Sunday, December 18, 2011




I have collected and traded several trading cards over the years; from the box of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers sitting safely in an undisclosed location to the Yu-Gi-Oh cards I traded a CD for when I was 13, I have always had a fondness for trading cards. The artwork, the card stock, the trading, the strategy and the shenanigans involved in this genre of table top games are utterly attractive to a nerd, such as myself, but one game has always eluded me- until now.

My first encounter with the game goes back to the 7th grade. I was either of 11 or 12, and some of my friends were playing it in the library. I remember being interested in the cards art and just the general idea. The last TCG I had tried to play was Pokemon (a pretty lame game but, hey, its for kids), and I probably would've sunk money into the game but, at the time, I didn't have a lot of disposable money or friends to play Magic with.

I mostly ignored the game for the next 10 years. That was until two weeks ago, I decided to pick up some cards. I don't whether it was sitting around watching guy playing up in the UC Lounge at U of M trade blows in Magic or hearing that some of my friends used to play or just feeling like after 10 years I wanted to give it ago, but I couldn't help myself. 

So, this article serves two purposes: To share the nerd entertainment around with anyone who might find it sorta interest and to keep myself in check. To do the latter, I'll be keeping track of how much I've invested into building my decks (I plan to have at least 2).

So, here we go into discussing my first deck, which includes cards from the following purchases:

Deck Builder's Toolkit. Cost: $17

Intro Deck: Sacred Assault. Cost: $13

Total Expense: $30

So, from these two purchases I built...


The deck has gone through about four major reconfigurations and I feel like it is really starting to take shape. I'd love some comments and recommendations from veterans, but keep in mind I am pretty casual.

To check out the cards in My First Deck, hit "Read More" below.

 Contains 60 Cards.
(20 Cards: 11 White, 7 Green, 2 Artifacts)
My Guardian Angel.
Deck contains. 1.
Reasons? This little beauty's ability makes it extremely precious. Not only is it 5/5 and Flying, it can make another one of my permanents indestructible as long as she is under my control. How can this come into handy? Say I've got a loaded up monster or artifact I need to win- make it indestructible and just work on keeping Aegis Angel alive. Imagine having multiples of this beauty? Make your enemy tear with two angels just to destroy one permanent.

The Honey Badger of my Deck
Deck contains. 2.
Reasons? Aura Gnarlid is half of the formula to my deck. If I had another 2, I would put them in the deck in a heartbeat. This common card's abilities turn it into a powerhouse! Slapping an aura on another one of your creatures? He gets a +1/+1. Pacifying an enemy monster? He gets a +1/+1. Equip him with Spirit Mantle? Aura Gnarlid doesn't give a poo!

Aura Insurance.
Deck contains. 2.
Reasons? Odds are I am gonna lose a monster with some nifty enchantments, especially the Totem Armor ones, or my enemy is gonna ditch one of my Pacificisms. This card comes into play great near the middle or end of a game to ensure I have always got enchantments in my hand.

I like boars and I like more life.
Deck contains. 1.
Reasons? He really stands as a decent defender. Sacrifice this baby and you become a life pig.

The Footsoldiers.

Deck contains. 2.
Reasons? At a cost of 1 Plains for a 2/1 monster it is hard to beat the practicality and simplicity of Elite Vanguard.

Purple elves are cool right?
Deck contains. 1.
Reasons? Hexproof is a great ability for me to couple with enchantments and the more cheap monsters on the field with Aura Gnarlid, and enhance them, the better.

Deck contains. 1.
Reasons? A lot of what I do with this deck is eliminating dangerous monsters and Greater Basilisk's Deathtouch makes him a big target from enemies who don't want to lose big monsters to an otherwise mediocre card. I throw him out late and so far he has helped me eliminate some big baddies.

The Last Griffin.
Deck contains. 2.
Reasons? I got a lot of griffins between Sacred Assault and my Deckbuilder but I found Griffin Sentinel to be the best for my deck because: he is cheap Flying, Vigilance creature card that is great for attacking (thanks to his flying ability) and defense (thanks to the fact he is pretty much never tapped and can fly).

Deck contains. 1.
Reasons? This card can help me out if I gotta monster who I know is going to die or am about to lose a useful enchantment. A dandy card really, with decent stats, and flying- I would like to replace one of my griffins with another of these beauties.

Enchant. Draw. Repeat.
Deck contains. 1.
Reasons? This is a great card to play. Considering all the enchantments I have in my deck, she can set me up with more cards, and, since I tend to run low in my hand once I start playing enchantments,this enchantress is a great addition to the battlefield mid-game.

I love Princess Mononoke.

Deck contains. 1.
Reasons? As before said, Hexproof is pretty dandy. I wanna see how this card handles itself in more matches and how it can help support more combos I haven't even thought of.

Swings like a butterfly, stings like the Sword of Michael.
Deck contains. 1.
Reasons? Flying and Vigilance with 4/4 for 5 mana is nothing to sniff at. Combine it with the other two angels and you have a pretty decent trio for late game swings.

Three abilities for thrice the angel.
Deck contains. 1.
Reasons? The third angel of my trio, Shepherd of the Lost is a late game player that comes in swinging hard.

I don't get how enchanting it makes it fly- but then again who cares! It can fly!

Deck contains. 2.
Reasons? A great artifact creature that gels with my deck and gets +2/+2 and 3 Abilities for one enhancement? This card can be a little bit of a stumper when I am low on mana, but is destroyer and great companion to Aura Gnarlid later on in the game.


Deck contains. 1.
Reasons? I need some nifty cards that can help me get more mana on the field. He is a card that I would wanna ditch quick to get bigger monsters out for me.

Enchantments, Instants and a Sorcery
(20 Cards: 10 White Aura Enchantments & 1 White Non-Aura Enchantment, 4 Green Aura Enchantments, 4 Green Instants, 1 White Sorcery)

"Hakuna Matata!" -Lion King
Deck contains. 1.
Reasons? Totem Armor and +3/+3? Pinch me! Seriously, if you slap this on Aura Gnarlid he becomes +6/+6 and has Totem Armor- and since I want Aura Gnarlid on the field as long as possible this is a great combo.

More energy to the shields, Mr. Sulu!
Deck contains. 2.
Reasons? I can always use some extra life and that added toughness comes in big handy to my more defense oriented cards. Put 2 of these on an Aura Gnarlid and he becomes +6/+10.

Deck contains. 2.
Reasons? This old standard has worked more in my favor than it should...I've yet to play it. But my opponents have incorrectly feared me having the card in my hand on more than one occasion. This card makes your opponents think twice about attacking you as long as you have a card in your hand and a forest mana ready to go.

"Ancestors! Hear my pleas! Help me not to make a fool of me!" -Mulan
Deck contains. 1.
Reasons? One plan to attach one aura comes in big handy. I can turn my Elite Vanguard into a 3/3 monster in my second turn.

"No king! No king! Tra-la-la-la-la-la!" -Lion King
Deck contains. 1.
Reasons? Another great totem armor with two great advantages; its cheap and grants first strike.

Deck contains. 1.
Reasons? I want more of these. This card isn't an instant but, considering it can exile any enemy creature I don't want to deal with it, it makes up for it by annoying the piss out of my opponents.

Blow a raspberry at the enemy.
Deck contains. 1.
Reasons? Now, this card is a nasty piece of work. Attach is to an already beefed up Aura Gnarlid and it would allow me to soak up and destroy enemy creatures with one big creature. This is fantastic for dealing with saporlings and other 0/1 token creatures.

Dust to dust.
Deck contains. 2.
Reasons? This card is pretty damn useful. You see the enemy play something that is gonna piss you off and make things difficult? Play Naturalize and send it to the graveyard. Simple and sweet.

"I like wrestling! But I don't like fighting..." -Billy, Cage
Deck contains. 4.
Reasons? Not only does it disable nasty enemy creatures, it enhances Aura Gnarlid. I like to play it smartly, and play it often.

The metamorphosis begins!
Deck contains. 1.
Reasons? A cheap 1/1 aura that gets better the longer it stays on an inactive monster. This is great to place on a Hexproof monster. It's the winery of enchantments.

What? I don't remember that card?
Deck contains. 1.
Reasons? Journey to Nowhere's nastier brother really, this card allows you to permanently remove an artifact or enchantment.This is especially useful against creatures with graveyard related abilities.

The sky is NOT the limit!
Deck contains. 1.
Reasons? Another great, cheap Totem Armor that I love attaching to non-flyers. Put this on Aura Gnarlid to stretch his reach.

Deck contains. 2.
Reasons? Holy crap! This card wins me matches. Attach it to Aura Gnarlid, or any other monster with big power, and swing away. This is also a great combo for the angels, especially Aegis Angel.

( 20 Cards: 10 White, 8 Green, and 2 Other)

Deck contains. 8.

Deck contains. 10.

Deck contains. 2.



  1. This is a fairly balanced deck, with a lot of great potential. I always loved playing white. I need to get back into this game, I played all throughout middle school and high school but only sporadically thorough college.

  2. White is my favorite color in magic. I just got a red and white deck from a friend for Christmas. I'll probably detail the updates to this deck this weekend, if I feel so inclined.

    And you should get back into it. I got a deck for a friend at comic book cellar the other day and it was only 13 bucks. Its a good time to get into the game.