The only Magic cards I took with me on my recent vacation was pre-constructed decks. I took the entire Duel Deck Anthology box, and stuffed it with loads of Commander, other duel decks, and the solitaire decks. The box was great for transporting my cards! (I removed the tray for the first time, and discovered a Serial Number!
I held two memorable Duel Deck matches with the SpartanKid, before our interest shifted to testing the French Dark Ascension deck I purchased.
Following is a record of what happened during those two matches!
Elves Vs. Liliana
The match was generally unfair at first. I was piloting Liliana, of course, and knew what I was up against. I kept a hand full of removal! I knew it would be important to keep as many elves from sticking to the board as possible. At around turn six, the SpartanKid wasn’t having any fun. He began saying,”This isn’t fair!” Deathgreeter ensured that I kept gaining life as creatures died. Lucky for him, I was out of removal. But I had Enslave ready because I knew eventually the SpartanKid would try for Allosaurus Rider, one of the Elf deck’s most insane cards, controlled by one of Liliana’s most broken cards!
True to form, he played that Allosaurus Rider, and then I hit it with Enslave. .
It was Lys Alana, Huntmaster that landed next, and I had no response. The game became very grindy, eventually getting lots of traction for the elf deck. That Allosaurus Rider went down to the Voice of the Woods token.
Down but not out, I cast Rise from the Grave, getting the Allosaurus Rider back, and even better than ever late in the game, with ten lands on the field!
But all of this effort was not removal. Imperious Perfect and Ambush Commander hit the battlefield, and the game was pretty much over. In fact, Liliana Vess was the final thing I cast. Too little, too late. It was GG. Elves took the victory! I was two turns away from Mutilate, which would have totally shifted the game back in Liliana’s favor.
Later, we would play Divine vs. Liliana.
It all seemed grim. The Angels were truly beating down Liliana’s deck. (Recently, when I read the fiction put on the Mothership Site, Liliana would remark that Angels were “goody two-shoes.”)
Then I drew Liliana, and used her to tutor up Mutilate in the face of Twilight Shepherd and Akroma. But Twilight Shepherd has that pesky persist ability, and also brings things back to the battlefield from the graveyard that died on the same turn.
And that was pretty much it. The Divine Deck truly is a casual masterpiece of destruction! Really, almost none of the decks can stand against them except for Jace and Chandra…Jace who controls and cancels and bounces angels, and chandra who burns everything except Akroma, (but it doesn’t matter, because it takes so long to cast Akroma. However, the life gain of the Divine deck can be frustrating against burn.)
The Duel Deck Anthology has proven to be one of the greatest gifts for a Magic player. It was reasonably priced. Resaonably rare. Reasonably cool. And nicely archival. I hope the Wizards release more of these Anthologys in the future. I am a dedicated purchaser at this point!