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Some tips for your first 5...
By Kevin Cron
Some tips for your first 5...

Choose your own obsession:

1) Buy a loaf of bread.
Remove the bread from it's bag.
Now you have a handy carrying case for your 5.
(the bag, not the loose loaf of bread.) (although, that would be something.)
Not to mention; you have a snack!
(the loose loaf of bread, not your 5.) (that, too, would be something.)

In response to some recent discussions in the forums, I'd like to shed some light on constructing a 5-color deck... if you're a newbie.

If you're not a newbie, stop reading and go play some 5!

[perfunctory aside

Info about 5-color can always be found @

[/perfunctory aside


2) Plan your deck, in the loose sense...
Do you want to play Control?
Mid-range goodstuff?

{Bear in mind that I am gearing this advice towards those that are hesitant about the format and do not wish to dimantle their existing decks and commit pricey rares to the unshaven masses.}

I'll tackle the hardest one, first:
Combo: There are a ton of viable combo's in 5. There are also a few that are just better than others. Traumatize/Replenish is a good'n, Moma/Prints/Stroke is another. Problem is: every card in those titles is rare... some of them in the $10 range. So, skip the dedicated combo idea, if you're a newbie.


Dream Halls is a combo deck that can be built with very few rares, aside from the Halls, themselves. Just a note, if you simply must play combo, on a budget.


Control: While there are rares that really make control tick (Wrath of God, Rout, Pernicious Deed, Nevinyrral's Disk, Shadowmage Infiltrator - The Fear 'PHID, Masticore, etc.), it's possible to play control in this format with few, if any, rares. Just take:Some common/uncommon counterspells (Counterspell, Dismiss, Arcane Denial, Forbid, Mana Leak),
Some efficient spot removal (Terminate, Swords to Plowshares, Dismantling Blow, Orim's Thunder, Hull Breach, Flametongue Kavu, Nekrataal, Fire/Ice), and
Some mass removal (Breath of Darigaaz, Savage Twister, Wash Out, Plague Spitter, um...),
some card-advantage/drawing (Fact or Fiction, Whispers of the Muse, Sylvan Library, Treasure Trove, Dominate, Concentrate, Ophidian, Avenging Druid - The Green 'PHID, Browse, Thieving Magpie - The Flying 'PHID), and
Top it off with a robust finisher (Fireball, Sengir Vampire, or whatever).

I'm not saying that your first control deck (with 0 rares) is going to be amazing... but it, you, and a friend are both just starting, what's the problem? And there's so much fun potential.

Beatdown: Many of the best creatures for beatdown are actually not rare:
Hypnotic Specter
Flesh Reaver
Pouncing Jaguar
Wild Dogs
Jackal Pup
Kird Ape
Dauthi Horror
Dauthi Marauder
Dauthi Slayer
Albino Troll
River Boa
Skyshroud Elite
Mogg Fanatic
Fallen Askari
Fledgling Djinn

... you get the idea.

Add in some efficient burn and removal to clear the way:
Lightning Bolt/Incinerate
Swords to Plowshares/Terminate

Maybe some cheap counters, or maybe not:
Arcane Denial, Mana Leak

Some card advantage:
Contract from Below (the 2nd most broken card, ever, and it costs $1 or less on eBay)
Fact or Fiction
Sylvan Library

... and proceed to beat.

Mid-Range: This catch-all really crosses over between all archetypes... you can make control with a combo kill, beatdown with combo, beatdown with control. You get the idea. My first suggestion is Beatdown/Control:

Thornscape Battlemage
Thunderscape Battlemage
Flametongue Kavu
Uktabi Orangutan
Avalanche Riders
Thrull Surgeon
Treasure Hunter

Control the board with your creatures.

Mid-Range is likely the best place to start, if you're a newbie. Just put together a bunch of cards that are really good in limited and play the card advantage game.

3) Build your deck: this is a lot of fun... and believe me; if you are at all motivated by my suggestions here, you're going to find that 250 cards is not really that many when it comes to adding fun toys to your deck.

90-100 mana sources (my recommendation)
18 cards for each color x 5 colors = 90 cards

That only leaves you with 60-70 "variable" cards in your deck, and you already know what it's like to build a deck with 30-40 variable cards.

And if you're looking for cards to top off your colors... here are some items that many, many decks play with:

Fact or Fiction
Allied Strategies

Lightning Bolt
Flametongue Kavu

Sylvan Library
Harrow/Land Grant/Yavimaya Granger/Yavimaya Elder
Wall of Blossoms
Thornscape Battlemage

Restricted Tutors

Swords to Plowshares
Dismantling Blow/Orim's Thunder/Seal of Cleansing

Mind Stone
Fellwar Stone
Jeweled Bird
Zuran Orb
Chromatic Sphere
Lotus Petal

Hull Breach
Goblin Legionnaire
Jungle Barrier
Dromar's Charm

Mirage Fetch Lands
Gemstone Mine

~$1 rares that can make your deck better: (making no promises about prices in your area)
Urza's Blueprints
Hanna, Ship Navigator
Mindless Automaton
Contract from Below
Trade Routes
Phelddagrif/Questing Phelddagrif
Back to Basics/Destructive Flow

And last but not least:

And you had to look through a 250 deck with a Tutor? Is there a time limit?

While this might seem daunting at first, you get used to it. It's just like looking through 3-4 normal decks I play about 30 tutoring effects in my deck each game... and you get better at it. If you're upset about the time it takes, have your friends/opponent help If you've never seen 3-4 people dive into a 5 looking for that game-swinging spell, you haven't lived


Read More Articles by Kevin Cron!

 - Thursday (May 17, 2018)
 - Tuesday (Aprl. 24, 2018
 - Monday (Apr. 16, 2018)
 - Friday (Apr. 6, 2018)
 - Wednesday (Apr. 4, 2018)
 - Monday (Apr. 2, 2018)
 - Friday (Mar. 23, 2018)
 - Thursday (Feb. 15, 2018)
 - Thursday (Jan 25, 2018)
 - Wednesday (Jan. 17, 2018)

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