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Deckbuilding from another angle

June 13, 2010

During the recent Pro Tour we saw a deck tech with Hall of Famer and renown deck designer Zvi Mowshowitz where he showed off his block constructed deck from the Pro Tour. For you who haven’t seen it, here it is:

What is really interesting to me is not how the actual deck looks like (since block constructed is not a big concern for us non-Pro Tour or MTGO grinders), it’s the way he came forth to those 75 cards.

Zvi said that how he approaches his deck construction is that he first looks what he can do with the mana in the current format. Both acceleration and color fixing. Then when he has that figured out, he starts to worry about how to actually win the game. For the mono-green deck that he played playing a fast Eldrazi Monument or getting a Beastmaster Acension online was the ideal way for him to win games.

That concept is very interesting since it’s a very different angle from what I and most other players use when we make decks. In general, when I’m to make a new deck for some format, I usually find a combo or a series of cards that I want to play and then I often just fill out the rest of the decklist with appropriate cards. For example earlier this season right when Worldwake came out I was very fond of the interaction between Knight of the Reliquary and Emeria Angel and wanted that “engine” in some deck.

One of the problems that I had with that deck was as you might remember the mana. I wanted to plays these card but the manabase I had couldn’t really support it. Heres one of the big elegance of Zvi’s deckbuilding perspectives really shines. All the deck that you build with the angle in mind is bound to have good manabases and be very consistent in general. And both those things is stuff I value very highly with the decks I play in constructed.

While that is very neat and elegant aswell as unique since a lot of deck and/or archetypes that you wouldn’t otherwise find can come up if you use that angle when trying to build decks. But there is some limitations with the angle. Particularly for combo and control deck decks. How would you end up with a deck like Scapeshift (like the version I played last extended season), TEPS or something like one of the more standardish UW control. Kinda hard to see how you would end up with decks like that if you started of with the manabase, right?

Nevertheless, Zvi’s perspective is admirable and is something at least I will have in mind for the future. Maybe even so for Nationals next week…

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