Once you’ve picked out a theme for your deck, it’s time to choose which colors of magic you’ll be using. Each color has its own set of strengths and weaknesses. Using a mono-color deck will help prevent mana problems, but adding a second (or third) color can often help make up for the first color’s weakness.
Strengths: Black magic excels at creature removal, spells that force your opponent to discard cards, and reanimation of dead creatures.
Weaknesses: No defense against enchantments or artifacts.
Strengths: Blue mages are able to use counter-magic to stop their opponent’s spells. They also have spells that return permanents to their owner’s hand. And if that wasn’t enough, blue mages can also use spells to take control of their opponent’s permanents!
Weaknesses: No direct damage or permanent removal.
Strengths: Cheap, powerful creatures? Lots of them. Artifacts and enchantments? No problem, we can blow ’em up.
Weaknesses: No direct damage, limited creature removal. Not many flying creatures to choose from.
Strengths: Tons of direct damage, creature, artifact & land destruction. Some creatures with haste.
Weaknesses: No enchantment removal. And there are a lot of enchantments that can hose a mono-red burn deck!
Strengths: Flying creatures, removal spells of all kinds, life gaining, good defensive creatures.
Weaknesses: White is a good all-around color. However, it’s often beneficial to splash other colors in order to blend their strengths. For instance, adding blue counter-magic or red direct damage spells to a white control deck.
Picking Your Colors
If your deck is an aggressive deck, you might choose one of these color combinations:
- Red “burn” deck with lots of direct damage spells and some creatures
- Green “swarm” deck with cheap, effective creatures and creature boosting spells
- Red/Green “creature-burn” deck with cheap, effective creatures and direct damage spells
- White “weenie” deck with cheap, effective creatures and some removal spells
If your deck is a defensive deck, you might choose one of these color combinations:
- Mono-Blue deck with lots of counter-magic, permanent stealing and bouncing
- Blue/White control deck with counter-magic, creature removal, and life gaining
- Blue/Black control deck with counter-magic, creature removal, and discarding
- Black/White control deck with creature removal, discarding, and good defensive creatures
Or maybe you want to play a hybrid deck! Here are a couple of ideas:
- Red/Blue burn-control deck with counter-magic, direct damage spells, and some big creatures
- White/Red burn-control deck with lots of flying creatures, creature removal, and direct damage spells