Have you ever had one of those nights where you can’t seem to get to sleep? You went to bed tired after a hard day at work and are looking forward to a few hours of blissful rest when all of a sudden you catch a glimpse of something out of the corner of your eye. Your eyes try to focus on the image on the bedroom wall, and after a few minutes, you convince yourself that it’s only the shadow of a tree or other plant catching the moonlight outside. Your eyelids begin to feel heavy, sleep mere moments away. Then the shadow moves!
You reach over to your bedside table, sweat building on your forehead as you fumble for the torch on your mobile phone. After crashing around for a few second you manage to unlock the screen and the blueish light illuminates your bedroom, only for your heart to sink into your stomach. The shadow on the wall has gone.
You leap out of bed and back away to the door, trying to feel across the wall as you fumble to find the light switch. As you reach it light explodes around you, and you have to shield your eyes as you adjust to the sudden illumination. As the blurriness dissipates, you find yourself facing the spindly form of a giant multilegged creature suspended mere inches from your face. You fall backwards over your nightstand, letting out a scream as your back presses against the cold wall.
But then the dizziness you felt at the sudden change in brightness disappears, and you realise the shape you saw was a rather non-threatening (depending on who you ask) and common house spider, dangling from its web. Relief washes over you, and you feel a little foolish that you allowed your mind to race away like that. But still, your heart thumps in your chest. You might not have arachnophobia, but that spider sure looked a lot bigger in the dark, didn’t it?
Spiders have always inspired fear. Even though we have lived alongside them for thousands of years, their altogether alien appearance is unsettling to most and downright terrifying to others. While I’m indifferent to their eight-legged charms, I grew up in a house with a sister who was petrified of them. Often would I be called into the living room by my sibling to remove an eight-legged trespasser, armed only with a glass and a sheet of paper.
My sister is far from alone, as many people either have an irrational fear or a major dislike of arachnids. It’s not surprising then that spiders have become a source of inspiration when authors are seeking to frighten their audience. Most famous of these would probably be the great JRR Tolkien. An unfortunate encounter with a tarantula inspired the creation of the truly terrifying Shelob, a giant spider of malicious intent that would probably rank right up there on most people’s ‘NOPE’ scale.
Since then, giant spiders have been a mainstay of fantasy fiction. Whether it’s in books, comics, or games (both digital and physical), these eight-legged fiends have always been great adversaries for intrepid heroes and adventurers alike. Magic: the Gathering is no different. Since the original Giant Spider from Alpha, many spiders have been found inhabiting the many different planes of Magic.
So, when I was thinking of a theme for my spooky #HalloweenMTG challenge deck, it was unsurprising that the ideas of giant spiders sprung to mind. Now eagle-eyed readers of our articles might remember that a while ago I made a similar deck for a 1 tix commander challenge. I really enjoyed that deck and wanted to return to it with a larger budget.
My commander would be Ishkanah, Grafwidow, and this tribal deck will contain enough spiders to make any arachnophobe catatonic. With all-stars like Penumbra Spider and Silklash Spider, to decent filler creatures like Pincer Spider, Watcher in the Web, and Blightwidow this deck contains enough spiders to threaten our opponents’ life totals as well as holding the line against opposing threats.
The second part of the deck is a nice big ramp package in order for us to play out and use all of our spells as quickly as possible. The other side of the deck are tribal support cards like Arachnus Web and Door of Destinies, adding to the deck’s effectiveness, while Harrow, Kodama’s Reach, and Explosive Vegetation are all great examples of this deck’s ramping potential.
The rest of the deck is made up of useful spells like removal and tutors, as well as the best budget mana base the deck could afford. Put all these individual parts together, and you have the recipe for a fun and spooky deck all ready for Halloween.
So, that’s the #HalloweenMTG deck I’ve put together. I have found the deck fun to both build and play. If you have your own plans for Halloween, we would love to hear about them in the comments below. While you’re there, you could like and subscribe to keep up to date with all we do here at Master of Magics.
We also have a Patreon, so if you want to support future content for the site, please consider becoming one of our Patrons. Just $1 a month would do so much to help us create more of the content you enjoy. If you have any ideas for new and exciting decks you want me to look at, you can contact me directly @MTGTengu over on Twitter. But until next time, remember: no matter the game you play or where you play it, good luck and have fun.