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A Review of Deckmaster

The Deckmaster box contains two preconstructed decks with cards from Ice Age and Alliances. One of the decks is designed by Jon Finkel, a well-known player and the other by Richard Garfield, one of the game's designers.

Jon Finkel's Deck
Lands (26)
12 Swamp
12 Mountain
1 Sulfurous Springs
1 Underground River

Creatures (17)
2 Foul Familiar
2 Lim-Dul's High Guard
2 Phantasmal Fiend
2 Abyssal Specter
2 Storm Shaman
2 Orcish Cannoneers
1 Balduvian Horde
2 Goblin Mutant
2 Phyrexian War Beast

Other (19)
2 Dark Ritual
2 Dark Banishing
1 Necropotence (FOIL)
2 Contagion
2 Soul Burn
2 Guerilla Tactics
2 Incinerate
2 Pyroclasm
2 Lava Burst
1 Icy Manipulator
1 Icy Manipulator (FOIL)

The rares in this deck are Balduvian Horde, Necropotence, Sulferous Springs and Underground River. Four good rares, although the painlands and Balduvian Horde are a bit bland if you like your rares interesting.

The rest of the deck has too many good cards to make a list of them. The deck's concept seems to be a combination of Sligh and Necro. As a result, some cards don't work well together, like Necropotence and Orcish Cannoneers. Still, it's a good starting point for beginners.

Richard Garfield's Deck
Lands (25)
12 Mountain
12 Forest
1 Karplusan Forest

Creatures (21)
2 Storm Shaman
2 Fyndhorn Elves
2 Balduvian Bears
2 Woolly Spider
1 Lhurgoyf (FOIL)
2 Yavimaya Ants
1 Folk of the Pines
1 Elvish Bard
2 Yavimaya Ancients
2 Giant Trap Door Spider
2 Phyrexian War Beast
2 Walking Wall

Other (16)
2 Death Spark
1 Incinerate
1 Incinerate (FOIL)
1 Shatter
1 Pillage
1 Jokulhaups
2 Lava Burst
2 Giant Growth
1 Bounty of the Hunt
1 Hurricane
2 Barbed Sextant
1 Elkin Bottle

The rares in this deck are Karplusan Forest, Lhurgoyf, Jokulhaups and Elkin Bottle. Not a bad selection. Elkin Bottle is probably the lesser of the three in power, but it's still quite playable. The rares are a bit more interesting than in Jon's deck as well.

The rest of the deck is a bit iffy, though. It contains plenty of good cards, but they don't seem to work well together. Fyndhorn Elves and Balduvian Bears are good Beatdown cards, but cards like Elvish Bard, Folk of the Pines and Walking Wall destroy that concept. They're too slow to follow up on the beatdown. Cards like Wiitigo and Stunted growth would have been better choices. The first as a big finisher and the second as disruption while your weenies keep pounding. I'm also not crazy about Shatter, because it's useless if your opponent doesn't have any artifacts, unlike the much better Pillage. Barbed Sextant doesn't seem necessary either, because the deck has only two colors.

Depending on the price you can find it at, the Deckmaster set looks like a good buy. You get two decks that should be fun to play against eachother, four foils and eight rares, all of which are solid and useful. On top of that, the selection of commons and uncommons is pretty good, offering plenty of staples that'll easilly fit in your other decks. If you're lucky, you may still be able to buy it online. Click here to buy it. Otherwise, find it used on eBay by clicking here.

Two thumbs up for Deckmaster!

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Onslaught continues the story of Kamahl, who struggles to cope with what it means to be a druid. At the same time, he has to help his sister, Jeska, who has been transformed into Phage, a being that can kill with a mere touch. At the same time Ixidor, an illusionist with the ability to shape reality is out to kill Phage for killing his one true love. Who will find her first?

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