You CAN Play Type I #93, Part II: The Celebrities

I answer more letters – this time from Aaron Forsythe asking about reprints, Wayne Alward bemoaning the sad fate of his created mechanic, and the most touching letter I ever received.

Reprinting Power

Just wondering what you thought about Maro in the wake of your”preview” on StarCityGames. 

Did it live up to expectations?

In the wake of email that I’m getting, I’ll ask you some questions.

1) Do you think Type 1 is expensive?  Most people say”No, I play Suicide Black, etc.”  It looks to me like the format is Power Cards vs. Suicide Black based on the email I get. Having only one reasonable entry-level deck does not make the format look”accessible” to me.

2) What is your opinion on Back to Basics?  Restrict, ban, nothing?  People sure do complain about it a lot.

3) Why can’t people accept the idea of never reprinting the power cards?  Why do they cling to hope?  Believe me, this company wants to make money, and I’m sure we could spike sales dramatically by reprinting old cards, whether in tourney-legal form or even different backs.  But it’s such a bigger issue than that, the integrity, and it’s a bad idea for the long-term, especially because it pulls so much focus from what Magic is like now, that only bad things would happen.  Do people not see that?

Just curious,

Aaron Forsythe

Content Manager, MagictheGathering.com

I’ve already said my piece on budget play and nonbasic hosers, but I reprinted this e-mail from July so I could note that I find myself completely agreeing with the way Aaron explains not reprinting Black Lotus.

The moment you see that, take it as a sign of the times that Magic isn’t making money anymore.

Double strike

The good news is, I only have to collect two Foils to complete my entire Doublestrike Collection.

The bad news: Two. What the hell??  Please have more in upcoming sets, or I may look like an idiot.  (Okay, I look like an idiot already – but that is irrelevant).

Anyway, maybe Scourge and Mirrodon (I think that’s the name) will have more Doublestrike creatures.  It’s pretty hard to build a Doublestrike Deck with just two creatures.  Hmm… That smells like an article.

Thanks, Oscar.

Wayne Alward

Well, Double Strike creatore Wayne did get another creature in Scourge…

Fanfic Foulup

I liked the annotations for the first log – didn’t know you were a R.A. Salvatore fan. You got most of the salient points right (the jeweled dagger – nice touch, though I’d have mentioned the emerald-crusted hilt as it bit into your thigh), except that Artemis Entreri doesn’t use a rapier. He uses a longsword or a sabre – something with a cutting edge.

It was a pleasure reading your article, and I look forward to more.

Elie Hsiao


This was a comment on the Growing ‘Tog Head to Head, and all I can say is… Oops!

Indeed, I got my fantasy villains mixed up. While the jeweled dagger is correctly the trademark of the assassin Artemis Entreri from R.A. Salvatore’s Forgotten Realms line, the rapier is actually from Oliver deBurrows, the halfling sidekick from his lesser-known Crimson Shadow trilogy. My apologies for the mixup, and I hope it didn’t diminish the article.

Sorry; I have three bookshelves full of sci-fi and fantasy novels in my bedroom, complete with quite a lot – including the Dragonlance novels, Salvatore, Michael Stackpole’s BattleTech and Star Wars series, Robert Jordan’s Conan and Wheel of Time, David Weber’s Honor Harrington, David Eddings’ Belgariad, and a few more classics.

It’s amusing since my classmates sometimes conduct raids. Once, after watching The Fellowship of the Ring, a couple dropped by at midnight and the three of us browsed through the books. Half an hour later, one guys’ girlfriend charged in and demanded to know why she had been left twiddling her thumbs in the living room. Another girl regularly drops by to cart off books by the fives and tens since the series are complete, even English translations of Chinese epics. Most recently, a Law freshman dropped by and picked out the basic textbooks she needed.

Old timers reminisce…


 I have been following ‘You Can Play Type I’ for a few years now on bdominia (may she rest in peace) and now on StarCityGames.  I look forward to each new addition to the tome you have constructed.

To give you an idea of what I get out of you work, let me explain my rather eclectic Magic past.  I got into Magic during the Dark and Revised so I just missed packs with power, but not by much.  I stopped playing for a few years just after college due to a job move – eventually, however, I returned to the game.  It took me until last year, but I finally completed my power and other staple cards (Mana Drain, The Abyss, Moat, Nether Voids, you name it) and although I can construct almost any Type I deck, the one I always choose to play is Keeper, The Deck, or whatever name it goes by now.

I recall that in 1995, I saw a variant of The Deck in play and it introduced me to concepts I had not seen in the game.  I eagerly read everything I could on Brian Weissman and his tactics.  Although I rarely played identical decks (I didn’t have the cards at the time), I always enjoyed his style of play with The Deck.  It suited my more passive, more controlling, manipulative nature.  Zoo and Sligh are fun, but I prefer a deck that takes great thought to work.  I enjoy playing against myself and my very deck as well as an opponent.

Although my deck has changed a great deal since 1995 (then a mostly blue and white, five-color control deck) the basis remains the same – a build very similar to yours.  I enter few to no tournaments, preferring to play casually in my group or in local stores.

My purpose in telling you this is simple.  I would like to thank you for continually writing what you do in a format with few voices, at least few well spoken ones.  You are a skilled deckbuilder and a very talented writer.  If this is any indicator, you will make a wonderful lawyer – you tell it like it is and are open to change.

You have given me years of interesting and useful reading, please know that it is appreciated and enjoyed by at least this fan of your work.

Take care and many thanks,

Chad Hrivnyak,

Toledo, Ohio

…And don’t I have a lot of readers who simply play in stores and don’t bother so much about tournaments? Yes, your play preferences are just as valid as the next Pro Player’s; I just want to emphasize that.

Reading these letters make you feel old, though, don’t you think? People who began as early as Chad – as early as me! – are at least in their twenties by now, and it’s honestly something to have grown up with the game and still hang on to it while tackling the weightier problems of life.

I remember the last time Brian Weissman e-mailed. He reminded me that he’s five years older than I am, so I shouldn’t have been surprised that he was getting married!


Mr. Tan,

I  wanted to let you know how much I have enjoyed your articles about Type 1 on Star City. Information on this format is almost nonexistent outside of your articles and TheManaDrain boards. I love Type 1, it is easily my favorite format in Magic. Though strangely, this is in spite of the fact I can’t play it. Let me explain.

I am a quadriplegic (broken neck). I can’t move or feel below the midchest, and can’t move my fingers. I got into Magic at Mercadian Masques, and though I physically couldn’t play, I did collect the cards and more importantly it led me to a mental type game. So I went about absorbing theory, reading, and watching games at the local tournaments. I tried Apprentice and just didn’t like it. There is something to be said for NOT having access to four of everything. I’m not sure that I can explain it, so I’ll just leave it at that.

The breakthrough for ME was Magic Online. Love it or hate it, you have to admit that it is the closest thing to the paper game online. Obviously there is, and never will be, a Type 1 there. So, I have been specializing in the online Extended game… Specifically, in examining Type 1 archetypes that can be adapted to the smaller pool environment. Which isn’t easy, as it forces replacing bone in most cases rather than muscle.

My favorite article of yours was “When second best stinks”. It forced me to look – really LOOK – at what the card was doing below the surface. How it not only did it’s job, but also how it interacted with the other cards in the deck. It forced me to look at the principles of deck building rather than just saying”Okay, I’ll just replace Moat for Teferi’s Moat.” Because though the cards are different, the principles are the same.

At the moment, I’m working on permanents based control deck based on Enchantress’ Presence as the draw engine and Sterling Grove as search. It’s based on principles from Prison, Parfait, and Enchantress’ use of hard to remove permanents to build a superior board position. Whether the cards are there to make it viable is still undecided, but it makes for a mental challenge either way.

Anyway, the point of the letter was just to let you know how much I enjoy your articles and look forward to many more.

Charles D

This letter was already reprinted in “Is Type One broken, and do we need to fix it?, Part II” (March 6, 2003), but it’s simply the most touching letter I’ve ever received.

Well, that’s it for this year. Hope to see you again a year from now.

Speaking of anniversary specials, we are still taking notes on Column #100 on this forum thread. And now it’s back to the drudgery of Supreme Court decisions and International Law commentaries…

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