How the past two months have flown by. Starting with my first qualifier in Chicago, going all the way back to Indianapolis for my second time, for Extended. It's amazing how many people actually appeared for the qualifier last weekend: 43.
Yep. The amazing Brian Kowal got the qualifying spot. I am supposing that, since the s***ty weather is a horrible distraction, it was an even better reason for Brian and the crew to go...good for him.
I went 4-3 at this weekend's tournament in Indianapolis. Only 89 people showed up, but I got to draft and win some nice foreign Invasion cards. Not bad...
I had a lot of fun this weekend, even with my losing record. After I realized I wasn't going to make it, my concern for technical rules lawyering faded quickly and I became a more relaxed player. You know, thoroughly enjoying every game. Trash talking. Forgetting the upkeep costs on creatures and laughing about it. That kind of stuff.
I am not sure how many of you casual players out there actually play extended, but let me tell you now: It's not that fun.
I would rather be playing other formats.
Lately, it seems that Trix is a dominating deck. Either you beat it or you don't. Flip a coin.
Let's say you decided to play an all Counterspell deck, even with Annul and Arcane Labratory in the deck. You get paired against Trix. Who wins?
You know what? If a good player is playing Trix: TRIX.
Don't believe me? I saw it this weekend. My friend was playing Trix and had a s***ty draw. He managed to get Necro in-hand, and decided to Duress his opponent. The hand revealed two Annuls, Claws of Gix (bad against Trix also) and Arcane Labratory.
Next turn, his opponent sucessfully cast Labratory (a bad card for Trix supposedly) and still lost.
What is that?
Just not fair if you ask me...
Even after banning Mana Vault and Dark Ritual from the format, this deck is amazing...
I did get to see a Secret Force deck.
If you ask me, nothing is better than LOTS of tokens and Verdant Force leading the battle.
I was playing my Recurring Nightmare deck this weekend, so I thought about it. Why not combine the two? Seriously. (Don't laugh.)
Let's take a look:
Survival: Finally added in Secret Force. Good card to search for answers and get Hermit, etc.
Recurring Nightmare: Could be used to recur some Hermits or fat daddies that you couldn't cast with mana.
Natural Order: If you don't get Survival, why not go and get it...and put it INTO play.
Verdant Force: Only need one for the deck.
Sliver Queen: I think ONE might be an option.
Here is what I have come up with.
1 Living Death
3 Natural Order
2 Spike Feeders
2 Spike Weaver
1 Verdant Force
4 Birds of Paradise
2 Lanowar Elves
4 Wall of Roots
1 Stampeding Wildebeast
3 Deranged Hermit
1 Uktabi Orangutan
1 Elvish Lyrist
1 Krovikan Horror
4 Survival of the Fittest
2 Recurring Nightmare
2 Gaea's Cradle
It's an idea at least. Who knows. Tell me what you think if any of you out there play Extended.
The next format is sealed deck with Invasion. I want to dive into this one next article.
Does anyone use Apprentice? I really hate this application.
It doesn't shuffle the decks well. That, and when you use the sealed deck generator, it gives you some weird picks. I wonder about this for testing decks. Recently, I have been using it to playtest, but find trouble with believing what I pull for a hand.
That or the opponents are horrible. I go to www.planeswalker.com. That might be my problem...hmm.
Well,those are my thoughts.
Shawn J. Houtsinger
The one and only,