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CardShark Content - Chewie! Slate (7/8/2005)

So here I am again with another bit of multiplayer goodness. This time I’m going to go at it from a different angle, so bear with me here. First off, I’d just like to say how much I enjoy some of the new subtypes of cards. The latest one is Arcane, but as great as that is, I’m not here to talk about it. I’m here to discuss Equipment. I really love equipment. When equipment first showed up, I decided that it would herald the return of White Weenie in the form of the White Weenie Equipment, or WWE deck.

I also love the WWE (that’s World Wrestling Entertainment, and if you didn’t know that, you can probably skip about half of this article). You can say all the bad things you want about it, but it’s great. It combines physical combat with the goofy stories of every bad B-movie ever written and then some. It’s basically the male version of the soap opera, whether you want to admit it or not. So, since I’m so proud of how my deck turned out and I love putting things together that don’t belong together, I’m going to do something a little different here. I’m going to give you some ideas about how to take a dueling deck and retool it for multiplayer, and I’m going to do it all using wrestling references. If you begin to feel lost, feel free to do Google Image Search for some of these names I’m throwing out to clarify.

Let me take you back. Back to the days before Ravager Affinity had been discovered; Broodstar
Broodstar
BroodstarSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
10
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
R
Number:
31
Artist:
Glen Angus
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Affinity for artifacts (This spell costs 1 less to play for each artifact you control.) Flying Broodstar's power and toughness are each equal to the number of artifacts you control.
still ruled that particular piece of real estate. Onslaught
Onslaught
OnslaughtSet: Exodus
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
C
Number:
92
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Whenever you successfully cast a creature spell, tap target creature.
Block was still legal in Standard. Blue/White Control was one of the top decks in the format, riding on Akroma’s Vengeance
Vengeance
VengeanceSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Keith Parkinson
Text:
Destroy any one tapped creature.
and O-Stone. Goblin Bidding was destroying anyone who looked at it funny, and even a few who didn’t look at it at all. I’m not kidding. I once saw a Goblin Bidding deck deal so much damage to its opponent that the guy sitting next to him took 5 damage. No really, it was bad. Are you back there with me yet?

On the wrestling front, Stone Cold (easily the reason that modern professional wrestling is so incredibly popular, think a modern Hulk Hogan as far as popularity) was still on Raw. Goldberg and Brock Lesnar (two of the biggest, scariest men ever born) were both still employed by the WWE (but not for long). The Rock (wrestling fan or not, you know this guy) still made appearances to layeth the smacketh down every once in a while, and I’m talking about the wrestler, not the deck archetype. I’m not sure if Kane (a big creepy dude) was still wearing a mask or not, but I vaguely doubt it. And Hulk Hogan didn’t have a reality show coming out soon! Have you transported yourself back to this time?

It was around then that I decided to hit a Friday Night Magic. Being a mostly multiplayer casual player, this was a momentous decision. I built a WWE (white weenie equipment this time) deck, built around using equipment and equipment-related creatures to quickly crush my opponents before they could mount a defense. I actually ended up finishing 2-1 and tying for second, losing to another WW deck that had included Dawn Elemental
Dawn Elemental
Dawn ElementalSet: Scourge
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elemental
Rarity:
R
Number:
7
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying.

Prevent all damage that would be dealt to Dawn Elemental.
s and a few other things mine didn’t bother with. Here’s how it turned out.

WWE (Hardcore Match)
Creatures (20)
2: Auriok Steelshaper
Auriok Steelshaper
Auriok SteelshaperSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Soldier
Rarity:
R
Number:
4
Artist:
Dany Orizio
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Equip costs you pay cost 1 less. As long as Auriok Steelshaper is equipped, Soldiers and Knights you control get +1/+1.

2: Leonin Shikari
Leonin Shikari
Leonin ShikariSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat Soldier
Rarity:
R
Number:
6
Artist:
Wayne England
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
You may play equip abilities any time you could play an instant.

4: Auriok Glaivemaster
Auriok Glaivemaster
Auriok GlaivemasterSet: Darksteel
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Soldier
Rarity:
C
Number:
1
Artist:
John Matson
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
As long as Auriok Glaivemaster is equipped Auriok Glaivemaster gets +1/+1 and has first strike.

4: Leonin Skyhunter
Leonin Skyhunter
Leonin SkyhunterSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat Knight
Rarity:
U
Number:
11
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying

2: Leonin Den-Guard
3: White Knight
White Knight
White KnightSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Knight
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Daniel Gelon
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Protection from black, first strike

3: Silver Knight
Silver Knight
Silver KnightSet: Scourge
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Knight
Rarity:
U
Number:
23
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
First strike.
Protection from red.


Equipment (12)
4: Bonesplitter
Bonesplitter
BonesplitterSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
C
Number:
146
Artist:
Darrell Riche
Text:
Equipped creature gets +2/+0. Equip 1 (1: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card comes into play unattached and stays in play if the creature leaves play.)

4: Mask of Memory
Mask of Memory
Mask of MemorySet: Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
U
Number:
203
Artist:
Alan Pollack
Text:
Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage to a player, you may draw two cards. If you do, discard a card from your hand. Equip 1 (1: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card comes into play unattached and stays in play if the creature leaves play.)

2: Loxodon Warhammer
Loxodon Warhammer
Loxodon WarhammerSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
U
Number:
201
Artist:
Jeremy Jarvis
Text:
Equipped creature gets +3/+0, has trample, and has 'Whenever this creature deals damage, you gain that much life.' Equip 3 (3: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card comes into play unattached and stays in play if the creature leaves play.)

1: Sword of Light and Shadow
Sword of Light and Shadow
Sword of Light and ShadowSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
149
Artist:
Mark Zug
Text:
Equipped creature gets +2/+2 and has protection from white and from black. Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage to a player, you gain 3 life and you may return up to one target creature card from your graveyard to your hand. Equip 2

1: Sword of Fire and Ice
Sword of Fire and Ice
Sword of Fire and IceSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
148
Artist:
Mark Zug
Text:
Equip 2 Equipped creature gets +2/+2 and has protection from red and from blue. Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage to a player, you may draw a card and have it deal 2 damage to target creature.


Other (8)
2: Blinding Beam
Blinding Beam
Blinding BeamSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
7
Artist:
Doug Chaffee
Text:
Choose one|Tap two target creatures; or creatures don't untap during target player's next untap step. Entwine 1 (Choose both if you pay the entwine cost.)

2: Pacifism
Pacifism
PacifismSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
33
Artist:
Robert Bliss
Text:
Enchanted creature can't attack or block.

2: Awe Strike
Awe Strike
Awe StrikeSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
6
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
The next time target creature would deal damage this turn, prevent that damage. You gain life equal to the damage prevented this way.

2: Roar of the Kha
Roar of the Kha
Roar of the KhaSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
18
Artist:
Matt Cavotta
Text:
Choose one - Creatures you control get +1/+1 until end of turn; or untap all creatures you control. Entwine 1W (Choose both if you pay the entwine cost.)


Land (20)
18: Plains
Plains
PlainsSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add W to your mana pool.

2: Secluded Steppe
Secluded Steppe
Secluded SteppeSet: Onslaught
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Number:
324
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Text:
Secluded Steppe comes into play tapped. T: Add W to your mana pool. Cycling W (W, Discard this card from your hand: Draw a card.)


I don’t usually do it this way, but let’s go on a card-by-card basis here.

Steelshaper and Shikari: These guys represent your manager/escort. They allow you to do things that you couldn’t do if they weren’t there. In this case, they allow you to move equipment around at instant speed for cheaper than usual, enabling ridiculous combat tricks. The pump provided by the Steelshaper helps too. Think of the Shikari as handing you a chair in the middle of a fight.

Glaivemaster, Den-Guard: Of course, these guys get better when you’re holding a weapon. Ideally, you’ll want to drop a first turn Glaivemaster followed by a second turn Bonesplitter
Bonesplitter
BonesplitterSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
C
Number:
146
Artist:
Darrell Riche
Text:
Equipped creature gets +2/+0. Equip 1 (1: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card comes into play unattached and stays in play if the creature leaves play.)
to roll for 4 with first strike on turn two. The Den-Guard doubles as offense and defense when equipped. These guys represent your moves. They might not be so bad by themselves, but you add a weapon and they turn nasty. If you’ve ever seen a DDT, you know what I’m talking about. A DDT is when you wrap your arm around your opponent’s neck and slam his face into the ground. DDTs are fairly common, and for the most part they just don’t look that bad. But if you’ve seen a guy take a DDT onto a chair, you know how much worse that looks. I bet you winced in pain, didn’t you?

Skyhunter: Ah yes, the lone flyer in the deck. Luckily, he’s one of the best, most efficient flyers ever printed. Drop this guy on turn two and hand him a weapon of some sort and the game won’t last long. Even without a weapon in hand he could spell doom for your opponent. The flyers symbolize aerial moves. Getting off a good aerial move to hit an opponent can turn a match around, much like dropping a flyer during a ground-creature stalemate. If you’ve ever seen someone that’s getting the crap kicked out of them drag themselves up the turnbuckle and leap off to do something crazy and then win the match, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Knights: I just included these guys because they’re awesome. They’re 2/2 first strikers for two mana that just happen to be incredible against certain decks and certain colors? I’ll take six! A first striker on turn two is awesome enough, especially if you just happen to give it a weapon, but against a red or black deck it’s virtually unstoppable. The Silver dude was thrown in because I knew someone would be playing goblins, and the White guy was thrown in to combat a girl that played Clerics and Scion of Darkness
Scion of Darkness
Scion of DarknessSet: Legions
Cost:
8
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Avatar
Rarity:
R
Number:
79
Power:
6
Toughness:
6
Text:
Whenever Scion of Darkness deals combat damage to a player, you may put
target creature card from that player's graveyard into play under your control.
Cycling 3 (3, Discard this card from your hand: Draw a card.)
at the Cosmic Crackhouse (my local card shop, where we always went to get our booster pack fix). This is known as playing the metagame, albeit on a very small scale.

Bonesplitter
Bonesplitter
BonesplitterSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
C
Number:
146
Artist:
Darrell Riche
Text:
Equipped creature gets +2/+0. Equip 1 (1: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card comes into play unattached and stays in play if the creature leaves play.)
: Being the quintessential equipment, how could I not include it? It’s a no-brainer in fast beatdown decks, especially those that are equipment based. And so I used it to stand for the quintessential wrestling weapon. Yes friends, you know what I’m talking about – the steel chair. It’s cheap, it’s reliable, and it does a whole mess of damage. Just ask Mick Foley, who was famous for never holding up his hands to stop the hit. He retired when he noticed that his brain was slowing down and his speech had become a little bit slurred. How many of us have been retired from a match because of opposing Bonesplitter
Bonesplitter
BonesplitterSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
C
Number:
146
Artist:
Darrell Riche
Text:
Equipped creature gets +2/+0. Equip 1 (1: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card comes into play unattached and stays in play if the creature leaves play.)
s?

Warhammer and Swords: The finishers of the deck, for the most part. Once you get out one of these weapons, it should allow you to punch through the defense and the game should be yours relatively soon. As far as wrestling flavor goes, these implements represent the big scary weapons that are fairly rare. The Warhammer is the sledgehammer, used to BEAT DOWN quite literally. The Swords are the really rare weapons, like the two-by-four wrapped in barbed wire. Or, since they help provide reach with card draw, recursion, and lifegain, they could represent the ladder, used primarily in ladder matches to crush an opponent and then win.

Mask of Memory
Mask of Memory
Mask of MemorySet: Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
U
Number:
203
Artist:
Alan Pollack
Text:
Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage to a player, you may draw two cards. If you do, discard a card from your hand. Equip 1 (1: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card comes into play unattached and stays in play if the creature leaves play.)
: The draw engine of the deck, this thing allows you to dig out more creatures, more equipment, more land, more whatever you need. I really can’t think of any parallels in wrestling, but what’s professional wrestling without a mask or two? Everyone loves Rey Mysterio (one of the few mask-wearing wrestlers left in the industry), right?

Other spells: These are your utility. Pacifism
Pacifism
PacifismSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
33
Artist:
Robert Bliss
Text:
Enchanted creature can't attack or block.
is used to knock out a blocker or to keep a big scary attacker in check. This can also correspond to knocking your opponent out for a while. Blinding Beam
Blinding Beam
Blinding BeamSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
7
Artist:
Doug Chaffee
Text:
Choose one|Tap two target creatures; or creatures don't untap during target player's next untap step. Entwine 1 (Choose both if you pay the entwine cost.)
can be used offensively to tap down blockers for two turns or defensively to keep an attack from coming at you for two turns. This one I see symbolizing distracting your opponent, a common tactic in wrestling matches. Whether it’s the referee distracting them or someone outside the ring, the effect is the same as this spell – they can’t defend themselves or hurt you for a short period of time, which is often all that’s needed to turn a match around. I added in Awe Strike
Awe Strike
Awe StrikeSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
6
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
The next time target creature would deal damage this turn, prevent that damage. You gain life equal to the damage prevented this way.
because of Broodstar
Broodstar
BroodstarSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
10
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
R
Number:
31
Artist:
Glen Angus
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Affinity for artifacts (This spell costs 1 less to play for each artifact you control.) Flying Broodstar's power and toughness are each equal to the number of artifacts you control.
and Scion of Darkness
Scion of Darkness
Scion of DarknessSet: Legions
Cost:
8
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Avatar
Rarity:
R
Number:
79
Power:
6
Toughness:
6
Text:
Whenever Scion of Darkness deals combat damage to a player, you may put
target creature card from that player's graveyard into play under your control.
Cycling 3 (3, Discard this card from your hand: Draw a card.)
at the local card store, not to mention Reckless One
Reckless One
Reckless OneSet: Onslaught
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Goblin Avatar
Rarity:
U
Number:
222
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Haste. Reckless One's power and toughness are each equal to the number of Goblins. in play.
or any other big scary things that might end up coming my way. It’s basically just a reversal. Instead of ending up 15 life behind from the big attack, I end up 15 life ahead. Instead of taking a big powerbomb, I end up giving out a big DDT. Same thing. And Roar of the Kha
Roar of the Kha
Roar of the KhaSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
18
Artist:
Matt Cavotta
Text:
Choose one - Creatures you control get +1/+1 until end of turn; or untap all creatures you control. Entwine 1W (Choose both if you pay the entwine cost.)
is the ultimate combat trick in this deck. Pump up all your guys to save them after a big attack and untap them so they’re ready on defense as well. The only parallel that keeps popping into my mind is Hulk Hogan “hulking up” right before the end of his match. All you Hulk fans out there will know exactly what I’m talking about. He was stronger and he could take more punishment once he did it, just like casting the Roar.

OK, OK, enough with the long-winded approach. What I wanted to do was turn my Hardcore Match deck into a Royal Rumble deck. The WWE Royal Rumble is the match with the most people participating, usually thirty. The details don’t matter, what matters is the sheer number of people involved. There are many (and I mean many) parallels between a Royal Rumble and a multiplayer Magic game.

Since everything you do in a duel is an attempt to destroy your one opponent, there’s no need for politics or bargaining or treaties or anything like that. But in a multiplayer game or even a large wrestling match, everyone else is trying to take you out while you’re simultaneously trying to take all of them out. Thus, alliances form and shift and dissolve over the course of the game. The biggest threat tends to become the target. If the guy over there playing zombies is wiping the board and knocking everyone’s life down, he tends to draw all the attention. Similarly, if the Big Show (modern equivalent of Andre the Giant, he’s literally HUGE) comes in and starts destroying everybody, usually everyone left will team up on him until he’s gone. Then everyone will go back to trying to destroy each other, or they’ll team up on the next biggest target.

The point to all this mess is simple. Going up against one person is a lot different than going up against multiple people. In the novel The Princess Bride, and quite possibly also in the movie (starring Andre the Giant – another wrestling reference!), Fezzik discusses the differences between fighting one person and fighting several people. If you’ve ever seen The Matrix Reloaded, you’ve seen the difference between Neo fighting one Smith and fighting an entire mess of Smiths.

Bearing that in mind, how do you make a deck that has proven itself in single combat ready to take on a roomful of opponents? Let’s look at the differences between a duel and a chaos game, shall we? In a duel, you want to be fast. You either want to start the offensive on the first two or three turns, or you want to be able to handle the early offensive. Thus, the most important part of the duel is the early to mid game. In a chaos game, the early game means basically nothing. Sure you can drop some early creatures and get in a few points of damage, but chances are that’s going to do you more harm than good in the long run, because any early damage taken usually leads to enmity and revenge. Thus, the most important part of the multiplayer match is the mid to long game.

Another problem is that duels are essentially a race. If you can kill your opponent, it doesn’t matter how much life you happen to have left, does it? If you win by 20 life you have bragging rights, if you win by 1 life you have a story to tell your friends, but either way you won. This is not so in a large group game. If you expend all your energy and resources to take down one person and leave yourself at a low life total, you still have at least one other person ready to take you down. Thus, multiplayer decks need to be able to kill off multiple opponents without great risk to themselves. I mean, once Triple H hits the Pedigree and pins one guy in a four-man match, he still has to worry about the other two guys in the ring, right?

One more problem. Multiplayer games tend to go a LOT longer than duels. Whereas duels are over in just a relatively few turns, group games are filled with waves of offense, defense, feints, bluffs, and whatever else anyone has rolling in their deck, not to mention the global resets and locks that are popular. Bearing this in mind, I try to always throw in a bit of recursion, whether it is for creatures, spells, artifacts, or even entire graveyards, because eventually, I’m going to run out of steam. In this particular case I threw in Sword of Light and Shadow
Sword of Light and Shadow
Sword of Light and ShadowSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
149
Artist:
Mark Zug
Text:
Equipped creature gets +2/+2 and has protection from white and from black. Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage to a player, you gain 3 life and you may return up to one target creature card from your graveyard to your hand. Equip 2
and Breath of Life
Breath of Life
Breath of LifeSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Lubov
Text:
Take any one creature card from your graveyard and put that creature into play. Treat it as though you just played it from your hand.
for creatures and Bringer of the White Dawn
Bringer of the White Dawn
Bringer of the White DawnSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
9
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bringer
Rarity:
R
Number:
7
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
You may pay WUBRG instead of paying Bringer of the White Dawn's mana cost. Trample. At the beginning of your upkeep, you may put target artifact card in your graveyard into play.
for artifacts. It’s not much, but it’s enough to keep my personal recursion gauge in the green.

So before I go into heavy detail, here’s the deck as it currently stands. I’m not convinced that it’s completely finished and tooled to my tastes, but I believe it is still capable of taking down multiple opponents at once. I’ll post any changes in the forums if I happen to make any.

WWE (Royal Rumble)
Creatures (21)
2: Raksha Golden Cub
Raksha Golden Cub
Raksha Golden CubSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
7
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat Soldier Legend
Rarity:
R
Number:
12
Artist:
Pete Venters
Power:
3
Toughness:
4
Text:
Attacking does not cause Rashka Golden Cub to tap. As long as Rashka is equipped, cats you control get +2/+2 and have double strike.

2: Auriok Steelshaper
Auriok Steelshaper
Auriok SteelshaperSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Soldier
Rarity:
R
Number:
4
Artist:
Dany Orizio
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Equip costs you pay cost 1 less. As long as Auriok Steelshaper is equipped, Soldiers and Knights you control get +1/+1.

2: Leonin Shikari
Leonin Shikari
Leonin ShikariSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat Soldier
Rarity:
R
Number:
6
Artist:
Wayne England
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
You may play equip abilities any time you could play an instant.

1: Auriok Windwalker
Auriok Windwalker
Auriok WindwalkerSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
5
Artist:
Jeremy Jarvis
Power:
2
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying Tap: Attach target equipment you control to target creature you control.

3: Leonin Den-Guard
3: Skyhunter Cub
Skyhunter Cub
Skyhunter CubSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat Knight
Rarity:
C
Number:
21
Artist:
Pete Venters
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
As long as Skyhunter Cub is equipped, it gets +1/+1 and has flying.

3: Skyhunter Prowler
Skyhunter Prowler
Skyhunter ProwlerSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat Knight
Rarity:
C
Number:
15
Power:
1
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying. Attacking does not cause Skyhunter Prowler to tap.

3: Leonin Skyhunter
Leonin Skyhunter
Leonin SkyhunterSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat Knight
Rarity:
U
Number:
11
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying

1: Jareth, Leonine Titan
Jareth, Leonine Titan
Jareth, Leonine TitanSet: Onslaught
Cost:
6
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat Giant Legend
Rarity:
R
Number:
43
Artist:
Daren Bader
Power:
4
Toughness:
7
Text:
Whenever Jareth, Leonine Titan blocks, it gets +7/+7 until end of turn.. W: Jareth gains protection from the color of your choice until end of turn.

1: Bringer of the White Dawn
Bringer of the White Dawn
Bringer of the White DawnSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
9
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bringer
Rarity:
R
Number:
7
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
You may pay WUBRG instead of paying Bringer of the White Dawn's mana cost. Trample. At the beginning of your upkeep, you may put target artifact card in your graveyard into play.


Equipment (11)
1: Sword of Light and Shadow
Sword of Light and Shadow
Sword of Light and ShadowSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
149
Artist:
Mark Zug
Text:
Equipped creature gets +2/+2 and has protection from white and from black. Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage to a player, you gain 3 life and you may return up to one target creature card from your graveyard to your hand. Equip 2

1: Sword of Fire and Ice
Sword of Fire and Ice
Sword of Fire and IceSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
148
Artist:
Mark Zug
Text:
Equip 2 Equipped creature gets +2/+2 and has protection from red and from blue. Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage to a player, you may draw a card and have it deal 2 damage to target creature.

2: Loxodon Warhammer
Loxodon Warhammer
Loxodon WarhammerSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
U
Number:
201
Artist:
Jeremy Jarvis
Text:
Equipped creature gets +3/+0, has trample, and has 'Whenever this creature deals damage, you gain that much life.' Equip 3 (3: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card comes into play unattached and stays in play if the creature leaves play.)

3: Whispersilk Cloak
Whispersilk Cloak
Whispersilk CloakSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
C
Number:
160
Artist:
Luca Zontini
Text:
Equipped creature is unblockable and can't be the target of spells or abilities. Equip 2 (2: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card comes into play unattached and stays in play if the creature leaves play.)

1: General’s Kabuto
1: Lightning Greaves
Lightning Greaves
Lightning GreavesSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
U
Number:
199
Artist:
Jeremy Jarvis
Text:
Equipped creature has haste and can't be the target of spells or abilities. Equip 0 (0: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card comes into play unattached and stays in play if the creature leaves play.)

1: Vulshok Morningstar
Vulshok Morningstar
Vulshok MorningstarSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
C
Number:
157
Artist:
David Martin
Text:
Equipped Creature gets +2/+2 Equip 2

1: Vulshok Battlegear
Vulshok Battlegear
Vulshok BattlegearSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
U
Number:
272
Artist:
Kevin Dobler
Text:
Equipped creature gets +3/+3. Equip 3 (3: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card comes into play unattached and stays in play if the creature leaves play.)


Other (11)
2: Sculpting Steel
Sculpting Steel
Sculpting SteelSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
238
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Text:
As Sculpting Steel comes into play, you may choose an artifact in play. If you do, Sculpting Steel comes into play as a copy of that artifact.

1: Steelshaper’s Gift
2: Roar of the Kha
Roar of the Kha
Roar of the KhaSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
18
Artist:
Matt Cavotta
Text:
Choose one - Creatures you control get +1/+1 until end of turn; or untap all creatures you control. Entwine 1W (Choose both if you pay the entwine cost.)

2: Stir the Pride
Stir the Pride
Stir the PrideSet: Darksteel
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
16
Artist:
Matt Cavotta
Text:
Choose one Creatures you control get +2 / +2 until end of turn; or until end of turn creatures you control gain. Entwine 1W (Choose both if you pay the entwine cost)

2: Breath of Life
Breath of Life
Breath of LifeSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Lubov
Text:
Take any one creature card from your graveyard and put that creature into play. Treat it as though you just played it from your hand.

2: Ethereal Haze
Ethereal Haze
Ethereal HazeSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Number:
9
Artist:
Chris Appelhans
Text:
Prevent all damage that would be dealt by creatures this turn.


Land (22)
20: Plains
Plains
PlainsSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add W to your mana pool.

2: Secluded Steppe
Secluded Steppe
Secluded SteppeSet: Onslaught
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Number:
324
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Text:
Secluded Steppe comes into play tapped. T: Add W to your mana pool. Cycling W (W, Discard this card from your hand: Draw a card.)


In my binder, I found a pair of Raksha Golden Cub
Raksha Golden Cub
Raksha Golden CubSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
7
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat Soldier Legend
Rarity:
R
Number:
12
Artist:
Pete Venters
Power:
3
Toughness:
4
Text:
Attacking does not cause Rashka Golden Cub to tap. As long as Rashka is equipped, cats you control get +2/+2 and have double strike.
s, sitting there quietly with an abandoned look on their little cardboard faces. Poor little kitty. I decided Raksha would be the figurehead for my Royal Rumble deck, since he can turn even the wimpiest kitten into a terrifying maul-machine. I overhauled the creatures to make them mostly Cats, twelve of which either fly naturally or gain it when equipped. I threw in another combat trick in the form of the Windwalker, giving me a one-shot free re-equip at instant speed. Depending on how the deck runs she could come out, but I like the idea of one free equip per turn, you know? I looked around and found my heavyweight for the deck in the form of Jareth, Leonine Titan
Jareth, Leonine Titan
Jareth, Leonine TitanSet: Onslaught
Cost:
6
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat Giant Legend
Rarity:
R
Number:
43
Artist:
Daren Bader
Power:
4
Toughness:
7
Text:
Whenever Jareth, Leonine Titan blocks, it gets +7/+7 until end of turn.. W: Jareth gains protection from the color of your choice until end of turn.
. Oh yeah, he says CAT Giant doesn’t he? It’s staggering to even consider a Jareth with double-strike, isn’t it? Makes you squirm a little bit, doesn’t it? You wish I’d get on with the article, don’t you? Oh, yeah. Sorry
Sorry
SorrySet: Unglued
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
27
Artist:
Kaja Foglio
Text:
Before playing any spell, if a copy of that spell card is in any graveyard, the spell's caster may say Sorry. If he or she does not, any other player may counter the spell by saying Sorry as it is cast.If any player says Sorry at any other time, Sorry deals 2 damage to that player.
.

Now about the equipment. I honestly have no idea what the final equipment count should look like. At first I was going to go with just a lot of one-ofs for variety. Then I realized that’s a little bit silly. So I kept some of the one-ofs and went with multiples of the really useful ones. The Warhammer and the Whispersilk Cloak
Whispersilk Cloak
Whispersilk CloakSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
C
Number:
160
Artist:
Luca Zontini
Text:
Equipped creature is unblockable and can't be the target of spells or abilities. Equip 2 (2: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card comes into play unattached and stays in play if the creature leaves play.)
each got another copy thrown in.

The deck really becomes a force once Raksha hits play. Getting him equipped could well mean swinging the game in my favor. If it doesn’t swing quite so much, then it just means the deck becomes capable of lasting against many people. A lone Den-Guard could wreak havoc on lots of decks when the Golden Cub is holding a weapon. Consider this if you will. A Den-Guard is a 1/3 by itself. With Raksha holding a weapon, the guard suddenly becomes a 3/5 double striker. If he happens to be holding a Vulshok Morningstar
Vulshok Morningstar
Vulshok MorningstarSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
C
Number:
157
Artist:
David Martin
Text:
Equipped Creature gets +2/+2 Equip 2
, he becomes a 6/8 double striker with vigilance. Lots of decks are going to have a seriously hard time dealing with this creature short of elimination, and if he’s wearing Lightning Greaves
Lightning Greaves
Lightning GreavesSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
U
Number:
199
Artist:
Jeremy Jarvis
Text:
Equipped creature has haste and can't be the target of spells or abilities. Equip 0 (0: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card comes into play unattached and stays in play if the creature leaves play.)
instead of the mace, he’s a 4/6 vigilant double-striker who can’t be targeted, which is also a pretty vicious combination. Give him a Whispersilk Cloak
Whispersilk Cloak
Whispersilk CloakSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
C
Number:
160
Artist:
Luca Zontini
Text:
Equipped creature is unblockable and can't be the target of spells or abilities. Equip 2 (2: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card comes into play unattached and stays in play if the creature leaves play.)
and he can win you the game by himself.

Now for a quick rundown of the equipment and spells, because I know some of you will be wondering what’s wrong with me. The Swords should go without saying, they’re just awesome. The Warhammers add in the valuable trample, plus give you some life for the long game. The Whispersilks are effectively finishers. Once Raksha gets equipped, only a few creatures need to get through a few times for someone to be dead. The Cloaks just speed that process up a little bit. The Kabuto will ideally go on Raksha, the Steelshaper, the Shikari, Jareth, or the Bringer. Whichever one is most important to your plans at the moment should be wearing it. The Greaves combo with the Shikari to make your creatures untouchable at will. The two Vulshok weapons are just cool. You can talk bad about the Battlegear all you want, but if someone slaps it on a flyer with double strike, you’ll understand. The Sculpting Steel
Sculpting Steel
Sculpting SteelSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
238
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Text:
As Sculpting Steel comes into play, you may choose an artifact in play. If you do, Sculpting Steel comes into play as a copy of that artifact.
and the Gift are there to reproduce or fetch your favorite equipment. That’s all. Occasionally the Steel can be used to copy something across the table that’s just completely awesome (Colossus, anyone?). The Roars and the Stirs are there as finishers and because they’re just so flavorful. The Breaths are to get back your favorite key creatures. The Haze is to save your own butt a couple times, because once you drop a few Cloaks and crush an opponent or two, people are going to get concerned about having you at the table.

So there you have it. I sacrificed speed and efficiency for strength and reach. The dueling deck was built to win quickly, dropping the weenies and equipping them to make them bigger than allowed and eventually swarming for the win. The chaos deck was built to stall with blockers and equipment and whatnot until Raksha can hit the ground and grab a weapon. Then the beating can commence, either knocking out one opponent at a time or knocking them all out in one fell swoop. I love saying that. Fell Swoop, why isn’t that a Magic card yet? Someone write to Rosewater, quick!

As a quick aside, how great would it be to have the announcers from the WWE on hand for the Pro Tour? I could see someone successfully resolving a Tooth and Nail
Tooth and Nail
Tooth and NailSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
7
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
134
Artist:
Greg Hildebrandt
Text:
Choose one - Search your library for up to two creature cards, reveal them, put them into your hand, then shuffle your library; or put up to two creature cards from your hand into play. Entwine 2 (Choose both if you pay the entwine cost.)
fetching a Sundering Titan
Sundering Titan
Sundering TitanSet: Darksteel
Cost:
8
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Rarity:
R
Number:
146
Artist:
Jim Murray
Power:
7
Toughness:
10
Text:
When Sundering Titan comes into play, choose a land of each basic land type, then destroy those lands. When Sundering Titan leaves play, choose a land of each basic land type, then destroy those lands.
and a Darksteel Colossus
Darksteel Colossus
Darksteel ColossusSet: Darksteel
Cost:
11
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Rarity:
R
Number:
109
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
11
Toughness:
11
Text:
Trample. Darksteel Colossus is indestructible (Destroy effects and lethal damage don't destroy it.) If Darksteel Colossus would be put into a graveyard from anywhere reveal Darksteel Colossus and shuffle it into its owner's library instead.
and hearing the announcer go “And he’s been hit with a Toohth! He’s been broken in half! His career is over! Is there any way he can possibly recover from this terrible attack?” And Kai and Osyp and everyone could have their own entrance music and whatnot. Finkel and Kastle could show up for the Legends Week or something like that! Wouldn’t that be great? Well I think it would be great. Oh yeah, back to the deck.

So now I’ve shown you how to turn a dueling discard deck into a multiplayer discard deck and I’ve done the same with a WWE deck. Bear in mind that you can do this with almost anything. I’ve seen a milling deck that can take out several people at once. I’ve seen a burn deck that scares the crap out of everyone at the table. I particularly hate a multiplayer Stasis
Stasis
StasisSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Fay Jones
Text:
Players do not get an untap phase. Pay U during your upkeep or Stasis is destroyed; cards still do not untap until the next untap phase.
deck that manages to lock us all down and then win using Vigilant creatures (before the keyword! Old School!) and Tradewind Rider
Tradewind Rider
Tradewind RiderSet: Tempest
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
R
Artist:
John Matson
Power:
1
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying tap, Tap two creatures you control: Return target permanent to owner's hand.
s to keep the lock and kill us all. Oddly enough, all of these decks belong to the same person. Anything else you guys want to see in this vein or should I just say enough is enough? Hit me on the forums and let me know! If you want to see one of these I’ve mentioned above or if you want something different, tell me. Don’t be shy, I don’t bite unless provoked. Or asked real nicely.

Next time I’m going to go back to my old style of article-writing and present a single deck built around a central concept. I haven’t decided which concept I want to do though; I still have a few running around in my head. There’s land-sac, the old school Shrines, a ripoff of a Mark Gottlieb deck, and a few other things. I’ll get to them all eventually, but let me know if there’s anything in particular you guys want. Until next time, give your significant other the Stone-Cold Stun
Stun
StunSet: Tempest
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
Target creature cannot block this turn.Draw a card.
ner. Hit your roommate with the Rock Bottom. And be sure to snatch your annoying little cousin up in a Figure-Four Leglock. And enjoy your dorking, whether it’s one-on-one or against a whole mess of dorks.


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