eeping your deck down in number will also help keep the deck focused.
Oftentimes, new deckbuilders will have difficulty keeping their decks focused because they don’t know what they want their decks to do.
Get an idea of what you want to do first. Building any deck requires a central idea, concept or framework to develop. Many times the interaction between new cards and old ones will inspire a player to build a deck around them.
An example of this is a deck that I personally built around the interaction between Kavu Predator and older cards like Invigorate and Skyshroud Cutter that can give your opponent life instead of paying their mana costs.
Kavu Predator gets a +1/+1 counter for each life point an opponent gains, so these cards have much desired synergy, and they give an otherwise conditional creature a purpose in the deck. The focus of my deck is Kavu Predator, so [highlight]my deck focuses on finding him, getting him out, and pumping him[/highlight] as quickly as possible. For a reference to my Kavu Predator decklist, seeAppendix B (Link to Kavu Deck).
Focusing your deck means that you want to have a central idea, win condition, or other focal point that you first define and then support with other cards.
In my deck, I’ve identified that I want to win with Kavu Predator, and I support him with creatures that pump him in order and make him a huge threat.
An example of lack of focus is my original build of my Kavu Predator deck.
The original build of the deck revolved around the same idea of giving the opponent life, but was unfocused by the fact that I included cards like Shielding Plax, Inviolability, and Pariah, in addition to other, more cumbersome creatures, such as Nomad Mystic, Phytohydra, and Weathered Bodyguards.
While the deck might have been able to come through at times, it tended to lose because none of these cards had any true synergy with each other and none of them contributed to the focus of the deck.
Instead, they were one or two-piece cumbersome
…combinations that sought to protect my life total…
instead of making the deck more aggressive.
If my goal was to make my Kavu Predator as big as possible, then these cards contradicted and detracted from the focus of my deck. Rebuilding the deck to focus it on being more aggressive enhanced the overall performance of the deck.
Another folly that some new deckbuilders make is including any creature card that “fits” their deck’s colors. They include the creature card because it fits the colors rather than because it fits the strategy.
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Some of these players might automatically throw in a few of these creatures because they are big, flashy, etc., or they might because they think it is the coolest creature they’ve ever laid eyes on. This creature may not even fit the overall “theme” of their deck, but they put it in just because they liked it.
Careful inclusion versus impulsive inclusion helps when building decks.
What you don’t want to do is throw in a few copies of a new, huge creature just because it can fit into their deck. Instead, make sure that it should fit into your deck. If not, maybe it’s not the best move to include it.
An example of poor inclusion would be including a creature from the Shards of Alara with the devour mechanic in a deck that is full of non-expendable creatures. You don’t want to sacrifice your creatures, so your devour creature is useless.
Another example would be if you were to put Stoic Angel into your aggro deck; the problem is that you wouldn’t be able to untap more than one creature, so your aggro deck will be slowed down.
Make sure the creature belongs in the deck before you put it in the deck.