Guildpact a la Casual
Welcome, casual players of the world. If you've ever made a deck with all foil cards when you only owned 75 then this article is for you. If you've only bought one pack of Guildpact this article is for you. If this is the first article you've ever read on a Magic site, you guessed it:
This article is for you.
Let's start by saying thanks to Ravnica, it's been very good to us. A variety of sweet gold cards and hybrid cards are giving us that nostalgic feeling bringing back fond memories of Invasion block. The horrid memories of what Mirrodin did to your play group is finally starting to fade and old favourites like your Red, White, and Blue deck called the Spangler are right back in season.
It's good to be a casual player.
What's this you ask? Why am I writing this? Haven't I been preaching and dabbling in limited and screaming my own opinion in constructed? Well yes, but if you were a casual player you probably didn't know that and when it comes down to it we are all casual players at heart.
But enough jibber jabber.
The colour of colours. That one we always seem to fall back on because we don't want to have to pay upwards of 20 dollars for a land that taps for the right colour of mana when we could spend a few cents and get a Sakura Tribe-Elder. So what did the green boys get?
Bloodthirst gives us a new mechanic to base a deck around plus it fits easily into our old Red/Green Stormbind-style burn decks. Silhana Ledgewalker in particular is fantastic. It's basically unblockable and untargetable by your opponent and costs only a couple mana. Not to mention it's common; zing. Pick up a set of 4 of these bad boys as they are Rancor's new best friend and your friend's new worst nightmare. Another sweet new Rancor target is Feral Animist. For the low price of 3 mana you get a 2 power attacker with explosive potential just screaming for an entire deck to be made around him. When it comes to this guy, Giant Growth becomes better than Might of Oaks. Our final star from this set though is Silhana Starfletcher, making us think twice about whether Kodama's Reach really is the proper compliment to our team of sacrifical snakes. This guy not only taps for whatever colour you need, but also blocks flyers which we all know is such a pain for Green to deal with.
Fire and Brimstone. Chaos and Coinflips. Our favourite colour to make those competitive boys complain when we torch their silly standard decks with Lightning Bolts and Fireblasts.
The other Bloodthirst colour got the shaft in the burn department this time around and the creatures are frankly less than spectacular other than Feral Animist mentioned before. The Red mages really got the shaft with the most interesting card turning our lands into 3/1 creatures which, while interesting, is even a little too out of flavour for us casual players.
If we jump into bed with Blue for a second we pick up a couple really sweet gold cards though. Cerebral Vortex is going to annihilate your buddy's Underworld Dreams/Teferi's Puzzle Box monstrosity and the duo of Wee Dragonauts and Gelectrode are going to make you change that burn deck: you have to include some Blue too. Electrolyze will be making a spot in there, too, letting you off two of your friend's Goblins and draw a card in the process. Not to mention for that coin flip deck that we all have stored away somewhere its time to dust it off because Stitch in Time combines with Krark's Thumb to give us a near-Time Walk.
I said say please, bitch. That's right, when it comes to being a Blue mage we're all about control. Counterspell is an auto-four in all our decks and bounce makes sure that nothing our opponent's plays will stick around longer than a single attack.
Guildpact was pretty great to us too. Thunderheads lets us take down entire armies with a single spell later on in the game while also killing your spike friend's Hypnotic Specter in the early game. The cloning continues with Mimeofacture allowing us to steal some of our friend's with fat wallet's best troops as well as letting us neutralize that annoying Kokusho that everyone and their dog seems to have sold the farm to play with. For our creature highlights, Aetherplasm naturally combines with Siren's Call to help us prove that Tinker isn't the only way for blue to sneak Colossus into play.
I know I would be wrong to skip past Red and Blue without mentioning two of the hottest rares that were ripping packs for. Invoke the Firemind does double duty for our new Red/Blue creations, allowing us to kill our friend now or draw a bunch of cards to kill him the next turn. (It's also a very sweet foil) Niv-Mizzet, or Niv for those of you lucky enough to rip him in a booster and get to know him on a more personal level, is the bomb. An Air Elemental gone horribly right, Niv turns those Brainstorms into Lightning Bolts and Braingeysers into Rolling Thunders, not to mention he taps to draw a card. Curiosity for the win, my friends.
Death and decay. It's the colour that made your preacher piss himself when you brought your Magic cards to bible camp. You've been spreading terror in one form of another for years and draining away your sorry opponent's souls to feed to your costly creatures.
There's nothing terribly fascinating about the removal we got this time around, but Hissing Miasma and Souls of the Faultless are going to make Joe Blow and Sally Sue think twice about attacking you. Skeletal Vampire gives you the best Vampire to date and will quickly become another one of Baron Sengir's loyal minions. Dabbling a little further into White gets us a number of sweet drain-style effects some even hidden within beautiful boys like Blind Hunter and Mortify to handle those nasty enchantments while allowing us to maintain our title as the best colour at killing your men. Ghost Council of Orzhova is going to make your haunt deck a powerhouse and Angel of Despair is going to make your opponents cry in more ways than one.
Order and protection. They can't kill half our guys and even if they could hit us we've got 50 life already. Swords to Plowshares has been removing every creature since the beginning of time for you, and Serra Angel is still pretty sweet even if she has to play second fiddle in your Angel deck to her more Exalted sister.
Order of the Stars gives a nice blocker that will ensure that whether it's Blastoderm, Balduvian Hordes or Juzam Djinn that we've got the right defender for the job. Shadow Lance slips seamlessly into our Black/White Knight decks and Leyline of the Meek makes our token decks a force right from turn zero onward. We already know that Storm Herd has to be in our life gain deck to ensure that Milling McLoser doesn't deck us instead.
5 colours and Beyond
It's pretty rare that we don't have at least one 5 colour deck kicking around and the Nephilim will offer a creature for everyone's taste. The Guildmages are amazing and I don't have to tell you to find them because you're already desperately trying to collect 4 so that once Dissension hits you can make the 5 of each basic land 4 of each Guildmage deck. (Although to be honest the Izzet mage ain't so hot in this creation, but needs to be their nonetheless for flavour) Orzhov Pontiff lets you wreck those annoying Elves and greedy Goblins in one shebangabang. Killer Instinct is already reminding you to dust off your Sneak Attack deck, but I think we're all going to find that its just not that interesting at 6 mana. Djinn Illuminatus, however, for one more mana, gives us a replicating machine making a single Lightning Bolt serious trouble for your opponents.
The lands offer you three more duals to trade away for basically half a deck of amazing Guildpact cards and our three new guild lands: Skarrg, the Rage Pits, Orzhova, the Church of Deals and Nivix, Aerie of the Firemind all will easily make their way into their guild's deck. The return of the bounce lands will make fixing our mana a lot easier on our decks and our pockets.
And yet perhaps you are staring at the Yavimaya Coast you opened a long time ago, the Terminate you still need that last one of to get a set of 4 or the Meddling Mage that you still love to use to stop your friends from ruining the game with Armageddon. And you feel like there just wasn't that much out of this set for you. Well don't worry, Dissension is only a few short months away too!
May your Fireballs never be countered and your opponent's Stasis always be on the bottom of his deck. Good Night.