hite magic is all about taking control of combat, and that's exactly what the "Army of Justice" deck lets you do. You can lock your opponent's biggest creatures out of the battle entirely, and then pick off the leftover smaller creatures that dare to fight you. Your cheap creatures let you strike early, before your opponent's defenses are up, and then your Angels can finish the game with a powerful air attack.
To start the battle off on the right foot, play efficient creatures such as Suntail Hawk and Veteran Cavalier to start dealing damage to your opponent right away. If you get Glorious Anthem into play, it will make your entire army bigger at once. Soon your opponent will get some creatures into play as well, and that's when things start to get interesting.
The "Army of Justice" deck is loaded with combat tricks. These spells and abilities make sure you get the upper hand in any battle. For example, Infantry Veteran gives one of your attackers the boost it needs to win a fight. Attack with some creatures, then wait until your opponent blocks them. Now you know which of your creatures most needs a +1/+1 bonus. If you're blocking, the spell Righteousness works the same way—except it boosts one of your blockers, and the boost is +7/+7 instead of +1/+1!
Crossbow Infantry and Ballista Squad have a different kind of combat trick. Instead of making your creatures bigger, they deal damage to your opponent's attacking or blocking creatures. This can let one of your small creatures take down one of your opponent's big ones. Even better, your opponent may be afraid to enter combat at all! The Infantry and the Ballista can wipe out enemy attackers and blockers before they deal damage to you and your creatures.
Chastise, Pacifism, and Master Decoy provide even more powerful ways to control combat by taking enemy creatures out of the fight. Don't waste Chastise or Pacifism on little creatures that you can handle anyway. Save these cards for the creatures that really count! Master Decoy prevents a different creature from attacking or blocking each turn. If you want to use Master Decoy's ability to stop a creature from attacking, your opponent needs to give you a chance to do that.
Working together, your smaller creatures can grab control of the battle from larger enemies. And once they have it, they don't let go!
* = from a previous set
lue magic specializes in disruptive spells and flying creatures, and that's exactly what you'll find in the "Lofty Heights" deck. Blue's bag of tricks lets you take control of the game and forces your opponent to play on your terms.
Early in the game, your opponent will probably play some small creatures. You don't need to worry too much about them since it will be hard for attacking creatures to get through your Horned Turtles. Puppeteer can tap a creature each turn to prevent it from attacking at all. Even better, Rod of Ruin can zap enemy creatures off the board.
One of blue's strengths is its fleet of flying creatures. Creatures with flying are dangerous attackers because they can't be blocked by creatures without flying. The flying creatures in the "Lofty Heights" deck range from the quick Storm Crow to the huge Mahamoti Djinn. Stall your opponent's ground attack while your air attack swoops in.
Blue isn't content to win a damage race—it likes to mess with your opponent too. Its best weapon is "countermagic," a kind of spell that makes your opponent's spells fail. For example, if your opponent tries to play a nasty creature, Remove Soul can prevent it from ever hitting the table. When you counter a spell, it goes right to the graveyard without doing anything!
Boomerang is another neat trick. If one of your creatures is about to be destroyed, you can Boomerang it safely back to your hand so you can play it again later. You can also use Boomerang to remove one of your opponent's creatures from play for a while. The best trick of all is Confiscate. When you play it, attach it to your opponent's best card and bring it over to your side of the table. That card is now yours for the rest of the game!
Blue magic focuses on thought, so it's naturally the best color at drawing extra cards. Drawing more cards means you have more options—and you'll probably find your best cards faster than your opponent will. Thieving Magpie and Archivist dig deep into your deck so you can get to your huge fliers and powerful spells. If your Puppeteer isn't busy, you can use it to untap Archivist to draw even more cards. You'll find that while Mahamoti Djinn will often deal the final blow, it was the card drawing that put you in position to win the game.
* = from a previous set
n the "Dead Again" deck, life begins at death. The deck uses your life total and your graveyard as extra resources. It even uses your opponent's life total as a resource!
Black's power comes from rot and decay. Usually it's your opponent's job to take chunks out of your life total. When playing with black cards, you'll often lower it yourself in exchange for powerful effects. Some creatures, such as Serpent Warrior and Foul Imp, cost both mana and life to play. This extra cost of life means they cost less mana than normal, so you can get them into play fast. Once there, they can start hurting your opponent instead of you.
Don't worry too much about your life total because the "Dead Again" deck has a health-care plan. Tanglebloom and Demon's Horn can restore you to better than new. The nastier way to get healthy is with Highway Robber, which gives you extra life by taking it directly from your opponent! Consume Spirit does the same thing, but you can drain either your opponent or a creature. You also choose how big the spell is—that's what the X in the cost means.
Having power over death means you can inflict it at will, and one of black's strengths is the ability to destroy creatures of any size. Dark Banishing and Nekrataal can clear out your opponent's biggest threats. Deathgazer makes it difficult for your opponent to mount an attack, since it can take down the biggest creature coming at you.
For black, it makes sense that the graveyard isn't a dead end. Raise Dead and Gravedigger let you put the best creatures from your graveyard back into your hand so you can play them again. If Nekrataal and Highway Robber were good the first time, imagine how happy your opponent will be to see them again. To really make your opponent groan, play a Gravedigger to dig up another Gravedigger!
All this helps you make the game last as long as possible. You're bumping off your opponent's creatures, returning your own from your graveyard, gaining life, and blocking forever with the regenerating Drudge Skeletons. Why? Well, the longer the game goes, the more damage Underworld Dreams will inflict. And late in the game, Nightmare will be an unstoppable force. Its size is based on how many Swamps you have, so ten Swamps mean it's a 10/10 flying monstrosity. That should be more than your opponent can handle.
* = from a previous set
he "World Aflame" deck lets you take command by destroying your opponent's lands, damaging your opponent's creatures, and controlling the ground with creatures of your own. You'll be able to wreck enough stuff on the other side of the table that your opponent shouldn't be able to put up much of a fight!
Red magic is all about destruction. Stone Rain and Demolish blow up your opponent's lands. That can be devastating. Your opponent needs lots of lands to play big creatures and spells. When the scariest creature you're facing is a puny Elf, you're in good shape.
But why let the Elves live? The best thing you can do to a pesky creature is to burn it to a crisp with Volcanic Hammer or Blaze. Unless one of these damage spells would win the game for you, use it on your opponent's creatures instead of your opponent. That way, your creatures can attack without getting blocked. The X in Blaze's cost means you choose whatever number you want for it. If you want it to deal 1 damage, you pay . If you want it to deal 8 damage, you pay . It's totally up to you!
If you find you're facing too many enemy creatures, Wildfire can wipe them all out at once. It's your best weapon against creature-based decks. As long as it takes down more of your opponent's creatures than yours, it can give you a huge advantage.
Even though you're very busy destroying things, don't forget to attack with your creatures. Balduvian Barbarians and Hill Giant are good aggressive creatures that can lower your opponent's life total in a hurry. Of course, if you need to block with them, they're good at that too. They each have 3 power, which is enough to take down most enemy attackers.
Anarchist and Magnivore are great creatures later in the game. Early on, you'll play lots of sorceries to blow up your opponent's creatures and lands. Anarchist gets your best sorcery back from your graveyard so you can play it again. Magnivore, on the other hand, gets bigger the more sorceries that have been played. It counts your opponent's sorceries too, and each new sorcery you play keeps making it grow! Even better, the haste ability means that unlike other creatures, it can attack the same turn you play it. It's huge, it's a surprise, and it will often win you the game.
* = from a previous set
he "Custom Creatures" deck lets you build giant monsters by combining creature cards with awesome enchantments. Your Elves and Wurms will gain all kinds of special abilities as you turn them into unstoppable attackers!
Early in the game, you'll play small creatures like Norwood Rangers—but they won't stay small. You'll be able to play larger and larger creatures each turn of the game. Since green creatures are usually bigger than other creatures, any creature you play will probably have more power and toughness than the one your opponent plays on the same turn.
Green is all about growth, and your Aura cards let you grow faster than your opponent. Auras are enchantments that you attach to other cards in play. Put Overgrowth on a Forest and you can tap that Forest to get three green mana instead of just one. That lets you play your more expensive cards, like Craw Wurm, earlier than normal.
Treetop Bracers and Blanchwood Armor are Auras that make your creatures bigger. Treetop Bracers provides a moderate strength bonus—its +1/+1 will turn a 2/3 creature into a 3/4 creature—but the important thing is that the creature you enchant becomes very difficult for your opponent to block. Blanchwood Armor is this deck's secret weapon: It turns any creature at all into a gigantic powerhouse. If you play more Forests after the Armor is in play, the Armor counts those Forests as well, so your creature just keeps growing and growing!
The "Custom Creatures" deck contains a pair of Enchantresses that also enable growth. Yavimaya Enchantress gets bigger for each enchantment in play, even if those enchantments belong to your opponent. Verduran Enchantress, on the other hand, doesn't care about size. Its 0/2 stats are tiny, but its power lies elsewhere. It lets you draw an extra card each time you play an enchantment, and drawing more cards means you'll have more creatures and more enchantments to play!
As you play giant creatures and fatten them up with enchantments, keep attacking your opponent. That's how you'll win. If you've got a creature that's bigger than your opponent's blockers, or if you have a creature enchanted with Treetop Bracers that your opponent can't stop, be sure to send it in! Sometimes you'll want to make a bunch of pretty big creatures, and sometimes it's better to make one absolutely humongous creature. That's the best part of the Magic game: How you play is completely up to you.
* = from a previous set