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CardShark Content - Stanley Rutkowski III (7/14/2002)

This block season seems to be open at this point of testing. It seems that there is a possibility of a variety of decks that can be present in the current format. This article is going to start to touch of the variables that are involved in the current format. Let’s start with the wide range of color combinations (two color and mono color) that can produce decks in the format.

Green/Red, Green/Blue, Green/White, Green/Black, Red/Blue, Red/White, Red/Black, Blue/White, Blue/Black, Mono Black, Mono Green, Mono White, Mono Red and Mono Blue

Before we go into deck types, lets look at some assessments of the metagame.

A) Black has a lot of non targeted removal so you have to be able to deal with it (Edict, Blood and 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.
)

B) Black has hand destruction in the form of 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.
so you need to be able to recover or to prevent

C) You have to be able to deal with quick 6/6 worm tokens

D) Red decks are going to force decision making, make sure you understand the consequences of the decision, Just like 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.
forced decisions in Invasion Block, the “Punisher” cards are going to force decisions in this block

E) Blue has the best reset button in 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.


F) Blue has very little in the form of pure control. Logic is not a hard counter and most of the other options are for specific applications (Grip etc) or over costed (Denial)

G) The graveyard is an important part of the game plan. It needs to be added to the decision making process, just like manna available, and cards in hand. It has become a major resource in the game.


Green/Red has many deck facets within itself. 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.
ions include:

Green/Red “Frog” type decks
These try to use the “Frog in a Blender” approach to the OBC domain. Just like the version in type 2, this deck has issues with the beefier creatures present in the current environment. Remember that you have to be able to deal with 6/6 worm tokens!

Green/Red Madness (Both Creatures and Burn)
This deck tries to bring “Fires” into the OBC domain. The biggest difference is the lack of the game breaking spell such as Saporling burst. This type of deck seems to have issues with mono black builds, but can deal with the Frog type decks.

Green/Blue seems to have the most diversity of all the color combinations. This is partly due quiet speculation in the format and the plethora of “mirror” matchups.

Starcitygames.com had a good article, Exspec the Unexspected (nice play on Quiet Speculation
Quiet Speculation
Quiet SpeculationSet: Judgment
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
49
Artist:
John Avon

Text:
Search target player's Library for up to three cards with flashback and put them into that players graveyard. Then that player shuffles his or her library.
) showing the differences in the builds of these decks. “Should we play Catalyst Stone
Catalyst Stone
Catalyst StoneSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
297
Artist:
Tony Szczudlo
Text:
Flashback costs you pay cost up to 2 less. Flashback costs your opponents pay cost 2 more.
or not?” I don’t have mush to add to the article, so I will just recommend it for a read. Look at the OBC section on this site for the link.

Green/White is the color combination pushed by the release of Judgment. Some very nice options with the new “man-land” exist. The basic deficiency of the deck is the lack of card drawing spells. With this in mind, testing against mono-black is a must so you know how to deal with their removal and hand destruction. Green/White also brings a possible combo deck to the environment in the combination of Genesis
Genesis
GenesisSet: Judgment
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Incarnation
Rarity:
R
Number:
117
Artist:
Mark Zug

Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, if Genesis is in your graveyard, you may pay 2G. If you do, return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand.
/Confinement.

Green/Black adds the removal of black with the flashback/threshold mechanisms of green. This format is being defined by the inexpensive cost of the green creatures (mongrel, rootwalla, and worms). Again this deck needs to be tested against the speed of the Green/Blue decks and the power of the mono-black builds. With green creatures in the mix, there can be two very different builds of this deck type for threshold or madness.

Red/Blue is a color combination that might be too slow for the environment. The creatures seem to be a bit lacking compared to the green monsters. Blue’s control is almost non existent in this format (except for bounce).

Red/White could be an interesting deck to dive into. White Weenie seems to be viable with the massive amount of low casting cost creatures and the Sacrament. Red could be a color added for removal in the mix, but Blue for the card drawing might be a better fit.

Red/Black seems to give you the most removal options in the format. It also brings a combo deck into the environment (Again check out Starcity for an article describing this deck). Red/Black might be the best abuse the punisher cards. I have both creature horde and creature light builds in this color combination.

Blue/White is a deck that seems to be growing in popularity. You can attach the card drawing of blue to a WW deck that has a way to deal with the longer matches (Keep Watch
Keep Watch
Keep WatchSet: Judgment
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
43
Artist:
Fred Rahmqvist

Text:
Draw a card from each attacking creature.
and Deep Analysis
Deep Analysis
Deep AnalysisSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
36
Text:
Target player draws two cards. Flashback - 1U, Pay 3 life.
). Threshold and flashback are not as prevalent in this deck type. Besides, you have a possible answer to the Green/Blue decks in Morningtide
Morningtide
MorningtideSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
10
Artist:
Tony Szczudlo
Text:
Remove all cards in all graveyards from the game.
. Flash
Flash
FlashSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
67
Artist:
David Ho
Text:
Put a creature card from your hand into play. You may pay its mana cost reduced by up to 2. If you don't, sacrifice it.
back options include Deep Analysis
Deep Analysis
Deep AnalysisSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
36
Text:
Target player draws two cards. Flashback - 1U, Pay 3 life.
and Battle Screech
Battle Screech
Battle ScreechSet: Judgment
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
3
Artist:
Randy Gallegos

Text:
Put two 1/1 white Bird creature tokens with flying into play. Flashback - Tap three untapped white creatures you control.
.

Blue/Black seems to have a very diverse amount of choices. I have seen builds of almost all black adding a few blue spells for bounce and card drawing. I have also the reverse (blue with black splash). There is a possibility of a combo type deck in the way of Mists of Stagnation, but to my play testing avail, I have not found a consistent way to abuse the card in the block format.

Mono-black is a deck that is evolving from the Osaka builds. This deck has very powerful tools in its removal and disruption. Shades can get mighty big, and the butchers can become a powerful token killer. This is a deck type that must be considered in your testing.

Mono-green builds bring a vast amount of creatures to the mix. You also have the possibility of a game breaking spell in overrun (which are nice with Deserted Temple
Deserted Temple
Deserted TempleSet: Odyssey
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
320
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
Tap: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool 1, Tap: Untap target land.
and Squirrel’s Nest). There is also the possibility of abusing the mini overrun ability of the creature, Centaur Chieftain
Centaur Chieftain
Centaur ChieftainSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Centaur
Rarity:
U
Number:
122
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Haste. Threshold - When Centaur Chieftain comes into play, creatures you control get +1/+1 and gain trample until end of turn.
, if you can consistently get threshold.

Mono-white brings white weenie to the forefront. You can mass a large number of efficient creatures quickly (especially with Battle Screech
Battle Screech
Battle ScreechSet: Judgment
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
3
Artist:
Randy Gallegos

Text:
Put two 1/1 white Bird creature tokens with flying into play. Flashback - Tap three untapped white creatures you control.
). The mass removal (mutilate) can be a real issue with the deck. The Sacrament can make your army powerful quickly, but you must be able to deal with the quick worm tokens of Green/Blue.

Mono-red relies on the vast number of punisher cards in the environment. This deck has had issues with the 6/6 worm tokens, but punishing cards (take damage, or effect does ~this~ to you) may make this a formidable deck. This could evolve into a sligh type deck, but I think the white might have a tighter mana curve for this approach.

Mono-blue seems to be a little slow in the environment. Blue seems to be a great support color for the others, but does not seem to hold up very well on its own. I could be proven wrong here, but as mono color decks go, this could be the weakest in the format.

Hopefully this helps in your construction adventures into the OBC realm. As playtesting progresses, I will start to share my thoughts and ideas for more specific deck choices.

As always questions and comments are appreciated.

Thanks for Reading,


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