NLY A SMALL RANT IN THE GRAND SCOPE OF THINGS
I wanted to start out this week’s column by sharing some feedback from you, my not-so-humble readers. Please note that I’m going to probably take these horribly out of context, just so I can feel justified ranting.
"… It’s hard to put forth your ideas into the public domain, ostensibly for ridicule and very little praise. I wish I could praise Dave. I cannot. He has some major deficiencies in his decks that without solving, are going to lose a lot of people games." – Mason Peatross
Now let me reply by saying this: I could fill this column up with what I consider "fluff". I have -seen- columns filled with fluff. I have put fluff in this column in the past. And yet, somehow, in every column, I manage to provide the thinking public with some ideas, some decklistings to spark their interest and further the creative process. I do not claim, at any point, that they are good, nor that they are going to win. I leave it up to the readers to do the leg work and make the decks work for them. On my behalf, I do my own work, and it doesn’t appear here for the most part.
There’s no need to email me to tell me you think I’m an idiot. Or that you think I’m a joke. I can find enough of that locally without bothering you. Oh, and if you play either of those decks without playtesting, there’s nothing I or Mason Peatross can do for you.
I also got notes from Seth Burn and Rob Kinyon, the two guys who built Stupid Green. While Rob’s initial email was a little harsh, we were able to discuss Stupid Green further on a more civil basis. =) He was of the opinion that the Vineyards were the heart of the deck, and I will agree (since they provided the double use of mana and damage to your opponent), but in this Extended season, they just don’t fit. There are too many decks out there that would love to have the extra GG each turn. I am, however, now unsure if the Cradles are the right replacement, since it seems everyone that’s NOT non-basic heavy is running Wastelands (and even some Dust Bowl). During my playtesting, it seems that as soon as I have some semblance of board control (with a Weaver and a Wall or Wildebeest), that I don’t need the Cradle as much.
But the deck is far from working. I mean, it works against most creature-based decks, but the general opinion is that they’re really won’t be much of that. Green supplies great sideboarding options against Necro, against Oath, against control … but the first-game win percentages are only so-so. More playtesting is in order.
I’ve also been working on a control deck, and a speed green deck (just because that’s the archetype I’m the most familiar with) … and I’m working on a Jank deck.
OK, just as a disclaimer in the beginning, please note that this deck is untested.
I mean, my initial gut instinct is to take a bunch of solid green creatures, and pair that up with the good stuff from White Weenie (Empyrial Armor, Glorious Anthem). However, that turns out more G/w than W/g, and the white spells I end up using are all WW in the casting cost.
Since the focus of the deck needs to be on speed, I’m going to go with the Mox Diamond – Cursed Scroll version of the deck instead of the Empyrial Armor. I think that the Rancors should be able to provide the speed we need.
Let me put out a quick decklist, then discuss some of my questionable choices.
Capashen Knight: The splashable pumping plus the built-in First Strike make this guy a killer. The Cradle plus the mana-washing ability of the Skyshroud Elves should give us the option to make this guy 3/1 or 4/1 First-Strike, and with Rancor, that just becomes more dangerous. Is he fragile, with only one toughness? No more than Order of the White Shield would be. And he’s a better choice than Serra Zealot (for first-striking), since we have other 1cc choices.
Skyshroud Elite: 1cc for 2/3. More efficient than any other 1cc creature in Extended, if you ask me.
The Monks and the Knights are pro-black, since black removal seems to be more prevalent than red burn. The Skyshrouds sub as a mana source, and also to wash mana when needed. Tutors can go for lots of stuff, including the Rancors and the Scrolls.
It’s untested. Let me reiterate that again. Feel free to try it out, see if it works, tweak it to your satisfaction, and then pitch it out. My feelings won’t be hurt.
POKEMON IS EVIL
My brother called me about three months ago with this question:
Doug: "Hey Dave, I just got my hands on a Pokemon Starter game … should I open it up and play it, or should I sell it on eBay?"
Dave: "Well, if you’re expecting to get three hundred bucks for it, I’d say sell it… if you’re expecting to get twenty bucks for it, just open it and play it."
Doug: "Oh. Guess I’ll be playing Pokemon."
And thus began his new addiction. The poor guy didn’t want to talk Magic, didn’t want to play Magic, got all his college buddies to start playing… and then told everyone he wanted Pokemon cards for Christmas even! It was bad. Pokemon dominated our conversations.
And then, that fateful day came:
Doug: "Dave… I got you Pokemon for Christmas."
I reel. I swear it’s the kiss of death. I can’t get addicted to ANOTHER card game where I need to buy cards every week. Especially not Pokemon, which is actually more expensive locally than Magic. I try not to think about Pokemon beyond watching the cartoon show. 😉
Fateful day part two:
Doug: "Hey Dave, would you mind if I came out over New Year’s Eve? We want to go into the city."
"We" means "me and two of my college buddies," all Pokemon players. Doug then informs me that I can open my Christmas present when he gets there.
So I play Pokemon. It’s a fun little game, nowhere near as complicated to learn or play effectively as Magic, and the little guys are cute. And yet, I tell myself, I’m not becoming addicted. We play some more. We go to my local shop, and they spend an outrageous amount on Pokemon cards (and I buy one pack and some Magic, so I don’t feel guilty). I find myself giggling with anticipation at saying, "Flareon! Flamethrower attack!"
OK, it’s the beginning stages of addiction.
I started out with a Fighting/Psychic deck, then switched it to Fire/Psychic because of those cool 50 and 60-point damage attacks, and then switched it to mono-Fire when I got my first Flareon. My brother informed me that he had more, and this is the deck I played most of the weekend:
25x Fire Energy
1x Energy Removal
1x Energy Retrieval
1x Gust of Wind
So here, I’ve given you nay-sayers one more thing to write in about. Yes, I know it didn’t stand up to anything with Water Pokemon in it. I know I over-committed to Flareons, but it’s hard when you’ve got a 60-point attack like that. =) In retrospect, I probably would switch it to Fire/Electricity to help combat the weakness to Water, and use Jolteons.
But I’m no Pokemon pro. And now that my brother has left, I’m in rehab, so to speak. I fortunately have been distracted by Extended season, and so haven’t had a chance to fondle my Pokemon cards. But I know, that the next time I see my brother (this weekend), his first question will be, "Did you bring your Pokemon cards?"
And yes it will be next week. It’s starting to get close to GP Philly, and hopefully I’ll have some more playtesting under my belt, and maybe even be close to choosing the deck I plan on playing. With only three weeks to go, it’s getting to be crunch time. I think I may also start looking at Nemesis some, since it’ll be just about pre-release time, and maybe think some about MM/Nemesis constructed, which’ll be the format at PTNY.
Until then … "Eevee! I choose you!"