You CAN Play Type I #44: The Judgment Artifact That Should NEVER Have Been Printed

Anyway, after exams, work, and family tour guide time, I didn’t even notice that I’ve been writing an article a week, nonstop, for one year now. I hereby declare the one-year anniversary mark – and my triumph in the Writer War – my day off!

The Writer’s War: Grand Finale

Vote Oscar – http://www.ccgprime.com/events/writerwar/322002.html. Support Type I!

The Judgment artifact that should NEVER have been printed

Yeah, I bet you won’t find a Judgment artifact that you like.

Okay, I’m pulling your leg because… well, I’m exhausted.

We have relatives over from mainland China for a month and I have to entertain them – in Mandarin. I’ve also been writing some tough articles lately, like the Wish review and the Green analysis. And, I was finishing up my internship in Congress.

The last one’s a killer. On my last day, a congressman took copies of my last two 100-page legal papers, then hands me a 200-page government contract. A day later, I go back to explain what I’ve read. I enter the guy’s office and listen to him talk to reporters for an hour about an alleged multibillion peso scam. Then he turns to me and asks how to pick apart the small print.

The following morning, guess what the headline with the word”arrest” in it is talking about?

No, I have no idea what a freshman law student is doing here. Fortunately, the guy wants to expose the alleged scam, so I’m safe.

Anyway, after exams, work, and family tour guide time, I didn’t even notice that I’ve been writing an article a week, nonstop, for one year now.

Check the date of my first featured article.

I hereby declare the one-year anniversary mark my day off!

People who can’t play Type I, but just have to be mentioned

I just have to name three people in particular who were lurking in the backstage of my column.

First of all, if there’s anyone who should take a bow, it should be my editor, The Ferrett.

I’m not the kind of writer who forgets to end every sentence with a period, but the few changes that weasel makes are like precision laser surgery. This is the guy who, for over a year now, has sent nothing but cheer and encouragement. We’ve had so many little spats about everything from MS Word styles to ellipses to the definition of plagiarism to boldface v. italics, and I don’t know how he puts up with me. But he does.

If you look at the”big” Magic sites – Star City, Brainburst and MagictheGathering.com – you can see the crucial but often unrecognized role of the editor and his vision. I actually e-mailed CCGPrime and suggested the Writer’s War have some side poll for the editors, but it didn’t, so I’ll do the next best thing.

I can’t emphasize it enough: I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for the Weasely One. (Thanks, chief – The Ferrett)

Second, there’s one particular Manila pro who has never graced the Sideboard, but whose name you should know. He’s Butch”Road Warrior” Maniego, sportswriter and godfather of local powerhouse Team Arena.

Over a year ago, I was hurrying home right before the last round of a Sealed PTQ (I just conceded to my opponent to send him to the Top 8). Butch walked up to me, said he enjoyed something I recently posted, and added that I’d get featured on Star City some day.

A couple of months later, I did.

Law school keeps me from going to tourneys, but I’m sure Butch is still half the life of the Manila scene. The stereotype of a Manila player is definitely far from the trash-talking teenager who didn’t take a bath.

Finally, there’s that dinosaur Eric“Danger” Taylor. I was very nervous during my first month as a Featured Writer. I wrote EDT and asked if the complete lack of feedback meant I was doing everything wrong. He laughed, and told me that people usually start e-mailing when you write something they hate!

Now, a year later, I find myself thinking back, with a deeper appreciation of the little nuggets of encouragement from the guy I read up on when I first picked up the game.

(Get your official EDT AIM graphic here!)

In a nutshell, this little event gave me an opportunity to think back over the last year, and think of all the people that made it special.

So thanks for one fine year, people.

Magic’s premier popularity poll

The Writer’s War is actually nothing more than one big popularity contest. (But hey, it’s a fun one, with all the little plugs and ribbing from Star City, Pojo and Team Academy.)

I’m not smiling inwardly because I won the title”Best Writer of 2001.” You don’t get that from any poll that doesn’t even include EDT and Rob Hahn; you get that by making a stranger smile enough over his morning bagel that he remembers a sentence you wrote the next time he drops by the corner card store.

So I’m smiling because I won a popularity contest?


Remember, I write exclusively about Type I.

And I won the popularity contest.


Doesn’t that mean there are a lot of Type I players out there, from the denizens of #bdchat on EFNet to the countless little playgroups in lunch tables around the world?

In your face, Randy! Better stop ignoring a significant slice of the customer base.

(Rant, rant, rant… We were here back when Wizards was just a struggling basement outfit. We’re happy with sensible errata for cards we bought five years ago like Illusionary Mask and Animate Dead, and three friggin’ rounds every Invitational, and that’s too much? We buy packs, too, you know…)

So I better not hear any more jokes about the last sixteen Type I players in the world.

This show of Type I force would not have been possible without the following arms of the network:

This writer’s day off

Since this is a big popularity contest, it has nothing to do with me and everything to do with all those readers I’ve never even met.

I can’t acknowledge every single person who reads my stuff, but I sure can try. I hope to see the people below get Type I submissions posted on Star City someday, but for today, they can enjoy the spotlight here.

By the way, if and when you write, kindly include your full name and the place you come from. It’s a novelty for me, not being from the USA like most of the Featured Writers.

(I might do this again someday, if it works. I answer all my mail, except those with only decklists and no specific questions. I refer these to the forums I handle.)

Hope you like this glimpse of the people on the other end of this column…

The most notorious card in Germany is…

Hi, Oscar!

When Fact of Fiction was unrestricted, there were decks tubbies blue-red. Always 4 Goblin welder, yar. A Su-Chi dies: OK, I add one blue, Fact! They tried workshop-black and workshop-white, not so good. At that time I thought: all that is missing still is workshop-green. Now, at the biggest regular T 1 event in Germany, in Duelmen, were Oliver and Benjamin also participate, the last 2 months the winning deck was workshop-survival. The deck is strong. You can have a look at the deck-lists on the homepage of the organizers, www.trader-online.de. Click on the”Trader”-symbol to enter the page,”Siegerdecks” in German means”Winners´decks”. Have a look on Type 1, Classic. On older tournaments, you can see the workshop-red-blue decks, on younger, workshop red-green or red-green-blue.

Tubbies is so popular that the trader now charges 10 Euro (about 10 USD) for a Su-Chi, which used to be considered a crap-card for collectors only some years ago. They are still often sold out. I made a  fortune buying Su-Chis from Jim of Troll and Toad cheaply and trading them to players in Duelmen. The winners decks from Duelmen should be interesting to you!

I usually play oath with 1 Morphling, 1 Helion 1 Triskelion. When i oath a Morphling against tuppies, i am not glad. Helion or triskelion are better. Against classical oath, they kill the weaver end of turn with triskelion. They run around morphling with su-chis and juggernauts and everything activated by Karn. Now, with survival-sqee, this deck is really strong. Control must first fend of the first su-chis and juggernauts. When a survival is attempted, control may not have any counters left. Once survival is in play, control has a problem. Even hiding behind moat may not help, you die to welder-triskelion.


Tobias Ludovici

Tobias frequents the popular German forum Die Zusammenkunft (even Kai Budde lurks), and I told him to turn his insightful summary of German preferences into a full article.

The input I’ve received from the Germans is fascinating. For example, you all know Teletubbies, Stacker 2, and the blue/red hybrids – but forum moderator Benjamin Rott and others have their own twists with green/red Survival-Tubbies. Some people over there are probably so sick of Mishra’s Workshop that they’d rather get Ancestral Recall and Yawgmoth’s Will played on them already.

And the most playable Wish is…


I do agree with you on the majority of your assessment for the Wishes in Type I but I do have to disagree with you in regards to Cunning WishCunning Wish becomes broken in Type I Battle of Wits decks; by moving a single copy of Intuition to the sideboard, it gives me seven copies of instant tutor for the win against aggressive decks.  If you have not played or played against Battle in Type I, it is very possible that you will dismiss this email… But trust me, Battle is already a viable deck for Type I and becomes more so with Cunning Wish.

Alex Smith

Long Time Type I Player

Nope, I can’t say I thought of that one!

I immediately wrote off Battle of Wits as a goofy card, but I never imagined the pool was deep enough to make mono-blue Wits passable in Type I. I doubt they’re better than the more streamlined combo decks, but damn, they can still beat up on aggro or just get a Wits when you have no counter.

Know thy enemy

Hello Oscar,

I thought I would write to you about a couple of things.  It is kind of a thank you letter in disguise.

Firstly, I don’t know if you remember but you responded to one of my posts in rec.games.trading-cards.magic.strategy.  The post was regarding converting a 1.5 Pox deck to a Type 1 Pox.  You put in a couple of suggestions regarding creatures (or creature as it was) and a few other points about Type 1.  So I read your suggestions and started to build the deck.  Not having a chance to playtest anyone with my deck I went back and relied on your articles for nearly all of my type 1 preparation especially

the Pox Primer…

It wasn’t until very late on Saturday Night that I decided to put my deck together (hey, my Duresses and my cool swamps were in my Type II deck).  Ahhh!!!! I had left the Mox and my Sinkholes at home, 1200 kilometers away.  So I improvised… I ended up playing a not quite strong enough Pox deck. 

Anyway, I won….

I really didn’t realise how big of a jump it was from 1.5 into Type 1.  I had no idea of what to expect but in Type 1 and I was woefully underprepared. Thanks to reading your stuff, I was able to beat The Deck… And a few other things.

Mini Tournament report…

Beat Red-Green Beats…it was scary as he managed to Drop a Taiga, Kird Ape, Mox Ruby and Reckless charge on his first turn. leaving me on 15 before I had even played a land…I took my chances and remembered”Pox early Pox often” that I had read in the Primer.  I won both games


Turbo land-Seismic Assault thing (Sorry, can’t remember its name)

First game, I made him kill me – it was tedious

Second Game I won on the second turn – Due to a mistimed Wasteland, I was able to Balance, leaving my opponent and me with no cards in hand, no land. At least was able to play a Mishra’s Factory from my graveyard and through some fancy double tutoring (from the Will) was also able to have twp racks in play and a swamp in hand.

Game 3, once again was tedious.


The Deck is susceptible to first-turn Hymn and DuressPox early, Pox often.

The Deck is susceptible to a Turn 1 Negator, turn 2 Hymn… Pox early, Pox often

Thanks, Oscar…


A Megrim deck on 3-0

This had actually taken out The Deck I played in round 2.

This had taken out The Deck.

This had beaten Zoo to a bloody pulp.

It all came down to the final turn of game 2.  I was 1 game up.  I was at fifteen, he was at two; I attacked, he died.


Three of us ended up on 3-1. I won on the third tiebreaker…  Thanks to you,

I knew the weaknesses of some of the decks and had at least a vague idea of

T1.  I was surprised that Pox, which is one of the quickest 1.5 decks (yes,

even faster than Sligh) is so damn slow in Type 1.

Hope you did well in your exams…

Thanks again,

Duncan Philp

I don’t mind even undisguised thank you letters, especially from fellow Pox lovers.

Back when we structured the old Beyond Dominia Mills, I said Type I.5 should be with Extended, not Type I. Duncan found out why, and the fast artifact mana is just one part of it. The tutoring of control and combo decks is very different, to give another example.

Explaining what happened to that Reader’s War…

Well, I guess didn’t get that many submissions with replies from the writers. And frankly… I forgot about it last February.

Oscar: This might ruin you, Rizzo… sure you want me to expose your gentle side?

Rizzo: I am nothing if not a gentle, tender, loving son of a bitch.

So here’s the letter for Jeff Wiles:

> > Rizzo,


> Hola Jeff,

> >

> > Oscar Tan said:”I’d like you to stop every time you

> > read an article you

> > enjoy, and take the time to e-mail a short message

> > to the writer. It doesn’t

> > have to be long or soppy; it doesn’t take a lot of

> > words to tell a guy you

> > enjoyed his work.”


> That was some good shit he wrote, and very true. It

> doesn’t take much to make a writer’s day, and a little

> note with a kudos or the like goes a long way to

> keeping the writer interested. Thanks much, I

> appreciate it.

> >

> > So here I am telling you how much I enjoyed your

> > Prerelease report.  And

> > last week’s article, and the Bruce article, and all

> > those other articles.


> Again, thanks for checking out my stuff. The fact that

> you enjoy it is some sexy indeed.

> >

> > By the way, at Tennessee States, some kid (at Table

> > 1 no less) busted out an

> > Escape Artist and I chuckled to myself and glanced

> > Maine-wards.


> Heh, the Crossroads guys are playing him like he’s

> going out of style. Him and Confessor are seemingly in

> every draft deck. Heh and double heh. Still, people

> pay for different reasons, most of which I respect.

> >

> > Later,

> > Jeff Wiles

> > Who has to work hard to develop his own writing

> > style and not just copy

> > JFR’s*


> Copying my”style” would be funny as hell, but

> probably wouldn’t get you any gravy points with the

> rest of the world. As Gary Wise wrote to me after the

> Wakefield article : (paraphrasing) Just keep writing

> what you like and your style will find itself.

> >

> >

> > *And who has to resist the urge to use excess

> > footnotes like a certain

> > editor**


> I find myself not ever scrolling to the end for those.

> Perhaps it’s just me, but they do sometimes get

> annoying. A couple are cool, but when the author is

> using pluses or something else because he ran out of

> asterisks, then something is wrong. Still, it’s all

> good.

> >

> >

> > **But the footnote thing is really more of a Terry

> > Pratchett emulation than

> > a Ferrett emulation.

(The Ferrett emulates Terry Pratchett when he footnotes – The Ferrett)


> I might have to check this Pratchett guy out – I’ve

> heard nothing but good things.


> Thanks again for taking the time to drop me a note,

> and would you mind if I forwarded your mail to Oscar?

> I’m sure he’d be pleased to know that you did indeed

> take him up on his offer.


> John Friggin’ Rizzo

And here’s another one…

Here’s the letter for Scott English, from Anthony Alongi. (I was hoping to get some for non-Star City writers, but all those guys didn’t reply.)


I hate to disrespect your authority, being that I am one of the plebes you have so recently separated yourself from with your achievement of Level I status (congrats), but I have to make a stand.

Your article was so damn wrong it was almost right.

In Australian it most certainly is NOT,”Crikey, what an ass.”

The correct phrase would be”Crikey, what an arse.” And you could try and throwat least one”mate” and possibly a”bloody hell” in there somewhere. Actually, I prefer”bloody hell” over”crikey” for most purposes.

Although I have been separated from the sunny shores of my homeland for nigh-on five years now, my natural affiliation with all things Australian still gives the ability to say that you sir, should respect ma authoritay in this matter!

So there.

Otherwise, true to Alongi form, another great article.


Scott English

Hey, Scott.  Hope all is well on the Scott & Amy ranch.

I expect to get hate mail from the French, too.  But I believe that”ass” should be one of those universal language/dialect words.  I hear they’re thinking of including it in esperanto.

Anyway, hell of a stand.  No doubt Custer’s rolling in his grave.

Take care,


Finally, I got one piece of humor right


That article was absolutely fantastic.  I have rarely laughed out loud when reading an article about Magic.  I think I did about four times with this article.  Keep up the good work, there are a lot of us that appreciate it.

I thought the use of familiar creatures and cards in a fantasy setting was hilarious.  The comments regarding the Serendib and Ehrnam were classics. And I definitely could see Juzam just tossing someone into the Abyss like it was no big deal. 

Overall, it was a thing of beauty.  You write articles like a debater makes arguments, (I qualified for Nationals as a debater in high school) very consise and logical. Honestly, I don’t know how you go to law school and find the time write such well thought out articles.  Personally, I am going back to graduate school (after four years in business) for my PhD in Political Science and I am wondering how I am even going to find the time to play Magic!  But like any other heroin/Magic player, I am sure I will just make time 🙂

Good luck in the Writer War, I voted for you.

Marc Hutchison

Thanks – though I don’t think I could speak in public even if my life depended on it. And I ask myself how I find the time in law school myself.

But, I’m relieved that I got the humor in at least one article right. Unlike other Star City writers, I have the most trouble with that one; hence, I enjoy feedback on it, good or bad…

Magic while raising kids

Hi Oscar,

First, I really enjoy your writing.  As I have less time for Magic and find myself buying less and less cards (having two kids under the age of four takes a biiig chunk out of your free time) I also find myself enjoying Type 1 more since it doesn’t render vast amounts of my collection useless.  I still play Type 2 and I still like it, but it is hard to keep up.  Type 1 content on the net is obviously fairly limited so it is nice to see yours, especially since you can actually write.  I would have said that a string of 10+ articles on one deck would be stupefyingly boring until you did yours on”The Deck”.  Nice work. 

Secondly, I also enjoyed playing you on Apprentice (I use the nick”Drogo” on IRC).  There is a dearth of polite opponents, never mind polite ones that are also competent, so I appreciate them when I do find them. 

Thirdly, let’s talk some type 1!  I am soliciting advice on a type 1 tournament I have coming up that I really want to do well in.  It is a reasonably large tourney (averages about 120-150 people) so there are always a few strong players.  I have done well at these tournaments in the past (3 top 8’s in 4 attempts) but new perspective is always welcome and I am changing my deck substantially for this outing and consequently I am much less confident in some of the card choices.  It is actually a modified type 1 format, as such:

-minimum 100 card deck size

-no sideboard

-no power 9 allowed, banned/restricted list as normal otherwise

Presumably they chose these modifications because they felt it would appeal more to casual players and thus increase attendance.  They were right; their tournaments are easily the most popular in the area (Southern Ontario, Canada) and nothing beats them for attendance except possibly prereleases.  PTQ’s get around 40-70 around here compared to the 150+ the Bingeman’s 100 card tournies often get.  Ironically, the first prize for these tournaments is always a Power 9 card.

Tony Drew

I hope I don’t have to worry about juggling law school and kids, but doesn’t Tony blow away the stereotype of your average gamer? (He also blows away the uncouth stereotype of #apprentice denizens.)

I didn’t think Tony’s Pox deck would work as well modified for the format he described, but he sure surprised me with his results!

More laughs…

Damn that´s what I would call a REALLY REALLY funny article. Still laughing btw… I liked the way of handling people who claimed to know everything about Type 1. :d

So I just hope the Writer´s War went your way.

If you looked at Morphling.de, I´m planning to bring future news, and even future articles, in English (you can already find an English tournament report at

I don´t know if I will be able to translate every tournament report I get, but I will definitely try and from now on, you can be sure not to find any German news on Morphling.de in the future.

It´s not only a way to become more international, it´s also a nice opportunity to get rid of all the kids that claim to know something, because they definitely know as much English as they know about Magic…

That should be all for today, just wanted to add that I sure do hope you passed your exam…


Oliver Daems

Okay, so I really did something right with that one (but I thought”Cheers” was British, not German).

Oliver here is the webmaster of a German Type I archive. I think what he’s doing is great, because there are a lot of Type I players in Europe and we all need to link up. (There might be online communities for Latin America, but I’m not sure if they’re exclusively Type I. I haven’t heard from Japan, but I’ve received e-mail from China, Singapore and Malaysia.)

As a longtime forum moderator, I can sympathize with his own headaches involving younger beginners who are a bit too argumentative.

Still on the international community

Hi Oscar,


I’ve got a Chinese student who wants to learn Magic but her English isn’t good enough and she’d like to get some Chinese language Magic cards.  She saw your name on Star City and thought you might know where to get such things.  I pointed out that you were in the Philippines (I think) but she insisted that you might know the name of a shop in Hong Kong or such.  So, anyway, I said I would ask. 




Hong Kong is an hour away from Manila – by plane. I forwarded the note to Freddie Tan, Manila’s most popular tourney organizer, since he sometimes carries Chinese packs. They sell fast and end up as novelties in this English speaking Asian archipelago, much like they do in North America and Europe. One guy, Harold Sy, had fun showing them to his grandmother who can’t read English.

But isn’t this an interesting glimpse of the greater Magic world…

Still on international shopping…

Thanks for your quick answer. I have played Magic for six months, but here in Poland I have problem with buying some tips, books, etc. There are only two shops with mtg cards in my region (silesia).

I think you are well experienced player. How many years i will have to play mtg to gain such knowledge about it? And how much money I have to spend? 🙂

Once again thx. Tom

Well, I’ve been playing for years, but I think the Internet can cut the learning curve for new players, because you are exposed to a far larger pool of good opponents. You can minimize the time you have to spend making clueless mistakes, and the Net gives you access to better players than those in your hometown. Also, books are definitely useless, and the best Magic references are all online.

As for money, if you practice with proxies or online first, you actually won’t have to spend much outside the deck you plan to build. You spend a lot more than you realize, trading for cards you end up not using anyway.

Oath decks in Type I

Hello Rakso,

I usually play Type One on a budget with my friends, but enough of my friends play The Deck that your articles are really good to read. And, despite their length, fun.  I especially liked the”Inquest” article a few weeks ago.

Please, pleeeeeease, correct Ben Bleiweiss.  Why, on God’s green earth would a deck run either Academy or Library in their sideboard?? 

Anyway, I was looking for a good primer for Oath in Type One.  I didn’t see one on BD, so I was wondering if you knew of one.

Once again, thanks for fun articles.

Tom Fraatz

Ben is one of the best”old school” writers I know, and his articles always surprise me. Of course, it was fun giving him a poke, and I hope he isn’t plotting revenge right now.

Anyway, Oath’s strategy isn’t so far from”The Deck,” except for a few specific details like compensating for the loss of red. No one’s written a primer on it, probably because of the large overlap.

Oath is an important budget card, of course, because you can get it out fast even without Moxen. Aggro decks are the least dependent on power, so your slower budget deck may still lose after an Abyss on turn 4.

Budget play

If it’s not too much trouble, is there any way to make”The Deck” work without Moxes, Time Walk, Time Twister? I only have Lotus, and most of the rest of the cards listed on BDominia. I’ve been trying to playtest and tweak a deck of similar concept, but my results have been rather disappointing. If it’s possible, could you supply me with a decklist or an idea of what I can do? Anything would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Michael Koekebacker

I plan to do a budget play article after I finish most of the demonstrations for”The Deck,” but the basic idea is that you have to start cutting colors and shifting the deck’s structure without power.

The most important power card is Ancestral Recall. If you’re missing that, other cards like Yawgmoth’s Will and Merchant Scroll and other tutors suddenly play differently. If you’re just missing Moxen, you mainly have to compensate for a slower deck. One way is to try Oath for permanent creature control.

The more power you lack – especially Ancestral – the closer you get to Extended strategy. Don’t think for a moment that a solid Extended deck can’t give a Type I deck a good fight, though.

More budget play


Your article series on The Deck has been one of the most informative strategy series I have ever read.  I really appreciate that you take the time to write such detailed articles.

I am a young player, and as such, I have very little money.  I can barely afford Type 2, and I have no idea how I could manage to play Type 1.  What I would like to know is how can I play type one on a low budget?  It is a very cool format, and I would really like to hear any ideas you have.

Thanks Much,

Mike Dickerson

Type I players actually spend less money after they pick up a small pool of staple cards. I like being comfortable with my old things instead of being forced to chase after new rares just to compete in tournaments.

There are some decks whose structures don’t require power to run, especially aggro decks. To avoid having to spend on dual lands, you can begin with versatile mono colored decks like Sligh, Stompy and Forbiddian. If you can spend a bit more for Sinkholes, you can also try Suicide Black, though that’s less versatile in more laid back play.

Someone’s Spider sense didn’t go off…

The link shows you won by 63%?  Or is that just an ongoing tally?

I’m just confused by your request to vote.  Is there another bout coming up?

Or are you just saying vote again even though you won so you’re going

against yourself (is that the funny part?)  Help!

Aric Ingle

Aric is the webmaster of the Casual Player’s Alliance, and he was the only guy who fell for a little prank I pulled. I e-mailed people asking them to vote one last time, then sent the link for the final War results.

Thanks to his longtime choice of online nick, Aric now begins each day by looking into the bathroom mirror and thinking about that upside-down kiss with Kirsten Dunst in a wet shirt.

Remember, that was an Invasion poster you saw in Peter Parker’s room…

Red or black?


As a long-time BDominia denizen, I’ve often enjoyed reading your thoughts regarding The Deck play.  While I agree that Black has now clearly become the secondary color, I think it’s important that Red be the number two color in the manabase.

1. Considering the sideboard, there are actually more red cards in the deck than black.  That alone should merit a higher ratio of red:black mana sources. 

2. With the possible exception of Diabolic Edict, black mana is rarely a must-have in the opening turns of a game (sure, Mana Drain+Mind Twist will win you games, but that’s hardly a guaranteee of seeing it).  However, in games 2 and 3 of the mirror match, the early Red Elemental Blast can be critical to cutting down the Ancestral or some other card drawer.

3. Along those lines, don’t underestimate the power of the Volcanic Island bluff/surprise factor.

I’m sure this is something you considered when you were putting together your deck, I’m just curious what made you decide on the Underground Seas over the Volcanic Islands.

Thanks for your time,

Andrew Marshall

Very good points.

The simple answer is that black is there every game, while the bulk of the red is in the sideboard. Against Suicide Black, I found my black getting Sinkholed away a bit too often, to give one example. Note, however, that I have an Undiscovered Paradise as an extra red source, and don’t usually have Dwarven Miner in my sideboard.

New card for”The Deck”


I was thinking about the use of Fastbond in a budget The Deck. Doesn’t it seem very powerful with 25 lands in the deck?

Ricardo Recchia

It’s more useful in more explosive combo decks with big Strokes and multiple draw-sevens in one early turn. Control decks have slower but steadier card drawing, and it won’t get that many land into play.

Incidentally, I usually discuss bad cards that look like they might fit into this or that deck, precisely to facilitate things for players who explore cards that are less commonly found on decklists.

Comparing format notes

In Extended, we’ve been testing an Oath variant, playing 4x Cunning Wish maindeck with sideboard cards like FoF, Intuition, StP, DisBlow, Teferi’s Response, Stroke of Genius and such like is just silly.  You’ll rarely want four copies of these cards maindeck in these decks, and being able to tutor them out of your sideboard whenever you need them is more than slightly nuts.  Being able to play 2 FoFs against any non-control deck, then six

against a control deck isn’t quite what I’d call fair…  Having four extra ways to get Intuition for Roar of the Wurm (or Call of the Herd, if you prefer) against aggro, or to get Accumulated Knowledge against a control opponent isn’t fair either.

The major reason why this was working was becuase of the”tutor chain” with IntuitionIntuition is the card which is really broken in this deck, so being able to find it with another card makes the other card that much more powerful even before you consider its ability to find the cards you would find with the Intuition (thus letting you save Intuition for the really abusive stuff).

Jarrod Bright

Well, you got a free glimpse into Jarrod’s thoughts.

Unfortunately, Gaea’s Blessing rotated out of Extended before I could print this…

Catching Oscar’s mistakes

Doesn’t this kill you?

15:53:56 – Melmoth the Wanderer buries Druid Lyrist.

15:54:00 – City of Brass is tapped.

15:54:01 – Rakso buries City of Brass.

15:54:03 – Rakso’s life is now 2. (+1)

You hit zero life in that little sequence.

Kevin Sechrist

PS It’s great seeing type 1 talked about. 🙂 Makes me want to bust out the $1000 deck sitting in a box in my back room. 🙂

I never hit zero life because I used Zuran Orb in response to the City of Brass damage going on the stack as a trigger. Little trick there.

I play less and less Magic as the years roll by, so I sympathize and am glad to bring out that feeling. Heck, my Magic time is split between playing and writing, and writing eats up enough of it as is!

Digging for Jamie



I can’t play Type One (my card pool isn’t that deep and neither is my skill.)  That said, I enjoy your articles.  The theory is great and for a T1 neophyte like myself, your articles are about the only exposure to serious T1 decks and situations.


The reason I am writing is because I like green and I was wondering if you had a link to, or the entire text of ‘It’s all about the dinosaurs.’  If you do I’d really appreciate it.  Additionally, if you are aware of any other old or obscure articles on green goodness, spread the love.




I’ve archived my favorite articles since about 1997, but I lost most of the files when an old hard disk conked out. These are all of Jamie’s columns, though, from Dan Rowland’s (editor of CCGPrime) own archive.

And in case anyone was looking for the original Schools of Magic article, here’s another link.

I have lots of old stuff lying around in my hard drive.

Unlocking the Control Player’s Bible

I downloaded the Control Player’s Bible but when I tried to open it, it asked me for a password…is there any way to open it?



No problem. You can set the file to open as read-only. I just wanted to discourage people from forwarding copies with any changes.

Broadening one’s horizons

Hi Oscar,

Just wanted to write how great your archives about 5C Control are. While taking a look on the usenet, i saw your post about it and decided to load it down. This has actually been a mistake, because i couldn’t stop reading it. It forced me to change my U/B/W Moat/Abyss Deck, which served great for the last 5 years of mostly casual playing, to modern 5C, and gave me back a lot of fun in playing Magic.

I hope you’ll include future articles, which ends right now on Part XV.

Thanks for this masterpiece about Strategy and Deckbuilding.

Greetings from Germany,


I try to update it.

One of the best things a reader can do for me is rethink old ideas or preconceptions. If you’re just one of a four-man playgroup in your local store, the years can roll by and your deck can stay the same. You might get a nasty surprise when some stranger walks in!

I’m happy to do some of your thinking for readers. Hey, I play Type I since I don’t have time to keep up with Type II.

Not your usual hate mail

Imagine my surprise when a writer whose name I definitely recognize is the first to send me an email on my first article.  Thanks a bunch.

John McGuire

No, thank you John.

As a Featured Writer, I do enjoy dropping little lines of encouragement to writers whose lines of thought I can appreciate. John here wanted to sift through old Type II formats for post-rotation Extended ideas, and I wondered why no one else tried it.

He promised me his next installment will be more polished, so keep an eye out.

My kind of reader

Maybe that’s why I like your articles so much-I still remember the exact casting cost, effects, and even flavor text of the old cards but I don’t have a clue what Werebear does without looking it up.

Oh well; I keep hoping archive.org introduces keyword search so I can relive all my favorite Dojo articles.

Joshua Randall

I sympathize. I make it a point to include the text of old cards for new players, and the text of new cards for old players, at the very least.

Black Lotus is overrated


I read your article”You CAN Play Type 1: When Power Cards Are Bad Cards” recently on Starcity.com and found it interesting.


I currently play a Type 1 deck and I do not plan to play a Black Lotus, a Wheel, any of the Moxes or a Time Walk. Before I created my type 1 deck (whose name and contents will go unmentioned), I wished I had these cards but after much play testing, I found that they are not a given for any deck.


I rather have a Sol Ring in my deck instead of a Black Lotus due to one reason…. Stability! A Black Lotus may give you an instant shot in the arm, but I found Sol Ring to be much more of a stable mana producer. I have played many games in which I had only three lands in play and the Sol Ring allowed me to do much more over several turns than a Black Lotus could have.


I think the main reason a Lotus is valuable and sought out is because of the anount of first turn kills in Magic in the beginning. We all remember the Channel/Fireball trick don’t we? I think that this little first turn kill is what made the Lotus a household name.


A very well-made deck can be made without using any of the power nine. Don’t get me wrong, any deck can be made better with an addition of a power nine, but I don’t think that any of the power nine should be considered a given for a Type 1 deck.


Play long and play well,


I agree, but I also have to caution that Lotus isn’t just for first-turn kills and combo decks. In a control deck, for example, it can boost certain power cards or get them out much earlier than usual, and you’ll change your opinion once you see it played right before Yawgmoth’s Will.

Stacker 2 is a savage miser

Maybe I’m missing something really obvious, but why isn’t JP burning his ass off on all that Su-Chi mana after it gets Edicted?  The other two got countered, so it wouldn’t matter – but that is a free four-point bolt that looks, to me, like it got forgotten about.  (Not that it mattered in the end).

Besides that – I’m impressed you two topdeck in ways that’d make MikeyP proud. =)


Charles Ensign

Yes, that was some game! JP fed his Su-Chi mana into Grim Monolith’s untap ability. Gotcha there, Charles.

Stompy is a joke

Dear Mr. Tan,

I read your archives in one sitting… Kudos.

I do not see how the average green deck cannot deal twenty damage before I get the Abyss out, or Balance. Is it the case that this deck is simply tailored to Type 1, (e.g. REB, and Mox Monkey). Is it the case that this deck is flexible within just that context rather than a deck which can hold its own in whatever format, or playing whatever deck, because this is what I am looking for. 


Thank you for your reply,

Mark James Thompson

“The Deck” is as flexible as it gets, but Abyss on its own can’t handle a weenie rush. It’s easy to fall into that trap, but keep some spot removal handy to give Abyss a hand. (Also, Balance isn’t very satisfying against a deck that has no hand and almost no land when you need to clear the horde.)

I wouldn’t call it overmetagamed for Type I (aggro decks are usually the more attuned to Type I). Decks just dropped a spot removal card when Fact or Fiction was still unrestricted, and the lower removal count might still be fresh in people’s minds.

Sligh is mind boggling

Hi Oscar,

Thanks for all the great articles, really like the duels style as well. The articles are just extremely useful, even for an Extended player like myself. Keep up the good work and you have my vote in the writers war!

More duels would be great! I personally really get the most from the subtle play-by-play decisions, like when to counter and when to search. Those things are generally applicable and highly useful for any format.

nl is short for Netherlands, although I’m currently doing a half year internship in London (i’m a computer scientist)

Going over it again, I did not get the end of the first match though. How did you end up with
his Goblin Cadets?

Ronald Middlekoop

Ah, it’s heartwarming to see non-Type I players pick up general strategy ideas off my favorite format.

Anyway, I grabbed his double Reckless Charged Cadets by untapping my Morphling and then blocking.

Converting Type I to Type II


I’m replying to your (fairly) recent article about type I playing – control. Although I’m sure you must get a large amount of feedback as it is, I wanted to let you know that the article series is very interesting and rewarding to read. Although my full-time job is NOT magic deck-building, reading the article on The Deck makes me wish it was. For the time being though, it has let me sit back to dream a bit.

The challenge for me in reading the article is both uncovering the strategy behind the deck’s cards and creating a version of the deck using type II cards from the current rotation.

My reason for using type II cards is mostly because they’re on hand, but I think it’ll be challenging to create something with an aggressive enough mana curve to win. Losing the main staples like balance and forces of will is going to hurt a lot. Not sure yet if the result will be nearly as good.

Anyway, thanks for writing the articles!

Paul Belchamber

I’m glad someone thought of doing that – but you have to realize that your Type II deck will look nothing like the Type I version. You can bet it won’t have five colors, for one.

The first mistake is forcing the Type I structure by substituting Type II artifact mana for Moxen, sticking in the closest discard spell for Mind Twist, and stuffing Iridiscent Angel for Morphling. It doesn’t work that way.

Instead, you take the underlying strategy and the control elements available in the card pool, and run with that. I think you saw what Fact or Fiction and a handful of counters can do, and Type I control players would feel at home with those decks if they tried Type II.

Game 1 is just the beginning

Hi, Rakso. Love your articles on Type I, I really admire your dedication in getting the format the recognition it deserves. Good luck in the Writers War finals.


I’ve been a serious Type I player for a while, but after reading your articles, I’ve started playing The Deck, as I was able to look past the huge pile of restricted cards and see what a complex and skill-testing deck it really is. Oh, and I like winning 🙂


Anyway, I think you should write an entire article dedicated to sideboarding, as that seems to be an element of playing The Deck that has been sorely neglected in the previous articles (unless I’m a complete idiot and missed one of them). IMO, it’s one of the most difficult parts of playing The Deck, and an article about what cards should be sideboarded in against major archetypes, as well as what should be sideboarded out (the real hard part), and basically what a well-rounded The Deck sideboard should look like.



Dave Wilson

Quite right.

Most of my feature matches actually use post-sideboard versions of both decks. However, I try to avoid including the decklists to discourage people from just copying them. Those blow-by-blow accounts are meant to encourage people to take a deeper look at how the decks play.

After every few matches, though, I plan to end with summary articles about how to handle each class of decks. Sideboarding charts will definitely be there-for both”The Deck” and the opposition.

Looking for sites

I’m an avid Magic player who plays casual and tournament, but have only played in a T1 event once.  One of our local game shops started running T1 tourneys a while back, and I’d like to get in on it.  I just have a few quick questions for you.


Is there a place I can find good T1 info on the web?


Thank you for your in-depth article about Wheel of Fortune,


Steve Vig

My Type I sources are mainly Beyond Dominia (which no longer exists, really), Star City, and the #bdchat channel on EFNet. There are other sites, but I don’t think they’re in English.

Looking for opponents

I’ve been trying to get in contact with you on the Wizards.com message boards (where I am Purraj of Urborg, and Random-Miser says stupid stuff).

Anyway, I was wondering if you could playtest against one of my T1 decks, one that is 11-2, 5-1 vs The Deck (yours exactly, copied). The problem is, the people I play against aren’t great The Deck players. I want to see how my deck would fare against someone who plays The Deck and plays it well. This could make an interesting article, since it is a rogue deck that isn’t archtyped. If you trash me, at least you can write about how the player matters, not the deck. If you win and it’s close, this could do your default”The Deck beats another deck” article. And if I win, I won’t run around the forums yelling about it. (like Miser would if he didn’t suck) I can guarantee you that the deck is original, and that it isn’t a hoser.

In conclusion, if you want to play, contact me by e-mail, on the boards, or on AOL instant messenger.

David Iscoe

I play a few online games each week, but it’s really a spontaneous thing. I told David to catch me at #bdchat on EFnet, or other experienced players there. And yes, quite a number of my featured logs come from there.

Definitely, people can have different approaches to different decks, and it’s good to see them. I make it a habit to talk with opponents about what they’d have done with my deck, and what I’d have done with theirs.

Who speaks up for beginners?

Thanks for featuring the question,”Should there be beginner articles?” YOU ROCK! I’m working on my article draft now- should have it done by the end of the weekend.

Monica Senpai

Beginner’s articles are valuable, and I think Ferrett might put up a special archive or list. (Oscar is reading Ferrett’s mind again – The Ferrett, who has some special surprises coming up) Too many players just stop appreciating them once they no longer need them, in my opinion.

Personally, I try to make my articles as beginner-friendly as possible by briefly explaining all concepts mentioned and including card text. Sometimes, though, it’s just a problem drawing the line on which”level” of beginner you want to accommodate. And some articles like my Wish critique just can’t accommodate beginners by nature.

If anything’s really confusing and no one can explain it to you, though, think about e-mailing the author. At the very least, he can send you a link to a an explanation.

More on beginners


I have really liked your articles on Star City, explaining”the deck”. I just recently started playing with control type decks and your insight to that rather complicated deck are a big help for someone like me who just didn’t know much about Type One control. I had to tell you to keep up the good work. Thanks.

Josh Nowak

Glad to have helped. I try to tailor my articles for beginning and intermediate players, and spent a few columns on groundwork material. There are no beginner’s articles on Type I so I needed to get those done for future reference, so people who catch my more complex articles have something to fall back on.

Learning a dozen expansions’ worth of cards from scratch is not easy, and you don’t want someone to be intimidated out of the format by some slick Ancestral Recall and Mana Drain plays.

I want to see…

Hey Rakso!

Love the articles on Star City.  I especially enjoy the Head to Head series and hope to see more good match ups analyzed.  After aggro, you should also think of adding some match ups against control and combo. I recommend pairing Keeper against Forbiddian/Mono-blue to show how post FoF restriction has affected it.

Thanks for the great articles and keep up the good work!


This is just one of many requests I got. I’ve already prepared the Forbiddian log and it’s already on the list. If you think there’s a deck I should feature in the future, drop a line, though I may pick just one out of a group of related decks.

With regard to mono blue, it’s obvious that it goes back to Ophidian. I remember an old conversation with Matt D’Avanzo, and we divided”new” mono blue builds into two rough groups.

The first just takes the lists I put up and replaces the Fact or Fictions with Phids. The second replaces the off-color Moxen and packs a few more spells. The first is more explosive, but the second has more staying power, and the added counters probably help against control.

Someone doesn’t love you, Oscar


As a fan of your writing, I thought you might want to know that some ass from card-shark is making fun of you.  If you have not yet seen it, the link is http://www.card-shark.com/content/view_article.asp?article_id=441.  He does not know what he is talking about (apprentice logs are cool).  Keep up the good work.

Mike Dickerson

This wasn’t the first email about it.

The”review” doesn’t even talk about the article the author linked. He complains about”The Deck,” but I haven’t written on it in a month. He complains I’m elitist – and I don’t even know how exactly that applies to Type I players – doesn’t say why, and links to an article defending green.

It didn’t make sense until I saw the author’s name.

A year ago, a certain Matt Smith wrote a deeply insulting article entitled “Why Type One Sucks” and likened games to turn 1 coin flips. My very first featured article tore it apart on behalf of one ticked off Beyond Dominia community.

That Card-Shark article was written by… Matt Smith (same e-mail and all).

Take a good look at the rest of it. He criticizes a Sean Mc Keown article, but it’s from Team Academy, not Brainburst or Neutral Ground.

I was hoping for Sol Malka antics in this year’s Writer’s War, and instead, we saw libel.

Aside from Matt Smith, you have Will Rieffer proclaiming that someone padded my votes in the first round of the War – based on my own article, where I called attention to it. It’s doubly upsetting to see a fellow Star City writer go to Team Academy to make his statements.

No writer minds critical feedback, but this is well beyond honest commentary on articles.

My favorite film for some reason is The American President, and I just loved Michael Douglas’s ending speech, where he called out his opponent for starting a character debate by calling the President’s girlfriend a whore. The President there tried not to dignify slander with replies, but when readers start asking, you owe them answers.

You probably saw these articles, and I don’t mind answering questions about them. I’m even linking them – the President also said you can’t have freedom of speech until you’re ready to defend another’s right to say something you abhor. But I already e-mailed CCGPrime to ask to be taken out of next year’s lineup, since I think the fun has disappeared.

This is where you appreciate guys like Mark Acheson a.k.a.Nevyn. He congratulated me for winning the Writer’s War, and told me to watch for his Misetings announcement. At least he can make fun of me while making us both laugh.

And speaking of Misetings, I really want to get my hands on that bastard, “FP.” Not that his article annoyed me, it’s just that he never said where in Manila you can get a whore for a Nantuko Shade, and I want to know!

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)