Magic: The Gathering ? Battlegrounds is filled with faithful translations of classic creatures, spells and enchantments from the premier trading card game in a visually stunning 3D game environment rife with real-time strategic fighting, devastating wizard arsenals and intense creature combat.
Developed by Secret Level for both Xbox and PC, Magic: The Gathering Battlegrounds looks to take the universe and rule set of the popular collector card game and match it with a videogame experience that'll keep us attention-deficient gamers hooked. Remarkably we're given a fast paced, quick twitch game that'll have you reacting and strategizing on the fly like a fighting game but you'll also have to have the inventiveness and anticipation used in most strategy games for the PC. Battlegrounds brings key elements of these totally distinct genres together --without one getting in the way of the other-- and this is the game's greatest appeal even for PC gamers who live and die for RTS games. It might be a limitation of the license itself or a design decision, but it also feels like the developers were holding back to keep from alienating the masses of gamers, especially on the console. There's the potential for some grand things to come out of this strategy-fighting hybrid game system.
Much of the depth and detail of Magic: the Gathering beyond the basic magic systems had to be sacrifice or streamlined to keep the action fast paced. The interface is very much like a fighting game, or better yet, a volleyball title with the two combatants facing each other and a dividing line between their two halves of the battleground. Your character is a magic user, so the emphasis isn't on throwing physical combo attacks and flying piledrivers. This isn't to say mastering the timing of blocks and attacks isn't crucial, because they are. It's just that summoning creatures, casting enchantments and spells to attack defend and boost your own character's or your critters' abilities is the main point of Magic the Gathering: Battleground.
The system is setup around your ability to collect magic in the form of shards and crystals during the heat of battle to spend on the various spells that you'll be unlocking as you make your way through the solo Quest mode. Basic spells and creatures may cost only 1 unit of magic while the more powerful dragons and devastating attacks and enchantments will be much more expensive. Your character has to move around the battleground to pick up magic that's automatically generated, coughed up by deceased creatures (yours and theirs) or even generated magically by a spell or two. You have to be strategic in planning what kind of attacks you want to use but there are so many variables to consider. There's the time it takes to build up the mana you need, the enemy's mana status, what attacks they're vulnerable to, when to trade offense for defense, etc. In fact the game does an excellent job of compelling you to be efficient just like a PC real-time strategy game.
Sending multiple creatures to attack your enemy is the main means of getting stuff done in Battlegrounds. You summon creatures of varying abilities and strengths and they automatically engage in their attack routines whatever they may be. You're merely choosing the time and place for them to spawn and re-spawn. Like a turn-based strategy game, your creatures will engage an enemy and, should they fall during that "turn" and if they have enough life left, they'll respawn from the location that you first targeted and start the whole thing all over again. This is as important for cheap creatures with very little health, but when you have big treants or even cheapies enchanted to have extra life force, it becomes crucial. The time it takes for a creature to march or fly from their spawn point can mean the difference between victory and defeat. You can't summon creatures on your opponent's side of the battleground but hatching them right near the dividing line ensure they'll get to the enemy sooner rather than later. Similarly, powerful but delicate creatures might be better utilized if their spawn points are near the rear so they can safely attack while still being protected.
Throwing enchantments and booster spells in to the mix only makes things more interesting in Battlegrounds. The layers of strategy you can employ, especially once you start playing head to head online, are many and varied. The game's solo campaign has a pretty flat learning curve since the gameplay concepts are going to be new to everybody, but this is also very necessary. Requiring gamers to utilize newly unlocked spells and creatures to advance to the next level is a nice touch. Taking cheap melee units and quickly giving them a spell that makes them faster or tougher or more deadly will throw off both the CPU and a human opponent. A trick like this might end up costing less magic than some mega-expensive, and equally spectacular, move. In the solo campaign, just like when you hop online to play against others, you're limited to 10 spells in your spellbook. You can have the three categories of summoning, spells and enchantments but you can split up your 10 spells however you see fit across those categories.
One problem we had with the solo campaign was the way you're forced to learn everything in the five schools of magic from scratch. That is when you build up your abilities and skills enough to beat the master of one school, you're starting over when you begin the next color of magic. Red, green, black, blue and white schools of magic each have their strengths and weaknesses and you're obviously most effective when you have the best of each in your arsenal when you go to battle friends. It's similar to how many Xbox Live games have solo campaigns ultimately designed to reward online players.
Magic: The Gathering Battlegrounds Game Walkthrough
|*| X B O X |*|
|*| MAGIC: THE GATHERING BATTLEGROUNDS |*|
Copyright 2004 Rick Steen, aka. BlazeWyrm*
LAST UPDATED: 22nd January 2004, 4:05 PM (GMT+9:30)
1.0 General Hints And Tactics
1.2 Spell Usage
2.0 Individual Spell Tactics
2.1 Green Spells
2.2 Red Spells
2.3 Blue Spells
2.4 White Spells
2.5 Black Spells
3.0 Custom Deck Templates And Strategies
3.1 Life Mage
3.4 Wizard Slayer
3.6 Red Headed Step-Mage
2.7 Reaper Mage
3.8 Forest Lich
3.9 Unnamed (Brendan Caffrey)
8.0 Version Changes
9.0 Authorised Website List
NB. To skip to a heading, simply press CTRL+F to open the Find box, and
enter the index number next to the heading you're looking for.
Alternatively, type in a keyword to find information on the chosen
subject. To ensure you find the heading instead of a mention, try
writing the keyword(S) (ie. Elvish Warrior) in all capital letters,
with the MATCH CASE option enabled.
1.0 - GENERAL HINTS AND TACTICS
This section will give you a few hints and tips regarding most aspects
of play, which should hopefully allow you to play that much better.
This section is aimed mainly at beginners, but there may still be some
useful tactics for those who haven't exploited this game's short cuts.
1.1 - DUELLIST
- When attacking creatures with 1 toughness, move forwards into them
before you strike to ensure you kill them before they hit you.
- Shielding halves most damage, rounded down. All damage of only 1 is
simply ignored while shielding.
- Move to make enemy creatures chase you as far as possible while
building up mana to defend against it. You might get a blocking
creature or a damaging spell just in time.
- Shield all attacks from major creatures and duellist-targeting
spells. You should never take full damage from a high-power attack
unless it's integral to your strategy (ie. You're using No Mercy
to destroy creatures, or you wish to take the damage in order to
deal two to that creature).
1.2 - SPELL USAGE
- You should never summon a creature to block a 1 toughness creature,
unless you're sure the enemy duellist will use a spell that enhances
the creature's toughness, or you use a creature that gains power
with each respawn or kill. Just attack them - they'll die instantly.
- Some spells can be 'stacked' (cast twice on the same target) to make
their effects even stronger. Stackable spells are indicated as such
in the Individual Spell Tactics section.
- Move backwards before using Counterspell on Scorching Missile. You
have more time to counter this spell if you're further away from the
1.3 - MISCELLANEOUS
- When making a custom spell book, ensure that you have some low-level
creatures so you have something to use at the start. You can ignore
this hint if you've chosen sorceries that will hold out until your
powerful creatures can be created. However, you'll need one of the
two or you'll find yourself being defeated early on, especially
against a Green duellist.
- If you're making a custom spell book with Green as a colour,
consider making it your primary colour if you're using spells such
as Llanowar Elves, Priest Of Titania or Untamed Wilds. This will
mean that you can get Green mana first, allowing you to quickly
recharge mana and summon more crystals for your other colour too.
- If you find Quest Mode too hard, go to options and set the Quest
Difficulty to Easy. there will be no difference, except you start
with 3 mana crystals instead of none, giving you a bit more of an
- It's a good idea to have vibrate set to ON for your controller. If
you've done this, your controller will vibrate when your duellist
has been hit, which is handy when there's creatures everywhere and
you aren't aware of nearby threats or the enemy's sorceries.
- If you keep losing a match in Quest Mode, keep retrying. After a
few losses you'll get a hint that gives you a good idea of what
your first moves and general tactics should be. Certain Quests
have more than one hint.
- When versing a friend who's new to the game and don't have time to
watch them play the tutorial levels, make them their own profile
anyway and go to Versus Mode. Only the first level decks will be
available, so you can introduce the basic concepts to them without
all of the higher-level spells confusing things.
1.4 - DEFINITIONS
the unit will not respawn, even if it fights an enemy unit, until it
has successfully attacked the enemy duellist. The amount of damage a
creature with Trample does to another creature is subtracted from
the Trample creature's power. For example, if a 5/5 creature with
Trample kills a 0/2 creature, it will then be a 3/5 creature until
Examples: Defiant Elf, Rushwood Elemental, Avatar Of Might.
If the unit's power is equal to or higher than an approaching enemy
creature's toughness, then the unit with First Strike will kill the
creature instantly instead of having a creature battle. If not, then
the creatures fight as normal. A unit that uses First Strike instead
of fighting will still respawn. If two creatures with First Strike
encounter each other, First Strike is ignored and both creatures
fight as normal.
Examples: Youthful Knight, Thunder Spirit, Angel Of Retribution.
Creatures with Haste move significantly faster than those without.
Haste cannot be stacked, as creatures either have Haste or don't.
Examples: Raging Goblin, Volcanic Dragon.
If the Duellist still has at least 2 mana when his/her creature with
Regeneration dies, it comes back to life, at the cost of 2 mana.
Examples: Gorilla Chieftain, Ancient Silverback.
Flying Creatures cannot fight with other creatures that lack the
Flying ability or ability to attack Flying creatures.
Examples: Wind Drake, Goblin Sky Raider, Suntail Hawk.
Blocking creatures don't move towards the enemy duellist. They will
hold their ground until destroyed. You can move blocking creatures
by pushing them, but they will go back to the place you summoned
them when they respawn.
Examples: Horned Turtle, Giant Spider.
If a creature is affected by a spell or ability with Blocking Change,
then it will move as normal instead of Blocking. If a creature has
Blocking Change as an attribute, when it uses its special ability on
a blocking creature, it has the same effect. Blocking Change also
affects creatures with the Ability attribute.
Examples: Krovikan Vampire.
If a creature has this attribute, then instead of moving as a normal
creature, it moves as far back as it can and performs its ability
instead of acting as a warrior.
Examples: Llanowar Elves, Priest Of Titania, Harbinger Of Night.
Not applicable to creatures, but any sorcery or enchantment with this
attribute can be cast multiple times on the same target for an
2.0 - INDIVIDUAL SPELL TACTICS
This section will indicate what spells are good for what and what you
can do against them. All Sorceries, Enchantments and Creatures are
2.1 - GREEN SPELLS
RUN WILD (1 Green Mana) (Blocking Change):
This spell gives the caster's closest creature regeneration and
trample until it respawns. This is particularly effective when used
early, in conjunction with Giant Growth or another power or
toughness boosting spell. Use on powerful creatures like an Ancient
Silverback to give it trample, or your Avatar Of Might if you just
can't afford to lose it. If you're against a creature with this
spell on it, you'll need to unsummon it or wear it away as much as
possible with creatures before it can get to you.
GIANT GROWTH (2 Green Mana) (Stackable):
This spell gives the caster's closest creature +3/+3 until it
respawns. One of the best spells in the game, this can turn any
sub-standard unit into a threat, and combined with Green's already
formidable ground forces, it is quite powerful and has good, proven
results. This is useful when the enemy Duellist has no creatures, as
the most a Duellist can possibly do to a creature is 2 damage
without spells, and the fact that this spell adds 3 tougness means
that the enemy MUST work to protect himself from the recipient of
this spell. Also good when the opponent uses cheap offensive spells
such as Engulfing Flames frequently. A good defense against this
spell is to unsummon the strengthened creature. If you can't do this
then just block the attack with a weak creature.
UNTAMED WILDS (3 Green Mana):
One of the most useful and underrated spells in the game, using this
will create a Mana Crystal for you to collect and increase your
maximum mana. This does not affect the time that the next Mana
Crystal would normally appear. If your opponent has an advantage
over you with this spell, try stealing the Crystals the moment he
begins the spell, as it takes a short period of time to regain
control after casting.
TRANQUILITY (4 Green Mana):
This spell removes all active enchantments from the current battle,
including your own. This is great if you're a pure Green deck, as
Green has no enchantments, but can be costly if you use enchantments
in your main strategies. Try to only use it if an enchantment will
almost definately cost you the game, or if the same enchantment is
up twice and is stackable, like Gratuitous Violence or Liability. If
an opponent keeps using this spell, try either Counterspelling it or
just change your strategy so it doesn't rely on Enchantments.
OVERRUN (6 Green Mana) (Blocking Change) (Stackable):
The most powerful sorcery in the game if used correctly. This spell
gives all of your creatures +3/+3 and Trample until they respawn.
If you use Blocking creatures and Ability creatures, this is extra
effective. This will make all of your creatures much stronger, and
all of them will fight their way to the enemy duellist until they
manage to hit him/her or are destroyed. A blue Duellist isn't so
much vulnerable to this spell as he can unsummon the affected
creatures to return them to normal. However, any other colour, or
a Blue deck caught off-guard, will generally suffer greatly from
this spell. If the enemy uses it against you, you will want to have
full mana to defend against the onslaught. If you don't, and you've
also got no creatures, you're pretty much in deep trouble.
DEFIANT ELF (1 Green Mana) (1/1) (Trample):
Defiant Elves are pretty basic units, but the added bonus of Trample
means that if you Giant Growth them or use a toughness-increasing
spell, you've got a cheap, effective unit that will tackle multiple
enemies before respawning or being killed. Being 1/1 creatures,
without an enhancement of some sort, they'll get swatted like flies.
LLANOWAR ELF (1 Green Mana) (1/1) (Ability):
Llanowar Elves are very basic units that stand back from the action,
generating 1 Mana Shard every 5 seconds. they're not incredibly
useful, but can give you an edge over your opponents. To stop your
opponent from using these, use spells that damage all creatures, or
a creature that damages all others on creation or death, such as a
Magma Giant or a Death's-Head Buzzard.
ELVISH WARRIOR (2 Green Mana) (2/3):
the best basic ground unit for 2 mana, Elvish Warriors will outlast
any other un-strengthened 2-Mana ground unit. Combined with a spell
that increases their strength, they are formidable adversaries and
a good, cheap unit to fall back on.
PRIEST OF TITANIA (3 Green Mana) (1/1) (Ability):
A much better alternative to Llanowar Elves, the Priest Of Titania
generates 1 Mana Shard per 5 seconds for every Defiant Elf, Llanowar
Elf, Elvish Warrior and Priest Of Titania in play, including your
opponent's. This means that a Priest on her own is basically a more
expensive Llanowar Elf, but combined with more Priests or by using
Elvish Warriors and Defiant Elves, you'll increase the amount of
Mana each one gives you. Similarly to Llanowar Elves, use spells or
creatures that damage all creatures to rid the enemy of their
GIANT SPIDER (4 Green Mana) (2/4) (Blocking):
Giant Spiders are good blocking creatures because they can also
defend against flying creatures. They are a bit expensive when you
consider that they are Green's cheapest anti-air capable unit. Use
them to good effect, however, and you'll have a competent force of
both anti-air and anti-ground. That's why Giant Spiders are great
with spells like Overrun and Run Wild, as they will take down all
creatures in the way, flying or not. To kill Giant Spiders easily,
either swarm them with weak units, or use a unit that can take at
least 3 hits, and can cause at least 2, such as an Elvish Warrior.
GORILLA CHIEFTAIN (4 Green Mana) (3/3) (Regeneration):
Gorilla Chieftains are great warriors as they will come back to life
unless put to their end with a Black sorcery or Engulfing Flames. If
the enemy Duellist seems to rely on blocking creatures, then use one
of these to keep killing them without having to summon another
creature. Gorilla Chieftains don't have very good strength ratings,
but are still incredibly useful if created for the right purposes.
Against one of these, you can use any Black sorcery to finish it off
or you can use Engulfing Flames before killing it, or to kill it. If
you lack both of these, try and kill it as quickly as possible to
make sure that the enemy Duellist lacks the mana needed to make the
Gorilla Chieftain come back to life. Of course, you can also kill
these creatures forever with the Wrath Of God or Hellfire or spells.
RUSHWOOD ELEMENTAL (5 Green Mana) (4/4) (Trample):
Rushwood Elementals gain +1/+1 permanently every time they respawn,
but because these creatures have Trample it's pretty hard to use
this to full effect, as they only respawn when they hit the enemy
Duellist, IF they get there. Against a Duellist that uses Unsummon
frequently, this is a potent weapon. Similarly, a Blue Duellist that
decides to use Cowardice will find themself defeated against this
creature. All you have to do is use a 1-Mana sorcery on it, and it
will respawn with the permanent bonus. This creature's not actually
as much of a threat as it sounds. Just use two 2-Mana creatures on
it, as all of them do at least 2 damage. Watch out for that nasty
Trample ability, though.
ANCIENT SILVERBACK (6 Green Mana) (6/5) (Regeneration):
These creatures are very powerful, and can take out armies on their
own. They have good strength ratings and coupled with regeneration,
are a force to contend with. Use them against a Duellist that sends
steady streams of units, or one that hides behind their Blocking
creatures. Against these brutes, you will want Black sorcery, the
Engulfing Flames spell, or Wrath Of God. Alternatively, you can send
weak units at it one by one until it's dead, but this generally
gives the enemy Duellist the opportunity to recharge enough mana to
bring it back to life.
AVATAR OF MIGHT (7 Green Mana) (8/8) (Trample):
Definately the strongest unit in the game, the Avatar Of Might is a
fearsome sight on any battlefield. It is also the bane of any
Duellist that uses rush tactics, as the Avatar Of Might only costs
2 Green Mana if the enemy has 4 or more creatures than you, and it
also has the Trample ability, making this already powerful creature
an even more destructive force. Rest assurred, if you get one of
these on the field and time it right, you'll win the battle with it.
If you've got one of these coming for you, you should panic. Use a
spell such as Dark Banishing to silence it forever (make sure you do
this over your side so you can get the Mana Shards!) or Wrath Of
God. Failing that, try defeating him with creatures, but don't waste
mana on the weak, 1-mana creatures, as it'll take eight of them to
beat the Avatar, and that's only if its owner doesn't increase the
strength of it with a sorcery or enchantment. Use something
relatively powerful for its cost, such as an Elvish Warrior or a
Juzam Djinn. If you can make the creature stronger with sorcery, so
much the better. Keep in mind that there's not a single creature in
the game that can survive an Avatar Of Might's attack if they're not
enhanced in some way. Another good way of ruining an Avatar's chance
of getting you is to Clone it.
2.2 - RED SPELLS
ENGULFING FLAMES (1 Red Mana):
This spell is incredibly useful. It only deals 1 damage to the
closest creature or Duellist, but it also only costs 1 mana. Use it
to take enough life off a creature so you can finish it off with an
attack or a creature of your own. Also, if a creature takes damage
from this spell before it is killed, or is killed with this spell,
then it cannot regenerate. This alone makes Engulfing Flames quite
useful. Never rely on this spell by itself though, as it simply
lacks the power required, especially as a Duellist-targeting spell.
To prevent yourself from being damaged by this spell, simply shield
it. Use strengthening spells to protect your weak creatures from
RECKLESS CHARGE (1 Red Mana) (Blocking Change) (Stackable):
This spell gives your closest creature +3/+0, plus Haste, until it
respawns. This is a good spell, as it costs only 1 mana. If you're
being attacked by an Avatar Of Might, for example, you can use this
twice on a Goblin Hero to make it kill the avatar in one hit. This
will only cost you 2 mana! This is also a good spell to make sure
that a certain unit arrives before another, because of the Haste
bonus. This spell doesn't increase the target's toughness, so to
defeat a creature with this ability, take it down as you normally
would. Just make sure you avoid the attack.
SCORCHING MISSILE (4 Red Mana):
An anti-Duellist spell, Scorching Missile deals 4 damage to the
enemy Duellist. Shield this spell to decrease the damage to 2. If
you let this spell go unchecked, it can cost you the game. However,
if you use your shield effectively, this spell is pretty much
redundant, and will suck up your opponent's mana as you make
creatures. This spell is a good way to finish someone off.
THREATEN (5 Red Mana):
This spell makes the opponent's closest creature switch sides until
it respawns. This spell is evil against something like an Avatar Of
Might, but generally doesn't pose too much of a threat. You can
block the affected creature with a weak unit to return it to normal
or Unsummon it if you're Blue. Watch out if a creature with Trample
is affected by this spell, though.
INFERNO (6 Red Mana):
This spell deals 6 damage to all creatures (even yours) and both
Duellists. As it affects you as well, you only really want to use
it if you're greatly outnumbered, or already have a lead. There's
not much you can do against this spell except a Counterspell, but
you can generally see one coming, and when you do, save your mana
to get as many creatures out after it as possible.
RAGING GOBLIN (1 Red Mana) (1/1) (Haste):
Basically useless unless you have a Goblin King, or you use a spell
to make it take more damage. The enemy Duellist can use their weapon
to kill Raging Goblins quite easily, and probably will. Useful as a
distraction, and because they're fast, if you DO manage to make them
stronger, they'll put a bit of pressure on the enemy Duellist. If
you come against these creatures, don't worry too much. You can just
kill them with your weapon, or you can just shield them to take no
damage from their attack.
GOBLIN HERO (2 Red Mana) (2/2):
The standard Red soldier. Use them instead of Raging Goblins unless
Haste is integral to your plans. These guys don't have any special
abilities or notes. Either shield their attack and hit them before
they respawn, then kill them with your attack, or send any creature
their way. If it doesn't kill the Goblin Hero, it will make it weak
enough for you to do it yourself.
GOBLIN KING (3 Red Mana) (2/2):
Goblin Kings give all Raging Goblins, Goblin Heroes and Goblin Sky
Raiders +1/+1 as long as the Goblin King lives. This is quite useful
but since the Goblin King moves and fights as a normal unit, it
generally doesn't stay alive long enough to keep the bonus for any
decent period of time. What's worse, the Goblin King doesn't benefit
from its own ability, or that of another Goblin King, and on top of
that, all enemy Goblins are strengthened also. If the enemy Duellist
brings one of these out, just hold off the rest of the Goblins until
you can take the King down. It's harder than it sounds if the enemy
Duellist strengthens the Goblin King or has enough Goblins in play
beforehand, but you should be able to hold out in most cases. You
can always use a powerful creature with Trample to stop this kind
GOBLIN SKY RAIDER (3 Red Mana) (1/2) (Flying):
Not an incredibly useful unit unless you increase the damage it can
do. If you shield the damage it's initially capable of, you won't
suffer any damage, which makes this unit a pretty poor one. However,
used in conjunction with a Goblin King, or Reckless Charge (or
something similar) this unit actually becomes a threat of some sort,
no matter how minor. Against these units, pretty much any flying
unit will kill them, except Suntail Hawk.
RETROMANCER (4 Red Mana) (3/3):
Any Duellist that targets a Retromancer with a sorcery suffers 3
damage. This is incredibly useful against an Unsummoner, or someone
that relies on damaging spells to cut your army back. This applies
to the owner too, though... so make sure it's worth it before using
a spell like Reckless Charge or Giant Growth on them.
MAGMA GIANT (5 Red Mana) (5/5):
When a Magma Giant is first brought into play, it deals 2 damage to
all creatures and both Duellists. This can be taxing on you, but
since it will destroy all early creatures and give you a 5/5
creature at the same time, it's a small price to pay. The only
unfortunate aspect of this unit is that it will also harm you and
your own units. Use them when the enemy has established ability
creatures, or if blocking creatures are beginning to be a problem.
Against these, simply block their attack with weak units until they
are weak enough to be killed by your attack.
VOLCANIC DRAGON (5 Red Mana) (4/4) (Flying) (Haste):
The fastest Flier in the game, Volcanic Dragons put a lot of
pressure on an unprepared Duellist, or one that just blew all of
their mana on ground troops. They are fairly sturdy and coupled with
strengthening spells, are a force to be reckoned with. To defeat
them, use weak fliers to wear them down to only 1 toughness, then
FERVOR (4 Red Mana):
This enchantment gives all of the controller's creatures Haste. You
can use this to make sure you get as many hits in as possible before
the enemy Duellist has a chance to summon creatures of his own.
This enchantment doesn't increase damage or toughness so take down
affected units as you normally would.
GRATUITOUS VIOLENCE (5 Red Mana) (Stackable):
Gratuitous Violence doubles the damage dealt by its controller's
creatures. This is a massive bonus, as damage increasing spells
also have double the effect and this enchantment can also be used
twice to quadruple the damage dealt by your creatures, which is an
incredible bonus. You will want a Counterspell handy, or an
enchantment-removing sorcery if your opponent has this spell.
2.3 - BLUE SPELLS
UNSUMMON (1 Blue Mana):
Forces the closest enemy creature to respawn. Incredibly useful
against opponents that use 'enhance-until-respawn' sorceries, as you
can simply Unsummon a creature with such a spell on it to return it
to normal. You can also use this spell to stop a creature with
Trample, or to use a Black Duellist's life-taking creatures against
them. There's not much you can do to prevent Unsummon. The best way
to ensure your creatures get a hit in is to swarm the offending
Duellist with units. Use enchantments to increase the strength of
your units when fighting a Duellist with Unsummon, instead of spells
like Giant Growth or Reckless Charge.
MAGE'S GUILE (1 Blue Mana):
Blue is the ultimate anti-wizardry deck, and this spell is one
reason why. Casting this on a creature will make it immune to any
sorcery until it respawns. Great against an opponent that constantly
uses Engulfing Flames or Giant Growth. Keep in mind that if
a spell can hit both creatures and Duellists, such as Engulfing
Flames, and all creatures in front have Mage's Guile, then you will
be targeted by the spell instead of you. You can't prevent a Mage's
Guile spell, but the best way to counter one is to block the
affected creature with a weaker one to return it to normal, or you
can use sorceries on your own units and make them stronger instead
of making the opponent's creatures weaker.
COUNTERSPELL (2 Blue Mana):
If you use this spell when the enemy Duellist casts a spell, and you
cast it before the enemy Duellist casts their own, then you will
cancel the opponent's spell. The mana used to cast the spell will
also be lost. This spell is incredibly useful, as you can stop any
type of spell, whether it be creature, enchantment or sorcery. To
make sure you summon your powerful creatures instead of them being
Counterspelled and taking valuable mana, only summon them when the
Duellist with Counterspell is casting a spell of their own. The more
powerful a spell they cast, the more opportunity you have to bring
out your own. You can also use your spells when you've noticed that
the Duellist with Counterspell has blown all of their mana.
DELUGE (3 Blue Mana):
This spell freezes all ground units, including yours, for 5 seconds.
Quite useful if you're about to be surrounded by weak units, or you
just want to run in and hack away at a powerful creature without
fear of it retaliating. Also useful to freeze blocking creatures
just before you summon creatures of your own. If an opponent is
doing significant damage with this spell, consider using flying
creatures as they're immune to this spell. The only problem is, if
you're being hit by this spell, your enemy has access to Blue
spells, and they have some of the best flying creatures in the game!
Your best bet is to make some flying creatures just after this spell
hits you, giving you a mana advantage, hopefully enough to increase
the strength of your fliers before they are blocked.
MANA SHORT (5 Blue Mana):
This spell depletes ALL of your opponent's Mana. Very useful if you
both have full mana, as it will allow you to throw in a powerful
unit afterwards. If you're finding yourself being beaten because of
this spell, consider going creature-crazy as soon as your opponent
uses this spell, or cast a spell that leads to your Mana recovery,
such as untamed Wilds, or Priest Of Titania.
SPELLJACK (6 Blue mana):
This spell steals any spell that the enemy Duellist is currently
casting. You don't want this to happen for your most powerful spell.
Use this when the enemy Duellist is making something mighty such as
an Avatar Of Might, or if they're about to hit you with something
like Soul Feast. You can't do much against this spell, just hold out
when it happens until you have enough Mana to retaliate. This spell
does take a while to cast, so unless you time it so that you finish
casting when the enemy's in the middle of casting their own spell,
you won't be able to steal any weaker spells (but why would you?).
HORNED TURTLE (2 Blue Mana) (1/4) (Blocking):
This is a hardy creature that is fairly useful against all initial
ground units, especially ones that only cost 2 mana. For example,
against an Elvish Warrior, the Horned Turtle reduces its toughness
to 1, allowing you to kill it yourself. Against a Youthful Knight,
the Horned Turtle has too much tougness for First Strike to work,
and it kills the Youthful Knight. Against a Carnophage or Goblin
Hero, both creatures die. As you can see, the opponent can't use
any initial creature to break through a Horned Turtle, making them
a formidable defense and a great, quick-summoning creature to stop
a big ground attack from reaching its target. The best way to get
through a Horned Turtle wall is to use flying creatures.
WIND DRAKE (3 Blue Mana) (2/2) (Flying):
Wind Drakes are basic fliers that can be used to get over formidable
ground defenses. They're not really powerful enough for consistant
use, but are cheap and if you increase their strength with a sorcery
you will have a formidable flying unit early in the game. Use any
flying creature to weaken or destroy it.
FIGHTING DRAKE (4 Blue Mana) (2/4) (Flying):
For only one more mana than the Wind Drake, the Fighting Drake is a
pretty good deal, and generally the one of the two that you will use
the most. With twice the defensive power of a Wind Drake, Fighting
Drakes are good at blocking other flying creature attacks and also
good offensive units that can't be killed by the Duellist's attack
before it has a chance to respawn. Like the Wind Drake, use other
flying creatures to kill or weaken these. Get them down to at least
2 toughness, then shield their attack (so you only take 1 damage)
and hit them, then hit them before they can hit you to kill them.
AIR ELEMENTAL (5 Blue Mana) (4/4) (Flying):
These creatures are fairly powerful and are damaging and strong
enough to take down most other flying creatures at their level. Use
them to get over strong ground defenses, or to eliminate other
flying threats. Against these guys, you will want to block their
path with any other flying creature, and repeat until it's been
weakened enough for you to kill it, or until it dies anyway.
CLONE (5 Blue Mana):
This creature spell is different to others, in that it summons a
copy of the creature closest to the caster. Very handy when you want
to replicate expensive units for only 5 mana, and also handy when
the enemy Duellist has an Avatar Of Might or something of similar
dominance. If your opponent seems to be beating you with this spell,
try sending weaker ground units at him, or send weak ground units
just before your more powerful one. If he tries to clone and doesn't
time it right, then he/she will clone your weak creature instead.
Keep in mind that if you Clone a creature that has been enhanced by
sorceries, your Clone only has the initial, unchanged statistics.
MAHAMOTI DJINN (6 Blue Mana) (5/6) (Flying):
The strongest creature in Blue's arsenal (OK, if you clone an Avatar
Of Might or an Angel Of Retribution, then Clone is more powerful).
These flying creatures are damaging and tough, and if you manage to
get one, you can Clone it to make them with a cheaper cost. Use a
powerful flying creature such as an Angel Of Retribution, Sengir
Vampire, or Volcanic Dragon to help take it down if you're up
against them. Don't forget that the Mahamoti Djinn IS the most
powerful air unit in the game, so anything you send at it will die
unless you enhance it in some way.
PENDRELL MISTS (4 Blue Mana) (Stackable):
This makes each creature take 1 mana from its controller every time
it respawns. If the controller does not have the mana, the creature
is destroyed. If you stack this, each creature costs 2 mana to
respawn, and used in conjunction with Unsummon, this is a powerful
weapon. If the enemy Duellist manages to get a powerful unit, just
Unsummon it until he can't afford to respawn it, and it dies. If
your opponent manages to get this enchantment up, try using your
sorceries instead of your creatures, especially if your opponent
gets two of these active. Obviously, you could also use a sorcery
that removes enchantments. This enchantment affects both Duellists,
so you can use this spell against the owner by shielding the attacks
from his creatures, forcing them to respawn and take Mana. You can
use this method to build your own Mana up whilst depleting your
opponent's, then make a powerful creature, or a couple of weaker
ones in the hope that he/she won't be able to use Unsummon enough
times before they are hit. When you have 2 Pendrell Mists active and
your opponent can't get any creatures because of your Unsummon, it's
called a Pendrell Mists lockdown.
COWARDICE (5 Blue mana):
This is an incredibly useful enchantment against those that use
sorcery to win their battles. When this enchantment is active, any
creature that is targeted by a sorcery, whether it is beneficial or
harmful, will respawn instead of the sorcery taking effect. Against
a Duellist that uses spells like Engulfing Flames constantly, or one
that always boosts his/her creatures with Giant Growth, for example,
this enchantment is priceless. The obvious way to defend against
this spell is to use creatures instead of sorceries. Enchantments
will still increase the strength of your creatures when Cowardice is
active, so you can use them instead. Just focus on gaining enough
Mana to get your most powerful units.
2.4 - WHITE SPELLS
GUIDED STRIKE (1 White Mana) (Stackable):
Guided Strike gives the caster's closest creature +1/+0 and First
Strike until it respawns. Incredibly useful, you can use this cheap
spell to make sure your creatures get the first hit in. If you use
this on a Suntail Hawk, for example, it will kill a Wind Drake
without taking any damage, and only costs you 2 Mana (including the
Suntail Hawk). Use on your bigger creatures like Warrior Angel. If
this spell is being used by an enemy Duellist and is causing
problems, send a weak creature at the affected unit to make it
SPIRITUALIZE (2 White Mana) (Stackable):
This spell is awesome. Use it to give your closest creature the
ability to give you life equal to the damage it deals until it
respawns. You can use this multiple times to increase the number of
times this happens per hit. For example, a +2/+2 creature that has
been targeted by this spell gives you 2 life with each hit (as long
as the target has at least 2 toughness). If you cast it again, then
it will give 4 life. Again, and you'll get 6. To get the full effect
of this spell, the creature that the affected creature fights must
have a toughness level equal or higher than the affected creature's
power. Against an opponent that uses Spiritualize, try creatures
with only 1 toughness to decrease the spell's potency and make the
affected unit respawn. Then you can kill of the unit in the normal
WARRIOR'S HONOR (2 White Mana) (Stackable):
Warrior's Honor gives each of the caster's creatures +1/+1 until it
respawns. This spell is extremely useful for a pure white deck, as
your normally weak Youthful Knights and Suntail Hawks can actually
hit the enemy Duellist before they can kill them with their attack.
DEMYSTIFY (3 White Mana):
This spell removes the last enchantment that your opponent used.
Demystify is a pretty powerful spell and costs only 3 Mana, which is
handy as all enchantments cost at least 4 Mana. Obviously, don't use
enchantments when this spell seems to dominate the field, but if you
really need your enchantments, try using them just before you need
them. This can be quite taxing on your Mana, however.
WRATH OF GOD (5 White Mana):
Wrath Of God destroys all creatures, including the caster's. This
can be extremely handy if you're viciously outnumbered, or if you
just want to get rid of a particular creature that is giving you
strife. There's not much to say about being on the recieving end of
this spell. Just save your mana when you see this spell coming, or
Counterspell it if you can. Also, make sure you collect as many of
the resulting Mana Shards as you can in order to help you gain an
advantage when nobody has creatures.
SUNTAIL HAWK (1 White Mana) (1/1) (Flying):
The cheapest, albiet weakest flying unit in the game. Used with
Guided Strike, however, and it will dominate the skies early on. Try
a swarm of these, followed by Warrior's Honor. They are fairly easy
to kill, however. All it takes is a single attack and they're dust.
YOUTHFUL KNIGHT (2 White Mana) (2/1) (First Strike):
As it has First Strike, a Youthful Knight will kill any creature
with only 1 or 2 toughness without even taking a hit. This ability
alone makes it one of the best initial ground troops in the game.
Coupled with Warrior's Honor, this becomes a deadly ground creature
that can kill anything with 3 or less toughness without suffering
any damage. Against these guys, just attack them before they are
enhanced by any spell. Their low toughness means that without the
aid of a sorcery or Blessed Orator they can be swatted like flies.
THUNDER SPIRIT (3 White Mana) (2/2) (First Strike) (Flying):
This is a great unit. It will kill Wind Drakes, Goblin Sky Raiders,
Death's-Head Buzzards, and Suntail Hawks without taking a hit. If
you use Guided Strike on it a few times, it'll take down nearly any
air unit as long as it doesn't come across any with First Strike.
Use air units with 3 or more toughness in order to take one down,
and try to do so before it is enhanced with a spell.
BLESSED ORATOR (4 White Mana) (1/4) (Blocking):
Each Blessed Orator in the arena will give its controllers other
creatures +0/+1. This is extremely helpful for a White deck, as the
Suntail Hawks and Youthful Knights will last longer than a single
hit. As Blessed Orators are Blocking creatures, they won't move from
their summoning location, which allows you to hide them at the back
of your area. To kill them, send any 2/2 ground creature their way.
VENERABLE MONK (4 White Mana) (2/2):
When a Venerable Monk comes into play, the controller recieves 2
life points. This can be invaluable, and it can also be not quite
enough. Considering that the Venerable Monk costs 4 mana and it's
only a 2/2 creature, it is a fairly expensive choice if you want to
block a creature, although the life bonus is pretty damn handy. To
kill them, just match their statistics with another 2/2 creature, or
use a sorcery that damages them to either kill them or make them
weak enough to kill yourself.
WARRIOR ANGEL (5 White Mana) (3/4) (Flying):
One of the best units in the game because of its bonus, the Warrior
Angel gives its controller life equal to the damage it deals. This
alone makes the Warrior Angel an ideal unit at any stage in the duel
and coupled with a few Guided Strikes or similar Power-enhancing
spells, Warrior Angel is the best way to damage an enemy and heal
yourself at the same time (unless you use Spiritualize on a more
powerful unit). Use basic flying units to weaken them before you
kill them. The lower the defending unit's life, the better.
ANGEL OF RETRIBUTION (6 White Mana) (5/5) (First Strike) (Flying):
One of the best creatures in the game. The First Strike attribute
means that the only flying creatures that will be able to get a hit
in are Thunder Spirit (as it also has First Strike), another Angel
Of Retribution, or a Mahamoti Djinn. Against these sky-dwelling
tanks, don't use weak units or they'll be butchered without even
getting a hit in. Save your Mana, shielding as needed, until you can
hit it with a powerful sorcery or summon one of the above creatures.
Failing that, try a weaker unit with a few toughness-increasing
sorceries. You will need to get the unit's toughness to at least 6.
TEST OF ENDURANCE (4 White Mana):
When this enchantment is active, a Duellist may win by acquiring at
least 50 life. If you get this enchantment up, use Warrior Angels,
Venerable Monks, and Spiritualize as often as possible. You should
find yourself quickly accumulating life, unless the enemy Duellist
manages to deplete your life quicker than you can get it.
DIVINE PRESENCE (5 White Mana):
This enchantment reduces all damage of 4 or more to 3. This is a
very potent spell if your deck consists of mainly weaker creatures.
This is extremely helpful when faced with an Avatar Of Might,
Mahamoti Djinn, or something of similar power. If your enemy gets
one of these up, keep using more powerful creatures, as they get to
keep their toughness. Alternatively, try using swarms of weaker
units, although this is taxing on your Mana.
2.5 - BLACK SPELLS
INFEST (4 Black Mana):
Infest makes each creature recieve -2/-2 until it respawns. Useful
if there's a swarm of units with 3 or less toughness, or if you wish
to weaken the attacking power of something that's inevitably going
to hit you. Use high toughness creatures against this sorcery, since
they will gain all their normal attributes back when they respawn.
VICIOUS HUNGER (4 Black Mana):
This spell drains 2 life from the nearest enemy creature and gives
it to the caster. A bit expensive for the low amount of damage, but
still worth it since you get the life. Use this spell on creatures
that will either be destroyed by it, or left with only 1 toughness.
You can also use it on a tough creature before it hits you to make
their attack do 2 less damage than it would have, and to weaken the
creature. Note, even creatures with only 1 toughness give 2 life to
the caster. If this spell seems to be acting as your demise, try
a group of units at once, as this spell only affects one creature at
a time and takes a few seconds to cast.
DARK BANISHING (5 Black Mana):
Dark Banishing destroys the closest enemy non-Black creature. This
spell is incredibly powerful, unless you are up against a Black
deck. Got an Avatar Of Might coming for you? No problem, just use
Dark Banishing. Make sure you use this when the target's over your
side of the arena, so you can collect the Mana Shards. Also, only
use this on a creature that costs at least 4 Mana, or you'll put
yourself at a Mana disadvantage. If you have at least 1 Liability
enchantment up before you use this spell, the life penalty is not
as much of a problem. You can't really combat this spell unless you
have Counterspell or Black creatures, but once it's been used you
can run in and grab the Mana Shards before the enemy does.
HELLFIRE (6 Black Mana):
Hellfire destroys all non-black creatures and drains 3 life, plus 1
for each creature destroyed, from the caster. This spell can be more
of a disadvantage than an advantage, depending on how you use it.
As it drains so much life, you'll only want to use it when you've
got enough to spend. Still, if the enemy Duellist manages to get 2
powerful creatures, this is a better alternative than Dark Banishing
as you'll save 4 Mana. However, you will take at least 5 damage, not
including other creatures in play. This spell also affects your own
creatures, but if you're an all-Black deck then you don't have to
worry about it. If the enemy is intent on using this spell, summon
as many cheap units as you can once you get your powerful units
in. This will make your opponent take the most damage.
SOUL FEAST (7 Black Mana):
Soul Feast drains 4 life from the enemy Duellist and gives it to the
caster. Incredibly useful if the enemy has a lead, but it can also
be easily countered due to how long it takes to cast, and will also
leave you vulnerable to creature attacks. Use this to your advantage
when your opponent uses this spell to you, by moving as close to the
other side as you can and making as many creatures as you can afford
to spend the Mana on.
CARNOPHAGE (2 Black Mana) (2/2):
These are basic units, but they're probably the worst basic unit in
the game, due to the fact that each time they respawn, they deal 1
damage to the controller. Forget about bringing these out when your
opponent has Unsummon, unless they'll block an attack that would do
much more damage than a few Unsummons can. To kill one of these,
use a 1-toughness creature to force it to respawn, then swat it with
DEATH'S-HEAD BUZZARD (3 Black Mana) (2/1) (Flying):
When one of these is destroyed, all creatures recieve -1/-1 until
they respawn. This makes destroying 2-toughness creature swarms a
breeze. Simply summon a Death's-Head Buzzard, then kill it yourself.
Also do this when your opponent has ability creatures in play, such
as a Llanowar Elf, Priest Of Titania, or Blessed Orator. To kill
these, just hit them with your attack. Using a flying creature with
3-toughness or less will get that flying creature killed, unless it
has First Strike.
HARBINGER OF NIGHT (3 Black Mana) (2/3) (Ability):
A Harbinger Of Night causes all units, including itself, to recieve
-1/-1 permanently every 5 seconds. This means that the Harbinger
will eventually kill itself, but this can be an incredibly powerful
weapon, especially against White decks and weak creature rushers. To
kill a Harbinger, simply let it sit there. If you can't afford the
damage, try using creatures with Trample to defeat it.
JUZAM DJINN (4 Black Mana) (5/5):
Like the Carnophage, a Juzam Djinn drains 1 life from its controller
each time it respawns. Give this unit Trample, though, and that
doesn't matter much as long as the opponent can't force a respawn.
Juzam Djinn units are powerful and cheap, but can lose the game for
you if not created at the right moments. Use them when you have the
Liability enchantment active. If you're up against these, use weaker
units on it to force it to respawn, or use Unsummon.
KROVIKAN VAMPIRE (4 Black Mana) (3/3) (Blocking Change):
Each time a Krovikan Vampire kills an enemy unit, it will respawn
under the Krovikan Vampire's controller's control. If the Krovikan
Vampire is killed, all units that were gained in this way are
destroyed. Any Blocking or Ability creatures that the Krovikan
Vampire kills are affected as if by a spell with Blocking Change.
Use Krovikan Vampires on weak creatures to help you build up a small
army that respawns on the enemy's side instead of yours. If your
opponent summoned the creature behind where he has Blocking
creatures, then you will have some behind-the-lines attackers, which
is always very handy. Kill this unit as you would with any 3/3 unit.
Don't worry if your creature dies in the process, it won't come back
to attack you if the Vampire is dead.
SENGIR VAMPIRE (5 Black Mana) (4/4) (Flying):
Each time the Sengir Vampire kills an enemy creature, it gains +1/+1
permanently. This means that the Sengir Vampire is an ever-powerful
unit against Suntail Hawks, and is also a good choice against any
2/2 flying creature as it will ultimately only suffer 1 damage. To
kill these, attack or block them with something more powerful, or
wear it away with a sorcery. You don't want to waste weak units on
it as the offensive power of the Sengir Vampire will also increase,
meaning that if it does get past your weak creatures, it will deal
more damage to you than it would have if you saved your Mana and
made something more powerful on the next turn.
HAVOC DEMON (7 Black Mana) (5/5) (Flying):
When a Havoc Demon is destroyed, every creature recieves -5/-5 until
it respawns. This will kill every creature in the game except for
an Avatar Of Might or a Mahamoti Djinn, so it's a pretty good unit
to use against a swarm of powerful air units. To prevent your own
creatures from being destroyed by this, try using spells like Giant
Growth on them, or any toughness-increasing spell or unit.
LIABILITY (4 Black Mana) (Stackable):
This is one of the best Enchantments in the game, but it works both
ways. When this is active, each time a creature is destroyed it
subtracts 1 life from that creature's controller. This can be
stacked to make each death take 2 life, which can be incredibly
useful against a creature-heavy opponent, especially when you kill
off multiple creatures with a Havoc Demon, Death's-Head Buzzard,
Infest, or Dark Banishing. This may be a bit obvious, but try to win
using your sorceries instead of creatures when this enchantment is
up, even more so when there's 2 of them. Tough creatures are also an
NO MERCY (5 Black Mana):
This spell instantly kills any creature that deals full damage to
the controller of No Mercy. If you shield the damage, the creature
in turn suffers no damage. This enchantment can be quite useful, but
since you have to take the damage you will want to have a good
amount of life before you use it too often. An Avatar Of Might can
be killed instantly with this spell, but you need to decide whether
8 damage (more if it's been enhanced with a sorcery) is worth it, or
if you can even survive it. Use this enchantment if the enemy
Duellist manages to sneak creature attacks on you time and time
again. An opponent with this enchantment can still be killed almost
as easily, just send a powerful unit, followed by some weaker ones.
Watch out, as any creature killed by this spell leaves Mana Shards
right next to the controller, which can give them a Mana advantage.
3.0 - CUSTOM DECK TEMPLATES AND STRATEGIES
This section contains decks that were constructed either by myself or
by readers of this guide that have submitted their own. If you would
like to submit a deck, please read the Contact section. Any submitted
strategies are left as is without change to any spelling errors.
3.1 - LIFE MAGE
SENT IN BY:
Rick Steen / BlazeWyrm (Author)
XBOX LIVE GAMERTAG:
Giant Growth, Untamed Wilds, Overrun, Suntail Hawk, Youthful Knight,
Thunder Spirit, Warrior Angel, Angel Of Retribution,
Ancient Silverback, Avatar Of Might
This deck is a 'brute force' deck. The main goals with this deck are
to use Untamed Wilds as frequently as possible until you've got at
least 5 of both Mana. Then your priorities are ruling the skies with
Warrior Angel, Thunder Spirit, and a few Giant Growths for good
measure. If there's a threatening ground troop coming your way, just
Giant Growth a Youthful Knight, twice if it's got more than 6 life.
Use regenerating Ancient Silverbacks to break down enemy Blocking
creatures before you finish them off with an Avatar Of Might, plus
a few Giant Growths if you can afford it.
Before your main strategies can be put into play, however, you'll
need to build up a reasonable advantage. As soon as you've got your
third Mana Crystal, summon a Suntail Hawk and use Giant Growth on it
immediately. Repeat as needed until the enemy Duellist manages to
fend off your hawks every time. You could carry on and try more than
one Suntail Hawk with Giant Growth, but this is taxing on your
important Green Mana, and is also hard to keep track of. As soon as
you've got 3 Green Mana, use Untamed Wilds to get your third White
crystal and churn out a Thunder Spirit (with Giant Growth if the
enemy's air units pose a problem). Let it go to work at your enemy
and his air creatures, using Giant Growth on it only as neccesary.
Build up your Mana until you can use Untamed Wilds again, then wait
and collect the next Mana Crystal. With 4 of each Mana, you can
either make a single Thunder Spirit with 2 Giant Growths, 2 Suntail
Hawks with a Giant Growth each, 2 Youthful Knights with a Giant
Growth each, or you can use Untamed Wilds until you've got at least
5 White Mana, which is when you should immediately make a Warrior
Angel and Giant Growth it to ensure its survival and maximum damage.
From there, it's basically a process of making powerful air units
such as Warrior Angel or Angel Of Retribution, as well as an Ancient
Silverback, and when Mana permits, an Avatar Of Might.
As this deck relies quite heavily on Untamed Wilds and Giant Growth
to get an advantage early on, you'll find yourself in trouble
against a Duellist with Unsummon and/or Counterspell. If this is the
case, try to bring out an Ancient Silverback as quickly as possible.
If you can get 2, so much the better, as their regenerative ability
is invaluable against such an opponent.
Use Overrun if the enemy Duellist gains a significant creature
advantage, or to finish him/her off.
3.2 - SORCERER
SENT IN BY:
Rick Steen / BlazeWyrm (Author)
XBOX LIVE GAMERTAG:
Giant Growth, Untamed Wilds, Overrun, Elvish Warrior,
Priest Of Titania, Goblin Sky Raider, Retromancer, Volcanic Dragon,
Ancient Silverback, Gratuitous Violence
To begin with, save your Mana unless you need to use a creature to
block an enemy creature. Use your Elvish Warriors for this, as they
are arguably the best basic ground unit in the game. Once you've got
your fifth Mana Crystal, use Untamed Wilds, then either use a Goblin
Sky Raider when you have enough to Giant Growth it, or bring out a
Priest Of Titania to help with your Mana regeneration. If you can
get 2 Priests, then send a few Elvish Warriors at the enemy to
increase their Mana Shard generation temporarily. If the opponent
is using sorceries to kill off your creatures, send a Retromancer
his way. Don't Giant Growth it, though, unless you have a fair life
advantage over your opponent. Your main goal is to get two of your
Gratuitous Violence enchantment active, then to get a Volcanic
Dragon or Ancient Silverback as quickly as poosible, using your
Priests and Untamed Wilds to get the required Mana level quickly.
Another way of winning with this deck is to have at least 3 Priests
generating Mana for you, use Untamed Wilds as quickly as possible
in order to get two Gratuitous Violence enchantments up, then Giant
Growth each Priest at least once and use Overrun. It also helps if
you have a Volcanic Dragon or two before you use Overrun.
3.3 - DOMINATOR
SENT IN BY:
Rick Steen / BlazeWyrm (Author)
XBOX LIVE GAMERTAG:
Unsummon, Giant Growth, Untamed Wilds, Elvish Warrior,
Priest Of Titania, Wind/Fighting Drake, Air Elemental, Clone,
Mahamoti Djinn, Pendrell Mists
This deck is called Dominator, as it aims at dominating the arena
with its own creatures, whilst stopping the enemy from getting any.
The key to killing enemy creatures with this deck is to get two
Pendrell Mists active, then Unsummon every powerful thing that comes
your way until it dies.
Use Untamed Wilds to get your maximum Mana up as quickly as possible
because the faster you get Pendrell Mists, the better. Ensure you
have 2 or 3 Priests Of Titania to keep your Mana up, or you'll start
to lose your own creatures. When you've got your priests, send an
Elvish Warrior to the enemy, and make another one when it dies. This
way you will give your Priests a higher Mana Shard generation, and
you can repeat as needed. You could make another Priest but you want
at least 2 spare creature spaces when you go on the offensive. An
easy way to do this is have as many Priests as you like to start
with, then just hit them when you don't need them.
Once you've got Mana coming in quickly, you shouldn't have a problem
with enemy creatures. You'll want to get a Mahamoti Djinn, then
clone it. Alternatively, clone an enemy creature, then kill it with
Unsummon (if you've got Pendrell Mists up).
Use your Drakes to block initial air-based attacks, and you can use
Giant Growth to make them fend off the even mroe powerful ait units,
although it's probably best to save the mana for Untamed Wilds. If
you have Priests, then you probably don't need to worry about
conserving your Mana.
3.4 - WIZARD SLAYER
SENT IN BY:
Rick Steen / BlazeWyrm (Author)
XBOX LIVE GAMERTAG:
Unsummon, Counterspell, Mana Short, Spelljack, Horned Turtle,
Wind Drake, Air Elemental, Clone, Mahamoti Djinn, Cowardice
The Wizard Slayer is mono-blue deck that is capable of stopping
most Duellist's attempts to get any powerful creatures or sorceries
into play. If the opponent DOES manage to sneak one past the Wizard
Slayer's powers, then the Wizard Slayer also has the means to stop
them in a quick, relatively low-cost manner.
Get Cowardice up as soon as you can. This will make all of your
creatures immune to sorceries, and will also stop your opponent from
using sorceries to boost their own creatures. Once you've achieved
this, your main goals are to establish a single Horned Turtle up
the front (to absorb spells like Engulfing Flames instead of the
spell making your more powerful creatures respawn), then throw a
barrage of Air Elementals, Mahamoti Djinns, or whatever you can
clone at your opponent. Be sure to Counterspell any powerful
creature that your opponent attempts to block with.
If each player has around 10 Mana, use Mana Short, then recharge
until you can get a Mahamoti Djinn into play. Then keep building
your mana up until you can clone it. Repeat this until your enemy's
been vanquished, or until your enemy manages to build a formidable
defense against it. In this case, try a few Wind Drakes just before
you send your Mahamoti Djinn.
You can also change Spelljack into Pendrell Mists to help make the
duel more even, if you don't use Spelljack often.
3.5 - PYROMANCER
SENT IN BY:
Rick Steen / BlazeWyrm (Author)
XBOX LIVE GAMERTAG:
Engulfing Flames, Reckless Charge, Scorching Missile, Goblin Hero,
Goblin Sky Raider, Retromancer, Magma Giant, Volcanic Dragon,
Fervor, Gratuitous Violence
This mono-Red deck is quite powerful, and is an aggressive, mainly
offensive deck. To begin with, you can kill enemy creatures using
your weapon and shield. If there's a big creature coming your way,
you can kill it with a Goblin Hero or a Goblin Sky Raider with a
Reckless Charge or two. Your first priorities are establishing a
Gratuitous Violence enchantment, to minimize how much Reckless
Charge mana you spend. Once you've got sufficient Mana, you can
choose either another Gratuitous Violence for maximum damage, or
a Fervor if you're planning the Goblin Hero/Sky Raider rush tactic.
If you're playing against a Green or hybrid Green deck, you can use
Magma Giants to destroy the Mana-generating creatures if they're
posing a problem. If you're facing an opponent with a spell that can
remove enchantments, try using Reckless Charge to boost a unit, then
when it's about to strike home, use Gratuitous Voilence. This will
double the damage to your opponent for only 5 Mana. The enchantment
will probably end up being removed but if you cast it right before
it is needed, there's nothing they can do (except Counterspell).
Use Scorching Missile when your opponent begins to cast a spell to
remove your enchantments, or whenever you've got Mana to burn and
your opponent is casting something (to prevent them from shielding
it). If you don't use 'rush' tactics, you might consider changing
Fervor to Threaten so you can capture Avatars Of Might and Reckless
Charge them a few times. If you've got Gratuitous Violence active,
you'll probably win with such a move. Threaten is also good on units
with First Strike (especially if you've got Gratuitous Voilence
3.6 - RED HEADED STEP-MAGE
SENT IN BY:
XBOX LIVE GAMERTAG:
The author of this deck has provided two spell listings:
Suntail Hawk, Carnophage, Thunder Spirit, Blessed Orator, Demystify,
Vicious Hunger, Wrath Of God, Soul Feast, Divine Presence, Liability
- or -
Thunder Spirit, Harbinger Of Night, Krovikan Vampire,
Blessed Orator, Guided Strike, Infest, Wrath Of God, Soul Feast,
Divine Presence, Liability
STRATEGIES (Hue Janus):
This deck is not universally powerful. Any desired mix of Thunder
Spirits, Suntail Hawks, and Carnophages are the initial order of the
match. These put early pressure on the enemy duelist to either spend
his early mana, take some hits, or both. Blue can cause a problem
for the carnophage attack but, I have managed to occasionally use
the birds as fodder for any Unsummon spells. Best to retire the
Carnophage from the start against any Blue unless you find that they
don't have Unsummon. The Harbinger sort of replaces the Carnophage
by hindering the enemy's creature effectiveness and vit