Knock, knock – hey remember me? Sometimes I play this game called Magic and then write about it.
You see, a few things have been going on – things like me graduating college and diving into the job market and then finding a job much sooner than I anticipated. It’s funny how that works – you get all worried and busy over something and then it just kinda smacks you in the face…
I thought I would get a little break after graduation – no sir! And then of course there were the holidays…Hanukah then Christmas. With all that craziness going on my first real chance to write in the past month is now…Dec 26th at 12:19 a.m.
But here I am. The HEISS.
I never thought a card would get stuck with my name. Perhaps I should send my apologies to Mrs. Slateback. I am unsure how far it has spread, but usually once the pros all over the place start using the lingo, nothing will stop it. So for those of you who are confused, when someone slams the table and yells out”THE HEISS!” you can bet that Charging Slateback just had something to say… And it wasn’t Merry Xmas.
You see, Charging Slateback is Jewish.
How did this nickname come about? It’s all Nick Eisel fault, really. One Tuesday at our regular CMU drafts I am matched up against Nick and we are in a rather engaging match. I have three Morph creatures on the board that are threatening him. He kills one with a removal spell…
It’s the Slateback.
I attack with the others – he blocks – I morph into…. Another Slateback.
The next turn I leave my last morph back to block. Nick attacks into it and I smile and morph it into….
Yes, another Slateback.
It’s true; I love my Slatebacks. Or should I say the HEISS?
Enough of this. Most of you don’t really care about Slatebacks right now – after all we are in the middle of an extended PTQ season. I can still dream of them, because somehow I managed to qualify for Chicago. We will see how that goes…There may be a few wins left in this ol’ washed-up player. I may unmorph yet.
So the question remains on everyone’s mind is what to play in Extended. Extended holds a special place in my heart as my favorite format – even now, after the changes. In many ways, it is a better format then it was before. I think by now everyone knows the top contenders – but I will list them for those few people who don’t scour all the articles and save their time for reading guys like me.
Cog-Oath – The best deck. It isn’t simple to play, but Oath of Druids is a very forgiving card.
Rock – Puts up good numbers and is well liked by the people. It gets crushed by anything that is slightly geared to beat creature decks.
Reanimator – …or call it whatever you like. This deck is disruptive, fast, and powerful. However, it quickly falls to silver bullets that are rather commonly seen these days. Yes, I know all about its ancillary plans…They are nice, but they will not win games. Faceless Butcher is not an Extended-playable card in my opinion.
Madness – I hated OBC, and now you can play it in Extended. This deck makes discarding your hand good. That’s just plain weird, but it’s a solid deck nonetheless. Falls to the same stuff Rock does.
Sligh – Fire to your dome or many hasty men rushing to your face. Take your pick – it’s everything you have seen before.
Fiends/Super Goo – Couldn’t they make a better name for this deck? It’s basically three-color Rebels with Meddling Mage, Phyrexian Negator, and disruption. Vindicate and Parallax Wave may support. This is a solid deck with good numbers, if it can fend off Rock and Madness.
So what would I choose? Well, I love playing the rogue decks – but out of those choices, I like Fiends the best. I do not particularly like Mother of Runes and Phyrexian Negator, so I would replace those cards with something else, keeping Negator handy for the sideboard.
What should you choose? Something that fits your style of play! I cannot reiterate this point enough. Some of us are just control players, some are beatdown. Some love monsters and others like the offbeat creatures. Think about what you played in past seasons and pick the deck that you most enjoyed that comes closest. Any of those decks can win a PTQ easily; the question you need to ask is what can you win it with?
For those of you who need a little Nate Heiss rogue spice in their life, I leave you with a little Extended deck I have been working on that uses many of my favorite cards. It is a decent deck that I may run in a later PTQ, but I am always glad to share…’Tis the season, after all!
Neo Squirrel Prison
4 Polluted Delta
4 Yavimaya Coast
4 Llanowar Wastes
2 Underground River
3 Cabal Therapy
1 Vampiric Tutor
2 Mox Diamond
4 Deranged Hermit
4 Tradewind Rider
4 Yavimaya Elder
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Birds of Paradise
It is a rather straightforward deck that says”If I get Opposition and Deranged Hermit out, I win!” The truth of the matter is that many times you don’t even need the opposition part of it. Tradewind Rider is still a very powerful card – especially with Swords to Plowshares out of the mix. You will find that Tradewind Rider has nothing to fear from Oath decks that do not have Crater Hellion, no need to pause in front of Rock decks running Spiritmongers (although Living Death could be a kick in the face). It is a deck I have only tested a little, but it seemed rather good while I was playing it.
Only time will tell.
It has game versus all the decks except Reanimator. It has the ability to rip their hand apart – but usually that is not enough versus Reanimator, since they only need to have two cards to do degenerate things. My guess is a few Gilded Drakes in the Sideboard (or maybe one in the main deck with a few more Vampiric Tutor) should solve the problem. Oh yeah, Tradewind/Gilded Drake is nice, too…
That is all I am going to say for today, but hopefully I will be able to write more in the future – a lot of it depends on how busy this job keeps me. Until then, good luck at the PTQs!