Aborted Regionals Tech, Part 2: Return Of The Janki

Welcome, all rubberneckers, to Aborted Regionals Tech Part 2 – where our decks are to Magic theory as JFK Jr. is to aviation.

In the depths of my Apprentice/Decks folder they lurk. Entombed, dormant for untold eons, gradually achieving consciousness… Until the day they are unleashed upon the unsuspecting world.

Bad decks are like car accidents – you fear to watch, yet you cannot turn away. Welcome, all rubberneckers, to Aborted Regionals Tech Part 2 – where our decks are to Magic theory as JFK Jr. is to aviation.

Step up for the freakshow – see the archetype that time forgot, resurrected as a shadow of its former self! Watch in wonder as Stormscape Familiar breaks the Standard format! Stay for the final act – the T2 Miracle-Gro deck that would make Alan Comer kill himself just so he could roll over in his grave!

Let’s begin our carnival of the obscene with a deck only a mother could love:

T2 Wizard.dec

The Horrible Technology: Four Patron Wizard, and enough Merlin-wannabes to fill up the mana curve, including Block Constructed All-Star Stormscape Apprentice! Meddling Mage, Temporal Adept, and more – plus countermagic like Absorb, Counterspell and Force Spike. With enough wizards, you can counter most any spell! I think Fact or Fiction is in there too, because I heard it was a good substitute for Ancestral Recall while reading Inquest.

Embarrassingly Bad Card Choices: It starts with”Sp” and ends with”Weaver.” I wish I could tell you there was an”Ike” in the somewhere. That’s right – four Spirit Weaver. Ain’t that a bitch? For only six mana, my Meddling Mage can survive a Flametongue Kavu hit. Strong.

Don’t Forget The Sideboard: ….where Llawan, Cephalid Empress makes an appearance. Watch out, ‘Tog decks – there’s a new sheriff in town!

Just when I think my deckbuilding skills have hit bottom, my brain throws me a shovel. This deck proves that nothing says”Aggro” like a bunch of weenies who have to stay untapped all the time to counter spells. What a beating! The early turns of the game will be spent fortifying a position with great double threat cards like Spirit Weaver, a 2/1 savage man with a two-pronged attack – it can either trade with an attacking bear, making Patron Wizard useless when you do draw it, or sit there doing nothing while you take damage. Make sure to kiss any cards taken by Mesmeric Fiend during these early stages goodbye – you won’t be seeing them again.

It’s too bad Nantuko Shade is only two mana and Patron Wizard is three… Have fun chump blocking!

While the deck does a fine job of being sub-optimal if you draw a Patron Wizard (and with four Opts, how can you not?), it’s even worse if you don’t draw one. Of course,”even worse” in this case is like comparing lethal injection to hanging – I wouldn’t want to experience either.

Spare yourself the pain of an 0-3-drop Regionals and file this miserable deckbuilding disgrace away. In a way, it’s like the Zapruder film – there must have been a second scrub deckbuilder on the grassy knoll, since no one person could so viciously assassinate the tenets of good deckbuilding.

Things You Might Hear When Playing This Deck:

“You should be playing that Harry Potter CCG.”

“Cabal Coffers… How many Wizards you got?”

“What happens if I Urza’s Rage that Patron guy?”

“Well, I WAS using these Engineered Plagues for Ichorid, but what the hey – I’ll side ’em in.”

Things You Might Say When Playing This Deck:

“Damn, no Patron Wizard again… Not that I depend on him. Spirit Weaver. Go.”

“Yeah…I sideboard the Temporal Adepts out against…well, everything.”

“Don’t laugh- Coastal Tower isn’t that bad in a deck that plays four Force Spike and four one-drops.”

“I saw the spoiler and I was like, ‘Damn, that’s the best UUU spell since Erosion.'”

The lesson: Don’t build weenie decks where you screw yourself by attacking.

Next in line, we have my attempt to recreate a fun deck from T2 environments past – Red Zone. Still, once you look at this deck, you’ll probably find that the name”Red Zone” doesn’t inspire fond memories of turning Rith sideways – this”Red Zone” instead conjures images of a chafed, inflamed orifice of some sort.

T2 Epicenter Red Zone.dec

The Horrible Technology: Red Zone…except with Epicenter instead of Armageddon, and no replacement for Ancient Hydra or anything else good that the old deck used to run. The only deck clinic that could help this piece of crap is one run by Jack Kevorkian. There’s seven Battlemages in here… This looks like my 5-color deck. It has the Birds, Elves, Rith, and the Cloaks in the side – but the similarity ends there.

Embarrassingly Bad Card Choices: Four Nantuko Cultivator – what the hell? They’re there to try to get a fatty and hit threshold for the Crapageddon, but they’re worse than rectal cancer. I know the first thing I want to do before I destroy all the land on the table is throw out all of mine. It’s noteworthy to make mention of the fact that Call Of The Herd is nowhere to be seen in this deck.

Unfortunate Truths: Epicenter is the Armageddon that they play on that school bus that corners a lot better than the others. Trade any and all copies you have for whatever you can get, even if it’s just a pack of Wyvern.

Kibler knew when to quit and move on to blacker and redder things – it takes a real piece of work like me to fire up Apprentice and waste a bunch of playtest time that would have been better spent surfing for pr0n. This deck is an abomination.

Every game goes like this- you’ll open up strong, and then you’ll want to Armageddon… But you won’t be able to. A few turns later, your opponent will be back in the game, and after trading a bunch of cards, you’ll be able to Armageddon…But you won’t want to. Then you’ll draw Birds and land until the opposing side finishes beating you down, or they have cast Fact or Fiction three times.

Sometimes you’ll win accidentally because you happen to play four Flametongue Kavus, four Birds, four Elves, four Wild Mongrels, and four Spectral Lynxes – and those cards are pretty good. Also, you won’t draw Epicenter. This doesn’t mean the deck is good; when you win one with this deck, it’s like a muscle twitch on a cadaver.

Things You Might Hear When Playing This Deck:

“Your deck is, uh…interesting – did you do one of those Shvartsman things and let people send you ideas?”

“Cultivator, huh? Yeah, misregistering your cards is a bitch.”

“Tapping five mana to make me sacrifice my Swamp. Savage.”

“Looks like I got paired down.”

Things You Might Say When Playing This Deck:

“Thornscape Battlemage is strong against Mirari and I was expecting a lot of that, so…”

“I’ll pitch my hand to this Mongrel and cast Epicenter. Don’t counter it. Seriously. Please.”

“Judge, he’s mocking me. Unsportsmanlike.”

“No, the Oracle wording is NOT ‘This blows!'”

The Lesson: Again, decks don’t work in new environments if their most important parts are gone. Epicenter sucks hardcore. Acorn Harvest might actually have been an improvement.

Last but not least, we have another terrible, terrible Extended knock-off – T2 Miracle-Gro. Take a look at this train wreck; a listing with absolutely no shame.

T2 Gro.dec

The Horrible Technology: Who needs Force of Will, Daze, and Winter Orb when you can play Divert, Force Spike, and Static Orb? What gas! I’ll give you few seconds to stop grimacing. Ready? Okay, let’s continue. The deck does include the full compliment of Quirion Dryad, Werebear, and Gaea’s Skyfolk… But Land Grant is replaced by Lay of the Land. There’s nothing wrong with this deck that a case of dynamite wouldn’t cure.

Embarrassingly Bad Card Choices: Curiosity not legal? Sleeper’s Robe to the rescue! It screws your mana base and costs twice as much in an environment with more bounce and creature kill, but hey – Curiosity works in Extended, so why would a similar card not work in T2? They’re basically the same, amiright? Mise swing!

More Stupidity: Static Orb – why include this pile in the deck, when it doesn’t really duplicate the functionality or Winter Orb and the counterspells aren’t free? I don’t know – maybe it was that crack I smoked earlier.

Though this deck defies explanation or any non-scatological description, its very existence does provide a convincing argument against the Darwinian notion that man evolved upward from the primates. It has been said that given an infinite amount of time, an infinite number of typing monkeys could turn out the works of Shakespeare.”T2 Gro” is three monkeys, ten minutes.

If you enjoy being color-screwed, having a deckful of underpowered crap, and are a masochist in general, I invite you to try this deck out (preferably under the influence of heavy drugs, for your own safety). Don’t sleeve it unless you can find a set with a Surgeon General’s warning.

Every time you draw Static Orb, you will wonder why it’s in the deck. The four Disrupts and four Diverts are very strong against Flametongue Kavu. Quirion Dryad will often get to 2/2 or even 3/3 before dying.

Things You Might Hear When Playing This Deck:

“It looks like you took an Extended Miracle-Gro listing and replaced the good cards with crap…You didn’t do that, did you?”

“Yes, I can pay one or two more. A couple of times over, actually.”

“My friend, your playtesting team has played a bad joke on you.”

“I’m going to let my girlfriend play you…I have to go take a leak.”

Things You Might Say When Playing This Deck:

“Whatever…who plays Slay?”

“Yes Mr. Guptil – that is my real DCI number. And my name really is ‘Guy Incognito,'”

“I sent the listing to Comer’s deck clinic but he denied receiving it. When I asked him in person, he kicked me and ran.”

“I see you eyeing my Unsummon… Yeah, it’s Beta.”

The Lesson: Just because two cards have the word”Orb” in the name doesn’t mean they are functionally identical. Same thing with the word”Force”. The Extended and Standard environments are very different and what works in one won’t work in another. When adapting Extended decklists to T2, don’t forget Acorn Harvest.

This has been another installment of”Aborted Regionals Tech.” Good luck at Regionals – just don’t play any of the above!

Geordie Tait (TSS)

[email protected]

Ontario Magic Player

35th @ GP Detroit 2001

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