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Altar of Souls was rarely played before the structure change but now is considered one of the strongest cards in Yellow’s arsenal. The Slaughtering Shadows are cheap and powerful creatures that can overwhelm you. There are a few ways you can deal with Altar of Souls by including cards to help counter it.
Counter with Red
Red is the best counter to Altar with its wealth of damage based removal. Altar of Soul’s may be a powerful structure but will struggle against Red. Some Yellow players won’t even play Altar of Souls against Red opponents, especially Burn decks. There are too many cards to go through each one individually but here are two lists; one for dealing with the Altar itself and one for destroying Slaughtering Shadows.
Altar of Souls
- Flame Burst
- Bomb Slinger
- Hellfire (also good against Shadows)
- Derelict Tower
- Flame Spitter
- Seifer’s Wrath
If you’re struggling with Yellow then a Red deck might be the solution. You’re spoilt for choice when picking cards to help counter Altar of Souls. Lord of Terror Burn decks are highly effective against Altar of Souls because they pack plenty of damage based removal. Also the two damage from activating Altar of Souls helps Burn decks achieve their win condition.
This powerful dual-coloured creature deals four damage spread across the board. These bits of damage can hit both the Altar of Souls and Slaughtering Shadows. Not only that you can use the Dash mechanic to move in on Altar of Souls if it survives. Green/Red Warstorm decks are very effective against Altar of Souls deck because they also get access to all the Red cards listed above.
Blue decks have started building more lakes throughout their games because of Dream Reaver. Ninja Toad has a high price in lakes but is a great option for dealing with Altar of Souls. Unlike a card like Flame Burst you are going to need lands in the right position to get to the Altar. Don’t forget that Blue can move lands with cards like Shifting Tides. This could be another way to gain access to an Altar tucked away.
There are two events that could help you tackle Slaughtering Shadows; Falcon Dive and Famine. Falcon Dive is the weaker of the two because it is only single target. Famine on the other hand will wipe the board of all Slaughtering Shadows.
Taking out an Altar of Souls could be an important part to your victory. Area of effect cards like Groundshaker and Famine can be rewarded with a bit of patience. If your opponent keeps playing their Slaughtering Shadows then don’t be afraid to punish them with a well-timed board clear. There are plenty of cards in the game that could help you tackle the Altar. Positioning and timing will be key to defeating it.