Magic: Duels of the Planeswalkers 2015
Deck Building Guide
Version 1.00
By: megamaster125

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Table of Contents
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1. Introduction
2. Magic Terminology [#MT]
3. Deck Styles [#DS]
4. The Deck Building Process - Aggro  [#DBPA]
  a. Getting Started
  b. Identifying Core Cards
  c. Filling Out the Deck
  d. Final Inspection and Lands
  e. Finalizing the Deck
5. Common Deck Building Pitfalls  [#CDBP]
  a. More Than 60 Cards
  b. Bad Mana Curve
  c. Overfocused Theme
  d. Underfocused Theme
  e. Nonbos
  f. Not Preparing for Popular Cards
6. Building a Manabase  [#BMB]
  a. Mono-color Decks
  b. Dual-color Decks
  c. Tri-color Decks
  d. A Final Note
7. Legal Info
8. Contact Info
9. Credits


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Version History
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Version 1.00 - First full version.


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1. Introduction
=======================================

For the first time in the Duels of the Planeswalkers series, we're allowed
to build our own decks with the entire card pool. And since Duels 2015 is
targeted towards newer players, a deck building guide seems like a natural
fit. This guide assumes you have already completed the tutorial and the first
plane in the campaign (Innistrad), are somewhat familiar with the card pool,
and have played enough games to know the basics.

You can use CTRL+F and the tags in the table of contents to jump to the section
you're looking for.


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2. Magic Terminology   [#MT]
=======================================

This section will be like a glossary of some common terms Magic players use,
which don't really appear on the cards. This list is not meant to be an
all-inclusive list, nor will it cover basic game terms such as "flying,"
"exile," "library," or "trample." It will however, define some common terms
that players often use in deck building or discussion Magic decks.

Removal - This is a card that can destroy, exile, or otherwise get rid of your
opponent's creature. Removal can also refer to cards that can destroy artifacts
and enchantments, but people usually add a qualifier to indicate that, such as
"Artifact Removal."

Mass Removal - Cards that remove multiple creatures at once, and often affect
your own creatures. This can include cards that say "deal 3 damage to all
creatures" or "destroy all creatures."

Vanilla - A creature with no special abilities. Generally, vanilla creatures
are not considered good unless that have a high power/toughness for the mana
you spend to cast them.

Card Advantage - Generally speaking, this means having more cards available for to
use than your opponent does. This can be attained through a variety of methods,
including cards that cause you to draw more or make your opponent discard. You can also
gain card advantage through the use of removal spells. For example, say your oppoent is
about to cast Armored Ascension on their Elite Vanguard, and you respond by playing Shock
before the Ascension resolves. Since the Ascension no longer has a legal target, it
has no effect and goes to the graveyard. Your opponent lost their creature and their aura
while you only lost shock. This situation is also referred to as a "2-for-1."

Synergy - This is used to describe 2 or more cards that work really well together and
have effects that compliment each other.

Nonbo - Kinda the opposite of a combo, this describes cards that don't work well together,
and in fact, often cause conflicts when played together.

The Clock - How fast you will win or lose the game if nothing changes. This can be
illustrated with an example. Say I have a Baneslayer Angel on the field and my opponent
has nothing and is at 20 life. We would say that I have a "4 turn clock,". meaning it
would take Baneslayer Angel 4 turns of attacking to win the game, provided neither my
opponent or myself does anything that would affect the clock. Playing or destroying
creatures. Following this example, attacking with the Angel (opponent at 15 life) and
playing Kozilek, Butcher of Truth now puts my opponent on a 1 turn clock, because next
turn I can attack for 15 damage, and if my opponent doesn't have an answer for that, I
will win the game.

Mana Curve - The number of nonland cards you have at every given mana cost. The mana
curve of your deck can be found in the game's deck editor, and is a useful tool in deck
building.

Splash - Adding another color to your deck, but only to add a few cards. For instance
if I added blue to a black deck to play 4 Think Twice and 3 Inspiration, I would say
it's a black deck that splashes blue.

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3. Deck Styles         [#DS]
==================================================

These are the categories that decks fall under. Most decks will align with one of these
categories, and the occassional deck can blur the lines between 2 or more categories.

Aggro - Short for aggressive, aggro decks tend to play small, fast creatures, attacking
early and often to win the game quickly and consistently. Aggro decks can include a few
removal spells to get an opposing blocker out of your way so your creatures can keep
attacking.

Control - Control decks like to play a slow and steady game, winning in the long-run by
gaining card advantage, and using big creatures that have powerful effects, refered to
as finishers. Control decks contain most or all of the following elements: Card draw,
removal, mass removal, finishers, ways to generate card advantage. Basically, you disrupt
your opponent's game plan, and inevitably win yourself.

Combo - Decks that use a combination of cards to win the game or set up a situation to
win. A combo deck goes beyond just mearly having cards with synergy, but the whole focus
of the deck is to pull off your specific combo. For example, Sanguine Bond and Blood
Tribute puts your opponent at 0 life, or Time Warp, Archaeomancer, and Species Gorger
gives you infinite turns with 9 mana.

Aggro-control - Also called tempo decks, these decks often feature a mixture of small to
midrange creatures with control elements to gain card advantage. The creatures and spells
will often have effects which allow the aggro-control deck to adapt to the style of deck
your opponent is playing. For instance, if your opponent is playing a slow control deck,
you have creatures that can put pressure on them early. If your opponent is playing an
aggro deck, your creatures and spells can work together to slow down your opponent, gain
card advantage, and win with a few beefier midrange creatures.


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4. The Deck Building Process - Aggro  [#DBPA]
==================================================

a. Getting Started

One of the first things we have to figure out is what style of deck we want to build,
and what color or colors to use. You can also start by picking a few prominent creatures,
synergies, or a combo, and that will often give you the colors and style of deck you're
building. Most colors or color combinations can be built to be aggro decks or control
decks, but there are exceptions (mono-green control isn't really a thing in this game).

For this exercise, I'll say I want to build a white aggro deck with a focus on boosting
my creatures.


b. Identify Core Cards

First we'll want to identify the more prominent cards of the deck. For this deck, we'll
be looking for low costed creatures, cards that make more creatures, and cards that
boost our whole army. Here are the cards that first stand out:

Elite Vanguard
Raise the Alarm
Squadron Hawk
Attended Knight
Paragon of New Dawns
Phantom General
Brimaz, King of Oreskos
Hall of Triumph

Now that we've identified those, let's add them to the deck. Most of the time you'll want
to run the maximum number of copies you're allowed to use for your core cards. This is
especially true for aggro decks as having multiple copies of cards improves the
consistency of your deck.

----------------------------------
Creatures - 18
3 Elite Vanguard
4 Squadron Hawk
4 Attended Knight
1 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
3 Paragon of New Dawns
3 Phantom General

Other Spells - 6
4 Raise the Alarm
2 Hall of Triumph

Total so far - 24

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c. Filling Out the Deck

We don't have enough nonland cards to finish building the deck, so now we need to go back
into the card pool and find some other cards to add to the deck. These can include cards
that fit our core theme of making an army of small creatures and boosting them, or it can
include other utility cards that help us draw cards or remove problematic creatures. The
cards here are not as prominent in the deck as the ones above, and we may or may not run
the maximum number of copies of the cards in the deck. In some cases we may not run the
card at all.

Loyal Pegasus
Righteous Blow
Selfless Cathar
Divine Verdict
Inspired Charge
Reprisal
Arrest
Banisher Priest
Mausoleum Guard
Triplicate Spirits
Mentor of the Meek
Baneslayer Angel

These cards also require us to take a closer look at them, since we don't have room for
them all. It may be easier to break these into groups based on their mana cost and/or
function in the deck.

Loyal Pegasus
Selfless Cathar

The Pegasus has a minor drawback of not being able to attack or block alone, but with
all the creatures we'll be making in this deck, that shouldn't be too much of a problem.
The Cathar is a 1/1 creature, which isn't too impressive, but for 2 mana he can provide a
one-shot boost to the rest of the army, and for that, I'd value him higher than the
Pegasus.

Righteous Blow
Divine Verdict
Reprisal
Arrest
Banisher Priest

All of these cards serve as creature removal. Banisher Priest stands out by being a
creature on this list, which means the Priest will fit right in with the cards that boost
creatures. Righteous Blow is the cheapest card on the list, but only hits attacking or
blocking creatures and only does 2 damage to them. I would prefer to remove creatures
before they get to block mine, so Righteous Blow is a no go. For the same reason, we can
cut Divine Verdict from the list. That leaves us with Reprisal and Arrest. Reprisal is
an instant and costs less, however it can only hit creatures with 4 or more power, which
can become restrictive. Arrest doesn't take the creature off the field, which can be a
good thing or a bad thing depending on the creature in question, but it can stop more
creatures from blocking us than Reprisal can, and that's the main thing we're looking
for right now.

Mausoleum Guard
Inspired Charge

Inspired Charge can act as another finisher, giving our whole army a 1-shot boost, and can
surprise your opponent in combat when they block. Mausoleum Guard costs a lot for a 2/2
creature, but does give us a couple 1/1 spirits with flying when it dies. However, both
of these cards suffer from costing 4 mana in a deck that already has Paragon and Phantom
General at the 4 mana spot.

Mentor of the Meek
Baneslayer Angel
Triplicate Spirits

All 3 of these cards serve to give us a couple big cards to play, or in the Mentor's case,
give us more fuel(cards) to keep the pressure on our opponent as the game progresses.
Baneslayer has always been a great 5 mana bomb for any white deck, and can be a nice way
to close out a game towards the top of our mana curve. Triplicate Spirits gives us 3
creatures for 1 card, and with a Paragon, Hall, or Phantom General in play, that's 6
points of power with flying for 1 card. The convoke makes it easier to cast as well, but
4 is probably too many copies.

Now that we've taken a closer look at these cards, let's add some of them to the deck.

----------------------------------
Creatures - 27
3 Elite Vanguard
3 Selfless Cathar
4 Squadron Hawk
4 Attended Knight
3 Banisher Priest
1 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
2 Mentor of the Meek
3 Paragon of New Dawns
3 Phantom General
1 Baneslayer Angel

Other Spells - 10
4 Raise the Alarm
2 Arrest
2 Hall of Triumph
2 Triplicate Spirits

Total so far - 37

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d. Final Inspection and Lands

Finally, we have to add lands for the deck. For a mono-colored deck, that's pretty easy
to do. This is also a good time to inspect the mana curve.

1cc - 6 cards
2cc - 8 cards
3cc - 14 cards
4cc - 6 cards
5cc - 1 card
6cc - 2 cards

"1cc" means "1 casting cost," or cards that cost 1 mana to play. For an aggro deck, we
have a pretty decent curve. A majority of our cards cost 3 or less mana, and we have a
few 4-6 mana cards that help us close out a game.

Now to add lands. The only thing to really consider here is if we want to play any
Radiant Fountains. In theory, it shouldn't hurt our ability to play our cards too much,
but gaining life in an aggressive deck isn't really a priority for an aggro deck, so
we'll leave them out.

We have room for 23 land in the deck, which is a fairly good amount for an aggro deck with
the mana curve we have. Generally, aggro decks will want 22-24 land depending on their
mana curve (some can get away with 20-21 land). Control decks will want 24-26 land to
ensure they'll making a land drop every turn for at least the first 5-6 turns. Numbers
can vary a bit, but use what feels comfortable to you. Here's the decklist.

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Creatures - 27
3 Elite Vanguard
3 Selfless Cathar
4 Squadron Hawk
4 Attended Knight
3 Banisher Priest
1 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
2 Mentor of the Meek
3 Paragon of New Dawns
3 Phantom General
1 Baneslayer Angel

Other Spells - 10
4 Raise the Alarm
2 Arrest
2 Hall of Triumph
2 Triplicate Spirits

Land - 23
23 Plains

Total - 60

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e. Finalizing the Deck

Ok, we have our deck, so we're done, right? No. Deck building is an ongoing process. The
next step from here is to test the deck by playing a handful of games. Set up some
questions that you'll be searching for answers about while playing the deck. Questions
about land amounts, the mana curve, cards not used, and number of copies for cards in the
deck are all good starting places. Using the deck we just made, I would ask the following
questions, play the deck for a while, and come back to answer those questions based on
playtesting. From there, you can make changes to the deck until you feel you're not
going to change it anymore.

Is 23 land enough for this deck, or too much?
Are there any cards not in the deck that I'd like to experiment with?
Are there enough token producing cards for the 3 Phantom Generals?
Are there too many cards at the 3 mana spot?
Do I want to see Triplicate Spirits more often?
Are there cards in the deck that aren't working well together?


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5. Common Deck Building Pitfalls  [#CDBP]
==========================================

Over the years I've noticed patterns from newer players in various card games making some
poor deck building choices, mostly because they're just newer players and don't have the
same knowledge and understanding of the game as a long-time veteran would, but that's
what this section is for. I like to call these deck building pitfalls, and they're things
you'll want to avoid doing. I'll go over the main point and how to avoid the pitfalls.

a. More Than 60 Cards

From a purely mathematical and statistical standpoint, a 60 card deck will be able to
draw the cards it needs better than a deck with more than 60 cards. Yeah, maybe adding
that 61st card won't change the probabilities of drawing a particular card too much, but
I look at it like this; every card you have above the 60th card is keeping you from
getting to your best 60 cards. There's also the issue that adding more cards above 60
means you'll have to start adding more lands to keep the land to nonland ratio in balance,
which only furthers the problem of not getting to your core cards easily enough.

To avoid this problem, just swap cards in and out to test them instead of going over 60
cards. If you find that you miss the card that you swapped out for a new card, then
perhaps you made a bad swap in your deck.

b. Bad Mana Curve

I'll illustrate this example with a decklist.

----------------------------------
Creatures - 20
4 Foundry Street Denizen
4 Satyr Hoplite
4 Goblin Arsonist
3 Cunning Sparkmage
2 Wrecking Ogre
2 Charmbreaker Devils
1 Inferno Titan

Other Spells - 18
4 Burning Inquiry
4 Furor of the Bitten
4 Shock
4 Inferno Fist
2 Warstorm Surge

Land - 22
22 Mountain

Total - 60

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Ok, this deck is a bit of an exagerated example. Other issues aside, the point here is
to recognize that you don't want a ton of 1-2 mana cards and a ton of 5+ mana cards with
very little in between. Sometimes the mana curve can sway more towards one end or the
other and be ok, but if you plan on playing a lot of 5+ mana cards, you'll want a decent
amount of 1-3 mana cards to help you execute that plan.


c. Overfocused Theme

We'll start with another decklist.

----------------------------------
Creatures - 24
3 Elite Vanguard
3 Selfless Cathar
4 Squadron Hawk
4 Attended Knight
1 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
3 Mausoleum Guard
3 Paragon of New Dawns
3 Phantom General

Other Spells - 10
4 Raise the Alarm
2 Hall of Triumph
3 Inspired Charge
4 Triplicate Spirits

Land - 23
23 Plains

Total - 60

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On the surface, nothing looks inherently wrong with the deck. However, on closer
inspection, you'll notice that utility cards like Banisher Priest and Mentor of the Meek
are absent to include more cards that generate tokens or pump them. The deck is still
capable of working, but it sacrifices utility cards that provide the deck with some
variety in favor of cards that could be sub-optimal compared to the core cards, or
running more copies of cards that it doesn't need more copies of, just for the sake of
following the theme strictly.


d. Underfocused Theme

I think there's a pattern to how I write about these pitfalls.

----------------------------------
Creatures - 15
4 Goblin Electromancer
4 Kiln Fiend
3 Guttersnipe
2 Chasm Skulker
2 Talrand, Sky Summoner

Other Spells - 21
4 Furor of the Bitten
4 Shock
4 Ior Ruin Expedition
4 Inferno Fist
3 Military Intelligence
2 Burning Anger

Land - 24
12 Mountain
12 Island

Total - 60

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Now on the opposite end of the spectrum we have a deck that isn't focused enough on what
it should be doing. It's not that the cards are nonbos, because it's not inherently
wrong to play any of them together. However, if you're going to include creatures like
Kiln Fiend and Talrand, you'll want more instants and sorceries to trigger their effects,
and minimize the enchantments that don't.


e. Nonbos

The decks in this section are not meant to be used, if you couldn't tell.

----------------------------------
Creatures - 23
4 Foundry Street Denizen
4 Goblin Arsonist
4 Kiln Fiend
4 Two-Headed Cerberus
3 Cunning Sparkmage
2 Marauding Maulhorn
2 Wrecking Ogre

Other Spells - 14
4 Krenko's Command
4 Shock
4 Inferno Fist
2 Anger of the Gods

Land - 23
23 Mountain

Total - 60

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When you're playing a creature heavy deck and all of your creatures die to your own Anger
of the Gods, that's not a good thing. Does that mean if you have Anger of the Gods in your
deck you can't have ANY creatures with 3 or less toughness? No, but you should really
limit them. A couple nonbos in a deck won't hurt you too much as long as you time your
cards carefully. Some nonbos can be played around. Too many nonbos in a deck will never
be a good thing however.


f. Not Preparing for Popular Cards

All these red decks in this section make it look like I have something against red.

----------------------------------
Creatures - 23
4 Foundry Street Denizen
4 Satyr Hoplite
4 Goblin Shortcutter
4 Two-Headed Cerberus
4 Regathan Firecat
3 Cunning Sparkmage

Other Spells - 14
4 Fling
4 Inferno Fist
4 Lightning Talons
2 Burning Anger

Land - 23
23 Mountain

Total - 60

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This deck aims to attach aura to their creatures to make super creatures. The problem
here is that every creature in this deck dies to Shock and Ulcerate, meaning your
opponent can gain card advantage on you every time you try to attach an aura to your
creature with a simple 1 mana instant speed removal. Does this mean you can't play
an aura heavy deck? No, and not every deck is going to play Shock and Ulcerate, but you
should be aware of common cards for any given color, and build your deck with those
things in mind. It may seem like there's a lot of cards to learn about and figure out
which ones will be more popular, but it's really not as much of a chore as it appears to
be, and most of it should come naturally through playing Magic.

P.S. I don't.


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6. Building a Manabase  [#NMB]
=======================================

This section will discuss ways to determine how many of each type of land to put in a
deck. Taking the time to balance out the lands is something that newer players tend to
overlook, and just throw an even split of lands (or near even) between the colors of their
deck. It's not necessarily wrong to do that, and some games you may not even notice any
mana problems. However, in the long run, you'll want to tweek your manabase to give you
the combination of lands that consistently gets you the colors you need when you need
them. Does that mean you'll never have mana issues again? No, but statistically speaking,
you should have less mana problems than the alternative.


a. Mono-color Decks

There aren't a lot of descisions to make for mono-color decks at this point. If you have
a black deck, fill it with swamps. However, there is one card worth mentioning here, and
that's Radiant Fountain. Radiant Fountain should at least be considered for mono-color
decks, because it provides a (slight) advantage. The life gain can offset life lost from
your opponent damaging you, or help you recover life lost from using cards like Ulcerate.
And 4 cards that make colorless mana out of 20-some lands should very rarely put a damper
on a mono-colored deck.



b. Dual-color Decks

Let's use the following as an example for this dual color section.

----------------------------------
Creatures - 14
4 Liliana's Specter
2 Chasm Skulker
2 Talrand, Sky Summoner
2 Indulgent Tormentor
2 Rune-Scarred Demon
2 Dinrova Horror

Other Spells - 22
3 Ulcerate
4 Voyage's End
4 Think Twice
3 Tribute to Hunger
4 Mind Rot
2 Inspiration
2 Flesh to Dust

Land - 24

Total - 60

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Some people might throw 12 Islands and 12 Swamps in there and call it good, but is there
a better method? Yes, and it's not overly complicated. Basically, we're going to
proportion our lands based on the ratio of blue to black cards. Start by counting each
blue card, and each black card (Dinrova Horror counts for both blue and black). The
in-game deck editor already does this counting for us, and here's the results

16 blue cards
22 black cards
38 Total

Now, just turn those numbers into percentages by dividing. This will give us the
percentage of lands to use for each color.

16 / 38 = 42% of our lands should be islands
22 / 38 = 58% of our lands should be swamps

Now, just take each percentage and multiply it by the total number of lands in the deck.
In this case, we're looking to have 24 lands.

24 lands * 42% blue (or 0.42) = 10 Islands
24 lands * 58% black (or 0.58) = 14 Swamps

Note: Rounding to the closest whole number usually makes everything work out. If not,
you should only be off by 1 land, in which case, just add a land for whatever your
most used color is, or deduct one if need be. Now to tie it all together, here is the
final decklist.

----------------------------------
Creatures - 14
4 Liliana's Specter
2 Chasm Skulker
2 Talrand, Sky Summoner
2 Indulgent Tormentor
2 Rune-Scarred Demon
2 Dinrova Horror

Other Spells - 22
3 Ulcerate
4 Voyage's End
4 Think Twice
3 Tribute to Hunger
4 Mind Rot
2 Inspiration
2 Flesh to Dust

Land - 24
10 Island
14 Swamp

Total - 60

----------------------------------

Now, how do we use this method with dual lands? It's actually really easy. In fact, we'll
end up using the same percentages that we used above (42% and 58%). The way you calculate
those percentages will not change by adding dual lands. What will change however is the
number of lands we multiply by. We'll add 4 Dimir Guildgates, which produce both blue
and black mana, so essentially we're going to take them out of the calculation, meaning
we only have to fill 20 lands now.

20 * 42% = 8 Islands
20 * 58% = 12 Swamps

We'll skip the rest of the decklist and just focus on the manabase


----------------------------------
Land - 24
8 Island
12 Swamp
4 Dimir Guildgate
----------------------------------

Let's compare this to the manabase we had before adding the Guildgates.

----------------------------------
Land - 24
10 Island
14 Swamp
----------------------------------

And this illustrates why dual lands are so good. In the manabase with the Guildgates, you
have the same number of total lands, but yet you have more lands that produce blue mana
and more that produce black mana than in the second manabase.

8 Islands + 4 Dimir Guildgates = 12 lands that make blue mana
12 Swamps + 4 Dimir Guildgates = 16 lands that make black mana

What this means is that dual lands will decrease the chances of you not having the right
color of mana to cast your cards while increasing the consistency of the deck. The only
downside with the dual lands in this game (the Guildgates) is that they enter the
battlefield tapped, so you can't use them the turn you play them. That fact will become
even more important when designing a manabase for a 3-color deck.


c. Tri-color Decks

Now I'll illustrate how to use this method with a 3-color deck. And to show that I'm not
shunning red, I'll use my White/Black/Red deck as an example.

----------------------------------
Creatures - 15
3 Wall of Omens
1 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
2 Graveborn Muse
3 Ogre Jailbreaker
1 Baneslayer Angel
1 Charmbreaker Devils
1 Inferno Titan
2 Rune-Scarred Demon
1 Resolute Archangel

Other Spells - 21
3 Ulcerate
4 Shock
1 Suffer the Past
2 Reprisal
2 Anger of the Gods
2 Darksteel Ingot
4 Auger Spree
2 Flesh to Dust
1 Planar Cleansing

Land - 24


Total - 60

----------------------------------

Once again, we'll start by looking at the color distribution.

9 White cards
17 Black cards
12 Red cards
38 Total

And we'll continue using the same method to turn these numbers into percentages.

9 / 38 = 24% white
17 / 38 = 45% black
12 / 38 = 31% red

The red was rounded down due to decimals, because white and black had a slightly higher
decimal than red (and I'm still secretly trying to give red the shaft). Just like before,
we can take our total lands and multiply them by the percentages. I'll just list the
final manabase at the end.


24 lands * 24% white = 6 Plains
24 lands * 45% black = 11 Swamps
24 lands * 31% red = 7 Mountains

----------------------------------
Land - 24
6 Plains
11 Swamp
7 Mountain
----------------------------------


Notice a problem? We have a number of double-red, double-white, and double-black cards,
and a triple-white (Planar Cleansing) card. There's no way a 3 color deck that wants
to cast a bunch of double and triple color costing cards is going to function with any
sort of consistency if it weren't for dual lands. With 3 colors, we have Rakdos, Boros,
and Orzhov Guildgates that all fit with our colors. So how do we balance this out? Well,
one possibility is to run all 12 guildgates (and then use the same formula above to get
the numbers for the basic lands). This would be the results:


12 lands * 24% white = 3 Plains
12 lands * 45% black = 5 Swamps
12 lands * 31% red = 4 Mountains

----------------------------------
Land - 24
3 Plains
5 Swamp
4 Mountain
4 Rakdos Guildgate
4 Boros Guildgate
4 Orzhov Guildgate
----------------------------------


This combination gives us 11 white sources, 13 black sources, and 12 red sources (I'm
ignoring the Ingots in these calculations). Those are pretty decent proportions. However,
the big concern with this manabase is that half of the lands come into play tapped. For
some decks, especially slower control style decks like this one, you might be able to
get away with running 12 Guildgates and not be hampered by it too much.

What if you didn't want 12 Guildgates, but you didn't want 0 either? Well, there's a
couple ways to go about while still being intentional. We can go back to the color
distribution of the deck (9 white, 17 black, and 12 red), and we notice that black and
red are the most popular. So then, we could start by maxing out the Rakdos Guildgates,
then add 2 of each on the Orzhov and Boros. Another option would be tweaking the deck
and perhaps cutting some of the double white and triple white costing cards like Brimaz
and Planar Cleansing, and run 4 Rakdos and 3 Orzhov Guildgates. Since we're not doing
that here, I'll go with the former option.

16 lands * 24% white = 4 Plains
16 lands * 45% black = 7 Swamps
16 lands * 31% red = 5 Mountains

----------------------------------
Land - 24
4 Plains
7 Swamp
5 Mountain
4 Rakdos Guildgate
2 Boros Guildgate
2 Orzhov Guildgate
----------------------------------

This manabase could run into troubles casting those Brimaz and Planar Cleansing.
Essentially, we lost 4 white sources (2 Boros and 2 Orzhov Guildgates) and only added 1
white source (1 Plains) in comparison to the previous manabase. To compensate for this,
we could swap one of the Rakdos Guildgates for another Boros or Orzhov, or swap 2 Rakdos
for one of each, in which case we only lose 1 black source and 1 red source.


d. A Final Note

The methods above are not perfect, and the formulas don't take into account factors such
as the mana curve, decks running green for cards like Cultivate, or cards with double
colored casting costs. The formula can be adjusted to account for double colored casting
costs by counting the number of colored mana symbols on all the cards in your deck instead
of just going by the color distribution. This means that a card like Anger of the Gods
now counts as 2 red instead of 1 red like it did in our examples.

A Green and White deck may have 60% of the cards being white and 40% being green, but
you still might want more forests than plains if you're running cards like Cultivate, or
if most of your green cards fall on the lower end of the mana curve while the white cards
gravitate towards the higher costing end of the mana curve.

So is this whole excercise a waste then? Certainly not. It's meant as a tool, a tool
that's a launching pad for building your manabase. You can always go back and readjust
your manabase after you test your deck. And like any tool, we have to understand its
purpose and limitations in order to use it effectively.



=======================================
7. Legal Info
=======================================

Copyright 2014 Chris Schalk

This may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal,
private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed
publicly without advance written permission. Use of this guide on any other
web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and a
violation of copyright. For approved sites, this guide must be posted in its
entirety. Currently this guide is approved to appear on the following sites:

gamefaqs.com
http://community.wizards.com/forums/102241
http://megamaster125.angelfire.com/dotp/
nogoblinsallowed.com


=======================================
8. Contact Info
=======================================

Email: cschalk49431@yahoo.com

Please feel free to contact me with questions, comments, or suggestions for this guide.
When sending me an email, make sure the subject line makes a reference to this
guide. Also, please do not email me asking me to build or fix your deck. This is a
guide meant to help you get started and give you a process for building and testing
your own decks.


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9. Credits
=======================================

Wizards of the Coast - For Magic: The Gathering and the Duels of the Planeswalkers series

You - For taking the time for reading this guide

Jesus Christ - For being my Savior