Monthly Archives: February 2012

Once my original pile has been cut substantially down I can really start to focus the deck. One of the things that I like to do at this stage is to look at the potential deck from different perspectives. As I said, my original sort is by color, type, and cost; but then I will typically sort it by converted mana cost to see how my curve is looking. If one part of my curve is bigger than it should be, it makes it easier to cut some of those cards.  I typically bounce between color, converted mana cost, and card type as I make cuts in an attempt to keep the deck balanced. One other method that I use is to sort by effect. In other words, I’ll have piles for token generators, counter generators, removal, ramp, etc… Sorting those piles by converted mana cost is also a good idea because if I have 3 targeted removal spells at 3 converted mana cost or less, then I may not need that 6 converted mana cost removal spell… unless it generates tokens or counters that is!

Up to this point I have been keeping all of the colors separate. This means that I may have multiple removal cards spread out among all of my colors. While this can be a good thing, particularly for fighting against protections, at this point there are just way too many removal spells in the deck! At this point, I start mixing the colors. I’m still bouncing between sorting by converted mana cost, card type and effect, but by mixing the colors it allows me to find the areas of the deck that are heavy on one type of card and cutting those down.

As I mentioned in Part 2, I want a balanced deck. While I want the primary focus to be on generating tokens and +1/+1 counters, I know that to function against opponents, the deck has to have other things as well, like removal, graveyard hate, and so on. At one time my pile probably had well over 50 cards that I would put into the “token ” category, and while I want all of these cards in the deck, that just isn’t possible. Bear in mind however, that some of these categories can overlap. For example, I could use a spell like Doom Blade for targeted removal, but I can also use something like Beast Within. Not only does this increase the number of viable targets (any permanent instead of a non-black creature), it also provides a token. That way if I have it in hand, and none of my opponents have any good targets, then I can hit one of my 1/1 tokens and replace it with a 3/3 token instead, and if I happen to have Doubling Season or Parallel Lives in play then I get multiple 3/3 tokens!


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Now the process of building the deck really begins. Armed with my piles of cards, and my lists of cards that I want in the deck, I can start to determine what I want the deck to do, and how I want to accomplish that. Then, with that in mind I start cutting cards, but first a thank you!

In Part 1, I mentioned that I had asked Adena (@prsgrrl on Twitter) from the Horde of Notions podcast for her Ghave list, but that she hadn’t responded. I’m happy to report that she did respond, and she really went above and beyond. If you check the comments section of Part 1, you will see her response, including her full deck list which she had to type out for us which means that she had to sort her deck out into piles making it necessary for her to shuffle the deck profusely before being able to play again. For all of that work Adena, I thank you! On to the cutting of cards!

The first step that I undertake is sorting out my pile of cards. My typical approach is to sort by color, then type and converted casting cost. Once I have all the cards sorted I compare my wish list of cards that I culled from my various sources and check whether I have the card or not. If I have the card I make sure it is in the appropriate stack of cards and then remove it from the list. What remains when this process is finished is a preliminary wish-list of cards that I want but do not have (or can’t find.) This is where an online or App deck building tool is very helpful. I have a couple of options, but for the most flexibility when putting together these lists, I use the website as I mentioned in Part I. Here is a link to the wish list at deckbox, as it was after this process was finished.

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Good morning all, it seems I’m on a quest, that of building a new deck! I thought I would chronicle my effort with this new deck here. I’ll write it up in pieces and post one every few days until I get the final list posted. Feel free to comment and make suggestions, constructive criticism, etc…

I know that I said in my last post that I would write about my Animar deck next, but I think getting this down while in the process is important. Stay tuned though, the Animar article will follow shortly after this series!

I was listening to the Horde of Notions podcast the other day, and it struck me that Adena (@prsgrrl on Twitter) and I are very similar in our love of anything token, especially the ultimate enabler of tokens, Doubling Season! This was right after she talked a little bit about her Ghave, Guru of Spores/Doubling Season deck. My interest was piqued! I already have a Blue/Green Doubling Season deck that is pretty sweet. It started out using Experiment Kraj as the commander, but evolved fairly recently to using Momir Vig, Simic Visionary. It piles out tons of tokens and then boosts them up. What is the deck missing? Black and white, and all of the insane token producing cards that they encompass! Of particular interest are quite a few new cards from Dark Ascension that I really want to incorporate! Read More