Know Yourself: Tis the Season


Hello, and welcome to 2018! Last year was a hoot and a half, and keeping up with all the goings on in magic and joining the crew here at MTGdecktechs were wonderful. From PPTQ’s and deck techs to opinion pieces and voracious consumption of media, magic or otherwise, I would say all in all we as a community had a lot to be thankful for in 2017, and have a lot of work to do in 2018 to keep this card game studded out as one of the greatest games of all time. I truly cannot be more thankful for all of the wonderful events and response from the readership throughout the years, and I truly hope to keep to discourse going into 2018.

As for my first article ever of the year, I want to talk about giving. We as magic players love giving! We love giving our family members sleeves and board games, we love giving laughs and draftable packs, we love giving back to the community, and MOST importantly, we love giving things to our opponents! Right? Right?!

No. not right.

I don’t like giving things to my opponent. That is bad. Right?

Well, not quite.

There is a distinction. We love giving awful things to our opponents. We love the donate effects.

So why is this effect so widely popular? And how can we as someone who LOVES to win, or at least loves to not lose, work it to our full advantage? Here, I am going to go over some of the best cards to give opponents as to make them cry tears of agony as they crumble under GAINING something. Because it’s the season of Christmas! What kind of person would we be if we didn’t give the gift of giving in game?

Illusions of Grandeur

Ahh, the classic illusions + donate package. The key concept here is that you go up 20 life and then give the enchantment away, disenchant it, and then kill your opponent by making them lose 20 life immediately. This combo never quite fails to put a smile on my face, and is the bane of all players whos precious life totals are of any value to them whatsoever. The next time someone in 1v1 commander casts this card, maybe make sure you have a naturalize on hand, or things are going to get scary in a real hurry for you. Having this card on your side of the battlefield if you’re even remotely close to twenty life is an unprecedented amount of pressure.

Demonic Pact

Oh, cat pact. This deck was a hilarious time back in when standard had this cards legal with harmless offering, which often lead to players often splashing cards that let them pick up and reset the pact over and over while they looked for a new way to give it to you, forcing you to lose the game. The hilarious result eventually saw play in a grixis based control shell, with the combo being the finisher, but ultimately proved to be too flawed to be useful in a truly competitive environment. Still, have fun casting this card and watching your opponent squirm in their seat as they have to ask themselves whether or not you’re crazy for putting the card in your deck in the first place.

Steel golem / grid monitor

“that’s a really cool green deck you’re playing there. It would be a shame if something happened to it.”

Giving these creatures away to creature decks is a surefire way to make sure that your friends really don’t want to hand out with you anymore. Soft locking people out of playing half their spells is usually a good way to win the game, and this is the kind of way to win the game in style. Sure, the game isn’t technically WON, but I’m almost positive that your opponent’s Mono green commander deck is going to have a heck of a time coming back from this card, especially if the countermagic comes out to stop the artifact removal.


So get out there and give them these wonderfully fun cards! I am certain that all of your opponents will be happy to receive these on their side of the board, for these cards are truly all about the Christmas spirit of giving. I swear.


On a more realistic note, we are keeping it short and sweet this week due to all of the holiday hubbub and the fact that this goes up on New Year’s Day means I will be spending most of my editing time with my family laughing and playing games, as you should this time of year. I want to wish all of my and MTGDeckTech’s readership a very belated Merry Christmas and happy new year, or a very happy celebration of your own respective holiday or holidays. This truly is a time of peace and merriment, and I only hope that my small weekly column can bring you some kind of joy in the coming year as we continue to play this game that we love.

I’ll see you all next week, and here’s to a great year!

-Forrest W.



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