PUBLISHER: MAGIC: THE GATHERING / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Commander is easily the most accessible way to play Magic: The Gathering in. Not only does it allow for up to six players (rather than the traditional two-player duel format), it’s also quite story lead as it relies on a Legendary Creature card to serve as the deck’s leader, the titular Commander. It’s also tricky to pull off, as you need a lot of cards and they can’t be duplicates. Ruthless Regiment is a pre-built deck for playing the Commander version of Magic, and it’s a rather good one.
Ruthless Regiment is a Mardu Deck (Red, White, and Black). The theme is humans, mostly soldiers, who will stop at nothing to win their war. The deck is designed to get as many soldiers and leader types into play as possible. The deck also then let’s you sacrifice your own men for tactical advantage, and then bring those troops back from the dead to continue to attack other opponents.
This is a ‘stack them high, knock them down, and then knock them out’ style deck. Your first few turns are going to be defensive ones, filling the table with disposable minions in order to ward off probing attacks. You’re also going to be quite weak at the start; a lot of the land cards come out tapped - this means that you’ll be low on fuel to power spells and summon creatures early on. However, they are worth it. Cards such as Bojuka Bog’s give you the power to exile graveyarded cards, which will foil other black decks. For a RWB deck, there’s a lot of disruption built into the deck’s design, which means you’ll be annoying various opponents early on. Which is always fun to do in these games.
You’re going to be gently increasing power as the game progresses, cards such as Thalia’s Lieutenant, Thraben Doomsayer and Dearly Departed will turn humble soldiers into real threats (either through leadership or supernatural shenanigans). Titan Hunter and Magus of the Disk will disrupt your opponents and slowly bleed the dry for resources, and if things look grim, Disciple of Bolas, Ambitions Cost and similar cards let you shift tactics and focus. The theme of grim sacrifice works very well; for example, we have a character called Trynn, Champion of Freedom who pairs beautifully with Silvar, Devourer of the Free to build the sort of attack that’s both epic and tragic in concept and execution.
Ruthless Regiment is also crammed with gorgeous art and the sort of storytelling unique to these sort of card games. It’s a strongly themed deck that will entertain most Magic players one way or another. The list is also fun to tinker with as the idea behind the deck is very accessible. A fun addition to a great format.