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Of Caribou and Conundrums, Reality Sucks
By Nick "Ura" Saviskoff
Ever wondered why some things are the way they are? Like why the sky is blue and grass green in the spring? Or why some people are willing to pay $500 for a Black Lotus when many of us have enough trouble being able to buy a few packs of the latest set?

It boggles the mind to even consider many of the unanswerable questions without heavy conjecture from within. Perhaps it's a spiritual thing, or something based on pure logical intellect. Regardless, things are there that we can't explain, as well as some things that we probably could, but have no need to.

Often, I have wondered whether some things are truly worth living for. Things like love, happiness, and success. Yet when I watch the nightly news broadcasts, I don't see these things. I see suffering, denial, and hatred. They say its because bad news sells best, because it evokes a much deeper emotional reaction in people. I'd have to agree, though, but it makes me feel sick...

"Times are changing, we best beware
The world is in the electric chair
The state holds out its loving cup
Saying power to the people
But their powers corrupt
Burning crosses and secretly
Carry swastikas and M-16s
Nevermind the pages of history
It just keeps repeating, keeps repeating"

K. Winger

Of course, such things aren't just limited to the news and our governments. It's run into the blood of our schools, from Columbine to Vancouver. Violence has become the lesson of the day; either you be ready to use it, or to fall to it. I've never been so afraid of the idea of trying to raise a family. Sure there are violence-prevention programs, and some teachers and parents who do their best to teach good moral values to their children. But has it really worked? Some people say yes, some say no.

It's not limited to just the schools and playgrounds, either. It envelopes all aspects of some people's lives. Look at the DCI membership bannings and suspensions sometime. There are people on there being kicked off for life for things like assault. It's a card game, dammit! Why do you have to beat someone up over a frickin card game!?! And it's not always acts of assault that get people suspended. Some suspensions are for stealing, or for just being verbally abusive to other players and officials.

Why are we doing this to each other? It's stupid and, honestly, it ticks me off. Some people just don't get it, that there are better ways to live then this. It's not difficult. Just try being nice to one another. Wear a smile instead of a glare. All of the fighting are arguing in the world isn't going to solve anything except for maybe a landfill problem, if there is one anywhere.

Some say that the world wasn't ready for the human race. I say the human race wasn't ready for itself.

Thankfully, not all things are sad and depressing. My little Caribou Range contest has come to an end and a winner been chosen. My thanks to everyone who entered, all 11 of you.

There were some great entries and choosing a final winner was difficult. Many entrants had similar ideas on how to accelerate the pump-out power of the Range, and how to make them bigger so that they could be lethal. I'll show some of the statistics later on. The winners I chose were based on the uniqueness of the deck, how much I enjoyed playing with it, and how efficient it was at making caribou.

Caribou:Arctic deer with large antlers in both sexes; called reindeer in Eurasia and Caribou in North America. Stands approximately 5.5' at the shoulder, eats grass and other scrub found in tundra regions and has been known to consume the bark of trees during times of heavy snow.

Caribou Range:
Caribou Range (Rare, Ice Age, 5th Edition)
2WW
Enchant Land

Caribou Range can enchant only a land you control.

Enchanted land has "WW, Tap: Put a 0/1 white Caribou creature token into play."

Sacrifice a Caribou: You gain 1 life.
WW,Tap enchanted land: Put a Caribou token into play. Treat this token as a 0/1 white creature.
Sacrifice a Caribou token: Gain 1 life.

Illus. Una Fricker

First, I'll start with what was probably the most unique entry I received, based as a theme deck rather then a break the Range deck. I give you "Home on the Range" by the CPA's very own Russell Sherman, "Duel" to those of you that don't know his real name.

Oh, Give me a home (1 Elfhame Sanctuary)
Where the buffalo roam! (3 Living Land)
Where the deer, and the antelope play. (1 Midsummer Revel)
Where seldom is heard, (2 Calming Verse)
a discouraging word.(3 Yavimaya Elder)
And the skies are not cloudy all day (1 Hurricane)

Chorus:
Home, home on the range (4 Caribou Range)
Where the deer and the antelope play.
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,
And the skies are not cloudy all day.

How often at night (1 Llanowar Knight)
When the heavens are bright (4 Skyshroud Claim)
With light from the glittering stars (1 Glittering Lynx)
Have I stood here amazed, and asked as I gaze (1 Elvish Lookout)
If their glory exceeds that of ours (4 Glorious Anthem)

Chorus

Oh give me a land (3 Exploration)
Where the bright diamond sand (3 Harrow)
Flows leisurely down the stream (1 Stream of Life)
Where the grateful white swan (1 Sacred Mesa Aw, gimme a break! It's close!)
Goes gliding along (2 Stampede Driver ALMOST gliding!)
Like a maid in a heavenly dream. (2 Argothian Enchantress)

Chorus

While this deck wasn't the best performer as far as kicking ass goes, it was certainly fun to play, especially when you sing the line that goes with the card each time you play it. You'll get odd looks on this one, trust me.
The land mix, by the way, was 12 Plains and 12 Forests.

So now without further delay, I give you the.... Huh? Excuse me for a moment.

*goes to the next room where his imaginary publisher and editor are standing with their barbed whips*

Well, due to contractual obligations with myselves, I can't bring you the winner without first listing some of those that almost made it and are presented for Honorable Mention. The first being the CPA's very own Love Beeble, ErinPuff, whose use of Conspiracy and multiple token producers such as Volrath's Laboratory and Lab Rats made for some fast caribou production for Coat of Arms and backed it up with Fallen Angel and Skull'a'pult for alternate kill routes. Nice one, Erin!

The next on the Honorable Mention list was Andrew Buskell, otherwise known to us as Ademis22, who utilized some red sac-for-damage effects like Goblin Bombardment and Bloodshot Cyclops to fling screaming caribou through the air at the opponents. There were both Glorious Anthem and Coat of Arms in the deck to pump the caribou for Chuck to toss around.

The third person for Honorable Mention is a brutha from down unda, Sam T. I didn't get his full name, but he knows who he is. He sent me in a Countermoose variant using Caribou Range, Humility, and Caltrops tech backed by a heavy dose of countermagic and some Grindstones as an alternate kill method. Well done, Sam.

Now that I've gotten through the honorable mentions and have successfully lured my evil publisher and editor selves away with a slice of pizza, I can bring you the winner of the contest, the foils, and all that good stuff.

Gerode! Come on down!

Yes, the CPA's very own official shiny member has won with his fun Blue/Green/White deck. Gerode utilized the land-untapping abilities of cards like Cloud of Faeries, Great Whale, and Palinchron, along with Equilibrium and Erratic Portal to get them back to your hand. Gaea's Cradle and Serra's Sanctum were used to produce high amounts of mana so that cards such as the well-used Coat of Arms and Overrun could put an end to your opponent. There are other little tricks in this deck as well, such as Dual Nature with the "free" creatures for super untap power and the ability to use Stroke of Genius as a kill method. Since he didn't have a name with his deck I'm taking the liberty of giving it the name "Bounce-a-bou."

Bounce-a-bou by: Jay Strode

Enchantments:
4 Caribou Range
2 Dual Nature
4 Equilibrium
2 Fertile Ground
2 Opposition

Creatures:
4 Cloud of Faeries
4 Great Whale
2 Palinchron

Spells:
3 Overrun
2 Snap
1 Stroke of Genius

Artifacts:
2 Coat of Arms
3 Erratic Portal

Lands:
3 Gaea's Cradle
3 Serra's Sanctum
2 Elfhame Palace
1 Kjeldoran Outpost
4 Plains
12 Island

While I personally would have done a couple of cards differently, the deck was whole and very fun to play because of all the different possibilities for killing your opponent.

So Gerode, when you read this, e-mail me you address so I can send you your prize of 2 Foil rares from Planeshift. For those of you who wanted to know, the rares were a Keldon Twilight and a Planeswalker's Scorn.

*ducks a flying tomato*

What? Those aren't very good prizes? Yeah, you're probably right, so in addition to those 2 foil rares I'll include 10 other rare and/or foil cards from my trade binder. So take that, ha!

Anyways, this contest was fun so maybe I'll run another one sometime. Thanks for all the entries and keep on trying to break to obscure, its fun after all.

Card use statistics from the 11 entered decks:

Coat of Arms: 12
Glorious Anthem: 20
Ley Druid et al.: 25
Earthcraft: 11
Enlightened Tutor: 19
Overrun: 8
Caribou Range: 35

Cheers,
Nick "Ura" Saviskoff
Some guy who thinks he's a cat.
ura@cpa-mail.net

Read More Articles by Nick "Ura" Saviskoff!

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