Mirage Theme Deck
Built by MagicTheGathering.com columnist Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar—with ample help from his readers—the "Night Terrors" deck ensures that the thing that goes bump in the night is you. Loaded with more creepy-crawlies than a haunted cemetery on Halloween, this deck is sure to give your opponent something to scream about.
At heart, the "Night Terrors" deck is a beatdown deck with some tricks up its sleeve. Your best course of action is to play out efficient attackers and, well, attack with them. The deck features two tremendously efficient flying creatures: Skulking Ghost is a 2-power creature with flying that costs only two mana, and Feral Shadow provides the same power and evasion for just one mana more. Neither creature is durable, but their goal is to damage your opponent in the early game—you'll have more devious tricks to pull later.
As the game progresses, you'll be able to take the upper hand in a creature standoff. Many of your creatures make it impossible for your opponent to attack or block without taking casualties. Urborg Panther takes out blockers, Wall of Corpses takes out attackers, and Dread Specter takes out both. You'll lose your creatures as well—but you don't mind! Shallow Grave, Bone Harvest, and Soulshriek all reward you for having a nice, full graveyard. Gravebane Zombie keeps coming back each time it dies. If you keep trading creatures in combat with your opponent, you'll win that war of attrition because you hold the keys to the graveyard. If you're not trading creatures, that means your opponent must not be attacking or blocking. Perfect!
While Ghosts and Shadows and Specters are scary, they don't hold a candle to the deck's ultimate frighteners. Ravenous Vampire keeps growing as long as you keep feeding it. If you've got a Gravebane Zombie, you can sacrifice the Zombie to the Vampire during your upkeep, put the Zombie on top of your library, draw it, and play it—every turn! Since you don't mind if any of your creatures gets eaten, the Vampire shouldn't have a problem getting nice and fat. The granddaddy of all spooks, however, is Spirit of the Night. It's not just a 6/5 creature with flying, trample, haste, protection from black, and first strike when it's attacking (and rest assured it'll be attacking)—it's a ridiculous, game-winning monster that you can put directly into play from your library for free! All you have to do is sacrifice its loyal minions Urborg Panther, Feral Shadow, and Breathstealer.
After creeping out your opponents with this deck, you might want to make it even scarier. The Mirage set's Tombstone Stairwell is about as perfect an addition as you can find. The more creature cards you have in your graveyard, the better it is, and its cumulative upkeep cost shouldn't pose a problem. The Ninth Edition set's Mortivore and Grave Pact are a couple of other eerily good ways to take advantage of your vampiric tendencies.
* = from a previous set
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