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Beatdown Gift Box Theme Deck

When you think of big creatures in blue and black, what leaps to mind? Flying, of course. Both colors have really giant creatures that deal a lot of damage and can't be blocked by your opponent's landlocked monsters.

It's no surprise, then, that we've loaded "Aerodoom" with big fliers. How do you win with the deck? Survive the early game with removal spells, then take to the skies! Your Drakes, Djinns, and Elementals will have your opponent diving for cover.

This deck's primary goal is to play massive flying creatures. But what do you do until you get enough mana? What blue and black do best: control the game. "Aerodoom" has a variety of cheap spells that can foil your opponent's early-game plans. Some of them also help you ensure that your opponent won't spoil your fun.

The "Aerodoom" deck has a couple of countering cards. Usually you'll play these early, for defense. For example, your opponent might try to get a jump on you by playing fast-mana cards. These are worth countering, just so you're both building mana at the same rate. The countering cards also have a nice psychological effect. Your opponent will have to think about whether you're holding one when he or she tries to play the key spell. The "psych-out" value alone can help you control the match.

You have two other kinds of early game control cards: creature-kill spells and library-manipulation spells. The creature-kill spells-Terror, Diabolic Edict, and Death Stroke-are cheap ways to wipe out dangerous creatures that get past your defenses. They can also get you ahead in the creature game. After all, if you're trading one of your spells for one of your opponent's creatures, that means you'll have more creatures left to play. You also have excellent library-manipulation cards like Impulse and Brainstorm. These help you ensure that you always draw exactly the cards you need to deal with what's happening in the game. They're also useful to make sure you draw just enough lands, so you can play the real heavy hitters sooner.

"Aerodoom" also has a surprising range of smaller, more affordable creatures to put on some pressure. An early Skittering Horror or Tar Pit Warrior can take charge early and force your opponents to play defensively. And that will buy you time to bring out the big guns.

Once you finally get enough lands on the table to start playing the really big flying creatures, it's in the bag. Your opponents should be scrambling to get as much land in play as you, so they can keep up in the creature race. In the meantime, your flying baddies can deliver beatings to your opponents before they can hit back. And even if the land race is a dead heat, you've got countering and creature-kill spells to make sure the game stays under your control. If you and your opponents play creatures at the same rate, chances are good that you'll have the upper hand, because you can block their creatures, but they probably can't block yours!

When facing the "Ground Pounder" deck, remember your strengths and weaknesses and work with them. Think carefully before playing one of your creature-kill spells. Is the Llanowar Elves really a threat? Or should you leave the Elves alone and wait for something bigger to appear? Likewise, treat your countering spells like gold: trade them only for a spell that would really mess you up. For example, wait for your opponent to play that crucial Giant Growth that lets a smaller creature over come your awesome one. Then counter it. Effective and demoralizing. Also, watch for the spells that take out several of your cards at once, such as Fireball.

Finally, don't be afraid to lose the occasional creature to destroy one of your opponents big creatures. Why? A good number of your creatures are in the deck precisely because they can take out attackers (Fog Elemental, for example). After a few games, you'll know which big creatures are built for defending and which ones are built for laying down the smack on your opponent.

1Cloud ElementalC
1Fog ElementalC
1Snapping DrakeC
1Wayward SoulC
1Giant CrabC
1Vigilant DrakeC
1Air ElementalU
1Killer WhaleU
1Cloud DjinnU
1Blizzard ElementalR
1Mahamoti DjinnR
1Foul ImpC
1Skittering SkirgeC
1Skittering HorrorC
1Tar Pit WarriorC
1Grave DiggerC
1Hollow DogsC
1Fallen AngelR
1Sengir VampireU
1Clockwork AvianR
1Tolarian WindsC
1Gaseous FormC
1Power SinkC
1Dark RitualC
1Diabolic EdictC
1Death StrokeC
1Bone HarvestC
1Drain LifeC
1Diabolic VisionU
1Svyelunite TempleU
1Ebon StrongholdU
1Polluted MireC
1Remote IsleC

* = from a previous set

Ground Pounder Ground Pounder

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