The Basics: Ah, thy Hermit, we hardly knew ye. Angry Hermit is now no longer viable in any format, due to restrictions/bannings. And it's easy to see why, seeing as this deck was capable of turn 2 or 3 wins. Angry Hermit is yet another reanimation-based deck, primarily using Reanimte and Exhume as the spells of choice. The deck worked by abusing ONE card (well, two-this one and a reanimator spell)-Hermit Druid . Using the Druid with a deck of few (or none) basic lands, it could cycle through the entire library, dumping a number of powerful creatures into the graveyard. Then, using Sutured Ghoul as a reanimation target (removing the big creatures), you get a giant Ghoul, hasted by a dumped Dragon's Breath /Anger .
Try to pull out the Druid ASAP. After that, theres not much left that there is to explain, just activate the Druid and proceed to smash things. The best thing to do, though, is to bide your time-not go for a turn three win. You want to make sure that once the Ghoul comes out, you've won. Thus, abuse your disruption (Cabal Therapy and Duress ) to ensure the win. Don't be afraid to hold off playing even the Druid before you disrupt their hand, or at least see what's waiting for you behind the next turn. But really, most times the deck can power out a turn 2 win, and theres not too much the opponent can do to get rid of a turn 2 26/26 hasted trampling ghoul. Outside of Diabolic Edict and Swords to Plowshares in Vintage.
Aggro Yeah, uh, no. You win, it's as easy as that. Considering few aggro decks actually pack creature hate, you should not hesitate to go for the combo. Hand disruption is more or less useless here, but you can still use it vs. Sligh-type decks. This is an easy matchup.
Combo Combo without any ways of countering threats will be very dissappointed here, since you can essentially go off without any concerns of counter magic/hand disruption/grave hate. This is really another 'you win' matchup, because unless your playing against Vintage combo decks (like Long), they won't be able to race you 90% of the time.
Control Use your hand disruption very sparingly. That will win you this matchup, thats all I have to say. SB some Defense Grids/other anti-control mechanism and you'll be fine. A bit slowed down, but you'll make it.
Call it Goblin Sligh, Red Stompy, or Gobbos – it’s all the same. This is one of the most straightforward decks in all of Magic: The Gathering. The deck does not require all that much thought to play, but is still a force. Goblin Sligh is one of the less expensive decks to play in Type I and Type 1.5. Goblin Sligh has been played in all of the formats and is still around. For the most part, it is a mono-red deck, but there are variations which splash a color. Most of the time, white will be the secondary color for Disenchant s/Swords to Plowshares .
Goblin Sligh is a “Run n’ Gun”-type of a deck. These decks run either very little disruption or none at all. It’s main goal is to blow up whatever creatures are in its way and move in for big hits of damage.
In Type I, Goblin Sligh is definitely an underdog, but does have the potential to pull of good results.
Some alternate cards to consider: Reckless Charge : +3 damage and can boost a fellow goblin to attack a turn earlier alongside a piledriver for even more damage.
Siege-Gang Commander : Some goblin players like to try to go for the Turn 1: Goblin Lackey, Turn 2: Swing and put SGC in play, cast a Goblin Piledriver. If this guy doesn’t get lackeyed in, he is more or less unplayable in the deck.
The list looks very similar to a 1.5 deck list. Gobiln Cadets are not normally run in 1.5 since 1.5 metas are usually pretty creature-heavy. The Mox Ruby obviously has to be replaced with a Mountain or another fetchland.
Overview: Games can be won as early as third turn with a Goblin Sligh deck, but if the games end up going too long, the deck does not have ways to gain cards and can easily run out of steam. Due to this drawback, many Gobbo players have turned to playing “Vial Goblins” and “Gobbovantage” decks.
Life was originally a combo deck abusing the errata on the en-Kor creatures, but the list I have (for post-rotation Extended) instead uses Shuko . The idea is the same-target a Daru Spiritualist multiple times, then sacrifice it to Animal Boneyard/Starlit Sanctum to gain obscene amounts of life. The win WAS Serra Avatar, now it is just Test of Endurance. Either way, Life is a reliable combo deck that can be built on a relative budget.
Basic Concept: Life's object is to keep the combo pieces (a creature, an artifact, and a land/enchantment-easy to remove) on the board long enough to combo out. So, try to play out the combo all in one turn-so that the opponent has little time to react to what you're doing. With the inclusion of Living Wish, this makes your job just a little bit easier, since you won't have to actually DRAW all the combo pieces to win. Another key thing to know is your sideboard, since thats where you'll get your Wished for stuff. Make sure to include Starlit Sanctum and Daru Spiritualist so you can actually wish for them. Remember, Leonin Shikari allows your combo to go off at instant speed, so keep that in mind when you play.
General Matchups Aggro This shouldn't be too bad a matchup. Your combo will be fast enough, since you're running so many tutors (a total of 8, thats not bad for G/W). Expect to lose once if you're playing a very fast deck (like Goblins, particularly). Remember that your win conditions include artifacts-which nearly all decks pack hate for. Combo Hah, yeah. You win this one, since combo lacks the tools to finish you off. Fatal blows to a combo deck include all assortments of hate vs. you, so watch out for it and make sure you abuse your Sterling Grove. Control Sterling Grove makes sure your win is safe, but the problem is the rest of the combo. Control will have answers to anything you play, so play the game smart. Wait for a proactive move (aggressive move, like playing a creature), then go in to play a combo piece. Keep playing smart and you'll eventually win.
A real problem while playing Life is the lack of combo protection/disruption. Keep this in mind if you decide to build it.
The Basics: Affinity is an aggro deck with a little (or more, if you want) of control and combo. The things to do with this deck are different, especially if you’re playing this deck in a format or in another. However the most simply thing is to play many artifacts (especially thanks to the “affinity” ability), than beat with your creatures, pumping them with the devasting presence of Cranial plating (& also Umezawa’s jitte , if you want). The easiest combo in this deck is when you can pump the mythical Arcbound ravager sacrificing some artifacts for a good reason (expecially Arcbound worker to have him gaining two +1/+1 counters on himself), also lands, when they’re artifacts, because you don’t need to much of them cause you’ve a low casting cost between your cards and also remember the deck-name: you’ve affinity for artifacts!!! If you are playing in T1.5 (Legacy) or T1 (Vintage) you can use the great Disciple of the vault for a big mini-combo: you’ll be happy to sacrifice MANY artifacts with your Arcbound ravager !!! Another way to beat comes from red: Shrapnel blast . A good drawer is Skullclamp . It was banned few time after its coming into magic cause everybody used it (it’s extremely good in aggro,aggro/control & aggro/combo deck). Now you can use it in T1 (and, of course, in the T1 version of the Affinity). There’s another card you can use only in T1 and T1.5 :Aether vial . It’s good to put into play creatures because they can’t be countered in that way, and is good also to economize on mana to play other things. Annul , Pithing needle , Echoing truth , Mortify , Welding jar & many other spells come for the defence (also green, if you want: Krosan grip ). Here’s all the land you can use (but there’s also more): Seat of the synod , Vault of whispers , Great furnace , Ancient Den , Tree of tales , Glimmervoid (the perfect multicolor-land for this kind of deck), Darksteel citadel , Blinkmoth nexus &, if you play T1, Mishra's Workshop & Mishra's Factory also if you play T1.5.
Before showing you some affinity decks for various formats, I want to show you an affinity deck that was played during the T2 (standard) in which was present the Mirrodin block, after that Skullclamp and Aether vial were banned. It’s an example of how the affinity was played at the beginning, when it was born.
Note: if you begin the match, playing in the first turn 1land, 1Chrome mox , 1Erayo, 1/2Welding jar and/or 1/2Ornithopter , you can flip Erayo at the first turn having still another card in your hand and a good advantage on your opponent (not bad at all). Meddling mage is one of the lots of cards which can be added to the affinity. It works very well in this deck to make more control, till the first turn. Erayo + Meddling mage stop the opponent very well, and also Meddling mage alone works well (like Erayo). Darkblast is the perfect defence against Kataki, War's Wage and other little dangerous creatures. Discards card are good against combo and control, disenchant (with also Meddling mage and Echoing truth ) is good against scepther-chant or in mirror match, or in many other cases. Arcane Laboratory (&/or Rule of Law ) is the perfect combo with Erayo, soratami ascendant , but is too much blockable and can be easily destroyed as it comes into play. Moreover is quite useful if you play it before Erayo…but sometimes could work well also alone with, for example, Meddling mage and if you have the advantage. If you want to make the “control-combo Erayo-Lab” with serenity, my council is to play Erayo, than Meddling mage and discard cards will help you for the defence, and, in the end, put the Laboratory to conclude the control-combo.
Also: you can play the deck as you want, with counters (remember Spell snare , is really fast and useful and Stifle or Trickbind ), discard cards, other creatures like Myr enforcer , red spells and also green spell (especially for the defence, like Krosan grip ), and many other, as you want. 4 Chrome mox perhaps are too much, you can use 3 or 2 of them and add lands &/or other things.
Here’s a T1 version of the Affinity. You can choose other cards if you want, also from cards nominated above for the other decks. Have fun but remember always at least to make a little of control with some cards, than combo and aggro is already inside the deck. You can win quickly thanks to Disciple of the vault , Shrapnel blast & also a massive attack (especially with Arcbound Ravager ) with creatures. You can also use something to give them Haste, if you want (like Concordant crossroads , Mass Hysteria & Lightning Greaves ). Have fun.
Tribal Zombies never works, so why not use the good ones with fast-paced aggro feel? So thats what happened. This was a great Extended deck pre-rotation, playing black's fast beats in conjunction with the overall outstanding removal spells to win the day. Primarily, it uses Zombies, and since this is probably the most competitive deck entitled 'Zombies', we'll use it .
Basic Concepts: This is a powerful force when played correctly. First off, this is an aggro deck, which basically means that you should play creatures quickly, ASAP, and as a first priority. The exception to this is the control and combo matchup, where you should try to disrupt first, then beat things. Also be sure to play Duress before Therapy, because then you can know WHAT to Therapy for. If you can't tell, Bloodstained Mires are to fetch a Swamp, thinning the deck. Don't forget that SoFaI gives protection from red-it's not a bad idea to equip it to Negator, so you can't be burned to death/forced to sacrifice many and/or all of your wonderful permanents.
General Matchups: Vs. Aggro Considering this deck has a total of 8 1cc 2/2s (Sarcomancy/Carnophage), this should be able to beat down most aggro decks without too much difficulty. Negator's drawback is very powerful, but be sure to know when to cast it and when to attack, when to hold back and when to just let damage through. Vs. Combo Duress+Therapy often, plus Wretch vs. Reanimator means Combo is your best matchup and easiest matchup. Though the board disruption is a bit of a dead card(s), you'll make up for it when your Phyrexian Negator comes out and kills them. Vs. Control This isn't a horrible matchup, it's not too great. Counters and board control do relatively little to you, since this deck's many threats are pretty prone to winning for you. Rotlung Reanimator in particular is quite good in this matchup, if a bit slower than the rest of your deck.
X-Land Belcher, to be referred as XLB in this entry, is an explosive Type 2 (and Eternal sort of) deck abusing the power of Goblin Charbelcher . It T8'ed in the 2005 Japan Regionals. XLB is a suprising deck as in can literally win out of nowhere. It's most popular build in Type 2 runs only a mere 7 lands and Eternal runs only 2 lands. With 7 lands being an obvious draw back, it makes up for it with a huge amount of mana producers such as moxen and talismen. The Eternal version has the entire power 9 at it's disposal, so mana shouldn't be a problem usually. Type 2's version is impressive because when you think you're going to win, they top deck a Belcher and smack you up for a HUGE amount of damage.
The Decklists:"7 Land Belchery, by black_rabit"Show
Fish This one will be done a bit differently, due to the abundance of U/* Fish builds. By hiirasteve
The Basics: The concept of Fish is to beat down on the opposing player, while still maintaining general control over the board. It's an aggro-control deck at heart, regardless of the splash. All Fish decks use blue-meaning all Fish decks sport the basics of control, Force of Will, Ancestral Recall, and Time Walk. The other color splashed is usually an aggro color, such as the ones listed here-White, Green, and Red all have good aggro choices, as well as some decent control varients. Fish is best played in a combo environment, since the sideboard is very flexible and blue allows for nice solutions to common combo problems-i.e, Stifle . Fish has been around for a long time, and it has continued to be a powerful contender in small T1 tourneys everywhere.
General Matchups Vs. Aggro This is pretty tough sometimes, but since you're running spell-dependent cards (like Standstill ), aggro isn't very difficult. Remember that you have access to some of the most powerful anti-aggro tools in Magic while playing blue, and you aren't limited to anything you see here. Vs. Combo Fish eats combo alive. Fish plays Null Rod a lot, shutting down many combo decks in Vintage (due to their dependency on the P9, six of which are artifacts). Not to mention, combo like Stax will fall to a U/G build, because in addition to Null Rod, gets Oxidize and other artifact hate. U/R gets Pyrostatic Pillar . Vs. Control Control isn't a difficult matchup, since you can either counter their annoying spells or just beat them to the punch (hopefully). Null Rod is your friend here, as well as the multitude of Counterspells.
Secret Forces is a Mono-Green Control deck originally designed and built by Jamie Wakefield for the Urza block Extended. The deck has made large splashes at top level events, it has never emerged as a dominant archetype and is only really played when the time is right, when everyone believes it to have faded away, thus its name. The deck is designed to abuse the power of Natural Order with the fastest of Green’s mana acceleration. Secret Forces game plan is to drop a few Elves and/or Wall of Roots in the early game. This leads into a third-fourth turn Natural Order for a large beater that will end the game quickly. This beater was originally a Verdant Force but with the addition of five new blocks since its original conception the deck has many more powerful options.
Failing this Secret Forces does have a game plan. It is a Control deck you must remember. With a combination of land destruction in the form of Wasteland , Dust Bowl , and Creeping Mold type spells along with a deck full of utility creatures such as Elvish Lyrist , Uktabi Orangutan , and the best of the spikes, Spike Weaver and Spike Feeder , it can maintain control of the board until it is able to either hard cast a Beater or Natural Order into one. Many games are won simply by beating down with your Orangutans and Spikes.
Here is a sample deck list; this is a good template to work off of, the best part about this deck is that it is very versatile in the ways it can be constructed.
Sideboard Options: The Sideboard for Secret Forces is rather similar to that of other Legacy decks, the standard Null Rods and Chalices. Everything you would normally use in the side but its toolbox like nature gives it some other options such as Woodripper and the like.
*Note; Natural Order can only fetch Green creatures, don’t make a fool of yourself and try and find a Masticore with it, they are their solely to clear the board and to aid the Orangutan Beats.
ScepterTog is a *slight* (as in extremely slight) variation of the original Tog deck, which abused the infamous card, Psychatog (aka: Dr. Teeth.). ScepterTog features an even more control feel to it, abusing Isochron Scepter with quality instants much like a ScepterControl deck would-it even has a Cunning Wish-able Orim's Chant sideboarded.
Basic Concept ScepterTog is a control deck. Play it where it is alright to play control (in a combo-centered meta). ScepterTog is really great at doing two things: 1) Establishing board control, and 2) Keeping board control. Make sure you keep these two very important operatives in mind when you play ScepterTog, or you will end up making lots of mistakes. In fact, first time around with this deck, you WILL make many play mistakes-don't worry, you'll learn soon. Typically, the Scepter is your key here. It is what will draw out all sorts of hate and keep your opponent either on his toes or tapped down for hate. Usually, you'll want to stick something out there that you can work with-such as, a Counterspell/Mana Leak. SB should be Orim's Chant (as well as a handful of utility instants-Fire//Ice being amoung them), to set up a lock if needed. Make sure to play Tog towards the end of the game, not beginning, because then removal can kill your win. Morphling is the ALTERNATE (or primary, sometimes) win-cast him quickly if your Tog is killed off.
General Matchups Vs. Aggro Aggro is tough, until you Cunning Wish for a SB Fire//Ice. Then, you just keep removing their threats from the board until dropping your's-also, Morphling is an excellent chumper. Make sure your SB has Propaganda to deal with the aggro menace. Vs. Combo Combo is a god matchup. You win here, just learn their main card and deal with it. SB Stifle s, Cranial Extraction s will help here immensely, though the game is already a cinch as it is. Vs. Control Control matchups are considerably tougher. Considering ScepterTog is a more anti combo machine, control can pose interesting predicaments for ScepterTog. I usually try to play a Morphling ASAP, and then commense the beating. Other than that, a sideboarded threat is usually good to bring in here-i.e, Meloku .
Suicide Black was a fairly popular deck back in the day. It was originally developed to shut down a very combo-laden metagame, and still can hold up today in many metagames. In a powered meta, however, it is suggested you play something superior.
Basic Concepts Suicide Black is the ultimate aggro deck. This was the deck that started it all, in a sense-the essence of aggro. However, to manage to even barely compete, it has to take a more 'controllish' feel-though this version is pretty aggro-based still. Sui has to maintain a constant land drop to be able to beat out the combo, and the help listed includes Black Lotus, Mox Jet, and Dark Ritual to keep a good draw going. Disruption is a FIRST priority (of course, first turn Negator IS disruption, ), as with many mono-black decks. Disruption allows for the deck to play threats relatively uninhibited, since otherwise RDW will have a field day burning away your permanents (Bolting your Negator. Ouch.). Anyway, some key cards here are the tutors, but what to tutor for? Tutor targets are basically Necro, Yawgmoth's Will, and anything that will net you board postition advantage-i.e, Powder Keg vs. RDW.
General Matchups Vs Aggro As long as it's not RDW, this isn't too difficult. Your acceleration and discard is fairly useless, but the Shade makes an excellent chump/weenie killer. All the life loss in this deck makes aggro a tough matchup, but Powder Keg makes it a bit more do-able. Vs. Combo Combo dies to many things-discard amoung them, and this deck has plenty of it. Combo shouldn't be a problem-between Strip Mine, Sinkhole, Hymn, Duress, and Therapy, Combo will have it's hand's full as it is. Vs. Reanimator/Dragon use Withered Wretch . Vs. Control Most of the time, you'll lose this because of lack of the right moves. They'll counter your threats-unless you get rid of their land first. Try to win this using your tutors/draw to dig for Black Lotus, then off Black Lotus get a threat. It's a good strategy which can save you the game.