You CAN Play Type I #23: The Control Player’s Bible, Part VII

When should you play Ancestral Recall? What was the second-best use for Fact or Fiction In Type One? Oscar answers all of these and rejoices in some fan mail.

The Control Player’s Bible Table of Contents:

Part I: Overview

Part II: History, 1994-1996

Part III: History, 1996-2000

Part IV: History, 2000-2002

Part V: A sample control mirror match

Part VI: Playing the core cards: Counters and tutors

Part VII: Playing the core cards: Card drawing and removal

Some reader feedback from last year…

Dammit, if I’ve taken over Star City, I could at least get my picture up!

Anyway, everyone wants to start the year right, and as I figure out where to grab a new calendar, I feel I have to share some of the most memorable non-strategy e-mail from last year. Honestly, I feel blessed with my feedback, especially after hearing hate mail horror stories from other featured writers. In fact, not being American myself, I enjoy emailing back and asking for a person’s nationality.

—– Original Message —–

From:”Carlos Gadunixan”

To: <[email protected]>

Sent: Tuesday, December 25, 2001 2:22 AM

Subject: Control player’s bible, part V

Hello Rakso,

I’ve been scourging some of Magic’s most popular sites for the last couple of days, looking for some interesting reading material to improve my playing skills.

Quite by accident, I came across:


I must say, I’ve never played Type I and I’ve never had any particular interest in the format. Sure, I knew what the power ten was, and I’d heard all the legendary (or mythical) stories about second turn kills.

But your article blew me away.

It was mind-boggling. I followed the featured Apprentice duel between you and Argivian as if I were watching a classic Hitchcock movie. All the possibilities, the accurate”guesswork”, the strategies involved… It opened my eyes. Type I seems so incredibly different from Type II.

01:17:13 – — Argivian says: ”I am ready.”

01:33:14 – Argivian says:’not shabby’

Twenty-one turns, sixteen minutes…

Almost immediately afterwards, I started reading all the other articles you wrote, one after the other, down to the last one. My eyes opened… I am a lousy player 🙂 Really, I thought I knew the game well, but after reading every article, Magic strategy seemed like something different from what I’d been playing, yet at the same time, everything made a lot of sense to me. I’ve always played blue (my favourite), and considered myself a permission and/or control player. Now I am even more certain of my place in the”school of blue.”

So today, I traded my foil Undermine for a Moat. And tomorrow, I will try to trade my foil Birds for a Library. I want to play Type I.

Thanks for the great articles, and keep them coming! I will follow your future articles on Star City and BDominia with great interest.

Carlos Montero-Caballero

—– Original Message —–

From:”Steve O'Connell

To: <[email protected]>

Sent: Tuesday, December 25, 2001 9:37 PM

Subject: Rakso, you’re famous

I may not be the first to inform you, but you are mentioned in an article on page 34 on the new Scrye magazine.

3rd Column…”The undeniable king, however, is green’s Rancor. Acknowledged by online Type 1 Guru Oscar Tan (of beyond dominia, www.bdominia.com) as one of just three creature enchantments widely played in magic’s Vintage format…”

To be honest, I’m not sure what the other two cards are (maybe Briar Shield and Empyreal Armor, sideboards aside), but thanks again for everything because I’d be nothing without my readers. Just imagine the feeling of being able to talk to people from around the world by writing about a hobby.

Here’s to another year!

Anyway, last week, we went through what I call the”core” of”The Deck”

Blue (16)

1 Ancestral Recall

1 Time Walk

1 Mystical Tutor

4 Mana Drain

4 Force of Will

1 Misdirection

1 Stroke of Genius

1 Braingeyser

1 Fact or Fiction

1 Morphling

Black (6)

1 Demonic Tutor

1 Vampiric Tutor

1 Mind Twist

1 Yawgmoth’s Will

1 The Abyss

1 Diabolic Edict

White (2)

1 Balance

1 Disenchant / Dismantling Blow / Seal of Cleansing

Green (1)

1 Regrowth

Plus: Two slots for Fire/Ice and/or Swords to Plowshares

The Card Drawing Base

This is the heart of”The Deck,” and is made up of the most powerful spells ever printed. Timing is still the key, though.

Ancestral Recall



Beta rare

Target player draws three cards. (Restricted in January 1994)

Ancestral is the cheapest of the broken card drawers (and the second most broken period, after Necropotence), but just because you can cast it as soon as you have a blue land doesn’t mean you should.

If you’ve ever had your first-pick draft bomb traded for your opponent’s 12th-pick removal spell or cheap blocker, you have an idea why.

Beware of other things aside from counters such as Red Elemental Blast and especially Misdirection. That said, you usually cast it as soon as you can protect it or when you can reasonably assume that the opponent has nothing that can touch it.

If you missed your land drop, you can cast it main phase and play land drawn. You can also cast it during the opponent’s upkeep, before he topdecks the counter he might get, to avoid discarding during your turn. Otherwise, cast it at the end of your opponent’s turn. Finally, you can try casting instant card drawing in response to your opponent’s tapping out for end-of-turn spells, if you really need to.

Note that when you are both topdecking, though, you should cast this as soon as topdecked, before he draws his next card. He might draw a counter and you might draw land that can be played.

Even if you have a full hand, it’s usually worth it to cast Ancestral and discard the weaker spells, unless you think you can play out some of the hand first. If you are mana light, cast Ancestral, and be willing to discard if you don’t draw Moxen.

When protecting Ancestral, you will usually do anything to let it through. If you trade counters with the opponent, it’s usually good because you will come out ahead after you draw. Be very wary of losing a Force of Will and pitching Mana Drain, though, because the three cards might not make up for the loss of counter ability. If you just forced your opponent to Force using Mana Drain, consider counting that as a win already instead of matching the play.

Against discard, always cast Ancestral in response to a Duress or Hymn to Tourach. Duress will usually get Ancestral, so be happy with two extra cards.

Finally, because Ancestral is so powerful, note that you can use it at bait. Cast it at the end of your opponent’s turn and start a counter war, then untap and cast what you wanted to cast. You can use every instant card-drawer this way.

Fact or Fiction a.k.a. the blue Necropotence



Invasion uncommon

Reveal the top five cards of your library. An opponent separates those cards into two face-up piles. Put one pile into your hand and the other into your graveyard. (Restricted January 2002)

Yes,”The Deck” takes a hit, too. This is your second most powerful draw spell, and you use it the same way you use Ancestral Recall, and fight over it as hard. It’s harder to protect, of course, but sometimes you don’t want to and just use it as bait (FoF was almost as important as three or four more ways to start counter wars as it was as card drawing). Unlike Ancestral, though, Fact or Fiction works well with early Mana Drains, and can’t even be Misdirected.

Note that you might find yourself playing differently this January because you have less bait against another counter deck (but then again, so does he).

How to split Fact or Fictions is an article in itself, but there’s a helpful section in my Draw-Go primer. What’s different about”The Deck” is the additional color problem. Your opponent can gamble and stall you by giving you a pile of powerful cards in one color (usually black, or red after sideboarding) and putting the Underground Sea or City of Brass in the other pile. (Though if you just drew cards, you may have a mana source unseen in hand which can turn his gamble against him.)

As a final note, don’t get too greedy about card advantage when you already had a lot of it.

Sometimes, just take the Morphling and win.

Stroke of Genius



Urza’s Saga rare

Target player draws X cards. (Restricted in January 1999)




Beta rare

Target player draws X cards. (Restricted in January 1994)

These are powerful midgame cards that get better with Mana Drain, Black Lotus, and Tolarian Academy. You don’t want them in your opening hand, though, and you rarely tutor for these over Ancestral Recall until much later.

Because of their cost, you have to time them even more more carefully, especially Braingeyser, which forces you to tap out in your turn. When you can, you might leave two mana open for Mana Drain (even if you’re bluffing, you might draw it) or cast Time Walk first. Almost every deck can topdeck something as broken as Braingeyser (such as Necropotence and Yawgmoth’s Will in Suicide Black, which has otherwise weaker topdecks). Otherwise, you can hold on to or hope to draw a Force of Will. When both of you are topdecking, though, it’s usually better to just gamble that he hasn’t topdecked a counter yet, because he probably will.

Never get too greedy. If you need to, be glad to draw just two or three cards off the X spell. Later on, though, draw as much as you can and discard the weaker cards and excess land.

As a final note, remember that the wording of newer draw spells like Fact or Fiction and Accumulated Knowledge is different. You might forget that Stroke and Braingeyser, with Ancestral Recall and Mind Twist, are the juiciest Misdirection targets in Type I.

Library of Alexandria


Arabian Nights uncommon

Tap: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool. Tap: Draw a card. Play this ability only if you have exactly seven cards in your hand. (Restricted in May 1994)

Library is nicknamed”Library of I Win,” but note that it got weaker as the game got faster. Since you often have to respond quickly to counter or remove an opponent’s threats, and with Wastelands being standard in most competitive decks, the Library isn’t an invincible, uncounterable threat.

That said, use this powerful card with reasonable expectations, and don’t be afraid to drop below seven cards (like Force of Will) for a good reason. When to activate Library is a subtle art. Normally, you have seven cards in hand, then activate Library during your opponent’s turn to avoid discarding. If you have just six, though, you draw then activate it in your main phase, then play a land (it’s easy to play land automatically and forget). When you have seven cards in hand and don’t need to tap Library for mana, always tap it to draw before you cast something (like a counter). Finally, don’t be afraid to use Library with a full hand and no land drops, forcing you to discard weaker cards (you activate in your opponent’s turn to avoid discarding, unless you have land or Moxen).

Another classic question is when to play Library. Contrary to old logic, first-turn Library is usually worse than playing two blue sources first, though you might want to play Library first if you have a so-so hand. If you draw it during the game, try to play it when you have seven cards in hand, so you can activate it with your next draw before an opponent plays a Wasteland. Never force yourself to hold back and go to seven cards, though, unless you really have nothing to cast and have enough mana out. Against a discard-heavy deck like Suicide Black, you may as well let it just sit there unless you have Timetwister, and it’s a poor Suicide player that Sinkholes Library when its owner has no hand.

Wastelands aside, one of the simplest tricks to defeat an active Library was the same thing later used on Whispers of the Muse at the height of Draw-Go in 1998: Just cast things and force him to react. This used to tie down mana for Whispers, and forces the Library player to go below six cards, especially if he is forced to enter a counter war and Force of Will. (Just be sure to do it intelligently.)

If you read Part V, the sample game revolved around Library, especially the question of when to just counter things instead of using the Library of I Win.

Jayemdae Tome



Beta rare

4, Tap: Draw a card.

When someone says”Tome,” he means the original one. Take this conversation:

<KaiB> The Deck is defined by Moat/Jayemdae Tome stuff heh

<KaiB> Either you are talking about The Deck or something else

<Rakso> Nowadays?

<Rakso> Kinda like Fact or Fiction 😉

<Rakso> Only Weissman is using the Tome

<KaiB> That’s no longer Brian’s The Deck then…

<Rakso> I’ll quote you on that… Brian’s gonna love it

Instead of Disrupting Scepter, the Tome has become Brian Weissman’s trademark in the new millennium – though Fact or Fiction led every other player to replace the Tome with instant-speed card drawing.

What Tome does is provide steady card drawing each turn for the cost of four mana and a card. In other words, you pay eight mana to draw the first card, and that’s just to”gain back” the card you lost (the Tome itself). The more turns you draw off the Tome, though, the better it gets. Left alone for a few turns like Library of Alexandria, it will turn the tide of the game, slowly but surely.

As the game became faster, though, the”slowly” part became less sure. One could take the same eight mana and cast Stroke of Genius to gain five cards in one turn… Or, for the same cost as Tome, one could Fact or Fiction into two or three cards right there. This is important because against today’s faster decks, you just can’t wait anymore.

Even with the restriction of Fact or Fiction, Jayemdae Tome has to compete with all the other card drawing spells for the handful of card drawing slots. Even when he played four Fact or Fiction, though, Brian still kept one Tome in his deck, and some players may put it back for a Fact or Fiction.

One strategy note from the old days was to be aware that when you tap for Tome, your opponent could use the expected opening to play instants himself. This could be the Disenchant that otherwise had no target. Removing the last priority disenchant target in”The Deck,” incidentally, was a side effect of the Tome becoming obsolete for most players during 2001.

Emmessi Tome



Tempest rare

5, Tap: Draw two cards, then discard a card from your hand.

Treasure Trove



Exodus uncommon

2UU: Draw a card

Emmessi Tome is special to longtime Beyond Dominia regulars because it was the brainchild of Paul Miller aka Exeter (much like Sylvan Library and Dismantling Blow scream Matt D’Avanzo). When I couldn’t find one in my old Tempest cards to test in real life, he actually asked for my address and mailed one across the Pacific Ocean.

The idea was to use it to filter into better cards by just discarding excess land and weaker cards like dead Disenchants of the time. Note that you didn’t have to discard a card just drawn off the Tome. Nowadays,”The Deck” is more streamlined thanks to newer cards and the filtering is less useful. The more expensive activation cost is also awkward for a few turns.

Though the original may find its way into 2002 decks, Emmessi Tome is probably obsolete, though my copy remains very special.

Treasure Trove, on the other hand, was always suggested by beginners when Jayemdae Tome was still a staple. The argument was that it drew multiple cards and could even be pitched to Force.

To repeat the counterargument, Jayemdae Tome was better because you could cast it with your Mana Drain mana and use colorless sources to activate it. Treasure Trove forces you to wait for more blue sources or leave yourself unable to use Mana Drain. By the time you have the mana to use Trove twice, the extra cards shouldn’t matter, anyway.

The Creature Removal Base

Though this part of”The Deck” is built from a pool of just five cards, it shuts down entire decks based on creatures.”The Deck” builds usually have three spot removal cards, one permanent removal card, and the all-purpose Balance, for a total of five slots.

After all these years, only three cards are options for the spot removal slots of”The Deck.” Before going into specifics, though, keep in mind that you don’t automatically cast them on the first creature you see. Usually, you save them for the first two-power or nasty utility creature, and you can leave 1/1s like Mogg Fanatic or Gorilla Shaman (if you have no Moxen) for The Abyss. On the other hand, use removal to shrink a horde even when Abyss is in play, to save some wear and tear before the horde is sucked in.

As a rule, remember to play these at the last possible moment, which is usually after attackers are declared, and keep your options open until the last minute. Nitpick over whether he is going to play fast effects – he is the active player and has to announce these first – since you might neutralize them in response (Giant Growth for Stompy) or force him to waste mana (pump knight pumps for Suicide Black and White Weenie). In fact, do this even when you have no removal spell.

Finally, watch out for and respond to the few creature enchantments such as Rancor (Stompy) and Empyreal Armor (White Weenie), trading one for two when useful.

Swords to Plowshares



Beta uncommon

Remove target creature from the game. Its controller gains life equal to its power.

Swords is the classic removal spell and the most efficient in the history of the game. For one mana, you not only kill a creature of any size, but you also remove it from the game (which is relevant against regenerators like Masticore and River Boa, and in recursion cases from Timetwister to Nether Spirit, Ashen Ghoul and reanimation). The life gain is irrelevant since you only worry about the opponent’s life total when you are about to kill him with Morphling. When absolutely necessary, you can even use Swords on your own creature to buy one last turn.

The problem with classic spells is that everyone is ready for them. Swords has become less desirable because it is dead weight against creatureless or Morphling-only decks (though it still hits Gorilla Shaman after its first snack).

Finally, although it kills the protection from black Knights of White Weenie that charge past The Abyss, it can’t touch pro-white Knights of Suicide Black, which is the bigger threat. On the other hand, Swords is still the most straightforward foil for Phyrexian Negator and other accompanying fat.

Diabolic Edict



Tempest common

Target player sacrifices a creature.

Black is supposed to be the strong creature removal color, but Terror and its cousins only touched four out of five colors, leaving Edict and Contagion as the staples.

Edict doesn’t look stronger than Swords at first glance because the opponent gets to choose. If you topdeck Edict against a Sligh deck with Dwarven Miner and Jackal Pup in play, against a Stompy deck with Quirion Ranger and Elvish Lyrist (holding The Abyss), or even against a random deck with a Llanowar Elf and a Blastoderm, you can see why this is annoying.

Edict does one and only one thing: Kill Morphling (if that doesn’t look important by now…)

Take it from Zvi Mowshowitz, the man who created the forerunner of the Britney Spears’ Boobs decks:

<Zvi> One thing I found was that trying to play a deck based around turbo-Morphling is quite risky when people maindeck 4 Diabolic Edicts

<Rakso> Who does that?

<Zvi> Darwin Kastle…

<Zvi> Beat him but I got damn lucky

I have to clarify, though, that Darwin Kastle was playing aggro and not”The Deck” at the Sydney Invitational. The above insightful chat was posted on the Casual Player’s Alliance months ago, and it’s possible that some players took the joke out of context.

For example, my loyal fan Shade2k1 of MTGNews posted the sideboard of his”The Deck” version after reading my articles:

“By the way, for the record, here’s my sideboard, just so Rakso can’t say I tried to copy him if there are any similarities:

1 Aegis of Honor

3 Diabolic Edict

1 Dismantling Blow

1 Fire/Ice

1 Misdirection

4 Pyroblast

4 Red Elemental Blast”

Further, Random-Miser posted the sideboard of his “ICT” deck on Beyond Dominia:


4 Diabolic Edict

3 R.E.B

3 Pyroblast

3 Jester’s Cap

2 Misdirection

“The deck slaughters Sligh, Parfait, and Stompy with little difficulty, and can stand to OSE, BBS and Keeper before sideboard. After Board it flat out slaughters OSE, BBS, and Keeper… If ya want somethin’ that beats the field, ICT is it.”

The problem is that Diabolic Edict is excellent only for the first spot removal slot, and is mediocre for the next ones.

It’s inefficient, but good only because Morphling is good. But, Morphling only drops at the end of games, so if you have a hand clogged by Edicts instead of counters or useful cards, the Morphling deck just does a lot of funny things or builds up counters and then plays Morphling.

In other words, one Edict to back up Balance is fine, but more than one is chaff. This makes the two sideboards above weaker than they seem. (Also, it would be interesting to see what you can take out from”The Deck” to sideboard in the twelve anti-control cards listed, and how well the overkill of eight Red Blasts against a deck with a lot of key nonblue restricted cards, beginning with Mind Twist and Yawgmoth’s Will.)

There are matchups, of course, where”The Deck” could use a second Edict. The now-dead BSB decks with four Morphlings and fast mana could justify it, and it’d be reasonable against revised decks that add four Ophidians (which isn’t touched by Fire).

Going beyond two, though, is ridiculous. The lesson here is that you kill a control deck by cutting off card advantage, not by killing the last card it plays (much like how you kill Trix by hitting Accumulated Knowledge instead of waiting for Illusions of Grandeur).

On a timing note, remember that you can respond to a second creature spell to kill the first. Also note that Edict and Balance are the only answers of”The Deck” an Argothian Enchantress that slips past, the trick of green Parfait variants.




Apocalypse uncommon (split card)

Fire deals 2 damage divided as you choose among any number of target creatures and/or players / Tap target permanent. Draw a card.

The flexibility of Fire was first voiced by Eric“Danger” Taylor on the Meridian Magic e-group last June 2001:”By the way, Merchant Scroll is a four-of-a-kind legal card in Type I. I’m tempted to add one Prophetic Bolt to the Type I deck because you can go get it with the four Merchant Scrolls. You can also play Fire and Ice for the early game, go Merchant Scroll up the Ice, and then use Fire to zap a couple of Gorillas or Jackal Pups.”

The rookie card, Fire is the most flexible spot removal spell available to”The Deck” today. In Type I, the most efficient weenies are 2/1s for one mana (Jackal Pup, Goblin Cadets, Savannah Lions, Wild Dogs). Fire is the only spot removal spell that kills two for one, and other one-toughness creatures include annoying utility creatures (Gorilla Shaman and Elvish Lyrist) and other offensive creatures (pump knights and Soltari Monk). It still kills other common two-toughness problems from Hypnotic Specter to Dwarven Miner.

Ice”cycles” against creature-light decks like”The Deck.” You can even”Time Walk” by casting it during an opponent’s upkeep very early, or thwart a Mana Drain by tapping one of only two untapped blue lands end-of-turn (preferably, tap his City of Brass). Come midgame, you might even topdeck Fire against an opponent who has gone down to one or two with Sylvan Library or City of Brass and surprise him (if he has gone down to one, Fire him and yourself for one each to avoid Misdirection).

Finally, the blue/red nature of the spell is unique for two reasons: First, you can just pitch it to Force of Will, if nothing else. This is very important when sideboarding, because you can leave it in against a control deck if you suspect boarded creatures such as Dwarven Miner. Second, as mentioned, you can fetch it with Merchant Scroll.

The drawback is that Fire doesn’t kill creatures above two toughness. Though fat is uncommon in Type I, the top of the list still includes Ophidian, Shadowmage Inifltrator, Serendib Efreet, Phyrexian Negator, Juzam Djinn and Phyrexian Scuta. It also can’t kill a few weenies like Kird Ape, Rogue Elephant, Vine Dryad, and less common ones such as Rotting Giant and Flesh Reaver.

Its flexibility makes it an excellent maindeck card, but you might want to put in Swords to Plowshares if non-weenie creature decks in your area concern you, especially Suicide Black.

The Abyss


Enchant World

Legends rare

At the beginning of each player’s upkeep, destroy target nonartifact creature that player controls of his or her choice. It can’t be regenerated.




Legends rare

Creatures without flying can’t attack.

By now, it must be obvious when to tutor for or Mana Drain out a permanent removal card like The Abyss, but remember to go for Balance instead if an opponent has three or more creatures, or use spot removal to thin the horde. Otherwise, you take damage.

When you do get it out safely, it’s safe to assume it will stay there against Sligh and Suicide Black, but be careful against white (disenchant effects) and green (Lyrist, Emerald Charm, and even Hull Breach). Also, you still can’t sit back and wait because a weenie player can hold back but suddenly play three or more weenies in one turn. (The solution is to kill or counter the third.)

Rules notes: Remember that Morphling and other untargetable creatures cannot be killed by Abyss because they cannot be targeted. Same goes for protection from black creatures. Abyss can also be neutralized by a single creature that can phase out in response to being targeted, such as Frenetic and Rainbow Efreet. Mother of Runes does something similar. Abyss can also be killed by an Elvish Lyrist because it can sac itself in response to being targeted, but the same rules mean a dying Serendib Efreet or Juzam Djinn still damages the controller. Finally, Nether Void kills Abyss due to Enchant World rules.

Against another control deck, never play Abyss without thinking – even if you have to discard it and have excess mana anyway. When you play Morphling, you will have to pay one mana each turn, and Abyss will also stop Gorilla Shaman from attacking (some games do end with Shaman damage).

Finally, remember that many decks have creatures that evade Abyss such as Mishra’s Factory (various), Chimeric Idol (Pox), Steel Golem (Pox), protection from black Knights (White Weenie), Masticore (various), Phyrexian War Beast (various), and other artifact creatures (Teletubbies and Stacker).

How and when to use Moat is just as obvious as The Abyss, but note that you need two white mana to cast it. Even with ten white sources (four City of Brass, four Tundra, Mox Pearl, Black Lotus), a deck relying on Moat might not get WW by turn 3 or 4, especially by the Wastelands of an aggro player who knows to expect Moat instead.

It also doesn’t deal with dangerous utility creatures such as Dwarven Miner and Gorilla Shaman, and with certain flyers like Hypnotic Specter and Serendib Efreet, but it stops most common creatures The Abyss doesn’t.

(Incidentally, Nightwind Glider in casual rebel decks is a surprise that evades both Moat and Abyss, as jokingly noted by players when Masques was released. Mystic Visionary from Odyssey does the same thing.)

Back in 1998, the decks on Beyond Dominia used both Moat and Abyss to create a strong anti-creature lock, but that is now one slot too many that becomes dead against a creatureless deck. Maindecking the stronger Abyss and sideboarding Moat, especially against Stacker and Teletubbies, is the usual practice.

The Disenchant Base

A Disenchant effect is a staple for most decks with white, but you may wonder why modern decks have only one Disenchant slot compared to the 1995 deck. You might think it’s because of tutors, but the better answer is the lack of key enchantment and artifact threats. Many decks either don’t use them, or use threats that you can just ignore and play Morphling. Thus, the present strategy is to just use one, save it for something nasty, then win before the second one becomes a factor.

Dismantling Blow



Invasion common

Kicker 2U (You may pay an additional 2U as you play this spell.) Destroy target artifact or enchantment. If you paid the kicker cost, draw two cards.




Beta common

Destroy target artifact or enchantment.

On Beyond Dominia, this slot belongs to Matt D’Avanzo, who convinced everyone to”switch over.” Before Invasion, the disenchant slots were problems because you wanted to use as few as possible but paid for it against the few decks that had disenchant targets. With Dismantling Blow, an otherwise dead Disenchant could just hit a Mox and”cycle” itself for two cards, as illustrated in Part V.

The only reason to run the original Disenchant is that Dismantling Blow costs more, which is crucial in a few situations with a slow hand and a random first-turn Black Vise or an early artifact creature using Dark Ritual (Steel Golem) or Mishra’s Workshop (Juggernaut or Su-Chi), or when using recursion like Regrowth, Yawgmoth’s Will, and Holistic Wisdom.

Seal of Cleansing



Nemesis common

Sacrifice Seal of Cleansing: Destroy target artifact or enchantment.

Seal of Cleansing is a less common alternative, and comes out only when you want to tap out to get the Seal out as early as possible. What the Seal does is avoid discard and counters (which, if you don’t run Dismantling Blow, edges out Disenchant since it and Seal cost the same). Very few enchantments warrant this paranoia, but culprits include Back to Basics and Blood Moon.

If you looked at Maher’s list from the Sydney Invitational, the culprit there was Kai Budde Trix deck. The funny thing is that Bob lost to Kai anyway, and split the two mirrors, losing to Mike Long but beating Noah Boeken.

Well, that was every miscellaneous hint and tip I had on the main cards of”The Deck” and Type I control decks in general. Pay close attention to the principles outlined because changes in the card pool or environment may change the way cards are played (I gave Jayemdae Tome as a good example).

Now that you have the specific tricks of the basics down pat, we’ll spend some time going through the tough part, the special cards that have unique abilities that you can’t categorize. Tune in next week and we’ll go through how exactly to use various tricks like Time Walk and Yawgmoth’s Will.

Till then, pause for a moment and feel the energy of a fresh year (and go find a new calendar, too).

Oscar Tan

[email protected]

rakso on #BDChat on Newnet

Manila, Philippines

Type I, Extended and Casual Maintainer, Beyond Dominia (http://www.bdominia.com/discus/messages/9/9.shtml)

Featured writer, Star City Games (http://www.starcitygames.com/php/news/archive.php?Article=Oscar Tan)

Proud member of the Casual Player’s Alliance (http://www.casualplayers.org)