Ravnica: City of Guilds/Theme decks
Charge of the Boros
|“||The "Charge of the Boros" deck shows off what the Boros Legion does well: fight. This fanatical guild merges red's passion and fury with white's battlefield precision to make a sleek fighting force that steamrolls its opposition.
Like any fast deck full of small creatures, this deck relies on having enough creatures at different mana costs. The ideal opening hand lets you play a one-mana creature on turn one, a two-mana creature on turn two, a three-mana creature on turn three, and then multiple spells each turn after that. That's why the "Charge of the Boros" deck is loaded with cheap creatures!
As the game progresses, your opponent will try to stop your advancing army. Your goal is to keep dealing damage by any means possible. Skyknight Legionnaire has it easy—with haste and flying, it'll be difficult to stop. Your ground forces, on the other hand, might need some help. Thundersong Trumpeter prevents your opponent's best creature from blocking, and Cyclopean Snare has a similar function. Your various instants provide even better tools for forcing damage through: Lightning Helix and Dogpile can easily clear a path for your attacking creatures. Play Dogpile after you attack but before your opponent blocks for maximum effect.
Radiance spells work amazingly well when played on a multicolored creature. If you play Rally the Righteous on your Skyknight Legionnaire, all other red creatures and white creatures (in other words, all of your creatures) untap and get +2/+0. If you use the devastating Cleansing Beam on your opponent's blue-black creature, it deals 2 damage to each blue creature and black creature in the game. Be careful if your creatures and your opponent's creatures share a color!
After playing the deck a few times, you might want to change some cards. To improve the deck's aggressive nature, add more one-mana and two-mana creatures like Frenzied Goblin and Veteran Armorer from the Ravnica: City of Guilds set. If you like blowing up your opponent's creatures, try more direct-damage spells such as the powerful Char. If you're really adventurous, check out some of the other cards the Boros guild has to offer, like Firemane Angel, Brightflame, and Sunhome Enforcer.
|“||The "Dimir Intrigues" deck will twist your opponent's head around and around . . . and maybe even off! Your opponent starts the game with 60 cards and 20 life. By the time the game ends, one of those two totals will be down to zero—and you don't care which one it is. (Remember: If a player has to draw a card and can't, that player loses the game.) The transmute mechanic lets you find the perfect card for any situation, ensuring that one way or the other, you'll emerge victorious.
While other decks spend their early turns playing creatures, you'll spend your early turns bumping off those creatures. The "Dimir Intrigues" deck has plenty of creature removal, and spells like Last Gasp and Disembowel will help you weather the early storm. Soon you'll start to increase your life total with Ribbons of Night and Psychic Drain, and summoning high-toughness creatures like Vedalken Entrancer and Belltower Sphinx can keep you safe.
But these creatures do more than protect you—they also shrink your opponent's library to nothing! Let your opponent fight an impossible battle by trying to win the game with damage. You've got a different plan. Your opponent's library is defenseless, and you can assault it with creatures like Vedalken Entrancer and Lurking Informant, as well as with spells like Psychic Drain and Induce Paranoia. If you manage to play the powerful Szadek, Lord of Secrets, your opponent's library will be gone in no time.
Wizened Snitches reveals what's on top of both players' libraries, which is great in this deck. You'll know when to transmute one of your cards to shuffle your own library, and you'll know when you can knock a good card off your opponent's library! Lore Broker and Dimir Guildmage also let you dig deeper into your library to find the best card to foil your opponent's plans.
Once you've gotten used to the deck, you might want to add some other cards from the Ravnica: City of Guilds set. Glimpse the Unthinkable is perfect—it takes ten cards off your opponent's library at once! You might want to try more permission spells like Remand or aggressive creatures like Moroii. No matter which strategy you choose, your opponents will be begging for mercy by the time House Dimir finishes with them.
|“||With the "Golgari Deathcreep" deck, death isn't where life ends—it's where it begins. Your graveyard will be your greatest resource while playing this deck. Why settle for what might be on top of your library when you can instead pick the best dredge card in your graveyard each turn?
Start out by getting a card with dredge into your graveyard as early as possible. The best ways to do this are to take down an opposing creature with Darkblast or sacrifice a Shambling Shell after it deals combat damage. Next turn, use that card's dredge ability to return it to your hand. As you stuff your graveyard full of cards from your library, you'll see more cards with dredge in there, giving you more options. Eventually, you'll never need to draw another card from your library—everything you need will be in your graveyard.
A fat graveyard also gives you lots of juicy, rotting targets for Vigor Mortis, Recollect, and Necromantic Thirst, and your Golgari Grave-Troll and Svogthos, the Restless Tomb will be huge as well. Both creatures are tough to stop (the Grave-Troll regenerates and Svogthos isn't a creature all the time), so either one should let you ooze your way to victory.
The scariest card in the deck is Savra, Queen of the Golgari. Each time you sacrifice Shambling Shell with Savra around, you can have your opponent sacrifice a creature and you put a +1/+1 counter on a creature. Even better, you can dredge up the Shell and do it again! To Savra's delight, the deck has plenty of other cards that let you sacrifice creatures, including Thoughtpicker Witch, Golgari Guildmage, and Drooling Groodion. Don't worry—the creatures you send to your graveyard will probably crawl right back out.
After playing with the deck, you might want to add some other cards from the Ravnica: City of Guilds set. Life from the Loam fits perfectly: This dredge card starts your graveyard-filling effort early and returns lands (including Svogthos) from your graveyard later on. Adding Grave-Shell Scarab, another dredge card, adds a powerful threat that keeps coming back to life. And if you play with multiple copies of creatures, Bloodbond March can let clusters of them spring back into play from your well-stocked graveyard.
|“||The "Selesnya United" deck generates wave upon wave of creatures to drown your opponent under an ocean of Saprolings and their mighty friends! Token-making cards like Fists of Ironwood, Selesnya Evangel, and Scatter the Seeds can create a frenzy of Saprolings in no time. The convoke ability then lets you tap these creepy fungus monsters to help pay for gigantic creatures like Siege Wurm or crushing spells like Overwhelm.
Early in the game, create creatures quickly and frequently, using every Saproling-generating effect you can. Feel free to play Fists of Ironwood on an opponent's creature just to get the Saprolings! Early on, avoid attacking or blocking with your creatures if they won't survive combat—it's much more important to build up your swarm. Any life you lose to early attacks you can easily regain later with Conclave Phalanx.
Once you've assembled your token horde, you'll have three main ways to win. The first way is to use your tokens to put huge attackers into play. Thanks to the convoke mechanic, you can play Siege Wurm, a 5/5 trampler, for free . . . if you also tap seven creatures. Root-Kin Ally is another powerful creature with convoke. Tapping your creatures can both reduce its cost and make it enormous! Plus the more creatures you control, the bigger Scion of the Wild gets. A 12/12 Scion with trample from Fists of Ironwood can wreak late-game havoc.
The second way to win is with Sandsower. It dominates the board once you have enough creatures, and it locks down your opponent's creatures while the rest of your army attacks. The third way is to use Selesnya Guildmage, Tolsimir Wolfblood, or the well-named Overwhelm to give power and toughness boosts to all your creatures at once. You'll win the game in one massive, unstoppable attack.
After you've played the deck a few times, you might want to swap in more spells that go well with a lot of 1/1 Saprolings. The enchantment Glare of Subdual works like Sandsower, but tapping an enemy creature requires you to tap only one of your creatures, not three. From the Ninth Edition set, Glorious Anthem gives all your creatures a +1/+1 bonus, and Coat of Arms boosts creatures' power and toughness for each other creature of the same type in play.