Guest Blog: Start Your Engines!

By: Will Carpenter @whatsblocking

Wikipedia gives this as a definition for Engine: An engine is a device that converts potential energy into mechanical work.

Here we’re going to talk about putting an engine in your limited deck, which is several cards with a synergy that create repeatable effects, essentially turning your potential energy (cards in deck, hand and on board) into mechanical work (destroying all that dare oppose your might)!

I am an amateur myself, having started right around the same time as Maria and Meghan, and like both of them I dug right in and started dropping the beatdowns!  This was all fine and dandy until we came to M14, a land of slow play, pretty weak creatures, weird synergies off in every corner, decent removal…but no typical curve out, turn them sideways and watch them cry deck.

Sure, sometimes you can just drop a bunch of evasive guys and plow through for a quick win.  Sometimes you just draw the absolute perfect combination of  land, creatures and spells…at just the right time. I myself won an early match in m14 because I was able to drop 3 creatures in a row (green and red) and then top-decked a windstorm to wipe out my blue/white skies opponent.

But that’s not what the typical M14 matchup looks like.  Generally everybody takes some swings, and then they run out of gas…and if somebody gets an engine going they have the ability to keep on the pressure until they scrape out a win. Some common examples you may have seen in your drafts are: The Black/Red Sacrifice deck, they’re stealing your stuff, then killing it…and gaining life. The sacrifice deck has cards like Tenacious Dead that easily combo with the sacrifice outlets such as Blood Bairn and Barrage of Expendables.

The Angelic Accord deck is literally an entire deck built around the potential life gain = angels engine.

The one you’ll see all over the place is simply a blue player with {card]Divination[/card], Opportunity, a few other good spells and a few Archaeomancers, maybe even an Elixir of Immortality. The “engine” here is simply that they have ways to repeat the awesome stuff they’ve already done, just drawing 4 cards doesn’t win you the game…but drawing more gas once your opponent is top-decking is already powerful…and being able to untap, drop Archaeomancer and doing it again? That’s just powerful.

If you’re new to the game of Magic you might have been really disappointed that there isn’t a Boros-style beatdown deck, personally I started playing so much Gruul aggro in Standard that this entire format seemed alien to me…but don’t give up hope just yet my newb-ish friends!

Just get your engines started, and you’ll find that you have the gas to power through to a strong finish!

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