You CAN Play Type I #73: How To Screw Up A God Hand With Invincible Counter-Troll

TnT crushes The Deck. And all I had was five lands, a Brainstorm, and a Mana Drain, a very weak hand; my opponent had a God hand for a deck that should crush me. What did he do wrong? Also, for the first time ever on StarCity, the complete and unedited INVINCIBLE COUNTER-TROLL!

Overheard on #apprentice on EFNet, 11:30 PM, December 24 (New York time):

“There’s a (Magic) mini (online tournament) on Christmas Eve?”

“Christmas is a holiday for people with lives.”

Type I ‘Tog debuts

Interestingly enough, Roland Bode and Oliver Daems really did take Psychatog to the December 22 Dülmen. Oliver, with the Cunning Wish build, went 5-2, losing only to Benjamin Ribbeck and Kim Kluck who both came with”The Deck.” Roland posted a similar record with his Burning Wish build.

Watch www.morphling.de coverage for reports from Germany.

Spot The Errors

A lot of readers enjoy the Head to Head features of the Bible, but I wanted to do something a little different this time.

What follows is a curious log against an anonymous soul known only as PTFunk on #apprentice on EFNet, alias”Scrub” on his Apprentice. (Sorry but the only identification I have is”[email protected]” and IP

Yes, an AOLer from #apprentice…

Please pay close attention to his opening line.

“How to play TnT…”

14:43:09 – Rakso is requesting a new game.

14:43:10 – Scrub is requesting a new game.

14:43:10 – — Scrub says:”I don’t make mistakes”

14:43:10 – — Rakso says:”Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war”

14:43:15 – Rakso rolled a 4, using a 20 sided die.

14:43:21 – Scrub rolled a 8, using a 20 sided die.

14:43:23 – Scrub says:’pl’

14:43:26 – Rakso drew 7 cards.

14:43:32 – Scrub drew 7 cards.

To make this game interesting, let me tell you that my opening hand consists of a Mana Drain, a Brainstorm, a Wasteland, and four other lands.

No, that’s not good at all, but I wanted this to be interesting…

14:44:39 – It is now turn 1.

14:43:45 – Scrub plays Wooded Foothills.

14:43:46 – Wooded Foothills is tapped.

14:43:53 – Scrub buries Wooded Foothills.

14:43:54 – Scrub’s life is now 19. (-1)

14:44:05 – Scrub moves Taiga from Scrub’s library to tabletop.

His first land should tell you that with that opening hand, I should be in trouble. At best, I’m playing against Zoo or an innominate red/green redux. At worst, I’m playing against German Tools ‘n’ Tubbies (TnT)

14:44:13 – Scrub plays Mox Sapphire.

Definitely Zoo or TnT…

14:44:13 – Taiga is tapped.

14:44:14 – Mox Sapphire is tapped.

14:44:17 – Scrub plays Survival of the Fittest.

Definitely TnT. I could concede right here.

14:44:18 – Rakso says:’k’

14:44:20 – It is now turn 2.

14:44:24 – Rakso draws a card.

14:44:26 – Rakso plays Volcanic Island.

And I topdeck… Yawgmoth’s Will. Unless I get something from the Brainstorm, this doesn’t look good.

14:44:27 – It is now turn 3.

14:44:39 – Scrub draws a card.

14:44:44 – Scrub plays Taiga.

He has neither Mishra’s Workshop/Juggernaut nor early Goblin Welder. Of course, that’s not much of a relief since he can spend this turn to set up and will hit four mana next turn anyway.

14:44:47 – It is now turn 4.

14:44:55 – Rakso draws a card.

14:44:57 – Rakso plays Polluted Delta.

Yep… Land-go against TnT. Not particularly promising.

Incidentally, I could have used the Brainstorm before untapping. However, consider that the best I can do on one land is find Ancestral Recall. With all the land clogging my hand, I may as well wait and flush a couple of them back into the library when I reshuffle.

14:45:04 – Scrub says:’eot’

14:45:06 – Taiga is tapped.

14:45:10 – Scrub buries Squee, Goblin Nabob.

14:45:29 – Scrub moves Anger from tabletop to Scrub’s hand.

14:45:32 – Taiga is tapped.

14:45:35 – Scrub buries Juggernaut.

14:45:54 – Scrub moves Goblin Welder from tabletop to Scrub’s hand.

Huh? Probably overexcited, since he had Squee, Goblin Nabob in hand anyway.

This is a subtle but unforgiveable error.. Anger is dead in your hand, while Juggernaut is a threat you can cast next turn with your usual mana. It’s pointless – and why bother destroying your own Mox if you don’t need to?

14:45:58 – It is now turn 5.

14:45:58 – Scrub draws a card.


See what? Nothing?


If you didn’t fall out of your chair when you read that last line, you’re not reading closely (or haven’t seen TnT in action).

He left Squee in his graveyard?

It’s something as easy to overlook as making your Morphling untargetable during your upkeep with The Abyss in play, but you really have to watch out for these little details.

14:46:05 – Taiga is tapped.

14:46:11 – Scrub plays Goblin Welder.

14:46:15 – Goblin Welder is tapped.

14:46:17 – Rakso says:’wait’

Not only is he not giving me an opportunity to respond, but it takes him a moment to remember that it wasn’t Anger that he pitched into his graveyard.

14:46:18 – Goblin Welder is untapped.

14:46:24 – Taiga is tapped.

14:46:26 – Scrub buries Anger.

14:46:28 – Rakso says:’?’

14:46:29 – Rakso says:’wait’

14:46:29 – Scrub is looking through library…

14:46:32 – Rakso says:’I might respond to Welder’

14:46:34 – Scrub stops looking through library.

14:46:35 – Scrub says:’sorry’

14:46:47 – Scrub says:’k?’

14:46:51 – Rakso’s life is now 19. (-1)

14:46:52 – Rakso buries Polluted Delta.

14:46:57 – Rakso moves Underground Sea from Rakso’s library to tabletop.

14:47:00 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

14:47:01 – Underground Sea is tapped.

14:47:04 – Rakso plays Mana Drain.

14:47:09 – Scrub says:’o’

14:47:30 – Scrub is looking through library…

14:47:59 – Scrub moves Genesis from Scrub’s library to Scrub’s hand..

Okay, I’m seriously trying to get into his head here. He might’ve pitched Juggernaut because he was thinking about forcing Welders on me. Maybe he’s a paranoid beginner and has heard exaggerated stories of what”The Deck” can do with Mana Drain mana. Even then, he didn’t play a third land, meaning he couldn’t Survival for a second Welder after I nailed the first.

In practically the same turn, though, he made another big mistake.

He fetched Genesis on his third turn!

Why do that? He doesn’t have the mana to recur anything. He can go for infinite Welders, but why bother when he has three more to pull out of the library at a third of the mana cost?

The only possible reason is that he’s afraid of losing the Survival – but that’s not a very big concern at the moment, is it?

14:48:09 – It is now turn 6.

14:48:23 – Rakso draws a card.

14:48:32 – Rakso says:’1 floating’

14:48:41 – Rakso plays Wasteland.

14:48:42 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

14:48:43 – Wasteland is tapped.

14:48:44 – Rakso plays Cunning Wish.

Confused as I might be, there’s no room for mercy against a first-turn Survival. That one-mana boost is all I needed to play the Cunning Wish I topdecked last turn.

Guess what I’ll fetch?

14:48:49 – Scrub says:’k’

14:48:52 – Rakso removes Cunning Wish from the game.

14:48:57 – Rakso creates new card: Ebony Charm.

14:49:00 – Underground Sea is tapped.

14:49:34 – Rakso removes Anger from the game.

14:49:37 – Rakso removes Goblin Welder from the game.

14:49:41 – Rakso removes Squee, Goblin Nabob from the game.

What’s that Squee doing there again?

So you see, that subtle mistake was fatal. In one turn, he lost his Survival engine, and didn’t even get anything out of it. He has Genesis in hand and four mana on the table, but the quickest way he can use it is to spend a turn’s worth of green mana dropping it and a second Welder into the graveyard.

14:49:44 – It is now turn 7.

14:49:49 – Scrub draws a card.

14:49:56 – Scrub plays Black Lotus.

14:50:00 – Scrub buries Black Lotus.

14:50:01 – Mox Sapphire is tapped.

14:50:05 – Taiga is tapped.

14:50:08 – Scrub plays Memory Jar.

Good grief.

You do realize that if I win this game, someone should go play Yu-gi-oh.

14:50:14 – Rakso says:’k’

14:50:23 – Taiga is tapped.

14:50:26 – Scrub plays Gorilla Shaman.

Again, did you do a double take?

He still had one mana open after the Jar and hadn’t played a land, so you might think he could go for the Jar. I’m tapped out and won’t be in a position to use any Mana Drains, Swords to Plowshares or tutors I get off the Jar, and he could hope to get something from his wish list of Mox, Mishra’s Workshop, Juggernaut and a second Goblin Welder.

You can do the math and see if he should’ve gone for it. What’s surprising, however, is that he cast Gorilla Shaman with his last mana. He traded the potential second Welder – with a Mox and Memory Jar out! – for a 1/1 creature whose ability was useless?

14:50:29 – It is now turn 8.

14:50:48 – Rakso draws a card.

14:51:15 – Rakso plays Polluted Delta.

14:51:32 – Scrub buries Taiga.

14:51:34 – Rakso buries Wasteland.

I try to stall that broken Jar. Hopefully, the Brainstorm and the Mystical Tutor I topdecked will find something to deal with whatever he manages to play.

14:51:35 – It is now turn 9.

14:51:39 – Scrub draws a card.

14:51:43 – Scrub plays Wooded Foothills.

14:51:47 – Scrub buries Wooded Foothills.

14:51:57 – Scrub moves Taiga from Scrub’s library to tabletop.

14:52:05 – Scrub’s life is now 18. (-1)

14:52:08 – Scrub buries Memory Jar.

Again, take a look at what happened.

He planned to use Memory Jar this turn but played land from his hand instead of from the Jar hand. Pointless, especially when you might get a Mishra’s Workshop off the Jar hand.

14:52:12 – Rakso plays a card facedown.

14:52:13 – Rakso plays a card facedown.

14:52:15 – Rakso plays a card facedown.

14:52:15 – Rakso plays a card facedown.

14:52:16 – Rakso plays a card facedown.

14:52:17 – Scrub plays a card facedown.

14:52:20 – Scrub plays a card facedown.

14:52:21 – Rakso drew 7 cards.

14:52:25 – Scrub drew 7 cards.

14:52:33 – Scrub plays Mox Jet.

14:52:42 – Mox Sapphire is tapped.

14:52:46 – Scrub plays Sol Ring.

14:52:48 – Rakso says:’k’

A minor point, but it should be a habit to tap Jet before Sapphire in a deck with no black cards.

14:52:57 – Taiga is tapped.

14:53:01 – Scrub plays Goblin Welder.

14:53:09 – Scrub says:’?’

14:53:12 – Rakso says:’wait’

I’m not thinking about whether or not to counter. I drew Dromar’s Charm as my only counter – and realized that, without Anger in his graveyard, I can wait to kill it as though holding a three-color Blue Elemental Blast.

What am I thinking about? Why he didn’t play his artifact fattie first, since the Welder is obviously the most dangerous threat he had in hand (three artifacts on the table). Now, I can afford to wait and see.

14:53:47 – Rakso says:’k’

14:53:57 – Scrub says:’allright’

14:54:05 – Rakso says:’all right what?’

14:54:17 – Taiga is tapped.

14:54:19 – Sol Ring is tapped.

14:54:20 – Mox Jet is tapped.

14:54:28 – Scrub plays Su-Chi.

He’s too happy too early. I could’ve easily drawn Swords to Plowshares or Fire / Ice instead of a counter and would naturally be waiting. Or, I could’ve drawn both…

14:54:31 – Rakso’s life is now 18. (-1)

14:54:32 – Rakso buries Polluted Delta.

14:54:36 – Rakso moves Tundra from Rakso’s library to tabletop.

14:54:37 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

14:54:38 – Underground Sea is tapped.

14:54:38 – Tundra is tapped.

14:54:40 – Rakso plays Dromar’s Charm.

And another satisfied customer for my jank of the year…

14:55:02 – Gorilla Shaman is attacking.

14:55:04 – Rakso’s life is now 17. (-1)

Congratulations. The aggro deck finally dealt its first point of damage.

14:55:22 – Rakso moves Morphling from Rakso’s hand to Rakso’s graveyard.

14:55:22 – Rakso moves Mox Jet from Rakso’s hand to Rakso’s graveyard.

14:55:22 – Rakso moves Tundra from Rakso’s hand to Rakso’s graveyard.

14:55:22 – Rakso moves Fact or Fiction from Rakso’s hand to Rakso’s graveyard.

14:55:22 – Rakso moves Stroke of Genius from Rakso’s hand to Rakso’s graveyard.

14:55:22 – Rakso moves Mox Sapphire from Rakso’s hand to Rakso’s graveyard.

14:55:23 – Rakso moves a face-down card to his/her hand

14:55:24 – Rakso moves a face-down card to his/her hand

14:55:25 – Rakso moves a face-down card to his/her hand

14:55:25 – Rakso moves a face-down card to his/her hand

14:55:26 – Rakso moves a face-down card to his/her hand

14:55:35 – Scrub moves Mishra’s Workshop from Scrub’s hand to Scrub’s graveyard.

14:55:36 – Scrub moves Triskelion from Scrub’s hand to Scrub’s graveyard.

14:55:37 – Scrub moves Masticore from Scrub’s hand to Scrub’s graveyard.

14:55:39 – Scrub moves a face-down card to his/her hand

14:55:43 – Scrub moves a face-down card to his/her hand

Again, watch that Workshop go uselessly into the graveyard. He couldn’t have known he’d draw Mox Jet and Sol Ring off Memory Jar, so couldn’t assume he’d be able to cast both Welder and Su-Chi. In fact, note that he did get his wish list off the Jar!

Also watch what hit my graveyard. Two Moxen-Sapphire and Jet at that-suddenly made my Yawgmoth’s Will more dangerous.

14:55:44 – It is now turn 10.

14:55:45 – Rakso says:’upkeep’

14:55:46 – Underground Sea is tapped.

14:55:47 – Rakso plays Brainstorm.

14:55:50 – Rakso drew 3 cards.

14:56:15 – Rakso plays a card facedown.

14:56:16 – Rakso plays a card facedown.

14:56:18 – Rakso is peeking at a facedown card.

14:56:20 – Rakso moves a facedown card to Rakso’s library.

14:56:21 – Rakso moves a facedown card to Rakso’s library.

14:56:26 – Tundra is tapped.

14:56:28 – Rakso plays Mystical Tutor.

14:56:32 – Scrub says:’k’

14:56:36 – Rakso moves Fire/Ice from Rakso’s library to tabletop.

14:56:39 – Rakso plays Wasteland.

14:56:40 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

14:56:41 – Wasteland is tapped.

14:56:45 – Scrub buries Goblin Welder.

14:56:52 – Scrub buries Gorilla Shaman.

At this point, I have Yawgmoth’s Will in hand which can, among other things, recur Ebony Charm and kill his Genesis. I also have Cunning Wish, which can fetch Shattering Pulse to lock him. And for crying out loud, I have seventeen life and can take my sweet time, and didn’t even bother to use the Mystical on Ancestral Recall.

TnT guru Benjamin Rott, a.k.a. Teletubby, is probably going to cry, so I’ll point out that PTFunk didn’t actually lose. True to #apprentice fashion, he disconnected even before getting his Genesis into the graveyard.

And that’s how PTFunk lost with an amazing opening hand – not to mention his Jar hand! – against an opponent with five land and an unused cantrip..

In five turns.

But hey, he did deal one point of damage, right?

Not As Easy As It Looks…

With the restricted cards in Type I, never forget that you’re dealing with a lot more unique cards than you are in the usual Constructed. You have to watch the details, both to minimize your mistakes and capitalize on your opponents’..

Even with a”simple” aggro deck like TnT.

Did it ever occur to you you can make so many mistakes in just five turns?

Mistakes are very important since no one starts the game knowing every detail about every deck. Of course, you have to know you’re making them to get anything out of them. Some very strange conclusions have come from woefully misplayed games, and especially from players with lines like,”Psychatog is a weak deck in Type II” and”My Suicide Black deck with maindeck Masticore and Powder Keg is unbeatable, therefore Nantuko Shade is the best creature in Magic..”

PTFunk is neither unique nor particularly extraordinary. For example, I once saw a similar TnT log on the Wizards Type I boards. It concluded that Ponza (mono red land destruction?) beats TnT.

Analogously, I’ve also seen people who proclaim that”The Deck” sucks run Inquest Gamer’s Mox Diamond along with Ancestral Recall and Black Lotus in their builds, so go figure.

I think PTFunk’s biggest mistake, though, is disconnecting like an idiot instead of asking his opponent what in the name of hell he was doing wrong. If it’s good practice in a real-life PTQ, it’s even better over IRC.

Happy New Year, people, especially to PTFunk whoever and wherever he is!

Oscar Tan

rakso on #BDChat on EFNet

University of the Philippines, College of Law

Forum Administrator, Star City Games

Featured Writer, Star City Games

Author of the Control Player’s Bible

Maintainer, Beyond Dominia (R.I.P.)

Proud member of the Casual Player’s Alliance

P.S. – Incidentally, one of the most mind-boggling conclusions drawn from atrocious play is that Incredibly Crappy Troll (also known as Incredible Counter Troll or ICT) is an amazingly powerful deck.

The notes below have been freely circulated on Magic forums, IRC and e-mail. A lot of my friends have requested copies so I’m reproducing them here as a New Year bonus track. Have fun going over them like I did PTFunk’s log.

No, this was never part of the original Beyond Dominia collection…

A lot of the”updates” below were drawn from far newer Type I literature, albeit selectively. For example, there’s no note below that Kill Switch can’t stop Phyrexian Dreadnought’s first attack because it can attack as a 0/1 creature (played via Illusionary Mask) with no characteristics but deal damage as a 12/12 artifact creature.

Surgeon General’s Warning: This author and Star City Games are not responsible for eye-gouging, hair-pulling, or other injuries caused by scrolling down any further. No spellchecking has been done. Parental guidance is advised.

The ICT Primer by Roy Spires, a.k.a. Random-Miser, from Dallas

[oldarticlelink id="2220"]link to the original ICT commentary by [author name="Oscar Tan"]Oscar Tan[/author][/oldarticlelink]


ICT…A name that inspires fear and loathing through out the entire magic community, a decktype of untold of power and comic relief, NO humiliation is so great as to be run over by the mighty TOILET TROLL in battle! ICT is an ancient decktype, a dragon from the old days when P9 ran rampant, and KOBOLDS were the deck of the day, a time when T2 was little more then a gleam in a wizard execs pocketbook. These were the pits from which the mighty TROLL sprang forth! To wrap its clawed hands around the throat of victory and SQUEEZE till every drop was his.

Time ta take a lil step in the WAYBACK machine….the very first origins of the mighty counter troll as it was in the early days of magic….Troll LD since as everyone knows ICT originated as a land destruction deck, decks like”Monkey May I” having not even been in existence yet. A time were”expansion sets” was a term reserved for Lego’s.

Ancient troll 1st gen. LD

4 blackvice

4 sinkhole

4 stone rain

4 sedge troll

4 orcish artilery

4 lightning bolt

3 howling mine

3 Nevinyrals disk

7 solomox

3 Big Blue

1 wheel of fortune

1 fork

1 demonic tutor

4 strip mine

4 underground sea

4 badlands

4 volcanic island

2 swamp

1 mountain

62 cards that totally dominated the format until legends rolled around, and certain changes made themselves obvious….mainly the inclusion of MISHRAS FACTORY, SERENDIB EFREET and the mighty MANA DRAIN to the counter pool was also a plus that sent the deck on the course towards being a counter control deck rather then a land destruction archytype, With both counterspell, and mana drain available the deck was now able to swap its LD, 8 cards which could occasionally become a little less then optimal, for counters, which were almost always extrodinarily useful.

post legends….ICT with actual counters!

4 Mana Drain

4 Counterspell

4 serendib efreet–at the time his sole purpose was flying over moats so that you wouldnt havta blow a disk just ta get around it, not that it happened too often thanks to strip mine being unrestricted at the time.

4 sedge troll

4 lightning bolt

4 Nevinyrrals disk

3 blackvise

2 mana vault

5 solomox—this version ran vault over the off color moxen.

3 Big Blue

1 demonic tutor

1 wheel of fortune

1 library of alexandria

2 Mishra’s factory

4 strip mine

4 underground sea

4 volcanic island

4 badlands

3 city of brass

This version of ICT ran around the T1 circuits for several years with only minor changes occuring every so often due to restrictions and new obviously superior cards being printed at regular intervals. Until finally it reached the extrodinarily streamlined machine that it is today. A deck which has been playtested regularly since the opening days of magic, and which is prolly the single most heavily tested deck in the game. A deck…which has withstood the test of time, and which defined the”agro-control” archytype before”agro-control” was even a recognized term.

ICT–The Invincible Counter Troll

4 Sedge troll

4 Ophidian

3 Lightning Bolt

3 Nev’s Disk

4 Mana Drain

3 Mana Leak

2 Misdirection

1 Force of will

1 Time Walk

1 Ancestral Recall

1 Time Twister

1 Tinker

1 Mystical Tutor

1 Demonic Tutor

1 Mind Twist

1 Yawgmoths Will

1 Memory Jar

1 Black lotus

1 Mox Jet

1 Mox Ruby

1 Mox Saphire

1 Mox Emerald

1 Mana Vault

1 Sol ring

1 Strip Mine

1 Library of alexandria

4 Mishras Factory

4 Underground Sea

4 Volcanic Island

4 Badlands

3 Islands

Current SideBoard

3 Bloodmoon

3 Masticore

2 Shattering pulse

3 Planar Void

2 Chill

2 Jesters Cap

This is ICT how it stands today, a deck with rediculous amounts of card draw combined with fast efficient threats and the ability to literally deal with any type of threat the opponent can possibly play against it. Bristling with powerful card advantage gaining effects, this deck has pushed the seemingly innocent looking Potty Trolls to victory again and again.

The Deck…(Card choices and explanations)

Sedge Troll—-The single most controversial card in the deck. People tend to look at the troll and see nothing but a lowly grey 2/2 with a situational pump, the reality of it is though is that this guy is a 3/3 thats extrodinarily tough to kill at a VERY low cost to play. The Troll is extrordinarily efficient and does its job of staving off early aggresiveness extremely well. He also survives the decks primary mass removal spell with ease allowing you to become very eggressive after reseting the board.

Ophidian—-This is a card advantage based threat that can hold off early small agro creatures. The snake is very low costed for what it does, and can easily come down on the board by turn 2 and start netting you some very quick card advantage. Its 1 colored mana cost makes this a far superior choice to similar cards like shadowmage infiltrator since it is far easier to play it early even with a bad mana draw, or repeated wasteland hits. The fact that it doesnt deal damage is totally irrelevant, and its ability to draw without having to deal damage is often quite beneficial in and of itself, cards like Contagion don’t hurt it at all for example.

Lightning bolt—-Time and playtesting has proven this to simply be the best spot removal this deck could hope for. Similar cards like Fire/Ice, and Incinerate just dont seem to cut it against varried fields due to theyre 2 casting cost making them far less easy to cast in combination with other spells. Bolt costs 1 is clean, fast, efficient, and allows you to cast removal without worrying about the flow of your game nearly as much. Its excellent removal that is never a totally dead card since it can always be thrown at your opponents head in lack of better targets.

Nevinyrrals Disk—-Another often debated card. Many believe disk should be a keg or some other lesser costed removal, but the fact remains that cards like keg DONT do what disk does. Disk can quickly deal within a space of one turn after it hits the board with ANY permenant your opponent may play. It is a crucial removal spell that allows the deck to relatively easily deal with a very large variety of threat types, including enchantment based threats, as well as cards with multiple casting costs. The deck is desighned with disk in mind and is trully one of its greatest strengths. Some say its too slow, but that is simpley not the case, if your facing down a threat such as a morphling would you rather Top deck a disk or a keg? Keg is a card that is good for decks that cant deal with early threats, ICT however has no problems with such threats and thus its removal is geared towards more varied threat and problem card types.

Mana Drain—-DUH. The best counter ever is the first pic for a deck running any form of counterbase.

Mana Leak—-The second best counter in the game. Leak is an effective hard counter with an extremely easy to accomodate casting cost. Its one colored cost allows you to very often have counter ability turn 1 without having to worry about giving up extra cards to pitch counters such as force of will.

Misdirection—- This card seals up most early threats to this deck with phenomenal effect. Strictly better then Force of Will”MOST” of the time, it allows you to randomly win in situations were force would be putting you in a far worse position. Being able to steal your opponents ancestrals, and strokes, or turn theyre own mindtwists against them makes it an extremely powerful and VERY intimidating card. Before your opponent can play just about any of theyre big spells they first have to ask themselves,”can I survive if he has the MisD?”. The fact that it effectively IS force of will in any type of counter war helps to push it over the top for the slot.

Force of Will—- Prolly the weakest counter in the deck. Despite many peoples drueling over the effects of a free counter, the fact remains that this card is strictly card disadvantagous to you when cast. Forcing cards such as Ancestral Recall, or other similar POWER cards, STILL serves to help your opponent gain card advantage over you. Force is only trully effective in combo based decks , and decks like monoBlue and Keeper that cant deal with early aggressive threats any other way, and are thus forced to be reliant upon this counter crutch. ICT has no such weakness since it is quite easily capable of handling most early aggresion without difficulty, and thus has no real need for this card outside of a”oneof” since its lone presence does force your opponent into having to take it into consideration when attempting a big play.

Time Twister—- Many control players have abondoned draw 7’s such as twister, but its ability to greatly disrupt various graveyard strategies, as well as allowing you to generate various”broken” plays allows it to solidly hold its slot in the deck. If played properly the card will almost always generate card advantage for you, and it is only really dangerous to use against the fastest of agro decks.

Tinker—- This is an amazing tutor, That not only acts as a 4th undercosted disk, but can also fetch the super powerful Memory Jar at an EXTREME low cost to you. Its ability to also grab powerful often game ending SB cards like Jesters Cap make it absolutely essential.

Mystical tutor—- This card grabs Ancestral, Yawgmoths will, and occasionally Time walk, or Tinker in a pinch. Over all a strong tutor effect, if abit lacking in the card advantage department. The cards it grabs will almost always more then make up for that lil problem.

Memory Jar—- This card simply put, is BROKE. It will almost always gain you 3 or more cards worth of advantage, but will most often give you 4 or even 5 cards worth of advantage! This is what Fact or Fiction would be if Fact made them split a Pile of 7. Especially in combination with Tinker, it would be insanity not to be running this.

Mishra’s Factory—- The factory is fast, extrodinarily efficient, and survives most removal, including the annoying Abyss, as well as the decks own disks.. This land is easily in competition for the best CREATURE in the game. It also tends to help protect your colored mana sources by drawing wastelands or other LD away from them, serving to further solidify your mana base.

The rest of the decks card explanations I hereby place under the”Duh you would be insane not to play these” list, and I therefore move on to the Sideboard explanations.

Sideboard (Card Explanation)

The Side Board of ICT has abondoned the archaic”efficient utility card” school of thought in favor of the theory that a SideBoard should contain only cards that can single handedly win the matchups that you are intending to use them against. Thus low power 1 for 1 cards like elemental blasts are not present in this Sideboard desighn. Instead each board card is chosen to give a nearly game ending advantage in the matchups you will be using them agianst.

Bloodmoon—- This card is quite literally game ending against several decks including Keeper, Enchantress and several other decktypes. The moon gives you a slight disadvantage turning your duals into mountains as well, but its only a minor setback considering the matchups were you board it in it will single handedly win you the game once it hits the board. Since you are able to get rid of the moon yourself if you ever need to VIA disk, this card is simply devastating. Its a matter of pricking your thumb in order eviscerate your opposition. Moon even has a double use allowing you to use it to bypass annoyances like B2B and choke.

Masticore—- One of the few decktypes that can give ICT problems is the super quick, and super Hate filled sligh. Core puts this matchup thuroughly in your favor no matter how much hate they attempt to board against you.

Chill—- Another card to be used in order to fight a common decktype that can Hate out almost any deck in the format. Sligh is one of the few potential problems that ICT can run into, but the combination of chill and Core gives you a practically unstopable advantage.

Shattering Pulse—- A powerful recursive removal card that is extremely effective at dealing with annoying dreadnaughts, as well as being very strong against any artifact heavy deck such as TnT. After a disk it can quite literally become a softlock against TnT making it very difficult for them to mount any effective onslaught.

Planar Void—- A card with a great many uses. Its primary use is to stop all sorts of graveyard recursion or manipulation effectively shutting down multiple strategies, including TnT survival abuse, as well as delivering some extreme hurt to BaZarr based decks that can become a big problem if they start getting theyre uncounterable nearly undisruptable card adavantage engine going. Void kills several recursion strategies as well, making it a very effective SB card that can single handedly shutdown several deck strategies from TnT to Dragon combo.

Jesters Cap—- This has long been a sideboard mainstay for many decks, thanks to its abilty to single handedly kill decks with few win conditions. Decks such as Keeper, enchantress, Parfait, mono blue and several others have theyre work cut out for them if even a single Cap ever goes off.

Other SideBoard choices based on metagames. (Card Explanation)

Anarchy—- An excellent SB choice if facing a field of enchantress and parfait, but if those matchups arent prevailent in your area dont bother, since it is almost useless in any other matchup.

Tormonds crypt—- in general Void is just plain better, but in fields full of graveyard based decks using this in combination with Void may prove helpful, its really only useful in area’s dominated by decks that abuse various graveyard recursion such as replenish based decks, reanimator, and Bazzarr. Even then it is only rarely required to add them in addition to the already present voids.

Chill—- If sligh is very heavily prevailient in your area the addition of more copies of this to the SB can only go to help, it should be remembered that with its incredible hate cards and fast aggression and burn, sligh is one of the decks touphest matchups and should always be well prepared for.

Kill Switch—- An underestimated card that can turn the tide hugely in your favor against decks such as maskNaught, and TnT, but cards such as anger tends to slightly limit its usefulness. Overall Pulse is generally better, but this also isnt bad.

Ensnaring Bridge—- This odd card is excellent when facing a field of masknaught and various reanimator strategies, but is often to limited in use to be included unless you expect to face these decktypes regularly.

Elemental Blasts—- These Sb Utility cards have been ousted in favor of superior game ending bomb cards. Blasts are extremely efficient at what they do, but when it comes down to it they are little more then 1 for 1 situational removal/counters that rarely have as big of an impact on the game that you want your SB cards to have.

Scrying Glass—- This is a card advantage engine that just about any control deck strongly fears, your ability to tinker for it makes it even more dangerous to various slow control strategies, BUT your phids tend to do the same thing anyway at lower cost. So unless ya just really need even more card drawing, this particular SB option isnt quite optimal.

Zuran Orb—- yet another SB option against the ever present and ever dangerous sligh matchup, Zorb can easily completely turn the game around in this matchup, and greatly lessens the potential threat of hate cards such as Price of Progress.

Pyroclasm—- A strong SB choice against decks such as SUi, or other small creature agro decks.

Arcane Lab—- Really only useful against various Combo style decks, matchups that you ussually will win anyway. But if your facing nothing but Academy or other fast combo decks, this is yet another way to hate them out, since so long as its on the board they wont be able to go off.

Alter Reality—- This lil Beauty is a decent option if your expecting Blasts in any numbers, Its abit situational, and ussually just plain isnt good enough for a SB card, but if your expecting those blasts this is a far better option then running blasts yourself thanks to its ability to trade 2 for 1. Overall though it will rarely have enough impact on the matchup to warrant its use.