You CAN Play Type I #95: Sifting Through Scourge, Part V – Sorceries and Instants

Decree of Annihilation’s cycle effect is incredibly powerful, but that makes you ask which deck it fits in. Obviously, it’s not something aggro, aggro-control and combo need. As for control, Armageddon was used in Type II to keep an opponent’s mana count down while a big creature beat down or an artifact-based lock held him tight. The 7-mana price tag attached to uncounterability precludes this. That leaves you with blue-based control decks with a red splash, but why would these mana-intensive decks want to wreck their own mana and hurt themselves more? Thus, I don’t think you’ll need to be sideboarding Stifles anytime soon.

COLUMN: You CAN Play Type I #97

TITLE: Sifting Through Scorge, Part V: Sorceries and Instants

AUTHOR: Oscar Tan aka Rakso

I had one of my most amusing openings ever last week, something to lighten the mood of every Sligh hater out there (Oliver Daems, this means you!):

GianL: Turn 2, Mountain, Mogg Fanatic

Rakso: Okay.

GianL: Reckless Charge on Fanatic.

Rakso: Okay.

GianL: Attack with Jackal Pup and Mogg Fanatic.

Rakso: Fire.

That was even more amusing than SwampDark RitualPhyrexian Negator-Oops, Fire?!?! Whether or not to put Fire/Ice back in, I’m not sure just yet, though. The metagame should take a few steps back in a few weeks and Sligh is back, but you still expect a lot of fat.

It was interesting to meet a reader who comes from your old high school, incidentally. 15-year old Gian Lao is a member of Manila’s Xavier High School Class of ’06, which is quite a stretch from my ’97 (heck, he’s a cousin of an old classmate who’s also in a law school now). From what he says, apparently some things are still the same, though their building was brand new when I was a high school freshman and they’re now wrecking the old elementary gym before they build a new one.

It’s also heartening to see the local 15-year olds play with skill quite beyond their lesser experience. We had fun discussing one play against his Goblin Sligh. I had The Abyss in play, and two Forces of Will, two Mana Drains, Gorilla Shaman and Brainstorm in hand. However, his mad Wasteland topdecks left me with just one blue land, despite Wastelands and a slew of Moxen.

With two cards in hand and five Mountain(and two Reckless Charges already flashed back and removed from the game), he played a Jackal Pup. I was stapling photocopied law readings and distractedly let it go due to The Abyss but we both immediately realized my mistake.

With just one other card in hand, the only intelligent reason for Jackal Pup was following up with Reckless Charge or Goblin Grenade, with Charge especially painful since he could flash it back in the same turn. Though he only had two Charges left, there wasn’t much need to take calculated risks yet since the Brainstorm would probably turn something up (and I did draw into another dual land and Stroke of Genius with loads of colorless mana), and another dual would let my counter-filled hand get to work.

I won despite not countering the Pup, but it shows you not to discount the teen-agers who are content to just play in the cafeteria. Hey, I started there, and one of those guys packing a Poison deck in my high school days was this year’s defending National Champion, though very few people can put in the time for that.

I had another amusing moment against Gian after he switched to Stax. I Mana Drained his first big play then Wasted all his Workshops throughout the game. He finally got something in, Yawgmoth’s Will. However, he was forced to just replay a Volcanic Island and have just enough mana left to cast Time Walk and Ancestral Recall.

At that point I reminded him that nothing he had would help him, since I had a full hand and twelve mana on the table (and I showed him Gorilla Shaman). Looking at indeed useless Tangle Wires and Spheres of Resistance, he showed two Smokestacks anyway and said he could still sac them to themselves to go down fighting.

The sharper readers might notice that Stax has received disproportional media mileage in my columns, with hardly a mention since it did well several Dülmen tournaments back. As you know, I maintain a nondisclosure policy on discussions made in confidence. Stephen Menendian aka Smmenen e-mailed me his compiled notes last May 18, with a request not to share them until after he played in Origins and not to discuss Sphere of Resistance. Steve piloted his build on Day 2 last week (and won Day 1 with Growing ‘Tog, and lost only to a highly metagamed "The Deck" on Day 3) and finally lifted the gag order.

The article has already been released, and I guarantee Steve poured blood, sweat and tears into this one over the summer.

$T4KS (The Four Thousand Dollar Solution), Stephen Menendian aka Smmenen, Matthieu Durand and Kevin Cron

Creatures (6)

4 Goblin Welder

1 Karn, Silver Golem

1 Triskelion

Artifacts (13)

4 Sphere of Resistance

4 Tangle Wire

4 Smokestack

1 Memory Jar

Spells (12)

1 Ancestral Recall

1 Time Walk

4 Meditate

1 Tinker

1 Timetwister

1 Windfall

1 Wheel of Fortune

1 Demonic Tutor

1 Yawgmoth’s Will

Mana (29)

1 Black Lotus

1 Mox Ruby

1 Mox Sapphire

1 Mox Jet

1 Mox Emerald

1 Mox Pearl

1 Mox Diamond

1 Lotus Petal

1 Sol Ring

1 Mana Crypt

1 Mana Vault

1 Grim Monolith

4 Mishra’s Workshop

1 Tolarian Academy

1 Strip Mine

4 Polluted Delta

1 Bloodstained Mire

4 Volcanic Island

1 Badlands

1 Island

Hopefully, we’ll see more of Stax when we move to the control portion of the Control Player’s Bible, unless we need to talk about it much earlier. Definitely, though, it’s not just an anti-Growing ‘Tog deck (with that one’s low number of permanents) as some people opined when Stax first received its spotlights.

Sifting through Scourge: Sorceries

As usual, we go back to our two rules:

  1. Is the card more efficient than an established benchmark? (Or, do I get more bang from my buck?)
  2. Does the card do something no past card ever did, and if it does, is this new card playable?

Onslaught gave us sorceries on the level of Blackmail and we haven’t been able to use them very much. If you follow Randy Buehler columns, though, they discussed sorceries recently, and we sometimes get newly balanced twists of old abilities, in addition to new stuff for Rule #2

Decree of Annihilation

The strange thing about Scourge sorceries? They’re really instants that are on better terms with Burning Wish. Decree of Annihilation was one of the scariest cards (after Mind’s Desire) that jumped out of the spoiler, conjuring memories of how Jon Finkel massacred Michael Long with an overkill of an Obliterate play in the Sydney Magic Invitational.

First of all, in case you don’t get it, the Apocalypse on Steroids main effect isn’t something to rely on, no matter how flashy. It’s the uncounterable, instant speed Armageddon in the fine print you’re really looking at. So the real question is, how good is an uncounterable 7-mana Armageddon?

Immediately after the Sydney Invitational, I stuck an Obliterate in my deck for kicks. It mainly achieved two things: 1) Effectively make me mulligan every time it appeared in the opening hand instead of the bottom of the library, and 2) Attribute the roots of my deck to Finkel instead of Brian Weissman in the eyes of uncultured Type II players.

In case you missed the basic red portion of the Control Player’s Bible (Part XI, Playing the Rubies), here’s the real story behind Obliterate in the Sydney Invitational (these are Noah Boeken, Gary Wise and Chris Pikula):

<Rakso> I was wondering why you guys used Obliterate

<Rakso> You, Bob and Jon

<Rakso> I understand Pikula and Zvi would’ve used it, too, had they played "The Deck" 🙂

<Rakso> We tried it and didn’t get it 🙂

<NoahB> I did not, but they did

<Rakso> Oops

<Rakso> Wrong list then

<NoahB> But its very good with Yawgmoth’s Will

<Rakso> We figured Diabolic Edict does the same thing

<NoahB> You just replay all the Moxes

<Rakso> Right

<Rakso> If your opponent anticipated it though

<Rakso> He could hold Lotus and Will like you

<NoahB> Nobody knew about it

<Rakso> Basically we figured it was rather slow in a lot of matches except the control mirror

<Rakso> Would it be fair to say it was a surprise card just for Sydney?

<NoahB> But we all knew what our last 3 matchups were

<Rakso> We all think that Obliterate is jank

<Rakso> Since you tested against Finkel

<Rakso> Did it hose you?

<GaryW> Finkel gave Long the single greatest trashing of that tournament with it

<GaryW> It seems like it would be vg as a sideboard card vs control

<GaryW> You may be right

<GaryW> Maybe Long screwed up/didn’t have Drain in hand

<GaryW> Finkel Twisted Long’s hand that same turn

<Rakso> You can Mana Drain, attack, get the mana in the second phase

<Rakso> So it can get nuts

<Rakso> But if you have 10 mana and a full hand

<Rakso> What more do you need to win? 🙂

<GaryW> Well yeah

<GaryW> But Jon was making sure Mike couldn’t go proactive on his turn anyways

<GaryW> It took an extraordinary set of circumstances

<Rakso> Too many people forgot the "extraordinary"

<Rakso> Tried playing the deck in T1 thinking it was invincible

<Rakso> Got their asses handed to them 🙂

<GaryW> It should also be pointed out that the Invitationalists will often play a card for the fun value

<GaryW> Like, there’s no way Atogatog belonged in Scott’s 5c deck this year:)

<Rakso> lol

<GaryW> I almost played Time Stretch in mine 🙂

<Rakso> Boeken thinks Obliterate was a surprise, you think it was fun

<Rakso> Best explanation I have 🙂

<Rakso> Were you guys serious on that Obliterate tech?

<Pikula> Obliterate is powerful control on control

<Pikula> But I don’t know if it is worth it

<Rakso> We tried it

<Rakso> Figured Diabolic Edict was better…

<Pikula> Heh

<Pikula> It was Bob Maher’s idea

<Pikula> So I dunno

<Rakso> Maher?

<Rakso> Really!

<Rakso> What was the original idea?

<Pikula> I think he just liked the surprise value

<Pikula> Jon just did it because Bob said it was a good idea

So like Obliterate, Decree of Annihilation’s cycle effect is incredibly powerful, but that makes you ask which deck it fits in. Obviously, it’s not something aggro, aggro-control and combo need. As for control, Armageddon was used in Type II to keep an opponent’s mana count down while a big creature beat down or an artifact-based lock held him tight. The 7-mana price tag attached to uncounterability precludes this.

That leaves you with blue-based control decks with a red splash, but why would these mana-intensive decks want to wreck their own mana and hurt themselves more?

Thus, I don’t think you’ll need to be sideboarding Stifles anytime soon.

Of course, someone might always not read this humorous dismissal, pack Decree of Annihilation anyway, and catch you at a bad time with a full hand of counters. Random things happen, and you can’t lose sight of the important things by considering every minute probability. Mike Torrisi, for example, said that Ichnuemon Druid shuts down Growing ‘Tog, but I know for a fact that Smmenen didn’t worry about this setback and he won the Day 1 Origins event.

If you’re still not reassured, just consider countering Burning Wish a lot more often, since Scourge lets it fetch Storm cards like Mind’s Desire or Tendrils of Agony, or cycle-trigger cards like this one.

Decree of Pain

Again, you probably won’t get much out of the sorcery, but the Massacre side effect is interesting. Still, it’s a tad expensive, and if you plan to use it with Burning Wish, Pyroclasm is still worlds cheaper. If you find the ability nice regardless, I suppose you’d run something like Prophetic Bolt first.

Decree of Justice

The white segments of cycles aren’t the flashiest if the Wishes are an indication, but you might look at Decree of Justice from a different perspective. It looks like a card for someone who likes Sacred Mesa or Goblin Trenches, but these two are win conditions in Type I decks and not mere fun cards. You can actually look at the cycle effect as an uncounterable win condition you can dump your mana into end-of-turn, and only a few cards like Balance, Powder Keg and Pernicious Deed deal with it. Early on, it cycles into a more useful card.

That said, I’m not sure where this can go into. If you read about Olle Rade beating Mike Long at the 1997 Hong Kong Invitational with Snake Basket, though, maybe you’ll try it for a week or two just for the style points.


This is an improved version of Bog Down and Mind Rot (and Deception), but one doubts you’ll need it. Having more than twelve discard slots in a discard-based deck usually means you’re casting discard on an empty hand and not beating down, and you shouldn’t forget that knocking out an opponent’s hand just doesn’t win by itself. The twelve are usually filled by Duress, Hymn to Tourach, then Hypnotic Specter or something else like Unmask, or even Bottomless Pit in more casual creatureless builds.

You might, however, be in one of those areas where Hymns are just not available, and you’re using Stupors as a stopgap. You may prefer the cycling to the half-random discard, and this is common.

Still, two mana is worlds better than three, and you should just order a set with all four alternate arts from Star City, right?

Break Asunder

This is a Naturalize with the 2-mana price premium for cycling, and you might think the issue is whether cycling beats Creeping Mold’s land destruction ability. Generally, though, a deck that needs this kind of slot will find Naturalize useful anyway and won’t be able to waste a turn and four mana. Or, better yet, it’ll have Survival of the Fittest and a Druid Lyrist plus Scavenger Folk anyway.

Goblin War Strike

I’m sure this looks interesting for your Goblin theme, but it’s just not better than Goblin Grenade when you consider the dangers of overextension, and you doubt you’ll have room for both specialized finishers.

Dimensional Breach

A very interesting ability, but again, you don’t know what to do with it. Maybe if you were the guy who broke Thieves’ Auction, you could tell me.

Final Punishment

This might inspire memories of Hatred, but it’s weaker than that (and Hatred is far more erratic without unrestricted Demonic Consultation). If this caught your eye, let me tell you that real casual black players with balls use Kaervek’s Spite. Flavor text is comparable, though, wouldn’t you think?

(Insert rant from Anthony Alongi here, who may bite his tongue every time I type the word "casual." Casual, casual, casual!)

Sifting through Scourge: Instants

Apparently, there isn’t much to talk about aside from the Decrees, so we move to instants today lest you complain you’re not getting your money’s worth. Onslaught gave us solid support cards like Naturalize and Smother, and a few others to think about from Starstorm to Read the Runes. From this, you should infer that we’re not looking for something that reinvents the wheel or inspires a brand new deck type all by itself; we’ll be happy with an old mechanic packed with enough flexibility at a good enough mana cost.

I already discussed the Storm cards in a past installment (Part II, The Storm mechanic), but I think my Hunting Pack commentary needs errata. Roland Bode, the man who broke the Type I metagame, e-mailed to say that it’s an inspired alternative to Tendrils of Agony. In a combo deck based on something like the older Neo-Academy, you may not be able to resolve a big draw card and Tendrils won’t kill.

Roland has been testing the post-Scourge Academy decklist Mike Long posted, the one with Lion’s Eye Diamonds. He and Oliver Daems reported there were a few kinks in the deck but, in the words of another German, "nothing Roland Bode can’t fix." Here’s his correspondence with Mike on the latter’s website (which releases me from my nondisclosure obligation, too):

Hi, First let me apologize for my bad English, school is some time ago. I really like your deck, it is very fast and powerful. But I prefer another version. Let me explain my card choices: In my opinion the deck cant win vs control (which is in my opinion the deck type to beat), if the game lasts at least 4 rounds. They leave there mana open and counter only draw 7 and wishes. That’s why I included +1 Hunting Pack (- 1 Abeyance) in the main deck. You only need to keep your Moxes and rituals in hand.

While testing the deck I realized that I never needed the desire to win.

Wish/will/wish/tendrils was in every game enough for the kill. So I ended up putting the desire into the main deck.


-1 tinker

-1 abeyance

-1 Underground sea

+1 Minds desire

+1 hunting Pack

+1 Tropical island


The stifles seemed to be useless in the mirror match(cause you play draw7, draw7, wish, will duress, duress), so i removed them for Meddling mages. And I ended up removing the Negators for Xantid Swarms.

Thanks for the very good deck, we will play it next month, here in Germany.



Roland, I’m glad to hear about people testing the new version of the Desire deck. Testing is important to understanding a deck. You also have made a good choice by personalizing your deck. I think you’ll find that in competitive play that you’re really happy having Desire in your board for the Wish and leave the Xantid Swarms behind. I’ll say that I fully expect a 4 Burning Wish deck to take the Type I Championship at Gen Con this year. -Next Week, tales of Origins and US Nationals.


Mike Long

This is a surprisingly neutral response of one of the world’s best Type I deckbuilders, and comes on the heels of another striking statement from Mike:

The only thing I have to say (besides telling you that there’s a deck list at the bottom of this article) about that is that I played all of two turns against Pro Champ Mike Pustilnik, a Type I aficionado playing Keeper, before he scooped to a massive Desire preceded by the aforementioned Will.

(Remember that you don’t count your first few playtest games against a new deck, since in this case, your opponent may not be wise to your Burning Wish tricks.)

Here’s Mike’s original deck, though I note I haven’t heard about any appearance from last week’s Origins (I don’t know how it’ll do after Growing ‘Tog gets weaker, and I still haven’t caught Roland at home instead of at the firewalled university LAN):

Type I Desire, Mike Long, test deck

1 Windfall

1 Tinker

1 Memory Jar

4 Burning Wish

4 Duress

3 Brainstorm

4 Dark Ritual

1 Abeyance

1 Time Walk

1 Timewister

1 Ancestral Recall

1 Wheel of Fortune

1 Vampiric Tutor

1 Mystical Tutor

1 Demonic Consultation

1 Demonic Tutor

1 Yawgmoth’s Bargain

1 Necropotence

1 Mox Jet

1 Mox Ruby

1 Mox Emerald

1 Mox Pearl

1 Mox Sapphire

1 Black Lotus

1 Sol Ring

1 Mana Vault

1 Mana Crypt

1 Lotus Petal

1 Mox Diamond

4 Lion’s Eye Diamond

4 Chromatic Sphere

1 Tolarian Academy

4 Polluted Delta

3 Underground Sea

4 Gemstone Mine


1 Mind’s Desire

1 Yawgmoth’s Will

1 Balance

1 Mind Twist

1 Recoup

1 Tendrils of Agony

1 Obliterate

1 Vindicate

4 Stifle

3 Phyrexian Negator

Long-Term Plans

This is the card that vaulted Mike Torrisi (Get out of my metagame!: The Gush and Mind’s Desire Bannings, June 3, 2003) to the lofty perch of Type I’s Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf. Consider the following quotes:

"I blame Al-Jazeera – they are marketing for the Americans!"

"It has been rumored that we have fired Scud missiles into Kuwait. I am here now to tell you, we do not have any Scud missiles and I don’t know why they were fired into Kuwait."

"My feelings – as usual – we will slaughter them all."

"Our initial assessment is that they will all die."

"They’re not even [within] 100 miles [of Baghdad]. They are not in any place. They hold no place in Iraq. This is an illusion… they are trying to sell to the others an illusion."

"The unrestricted tutoring with Long-Term plans scares me far more than anything Mind’s Desire can do."

Although any blue tutor deserves serious consideration, you really have to consider the impact of waiting for three turns. First, you might not know what you’ll need then. Second, you might have lost. It’s cheap, it’s blue, it’s an instant, and it has a very wide selection, but it’s not the mana cost that’s the drawback, really.

It’s easy enough to comment that you can just use things like Ancestral Recall, Brainstorm or Impulse to fetch your tutored card. Among other things, that mana expenditure is adding up. Further, Ancestral Recall is something you want to tutor for in the first place, Brainstorm interacts best with tutors when cast before them, and Impulse is mainly found in more redundant blue decks that don’t need pinpoint tutoring.

The strongest argument is probably why you’d play Long-Term Plans over Cunning Wish. Among other things, you can simulate a better Long-Term Plans by sideboarding Vampiric Tutor and using the far more flexible Wishes anyway.

It’s possible that Long-Term Plans might find a specialized place in a combo deck, much like how Tainted Pact became the new Demonic Consultation for Tainted Mask. However, I think I’ve given you a lot of caveats, and I heard American troops really did enter Baghdad.


This is a specialized card that got pegged to Mind’s Desire, and it hardly seems as important now after that got restricted. Though it doesn’t cantrip like Bind or Interdict, it’s cheap, blue and powerful if you can catch the right time to play it.

It’s strong against an ability that involves a sacrifice, so it mimics a real counter. Targets range from Wasteland and Polluted Delta to Powder Keg and Pernicious Deed, and the prevalence of fetch lands means you have something to hit sometime in the game, at least. Oh, Memory Jar is a nice target. It can also be used to stall a bit, which may be big in some situations. For example, you can screw a Stax player’s math by Stifling Smokestack for a turn. These are, of course, aside from the obvious anti-cycling trigger and anti-Storm function.

You realize that these are a tad specialized, and you might end up considering this as an option for Cunning Wish. Consider, further, that some of the more important uses already overlap with existing Wish cards. For example, Ebony Charm neuters a dead Academy Rector’s trigger, and takes used Cabal Therapies away, too, against Rector-Trix. Gush or Teferi’s Response do more against Wasteland and Strip Mine. Other effects actually kill Illusionary Mask, Survival of the Fittest, and Goblin Welder.

Thus, unless specific cards rise in importance in your metagame, you may not need to chase this.

Gilded Light

I wondered if this would be cute as a cantrip, and the one-shot Ivory Mask is cute against discard if you go first against a Hymn player. It doesn’t target, so you can’t use it to counter Ancestral Recall. Perhaps the most interesting use in a Scourge context is "countering" Tendrils of Agony or Brain Freeze, but you’d be advised to just break up the engines and not let it come to having to deal with the kill cards.


The Akroma of Lightning Bolts? Urza’s Rage still has the edge over this one, since it reads, "Since you’re spending a lot of mana for this, destroy target Ophidian or raise hell late game."

Rain of Blades

This is a knockoff of Sandstorm and seems like an obscure and narrow card. It is, but consider it as one of your hardly spectacular options for Cunning Wish-able mass weenie removal, joining the ranks of Waylay and Starstorm. Personally, maybe Wing Shards is still the best bet for this bench.

Wipe Clean

I’m not quite sure why you’d need this unless you’re really mad at Deck Parfait or Enchantress, but I doubt it can be accommodated in a less flexible deck, and those with blue can just Cunning Wish for Erase (cheaper) or Allay (more powerful).


No, I have no idea what to do with this, but it sure is one interesting twist on Time Ebb, right?

Well, that’s it for this week. Man, I really have to get out and go see Charlie’s Angels. Demi makes a strong case indeed that life begins at forty!

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


Index of "You CAN Play Type I" and subseries

[Column Archive by Date of Release]

> > > "This is Type I. Broken things happen." < < <

The Control Player’s Bible, Book I (The Fundamentals of 5-color control, 19 chapters)

Part I: Overview

Part II: History, 1994-1996

Part III: History, 1996-2000

Part IV: History, 2000-2002

Part IV.1: History, 2002

Part V: A sample control mirror match

Part VI: Playing the core cards: Counters and tutors

Part VI.1: Playing the core cards: Cunning Wish and the core extension

Part VII: Playing the core cards: Card drawing and removal

Part VII.1: Cutting core cards

Part VIII: Playing the Sapphires

Part IX: Playing the Jets

Part X: Playing the Pearls

Part XI: Playing the Rubies

Part XII: Playing the Emeralds

Part XIII: The Sol Rings: Rounding out "The Deck"

Part XIV: Building a 5-color mana base

Part XIV.1: Building a 5-color mana base after Onslaught

Part XV: The best and worst 5-color mana cards


The Control Player’s Bible, Book II ("The Deck" v. Aggro, 18 chapters)

Part XVI: Why control sucks

Part XVI: The Inquest Idiocy Quiz

Part XVIII: Head to Head: Sligh

Part XVIII.1: Head to Head: Goblin Sligh

Part XIX: Head to Head: Stacker 2

Part XX: Head to Head: Stompy

Part XXI: Head to Head: Zoo

Part XXII: Head to Head: The Funker

Part XXIII: Head to Head: German Tools ‘n’ Tubbies (TnT)

Part XXIV: Head to Head: White Weenie

Part XXV: Deck Deconstruction: "The Deck" v. Aggro

Part XXVI: Deck Deconstruction: Aggro v. "The Deck"

Part XXVII: Sleazy "The Deck" Sideboarding v. Aggro

Part XXVIII: The Aggro Gauntlet, Part I

Part XXIX: The Aggro Gauntlet, Part II

Part XXX: The Aggro Gauntlet,Part III

Part XXXI: The Aggro Gauntlet, Part IV

Part XXXII: Aggro, The Final Exam


The Control Player’s Bible, Book III ("The Deck" v. Aggro-Control) (3 chapters)

Part XXXIII: What IS Aggro-Control?

Part XXXIV: Head to Head: Fish

Part XXXV: Head to Head: Growing ‘Tog (The Roland Bode Tribute)


Back to Basics (A Beginner’s Guide to Type I Magic Concepts) (4 columns)

Part 1: Why Timmy and [author name="Brian Kibler"]Brian Kibler[/author] shouldn’t play Type I (why fat is bad)

Part 2: A mana curve can be a line or a blob

Part 3: Counting card advantage

Part 4: Recounting card advantage (a clarification of Part 3)


Special Features (27 columns)

Mana Drain to be reprinted in Eighth Edition!

Celebrating the second year of "You CAN Play Type I!" by featuring the people behind it

It’s Official: Roland Bode broke the metagame!

Thoughts on whether or not the restriction of Gush in July 2003 was the right move, and on alternatives

Is Gush > Ancestral Recall? (April 18, 2003)

Deconstructing German Roland Bode’s Growing ‘Tog, the latest broken Type I deck in the metagame

The Death of Art (January 31, 2003)

How they should improve the look of Magic cards, without going through with the 8th Ed cardface change

How to Screw Up a God Hand (January 2, 2003)

How beginner’s overconfidence and a god Tools ‘n’ Tubbies opening hand can lead to a loss in five turns

When Second-Best Stinks (December 10, 2002)

How NOT to adapt a Type I archtype to your budget-constrained card pool

Mask as the New Force in Type I? (November 14, 2002)

A critique/response to "Mask-A Force in Type One" by Paul Mastriano and Stephen Menendian

The Nantuko Conspiracy, Part I (August 8, 2002) and Part II (August 16, 2002)

An analysis of the subtle effects of screwing up a deck’s mana curve with a seemingly simple addition

Unquiet Speculations (August 30, 2002)

How coverage and other extended aspects of the game must be improved for more casual players’ sakes

Back to Basics v. "The Deck" (August 2, 2002)

"The Deck" is vulnerable to nonbasic hate, but It’s great against hosers not backed by a coherent strategy

Boot the Back to Basics (July 22, 2002)

At this point, Back to Basics and Blood Moon can be likened to Rishadan Port in its Block metagame

CAN [author name="Mark Rosewater"]Mark Rosewater[/author] Play Type I? (July 16, 2002)

A critique of Mark Rosewater MagictheGathering.com column on Type I and its place in the community

News Flash! [author name="Mark Rosewater"]Mark Rosewater’s[/author] Monday Column Leaked! (July 12, 2002)

A spoof released shortly before Mark Rosewater MagictheGathering.com column on Type I

Beyond Dominia, In Memoriam (July 8, 2002)

Remembering the oldest Type I forums in the world and the community I moderated

Deconstructing [author name="Mark Rosewater"]Mark Rosewater[/author] (June 24, 2002)

A reaction against Mark Rosewater careless comments, taken out of context from Patrick Chapin

Why there are only four colors in Magic (May 20, 2002)

A reaction to a Randy Buehler MagictheGathering.com column explaining why green stinks in Type I

You CAN Play Type I #43 (Unless You’re [author name="Geordie Tait"]Geordie Tait[/author]): Stop Hyping the Wishes! (May 14, 2002)

A bucket of water in the face of the people who clamored for the immediate restriction of Judgment Wishes

Public Service Announcement: The Inquest Idiocy Quiz (April 8, 2002)

Picking out the glaring mistakes in an allegedly plagiarized Inquest "The Deck" article (TCPB, Part XVII)

Sucking with the Power Nine (November 18, 2001)

How a fully-powered deck, such as, say, Invincible Counter Troll (ICT), can suck so thoroughly

Brainless players v. Mono Blue (October 10, 2001)

A mini-primer on Britney Spears’ Boobs (B.S.B.), or mono blue with unrestricted Fact or Fiction

Why do they say Fact or Fiction isn’t broken? (September 17, 2001)

An analysis of benchmarks in various formats, examining Fact or Fiction in Type I, Extended and Type II

Pikula and other stories of the World Trade Center (September 13, 2001)

A glimpse of 9-11 and the Type I Magic community, as seen from Manila, on the other side of the world

When Power Cards are Bad Cards (September 3, 2001)

Why the broken Wheel of Fortune was not seen in the 2000 Sydney Invitational Type I aggro decks

Did Zvi ruin the game for us? (August 6, 2001)

A first look at the mindless Britney Spears’ Boobs (B.S.B.), mono blue with unrestricted Fact or Fiction

Making Goofy Cards (Like Quirion Dryad) Come Alive (July 20, 2001)

Exploring ideas to make Quirion Dryad a fun but powerful card, and other cards subtly great in Type I

Simple Mistakes in a Simple(?) Stompy Deck (July 11, 2001)

A glimpse of common Stompy building mistakes, as seen on the Wizards.com forums, with the right answers

Why you shouldn’t Force of Will a Channeled Fireball (June 5, 2001)

The very first "You CAN play Type I" column, a critique of Matthew Smith’s outlandish ideas on Type I

Lessons from History: A Commentary on Deck Parfait (February 28, 2001)

A submission before the column really started; a discussion of Raphael Caron aka K-Run’s famous deck

Review: Rakso’s Two Rules for Card Review

  • Is the card more efficient than an established benchmark? (Or, do I get more bang from my buck?)

  • Does the card do something no past card ever did, and if it does, is this new card playable?


Review: Sifting Through Scourge (May 2003) (5 columns)

Part I: The Landcycling mechanic

Part II: The Storm mechanic

Part III: Creatures

Part IV: Enchantments and Artifacts

Part V: Sorceries and Instants

Review: Looking at Legions (February-April 2003) (3 columns)

Part I: The mechanics

Part II: Black and Green creatures

Part III: Red, White and Blue creatures


Review: Is Type I Broken, and Do We Need to Fix It? (February-March 2003) (3 columns)

Part I (Recall, Mind Over Matter, Black Vise, Necropotence, Enlightened Tutor, Berserk, Channel)

Link to the original March 2003 Banned/Restricted List change

Part II (Berserk, Entomb, Earthcraft, Hurkyl’s Recall, the Type I.5 banned list)

Part III (Mishra’s Workshop, Survival of the Fittest, Doomsday, Fastbond, Fork, Blood Moon, Tolarian Academy, Memory Jar, Voltaic Key, all Portal sets)


Review: Opening Up Onslaught (October-November 2002) (6 columns)

Part I: Blue and White creatures

Part II: Red, Green and Black creatures

Part III: Enchant Creatures and Sorceries

Part IV: Enchantments

Part V: Instants

Part VI: Artifacts and Land


Review: The Initial Judgment (apologies to Sheldon Menery) (May-July 2002) (3 columns)

Part I: Creatures

Part II: Enchantments and Sorceries

Part III: Instants and Land


Review: Tormented by Torment (February-March 2002) (3 columns)

Part I: Creatures

Part II: Enchantments and Sorceries

Part III: Instants and Land


Review: Odyssey to Type I (October-November 2001) (3 columns)

The Long Road Up: Creatures and Creature Enchantments

Part II: Sorceries (and explaining "The Long Road Up" and "Spoof AndyJ Day")

Part III: Instants and Land


Review: Rating New Cards (Apocalypse Review) (June-July 2001) (3 columns)

Part I: The Type I Rules of Thumb, and Creatures and Creature Enchantments

Part II: Artifacts and Enchantments

Part III: Sorceries and Instants


[Column Archive by Date of Release]

> > > "This is Type I. Broken things happen." < < <