Last week, in the Philosophy of Fire, I talked about the death of one of my pet decks. Though I had put considerable effort into the Big Red deck, its burial ended up being bearable for me because I had another Rogue deck that I liked even more. This deck was the culmination of dozens of hours of testing and tuning and theory in working with another designer for whom I have a lot of respect. He spilled the beans in his own column on another site, so I figure, especially if I am not playing the deck anyway, I’d write a more exhaustive article, talking about the development of the deck and how we came to the conclusions we came to.
My past few articles have recapped the metagame. I’ll do that once more. In addition to the decks from previous Regionals, I have collected over one hundred top 8 decklists from Regionals that have occurred this month. That information is as current as anything you can get. It is time to decide what deck to play.
I’ll make my introduction short here. I have a 1900 rating that is steadily climbing. I’ve played in three JSS tournaments this season, making two second-place finishes and a third-place finish. Don’t worry – I’m not about to present another awful”rogue” deck, but rather a guide to playing the best deck in Standard, for your Regionals encounter.
This week isn’t about a deck or that final sideboard card (although Black decks really need Echoing Decay for use against Soldier, Goblin, and Insect tokens). No, this is about being ready for The Regionals Experience.
So why, you may ask, in an article called The Philosophy of Fire, are we talking about archaic deck archetypes and focusing on a card that is restricted in every conceivable format? The reason is that Necropotece gives the average player the most concrete understanding of the interaction between cards and life of any archetype or mechanism. The Philosophy of Fire will do the exact same thing, but instead of trading life for cards from your own deck, it speaks about the relationship of trading cards for your opponent’s life. Specifically, the goal will be to translate a hand into a dead man.
This week, I want to talk about a deck that is a part of the metagame, but I have been constantly advising you against it in just about every one of my past metagame articles. Even though I put the beats on this deck, I still think it is important to talk about for the sake of a more complete understanding of the metagame. That, and it isn’t actually as bad as I let on.
I am not the Wizard of Oz. I am simply a man, out from behind the curtain with some decks. I have a lot of cards and build a lot of decks. I’m going to tell you what I know and what I’m thinking about with regard to Regionals ‘04.
The slow crawl towards Regionals continues, this week with my current favorite deck, and one that has been dismissed as terrible with the recent metagame shift. The deck of course is one-time powerhouse U/W Control. You know what? The critics are right. I’m here to tell you that while “traditional” U/W control has no real place in the metagame, there is an approach to U/W that will not only be competitive, but might just be the solution that I’ve been searching for to the puzzle that is the Regionals environment.
Success or failure in a Magic tournament is not decided over 1,000 games played in your living room before the tournament. Success or failure will depend on a very small number of games, and on one or two incidents during those games – choosing whether or not to mulligan, choosing which cards to sideboard in or out, deciding which creatures to attack with or which spell to cast on your fourth turn, little things like that. Your testing, therefore, needs to focus on preparing you to make those decisions.