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Top Ten Ways to Lose at Magic the Gathering Sealed Deck Tournaments

September 14th, 2016 | Posted by Indri in card games | magic the gathering | mtg | pc-games | Ramblings | Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Top Ten Ways to Lose at Magic the Gathering Sealed Deck Tournaments)

How to Lose a Sealed Deck Magic the Gathering Tournament

You know what they say, learn from your mistakes. In the many years that I’ve played Magic the Gathering, I’ve made tons of mistakes. Probably every single mistake you could make. So I’d like to take a minute to jot these down so all of you out there hopefully won’t make the same ones I did.

Here are my top 10 biggest mtg sealed deck mistakes for you to learn from:

Relying On One Card

Bombs are nice to have, and if played right bombs can single handedly win a game…but they can’t be the ONLY way your deck wins. What if your opponent kill it as soon as it’s played? Or counterspells it? What if you just never draw it? If I had a nickel for every time I had a bomb card in my deck but never drew it once during an entire tournament… It’s just better to build yourself for an all around good deck filled with your most playable cards.

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Forcing Your Favorite Colors

I get it, you love two colors and think those are the best in this tournament. You really want to play them. But sometimes you can’t do that. Those may be the best colors but it you have only low quality, mediocre cards…or just not enough creatures. You can’t automatically play those colors. Magic just isn’t that simple where a certain color or colors always wins. Take time to look hard at your pool, maybe this tournament you will have to play your least favorite colors – but you will give yourself the best chance to win with those.

Not Playing Enough Creatures.

Most good players agree that you should be playing a minimum of 14 creatures in about any limited format. Unless you’re playing a non-creature deck – in which case you will lose 99% of the time in limited. Don’t play non creature “combo” decks in limited, just don’t. Give yourself the best chance to win, you probably have some money on the line, and now is not the time to play weird or casual style decks.

Neglecting or Over-Valuing “Bombs”

Wow, a mythic! I have to play this! No, no you don’t… Just because a card is mythic, or rare, doesn’t mean it’s automatically a good limited card or that it will fit well in your deck. On the flip side maybe you say this: “Wow I opened a (insert awesome green planeswalker)”…but I have all these great red cards and I don’t think green is any good. So I’m not playing that… (and then you lose the tournament). Read up on the set. Learn what cards are actually good and playable for the set in limited format, and gravitate towards the better cards. You may be surprised to learn certain uncommon cards are much stronger than certain mythics or rares.

Forcing a “Strategy” Without the Support

What I see a lot of with these newer sets are the various “themes” or “archetypes”. These could be strong in limited, and are tempting to play, but more often than not you just don’t get enough cards to go “all in” on any of these archetypes – or the one you like best. I believe these archetypes were mainly designed for constructed play, and you are lucky if you can swing them effectively in your sealed pools. Sometimes you just need a mix of “good stuff” to have a deck that wins limited tournaments.

Not Splashing a Third Color When You Should

If you have good removal or bombs in your pool, and not enough in your main colors, you should consider splashing those cards in (hint: you can never have enough removal). Now I’m not talking about mediocre removal, I mean GOOD removal… the kind you would pick highly in a draft for example. Having access to effective removal is well worth adding a few off colored cards and lands to your deck. Just don’t overdo it – try not to “splash” more than 3 or 4 off color cards, tops.

Making Poor Mulligan Choices

Obviously you know when you have one land or no lands you should mulligan… But let’s say you draw 3 islands in your opening hand while playing a blue green deck. Let’s say you have a handful of islands, and green creatures. When you don’t have the right color mana in hand to cast the majority of the cards in your hand, you’ll probably lose from never drawing the lands to play anything. This has happened to me more than a few times, and it’s very frustrating…but 100% your own fault for keeping a bad hand. Don’t let it happen to you. Do the right thing and mulligan!

Splashing Double Mana Cards

If you are going to play that 3rd color, make sure you have the mana base for doing so. Most of the time you won’t be able to play double mana off color cards and shouldn’t add those to your deck. If you aren’t sure how to splash, stay safe and stick with two colors. There is nothing wrong with only playing two colors, provided you have enough decent playable cards in there.

“Splashing” Every Color Without the Mana Base

Look you aren’t going to be able to swing 4 or 5 colors in limited most of the time. Not unless you have some good multicolored lands or creatures that produce any color mana. Even still, it’s going to be hard to always have the right colored mana around to play your cards. You’re going to end up with a few unplayable cards in hand most games. That’s how you lose games.

Taking Advice from Inexperienced Players

I’m not the greatest player in the world, I’m not a “pro”. I have however been playing Magic since 1994 – longer than most people, and I win most of the tournaments I get a chance to play. I’m at least an above average player, which is why I have this blog for newer Magic players or those looking to improve. Here’s the thing. Magic is a highly speculative and competitive game. Everyone thinks they know how to win at it, what cards are best, and they want to share their secrets with you. You can’t believe everything you read from random guys on a Magic forum, You can’t go by everything your buddy says at the local game store. Or even what the store owner says, or whoever the store judge is. Ultimately YOU have to “get it”…and you’re in for a wild ride as it could take months or even years to learn the ins and outs of this ever evolving game.

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Final Words

If you’re reading this post, it probably means you want to get better at Magic and win more limited games. Reading blogs like this one, and watching gameplay videos will definitely get your mind flowing with ideas which help towards improving your MTG game.

Good luck in your next sealed deck MTG tournament, and make sure to watch out for these deckbuilding mistakes!

Any questions or comments? Feel free to drop a message and let me know what you think!

Win More Magic – How to Break Out of Your Magic Online (MTGO) Losing Streak

August 31st, 2016 | Posted by Indri in card games | magic the gathering | mtg | pc-games - (Comments Off on Win More Magic – How to Break Out of Your Magic Online (MTGO) Losing Streak)

If you’re taking lots of tournament losses or want to learn how to break your a Magic Online losing streak, this article is for you. Taking these steps towards improving your game can benefit any Magic player – not only those getting back into competitive Magic tournament play after years of not playing.

Admit You Have a Problem

So, it’s happening…you decided to play a brand new limited format, or to jump back into Magic Online after years of not playing. You bought into a bunch of product and played a lot of tournaments…but…you’re losing…bad. You’re getting chumped by a bunch of n00b scrubs with their sucky cards, and your rating is tanked. You’re so pissed that you’re thinking about quitting Magic forever, but you KNOW you aren’t a bad player and you don’t REALLY want to quit… so what can you do? How can you break out of this losing streak and get into a winning streak?

Take a Good Hard Look

You have to understand that Magic is not quite like riding a bicycle…if you take years off of playing, you WILL get rusty. New sets are released often and introduce new mechanics you may not know your way around. Rules can change, the game client can change, etc. Even if you used to 3-0 a bunch of tournaments way back when, you likely won’t do that now in a new unfamiliar format.

Magic Online attracts a lot of skilled players from around the world, and a lot of them might not have ever taken a break like you did. You may have used to be a shark, but you’re a guppy again swimming with the sharks! Let me say that I speak from experience. I’ve been an on and off MTG player (paper and MTGO) since Revised was released. Most recently I was able to 3-0 very consistently back in the time of M14, as well as win several local paper limited tournaments (drafts, prereleases).

Now I’m back at it after a 2 year break. I jumped into Shadows Over Innistrad/Eldritch Moon limited and well, I had my ass handed to me. It’s a humbling yet frustrating experience, but I’m making good progress and increasing my wins using the following steps. Anyone looking to improve at Magic can and probably should take the following steps.

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Tip One Towards Winning More Magic Games – Review Your Past Games

Though it may feel this way, it’s just not possible that all your opponents are “getting lucky” against you. Somethings up, and you need to get to the bottom of what that might be. One great thing about Magic Online over paper MTG is that it allows you to replay your past games. So you are going to want to look at those games and take some notes. Look closely for any glaring play mistakes, or patterns you can see between the games.

Just make a text file and type up some notes as you watch. Be humble…own up to your bad plays. Learn from them so you can avoid the same mistakes from here on out. You can look at the games you won, but really it’s the ones you lost that you want to learn from, because in some (not all) cases you might have won if you played just a little differently.

Match Replays – Tips for Watching MTGO Replays

These are the things you want to make notes about so you can learn.
Keep in mind you are troubleshooting your gameplay here.

* How did you lose this game? Was it one specific card? What was their deck archetype?

* Did you have anything in the sideboard that might have helped?

* Was this a very close game? Did you fail to attack or block properly? If they had 1 life when they won, can you spot where you could have done that 1 damage?

* Did you fall into a common or uncommon trick more than once that may have cost you the game? From now on try to play around that card.

* If you got “mana screwed” did you play too many colors? Did you add enough lands to the deck? Did you add too many high cost cards? Or can you honestly blame “the shuffler”?

* Who won the tournament? What did their deck look like when you played them? Compare that to your deck. If there’s a pattern, maybe you should try leaning more towards the archetypes that win more often.

* If it looks like you keep playing the same type of deck in a format and keep losing, maybe it’s just not a great deck to play, isn’t powerful enough compared to other popular decks. Don’t force yourself to play a bad archetype.

Tip Two Towards Winning More Magic Games – Study Buddy!

* Read MTG strategy articles, watch pro tour videos, look for pros tips, opinions, and advice. Learn what cards and decks are good in that format, and play that.

* Join some MTG related forums and read some posts. Ask for help, deck critiques, play tips and other advice on the forums. People love to talk (and brag) sometimes they are even right!

Tip Three Towards Winning More Magic Games – Practice Makes Perfect!

Practice Drafting
Use draftsim or other practice draft sites, especially ones that suggest picks with card ratings. These are great for training! Compare what you picked in your MTGO drafts to the cards being highly suggested by draftsim. This has really helped me learn to make better draft picks in the new formats.

Play More FREE (or Cheap) Magic!
If you are losing a lot try to play it as inexpensively as you can for a while, until you feel you have improved. Try some phantom tournaments on MTGO, play a video game version like Magic Duels, practice playing paper with friends, or other ways to play that won’t cost you lots of tix when you lose. Once you get a feel for the format you want to play, then you can jump back into the shark tank of MTGO competitive tournament play.

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Magic The Gathering Planeswalkers List

March 30th, 2014 | Posted by Indri in card games | magic the gathering | mtg | Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Magic The Gathering Planeswalkers List)
Magic The Gathering Planeswalkers List

(Update 8/12/16 – this list looks like it’s no longer updated, there aren’t any of the newer standard planeswalkers in there for example…but it’s still a nice visual list to flip through for new players).

Here are the things I found most interesting about this list and why you might want to bookmark it. You can click any of the cards to read the full Oracle rules text. Clicking will also bring you to Amazon, where you can compare MTG card prices from a variety of online card stores. I’ve found many times they have cheaper prices than your local MTG card shop or even Ebay. If you’re new to the game or unfamiliar with some of the planeswalker cards, you can read some honest reviews about them written by actual players who are always discussing them on Amazon reviews. As someone who left the game for a couple of years and only recently jumped back in, I find this list useful to look at for comparing the different versions of my favorite planeswalkers. So go ahead and check out the list, happy card flipping! 🙂

Article preview:
“It’s no secret these rare or mythic planeswalkers are some of the best Magic the Gathering (MTG) cards. When introduced they changed the game forever, adding new rules and game choices players never had before. Planeswalkers are now printed in all new sets, usually fetching high card prices. Check out this Magic The Gathering Planeswalkers List…which will best fit in your deck?”

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    How To Make Money With Magic Cards

    February 15th, 2014 | Posted by Indri in card games | magic the gathering | mtg | squidoo - (Comments Off on How To Make Money With Magic Cards)

    How To Make Money With Magic Cards

    (Last update 8/12/16)

    How To Make Money With Magic Cards

    Everyone dreams of making money from a hobby. It’s usually possible if you find the right ideas. So let’s talk about how to make money with Magic cards! Having millions of players worldwide, Magic the Gathering is the biggest collectible card game in existence, and the magic cards market is going strong! If you look at some recent eBay auctions you will clearly see that people make money selling mtg cards nonstop every day.

    With certain methods and the right entrepreneurial spirit you can make a nice extra income selling Magic cards online. You’ll get back what you put in, just like anything else, but like I said it all starts with the right idea – and that’s what I hope to spark for you here!

    Make Money With Magic Cards – Method One: Open and Sell Booster Packs

    Opening Booster Boxes for Profit

    Magic The Gathering Eldritch Moon Booster BoxMagic The Gathering Eldritch Moon Booster Box

    Eldritch Moon features some good “money” cards such as Liliana, the Last Hope, Gisela, the Broken Blade, and Tamiyo, Field Researcher.

    Magic: the Gathering - Liliana, the Last Hope (093/205) - Eldritch MoonMagic: the Gathering – Liliana, the Last Hope (093/205) – Eldritch MoonMagic: the Gathering - Tamiyo, Field Researcher (190/205) - Eldritch MoonMagic: the Gathering – Tamiyo, Field Researcher (190/205) – Eldritch MoonMagic: the Gathering - Gisela, the Broken Blade // Brisela, Voice of Nightmares (28/205) - Eldritch MoonMagic: the Gathering – Gisela, the Broken Blade // Brisela, Voice of Nightmares (28/205) – Eldritch Moon

    While this method is the easiest of all, it costs money to buy boxes, and it’s a bit of a gamble as you aren’t 100% guaranteed to open tons of value. However if you pick the right MTG set – one that contains a large amount of cards worth money, you could sell them off as singles for a profit. I’ve opened booster packs that cost $3.99 each and ended up with a $20 rare card on more than one occasion. Not too shabby!

    My advice is to buy booster boxes of the most recent set containing “money” cards in order to get the most out of this method. To maximize your profit margin you should try to get those booster boxes as cheaply as possible. I find the best deals are usually through eBay or Amazon. You can’t open a million dollar card, but it’s possible to profit doing this as I have done this several times myself.

    Magic The Gathering Eldritch Moon Booster BoxMagic The Gathering Eldritch Moon Booster BoxMagic 2015Magic 2015MTG Magic Shadows Over Innistrad Booster Box New Factory Sealed - 36 packsMTG Magic Shadows Over Innistrad Booster Box New Factory Sealed – 36 packs


    Make Money With Magic Cards – Method Two: Buy Collections And Sell Singles


    Purchase bulk MTG cards to resell

    Every day there are people selling “lots” of cards on eBay, Craigslist and elsewhere. If you happen to catch someone at the right time you could end up with an amazing deal, and great cards worth more than you paid. Sometimes parents or people who just don’t know what the cards are worth will end up selling them for way under value. If you can spot deals like this, you can really make out! It’s similar to price arbitrage… buy low and sell high to profit. To sell the cards you may have to hold a bunch of MTG eBay auctions or find other ways, but it’s another tried and true method to consider. Another bonus to that is you could end up as an eBay “power seller” rather quickly from buying and selling MTG cards on eBay – which has its perks if you are big on using eBay.

    A word of caution

    Beware Craigslist sellers who are selling very rare or expensive cards. I personally have been burned by someone who sold me counterfeit Tarmogoyf and also Jace, the Mind Sculptor cards. They seemed legit at the time, they were high quality fakes – but fakes nonetheless! Craigslist is chock full of scammers, and I found out it’s hard to take action against them after the sale. I went to both Wizards and the police reporting this seller, who I later discovered was a convicted felon…and nobody would help me get my money back. My advice is to at all costs avoid buying expensive singles from Craigslist!

    Make Money With Magic Cards – Method Three: Know Your MTG Card Prices

    Don’t sell yourself short!

    mtg card prices values

    While this technically isn’t a way to “make money” I consider saving money to be just as important. Or saving the value of your cards. Some people are blindly trading their valuable collectibles without really knowing the true values of their cards. They might end up selling them too cheap, or trading away a $20 rare card for say, a couple of $5 rares. Strive to not be one of those people! If you don’t know what your cards are worth, don’t sell or trade them until you find out. The easiest way to lose money on Magic the Gathering is simply not knowing your card prices! Search through the completed eBay auction listings for the most accurate and up to date going prices.

    Make Money With Magic Cards – Method Four: Become A Great Trader

    Make better MTG trades with these tips!


    Bring your trade binder with you everywhere you play. Try to trade with people in between games if possible. You can make out really well if you become a pro at trading and know the card prices. Especially trading at bigger tournaments with more people trading.

    I’m not encouraging you to rip off your friends, but let’s say you have cards they want and they have a card for trade that can sell on eBay. An example would be to trade someone four cards worth $5 or so each for one card that you know will sell for $20 or more. Some cards may be listed as worth $5, but not in as high of demand as the one worth $20. So even if the trade is “fair” you basically made out because that $20 card is going to be a fast and easy sale on eBay while the cards you traded for it may have been harder to sell. Don’t be afraid to offer slightly advantageous trades, you may be surprised. I hope this is clear as it’s an important part of trading for profit. That said, I have managed to sell every card I’ve ever wanted to sell on eBay fairly easily and hassle free.

    Make Money With Magic Cards – Method Five: Become A Good Player

    As you learn more about MTG strategies, you win more!

    win more mtg tournaments

    You don’t necessarily have to be a “pro”, if you get to that level then sure you will make some money by winning magic tournaments. However to make small profits you only need to become better than or as good as the kids at your local store(s). If you can beat them on a regular basis at Friday night magic tournaments and so forth you should end up profiting from winnings. Open your prize packs and sell off or trade the good cards. Learn what your DCI rating is and strive to make that number go up. If you do end up going to Pro Tour Qualifiers and winning the bigger tournaments, there is real money there. I know personally two guys who won several thousand dollars apiece in one tournament, and that wasn’t even for getting first place!

    Make Money With Magic Cards – Method Six: Don’t Be A Hoarder

    If you don’t NEED a card…why not sell it?


    Many magic players eventually end up with boxes upon boxes of cards just collecting dust in their closet. The MTG secondary market is thriving, and values on those cards are constantly going up and down. Some cards that are worth a lot now may go down to almost worthless when they leave Standard. What I’ve been doing is selling my cards that are valuable NOW, because it may change with the next set. If you’re looking to make money playing magic cards, you could sell off all the cards you don’t absolutely need for your decks. Sell those of and use the money to go infinite with MTG or MTGO!

    Make Money With Magic Cards – Method Seven: Paint And Sell Cards

    Are you creative? Sell altered cards!


    Are you artistically inclined? Well if you can learn how to do it right there is a growing market for well crafted altered magic cards. Some of these cards can sell for many times the actual card value. You see, you are creating more value by adding a unique twist on a card the players already know and love. Creating great looking one-of-a-kind cards for players is one way to make money from magic cards and your artistic skills.

    For more about altered art mtg cards check out my article here: Magic: The Gathering Altered Art Cards

    (“Tropical Island” altered card art (c) Marta Molina)

    Make Money With Magic Cards – Method Eight: Create An MTG Blog Or Website

    Have passion for the game? Write about MTG!


    People love to talk about Magic cards! If you’re one of those people, why not share some of your deck ideas, gameplay strategies, set opinions or have other related discussions? Make it a daily thing to give advice on MTG decks, card choices and more to your followers. Fill your site with a few ads, advertise your MTGO bot, or your eBay auctions. There are endless possibilities with this!

    Make Money With Magic Cards – Method Nine: Operate A Magic Online Bot

    Start your own Magic Online shop!


    If you play Magic Online there is special software you can write or purchase that enables you to run a mtgo shop. It’s quite challenging software to write yourself. So I highly suggest buying bot software or hiring a programmer to create a bot. For a while I used some software called “MTGO Library”. Which is probably the best way to get your feet wet botting on MTGO. I ran only one bot which didn’t make many sales. I think to be successful you would need several bots. Price updates and having the most up to date, accurate prices are extremely important when running a bot.

    With a bot up and running you are able to buy and sell virtual cards 24/7 using your home computer. It’s basically a shop that works for you automatically while you are off doing other things. Some bot owners claim to make a good pile of “tix” (MTGO virtual currency) which of course can then be sold for real world money. It’s definitely not for everyone, but it’s another way people make money from magic cards.

    Make Money With Magic Cards – Method Ten: Open A Gaming Store

    Become a Magic the Gathering Retailer


    If you have a large collection or can buy a large lot of cards, you might consider becoming a Magic the Gathering retailer and creating an eBay store to start selling cards at maximum profit. Or, if you’re really ambitious, open a brick and mortar gaming store – similar to the shops you probably play Friday night magic tournaments at. Magic, Dungeons and Dragons, and games like those are not going anywhere anytime soon! There will always be kids looking for stores like that to play their favorite games with their friends. Location is the most important part of this… there are definitely under served areas where you could set up a gaming store specializing in games like these. You could end up running the only store like that for miles around. A major benefit of opening a physical store is that you can then qualify as a retailer. So you can purchase the Magic products at wholesale prices. You could also hold your own regular Magic tournaments and attract paying, competitive players who will give you steady business.

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    Featured Article : Altered Magic The Gathering Card Art

    July 24th, 2013 | Posted by Indri in card games | magic the gathering | mtg | squidoo - (Comments Off on Featured Article : Altered Magic The Gathering Card Art)

    Looking for fresh new altered MTG card art for Magic the Gathering? Ever wondered about issues such as altered card tournament legality, additional card weight issues, or the best places to buy altered cards cheap?

    Check out GoblinLackey’s featured article on the Hubpages website! Altered Magic The Gathering Card Art . The article goes into these details and more about altered cards. Some may also like his tips on how to get started altering Magic cards yourself for profit – which he claims is one of his major streams of income these days.

    Be sure to also check out and follow our Pinterest where we regularly post new altered art mtg cards from all around the web!

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  • Our Pinterest Board for Altered Art MTG Cards!

    June 10th, 2013 | Posted by Indri in card games | Development | magic the gathering | mtg | Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Our Pinterest Board for Altered Art MTG Cards!)

    Today we are happy to announce the beginning of our fun new Pinterest board about altered magic the gathering cards. Over the coming weeks we will be posting some of the best altered art cards we find from all over the MTG art underground!

    Check out our latest pins on the altered art mtg board here Pinterest Board – Altered Art MTG Cards

    Over time I’ll be making other boards and pinning some of fun, geeky things I know and love.

    Avacyn Restored MTGO Winning Draft Video Series #1

    July 14th, 2012 | Posted by Indri in card games | magic the gathering | mtg - (Comments Off on Avacyn Restored MTGO Winning Draft Video Series #1)

    New 5 part series of videos uploaded to the Indri Games YouTube account! These videos show a complete swiss draft on Magic Online which ended in victory. No commentary, but hopefully someone will still watch them and learn something. Enjoy!

    Avacyn Restored Draft Win U/G – Drafting
    Avacyn Restored Draft Win U/G – Deck Building
    Avacyn Restored Draft Win U/G – Round 1
    Avacyn Restored Draft Win U/G – Round 2
    Avacyn Restored Draft Win U/G – Round 3

    ISD Block MTG Deck – Mono Black Zombies

    June 13th, 2012 | Posted by Indri in card games | magic the gathering | mtg - (Comments Off on ISD Block MTG Deck – Mono Black Zombies)

    Zombie Deck Popular In ISD Block Tournaments

    As I play more and more ISD block constructed tournaments on Magic Online, I see a lot more of this deck being played. It seems to be quite fast, effective and consistent. Also it can be one of the cheapest ISD decks to build and be competitive in this format. Whether you are looking to build this deck yourself, or dissect it to learn it’s strengths and weaknesses, you can read more about it in the article I wrote here:ISD Block Zombie Deck

    Also check out the gameplay videos uploaded to youtube!

    Monoblack Zombie Deck Versus UW Miracle Deck
    A gameplay video of myself playing the zombie deck in the MTGO “tournament practice” area. The challenger was playing a popular UW “Miracle” deck. It was a tough match but Zombies managed to pull through. (Watch this in HD quality to see the cards more clearly.)

    Monoblack Zombie Deck Versus UB Delver Deck
    A video of myself playing the zombie deck. The challenger was playing a delver deck.

    Monoblack Zombie Deck Versus Random Dredge Deck
    A video of myself playing the zombie deck against a dredge style deck with Huntmaster Of The Fells. Watch in round one how I beat him on my 6th turn with the Blood Artist/Gravecrawler/Bloodflow combo, quite epic!

    Monoblack Zombies Versus Red Black Vampires
    A video of myself playing the zombie deck versus a fast Red and Black Vampire deck. As you can see, vampires are not as strong as zombies!

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