With the release of each new set, Wizards of the Coast release a set of five Intro Packs, designed to get new players into the game with the help of simple and fun pre-constructed decks.
We were able to get hold of the Blue and White deck “Enlightened Mastery” and the Green and Red deck “Furious Forces.” The two decks each contain plenty of useful cards for the new player. While there are spells generally restricted to casual or Limited format tournaments, there cards that will no doubt see play over the next year or so in Standard Tournaments, such as Roast, Anticipate and Myth Realised as well as cards that will see lots of play in casual formats due to their uniqueness, such as Savage Ventmaw and Skywise Teachings.
Furious Forces, meanwhile uses the set’s red and green cards to play the classic green red archetype of ‘stompy’. This term refers to the tactic of playing many creatures, each of which provide a pressure that must be dealt with. If the opponent takes too long to deal with them, they’ll either be overwhelmed by the numbers or be unable to deal with the larger threats (Dragons!). The deck also contains spells that make your creatures larger until the end of turn, making them even harder to remove by simply blocking.
The deck’s promo rare (Harbinger of the Hunt) is incredibly powerful. In addition to being a massive flier, with enough mana, it threatens to wipe the board of your opponent’s creatures or do enough damage to make blocking difficult. If unanswered, it can easily win the game by itself.
Both Dragons of Tarkir decks are evenly matched and fun to play, with Furious Forces scraping a 3-2 win in the office best of five series. Intro Packs come with two booster packs included, so opening any relevant coloured cards will allow players to immediately strengthen their deck. Players lucky enough to open the rare Dragonlord cards will find their win rate increase greatly, as the new Draconic leaders of Tarkir have very powerful abilities that will win a game if not dealt with swiftly.
The deck is designed to be played straight out of the box at a more competitive environment than the Intro decks, and as such includes 10 rares compared to the former’s 2. Landslide Charge is the Dragons of Tarkir Event Deck and features an array of green and red cards with a splash of blue for a couple of powerful cards.
The core of the deck is cheap, efficient creatures backed up by removal and direct damage. Powerful creatures that come down as early as turn 2 or 3, such as Savage Knuckleblade and Surrak (when accompanied by a turn 1 elf) put a fast clock on an opponent not prepared to deal with them. The singleton Crater’s Claws threatens to kill opponents out of nowhere when the game goes long, and if looking to improve the deck, increasing their number to 4 would be my first move.
Playing with the deck, the Polis Crusher and Mistcutter Hydra seemed weak against some of the stronger cards in the format, such as Siege Rhino and Stormbreath Dragon. I would advise replacing the Polis Crusher altogether, while moving the Hydra to the sideboard to bring in against predominantly blue decks.
Aside from the two ‘weak choices’ above, the deck contains a nice mixture of important cards for Standard as well as those which may prove their worth in time, such as Thunderbreak Regent. This is a great improvement on some event decks of past, which have neither contained chase rares nor “value rares” which players could trade into powerful ones. The deck’s value is further cemented by the inclusion of a spindown life counter and a deckbox. The Event Deck also contains an insert to help teach players about some of the intricacies of the deck’s strategy.
Landslide Charge goes on sale later this week – just in time to get practice in for the new Dragons of Tarkir format Standard Game Day Tournaments in a few weeks’ time.
Thanks for reading,