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CardShark Content - Michael Potter (5/7/2002)

A little truth in advertising at the beginning of this article. This is an article on a deck that I piloted to 3-5 at the Northern California Regionals (dropped last round because the hotel was kicking us out and I didn’t feel like driving to Neutral Ground). So if you want to read an article about some super deck that won at Regionals, you’ll just have to read another one.

I have been playing Magic for just over a year. Last year’s Regionals were my first big tournament, and I went 3-5 last year as well. My job consumes a big amount of time and I’m married with a 5 year-old daughter and another one is on the way. That means that I really only have limited time to play and play test. I also have a limited pool of players within a short driving distance (I live in the SF Bay area. There is plenty of Magic around here if you’re willing to drive around a bit and commit time to it). If it weren’t for Magic the Gathering Online, I would have had only 2 play testing sessions. MTGO did give me a chance to get one match or so in every day for the last two week.

I had been playing UW Millstone
Millstone
MillstoneSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Kaja Foglio
Text:
2, T: Take the top two cards from target player's library and put them in target player's graveyard.
Life gain for the past few months (my name for the deck is Accountant’s Deck because it’s boring and I’m an accountant. As an aside, I never find winning boring and it wins very, very often for me). I was doing very well until BW Braids suddenly showed up in the metagame. With the hand disruption making a turn 4 Braids very possible and my removal being 4 and 5 casting cost sorceries, I was losing most game 1’s and far too many game 2’s as well (Sacred Ground
Sacred Ground
Sacred GroundSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
112
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
Whenever an effect controlled by any opponent puts a land into your graveyard from play, put that land into play.
doesn’t help when they 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.
it or Disenchant
Disenchant
DisenchantSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Amy Weber
Text:
Target enchantment or artifact is destroyed.
it).

In the search for a solution to BW Braids, I started experimenting with a weenie-based sideboard that would transform the deck into an aggro-control deck. Then I had a flash of insight. There is a lot of GR in the environment, and Braids decks usually don’t do as well if there are many creatures out. Why not try and build a “Solution” style deck. Using Brainburst’s handy deck database, I went searching through time and looked at some of the older builds. After some play testing, I came up with the following design:

Creatures (14)
4:Crimson Acolyte
Crimson Acolyte
Crimson AcolyteSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cleric
Rarity:
C
Number:
11
Artist:
Orizio Daniele
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Protection from redW: Target creature gains protection from red until end of turn.
s
3:U3BlY3RyYWwgLynx
Lynx
LynxSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Rebecca Guay
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Forestwalk (If defending player has any forests in play, Lynx can't be blocked.)

3:Galina's Knight
Galina's Knight
Galina's KnightSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Merfolk Knight
Rarity:
C
Number:
248
Artist:
David Martin
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Protection from red

4:Mystic Crusader
Mystic Crusader
Mystic CrusaderSet: Odyssey
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nomad Mystic
Rarity:
R
Number:
33
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Protection from black and from red Threshold - Mystic Crusader gets +1/+1 and has flying. (You have threshold as long as seven or more cards are in your graveyard.)


Spells (23)
4:Counterspell
Counterspell
CounterspellSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Counters target spell as it is being cast.

4:Absorb
Absorb
AbsorbSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
226
Artist:
Andrew Goldhawk
Text:
Counter target spell. You gain 3 life.

3:Aether Burst
Aether Burst
Aether BurstSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
60
Artist:
Adam Rex
Text:
Return up to X target creatures to their owners' hands, where X is one plus the number of Aether Burst cards in all graveyards as you play Aether Burst.
(can be a token killing machine gun)
4:Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction
Fact or FictionSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
57
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
Reveal the top five cards of your library. An opponent separates those cards into two face-up piles. Put one pile into your hand and the other into your graveyard.

4:Alter Reality
Alter Reality
Alter RealitySet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
22
Artist:
Justin Sweet
Text:
Change the text of target permanent or spell by replacing all instances of one color word with another. (This effect doesn't end at end of turn.) Flashback 1U

1:CoP:Green
1:CoP:Red
1:CoP:Black
1:Boomerang
Boomerang
BoomerangSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Alan Rabinowitz
Text:
Return target permanent to owner's hand.
(one main deck answer to just about anything)

Land (23)
4:Coastal Tower
Coastal Tower
Coastal TowerSet: Invasion
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
321
Artist:
Don Hazeltine
Text:
Coastal Tower comes into play tapped.T: Add W or U to your mana pool.

4:Adakar Wastes
7:Island
Island
IslandSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add U to your mana pool.

6:Plains
Plains
PlainsSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add W to your mana pool.

2:Dromar's Cavern
Dromar's Cavern
Dromar's CavernSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
138
Artist:
Franz Vohwinkel
Text:
Dromar's Cavern is a Lair in addition to its land type. When Dromar's Cavern comes into play, sacrifice it unless you return a non-Lair land you control to its owner's hand. T: Add W, U, or B to your mana pool.



Sideboard
2:Lobotomy
Lobotomy
LobotomySet: Tempest
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Thomas M. Baxa
Text:
Look at target player's hand and choose any of those cards other than a basic land. Search that player's graveyard, hand, and library for all copies of the chosen card and remove them from the game. That player shuffles his or her library afterwards.
(as a surprise – hopefully it would kill one card)
3:Sacred Ground
Sacred Ground
Sacred GroundSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
112
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
Whenever an effect controlled by any opponent puts a land into your graveyard from play, put that land into play.

2:Gainsay
Gainsay
GainsaySet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
26
Artist:
Roger Raupp
Text:
Counter target blue spell.

1:Ray of Distortion
Ray of Distortion
Ray of DistortionSet: Odyssey
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
42
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Destroy target artifact or enchantment. Flashback 4WW (You may play this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then remove it from the game.)

4:Meddling Mage
Meddling Mage
Meddling MageSet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
116
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
As Meddling Mage comes into play, name a nonland card. The named card can't be played.
(hurts combo decks)
1:Crusading Knight
Crusading Knight
Crusading KnightSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Knight
Rarity:
R
Number:
12
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Protection from blackCrusading Knight gets +1/+1 for each swamp your opponents control.
(crushes black decks fast)
2:Hibernation
Hibernation
HibernationSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
79
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Return all green permanents to owners' hands.


The whole deck revolves around using Alter Reality
Alter Reality
Alter RealitySet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
22
Artist:
Justin Sweet
Text:
Change the text of target permanent or spell by replacing all instances of one color word with another. (This effect doesn't end at end of turn.) Flashback 1U
and the Circle of Protections and the Protection creatures. With the ability to turn a Circle of Protection into any color you need it to be, you can shut down many, many decks as they don’t run enchantment removal main deck. Alter Reality
Alter Reality
Alter RealitySet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
22
Artist:
Justin Sweet
Text:
Change the text of target permanent or spell by replacing all instances of one color word with another. (This effect doesn't end at end of turn.) Flashback 1U
is so good when all your main deck creatures have Protection: Some Color as an ability.

The Absorb
Absorb
AbsorbSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
226
Artist:
Andrew Goldhawk
Text:
Counter target spell. You gain 3 life.
s have come in and out of the deck. I’ve been working with the theory that the faster you get the Circle stopping damage from being a problem, the less you care about countering anything. I tried Peek
Peek
PeekSet: Odyssey
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
91
Artist:
Adam Rex
Text:
Look at target player's hand. Draw a card.
(works well with the Meddling Mage
Meddling Mage
Meddling MageSet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
116
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
As Meddling Mage comes into play, name a nonland card. The named card can't be played.
s in the sideboard) and Opt
Opt
OptSet: Invasion
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
64
Artist:
John Howe
Text:
Look at the top card of your library. You may put that card on the bottom of your library.Draw a card.
to try and dig faster and deeper into the deck. I tried Careful Study
Careful Study
Careful StudySet: Odyssey
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
70
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
Draw two cards, then discard two cards from your hand.
as well. In the end I decided that I liked Absorb
Absorb
AbsorbSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
226
Artist:
Andrew Goldhawk
Text:
Counter target spell. You gain 3 life.
as the life gain coupled with the counter won quite a few games for me against G/R decks.

I’m still unsure about running 4 or 2 Crimson Acolyte
Crimson Acolyte
Crimson AcolyteSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cleric
Rarity:
C
Number:
11
Artist:
Orizio Daniele
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Protection from redW: Target creature gains protection from red until end of turn.
s main deck. Since so much of the black removal is not targeted, Pro-Black isn’t something that you normally need turned on right away and Red removal is instant speed. However, Black is big these days and I’ve run into so many Black decks online that it has been a big help to have Obsidian Acolyte
Obsidian Acolyte
Obsidian AcolyteSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cleric
Rarity:
C
Number:
22
Artist:
Matthew D. Wilson
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Protection from blackW: Target creature gains protection from black until end of turn.
s available game 1. In the end I pulled out the Obsidian Acolyte
Obsidian Acolyte
Obsidian AcolyteSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cleric
Rarity:
C
Number:
22
Artist:
Matthew D. Wilson
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Protection from blackW: Target creature gains protection from black until end of turn.
s for Crimson Acolyte
Crimson Acolyte
Crimson AcolyteSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cleric
Rarity:
C
Number:
11
Artist:
Orizio Daniele
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Protection from redW: Target creature gains protection from red until end of turn.
s and it didn’t hurt me in the game I played.

The most valuable creature has been the Mystic Crusader
Mystic Crusader
Mystic CrusaderSet: Odyssey
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nomad Mystic
Rarity:
R
Number:
33
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Protection from black and from red Threshold - Mystic Crusader gets +1/+1 and has flying. (You have threshold as long as seven or more cards are in your graveyard.)
. The choice of two Pro-colors lets you switch Black to Green and block Green creatures. Get to threshold (which isn’t too hard to do with counters and Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction
Fact or FictionSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
57
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
Reveal the top five cards of your library. An opponent separates those cards into two face-up piles. Put one pile into your hand and the other into your graveyard.
) and he flies and kills Elephant
Elephant
ElephantSet: Garruk vs. Liliana
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elephant
Rarity:
C
Number:
3
Artist:
Arnie Swekel
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
s (with Pro Green).

I run the Dromar’s Cavern’s just to get access to Black mana to regenerate the Lynx
Lynx
LynxSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Rebecca Guay
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Forestwalk (If defending player has any forests in play, Lynx can't be blocked.)
s. An earlier build was running Stormscape Apprentice
Stormscape Apprentice
Stormscape ApprenticeSet: Invasion
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
75
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
W, T: Tap target creature.B, T: Target player loses 1 life.
s as well, but I dropped them as they were way to fragile.

I’m also going to add that Protection from Red is great to have when your opponent is holding a FTK in their hand.

The 1 of each CoP's is to protect vs. Lobotomy
Lobotomy
LobotomySet: Tempest
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Thomas M. Baxa
Text:
Look at target player's hand and choose any of those cards other than a basic land. Search that player's graveyard, hand, and library for all copies of the chosen card and remove them from the game. That player shuffles his or her library afterwards.
and 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.
.

For the sideboard, Sacred Ground
Sacred Ground
Sacred GroundSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
112
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
Whenever an effect controlled by any opponent puts a land into your graveyard from play, put that land into play.
is to help in case you run against a Balancing Act
Balancing Act
Balancing ActSet: Odyssey
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
10
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
Each player chooses a number of permanents he or she controls equal to the number of permanents controlled by the player who controls the fewest, then sacrifices the rest. Each player discards cards from his or her hand the same way.
based deck and against Braids. Meddling Mage
Meddling Mage
Meddling MageSet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
116
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
As Meddling Mage comes into play, name a nonland card. The named card can't be played.
s is meant to help against creatureless combo decks. Crusading Knight
Crusading Knight
Crusading KnightSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Knight
Rarity:
R
Number:
12
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Protection from blackCrusading Knight gets +1/+1 for each swamp your opponents control.
can beat Black decks very quickly and he survives Mutilate
Mutilate
MutilateSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
73
Text:
All creatures get -1/-1 until end of turn for each swamp you control.
by definition. I don’t like running only one Disenchant
Disenchant
DisenchantSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Amy Weber
Text:
Target enchantment or artifact is destroyed.
effect and the Ray at least can be used twice. Hibernation
Hibernation
HibernationSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
79
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Return all green permanents to owners' hands.
is a sweeper against most Opposition
Opposition
OppositionSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
40
Artist:
Todd Lockwood
Text:
Tap an untapped creature you control: Tap target artifact, creature, or land.
decks that use tokens (and it can be targeted on the stack as well to set it to whatever you want). I always seem to toss Gainsay
Gainsay
GainsaySet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
26
Artist:
Roger Raupp
Text:
Counter target blue spell.
into the sideboard when I’m playing blue. It did stop one upheaval, so it was an ok choice for that match.

The deck is pretty straightforward to play. Stay defensive until you have a Circle of Protection up and then use your evasion to attack without being blocked. The biggest threats are trample (until the Circle is up) and color changers (like Wild Mongrel
Wild Mongrel
Wild MongrelSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Hound
Rarity:
C
Number:
283
Artist:
Anthony S. Waters
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Discard a card from your hand: Wild Mongrel gets +1/+1 and becomes the color of your choice until end of turn.
and 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.
). The Lynx
Lynx
LynxSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Rebecca Guay
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Forestwalk (If defending player has any forests in play, Lynx can't be blocked.)
es and bounce/counter are the best solutions for these threats (Lynx
Lynx
LynxSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Rebecca Guay
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Forestwalk (If defending player has any forests in play, Lynx can't be blocked.)
es are horrible against trample). Fast G/R might be able to overwhelm you and burn for the last few points, so you may be forced to sacrifice a creature early to block to keep your life total as high as possible.

The Acolytes can give you a lot of protection against bounce by making one of them Pro-Blue. With white mana, you can then counter all the targeted bounce that comes your way. I thought that it could be an answer to Opposition
Opposition
OppositionSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
40
Artist:
Todd Lockwood
Text:
Tap an untapped creature you control: Tap target artifact, creature, or land.
as well, but later playtesting proved that wrong for the versions that use bigger creatures or generate tons and tons of squirrels.

I’ve played versions of Bad Acid for a week or so on MTGO. It won me quite a few matches and it is quite fun to play. I have thought and thought about abusing Alter Reality
Alter Reality
Alter RealitySet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
22
Artist:
Justin Sweet
Text:
Change the text of target permanent or spell by replacing all instances of one color word with another. (This effect doesn't end at end of turn.) Flashback 1U
some more and here are a few of my thoughts:

1. Llwan, Cephalid Empress looks more and more tempting every day. Since you can target her on the stack, she wipes the board clean and then blocks creatures from being played. However, that costs too much mana. You need 4 to cast her, 2 to bounce the creatures and lock in the no more casting, and then at least 1 (2 is better) white mana available to give her Pro-Red or Pro-Black from your acolytes.

2. The “possessed” White and Blue creatures look good, especially the Possessed Aven
Possessed Aven
Possessed AvenSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bird Soldier Horror
Rarity:
R
Number:
45
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
Flying. Threshold - Possessed Aven gets +1/+1, is black, and has 2B, T: Destroy target blue creature.
(evasion). You have access to Black mana and can set the destruction to whatever creature you desire.


3. Northern and Southern Paladin
Southern Paladin
Southern PaladinSet: Weatherlight
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Knight
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
WW, T: Destroy target red permanent.
at two other creatures that are a little too expensive. Alter Reality
Alter Reality
Alter RealitySet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
22
Artist:
Justin Sweet
Text:
Change the text of target permanent or spell by replacing all instances of one color word with another. (This effect doesn't end at end of turn.) Flashback 1U
makes their abilities very powerful, however.

4. I looked at splashing Green instead of Black for Mystic Enforcer
Mystic Enforcer
Mystic EnforcerSet: Odyssey
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nomad Mystic
Rarity:
R
Number:
290
Artist:
Gary Ruddell
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Protection from black Threshold - Mystic Enforcer gets +3/+3 and has flying. (You have threshold as long as seven or more cards are in your graveyard.)
. Compost
Compost
CompostSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
102
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Whenever a black card is put into one of your opponents' graveyards, you may draw a card.
can be a powerful enchantment if it were set to the best color for your match (probably Blue). I decided that the regeneration is optional so Black isn’t really needed while the Green would be, but I could be wrong.

5. The sanctuaries from Apocalypse
Apocalypse
ApocalypseSet: Tempest
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
L. A. Williams
Text:
Remove all permanents from the game. Discard your hand.
can be reset to trigger off of Blue and White permanents. If you really want a risk, the Black sanctuary could be cast, but the White (life gaining) and the Blue (card drawing) sanctuaries can also be cast with the main mana you’re running. I think I would try for more of a Madness-based deck if I were to try and abuse Ceta Sanctuary
Ceta Sanctuary
Ceta SanctuarySet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
20
Artist:
Franz Vohwinkel
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, if you control a red or green permanent, draw a card, then discard a card from your hand. If you control a red permanent and a green permanent, instead draw two cards, then discard a card from your hand.
.

I liked going through my binders and looking for color words in abilities.

I play tested the above deck online and my rating went over 1700 from the wins I started racking up. So Regionals came up and I had a choice – play a Tog deck (I had built one for play testing and really liked it) or play my own design. I decided that with my wife fairly far along with her pregnancy, it was unlikely that I could go to Nationals even if I won. That meant going all out to win wasn’t as big a factor. I really don’t care about my DCI rating, so that wasn’t a factor as well. So I decided to play my own design (this meant probably losing a fair bit).

In my testing, the deck did very well against G/R and mono-Red and mono-Black. I won about 50% of the BW Braids games I played and GU Upheaval
Upheaval
UpheavalSet: Odyssey
Cost:
6
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
113
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Return all permanents to their owners' hands.
and ‘Tog with Upheaval
Upheaval
UpheavalSet: Odyssey
Cost:
6
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
113
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Return all permanents to their owners' hands.
really came down to me being able to counter the Upheaval
Upheaval
UpheavalSet: Odyssey
Cost:
6
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
113
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Return all permanents to their owners' hands.
or bounce what was played after the Upheaval
Upheaval
UpheavalSet: Odyssey
Cost:
6
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
113
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Return all permanents to their owners' hands.
.

My Regionals experience showed me the holes the deck had. I’m not going to go into a full tourney report, I went 3-5 (0-3 against BW) and I doubt it would be of much interest. I only ran into one GR deck all day (a victory). My other two losses were to GU, but these were close and I made a major sideboarding error against the GU Opposition
Opposition
OppositionSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
40
Artist:
Todd Lockwood
Text:
Tap an untapped creature you control: Tap target artifact, creature, or land.
deck I faced. Here’s the points I picked up about this deck:

1. There was nowhere near as much GR around as I thought there would be.

2. BW is really, really tough to beat. 3 of the 5 losses I had were to BW (2 Braids builds and one Desolation Angel
Desolation Angel
Desolation AngelSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Angel
Rarity:
R
Number:
38
Artist:
Brom
Power:
5
Toughness:
4
Text:
Kicker WW (You may pay an additional WW as you play this spell.) Flying. When Desolation Angel comes into play, destroy all lands you control. If you paid the kicker cost, destroy all lands instead.
build). With BW Braids firmly in the metagame, this may be reason alone to not play UW. This may be a little better with some of the thoughts about the main deck above, but a lack of removal and BW’s ability to force through cards early before you get Counterspell
Counterspell
CounterspellSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Counters target spell as it is being cast.
mana up means trouble. The play testing results against BW Braids were either flukes or me outplaying my opponent. I’ve retested and it isn’t close to 50/50.


3. Wild Mongrel
Wild Mongrel
Wild MongrelSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Hound
Rarity:
C
Number:
283
Artist:
Anthony S. Waters
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Discard a card from your hand: Wild Mongrel gets +1/+1 and becomes the color of your choice until end of turn.
s really hurt the deck. You only real solution is the Lynx
Lynx
LynxSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Rebecca Guay
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Forestwalk (If defending player has any forests in play, Lynx can't be blocked.)
’s regeneration or bounce and counter. The Lobotomy
Lobotomy
LobotomySet: Tempest
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Thomas M. Baxa
Text:
Look at target player's hand and choose any of those cards other than a basic land. Search that player's graveyard, hand, and library for all copies of the chosen card and remove them from the game. That player shuffles his or her library afterwards.
worked once and got rid of them, but I think that the Lobotomies are the weakest card in the sideboard.

4. BG with Deeds and Mongers are bad. Deeds are worse than Mongers as you can bounce the Mongers or block them but the Deed takes out everything you can cast for 3 mana activation. This is a winnable match, but a tough one. You need to take to the air as fast as possible to get damage in and win the race.

5. Based on my play testing experience, I would pull the Lobotomies and the Crusading Knight
Crusading Knight
Crusading KnightSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Knight
Rarity:
R
Number:
12
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Protection from blackCrusading Knight gets +1/+1 for each swamp your opponents control.
from the sideboard for 3 Standard Bearer
Standard Bearer
Standard BearerSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Flagbearer
Rarity:
C
Number:
18
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
If an opponent plays a spell or ability that could target a Flagbearer in play, that player chooses at least one Flagbearer as a target.
s. They cancel out Opposition
Opposition
OppositionSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
40
Artist:
Todd Lockwood
Text:
Tap an untapped creature you control: Tap target artifact, creature, or land.
decks very well.

6. I had quite a few games get to the point where I had my opponent at 1 or 2 life but couldn’t stop the final attack. You need to go into Green if you want an evasion creature that is decent sized. If you’re comfortable with playing 3 colors, then Mystic Enforcer
Mystic Enforcer
Mystic EnforcerSet: Odyssey
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nomad Mystic
Rarity:
R
Number:
290
Artist:
Gary Ruddell
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Protection from black Threshold - Mystic Enforcer gets +3/+3 and has flying. (You have threshold as long as seven or more cards are in your graveyard.)
and Compost
Compost
CompostSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
102
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Whenever a black card is put into one of your opponents' graveyards, you may draw a card.
are naturals for the deck. You can gain quite a bit of card advantage by changing the color word on Compost
Compost
CompostSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
102
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Whenever a black card is put into one of your opponents' graveyards, you may draw a card.
.

I’m glad that I played my own design at a major tournament as it gave me that extra bit of experience where it really counted. I wouldn’t recommend doing so unless you’re a good deck builder with a fair amount of experience playing (you’ll lose a lot), but it was fun. Go ahead if you don’t care about rating points (my constructed rating is really horrible right now, and I’m not kidding about that). Alter Reality
Alter Reality
Alter RealitySet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
22
Artist:
Justin Sweet
Text:
Change the text of target permanent or spell by replacing all instances of one color word with another. (This effect doesn't end at end of turn.) Flashback 1U
is a fun card to play with and I did manage to pull off some good tricks with it.


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