AuthorRick Rust

Over the years, Rick has gradually reined in his predilection for rogue decks and become more of a Spike player. In 2004, Rick placed in the top 64 at U.S. Nationals.

States 2006: Top 8 Overview, Going Undefeated, Getting Disqualified, and Rogue Highlights

States is my favorite time of the year in Magic. New cards, new possibilities, and rogue decklists that may not be so rogue anymore by the time the champions are crowned – what’s not to like? I can’t help but obsessively review the results, studying the different archetypes, identifying new sideboard tech, and searching for rogue decklists. By rogue, I mean different, unexpected, or underrepresented. Anything outside the norm.

Coldsnap: Colorless and Control

It’s one of my favorite times of the year: new cards, potential for new decks, and my creativity gone wild. I’ve learned my lesson from trying to do the card-by-card reviews. I don’t have the patience. I’m prone to burnout. So this time this review focuses on the only cards you need to worry about.

Angels and Archons: Reanimator in Standard

Everyone loves playing with fatties. The only thing better is cheating to get your fatties into play even sooner, which brings me to the archetype that has fascinated players – competitive and casual alike – since the golden age of Magic and the printing of Animate Dead… Reanimator.

Dissecting Regionals: 251 Decks in 4000 Words

Rick examines the results from Regionals, massaging the numbers and drawing some interesting conclusions regarding the Standard metagame. With extensive coverage of all the major archetypes, analysis of the stronger decklists, and a breakdown of thecards to fear in the coming months, this article is perfect for those attending the StarCityGames.com Amateur Challenge at Heroes Con!

Exploring the Power of Azorius: Post-Dissension Deck Concepts

When a new set comes out – before it even comes out, just seeing the preview cards and the spoiler – I become a Frenzied Deckbuilding Goblin. There are many types of Magic players. I’m a deckbuilder. I wish I were a better player, but I know that if I spent half the time playing that I waste fooling around with my Filemaker Pro deck database, designing, dreaming, and tuning, I’d have made it on the Pro Tour years ago.

It’s the Mana, Stupid!

Rick takes us through his card pool from Grand Prix Richmond, exploring many avenues of deck construction. What is the correct path? The forums will surely find out…

Extended: Everything But The Kitchen Sink

Welcome to the most diverse Extended format in the history of the game, where Osyp Lebedowicz recently put Goblins back on the metagame map. In the spirit of highlighting the underdogs, or rogues, or whatever you want to call them, I’m going to examine some of the more interesting decklists I’ve seen lately.

Specters, Elves, and Jesters: 9th Edition in Standard

How big of a change will hit us on August 20? Let’s start off looking at each color, covering their gains and losses. Then we’ll look at the biggest changes overall, see how some of the popular archetypes are affected, and maybe even come up with a meaningful answer.

An Evolving Nemesis: How Do You Beat the New Tooth and Nail?

U.S. Nationals is less than two weeks away. I’d like to write another tournament report and tell you that my deck beats the format. Unfortunately, Regionals didn’t go as planned, so instead I’m going to talk a little bit about the best deck in the format and theorize about how to beat it.

Graverobbed at Rockville: A Legendary Foray into Kamigawa Block

Just how good do you have to be to qualify at a PTQ? How many horrendous mistakes can you make and still break into the Top 8? Do you have to know the format inside out?
According to my recent PTQ endeavor, the answers are: not very, a ludicrous amount, and barely at all. This is the story of Bad Player Rust at his best, or worst, battling down to the wire for that PTQ slot, and playing Kamigawa block for the first time.

Saviors in Standard: Highlights, New Decks, and Prophesies

Rick Rust delivers an awesome article today, taking apart what Saviors of Kamigawa has to offer the best decks in Standard as part of his set review, and then proposing not one, not two, but an astounding nine possible decks that try to abuse the new set including what could be a very saucy Reanimator build. This is great Regionals preparation for netdeckers and rogue players alike.

The Charbelcher, The Highlander, And The Phantom: A Tale Of Three Rogue Decks

I’ve been holding back the rogue in me for months…. And I can’t stand it any longer. The release of Saviors of Kamigawa provides an ideal time to reexamine rogue strategies. If they didn’t work before, maybe a new card or two in Saviors will push an old rogue concept over the top. So let’s take a look at 12-land Belcher, Gifts Ungiven Control, and a U/R Fish-style deck.

Fighting Fire with Fire: Supercharging Ponza

While Kenji Tsumura and Gadiel Szleifer were battling for $10,000, Rick was over playing in the $2,000 Amateur Standard event and learned quite a few things about how Red decks work in this environment.