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1: Attack from Multiple Axes
Something I’ve mentioned over and over again in ReConstructed all year is the idea that good decks—like good stories—are about more than one thing.
A lot of people try and build single-minded decks, that only really have one thing going on—and then, if that one thing encounters resistance, if that path becomes closed, suddenly the whole deck begins to crumble.
2: Mind the Mana Bases
More than any other element, the nonbasic lands available in the format are going to dictate what decks are going to work well.
Perhaps the clearest example of this is looking at the format pre- and post-Gatecrash.
While, yes, Gatecrash did bring a swath of new cards for its dual lands to play with, the lands alone would have changed what decks were playable. For example, the simple addition of Sacred Foundry and Godless Shrine made a deck like The Aristocrats actually work. Boros Reckoner and Orzhov Charm were certainly good in that deck, but without them the deck would have likely still have existed in some form—the same can’t be said for the dual lands.
3: Maximize Your Best Cards
In a lot of decks, there are cards that stand out among the rest. These cards are just so strong in the particular deck that you want to draw them as often as possible—and you want to make them as powerful as you can when you draw them.
One crystal clear example of this is devotion.
4: Make the Most of Your Mana
It has always been true in Magic that you want to use your mana well and efficiently. You don’t really want to be playing a three-drop on turns three, four, and five—you want to curve out. A lot of this lies squarely in deck building: if you want to take full advantage of all your mana every turn, you should construct your deck with an aim to do that.
This year, it seems like the best decks have particularly been focusing on this maxim. Perhaps it’s just the combination of scry lands, Gates, and Ravnica dual lands that make people want to maximize their mana, but it appears more true than ever.
This will happen someday.
I’m going to come home for dinner and ask my girlfriend what she’s in the mood for. And then she’ll hand me a Magic card face down and disappear into the house. I’ll flip the card over, and it’ll be this.