Dr. Teeth vs. Dr. Doom: The Ultimate Showdown

My constant requests for article ideas finally yielded the suggestion from Oscar”Cinnamon Buns” Tan that, in lieu of a substantial issue to discuss, I develop a new deck, like in the days of olde tyme Tog-Growing. So I skimmed over a list of set mechanics, figuring it shouldn’t be too hard to find one that hadn’t been broken yet. Kicker was wicked bad, so I finally settled on Threshold.

My constant requests for article ideas finally yielded the suggestion from Oscar”Cinnamon Buns” Tan that, in lieu of a substantial issue to discuss, I develop a new deck, like in the days of olde tyme Tog-Growing. So I skimmed over a list of set mechanics, figuring it shouldn’t be too hard to find one that hadn’t been broken yet. Kicker was wicked bad, so I finally settled on Threshold.

I hate when people go through different stages of their bad early deck designs, so I’ll just give you the latest version sans the highly metagamed sideboard, and then talk about it.

1 Ancestral Recall

1 Gush

1 Time Walk

4 Brainstorm

4 Thirst for Knowledge

4 Force of Will

3 Squee, Goblin Nabob

2 Naturalize

4 Wild Mongrel

3 Werebear

2 Noble Panther

2 Mystic Enforcer

1 Crop Rotation

4 Bazaar of Baghdad

2 Nantuko Monastery

3 Riftstone Portal

1 Black Lotus

1 Mox Pearl

1 Mox Emerald

1 Mox Sapphire

4 Flooded Strand

2 Island

4 Tropical Island

3 Tundra

One of the worst ideas that I tried was Quiet Speculation into Deep Analysis, which wasn’t even good in Type Two. Rest assured, we shall never speak of this again.











Okay, so I had to do it. Noble Panther 4L. April Fool’s Day and all that.

What I’m really here to talk to you about is yet another tournament which I succeeded at with Psychatog, a feat which Doc Sylvan tells me is less surprising than watching the Vader’s speech in Empire for the four-hundredth time, whatever that means. My extensive study of film leads me to believe that he was trying to be funny.

Anyway, my tech for this tournament was to play Hulk Smash, even though my local peeps don’t know about Slavery decks.”Information is ammunition,” apparently. Fortunately, I have the Team Mean Deck hookup, so I took this list to the tournament:

4 Underground Sea

4 Polluted Delta

3 Tropical Island

3 Volcanic Island

1 Island

1 Library of Alexandria

1 Strip Mine

1 Mox Pearl

1 Mox Jet

1 Mox Sapphire

1 Mox Ruby

1 Mox Emerald

1 Black Lotus

1 Mana Crypt

3 Psychatog

4 Mana Drain

4 Force of Will

4 Brainstorm

4 Accumulated Knowledge

3 Cunning Wish

2 Intuition

2 Deep Analysis

1 Time Walk

1 Ancestral Recall

3 Duress

1 Demonic Tutor

1 Mind Twist

1 Yawgmoth’s Will

1 Gorilla Shaman

1 Pernicious Deed


1 Berserk

1 Pernicious Deed

1 Firestorm

1 Smother

1 Vampiric Tutor

1 Fact or Fiction

1 Artifact Mutation

1 Naturalize

1 Oxidize

1 Coffin Purge

1 Blue Elemental Blast

3 Red Elemental Blast

I played the version with Red because, even though it’s already a good matchup, I was figuring Keeper would be present at this suboptimal metagame, Red Elemental Blast is the best sideboard card in Type One, and Firestorm is my amazing tech.

I got to the tournament after an hour drive only to find none other than Steve”Smmennycakes” Menendian already there, packing some horrible combo deck. Our greetings went something like this:

Smmenny:”I was unexpectedly able to come at the last minute.”

Me: *snicker*”What are you playing?”

Smmenny:”The Returns deck.”

Me:”I triple-dog-dare you to win with Elvish Spirit Guide at least twice today.”


Steve just doesn’t know how to have fun. I couldn’t let him off that easily.

Me:”What if we make it conditional. You have to kill with Elvish Spirit Guide once for every time I kill with a Psychatog over one hundred damage.”

Smmenny: *stares blankly for a minute*”Stakes?”

Me:”I’ll stop calling you ‘Smmennycakes’ to your face, or you’ll start liking it.”

Smmenny: *sighing, aware that I wouldn’t give up*”Make it one-twenty.”

We shook on it, and I had my challenge. It’s borderline impossible to get a Tog to thirty damage pre-Berserk in Type One, but it was either that, or triple-Berserk. For anyone who’s not following the connection between one copy of Berserk and three different uses, I Wish for it the first time, remove it with Tog, then Wish for it again. The theoretical maximum here is four times, because of Yawgmoth’s Will. But three is plenty difficult already, requiring twelve mana.

Round 1: Glenn Holland playing”American Symphony” a.k.a. Five-color Keeper

Game 1: People who insist on pet names for their severely outdated Keeper builds suck at Magic, in general. Especially if that nickname has anything to do with the mid-1990s and/or tech from that time period. Unfortunately, his constant Draining of my spells into Morphlings forced me to finish him off long before I could set up the uberkill.

Game 2: This time there was to be no question who was the boss. (No, not Tony Danza.) I first-turn Lotus-Pearl-Delta-Mind Twist, and suddenly he has jack after a non-event of a first turn. I go for the gold. It gets hectic when he resolves Ancestral Recall, but by that point I have active Library. The only thing that saves him from instant, pointy-teethed death is my staggering inability to find Cunning Wishes. Eventually I have to kill him.


Round 2: Bob Wiley playing U/R Fish

Game 1: As soon as I knew what he was playing, I knew I couldn’t make any gradual accumulation of my graveyard to kill him, so I cleaned the table with Pernicious Deed, then introduced him to the best gold card that doesn’t cost 1WG. Karmic Justice was clearly laughing at me from the sidelines, however, because all those times I’ve said”Oh Snap!” in the past became immediately ironic when he actually cast Snap on my defenseless, Berserked Psychatog. I pwned him with Yawgmoth’s Will, but still… I’ll never be able to use that phrase the same way again.

Game 2: Draining Force of Will causes me to have a total Top-Gun-style Condition-Red Boner while stamping him something fierce.


Round 3: Larry playing Food Chain Goblins

Game 1: This guy is mad chatty, especially when I give a weird stare at a Skirk Prospector with a groundhog drawn on it. Something about doing”camera work for channel nine Pittsburgh” or something. Anyway, he was clearly stunned into submission by my Firestorm tech, and scooped shortly after losing his men.

Game 2: I was completely combowned by something approximating a God hand.

Game 3: Drew lots of cards and won.


Cut to Top 4 at this little shindig is me, Smmennycakes a.k.a.”Dr. Doom,” Larry, and some Ryerson guy.

Semifinals: Ned Ryerson playing Stax

Game 1: The problem with this matchup is that I can kill him before his lock works, but there’s no chance to set it up so that Steve will have to kill a Food Chain player with Elvish Spirit Guides.

Game 2: Exactly the same thing happens.

Finals: Steve”Prohibit Roxxors Your Soxxors” Menendian playing Draw7.dec against JP”Obnoxious Loudmouth” Meyer

Game 1: My spider-sense starts tingling as soon as the round begins. I don’t know why, but I know something great is gonna happen. Then he kills me first turn.

Game 2: His first Diminishing Returns removes (of note) four City of Brass, Demonic Tutor, Timetwister, Necropotence, and Tendrils of Agony. My second turn includes Shamaning his Mox Ruby, temporarily canceling his Red supply. My spider-sense returns to the tinglin’ again while he madly scrambles for his Burning Wish, hoping to demolish me with a Yawgmoth’s Will turn. I draw cards. Then I draw more cards. My graveyard is filling up. He Memory Jars, and I Brainstorm in response to make sure there’s a Force of Will in my Jar hand. His Jar hand nets him a Gemstone Mine to accompany his Underground Sea, but apparently no gas, and my graveyard gets fuller. I Intuition a second time for Deep Analyses and a Psychatog. I draw more cards and play a Psychatog.

Then Steve looks all happy, because he can’t maintain a poker face, and tries to bait me with Yawgmoth’s Will. I Drain it like I’m supposed to. Then he plays a few artifacts and Tolarian Academy, followed by Yawgmoth’s Bargain. I Drain that, too, and the glimmer of hope goes out of his eyes.

My turn begins with the fortuitous topdecking of Cunning Wish number thre. Spell order for the turn: Cunning Wish, ten pumps of Psychatog, Berserk (22), Yawgmoth’s Will, Accumulated Knowledge, Ancestral Recall, Accumulated Knowledge, Gush, nine pumps of Psychatog, Berserk (62), Cunning Wish, Berserk (124), Cunning Wish, Berserk (248), Attack!

I think I made him cry a little inside.

Game 3: Now the gauntlet was thrown down. Steve had that”I drove all morning for this torture” look on his face, and I can’t blame him. This game started out mundanely with me Forcing a Diminishing Returns, then Mana Draining Wheel of Fortune. Third try’s the charm, though, and he gets through a Returns removing not much significant. After some mana, upping the Storm count, he actually had the nerve to Tendrils me to one life (a fetchland made it odd).

Me:”You’re so lame.”

Smmenny:”I’ve got more action this turn.”

I’m sure that I cracked a good joke about how much action he was getting, but this is a family website. I also don’t know how to swagger while seated, but Steve managed to do that while casting an Elvish Spirit Guide. Which I countered. (Har-de-har-har!) Still swaggering, he used his copious mana and Timetwistered, tossed out more mana, Time Walked, then another Guide. Then won.

This just goes to show you that gambling is a horrible, horrible vice, children, and should be avoided. Unless you’re totally, one hundred percent sure that you will win, which is never the case with that wily Mennennenendian.

Next time, there will be even more copious links and oblique references!

JP Meyer

jpmeyer at cwru dot edu