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    Deck Customization Guide by Offkorn

    Version: 1.08 | Updated: 06/26/11 | Printable Version | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    MTG: Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 Deck Guide
    Guide Version: 1.08b
    By: Jake Zahn
    Email: Offkorn_69@yahoo.com
    				Table of Contents
      Apex Predators
        /AP1\ List
        /AP2\ Overview
        /AP3\ Analysis
      Wielding Steel
        /WS1\ List
        /WS2\ Overview
        /WS3\ Analysis
      Realm of Illusion
        /RI1\ List
        /RI2\ Overview
        /RI3\ Analysis
      Strength of Stone
        /SS1\ List
        /SS2\ Overview
        /SS3\ Analysis
      Guardians of the Wood
        /GW1\ List
        /GW2\ Overview
        /GW3\ Analysis
      Ancient Depths
        /AD1\ List
        /AD2\ Overview
        /AD3\ Analysis
      Dragon's Roar
        /DR1\ List
        /DR2\ Overview
        /DR3\ Analysis
      Blood Hunger
        /BH1\ List
        /BH2\ Overview
        /BH3\ Analysis
        /M1\ List
        /M2\ Overview
        /M3\ Analysis
      Unquenchable Fire
        /UF1\ List
        /UF2\ Overview
        /UF3\ Analysis
    This guide's basic purpose is list the various available decks' starting cards,
    the cards that can be unlocked for each, a general overview of the deck, and
    suggestions as to which default cards should be swapped out for unlocked cards.
    The card analysis will be made from a generalist standpoint. If a card is very
    good in some situations and terrible in all others, it likely will not be
    recommended. Though a note will be added regarding any situations that may
    change that view.
    Said analysis will also only cover the unlockable cards and any cards I may
    suggest they should replace.
    Everyone has different opinions. Card evaluation is, in most cases, completely
    subjective. As such, you may find yourself completely at odds with the
    suggestions and analysis contained herein.
    That's perfectly fine. I'll try to explain the reasoning behind certain views,
    but in the end this is not meant to be a set of instructions; just a viewpoint
    to consider.
    Also of note is that this guide has been written for the PS3 version of the
    game. The XBox version has a couple of differences in the cards that come as
    default vs. the cards that can be unlocked. These are minor differences however
    as the end result deck is the same.
    There are only a few general things to keep in mind when altering the decks'
    default card list:
    1. Never use more than 60 cards.
    2. Try to keep a good 'mana curve'.
    3. Nearly every single deck, to one degree or another, relies on creature
       beatdown to win.
    The first is because the more cards you have in a deck, the less chance you
    have of drawing the card you need at any given time. This is one of the first
    lessons learned if you have ever happened to play competitively.
    The second relates to the mana cost of each of the cards in your deck. You
    generally want to have a few low-cost cards (0-2 mana), a good amount of
    medium cost cards (3-5 mana), and a few high-cost (6+ mana) cards. This helps
    to make sure you'll not get stuck with a hand full of uncastable cards or
    hopelessly outclassed late-game by an opponent with bigger spells.
    The third should be kept in mind because once you know how your opponents are
    going to try to win, you can plan for that eventuality. Sadly, every deck in
    the game with the exception of Unquenchable Fire seeks to win by playing
    creatures and attacking for lethal damage.
    Some of them want to make a bunch of small creatures, some a handful of medium
    creatures, and some a couple of huge creatures... but the end result is always
    the same. Even the aforementioned UF tends to rely on its creatures to boost
    the direct damage spells into lethal range.
    This is important to keep in mind as it makes removal spells and otherwise
    ordinary evasive creatures worth far more than they would otherwise appear.
    Apex Predators - Mono Green
    /AP1\ Deck Listing
    Beast Hunt x2
    Borderland Ranger x3
    Centaur Courser x2
    Craw Wurm x2
    Cudgel Troll x2
    Engulfing Slagwurm x1
    Garruk's Companion x2
    Garruk's Packleader x2
    Giant Spider x2
    Grazing Gladehart x3
    Runeclaw Bear x2
    Stomper Cub x2
    Terra Stomper x1
    Thrun, the Last Troll x1
    Wall of Vines x2
    Giant Growth x3
    Overrun x2
    Nature's Lore x2
    Dungrove Elder x1
    Leatherback Baloth x1
    Hunted Wumpus x1
    Multiani, Maro-Sorcerer x1
    Wolfbriar Elemental x1
    Elephant Guide x1
    Gaea's Revenge x1
    Hunters' Feast x3
    Lead the Stampede x2
    Rites of Flourishing x2
    Serrated Arrows x2
    /AP2\ Deck Overview
    This deck is the most 'pure' beatdown in that it doesn't use any tricks. It
    plays low-cost high-damage creatures and spells to boost them. It has little in
    the way of evasion and practically nothing for removal.
    What it does have is the capacity to win pretty much any ground-based challenge
    (relatively) quickly and decisively with sheer mass and the Trample ability.
    Nearly all of the default cards work toward its goal and so it works quite well
    as a starter deck.
    Weakest Cards: Craw Wurm, Giant Spider, & Wall of Vines.
    /AP3\ Card Analysis
    Dungrove Elder
      This is a fantastic card for a mono-green deck. Not only is it cheap and
      powerful, but it also evades most forms of removal.
      Suggestion: Replace a Craw Wurm or a Wall of Vines.
    Gaea's Revenge
      A very useful creature to have when facing blue decks, and its semi-evasion
      makes it useful against most other decks. Though it is a bit costly for its
      power compared to the other creatures.
      Suggestion: Replace a Craw Wurm. They are also costly for their power but
                  have no tricks to make up for it.
    Leatherback Baloth
      Cheap and powerful creature. No frills whatsoever.
      Suggestion: Replace either a Wall of Vines, a Centaur Courser, or a Gladehart.
    Wolfbriar Elemental
      A one-creature army practically tailor-made to be used with Overrun.
      Suggestion: Replace either a Centaur Courser or a Gladehart.
    Elephant Guide
      A ridiculously useful enchantment. Not only does it boost an existing
      creature, but it also acts as removal avoidance.
      Suggestion: Replace a Centaur Courser. Same power and cost, potentially more
                  versatile package.
    Hunters' Feast
      Pure one-shot lifegain is rarely desirable. In most situations all it does
      is delay the inevitable. With combo decks this can be important, not so with
      beatdown decks.
      Suggestion: Avoid using.
    Lead the Stampede
      This is pretty much a strictly better version of Beast Hunt. It digs deeper
      for less mana. The only times you would want BH instead is if you had access
      to graveyard manipulation... which you do not.
      Suggestion: Replace the two Beast Hunts.
    Serrated Arrows
      This is the ONLY removal this deck has access to and as a result looks fairly
      tempting to use. To use it however means lowering your creature count, which
      can be problematic.
      Suggestion: Replace the two Giant Spiders. They aren't fantastic as attackers
                  and the Arrows are better at dealing with troublesome utility
    Rites of Flourishing
    Multani, Maro-Sorcerer
    Hunted Wumpus
      All of these are more or less meant to be used in 4-man games. Rites and
      Wumpus in Archenemy and Multani in either. They'll more often than not be
      more of a hindrance in 1v1 games.
      Suggestion: Rites can replace two of the Borderlands, Wumpus can replace one
                  of the Trolls or the Baloth, and Multani can replace the Gaea's
    Wielding Steel - Mono White
    /WS1\ Deck Listing
    Captain of the Watch x1
    Elite Vanguard x4
    Gideon's Avenger x1
    Gideon's Lawkeeper x2
    Glory Seeker x4
    Kitesail Apprentice x2
    Kor Duelist x2
    Kor Hookmaster x3
    Kor Outfitter x3
    Serra Angel x2
    Stoneforge Mystic x1
    Arrest x3
    Brave the Elements x1
    Infiltration Lens x1
    Kitesail x2
    Pennon Blade x1
    Strider Harness x1
    Trusty Machete x2
    Archangel of Strife x1
    Baneslayer Angel x1
    Puresteel Paladin x1
    Sunspear Shikari x2
    Angel's Feather x3
    Argentum Armor x1
    Congregate x2
    Conqueror's Pledge x1
    Harmless Assault x1
    Revoke Existance x2
    Sword of War and Peace x1
    /WS2\ Deck Overview
    This deck is slightly different from the others in that its creatures rely on
    non-creature spells in order to be true threats. Very few of its creatures are
    threats in and of themselves and its equipment is obviously harmless without a
    creature to attach it to.
    Thankfully, it has a decent suite of removal at hand to help it survive against
    decks fielding stronger creatures long enough to pull everything together. On
    the flipside it has next to no defense against removal.
    Weakest Cards: Elite Vanguard, Glory Seeker, Infiltration Lens, &
                   Strider Harness.
    /WS3\ Card Analysis
    Archangel of Strife
      Another card geared toward multiplayer. In a 1v1 its ability can be either an
      'I Win' an 'I Lose' or a 'No Change'. Seven mana for something so unreliable
      is generally not worth it. In multiplayer, particularly Archenemy, it can be
      exceedingly powerful however.
      Suggestion: For Archenemy or possibly 4-way games replace a Vanguard/Seeker.
    Baneslayer Angel
      A cheap 5/5 flier with Lifelink and First Strike? You cannot go wrong with
      that. Choosing what to replace is a bit harder though.
      Suggestion: The obvious choice would be to replace a Serra. Same cost with
                  more power and more abilities. Vigilance is nothing to dismiss
                  however and so replacing a Vanguard/Seeker may end up better
                  in the long run.
    Puresteel Paladin
      Strictly better than the Seekers. Effectively same cost and same power, and
      a synergistic ability on top of it all.
      Suggestion: Replace a Seeker.
    Sunspear Shikari
      A perfect fit for the deck. Cheap and unimpressive by default, but quite good
      when enhanced.
      Suggestion: Replace the Seekers. Same cost, same power, better abilities.
    Angel's Feather
      It's not a creature, doesn't interact with your creatures in any way, and
      does nothing but gain life. You're far better off without it except against
      the Unquenchable Fire deck or in the rare case of a multiplayer game where
      everyone is playing white.
      Suggestion: Leave it on the sidelines unless you know you're going to be
                  playing against UF.
    Argentum Armor
      Solid equipment is always good but the mana cost can become an issue. That
      said, this deck has so few high-cost cards that squeezing it in won't hurt
      Suggestion: If you want to keep the same creature ratio it would probably be
                  best to replace either the Lens, Harness, or even the Pennon
                  Blade (which while not as expensive, is far more situational).
                  If that's not an issue, then ditching a Vanguard would be the way
                  to go.
      Pure one-shot lifegain is almost never worth it. In a four-person
      multiplayer game this barely becomes playable due to the potentially massive
      ammout of life that can be gained. Even then it's a highly questionable choice
      since you'll have to seriously sacrifice your damage-dealing capability.
      Suggestion: Avoid unless playing 4-person games against Unquenchable Fire
                  decks. In such a case you may want to replace the Hookmasters.
    Conqueror's Pledge
      This can be a game changer when combined with Captain of the Watch or the
      Pennon Blade... but there's only one of each of those in the deck. Making
      such a combo exceedingly rare.
      Suggestion: Consider replacing the Lens or Harness. In addition to the above
                  they can also be used as blocking fodder or to force a few final
                  points of damage through. In most cases though you may be better
                  off without it.
    Harmless Assault
      This is an interesting card that can mean the difference between life and
      death and/or utterly massacre an opposing army. Unfortunately such outcomes
      are highly situational and its cost isn't exactly low.
      Suggestion: Too situational for the cost and anti-symmetrical with the rest
                  of the deck. If you want to play around with it though (say for
                  multiplayer shenanigans) consider replacing a Hookmaster.
    Revoke Existence
      This is situational removal. Very good against the Machinations deck and in
      mirror matches, mostly useless against the other decks.
      Suggestion: If you know you'll be playing in mirrors or against Machinations
                  you can replace some Seekers/Vanguards with them. Otherwise
                  they're best off avoided.
    Sword of War and Peace
      This is less useful than it first appears but can be deadly against slower
      decks. Since slower huge-creature decks are one of the main things you have
      to look out for, this should definitely be a considered addition.
      Suggestion: As before, either the Lens or Harness are decent swaps. It might
                  also be a good idea to swap it for the Pennon Blade, which is
                  more expensive and comparatively more situational. Replacing a
                  Hookmaster could also be a workable choice.
    Realm of Illusion - Mono Blue
    /RI1\ Deck Listing
    Aether Figment x1
    Air Elemental x2
    Blind Phantasm x3
    Krovikan Mist x4
    Mahamoti Djinn x1
    Phantasmal Bear x4
    Phantom Beast x3
    Phantom Warrior x2
    Wall of Air x1
    Cancel x2
    Disorient x1
    Divination x2
    Evacuation x1
    Fleeting Distraction x1
    Jace's Ingenuity x2
    Mind Control x1
    Mind Spring x1
    Repulse x3
    Time Warp x1
    Aether Adept x2
    Lord of the Unreal x2
    Phantasmal Dragon x1
    Sower of Temptation x1
    Concentrate x1
    Counterspell x2
    Drake Umbra x1
    Kraken's Eye x3
    Prosperity x1
    Quicksilver Geyser x1
    Summoner's Bane x1
    /RI2\ Deck Overview
    A control deck that likes using many low-cost high-power creatures. That's a bit
    of an unusual combination. Which is not to say that it doesn't do its job very
    Between the early creatures, mid-game counterspells, and late-game card draw it
    can outlast most of the other decks. Its main weakness is a lack of permanent
    removal... although Repulse and the like are no slouches.
    Weakest Cards: Mahamoti Djinn, Wall of Air, Disorient, & Fleeting Distraction.
    /RI3\ Card Analysis
    Aether Adept
      A Repulse on legs. Sadly, as this isn't an illusion or an Instant and some
      of your creatures cannot be targeted by it (unless you want them to die),
      this just doesn't fit well.
      Suggestion: Keep it on the sidelines unless the Wall is still in your deck.
                  If it is, consider replacing that.
    Lord of the Unreal
      Buffs nearly all of your creatures and eliminates one of their key
      weaknesses. This is a fantastic addition to the deck.
      Suggestion: Replace some combination of the Wall, the Djinn, or the Aether
    Phantasmal Dragon
      A cheap and powerful flier that also happens to be an illusion. Strictly
      better than Phantom Beast.
      Suggestion: Replace either a Phantom Beast, the Djinn, or an Air Elemental.
                  Depending upon how often you expect to run into direct targeting
    Sower of Temptation
      A Mind Control on legs... which actually makes it less versatile considering
      this game's lack of widespread enchantment destruction.
      Suggestion: Consider replacing a Phantom beast. It's the same cost and just
                  as vulnerable to removal. Replacing a Phantom Warrior could also
                  work, though unblockability is fairly powerful.
      This would be a strictly better version of Jace's Ingenuity if it weren't a
      Sorcery. The Instant nature of Ingenuity has better synergy with the
      counter/bounce spells and is often well worth the slightly increased
      casting cost.
      Suggestion: Consider replacing a Divination or possibly even Mind Spring.
      A strictly better version of Cancel.
      Suggestion: If you do not wish to change the deck's core focus, simply
                  replace the two Cancels or alternatively a Cancel and the
                  Disorient. Other choices include the Djinn or the Wall,
                  potentially even the Ingenuities.
    Drake Umbra
      A powerful (and costly) enchantment that's not quite as useful as it could
      be since some of the deck's creatures tend to die if targeted.
      Suggestion: Replace either the Disorient (if it's still in the deck) or a
                  Blind Phantasm. Another possibility is a Phantom Beast if you
                  still have 3 of them.
    Kraken's Eye
      Another two-mana lifegaining artifact. Just as with Wielding Steel, the
      only time this becomes useful if if you're commonly facing Unquenchable
      Suggestion: Avoid using. It goes against the deck's gameplan and there are
                  few cards with limited use to replace.
      A multiplayer specific card. Generally only useful for Archenemy games, and
      even there it can backfire spectacularly.
      Suggestion: Avoid using unless playing Archenemy. Even then it's probably
                  best off ignored. If you must use it consider replacing one of
                  the other card-drawing spells, particularly either Ingenuity
                  or Mind Spring.
    Quicksilver Geyser
      A more versatile, if costly, version of Repulse. While it's both more
      expensive and does not replace itself once cast, it can target nearly any
      permanent type instead of only creatures.
      Suggestion: This mainly depends on what deck you happen to be facing.
                  Against Wielding Steel this can be useful to bounce their
                  equipment and finished off their weakened creatures. Most other
                  decks have little reliance upon non-creature spells though,
                  making this less useful. Consider replacing either a Repulse or
                  the Evacuation.
    Summoner's Bane
      A limited counterspell that synergizes with your Illusion theme. Since
      creatures are the primary form of victory in this game there's no reason not
      to include it as it both destroys a creature and creates a creature.
      Suggestion: Replace Fleeting Distraction. Drawing a card is nice, -1/0 far
                  less so.
    Strength of Stone - Mono Red
    /SS1\ Deck Listing
    Bloodfire Collossus x1
    Earth Elemental x4
    Earth Servant x1
    Flameborn Hellion x2
    Goblin Mountaineer x3
    Grim Lavamancer x1
    Koth's Courier x2
    Molten Ravager x2
    Oxidda Scrapmelter x2
    Rockslide Elemental x2
    Spikeshot Elder x1
    Vulshok Berserker x2
    Vulshok Heartstoker x2
    Act of Treason x2
    Claws of Valakut x2
    Fault Line x1
    Spire Barrage x2
    Spitting Earth x3
    Conquering Manticore x1
    Flowstone Overseer x1
    Hero of Oxide Ridge x1
    Lavaborn Muse x1
    Magma Phoenix x1
    Tephraderm x2
    Assault Strobe x1
    Cerebral Eruption x1
    Darksteel Axe x2
    Golden Urn x3
    Volcanic Strength x2
    /SS2\ Deck Overview
    This deck is a classic mix of red cards. Cards focused on attack over defense,
    a nice amount of damage-based removal, and even some temporary creature theft.
    It also, oddly enough, has a number of high-cost defense-orientated creatures
    along with some goblins apparently thrown in just for the hell of it.
    Weakest Cards: Goblin Mountaineer, Earth Elemental, & Earth Servant.
    /SS3\ Card Analysis
    Conquering Manticore
      A strong flier with a built-in Act of Treason. A fantastic addition no
      matter how you slice it.
      Suggestion: Replace either an Earth Elemental or the Earth Servant.
    Flowstone Overseer
      A sizable creature with a built-in removal ability that doesn't require
      tapping. Another fantastic addition.
      Suggestion: Replace either an Earth Elemental or the Earth Servant.
    Lavaborn Muse
      This card is tricky. It works best with discard, but this deck has no
      discard. Without that, an opponent can just start holding their extra lands
      to avoid its ability. Four mana for a 3/3 is also not all that great.
      Suggestion: Even with its issues, consider replacing a Koth's Courier or
                  Oxidda Scrapmelter depending upon how often you run into Forests
                  or Artifacts.
    Magma Phoenix
      This is something of a double-edged sword. Most of your creatures have three
      or less toughness, so its death ability can end up hurting you more than
      helping. The deck has a distinct lack of fliers however and its 'Return from
      the Dead' ability is golden.
      Suggestion: Replace the Bloodfire. This does the same thing it does on a
                  smaller scale, but has flying, a workable casting cost, and it
                  happens to be renewable.
    Hero of Oxid Ridge
      While his power/toughness is nothing to get excited over, Battle Cry and the
      ability to exclude chump blockers from the battlefield are both quite useful.
      It's also strictly better than the Vulshok Berserker.
      Suggestion: Replace a Goblin Mountaineer or Vulshok Berserker.
      Strictly better than the Earth Elemental.
      Suggestion: Replace the Earth Elementals.
    Assault Strobe
      The problem with this is that it's a Sorcery. Which makes it only truly useful
      if your opponent is completely defenseless... at which point you should be
      winning anyway.
      Suggestion: Leave it on the sidelines unless you still have some Mountaineers
                  lurking around.
    Cerebral Eruption
      A crapshoot of a card. Can be anything from devastating to ineffectual. More
      often than not it will likely play out like an overcosted Pyroclasm, still...
      there's a decent chance that it will come off as an undercosted Flame Wave.
      Suggestion: If you want to play around with it consider replacing a
                  Heartstoker. If you're feeling particularly adventurous, it may
                  be better to replace Fault Line instead.
    Darksteel Axe
      Not a fantastic piece of equipment, but certainly not bad. It being immune to
      your Scrapmelters is definitely a plus and it can do amazing things with the
      Spikeshot Elder.
      Suggestion: Replace the Mountaineers.
    Golden Urn
      Another pure lifegain artifact, this one actually worse than the others since
      it's a one-shot deal.
      Suggestion: Leave it on the sidelines. You have to draw this in your first
                  couple of turns for it to be even remotely useful and even then
                  it completely lacks any synergy with the rest of the deck.
    Volcanic Strength
      Great against anyone with Mountains, not worth it against anyone without
      Suggestion: If you commonly find yourself facing Red decks, consider
                  replacing the Heartstoker and/or the Courier.
    Guardians of the Wood - Green/Black
    /GW1\ Deck Listing
    Elven Riders x1
    Elvish Lyrist x1
    Elvish Visionary x2
    Heedless One x4
    Imperious Perfect x1
    Nissa's Chosen x4
    Norwood Ranger x4
    Sylvan Ranger x2
    Viridian Emissary x4
    Viridian Shaman x1
    Wildheart Invoker x2
    Elvish Promenade x2
    Essence Drain x3
    Eyeblight's Ending x2
    Might of the Masses x1
    Elvish Eulogist x3
    Ezuri, Renegade Leader x1
    Ezuri's Archers x2
    Jagged-Scar Archers x1
    Joraga Warcaller x1
    Lys Alana Huntmaster x1
    Nath of the Gilt-Leaf x1
    Titania's Chosen x2
    Epic Proportions x1
    Maelstrom Pulse x2
    Plummet x1
    /GW2\ Deck Overview
    Don't let the Black splash fool you, this is an Elf deck through and through.
    It wants to play elves, elves, and more elves and then overwhelm an opponent
    with broken synergies.
    The Black is pretty much just there to add some spot removal. Though that's
    certainly not unwelcome.
    Weakest Cards: Elvish Lyrist, Norwood Ranger, Viridian Shaman, &
                   Essence Drain.
    /GW3\ Card Analysis
    Elvish Eulogist
      The rare lifegain card that can actually be worthwhile to use. It's simple
      existence as an elf makes it useful by default, and the ability is just a
      Suggestion: Replace two Norwoods. If you find yourself never using the
                  Lyrist, you may want to swap it out for the third.
    Ezuri, Renegade Leader
      A nasty, nasty card. Not only can this regenerate any creature in the deck,
      but it also has a built-in reusable Overrun.
      Suggestion: Replace the Viridian Shaman.
    Ezuri's Archers
      Strictly better than the Norwoods.
      Suggestion: Replace the Norwoods.
    Jagged-Scar Archers
      A slightly cheaper Heedless One that trades Trample for some targeted flier
      Suggestion: Replace either a Nissa's or an Emissary.
    Joraga Warcaller
      An Imperious Perfect that gets quite a bit better if you draw it late game.
      Suggestion: Replace either a Nissa's or an Emissary.
    Lys Alana Huntmaster
      A token-factory with decent power/toughness. Similar to Elvish Promenade,
      this makes the tokens as you're casting them rather than all at once down
      the line.
      Suggestion: Consider replacing a Visionary or a Promenade.
    Nath of the Gilt-Leaf
      A situational token factory that features random discard. Random discard is
      very, very powerful and it would be worth it to use for that alone. The
      tokens push it up into 'must use' territory.
      Suggestion: Replace an Essence Drain.
    Titania's Chosen
      A nice card for an effectively mono-green deck. An unimpressive late-game
      draw though.
      Suggestion: Replace some combination of Nissa's and Emissaries. Try to keep
                  their numbers equal.
    Epic Proportions
      A costly spell that's nevertheless utterly fantastic. A sizable Instant
      creature buff that persists afterward is nothing to ignore.
      Suggestion: Replace the Elven Riders. The Riders' main purpose is to evade
                  enemy blockers while this allows you to 'evade' them by going
                  straight through them.
    Maelstrom Pulse
      A very nice piece of removal. You can take out single powerful targets or
      waves of tokens as the situation demands.
      Suggestion: Replace the Essence Drains.
      While an extremely effective piece of removal against fliers, it's a bit
      too situational a card to use on a daily basis.
      Suggestion: If you know you'll be facing Dragon's Roar or Blood Hunger
                  consider replacing the Lyrist or a Eulogist.
    Ancient Depths - Blue/Green
    /AD1\ Deck Listing
    Coiling Oracle x4
    Elvish Piper x1
    Giant Octopus x2
    Isleback Spawn x1
    Kozilek, Butcher of Truth x1
    Kraken Hatchling x2
    Lorthos, the Tidemaker x1
    Ondu Giant x2
    Simic Sky Swallower x2
    Tidal Kraken x1
    Aether Mutation x3
    Compulsive Research x1
    Cultivate x3
    Explore x4
    Explosive Vegetation x2
    Polymorph x1
    Tidings x2
    Treasure Hunt x1
    Yavimaya's Embrace x1
    Assault Zeppelid x2
    Eldric, Spymaster of Trest x1
    Inkwell Leviathan x1
    Primeval Titan x1
    Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre x1
    Levitation x1
    Living Destiny x3
    Mind Control x1
    New Frontiers x2
    Rite of Replication x1
    Skyshroud Claim x2
    /AD2\ Deck Overview
    Unlike most of the decks this one does not want to play a creature turn after
    turn. Rather, it wants to get all of its land on the table by turn four or
    five and then cast a huge spell or two to win the game.
    It has a lot of land search, a decent amount of card draw, and a moderate focus
    on defensive maneuvers that help to keep it alive until it can play its win
    The main weakness of the deck is that many of those conditions are vulnerable
    to much lower-cost removal spells. There's nothing quite as bad as spending
    five turns excavating land to power out a Kraken only to have it immediately
    neutralized or co-opted by a two/three mana card.
    Weakest Cards: Giant Octopus & Explore.
    /AD3\ Card Analysis
    Assault Zeppelid
      In this particular deck (due to the abundance of mana fixing), the Zeppelid
      is a better version of Giant Octopus.
      Suggestion: Replace the Giant Octopi.
    Eldric, Spymaster of Trest
      This is basically a multiplayer-specific card. It will likely help out any
      allies you have far more than it will help you. It combos well with Aether
      Mutation however.
      Suggestion: Consider replacing a Cultivate or even an Octopus/Zeppelid,
                  particularly if playing Archenemy or Two-Headed Giant games.
                  Replacing the Polymorph would also be a workable idea.
    Inkwell Leviathan
      A costly though powerful creature with useful abilities. Shroud allows it to
      avoid almost all removal while Trample helps it avoid chump-blocking tokens.
      Two of the deck's main problems.
      Suggestion: Replace either the Isleback Spawn or the Tidal Kraken. Neither
                  of them is bad and each do half of what this is good at, which
                  makes this a tougher decision than most. However, the Spawn is a
                  bit on the weak side for a win condition while the Kraken is
                  painfully vulnerable to removal.
    Primeval Titan
      A very interesting inclusion that fits the deck's focus perfectly. Not only
      is it a sizable creature but its ability allows you to further thin your deck
      of excess lands.
      Suggestion: Replace the Tidal Kraken. This is the same size for less mana,
                  has Trample which is comparable (though undeniably worse) to
                  being unblockable, and an ability that continually increases your
                  chances of drawing playable cards.
    Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre
      At first glance this may appear useful due to its built-in removal. Sadly,
      that's not quite enough as it's both exceedingly expensive and has no evasion
      to speak of. Being Indestructible goes quite a bit further toward justifying
      its use.
      Suggestion: Consider replacing Kozilek. While this costs more, isn't as
                  strong, and doesn't draw you any cards, being Indestructible is
                  a huge boon for a card that's supposed to win you the game.
      You want to be playing cards that will either win you the game on their own,
      help you find/play something that will win you the game, or keep you alive
      long enough to win the game. This doesn't fit any of those parameters.
      Suggestion: Leave it on the sidelines.
    Living Destiny
      This is the rare deck that may actually seriously consider using pure
      lifegain cards. That said, these will rarely be more useful than one of the
      other cards already in the deck.
      Suggestion: As with most pure lifegain; leave on the sidelines. While this
                  deck has more use for delaying tactics than most, it doesn't
                  have much in the way of useless or replaceable cards in or
                  around the four mana slot. It Polymorph behaves too erratically
                  for you, you may consider replacing that.
    Mind Control
      I'm somewhat shocked that this is in here since it's already been used in
      Realm of Illusion. I'm not also not sure how well of a thematic fit it is.
      That aside it's a decent card to consider using against the couple of decks
      that like using big threats.
      Suggestion: Replace an Aether Mutation if commonly facing decks that focus
                  on a few big creatures instead of an army of small ones.
    New Frontiers
      A multiplayer-specific card best used in Archenemy games, although it can
      backfire even there.
      Suggestion: Replace Explore and/or Cultivate.
    Rite of Replication
      This has some extremely useful combo potential. Target an Oracle to draw
      tons of cards or target an Ondu to further thin or the land from your deck
      while creating an impressive wall. It can even be used as removal to kill
      opposing legendary creatures.
      Suggestion: Replace either an Explore or a Cultivate.
    Skyshroud Claim
      This is a more limited version of Explosive Vegetation that also ends up
      being half the price for the same efficiency.
      Suggestion: Replace the Explosives. Particularly if you've also replaced
                  the Tidal Kraken.
    Dragon's Roar - Red/Black
    /DR1\ Deck Listing
    Festering Goblin x2
    Furnace Whelp x3
    Furyborn Hellkite x1
    Giant Scorpion x2
    Goblin Piker x2
    Grave Digger x2
    Manic Vandal x1
    Raging Goblin x3
    Volcanic Dragon x4
    Voracious Dragon x2
    Assassinate x2
    Burst Lightning x2
    Crucible of Fire x1
    Disfigure x3
    Dragon Fodder x3
    Ruby Medallion x2
    Dragonmaster Outcast x1
    Dragonspeaker Shaman x2
    Flameblast Dragon x1
    Goblin Wardriver x1
    Hellkite Charger x1
    Rorix Bladewing x1
    Slavering Nulls x2
    Dragon's Claw x3
    Goblin Offensive x1
    Pyroclasm x1
    Rally the Forces x2
    /DR2\ Deck Overview
    Similar to Ancient Depths, this deck wants to win by casting big creatures.
    Unlike AD this wants to soften the target up first with horde tactics. It
    also has far more subpar cards maindecked.
    Another difference is that while AD uses mana acceleration, DR instead uses
    mana reduction. This is not quite as good a tactic (you'll still be drawing
    lands when you don't want them and the cards that reduce the costs can be
    destroyed), but the only one that Red or Black has available to it.
    Finally, the deck also has a nice subset of removal available to help it out.
    Weakest Cards: Furyborn Hellkite, Giant Scorpion, Goblin Piker, Manic Vandal,
                   & Raging Goblin.
    /DR3\ Card Analysis
    Dragonmaster Outcast
      This is a fairly fragile mid to late-game token factory. The tokens it
      creates are quite impressive though.
      Suggestion: Replace a Raging Goblin. It will be a rare thing to do more
                  than three to four damage with one and this card's tokens
                  can do far more.
    Dragonspeaker Shaman
      A fantastic piece of mana reduction for dragons. Since this is a dragon deck
      it ends up being an auto-include.
      Suggestion: Replace the Giant Scorpions. Purely defensive creatures don't
                  synergize with the deck's purposes. You also want to reduce your
                  reliance on having to draw a swamp.
    Flameblast Dragon
      An average-sized dragon with a built-in direct damage ability. You cannot go
      wrong with that, especially when it perfectly fits two of the deck's themes.
      Suggestion: Replace the Furyborn or a Gravedigger. The Furyborn is
                  impressively large, but also costly and lacking any interesting
                  abilities to help it power its damage through. The Gravediggers
                  simply don't really fit. The majority of the time you're going to
                  be digging up weak goblins or maybe a Furnace Whelp, and that's
                  really not worth a four mana card.
    Goblin Wardriver
      A simple goblin that helps out the deck's early 'softening up' phase.
      Suggestion: Replace either the Manic Vandal or a Gravedigger. The Gravedigger
                  should be removed for reasons listed earlier while the Vandal has
                  the unfortunate tendency to destroy your Medallions against most
    Hellkite Charger
      A strictly better version of the Volcanic Dragon. Not only is it bigger for
      the same price, it also has a secondary ability that can cause severe havoc.
      Suggestion: Replace a Volcanic Dragon.
    Rorix Bladewing
      A card that's almost strictly better than the Volcanic Dragon. If you've
      kept in the Gravediggers and Scorpions, the RRR casting cost can get in the
      way at times. If you've removed them, the casting cost becomes a non-issue.
      Suggestion: Replace a Volcanic Dragon.
    Slavering Nulls
      A strictly better version of the Goblin Piker and one of the very few
      sources of discard in the game.
      Suggestion: Replace the Goblin Pikers.
    Dragon's Claw
      The third of the two mana color-specific lifegaining artifacts. This is
      just as unimpressive to use as the others, especially in this type of deck.
      Suggestion: Leave them on the sidelines.
    Goblin Offensive
      This is fairly expensive and will generally only create three to four tokens.
      Since the horde of small creatures is meant for the early game, it's not as
      useful as it could be.
      Suggestion: If you want to play around with it, consider replacing a
                  Scorpion or the Vandal. Maybe even the Pyroclasm if you've
                  included it earlier.
      An efficient piece of removal that has the unfortunate side effect of killing
      half of your deck. Of course, the Goblins are generally meant for early game
      attacks and as chump blockers to defend until your dragons appear. So
      sacrificing them to wipe the enemy's board before or just after you play a
      dragon can work out well.
      Suggestion: Replace a Disfigure.
    Rally the Forces
      A slightly costly card that makes your horde far deadlier than it otherwise
      would be.
      Suggestion: Replace the Scorpions or a Scorpion and the Vandal.
    Blood Hunger - Mono Black
    /BH1\ Deck Listing
    Barony Vampire x2
    Bloodrage Vampire x3
    Captivating Vampire x1
    Child of Night x2
    Duskhunter Bat x3
    Gatekeeper of Malakir x2
    Quag Vampires x2
    Ruthless Cullblade x2
    Sangromancer x1
    Sengir Vampire x1
    Tormented Soul x3
    Vampire Aristocrat x2
    Vampire Nighthawk x2
    Vampire Nocturnus x1
    Vampire Outcasts x2
    Spread the Sickness x3
    Urge to Feed x2
    Vicious Hunger x2
    Bloodghast x1
    Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief x1
    Mirri the Cursed x1
    Skeletal Vampire x1
    Stalking Bloodsucker x1
    Blade of the Bloodchief x1
    Corrupt x2
    Demon's Horn x3
    Feast of Blood x2
    Repay in Kind x1
    Vampire's Bite x2
    /BH2\ Deck Overview
    Like most of the other decks, this one wants to play a bunch of low cost
    creatures and overrun the opponent with them before they can react. This has
    two things going for it that the others do not.
    The first is that its creatures are quite powerful or ability-laden for their
    cost. The second is the largest and most diverse selection of creature-based
    Weakest Cards: Barony Vampire, Bloodrage Vampire, Sengir Vampire, &
                   Vicious Hunger.
    /BH3\ Card Analysis
      A gift that just keeps on giving. Combos particularly well with Vampire
      Suggestion: Replace a Bloodrage Vampire.
    Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief
      A sizable flier with a built-in removal ability that doubles as an offense
      Suggestion: Replace the Sengir Vampire, or a Barony Vampire if the Sengir
                  has already been replaced.
    Mirri the Cursed
      An upgraded Barony Vampire. Haste is useful, flying is very useful and
      first strike allows for some impressive combat ability when combined with
      its built-in counter-based growth.
      Suggestion: Replace the Sengir or a Barony Vampire.
    Skeletal Vampire
      While a little on the small side, its ability to both regenerate and create
      a wall of fliers is incredibly powerful.
      Suggestion: Replace the Sengir or a Barony Vampire.
    Stalking Bloodsucker
      While bigger than the Skeletal Vampire, its ability isn't anywhere near as
      impressive. By the time you get it out you won't have much available to feed
      to it.
      Suggestion: Leave it on the sidelines or consider using it in place of the
                  Skeletal. Against the slower ground-based decks this may be able
                  to force a win through where that card cannot.
    Blade of the Bloodchief
      A shockingly good piece of equipment. It's extremely low-cost and it
      synergizes well with all the removal present in the deck. It gets downright
      insane when used in multiplayer games.
      Suggestion: Replace a Tormented Soul. Same cost, and the soul is not a
      A classic Black card that combines hurting the opponent while helping
      yourself. Can be used either as spot removal or as a finisher.
      Suggestion: Replace the Vicious Hungers. Yes this is triple the price, but
      it is also triple (or more) the effectiveness, can directly target the
      opponent, and this deck has an overabundance of two-cost cards.
    Demon's Horn
      The fourth of the color-specific lifegaining artifacts. This is, if it can
      be believed, even worse to use in this deck than the others. Black, and
      particularly a vampire themed deck, has tons of cards that gain life in
      addition to doing something more useful. So there is no place for a card
      that does nothing else.
      Suggestion: Leave them on the sidelines. Between your Nighthawks, Outcasts,
                  Sangromancer, Feasts of Blood, and Corrupts you'll be rolling
                  in lifegain.
    Feast of Blood
      While slightly situational, it's very cheap for what it does and you should
      never have a shortage of vampires.
      Suggestion: Replace some combination of Child of Nights, Bloodrage Vampires,
                  or even Duskhunters.
    Repay in Kind
      A multiplayer-specific card, and not a particularly useful one considering
      all the lifegain this deck features. Although all that lifegain could be
      considered a counterbalance, allowing you to quickly recover from casting
      it... you should really never cast something that you have to recover from.
      Suggestion: Leave it on the sidelines.
    Vampire's Bite
      Another multipurpose lifegain card, though this is focused on damage output
      with the lifegain being secondary.
      Suggestion: Can be quite useful, but there's little in the way of expendable
                  cards to replace. It may be best off left out of the deck, but
                  you can consider swapping one in for a Bloodrage or maybe even
                  replacing the Quag Vampires.
    Machinations - Blue/Black/White
    /M1\ Deck Listing
    Terramorphic Expanse x3
    Alpha Myr x2
    Darksteel Colossus x1
    Etched Champion x1
    Etherium Sculptor x4
    Magister Sphinx x1
    Razorfield Rhino x2
    Razorfield Thresher x1
    Snapsail Glider x4
    Steel Overseer x2
    Stone Golem x2
    Tidehollow Strix x2
    Dead Reckoning x1
    Go for the Throat x2
    Hunger of the Nim x1
    Pilgrim's Eye x2
    Seer's Sundial x1
    Shape Anew x1
    Sleep x1
    Stoic Rebuttal x3
    Undermine x1
    Venser's Journal x1
    Gust-Skimmer x2
    Master of Etherium x1
    Psychosis Crawler x1
    Sanctum Gargoyle x1
    Signal Pest x2
    Wurmcoil Engine x1
    Darksteel Plate x1
    Dispense Justice x2
    Golem's Heart x3
    Mirrorworks x1
    Soulquake x1
    /M2\ Deck Overview
    This is primarily a mono-blue affinity deck that plays lip-service to the idea
    of being multicolored. It wants to play a ton of artifacts and overwhelm you
    with their broken synergies. It's similar to Guardians of the Wood in that
    respect, albeit a bit more hardy.
    Curiously, it has a card-draw subtheme but no cards that actually... draw extra
    Weakest Cards: Alpha Myr, Shape Anew, Stone Golem, Hunger of the Nim,
                   Venser's Journal, & Razorfield Thresher.
    /M3\ Card Analysis
      Strictly better than the Alpha Myr.
      Suggestion: Replace the Alpha Myr.
    Master of Etherium
      An artifact lord that increases in power the more artifacts you have. No
      reason not to include it.
      Suggestion: Replace a Stone Golem or the Shape Anew. Stone Golem is
                  unimpressive for its cost and Shape Anew is far too
    Psychosis Crawler
      A mildly interesting pinger that combos slightly with Seer's Sundial. The
      lack of extensive card draw really hurts its usefulness though. It becomes
      slightly more useful in three/four-man Free-for-Alls.
      Suggestion: Replace Venser's Journal. While you can theoretically have a
                  massively powerful creature by combining this with the Journal
                  and Soulquake, that's a three-card combo to create a single
                  creature lacking any form of evasion. Which is horribly
                  inefficient. If that has already been replaced by the
                  Mirrorworks, consider replacing a Razorfield Rhino instead.
    Sanctum Gargoyle
      A perfect fit for the deck. Not only is it itself an artifact as well as
      a flier, but it allows you to bring back useful cards that may have been
      Suggestion: Replace a Stone Golem or the Shape Anew.
    Signal Pest
      This really needs a horde behind it to be truly good, and this deck is
      noticeably lacking a horde.
      Suggestion: Leave them on the sidelines. It cannot win the game on its own
                  and there's not as much support for them as there could be.
    Wurmcoil Engine
      A very powerful card. Efficient cost-to-power ratio, some useful abilities,
      and built-in resistance to removal.
      Suggestion: Replace the Razorfield Thresher.
    Darksteel Plate
      Less than impressive. This is a purely preventive card, and a not a very
      good one at that. Sure your Master of Etherium would love to equip this,
      but that's an exceedingly rare combo to appear.
      Suggestion: Leave it on the sidelines.
    Dispense Justice
      A slightly situational piece of removal that is nonetheless quite powerful.
      What makes this tricky to use is its White mana requirement
      Suggestion: Replace the Hunger of the Nim and Dead Reckoning. Hunger can be
                  quite powerful, but being a Sorcery is a large detraction. Dead
                  Reckoning is also removal albeit even more situational and
                  possessing a more severe mana cost.
    Golem's Heart
      Yet another 'color'-specific lifegaining artifact. This one is potentially
      worse than the others considering how few artifacts the other decks run.
      Suggestion: Leave them on the sidelines.
      A very useful card to have in an artifact deck, especially an artifact deck
      with mana reducers.
      Suggestion: Replace either Venser's Journal, a Razorfield Rhino, or a
                  Snapsail Glider.
      More of a multiplayer card really and its mana cost leaves something to be
      Suggestion: Consider playing in Archenemy games, but otherwise its likely
                  best off on the sidelines.
    Unquenchable Fire - Mono Red
    /UF1\ Deck Listing
    Cinder wall x2
    Fiery Hellhound x4
    Fire Elemental x2
    Fire Servant x1
    Flamekin Brawler x2
    Flametongue Kavu x1
    Goblin Arsonist x2
    Kiln Fiend x3
    Prodigal Pyromancer x1
    Blaze x1
    Chandra's Outrage x3
    Ember Shot x2
    Flame Slash x2
    Lava Axe x3
    Pyroclasm x1
    Sizzle x2
    Volcanic Hammer x4
    Chandra's Phoenix x1
    Flameblast Dragon x1
    Inferno Titan x1
    Banefire x1
    Dragon's Claw x3
    Flame Wave x1
    Goblin War Paint x2
    Incinerate x2
    Punishing Fire x2
    Relentless Assault x1
    Wheel of Fortune x1
    /UF2\ Deck Overview
    This is more or less your standard mono-Red burn deck. While it has a decent
    amount of creatures, it really wants to win by chucking a couple of direct
    damage spells at its opponent's face.
    The deck's main weakness is opposing lifegain cards. Since it relies upon its
    spells to do damage and has basically no card drawing ability it can run out
    of steam fast against an opponent with renewable lifegain (such as the
    otherwise horrible color-specific two-drop artifacts).
    Weakest Cards: Cinder Wall, Sizzle, Fire Elemental, & Ember Shot.
    /UF3\ Card Analysis
    Chandra's Phoenix
      In a deck that can easily run out of gas, a semi-renewable source of damage
      is a godsend.
      Suggestion: Replace a Cinder Wall.
    Flameblast Dragon
      Also present in Dragon's Roar, its built-in direct damage ability arguably
      makes it a better fit for this deck.
      Suggestion: Replace a Fire Elemental or an Ember Shot. If you want to skew
                  your mana curve further toward late game, replacing a Brawler
                  can also work.
    Inferno Titan
      Another card that's both creature and removal in one.
      Suggestion: Replace a Fire Elemental or an Ember Shot. If you want to skew
                  your mana curve further toward late game, replacing a Brawler
                  can also work.
      A strictly better version of Blaze.
      Suggestion: Replace a Cinder Wall or a Lava Axe. While strictly better than
                  Blaze, Blaze is powerful enough that you don't want to go
                  replacing it.
    Dragon's Claw
      As with Dragon's Roar, this card just does not synergize with the rest of
      the deck. It's only useful in the mirror match.
      Suggestion: Leave on the sidelines unless you commonly end up in mirror
    Flame Wave
      A costly though utterly devastating spell. When cast, this will decimate
      most opponents.
      Suggestion: Replace an Ember Shot or possibly even a Sizzle.
    Goblin War Paint
      Not overly useful in this deck as creatures are less of a focus.
      Suggestion: Leave them on the sidelines. Though it may be a workable idea
                  to replace the Flame Slashes or even the Goblin Arsonists
                  depending on whether or not you commonly face the slower decks.
      A strictly better Volcanic Hammer.
      Suggestion: If playing one on one or Archenemy replace the Sizzles, if
                  playing multiplayer Free-for-All or Two-Headed Giant consider
                  replacing the Ember Shots or Volcanic Hammers instead.
    Punishing Fire
      A slightly overcosted damage spell that makes up for it by being
      semi-renewable. This card is pretty much your only defense against lifegain
      and should be included if for no other reason than a lot of people are
      enamored with lifegain.
      Suggestion: You have several choices here depending upon what has already
                  been replaced. Any of the following are workable choices (listed
                  in order of preference): Cinder Wall, Ember Shot, Flamekin
                  Brawler, Sizzle, or Volcanic Hammer.
    Relentless Assault
      Less useful than it could be, this is better in Archenemy or Two-Headed
      Giant games where it can boost your partner(s).
      Suggestion: In those games consider replacing a Lava Axe or the Pyroclasm,
                  in Free-for-All it's better off on the sidelines.
    Wheel of Fortune
      Using this card is a gamble, but a gamble that's usually in your favor.
      Completely refilling your hand is amazingly powerful in a burn-centric deck
      as it's highly likely most of the cards you draw will be able to do damage
      immediately. It has a far greater chance to work against you in three or
      four-man Free-for-all though.
      Suggestion: Replace a Fiery Hellhound. Same cost and you likely won't want
                  to be drawing Hellhounds (which are fairly average) when you
                  refill your hand.
    				  END WORD
    So, that's that for the decks the game shipped with.
    I'll state again here that the suggestions above are just that; suggestions.
    There is very little in the way of 'right' and 'wrong' when it comes to MtG
    deckbuilding and I encourage you to experiment with different cards to find what
    works best for you.