Swimming Through the “Stagnant” Type 2 Waters

I keep running across people online and web articles bemoaning the current state of Type 2 as being”stagnant” and”boring.” Supposedly U/W Control, Affinity, and Goblins have the format in a stranglehold, that there are no other decks worth playing.

Really? I have a fistful of decks that say otherwise.

I keep running across people online and web articles bemoaning the current state of Type 2 as being”stagnant” and”boring.” Supposedly U/W Control, Affinity, and Goblins have the format in a stranglehold, that there are no other decks worth playing.


We’ve resumed bi-weekly Type 2 tournaments at our local game shop TAG, Ltd. and the metagame I’m seeing is far from stagnant. People show up sporting all sorts of homebrews, many of them quite good, so I just can’t relate to the bellyaching I’m hearing. Don’t believe the hype, folks – Mirrodin has kicked a massive jolt of creativity into the format. What I’d like to do is toss out some decklists that have been doing well at our local tournaments that I think are pretty interesting, and hopefully show you how fun Type 2 can be right now.

Urza’s Potpourri

The tournament before last, Scott Booth borrowed a deck called Urza’s Cornucopia that had been put together by offbeat deck designer Jay Delazier and piloted it to second place. [I have changed the name of the deck to limit confusion with other articles also using the name”Urza’s Dragon,” but which feature significantly different decks. – Knut, who bets you didn’t know that Urza like Potpourri, and for once, is not making a weed joke]

Urza’s Potpourri by Jay Delazier

4 Cloudpost

4 Urza’s Mine

4 Urza’s Tower

4 Urza’s Power Plant

3 Forest

3 Island

2 Plains

4 Oblivion Stone

4 Fabricate

4 Sylvan Scrying

2 Decree of Justice

2 Skeleton Shard

1 Talisman of Purity

1 Talisman of Progress

1 Tower of Fortunes

1 Planar Portal

1 Mindslaver

1 Loxodon Warhammer

4 Solemn Simulacrum

3 Bottle Gnomes

2 Duplicant

2 Clockwork Dragon

2 Triskelion

1 Myr Retriever


3 Leonin Bladetrap

3 Annul

3 Sacred Ground

2 Stifle

2 Ivory Mask

2 Leonin Abunas

The deck is loads of fun to play and is capable of some stunning plays. Scott beat the tar out of me in the Swiss with a turn 3 Clockwork Dragon, followed by a turn 4 Clockwork Dragon in one brutal game. The Sylvan Scrying helps assemble the Urzatron more consistently than you’d think, though obviously the deck has some issues with Ponza (hence the Sacred Grounds in the board).

When this deck is running, it’s capable of the mana-intensive long bombs similar in feel to what Coffers-fueled MBC used to do back in the previous Type 2. Jay notes that this is the one deck he’s run across that truly uses Oblivion Stone to it’s full potential, due to the massive mana capacities. Fabricate is more or less a cheaper Diabolic Tutor, sometimes getting a Planar Portal, which this deck is more than capable of exploiting. I’ve suggested to Jay running a more stable land base of Cloudposts and Temple of the False God, but he seems to be having good luck with this configuration.

Red Rock Cemetery

I actually managed to exact my revenge and beat the Dragon deck in the finals with this oddball Cemetery deck:

Red Rock Cemetery by Bennie Smith

3 Bonesplitter

3 Carrion Feeder

4 Oversold Cemetery

4 Ravenous Rats

2 Cabal Interrogator

4 Goblin Sharpshooter

3 Nantuko Husk

2 Loxodon Warhammer

3 Nekrataal

4 Siege-Gang Commander

3 Phyrexian Plaguelord

4 Bloodstained Mire

9 Mountain

12 Swamp

The idea here was to add together Red and Black utility creatures, supplement them with some Equipment and recur them with Oversold Cemetery. I also thought that the original”Rock” (Plaguelord) could feed quite nicely on the goblinoid second coming of Deranged Hermit. And speaking of Siege-Gang Commander, let me just say he’s quite nice equipped with a Loxodon Warhammer

Twiddle Desire

Chris”Star Wars Kid” McDaniel played a Type 2 version of Twiddle Desire in our most recent tournament, making it to the top 4 before dying to my Elf deck, due to some horrendous draws on his part.

Kiddle Desire by Chris McDaniel

3 Island

3 Mountain

4 Great Furnace

4 Chrome Mox

4 Seat of the Synod

2 Concentrate

2 Temporal Cascade

4 Dream’s Grip

4 Twiddle

4 Thirst for Knowledge

4 Thoughtcast

2 Tendrils of Agony

4 Mind’s Desire

3 Talisman of Progress

4 Talisman of Dominance

4 Gilded Lotus

4 Seething Song

1 Future Sight


2 Goblin Charbelcher

2 Brain Freeze

4 Pyroclasm

2 Stifle

4 Chain of Vapor

1 Future Sight

The deck can actually go off surprisingly fast, if you aren’t smart enough or fortunate enough to stop an early Talisman from making it to his next turn. Inevitably a Gilded Lotus follows, and things rapidly go downhill from there. Chris wanted to point out that the Temporal Cascade is actually very useful in this deck, which is capable of generating the mana to cast it pretty quickly. Obviously, it’s amazing if you flip over a copy with a Mind’s Desire, since the Entwine cost of two mana is very manageable! Goblin Charbelcher is in the sideboard to help keep the deck from rolling over to Stifle.

Standard Rock/Cemetery

Josh Adams ran his B/G Cemetery deck to the finals at our last tournament with this Cemetery deck chock full of utility.

Oversold 2k4 by Josh Adams

4 Ravenous Baloth

4 Oversold Cemetery

4 Viridian Shaman

4 Birds of Paradise

3 Solemn Simulacrum

3 Phyrexian Plaguelord

3 Persecute

3 Cabal Interrogator

3 Krosan Tusker

3 Dark Banishing

3 Nekrataal

2 Platinum Angel

9 Swamp

10 Forest

2 City of Brass


2 Decree of Pain

2 Caller of the Claw

1 Bane of the Living

4 Withered Wretch

2 Xantid Swarm

4 Naturalize

My kind of deck! Note the four maindeck Viridian Shamans, which have proven to be very helpful in the local metagame in fighting against folks like Chris McDaniel and Jay Delazier who run oodles of artifacts! Josh has asked me what I thought of his deck, and what can I say? I love it, mostly… but Cemetery is a utility deck that is infinitely customizable. It’s easy to work in metagame considerations and your own flair cards.

Red/Black Artifact Control

Also making it into the Top 4, Jesse told me he played John Upton’s 2nd place State’s deck without any modifications. [For the record, Bleiweiss swears by this deck for Magic Online. – Knut] I haven’t been able to pry Jesse’s actual decklist from him, so I’ll go on his word that he played this deck:

John Upton

2nd – 2003 Virginia State Championships

3 Barren Moor

3 Forgotten Cave

2 Great Furnace

3 Vault of Whispers

2 Bloodstained Mire

5 Mountain

5 Swamp

4 Disciple of the Vault

4 Solemn Simulacrum

2 Goblin Replica

2 Bottle Gnomes

1 Visara the Dreadful

2 Oblivion Stone

4 Pyrite Spellbomb

2 Skeleton Shard

4 Shrapnel Blast

2 Promise of Power

2 Terror

2 Shatter

2 Starstorm

1 Hammer of Bogardan

3 Persecute


1 Dark Banishing

2 Cabal Interrogator

4 Withered Wretch

3 Sulfuric Vortex

3 Flashfires

2 Pyroclasm

I heard a lot of people bashing this guy’s deck after States, saying that there was no way he should have done as well as he did and that he got insanely lucky. I’m sorry but those folks are wrong… when I look at this deck, I see a lot of really nice synergies. Sure, I think it could be tightened up a bit. So many two-ofs of cheap spells bothers my deckbuilding sensibilities. But… I think we can thank Upton for educating us on just how brutal Disciple of the Vault can be. Those of us who worked on Affinity before States and sweated Akroma’s Vengeance recognized the Disciple as the ultimate in artifact protection. Let me also tell you that Solemn Simulacrum + Skeleton Shard is muy bueno.

Elvish Wedding

I actually won the last tournament too, this time with an Intruder Alarm Elf based on some ideas kicked around in the MTGnews.com Forums. They call it Elvish Wedding for some reason and revjack23 seems to have originated the idea and has certainly worked on it quite a bit. This is my most current version:

Elvish Wedding by Bennie Smith

3 Wirewood Symbiote

2 Elvish Lyrist

2 Taunting Elf

4 Birchlore Ranger

4 Bloodline Shaman

4 Wirewood Herald

4 Wirewood Hivemaster

1 Wellwisher

2 Viridian Shaman

3 Timberwatch Elf

2 Caller of the Claw

3 Viridian Longbow

4 Intruder Alarm

3 Elvish Guidance

3 Windswept Heath

3 Wooded Foothills

3 City of Brass

10 Forest

Now didn’t I just complain about someone’s deck having too many two-ofs in their deck? Well, I plead the Tutor Amendment, in that running four Tutors (Wirewood Herald) allows me to flex/tech out my decklist! Don’t worry, I have the other Wellwishers in the sideboard. At any rate, for those of you who don’t want to wade through the mtgnews forum thread on the deck, here’s the basics: it runs a lot like your standard elf beatdown deck, but with Intruder Alarm things get broken, especially if you have a Wirewood Hivemaster in play. Playing an elf and getting an insect token would activate the Alarm twice, allowing you to respond to each Alarm trigger by tapping some of your elves for drawing cards (Bloodline), generating mana (Ranger), pumping your dudes (Timberwatch), or pinging with something equipping the Longbow.

The Bloodline Shaman is the most powerful complement to Intruder Alarm since each time you successfully reveal an elf and draw it is basically another activation for the Alarm. I’ve drawn nearly twenty cards once until my opponent conceded after I played the third Hivemaster. This is another deck that’s loads of fun to play. Keep in mind the ability to ping your own Herald if you want to tutor for a particular Elf.

In his article”A Little Holiday TLC from the JMF,” Jim Ferraiolo details his spin on [author name="Will Rieffer"]Will Rieffer’s[/author] 12 Land Charbelcher deck. I put Jim’s deck together for the past two tournaments and lent it out and both players who ran the deck really had a great time playing it, making Top 4 one time and barely missing Top 4 in the last tournament. I know Jimmy Bean himself was tearing it up at The End with Charbelcher until he switched to his latest concoction, DNA, which he won last Sunday’s tournament with. I can’t say anything about DNA just yet because Jim is planning on writing a full-blown article on it once he’s done some more testing, but let me say that it’s another good rogue deck that’s not in the least bit stagnant.

I’ll close with another deck from Chris McDaniel that some of you might find interesting. He ran this to some success at some of our Type 2 tournaments before States, and was in the running for Top 8 at States for most of the tournament.

Cookie Monster by Chris McDaniel

3 Temple of the False God

2 Grand Coliseum

4 Forgotten Cave

3 Lonely Sandbar

7 Island

7 Mountain

2 Obliterate

2 Form of the Dragon

2 Decree of Silence

4 Discombobulate

4 Mana Leak

4 Complicate

4 Slice and Dice

4 Starstorm

4 Spark Spray

4 Lightning Rift


3 Annex

3 Shatter

3 Bottle Gnomes

3 March of the Machines

3 Boomerang

It’s a little on the slow side, but let me tell you once he’s got four or five mana in play, this deck is a beating of a control deck. The Rift is a helluva clock against other control decks, and there’s plenty of removal for creature decks. Discombobulate is particularly good in this deck due to the huge amount of cycling you can set up. Oh yeah, Form of the Dragon followed by an Obliterate is game over against just about anything.

So anyway, don’t believe the Eeyores of Magic who are telling you Type 2 is boring. It’s all Hogwash. There are lots of different things to try, lots of unexplored cards from Mirrodin to experiment with before Darksteel comes. Think outside the box and above all, have fun!