You CAN Play Type I #40: The Control Player’s Bible, Part XX – Head To Head With Zoo

Is it a dead archetype now? Oscar braves the wilds of the Zoo to find out, and throws a little misin’ love in Mikey P’s way.

The Control Player’s Bible, Book I (The Fundamentals of 5-color control)

Contents of Book I:

The Control Player’s Bible, Book II (Advanced 5-color control strategy)

Part XVI: Why control sucks

Part XVI: The Inquest Idiocy Quiz

Part XVIII: Head to Head: Sligh

Part XIX: Head to Head: Stacker 2

Part XX: Head to Head: Stompy

Part XXI: Head to Head: Zoo

The Writer’s War playoffs

Well, thanks again to all of you, I won one from [author name="Alex Shvartsman"]Alex Shvartsman[/author]. Now, I’m one step away from the playoffs, and up against Zvi Mowshowitz to clean up in my half of the game. Last week, I got some e-mail from readers who said they voted for me because I’ve always kept my stuff free.

Nothing against Zvi, of course, but I was just glad people noticed. I’ve tried to make my writing as accessible as possible down to my e-book on Type I, I’ve moderated a popular free site (that will soon die) for almost three years, and I make it a point to answer all my e-mail. I never thought anyone noticed, but thanks.

Kindly vote Oscar Tan here: http://www.ccgprime.com/events/writerwar/poolb.html. Despite the weird start, I guess I’d like to see a Star City vs. Star City finals against the chief.

The Neutral Ground $250 and savage mising

Mikey Pustilnik cleaned up the Type I tournament Neutral Ground sponsored last week. Matt D’Avanzo immediately AIMed me the hilarious story of the day. Some guy named Ed Paltzik, a.k.a.”The Man, The Myth, The Legend” was spamming the dead Beyond Dominia forums and e-mailing viruses to the regulars – and bragging that he would unveil a new deck to scare the wits out of the control players at Neutral Ground.

The”secret” turned out to be nothing more than lucky draws with Dark Ritual + Phyrexian Negator. In his very first game, he bragged about an opening hand with Swamp, Black Lotus, Dark Ritual, Duress, Phyrexian Negator and Flesh Reaver, and defeated Mikey P.

But no one mises like Mikey P.

Ed nailed another control player with similar skill (aka maindeck Flesh Reaver and Null Rod) and met Mikey P in the top 8. Mikey P dumped a hand full of artifact mana, cast Time Walk and Timetwister, Mind Twisted the black deck’s hand away, then quickly joined control players around the world rolling on the floor laughing.


The Norwegian Nationals

In other news, Chris Flaaten placed #6 in the Norweigian Nationals, placing just below his friend and former Invitational player Nicolai Herzog. The funny thing is that Chris is a dedicated Type I player with a Limited rating of 2000+. Before Nationals, he only played Type II twice – at FNMs where he borrowed decks so he could play while judging.

Chris piloted Zevatog and borrowed heavily from his Type I “Keep the Oath” playbook, showing you how important the principles of”The Deck” are.

Zoo: The legend continues

I’ve decided to extend my aggro series a bit, after encouraging feedback to Zoo discussion I stirred up. Besides, Brad Lewis aka”A DC-area 5-Color Dude” from Damascus, Maryland e-mailed me to ask when Zoo was getting a feature match.

In old discussions in 1998, I defined Zoo as a multi-color aggro deck defined by diverse damage sources (weenie, burn, artifact) and powerful, restricted draw cards. It defined an era with”The Deck” and the Necrodeck, and it could race the former and just pound the latter with damage. You might remember that in 1996, Brian Weissman even gave up”The Deck” for Zoo, until Black Vise was restricted.

(Brad had a four-digit DCI number and has been playing since 1994, so I guess he and other old school boys aren’t going to let me get away with glossing over Zoo. Okay, Brad… We’re doing your archtype.)

The Zoo archtype is interesting because it became a Type I pariah after Urza’s Saga. Its diversity was useless against broken combo decks, and draw 7s just fueled their kills. After combo mania ended, the death of the Necrodeck meant Zoo lost its target. Draw 7s were powerful against Necropotence, but much trickier against everything else. Finally, with Invasion, unrestricted Fact or Fiction made Type I control far too strong. Back to Basics was in mono blue for”The Deck,” but it hit Zoo even harder without meaning to.

Now that the dust has cleared, the question remains: Is a multicolor aggro deck worth it? You gain diversity and power cards at the expense of your mana base – and you’ve already seen how dangerous mono-color aggro is in my Sligh and Stompy demonstrations.

If we assume that the answer is”yes,” then I think the reconstruction of Zoo is one of the most interesting unresolved issues in Type I today. The first problem is which colors to run, and I listed the possibilities in the Star City forum:

Green: Various beatdown creatures from Blurred Mongoose and River Boa to Call of the Herd, various utility creatures from Druid Lyrist to Granger Guildmage, Rancor, Regrowth, Sylvan Library, Choke, plus Kird Ape and Hull Breach

Red: Jackal Pup, various burn, Wheel of Fortune, plus Sligh hate options

Blue: Power blue and other card drawing, Serendib Efreet, Psionic Blast

White: Savannah Lions, utility from Swords to Plowshares to Seal of Cleansing, Balance, plus Meddling Mage and sideboard options such as Honorable Passage

Black: Duress, black restricted cards, Phyrexian Negator, Diabolic/Chainer’s Edict, Forsaken Wastes

I downplayed white, black, and counters in the discussion because these tend to turn the deck into aggro-control – and we’re not covering that yet. This restriction still leaves a lot of room for tinkering. You already saw John Perio experimenting with Standstill over Draw 7s, and me goofing off with Quirion Dryad before Miracle Gro was put together. Shayne Weyker also posted his rough draft for Baghdad Zoo with Bazaar for card drawing, and where to put Bazaar is yet another unresolved issue in Type I (I mentioned I was toying with something that used Survival and Bazaar myself in past columns).

Head To Head With Zoo

Though there is no archtypical build at present, I collaborated with Eric Rouge, a.k.a. Redman, the late Beyond Dominia’s most prominent Zoo fan, to produce a”conventional” build. It resembles the old school Zoo decks, but sports Call of the Herd.

In case you were wondering, Eric is a History and Science sophomore at Harvard and is Assistant Chief Engineer of the campus radio station. He enjoys stylish cards like Jokulhaups and Stormbind, large multiplayer games, and all-commons decks, especially budget zoo builds. Outside Magic, his interests range from computer science to singing.

Oh… And he loathes counterspells, though he enjoys Deck Parfait when moonlighting as a control player.

01:13:39 – — Scrub says: ”Ur Mom is intelligent.”

01:13:39 – — Rakso says: ”Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war”

01:13:42 – Rakso drew 7 cards.

01:13:51 – Scrub drew 7 cards.

I round the corner, cross a dirty alley, and stride into the open arena. My opponent is already standing in the center, flexing his muscles. I remove my jacket and stand opposite Eric, and we stare each other in the eye. The Ferrett stands up from the sidelines, walks up, and says something about playing clean and no intentional draws.

We turn and stare hard at him.

Someone snickers from the crowd and tosses a worn ball to the Ferrett. He takes a long pull on his cigarette, then throws it to the floor with a shake of his head.

Then, nervously, he gives the signal, raising his hand…

01:14:11 – It is now Turn 1.

01:14:14 – Rakso says:’go’

01:14:20 – Scrub plays Taiga.

01:14:20 – Scrub plays Mox Ruby.

01:14:20 – Scrub plays Black Lotus.

01:14:22 – Scrub buries Black Lotus.

01:14:23 – Scrub plays Channel.

01:14:23 – Taiga is tapped.

01:14:25 – Scrub plays Kaervek’s Torch.

01:14:27 – — Scrub says: ”For 20.”

01:14:30 – Scrub plays Red Elemental Blast.

…and Eric pulls out an Uzi and leaves my bullet-riddled corpse behind.

Just kidding.

01:13:39 – — Scrub says: ”Ur Mom is intelligent.”

01:13:39 – — Rakso says: ”Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war”

01:13:42 – Rakso drew 7 cards.

01:13:51 – Scrub drew 7 cards.

01:14:11 – It is now Turn 1.

01:14:14 – Rakso says:’go’

01:14:20 – Scrub plays Taiga.

…He flips the ball into the air, and quickly backs away. A split second later, both of us jump into the air, but my fingers get a firm one-handed grip. I pull the ball towards me as I land and push it towards the cement floor with controlled force.

01:14:21 – It is now turn 2.

01:14:23 – Rakso draws a card.

01:14:30 – Rakso plays Volcanic Island.

01:14:32 – Rakso plays Mox Jet.

01:14:32 – Mox Jet is tapped.

01:14:33 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

01:14:34 – Rakso plays Powder Keg.

I fake left, then cross over to dribble with my right. Eric shuffles left, and I dance past.

A quick lay-up later, I am rewarded with the satisfying chime of the chain net. Two down, eight points to go.

01:14:35 – It is now turn 3.

01:14:38 – Scrub draws a card.

01:15:02 – Scrub plays Taiga.

01:15:07 – Taiga is tapped.

01:15:08 – Taiga is tapped.

01:15:10 – Scrub plays Blurred Mongoose.

01:15:12 – Rakso says:’k’

Blurred Mongoose




Invasion rare

Blurred Mongoose can’t be countered. Blurred Mongoose can’t be the target of spells or abilities.

Ugh. This is one of the next-generation creatures that gives aggro yet another way to escape The Abyss. It doesn’t hit very hard and is extremely easy to block, but it fits right into Zoo’s controlled pace.

Eric gets the ball and takes a step forward. I spread my arms and think I have him covered, but he pulls back for a quick jumper. Score even at 2-2.

01:15:13 – It is now turn 4.

01:15:18 – Powder Keg now has 1 counters. (+1)

01:15:18 – Mox Jet is tapped.

01:15:19 – Rakso plays Vampiric Tutor.

01:15:20 – Rakso’s life is now 18. (-2)

01:15:26 – Rakso moves Ancestral Recall from Rakso’s library to tabletop.

01:15:28 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

01:15:29 – Rakso buries Ancestral Recall.

01:15:30 – Rakso drew 3 cards.

01:15:34 – Rakso plays Tundra.

Eric smiles at the successful ploy. He puts up a dogged defense. I weave right, then left, unable to get past him. He reaches in, trying for a steal, but doesn’t quite get it. He taps the ball out of control, though. I turn around and beat him to it.

I circle out of the inside, and he moves to cut me off. I stop and do a turnaround fade-away from the three-point line.

(Hey, it’s my fantasy, and my Ancestral.)

It’s good, and the score is 5-2.

01:15:35 – It is now turn 5.

01:15:56 – Scrub draws a card.

01:16:00 – Scrub plays City of Brass.

01:16:05 – Blurred Mongoose is tapped.

01:16:06 – Blurred Mongoose is attacking.

01:16:08 – Rakso’s life is now 16. (-2)

01:16:10 – City of Brass is tapped.

01:16:11 – Taiga is tapped.

01:16:11 – Taiga is tapped.

01:16:13 – Scrub plays Call of the Herd.

01:16:14 – Scrub’s life is now 19. (-1)

01:16:16 – Rakso says:’k’

01:16:38 – Scrub plays JP”Polluted” Meyer 3/3.

01:16:48 – Tundra is tapped.

01:16:50 – Rakso plays Swords to Plowshares.

01:16:55 – Scrub removes JP”Polluted” Meyer 3/3 from the game.

01:16:58 – Scrub’s life is now 22. (+3)

Now it’s my turn to smile back at Eric. An almost imperceptible crown creeps onto his face, and he goes for a quick drive. His shoulder connects with my chest, and I go down while he sinks a powerful dunk.

The Ferrett blows the whistle on him, though, seeing his shoulder lower slightly in the middle of the run.

01:17:00 – It is now turn 6.

01:17:04 – Powder Keg now has 2 counters. (+1)

01:17:05 – Rakso draws a card.

01:17:10 – Rakso plays Tundra.

01:17:16 – Rakso plays Mox Pearl.

01:17:18 – It is now turn 7.

01:17:21 – Scrub draws a card.

01:17:24 – Blurred Mongoose is attacking.

01:17:28 – Rakso buries Powder Keg.

01:17:29 – Scrub buries Blurred Mongoose.

01:17:31 – Scrub plays Tropical Island.

Something’s fishy. He just played his fourth land, and he has a Call of the Herd in the graveyard but doesn’t replay it, leaving the board empty.

Ferrett calls for a free throw. I send it straight in and hit nothing but net. 6-2.

01:17:49 – It is now turn 8.

01:17:52 – Rakso draws a card.

01:17:55 – Rakso plays City of Brass.

01:18:02 – Tropical Island is tapped.

01:18:03 – City of Brass is tapped.

01:18:04 – Taiga is tapped.

01:18:05 – Taiga is tapped.

01:18:05 – Scrub plays Fact or Fiction.

01:18:06 – Scrub’s life is now 21. (-1)

01:18:08 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

01:18:09 – Tundra is tapped.

01:18:09 – Tundra is tapped.

01:18:10 – Mox Pearl is tapped.

01:18:10 – Mox Jet is tapped.

01:18:12 – Rakso plays Force of Will.

There it is.

Eric tries to charge past my right, but I match his movement. He brings the ball to his left from behind and runs past as my momentum carries me just a little too far.

I shift my weight and go after him. I catch up and try for a swipe. My timing is flawless and my fingers connect…

01:18:17 – It is now turn 9.

01:18:23 – Scrub draws a card.

01:18:58 – Taiga is tapped.

01:19:03 – Scrub plays Sol Ring.

01:19:11 – Tropical Island is tapped.

01:19:11 – Rakso says:’k’

01:19:12 – Taiga is tapped.

01:19:15 – Scrub plays Dwarven Miner.

01:19:17 – Rakso says:’k’

01:19:29 – Scrub says:’now this i’m not sure of’

01:19:57 – City of Brass is tapped.

01:19:57 – Scrub’s life is now 20. (-1)

01:19:59 – Sol Ring is tapped.

01:20:01 – Scrub plays Wheel of Fortune.

Sneaky! An aggro deck baiting away counters!

I don’t quite get control, though, and Eric regains the ball. He tries for a shot from the corner of the court. I jump up with my arms raised, spoiling it. He doesn’t release. He brings his arms back up as I drop back to the ground.

I raise my arms a bit too eagerly and make body contact as the ball sails to the basket and almost misses the rim. It hits the edge, rolls slightly, and falls in. Ferrett gives Eric a charity, too. He makes it and cuts my lead. 6-5.

01:20:23 – Rakso moves City of Brass from Rakso’s hand to Rakso’s


01:20:23 – Rakso moves Mox Sapphire from Rakso’s hand to Rakso’s graveyard.

01:20:23 – Rakso moves Undiscovered Paradise from Rakso’s hand to Rakso’s graveyard.

01:20:25 – Scrub moves Blurred Mongoose from Scrub’s hand to Scrub’s graveyard.

01:20:26 – Rakso drew 7 cards.

01:20:31 – Scrub drew 7 cards.

01:20:35 – Scrub says:’draw 7s are funny things’

Dwarven Miner




Mirage uncommon

2R, Tap: Destroy target nonbasic land.

Wheel of Fortune



Beta rare

Each player discards his or her hand and draws seven cards. (Restricted in March 1994.)

The Wheel didn’t turn out to be such a good idea since he had a Miner on the table and I had nothing but mana. From Eric point of view, though, he saw an opportunity with me tapped out and wanted to refuel while taking out the three cards I held back. Note he had nothing else but another Mongoose in hand

It was a tricky moment.

After the game, Eric, Matt D’Avanzo and myself dissected the Fact or Fiction-fake out and Wheel on #bdchat on EFNet. At first, the play looks right since he gains two cards. However, when you take the card advantage angle, Dwarven Miner would have taken out two lands before Keg exploded at two counters.

By the time I dealt with Miner (with Keg or a removal card in hand), he’d still have the Mongoose in hand and the Call to flash back. I probably wouldn’t be able to deal with both unless I topdecked Morphling, so he wasn’t out of steam yet.

Eric thought I probably had a Mana Drain in hand to counter the Wheel later on, but he could also force me to use it on other threats, then Wheel to reset if I did something broken. If I didn’t do anything funny, he could win off the two threats without the risk of giving me a broken new hand.

Matt had a simpler explanation, and since I never played with Timetwister much, I defer. From observing Timetwister in control mirror matches, he said you have to time it very well. One of the worst moments, though, is to tap and let”The Deck” have first crack at the seven cards. With six mana on the table, I could easily regain the two cards and he might not even get a chance to use his new hand.

Again, since the control deck here has a much bigger chance of getting the more broken new hand, it would have been less risky to just use the threats on the board. At worst, Wheel could be an option later after Miner had a couple of runs. He’d have maybe three mana instead of none to work with after Wheel, and I’d have two less.

01:20:43 – It is now turn 10.

01:20:58 – Rakso draws a card.

01:21:25 – Rakso plays Library of Alexandria.

01:21:27 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

01:21:31 – Mox Pearl is tapped.

01:21:32 – Rakso plays Merchant Scroll.

01:21:39 – Rakso moves Mystical Tutor from tabletop to Rakso’s hand.

01:21:41 – Library of Alexandria is tapped.

01:21:42 – Rakso draws a card.

01:21:43 – Tundra is tapped.

01:21:46 – Rakso plays Blue Elemental Blast.

01:21:50 – Scrub buries Dwarven Miner.

01:21:57 – Rakso plays Mox Emerald.

01:21:58 – Mox Jet is tapped.

01:21:59 – Mox Emerald is tapped.

01:22:00 – Scrub says:’maybe wasn’t such a good idea’

01:22:01 – Rakso plays Powder Keg.

The last time Shaquille O’Neal visited the Philippines for an exhibition game, the country realized that no player in the Philippine Basketball Association could guard him… So Shaq is at least a foot taller than most Philippine players, and a lot bigger than the tallest ones.

When he came over, we all forgot he was supposed to be a center.

We watched the two tallest players in our local league positioned themselves under the ring. Then, on national TV, we watched them run to the sides as Shaq came straight in for a dunk like a gigantic, flying mountain of a point guard.

Never mind if Shaq’s critics say he doesn’t do anything in the NBA except weigh a hundred pounds more than anyone else. That’s exactly what I do to Eric here. I buy myself some room to go to 8-5.

01:22:03 – It is now turn 11.

01:22:20 – Scrub draws a card.

01:22:25 – Scrub plays Wasteland.

01:22:35 – Rakso buries Library of Alexandria.

01:22:36 – Scrub buries Wasteland.

01:22:54 – Scrub says:’well, we’ll see’

01:22:58 – Taiga is tapped.

01:23:25 – Sol Ring is tapped.

01:23:28 – Scrub plays Dwarven Miner.

01:23:30 – Rakso says:’k’

01:23:47 – Taiga is tapped.

01:23:51 – Tropical Island is tapped.

01:23:54 – Scrub plays Stormbind.

01:23:59 – Tundra is tapped.

01:23:59 – City of Brass is tapped.

01:24:00 – Rakso’s life is now 15. (-1)

01:24:02 – Rakso plays Mana Drain.

Eric tries to fake me out again, but I control my momentum more carefully. As he tries to run past, I tap the ball and dribble it away behind him. As he realizes what just happened and whirls around, I take a hurried shot.

It falls just a bit short and bounces off the rim. I get my own rebound, though, and bring it back out as Eric follows close behind.

01:24:27 – It is now turn 12.

01:24:32 – Powder Keg now has 1 counters. (+1)

01:24:37 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

01:24:38 – Rakso plays Mystical Tutor.

01:24:47 – Rakso moves Mind Twist from tabletop to Rakso’s hand.

01:25:00 – Rakso plays Wasteland.

01:25:00 – Wasteland is tapped.

01:25:03 – Scrub says:’response’

01:25:05 – City of Brass is tapped.

01:25:06 – Scrub’s life is now 19. (-1)

01:25:07 – Scrub plays Mystical Tutor.

01:25:09 – Rakso says:’k’

01:25:58 – Scrub moves Timetwister from tabletop to Scrub’s library.

01:25:59 – Rakso says:’k’

01:26:03 – Scrub buries City of Brass.

01:26:11 – Mox Jet is tapped.

01:26:12 – Mox Pearl is tapped.

01:26:16 – Rakso plays Mind Twist.

01:26:29 – Rakso says:’4′




Beta rare

Each player shuffles his or her hand and graveyard into his or her library and then draws seven cards. (Then put Timetwister into its owner’s graveyard.) (Restricted in January 1994)

Mind Twist



Beta rare

Target player discards X cards at random from his or her hand. (Restricted in August 1994, banned in February 1996, unbanned and restricted in October 2000)

In the face of Eric tenacious defense, I use the time-honored solution of Philippine basketball:

The elbow.

(In case you have your doubts, elbowing in professional basketball was pioneered by our legendary player – then coach – Robert Jaworski. He is presently serving his first term in the Philippine Senate after cashing in his popularity in the last national elections. He has, so far, distinguished himself with an amazing ability to mangle the English language, especially during the televised Estrada impeachment trial last year. His son tried to follow in his footsteps but displayed an amazing knack for fouling out faster than he could score, and settled for marrying one of the hottest actresses in town instead of politics.)

Playing like a true Filipino, I make sure Eric body is between me and Weasely One’s bored eyes.

01:26:42 – Scrub moves City of Brass from Scrub’s hand to Scrub’s graveyard.

01:26:43 – Scrub moves Volcanic Island from Scrub’s hand to Scrub’s graveyard.

01:26:45 – Scrub moves Hull Breach from Scrub’s hand to Scrub’s graveyard.

01:26:46 – Scrub moves City of Brass from Scrub’s hand to Scrub’s graveyard.

01:26:48 – Rakso buries Mind Twist.

01:27:01 – Rakso buries Powder Keg.

01:27:03 – Scrub buries Sol Ring.

01:27:09 – Tundra is tapped.

01:27:10 – Mox Emerald is tapped.

01:27:13 – Rakso plays Regrowth.

Wait… An active Miner on the table and I use my Keg on his Sol Ring?

No, the Miner isn’t the problem – it’s the Timetwister in his hand that threatens to reset the game yet again. His Wheel gave me an amazing draw, but the Twister may not be as kind.

I break past Eric defense, but the ball hits his foot and I lose control. It bounces in Eric direction and he quickly picks it up and runs inside. I trail behind desperately…

01:27:09 – Rakso moves Mana Drain from graveyard to Rakso’s hand.

He takes a powerful leap, but I’m right behind him. I slap the ball away from behind in a desperate block.

01:27:17 – It is now turn 13.

01:27:21 – Scrub draws a card.

01:27:26 – Tropical Island is tapped.

01:27:26 – Taiga is tapped.

01:27:27 – Taiga is tapped.

01:27:28 – Dwarven Miner is tapped.

01:27:35 – Rakso buries Tundra.

No, sorry, I don’t play Teferi’s Response, though I heard Mikey P has mised more Miners than any other control player.

01:27:40 – It is now turn 14.

01:27:45 – Rakso draws a card.

01:27:47 – Mox Jet is tapped.

01:27:48 – Mox Pearl is tapped.

01:27:49 – Mox Emerald is tapped.

01:27:51 – Rakso removes Yawgmoth’s Will from the game.

Yawgmoth’s Will isn’t bad, though.

The ball bounces off the board and we race to get it back. Eric beats me to it, but touches it just as it bounces out of bounds. My ball.

01:28:00 – Rakso moves Mox Sapphire from Rakso’s graveyard to tabletop.

01:28:02 – Scrub says:’:(‘

01:28:07 – Rakso moves Wasteland from Rakso’s graveyard to tabletop.

01:28:26 – Mox Sapphire is tapped.

01:28:30 – Rakso removes Ancestral Recall from the game.

01:28:32 – Rakso drew 3 cards.

01:28:51 – Tundra is tapped.

01:29:00 – Rakso removes Swords to Plowshares from the game.

01:29:02 – Scrub removes Dwarven Miner from the game.

01:29:03 – Scrub’s life is now 20. (+1)

01:29:20 – Rakso removes Wasteland from the game.

01:29:22 – Scrub buries Tropical Island.

Eric positions himself in front of me, winded but still determined to put up a fight. I can see the concentration on his face, his determination to cut me off when I break to either side.

Suddenly, I bounce the ball in between his legs. Half a second of hesitation is all it takes. I run past Eric and go all the way…

01:29:41 – It is now turn 15.

01:29:47 – Scrub draws a card.

01:29:49 – Scrub plays Volcanic Island.

If you followed the board position carefully, I left two blue mana untapped just in case he topdecked a third land…

01:29:52 – It is now turn 16.

01:29:53 – Rakso says:’whew’

01:29:59 – Rakso draws a card.

01:30:01 – Rakso plays Wasteland.

01:30:01 – Wasteland is tapped.

01:30:05 – Scrub buries Volcanic Island.

01:30:07 – It is now turn 17.

01:30:11 – Scrub draws a card.

01:30:13 – Scrub plays Volcanic Island.

01:30:18 – Rakso says:’damn topdecks’

01:30:23 – Scrub says:’sorry’

01:30:25 – It is now turn 18.

01:30:26 – Rakso draws a card.

01:30:28 – Rakso plays Strip Mine.

01:30:31 – Scrub buries Volcanic Island.

01:30:33 – Rakso buries Strip Mine.

01:30:33 – It is now turn 19.

01:30:37 – Scrub says:’who’s complaining?’

01:30:40 – Scrub draws a card.

01:30:43 – Scrub plays Wasteland.

The Ancestral and my next topdecks gave me Pyroclasm, Wastelands, and Cities of Brass. Eric got land and Kird Ape, which is soon matched by my topdecked Morphling. Game.

…I end the game in a spectacular 540-degree dunk, and smile at Eric while hanging from the ring, savoring my victory.

(The basketball was requested by Jeremy Buffone, a.k.a. Riverboa11, who just made #6 on his varsity team. He wanted me to take a page off the playoffs, but he had to settle for a street game since I couldn’t write about basketball without elbowing.)

To Draw 7 Or Not To Draw 7

I think this game showed the old Zoo’s Draw 7 strategy at its best and worst. As you saw, the ill-timed Wheel of Fortune just turned my all-mana hand into an amazing fresh one. On the other hand, I couldn’t afford to let that Timetwister resolve. Note that I was trying to figure out why the Draw 7s were missing from the aggro decks at the Sydney Invitational.

This feature also shows the impact of land destruction on Zoo – something you don’t see in mono-colored decks. In fact, Eric and I had to play quite a few games, since almost all of them were decided by clumsy Wasteland exchanges. In one, we even topdecked Gorilla Shamans in consecutive turns, nuking all the Moxen on the board. We also scrapped two after I drew Lotus/Mind Twist hands in both.

I’ll include Eric test deck so you can use it as a springboard for your own experiments:

Old School Zoo, Eric Rouge a.k.a. Redman, Test deck

Creatures (15)

4 Kird Ape

4 Blurred Mongoose

3 Gorilla Shaman

4 Call of the Herd

Burn (8)

4 Lightning Bolt

4 Incinerate

Utility (11)

1 Ancestral Recall

1 Time Walk

1 Mystical Tutor

1 Fact or Fiction

1 Timetwister

1 Wheel of Fortune

1 Yawgmoth’s Will

1 Demonic Tutor

1 Sylvan Library

2 Hull Breach

Mana (26)

1 Black Lotus

1 Mox Sapphire

1 Mox Ruby

1 Mox Emerald

1 Sol Ring

1 Strip Mine

4 Wasteland

4 City of Brass

1 Undiscovered Paradise

4 Taiga

4 Volcanic Island

3 Tropical Island

Sideboard (15)

4 Red Elemental Blast

2 Blue Elemental Blast

1 Stormbind

1 Zuran Orb

4 Dwarven Miner

3 Tranquil Domain

The aggro players can do a lot with the Zoo idea. For example, Eric and Matt have been trying Mongoose decks (Nimble and Blurred) that look like Sligh decks with far sturdier creatures. You can fine-tune the blitzkrieg, or work on flexibility (which we’ll take up further when we get to aggro-control matchups).

Sideboarding is an experiment, too, since the Zoo build is very open-ended. In this game, Eric sided out all the burn for the Miners and Red Blasts, and took out a Kird Ape for Stormbind for style. He could’ve added Tranquil Domains to supplement Hull Breach, though, and one starts thinking about whether he can make room.

Moreover, note that it would have been different had he not known my sideboard.”The Deck” players in power-filled environments pack their own Miners, for example, and Eric sided out all his creaturekill.

Me, I approached his deck like a Sligh deck, except I kept the full complement of Wastelands. I even took out two Force of Will because spot removal was very useful against his mana denial. It was more useful than pitch counters I could only hard cast once I was in control, and that were painful when hit by Red Elemental Blast.

I might go back to Zoo after I see more of what people have been trying, and Eric promised to write about the archtype himself. Who knows… we may come back and write about your Zoo.

Oscar Tan

[email protected]

rakso on #BDChat on EFNet

Manila, Philippines

Forum Administrator, Star City Games (http://www.starcitygames.com/cgi-bin/dcforum/dcboard.cgi)

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

Author of the Control Player’s Bible (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bdominia/files/ControlBible.zip)

Type I, Extended and Casual Maintainer, Beyond Dominia (http://www.starcitygames.com/cgi-bin/dcforum/dcboard.cgi?az=list&forum=DCForumID89&conf=DCConfID19)

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

P.S. -Thanks to Brian Weissman, John Ormerod, Darren di Battista a.k.a. Azhrei, JP”Polluted” Meyer and Matt D’Avanzo for being tough critics of the drafts of this series.

P.P.S. – Eric wanted me to publish the very last game we played. As I mentioned, we aborted a couple of games since I got broken Mind Twist hands, and trashed many more because Eric was commenting,”Well, that just showed them ‘The Deck’ is a land d deck.”

So you can laugh, this was the game where I was mana screwed early in the face of his Miner overload.

13:50:31 – — Scrub says: ”Ur Mom is intelligent.”

13:50:31 – — Rakso says: ”Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war”

13:50:38 – Rakso drew 7 cards.

13:50:46 – Scrub drew 7 cards.

13:50:59 – Scrub says:’hmm’

13:51:13 – Scrub says:’i suppose i’ll keep’

13:51:17 – Rakso says:’go’

13:51:18 – It is now turn 1.

13:51:18 – Scrub says:’nothing too exciting’

13:51:21 – Scrub plays Taiga.

13:51:23 – It is now turn 2.

13:51:48 – Rakso draws a card.

13:51:53 – Rakso plays Volcanic Island.

13:51:54 – It is now turn 3.

13:51:58 – Scrub draws a card.

13:52:00 – Scrub plays Volcanic Island.

13:52:03 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

13:52:04 – Taiga is tapped.

13:52:06 – Scrub plays Dwarven Miner.

13:52:08 – Rakso says:’k’

13:52:15 – Rakso plays Mystical Tutor.

13:52:17 – Rakso moves Ancestral Recall from Rakso’s library to tabletop.

13:52:17 – It is now turn 4.

13:52:23 – Rakso moves Ancestral Recall from tabletop to Rakso’s hand.

13:52:25 – Rakso plays Underground Sea.

13:52:26 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

13:52:26 – Underground Sea is tapped.

13:52:27 – Rakso plays Pyroclasm.

13:52:30 – Scrub buries Dwarven Miner.

13:52:32 – It is now turn 5.

13:52:37 – Scrub draws a card.

13:52:40 – Scrub plays Volcanic Island.

13:52:45 – Taiga is tapped.

13:52:47 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

13:52:50 – Scrub plays Dwarven Miner.

13:52:52 – Rakso says:’k’

13:52:55 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

13:52:56 – Scrub plays Ancestral Recall.

13:52:58 – Rakso says:’k’

13:53:02 – Scrub drew 3 cards.

Okay… Two Miners in the opening hand and an Ancestral that gets through? This could be game right here.

13:53:05 – It is now turn 6.

13:53:08 – Rakso draws a card.

13:53:14 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

13:53:15 – Rakso plays Ancestral Recall.

13:53:18 – Rakso drew 3 cards.

13:53:33 – Rakso plays Underground Sea.

13:53:43 – Rakso plays Zuran Orb.

13:54:06 – Underground Sea is tapped.

13:54:06 – Underground Sea is tapped.

13:54:07 – Rakso plays Demonic Tutor.

13:54:16 – Rakso moves a card from Rakso’s library to Rakso’s hand.

13:54:21 – It is now turn 7.

13:54:28 – Scrub draws a card.

13:54:50 – Taiga is tapped.

13:54:51 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

13:54:51 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

13:54:53 – Dwarven Miner is tapped.

13:55:21 – Rakso buries Volcanic Island.

13:55:23 – Rakso’s life is now 22. (+2)

13:55:25 – Scrub plays Wasteland.

13:55:32 – Scrub buries Wasteland.

13:55:33 – Rakso buries Underground Sea.

13:55:34 – Rakso’s life is now 24. (+2)

After this game that ended our long playtest session, I told Eric that his deck played like Sligh…

13:55:37 – It is now turn 8.

13:55:39 – Rakso draws a card.

13:55:41 – Underground Sea is tapped.

13:55:42 – Rakso plays Blue Elemental Blast.

13:55:45 – Scrub buries Dwarven Miner.

13:55:46 – It is now turn 9.

13:55:49 – Scrub draws a card.

13:55:54 – Scrub plays City of Brass.

13:56:07 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

13:56:10 – Scrub plays Gorilla Shaman.

13:56:17 – Rakso says:’k’

13:56:22 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

13:56:24 – Rakso buries Zuran Orb.

13:56:27 – Taiga is tapped.

13:56:27 – City of Brass is tapped.

13:56:28 – Scrub’s life is now 19. (-1)

13:56:31 – Scrub plays Sylvan Library.

13:56:36 – Rakso plays Force of Will.

13:56:40 – Rakso removes Mana Drain from the game.

13:56:41 – Rakso’s life is now 23. (-1)

13:56:46 – It is now turn 10.

13:56:49 – Rakso draws a card.

13:56:51 – Rakso plays Volcanic Island.

13:57:35 – It is now turn 11.

13:57:40 – Scrub draws a card.

13:57:48 – Scrub plays City of Brass.

13:57:50 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

13:57:54 – Scrub plays Sol Ring.

13:57:56 – Rakso says:’k’

13:57:58 – Taiga is tapped.

13:57:59 – Sol Ring is tapped.

13:58:02 – Scrub plays Call of the Herd.

13:58:08 – Rakso says:’k’

13:58:25 – Scrub plays JP”Polluted” Meyer 3/3.

13:58:40 – Gorilla Shaman is attacking.

13:58:42 – Rakso’s life is now 22. (-1)

13:58:44 – It is now turn 12.

13:58:49 – Rakso draws a card.

Mana… Where are you?

13:59:11 – It is now turn 13.

13:59:17 – Scrub draws a card.

13:59:20 – Scrub plays Tropical Island.

13:59:22 – Gorilla Shaman is attacking.

13:59:23 – JP”Polluted” Meyer 3/3 is attacking.

13:59:25 – Rakso’s life is now 18. (-4)

13:59:29 – Taiga is tapped.

13:59:30 – Sol Ring is tapped.

13:59:31 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

13:59:53 – Scrub removes Call of the Herd from the game.

14:00:05 – Scrub plays Matt D’Avanzo 3/3.

14:00:10 – It is now turn 14.

14:00:15 – Rakso draws a card.

14:00:18 – Underground Sea is tapped.

14:00:19 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

14:00:20 – Rakso plays Powder Keg.


14:00:24 – It is now turn 15.

14:00:30 – Scrub draws a card.

14:01:06 – Gorilla Shaman is attacking.

14:01:06 – JP”Polluted” Meyer 3/3 is attacking.

14:01:08 – Matt D’Avanzo 3/3 is attacking.

14:01:09 – Rakso buries Powder Keg.

14:01:10 – Scrub buries JP”Polluted” Meyer 3/3.

14:01:11 – Rakso’s life is now 17. (-1)

14:01:12 – Scrub buries Matt D’Avanzo 3/3.

14:01:16 – City of Brass is tapped.

14:01:20 – Sol Ring is tapped.

14:01:23 – Scrub plays Demonic Tutor.

14:01:25 – Rakso says:’k’

14:01:52 – Scrub moves a card from Scrub’s library to Scrub’s hand.

14:02:00 – Rakso says:’Miner’

14:02:02 – Rakso says:’I have no Tundra’

14:02:03 – Scrub’s life is now 18. (-1)

14:02:16 – City of Brass is tapped.

14:02:17 – Tropical Island is tapped.

14:02:23 – Rakso says:’even better’

14:02:30 – Scrub removes Yawgmoth’s Will from the game.

14:02:37 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

14:02:39 – Scrub moves Ancestral Recall from Scrub’s graveyard to tabletop.

14:02:43 – Rakso plays Misdirection.

14:02:45 – Rakso removes Mana Drain from the game.

14:02:48 – Scrub says:’boo’

14:02:56 – Rakso drew 3 cards.

14:02:58 – Rakso says:’yahoo’

14:03:05 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

14:03:06 – Taiga is tapped.

14:03:08 – Scrub moves Ancestral Recall from Scrub’s graveyard to Scrub’s removed from game pile.

14:03:14 – Scrub moves Dwarven Miner from Scrub’s graveyard to tabletop.

14:03:20 – Rakso says:’k’

14:03:30 – Scrub moves Wasteland from Scrub’s graveyard to tabletop.

14:03:43 – Rakso buries Underground Sea.

Okay, he’s played his third Dwarven Miner. I’ve gone through two Ancestrals and I tell you, I still don’t have mana. The Zoo deck has six land and a Sol Ring.

14:04:02 – It is now turn 16.

14:04:04 – Rakso draws a card.

14:05:09 – Rakso plays Mox Jet.

14:05:10 – Rakso plays Mox Sapphire.

14:05:11 – Mox Jet is tapped.

14:05:12 – Mox Sapphire is tapped.

14:05:13 – Rakso plays Merchant Scroll.

14:05:20 – Rakso moves a card from Rakso’s library to Rakso’s hand.

14:05:23 – Rakso plays Wasteland.

14:05:23 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

14:05:24 – Wasteland is tapped.

14:05:25 – Rakso plays Fire/Ice.

14:05:30 – Scrub buries Dwarven Miner.

14:05:32 – It is now turn 17.

14:05:38 – Scrub draws a card.

14:05:42 – Sol Ring is tapped.

14:05:48 – Rakso buries Mox Jet.

14:05:49 – Rakso buries Mox Sapphire.

14:05:52 – Gorilla Shaman is attacking.

14:05:54 – Rakso’s life is now 16. (-1)

14:05:58 – It is now turn 18.

14:06:00 – Rakso draws a card.

14:06:01 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

14:06:06 – Rakso plays Gorilla Shaman.

14:06:07 – It is now turn 19.

14:06:14 – Scrub draws a card.

14:06:18 – Scrub plays Strip Mine.

14:06:23 – Rakso buries Volcanic Island.

14:06:26 – Scrub buries Strip Mine.

14:06:31 – It is now turn 20.

14:06:35 – Rakso draws a card.

Ten turns later, I’m still at one colorless land… Hey, when I drew the Wastelands, I wasn’t that mean…

14:06:36 – It is now turn 21.

14:06:39 – Rakso says:’this is anal’

14:06:39 – Scrub draws a card.

14:06:45 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

14:06:46 – Taiga is tapped.

14:06:47 – Scrub plays Dwarven Miner.

14:06:50 – Rakso says:’k’

Okay, Miner Number Four.

When Brian Weissman saw the first draft of Darren Di Battista’s blue/black Old School Expulsion deck, his very first comment was,”How does it deal with a turn 1 Miner???”

I feel his pain…

14:06:53 – It is now turn 22.

14:06:55 – Rakso draws a card.

14:06:57 – Rakso plays Wasteland.

14:07:01 – Rakso says:’whoppeee’

14:07:19 – It is now turn 23.

14:07:27 – Scrub draws a card.

14:07:39 – Taiga is tapped.

14:07:40 – Sol Ring is tapped.

14:07:40 – Dwarven Miner is tapped.

14:07:44 – Wasteland is tapped.

14:08:00 – Tropical Island is tapped.

14:08:01 – Scrub buries Tropical Island.

14:08:02 – Rakso buries Wasteland.

14:08:05 – Scrub plays Mystical Tutor.

14:08:07 – Rakso says:’k’

14:08:49 – Scrub moves Wheel of Fortune from Scrub’s library to tabletop.

14:08:51 – Rakso says:’k’

Okay… Since I don’t have any mana left, Eric can Wheel with impunity.

What follow are the two most hilarious turns of our entire playtest session…

14:09:14 – It is now turn 24.

14:09:41 – Rakso says:’savage mising time’

14:09:43 – Rakso draws a card.

14:09:46 – Scrub says:’gotcha’

14:09:54 – Rakso says:’hey wait’

14:10:41 – Rakso says:’prepare to laugh’

14:10:44 – Scrub says:’sure’

14:11:15 – Rakso plays Black Lotus.

14:11:45 – Rakso buries Black Lotus.

14:11:45 – Scrub says:’yup’

14:11:46 – Rakso removes Yawgmoth’s Will from the game.

14:11:54 – Rakso moves Black Lotus from Rakso’s graveyard to tabletop.

14:12:02 – Rakso moves Mox Jet from Rakso’s graveyard to tabletop.

14:12:03 – Mox Jet is tapped.

14:12:04 – Rakso removes Black Lotus from the game.

14:12:10 – Rakso removes Demonic Tutor from the game.

14:12:13 – Rakso moves Balance from Rakso’s library to tabletop.

14:12:15 – Wasteland is tapped.

14:12:18 – Rakso removes Wasteland from the game.

14:12:20 – Scrub says:’i’m not laughing’

14:12:33 – Rakso removes Mox Jet from the game.

14:12:39 – Scrub buries Gorilla Shaman.

14:12:46 – Scrub buries Taiga.

14:12:46 – Scrub buries Volcanic Island.

14:12:48 – Scrub buries Volcanic Island.

14:12:49 – Scrub buries City of Brass.

14:12:50 – Scrub buries City of Brass.

14:12:52 – Rakso removes Balance from the game.

14:12:59 – Rakso moves Mox Sapphire from Rakso’s graveyard to tabletop.

14:13:01 – Rakso moves Zuran Orb from Rakso’s graveyard to tabletop.

14:13:15 – Rakso moves Underground Sea from Rakso’s graveyard to tabletop.

14:13:16 – Underground Sea is tapped.

14:13:38 – Scrub buries Dwarven Miner.

14:13:40 – Rakso removes Blue Elemental Blast from the game.

14:13:41 – Mox Sapphire is tapped.

14:13:45 – Rakso removes Ancestral Recall from the game.

14:13:47 – Rakso drew 3 cards.

14:13:53 – Gorilla Shaman is attacking.

14:13:56 – Scrub’s life is now 17. (-1)

Another Mikey P moment.

14:13:57 – It is now turn 25.

14:14:04 – Scrub draws a card.

14:14:04 – Scrub plays Volcanic Island.

14:15:29 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

14:15:29 – Sol Ring is tapped.

14:15:30 – Scrub plays Wheel of Fortune.

14:15:32 – Rakso says:’damn’

14:15:36 – Rakso moves Undiscovered Paradise from Rakso’s hand to Rakso’s graveyard.

14:15:36 – Rakso moves Moat from Rakso’s hand to Rakso’s graveyard.

14:15:36 – Rakso moves Volcanic Island from Rakso’s hand to Rakso’s graveyard.

14:15:36 – Rakso moves Swords to Plowshares from Rakso’s hand to Rakso’s graveyard.

14:15:36 – Rakso moves Powder Keg from Rakso’s hand to Rakso’s graveyard.

14:15:36 – Rakso moves Morphling from Rakso’s hand to Rakso’s graveyard.

14:15:38 – Scrub moves Hull Breach from Scrub’s hand to Scrub’s graveyard.

14:15:40 – Scrub moves Hull Breach from Scrub’s hand to Scrub’s graveyard.

14:15:43 – Rakso drew 7 cards.

14:15:45 – Scrub drew 7 cards.

Card advantage right back at me.

14:15:57 – It is now turn 26.

14:16:02 – Rakso draws a card.

14:16:07 – Rakso plays Tundra.

14:16:12 – Gorilla Shaman is attacking.

14:16:16 – Scrub’s life is now 16. (-1)

14:16:18 – Mox Sapphire is tapped.

14:16:18 – Underground Sea is tapped.

14:16:19 – Tundra is tapped.

14:16:22 – Scrub buries Sol Ring.

14:16:24 – It is now turn 27.

14:16:25 – Rakso says:’okay’

14:16:29 – Rakso says:’who mised off Wheel more?’

14:16:38 – Scrub says:’i don’t know’

14:16:44 – Rakso says:’guess we find out :p’

14:16:48 – Scrub says:’not me particulary…’

14:16:54 – Scrub draws a card.

14:16:54 – Rakso says:’I’m not too hot here too’

14:16:58 – Scrub plays City of Brass.

14:17:02 – Scrub plays Mox Sapphire.

14:17:05 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

14:17:11 – Rakso says:’Don’t tell me’

14:17:11 – Scrub plays Gorilla Shaman.

14:17:12 – Rakso says:’Timetwister?’

14:17:18 – Scrub says:’heh, no’

14:17:20 – Mox Sapphire is tapped.

14:17:21 – City of Brass is tapped.

14:17:22 – Scrub plays Time Walk.

14:17:27 – Rakso says:’sure’

14:17:36 – Scrub says:’that was topdecked after wheel :)’

14:17:38 – Volcanic Island is untapped.

14:17:38 – City of Brass is untapped.

14:17:38 – Mox Sapphire is untapped.

14:17:39 – Scrub draws a card.

14:17:43 – Mox Sapphire is tapped.

14:17:59 – Rakso buries Zuran Orb.

14:18:03 – Scrub plays Wasteland.

14:18:05 – Wasteland is tapped.

14:18:08 – Rakso buries Underground Sea.

14:18:11 – Scrub buries Wasteland.

14:18:16 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

14:18:20 – Rakso buries Mox Sapphire.

14:18:23 – City of Brass is tapped.

14:18:25 – Scrub plays Kird Ape.

14:18:27 – Rakso says:’k’

14:18:32 – Scrub’s life is now 15. (-1)

14:18:35 – Gorilla Shaman is attacking.

14:18:37 – Rakso’s life is now 15. (-1)

14:18:41 – It is now turn 28.

14:18:45 – Rakso draws a card.

14:18:59 – Rakso plays Wasteland.

14:18:59 – Wasteland is tapped.

14:19:06 – Scrub says:’my goodness’

14:19:12 – Scrub says:’how many do you have left?’

14:19:15 – Scrub buries City of Brass.

14:19:26 – Rakso says:’That’s #3′

14:19:28 – Rakso buries Wasteland.

14:19:43 – Rakso says:’You also used up 3′

14:19:47 – Tundra is tapped.

14:19:52 – Scrub buries Mox Sapphire.

14:20:06 – It is now turn 29.

14:20:10 – Scrub draws a card.

14:20:20 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

14:20:23 – Scrub plays Kird Ape.

14:20:24 – Rakso says:’k’

14:20:27 – Kird Ape is attacking.

14:20:31 – Rakso buries Gorilla Shaman.

14:20:32 – Scrub buries Kird Ape.

14:20:35 – It is now turn 30.

14:20:39 – Rakso draws a card.

14:21:00 – Rakso plays City of Brass.

14:21:01 – Tundra is tapped.

14:21:01 – City of Brass is tapped.

14:21:02 – Rakso’s life is now 14. (-1)

14:21:04 – Rakso plays Regrowth.

14:21:12 – Rakso moves Pyroclasm from tabletop to Rakso’s hand.

14:21:14 – It is now turn 31.

14:21:20 – Scrub draws a card.

14:21:31 – Kird Ape is attacking.

14:21:32 – Gorilla Shaman is attacking.

14:21:41 – Rakso’s life is now 12. (-2)

14:21:42 – Scrub plays City of Brass.

14:21:45 – Scrub plays Mox Ruby.

14:21:48 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

14:21:49 – City of Brass is tapped.

14:21:50 – Mox Ruby is tapped.

14:21:51 – Scrub’s life is now 14. (-1)

14:21:52 – Scrub plays Call of the Herd.

14:21:54 – Rakso says:’k’

14:22:22 – Scrub plays Darren Di Battista 3/3.

14:22:25 – It is now turn 32.

14:22:27 – Rakso draws a card.

14:22:32 – Rakso plays Mox Pearl.

14:22:36 – Rakso plays Strip Mine.

14:22:37 – Strip Mine is tapped.

14:22:40 – Scrub buries City of Brass.

14:22:42 – Rakso buries Strip Mine.

14:22:44 – City of Brass is tapped.

14:22:46 – Mox Pearl is tapped.

14:22:47 – Rakso’s life is now 11. (-1)

14:22:49 – Rakso plays Pyroclasm.

14:22:59 – Scrub buries Kird Ape.

14:23:01 – Scrub buries Gorilla Shaman.

14:23:02 – It is now turn 33.

14:23:07 – Rakso says:’This is the most idiotic game ever’

14:23:10 – Scrub draws a card.

14:23:15 – Darren Di Battista 3/3 is attacking.

14:23:16 – Tundra is tapped.

14:23:18 – Rakso plays Swords to Plowshares.

14:23:21 – Scrub says:’boo’

14:23:24 – Scrub removes Darren DiBattista from the game.

14:23:28 – Scrub’s life is now 17. (+3)

Now that I actually have more than two mana on the table, I might get to play some of the spells I’ve been holding.

Magic is such an interactive game.

14:23:29 – It is now turn 34.

14:23:36 – Rakso draws a card.

14:24:16 – Rakso says:’good grief’

14:24:20 – Rakso says:’I don’t even think anything is left in my lib’

14:24:28 – Rakso plays City of Brass.

14:24:29 – Tundra is tapped.

14:24:29 – Mox Pearl is tapped.

14:24:30 – City of Brass is tapped.

14:24:31 – Rakso’s life is now 10. (-1)

14:24:32 – Rakso plays Mind Twist.

14:24:43 – Scrub moves Red Elemental Blast from Scrub’s hand to Scrub’s graveyard.

14:24:45 – Scrub moves Red Elemental Blast from Scrub’s hand to Scrub’s graveyard.

14:24:47 – Rakso says:’figured’

14:24:48 – It is now turn 35.

14:24:51 – Scrub draws a card.

14:25:01 – City of Brass is tapped.

14:25:01 – Rakso’s life is now 9. (-1)

14:25:02 – Rakso plays Vampiric Tutor.

14:25:05 – Rakso’s life is now 7. (-2)

14:25:14 – Rakso moves a card from Rakso’s library to tabletop.

14:24:57 – It is now turn 36.

14:25:18 – Rakso moves a face-down card to his hand

14:25:19 – Rakso plays Tundra.

14:25:21 – Mox Pearl is tapped.

14:25:21 – Tundra is tapped.

14:25:23 – Tundra is tapped.

14:25:24 – City of Brass is tapped.

14:25:25 – City of Brass is tapped.

14:25:27 – Rakso’s life is now 5. (-2)

14:25:29 – Rakso plays Morphling.

Yes… I suck up the damage since there’s nothing else left in my library, but The Abyss, two Mana Drains and a Force of Will. I have a Diabolic Edict in hand to kill a Blurred Mongoose, but I don’t think I can hope to topdeck counters and sit on them.

Going for Morphling should win me the game, if he doesn’t draw the one card Superman can’t block.

14:25:29 – It is now turn 37.

14:25:33 – Scrub draws a card.

14:25:35 – Scrub plays Taiga.

14:25:36 – Taiga is tapped.

14:25:36 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

14:25:37 – Mox Ruby is tapped.

14:25:39 – Scrub plays Stormbind.

14:25:46 – Scrub says:’booya’




Ice Age rare

2, Discard a card at random from your hand: Stormbind deals 2 damage to target creature or player.

Okay, so he does.

Stormbind is one of my favorite staples from the Ice Age days before Cursed Scroll, and Eric still plays it because it’s stylish and because it dodges Powder Kegs. The funny thing here is that Stormbind would kill me exactly one turn before Morphling would kill him. Had I drawn something other than Swords to kill the last Called Elephant or had I drawn another land other than City of Brass, I would’ve won instead. Had Fire/Ice or Time Walk been in the library, I’d have a slim chance, even.

I peeked before conceding and saw that my next card was Mana Drain.

14:26:01 – It is now turn 38.

14:26:04 – Rakso says:’I have nothing on that’

14:26:20 – Rakso says:’No enchantment kill’

14:26:24 – Rakso says:’Blow sided out and BEB removed from game.’

But hey, for a playtest game where I was at two mana the whole time, that wasn’t so bad.

Control players still have more fun.

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