Hello Everybody! I know I’ve only posted twice over the last two weeks because I was on vacation, but tomorrow, I have a really special story to share. Today, I’m doing an in depth review of the Zendikar and Eldrazi duel decks. Just a side note, the duel decks provided spoilers 7 Battle for Zendikar cards.
The Zendikar deck is Green/White. It has few a sub-themes, first: Allies. These are the creatures that give a benefit that increases as the number of allies you control. They were in the first Zendikar, so it seems appropriate in this deck. Second: Landfall. This is the effect that triggers when a land enters the battlefield under your control. It also includes a reasonable amount on ramp to support the Landfall theme. Third: Level up. This is a mechanic that allows you to spend mana to level up your creature, and as they level up, they become stronger.
In this deck, there are five allies, and you can use them to give your allies vigilance, can give themselves +1/+1 counters and deal damage to creatures with flying. The best ally in the deck in my opinion is Tajuru Archer. The Eldrazi deck has four fliers, all with relatively low toughness. The Tajuru Archer is a great card for this deck to combat the fliers.
This deck contains seven landfall cards. In my opinion, Khalni Heart Expedition is the most interesting of them all. After Landfall triggers three times, you can sac it to search for two lands and put them onto the battlefield tapped. This ramp is really helpful, as it triggers other landfalls twice, and if you activate it on turn five, and you’ve played a land every turn, then your looking at a possible turn six Avenger of Zendikar. Other landfall spells include Seer’s Sundial, which allows you to draw for two mana when a land enters the battlefield. That’s a great rate for card draw even if it’s somewhat conditional. Groundswell is another pretty great one. For one mana, you can pump your creature +4/+4 if a land entered the battlefield this turn, but only +2/+2 if no land entered this turn. Ramp come in the form of Khalni Heart Expedition, and Harrow, which makes you sacrifice a land to put two lands onto the battlefield.
There are five level up creatures in this deck. Though they don’t synergize with each other, they provide a really great outlet to sink in all the ramp that you get from this deck. My favorite is Kabira Vindicator, which can provide some power for the smaller creatures in this deck, which includes loads of one, two, and three power creatures.
1 Veteran Warleader
There are five vampires in this deck, and they don’t synergize with each other at all, but they do provide most of the more aggressive creatures in the deck. Of them, the most notable are Butcher of Malakir, a seven drop, who is not only a super aggressive 5/4 flier, also forces the opponent to sac a creature when a creature you control dies, Pawn of Ulamog is a three drop that provides an Eldrazi Spawn token when a creature dies. Vampire Nighthawk is a pretty well known three drop vampire that 2/3 flier with lifelink and deathtouch. Butcher of Malakir synergizes well with Consume the Meek, which destroys all creatures with mana cost three or less. It’ll destroy two or three of your own creatures, but your opponents will be forced to sacrifice one of their four, five, six, and even seven drops.
This deck contains seven removal spells. The most effective one in my opinion is Consume the Meek, which I talked about a bit in the last paragraph. It’s especially effective against the Zendikar deck, which has twelve one, two, and three drops. The second most effective removal spell in my opinion is Corpsehatch, which is five mana to destroy a creature and put two 0/1 Eldrazi Spawn tokens onto the battlefield. Since Eldrazi Spawn tokens can sacrifice themselves for a mana, this theoretically only cost three mana. The seven removal spells are nice, but all of them, save Consume the Meek are pretty ineffective against the creature heavy Zendikar deck.
In this deck, there are six Eldrazi creatures, which is only appropriate for an Eldrazi deck. It That Betrays is the front card in this deck, and though it costs twelve mana, it can easily be casted earlier with the ramp provided by sacrificing Eldrazi Spawn tokens. When it attacks, it forces opponents to sac two creatures, who come back under your control. Butcher of Malakir synergizes well with it, because the creatures it causes opponents to sac come back under your control too. Emrakul’s Hatcher is a 3/3 five drop that comes into the battlefield with three Eldrazi Spawn tokens, which is a great source of ramp to cast It That Betrays. There are three of them in the deck, and three copies of a nonland card in a duel deck is pretty uncommon, and this is a great card. Artisan of Kozilek and Ulamog’s Crusher both cause the opponent to sacrifice two creature when they attack, so they synergize well with It That Betrays. Overall, this deck shows lots of really big hitters, and definitely enough ramp to get to them fast.
1 Forerunner of Slaughter