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"Scrub Corner": You don't need rares to win......
By Shawn J. Houtsinger
Hello everyone,

I want to start off saying this:

Let me explain.

I play once a week at a card shop here in Racine, Wisconsin. Track & Field is the shop.
The usual top decks are always there.

Since the introduction of College and a girlfriend(thank god) into my life, I have become a casual player.
Also a poor one too.
I don't have the top cards.
I used to, but I sold them all to buy my car.
(Around $3000 dollars)
The car is more important than cardboard.
(NO car= No girlfriend)

The cards I sold, was to a nice young bud: Bill Rice; who is starting to become a great MTG player at only 13.

I occasionally bring him to PTQ'S, local tournaments, and Regionals. And he has been kind enought to let me build any deck I want, and hold onto it to play as long as I want.

But lately, I haven't the time.
(Actually it has been a while now...)
So, I am stuck with playing with the decks my roommate and friend, Shane Salerno or whatever I can find on the ground in the morning of the tournaments.

I will admit my roommate isn't the greatest deck builder. Let me take the back.
Um, he is, since he knows what he wants to accomplish when he builds them.
It is the fact that he uses all the scrubby cards to build scrubby decks.
Original you could say....

These decks SHOULDN'T win any tournament,more or less, win any PTQ's,etc.

But I am starting to see that you don't need the latest DOJO decks or what everyone is playing.

Being ROGUE is fine.
It seems that all the top-notch decks are all rares. Costing a pretty penny to build and therfore separating the winners (with money) from the losers(with scrub decks)
Don't agree with me?

Let's take a look:
Type 2:

Bargain Deck (combo):
4 Bargain ($28)
4 Grim Monolith ($24)
4 Academy Rector ($20)
1 Yagmoth Will ($8)
1 Renounce ($4)
Total: $84

"Finkel Black" Control:[Nationls]
4 Vampiric Tutor ($28)
4 Yagmoth Will ($36)
3 Negator ($15)
4 Rishdian Port ($32)
Total: $111

Trinity Green:[Nationals]
4 Rishdian Port ($32)
4 Plow Under ($16)
4 Deranged Hermit ($24)
3 Rofellos ($18)
Total: $90

Now you might not agree on the price but I was just taking a lowest total from a couple of store pricings and price guide. You must agree with the rares I did show (and there are more in the decks) the amount of rares.
I won't even go further since this proves my point.

So, the last two tournaments I have played one of Shanes decks.
I got top 4 in both.
Furthermore, there were no rares the first time I got top 4. The second time I had two.

Let me show you the deck.

Shane's Blue Beatings:

4 Academy Researchers (uncommon)
4 Zephids Embrase (uncommon)
4 Cloud of Fairies (common)
4 Counter Spell (common)
1 Foil (umcommon)
3 Sigil of Sleep (commmon)
4 Thieving Magpie (umcommon)
2 Costal Piracy (uncommon)
3 Metathran Elite (uncommon)
2 Stern Proctor (common)
2 Seal of Removal (common)
2 Waterfront Bouncer (common)
1 Jolting Merfolk (uncommon)

2 Faerie Conclave
3 Saprazzan Skerry
19 Island


2 Stern Proctor
2 Seal of Removal
3 Hibernation
3 Chill
1 Douse
2 Stronghold Biologist
2 Stronghold Machinist

Personally, at first I wasn't for sure how to win.
I will tell you now.
You get out academy researchers and Zephids Embrase and race.....
Seriously......(hey, stop laughing)

I beat top-notch deck too.
Opalesence: Won with a counter and having seals for his creatures enchaments and bouncers, and once the strongholds came out.....
NEXT !!!!

Blue: (zvi) I get lucky on this one. Usually a little creature can get out and stop the game. It was close.

Red: Hard one also. Fast enough to get out reserchers.
Chill helps.

Green: (laughs) NEXT>....bouncy, bouncy.

White: NEXT........

Black...ummm hard one. But if I can keep one flyer out. I can go all the way..

I set out now at tournaments with a goal of beating those decks with my scrubby one..
Sunday, is the next one (tommorrow).

Can't wait to see what happens.


I was at one time playing and winning with good decks at Track & Field (cash prizes) so the owner was starting to set up a bounty on my head. I stopped playing for a while and told him (since I want to get new players or continuing ones) I would start playing crappy decks. Have fun.

I never knew it would change me. I enjoy losing when I do. But is more of a satisfaction that my opponent knew that it wasn't the deck that made me win.
Or it wasn't his that made him lose.

It was my skill. My playing ability.
That and he doesn't know what to do.
A good player can make a bad one ever better.

I hope you keep that all in mind the next time you think you need top-notch rares to win.....
No, just good playing ability and a good attitude.....

Practing in Wisconsin,


Shawn J. Houtsinger
The one and only,

Read More Articles by Shawn J. Houtsinger!

 - Wednesday (July 18. 2018)
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 - Tuesday (Aprl. 24, 2018
 - Monday (Apr. 16, 2018)
 - Friday (Apr. 6, 2018)
 - Wednesday (Apr. 4, 2018)
 - Monday (Apr. 2, 2018)
 - Friday (Mar. 23, 2018)
 - Thursday (Feb. 15, 2018)
 - Thursday (Jan 25, 2018)

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