Spellslinger

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‘Spellslinger’ is an umbrella term for decks that focus primarily on instant and sorceries. They often contain a mix of low-cost spells that may be cast in quick succession as well as high-cost, powerful spells that many other archetypes may find difficult to cast. Spellslinger decks often contain similarities to Storm, Control, and Combo strategies, though they are not a prerequisite for the Spellslinger archetype.

Spellslinger decks almost always contain Blue and/or Red.

Popular Cards & Commanders

Common spellslinger cards include:

Popular spellslinger commanders include:

Strategy

In addition to a high density of instant and sorcery cards, spellslinger decks usually contain the following features:

Cost Reduction

Spellslinger decks enjoy cards that reduce the amount of mana required to cast their spells. This allows them to cast several instants and/or sorceries in a single turn to outpace their opponents.
Examples:

Cantrips and Card Draw

Cantrips are cheap, efficient spells that provide a minor effect and then replace themselves, usually by allowing the caster to draw a card. (Card filtering spells such as Ponder may also be considered cantrips, as they provide a minor effect and then replace themselves by giving the player another card in hand.)
Cantrips, as well as other card draw spells, help the Spellslinger deck maintain a steady influx of instants and sorceries that will produce consistent synergy with other cards in the deck, such as cards with abilities that trigger when instants and sorceries are cast.
Examples:

Cast Triggers

Spellslinger decks use cards with triggered abilities that trigger whenever the player casts a spell. These can provide the spellslinger player with many additional benefits for a low mana investment, and in many cases, may also be the spellslinger deck’s primary Win Condition.
Examples:

X Spells

Spellslinger decks often have an easier time manipulating and casting large spells that other archetypes may struggle to use.
Examples:

Copying Spells

Spellslinger decks may not be content simply casting one large spell. To help increase the potency of their cards, spellslinger decks frequently copy their spells to vastly multiply their power.
Examples:

Recursion

Spellslinger decks may use cards that reclaim spells from their graveyard to be reused. These can help re-cast powerful spells, or help the spellslinger fill their hand once more with many smaller spells that will proc additional cast triggers.
Examples:

Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths

  • Spellslinger decks have low dependence upon cards on the battlefield, especially with regards to creatures. Mass Removal effects rarely affect a spellslinger player in a negative way.
  • Spellslinger decks are often capable of very explosive turns, at first appearing to be a minimal threat to enemies, but able to chain many spells together at once that can produce powerful and even game-ending benefits.

Weaknesses

  • Spellslinger strategies contain few creatures, which can occasionally make them vulnerable to more aggressive or creature-based strategies.
  • Spellslinger decks that fail to locate their large spells or cast trigger effects run the risk of having a low impact upon the game. Though many of their spells may draw cards, spellslinger decks run the risk of casting many spells that all draw cards, but do not push meaningfully toward victory. This problem can become compounded if the spellslinger player runs out of spells to cast before they are able to deploy one of these payoffs.

References: