SCG Daily – Doctor Mox’s Guide to Kamigawa Block Constructed

In the cut-throat arena of Kamigawa Block, what is the informed Weapon of Choice? Never fear! I have examined the metagame and mined all available data and will provide you everything you need to know to win at Block Constructed, regardless of race, creed, gender, or basic intelligence.


Is that the sound of a chaffinch on the wing, its warbling song professing love for Creation and Life?

Or is it the tinkle of laughter between two lovers, gambolling though the poppy-fields with their faces turned to the Sun?

Or is it the gentle sway of the wind, wafting smoothly through the gossamer strands of a pussy-willow meadow?

Frankly, it’s none of those things. That would be very silly.

It’s the sound of my mailbag, spilling forth its goodness to reveal its wond’rous CCG-related bounty. Believe me, my friends… it’s the most beautiful sound in the World.

Well, other than the dulcet tones of my Swiss ladyfriend Jetta, whose lilting vocal range can capture the most haunting of ballad and the blackest of Thrash Metal with each and every bar.

Today, our Problem Letter is a right corker…


I’m young, talented, and tearing up the Magic scene like Hurricane Osyp. Yet whenever I play, I’m forever cursed to be paired against morons and losers, be they “big-name” players or no. When I should be winning every game through simply being ME, my no-thumbed banjo-playing Cyclopean opponents always manage to rip that land to luck-sack me out of what’s rightfully mine.

I need help this Block season, Mox. Help to cement my inevitable place as the Bestest Magic Player that has ever, or shall ever, live.

Even though I’m far more intelligent and attractive than you, tell me what deck I should play. Then, if I fail, I’ll have someone to blame other than myself.

Help me, Obi-Mox. You’re my only hope.

You ‘tard.

Gadiel, USA.

Firstly, I’m sure we’d all love to congratulate Gadiel on his latest run of good form. Long may it continue. We all love to see youngsters do well in this great game, and as the term “youngsters” means “anyone under the age of eighty-two” to Jetta, then Gadiel admirably fits the bill. Hell, even Ted Knutson would make the grade under that criteria.

Secondly, I’d like to add that it’s refreshing to see a young man with such forthright self-belief. He’s not afraid to tell us how things really are. Sure, some may call it arrogance, or even ignorance, but remember that a multitude of sins can be excused with the catch-all phrase “he’s young, so cut him some slack.” This is not simply rhetoric, mind: it’s actually Constitutional Law. George W Bush recently tabled a bill to ensure that, should any captured enemies in our ongoing War on Terror be under the age of eighteen, they avoid the usual internment in Guantanamo Bay and receive, in its place, a lollipop.

Teen-baiting and political commentary aside, the letter above does raise an interesting question… in the cut-throat arena of Kamigawa Block, what is the informed Weapon of Choice?

Never fear, Gadiel. I have examined the metagame and mined all available data. I’ll dissect four decks, observing the following criteria:

1: Is the deck fun to play?

2: Is the deck competitive?

3: What type of player would this deck suit best?

4: Is the deck difficult to play correctly?

Naturally, there are other factors to consider. My Swiss ladyfriend Jetta, for example, often makes her deck-choices based on the vagaries of complex astrological charts compiled by her spirit-guide Moonfrog. His real name is Graham, but we like to encourage his self-expression as it’s a wonderful healing tool that has helped him immensely since his release.

Without further ado, I bring to you…

Doctor Mox Guide to Kamigawa Block Constructed.

Deck One: White Weenie

White Weenie is a White deck that makes “Weenie” creatures that attack for two and sometimes do something else as well. Frankly, the “other things” are largely immaterial, as the “attacking-for-two” part is what truly matters.

1: Is the deck fun to play?

For the first five turns, it is great fun. There’s something to do with each and every Plains you lay down. And the attack step? Wowee!

Sadly, turns six and above are a monotonous dirge, because if your opponent is still alive then you’re simply not going to win. I don’t care how many counters are on your bloody Jitte, you’re screwed.

2: Is the deck competitive?

It is, or at least it was until the anti-aggro Gifts Ungiven deck sunk its teeth in and ripped the ass out of the metagame. Sure, White Weenie has some of the tools to deal with the control matches, but what then for the aggro matches?

White Weenie can be configured a number of differing ways, against a number of differing decks. You pay your money and take your choice. If the matchups go your way, then that’s freakin’ sweet. If not, then that’s freakin’ side-event.

You wanna be the bitch of the Luck-Pimp? Feel free. I think I’d rather chew my own foot off.

3: What type of player would this deck suit best?

This deck is steeped in a rich history, and therefore should only be played by people who wear stuffy suede jackets patched with leather at the elbows, who smoke a pipe and enjoy folk music. Also, the ability to grow a beard that smells slightly of soup is another bonus (ruling you out, Gadiel, as at your precocious age I suspect facial hair is a touch beyond you).

Also, if you like swinging with men, then White Weenie is for you. They may not be the biggest or best men on the scene, and they may end things a little quickly, but what they lose in girth they certainly make up for in sheer numbers. It’s quantity and not quality that matters, as Jetta frequently reminds me with a scornful glare.

4: Is the deck difficult to play correctly?

Not particularly. The key requirement is the ability to divide any given number by two. If we were to examine the life-totals of an imaginary opponent, they’d read something like this:






Apparently, Ravnica includes a card made specially for White Weenie players:

Single White Female


Creature- Weenie


When Single White Female comes into play, your opponent loses 2 life. At end of combat during any turn in which Single White Female attacked, if the life-total of your opponent is not an even number they gain three life.

We attack for TWO, damnit!

Make men, or women, or spirits or hounds or foxes or whatever, and reduce them from twenty to zero in factors of two. Easy peasy, lemon squeezey.

Deck Two: Gifts Ungiven

Gifts Ungiven is a difficult control deck that revolves around Arcane spells, board-sweepers and graveyard manipulation. Central to it’s success is the Fact or Fiction style tutor spell that gives the deck it’s name. Surely, though, “Gifts Ungiven” aren’t actually “gifts” at all, as they’ve never been given to anyone. Then again, it’d sound pretty stupid saying “at the end of your turn, cast ‘Objects’.”

1: Is the deck fun to play?

That depends on your definition of fun. If you enjoy having your brain stabbed with a marshmallow-fork while cackling imps take a piss on your eyeballs, then this deck is definitely one to consider.

The thing is, the Gifts Ungiven deck gains advantage by amassing a metric @ssload of card advantage through doing extremely weird things. Casting spells that put one-mana guys into the graveyard, or removing their sleekest win conditions from the game in order to kill small monsters. To the uninformed, playing the deck seems nothing more than casting a selection of unconnected spells that, bizarrely, somehow lead to victory. Piloting Gifts is rather similar to travelling from point A to point B by simply getting in your car and driving down random streets with no thought or reason. Sure, one day you may stumble to your destination by sheer fluke, but the next day? You’ll get lost down a back-alley and beaten unconscious by a seven-foot thug called Monkey Dave.

2: Is the deck competitive?

The deck is unquestionably the powerhouse of the Kamigawa Block. It has posted the most consistent numbers, and continues to bring home the bacon for anyone with big enough plums to play it.

However, there are ways to beat it. The increase in popularity of Mono-Blue Control, for example, may pave the way for a definite metagame shift away from the evil of Gifts Ungiven and toward the evil of excessive Islands.

Out of the frying pan, into the fire.

3: What type of player would this deck suit best?

Lets us examine the strengths of the Gifts Ungiven deck:

  • It enjoys killing everything, more than once if required.

  • It spends a lot of the match messing about in the graveyard.

  • To play it with success, it requires a healthy dose of braaaaaaaaiiiinnnnnsssss.

In short, the Gifts Ungiven deck is perfect for Zombies. Thus, if you’re recently deceased, or have just received an infected bite, then you’d better start get the cards together before you begin seeping over your trade-binder.

4: Is the deck difficult to play correctly?

Yes it is. There are important decisions to be made every turn. Whether to take more damage and save your Wrath-style resources, for example, or the exact omposition of cards fetched after resolving a Gifts Ungiven. It is not a deck for the frail of mind.

Of course, the most important question faced by you, the Gifts Ungiven player, is exactly what smug and superior facial expression to pull when you wrap your spindly ivory-white fingers around the game to wrest control from the hearty and honourable aggro player. You may be able to clasp the memories of your victory to the greasy skin of your pigeon-chest while dancing naked around your black-walled Emo-shrine of a bedroom, but it doesn’t make you a nice person.

Deck Three: Black Hand

Black Hand is a “Black” deck that utilizes the spell “Hand” of Cruelty. It’s good to see such creativity in deck-naming these days. The deck also utilises Raving Oni-Slave, but christening a deck “Black Slave” would probably lead you to the business-end of a well-deserved kicking.

1: Is the deck fun to play?

There’s fun to be had here, of that there’s no doubt. Making a 3/3 man on turn 2, swinging in for six on turn 3, stripping hands, killing monsters, nuking your own lands to make flying demons, dropping instant-speed ninja-rats to steal their dead guys… what’s not to love?

Of course, it’s only fun when you’re winning, and the Black Hand deck there’ll be plenty of times when winning is just not possible. If you’re running Raving Oni-Slave, for example, and your opponent casts Consuming Vortex? That’s game over right there, bud.

On the whole, the deck can lots of fun, dependent on what you’re facing across the table.

2: Is the deck competitive?

Not so much, at least recently. Sure, it has the tools and temperament to succeed, but it can be easily disrupted. Yes, it has some interesting and important cards, but it’s not the best aggro deck in Kamigawa Block. If you’re that way inclined, why settle for second best?

My Swiss ladyfriend Jetta is a particular fan of the Black Hand deck. When asked why, she becomes strangely embarrassed and mumbles something about her previous boyfriend. I just thing she’s rather fond of playing with big Black guys. On the whole, though, I think I’ll stick with my White Weenie. It may be underpowered, but I’ve never needed more.

3: What type of player would this deck suit best?

Aside from Jetta, this deck is perfect for a number of people. Anyone who enjoys getting busy with an Ogre, for example, which basically covers all former partners of Courtney Love.

Also, the deck is recommended for anyone who feels sexually inadequate. After all, as in so much of life, the Black Hand deck cannot reach the proverbial checkered flag without the aid of some powerful (and somewhat frightening) equipment. Specialist equipment that can be hard to find and rather expensive.

4: Is the deck difficult to play correctly?

Not really. It depends on your style of play. The Black Hand deck is not for those of us who value life: it must be viewed as an expendable luxury. So you’ve taken six from your bounced Raving Oni-Slave? Make him again, devil be damned!

If you’ve no spine, or are partly yellow, then you’ll never play the Black Hand deck to its full potential.

That said, if you’re fearless and able to close your ears to the screams, then the Black Hand deck is simple. Ignore your own wounds, and bite down on the throat of the enemy. If you drink deep, and quickly, you’ll end up victorious.

And on that note, a joke:

Q: How do you kill a circus?

A: Go for the juggler.

I hope this helps, Gadiel. Now get to work, young sir, and win more tournaments! If you do, be sure to remember the good Doctor when you’re collecting your winnings. Check payments to the usual address, only this time please use ink rather than Crayola wax crayon… the bank teller gave me so much grief over the last one.

Now I must depart. Jetta and I are spending the evening at the local Roller-Disco. While I enjoy the heady rush of skating, Jetta prefers to stand at the barrier, digital camera at the ready, casting handfuls of sand into the paths of unsuspecting revellers. She has amassed an impressive photographic collection of broken-noses, and we receive a 5% commission on every case we refer to our neighbouring plastic surgeon.

It’s a hobby, I guess.

Until next time, keep windmill-slamming those bombs.

Doctor Mox

NB: If you have a question for Doctor Mox, he can be contacted at [email protected].

Resemblance to anyone living or dead is purely coincidental.