Yawgmoth’s Whimsy #30: The Ten Most Overlooked Cards In Regionals, And Filler

Well, he almost won the PTQ for Nice, and gives his tourney report for an outdated format… But hey, don’t you want Type 2 strategy now? Of course you do.

I’m starting with a brief discussion of some cards that should see play at Regionals/Provincials – but cards that I haven’t seen mentioned very often in other articles. I figure it’s my last chance to spread some tech and mess up fellow players, since I won’t be able to play at Regionals.*

The second part is a tourney report for the last PTQ of the Sealed season. It has everything it needs to be great: It covers a Sealed deck event, the format is over, I didn’t win, and I include inside jokes and skip names. On the plus side, I keep it very short and emphasize the drafting and play tricks. Those parts are still relevant – at least until May and Judgment.

First, a list of the ten most overlooked cards in Type 2 right now. I’ll include some deck ideas, but not much more, since I want to keep this under 200 pages. What is kind of amazing is that the format is so varied that you have to go quite a ways to find overlooked cards.

Destructive Flow (BRG, Enchantment, At the beginning of each player’s upkeep, that player sacrifices a nonbasic land.): There are more and more nonbasic lands being played, and Destructive Flow can really hurt so many decks. The only problem is that it is dead against some major decks. It could be at the center of a LD deck with Terravore – see the section on unusual combos below.

Goblin Trenches (1RW, Enchantment, {2}, Sacrifice a land: Put two 1/1 red and white Goblin Soldier creature tokens into play.): Another very powerful enchantment that only suffers because white is so bad right now. Trenches can still be an amazingly annoying part of a R/W weenie or a Stars and Stripes deck.

Final Fortune (RR, Sorcery, Take an extra turn after this one. At the end of that turn, you lose the game.): Some of the straight red and red-green beatdown decks might find a use for this, since it gives one more draw and attack phase. If you can get your opponent to tap out, then cast this, you get one final shot. This used to be a staple in Sligh decks.

Baleful Stare (2U, Sorcery, Target opponent reveals his or her hand. You draw a card for each mountain and red card in it.): Okay, just kidding. Ignore this… But if anyone wants some, I can get them. Cheap.

Ensnaring Bridge (3, Artifact, Creatures with power greater than the number of cards in your hand can’t attack.): If you get this down and can empty your hand, it is game over for so many decks. Psychatog could get around it with Aether Burst (if the Bridge deck player has creatures) or Upheaval. Some control decks can run Rushing River, and some black decks run Vindicate. Other decks just scoop. Ensnaring Bridge/Grafted Skullcap is always a combo; the downside is the emptying your hand is bad if you cannot find the Bridge, or the Bridge is destroyed.

Equilibrium (1UU, Enchantment, Whenever you play a creature spell, you may pay {1}. If you do, return target creature to its owner’s hand): Reusable bounce is always interesting, and gets even better against decks built around token creatures. I included one possible build in the section on overlooked combos below.

Dregs of Sorrow (X4B, Sorcery, Destroy X target nonblack creatures. Draw X cards.): This is an old favorite multiplayer card, and I played it in Type 2 back in Tempest/Saga block. Some of the black decks running Cabal Coffers develop plenty of mana to use this effectively. Having Dregs resolve is always a huge game swing.

Fires of Yavimaya (1RG, Enchantment, Creatures you control have haste; Sacrifice ~this~: Target creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn.): I’m not sure that Fires is dead. True, Saproling Burst is gone, but the token generators with flashback are almost as good.

Sickening Dreams (1B, Sorcery, As an additional cost to play ~this~, discard X cards from your hand. ; ~this~ deals X damage to each creature and each player.): I’m surprised not to see this in some Junk decks running Mystic Enforcer. It can clear the board (except for regenerated Lynxes, if necessary) and get the Enforcer to threshold at one time, and for very little mana. If you combine it with CoP Black, you are immune. (Not good enough for maindeck, of course, but if you have CoPs in the sideboard…)

Vengeful Dreams (WW, Instant, As an additional cost to play ~this~, discard X cards from your hand. ; Remove X target attacking creatures from the game.): This can be a one-sided Wrath of God, and it gets rid of Ichorid and Spiritmonger. Again, this is probably underused because white is so weak, but it is a very strong card.

Special Bonus: Ten Sideboard cards to consider

Once again, ten cards people seem to be forgetting about, in no particular order. I would note that none of these are in the same class as Compost – but then, again, these are the possibly overlooked cards that haven’t been written up very often.

Circles of Protection: Don’t forget these. They still work very well, and way too many decks cannot deal with enchantments. One of the few advantages Enforcer-Go has.

Megrim: It’s not enough by itself, but if you are running a fast black deck that has trouble with Madness decks, this can get in a few more points. However, it is just barely on the list.

Samite Ministration: It is never dead, since it can always prevent some damage. It is amazing versus Tog and black decks that win with Corrupt, and a bad surprise to red decks. If white were just a little better, this would be amazing.

Stupefying Touch: It shuts down so much for so little – and it is a cantrip. It might be an answer to Psychatog, Mongrel, Spiritmonger’s regeneration, and so on. The big question is whether it is good enough to find a slot – blue has a lot of good cards.

Moment’s Peace: It’s like Samite Ministration in that it can stop Tog and other attacks for a turn or so. It is amazing against any Tog players dumb enough not to Duress or Peek before emptying their graveyards… But it has some value even against better players.

Meekstone: If the best creatures weren’t 2/x during the untap phase, this would be much better. However, Nantuko Shade and Wild Mongrel aside, it stops a lot.

Pure Reflection: This is the main reason to consider white weenie (or white/x weenie). Remember you get the token even if the spell is countered.

Caltrops: It is pretty brutal against Frog and other decks that use a lot of x/1s. It is colorless, so it fits anywhere. On the flip side, one damage is not that much.

Dodecapod: There was a reason this went in every sideboard in the past, and the W/B decks that function through hand destruction are still out there.

Near miss: Tainted Aether – if it was just a little cheaper, creatureless control black would have a field day with this.

Overlooked Combos:

Devastating Dreams/Wildfire/Terravore: The secret is that the lands are sacrificed at the same time as the damage is applied. The lands are in the graveyard, pumping the Terravore, when state-based effects are checked after resolution. You might even be able to add Lay of the Land; maybe a bit of artifact mana, Destructive Flow, Terminate, Devastating Dreams, and Wildfire to make a sort of neo-Balancing Tings.

Equilibrium/Gating Creatures/Teroh’s Faithful: Teroh’s Faithful is one creature worth bouncing with Equilibrium – just remember that a creature cannot bounce itself with Equilibrium’s effect. The best creature to gate it with is probably Silver DrakeSilver Drake costs 1UW, and with Equilibrium out you can bounce anything turn after turn for 2UW (bounce the creature, then gate the Drake itself). If you can get the colors to work, Fleetfoot Panther would be even better: for 2GW, you could bounce creatures at instant speed. Having a mana accelerator in place would really help (like the blue Familiar), but I don’t know whether you could keep it alive.

Wayward Angel/Reborn Hero: I’m stretching here, but Reborn Hero is a good sacrifice for Wayward Angel at threshold. It comes back. Couple this with Vengeful Dreams, some card drawing or cantrips, and you almost have a deck. White is so close. The question is whether it is still not quite close enough, or whether people have dismissed it a bit too often.

That’s enough. I hope some of you can find something useful in it. Now that that’s done, I want to write a tourney report; I haven’t done that for a while. I also want to gloat a bit about the quality of Madison players. Ingrid and I drove 400 miles so we could play different people for a change. Total attendance was 112, with less than a dozen Madison players there. Rounds 6 and 7, I was still paired with people from Madison, and the top 8 had three Madisonians. I would also note that Madison people won all the Midwestern qualifiers, except two. Milwaukee was won by Dan Flood (it’s his hometown), and no one from Madison went to the first Indianapolis qualifier. It’s the competition that makes you good, but there can be too much of a good thing.

The tournament:

PT Nice Qualifier, Sealed/Booster draft T8. Indianapolis, March 30, 2002.

I opened and registered my usual pile (Overmaster, Obstinate Familiar, a filter land, trash) – and thankfully, I didn’t get it back. What I did get for construction had two decent burn spells and almost no playable red creatures (but double Flash of Defiance and Kamahl’s Desire). White had Shelter, Mystic Zealot, and Teroh’s Faithful, plus a smattering of passable cards, but not much. Those colors were marginal, even as a splash.**

Green had Wild Mongrel, Nantuko Cultivator, Centaur Chieftain, Werebear, Springing Tiger, Acorn Harvest, Moment’s Peace, and a Rites of Spring that I somehow missed in construction, but sided in every single game afterwards. Howling Gale was a possible sideboard card. Better.

Black had Faceless Butcher, Sickening Dreams, Waste Away, Gravegouger, Dirty Wererat, Organ Grinder, Childhood Horror, Zombie Assassin, Whispering Shade, Crypt Keeper, Skeletal Scrying. Also solid, but I wanted more removal. I think I do too much Constructed – I thought this was a really bad deck. It wasn’t that bad.

I had a Tainted Isle and a Darkwater Egg, so I splashed blue for Deep Analysis, Skywing Aven and Cephalid Looter.

The deck was solid and had a bunch of good cards, but I was very worried about the fact that I had no bombs, very little evasion, and almost no removal. Like I said, I play too much constructed.

No round by round – I know how boring that type of stuff can be. Suffice it to say that I lost round one when my opponent had a counterspell for every creature I pulled and just enough fliers to win solidly. One game was won by Centaur Chieftain after a massive creature stall, another by Organ Grinder. Carefully timed Sickening Dreams was – and is – just brutal.

I should also say that my opponents had bombs, but could not draw them. My deck was not amazing, but it was very solid and very consistent. That consistency paid off – if my opponents were mana screwed or were drawing junk, they lost.

I made top 8 by IDing with another Madisonian. Sorry, Rizzo.

In the Top 8, I started drafting blue, but it rapidly dried up. (I ended up with Aven Windreader, Thought Devourer, Treetop Sentinel, Cephalid Illusionist, and Deep Analysis – mainly double blue, so not even splashable.) Black was sporadic in the first pack, and I took a fourth-pick Dirty Wererat and some random stuff late. I finally started in green about eighth pick; too late for mana fixers (there were some Diligent Farmhands in the first couple packs – when I was still blue). By pack 2, I was creature light, but had a smattering of black and a couple decent green cards. Pack 2 I opened Thought Devourer and tried that, but blue was cut off from the left as well, so I was solidly green/black by the end of Odyssey. Torment brought two Faceless Butchers, an Arrogant Wurm, and some decent stuff, confirming the build.

My mana curve was pretty bad. I figured if I could get to four mana, I was okay. I really wanted some mana fixers, but you can’t have everything – especially when both first picks for packs 1 and 2, and picks 2 through 4 in the draft don’t make the deck. Still, the mana curve was so heavily weighted at four to five mana, and so removal light, I was not particularly happy… But double Butcher is still okay.

Here’s the deck I played:

2 Faceless Butchers

1 Wild Mongrel

1 Werebear???

1 Dirty Wererat

1 Nantuko Disciple

1 Krosan Archer

1 Leaf Dancer (foil)

1 Krosan Constrictor

1 Whispering Shade

1 Stonetongue Basilisk

1 Carrion Wurm

1 Still Life

2 Afflict

1 Refresh

2 Moment’s Peace

1 Shade’s Form

1 Innocent Blood

1 Waste Away

1 Psychotic Haze

1 Caustic Tar

8 Forest

8 Swamp

1 Bog Wreckage


2 Carrion Rats

1 Putrid Imp

1 Zombie Cannibal

1 Simplify


Top 8: No name (since I sort-of insulted him earlier) Mirror match

He was also playing green/black. I won the roll and elected to play; even though I really wanted the mana, I was worried that a fast deck could win too fast if I drew first. It was okay: I had two Swamps, a Forest, some big stuff, and Innocent Blood in my opening hand. I drew Swamps and Shade’s Form. His first play was a turn 3 Leaf Dancer – which would have been it for me, but I had the Shade’s Form/Innocent Blood combo, so I beat on him until he Butchered his own creature. We both got out Krosan Constrictors, but I also had a Dirty Wererat and began beating down. Fairly soon, I was able to use the Wererat’s regeneration ability to play the Arrogant Wurm at end of turn, then beat him down with that and Carrion Wurm. He was trying to keep enough cards in his graveyard, but eventually I beat him down. The game was long, but the outcome was never in doubt, since I had the Nantuko Disciple, Basilisk and two Moment’s Peace in hand – and I just held them to avoid showing my tricks.

Game two he sided in white, for double Teroh’s Faithful. He also dropped his Narcissism early on. One critical play had him blocking the Carrion Wurm with a 2/2 and a Teroh’s Faithful, tapping out for Narcissism to pump to lethal damage, then removing two cards to neuter the Wurm that turn – but I had Afflict and the Wurm survived. Later on, he blocked the Arrogant Wurm with a Twigwalker (pumped with Narcissism) and Teroh’s Faithful, while using a Krosan Constrictor on my Wererat. I think that was a mistake: the Twigwalker should have been used to chump – then sacrificed to get a few more creatures. I was more than happy to trade the Twigwalker for the Wurm, since I had a Constrictor and Wererat as well. His life total wasn’t that low at that point. Shortly thereafter, it was, and I advanced to the semi-finals.

Top 4: Anthony Justice

Anthony was heavy blue with some black. He had Skywing Aven, Dreamwinder, Millikin, Cabal Torturer, Cephalid Scout, Liquify, Syncopate double Deep Analysis and a ton of bounce (Turbulent Dreams, two Dematerialize, Repel, Churning Eddy, and probably more.)

Game one, I got off to a slow start – but so did he. I Afflicted a Cabal Torturer, then played Dirty Wererat as my first creature. He was using Millikin and Deep Analysis to head for threshold, and had no fast threats. I dropped Arrogant Wurm, using the Wererat’s regenerating ability at the end of his turn. The mid-game came down to his bouncing my creatures and me replaying them. On the turn he Churning Eddied me – leaving me nine cards in hand – I played my land, then went straight to discard and cast both Arrogant Wurm and Psychotic Haze via Madness – killing the Millikin, the Cephalid Scout, and making him bounce the Skywing Aven. Then I beat him down. It wasn’t that fast – he kept bouncing stuff, but I could replay the threats, and kept serving with stuff that was larger than the Skywing Aven.

Because of all the bounce and his very few creatures, I sided out the Caustic Tar and Shade’s Form for 1cc creatures. I kept the Stonetongue Kavu purely for its threshold abilities – and just hoped I wouldn’t draw it early.

Game two I kept a three-swamp hand, and had mana problems. I didn’t draw forests or the Bog Wreckage early enough, and missed playing the beatdown creatures too long. He finally won a very tight game by bouncing just enough, then countering a Moment’s Peace. Very, very close. Also very, very annoying, since I could have won without the mana limitations.

Game three I had another three-Swamp hand, but had Innocent Blood, Wild Mongrel and Carrion Rats, so I kept it. I dropped the Rats and got in a few points before he traded a Cephalid Scout. He dropped Torturer next turn – almost certainly a topdeck – but I had the Blood. Then, however, the game stalled. I eventually died to Skywing Aven and a second Cephalid Scout – but not until after turn 15 or so. At that point, I still had only seven land – and one was the second forest drawn the turn before. I died with Faceless Butcher in hand (I had cast it four times – and had it bounced four times) and Krosan Archer (cast and bounced twice), plus Mongrel, Wererat, and other cards in hand. He had Liquified an Afflict and Syncopated a Moment’s Peace, but if I had just one more mana – or had drawn the Mongrel a turn or two earlier – I could have cast two creatures a turn and won easily. With seventeen lands in the deck, I should not have seen twenty-plus cards without seeing an eighth land or second forest.

That was a tough way to lose – two straight to mana problems. I don’t think I would have died any other way. My deck should have beaten his, at least in theory. However, that’s why we play the games out.

Anthony conceded to Manchester Sy – another Madisonian – in the finals. Congrats, C! On the plus side, it did mean I got to leave an hour earlier, because C and I would have played it out. We both wanted to go to France.

Okay, I got my bragging in.


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* – I help produce our Public TV auction, which runs the same week as Nationals. Various preproduction activities start in January, and Regionals falls on a Saturday I have committed to the Auction. Hey – some things are even more important than Magic.

** – If this were early in the season, it might make some sense for me to list all the cards, but even then I don’t find that very exciting. This late, it’s not worth wasting the bits.

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