There’s an endless debate within the Magic: The Gathering community regarding how a certain deck type can affect peoples enjoyment of the game. With the release of each brand new standard set, one deck or archetype tends to dominate but aggro decks have been a plague on the MTG Arena servers for some time now.
You might even hear certain cynical corners of the community talking about how they’re cheap or easy to use. This is then used to call into question the ability of the player using them. Are they really as bad as some players make out or is it all just one big misunderstanding?
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Why Are Aggro Decks Popular?
First, I want to consider why the aggro deck format is as popular as it is. The accusation that they’re cheap is just completely false in every sense. It’s certainly not cheaper from a financial aspect as the decks still tend to include a balance of card rarities meaning the cost can fluctuate from set to set.
When it comes to the other meaning of cheap, it’s also an unfair claim to make. If someone’s strategy in a game of Magic: The Gathering is to try and win as fast as possible using a low mana curve deck, then so be it. Over the years, the aggro deck has proven to work at the highest levels of the game. To say that someone is possibly bypassing the integrity of the game because of the deck type they want to use is actually more of a problem than the aggro deck build has ever been.
Finally, the belief that aggro decks are easier to play with is one that’s understandable but not exactly tangible. If you line up every type of deck in MTG, perhaps aggro is the most accessible, but whether or not it’s considered easy is entirely subjective. Some players get on better with decks stacked with counterspells and long-winded win conditions and others like to hit you in the face fast and hard.
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Are They Ruining The Game?
The harsh reality is that anyone complaining that aggro decks are ruining Magic: The Gathering probably just haven’t learned how to deal with them. If you’re playing a long-winded Dimir Control or Izzet Turns deck that requires a few turns to settle into a match, why complain that your opponents deck counters that philosophy. That’s just Magic for you!
Anyone who looks to be competitive with their play needs to understand how to identify an opponents deck type within the first few turns of a match in order to plan their own strategy around it. It’s also wise to practice with various deck types to better understand how they work, this extra effort will eventually pay off in the long term as your understanding of how to play with and against each deck grows.
While the meta continues to change as each set and season comes and goes, it’s worth understanding the difference between an overpowered deck composition and the deck type. In the current meta, aggro decks are incredibly viable across Black, White, Red and Green mana types. None of the decks on offer, however, are game-breaking. Each one can be dealt with and more often than not if you can survive the pressure within the first 1-5 turns, the flow of the match will surely shift in your favour provided you have the right cards in hand.