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I've got some ideas/questions
By Mike Pratt
Well, I have been roaming the message boards here for a while now, and I had some ideas. But before I get to that, I want to sing some praise about this site. It is a haven for those of us who see Magic as a game and not a living. I applaud you guys who keep this site running. Excellent job.

I was sitting around with some friends of mine, and we were discussing how to hold a tournament without the tourney atmosphere. And I believe that this is a good idea, just not thought out enough.

First of all, buy a bunch of packs from a lot of different sets. (We ended up buying two packs each from fifteen expansions for four people. This was way too many, but we only had a rough idea of what we were doing at the time.) Next, we divvied up the cards as best as we could between us, one by one. We didn't get any of the "broken" cards in any of the packs, except for a [Gaea's]Cradle and a Hammer of Bogardan. We spent about fifteen minutes building 60 card decks with sideboards, and then we had a neutral person (my friend's father, he plays occasionally) to check the decks for legality. We only banned three types of cards in this tourney, ante cards, anti-color cards, and hatred/channel/necropotence/vise (we lumped these three together as 'pissoff' cards).

Finally, we got around to playing. The first few games were uneventful, mostly one-sided beatdown. I was playing a green/red beat deck, Fred played blue 'control', Eric came up with a pretty imaginative red burn deck, and Mike tossed together a black weenie. The coolest games were Fred against Eric, and they went 3-3 on the day. I had too many creatures for Mike to deal with, and Fred dominated the both of us. But Eric could beat Fred and I beat Eric 4-1 on the day. Overall, it went very well, and the winner, Eric, got to keep his deck and one card from each of ours. Fred, Mike and I kept our decks, too. Mike got the booby prize of a pack of saga, legacy, and destiny. He got a foil Multani in his legacy pack and a foil junk diver in the destiny pack! Around this point I was wishing that I WOULD have lost.

Well, now that I realized that I was babbling, I'll change the subject. Prophecy. I have heard rumors about Prophecy and what it is supposed to have in it, and I even heard that there is a spellshaper for each tutor and and avatar for each color. I have been waiting to build my avatar deck for a very long time now, there just wasn't enough out there to make it very competitive. But now with [Urza's] Incubators and (possibly) new avatars, my deck should be cool!!

Anyway, I wanted to ask you guys for help. Fred, whom I mentioned earlier, has made a Limited Resources/devastation deck that has been unbeatable in 50+ (!) games, even against my Necro deck. I am trying to remember what he had in the deck, so this isn't exactly right:

3 Limited Resources
3-4 Goblin Gardener
3-4 Avalanche Riders
2 Terrain Generator
2-3 Replenish
3-4 Stone Rain
3-4 Lightning Bolt
2-3 Yavimaya Granger

and I can't remember the rest. Unfortunately, this kind of deck is completely new to me, so I have some rules questions:

1) If I have a Sacred Ground in play when [Fred] plays Limited Resources, and there are more then ten lands in play, do my lands that I had to sacrifice still get put back in play?

2) Can he play the [Yavimaya] Granger with ten lands in play? Does his CIP ability fizzle or still work?

The way he wins is to ping off my lands and play his, and then wait for the creatures to kill me off. I guess the most important question I need to ask is, how can I beat this? This is the only deck he's played now for two weeks, and I am getting sick of hearing "I made an unbeatable deck!" I have tried enchantment destruction, and he Replenishes. I tried a counter deck, but it's hard dealing with Limited Resources, Goblin Gardener/Avalanche Riders, and [Stone] Rains at the same time. I even played my Necro deck against him. I hate Phyrexian Negators now, mine got Bolted so many times that the Limited Resources were just a backup plan basically.

Well, now that I am babbling again, I want to offer a retraction of the Dojo-bashing I did in my last article. Although I still believe the Dojo, as a whole, has made it hard for guys like me to play tournies with rogue decks (which is the reason why I don't); once I got through all of the "Decks to Beat" and "Tournament Reports," I found a lot of good information on cards that I use frequently, and some that I rarely use. So I hope all of you [at the Dojo] can accept my apology for bashing a wealth of decent information, though I still think it does stifle creativity.

On to another subject. I have been trying to get my Smokestack deck to become a powerhouse, but it has never won. I really like that card, and I want to know if any of you have a good idea how to use this card? It is one of the more interesting cards from Urza's Saga, in my opinion.

Oh, and I am collecting Dark Rituals. I've got about 175 now and I am shooting for the four-digit mark. If you guys can help me out, I would appreciate it very much.

Well, I think this is enough babbling for now, so I'll end it here.

Mike
'The man who broke a Smokestack with his bare hands.'

mikepratt@post.com

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