Don’t Let Them Tell You Compost Is Merely Okay, Jamoke

My teammate Disco-Dave figured he’d give it a go on Saturday, and managed 4-1-1 with it. I saw the single match loss, and I still can’t figure out how it happened. Then I’ve gone 15-4 with it. Wanna see?

There are three types of Constructed tournament players:

  • The Netdecker

    A person who sources their constructed deck from an established list available on the internet. These people may be short on time or imagination – but either way, someone else is doing a sizeable portion the hard work for them.”The Netdecker” is usually despised by the two following categories:

  • The Rogue Player

    These players prefer designing and building their own decks, and feel that people who copy decks are often missing the point behind this very game. Some will go as far as blaming societies ills on”Netdeckers,” citing them as the sole cause of the next fall of civilisation. A select few can be heard bemoaning their lower table status in the later rounds of a tournament, claiming savage manascrew and bad luck… All the while whining about how at they least they weren’t a dirty”Netdecker,” which is almost as bad a brother/sister/horse love triangle.

  • The Newbie, or n00b

    More often that not, a”Newbie” will also design and build their own deck… That is, if by design I mean”grab eighty-plus Enchant Creature cards from their bedroom floor and add twentyish lands.” While not actually aware of the term”netdeck,” a”Newbie” will often cry”fowl play!” when they are crushed under a wave of rares and cost-efficient unrares. This can be detrimental to a tournament scene, as a”n00b” can be frightened off, and may never play again.

Many people see these as distinct groups, and ne’er the thrain shall meet.

(Except the”Newbie” and the”Rogue” in round 3 on table 31.)

(And if that doesn’t get me flamed…)

But the card pool available in the current Standard environment can cause the lines to blur somewhat. As rogue as you want to be, if your deck is black or at least partially, you’ll probably want to use 4x Duress and 4x Chainer’s Edict. If you are using blue, you’d be a fool not to use 4x Fact or Fiction and 4x Counterspell – maybe even 4x Memory Lapse. Red? Flametongue Kavu. Green? Call of the Herd.

Of course, not every green deck is going to want to run Calls, and maybe Memory Lapse doesn’t actually fit into your deck. But before you know it, you’ll have people screaming netdeck at you, just because you’ve chosen to play good cards.

I mean after all, doesn’t rogue mean playing bad cards? Hasn’t every good card been utilised, leaving only the”fun” and”obscure” pickings for a self-respecting deck designer?

(Slight personal aside here…)

I’ve never considered myself a rogue deckbuilder. Nor have I ever considered myself a lazy-swine, mother-loving, meths-drinking, sheep-stealing, children-smacking, old-lady-bashing, puppy-kicking, chicken-choking, Britney-listening, netdecker.

(And no, that doesn’t mean I fit into the third category.)

But as stated by random guy on the street, Digby Carter, more often than not, I’ll try to play the best deck available.

(Okay, okay; Digby is actually a fellow teammate and very savage miser.)

So what if I’ve played Replenish, Fires, Sligh, CounterRebel, CounterSliver, Rec-Sur, Sligh, Psychatog, RocketShoes, Sligh, Sligh, Spam, Sligh, Eggs, Spam and Sligh? When I walk into a tournament, I do it to win.

I also do it to socialize, hang with my friends, trade, and consume unhealthy foodstuffs.

But I also like to win.

That’s not a bad thing. We all look up to Kai, and when he goes to a tournament, he goes to win. No crime there. So why should playing a netdeck be frowned on by so many people?

Interesting Fact No. 1:

All netdecks were once Rogue.

They became netdecks because they worked.

(Icky, icky, ahem.)


Meh, there I go again. Straying around, over, under, anywhere but on the point.

The point is, I think I might have a deck that might actually work quite nicely. One that I designed while I should have been doing something else entirely. Which is perhaps, the best time for creating anything really.


Two weeks ago, I spake somewhat about my love affair with eight Edicts, and the standard metagame. The only problem I saw with this, was if my opponent dropped a Squirrel Nest on one of their lands, I could have found myself up a well-known creek; paddleless.

(The problem was not so noticeable if they dropped it on my land.)

And this got me thinking a bit.

(I was probably showering this time. Another good place to think about deck ideas.)

(But not hot chicks or anything.)

(I said”not” Rizzo…)

If I played Squirrel Nest, that would screw with every other player who thinks they can Edict their way to fame, fortune and glory. And if I wanted to play eight Edicts, the Innocent Blood ones would only eat a squirrel most of the time, leaving me free to play a non-Pyre Zombie win condition. Now you’re probably thinking,

“Meh; Squirrel Nest isn’t that impressive.”

But that’s because you’re not thinking straight. Have you even begun to picture what two Squirrel Nests looks like? The Nest is like an Outpost… But it’s Standard-legal, chum. And it’s a nightmare for Psychatog. (Just as long as they’re not playing Recoil, which is risky with all that madness lying around.)

Speaking of madness…

You’ve no doubt seen Jay Schneider’s”Wild Plagiarization” deck. I tried it and wasn’t overly impressed. Just as I was thinking about the possibility of adding green over black, I found another deck that had beaten me to it. Here’s a similar list for reference:

4 Basking Rootwalla

4 Wild Mongrel

4 Arrogant Wurm

4 Merfolk Looter

1 Anurid Scavenger

4 Lay of the Land

4 Fiery Temper

4 Violent Eruption

4 Circular Logic

4 Wild Research

4 Shivan Reef

4 Yavimaya Coast

2 Mossfire Valley

4 Shivan Oasis

2 Island

5 Forest

2 Mountain

This deck is the most fun I’ve had sitting down in a long time. It’s perhaps not quite tier one as far as standard goes, but I managed to come 2nd at the March 1st FNM with it. Why didn’t I play my new, as yet unrevealed, Squirrel Nest deck? I had only designed it the day before, and I didn’t realize how well it worked yet…

…But fellow teammate Disco-Dave figured he’d give it a go on Saturday, and managed 4-1-1 with it. I saw the single match loss, and I still can’t figure out how it happened. Dave probably didn’t play as well as he could have, so to speak…


Impressed with his record, I took it to the streets. And by streets, I mean Magic Online.

(No, I don’t see the relevance there either.)

And I’m roughly 15-4 with it so far.

Would you like to see it?

I know you would.


Here goes, are you holding on tight? Because this deck is really, really, really, really good.



(An actual, clearing my throat (ahem) instead of an embarassed one for once.)

4 Duress

4 Lay of the Land

4 Innocent Blood

4 Chainer’s Edict

2 Counterspell

2 Nostalgic Dreams

4 Squirrel Nest

4 Pernicious Deed

4 Fact or Fiction

4 Spiritmonger

4 Salt Marsh

1 Darkwater Catacombs

3 Llanowar Wastes

2 Island

3 Swamp

11 Forest

Can you see what I did there? I spashed blue for Fact or Fiction, did you notice?

So as you can see, this is a”Rogue” deck, but it features many cards atributed to netdecks.

Here’s the breakdown.

4 Duress

4 Innocent Blood

4 Chainer’s Edict

2 Counterspell

4 Pernicious Deed

4 Fact or Fiction

4 Spiritmonger

Now, forget the fact that Innocent Blood/Chainer’s Edict isn’t a well established netdeck combination just yet, and that neither Deed nor Spiritmonger have seen much in the way of success outside of Invasion Block Constructed – other than in Carl Jarrell’s”Hot Garbage” deck.

(Props to the bruva, aaaiight?)

You can tell that eight Edicts is good, even if you haven’t played standard in months. That is because if you have, you’ll have had some monoblack mage asking you to pop another animal before they Corrupt you a bit, just for kicks. And don’t try to tell me Deed isn’t good when the most sought-after rare these days is Call of the Herd, and the fastest deck is made up of 1cc and 2cc critters.

So obviously, the deck uses good cards. Just not in a combination you’d expect to see.

(Space for the asking of questions.)

Ah yes… Why only two Counterspells, and not something like Syncopate?

When I first started sketching out ideas for the deck, I knew I’d want to include Fact or Fiction alongside eight Edicts and Squirrel Nest. The Edicts like to be cast early, and the Nest is double green, so blue was clearly only there as a splash. But when I got to the end of the deck, you know, those last two or three card choices that can make or break a deck, I began to think how well a couple of counter-type spells would go in there. A quick check revealed that the only one suitable was Counterspell itself.

  • Memory Lapse

    Best suited to a deck that strives to maintain tempo, or is using other counters. In this case, I wanted to be able to stop a bomb, and not have to see it again next turn.

  • Syncopate

    I also needed to be able to counter in the same turn I either cast a Spiritmonger, or flashback an Edict. Syncopate will do very little there.

  • Mystic Snake

    Too expensive for what I need it to do, but better than the first two because it will actually counter the offending spell.

  • Undermine

    Better again than the Snake – but if I’m paying double blue for the counter, which is doable in the late game, then Counterspell is just better than Undermine.

So you see the logical progression there. Why only two? I just seems to work. This isn’t a counter-based control deck, but seeing as it has blue mana, why not have a simple stop-gap measure so I don’t lose any games I appear to have won.

“Woah, off the top. Corrupt you.”


“What the heck?”

blisterguy wins.

“Desolation Angel with kicker, wish me luck for the top 8.”



blisterguy wins.

“Rage you with kicker.”

“Cou… oh.”

Well, you can’t have everything.

Yes? You down in the back?

(Pause for the asking of another question.)

I refuse to answer that. Do you think black/green without Fact or Fiction would be better? Have you seen what happens when you Fact or Fiction, and then Nostalgic Dreams the following turn?

No wait, I appeared to have answered that after all…

But I digress…

(You don’t say?)

The deck is very solid, give it a go and send 50% of your winnings to me.

“But a sideboard…?” You ask.

Do what you like there; I don’t care. But beware that any green deck’s sideboard these days is but only eleven cards…

…Don’t let anyone tell you any of the following:

  • “Compost has potential.”

  • “Compost is not bad.”

  • “Compost could give black some problems.”

Compost is to black decks now, what Perish used to be to green decks, I kid you not. It is insane all over the place, in and including all up in there as some writers would say.

It has to be seen to be believed, so go try it.

(Didn’t I say up there somewhere that if you were playing blue and didn’t use four Counterspells, you were a fool?)

(Heh; fancy that.)

Until next time, may you draw a card everytime your opponent puts a black card in the yard.