You know how it goes. You’re at a tournament, playing against some tiny kid who is so young that he is still dripping with amniotic fluid. The kid wears gigantic glasses to compensate for the fact that his eyes didn’t fully develop before he was expelled from the womb, and his head is still kinda deformed after being squeezed through that Play-Doh Fun Factory of life.
He’s using his umbilical cord for a belt.
Yet still – there he sits. Holding seven cards with a vaguely confused expression, laying lands and playing spells in a near-trance.
“Um, it’s my turn, I guess…”
“Untap your lands.”
“It’s the beginning of your turn,” you repeat, feeling slightly foolish for helping your opponent – but what sort of cheap bastard would rip off a little kid?”You’re supposed to untap. Untap, upkeep, draw?”
“Oh yeah,” he says, looking at his lands with dazed perplexion as if they were a freshly-randomized three-card monte layout – and you bite your lip, because this is the seventh time you’ve reminded him about this. He straightens his lands, then looks up proudly.
“Um,” he says, a thin smile beaming from his unformed face,”I cast, um, Saperlin Brust? And I, um, remove three tokens from it and attack for twelve. Right?”
He looks up at you expectantly, awaiting the confirmation. You nod, tasting the dim bile of a half-digested pizza crawling up to the back of your throat, and extend your hand across the table. It seems to take forever. His hand is smaller than your pinky, and you’re seized with a mad urge to squash his hand like a bug.
“That’s game,” you choke out, realizing that the kid won… And he forgot to draw his damn card.
That’s the real problem with netdecks. Deep down, we all believe that Magic should be about talent – and it’s humiliaratin’ to have the snot beaten out of you by a better deck, not a better player.
But kids all do the same things: They build their own decks, discover their own decks suck, and then go out to plunder the rich troves of the internet. And it’s annoying, since they’re not really worthy of these decks.
But never fear, true believers! I have a solution!
Suck Netdecks For Kids.
Because frankly, we all build the same damn decks when we start out anyway. We all have the same seven or eight ideas, we build them in joyous glee, thinking,”Nobody ever created this titan of the cardboard before!”…. And then we lose a lot.
So why not make them netdeck archetypes?
It’s not like these kids know anything anyway. So to help the Magic community, I’ve decided to build optimized versions of these”just starting out” decks for the kids to copy and play… But you’ll have to help.
You need to lie. A lot. To small children with stars in their eyes.
I admit, it’s a lot to ask of the Magic community – but think of the rewards! All the kiddies will be playing”Megaprot.dec” and”TurboSuck” and losing at the bottom tables, just like nature intended. And us”pro”-types can play our pro-caliber decks, like whatever snack-related combo deck happens to be floating around nowadays.
But hey, we lie to kids all the time – we lie about Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, George Bush’s IQ… So heck, what’s one more painful lie for those unweaned whelps to discover upon hitting adolescence? Groan with pain whenever you see that fourth Circle of Protection! Mutter and bitch, saying how”TurboSuck” is always a bad matchup for your Finkula deck! And most importantly, sympathize with your opponent for losing thanks to bad cards!
So what do we need in a Netdeck?
1) A Good, Solid Deck Concept That Will Win Games. Heh. Hell with that. Next!
2) Zillions Of Good Rares. Hey, does a netdeck really seem like it’s something unless you’ve dropped $250 in desperate trades to slap it together? Our archetypical Suck Decks all need to include at least fifteen rares in each deck, just like real netdecks – which, coincidentally, keeps fine sites like Starcitygames.com in business! Besides, they’re only kids – we rip ’em off all the time anyway! Think of it as teaching them valuable business lessons. I mean, if they didn’t learn from Pokemon….
…Unfortunately, this propensity towards rares means that the suck decks here won’t be as random as the decks you created when you first started out, simply because you weren’t foolish enough to go out and buy $150 worth of cards to complete your deck. For”Absorb,” think”Memory Lapse.” For”Spectral Lynx,” think”Ardent Soldier.”
Also unfortunately, the restrictions of Type II don’t allow for the sheer randomness of whatever cards you can get your filthy mitts on. So unfortunately, these will be much more focused on their original sucky goal than your terrible decks were.
3) A Cool .dec Name. Not a problem.
4) A Sideboard That Will Win Games. Time to get sneaky – I’m going to include actual useful cards in each deck’s sideboard. Cards that might actually win a game! That way, they might be able to pull off a Game #2 and feel like they had a chance at winning. Your job: Lie until your teeth turn black.
5) A Pro’s Name Associated With Each Netdeck. Okay – Finkel? Mowshowitz? Budde? Just so you know, you big pros, you, I’m going to link your name to each of these decks. When some tiny waif tugs at your shirt and asks you how why you’re not playing your signature deck that day, just nod sagely and say,”Well, everybody’s expecting me to play that deck, aren’t they?” Then wink.
Mowshowitz, I’m expecting you to write”My Mana Cliff, Part Seven” any day now to help out. If you don’t, I swear to God I’ll burn every Netrunner card in existence.
Anyway – on to the decks!
As played by Jon Finkel, 2nd place, Pro Tour: Afghanistan
(“Finkel’s deck was filled with bombs….”)
4x Circle of Protection: Red
4x Circle of Protection: Blue
4x Circle of Protection: Green
4x Circle of Protection: Black
4x Circle of Protection: White
4x Crimson Acolyte
4x Obsidian Acolyte
4x Orim’s Chant
4x Atalya, Samite Master
4x Spectral Lynx
4x Caves of Koilos
Ah, we all remember this one, right? If we have all five Circles, we can’t possibly lose! Mwah hah hah! Come at me, you bastard! You can’t hurt me!
What? How do I win?
As played by David Price,”The King Of Beatdown,” at Grand Prix: Genital Warts – *8th place*
No, wait – *9th place* – sorry….
4x Kavu Climber
4x Nomadic Elf
4x Giant Spider
4x Beast Attack
4x Call Of The Herd
4x Spined Wurm
4x Wild Mongrel
4x Blurred Mongoose
4x Kavu Chameleon
4x Blastoderm (ssshhh…. kids can’t get enough of this card!)
4x Sulam Djinn
4x Nemata, Grove Guardian
4x Elvish Piper
4x Thorn Elemental
4x Might of Oaks
4x Giant Growth
4x Gang of Elk
4x Penumbra Wurm
4x Ivy Elemental
4x Nut Collector
4x Stone-Tongue Basilisk
This deck is pretty simple to play: Draw a hand. Mulligan. Draw a hand. Mulligan. Draw a hand. Mulligan. Draw a hand. Mulligan. Keep two forests, then beat down with everything you have.
Incidentally, I’m told that this is by far the most popular archetype at the JSS Qualifiers.
All Your Eggs Are Belong To Us.dec
As played by Bob Maher at Altered States
Your creatures will be huge. Bigger than huge. Can you imagine the thrill of attacking with a 12/10 trampling, flying creature that all guys must block?
You sure can… Imagine it, that is. Not that anyone would ever Shock or Fire your guys away before you could enchant them. Right?
Every deck has a metagame, and after you get around this, you determine that if your opponents killing your creatures is good, then killing your opponents’ creatures must be even better….
As played by Joseph”Mouth” Kambourakis, who not surprisingly didn’t win or even place – but don’t worry, folks, he’s still a pro! – at PT: Middlanowhere
Burn! Burn! Burn! Kill ’em all! No creatures, only burn! X spells everywhere! Die! Die! Die!
Circle of what?
Dammit, that Megaprot.dec metagame call is a tough one.
(A.k.a.,”The Dragons Theme Deck, Splashing Angels And Vampires ‘Cause It’s Cool” Deck*)
As played by Brian Kibler, at PT: Strange And Mystical Island Where Only Good Looking, Dreamboaty Guys Play Magic
4x Dragon Arch
The idea of this deck is simple: Assuming that no one touches you until turn 8 or so, you can begin to assume control by casting fattie after fattie! Yowza!
Played by Zvi Mowshowitz at Masters Series, Bates, Montana**
Obviously, if you Buried Alive an Overeager Apprentice, a Lava Zombie, and an Anarchist with a Phyrexian Altar in play, and then cast Twilight’s Call, you could return everything into play and cast an infinite Ghitu Fire if you got all seven cards in this deck working together and completely unobstructed!
The Suck Metagame:
Needless to say, this is a Rock-Paper-Scissors environment: Rock loses to Scissors, Scissors loses to Paper, and Paper loses to Rock. And vice versa.
Of course, I’m not mentioning the Tier 2 decks in this environment:
- The All-Discard Deck
- The All-Counterspells, No Threats Deck (TurboSuck.dec)
- 5-Color Black
- The Cards That Aren’t Supposed To Be In Type 2 Decks
- All The Rares I Own In One Gigantic Package
- Unwittingly 5 Color
- Mono-Brown Crap
I’d also add in the All-Land Destruction, No Threats deck, but that seems to be everyone’s super-secret tech for States, so I’ll leave it out.
Now we’ve established the working decks. Get out there and rip off some unsuspecting tyke today! They’ll thank you for it later.
Really. I mean, would I lie to you?
* – Thank you, GP Baglione!
** – Sorry, Razor, but even you admitted it was stupid…