All for one
By now, additional DLC for Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers 2014 should come as no surprise. As with the previous entries in the cerebral card-flopping series, new decks with unique angles seem to come out just as you've gotten familiar with all the existing options. Whether you're challenging other spell-slingers online or just taking these decks for a spin against the AI, an unfamiliar deck can make the whole game feel new again.
We've got an exclusive first look at one of the decklists that'll be included in the September expansion for Duels of the Planeswalkers 2014, and we want to talk you through it just as we did with Ajani's Guardians of Light deck. If you're not familiar with the Exalted mechanic, this White-Green-Blue deck--dubbed Hall of Champions--will be the perfect crash course for how to turn an army of small creatures into one almighty champion. Check out the full decklist below, then read on to see what's possible when you're touring the Hall of Champions.
Akrasan Squire + Aven Squire
These two weenies might not look like much at first, but this duo is essentially the core of the entire deck. The overall goal for the Hall of Champion deck is to get as many creatures with Exalted on the board, then attack with a singular creature. Thanks to the Exalted triggers, that creature--no matter how big or small it was to begin with--will grow into a massive threat from all the +1/+1 buffs its accrued. Even on their own, these two Squires are quite the pairing; Turn 1 Akrasan into Turn 2 Aven has you attacking for 3 damage in the air in no time flat.
Rhox Charger + Behemoth Sledge
Behemoth Sledge--or any Equipment in general--is the perfect complement to the Exalted mechanic. Because you only want to attack with one creature anyway, all you have to do is equip the almighty Sledge to your most resilient creature and swing with impunity. Behemoth Sledge is good on most any attacker, Exalted or not, but it's particularly intimidating to see a Rhox Charger wielding one. When attacking, it will effectively become a 6/6 trampler with lifelink--a terrifying sight for any opponent, to be sure.
Leonin Armorguard + Deft Duelist
Before the Hexproof keyword came along, Shroud was the best spell protection around. Unlike the Hexproof ability, where you can target your creature with spells but your opponent can't, Shroud prevents both players from targeting. That means that you won't be pumping the Deft Duelist with a Giant Growth anytime soon (and sorry, Equipment like Behemoth Sledge won't work either). On her own, the Duelist is still quite good--but there is a way to beef her up for a turn. Playing a Leonin Armorguard boosts all your other creatures, and since that effect doesn't target Deft Duelist directly, she'll get the buff just like everyone else.
Martial Coup + Sigil Blessing
No matter how grim a given situation might look, just remember that you have this combo in the back of your pocket. Martial Coup is an incredibly powerful board sweeper--because only in the rarest instance will you be playing it for anything less than 7 mana. Yes, your own creatures will also bite the dust--but at least they'll be swiftly replaced by a small army of 1/1 soldiers. That also gives you the perfect chance to power through any stalemate by following Martial Coup with a Sigil Blessing, which will buff all your little dudes into a sizable chunk of damage. And with no blockers on the other side to stop you, your enemy has no choice but to take a beating.
Bant Charm + Giltspire Avenger
While the Hall of Champions deck has all it needs in the way of creatures and army-pumping combat tricks, it's a little lacking when it comes to direct removal. Qasali Pridemage will take care of any artifact creatures; for everything else, there's Bant Charm and Giltspire Avenger. The banish-to-the-bottom-of-your-library effect of Bant Charm can be a godsend when you're staring down at an enchanted, indestructible, or altogether massive creature. And with three Bant Charms in the deck, you'll usually draw one just in the nick of time. Giltspire requires you to take a smack to the face before he can kill, but his presence on the board will force your opponent to deal with him, and may make them skittish to attack.
One at a time
So, what's your take on the Hall of Champions? Think this creature-centric Exalted playstyle is right up your alley? Or are you curious about the other decks that'll be added? Get your theorycrafting on in the comments section below!