You CAN Play Type I #8: Did Zvi Ruin The Game For Us?

Type I Acc Blue seems to be the deck to hate of the moment, because more people are trying to hose it than play it.

Imagine a control deck that strips Type I control to bones so bare it is almost ridiculous, and makes even hardcore control players feel guilty.

Imagine: Morphlings, Powder Kegs, counters, and mana. Nothing more.

Result: Type I Accelerated Blue – Beyond Dominia’s most loathed deck ever.

Loathed. The deck is so annoying that, although it won the last Beyond Dominia online tournament, the regulars who tried it have voluntarily refused to play it. The deck is so boring and monotonous that it is not even fun to watch. Nevertheless, it just seems to win.

Seems, of course, is the key word.

I Hate Blue!!!

Who doesn’t hate the blue mage? Heck, even Anthony Alongi doesn’t like counters on his table, right?”Gang up on the blue mage! Yeah!” Unfortunately, you will have to play the blue mage one-on-one sometime. And you roll your eyes because you expect:

Valiant hero (you): Jackal Pup.

Despicable villain: Counterspell.

Valiant hero (you): Goblin Cadets.

Despicable villain: Dissipate.

Valiant hero (you): Ball Lightning.

Despicable villain: Mana Drain.

Valiant hero (you): Gorilla Shaman.

Despicable villain: Mana Leak.

Valiant hero (you): Cursed Scroll.

Despicable villain: Force of Will (remove Force Spike from game)

Valiant hero (you): Hah! You can’t have anything left after that!

Despicable villain: (Yawn) Use Mana Drain mana… Morphling.

Valiant hero (you): Untap… Urza’s Rage with kicker!!!

Despicable villain: Misdirection. (yawn) Untap. Attack. Time Walk. Attack.

See? Player interaction at its best. If all games went like that, those Sideboard reporters would be out of a job, right? (They’d probably be brushing up on haiku or something.)

Thing is, few games go like that.

You heard me.

Repeat it to yourself very carefully, now. Imagine Anthony saying it subtly, or Rizzo gripping you by the collar and saying it bluntly. Or read our colleague Israel Marques’ extensive commentary.

Tell yourself:”Blue can’t have that many counters.”

That’s right…

Accelerated Blue, Zvi Mowshowitz, 2000 Magic Invitational, Type I Portion

Counters (14)

4 Mana Drain 1 Counterspell 3 Mana Leak 4 Force of Will 2 Misdirection

Utility (14)

4 Brainstorm

4 Impulse

4 Fact or Fiction

1 Time Walk

1 Ancestral Recall

Creatures (3)

3 Morphling

Removal (2)

2 Powder Keg

Mana (27)

14 Island

4 Wasteland

1 Strip Mine

1 Library of Alexandria

1 Black Lotus

1 Sol Ring

1 Mox Sapphire

1 Mox Ruby

1 Mox Jet

1 Mox Pearl

1 Grim Monolith


2 Scrying Glass

2 Masticore

2 Powder Keg

2 Hydroblast

2 Annul

2 Back to Basics

3 Treachery

Check out the great ancestor of Type I Acc Blue, a pile that parallels the seeming piles of junk that were the first Necropotence decks. Count. Fourteen. One-Four.

Only fourteen counters.

And you have 32-38 spells in that deck, don’t you?

Do the math.

Yep. You got it. Imagine the voice of Anthony, Rizzo or Israel whispering to you now (or mine, if you want a funny Oriental flavor in your mental voices).

Imagine pointing your finger straight at Zvi’s nose.

Imagine telling him,”You’re bluffing. Hah.”

(Of course, you don’t have to do this at a big tournament, or you can at least mumble. If you do, well… At least buy some cards from Alex Shvartsman first so you don’t look like a complete nut.) (Or from us – The Ferrett, blatant shill artist)

Only fourteen counters.

So snap out of it. Once you’re out of the mindset that blue can counter everything you can throw, we can talk about Type I Accelerated Blue.

We can do some serious loathing.

Draw-Go On Steroids

Was blue always boring? Hell, no. Tempest saw Draw-Go at its height, with masterful red on blue matches between some of the game’s best. Take Round 8 of the 1998 World Championships, starring Jon Finkel (Deadguy Red) vs. Sigurd Eskeland (Draw-Go):

“The third game I dropped a first turn Pup, he dropped a second-turn Legacy, which, on my next turn, I Pyro’d and dropped a Fanatic. He then dropped a Steel Golem, bringing my ground assault to a stop. I then wasted his Temple and dropped another 1cc creature and a Scroll. I then proceeded to keep drawing creatures, which I played, but no burn, and no third Mountain for my two Ball Lightnings or my Scroll. He was stalled at two lands, too, so it was fairly even. I then proceeded to bum rush him with all my creatures, losing a Jackal Pup. Sigurd actually put his Golem in his graveyard after it blocked the Pup, but I reminded him that it didn’t die. The next turn I drew a Shattering Pulse, and when he Hydro’d an attacking creature, I responded by killing his Golem, and it was all over from there.”

(Well… maybe just a bit boring. All Jon said on the Dojo about his Round 11 was:”I played Jakub Slemr, playing Draw-Go. He played perfectly, but he didn’t have the Spike for my first turn Pup, and Sligh just rolls over Draw go. Second game, two Hammers were more than he could handle, with a little help from four Pyroblasts. That was about two more Pyros than I actually needed, but I wasn’t complaining.”)

Well, if Finkel can do it, then maybe we can all wipe the smiles off despicable blue mages’ faces everywhere without violence, right? Even in Type I?

Well… let’s just say that there have been a few changes in the last three years. Everyone who knows about Type I knows about Morphling already, so let’s skip Superman. He’s not the real problem.

Yes. You heard me… Morphling is not the real problem. Check out:


Powder Keg



At the beginning of your upkeep, you may put a fuse counter on Powder Keg.

T, Sacrifice Powder Keg: Destroy each artifact and creature with converted mana cost equal to the number of fuse counters on Powder Keg.

Back in 1998, the red players could start beating down with a first-turn Jackal Pup. The blue players didn’t like this. It ticked them off so bad that they had to start using Force Spikes. They could try Quicksands, but those didn’t work too well, either. And their heavy artillery, Nevinyrral’s Disk, came into play only on Turn 5, which was a bit too late.

Now, in 2001, a red player can start beating down with a first-turn Jackal Pup and second-turn Goblin Cadets. The despicable blue mages, however, can just play an early Powder Keg, suck up two or four points, then put a counter and give you a nasty look. The Keg blows up all those Cursed Scrolls, too, as a side effect.


Fact or Fiction



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

Doesn’t look so threatening, does it? Somewhere in the middle of the game, you can take a break and play Solomon draft, right?

This card has changed the way blue plays all by itself, though. It is the best unrestricted card drawer in the game, and makes those fourteen counters look more like a hundred and forty.

Without the consistency and instant boost of FoF, mono blue in Type I would be weaker Forbidian builds.

So what’s the point?

Let’s go back to Jon and Sigurd. Finkel lost game 1, and he lost bad:”I played a first-turn Pup, and it got Force Spiked. I was now in a bad position, because I hate to let Draw-Go use their counters. I’d rather just keep hitting them for one or two points a round. Because I had no threats I was forced to try for a second-turn Orc, which got countered, and then I had to cast a Hammer in the hope that he didn’t have a Dissipate. I usually prefer to wait on the Hammers, but he was at twenty and I had no threats, so I had to try something. He had the Dissipate, and proceeded to beat me fairly handily.”

If this was in Type II in 1998, you can imagine Zvi in 2001:”Keg away your Pups. Fact or Fiction… I have seven cards in hand again. Counter. Counter. Counter. Morphling.”

Yep. Blue whipped Finkel. Now, it has even nastier toys to whip you with.

Using Old Tricks On The New Dog

You’re not Finkel and I’m not Finkel… But we can try, can’t we? Let’s try to tear apart the Acc Blue deck I was testing with the Beyond Dominia regulars online:


(Note to StarCity submissionists: This is about as far as I’m willing to go on Britney Spears theme decks, so don’t push it – The Ferrett, who honestly doesn’t see what the fuss is about Britney in a w