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CardShark Content - Adam Fischer (11/15/2002)

First, let’s get the basics out of the way for those of you who just want to know how I did at PT Houston: I made Day 2 but fell short of finishing in the money, ending in 94th place out of 351 competitors (for those of you who don’t know, Top 64 is needed to make money). My final record was 6-6-2 – dead even! :/ I was pretty happy at making Day 2 of my first constructed Pro Tour, although of course I wanted to do better and Top 32 would have effectively put me on the Pro Tour “gravy train” (I would have had 15 points, plus be qualified for Chicago and most likely Venice, needing just 1 additional point to reach 20). Oh well, now it’s back to qualifying for Chicago through PTQs, GP LA, or possibly rating.

For those of you who want to know more, I’ll be covering my experience at PT Houston in three parts. Part 1 will cover the preparation for the tournament, which for a constructed tournament is probably the most important, Part 2 will cover Day 1, and Part 3 will cover Day 2 plus some bonus travel tips.


----------
TEAMING UP
----------

Probably the first place to start preparing for a constructed Pro Tour is to find other good, preferably qualified, players with whom you can work. Luckily I had gotten to know many such players and I had a great team to work with. The key people I worked with included my friends and Magic veterans Mike Turian, Eugene Harvey
Eugene Harvey
Eugene HarveySet: Promotional Other
Rarity:
P
Text:
Magic Pro Tour Player Card
, and Ken Krouner, plus people they were working with such as Carlos Chadha and Ed Fear
Fear
FearSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Target creature cannot be blocked by any creatures except black creatures and artifact creatures.
, plus a local qualified player whom I knew, Tom Martell. The seven of us made up the core group of qualified players with whom I worked and who communicated frequently via email as well as in-person – and all of whom I am glad to have gotten to know much better now.

In addition, there were several other people who contributed extensively even though they were not going to Houston – including the rest of the CMU group such as Andrew Cuneo (who was a key part of the initial emails), Nick Eisel, and Andrew Johnson; Mark Globus; and Stanley Rutkowski. And finally, given how open the format was looking to be, we also teamed up near the end with the TOGIT people such as Osyp Lebedowicz
Osyp Lebedowicz
Osyp LebedowiczSet: Promotional Other
Rarity:
P
Text:
Magic Pro Tour Player Card
, Gerard Fabiano, Craig Krempals, Pat Sullivan, and Adam Horvath as well as many others they were working with. In fact, I later found out all kinds of people we were working with that I hadn’t even known about through Ken Krouner’s excellent article on teams on The Sideboard (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=sideboard/feature/20021105b). So basically it ended up being Team CMU, Team TOGIT, and a bunch of other affiliated people – and I’d like to thank everyone of course because there’s no way I could have come up with nearly as good a deck or learned to play it nearly as well or learned nearly as much about the field without them.


--------------------------------------------------
INITIAL TESTING – DEVLOPING THE FIELD AND GAUNTLET
--------------------------------------------------

So how did we go about preparing for Houston? Well, to start with we split up into sub-groups so as to generate the widest possible range of ideas. We started this right after Onslaught
Onslaught
OnslaughtSet: Exodus
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
C
Number:
92
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Whenever you successfully cast a creature spell, tap target creature.
was released after PT Boston in late September. My sub-group consisted of myself and Tom, although we communicated with the CMU people through email a little bit even at the beginning. Tom and I got ideas for decks from doing research online, talking to other contacts, and doing our own thinking. I looked at past decks in pretty much all past constructed formats. I cast the net so wide that my initial list of possible deck types had over 30 different archetypes!

Of course we had to narrow that list down quickly, so Tom and I talked and agreed upon 17 different archetypes we would focus on to start with:

- Mono-U Tinker
Tinker
TinkerSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
45
Artist:
Mike Raabe
Text:
At the time you play Tinker, sacrifice an artifact.Search your library for an artifact card and put that artifact into play. Shuffle your library afterward.

- UR Tinker
Tinker
TinkerSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
45
Artist:
Mike Raabe
Text:
At the time you play Tinker, sacrifice an artifact.Search your library for an artifact card and put that artifact into play. Shuffle your library afterward.

- Reanimator
- Rock
- Sligh (Lackey)
- Sligh (non-Lackey)
- Blue Control
- Trinity
- Oath
- Awakening
Awakening
AwakeningSet: Stronghold
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
51
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
At the beginning of each player's upkeep, untap all creatures and lands.

- WW
- Wildfire
Wildfire
WildfireSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
6
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
You destroy four of your lands and your opponent destroys four of his or her lands. Then Wildfire deals 4 damage to each creature. (This includes your creatures.)

- Confinement
- PT Junk
- Sneak Attack
Sneak Attack
Sneak AttackSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
218
Artist:
Jerry Tiritilli
Text:
R: Choose a creature card from your hand and put that creature into play. The creature is unaffected by summoning sickness. At end of turn, sacrifice the creature.

- Pattern
- Pandeburst

We split up those decks between us and came up with deck lists that we used for playtesting. We built the majority of the decks so we could play them against each other in-person, which we did. We also tested them online against other people and I used Magic Suitcase for extensive solo testing (with me playing two decks against each other) whenever I had a free moment.

This allowed us to narrow down the selection of decks even further and refine the deck lists. Also at this time we started talking about ideas and a few deck lists with the CMU croud, Ken Krouner, and Ed Fear
Fear
FearSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Target creature cannot be blocked by any creatures except black creatures and artifact creatures.
over email. Around mid-October, our list of deck types looked as follows:

- Mono-U Tinker
Tinker
TinkerSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
45
Artist:
Mike Raabe
Text:
At the time you play Tinker, sacrifice an artifact.Search your library for an artifact card and put that artifact into play. Shuffle your library afterward.

- UR Tinker
Tinker
TinkerSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
45
Artist:
Mike Raabe
Text:
At the time you play Tinker, sacrifice an artifact.Search your library for an artifact card and put that artifact into play. Shuffle your library afterward.

- Reanimator
- Rock
- Sligh (Lackey)
- Sligh (non-Lackey)
- Enchantress
- Blue Control
- Trinity
- Oath
- Turboland
- Awakening
Awakening
AwakeningSet: Stronghold
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
51
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
At the beginning of each player's upkeep, untap all creatures and lands.

- Confinement

As you can see, some decks had been eliminated whereas others had been added.


-------------------------------------------------
FINALIZING THE FIELD AND CHOOSING CANDIDATE DECKS
-------------------------------------------------

Since Tom and I were going to GP Philadelphia Oct 26-27, we decided to fly into Pittsburgh a few days beforehand for some in-person testing with CMU. That way, we could get some good testing in, drive with the CMU folks to Philadelphia, and then catch a flight out of Philadelphia.

Our testing in Pittsburgh consisted of discussing decklists, refining them, lots of testing of the various matchups, and then going back to the decklists, etc. We saw which decks worked, which decks didn’t work as well, and what changes should be made to decks to best optimize them. In Philadelphia, we began talking with the TOGIT guys to share information as to their good deck lists and what they thought were the leading decks. The two main decks we got from them that were different from what we had were a Lackey Sligh version that splashed Blue for Ice and sideboard cards that originated with the French and a list for an Aluren
Aluren
AlurenSet: Tempest
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
April Lee
Text:
Any player may play a creature card with total casting cost 3 or less whenever he or she could play an instant and without paying its casting cost.
deck that used the Wirewood Savage
Wirewood Savage
Wirewood SavageSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf
Rarity:
C
Number:
304
Artist:
DiTerlizzi
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Whenever a Beast comes into play, you may draw a card.
for card drawing (since Cavern Harpy
Cavern Harpy
Cavern HarpySet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
C
Number:
97
Artist:
Daren Bader
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying. When Cavern Harpy comes into play, return a blue or black creature you control to its owner's hand. Pay 1 life: Return Cavern Harpy to its owner's hand.
is a Beast
Beast
BeastSet: Garruk vs. Liliana
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
C
Number:
1
Artist:
John Donahue
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
! :)). Once we put all that together with our own results, we determined that the list of candidate decks for us to play as well as what we should test against was:
- Rock
- Lackey Sligh
- Reanimator
- Tinker
Tinker
TinkerSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
45
Artist:
Mike Raabe
Text:
At the time you play Tinker, sacrifice an artifact.Search your library for an artifact card and put that artifact into play. Shuffle your library afterward.

- Aluren
Aluren
AlurenSet: Tempest
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
April Lee
Text:
Any player may play a creature card with total casting cost 3 or less whenever he or she could play an instant and without paying its casting cost.

- Enchantress
- Oath
- Trinity
- Blue Control
- Awakening
Awakening
AwakeningSet: Stronghold
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
51
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
At the beginning of each player's upkeep, untap all creatures and lands.


We expected Tinker
Tinker
TinkerSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
45
Artist:
Mike Raabe
Text:
At the time you play Tinker, sacrifice an artifact.Search your library for an artifact card and put that artifact into play. Shuffle your library afterward.
, Reanimator, Rock, and Lackey Sligh to each make up about 10-15% of the field. Next we expected Aluren
Aluren
AlurenSet: Tempest
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
April Lee
Text:
Any player may play a creature card with total casting cost 3 or less whenever he or she could play an instant and without paying its casting cost.
and Enchantress to each be about 5-10%, and other decks to make up the rest, including decks that weren’t on our list.


----------------------------
SELECTING WHICH DECK TO PLAY
----------------------------

Throughout all the preparation period, I had been keeping track of matchup winning percentages for all the matchups that I either played or could get information on. This allowed me to track which decks did well against which other decks, and in combination with an expected metagame, it could help identify which decks would perform the best. The most recent version of this “Deck Performance Matrix”, which I sent out to the other members of our testing group email list.

[Editor’s note: Many of you know that Adam is a stats freak. Click here to download an Excel spreadsheet of his testing gauntlet for the new Extended season.]

Now, note that this matrix was based on actual games played as opposed to theoretical matchups – which had both advantages and disadvantages. It was missing certain decks where there wasn’t enough time to play enough games for the matchup percentages to be meaningful – chief among the decks left out was Aluren
Aluren
AlurenSet: Tempest
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
April Lee
Text:
Any player may play a creature card with total casting cost 3 or less whenever he or she could play an instant and without paying its casting cost.
. Also, this matrix wasn’t, nor should it have been, the only thing used to decide which deck to play. Other factors such as preferred play style, consistency, resiliency, etc. had to be figured in. Finally and probably most importantly, all testing up to this point had been done without sideboarding, so the effects of sideboarding – both for the deck and against the deck, had to be taken into account.

Looking at the matrix, my first inclination was to choose either Rock, Sligh, or Blue Control, as they had the highest winning percentages. I was further attracted to these decks as I felt we had among the best lists for them and they were consistent. It was the effect of sideboarding that eventually made my decision. Sligh might be great Game 1, but it seemed that it was easy to hate in Games 2 and 3 and it didn’t have as many good sideboard options for those games (though the splash of Blue helped). Blue Control used multiple Cunning Wish
Cunning Wish
Cunning WishSet: Judgment
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
37
Artist:
Jim Nelson

Text:
Choose an instant you own from outside the game, reveal that card, and put it into your hand. Remove Cunning Wish from the game.
es and so didn’t really have many sideboard slots left over. Rock, on the other hand, had a full range of sideboard slots to use (since our version did not use Living Wish
Living Wish
Living WishSet: Judgment
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
124
Artist:
Eric Peterson

Text:
Choose a creature or land card you own from outside the game, reveal that card, and put it into your hand. Remove Living Wish from the game.
), had great sideboard options, especially in Black, and seemed among the more difficult decks to “hate.” So my first choice was to go with Rock.

We talked about deck choice on the email list, and although not everyone had made up their mind, it seemed that the majority of us – myself, Tom, Mike, Eugene, and Ken - were also leaning towards or were definitely playing Rock. This confirmed my choice of Rock as the deck to play.


----------------------------------------------------
LAST-MINUTE PREPARATION AND FINALIZING THE DECK LIST
----------------------------------------------------
I cam to the decision of which deck to play just a couple of days before leaving for Houston, so I still wanted flexibility as to which exact cards to use in the deck and in which numbers. So I made a list of as many possible cards as I could think of needing, both for main deck and sideboard use, and gathered them together to take with me. I also made sure to bring several other decks for us to use to test against the day before the tournament, and these could also be used as “back-up” decks if anyone changed their mind. I then borrowed some Rock and other cards that I was missing from my good friend Jason Huang (thanks Jason!) and headed off to Houston on Wednesday, November 6.

I got into Houston relatively early on Wednesday so I had not only the plane flight but also a fair amount of time in the hotel room to work on revising my deck list and coming up with a sideboard list and sideboarding plan. I had an initial version complete by the time Mike, Eugene, Carlos, Ken, and Ed got in later that night. This deck list was:

MAIN DECK
Land (23):
8 Forest
Forest
ForestSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add G to your mana pool.

4 Treetop Village
Treetop Village
Treetop VillageSet: Urza's Legacy
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
143
Artist:
Anthony S. Waters
Text:
Treetop Village comes into play tapped.T: Add one green mana to your mana pool.1G: Treetop Village becomes a 3/3 green creature with trample until end of turn. This creature still counts as a land.

6 Swamp
Swamp
SwampSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add B to your mana pool.

4 Llanowar Wastes
Llanowar Wastes
Llanowar WastesSet: Apocalypse
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
141
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
TAP: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool. TAP: Add B or G to your mana pool. Llanowar Wastes deals 1 damage to you.

1 Dust Bowl
Dust Bowl
Dust BowlSet: Mercadian Masques
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
316
Artist:
Ben Thompson
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.3, tap, Sacrifice a land: Destroy target nonbasic land.


Other Mana Sources (10):
4 Birds of Paradise
Birds of Paradise
Birds of ParadiseSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Mana Birds
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Poole
Power:
0
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying T: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. This ability is played as an interrupt.

1 Llanowar Elves
Llanowar Elves
Llanowar ElvesSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elves
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Anson Maddocks
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Add G to your mana pool. This ability is played as an interrupt.

2 Vine Trellis
Vine Trellis
Vine TrellisSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wall
Rarity:
C
Number:
285
Artist:
DiTerlizzi
Power:
0
Toughness:
4
Text:
(Walls can't attack.) T: Add one green mana to your mana pool.

3 Yavimaya Elder
Yavimaya Elder
Yavimaya ElderSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Druid
Rarity:
C
Number:
124
Artist:
Ray Lago
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Yavimaya Elder is put into a graveyard from play, you may search your library for up to two basic land cards, reveal them, and put them into your hand. If you do, shuffle your library.2, Sacrifice Yavimaya Elder: Draw a card.


Core Creatures (11):
2 Spike Feeder
Spike Feeder
Spike FeederSet: Stronghold
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spike
Rarity:
U
Number:
68
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Power:
0
Toughness:
0
Text:
Spike Feeder comes into play with two +1/+1 counters on it.2, Remove a +1/+1 counter from Spike Feeder: Put a +1/+1 counter on target creature.Remove a +1/+1 counter from Spike Feeder: Gain 2 life.

2 Spike Weaver
Spike Weaver
Spike WeaverSet: Exodus
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spike
Rarity:
R
Number:
128
Artist:
Mike Raabe
Power:
0
Toughness:
0
Text:
Spike Weaver comes into play with three +1/+1 counters on it.2, Remove a +1/+1 counter from Spike Weaver: Put a +1/+1 counter on target creature.1, Remove a +1/+1 counter from Spike Weaver: Creatures deal no combat damage this turn.

2 Ravenous Baloth
Ravenous Baloth
Ravenous BalothSet: Onslaught
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
R
Number:
278
Artist:
Arnie Swekel
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Sacrifice a Beast: You gain 4 life.

4 Spiritmonger
Spiritmonger
SpiritmongerSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
R
Number:
121
Artist:
Glen Angus
Power:
6
Toughness:
6
Text:
Whenever Spiritmonger deals damage to a creature, put a +1/+1 counter on Spiritmonger. B: Regenerate Spiritmonger. G: Spiritmonger becomes the color of your choice until end of turn.


Disrupt
Disrupt
DisruptSet: Weatherlight
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Adam Rex
Text:
Counter target instant, interrupt, or sorcery spell unless its caster pays an additional 1.Draw a card.
ion and Control (11):
4 Pernicious Deed
Pernicious Deed
Pernicious DeedSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
114
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
X, Sacrifice Pernicious Deed: Destroy each artifact, creature, and enchantment with converted mana cost X or less.

4 Duress
Duress
DuressSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
132
Artist:
Lawrence Snelly
Text:
Look at target opponent's hand and choose a noncreature, nonland card there. That player discards that card.

2 Mesmeric Fiend
Mesmeric Fiend
Mesmeric FiendSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nightmare Horror
Rarity:
C
Number:
69
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Mesmeric Fiend comes into play, target opponent reveals his or her hand and you choose a nonland card from it. Remove that card from the game. When Mesmeric Fiend leaves play, return the removed card to its owner's hand.

1 Cabal Therapy
Cabal Therapy
Cabal TherapySet: Judgment
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
62
Artist:
Ron Spencer

Text:
Name a nonland card. Target player reveals his or her hand and discards from it all cards with that name. Flashback - Sacrifice a creature.


Other (5):
2 Vampiric Tutor
Vampiric Tutor
Vampiric TutorSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
161
Artist:
Gary Leach
Text:
Search your library for a card, then shuffle your library and put that card on top of it. You lose 2 life.

1 Living Death
Living Death
Living DeathSet: Tempest
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Charles Gillespie
Text:
Set aside all creature cards in all graveyards. Then, put each creature that is in play into its owner's graveyard. Then, put each creature card set aside in this way into play under its owner's control.

1 Recurring Nightmare
Recurring Nightmare
Recurring NightmareSet: Exodus
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
72
Artist:
Jeff Laubenstein
Text:
Sacrifice a creature, Return Recurring Nightmare to owner's hand: Put target creature card from your graveyard into play. Play this ability as a sorcery.

1 Deranged Hermit
Deranged Hermit
Deranged HermitSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf
Rarity:
R
Number:
101
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Echo (During your next upkeep after this permanent comes under your control, pay its casting cost or sacrifice it.) When Deranged Hermit comes into play, put four Squirrel tokens into play. Treat these tokens as 1/1 green creatures.All Squirrels get +1/+1.


SIDEBOARD
3 Engineered Plague
Engineered Plague
Engineered PlagueSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
51
Artist:
Michael Sutfin
Text:
When Engineered Plague comes into play, choose a creature type.All creatures of the chosen type get -1/-1.

2 Diabolic Edict
Diabolic Edict
Diabolic EdictSet: Tempest
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Target player sacrifices a creature.

2 Chainer’s Edict
2 Mesmeric Fiend
Mesmeric Fiend
Mesmeric FiendSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nightmare Horror
Rarity:
C
Number:
69
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Mesmeric Fiend comes into play, target opponent reveals his or her hand and you choose a nonland card from it. Remove that card from the game. When Mesmeric Fiend leaves play, return the removed card to its owner's hand.

2 Cabal Therapy
Cabal Therapy
Cabal TherapySet: Judgment
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
62
Artist:
Ron Spencer

Text:
Name a nonland card. Target player reveals his or her hand and discards from it all cards with that name. Flashback - Sacrifice a creature.

1 Ravenous Baloth
Ravenous Baloth
Ravenous BalothSet: Onslaught
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
R
Number:
278
Artist:
Arnie Swekel
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Sacrifice a Beast: You gain 4 life.

1 Kill Switch
Kill Switch
Kill SwitchSet: Nemesis
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
133
Artist:
Brian Snoddy
Text:
2, T: Tap all other artifacts. They don't untap during their controllers' untap steps as long as Kill Switch remains tapped.

1 Sphere of Resistance
Sphere of Resistance
Sphere of ResistanceSet: Exodus
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
139
Artist:
Doug Chaffee
Text:
All spells cost an additional 1 to play.

1 Coffin Purge
Coffin Purge
Coffin PurgeSet: Odyssey
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
124
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Remove target card in a graveyard from the game. Flashback B (You may play this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then remove it from the game.)


Thursday was the Masters Gateway (sealed deck and booster draft) and Masters, but I got knocked out in the first round by an insane deck packing Silvos, Butcher Orgg
Butcher Orgg
Butcher OrggSet: Onslaught
Cost:
7
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Orgg
Rarity:
R
Number:
192
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
6
Toughness:
6
Text:
You may divide Butcher Orgg's combat damage as you choose among defending. player and/or any number of creatures he or she controls.
, Centaur Glade
Centaur Glade
Centaur GladeSet: Onslaught
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
251
Artist:
Alex Horley-Orlandelli
Text:
2GG: Put a 3/3 green Centaur creature token into play.
, and triple Shock
Shock
ShockSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
206
Artist:
Randy Gallegos
Text:
Shock deals 2 damage to target creature or player.
among other things. The positive side of this was that it gave me more time to practice and work on my deck. Luckily there were others in our group in the same boat so we went back to the hotel to test and discuss lists.

In the end, Tom, Mike, Eugene, and Ken joined me in choosing to play Rock, Ed chose to play Blue Control, and Carlos chose to play Enchantress (which he had refined considerably into a version that seemed to perform much better that was initially found). We discussed main deck and sideboard card choices, what to side in and out against the different decks, play tips, etc. In the end, we all ended up with very similar deck lists which only differed from each other by a few cards at most. I ended up playing the following list:


---------
DECK LIST
---------

”The Rock”

MAIN DECK
Land (23):
7 Forest
Forest
ForestSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add G to your mana pool.

4 Treetop Village
Treetop Village
Treetop VillageSet: Urza's Legacy
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
143
Artist:
Anthony S. Waters
Text:
Treetop Village comes into play tapped.T: Add one green mana to your mana pool.1G: Treetop Village becomes a 3/3 green creature with trample until end of turn. This creature still counts as a land.

7 Swamp
Swamp
SwampSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add B to your mana pool.

4 Llanowar Wastes
Llanowar Wastes
Llanowar WastesSet: Apocalypse
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
141
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
TAP: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool. TAP: Add B or G to your mana pool. Llanowar Wastes deals 1 damage to you.

1 Dust Bowl
Dust Bowl
Dust BowlSet: Mercadian Masques
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
316
Artist:
Ben Thompson
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.3, tap, Sacrifice a land: Destroy target nonbasic land.


Other Mana Sources (10):
4 Birds of Paradise
Birds of Paradise
Birds of ParadiseSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Mana Birds
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Poole
Power:
0
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying T: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. This ability is played as an interrupt.

1 Llanowar Elves
Llanowar Elves
Llanowar ElvesSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elves
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Anson Maddocks
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Add G to your mana pool. This ability is played as an interrupt.

2 Vine Trellis
Vine Trellis
Vine TrellisSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wall
Rarity:
C
Number:
285
Artist:
DiTerlizzi
Power:
0
Toughness:
4
Text:
(Walls can't attack.) T: Add one green mana to your mana pool.

3 Yavimaya Elder
Yavimaya Elder
Yavimaya ElderSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Druid
Rarity:
C
Number:
124
Artist:
Ray Lago
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Yavimaya Elder is put into a graveyard from play, you may search your library for up to two basic land cards, reveal them, and put them into your hand. If you do, shuffle your library.2, Sacrifice Yavimaya Elder: Draw a card.


Core Creatures (11):
2 Spike Feeder
Spike Feeder
Spike FeederSet: Stronghold
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spike
Rarity:
U
Number:
68
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Power:
0
Toughness:
0
Text:
Spike Feeder comes into play with two +1/+1 counters on it.2, Remove a +1/+1 counter from Spike Feeder: Put a +1/+1 counter on target creature.Remove a +1/+1 counter from Spike Feeder: Gain 2 life.

2 Spike Weaver
Spike Weaver
Spike WeaverSet: Exodus
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spike
Rarity:
R
Number:
128
Artist:
Mike Raabe
Power:
0
Toughness:
0
Text:
Spike Weaver comes into play with three +1/+1 counters on it.2, Remove a +1/+1 counter from Spike Weaver: Put a +1/+1 counter on target creature.1, Remove a +1/+1 counter from Spike Weaver: Creatures deal no combat damage this turn.

3 Ravenous Baloth
Ravenous Baloth
Ravenous BalothSet: Onslaught
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
R
Number:
278
Artist:
Arnie Swekel
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Sacrifice a Beast: You gain 4 life.

4 Spiritmonger
Spiritmonger
SpiritmongerSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
R
Number:
121
Artist:
Glen Angus
Power:
6
Toughness:
6
Text:
Whenever Spiritmonger deals damage to a creature, put a +1/+1 counter on Spiritmonger. B: Regenerate Spiritmonger. G: Spiritmonger becomes the color of your choice until end of turn.


Disrupt
Disrupt
DisruptSet: Weatherlight
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Adam Rex
Text:
Counter target instant, interrupt, or sorcery spell unless its caster pays an additional 1.Draw a card.
ion and Control (14):
4 Pernicious Deed
Pernicious Deed
Pernicious DeedSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
114
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
X, Sacrifice Pernicious Deed: Destroy each artifact, creature, and enchantment with converted mana cost X or less.

4 Duress
Duress
DuressSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
132
Artist:
Lawrence Snelly
Text:
Look at target opponent's hand and choose a noncreature, nonland card there. That player discards that card.

2 Mesmeric Fiend
Mesmeric Fiend
Mesmeric FiendSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nightmare Horror
Rarity:
C
Number:
69
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Mesmeric Fiend comes into play, target opponent reveals his or her hand and you choose a nonland card from it. Remove that card from the game. When Mesmeric Fiend leaves play, return the removed card to its owner's hand.

3 Cabal Therapy
Cabal Therapy
Cabal TherapySet: Judgment
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
62
Artist:
Ron Spencer

Text:
Name a nonland card. Target player reveals his or her hand and discards from it all cards with that name. Flashback - Sacrifice a creature.

1 Diabolic Edict
Diabolic Edict
Diabolic EdictSet: Tempest
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Target player sacrifices a creature.


Other (2):
1 Vampiric Tutor
Vampiric Tutor
Vampiric TutorSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
161
Artist:
Gary Leach
Text:
Search your library for a card, then shuffle your library and put that card on top of it. You lose 2 life.

1 Living Death
Living Death
Living DeathSet: Tempest
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Charles Gillespie
Text:
Set aside all creature cards in all graveyards. Then, put each creature that is in play into its owner's graveyard. Then, put each creature card set aside in this way into play under its owner's control.


SIDEBOARD
3 Engineered Plague
Engineered Plague
Engineered PlagueSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
51
Artist:
Michael Sutfin
Text:
When Engineered Plague comes into play, choose a creature type.All creatures of the chosen type get -1/-1.

3 Phyrexian Negator
Phyrexian Negator
Phyrexian NegatorSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Horror
Rarity:
R
Number:
65
Artist:
John Zeleznik
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
TrampleWhenever Phyrexian Negator is dealt damage, sacrifice a permanent for each 1 damage dealt to it.

2 Coffin Purge
Coffin Purge
Coffin PurgeSet: Odyssey
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
124
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Remove target card in a graveyard from the game. Flashback B (You may play this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then remove it from the game.)

2 Naturalize
Naturalize
NaturalizeSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
275
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
Destroy target artifact or enchantment.

2 Diabolic Edict
Diabolic Edict
Diabolic EdictSet: Tempest
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Target player sacrifices a creature.

1 Chainer’s Edict
1 Ravenous Baloth
Ravenous Baloth
Ravenous BalothSet: Onslaught
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
R
Number:
278
Artist:
Arnie Swekel
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Sacrifice a Beast: You gain 4 life.

1 Filth
Filth
FilthSet: Judgment
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Incarnation
Rarity:
U
Number:
66
Artist:
Thomas M. Baxa

Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Swampwalk. As long as Filth is in your graveyard and you control a Swamp, creatures you control have Swampwalk.


Comments on the deck choices and changes from my initial version are:

Land:

I definitely felt 23 land was the right number. Although some of us suggested cutting a land since we cut some of the 5-cc spells, I felt that since we were already cutting some Elves/Trellises/Elders from the old “standard” Rock version, that cutting a land as well would be too risky. In the end I believe we all ended up going with 23 land. I cut a Forest
Forest
ForestSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add G to your mana pool.
for a Swamp
Swamp
SwampSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add B to your mana pool.
because we had added a lot of Black spells and our sideboard consisted almost entirely of Black spells. One Dust Bowl
Dust Bowl
Dust BowlSet: Mercadian Masques
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
316
Artist:
Ben Thompson
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.3, tap, Sacrifice a land: Destroy target nonbasic land.
would just have to be enough, and I felt that with the environment being so fast and with fewer non-basics that this would be an acceptable sacrifice. As for the 4 Villages, they were a key source of the deck’s beatdown and were great against control.

Other Mana Sources:

Having 4 Birds was essential. The mix of Vine Trellis
Vine Trellis
Vine TrellisSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wall
Rarity:
C
Number:
285
Artist:
DiTerlizzi
Power:
0
Toughness:
4
Text:
(Walls can't attack.) T: Add one green mana to your mana pool.
es/Llanowar Elves
Llanowar Elves
Llanowar ElvesSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elves
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Anson Maddocks
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Add G to your mana pool. This ability is played as an interrupt.
was an interesting question, as Vine Trellis
Vine Trellis
Vine TrellisSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wall
Rarity:
C
Number:
285
Artist:
DiTerlizzi
Power:
0
Toughness:
4
Text:
(Walls can't attack.) T: Add one green mana to your mana pool.
es were key against Sligh and other aggressive decks, but the Elves were better against everything else. We briefly considered replacing the Elders with Krosan Tusker
Krosan Tusker
Krosan TuskerSet: Onslaught
Cost:
7
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
C
Number:
272
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
6
Toughness:
5
Text:
Cycling 2G (2G, Discard this card from your hand: Draw a card.). When you cycle Krosan Tusker, you may search your library for a basic land card, reveal that card, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library.
s, but in the end we felt that the Elders were key since the 2/1 body was often relevant. We did reduce the Elder and Elf/Trellis count by one each early on due to cutting some of the 5-cc spells.

Core Creatures:

The Mongers were the main beef and were incredibly hard for decks to deal with since Swords was gone, so we went with 4 of them. The Feeders were there mainly against Sligh (and other aggressive decks) since in most other cases the Baloths were better. In fact, the number of Baloths steadily went up since in testing they served many functions – an efficient beatdown creature, life-gaining in a pinch, a way to sacrifice Spiritmonger
Spiritmonger
SpiritmongerSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
R
Number:
121
Artist:
Glen Angus
Power:
6
Toughness:
6
Text:
Whenever Spiritmonger deals damage to a creature, put a +1/+1 counter on Spiritmonger. B: Regenerate Spiritmonger. G: Spiritmonger becomes the color of your choice until end of turn.
(since it’s a beast) in response to a Living Death
Living Death
Living DeathSet: Tempest
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Charles Gillespie
Text:
Set aside all creature cards in all graveyards. Then, put each creature that is in play into its owner's graveyard. Then, put each creature card set aside in this way into play under its owner's control.
, etc. We just couldn’t justify cutting all the Feeders for Baloths due to mana curve concerns as well as the expected presence of Sligh. Finally, the Weavers were there since the deck often needed to stall a bit in order to stabilize the board.


Disrupt
Disrupt
DisruptSet: Weatherlight
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Adam Rex
Text:
Counter target instant, interrupt, or sorcery spell unless its caster pays an additional 1.Draw a card.
ion and Control:

This was the area in which our deck changed most from earlier versions. Ken deserves the credit for being an early advocate of Fiends and Therapies. In a combo- or control-filled environment, such as was expected in Houston, these cards are AMAZING. Even against non-combo decks they are quite useful. I was nervous about running so many Therapies at first, since I was worried they would “miss” too often in such a wide open field unless I was able to cast Duress
Duress
DuressSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
132
Artist:
Lawrence Snelly
Text:
Look at target opponent's hand and choose a noncreature, nonland card there. That player discards that card.
or Fiend first, but this proved to not be a big problem. It certainly wasn’t a problem in Games 2 and 3, and even in Game 1 it was usually pretty easy to figure out which cards your opponent was likely to have that you most wanted to get rid of. And later on, sacrificing a Bird or Elf or Trellis or Elder to flashback a Therapy was a small price to pay. Having so many Therapies was definitely the right call, and I could even see adding the fourth one. The Fiends provided extra peeking power and disruption and were thus useful, even if they did tend to die to Deed – but often they could at least first be used to flashback a Therapy to permanently get rid of the card they had taken. Finally, the Edict was included main deck since it was proving so good in so many matchups – Reanimator, Enchantress, Oath, Blue Control, the mirror to get rid of their Monger after Deeding, etc.

Other:

We all felt it was necessary to keep Living Death
Living Death
Living DeathSet: Tempest
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Charles Gillespie
Text:
Set aside all creature cards in all graveyards. Then, put each creature that is in play into its owner's graveyard. Then, put each creature card set aside in this way into play under its owner's control.
in (and some of us even added a second one) since it just “wins” in so many situations against so many decks – especially with a Baloth out to use to Sacrifice
Sacrifice
SacrificeSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Sacrifice one of your creatures to add to your mana pool a number of black mana equal to that creature's casting cost.
all the Mongers in play beforehand. And in a bad situation where your opponent has one or more nasty creatures in play and you have nothing, it can often at least give you a chance if not win the game on its own. We left out the Phyrexian Plaguelord
Phyrexian Plaguelord
Phyrexian PlaguelordSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Carrier
Rarity:
R
Number:
62
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
tap, Sacrifice Phyrexian Plaguelord: Target creature gets -4/-4 until end of turn.Sacrifice a creature: Target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn.
, Deranged Hermit
Deranged Hermit
Deranged HermitSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf
Rarity:
R
Number:
101
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Echo (During your next upkeep after this permanent comes under your control, pay its casting cost or sacrifice it.) When Deranged Hermit comes into play, put four Squirrel tokens into play. Treat these tokens as 1/1 green creatures.All Squirrels get +1/+1.
, and Uktabi Orangutan
Uktabi Orangutan
Uktabi OrangutanSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ape
Rarity:
U
Number:
260
Artist:
Una Fricker
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Uktabi Orangutan comes into play, destroy target artifact.
since they didn’t seem like they were as needed in the expected environment. I cut the Recurring Nightmare
Recurring Nightmare
Recurring NightmareSet: Exodus
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
72
Artist:
Jeff Laubenstein
Text:
Sacrifice a creature, Return Recurring Nightmare to owner's hand: Put target creature card from your graveyard into play. Play this ability as a sorcery.
since I found it to be too slow most of the time (though it was great in the mirror). Finally, the last card to be cut was the second Vampiric Tutor
Vampiric Tutor
Vampiric TutorSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
161
Artist:
Gary Leach
Text:
Search your library for a card, then shuffle your library and put that card on top of it. You lose 2 life.
. I didn’t think it was bad, but it just wasn’t as essential since the deck had fewer “silver bullets” and something had to be cut.

Sideboard:

The Engineered Plague
Engineered Plague
Engineered PlagueSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
51
Artist:
Michael Sutfin
Text:
When Engineered Plague comes into play, choose a creature type.All creatures of the chosen type get -1/-1.
s were key against Aluren
Aluren
AlurenSet: Tempest
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
April Lee
Text:
Any player may play a creature card with total casting cost 3 or less whenever he or she could play an instant and without paying its casting cost.
(to stop the Harpy) as well as Sligh. I went with three of them since we were hearing more and more about the presence of Aluren
Aluren
AlurenSet: Tempest
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
April Lee
Text:
Any player may play a creature card with total casting cost 3 or less whenever he or she could play an instant and without paying its casting cost.
the day before the tournament. I was reluctant at first to go with the Negators, but they were the right choice – there were so many decks (e.g. Aluren
Aluren
AlurenSet: Tempest
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
April Lee
Text:
Any player may play a creature card with total casting cost 3 or less whenever he or she could play an instant and without paying its casting cost.
, Enchantress, Blue Control) where there weren’t going to be any relevant creatures to block the Negator and the deck just wanted to fastest clock possible while it played its disruption. Coffin Purge
Coffin Purge
Coffin PurgeSet: Odyssey
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
124
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Remove target card in a graveyard from the game. Flashback B (You may play this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then remove it from the game.)
was devastating against Reanimator and was useful against other decks, and we though it was much better that Planar Void
Planar Void
Planar VoidSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
149
Artist:
Andrew Goldhawk
Text:
Whenever a card is put into a graveyard, remove that card from the game.
since Planar Void
Planar Void
Planar VoidSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
149
Artist:
Andrew Goldhawk
Text:
Whenever a card is put into a graveyard, remove that card from the game.
interfered with Living Death
Living Death
Living DeathSet: Tempest
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Charles Gillespie
Text:
Set aside all creature cards in all graveyards. Then, put each creature that is in play into its owner's graveyard. Then, put each creature card set aside in this way into play under its owner's control.
and Cabal Therapy
Cabal Therapy
Cabal TherapySet: Judgment
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
62
Artist:
Ron Spencer

Text:
Name a nonland card. Target player reveals his or her hand and discards from it all cards with that name. Flashback - Sacrifice a creature.
and also often came too late. Naturalize
Naturalize
NaturalizeSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
275
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
Destroy target artifact or enchantment.
had many uses, especially against Tinker
Tinker
TinkerSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
45
Artist:
Mike Raabe
Text:
At the time you play Tinker, sacrifice an artifact.Search your library for an artifact card and put that artifact into play. Shuffle your library afterward.
. The Edicts were there to add to the one in the main deck where needed. Diabolic Edict
Diabolic Edict
Diabolic EdictSet: Tempest
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Target player sacrifices a creature.
s were usually better, especially against Reanimator (since they could be used during upkeep before an opposing Verdant Force
Verdant Force
Verdant ForceSet: Tempest
Cost:
8
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elemental
Rarity:
R
Artist:
DiTerlizzi
Power:
7
Toughness:
7
Text:
During each player's upkeep, put a Saproling token into play. Treat this token as a 1/1 green creature.
could put a token into play), but Chainer’s Edicts were better in long matches such as the mirror. The fourth Baloth was there for extra beatdown or life-gaining. Finally, Filth
Filth
FilthSet: Judgment
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Incarnation
Rarity:
U
Number:
66
Artist:
Thomas M. Baxa

Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Swampwalk. As long as Filth is in your graveyard and you control a Swamp, creatures you control have Swampwalk.
was there for the mirror match as well as for Psychotog (which we were hearing a lot about the day before the tournament). In fact, the mirror match was one that we talked about a lot as it seemed to always develop into a big creature stall. We each had some different solutions to it – another card some of us used was Haunting Echoes
Haunting Echoes
Haunting EchoesSet: Odyssey
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
142
Artist:
Arnie Swekel
Text:
Remove all cards in target player's graveyard other than basic land cards from the game. Search that player's library for all cards with the same name as cards removed this way, and remove them from the game. Then that player shuffles his or her library.
, which also seemed good. I ended up cutting the Kill Switch
Kill Switch
Kill SwitchSet: Nemesis
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
133
Artist:
Brian Snoddy
Text:
2, T: Tap all other artifacts. They don't untap during their controllers' untap steps as long as Kill Switch remains tapped.
since it was too narrow, was not really needed nor did it work too well with Deed, and it didn’t seem like there would be quite as much Tinker
Tinker
TinkerSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
45
Artist:
Mike Raabe
Text:
At the time you play Tinker, sacrifice an artifact.Search your library for an artifact card and put that artifact into play. Shuffle your library afterward.
. The Sphere was also cut as being too narrow (as it was really only for Aluren
Aluren
AlurenSet: Tempest
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
April Lee
Text:
Any player may play a creature card with total casting cost 3 or less whenever he or she could play an instant and without paying its casting cost.
and Enchantress and other cards worked just as well and had more uses).

SIDEBOARDING STRATEGY:

As I try to do before any major constructed tournament, I created a “sideboarding chart” for the deck. I first use it to fine-tune the deck list and make sure I wasn’t over- or under-sideboarding against any major deck. I also use it to think about in advance what I would sideboard in and, equally as important but often neglected, what I would sideboard out. I don’t necessarily always hold exactly to this chart, as each deck is slightly different and other factors come into play, but I do try to use it as a starting point and a guide.

[Editor’s note: Adam's sideboard is located on worksheet 2 of the Excel document above. Here's another link to it.]

[Editor’s note: Here is where Adam’s sideboard table would come in handy. We will have a link to that soon.]

In retrospect, I think that perhaps some of the Feeders and Vine Trellis
Vine Trellis
Vine TrellisSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wall
Rarity:
C
Number:
285
Artist:
DiTerlizzi
Power:
0
Toughness:
4
Text:
(Walls can't attack.) T: Add one green mana to your mana pool.
es should have been cut from the main deck, but we were worried about getting run over by aggressive decks and thus left it the way it was.

So once that work had been done, we all made sure we had the right cards (there was a surprisingly large amount of last-minute card-borrowing that occurred), filled out the official deck list, and went to sleep . . . (to be continued in Part 2).


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