Survive the Night: Halloween Challenge Deck

Something you should know about me, I love Halloween. Dressing up as ghouls and ghosts, horror movie marathons and eating massive amounts of sweet treats, Halloween is a great little holiday. Now I’ve know for a while I want to do something special for the site, combining my love for this time off year and my love of Magic. But I was unsure what I should do. 

Last year I had a look at some of my favourite creepy cards from all of Magics history. I also had a look at Archenemy, and devised some decks to recreate the battle on the plane of Zendikar. Now these were fun little projects, but I know I can do better than that this year. I thought about doing a creepy tribal deck, but I brew decks all the time. I wanted to do something unique, something different. 

It was about this time I was sorting through my collection, and came across my copy of the Defeat a God Challenge Deck from the Theros Heroes Path event. For those of you have never played with one, Challenge Decks are precontracted decks with special Magic cards. Based on the classic Horde Magic format, it is based around a self-running deck with its own set of rules, where one or more players face off against a menacing threat. 

Three of these decks were created, one for each of the three sets in the Theros block. I was always a little disappointed Wizards never did more with this idea, as I found them insanely fun to play with and against. Then inspiration hit me. Why not create my own Halloween Challenge Deck.

The basic idea would be very simple. The creepy critters that go bump in the night are out for blood. Your blood. They are lead by a brutal and powerful Demon, who is drawing his power from his ‘minions’. You (and your fellow players) are trying to survive the night, while doing your best to banish him from existence. For this I would need two things. 

Firstly I would need to build a deck of fiends to act as the adversaries for the players. I decided I wanted to have an almost hammer horror vibe for this Challenge Decks ‘minions’. Zombies, Vampires, Bats and Spiders, all would be willing servants of the Demon that leads them. Aftersome tweaking and testing I came up with the following deck list.

The Demon Challenge Deck

1x Demon

Demon (DDR)

16x Zombies

Zombie (TC18)

8x Zombie Knights

Zombie Knight (TDOM)

4x Zombie Giants

Zombie Giant (TBBD)

5x Vampires

Vampire (TKTK)

5x Spiders

Spider (TMM3)

6x Rats

Rat (TC17)

6x Bats

Bat (TM19)

9x Swamp

Swamp (GRN)

All the creatures are represented by official Magic token that should be readily available. If you like you can free to use any third party token have access to, or if you are feeling creative you can always have a go at making your own. All I would do is make sure you sleeve the deck to make sure all the card backs look the same. The next thing we need is a set of rules to govern our Halloween challenge deck. Luckily we don’t have to brake new ground here, as we will be taking inspiration from the above mentioned Defeat a God gameplay rules for our game.

The game is played with regular Magic rules, with the following exceptions:

The Players

  • You attack The Demon and the its Minions directly with your creatures.
  • Any number of creatures can attack a single creature.
  • You may target The Demon as though it were a player.
  • All players share a life total that starts at 20.
  • Each Player uses a Standard deck with no Sideboard.

The Demon

  • The Demon and two cards named Zombie begin the game on the Battlefield. Shuffle the rest of the challenge deck to begin the game.
  • At the beginning of The Demon main phase each turn, reveal the top two cards of the of the challenge deck library. Then The Demon casts those cards (each token has a casting cost of 0).
  • The creatures in the Challenge Deck are referred to as ‘Minions’.
  • The Demon and it’s ‘Minions’ don’t attack unless one or more Swamps are revealed.
  • If a Swamp is revealed The Demon and all ‘Minions’ gain Haste (including any that enter the battlefield this turn), and this turn if able.
  • You make the choice if The Demon needs to make a decision.
  • Ignore effects that would cause The Demon to draw or discard cards, or perform any other impossible actions.
  • While there are any Minions on the board, The Demon is Indestructible and ignores any effect that would remove it from the battlefield.
  • If one of The Demons ‘Minions’ would go to any zone other than his library or graveyard, that card is put into The Demons graveyard.

The players win if they can remove The Demon from the board. The Demon wins if it can reduce the players shared life total to zero, or and player try’s to draw a card from an empty library. and that it. a simple, but fun solo adventure for you and your friends to try out for yourselves. of course, you could always try out the challenge by yourself, if you feel brave enough. If you do decide to have a go at this, let us know how you got on in the comments below. And while you are there why not subscribe to the site to keep up to date with all we do here at Master of Magics. We hope you have fun whatever you get up to the Halloween and remember, Good Fright and Good Night.

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