Well, it’s been a little while…But if you wanna see how prophetic we can be, I’d suggest this…
Now we obviously weren’t the only ones who brought forth Blurred Mongoose as a metagame card vs. R/B/U, or the only ones who were intrigued by "aggro" U/W… But as far as I know we were in a darn slim crowd that were talking about such items, in broad view, on the net. There is also this interesting thought from John Ormerod…
"Most of the StarCity writers have been improving their Magic games enormously by exchanging ideas with people who know what they’re doing.
"I think already they have moved on from being terrible players who write onto being bad players who write.
"If things continue progressing, in a few months we will have a group of good players who write, which will be very odd.
"But then they will all qualify for the PT and will be good players who don’t write, and things can continue as normal. "
So get your tech HERE while you can…
I haven’t felt extremely inspired to write anything. Like many, we’ve had our nose in deep in getting ready for Regionals. That would be the lot of Binary 21, and our hook up with Team Hacked. We did this mutually beneficial thing to stoke ideas and have a bigger data pool for our database. Yea, verily – we are keeping records. Thank you, Scott…
The results are interesting. Fires is running right around a 50% win ratio, but we have a very hateful environment for that deck. This leads to two things:
1) There CAN be a very hateful environment for Fires, and….
2) That it’ll hold up at 50% even in a very hateful environment.
It isn’t really that hard to come up with a deck that will kick it in the teeth, but the problem becomes doing that while getting any other matchup to approach the positive. We’ve been talking about this a lot on the Star City list, with Jon Chabot leading the way. Sadly, prior to Planeshift we feel we had broken the format with Mason’s God deck, which was so incredibly positive to Fires AND Rebels that I thought it was our shoo-in deck for Regionals. Now, because of the trampling Wurm, Hull Breach, and the rise of the R/B decks with Terminate, the deck has been shoved back down to Tier 2. Thanks, WotC, for cutting our options. The deck, however, has gone international with a top 8 in Madrid. Francisco Jos? Herrera, we love ya.
Personally, I’m working on a U/G deck that also kicks Fires in the teeth, and I’m now working to get it to pull up to Rebels and U/W control. If I can get that done, then I’ll probably play the deck. I did take it out for an interesting weekend jaunt, where it went 2-0-1 in the swiss where I beat the ever-gracious Dr. Ped Bun, only to lose to Kyle Kloeckner in the first round of the finals. (Kyle being the area’s highest rated player; Dr Ped is number three.) The surprise factor for the deck is just too juicy…But I’m not going to talk about that. First, the deck is a little too rough and, like many, I don’t wanna give away any secrets. (Boy, Ormerod WAS right – The Ferrett) The levels of "fun" one can have in this are myriad…
So I’m gonna talk about Extended some. Extended? "Who’s playing extended?" Well, we in the St Louis area are, because that’s the format for the area Grudge Matches. That, topped with the recent format bannings, makes for an interesting little deal. What do you play when Trix, Survival, and to a lesser extent Slivers, are either hurt or gone? Well I’ll show you the decks that I like, which are perhaps a little to fun to play and perhaps not the ones that smash face. I will say this in passing… Illusions/Donate is NOT dead. Mike has a mono-U version that is currently undefeated, and I’ve seen several different approaches to running the deck from artifact-powered speed Donate to a more Draw-Go version, which opts for that combo over, say, Morphling for the kill.
The big question looming is, how much does enchantment hate drop off in the environment? I don’t know, but I’d think it certainly possible if not probable. Not that there won’t be powerful enchantment-laden decks – Oath and Turboland just pop off the top of my head – but my guess is that there will be fewer players playing enchantments on any given day, and thus a bit less hate. That is, in part, why I think I might be able to pull off the ideas I’m about to present.
I went into the city store and traded for some cards: Intuition and Intruder Alarm. The guy tells me that those have both been hot cards. Well, I can understand Intuition, but Intruder Alarm? I guess we’ll see.
On The Moon Of Endor
4x Priest of Titania
4x Llanowar Elves
2x Quirion Elves
2x Elvish Lyrist
4x Ramosian Sergeant
2x Defiant Falcon
2x Lin Sivvi, Defiant Hero
1x Rappelling Scouts
1x Skyshroud Poacher
3x Deranged Hermit
4x Orim’s Chant
4x Land Grant
2x Enlightened Tutor
4x Intruder Alarm
4x Fires of Yavimaya
2x Tropical Island
2x Gemstone Mine
4x City of Brass
The idea for this deck was first thought up by Scott Forster – and while this isn’t a deck that going to break the format, it sure is fun to play. The "combo" here revolves around Intruder Alarm and the abilities of the deck to put creatures into play and generate mana. It basically works like this: Once Intruder Alarm is on the table, it works in combination with mana-producing elves and the rebel mechanic so that you can empty your deck of most, if not all, of its creatures. It can do much of this producing three creature mana a cycle, but it goes off at four with the best mana production coming from Priest if Titania. This is quite spectacular, especially if you work it so that your opponent loses an attack or two because they can’t get their own creatures untapped by bringing a creature in. I once stalled two Phyrexian Negators this way and then pulled off the combo. Fires of Yavimaya can enhance this sometimes-explosive process by allowing all of your creatures to tap and attack when they come into play. Land Grant helps you get color-specific lands into play, and the Quirion Elves help smooth the color requirements as well. Orim’s Chant is a fine stall tactic that can give you that one turn you need to "go off" in. Rappelling Scouts are one or the few creatures that can block Morphling and live; something to think about with Oath seeming like a jumping-off point for a lot of folks.
This second deck looks viable if Sligh and Stompy become more popular in the post Trix-Survival environment, which is my guess…
PalinFlare v 2.1
4x Whispers of the Muse
4x Stroke of Genius
4x Energy Field
4x Force of Will
4x Mana Flare
3x Back to Basics
I’ve always been a fan of this deck, and since I finally got all of the cards to run it I’m that much happier. I think the deck is full of great artwork, particularly Whispers and Capsize. Of course, I know this isn’t a primary consideration among the hardcore elite – but hey, some of us like that sort of thing!
I fooled for some time with the deck and tweaked versions that I saw on the net till I came up with this one, which incorporated several things. First, I found that Energy Field could be swell against Red based decks until they used Wasteland on a non-basic. So I tried running the deck with just basic land – and that, so far, has worked out. This also looks to be effective against Stompy on many occasions, especially if Lyrist dwindles in popularity at all.
The elegance of the deck is that with six lands, a Mana Flare on the board, and a Palinchron in hand, there are twelve other cards that can effectively end the game barring a counterspell. Once the mana engine fires up, you can Capsize an opponent’s whole side of the board, Stroke them out, or Whisper through your deck till you find the Stroke. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that one can swap to the beatdown and control aspect with Morphling or even Palinchron, which I have done.
Other than that, my teammates are talking about the deck that won’t ever go away – White Weenies and other assorted stuff, including a possible U/G Stasis build. Also, we know we’ll eventually get a chance to test our IBC gauntlet against the Tokyo decks, and are looking forward to that, but I’m sure that won’t happen till nearer that the IBC season rolls around. For Regionals, we’re trekking to Lincoln NE. Maybe we’ll see you there.