|Magic The Gathering 2014 Intro Pack: Bestial Strength|
|TCG Set: MTG 14 Core Set|
|Colours: Black & Green|
|Publisher: Wizards Of The Coast|
Magic The Gathering’s new set, simply known as the ‘M14 Core Set’, is now upon us and ready to be snapped up by players around the world. The new set brings into play a huge array of new cards, as well as reprints and new art for cards that have been printed before. In addition to the boxes and booster packs available for purchase, there are also intro packs to go alongside them. Intro packs will give players a ‘ready to play’ sixty card deck with a couple of boosters. Targeted more at new players, these intro packs are constructed to introduce you to the game, allowing new players to go to local tournaments with these decks and compete. For this review we are looking at the Green & Black Intro Pack deck simply known as Bestial Strength. Is the intro pack worth the money?
When you take big creatures that require a lot of mana to put out, with spells that can deal with threats in front of you by getting rid of them, you have an intro pack simply titled ‘Bestial Strength’. This deck has an emphasis on mid-to-late game trample creatures averaging out with four strength and toughness going up. It is also mixed in with some black cards for those sticky situations where you need to get something or someone off of the field.
Let us look at the creatures included in the deck:
* Accursed Spirit x2
Cost: 4(3 Colourless 1 Black), 3 Power/2 Toughness, Spirit
Intimidate (This creature can’t be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or creatures that share a colour with it).
* Advocate of the Beast x1
Cost: 3(2 Colourless1 Green ), 2 Power/3 Toughness, Elf Shaman
At the beginning of your end step, put a +1/+1 counter on target beast creature you control.
* Briarpack Alpha x2
Cost: 4(3 Colourless 1 Green), 3 Power/3 Toughness, Wolf
Flash (You may cast this spell anytime you would cast an instant.)
When Briarpack Alpha enters the battlefield, target creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn.
* Brindle Boar x2
Cost: 3(2 Colourless 1 Green), 2 Power/2 Toughness, Boar
Sacrifice Brindle Boar: You Gain 4 Life
* Corpse Hauler x1
Cost: 2(1 Colourless 1 Black), 2 Power/ 1 Toughness, Human Rogue
2 Colourless 1 Black, Sacrifice Corpse Hauler: Return another target creature card from your graveyard to your hand.
* Deadly Recluse x2
Cost: 2(1 Colourless 1 Green), 1 Power/ 2 Toughness, Spider
Reach (This creature can block creatures with flying.)
Deathtouch (Any amount of damage this deals to a creature is enough to destroy it.)
* Elvish Mystic x1
Cost: 1(1 Green), 1 Power/1 Toughness, Elf Druid
Tap: Add one Green Mana to your mana pool.
* Garruk’s Horde (Foil) x1
Cost: 7(5 Colourless 2 Green), 7 Power/7 Toughness, Beast
Play with the Top Card of your library revealed.
You may cast the top card of your library if it’s a creature card. (Do this only any time you would cast that creature card. You still pay the spells costs.)
* Giant Spider x2
Cost: 4(3 Colourless 1 Green), 2 Power/4 Toughness, Spider
Reach (This creature can block creatures with flying.)
* Kalonian Tusker x2
Cost: 2(2 Green), 3 Power/3 Toughness, Beast
* Rootwaller x2
Cost: 3(2 Colourless, 1 Green), 2 Power/2 Toughness, Lizard
2 Mana (1 Colourless,1 Green): Rootwalla gets +2/+2 until end of turn. Activate this ability only once this turn.
* Rumbling Baloth x2
Cost: 4(2 Colourless, 2 Green), 4 Power/4 Toughness, Beast
* Woodborn Behemoth x2
Cost: 5(3 Colourless, 2 Green), 4 Power/ 4 Toughness, Elemental
As long as you control eight or more lands, Woodborn Behemoth gets +4/+4 and has trample. (If this creature would assign enough damage to its blockers to destroy them, you may have it assign the rest of its damage to defending player or planeswalker.)
As the deck is constructed with new players in mind, I tested the deck against a player that had never played MTG before. The creatures synergised well with each other to make the deck work. Briarpack Alpha’s ability to Flash works incredibly well for blocking enemy creatures and killing them in the process. The beast cards that work together with Advocate of the Beast create a permanent problem for opponents as these already big creatures just grow with every turn thereafter. Woodborn Behemoth is a very late game creature as it is truly terrifying once you have eight or more land on the field, but there is an enchantment in the deck that helps this become a reality sooner rather than later.
Although Woodborn Behemoth is a great card, it relies very heavily on the 8 land to make it worth the play.
Here are the spells and Artefacts that make up the rest of the deck:
* Doom Blade x2
Cost: 2(1 Colourless, 1 Black), Instant
Destroy Target Non Black Creature
* Enlarge x 1
Cost: 5(3 Colourless, 2 Green), Sorcery
Target Creature Gets +7/+7 and gains Trample until end of turn. It must be blocked this turn if able.
* Fog x1
Cost: 1(1 Green), Instant
Prevent all combat damage that would be dealt this turn.
* Giant Growth x2
Cost: 1(1 Green), Instant
Target Creature Gets +3/+3 until end of turn.
* Into The Wilds x1
Cost: 4(3 Colourless, 1 Green), Enchantment
At the beginning of your upkeep, Look at the top card of your library. If it’s a land card, you may put it onto the battlefield.
* Mind Rot x1
Cost: 3(2 Colourless, 1 Black), Sorcery
Target player discards two cards.
* Plummet x1
Cost: 2(1 Colourless, 1 Green), Instant
Destroy Target Creature with flying
* Staff of the Wild Magus x1
Cost: 3(3 Colourless), Artifact
Whenever you cast a green spell or a Forest enters the battlefield under your control, you gain 1 life.
* Vial of Poison x2
Cost: 1(1 Colourless), Artifact
1 Colourless, Sacrifice Vial of Poison: Target creature gains deathtouch until end of turn.
For the deck, the artefacts in particular work really well. Staff of Wild Magus will be a great turn three card due to its ability, however if you plan on playing it after the third turn you may not get as much of an effect off of it. Vial of poison on the other hand is a great situational artefact that allows a small creature to block a big creature and still be able to get rid of it, for just two mana. Wild Magus also works really well in conjunction with Into the Wilds that will max out your land draw potential.
Never underestimate the power of Doom Blade, one of the best removals in the entire game.
There is only really one problem that players may encounter with this deck. Due to it running with twenty six land (17 Forests & 9 Swamps) there is a chance that you may shuffle your library into a land heavy hand or an empty land hand. Luckily cards such as Into the Wilds and Garruk’s Horde can help out in this situation but they are either mid-to-high cost cards with the ability to put land out seemingly too late into the game. With this, it is a huge recommendation that you play this deck with at least a three mana hand so that you can play your core creatures early and work towards your beasts later.
Overall the synergy between the cards and their brute strength is up to par. The deck relies heavily on land however and will be very susceptible to control decks and mill decks that will ruin your dominance in game. Bestial Strength is definitely worth a try to those players that want big creatures with attitude. Like all the intro packs, this one isn’t for everyone. It is a matter of play style and what you prefer to do to your opponent.
So what do you think of Bestial Strength? Do you think it is a huge force to be reckoned with or do you think it is nothing more than a little kitty standing in your way? Let us know what your impressions are in the comments below and share with us your greatest plays with some of the M14 cards in the VGU Forums.
A Strong Deck With Great Creature Synergy
|High possibility of land hands|
Black Cards Help The Deck Out
|Land searching requires at least 4 Mana|
|Enough Land To Bring Out The Big Beasts|
|Better Suited For Mid to Late game play styles|
Trample & Deathtouch allows a lot of dominance