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Making Another Seasonal Magic: The Gathering Deck Just In Time For Christmas

Updated on December 2, 2013

Another Exciting Introduction

Welcome back to Part II in my series of articles dealing with the wonderful, magical time of the year called Christmas. In my first article we examined a Magic: The Gathering deck that was constructed primarily with the idea of catching as many classic Christmas tropes and ideas as possible. With this deck we're going to take a different approach and, while it's still going to be classic, it will have a decidedly darker bent. This deck was both easier and harder to make than the first. It was easier mainly because I was able to, as I was making the first deck, make note of some less-jolly cards. But it was harder because so many of the ideas, like Santa himself, don't generally lend themselves to an evil version. I'd say this deck reminds me of The Nightmare Before Christmas, a favorite holiday movie of mine.

As with the first article, I'll present the entire deck, then I'll go through my thought process on the deck from card selection to deck creation. As this was a tougher deck to create, you may need to use your imagination a little bit as well!

Bleak Christmas Deck

4 Blightsoil Druid
4 Chill to the Bone
4 Chimney Imp
4 Drift of the Dead
1 Mobile Fort
4 Into the North
4 Tree of Redemption
1 Zombie Musher
4 Evil Presence
1 Adventuring Gear
1 Explorer's Scope
4 Mouth of Ronom
1 Icy Manipulator
6 Snow-Covered Forest
1 Razortip Whip
15 Snow-Covered Swamp
1 Trailblazer's Boots
60 Cards
Bleak Christmas Deck

Why I Chose These Cards

Now you might be asking yourself if this entire deck wasn't just constructed as a flimsy excuse to use the deliciously puntastic card, Evil Presence. And of course the answer is yes. But it also has a lot of other Christmas-related things too! if you read the first part of this article series, you'll find some similarities between this deck and the first one, especially comparing the artifacts used.

But first, to the creatures! With our decidedly bleaker bent, I decided to go with some elves that might be more representative of that. At first I wanted some black elves, but with my choices being between Blightsoil Druid and Llanowar Dead, I was eager to try something else. I remembered Elves of Deep Shadow, and being able to tap for black, I knew they were perfect for my deck. This also helped me decide which secondary color to use with black.

And now your Christmas is ruined.
And now your Christmas is ruined.

This had the happy ability of letting me choice another green Christmas Tree, since most trees/plants in Magic: The Gathering are green anyhow. I chose Tree of Redemption for two reasons: 1) because it felt like a nice reprieve from the bleakness of the deck itself, and 2) because, well, look at that illustration! That is some morbid artwork.

Since reindeer are pretty important to represent, and since elk only exist in green and definitely didn't feel 'evil', I decided to be a little creative and go with Chimney Imps as you can easily envision them taking the place of reindeer on a rooftop. I wanted to initially go with red, so I could use Fire Imp as my Rudolph, but that idea got scrapped when I decided green was better for both the elves and the tree.

Everything looks cuter with a little Santa hat on it.
Everything looks cuter with a little Santa hat on it.

Now comes the most important part of any Christmas deck: SANTA CLAUS. This is definitely a departure from the first deck as there isn't any Mrs. Claus (do Zombies even get married?) and my chosen Santa isn't legendary. However, I felt Zombie Musher was just too perfectly flavorful not to include as Santa Claus. Being a zombie, he's already got the evil down pretty well, and as a 'musher' it really feels like he's driving a sleigh of "evil presence" to all the bad little undead children in the world.

With our Zombie Musher as Santa Claus, we of course need to deck him in the finest equipment available. Some of these are used by our classic ("good") Santa. However, the Trailblazer's Boots is a small change, mainly because I can envision the Musher trudging through all the cold snow with his Trailblazers more so than with the Swiftfoot Boots. And naturally, since I wanted to use the Razortip Whip last time, it was a perfect fit here for our crueler Santa!

So Just How Does This Deck Play?

Like the first deck, it only plays as well as your tolerance for putting fun over winning. But that's okay because this deck has plenty of things to keep you entertained with while you're losing to even the newest players. Even so, you generally want to play your mana elves early and your bigger creatures, like your precious Chimney Imps later. Much later. I would say that your best bet is to cast Tree of Redemption as a wall until you need to tap it for a beautiful life boost.

And that will do it for Part II of our exciting series on Christmas-themed decks! Next time I'll shift my focus toward actual tournament-viable decks.. that aren't even Christmas-related! -shocked-


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