Home Editorial Unlocking Duels 2013 DLC decks: Fun with color theory

With the new Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013 DLC available, my first quest was, of course, to unlock the content’s five new Ravnica-themed decks. Each represents a different color pairing, offering unique perspectives on the world of Magic. I’d wager DLC #2 is the next five Ravnica guilds.

The interaction between the game’s five colors has always been one aspect of Magic the Gathering that has always fascinated me. Each color represented certain ideals, places, strategies, and values, and each found itself paired with two allies and against two enemies.

The simplicity and breadth of this design continues to impress me, partly because they so completely describe actual relationships in the real world. The clashes between ego and collestivism. The forces of life and death. The drone of bureaucracy and the fires of change that rally against it. In many ways, I’ve adapted these color relations as my top-level worldview; not literally, of course, but they make for easy shortcuts.

Anyway, each of the new DLC decks brings something new to the Duels 2013 table – harnassing decay, insane experimentation, rule of law… it’s wonderful. I decided to face each of the expansion’s decks down with opposite color decks to demonstrate why they’re at odds and, well, just for kicks. Enjoy!


Unlocking Duels 2013 DLC decks with color foes

13 replies to this post
  1. Hey WiNG, love your site! First of all I think your site is awesome. You go for quality instead of quantity in your posts, which makes being constantly surprised by the creepy thumbnail links at the bottom of each article worth it.

    Second of all, in your Selesnya vs. Izzet match, why did the CPU choose to cast Wee Dragonauts instead of feeding it to his Spellbound Dragon? I think you won with that turn.

    Third, would you know if there’s an article somewhere where Stainless or WotC explains their card selection for DotP? I’m really curious both as a fan of the game and as a frustrated blue color fan as well. Maybe you can get in touch with them and write about it!

    Fourth, do you think whoever selects the cards hates blue Magic? Seriously. As with the base decks, once again with the DLC the most powerful decks are the ones with white (soldier & aura) and red (goblins & demons).

    I mean, look at the soldier deck (we don’t need to scrutinize the others because Invisible Stalker, Goblin Chieftain & Demigod of Revenge) it’s wonderfully balanced with offense and defense at nearly every casting cost.

    Meanwhile Dream Puppets and Mindstorms don’t even get a single Fog Bank or a Wall of Vapor or even a Kraken Hatchling, Instead we have cards like hoard-smelter dragon and vedalken entrancer, which have impressive sounding names but are useless or too expensive or both.

    And just to rub it in, you know which deck that stupid Telemin Performance is actually worth casting on? That’s right: Mindstorms. You know which card our beloved Jwar’s shroud won’t work on? Right again: the Clone in Dream Puppets. *slow clap*

    The exception of course is Crosswinds, which I have to hand it to DotP is both blue-colored and decent, if not great. Not to mention fun to use. If I’m just playing to experiment I’d take any of the blue decks over the rest any day, but if we’re talking about competitiveness within DotP I think they’re the weakest of all the decks.

    The next weakest deck for me would either be Ancient Wilds – relies on too many high priced cards to work – and Selesnya, which I initially thought was going to be as hilarious as the classic squirrel decks (Squirrel Nest/Earthcraft!) but is actually really slow.

    Wow this is a long “comment.” I’m sure you didn’t read it. But that’s okay, as long as you keep the good posts coming!

    • 1. Thanks! Glad you feel that way. We certainly put in the extra effort.
      2. Not sure. Maybe you’re right. Really it’s our fault for messing up though.
      3. No, I don’t think so. There may have been a post on the WOTC forums, but I can’t recall.
      4. Did you see Realm of Illusions last game? Muahahhahhahaha Also, nobody who hates blue puts Panoptic Mirror in the game.
      5. Ancient Wilds is definitely not weak. It has hard lock win conditions, immunity from board wipes, life gain, everything destruction, and a turn 4 win possibility.

    • What I think the main problem with Dream Puppets is is that it’s very specific while the opponents you can face with it rely on extremely diverse strategies. It lacks in mass control, as you only get to bounce seven times I believe, three of which are creature only, and counter three spells. That is, assuming you draw into all of your counters and bounce spells.
      With DP, you often have a very specific way to win in mind. Either drive your opponent insane (which is unviable in any matches with 3 or more players) or simply beat them down using Phantasms or their own creatures. Again, you don’t usually get more than two Phantasms a game, having a Hedron early on or not can be a difference of 9 cards milled off of your opponent at least, if not significantly more, as well as eating a removal spell meant for your Phantasms or chumping, Body Double is useless if you don’t get the necessary milling spells, and so on.

      If you can get a Sword out into somebody’s face or hit them with another good combo, Dream Puppets can certainly be very good, it’s just that it specialises in using very few permanents and, at the same time, responding to very few permanents. If the enemy deck is built around using weenies, like freaking Goblins, then you’ll be sitting there Cloning a 2/1 because you need to and there’s nothing better to use it on.

      Also, it is easy to troll DP players by simply being a retard and having a deck of 100 cards. Sure, there’s Traumatise, which MIGHT hit for 44 cards, but since the average player will have a deck of 60 cards, that reduces the value of Traumatise down to 24 cards, that is, if neither of you have done anything which modifies their library and you play with Sapphire Medaillon. In a real scenario, I’d expect their deck to hold maybe 30-35 cards remaining while they have their win condition out ready to punch in your face.

      Also, don’t get me started on Crosswinds. It’s nice to have the “alternative win condition” of simply doing infinite turns, but it feels like there are far too many ways of doing that and everybody is going for it. It should be something special so that you can feel achieved after pulling it off but don’t need to in order to win games, but due to the many possibilities, it’s a viable “win them all” strategy.

  2. Nice job here Wing.

    Seems like these multicolored decks lack one thing: Consistency. Compared to a mono-colored deck, there are issues that the dual colored decks have like making sure it has 2 of each color so it can cast its hand. This requires maybe 1 to extra turns at BEST, and in the mean time if facing a mono colored aggro deck, that may be too long. Although its mad fun when the deck runs smooth and works. But as far as competitiveness…it suffers from … “I need a good hand syndrome.”

    Those are my two cents, what do you think?

    • Indeed, they all get owned pretty hard by Icy Manipulator or land destruction of any kind. That said I think they each have some nasty threats that MUST be dealt with immediately or else. I have beaten good Goblins players several times with MS and AS now… if you can survive to turn 4 you have a lot of plays that Gobbos will be reeling from.

  3. Yeah the new decks are exciting and fun but with the exception of BG they are either too slow or inconsistent. That said Golgari is a top tier deck with tons of powerful versatile removal, board clearing, undercosted creatures, and enough mana acceleration to negate many of the reliability problems other decks face. Grinning malice is another strong deck with enough discard and removal effects to stay alive through the early game.

    On the other side of the coin collective might seems really problematic. Hero of Bladehold, is great but most of the other methods of generating tokens are slow and expensive and I’m chumping away any numbers advantage to stay alive.

  4. WINGG
    Just did the most awesome combo ever. I cast 2x Compulsive Research on my opponent, then Cerebral Vortex and Reverberate. 18 damage for 10 mana OP pls nerf
    wotc pls

  5. Love AS deck, invisible stalker with empyrial armor on turn 3 pwnz. Just played 2hg against an underworld dreams with prosperity, wheel and deal combo, that made me sick..

  6. Sepulchral Strength

    Evolving Wilds x 2
    Rancor X 2
    Scute Mob X 2
    Spore Frog X 1
    Blood Artist X 2
    Dark Heart of the Wood X 1
    Diabolic Edict X 1
    Go for the Throat X 3
    Ravenous Rats X 2
    Viridian Emissary X 2
    Maelstrom Pulse X 2
    Mind Rot X 2
    Pernicious Deed X 2
    Troll Ascetic X 3
    Creakwood Liege X 1
    Damnation X 1
    Defense of the Heart X 1
    Mortivore X 2
    Sewer Nemesis X 2
    Asceticism X 1
    Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief X 1
    Lord of Extinction X 2
    Vulturous Zombie X 3

    61 card deck.

    I think this build is fun, maybe not the best but I enjoy it anyways. Only having two evolving wilds seems risky, but honestly I have not had much trouble with the mana flow. This deck gives me plenty of time to build up my Vulturous Zombies and if late game I’m running low on life just play Dark heart of the wood, and sacrifice some forests if need be.

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