AuthorRob Dougherty

Rob is one of the most respected players on the Pro Tour, having achieved some of the most constant finishes of anyone around, making Top 4 at more Pro Tours and Grand Prixs than we can count, with his highest finish being 2nd place at Pro Tour: Houston. He is the owner and proprietor of Your Move Games in Boston, and is the captain of the famed Team Your Move Games, which includes many notable pros.


I know what you’re thinking.”A sixty-two card Cleric deck!? The kids are too much for him; Rob’s finally gone off the deep end.” Okay, I admit it may look that way, but this deck is actually good. No, really. Five PT top 8’s, four of which were Constructed, remember. You’re going to have to trust me on this one.

Reanimator in the New Extended

Come January 1st, Extended is going to be a very different format. The most recent banned list has torn the format asunder, laying waste to the staple decks in the environment. The last banned list got rid of Reanimator and Frantic Search-based combos, and this one puts the screws to Tinker, Belcher, Hermit, Goblin, and Oath decks.

It should be obvious to all, that decks unaffected by the last two banned lists (like Tog and Rock) will be powerhouses in the new Extended. The interesting question for deck designers like myself is, can we build new decks or revamp the “dead” decks in such a way that they are actually competitive?

Lessons Learned The Hard Way: What I Learned About Mirrodin Drafting At Day Two Of The Grand Prix

My first two Mirrodin drafts took place at the top table after going 7-1 on Day One at Grand Prix: Kansas City. I made a lot of mistakes in those drafts, but I also learned a lot in the process. I just scratched my way up the steep part of the learning curve, so the path is still fresh in my mind. Those of you who are more advanced will be able to get a little out of this article – but it’s really intended for the players who are still trying to figure this draft format out.

The Basics Of Mirrodin Sealed

I was shocked to discover how low the attendance was at the last PTQ I missed. It wasn’t just that event, either. Attendance was low everywhere. I just didn’t get it. It was a cool new format, the cards people would get in the event were from the new set – yet people were just not turning out in numbers. My confusion lasted until about a week before the Grand Prix, when I finally cracked open my first Mirrodin Sealed deck, and ground to a halt; I had absolutely no idea how to build a winning deck out of these cards.

Finally, I understood: This set is so different from past formats that many players probably haven’t figured out how to build a good deck from their card pools, and who would want to play in a PTQ if they can’t build a deck? So I figured I’d better show people what I found out.

Why Were Games Delayed At The Largest Prerelease Ever?

Last weekend, Your Move Games ran the Boston Mirrodin Prerelease. The turnout was fantastic: With a total entry count of 1,262, this event was the largest prerelease ever held in the United States. But after discovering several player complaints on the StarCityGames forums, I decided to address their complaints publicly to help show people how I run these events, that I hear and care about their feedback, and that I am working to improve things for future events.

Moving Goblin Bidding From Standard To Block

With so many impressive finishes, it’s abundantly clear this Onslaught Block-laden Standard deck has what it takes in the current Standard environment. The pertinent question for Pro Tour hopefuls is,”Can this deck be effectively modified for use in Block Constructed tournaments?”

Black/White Control In Block

The idea behind BWC is to shut down your opponents while gaining card advantage, eventually killing them with an Angel, Dragon, or Abomination. If they try to rush you, punish them with the deck’s twelve global removal spells. If they try and hold back, you one-for-one them (or two-for-one them with Cruel Revival) until you can drop one of your fatties or destroy their hand with Head Games.

The Origins Metagame

The next Constructed PTQ season is going to be Onslaught Block Constructed. The first of these qualifiers will be held Saturday, June 28th at Origins – but because this event is happening before July 1st, Scourge will not yet be legal. This gives us an excellent opportunity for a last look at the pre-Scourge Onslaught Block Constructed metagame.

The Scourge Review, Part 1: White And Colorless

I’ve been playing with Scourge in Limited for a few weeks now. I’ve been practicing for Nationals, I used it in the Team Grand Prix in Pittsburgh and have been discussing card quality with my teammates. All this Scourge work gave me a hankering to try my hand at something I haven’t done before: A comprehensive set review.

Team Rochester Drafts: Basic And Advanced Strategies

Magic players are notorious for complaining about bad luck and wishing that skill was a bigger factor in determining the winner of the game. What’s that old expression?”Be careful what you wish for”? Team Rochester Draft is the most skill-intensive format Magic has to offer. That’s great news if your team is better prepared than the opposing team, and really bad news if you’re not. There are no excuses. If you want the edge (and in this format, it can be a big one), you’re going to have to work for it – and I’ll show you how.

Why I Love Team Sealed (And How To Play It)

I love Team Limited. In my opinion, it’s the best format in the game – and I don’t feel that way just because my team has won a Pro Tour and Grand Prix in the format (though I’m sure that has swayed my opinion a bit). Today, I’m going to give you the absolute basics on what to look for in players (Hint: The strongers players you can find might not be the best idea), how to prepare, and how to prepare for the big day.

Elvish Succession, Part III: Deck-by-Deck Strategies

It won the thirty-player Kings Games Tournament. It won the NEC tournament at the Dragon’s Lair in West Hartford, Connecticut. Alex and Zvi both made the top 8 at the MagicSingles.com Invitational with Elvish Succession; Alex defeated Zvi in the quarterfinals and went on to take 2nd place. Rob’s played it in eleven Magic Online eight-man tournaments, splitting in the finals of seven of them for a total match record of 16-4. Is this the dark horse for Regionals?

Elvish Succession, Part II: Finite Combos And The Sideboard!

Last time, I explained the deck’s infinite combos in great detail. While the sheer ridiculous power of going infinite is fun – including a sideboarded-in infinite damage loop that can wipe out combo decks – you can often defeat your opponent with the deck’s humbler”finite” combos. Learn why it’s wise to chump block at twenty life on turn 4 against this deck!

The Rogue Deck For Regionals: Elvish Succession!

In addition to being incredibly fun to play, Elvish Succession is a very powerful deck. I’ve had better results with this deck than any other deck I’ve tested in the current Standard. If I were playing in Regionals, this would be the deck I would play. And what do I mean by fun and powerful? I mean drawing your deck as early at turn 4, having infinite mana, gaining infinite life, having infinitely-large Husks, Elves, and Fallen Angels, creating infinite bear and insect tokens, and rebuilding your library into all creatures whenever you like.

Rogue Decks For Regionals: Elven Call!

Elven Call is a swarm deck. It tries to get out more creatures than your opponent can handle and boost them to lethal proportions with the”Overrun effect” of Gempalms, Forcemages, or Coat of Arms. And this deck in particular was a blast to play; even if it turns out not to be the deck you want to run in Regionals, you have to put it together for the sheer fun of playing it.