Feature Article – Wren and Stompy

States is coming!
Mister Aten doesn’t write often, but when he does… it’s party time! Today he shares some of his more acerbic and humorous views on the Pro Tour (and PT: Valencia in particular), breaking down the runners, riders, and high finishers in his own inimitable style. He then brings us an intriguing Mono-Green Beatdown deck for States… one that doesn’t run Tarmogoyf! If you’re looking for something a little off-the-wall, then read on!

I’ll tell you, it’s a lot of fun unveiling an article as a washed-up has-been instead of as The Hottest* Thing in Online Magic Writing. Sure, my hit count will be pathetic, but the important thing is that I’ll still be collecting a big, fat check at the end. If you guys only knew how many premium memberships it took to foot the bill for one of my articles, hoo boy. I’m torn between wanting to write a good article to build on my “legacy” and wanting to write a terrible one just to irritate people one more time before I stop writing. Fortunately, what I “want” is almost completely irrelevant – it’s gonna be bad.

Another fleeting week of my destined-to-be-short-and-miserable life has passed, and with it went three-fourths of a Pro Tour. To be honest, I was excited by the flood in Valencia and hoped the PT would be cancelled. Ever since I lost interest in the tour (sometime after PT: Honolulu last year), I’ve been actively rooting for its demise. I have no idea why.

Normally when one “outgrows” something (quotes used since I don’t think I’m “too mature” for the Pro Tour or anything delusional like that), he or she doesn’t bear it any ill will. You don’t hear many news stories about first graders firebombing kindergartens, for instance. I’ve tried to ease up on my persistent hatred of individuals, but apparently I’m still clinging to my comfort zone vis-a-vis institutions. I think part of it is a completely immature “I’m not enjoying this anymore so I don’t want you to either” kind of mindset. Maybe I’m also afraid I’ll never be out of the Pro Tour’s grip until the Pro Tour is no more. I will be playing in Worlds, after all.

But hey – back to Valencia. Before I get to this week’s Actual Magic Content, I figured it would be fun to do a player-by-player recap of the recent Pro Tour like I did for Prague. I won’t be commenting on every competitor; I will handpick a bunch of players and comment on the relevance of their finishes. I would be remiss if I didn’t start right in with…

1. Cloud Strife
As a fan of Final Fantasy VII – one of the last video games I devoted a significant amount of time to – this win made me quite nostalgic. We smiled as Cloud befriended Cait Sith; cringed as he succumbed to Mako poisoning; rejoiced as he defeated Sephiroth; and, on Sunday, cheered as he returned to Midgar with $20,000 (after taxes) in tow. Over here, that’s enough for a Buster Sword and a scarf with plenty left over for a lazy day at the Chocobo track, but in France (where Midgar is apparently located), he’ll be lucky to afford a white flag. God bless our economy.

Yes, I went there. And there. And there.

2. Andre Mueller
Germans are an acquired taste, and it took me a while to acquire it. At first, I thought they were all just giant, loud, cruel monsters that reveled in the misery of others… and as usual, my first impression was accurate. (It’s not a coincidence that “schadenfreude” is a German word.) My error, though, was assuming that this was a bad thing.

I have come to realize that the people in this world who you only interact with on a tangential basis are here for your entertainment. This assertion kind of falls under “The Osyp Principle.” I have no idea whether I’ve mentioned this in an article before – so there’s literally no chance any of you will remember – and thus I will explain it here. When Osyp tells a story, is it true, false, or somewhere in between? The answer is that it doesn’t matter. If what he’s telling you is plausible, you should naively believe it if doing so makes for a more enjoyable anecdote.

As for the Germans, you can be upset that there’s an entire country full of people who chuckle every time a child stubs his toe or a kitten gets run over by a Volvo, or you can relax and enjoy them for the real-life caricatures they are. Germans aren’t even hateful; they just don’t care either way about the wellbeing of others. They may be evil, but that’s just because it’s all they’ve ever known. And for that, I love them.

I still don’t like Reinhard Blech, though.

3. Giulio Barra
Barra’s is perhaps the best decklist I’ve ever seen. For those of you too lazy to click on the link, I’ll post it for you here:

16 Loxodon Hierarch
10 Duress
10 Vindicate
24 Land

With deckbuilding ingenuity like this – such attention to detail, such fine exploration of every nuance – it’s no wonder he’s achieved his first major Pro Tour success.

4. Shuuhei Nakamura
I beat him twice at PT: London. Neither match was close. Just figured I’d throw that out there so I could relive my solitary glory day.

5. Some Japanese Dude
Before the PT, Cedric and I drafted “fantasy” teams of eight; whichever one of us predicted more Top 8 entries (or, in case of a tie, picked the highest finisher) would win. More on that later, but for now I’ll say that neither one of us wanted to risk a pick on “Japanese Roulette.” Ced and I knew that one or two known Japanese players would Top 8, as would a random Japanese dude no one had ever heard of. However, trying to choose the particular Japanese players that will Top 8 a given tournament is a fool’s errand. We selected only the Player of the Year race leaders for our squads, and then we decided not to bother rolling the dice further.

7. Sam Stein
Going into the tournament, Sam was 86% sure he was going to Top 8. He’s also 99% sure that he played 100% correctly each round.

14. Guillaume Wafo-Tapa
Kenji is still probably most people’s choice for “best overall player in the world,” but for the time being, one must strongly consider William S. Waffle-Tacos as the best Constructed player in the world. Since I’ve never actually seen him play, this is taken only from circumstantial evidence, such as “consistent Pro Tour finishes, including a win.” It may seem like I was being sarcastic in calling that circumstantial evidence, but results, while a good indicator of skill, never tell the whole story.

17. Oyvind Andersen
Oyvind “wefald on MTGO” Andersen is another Constructed mastermind who, if the rumors are true, is not only a proficient wizard and genius deckbuilder, but is also a sheer joy to playtest with.

30. Frank Karsten
Back to Cedric’s and my bet. Here were our picks in order:

1 (me): Kenji Tsumura
2 (Ced): Gabriel Nassif
3 (Ced): Jelger Wiegersma
4 (me): Olivier Ruel
5 (me): Luis Scott-Vargas
6 (Ced): Tomoharu Saitou
7 (Ced): Wessel Oomens (implied ROFL)
8 (me): Shingou Kurihara
9 (me): Frank Karsten
10 (Ced): Paulo Vitor Damo Arigato Mr. Roboto “Antonino” da Rosa Villa Lobos
11 (Ced): Guillaume Wafo-Tapa
12 (me): Sebastian Thaler
13 (me): Stuart Wright
14 (Ced): Antoine Ruel
15 (Ced): Gerry Thompson
16 (me): Jonathan Rispal

Ced won the roll and chose the wheel, meaning I had to pick first, meaning I was statistically obligated to choose Kenji even though I didn’t want him. Then, Cedric snatched Wessel Oomens right out from under me just as I was about to take him myself. I took a gamble with Rispal, as I thought he was someone LSV and Cheon talked to on Magic Online a lot. Apparently, I got the last name wrong, and this loser only managed to get 2 points—not wins, points—in the first four rounds. Also of note was that Cedric wanted Sti as well, but he slowrolled selecting him since he assumed I wouldn’t consider him.

Cedric was slaughtering me throughout Day 1, and at the end of ten rounds, he had three Day 2 competitors to my one, each at 7-3. My only ray of hope was that my selection had better tiebreakers than his. Everything came down to the last round, as Karsten had managed to go 2-0 on the day and cling to a slight lead over Wafo-Tapa. Tragically, Karsten lost his last round, and as my bet with Cedric was a “humiliation” bet, I now have to…

I won’t ruin the surprise. You’ll see it at GP: Daytona.

62. Zac Hill
I was ambivalent about Mr. Hill’s strong start. On the one hand, the deck looked pretty cool; on the other, even a modicum of success meant that we’d be hearing about the deck and how he should have won every match he lost but got unlucky for the next month of his articles. If he’d Top 16ed or better, I’m sure there would be a reference to the deck in every Magic article he wrote for the rest of his life a la Mike “I Once Designed a Deck That Finkel Did Well With, and Clearly My Deck Was Responsible for the Success and Not the Fact That It Was Finkel” Flores.

Basically, I don’t like it when people who think talking about what geniuses they and their friends are in lieu of posting real results start to actually do well. It’s just the hater in me.

And for the record, I actually like Zac Hill a fair amount outside of the Magical setting.

63. Paul Cheon
One of these times, Neon’s gonna get sick of choking. Once he gets past his mental block, the rest of the world is in huge, huge trouble.

94. Dane Young
In San Diego, I agreed with Young and Steve Sadin that if either of them finished exactly 1st at this PT, I would attend Wrestlemania with them and get kicked out. Let’s just say I’m glad I never really had to worry about whether I would rush the ring or just get ejected for vomiting on the row in front of us.

182. Jacob van Lunen
This was a shame and a surprise. I really expected big things.

209. Jim Davis
Those 2’s really add up.

290. Jan-Moritz Merkel

302. Mike Hron
Did anyone else look at the photomontage video on the Wizards site? The shot of Hron with the wine glass was priceless.

305. Ben Rubin
One of the three best players in the country, Ben Rubin loves to tread the line between genius and blatant tomfoolery. Guesses which category his deck fell under this weekend?

318. Evan Erwin
Here’s the problem with voting “the common man” into the Invitational – once he’s an Invitationalist (and, thanks to the Pikula Invite, a PT competitor), he’s no longer the common man. He’s better than you guys, and he knows it.

Incidentally, if you’re interested in my opinions, I ultimately had no problem with Evan getting voted into the Invitational. I wasn’t thrilled about the Pikula Invite, though; you shouldn’t be able to get into the Pro Tour on the back of a popularity contest.

319. Bill Stark
Well, he may have lost, but we can all rest assured that it wasn’t for lack of paying upkeep.

And for the record, there’s a difference between reminding yourself to pay for Pact (understandable; look at the consequences and the fact that the card may not even be visible when your upkeep rolls around) and reminding yourself to pay for Carnophage. The Carnophage is right there in play. If it’s easier for you to see some unicorn figurine on the top of your deck than it is for you to see the sinewy red monster in play, you may have deeper concerns than a tapped creature.

320. Felipe Bustamante
Annalyn’s ex?

388. Chris Lachmann
I’d like to reiterate that Two-Headed Giant is a terrible format. And don’t try to tell me, “Well, the PT champs had a plan of drafting Slivers and they won, so that means it’s a good format!” because that argument makes no sense whatsoever.

420. Tom LaPille
This finish, while unfortunate, probably left Tom with plenty of time to get some sweet cube drafts in.

421. Gadiel Szleifer
And the 2007 Ryusei Award goes to…

And now, the “real” part of the article.

Last year, I plotted the ambitious undertaking of exploring several different decks in the weeks before States. Naturally, I only finished one article before I lost interest, and the sole deck I offered up was basically a prototype for something that, with a little time and some wishing from Gepetto, could one day grow up and become a real deck. This time will be different. This time, I won’t even make the pretenses of ambition.

More importantly, though, the focus of this article is not a cookie-cutter WW deck. The first list is just a throwaway; the Green list is the one I will examine more thoroughly, and possibly even play at States.

For this year’s foray into the remarkably lively world of Mono-White Weenie, I won’t insult your intelligence by parading an arbitrary barrage of efficient creatures in front of you that you yourselves could have assembled by putting a clump of uncommons on your kitchen table and sleeving up the first 60 your cat knocked onto the floor (which, by the way, I’ve certainly never done)**. This list has a little panache, and even better, it’s as bush league as they come…

Kithkin WW

4 Goldmeadow Stalwart
4 Goldmeadow Harrier
4 Forge[/author]-Tender”]Burrenton [author name="Forge"]Forge[/author]-Tender
3 Goldmeadow Dodger
4 Suntail Hawk
4 Icatian Javelineers
4 Wizened Cenn
4 Knight of Meadowgrain

4 Glorious Anthem
4 Fortify

21 Snow-Covered Plains

4 Gelid Shackles
4 Luminesce
4 Mana Tithe
3 Wispmare

Did you count the one-drops? Isn’t that a hoot? And what are your thoughts on the Goldmeadow Dodgers? They’re actual Mons’s Goblin Raiders, but they help the deck reach its critical mass of one-drops, and they get pumped by the Cenns. Good for them!

Ironically, I built the deck this way to maximize its synergy with Mirror Entity. Ultimately, I had to cut the Changeling since it did bad things for the mana count; it made me want to play more and fewer lands at the same time. If you’re playing Mirror Entity, you want to maximize your chances of playing three one-drops in the first two turns so that Entity can be a deathblow on turn 4. If you’re playing a ridiculous amount of one-drops, you probably don’t want that many lands. However, the Entity himself is a mana-hungry man. If you want to play him on turn 3 and activate him for 3-4 on turn 4, you’re going to need more than 21 lands. Thus, the Entity was cut, and this preposterous concoction remained.

The deck’s plan is simple and readily apparent: play as many guys as you can as quickly as possible and swing for the fences before the opponent gets set up. Naturally, Damnation is a nightmare for this deck. That’s not to say you can’t win post-Damnation, but since your best game plan involves you committing most of your resources to the board, your second wave of offense will be less than impressive.

The deck doesn’t include cards like Serra Avenger since I wanted all the threats to be playable in the first few turns. If you want to play Serra Avenger, go right ahead, but then it would – in my opinion – be a different deck. I don’t think this is the only way to build White Weenie, but I think it’s possible that it’s the best (without adding Green). It’s as balls-to-the-wall as a deck can be, and I bet someone could steal a day’s worth of wins with it at States.

Playing WW isn’t really my style, though. Let’s take a look at something that is:

This deck can come out fast, and yet it has staying power. It’s an elf deck, and yet it’s not. It’s loose, and yet it’s bunz. I’m very happy with 53 of the 60 maindeck cards, so I will discuss them first. The other 7 slots have plenty of wiggle room.

Llanowar Elves/Boreal Druid
Naturally, you want to maximize the chances of hitting one of your overpowered three-drops on turn 2. It’s possible that the deck could want a Bird or two as well.

Wren’s Run Vanquisher
If you missed your one-drop (and/or your three-drop), maybe you’ll be fortunate enough to have a turn 1 Treetop Village and this on turn 2. Either way, I doubt I need to sell you on the merits of a Watchwolf Basilisk. I mean, c’mon – it kills Tarmogoyf!

At the moment, I’m a little worried about the loyalty-reveal requirement (to borrow a term from a different TCG). The current deck plays eighteen Elf cards, and that’s including the Vanquisher you’re casting. I’d like to get the number up to twenty to maximize the chances that this will cost two, and I’ll consider the options for doing so in a bit.

Ohran Viper
Coldsnap was abysmal for Limited, but it did provide us with a smattering of Constructed gems. This card is great against control because it’s a fairly cheap threat that the opponent needs to handle immediately, and it’s likewise strong against aggro because it kills Tarmogoyf!

Troll Ascetic
If you resolve an Ascetic, the opponent needs to have a Wrath of some sort, a bigger guy, or a plan to kill you before the Ascetic’s aggregate damage becomes appreciable. Let’s be honest for a moment, though. If you’re actually looking to me for advice on States, you probably already planned on playing TrollHammer, so I won’t waste any more of your time trying to tell you why a three-mana three-power untargetable is good.

Masked Admirers
When Wizards prints a card for Constructed, they really pour it on thick, don’t they? They shaved one toughness off Kavu Climber and made it a more relevant creature type, and then that was enough to reduce the cost by a full mana? As if that weren’t tempting enough (it wasn’t, quite), the Admirers have built-in unlimited recursion! It never costs you a card, it never dies… wowee zowee. Teachings decks should board in Extirpate against you because of this card.

Loxodon Warhammer
It, like, gives you a way to smash through bigger dudes? And, like, you gain life against burn decks? Like, a lot? And, like, if you put it on a Troll they need to have a bounce spell for the Hammer or else you win? Booonnuusss.

Squall Line
These give the deck some reach as well as an answer to Riftwing Cloudskates, Lightning Angels, Sacred Mesas, and who really knows what else. I like the instant speed; someone I talked to (may have been Richard Feldman) thought it would probably be irrelevant and preferred Hurricane. I can see either, but I strongly recommend playing one or the other.

There’s no good reason not to play one of these, and I think despite the diminishing marginal utility inherent in the Haven thanks to the Legend Rule, its benefits warrant a second copy. I think most people would agree.

Treetop Village
It’s a threat that doesn’t cost you a spell slot in your deck! Waaaoowww!

17 Forest
This brings the land count up to 23 and the mana source count up to 31. Because eight of these are creatures, four more can turn into creatures, and cards like Masked Admirers and Loxodon Warhammer thrive on extra mana, this deck doesn’t seem prone to flood in the slightest. I could even see adding another land; it’s hard to go wrong.

And now, my current selections for the “fluid” slots:

Wren’s Run Packmaster
I fell instantly in love with this card when I saw it in action in draft. Feldman doesn’t like it; he says that it’s bad against everything since all your opponents are likely to remove your Elves in response to it hitting play, whether with Slaughter Pacts and Cryptic Commands or Rift Bolts and Incinerates. Naturally, it’s also a worthless topdeck if you don’t have any other guys. I’m not sure it’s always going to die, but I’m also not sure this deck plays enough Elves to support him as-is. Regardless of the drawback, I think this card’s one-man-army stature is sweet against control and aggro, and I’ll be playing at least one (if, in fact, I play this at States) even if testing proves it’s terrible. The “other Elf options” section is coming shortly.

This isn’t as good as Shriekmaw, but it could see a lot of play for its congruous bimodal versatility. It’s a combat trick that leaves a body in its wake; it can be dumped into play end of turn or post-Damnation; it can simply go to the dome as a makeshift haster if you have another guy in play; and, of course, it can be a slightly overcosted Giant Growth if you don’t have four mana handy. It takes a lot for me to want to play a Hill Giant in Constructed, but I think the envelope may have been pushed just enough.

Creeping Mold
Initially I played four of these as a catchall, since who knows what horrible things an opponent will do to you in an undefined metagame? Teferi’s Moat, Platinum Angel, Story Circle, Razormane Smashticore… the list could get pretty ridiculous if I listed every artifact, enchantment, and land in the format. I opted for these over Naturalize because the opponent will always have at least a marginal target, and they could be quite useful on opposing Treetops or Urza’s Factories. Unfortunately, they seem clunky, and as versatile as they are, I’m not sure they do enough to justify their cost. I also can’t see myself playing Naturalizes main, but I’m not too keen on scooping to certain cards in game 1. Ultimately, I wouldn’t be surprised if I manned up and relegated all my artifact/enchantment hate to the board.

Gaea’s Anthem
It makes mana elves more formidable, and it takes Viper and Vanquisher out of Rift Bolt range. As you want plenty of creatures to maximize the card’s potential, and since future copies compete with creatures for deck space, it seems unlikely that there will be room for more than three of these.

Current sideboard selections:

Garruk Wildspeaker
This sounds like something from the World of Warcraft card game. These will be good in the matchups where Wren’s Run Packmaster is bad. Every year at States, people try to breathe life back into the allegedly once-glorious archetype of Mono Black Control – can you imagine what Garruk does to a deck like that? There really aren’t that many cards that can target Planeswalkers, so Garruk will be impossible for certain opponents to answer.

Razormane Masticore
I want something that kills Fortune Thief somewhere in the 75, and there could be other must-kill creatures that I hadn’t thought about. Maybe this is the man for the job; maybe the slots should simply be occupied by Serrated Arrows. Masticore could be the straight-up boots against the assorted Green/White decks that will no doubt show up at States. I really like him, and I think he’ll be solid against many decks in the new Standard.

Elvish Champion
This is provides a way to get through the cluttered battlefield in “mirror” matches and ups the deck’s Elf count. All told, a great card to have for the board, and possibly the maindeck.

If there are few or no answers to artifacts or enchantments main, you’re going to want some in the board.

This one’s pretty arbitrary. Any number of cards could fill this role, depending on your anticipated metagame. These options will be discussed momentarily.

The Fabled “Other Elf Options” (for Main/Side) Section:

Greater Gargadon promises to be popular in the days ahead, and we may see appearances from Aeon Chroniclers, Riftwing Cloudskates, and the occasional suspended Rift Bolt as well. Even if the opponent has nothing, it’s still a reasonably-costed, reasonably-sized elf creature spell card. Effort should probably be made to fit these in somewhere.

Skyshroud Ranger
Maybe one or two of these could be “Llanowar Elves 9-10” rather than Birds of Paradise.

Thelonite Hermit
A fine man to reveal for Vanquisher, but a little contrived to remove for Packmaster. As Packmaster may not prove to be an integral part of the deck, this may not be a problem.

Viridian Shaman
Unfortunately, I think being able to kill an enchantment is more relevant than a 2/2 Elf body in an undefined metagame.

Gilt-Leaf Ambush
A two-of in the initial version of the deck, this satisfies the requirements of Vanquisher and makes it harder for an opponent to kill all your elves in response to Packmaster hitting play. It can also be thrown out there at the end of the opponent’s turn, and sometimes it kills Tarmogoyf!

Imperious Perfect
On its own, I think it’s too slow and fragile to make an impact. It pumps up your other elves, but playing out a bunch of threats can leave you more open to mass removal. The jury’s out on whether this is a feasible option.

I don’t think there’s a good reason to attempt to splash Black for other elves; there’s enough competition for deck space as it is without attempting to stretch the manabase for extravagances. Essentially, I don’t think there are really any holes in the deck that need to be filled through splashing.

Other non-Elf options:

This isn’t optimal in this deck since it’s almost completely reliant on your opponent to get big enough to matter in the first several terms of the game. That said, it’s still Tarmogoyf for the love of God, and it’s a useful tool in battling opposing Tarmogoyfs. If I play in States, I won’t be playing these. I’m simply not willing to spend $140 on a card that may be marginally better than cards that are in the current build. There are, after all, other answers to Goyf in the deck, and he’s off-tribe. Still, it’s Tarmogoyf, so it’s possible that it should be an automatic four-of.

Call of the Herd
This is in the same camp as Tarmogoyf. It’s a “Like, Duh” inclusion, but I don’t know how good it is in this deck. I like the other three-drops better, but if you want to play 9-12 three-mana men, these could certainly see play. Blue decks will have a healthy amount of Vensers, Cloudskates, and Cryptic Commands, but I’m not sure the potential to be wrecked by those is enough reason to eschew the elephants. All told, though, I would prefer not to play Call of the Herd in this deck.

Spectral Force
The Force is still enormous, and it kills Tarmogoyf since it’ll probably just be bigger than it every time. It trades with Gargadon, and it’s simply one of the best five-drops ever printed. Spectral Force should be strongly considered as a replacement for the cards in the “wiggle room.”

Haaaaaaarrruuummpph. I doubt this is better than Spectral Force, and I certainly wouldn’t play it over Squall Line / Hurricane at present.

Llanowar Reborn
With the desire to play a turn 1 mana elf and turn 2 Ascetic or Viper, this deck doesn’t want to play too many comes-into-play tapped lands, so a full complement of these is certainly out of the question. Maybe the deck should play two…

Birds of Paradise
As mentioned earlier, this is a possible one- or two-of to aid in accelerating out three-drops. I think the Skyshroud Ranger may simply be better in the deck, though (if additional acceleration is needed at all).

Giant Growth, Might of Old Krosa, et al.
If you don’t play Briarhorns or Anthems, it would be nice to get some instant-speed pump into the deck so that your game plan is somewhat more complex than “play dudes and swing.” I think Briarhorn is better than these, but I could be mistaken.

Stonewood Invocation
Invocation is still awesome and can easily replace Creeping Molds, Anthems, or what have you. There’s a good chance some number of these will make my final decklist.

Citanul Flute
I could, like, totally see myself playing one (and only one) of these in my 75. You’d never want to draw more than one, but what’s the harm in playing one? I will certainly look further into this matter.

This could be a better sideboard option than Elvish Champion, even taking Elf count into consideration. I’d probably only play three, though.

Spike Feeder
A potential sideboard option in an anticipated metagame full of burn.

Pithing Needle
A catchall sideboard option, but I’m not sure what you’d be worried about naming at this point. Probably better against you than it would be for you.

Root Maze
Eh, maze.

As the metagame is more or less undefined at present, it seems a good bet to play an aggressive deck. This deck has basically one angle of attack (Green ground creatures) but its various threats are good against all types of decks, and it can make good use of its mana early and late. Preliminary playtesting is promising; I encourage y’all to put the finishing touches on it and give it a go.

I may be back next week with some Lorwyn Limited advice (e.g. “Tarfire looks good since it deals 2 damage to a target creature or player, plus it’s a Goblin card!”), or I may wait until after I win Grand Prix: Daytona before dispensing my indispensable*** insight. Or I may never write again! Who knows or cares?

If this does end up being my last article, I’d like to extend a very special “drop dead” to each and every one of you. If it’s not my last article, I’m kidding!

Timothy James Aten
[email protected]

Last-Minute Addendum

A few days have passed since I originally submitted this article, and as such, I have had some time to incorporate changes to smooth the deck out. Here’s the most up-to-date list:

The sideboard still needs some consideration – I still need to figure out the best anti-creature measure and whether to play Elvish Champion or Overrun – but I think the main deck is unlikely to undergo further changes.

* Clearly intended in the sense of “freshest, most popular, etc.” and not “most attractive.” I’d have to assassinate at minimum Bennie Smith and the Londes.com writing staff before I could claim the other definition of the title.
** Star Wars Kid said that line sounded like a Zac Hill ripoff, which is like saying a Bad Religion song sounds like a ripoff of Good Charlotte. To be honest, I’ve lost the critical eye, so you tell me: was that purposely-excessively-lengthy sentence more Bad Religion or Good Charlotte?
*** Is it clever or moronic to pair those words like that?