Extended Rotation, Abandoned Players, And Format Favoritism

Extended is about to change drastically. This new format may be fun, and more balanced to newer and younger players, but what about those with the older cards? What format can you play?

A lot of you are people who’ve spent the money, the time, and the resources to acquire those dual lands your so proud of. Those signed Force of Wills you’ve pimped just aren’t going to earn you any more wins come November. What about that Oath deck that’s all shiny? A lot of good that deck will do you.

Sell those duals to StarCity! Force of Wills are once again plentiful, and Illusions of Grandeur now sit in exile with good cards. Hypnotic Specter, Kird Ape, Savannah Lions, and Serendib Efreet have all sat in a cell, damp and dark. They get fed half a slice of bread a day to keep them alive – though sometimes a daily visit is omitted. They live on only thanks to the shred of hope given to them when Ernham Djinn was released on good behavior. How frustrating it must be to watch as lesser beings, known as the”balanced ones,” are free to roam while the obviously superior beings are ignored, forgotten, and imprisoned. Soon, they think, Call of the Herd and Morphling will join them.

Extended is about to change drastically. This new format may be fun, and more balanced to newer and younger players, but what about those with the older cards? It seems Wizards left its longest-standing players with children with no child support, because we got screwed and they didn’t use protection. While those who basically follow whatever format Wizards pushes the most will probably just conform to this and deal with it, the message is the same. Wizards made cards you paid good money for useless…


Roaming the message boards, as I always do, the initial reactions were this: Everyone wants to write about the older cards that will no longer see play. Everyone wants to talk about how unjust this decision is to the players who have the older cards. Everyone wants to find an answer to this dilemma.

Type One seems to be the most readily available answer.

Yeah, Type One. For those extended players out there, hold on to your duals. Type One is a wide-open format, folks. It’s more than paper rock scissors, and no one needs a Black Lotus and a fist full of Moxen to remain competitive. Combo decks typically die to Control, which is pretty common in Type One…. Which means the misconception of turn 1-3 kills is just a myth. (Sure, an Academy deck can go off quickly, but that’s usually nothing a well timed Force of Will or Misdirection couldn’t handle. If Academy doesn’t have the gas it takes to go off rapidly, a Null Rod or a Gorilla Shaman usually spells its doom.)

It’s the format that watched you grow up from those two hundred-card casual decks, through the six-card combos you thought were tech, and up to the tournament caliber player you have become. It watched you look at the Elvish Ranger art and the Serra Angel bosom, and laughed as you lusted.

It whispered to you in your sleep,”You need a life”- and from that point on, you looked at these two, lustfully, from the comfort of your own bathroom.”Uh, Mom… Nothing’s wrong…no, I’ll be out in a minute…uh, no don’t come in! I’m, uh, not dressed!”

Nonetheless, it kept your desires a secret.

Well, now it’s time to give some of that love back. It’s time for Type One. The original Magic format, the most complex – and unfortunately, the most misunderstood. It’s the format you’ve shunned for years while it patiently awaited the day you came around. It’s got years worth of repression to work out on your rump in the next few months to come and you’d better believe your not walking away with a limp.

Darren Di Battista’s article on misconceptions of Type One is a good run down of such, and does a great job dispelling them. As a matter of fact, the format is abound with many mono-color decks that are inexpensive to build and very non-dependent on power cards.

Here’s a deck that ranges from about $15 to $20, and can beat decks worth 100 times that amount. While the lists Oscar presents are laced with Mox Emeralds and Black Loti, the reality is if you are playing this deck in real life, you probably don’t own those and are easily substituted with forests.

Those Suicide Black cards that have rotted in your trade binder since the banning of dark ritual can once again see the light of day, only to darken it again. You, as an extended probably never used power cards in Suicide Black. It’s among the top of the poor Type One player’s favorites. Opening with a Dark Ritual (who needs Moxen anyways?), Duress, and a Hymn is strong. Follow it with a second-turn Wasteland, and a Sarcomancy is nice as well. But to just repeat the brokenness with a Yawgmoth’s Will is just plain mean.

Sligh, with all of its Moxen and non-basic hate, is especially viable against the high-powered decks you could never hope to own. Sligh, with no set restriction of the cards you can use, can contain the scariest spells outside of the restricted list. Of course, you have your standard Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, and Incinerate. It’s the Price of Progress, Gorilla Shaman, and Dwarven Miners that are punishment for playing with good cards.

Oath of Druids can waltz through a highly-concentrated aggressive environment. It’s similar to what you’ve played in Extended, but with more toys. You can play two-color that’s much more streamlined, or you can be a wanna-be Keeper/The Deck/5-Color Control. If all you expect to see is aggro-decks, mono-colored or multi-colored, Oath is almost an autowin for that environment. This deck, which still packs a hefty amount of countermagic, can still handle combo decks, too. It even does well against mono-blue control in Type One! Ophidians are now the major source of card drawing for mono-blue since Fact or Fiction has been restricted; Force an Oath into play and this hard matchup just got easier. Just be careful of Back to Basics if you’re packing the power-greedy 4-5 Color versions.

Most other deck archetypes translate well to Type One from Extended also. Three-Deuce is somewhat popular, as is PT Junk. Illusions-Donate decks are there, though not as popular since the restriction of Necropotence.

The Prison, which holds some of the best creatures in the game, exists only to players who shrug off Type One as a coin toss format. Fast creatures and spectacular plays lace Magic’s oldest format. Playing too much Type 2 deprives you of this.

As a spokesperson for Type One, I welcome you all.

The problem is, there is simply too little of an effort put forth by Wizards to properly support the format. I had hoped a letter I wrote, admittedly hastily written and sent off, would help our format to survive, maybe even thrive. The misconceptions of first turn kills, getting hairy palms, and the necessity of the power 9, has alienated too many players for far too long.

Here is the post and its reactions on Beyond Dominia and MTGnews.com.

The feedback, in retrospect, would have made for a better letter over all. The extra time looking for typos and grammar would have helped a lot, too. I didn’t really care about that at the time; I was acting on pure passion and a quick skim and a spell check is all I did before tapping the send button. All in all, the message should be clear and the response I get from Mark will hopefully be constructive.

With the last major format that supports older cards, changing, it leaves many players more or less abandoned. Already, I’ve seen a switch of extended players looking for a new format that can house their older cards; they’ve switched to Type One and you should too.

Steve O'Connell

[email protected]

Zherbus on www.bdominia.com

Zherbus on #bdchat, efnet.