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Deck Strategy Mini-Guides

Teeth of the Predator – Garruk Wildspeaker

Just as the green magic-wielding Garruk Wildspeaker considers the entire Multiverse his hunting grounds, the world of Xbox LIVE can now be yours to rule with the Teeth of the Predator deck. This deck specializes in taking advantage of green’s abundant resources and the awesome might of its creatures.

As you begin your duel, focus on maximizing the number of Forests you have available and applying pressure with your creatures. Cards like Rampant Growth and Civic Wayfinder can help you find more Forests directly from your library. As a green mage, your creatures are usually larger than your opponents’, so be aggressive! Soon, you’ll be summoning heavy hitters like Spined Wurm and Duskdale Wurm. If the sheer size of your forces isn’t enough to overwhelm your opponent, you can Overrun them instead, a devastating sorcery that not only enlarges your soon-to-be attacking creatures, but gives them trample as well.

Trample is an important part of the Teeth of the Predator strategy. Normally, attacking and blocking creatures only deal combat damage to one another. When an attacking creature has trample however, once the blocking creature is destroyed, any excess damage is dealt directly to your opponent. Opposing decks that rely on small defensive creatures, especially ones that regenerate, will soon find themselves reeling.

Seek out and eliminate your prey – fellow Planeswalkers – to unlock new cards for your deck. The trophies for a successful hunt are among nature’s fiercest weapons. Harness the power (and toughness) of the Forests themselves with Blanchwood Armor, an Aura that makes your smaller creatures enormous and your larger creatures downright gargantuan! What other allies will join you as you take on the deadliest the Multiverse has to offer?

Hands of Flame – Chandra Nalaar

Faced with opposition from every direction, with enemies – driven by their desire to suppress you – closing in, there is only one option. Burn them all. The Hands of Flame deck is fueled by red’s signature passion and fiery destruction.

Chandra’s deck is packed with small, aggressive creatures that immediately put your opponent on the defensive. It can be tempting to unload your awesome arsenal of damage spells like Shock and Incinerate on your not-yet-crispy-enough opponent. However, remember that clearing the way by destroying opposing creatures can often lead to more efficient damage-dealing. Your spells only hit once, but your creatures can attack every turn, especially when your opponent is defenseless!

This deck focuses on unrelenting offense – as long as you have at least 1 life remaining, you are a threat to end the duel at any moment. Sometimes you have to forget about blocking and just turn up the heat. Haste is a potent ability that allows some of your most efficient creatures, like the powerful Lightning Elemental, to blindside enemies by attacking the turn they enter the battlefield.

Collected from the ashes of those who would oppose you, the new weapons you unlock for victory are explosive. You’ll ally yourself with a Shivan Dragon, one of the mightiest dragons to ever fight in the Multiverse. You’ll unleash the pinpoint devastation of Blaze, a spell whose damage is only limited by the mana you have available. What hope does order and principle have against such a chaotic and brutal force?

Wings of Light – Elspeth Tirel

In a Multiverse filled with frightful creatures, white mages like Elspeth show no fear. Through unmatched discipline, superior training, and a little divine inspiration, the Wings of Light deck succeeds where many fail.

The Wings of Light deck focuses on defense and gaining life in the early going. Creatures like Angelic Wall and Goldenglow Moth can effectively stop any momentum your opponent may be generating. Your army is an efficient one with an array of inexpensive creatures to hold off opposing forces. Control your most fearsome foes by enchanting them with Pacifism. If your opponent does manage to overwhelm you, you can easily show him the folly of waging war against you with Holy Day, an instant that prevents all combat damage dealt on the turn it’s played.

As the duel rages on, your tactics will quickly turn from defensive to offensive. Strengthen your forces with cards like Holy Strength and Glorious Anthem. When the time is right, take to the air for a crushing aerial strike. Flying allows attacking creatures to sail over any and all grounded opposition – only another creature with flying or reach can block it. If you don’t have an air force standing by, a well-timed Angelic Blessing can transform the most unassuming knight or monk into a lethal threat.

Like Elspeth, you fight out of necessity, not for personal gain. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of some heavenly additions to your deck! New angelic allies like the iconic Serra Angel and the versatile Voice of All support your airborne strategy. What hope does chaos and brutality have against such a principled and orderly force?

Eyes of Shadow – Liliana Vess

The Eyes of Shadow peer deep into your opponent’s soul, decaying not only his forces but his very will to fight. This deck is a malevolent expression of black magic, necromantic sorcery combined with mind-erasing discard spells.

Liliana’s sinister creation seeks to destroy not only the body but the mind through a punishing suite of discard effects. Use The Rack and Megrim to make sure your opponent’s depleted hand tears at his life total as well. Whatever threats manage to survive your mental assault should be easily dispatched with spells like Terror and Consume Spirit. When toying with your meek opposition proves tiresome, finish them off with a deadly Nightmare.

The Eyes of Shadow deck uses creatures that take advantage of three powerful abilities. Flying makes your creatures more difficult to block, rendering larger foes helpless as your forces pass by overhead. Fear, a long-time staple of black’s arsenal, also makes your creatures difficult to block by infusing them with black magic so potent that only other black creatures or soulless artifact creatures dare stand in their way. Finally, manipulate death itself with the regenerating Drudge Skeletons. For a single black mana, you can prevent these stalwart minions from being destroyed. Remember to activate the regeneration ability before combat damage, and the Drudge Skeletons will turn away attack after attack, while you prepare deadlier strategies for your enemy.

As you progress through victim after victim, your mastery of death will attract new followers like Mortivore and the Royal Assassin. You will also unlock annihilation in the form of the overwhelming Plague Wind. Other Planeswalkers despair, for you have arrived.

Thoughts of the Wind – Jace Beleren

To embrace the creation of Jace Beleren is to embrace the ideals he holds most dear: knowledge and curiosity, deception and illusion, mental acuity and manipulation. Like other preeminent blue mages, the reach of Jace’s touch extends to time, thought, memory, and the very fabric of the Multiverse itself.

The Thoughts of the Wind deck includes an elusive group of allies. Many of your creatures have flying, allowing them to attack untouched by creatures saddled by gravity, and Phantom Warriors simply can’t be blocked at all! Of course, a mentalist such as yourself could just turn your opponent’s best threat against him, using your power of Persuasion.

What really sets this deck apart are its twin defensive strategies of countermagic and advantageously returning permanents to their owner’s hand. The threats you’ll face are as varied as the planes themselves, but one simple spell stops them all – Cancel. And if danger does slip by when your guard is down, simply use Boomerang to return it to where it came, often just to Cancel it when your foe tries it again!

Defeating opposing Planeswalkers is all well and good, but the cards you unlock, the new knowledge you acquire, is your ultimate reward. You’ll discover new ways to deny the weak-minded, fumbling attempts of your enemies. You’ll also secure the loyalty of Mahamoti Djinn, a renowned force throughout the Multiverse. Most importantly, you’ll earn the opportunity to expand, control, and learn.

Claws of Vengeance – Ajani Goldmane

The Claws of Vengeance deck features lethal combinations only possible when you manipulate multiple colors of mana. Any apprentice mage can master a single school of magic, but the truly great embrace the power of diversity. Are you ready?

With a multicolor deck, the mulligan becomes a much more important decision. Not only should you pay attention to the number of lands in your starting seven, you should make sure you have access to at least two of your deck’s three colors. Of course, all three would be even better, especially when paired up with one of the most devastating creatures to prowl the Multiverse in a long, long time: the Woolly Thoctar. There are larger creatures out there, but few hit as hard or as fast as the tusked terror from the jungles of Naya.

The Claws of Vengeance deck also features some of the best spells each of its colors has to offer. Control opposing threats with Pacifism or simply eliminate them with a timely Incinerate. When the way is clear, unleash the Sangrite Surge! This exciting sorcery not only enlarges the target, but grants it double strike for that turn. One of the most powerful abilities around, double strike allows creatures to deal their combat damage twice! Remember if the attacking creature is blocked, even if the blocking creature is destroyed the first time damage is dealt, the attacking creature won’t get to deal its second round of combat damage to your opponent, so timing with Sangrite Surge is everything.

As you claim victory and vengeance against other Planeswalkers, you’ll gain access to even more lethal weapons. Impressed by your prowess, the legendary Brion Stoutarm stands ready to assist your forces… mostly by hurling them at your opponents!

Ears of the Elves – Nissa Revane

The reclusive Elves are spoken of in hushed whispers. They are at times mercurial allies or fierce enemies – and sometimes both! From within their ranks, a new force has emerged, lethal as an Elvish blade and powerful as a Planeswalker’s spark: Nissa Revane. She is determined to continue the tradition of Elvish dominance on every plane she visits.

Nissa’s Ears of the Elves deck focuses on the duality of life – green magic to enhance it and black magic to drain it away. Your creatures feature a diverse set of abilities that ensure you have access to more resources than your opponent. Elvish Visionary keeps your hand full, Farhaven Elf lets you accelerate your mana base, Elvish Eulogist keeps you at a healthy life total, and Lys Alana Huntmaster brings an almost endless supply of reinforcements – every Elf spell you play gives you another Elf!

With so many Elves dedicated to your fight, you may quickly find yourself with many more creatures than your opponent. To press this advantage, the Ears of the Elves deck relies on three impressive cards that ensure your forces are not only more numerous, but larger too. The first is a finisher familiar to green mages – Overrun. This brutal sorcery usually leaves your opponent with no viable defensive options except defeat.

The second is the mighty Coat of Arms. With this artifact in play, each creature gets a +1/+1 bonus based on how many other creatures of the same creature type are around. Play this when you have six Elves in play, and each will get +5/+5! This bonus works for your opponent as well, so be careful, but your deck’s creatures are all Elves, so you are likely to reap a much greater reward from this than an unfocused foe.

Finally, for opposing green mages, look out for the Elvish Champion. Inspired by this imposing commander, other Elves will grow larger and be granted forestwalk, allowing them to attack unhindered as long as your opponent controls a Forest.

As the Planeswalkers from lesser races fall at your feet, your mastery of warfare and the hunt will only increase. The perfection of your forces will also increase, with allies like Immaculate Magistrate and Rhys the Exiled joining your legions. Elvish victory – your victory – is inevitable. Get started!

Scales of Fury – Sarkhan Vol

On the savage shard of Jund, civilization has given way to the predatory instincts of its inhabitants. Seated mightily at the top of this food chain are the majestic dragons. Revered by the shamanistic Planeswalker Sarkhan Vol, dragons represent the ultimate expression of power and supremacy. Use the Scales of Fury deck to ferociously decimate all who would doubt them.

This deck is a violent assault on almost all fronts. Efficient creatures lead the charge, backed up by an array of destructive spells like Terror and Incinerate. Blightning lowers both your opponent’s life total and his ability to fight back, as his hand is eaten away. Don’t be afraid to lose some of your creatures, as long as they take an opposing creature with them! There’s always a Gravedigger willing to throw fallen forces back into the fray.

If your early assault isn’t enough to secure victory, you can issue a Violent Ultimatum! This demoralizing sorcery eliminates your three largest threats in one fell swoop. Or perhaps three lands to cripple your opponent. Or perhaps a troublesome artifact or enchantment. Your options are numerous, but all lead to victory.

As you convince your fellow Planeswalkers of the dragons’ dominance, some of mightiest dragons around will be convinced of yours. Take to the skies with formidable Flameblast Dragon, the dual threats of the Broodmate Dragon, and the incredible Hellkite Overlord.

Relics of Doom – Tezzeret the Seeker

Tezzeret the Seeker was the final opponent in your previous campaign, and if you're reading this, apparently all he found in you was a superior Planeswalker! Since you have bested him in battle, Tezzeret's deck is now yours to command. A master artificer, Tezzeret paired the controlling elements of both blue and black mana with the resiliency of artifacts to create a formidable battle plan.

This battle plan is centered upon an elusive menace—Glaze Fiend. Glaze Fiend flies and gets +2/+2 whenever another artifact enters the battlefield under your control. Well, the "Relics of Doom" deck is aptly named; you should have little problem finding artifacts to cast. Howling Mine keeps all players' hands well-stocked, and your deck is packed with cheap artifacts, some even costing 0 Mana. Glaze Fiend can quickly become larger than most Dragons and Sphinxes—not bad for only two mana!

Even if you run out of artifacts to cast, the Equipment in your deck can make sure your team stays on the offensive. Equipment that provides boosts to power and toughness are a welcome addition to most decks, and the "Relics of Doom" deck is no different. Creatures with 0 power, like Ornithopter, can pick up Leonin Scimitar or Loxodon Warhammer and enter the fray. If one of your creatures is neutralized, simply equip another one, and the attack begins anew.

One of your deck's strengths is its versatility, and the cards you unlock as you progress are a powerful and varied lot. In this list you'll find powerful Equipment like the Loxodon Warhammer mentioned above. You'll find a way to make your artifacts cost less to cast with Etherium Sculptor. You'll also find a pair of artifact creatures that can quickly mean doom for your opponent. First is Razormane Masticore, one of the most brutally efficient creatures ever. It relentlessly cuts down opposing forces and applies pressure with its massive 5/5 frame. Second is Platinum Angel, a favorite of Magic players for many years. You simply cannot lose when this 4/4 flying Angel is around. No, really, that's what it says: you cannot lose the game!

Mind of Void – Jace Beleren

Jace Beleren's latest creation focuses on control—control of your opponent's mind, control of your opponent's armies, and control of your opponent's destiny. While Jace has long been adept at the manipulation of blue mana, he now also embraces the order of white mana to maintain this control. Use this potent combination to prepare for your deadliest challenges yet.

The "Mind of Void" deck is less aggressive than previous decks, so you may be vulnerable to early assaults. Your advantage is your focus, even in the face of furious pressure. Like other blue decks, Cancel is an important part of your defenses. But now, with the awesome white spell Condemn at your fingertips, opposing attackers are in greater peril than ever before.

Your deck also features Memory Erosion, an innocuous-looking enchantment that puts the top two cards of an opponent's library into his or her graveyard every time that opponent casts a spell. Although two cards may not look like much, as the battle rages on, your opponent will suddenly find himself racing against time as his very intellect is eaten away. The less patient among you can simply opt for the dramatic Traumatize, which obliterates half of an opponent's library in a single mental swipe.

As you progress through the campaign, the cards you unlock will help you maintain an iron grip on the situation around you. Protective barriers like Wall of Swords and Wall of Air will give you the time you need to prepare for any attack. Your opponent's weakened mind will soon lead to a weakened body under the threat of the mighty Isleback Spawn. A large enough creature in most circumstances, it is unfathomably huge if an opponent's library has fewer than twenty cards in it!

Cries of Rage – Sarkhan Vol

With his latest deck, the savage Sarkhan Vol takes a break from his draconic focus to remind everyone that his warrior-like nature is more than enough to overwhelm most opposition. The "Cries of Rage" deck is red and green, meaning an emphasis on damage, size, and aggression. Pummel other Planeswalkers until they submit to your will or they fall to oblivion.

At each mana cost, your creatures should simply be better than your opponent's. It starts with the efficient Elvish Warrior and continues right through to the imposing Oakgnarl Warrior. Looking through your deck, you should immediately notice a theme: Warriors! Every creature in your deck has the Warrior subtype, and no card takes better advantage of that than Bramblewood Paragon. This "lord" adds +1/+1 counters to your Warriors as they enter the battlefield. Also, it grants creatures with +1/+1 counters the perfect ability when you have the size advantage—trample! Your assaults should be brutal, and your victory all-but-assured.

To support your colossal creatures, your deck boasts an impressive array of spells. Creatures become enormous at the most unexpected times with Giant Growth. Of course, if a creature is already enormous, what it really wants to do is hit twice! Make that happen with Sangrite Surge, a potent sorcery that grants +3/+3 and double strike for the turn and can lead to devastating damage. Destructive concoctions like Jagged Lightning, which deals 3 damage to each of two target creatures, batter opposing forces that may not have been strong enough to stand up to you to begin with.

Like with any good horde, your Warriors' victories will attract just the thing you need...more Warriors! Additional Bramblewood Paragons strengthen your assault, and Vengeful Firebrand can turn a fallen comrade into an explosive opportunity. And if it's explosiveness you desire, then Obsidian Battle-Axe is the weapon of choice. Haste and +2/+1 are already impressive bonuses, but factor in that Warriors entering the battlefield can arm themselves at no cost and the Obsidian Battle-Axe becomes a fearsome weapon indeed.

Eons of Evil - Nicol Bolas

Your victory over Nicol Bolas in your last campaign came as a surprise to many, most of all to the legendary dragon himself. Bolas is likely incorporating this setback into a new master plan, but in the meantime, you get to enjoy a taste of his immense power. The plan is simple: destroy all opposing threats until one of your enormous creatures can dominate the battlefield.

The longer the duel rages on, the more dangerous your deck becomes, but you have to get to those later turns first. To help out, your deck is packed with removal spells, instants and sorceries that answer any challenge your opponent's present. Use Terminate and Terror to depopulate the battlefield with pinpoint accuracy, or Earthquake to lay waste if things start to get out of control.

It won't be long before the heavy hitters start convincing your opponents of your might. Goliath Sphinx rules the skies while Deathbringer Thoctar flourishes amongst the carnage. Of course, you may not have to wait very long for the fun to begin—Bolas was an accomplished necromancer, and Zombify can return any creature from your graveyard to the battlefield. You'll first need to get an expensive creature into your graveyard, and Hidden Horror and Grixis Battlemage can help you do just that.

As you carve a swath of devastation through the Multiverse, you'll unlock awesome new cards. There'll be new threats to unleash upon hapless opponents like Vein Drinker, a flying Vampire with a hunger for blood. Shadowmage Infiltrator, a long-time favorite, will keep your hand well-stocked. Play your cards right and you may even get the chance to control Nicol Bolas himself.

Heart of Worlds - Rhys the Redeemed

Before playing a key role in the restoration of the balance between light and dark on Lorwyn, Rhys was a famed hunter and packmaster. His mastery of the lands and creatures that surround him can be seen in the "Heart of Worlds" deck. Learn its secrets and it will take its rightful place amongst your deadliest combinations.

The creatures in your deck are closely tied to the land. Many have landfall, an ability that provides a bonus whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control. This bonus is often size, such as the +2/+2 boost found on Territorial Baloth. You'll also find other bonuses, like 2 life from Grazing Gladehart or 1/1 Bird creature tokens from Emeria Angel.

With so many advantages to be had when a land enters the battlefield, it's only natural that your deck have several ways to make sure that happens consistently, and sometimes more than once a turn! Play Evolving Wilds and your landfall abilities will trigger once. Activate its ability immediately, searching out a basic land from your library, and those landfall abilities will trigger again. Cast a spell like Harrow or Kor Cartographer, and enjoy even more landfall bonuses. It doesn't take much for your army to grow to gargantuan size and number, crushing your opposition.

Success against others will unlock cards that expand your mastery of land. Frontier Guide allows you to repeatedly search your library for basic lands and put them onto the battlefield. Not only does this provide a constant stream of landfall triggers, it gives you access to incredible amounts of mana. It also improves the quality of the cards you draw, which are now less likely to be lands. Baloth Woodcrasher, at 4/4 a sizeable Beast to begin with, can end the duel quickly and violently with a land or two.

Heat of Battle - Chandra Ablaze

In the time since your last encounter, Chandra has focused her fiery energy into developing a new arsenal. Her decks are always aggressive and brutal, but this one really turns up the heat. The game plan is simple: set things on fire, attack, and prevail. And those that stand in this deck's way? Well they're just fuel for the fire.

You won't have to look far to find spells capable of dealing damage to your opponents and opposing creatures. It can be tempting to just aim all your fire at your opponents, but remember to save something for any creature that threatens you. Incinerate and Volcanic Hammer are great weapons early in the duel at only two mana each. Later on, Lava Axe takes sizeable chunks out of your opponent's life total, and Blaze's damage potential is only limited by the number of Mountains you have handy.

In addition to attacking and blocking, many creatures in your deck practically act as burn spells themselves! With some extra mana, Fiery Hellhound's power increases to devastating levels. Flamekin Spitfire can keep the battlefield clear of smaller enemies, and attacking doesn't stop you from activating its ability. Torch Slinger comes with an extra 2 damage when kicked.

As you melt through other Planeswalkers, you'll unlock even more weapons to reduce everything to ash. Vicious Shadows punishes opponents for their cards in hand every time a creature dies. Flame Wave is the perfect spell when setting things on fire one at a time simply isn't good enough. You'll also get the opportunity to go on a Quest for Pure Flame. Succeed, and you'll enjoy pummeling your opponent at double potency for a turn.

Master of Shadows—Sorin Markov

For centuries, vampires have ruled from the shadows of thrones throughout the Multiverse. By defeating the vampire lord Sorin Markov in the last expansion, you've been granted a taste of this power. Dueling with other Planeswalkers is often a matter of blood and strength, and now you have the tools to extract both from your adversaries.

No vampire lord is complete without an array of underlings, and your deck features plenty of early aggression to get you going. Pulse Tracker starts the assault early and is especially effective against multiple opponents. Blood Seeker punishes opponents for trying to summon a defense, and Vampire Aristocrat is always willing to feed on its allies in order to dominate enemy forces. Also, a number of cards in your deck get better if your opponent is "bloody," that is, at 10 or less life. Clear the way with spells like Disfigure and Hideous End, and you should have no problem staying on the attack.

As you move up the vampiric hierarchy, your creatures just become more impressive. Butcher of Malakir seeks horrific vengeance whenever a creature of yours dies, even itself! Vampire Nocturnus is a potent finisher. When night falls, and there's a black card on top of your library, your entire coven takes to the air to overwhelm your foes.

With each victory, your bloodlust and power will increase. Malakir Bloodwitch channels your brood into a piercing battlefield entrance. Bloodghast provides an undying, unrelenting attacking force. Sorin's deck is perfect for not just extinguishing your opponent's life, but draining it completely.

Weapons of the Warrior—Gideon Jura

Gideon Jura is driven by the purity of combat. Not content to control battles from afar, Gideon believes his sacred duty is to champion the meek with his own two hands, charging into battle time and again to vanquish his foes. Your time to charge into battle is now.

The "Weapons of the Warrior" deck features many Soldiers, from the humble Loyal Sentry to the imposing Captain of the Watch. Many provide bonuses to other Soldiers you control, so it's best to get your forces out in numbers. The more creatures you've deployed, the stronger cards that pump up your army are. Bold Defense can offer a massive increase in power and toughness for a reasonable cost. (And don't be fooled by the name, it's even better when attacking!)

Willing fighters are only half the equation. You also need powerful Equipment, and this deck doesn't disappoint. Traditional choices like Trusty Machete and Bonesaw increase your creatures' effectiveness against opposing forces. And with Kitesail, it's possible you can skip those opposing forces altogether. If you're fortunate, you may secure the services of a Stoneforge Mystic early in the game, giving you the armed advantage as early as possible.

It's hard not to be impressed with Gideon's might on the battlefield, and as you defeat foe after foe, your own prowess will increase. You'll find aerial reinforcements like Kor Skyfisher, fierce weapons like Loxodon Warhammer, and much more. To arms!

Root of the Firemind—Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind

It's not easy combining the fiery passions of red magic and the cool intellect of blue magic, but Niv-Mizzet is smart enough to pull it off. The creator and leader of the Izzet guild on Ravnica, Niv-Mizzet is not a dragon to trifle with.

The "Root of the Firemind" deck is every bit as controlling as Niv-Mizzet himself. It mixes potent red burn spells with efficient blue countermagic to make sure none of your opponent's threats survive for very long, if they make it to the battlefield at all. Into the Roil is great for this strategy, setting your opponent back and letting you draw more devastating spells. This deck also packs plenty of punch in the form of Lightning Bolt, Burst Lightning, and Blaze.

Niv-Mizzet was smart enough to include creatures that work well with all the instants and sorceries you'll be casting. Gelectrode goes from minor nuisance to battlefield-clearing powerhouse by untapping multiple times a turn. With a few instants, Kiln Fiend can blow a game wide open in a hurry.

Choosing this deck is clearly a smart choice that Niv-Mizzet would approve of. As a reward for victory, you'll add some powerful cards to your deck. Elusive creatures like Æther Figment fit right into your strategy. You'll also pick up more fiery removal spells like Flame Slash. Make the right decisions, and Niv-Mizzet may partner with you for complete dominance. A smart move, indeed!

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