Deckbuilding in this game (and on these forums) is mildly overrated anyways. You still have to, you know, actually play the game intelligently. I've seen some pretty horrendous gameplay videos (yes, even when I'm not watching and snickering at those WMG guys).
I think what's lost on some folks is constructing a deck and then knowing what your deck actually does/is supposed to do. Just because a card is good doesn't mean you have to automatically include it all willy nilly-like. Just keeping that little basic thought in mind can also help you make better mulliganning decisions (I think).
Do as you will with this information. It's not meant to be gospel. I just enjoy writing about and discussing the game. I'll try and do a new one or two every day until I'm done. I do welcome all forms of disagreement and raging though. Isn't that what internet boards are for? It's fun!
|erdana; font-size:9px; padding:0px">Get the deck planner used to make this table.>>>|
Overview: So what are we trying to accomplish with this deck? We have a ton of removal, a lot of very good creatures, we gain a lot of life, and even our "not so great" creatures work well with a lot of the other cards in the deck, considering most of our dudes are mulatto-costed. From what I can see, there really is no reason to include anything above 5 CMC (converted mana cost for you new folks), nor is there any reason to get cute with Doomed Travelers and Falkenrath Nobles (you have, what, two sacrifice outlets available to you? don't even get me started on their mana costs). So let's try and build a deck that removes threats and beats down, shall we?
3x Terramorphic Expanse: Adding the 4th puts us at 25 lands, which isn't really necessary. None of our cards cost double white, so keep that in mind when deciding what to fetch/what hands to keep. Also, later in the game, you can always resist the urge to crack these (and by later in the game, I mean once you're at 5 mana, where we top out) to set up a fireball to the dome with Ob Nixilis, the Fallen.
2x Edge of the Divinity: Two for one alert! I know, right. But, the hybrid cost plays well with our Voracious Hatchlings and one Deathbringer Liege, and you can punish a slow-starting opponent with a very early 4/4 or 5/5 (the majority of our dudes are going to get the full +3/+3 bonus). Can't throw it on a Stillmoon Cavalier, but whatever. Too much risk or worth the reward. I give the edge to reward.
1x Reanimate: Not the greatest card in the build due to all the exile effects running around, but every now and again you get something of value in the enemy's grave...and barring that, I'm sure some of our dudes will die eventually...even if there is a distinct lack of ETB (newbie translation: enters the battlefield) effects on our end. Still too versatile to deny though. At most, we'll only be paying 5 life to get one of our dudes back, which really isn't that much, since we do gain a lot of life.
2x Castigate: I'd be fine with just the information...getting to permanently get rid of something is just a bonus. I would resist the urge to take a land though, even if you think you'll cause some mana problems for your opponent. They always seem to topdeck like champions. (and by resist the urge, I mean, you can't take lands.......even us old people need to be castigated sometimes for failing to read card text all the way through)
2x Mourning Thrull: Hybrid mana cost for triggering other cards. Check. Also, some decks can just never beat a 4/4 (or 7/7 if you're super greedy/lucky) lifelinking flier on turn 3.
2x Orzhov Guildmage: Hybrid mana cost, yeah yeah. Arguably the worst guildmage, but it does gives us a liiiitle bit of reach. Not the worst later in the game either if you have a lot of spare mana.
3x Zealous Persecution: I don't see why you wouldn't run the full 3. I love cards that do so many different things. Sometimes this is a cute combat trick. Sometimes it's spot removal. Every now and again, a straight-up wrath. Do I need to say anything else, or is it too early to start getting overzealous with the puns?
4x Pillory of the Sleepless: It classifies as removal (though it doesn't shut down a creature's abilities). The damage DOES add up over time though...which is great for, you know, actually winning the game.
2x Restless Apparition: This thing can and will end the game by itself, and if your opponent gets restless and starts flinging removal at it, all the better. There are no sweepers in this game that actually exile (from what I can recall anyways) so feel free to run both out there if you can. You'll rarely (Maelstrom Pulse) be punished for it.
1x Stillmoon Cavalier: Honestly, he's mildly underwhelming...but in Duels, anything having "protection from:" cannot stay on the sidelines.
4x Unmake: Nuke'am. (spellcheck optional)
2x Vampire Nighthawk: I'd say 99% of the time, I'd only be disappointed in drawing a Nighthawk if I didn't have the mana to cast it.
2x Voracious Hatchling: The exact opposite of a Toys'R'Us kid. Develop your board as normal and watch him grow. If he gets immediately removed...meh. I think we can deal with the tempo loss of losing a 4-drop well enough, with all the lifegain.
3x Bloodgift Demon: Now not getting to untap with your 5-drop, that's a gift that's a little harder to receive. But if you ever get to untap? Cheers! Every now and again you get to Dollar Store [card]Sign in Blood[/card[ your opponent for the win too.
2x Divinity of Pride: Getting this thing to an 8/8 isn't terribly difficult for this deck to do...and as a 4/4 he's still pretty divine.
1x Ob Nixilis, the Fallen: This dude didn't even need the growth clause. Converting land drops into Lightning Bolts to the dome is good enough for me. Again, a reason not to crack fetches (and sandbag lands) once you've reached a comfortable land count. I would never cast him without a land to play with him though. I always expect him to get immediately removed.
THE WHY NOTS:
1x Terramorphic Expanse: Once again, we don't need 25 lands, and we only really need to hit double black and a single white to be set mana-restriction-wise anyways.
4x Doomed Traveler: I'm doomed not to get why this card is needed in this deck. There aren't too many ways to abuse his "ability". We don't really need him for defense. What does he do if you don't draw your Noble or Ghost Council? Who cares if there's an Onyx Mage on the field. I just won't ever block and attempt to fly over.
1x Midnight Haunting: It's a white card, I guess.
2x Tainted Sigil: I like gaining life as much as the next guy (in this deck's case, as a result of damaging your opponent), but what is the purpose of doubling down on the life gain?
3x Bloodhunter Bat: If this card beats you, you were more than likely going to lose that game anyways.
1x Ghost Council of Orzhova: We're traveling down this road again I see. How about we just see how it plays with the dudes actually in our deck. Do I really want to eat one of my dudes (or half an apparition) to save a 4/4 and drain 1 gain 1? Not really.
1x Gravedigger: When I bring one of my dudes back, I want him to go directly to the battlefield and not to my hand. You can keep the 2/2 body. I'll pay the life. I have plenty.
1x Guardian Seraph: Why is this guy even necessary? I think our defensive capabilities are just fine without throwing a clunky 3/4 into the mix.
1x Keening Banshee: If I bought a Skinrender off some shady Chinatown merchant, Banshee's text is what I'd expect to see on it. If you ever get to "abuse" this with Angel of Flight Alabaster, you're either already very ahead, or very much behind. I can't see that little combo actually changing the course of most games.
1x Shepherd of the Lost: I never really cared for Lost, and I certainly did not care for Jack Shephard.
1x Soul Feast: 8 point life swings? Why, we've already got a crew ready for that. Thanks though.
1x Necromancer's Covenant: In a verrrry long game, this could be a trump for nuking your own graveyard for a mini Howl of the Night Pack, but on average, how many 2/2s do you really expect to get with this? There are only two, TWO, zombies available in the card pool to take advantage of the other "ability". Not worth it.
1x Angel of Despair: Angel is sweet, and I'm sure everyone here has some story about assembling the 777 Jackpot Voltron of Angel, Vish Kal, and Knell and wrecking some 91 card deck, but really, does the currently constructed deck even NEED this?
2x Debtors Knell: Pretty good at taking over a game on it's own, but again, is it ESSENTIAL? I run this in Exalted Darkness because there aren't better cheaper options, but here, we have a LOT of better, and cheaper, options to close out games.
1x Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter: Heyyy, there's our other sacrifice outlet, way up there at SEVEN MANA. He's fine, but he's really at his best with a pumped Apparition. He's hardly ever going to save another creature from removal, because all the removal is going to be pointed at him.
1x Sanguine Praetor: I'm not going to praettle on about 8 drops you can't aggressively ramp into or cheat into play.
1x Blazing Archon: Creatures can't attack you. Yeah, because there's a lot of those still hanging around on turn 20 when this hits play.