Battle Royale Round 14 – Channeling Doc

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Last week, Kyle put paid to Eli with a fast and furious Sliver deck. This week, it’s time for something completely different. Aggro has been done. Control is old hat. But Combo? That’s the ticket!

He darted behind me, grabbed both of my arms, and put them behind my head. He slowly started to move my neck forward, and I felt like I was going to break. I winced in pain and cried out for him to stop…

I’m getting ahead of myself… it all started with the crew.

David, Kris, my nephew Josh, and yours truly.

We were the Pokemon Gang of 2000, and soon turned into the Magic Kids of 2001. Every Friday and Saturday we gathered to show each other what new cards we had gained during the week, to test our skills against each other in the only way we knew how. We also played football in the shut-down street behind the card shop with all the other card shop regulars on Saturday evenings, in between rounds. There was nothing more pure. Just going to the card shop, having a blast, and playing football with your friends. It’s something that everyone’s done… maybe not the football part, but everyone has those pure innocent memories of childhood. Lately I’ve been realizing more and more how precious they really are. Only a teary eyed smiley face can show this kind of emotion.

:’ – (

One day, when I was playing with my Thran Golem / Granite Grip deck, a portly middle-aged man wearing hospital scrubs struts in…

Enter Doc.

His real name was Jim Gaton I believe – we dubbed him Doc due to his strange choice of clothing.

He asked me if I wanted to play a game. I starred him down much like Larry David in an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, and accepted his challenge. Who did this guy think he is? Can’t he tell that I play at this card shop nearly four times a week? I was feeling generous, so I let him play first.

Swamp. Dark Ritual. Dark Ritual. Hypnotic Spector. Hymm To Torach.

“Hymm ya, Hippie!” he exclaimed.

He grabbed at my hand and slapped two cards down on the table with great force.

My eyes shot back as he demolished my hand at random, as he attacked in every turn with a creature I’d never seen before. He called it a Hippie. I assumed it was for the pony-tail sticking out of the top of his helmet. Imagine my disappointment when I found out it was just an abbreviation for Hypnotic.

The next game was a bit different. It started out with two Rituals again, but this time Duress and two Dauthi Slayer came down.

I lost again. The games weren’t even close.

Doc became a regular, participating in all our group games and Friday and Saturday premier tournaments. I remember Doc talking about my next door neighbor’s Mom* a lot, I didn’t get it when I was younger, but apparently they worked at the hospital together and they became quite familiar with each other. Looking back, Doc was a huge pervert. On several occasions his mouth would water whenever one of our Moms would walk into the store. I mean, it’s kind of customary to do that nowadays, but back when everyone was 12-14… that’s no way to be talking around young impressionable minds.

Eating was never a problem at the card shop because there was an El Pollo Loco along with a Taco Cabanna a stone’s throw away. Taco Cabanna is a clear favorite because of its Tex-Mex flavor, although El Pollo Loco did have better Taquitos. Nevertheless, we chose to dine at Taco Cabanna after a hard fought day of slinging cards and taking names.

It was the crew and Doc. Dinner was winding down when David split chips on Doc’s back, upon which he pointed at me and said I did it. A fury unlike that I’ve ever seen pulsed through Doc’s eyes, as he grabbed me and turned me around. He proceeded to put my arms behind my back, I was helpless. Then to put the nail in the coffin, he put me in a headlock and started to apply pressure to the back of my neck, resulting in tremendous pain. I cried out for him to stop, and the Mexican people making tortillas inside just smiled, thinking it was some kind of American dining ritual.

After forcing me to apologize for doing nothing, I walked home, bruised and broken**.

Okay, my intention was to channel Doc and make a mono-Black deck with Hypnotic Specter, Dauthi Slayer, Bad Moon. All that good stuff. I hit a bit of a speed bump when I found out Spectors were at a busty seven tickets each. My balloon was deflated, so I looked for other avenues.

Eventually I came across Wall of Roots, and wanted to play a deck with them…

I tried Rock. I tried mono-Green big fat beats fueled by Overgrowth and Gauntlets of Power. I tried R/G Wildfire. All of these were clunky and couldn’t be done with the money restrictions.

I was searching through the Blue cards, and Eye of the Storm stood out like a hippo mating with a llama…

Whether you’re a monkey named Bo-Bo,
Or chanting a Go-Go,
Everyone knows fo-sho,
They like to play Combo!

Now repeat that ten times as fast as you can! (C’mon just try it, it’ll be fun, you’ll laugh)


The funny thing is that I’m really amused by that little poem. I keep saying it over and over again. It won’t get out of my head!

This deck might be the best deck I’ve ever built. I’ve goldfished it upwards of ten times on Apprentice, and I’m so excited! I’m tempted to even get the cards on line and play a few games before the Battle! The best thing is that it’s not one of those complicated combo decks like Heartbeat or Mind’s Desire, where each turn you have to go into the tank to see if you have the resources to go off. Its more like a Ravager Affinity combo deck with Disciple of the Vault and Skullclamp. You just get there without thinking too much.

If they are playing permission you Gigadrowse them before you go off. If they are playing aggro, accelerate into a Eye of the Storm and raw-dog a Walk the Aeons out there. Of course, there’s the whole “stack jack” theory, where they can theoretically steal our Eye of the Storm advantage from us. I highly doubt that Stu will play more spells and more card draw than me, so I should always be able to out-spell him.

I used to have one Grapeshot in the maindeck as the kill condition. Then I realized that I didn’t even need it – I can just deck them with Research and Consideration. The deck is pretty straightforward. You stall until you get an Eye down, then you either Early Harvest or take an extra turn. After that you can draw your entire library with the draw spells until you have enough fuel to start making them draw cards to deck them. The deck really doesn’t need Red, but the sideboard cards are very good against troublesome aggro decks, so it seems like a good idea to keep it in anyway.

This deck kind of reminds me of my nose hair. Let me explain… I don’t have long nose hair or anything, but I have this one nose hair that perks out beyond the rest. An elongated nose hair. It stands out above the rest, like that awkward tall kid in 4th grade P.E. class***. Whenever I’m in the metro hygienic mood I get my tweezers and I try to pull this awkward nose hair out. However, this nose hair is no ordinary nose hair. It’s rooted deep within my nostril, which is quite troublesome because whenever I try and yank it out I experience a quick sharp pain, like a porcupine was just shoved up my nose (okay, not that extreme, but still quite sharp). I’ll be the first to tell you that I hate pain, unless its the old bruise pain where you keep fingering the sore spot to get that tingly feeling, or the kind of pain a woman can place on your heart; I relish those kinds of pain. Nose Hair Pain is totally different; it’s the kind of pain that freezes you, so I never get to finish pulling the hair out. I’m always left with this stupid elongated nose hair.

Sorry, I don’t know where I’m going with this one.

Here’s the price stuff:

Early Harvest – 2 tickets each = 8 tickets
Eye of the Storm – 0.25 tickets each = 0.75 tickets
Remand – 0.5 each = 2 tickets
Walk the Aeons – 1 each = 2 tickets
Wall of Roots – 0.5 each = 2 tickets
Stitch in Time – 0.25 each = 0.25 tickets
Careful Consideration – 2 for 1 = 2 tickets
Pyroclasm – 2 for 1 = 2 tickets
Carven Caryatid – 4 for 1 = 1 ticket
Exhaustion – 0.2 each = 0.8 tickets
Krosan Grip – 0.5 tickets

Total: 21.3 tickets

I didn’t try to get a good deal at all this time. I just searched and clicked enter a couple of times. I’m sure if you worked at it you could get the deck in the 17-18 range. I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited to play a match of Magic before… the games should be quite entertaining.

See you at the Battle!

Thanks for reading,


Top 5 Picks
1) “Cocaine Blues” by Johnny Cash
2) “Dreamy Days of Daydreaming” by Of Montreal
3) “Like Eating Glass” by Bloc Party
4) “Spooks” by Radiodhead
5) “King Without A Crown” by Matisyahu

* I can’t get over how perverted he was… the things he would say, and I’m just now realizing…
** I lived 9 houses down the street, but it sounds much more dramatic that way.
*** I was the awkward tall kid = /

[EDITOR’S NOTE: The Battle takes place on Sunday, December 17th at 10 p.m. EST, in the Anything Goes Casual Room on Magic Online. Be there!]