro Deck Blades of Victory and outlining some simple steps that can be taken to “pump it up.” More importantly, I’ll explain some of the reasoning behind each tweak, to provide a nice basic iullustration on “why this card is better than that one.” 

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Guest Meddling: Upgrading the Coalition


I’m a fan of preconstructed decks, especially some of the non-intro products Wizards has been putting out. However, I take a different approach than Jay. I like to customize, tear apart, rebuild, refocus, and repurpose what I pull out of those boxes. 

Sometimes I like to retool decks into easier-to-play, more-consistent versions of themselves, so that I can hand them to new players and explain them quickly. Other times I like to tinker with decks and fill them with bomby, splashy cards that make for lots of fun. Once in awhile I like to optimize for the kill. Either way, I feel like personalizing preconstructed decks is a great way to make them more interesting and more fun, utilizing some of the basic framework.

One of my favorite preconstructed decks in the past year was the Duel Decks: Phyrexia vs the Coalition set, because I loved that storyline and was thrilled to be able to play as Urza and Yawgmoth, re-enacting that climactic battle. Then I played the decks.

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