Sunday, 21 July 2013

Magic The Gathering - Deck Builder's Toolkit 2014 Core Set

It's that time of year again! The one MTG product that I bother to write up and open because frankly it's very useful for new players and overlooked by the majority.  It has always been a pain to find a full card list and as I'm making one for my reference it seems worth putting online.

A quick note before we begin - there is no such thing as the Deck builders Toolkit 2013 - they have moved this years in line with the core set numbering and as such skipped a year in name alone.  This makes a lot of sense.

The booster packs included in this year's offering are:

Return To Ravnica

While the inclusion of a core-set booster that will be rotating almost immediately is a little confusing I'm guessing they didn't want to include too many 'gold' coloured cards that would make new players confused.  It seems like a step back from last year's product  but is reasonable for casual play.

While the contents of these boosters are entirely random I do seem to have reasonable luck with them as I got a Deathrite Shaman (which I traded for $15 worth of Modern cards) and the new Garruck card which has a $25 value at the moment.  As the box retails for £18 here (and boosters are £3.50) I pretty much already have my money back and doubled.  That said - boosters are a lottery and I'd say we are looking to get £6 of value from the rest of the cards.

As ever there are four sealed packs in the box, White, Red, Gold and Gold Stripe.

The non-random (white banded pack) cards are :

White (M14 unless stated)

Pacifism x2
Hive Stirrings
Seller of Songbirds      RTR
Master of Diversion
Assault Griffin             GTC
Dawnstrike Paladin
Avenging Arrow         RTR
Capashen Knight
Sunspire Griffin           RTR
Angelic Wall
Griffin Sentinel
Suntail Hawk

Serra Angel

Blue (M14 unless stated)


Paralysing Grasp         RTR
Frost Breath
Archaeomancer x2    
Wind Drake                DGM
Voidwielder                RTR
Stealer of Secrets        RTR
Messenger Drake
Seacoast Drake
Doorkeeper                 RTR
Tome Scour

Skyline Predator         RTR

Black (M14 unless stated)

Wring Flesh
Mind Rot
Festering Newt
Stab Wound             RTR
Liturgy of Blood x2
Child of Night
Nightwing Shade
Accursed Spirit
Corpse Hauler
Deathgaze Cockatrice
Drainpipe Vermin     RTR
Minotaur Abomination

Doom Blade

Red (M14 unless stated)

Shock x2
Act of Treason
Chandra's Outrage
Annihilating Fire     RTR
Seismic Stomp
Goblin Shortcutter
Regathan Firecat
Pitchburn Devils
Viashino Racketeer   RTR
Blur Sliver
Dragon Hatchling

(now in red banded pack)

Tenement Crasher     RTR
Riot Piker                  DGM

Guttersnipe             RTR
Flames of the Firebrand

Green (M14 unless stated)

Centaur's Herald      RTR
Predatory Sliver
Kraul Warrior          DGM
Aerial Predation       RTR
Elvish Mystic x2    
Deadly Recluse
Brindle Boar
Rumbling Baloth
Giant Growth
Hunt the Weak
Axebane Stag         RTR

Briarpack Alpha
Howl of the Night Pack

Colourless (M14 unless stated)

Sliver Construct

Then you get 5 copies of each of the 4 basic land arts across each of the 5 colours in the set meaning
20 Plains
20 Island
20 Swamp
20 Mountain
20 Forest

This covers the rest of the red banded pack and the entirety of the gold banded pack.

There are also
4 Transguild Promenade
used to split up the gold stripe pack.

The remainder is the Semi-random deck seeds which I got the following for:

Syncopate        RTR    UC
Guttersnipe      RTR    UC
Izzet Charm     RTR    UC
Blast of Genius  DGM    UC
Goblin Electromancer x2   RTR
Essence Backlash        RTR
Nivix Cyclops             DGM
Explosive Impact         RTR
Chandra's Outrage       M14  

(an excellent start to an Izzet deck! Also the first gold cards in the fixed cards from the box. The art on the poster adds in Divination from the fixed cards)

Slivers - all M14
Steelform Sliver  UC
Battle Sliver  x2 UC
Manaweft Sliver  UC
Predatory Sliver x2
Sentinel Sliver
Striking Sliver
Blur Sliver
Groundshaker Sliver
(wow - a three colour shard! They have included lots of multiples when you include the fixed cards, and the poster hints that you need a Pacify or two to clear the way for attacks)

Sacrifice - Mostly M14
Gnawing Zombie  UC
Barrage of Expendables  UC
Tenacious Dead  UC
Goblin Rally  UC  RTR
Act of Treason
Blood Bairn
Pitchburn Devils
Festering Newt
Drainpipe Vermin  RTR
Altar's Reap

(this is a new and odd archetype - cheap guys that die for profit and harm to the opponent.  Without the Blood Artist this seems less viable, but there is certainly support in the kit for this - and maybe in M14 draft!)

Library Depletion (or Mill)
Psychic Spiral  UC  RTR
Codex Shredder  UC  RTR
Millstone UC M14
Coerced Confession  UC GTC
Tome Scour x2  M14
Doorkeeper  RTR
Psychic Strike  GTC
Paranoid Delusions  GTC
Pilfered Plans   DGM

(Mill decks are nothing new for the toolkit, but a hybrid card and a lot of Dimir gold cards from the block means this is a touch more powerful than usual.  That said it's unlikely to be more than a casual strategy)

Missing Shards

These are on the poster, but I haven't located the full decklists yet.

Voracious Wurm
Angelic Accord
Unflinching Courage
Centaur Healer
Soul Mender
Brindle Boar
Dawnstrike Paladin
Predator's Rapport
Divine Favor

(notes that merely gaining life cannot win you the game, but with these key enchantments and such out it certainly helps!)

Red-Green Aggression
Gruul War Chant DGM UC
Slaughterhorn (x2?) GTC C
Marauding Maulhorn M14 C
Advocate of the Beast M14 C

(Notably no Burning Tree on the poster, but it'd certainly make sense in the deck)

Lyev Skyknight
Air Servant
Warden of Evos Isle
Frost Breath

(detain and fly deck - basically blue white evasion renamed)

Seller of Songbirds
Trostani's Judgement
Vitu-Ghazi Guildmage
Eyes in the Skies

(while I noted the fixed cards avoided guild mechanics this introduces and excels around the populate mechanic.  Nice)

Red-White Swarm
Sunhome Guildmage
Truefire Paladin
Righteous Charge
Firefist Striker
Show of Valor
Viashino Firstblade
Master of Diversion
Riot Piker
Skyknight Legionnaire
Wojek Halberdiers

(wide decks with lots of small guys attacking? That will be the battalion deck then!)

Mana Ramp
Nimbus Swimmer
Seek the Horizon
Urban Evolution
Woodborn Behemoth
Verdant Haven
Gatecreeper Vine
Axebane Stag
Axebane Guardian

(apparently there is no ramp in standard according to the internet - this proves them wrong)

Black Control
Doom Blade
Diabolic Tutor
Sengir Vampire
2x Quag Sickness
Mind Rot
Child of Night
Perilous Shadow
Deathgaze Cockatrice

(A good old traditional deck where you kill everything, and win through card advantage - and big vampires)

Well that's the lot!  Again I think this is an improvement on last year, and while I think that M13 booster docks it a lot of value in the eyes of established players it will certainly help the pre-rotation players out with a few more staples to build with.

If you have a massive spares box then print off the poster and give a new player free choice of a few commons and uncommons to build their own shards.  If you don't have that but do have a player that owns intro decks or sample decks and nothing else then this is still the next best step in MTG.

I do like bridging products and this seems to have been the catalyst that took our playgroup from owning cards to building and competing so it certainly works.  Also - the DBT boxes are much better than a FatPack for storing cards!

(Updated shards with the odd fonted text comes from the great people at MTG Salvation's combined efforts to find all the shards in this thread)


  1. Thanks, I've ordered mine, should show up next week.

  2. I'm a fairly dedicated player who mainly buys singles and drafts, and I love the toolkits - boosters for a draft, a good box, and a bunch of staple singles to supplement future decks. I probably save more in delivery buying a couple of these, and they're a pretty nice package to own in themselves anyway.

  3. Agree totally - it's a great package once you realise what's inside.

  4. thanks for the tips on the types of decks kinda a noob here this helped a lot

  5. i just had a look at this whole magic: the gathring thing. i have noticed i t before but i want to get started. i know some of the cards from friends but now i want my own. thanks for the list, it has me hyped even more on the toolkit :D

  6. I got 2 of them, I now have 8 more decks, most different, I got the Red/White Rush duped. It's really great to switch your deck around every day.