ID@Xbox Blog

Planeswalking through Magic Duels – Intro to Deckbuilding

In this second installment of “Planeswalking through Magic Duels”, guest blogger Tifa takes us through the deckbuilding process – a core part of the Magic experience! (Missed the first part? Don’t worry, you can still catch up!)

Tifa is the founder & organizer of the Lady Planeswalkers Society (LPS). With almost 60 chapters worldwide, LPS creates welcoming, friendly environments to learn and play Magic: The Gathering regardless of gender, skill level, or anything else. Tifa also works for Xbox at Microsoft as the Global Editorial Producer for the Games Dashboard. She is a hardcore lifestyle gamer and a feminist, who enjoys combining the two. She also runs a YouTube channel with her husband about gaming as a couple.


In order to play through Jace’s origin story, you have to build a deck for Battle Mode. After beating Gideon’s story, I was given a starter pack that included a ton of Common cards to build decks with and 3 booster packs. I was also able to buy an additional booster pack with coins earned during my battles. Booster packs contain 15 cards: 11 Commons, 3 Uncommons, and 1 Rare.

After opening up all my packs, it was time to build a deck! If you’ve never built a deck for Magic before, I highly recommend using the Deck Wizard which will teach you how to build a deck and will also auto-complete decks for you. This means that if you have a card you want to build a deck around but don’t know how to finish the deck because of all of the possibilities, you can have the system finish your deck for you. You should end up with a solid deck to play with even as a beginner player.

Options

Because I am an experienced Magic player, I chose the Deck Builder to build a deck from scratch. When determining what to build, I start by looking at my Rares. I had the following Rares from my boosters: Sigil of the Empty ThroneThopter Spy NetworkExquisite Firecraft, and Nissa’s Revelation. Then, I look at what Uncommons and Commons I have to support the Rares I want to play.

Starting with my Rares, this was my thought process:

  • Sigil of the Empty Throne: This will require lots of enchantments. Do I have a lot of white enchantments? What other color has lots of enchantments? Are there cards that synergize with enchantments? I was able to eliminate red and black, and found that blue was the best support color.
  • Thopter Spy Network: This would require many artifacts. Do I have enough artifacts? Do I have cards that synergize with artifacts? I found that I had blue and red cards that worked well together for this deck and tons of artifacts to use as well.
  • Nissa’s Revelation: This would work best in a creature heavy green deck (my favorite type to play). Luckily, I had plenty of green elves that synergized well together.
  • Exquisite Firecraft: This would be best in a spell heavy deck, heavy on instants and sorceries. I found that with my pool it was better to use this in my artifact deck.

I was able to eliminate black as a main color because it was my weakest. Red was also more suited to be a support color instead of standing alone. Green, white, and blue were all very strong.

Elves

I actually decided to build three different decks because I was inspired by the different archetypes I had in my cards. I built a mono green elf deck due to having a lot of elves to go with Nissa’s Revelation, splashing black for Shaman of the Pack and white for Sunblade Elf. I also built a Blue-Red artifact deck because I had a lot of artifacts to go with Thopter Spy Network and Exquisite Firecraft. Lastly, I built a White-Blue enchantment deck that supported Sigil of the Empty Throne.

Enchantments

Some cool features about building in Magic Duels is that you are able to use the same card in multiple decks, even if you only own one. Also, deck customization has some awesome options to put beautiful art on your deck boxes. In order to customize your deck, go to Battle Mode -> My Decks -> select a deck -> left trigger for Deck Stats -> press X for deck customization.

I hope you have fun building and customizing your decks. Best of luck opening powerful cards and join me next time for Jace’s story.

Jace