Aborted Regionals Tech: Three Of The Worst Decks EVER

If you’re anything like me, you find some pretty embarrassing aborted attempts at technology when cleaning out your Apprentice”Decks” folder. Of course, everyone has ideas that just don’t go anywhere – it’s nothing to be of which to be ashamed. You’ll be sitting by yourself, maybe munching on something while you’re surfing around, and WHAM!…

If you’re anything like me, you find some pretty embarrassing aborted attempts at technology when cleaning out your Apprentice”Decks” folder. Of course, everyone has ideas that just don’t go anywhere – it’s nothing to be of which to be ashamed. You’ll be sitting by yourself, maybe munching on something while you’re surfing around, and WHAM!

Brain:”This could be good.”

A noble animal, the brain. An eternal optimist who doesn’t scoff at the more outlandish thrusts and parries of one’s creativity, the cerebral cortex is entrusted with an important duty – cutting dumb ideas off before they are released to the public.

Sometimes it doesn’t catch them in time. The brain, while more reliable than some other organs I could mention, is not infallible. Rancid ideas sometimes drift through the defenses and spoil an otherwise sterling reputation for not making a complete jackass of yourself.

That being said, make sure you don’t play any of these decks at Regionals. (Yes, these decks are genuine and did exist at once time of another.)

T2 The Swarm.dec

The Horrible Technology: 4 Parallel Evolution, 4 Saproling Symbiosis, 4 Squirrel Nest, 8 Birds/Elves, some more Green Stuff. The idea is to create massive numbers of tokens and just win with Squirrel and Saproling Beatdown. Can’t you just imagine it? Create more tokens! Create more tokens! Mise swing, am I right?

Embarrassingly Bad Card Choices: 4 Skyshroud Blessing (to protect the Squirrel Nests!), 3 Symbiotic Deployment (NATUREPOTENCE!). 21 Forests.

Type 1 Power, Baby!: 4 Acorn Harvest

Perhaps one of the most blisteringly bad decks ever conceived, this steaming pile is hard-pressed to win a game. Incapable of doing anything but generating tokens, this deck has issues of every kind. Twenty-one Forests means that once your early burn and Edict targets get killed, you’re sure to have fun sitting around with three land and a half-dozen 4 and 5-cc spells in hand. Acorn Harvest doesn’t make the cut in many Sealed decks. Skyshroud Blessing is bad against everything. If you want to protect your Squirrel Nest, you have to wait until turn 5 most of the time (though the chances of having five lands on turn 5 are low)…. Can you feel the speed?

Look at that TOKEN DECK blast out of the gates with a turn 5 Squirrel Nest!

(Uses hand to shield eyes from the setting sun as the deck tears off to the west)

“Whoosh! There it goes! Slow down, lightning!”

Never before has a deck so aggressively filled itself with cards that are dead half the time. With no creatures, Saproling Symbiosis, Symbiotic Deployment, and Parallel Evolution are all dead cards.

Why the deck doesn’t use Call of the Herd instead of Acorn Harvest is best left to the philosophers.

Things you can expect to hear when playing this deck:

“What’s that a proxy for?”

“I think it’s pronounced Sym-BYE-osis.”

“Tell me the truth… Are you on crack? No offense meant, I just, you know…Was wondering.”

“Turn 4 Acorn Harvest…strong.”

Things you might say when playing this deck:

“Damn, manascrewed again.”

“Upheaval? Tokens are some strong against that.”

“At least with Symbiotic Deployment you can’t mill me out. It was a metagame call.”

“Can I see your scorepad? I just – HEY! My name is ‘Joe,’ not ‘Some stick’!”

The Lessons Learned: Spells have to be either versatile, or very strong. Conditional cards, especially expensive ones, are often dead weight and should be avoided. And friends don’t let friends play Acorn Harvest.

T2 B/R Sorcery Recursion.dec

The Horrible Technology: 4 Recoup, 4 Catalyst Stone (yes, Catalyst Stone), along with powerful sorceries like Duress, Void, Haunting Echoes, and Ghitu Fire. Eventually, you strip every card out of the opponent’s library and win with Ghitu Fire. Well, ideally. Mostly you just sit there losing, dying, and generally sucking the proverbial nut. Also sports a bunch of burn for creature control.

Embarrassingly Bad Card Choices: 3 Pyre Zombie (Hey, I have three slots open… Let’s spin a wheel and pick a gold card at random!), 3 Chainer’s Edict (Because I don’t always want to draw one, right? Playing four is for fools – I like to tempt fate. I am all that is man!)

Hey, The Matchup With Control Isn’t So Bad With: 4 Overmaster (What a beating!)

An all-consuming black hole of suckiness from which there is no escape, this wretched creation runs out of things to do in a hurry. Catalyst Stone is missing the line”Draw a card when this comes into play” and is generally bad. Overmaster cycles on turn 1 and sucks on turns 2 through 100. Void makes the whole conglomeration of crud look like a bad IBC deck. Perhaps this deck is best used as a first-aid device to induce vomiting.

You don’t know broken until you’ve Recouped Overmaster and drawn an extra card. Catalyst Stone and Volcanic Hammer are all great draws when you’re looking for gas in the late game. A handful of Firebolts and Hammers is some good against control! Every draw of land in the late game turns your already meaningless hand into more of a gas station. Which pump?

Things you can expect to hear when playing this deck:

“Is that even T2 legal?”

“What does that card do?”

“So my Edicts cost two more to flashback, but you have only three creatures anyhow? Works for me.”

“I’ll check off ‘Drop’ for you.”

Things you can expect to say when playing this deck:

“If I had two Catalyst Stones out, and a Recoup and a Haunting Echoes in hand, and you didn’t have two counterspells, you’d be in big trouble mister!”

“Void for 0 to kill your Call token. Now that’s card advantage! Let me check for Spellbooks.”

“Draw. Overmaster. Hmm. Swamp. Done.”

“Catalyst Stone. You better counter that, or she’s all over but the shouting.”

The Lessons Learned: Decks with no permanents need to draw lots of cards or they run out of gas. Combo cards that don’t affect the board had better be damn abusive or they don’t make the cut. Every time you play Catalyst Stone, baby Jesus cries.

T2 Dawn Of The Dead Recursion.dec

The Horrible Technology: Four Dawn Of The Dead, tons of creatures with CIP abilities – including one Time Stretch and one Anarchist for infinite turns. Tech’er than Techerson. And wait until you see how I avoid Dawn of the Dead removing them from the game! With the almighty…

Embarrassingly Bad Card Choices: Two Phyrexian Altars, one Diabolic Intent, and a ridiculously inconsistent mana base including three City of Brass.

Old-School Recur Rip-Off Crap: Four Jungle Barrier (Wall Of Blossoms), one Auramancer (Monk Idealist), one Petradon (Avalanche Riders), one Ghitu Fire-Eater (Ghitu Slinger), one Faceless Butcher (Nekrataal…. This is perhaps the stupidest card choice in the deck, since recurring it makes it useless), one Teroh’s Faithful (Radiant’s Dragoons). Four Birds and four Duress are the best cards in the deck. Note that there is no replacement for Survival Of The Fittest. That alone would dissuade any moderately talented deckbuilder from even trying to construct this fly-blown, putrid carcass of a deck.

Cards In The Deck For No Reason: Four Temporal Spring (Why? Who knows!)

If you were to give my”Decks” folder an enema, you’d stick the hose right here. Perhaps the worst deck ever constructed in the free world, this effort (which some scholars have already used to disprove the existence of a merciful God) is utterly helpless, hopeless, and useless. Using poor versions of cards from an older deck that actually worked, it succeeds only in reaching levels of ineptitude previously present only in the speculations of Magic’s most pessimistic pundits.

A”bottom of the spittoon” ugly, disjointed mess, the early game is most often spent sitting around with the wrong mana, or maybe with a couple copies of Dawn Of The Dead in hand – that perennial tournament winner. Once you’re lucky enough to draw into useful creatures (you have no way of searching for them), you can drop Dawn Of The Dead and start returning them to play while you lose one life/turn. If you haven’t drawn one of your two Phyrexian Altars, you can watch as they get removed from the game each turn. If you haven’t drawn Teroh’s Faithful or your one Buried Alive, Dawn of the Dead will slowly kill you while you sit around drawing copies of Temporal Spring. Savvy players might Temporal Spring their own Dawn of The Dead so it doesn’t kill them!

Even more savvy players might throw the deck in the garbage and hope the stench of failure doesn’t attract too many cockroaches. This deck is more repugnant than the stench of 1,000 diseased camels. If this were Czarist Russia, the listing would be sent to Siberia and all traces of it expunged.

Things you can expect to hear when playing this deck:

“Turn 4 Jungle Barrier? That’d be good if you weren’t at four life. Mise swing, am I right? I don’t know if these two Skizziks and two Herd Tokens can break through your rock-solid defenses! Oh, it’s looking bad for me! BWAHAHA!”

“Let me read that…. Hey! I’ve been setting my drinks on these things.”

“That deck should have one of those paper toilet seat covers on it. For your protection.”

“Let me guess…you lost a bet?”

Things you can expect to say when playing this deck:

“So he said, ‘I DOUBLE dare you…’ and one thing sorta led to another.”

“1521. I’ve lost a 200 points of so in the last while, mostly to manascrew. You?”

“It’s like that guy in ‘Hannibal’ who cut off his face. It seemed like a good idea at the time.”

“Opponents detained by paralyzing fits of laughter ARE easier to beat…”

Lessons Learned: Some decks and archetypes cannot be recreated with the weaker Standard card pool. Just let them live in Extended, and play decks that work. When building your deck, don’t throw cards in for no reason. Find something that will help you win. Pay attention to your mana base. Don’t eat just any old mushroom you come across.

Thanks for reading. Remember – friends don’t let friends play Acorn Harvest.

Geordie Tait

35th @ GP Detroit 2001

Ontario Magic Player

[email protected]

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