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CardShark Content - Alex Capaldi (8/5/2002)

PTQ-Detroit had 128 people attend this past Saturday. One of the 128 would go on to Houston for the Pro Tour. I was certainly not that one. I had decided to run a rogue deck that treated me quite well at Origins. However, much to my dismay, the metagame this three weeks post-origins is incredibly different than it was during the early hours of the complete OBC format. In Columbus during the July 4th weekend, Quite Roar dominated; you had to play it or play to beat it. Now, there are two major decks contending for “the best” – Mono-Black Control and U/G Threshold. I’m never playing a rogue deck in OBC again.

Still, let’s look at the deck that I took:

Grave Outlook

Black – 36
4:Gravestorm
Gravestorm
GravestormSet: Odyssey
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
141
Artist:
Alex Horley
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, target opponent may remove a card in his or her graveyard from the game. If that player doesn't, you may draw a card.

4: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.)

4:Skeletal Scrying
Skeletal Scrying
Skeletal ScryingSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
161
Artist:
Bob Petillo
Text:
As an additional cost to play Skeletal Scrying, remove X cards in your graveyard from the game. You draw X cards and you lose X life.

4:Chainer’s Edict
4:Carrion Rats
Carrion Rats
Carrion RatsSet: Torment
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat
Rarity:
C
Number:
54
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever Carrion Rats attacks or blocks, any player may remove a card in his or her graveyard from the game. If a player does, Carrion Rats deals no combat damage this turn.

4:Zombie Cannibal
Zombie Cannibal
Zombie CannibalSet: Odyssey
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
169
Artist:
Adam Rex
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever Zombie Cannibal deals combat damage to a player, you may remove target card in that player's graveyard from the game.

4: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.

4:Nantuko Shade
Nantuko Shade
Nantuko ShadeSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Insect Shade
Rarity:
R
Number:
74
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
B: Nantuko Shade gets +1/+1 until end of turn.

2:Faceless Butcher
Faceless Butcher
Faceless ButcherSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nightmare Horror
Rarity:
C
Number:
60
Power:
2
Toughness:
3
Text:
When Faceless Butcher comes into play, remove target creature other than Faceless Butcher from the game. When Faceless Butcher leaves play, return the removed card to play under its owner's control.

2:Carrion Wurm
Carrion Wurm
Carrion WurmSet: Torment
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Wurm
Rarity:
U
Number:
55
Artist:
Glen Angus
Power:
6
Toughness:
5
Text:
Whenever Carrion Wurm attacks or blocks, any player may remove three cards in his or her graveyard from the game. If a player does, Carrion Wurm deals no combat damage this turn.


Land – 24
22:Swamp
Swamp
SwampSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add B to your mana pool.
(All Unglued (super ultra tech))
2:Cabal Coffers
Cabal Coffers
Cabal CoffersSet: Torment
Color:
Land
Type:
land
Rarity:
U
Number:
139
Text:
2, T: Add B to your mana pool for each swamp you control.


Sideboard
4:Braids, Cabal Minion
Braids, Cabal Minion
Braids, Cabal MinionSet: Odyssey
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Minion Legend
Rarity:
R
Number:
117
Artist:
Eric Peterson
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
At the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player sacrifices an artifact, creature, or land.

2:Ichorid
Ichorid
IchoridSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Horror
Rarity:
R
Number:
65
Power:
3
Toughness:
1
Text:
Haste. At end of turn, sacrifice Ichorid. At the beginning of your upkeep, if Ichorid is in your graveyard, you may remove a black creature card in your graveyard other than Ichorid from the game. If you do, return Ichorid to play.

4:Rancid Earth
Rancid Earth
Rancid EarthSet: Torment
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
78
Text:
Destroy target land. Threshold - Instead destroy that land and Rancid Earth deals 1 damage to each creature and each player.

3:Ghastly Demise
Ghastly Demise
Ghastly DemiseSet: Odyssey
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
139
Artist:
Gary Ruddell
Text:
Destroy target nonblack creature if its toughness is less than or equal to the number of cards in your graveyard.

2:Faceless Butcher
Faceless Butcher
Faceless ButcherSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nightmare Horror
Rarity:
C
Number:
60
Power:
2
Toughness:
3
Text:
When Faceless Butcher comes into play, remove target creature other than Faceless Butcher from the game. When Faceless Butcher leaves play, return the removed card to play under its owner's control.


Granted, I had tweaked the deck since Origins to meet the metagame a bit. Skeletal Scrying
Skeletal Scrying
Skeletal ScryingSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
161
Artist:
Bob Petillo
Text:
As an additional cost to play Skeletal Scrying, remove X cards in your graveyard from the game. You draw X cards and you lose X life.
replaced Grave Consequences
Grave Consequences
Grave ConsequencesSet: Judgment
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
67
Artist:
Tim Hildebrandt

Text:
Each player may remove any number of cards in his or her graveyard from the game. Then each player loses 1 life for each card in his or her graveyard. Draw a card.
as a way to recover from Mind Sludge
Mind Sludge
Mind SludgeSet: Torment
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
70
Text:
Target player discards a card from his or her hand for each swamp you control.
and also to protect from Echoes. The sideboard is geared towards dealing with MBC with the Braids, Ichorid
Ichorid
IchoridSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Horror
Rarity:
R
Number:
65
Power:
3
Toughness:
1
Text:
Haste. At end of turn, sacrifice Ichorid. At the beginning of your upkeep, if Ichorid is in your graveyard, you may remove a black creature card in your graveyard other than Ichorid from the game. If you do, return Ichorid to play.
s and Rancid Earth
Rancid Earth
Rancid EarthSet: Torment
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
78
Text:
Destroy target land. Threshold - Instead destroy that land and Rancid Earth deals 1 damage to each creature and each player.
s. Ichorid
Ichorid
IchoridSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Horror
Rarity:
R
Number:
65
Power:
3
Toughness:
1
Text:
Haste. At end of turn, sacrifice Ichorid. At the beginning of your upkeep, if Ichorid is in your graveyard, you may remove a black creature card in your graveyard other than Ichorid from the game. If you do, return Ichorid to play.
actually worked better than Braids, I believe. Combined, they’re great. Ghastly Demise
Ghastly Demise
Ghastly DemiseSet: Odyssey
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
139
Artist:
Gary Ruddell
Text:
Destroy target nonblack creature if its toughness is less than or equal to the number of cards in your graveyard.
and Faceless Butcher
Faceless Butcher
Faceless ButcherSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nightmare Horror
Rarity:
C
Number:
60
Power:
2
Toughness:
3
Text:
When Faceless Butcher comes into play, remove target creature other than Faceless Butcher from the game. When Faceless Butcher leaves play, return the removed card to play under its owner's control.
are the anti-U/G tech.

Still, even with these adjustments and a moderate amount of play testing, I went 0-2. Mono-Black Control is just too…controlling! It obviously dominated the environment. The top 8 Saturday consisted of at least 3 MBC decks and at least 3 U/G (I didn’t see the exact breakdown as I was rooting for my friend Doug who ended up making it to the semi-finals with MBC). Regardless, there is no room for rogue decks in the environment at all.

Throughout the day, I had seen everything from the dominating two archetypes to White Weenie to the Time Stretch
Time Stretch
Time StretchSet: Odyssey
Cost:
10
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
108
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Target player takes two extra turns after this one.
combo deck and even a Hunting Grounds
Hunting Grounds
Hunting GroundsSet: Judgment
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
138
Artist:
Mark Brill

Text:
Threshold - Whenever an opponent plays a spell, you may put a creature card from your hand into play.
deck. Nothing except MBC and U/G came even close to being considered “tier 1.” It’s very disappointing to see a field filled with so many cards with awesome synergy to degenerate into a field that requires you to be playing one of the two power houses. Even then, if you meet the mirror, it’s just a coin flip to see who wins! During the quarter-finals, Doug met another MBC player, Spencer, and won 2-1 mostly because games one and three he pulled out the Mind Sludge
Mind Sludge
Mind SludgeSet: Torment
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
70
Text:
Target player discards a card from his or her hand for each swamp you control.
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.
first. Both players were joking the entire match about how little skill really was involved in such a match.

Regardless, I guess the moral of the story is that if you intend to do well in OBC these next few weeks, run one of the dominating archetypes. There just isn’t room for creativity anymore. That will have to wait until the Extended season starts. For deck lists of the top eight players, go to www.professional-events.com.

Now let’s go to the props and slops for this event:

Slops-
-To Vince who I had considered a friend until he called a judge on me drawing before I sacked to Braids; a reasonable call, yes, but not the most polite thing when you’re friends and in round one.
-To the people who called themselves “dealers” and only traded you half value for your cards when they didn’t own a booth or work for the store. Get real guys!

Props-
-To the judges for making very fair rulings and running the tournament smoothly
-To the judge that gave Vince an unsportsmanship warning when he called me on Braids – that hit the spot
-To Pandemonium
Pandemonium
PandemoniumSet: Exodus
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
93
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Whenever any creature comes into play, that creature's controller may choose to have it deal damage equal to its power to target creature or player.
Games for hosting the event and for trading me the Unglued lands ultra tech for a good deal before the tournament
-To Doug for offering to pick me up some Subway
-To my second match opponent, Tony Chopcinski, for being polite about stomping me into the ground with a hopper.

All in all, it was a good event if you discount the lack of creativity. Go out there and play test some rogue decks, people, the environment needs to change! I just wish I thought it could.


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