The Deadly Stilt Man

Okay, I promise this will be a short grouse this time. That promise may or may not turn out to be a filthy lie, depending upon how worked up I get…


Okay, I promise this will be a short grouse this time. (That sounds like a pygmy pheasant, or a small Irish drink, doesn’t it?) That promise may or may not turn out to be a filthy lie, depending upon how worked up I get.

As most of you know by now, I usually don’t write all that often. I was issued an inappropriate muse at birth – and frankly, he is difficult to motivate. Yeah, I know, muses are lithe ephemeral sylphlike beings that inspire the arts, usually wearing almost nothing. But apparently, on the day mine was issued, they must have been out of stock. My muse? Did you ever see that commercial where they had the fortyish fat cupid – balding, unshaven, and dressed in a toga? Add a ‘beater under the toga, a cigarette perpetually hanging from the corner of said muse’s lip, and about a quart and a half of rye every day, and you have my muse. Needless to say, he is of sporadic usefulness at best.

I honestly have a lot of stuff that I have claimed that I would write about, and about nine million things to discuss – including a pretty long report about a fairly satisfying tournament (Grand Prix: Boston, where I finished 10th, after finishing 65th day 1….), so I had hoped that he would pencil me in for a few hours.

No such luck. The muse was”Out.”

But one thing that does wake my reluctant muse is me getting miffed. I think that sets off some sort of terrible car alarm – like the one that keeps going off every time the bus passes the offending vehicle, and he has to momentarily roust himself to shut it off, so he can once again fall into his stuporous slumber. Although this is a fairly minor issue, it stuck in my craw.

(Craws must be damndably sticky places – and cluttered too, since everything seems to stick there. I think I need a good craw cleaning – but to be honest, I have no idea how to go about cleaning one’s craw. Maybe it’s bitching! That would be fantastic. I would have the cleanest craw in the western hemisphere.)

A. Adrian’s Credentials and”Cabal Rogue” Decks

On Brainburst, under a featured writer’s name and article blurb, they list each writer’s credentials. Zvi has made thirty thousand top 8s and is listed in the 2003 Guinness Book as the most prolific Magic writer, Remie’s Constructed rating is 3790, and so on. Well, for Adrian Sullivan (hi, Sulli! :D) the credentials are thus:

“Adrian is one of the Pro Tour’s most eccentric personalities and prolific deckbuilders, as well as a founding member of Team Cabal Rogue. If you’ve played in Constructed tournaments, most likely you’ve either played a Cabal Rogue deck or against one. Counter-Oath, Senor Stompy, Ponza, Secret Force, The Rock, Snuff-o-Derm, ConTroll, Napster, and Curious George are just some of the decks to their credit.”

The first two of those sentences are 100% accurate. The third, um… Not so much.

Adrian is a good friend of mine – though I rarely get to see him, since he lives in Wisconsin and changes cell phone numbers constantly, as do many of the Rogues. Mike Flores (a founding member of Cabal Rogue, but inactive for about two years) is among my very best friends, as is John Shuler, and I think Macey and Kowal are great. I am not going to say anything about Mr. Grimm, as we’ll call him, for as long as I can avoid it, because on the rare occasion that I do so, that is the only thing anyone focuses on – and since I’ve met Mr. Grimm only a limited number of times, I know him primarily through association, though he is a fine young man, as far as I am concerned.

Cabal Rogue was also a hotbed of decknology for years, giving out cool ideas and builds and making interesting advances and permutations that eluded the general Magic public with each new format. This being said, the list of deck that is attributed to Cabal Rogue in this blurb is amazingly inaccurate.

I checked with Michael J. on these, in part to try to maximize my accuracy, on part because he was the primary designer of at least one of the miscredited decks and in part to see if I should bother to write this at all. Incidentally, Mike’s knowledge of historical deck listings (and not just totally famous ones) borders on the spooky. If we have time to burn during the day, we have been known to play”the deck game,” of which Flores is probably (i) the only fan, and (ii) one of a handful of people who has any chance at doing well.

The deck game is basically one of us goes and finds a deck list, which generally should be from a premier level event (Nationals, GP, PT, Invitational) Top 8 or played by any reasonably notable player in that it would have been reported in other than like”all day two decks” or something, or even a deck that was posted on the Dojo at some point by any halfway noteworthy player. Then you give the other player the list, including sideboard. The person given the list tries to name whose deck it is.

Sound easy? It isn’t. I almost never hit ever, unless it is a pro tour winner or I had some imput or something. Mike, on the other hand, hits something like 180 percent of the time. Okay, well not one hundred and eighty percent, since that is totally impossible… But really, an unbelievably high percentage of the time.

I’ll put the deck game on hold for a sec, and go back to the main point here. Let’s review who made all of these decks credited to Cabal Rogue, and see what we come up with:


What people think of as Counter-Oath is the Maher deck he used to win umpteen Extended events with, including PT: Chicago and GP: Seattle (and a lot of matches before that). It is generally acknowledged that this deck was built by Ped Bun. According to Mike,”If Adrian is claiming credit for the ‘concept’ of Counter-Oath – which I don’t think he really is, as I assume this deck was put together by Chedy or whomever edited this – then it is completely false. Rob Hahn, who was working at Wizards as Editor of the Duelist at the time, built Oath and sent it to Cabal Rogue. Adrian tuned a version of the deck, which was played in the 1998 US Opens (qualifying no one, to the best my recollection), but I think it is silly to credit him with the specific deck or the germ of the idea.”

Cabal Rogue 0 – Rest of the Deckbuilding World – 1

Senor Stompy

This deck was designed by Team AustiKnights for Texas States 1997 and precedes Cabal Rogue’s existence. Bill Macey was one of the primaries on this, and he was subsequently a Cabal Rogue member, and maybe that is where the confusion here lies.

Cabal Rogue 0 – Rest of the Deckbuilding World – 2

Secret Force

According to Flores,”Secret Force was a secret even to [Mr. Grimm’s] Cabal Rogue teammates. He built it in Vermont without any input from the rest of the team, would not divulge its contents for some time, and did the tuning to qualify for the Pro Tour all by himself. Going into his last Pro Tour, [Mr. Grimm] actually complained that Cabal Rogue was not helping him to tune the deck to his satisfaction.”

Cabal Rogue 0 – Rest of the Deck Building World – 3

The Rock

Timeline (courtesy of Flores):

  • Summer 1999: Sol was recruited into Cabal Rogue
  • PT Chicago 1999: Cabal disbands for the first time
  • PTQ Season for PTNY 2000: Sol builds his first Extended two-color B/G deck (predecessor to The Rock).
  • Type II Spring 2000: Type II build of The Rock dominates Atlanta local tournaments.
  • Summer 2000: Sol rejoins a fractured, kind-of Cabal Rogue.

Cabal Rogue 0 – Rest of the Deckbuilding World – 4


According to Mike, Joel Priest built this deck at his house the night before the first PTQ for Chicago 2000, but he didn’t have all the cards, so he and PatrickJ played some”bad deck.”

I don’t know if this is where Joel first came up with it, but I don’t have any reason to think otherwise. Joel continued to tune that same B/G deck (which I can attest to, since I spent hours testing – okay, and drinking as much Guinness as I could get my hands on – with him at the Ireland’s Four Courts in Arlington, VA over the next two weeks, and then Joel tweaked some more with his DC crew, and won the Philadelphia PTQ a week after that. I don’t think that Joel has ever been an official member of Cabal Rogue (though he is a longtime friend and associate of many members of the team), and Mike assures me that he was certainly not a member at the time that this deck was built.

Cabal Rogue 0 – Rest of the Deckbuilding World – 5 (Cabal Rogue has so little claim to this deck that this should probably be more like five and a half)


Okay, we are starting to get truly truly inaccurate here. Napster was built by Flores with tuning help from Rob Hahn and testing against Hahn, Brook North, Charles”Tuna” Hwa, and altran at the Psylum offices during the last days of The Dojo. This, if you look at The Rock timelines, above, was during the hiatus of Cabal Rogue. The Regionals version of Napster had the addition of one card by Justin Polin (and although Mike has probably forgotten by now, I forced the main deck Perish into the deck).

Flores added:”The Nationals build was done basically by me, with tuning the night before the Type II portion by”our room” (me, Finkel, and the OMS brothers) with testing help by Tom Guevin. We did literally no Type II testing prior to Nationals after the night I bashed Jon’s gauntlet. ‘We’re playing that deck,’ said Finkel, and we concentrated on draft for the entirety of the testing period.”

Adrian, in an interview here on StarCity, claims he and Jacob Janoska helped build the deck, giving it to Bob Maher. Ask Bob about that. Ask him about asking Mike for sideboarding help when he was playing for Top 8, and Mike saying,”You don’t have any of the cards necessary to win this matchup… I guess you had to make room for Dragon Mask.”

For goodness sakes, Napster wasn’t even worked on by anyone closer to Wisconsin than Philly or Maryland, let alone being a Cabal Rogue creation, and even those contributions were twinks. Napster is a wholly Manhattan originated deck.

Cabal Rogue 0 – Rest of the Deckbuilding World – 6 (closer to seven, really)

Curious George

I wasn’t sure of Curious George’s origins, but Flores enlightened me:”Mike Donais built this deck basically by himself, around the time he was recruited for Cabal Rogue (I think it may have been his ‘audition piece’)…”

(Note: This was later confirmed with John Shuler:”I made a PTQ finals with the deck, made some changes, and sent it to my friends bschneid [Brian Schneider] and altran, who ran it at a NJ PTQ the next week. I actually got flagged for ‘leaking tech’ (there is no offense worse than this in the Cabal Rogue universe… It cost edt, Andy Wolf and Ben Seck their memberships) because supposedly bschneid gave the deck to Bob Maher’s Team Ultra Pro (which bschneid denies).”)

Cabal Rogue 0 (0.5 if an audition piece counts) – Rest of the Deckbuilding World – 7 (6.5 if not)


I was fairly sure that this actually was a Cabal deck, and Flores confirmed that it was built in parallel development by Brian Kowal in Wisconsin and Sulli in New York. Having been built by Cabal members while Cabal Rogue was active, this is one the editors apparently stumbled correctly into.

Cabal Rogue 1 (1.5) – Rest of the Deck Building World – 7 (6.5)


Okay, this one I knew was Cabal Rogue, and again the inimitable Mr. Flores gave me some history:”Ponza was designed by Brian Kowal and Jacob Janoska contemporaneously with [Curious] George, based on a [Mr. Grimm] design. Like ConTroll, Ponza was actually built by Cabal members while Cabal Rogue was active.”

Final Count: Cabal Rogue 2 (2.5) – Rest of the Deck Building World – 5 (5.5)

The tragedy, of course, is that Adrian really is one of the most innovative deck designers of all time. Its not like there are a shortage of Sullivan decks to choose from that had a material impact on Magic: For example, Baron Harkonnen is one of Sulli’s best known creations, and was described by EDT as the first of what were”very few new actual decks since the inception of competitive Magic.” Or how about Dred Panda Roberts, which Flores accurately described as”probably the most groundbreaking, nontraditional deck of all time…Dred Panda Roberts was, to my knowledge, the first ‘Enigma’ deck to include eleven or so copies of Necropotence with the primary objective of using that card in particular to find some three-card combination of Pandemonium, Phyrexian Dreadnought, and/or a proxy of the latter. Dred Panda Roberts was the forerunner of every NecroCombination deck from The Skull Catapult (PT Chicago 99) to Trix (various tournaments) to Saber Bargain (same).”

Or even Corrupter Black, which claimed two spots in the top 8 at Worlds ’99? Heck, if you want to throw in a not particularly successful deck, but one that everyone at least played against, you could cite Chevy (“land screw”) Blue (ctrl-f for”sulli”). Also, Adrian has qualified for the Pro Tour more than once with eccentric decks of his own design, such as Two Bits, and recently won the Wisconsin State Championships with a mono-red deck that differed materially from the ones that were then considered to be the standard.

I should think he is accomplished enough as a designer to not have to trade on the names of his teammates, past and present.

B. More Separated At Birth?

[author name=

blisterguy and…

Tom Guevin?


Geordie Tait and…

The malevolent Sinestro?

C. Deck Game (If you are not interested in the Deck Game, just skip down a few pages, or search for the word”Hundroog” with ctrl=f) (Seriously, no one will feel slighted if you skip this section)

You think you know decks? Let me give you a couple that Flores correctly identified – all consecutively.

[email protected] says: easy quiz

[email protected] says: who played this deck:

[email protected] says:

4 Carrion Beetles

4 Thrull Surgeon

4 Bottle Gnome

4 Mindless Automaton

4 Fallen Angels

2 Workhorses

1 Phyrexian Colossus (won me two games last night in testing)

1 Corpse Dance (not essential)

4 Living Death

4 Duress

4 Dark Rituals

20 Swamps

4 Wastelands

2 Volrath’s Stronghold

Most of you should be able to get this one pretty easily. The comments are in the original, by the way, not mine.

Okay – got your guess?

michael says: jamie q wakefield [AKA Mr. Grimm, herein]

[email protected] says: ding!

michael says: this is fun

michael says: i forgot to count if it was 62

michael says: but it smelled like the tick to me

***The Tick was Jamie’s e-mail address way back when***

[email protected] says: it is 26/62 btw

michael says: i was like

michael says: who the hell would run workhorse as a beater?

[email protected] says: haha

michael says: it’s a creature deck with all kinds of inefficient threat cards

michael says: it’s got to be a jamie

michael says: why play like

michael says: sarcomancy in your black beater deck

michael says: when you can play bottle gnomes and workhorse?

***Michael and Jamie were good friends, so a little good-natured abuse is, of course, warranted here***

[email protected] says: do you still believe Wakefield and I are the same pap? Rank does

[email protected] says: Derek that is

***There are a few eerie similarities. Jamie played 62/26, I typically play 61/25, both of us (incorrectly, in all likelihood) eschewing the 60/2x builds). I am a huge David Gemmel Fan, with Druss and Waylander as two of my favorite characters. Apparantly so is Jamie – Druss is his ‘toon on Asheron’s Call. No one can ever remember seeing us together – heh – and when we write, we usually write a ton. But I am far more of a complainer than Jamie was, and Jamie is widely regarded as one of the best Magic writers ever, whereas I am, um, not.***

michael says: ask me more decks

michael says: come on jbecker!

michael says: come on papsicle

Okay, this next one no one is not really a deck ID, per say (there are more coming, don’t worry) but I wanted to see if Mike remembered his own stuff or not:

ton[email protected] says: who wrote the report that said this?

[email protected] says:”I play against Toby, a lad with mono-red.”

tongonatio[email protected] says:”He lays a land and bashes me with the stick.

Groggy, I discard a Contagion or something. I don’t care, because I am holding the Power of Death.”

michael says: god

michael says: is workhorse really a 4/4 for 6?

michael says: who plays that

*** Workhorse was actually played in a very competitive worlds ’97 combo-deck by Team CMU, which had temporarily wooed Brian Schneider from his on-again/off-again affiliation with Tongo Nation***

[email protected] says: who said it!!

[email protected] says: i think that it is – but on the Bright Side it gives you 4 mana, lol

michael says: IT’S S**T

[email protected] says: agreed

michael says: wait

michael says: in your story

[email protected] says: y

michael says: the speaker is playing Small Child ™ running mono-red scepter.dec?

tongon[email protected] says: i don’t think he was with scepter

[email protected] says: but

[email protected] says: the speaker

[email protected] says: was like

tongonatio[email protected] says:”If this scrub kid plays a second turn Orgg, I am going to s**t bricks.”

michael says: why is he”groggy”

michael says: why does he discard?

michael says: is it me?

[email protected] says: YES!

[email protected] says: it is you

michael says: nice

michael says: what report?

[email protected] says: 3 Jul 1997 13:07:19 GMT”HOW I WON A SANCTIONED TYPE II TOURNAMENT WITH NECRO

michael says: oh lol

michael says: i actually only split in the finals of that tournament as i recall

*** Mike did, in fact, split with”Mana Screw” Ben Murray in the Finals, saying at the report’s end… ****

[email protected] says: Correct again.”I tricked you all! I didn’t actually win the tournament at all, but drew in the finals! Ha ha!”

[email protected] says: OK, what did you claim was your favorite man?

[email protected] says: No peeking

[email protected] says: and what was your favorite card?

michael says: ihsan’s shade

michael says: was my favorite man, i believe

[email protected] says: yes

***At the time, the Fat Shade was considered by many to be too expensive, but considered by many others to be a saucy beating, being too large to easily burn and immune to Swords to Plowshares. He was one of my fave’s too. And his flavor quote is gassy***

michael says: my favorite card?

michael says: hmmm

michael says: dark ritual has been my favorite card for some years

***An excellent guess, as Mike (and most swamp casters) looooove the rit, for its ridiculous power. But INCORRECT***

[email protected] says: N

michael says: what then?

[email protected] says: serrated arrows

michael says: Really? Who would have thought i would have picked a slow, reactive, card as my favorite card

***Mike has a history of despising reactive cards, and despising slow reactive cards even more***

Okay, here is the next deck – another fairly well known one:

[email protected] says:

4 Force of Will

4 Counterspell

2 Curiosity

4 Lord of Atlantis

4 Merfolk Trader (not”raiders” as on the official list)

4 Manta Riders

4 Man o’War (bad idea)

4 Suk’ata Firewalker

3 Waterspout Djinn

3 Nevinyrral’s Disk

4 Wasteland

18 Islands

Okay, got your guess?

[email protected] says: who played it when

michael says: nicolas labarre

michael says: pt rome

[email protected] says: yes!

[email protected] says: you are good at this

michael says: I got arrows wrong. :/

michael says: more pls tks

How are you doing? Two for two? One more simple one before we get to the toughies:


4 Acidic Sliver

4 Crystalline Sliver

4 Hibernation Sliver

4 Muscle Sliver

4 Winged Sliver


4 Counterspell

3 Demonic Consultation

2 Disenchant

4 Force of Will

2 Misdirection

2 Swords to Plowshares

LAND (23)

4 City of Brass

4 Flood Plain

2 Gemstone Mine

2 Scrubland[/author]“][author name="Scrubland"]Scrubland[/author]

1 Tropical Island

3 Tundra

4 Underground Sea

2 Undiscovered Paradise

1 Volcanic Island

Got it?

michael says: come on

michael says: that one’s too easy

michael says: christian luhrs

michael says: pt chicago

***Apparantly, everyone on the planet except me would have gotten this one. This must have been during my living-in-a-cave period***

[email protected] says: yes!

[email protected] says: lol

[email protected] says: how do you know all these?

[email protected] says: i would not have gotten that with ten guesses

michael says: i’m a miser?

michael says: come on

michael says: harder ones

[email protected] says: well, there are really only three events i can choose from a year

[email protected] says: and SB coverage lists only really go back to 98/99 (dead links prior)

*** I can actually get some of the older coverage off the old dojoDarchives, but the fact that the Wizards links are dead is very distressing – historical reference seems, to me, like both an interesting and important matter; though it seems like all I need to is ask Flores, and I can get basically any historical deck answer I want. Seriously, though, we were trying to fact check for one of Mike’s articles as to whether anyone in the Top 8 at PT Dallas played a Mirage Tutor or not, but this information appears to be lost. Several of the individual lists can be found if you look hard enough, but a comprehensive listing seems to have been put on a dusty sector somewhere and forgotten.***

michael says: the wakefield workhorse one was a challenge

[email protected] says: lol, i came across that luckily

[email protected] says: like, i can’t post some random local stick deck

michael says: obv it has to have some pedigree

Alrighty. There is no way Mike will get this one. I will be stunned if anyone (well, other than the deckbuilder) recognize it, but I wanted to bring Flores down a notch:

[email protected] says: Try this:

“I was dissatisfied with monored Sligh’s weakness against Gerrard’s Wisdom. The wastes is a good answer, and can also help finish off an opponent. Here’s an approximate version, off the top of my head…

4 Pillage

3 Forsaken Wastes

4 Incinerates

2 Hammer of Bogardan

2 Thunderbolt

2 Orcish Librarian

3 Lava Hounds

4 Orcish Artillery

4 Ironclaw Orcs

2 Dwarven Miner

2 Orcish Captain

2 Goblin Vandals

1 Ball Lightning

3 Fireblast

1 Armageddon

3 undiscovered paradise

3 Gemstone Mine

2 City of Brass

12 mountains

2 quicksand

*** I was fairly sure I was gonna stump Michael J. here; this was a very minor deck, but by someone of note – though not played in a major. Mike asked for a toughie!***

Got your Guess? Liars. You have no guess. I wouldn’t either.

michael says: what is the context of the rest of the article?

[email protected] says: that is the entire article

michael says: is that a played deck or just a decklist posting?

[email protected] says: both, I believe

[email protected] says: not in a major though

michael says: i guess

michael says: scott johns

[email protected] says: Holy! yes!

[email protected] says: god

***How he got that, I have no idea. I asked him about it on the phone later, and he said that he remembered logging on to UseNet at like 2 a.m. one morning to see what was going on, and this posting was up there. He remembers mailing a Q to Scott about it, but Scott having logged off for the evening. So apparently Mike was able to recall a UseNet chat out of probably literally hundreds that were up there at the time, that took place around six million years ago. I am not sure whether to pity Flores or stand in awe. Or both.***

Well, this is getting silly. I must be able to stump mighty Flores.

[email protected] says: Another:

4 Ashen Ghoul

4 Knight of Stromgald

4 Fallen Askari

4 Black Knights

1 Krovikan Horror

2 Nekrataal

3 Shadow Guildmage

4 Incinerate

2 Fireball

1 Winter Orb

1 Disenchant

1 Bad Moon

1 Swords to Plowshares

2 Choking Sands

3 Buried Alive

1 Contagion

10 Swamps

3 Gemstone Mine

4 Undiscovered Paradise

4 Sulfurous Springs

1 City of Brass

Got your guess? Well, Mike needed more information:

michael says: is there a sb posted as well

michael says: or is that the entirety of the decklist

[email protected] says: there is a board

[email protected] says: hold

[email protected] says:

2 Winter Orb

1 Contagion

2 Swords to Plowshares

2 Serenity

1 Forsaken Wastes

1 Armageddon

1 Ebony Charm

2 Pyroblast

3 Dystopia

Why that would help, I have no idea, but maybe it helped you. Got a guess now?

michael says: brian kibler, Nats

[email protected] says: yes lol

[email protected] says: you are undefeatable!

michael says: i had to see the ‘geddon to make sure

michael says: there were obv many similar decks from that summer, etc.

***This was a particularly impressive comment, in that Kibs himself had mentioned in the report that I lifted the listing from, that the significant difference between Kibs deck and Maher’s version of Kibs deck was the lack of a sideboarded ‘Geddon (and the Swords to Plowshares)***

[email protected] says: well

ton[email protected] says: i am trying to pick pedigreed things

michael says: yeah

michael says: but it could have been maher

michael says: or like

michael says: that mogg squad guy who won worlds

michael says: but the ‘geddon in the board was def Kibler

Grrrrr. Michael 4+ – Becker’s choices of any decks in the universe 0

[email protected] says: Try this one:

4 Savannah Lions

4 White Knight

4 Order of Leitbur

4 Order of White Shield

4 Tithe

1 Armageddon

2 Disenchant

2 Swords to Plowshares

4 Lightning Bolt

2 Fireball

4 Counterspell

1 Powersink

2 Control Magic

2 Serrated Arrows

3 Kjeldoran Outpost

2 Mishra’s Factory

1 Undiscovered Paradise

4 Plateau

4 Volcanic Island

4 Tundra

4 Flood Plains

2 Plains


2 Disenchant

1 Serenity

3 Pyroblast

2 Hydroblast

2 Honorable Passage

2 Karma

3 Ankh of Mishra

michael says: thinking

michael says: this is a rough beat

[email protected] says: heh

[email protected] says: hints or no

michael says: is it 64 cards?

michael says: i’m just counting

[email protected] says: sec

michael says: who the hell runs 64 card decks

[email protected] says: it looks like 63 to me

[email protected] says: but it is possible that it was databased incorrectly

michael says: whatever

[email protected] says: :/

michael says: excessive number

michael says: i guess

[email protected] says: its from the dojo archives :/

michael says: that it is

[email protected] says: hints?

[email protected] says: it IS a top 8 pro tour deck

michael says: this is pre wasteland apparently

michael says: god, i’m thinking

michael says: don’t hint me

michael says: i’m thinking of his name

[email protected] says: the misrecordation is probably throwing your guess off

michael says: Lets see, Mills, Randy, beatdown guy, Finkel

michael says: who else was in that top 8

michael says: not the austiknight guy

michael says: gad, i don’t know

Got your guess? Here’s your chance to pull ahead!

[email protected] says: Rade

michael says: Olle? from rome?

[email protected] says: chicago

michael says: Olle made that top 8?

michael says: what the!?!

michael says: i was THINKING gary/rade due to archetype

michael says: but 63 cards, for the love of pete!

michael says: who took him out

[email protected] says: haha

[email protected] says: dunno

michael says: i got the pt right though right, with the other top 8’rs I named?

[email protected] says: chiacgo yes

tongonati[email protected] says: it was a Super-Z designed deck, apparently

***Super-Z = Jason Zila***

michael says: i just couldn’t remember who else was in the top 8

[email protected] says: lauerpotence PT

[email protected] says: you are amazing at this, btw

So, how many did you guess right? Mike got all but the last one, but I would say that if you got even two right, you are ahead of the game, historywise. Next time we played, I think Mike got four out of five. Now, I’m sure this didn’t appeal to everyone (though Flores thinks it is the”funnest game ever”), and I appreciate your indulgence, but Mike’s depth of historical knowledge deck and strategy articlewise so constantly surprises me, that I thought it would be interesting to share.

I also actually fooled him by listing a mono green deck eerily similar to that played by Bryce Currence at ’98 Nats, but which was actually Ryan Kelly’s version from the same year, which was something like one card different (well two really, like, +1 Twister and -1 something else).

Hundroog! (spacer to allow you to skip past the deck game)

D. PG-13.

I hate PG-13. I think that most of you were alive and at least going to (or not being allowed to go to) the movies when there was no PG-13 rating. Yep, it used to be PG and R. That was the distinction. No PG-13, no”strong cautionings” no”Hard R” – none of it. What was the difference?

Lets say you had a movie with some 18-23 year old blonde cutie in it. It was about, I dunno, cheerleading. What would be one absolute difference between this movie with a PG rating and this movie with an R rating?


That’s it. The same movie, but with t**s. If the movie was rated PG, Jaime Pressly wasn’t taking off her shirt. If it was rated R, she was. And frankly, with respect to a lot of these movies, if Jamie Pressly kept her shirt on, there really wasn’t much point.

Okay, maybe Jaime is a bad example, since she always takes her shirt off (she’s a pussycat doll, for goodness’ sakes!)… But you get the point. Then, I was a horny teenager, and wanted to see cute actresses my age, or a little older, with their shirts off. Now, I am a happily married to a woman who is much more attractive than anyone thinks I should be able to have, including me, and I am totally old at thirty-four… But you know what? I still want to see ’em.

Look. I know I will never get to sleep with Jennifer Aniston. I know I will never get to date Jennifer Aniston. I probably will never see Jennifer Aniston in person, though I watch a lot of Friends, and most of her movies (how embarrassing!). But would it be so hard for her to take off her shirt for three seconds without her back being turned to the camera? I think for the time that I have put into watching Friends, and the nine bucks I had to pay to see the Good Girl or whatever (not to mention Leprechaun? That was a crime against humanity), that I – nay, we – deserve that. But y’know what? They don’t have to show us anymore. Why?


PG-13 means – hey, if this were 1977, you would likely get to see Jennifer Aniston’s t**s, but since there will be – God forbid – fourteen-year-olds here, who WE THINK HAVE NO IDEA WHAT A T*T LOOKS LIKE, there will be no shirt removal. That will be $9 please, and enjoy the cheerleading plotline, my friend. Oh, and the disemboweling, since every fourteen-year-old is used to that.

Why did this happen? Like, a PG-13 movie can show some guy get friggin’ carved up over a twenty-five minute timeframe with a Dremel rotary tool and a ball peen hammer, but they can’t ask the cute blonde chick to take off her shirt because it might damage a young mind? Worse, this no-t**s stance has begun to seep into R-rated movies. If the cutie you liked was in an R-rated movie in 1978, you could rest assured that there was a reasonable possibility that you would get at least a flash – and even if you didn’t, you would find a new cutie to like, because someone was taking off their top. Now, ninety percent of the t**s you”get” to see in R rated movies are t**s you don’t want to see – naked dead people, some 50ish woman in a Venezuelan barrio or some terrible rape scene.

How hard is it to give us a little bit of gratuitous cheesecake without making us feel bad about it?

It’s not unheard of, but it seems like it is big news when it happens nowadays. Like Halle Berry in Swordfish. Most people I knew were like,”Well, I’m going to see Swordfish tonight, and I don’t know how good it’ll be, but the opening scene looks cool, and I’ll get to see Halle Berre naked, so it won’t be a total loss.” And it wasn’t – though they paid Halle well for it, apparently. And all of us were happier for it.

Like, maybe actresses think that men or the public or something will think they are less talented or low-class or something if they step out of a shower or something for three and a half freaking seconds. This is totally unfounded. Let’s look at a few actresses who don’t seem to have a problem indulging us poor old guys (and young guys): Sharon Stone? I think everyone thinks Sharon Stone is totally classy and a pretty decent actress (well, at least until her recent fling with the AOL Icon). You almost can’t keep her clothes on in a movie.

Nicole Kidman? Academy Award Winner? Okay, well she doesn’t disrobe all the time (like the Hours), which is fine, but try to name the movies in which Kidman has remained fully clothed vs. those in which she has had some nudity? I’ll bet you come up with more films in the latter column. Can you name three movies in which nothing came off? Didn’t think so. Was the first movie you thought of Eyes Wide Shut, or was it Portrait of a Lady? I thought so. Why did you think of Eyes Wide Shut? You know why.

For goodness sakes, even Gwynneth frigging Paltrow threw ya an unexpected, er, bone, in Shakespeare in Love. Do we guys think of her as not a quality actress? Nope. She’s great! Honestly, Jen, we wouldn’t have thought less of you if you walked around naked for a brief moment in Rock Star, and we promise not to think any less of you if your bikini top comes off in Bruce Almighty. And come on, let’s be totally honest, if you had the power – as Jim Carrey clearly does (it’s the whole plot) – you would use it, wouldn’t you? For that? At least a couple of times?

But, alas, I have no influence on these things. So nowadays, you had better make sure the plot is worth $9 if you go see a PG-13, cause that is all you are going to get. :/

E. Ragnorok

This guy has got to be my favorite SCG forums poster:

Well, i have a quite good land (and everything else!) destruction deck idea.

4 stone rain

4 armageddon

4 apocalypse

4 obliterate

plague spores

10 mountain

10 plains

10 forest


“If you need to destroy, this deck is the answer.”


I think this made me chuckle for ten minutes. Sure, I tried it, but I just could never seem to cast my Plague Spores. And, of course, I never seem to draw a win condition (though it is clearly not decking). But man, does it destroy some freaking land!

Here is another of his posts:

ha, you all think slivers are so great. if you want a downright overkill, then just make a wurm or dragon deck. i have a dragon deck myself, and i can totally annihilate people when i get the mana. so think about it.

“None can survive their wrath.”


Said dragon deck:

Dude, stop being such an @$$. here is a extremely good dragon deck.

4 volcanic dragon





4 darigaaz

4 lightning dragon

4 vampiric dragon

4 draco

crimson hellkite


arcades sabboth

nicol bolas

4 corinthium

dragon roost

noble stand

4 angelic chorus

15 plains

15 swamp

15 forest

15 mountain

15 island

there you go. slow, yes, but extremely powerful…

My favorite thing here? The”4 corinthium.” How the hell am I supposed to get four Corinthium? They had been hunted nearly to extinction by Chrysler by the late 1970s (for the Cordova and Brougham, I believe) and I can’t imagine there are many more of them around now.

And Ragnorok was finally able to set me straight on exactly how bad slivers are:

*sigh*…why do you people love those stupid moronic slivers so much? my brother has a sliver deck, and i was merciful and let him search his library for creatures. i even skipped five turns for cryin’ out loud! he played all his slivers, i used plague wind, and killed him with a flagbearer, of all things.

I am totally not joking, This guy is my favorite poster.