Your Spark has ignited. Welcome to the Multiverse.
Let's look at a few things in general before I go into detail about your deck.
To begin with, welcome to the game. It's a lot of fun and I've met a load of people through it whom I wouldn't have done so otherwise. Like Warhammer/40k, it's going to be something that you can spend a lot of money on, but you don't have to. Whilst Magic releases new sets four times a year (with a couple of extra products here and there) you DON'T need to keep buying them. Yes, if you don't then your decks' power levels will go down, but unless you're planning on playing a lot outside of your group of friends then it's not too terrible. One of the biggest traps is getting into the "I must have the new cards" mindset, which will drain your bank balance quickly. One of the other pitfalls that you and your gaming group should recognise is that of escalation; if one person starts spending a load of money on cards then everyone else will start to feel that they need to keep up so will start doing so too. Then, that first person may well escalate the situation further by buying ever more expensive cards, your other friends will retaliate by doing the same, and suddenly everyone's broke. Keep an eye out for that.
Before we go any further, I suppose I should discuss formats. One of the things that keeps Magic fresh is that it has a multitude of different formats. There isn't really any analogy to this in 40k terms. Basically, a format defines which cards you can and can't use in a game. Let's take a look at the most common ones:
- Vintage. This format allows you to use any card from any set throughout the history of Magic, even those from the very first set, Alpha. At higher levels of play, this is distinguished by having decks that run into the realm of a four-digit cost and that can win the game on turn one or two,
- Legacy. Like Vintage you can use cards from any set though it has a banned list, making some cards unable to be used. Again, decks can run into the thousands of Pounds level and can win the game on turns one or two,
- Modern. This format allows you to use any card from the 8th Edition Core Set onwards, which was released in 2003. This format is a little slower than the other two, with the average game ending on turn 4 or 5,
- Standard. Possibly the most popular and common format. This is what is known as a rotating format, as opposed to the three aforementioned formats which are known as eternal formats. What this means is that as newer sets are released and become legal, older ones "rotate" out and are no longer legal. Currently, Standard is composed of Theros, Born of the Gods, Journey into Nyx, M15, Khans of Tarkir, and Fate Reforged,
- Commander. Also known as EDH, Commander is a very different format than that of the others mentioned so far. A format that is based more in the lore of the game, the idea is that you have a single Legendary creature who leads your deck into battle against others. Each deck MUST be 100 cards exactly, led by a Legendary creature, all cards in the deck must be of the same colour as that Legend, and you can't have more than one of the same card in your deck other than Basic Lands. It's traditionally a multiplayer format with games capable of lasting several hours and being fun and silly,
- Limited. All of these other formats are what are known as Constructed, which means that you build a deck in advance and then play against other people. Limited means that you go to the event with no deck but are given a number of unopened packs and must build a deck on the spot from the contents of those packs. Generally, there are two types of Limited events: Sealed and Draft. Sealed gives you 6 packs and you must build a deck from those. Draft gives you 3 packs but every time you take a card from a pack you then pass the pack to the person sitting next to you, giving you more choice over the cards in your deck at the cost of going head-to-head with 7 other people over which cards to take out of each pack, and,
- Kitchen table. Probably the "format" where everyone starts off (I say "format" because it's not actually a recognised format). You get whatever cards you own, make a deck, and play against your friends on your kitchen table (or wherever it is that you play). Little-to-no restrictions apply because, of course, you're in the comfort of your own home and not playing a sanctioned event.
If you intend to play your deck against people outside of your playgroup then you'd be well off trying to make your deck fit into one of these categories. It'll be tough, because you won't necessarily be able to use all of your cards and what you do create probably won't do too well to begin with (especially if you try and enter one of the older formats like Legacy or Vintage).
Okay, with all that out of the way, let's take a look at your deck.
Blue/Red is an interesting combination of colours, though not always the easiest to play. Traditionally, Blue and Red have the worst and second-worst creatures and the best and second best Sorceries and Instants (compared to the other three colours). Unfortunately, a lot of kitchen table games are decided by creatures hitting your opponent, which does put you at a slight disadvantage. But that can hopefully be made up in other ways.
Let's take a look at some basic deck design concepts that a lot of newer players miss or choose not to follow.Percentages
. If you have an awesome card in your deck then you want to draw it as often as you can. The best way to maximise this is to have the absolute minimum deck size. That means 60 in Constructed games and 40 in Limited games. Yes, that means you don't get to run all of your cool cards but it gives you the highest chance of drawing your best cards.Land
. Start with 40% land in your deck. That's 24 land cards in Constructed and 17 in Limited (though Khans Limited probably needs 18 because of the multicolour theme). Yes, it means that you can't run all of your cool cards but without enough land you won't be able to play them. When you get more experienced then you can start to play around with this percentage but for now you'll want 40%.Consistency
. The best decks act in a very consistent manner. This can be done from having multiple similar cards in your deck. But at the lower levels of play, this is done by following the Rule of Nine: pick 9 cards, get four copies of each of them, add 24 lands, and you have a deck. Yes, this means that you can't use all of your best cards, since you've only got one or two of them, but the consistency and redundancy that you get makes up for it. Alternatively, try and get the full four copies of your best cards (sometimes easier said than done).Mana curve
. Mana curve is an extremely important thing. Basically, if you lay out all of your spells in a row, with your 1-cost spells in one column, your 2-cost spells in a column next to that, and so on, then what you should get in your average deck is a bell curve. You should have a couple of 1-drops, several 2-drops, a good number of 3- and 4-drops, and only a handful of 5- and 6- (or more) drops. Statistically, you don't want too many 1-drops, because in the late game they won't have to power to help you win, and you don't want too many 5-drops or higher since they can clog up your hand in the early game and make you lose before you've even had a chance to cast them. Some decks don't need to have a bell curve but for now this is good advice to follow in general.Lifegain sucks
. Life is not a score. When you win the game you do not score bonus points for having 100 life instead of 1. The only important life point is the last one. Don't put cards in your deck that exist solely to gain you life, such as Feed the Clans (from Khans) or Congregate (from M15). There are numerous reasons why they are bad, that I can go into if you want me to. Incidental lifegain, where you gain life from cards that have other functions, such as creatures with Lifelink or spells like Warleader's Helix, can be useful, though, as long as the card has other functions than just gaining you life.Mill sucks
. Milling, the act of forcing your opponent to take cards from the top of his Library and put them into his or her Graveyard, isn't a great strategy. It seems like it to newer players, because you're both taking steps towards winning the game as well as denying your opponent his resources. The main problem with mill is that it doesn't stack with any other forms of damage and isn't really all that efficient. Look at it this way: your opponent has 20 life and 60 cards in his deck. If you get a 2/2 Flying creature out then you'll need to hit him 10 times to win the game. To do the same with mill, you'd need to mill an average of 4.3 cards per turn over the course of those 10 turns. But hitting him with a creature doesn't stack with the milling; it's like they have two separate life totals, you only need to reduce either of them to zero, but you're attacking both of them simultaneously, watering down your attacks.
Looking at your deck specifically, there are a number of cards that you should cut. Hydrosurge, Kraken Hatchling, Mind Sculpt, Cleaver Riot, and maybe Tenement Crasher could do with being cut. These are all substandard cards that you really don't need (not to mention that you're over 60 cards to begin with). You have too many lands, too, so those need to be cut down somewhat. Try and get three more copies of Swiftwater Cliffs so that you can run the full four of them. That will help you out a little with your mana. You could do with few more 4-drops as your mana curve dips significantly in that spot, perhaps dropping a couple of your 1-drops and 5-drops to do so.
One final thing. I've uploaded a copy of your deck to Tapped Out. Located at tappedout.net
it's a great place to write deck lists since you can even just playtest with the deck right there. Your deck can be found here
and you should be able to see it and to playtest it. I'd recommend signing up (or just linking your Facebook account, though I don't let it post to my wall) just so you can keep a record of your decks.