Blog Elemental – Up All Night

I think I like theme decks more than the average fellow. In fact, here’s a quick recap of my first year of Magic…

Blog Elemental – Up All Night

June 15, 2004

I think I like theme decks more than the average fellow. In fact, here’s a quick recap of my first year of Magic:

My wife and I bought a single Ice Age starter and divided it into two thirty-card piles. After playing those”decks” for about three months, I was finally convinced to start buying additional packs. Then, one fateful day, I discovered singles at the local card shop and life as I knew it ended. For the next six months, I made a series of hundred-card theme decks along the lines of”The End of the World,””Four Seasons,””Gremlins,””Elephants,” and”Day and Night.” Those thematic games, with Sarah and I huddled around our dining room table, are some of my happiest Magic memories.

It’s amazing to me that even in that primitive first year of Magic what most attracted me about the game was its flavorful goodness. I had thought today I would make some Beacon of Unrest decks, but instead I’m turning to times of yore for a good ‘ole fashioned theme deck.

My theme decks have become sixty-card creations, but are still the one place where I dip into every card Wizards has printed. I remember that first year paying through the nose for Pale Bears simply because they fit into my”Arctic” deck. In fact, over the years here are the theme deck”rules” I’ve developed for… well, myself:

  • Normal constructed guidelines apply (maximum four of each card, sixty-card minimum, etc.).

  • You can use any card printed for Magic, including Unglued, Starter, and Portal cards, although certain cards can be banned or restricted for a particular theme.

  • The deck must be playable (it needs to have at least an outside chance of winning games).

  • Every card except basic, dual-, and pain-lands must fit the theme.

Trivia fact: Beacon of Unrest is the only card in Magic to have the word”unrest” in its name. Since I’m up late tonight, here is a stab at a Beacon of Unrest theme deck…


Theme deck

4 Restless Dead

4 Wake of Vultures

4 Nightmare

2 Duskwalker

1 Spirit of the Night

4 Helm of Awakening

4 Beacon of Unrest

3 Cruel Revival

2 Recurring Nightmare

2 Head Games

1 Darkness

1 Restless Dreams

1 Tortured Existence

1 Chime of Night

1 No Rest for the Wicked

1 Malevolent Awakening

24 Swamp

Blog Elemental – A Creepy Shade of Dawn

June 14, 2004

Today, for no reason whatsoever, I’m continuing my Fifth Dawn menu with a look at the Black cards.

Class IV (Cards I like that others are talking about or using)

Mephidross Vampire

Big and flavorful. The deck that a few folks have mentioned that appeals to me uses Red and/or Blue pingers to ensure a steady flow of +1/+1 tokens. It also occurs to me that Mephidross Vampire, Forgotten Ancient, and Energy Chamber start to form one serious headache of a deck.

Relentless Rats

I almost didn’t include the Rats on this list because they are currently so popular. Then I realized how much this card really does make me smile. Like a lot of folks, I want to toss twenty or thirty of these into a deck and see what happens. To me, though, it’s the support cards that make Relentless Rats decks interesting. If you can only use a small handful of nonland, non-Rats cards, how do you make those cards count? Speaking of which, here is another fun use for Brass Herald.

Class III (Cards I like that no one else seems to like)

Currently nothing to see here.

Class II (Cards I really like that others are talking about or using)

Bringer of the Black Dawn

It’s big, it’s cool, and I named it. Already I’ve brainstormed a number of decks using Bringer of the Black Dawn.”Toolbox” decks, those decks with a single copy of spells with ways to go grab them, have always appealed to me because of the ability to never feel completely lost in any game. It’s also hard to grow bored with a toolbox deck since they do so many different things. The problem, just like with this fella, is that cards which enable toolbox decks tend to be really popular so my interest wanes quickly.

Class I (Cards I really like that no one else seems to like)

Beacon of Unrest

A glance at my Mirrodin menu demonstrates how much I like reanimation cards. If I can dedicate a month of deckbuilding to Betrayal of Flesh, I can certainly get enthused about Beacon of Unrest. What is particularly interesting about the Beacon, though, is the ability to animate a) non-creature artifacts, and b) opposing creatures and artifacts. Pack a deck full of discard and you’re bound to find something tasty to use from your opponent.

So four White cards and four Black make the menu. I am nothing if not consistent.