Manner of Attack

After you have decided what Format you would like to use to play, players
need to decide on their preferred manner of attack. This will come out in
how you wish to play the game against your opponents and determine the
colors and types of cards you will use to some extent (we will cover colors
in-depth in the next chapter).

Style Options

The style options for playing are three different archetypes:

  • Aggro

  • Control

  • Combo

This style determines the type of opponent you will be and the control you
have over the deck, to some extent, by the types of attacks you will be


First off there is the Aggro style of play that, as the title suggests, is based
on the players ability to aggressively attack his or her opponent. The
overall aim of this deck is basically to slaughter your opponents with
attacks and, in turn, reinforce your strength and build your numbers.

Aggro is generally the simplest type to play; however, with this deck you

 also get the least number of cards with the ability to protect yourself. This dominantly red color deck can allow a player to have great strength but, when attacked by an opponent, may be left very defenseless. To strengthen one’s deck, there is an option of taking advantage of +1/+1 counters that increase the creatures ability to be tough and powerful. Lastly, an Aggro player can use the token cards that allow for different spells to summon 2 or more creature tokens—allowing for the spells to multiply creatures. Control Strategy Instead of this Aggro philosophy, others may want to place more of a hold over the other players by using the Control strategy. One very key component of this player style is that some cards allow for the player to control and ban different cards played by their opponent. In addition to this advantage, some control decks have cards with a plethora of counterspells on them—one example is what is referred to as Permission decks. Another aspect of this style is that one can control their opponent’s decks by having them play out the important phrase in Magic where one has to “draw a card”. The last of the advantages of control is boardwipe, meaning, one has the power to destroy their opponents creatures or other permanents. Mid-Range One style that is not part of the three main categories is a mix of Aggro and Control styles called Mid-range. This allows for a player to have characteristics of either Aggro or Control either one with just a bit more 

power than the other. For example, one could have a largely Control deck but use Aggro features to support the creatures. This allows for one to have spells and controls that feature both archetypes. Aggro and Control The final style takes a combination of Aggro and Control and allows for a player to draw from both in the formation of their deck. In this type of deck, the player can use a powerful creature card and add “cantrips” and “scry” to it to increase and maximize the creatures’ power. “Cantrips” are cards that allow for the player to draw more cards and “scry” is using one’s top card by keeping it to continuously use. One could also employ a “Maze End¹” deck that, if a player has all 10 gates, you automatically win. With all good decks, keep in mind that you should aim for more than 1 winning condition—allowing for artifact cards such as the Door to Nothingness^. All three of these archetypes are distinctive in their own way and allow for a player to have a different playing experience in each game. There are also a variety of ways to style your deck with your own personal flavor. As you learn and become more familiar with the cards and their powers, you can personalize a strategy you feel is the most powerful on your opponents. 

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