Cheap Rebels And A Ham Sammich

I tell myself I will not go even as I drive there." Big Black ‘Bad Houses’. After States, I was looking at the great Star City site here when I noticed that they had some of the decklistings for the top decks from those tournaments. If you haven’t noticed this yet, it’s under a black…

I tell myself I will not go even as I drive there."
Big Black ‘Bad Houses’.

After States, I was looking at the great Star City site here when I noticed that they had some of the decklistings for the top decks from those tournaments. If you haven’t noticed this yet, it’s under a black bar a little to the right of the featured columns. Now, not only does Star City show you what the best decks were – they will also SELL them to you as a complete deck! I found this completely fascinating. I mean, that would be the antithesis of the very being of a lot of the gamers of this great game. Me? I feel almost compelled to try this idea out. Just buy some deck that I like and play it without the muss and fuss of having to trade for cards and so forth. Hey, I just moved myself to a new area with a pretty small card pool, and to get the goods I have to "take" everyone’s good cards. Then I don’t have any other "good" decks to play against. This way I just ring it up, wait a few days, and start taking names without quite as much guilt.

As soon as I sell my house, of course!

Meanwhile I took the time to condense the information into just the top decks, the most expensive, and the least expensive. I figure that covers most of the fetishes/wants/needs/wallets of most of the gaming community. The rest of you weirdos will need to go look at the full lists.

(It’s not time for a Ham Sammich yet. I say "Sammich" ’cause that’s the way Miles Ogilvie used to say it.)

R/G ($199.99)

Most Expensive
Tie R/B and R/G ($299.99)

Least Expensive
R/U 4th place ($129.99)

R/G Fires ($199.99)

Most Expensive
R/B 5th place ($299.99)

Least Expensive
Rebels 3rd place ($99.99)

R/G Fires ($199.99)

Most Expensive
R/B top 4 ($299.99)

Least Expensive
Mono U/W Millstone 2nd place ($109.99)

R/G Fires ($249.99)

Most Expensive
R/G Fires top 8 ($259.99)

Least Expensive
Rebels top 4 ($119.99)

Counter Wrath ($239.99)

Most Expensive
G/W Panther Wave 2nd place ($259.99)

Least Expensive
Tie Rebels and R/G top 8 ($229.99)

North Dakota:
Winner and Most Expensive
B/R Land Destruction ($269.99)

Least Expensive
Tie: U/W Millstone and Snuff-o-Derm top 8 ($99.99)

Winner and Least Expensive
Nether-Go ($169.99)

Most Expensive
R/G Fires top 8 ($329.99)

South Carolina:
Rebels ($219.99)

Most Expensive
R/G Fires 3rd place ($259.99)

Least Expensive
G/W Rebel Burst 5th place ($229.99)

Rhode Island:
R/G Fires ($269.99)

Most Expensive
R/G Fires top 4 ($299.99)

Least Expensive
U/B 2 Nether PoS top 8 ($99.99)

Winner and Most Expensive
R/G Fires ($279.99)

Least Expensive
Tangle Bounce Blue 2nd place ($99.99)

Rebels ($239.99)

Most Expensive
G/W/r "Scuffledown" 4th place ($349.99) (GO, BENNIE! – The Ferrett)

Least Expensive
Rebels top 8 ($199.99)

West Virginia
Winner and Most Expensive
R/B ($349.99)

Least Expensive
G/W Cloaks ‘n’ Razorbacks top 8 ($89.99)

New South Wales:
Fatty Geddon ($319.99)

Most Expensive
Fatty Geddon 7th place ($329.99)

Least Expensive
U/B Fish 6th place ($199.99)

Nova Scotia:
Rebels ($229.99)

Most Expensive
R/G Land Destruction 6th place ($319.99)

Least Expensive
Rebels 3rd and 7th places ($139.99)

I thought it was interesting to see what was played. Some of the decks were quite interesting. I was particularly intrigued by Brock Parker’s Mono Blue Millstone deck, which took second place in Maryland. I’d also like to say that while Bennie Smith might make it look like all Magic writers are made of cards and money, for cards I’d like to tell you that that isn’t the case. His "Scuffledown" deck was at the top of the price list at $349.99. I’m just wondering how much Borg 2k would have cost?

I think it also showed that you can be competitive without breaking the big bank IF you are creative enough.

As it seems that we are still "Looking for Jason Standlea," I’m going to step on his toes a bit with an all-common concoction that I think might help the monetarily-disadvantaged compete.


3x Trenching Steed
3x Steadfast Guard
1x Nightwind Glider
3x Thermal Glider
2x Ramosian Lieutenant
4x Ramosian Sergeant
2x Topple
3x Ramosian Rally
4x Prohibit
3x Exclude
4x Power Sink
4x Counterspell
12x Island
12x Plains

3x Crimson Acolyte
3x Circle of Protection: Green
3x Disenchant
1x Thermal Glider
2x Nightwind Glider
3x Lightbringer

When you are working under this kind of constraint (all commons), you have to make some sacrifices. I’ve tweaked this, I believe to beat R/G decks and Nether Go, so that if you go to a tourney I think you could expect to do decently with this. The basic idea is to stand off other decks until you can search out enough flyers to fly over and kill your opponent.

The only perhaps strange choice is Trenching Steed. What hurts with Steed is that there is not a common way to search for this card. What Steed does is block things like Chimeric Idol and live and, if you sac a land, survives a Blastoderm.

Uncommon and Rare substitutions: Probably the first thing would be to help the mana base with Adarkar Wastes and Coastal Tower. You could also include artifact mana in either Diamonds or Seashell Cameo. Lin Sivvi is an excellent addition to this deck to salvage dead chump-blocking Rebels from the grave, and greatly improves the efficiency of the search engine. After that, you could add some of the high-chain Rebels like Ramosian Sky Marshall and Jhovall Queen to help the deck finish. I actually find that you want to fly over for the kill, and a swarm of gliders with the Sky Marshall leading is pretty effective. The counter base is actually quite respectable as it is, but you could include a couple of the uncommon counters like Thwart or Foil – and the real gravy might be supplied with the rare Absorb. Parallax Wave is a good choice as a controlling addition. The good thing monetarily is that the deck doesn’t need a lot of uncommons and rares to get better. Four to six dual lands and four or five big chain Rebels (including Lin Sivvi) should help the deck quite a bit.

The general idea of Counter Rebels in relation to the overall game theories is quite interesting, in my opinion. Generally, the game has been cut up and the styles named as Aggro, Control, Aggro Control and Combo. Counter Rebels doesn’t seem to particularly fit in any of these categories. Add to that the fact that it doesn’t appear to be particularly weak against any other type of deck and I think it’s well worth looking at. As it usually contains a high number of counters in its base it can hope to identify and neutralize any sort of major threat to its ability to win. What it doesn’t really do is come out with an aggressive rush to protect, as do the aggro control decks like Fish. It usually will come out with a small searcher like a Ramosian Sergeant, and then try and protect its ability to search. It reacts to everything. It either counters a serious threat, or if that wasn’t necessary it searches in response at the end of an opponents turn. It tries to limit threats and then explode in mid-game with a swarm of attackers. I’d now like to point to a few matchups:

Aggro Red/Green with or without Fires of Yavimaya.
As with any counter-containing deck, you have to know which of their threats to control – which is to say the big creatures and the Saproling Burst. They will try and burn out your chain, and you may have to let them. It’s not as important as stopping their creatures. When their big hitters do hit the board, then things change and you have to turn to chump blocking and protecting your chain. Eventually, either way you hope to overwhelm them with on-board card advantage supplied by the Rebels.

I think this is a very good matchup for the deck. Blue has tremendous trouble with the Rebel chain and you can search out a pro black glider to stave off the Nether. Save your counters to take on the black board-clearers like Massacre, Forced March, or Tsabo’s Decree. Wash Out is a blue card that must be stopped as well. Doing that you should again swarm them in mid-game.

Counter Wrath.
Again, this is another Blue-oriented deck so starting your Rebel chain is again paramount. Their creature control after that is actually weak, and they will be at a disadvantage trying to push through a four-casting cost spell against the Rebels’ counters. Simply wait for that and stop it. In the meantime, your end-of-turn search should yield good results in ramping up your pressure. Beware of Rout as an instant response play. At the point that they have sufficient mana and are capable of casting it, try and keep the counter ability while still searching low. You don’t need a lot of creatures, or particularly big ones, as they have no blockers.

White Weenie Rebels.
Probably one of the worst matchups for the deck. You will hope to control the bleeding and end up with the higher order of Rebels. This is the deck where the all-common version is really up against the wall. With Lin Sivvi, I think you can hope to hold out until the big-chain Rebels can win the day. Here also is where Parallax Wave can swing the difference to where you can hope to counter their Waves and protect your own from Disenchant effects.

Ham Sammich

This is the part where those that are only interested in "tech" and food can mosey off for some grub while I make inside jokes and talk about personal items.

I received mostly positive response on last week’s article "Fortune Cookie"…


…from the Magic community. I thank everyone that responded for the positive feedback. Mike Turian wrote me and was very nice. He wondered a bit if the article was an "attack," but in the end didn’t feel that that was the case. I’m glad for that. It wasn’t meant to be an attack. What it was trying to point out in simple terms was that, in having an opinion on this game, that it’s easy to be misunderstood and opposed and that is even if you are CAREFUL about what you say. (Amen, brother – The Ferrett) It’s also quite easy to pop off and make a mistake or say something that you didn’t really want to say or mean. That stuff can happen. I’d say that it’s probably best to act like so many ducks in the rain for the most part.

Will<<< Is not small and was a wrassler in high school.

Might be tough to get the snot out there, Rizzo my man! Of course, my wife has made life perhaps too comfortable for me. But Rizzo gets a big prop from me for quote of the week: "Home is more than a place to stash your cards." So true, my man, so true. Some of us have to have a place to stash the fifteen-foot rubber bat wings there as well.

I had to wonder. Was the Ferrett writing to me last week in his, "How to Write an Article that I (or Anyone) will Publish"? (No. For the record, the article was aimed at people who really didn’t know how to write articles in the first place. You can get away with ANYTHING if you’re good.* – The Ferrett) Rule number one was, "Nobody Wants To Hear About You."

Well, yeah.

Blathering on about oneself can get old – but like most folks, "me" is the thing I know best or think that I know best. Thank you again, Rizzo, for getting me off the hook. As we have just opened the Star City MtG mailing list, Rizzo suggests that we all write about ourselves and how we got into Magic! Now I know that, despite the fact that I’ve committed the grievous sin of submitting articles containing in some way shape or form all of the Ferrett’s "Personal Kvetches," that I’m not the guy he was talking to.

It was Rizzo. I’m sure of it.

I’m now also quite sure that with a kudos email from that "chief" Adrian Sullivan that I’m so big in the seat that the Ferrett can’t possibly remove me. Look out there, Mr. Editor, or I’ll send you a whole new batch of draw stat charts and graphs…

Till sometime in the future though it’s just some Rebel(lious) thoughts and an excuse for the hungry to look for pork and bread. I take mine with mustard, thank you very much.

Will Rieffer

This following is a link to a Husker Du sound clip of "I Apologize" from ‘New Day Rising’ It requires Real Player.


(* – Including stupid stuff like this. You think bad writers can get away with random footnotes? – The Ferrett)