Thoughts from a Casual Writer

Today Abe covers bad rares, 5-Color, and various elements of his personal life as they relate to Magic.

Hey all, I haven’t done a random musings article in a while, so I thought that I’d give it a whirl or two. Included herein is another bad rare deck, because I simply cannot get enough of that. I also have some thoughts on the newest Five Color banned and restricted viewings, and more goodies for my regular readers – all three of you!

Yet One More Bad Rare Deck

I decided to pull out my bad rare deck box and give the guy one last whirl. There are tons of bad rares left unharnessed, so finding an unused card should be pretty easy. I reach into the box and pull out…

Ancestral Recall.

Excellent. Here is a card that has never been played in Extended, Type Two, Prismatic or even the old Type 1.5 (er…Legacy). That’s how bad it is. No worries though, because I have the perfect idea for the use of this woefully bad card

Bad Rare Ancestral Recall Deck

4 Ancestral Recall

4 Aquamoeba

4 Sonic Seizure

4 Sonic Burst

4 Compulsion

4 Chain of Vapor

4 Chain of Plasma

4 Pitchstone Wall

4 Shivan Dragon

4 Caldera Lake

10 Island

10 Mountain

This deck uses Ancestral Recall to draw cards that you can use to discard to Aquamoebites, burn, and Compulsions. It has the ubiquitious Shivan Death Machine as the deck’s winning condition, and includes the Pitchstone Walls for both defense and the ability to bring back discarded cards in order to discard them again.

Caldera Lake is a great way of making both the required Red and Blue mana. I really like it.

This is my really cool Ancestral Recall deck. It’s not much, but hey, what do you expect with such an underplayed card like Ancestral Recall?

Five Color Dictatorial Senate

So, we were debating on the floor of the Senate the other day, and one of my esteemed colleagues suggested that we ban several recent troublemaking cards. These cards are among the most popular and powerful cards that you can find in people’s decks, so we have carefully considered the banning of the following four cards:

Fellwar Stone

Birds of Paradise

Swords to Plowshares


Below is my account of each.

Fellwar Stone – Vote to Ban – Fellwar Stone is simply too good to continue to see play in Five Color. Here is an artifact that, despite its two-mana price tag, is seen in virtually every Five Color deck. Most players realize that taking care of the mana base should be done on the first two turns, and that makes Fellwar Stone a snug fit.

Getting virtually any color of mana is simply too powerful compared to recently printed alternatives like the Talismans from Mirrodin or Mind Stone and Guardian Idol. Simply put, Fellwar Stone is too good to keep around, and I think that everybody sees that.

Birds of Paradise – Vote to Remain Unrestricted – I like Birds of Paradise and I have two foils ones. Why would I want to ban such a pretty, pretty, pretty bird? Obviously I wouldn’t, so I am not voting to ban the bird.

Swords to Plowshares – Vote to Ban – Swords to Plowshares is unique because it is the only piece of removal that is played in every type of deck. Combo plays it to keep nasty creatures off their back while they set up. Control uses it as its uber-cheap creature kill of choice. Even aggro plays with it because it fits well into their mana curve and clears paths for many swinging creatures to hit through.

The simple fact is that everybody recognizes that Swords to Plowshares is the best creature removal of all time. The problem is that it is simply too good. There is no Five Color decklist in existence that does not include a quartet of Swords to Plowshares on it. Banning the Swords will open up a variety of options for deckbuilders and players will be able to play in a more colorful environment.

Orgg – Vote to Ban – On the wake of the recent bannings of Bringer of the Black Dawn and Sundering Titan, the Dictatorial Senate has decided to take a further look at broken creatures and eliminate them from competitive play.

Orgg is simply a hoss. I mean, have you seen that Magic commercial where he kills Bob from accounting? Orgg’s power and toughness compared to his casting cost give everybody an automatic include for their 18 required red slots. Nobody likes these red spots, and they usually play the same cards in them, like Pain/Suffering and Overmaster. Orgg is also played a lot, and its time that we diversified the red spell lists. We need to axe the Orgg because he is simply too powerful to allow remaining in Five Color. Death to the Orgg!

On Contract:

I wanted to talk EVEN MORE about Contract from Below in Five Color. It’s evil and nasty. As an ordained minister, I am against such deviltries in our Magic card game, and you good Christians should be as well. BAN THE CONTRACT, or Satan will get you….

Good Portal Cards:

Since Portal will be legal in, like, every format, I wanted to update my most powerful Portal Cards list. In fact, I’ll just look at the top 5:

5) Hulking Goblin

An amazingly powerful goblin, and one that I expect any player to use.

4) Goblin Bully

An even better goblin, and a creature for every deck.

3) Raging Goblin

I think that it has a better picture than the silly Exodus and Core set ones.

2) Goblin War Cry

Looks great as a Portal card, don’tcha think?

1) Goblin Matron

My favorite Portal card with really pretty thick Portal lettering and sexy Portal Two picture.

Abe’s Deck of Happiness and Joy:

Here is an excerpt from my current favorite deck, Abe’s Deck of Happiness and Joy. It’s a highlander deck with almost 1000 cards in it, so I can’t give the entire decklist without causing my editors to explode. However, it should exhibit that sort of cards that I play and use on a weekly basis:

Living Wish

Might of Oaks

Gaea’s Blessing

Pursuit of Knowledge

Worldly Tutor

Sword of Fire and Ice

Scythe of the Wretched

Oversold Cemetery

Academy Rector

Liar’s Pendulum

Crystal Shard

Claws of Gix

Evasive Action


Nantuko Vigilante


Great Furnace

Underground River

Urborg Volcano


Sword of the Ages

Platinum Angel

Jalum Grifter

Stuff About Me:

  • Yadda, yadda…Top 8 at a PTQ…

  • Ho hum…Top 8 at a prerelease main event…

  • So…um…Top 10 at another prerelease main….

  • Dum, dum…won a bunch of scrubby local unsanctioned tournaments that you can’t disprove that I won….

  • Whoop, whoop…Five Color Dictatorial Senate….

  • Sigh, sigh…Peasant Magic Dictatorial House….

Oh yeah, and I’m a writer for Scrye and StarCityGames.

Once More With Feeling:

How about one more bad rare deck for the road? Today’s bad rare is….

Underground River!

Bad Rare Underground River Deck

4 Underground River

4 Underground Sea

4 River Delta

4 River Merfolk

4 Raging River

4 River Boa

4 River Kaijin

4 Rushing River

4 River Bear

4 River Boat Helmsman

1 Samuel Clemons, Riverboat Writer

1 Huckleberry Finn, Riverboat Raft Rider

4 Riverdance

I chose to build a River theme deck with the Underground River. I chose a river theme instead of the underground theme because there aren’t any underground cards besides the River and the Sea. Sounds like a poem – The River and the Sea.

Anyway, I added several powerful River cards, including bounce, wired cards like Raging River, and several powerful creatures in River Bear and River Boa. I also added powerful blue creature in River Boat Helmsman, the two legends, and that uber-powerful instant from Ravnica that is rumored on the ‘Net: Riverdance.

This deck is a lot of fun to play, and I know that you’ll enjoy it. You’d better.

Until Later,

Abe Sargent

Appendix A: My Agenda

Here is the agenda for my staff meeting earlier this week. I run a three building residential complex at a public university, and I thought that you might want to see one of my agendas.

Agenda, 4:00 pm, March 24, 2005

1085-1086 Pittman Plugged toilet with paper towel, tell them to use toilet paper

Recess tomorrow

Payroll due to me tonight – what do we do with it afterwards?

HDS Survey Update

Closing info in detail next week

Vote in RHA Elections today

Hall Government Elections Next Week

Vote for Leader of the Year

Staff Whale

Appendix B: More excerpts from Abe’s Deck of Happiness and Joy:

Orim, Samite Healer

Ancestor’s Chosen

Leonin Abunas

Faceless Butcher




Vine Trellis

Slice and Dice


Adun Oakenshield

Elfhame Palace

Cleansing Meditation

Bazaar of Baghdad

Scarwood Bandits




Solemn Simulacrum

Krosan Tusker

Sylvan Tutor

Grab the Reins

Rith’s Grove

Cho-Manno, Revolutionary

Tetsuo Umezawa