Gettin’ Aggro with Magic

This week we take a look at everyone’s favorite collectible card game:

What are the best AGGRO color combinations in Magic the Gathering?

Unfortunately, there is a fairly simple answer to this question.  I say unfortunately because back in the good ol’ days of Magic there was a different answer, which I prefer, because I’m crotchety and hate change.  But before I get into my hate rant, I’ll answer your question.

Making a good aggro deck means having an overwhelming offense and not worrying much about defending yourself.  You want to stomp on your enemies face and laugh at his failures before you even need to worry about a good defense.  There are several ways you can accomplish this, though an aggro deck is most effective if you can combine all of the techniques: hordes of angry, low casting cost creatures (Green and White), direct damage (Red) and creature destruction (Black), mana acceleration (Green) and card advantage (Blue).

Don’t worry about gaining life, preventing damage, resurrecting things or the hundreds of other defensive possibilities out there.  Kill, kill, kill.  That’s it.  And mana acceleration and card drawing are the best ways to ensure you can do this as quickly as possible.

What becomes obvious from this discussion is that you should be more focused on card effects and types and less on colors.  All of the colors can accomplish an aggro deck, but you can make a really awesome 5 color aggro deck because the colors do have some focus to take advantage of.   Of course, you need to be able to pull off a 5 color deck and not mana screw yourself.  If you’re not confident in that, you can eliminate some colors.

White isn’t that necessary, and doesn’t offer much that Green doesn’t for an aggro deck.  Likewise, Black’s creature destruction can mostly be replaced with Red’s direct damage.  So Green, Red and Blue can work well.  And if you want, you can even drop Blue in favor of going all out with mana acceleration, creature swarms and direct damage, which is my personal favorite color combo, though I would still be sure to include some sort of card advantage in there (maybe with some artifacts).  Then go forth and destroy.


One of my favorite Green aggro cards.

And now that that’s out of the way it’s time for my rant.  When Magic began, the colors were clearly defined in their overall themes and abilities.  Blue and Red had very few creatures and Blue was almost entirely defense, while Red was offensive.  White and Green were very heavy on the creatures and life gaining, and Black fell somewhere in the middle with a good number of creatures, but also some sweet sorcery spells and creature destruction.

While much of this has stayed the same, over time every color has gained many of the advantages of the other colors (albeit to a small extent), but all the same, it annoys me.  Twenty years ago if you asked me the same question, I would have hands down said Green and Red.  And while I’ve basically said the same thing, the point is you would never have been able to pull off a Blue aggro deck before.  Now it’s possible.  And the reason it’s possible is because of what I call Magic Inflation.

Magic Inflation is the tendency for cards to get more and more powerful over time so that you have literally no choice but to keep buying cards so that you can keep up with other players.  It’s bullshit, and I hate Wizards of the Coast for it.

Wizards of the Coast has become of gaming behemoth, and what surely started out as some nerds with a great idea, has turned into a terrible edifice of capitalistic greed-mongering.  WotC has ruined Magic, the same way they ruined D&D.  They took two things I loved dearly and shat upon them like the biggest dick of hippopotamus you ever met.  Sure the games are still fun and more clearly thought out then they had been.  Sure I still play them.  But the point is that I’d rather be playing them twenty years ago, because back then, the company loved the games more than the money.

So Rest In Peace Magic the Gathering because you are dead to me.  Give me Ice Age and Fallen Empires any day.  And D&D?  I’ll take THAC0 over all your silly at-will and encounter powers.  I just want to have fun and not have to spend hundreds of dollars to have a hobby.  Leave me to my stingy, anachronistic misery.

In Loving Hatred,
The Dungeon Master

As always, we need more questions! 

If you wish to submit a question to the Dungeon Master, please e-mail them todungeonmastermind@gmail.com, or you can Tweet me a question @AskthedDM. And make sure to review the disclaimer.

You can also see me in action in the webcomic, One Die Short.

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2 Responses to Gettin’ Aggro with Magic

  1. Dave, Player, DM, man about town says:

    A little off topic but my personal D&D set is the old 1989 AD&D 2nd edition. it was all i could afford. And I actually have some of my dad’s old Ice Age and Fallen Empires Magic cards. I mainly play a black Vampire deck in modern magic, but its a 2011 set so i’ll probably have to replace it soon 😦 .

    • Yeah 2nd edition! I’m still partial to it, mainly because I grew up on it. And I too am partial to the vampires. I’ve been playing one for a while, and have managed to avoid updating it much. I think I’ve only added some cards from a couple of booster packs.

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