New player looking for some deckcrafting theory/advice

Deck Help forum

Posted on Sept. 9, 2017, 3:16 p.m. by BenFromCanada

WARNING: Wall of text from a very excited but wordy newb

EDIT: As said in a comment, I'm planning to play Standard with my friends right now and Commander on my own at some point down the road.

Hello all!

Trying to get some C&C on where to start building as a complete beginner. While I am new to MtG, I do have a bit of TCG experience with Hearthstone more recently a YuGiOh a long time ago. I was pointed towards this site as a good place to get said critique and advice, but if it is inappropriate to do so here/on this forum please let me know and I will move it somewhere more suitable.

I would like this deck to be somewhat viable, but with a emphasis on fun and flavor more than top tier deck wise. In other games I tend to favor a control/token style decks, with focus on creature trading, bouncing, and control type spells to keep trades in my favor, and using tokens and buffs to further this goal. I also played decks where you would hurt yourself/your creatures/sacrifice them to gain advantages, and always being on the razors edge of losing or winning was also quite fun!

I found myself drifting towards Black/White/Red color-wise, most likely a pairing of two of said colors. If this is incorrect or I should look elsewhere for said deck idea again please let me know.

Zombie, Angel, and Vampire cards I find very neat, and I was thinking about getting a deck starring them as a main focus. At my FLGS I opened a Ammit Eternal, which the clerk said would be a great addition to a Zombie deck, and I (with my limited knowledge) agree.

I went to my FLGS and got myself an Hour of Devastation fatpack, but I plan on buying singles from now on. I would like to keep cards from the sets that will not be rotating out from standard as soon as Ixalan releases, and I plan to attend the pre-release.

My enthusiasm tends to lead to long and arduous writing, so thank you for reading and for all the advice and tips you can offer!

P.S. While a list would be nice, I would like advice to be more singles/general good habits etc. oriented. I would like to learn to build the full deck on my own, but just need a place to start.

Xica says... #2

First you should settle what format you wish to play.

In my humble opinion fearies (in modern) check out many things on your wishlist.
Manipulate with Spellstutter Sprite
Produce tokens with Bitterblossom

Its a fine deck with the more recent cards, however due the small numbers of people playing it, and misjudging it based on fae lists of old standard many would say its uncompetitive or even unplayable.
Anyways the flavor is certainly there.

September 9, 2017 8:56 p.m.

BenFromCanada says... #3


My bad! I completely forgot to mention the format.

I plan on playing Standard with my friends right now, and getting into Commander on my own as it looks fun!

Thanks for the suggestions though, modern just seems a bit overwhelming to me, a lot of cards to memorize and whatnot.

September 9, 2017 9:11 p.m.

Casper00901 says... #4

If you play zombies in standard you should play white black for Wayward Servant. If you like vampires ixialan will have allot of them as well tribal support.

As for building your deck start with the rule of 9's. A deck only needs 4 copies of 9 different cards, with the exception of legendary or high mana cost cards which will only use 2 copies of. Once get your first 36 cards this way your remaining 24 cards will be lands that produce mana in the same proportions as the cost for the cards in your deck. After your deck built play test to see you need more or less mana.

September 9, 2017 9:26 p.m.

BenFromCanada says... #5


Thank you for the reply!

I am excited to hear about ixialan will be having plenty of more gothic type of creatures, as I thought it was going to be primarily things of a mayan or dinosaur atheistic!

As far as the zombies go, I am also glad to hear that Wayward Servant is a good pick, as I was making a deck for theory crafting around that and several other zombie cards!

September 9, 2017 11:37 p.m.

landofMordor says... #6

Well...Ixalan is Mesoamerican. They just happen to have conquistador vampires, as opposed to the gothic vampires of Innistrad.

For Vamps, RB is a good option. The sets Innistrad/Dark Ascension/Avacyn Returned/Shadows over Innistrad/Eldritch Moon have some good Vampires, and Zendikar/Worldwake have good tribal support too (though it's slightly off-theme). It's possible to build a control/token build with either Vamps or Zombies; just depends how you wanna do it.

For Angels, Zendikar and Innistrad blocks are also good options. RW or UW is your best color combo for control in that regard.

Best advice is to cobble together a decklist out of your collection before buying $40 "competitive" cards, then play it a lot until you get how MtG differs from other TCGs. Then iterate the deck and repeat (: good thing it's a game, otherwise that could get boring. But if you need any specific help, mention me and I'd be glad to be of service!

September 10, 2017 1:23 a.m.

SoPringles says... #7

Hey dude, I've been brewing alot myself lately we could probably jump into a steam / discord chat sometime if you ever want to playtest / brew / know whats good / learn general strategies and how to evaluate cards and what-not. I'm no grand master wizard, but I've been around.

September 10, 2017 4:57 a.m.

Here is all the advice you need. Have fun. In time more wins will come, and depending on if you stick with it or not you can become quite good over time. When I first learned to play all I did was lose. After years have passed now I end up spending most of fnm helping newer players tweak their decks and rarely leave without a few prize packs. Make sure you slowly learn the rules, until you know all the interactions it will be hard to win. Ask the players that win a lot for help too, most of the time they can explain at least why a card is worth adding or not. Always post you deck on here too, the community will help you a ton. As far as advice for upcoming standard, it is an interesting time. For the first time in quite awhile red deck wins is doing really well, with mid range and control also starting too see more play than they have in recent months. I imagine the best place to start would be with your removal. When you draft or build any deck your removal package is usually what makes it work or not. Fatal Push Impeccable Timing Essence Extraction Duress Lay Bare the Heart Cast Out Fumigate Hour of Glory are all options in the white black zombie shell you are tinkering with. Liliana's Mastery and Metallic Mimic are both solid for zombie tribal too. One last piece of advice, do not budget build amd expect to win. If you want to use the orzhov black white zombie shell you mentioned above then Fatal Push is most likely a must have card. You can build without it, but anything you put in its place will not work as well. The bright side is right now is a good time to buy singles of expensive cards as they won't rotate out for quite a long time. Good luck to you.

September 10, 2017 9:01 a.m.

sylvannos says... #10

The important thing when it comes to buying singles is to go for your mana base first. Every deck you use is going to need good lands. You can do a lot more with a wide variety of dual lands than if you ran out and bought a Emrakul, the Aeons Torn or Jace, the Mind Sculptor. It's tempting to go for the big, flashy cards first, especially in Standard where decks tend to rely a lot on planeswalkers. Having good lands means the rest of your cards can be garbage and you'll still win games.

The other thing to focus on is buying format staples, even for Standard when those staples change every time a new set is released. Playsets of Fatal Push and Aether Hub are going to go farther than a playset of Archangel Avacyn  Flip.

You'll also want to look at cards that see play across formats, even if you don't want to play those formats. Fatal Push is another great example because it sees play in Modern. EDH will have a lot of cross-format staples, especially lands. If you do this, you won't take huge hits on the value of your cards every time a deck rises or falls in the competitive scene.

Lastly, every year the same conversation gets brought up, and every year hundreds of players are disappointed: there's no such thing as making your deck "rotation proof." If you could build a deck that doesn't lose a bunch of value each Standard season, you'd likely be playing in the Pro Tour. Let me repeat: pro players have trouble coming up with decks that stay viable after rotation. Random opinions on the internet mean fuck-all.

I'm speaking with a lot of hyperbole, of course some decks remain viable after rotation. Figuring out what these decks are is incredibly difficult. What you can do is focus on buying cards that won't rotate, but aren't getting replaced in the new set. Fatal Push is another example. It's unlikely any of the new cards in the next block are going to replace it. However, black may not be viable or very strong. The format may not be focused on low-cost creatures. And so on.

The point is: be prepared to invest in a new deck come rotation. Don't be so attached to a deck that you aren't willing to change it. You don't want to get stuck playing something that loses and that you don't enjoy.

I haven't played Standard in a few years, but hopefully this helps.

September 11, 2017 5:11 p.m.

WizardLogic says... #11

If you like tokens and control, you might like a deck themed around Hidden Stockpile, Sram's Expertise and Anointed Procession. Mardu being the color combo you like would give you access to burn to keep the board clear with cards such as Abrade and Lightning Strike for some reach. Going Esper which adds blue instead of red gives you counters like Spell Pierce, Censor, and Negate.

My suggestion for standard is learn what cards are in it. With rotation happening very soon, it's a good time to see what cards are available. With that knowledge there should be a color or two that stands out to you, and you can build from there!

September 20, 2017 12:42 p.m.

Please login to comment