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One Players Evolution
By Matt "TJ" Saxon
This article has a purpose beyond its selfish role of informing you who I am. I'm planning on starting to write regularly for this site and build up a portfolio to submit to starcitygames.com so I figured what business do I have writing to you if you don't know how I got to where I am.

***TABLE OF CONTENTS***
I) History of Matt Saxon as a Magic Player
A) Newbie
B) Early Stages
C) Revolution as a Player
1) Yet more to the Story
D) Last of the Revolution and Current Times
II) Other Stuff
A) List of Favorite Decks With Lists
B) Inspiring People

***HISTORY OF ME AS A PLAYER***

I started out like most others: a friend with allot of cards, a theme deck and a couple of boosters. I bought the 'Crusher' theme deck from Urza's Legacy. However I never played much with it, instead I went out and bought 'Fiendish Nature' from Urza's Destiny not much after. Then I went to the player I knew that had allot of cards and pawned some crappy Red, Black, and Green cards from him. It was called 'Flaming Death Seed'.

I constantly played against a UW enchanter deck that surprisingly often whipped out 32/34 creatures on turn 14 . We had no clue what the hell we were doing. My friends URB was fun and usually whipped me, Vicious Hunger, Seal of Removal and them a big fat Avatar of Furry came in and smashed me. These were the good days, the early days, and damn it they were fun! Then I got my first taste for it...I went online and saw an article or something called 'Fish: The Metagame option' it was all-inspiring; it was like an orgy in my mind, it was something that had never occurred! Metagame of course! So I made fish, with the one Lord of Atlantis that I had that I had and I threw in a Flowstone Thopter, added some bounce and one Counterspell for Avatar of Furry, put in one copy of Whispers of the Muse. And that was my fish deck. I believe the only card it ran more than 2 of was Merfolk of the Pearl Trident, and no wait that's it. It also dedicated 6 of it's 22 land for Mountains which I used to play one friggin' Raging Goblin.

Metagame...The seed was planted...

Metagame, metagame, metagame, of course it works; fish beat the hell out of what it was supposed to. I started buying Scryes but found them crappy, deck analysis was to short, scrubby. Until I took a summer vacation to Texas with My mom, dad, and sister. My, then, 24 year old, manic depressant sister who liked rap music, as the only back-seat companion. When we got to a convenience store I saw trhe magazine rack with...SCRYE 8.5 JULY/AUGUST OBLIGITORY INFINITY COVER...it saved me. I put on headphones so I could listen to MxPx and read the damn magazine front to cover atleats 3 times daily. I raped that thing of all information. That information was part of me; it was my knowledge, my power. One deck interested me though, one imparticular. It was in the 'T II NOW!' column...It was 'Hippo Junk' (listing at end of article) that deck had answers to every other deck in the magazine. It was metagamed...IT WAS INSPIRING. That page has stains on it of every color because I read it so friggin' much. That summer's playing time was drastically decreased, my one friend with the URB deck lived in Seattle where I rarely saw him, and the other went to Mexico to visit relatives for 2 months. I had the whole rest of my summer, 2.5 months, to learn what I could.

I lost interest in that scrye, my mom threw it out, I found the Internet!!! I looked at extended decks all over the place I found message boards besides the CPA, none quite as good though, I found sideboard on-line it was GRRRREAT!! I had unlimited resources. I found places to get pictures of any card ever printed. Mostly I found the holy grail of all decks: PONZA ROTTA RED...it even had a complete history on the dojo...I idolized Brian Kowal and Jamie Wakefield, they became gods. Then David Price and Tom Guevin. I found the best metagame deck ever: WHITE WEENIE, infact DUTCH WHITE WEENIE. It was so good, horizons expanded in my brain larger than any recourse could provide. I became a GOOD player, not only that I was GOOD at meta gaming. A skill few develope. I hunted for tech in a Seattle gaming store, sitting in back rooms for hours at wizards learning from good players. In a few weeks my magic vocabulary for extended had multiplied countless times, I could spit out any number of popular generic deck lists, give a short list of tech for that deck and tell you what deck would beat it. I started playing people besides the friends that had got me started on the game…I learned to love the game, I learned to love the format, and I learned to thrive on magic.

I now understand green on a Wakefieldian level, I love green, it is a part of me. I currently play 10 land Stompy and am quite successful with it. I dedicate my success to the fact that I’ve been playing this variant full time for atleats 5 months: I know its ins and its outs, its ups and its downs. Fat greend is a lot of fun as well, I dabbled in Secret Force for awhile. I understand global reset buttons the way Wakefield used them and how I should use them.

On an ending sad note, the DCI has made it impossible for my Stompy variant to live past November 1st. for an announce ment on the new set rotation click here: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=sideboard/news/20020517a .
That announcement ruined my plans to go and win an Extended PTQ next season with 10 land, so I’m forced to thinkof a new deck so I, being broke, can save and eventually buy the cards I want. I’m working on a hybrid deck combining Dutch WW and Hippo Junk. This leads me into the deck list portion so here we are:

DWWHJ
4x Ramosian Sergeant
4x Steadfast Guard
4x Meddling Mage
4x Questing Phelddagrif
4x Mother of Runes

4x Frantic Search
4x Armadillo Cloak
2x Crusade
2x Parallax Wave
4x Seal of Cleansing
4x Cursed Scroll

3x Adarkar Wastes
3x Brushland
3x Yavimaya Coast
1x Faerie Conclave
3x Treetop Village
2x Treva's Ruins
1x Forest
3x Plains
1x Island

DUTCH WW
4x Ramosian Sergeant
4x Steadfast Guard
4x Soltari Priest
4x Meddling Mage
4x Mother of Runes

4x Brainstorm
2x Crusade
4x Swordds to Plowshares
4x Seal of Cleansing
4x Cursed Scroll
4x Tithe

4x Tundra
2x Scrubland
8x Plains
4x Adarkar Wastes

HIPPO JUNK
4x Ramosian Sergeant
4x Fresh Volunteers
4x Noble Panther
2x Fleetfoot Panther
2x Questing Phelddagrif
4x Meddling Mage
4x Voice of All

4x Armadillo Cloak
4x Chemeric Idol
4x Wax/Wane
4x Parallax Wave

4x Adarkar Wastes
3x Brushland
6x Forest
8x Plains
4x Rishadan Port
1x Treva's Ruins
2x Island

MY STOMPY
4x River Boa
4x Rogue Elephant
4x Skyshroud Elite
4x Wild Dogs
4x Vine Dryad
4x Quirion Ranger
4x Elvish Spirit Guide

4x Emerald Charm
3x Winter Orb
4x Rancor
4x Giant Growth
3x Bounty of the Hunt
4x Land Grant

10x Forest

PONZA ROTTA RED
4x Lightning Dragon
4x Mogg Fanatic
4x Avalanche Riders

4x Stone Rain
4x Pillage
3x Wildfire
2x Appocalypse
4x Nevinyrral's Disk
4x Shock
3x Arc Lightning

4x Rishadan Port
4x Wasteland
18x Mountain

There are the decks I promised now on to a list of people who inspired (on a magic level) me conciously or not:

Eric- this guy is good+he converted me to extended
Eric- gave me cards and got me started ripped me when i was new trading my Rancor for a Seedling Charm
Josh- Best bud since Second grade, taught me how to play and gave me Merfolk
Stroh- He's good and gives fairly good deck advice
Nick- Good friend, pretty good at magic...taught me a thing or two
Williams- We've sayed up late several nights just playing magic and doing the same early next morning
Tom Guevin- Metagame king
David Price- King of Beat-down
Chris Ezpinosa- Really nice guy, he hates his job at Wizards. Really nice guy
Jason- 'Nother nice guy at Wizards. Forgot his last name, he's crazy.
Fat Kyle- Nice guy I remember from Pokemon, recently met up again...he plays magic now
Brian Kowal- Ponza, nice guy
Jamie Wakefield- King of Fatties, nice guy
Ben Rubin- he consytantly gets no sleep, gets paired up with idiots that whip out stuffed animals and beats them down
Sun Tzu- Great author, great guy, great Magic Player
Brian Hacker- Knew how to have fun
Toby Tamber- Stompy, T8 against a field of Tradewind and Replenish, this guy is my hero.
Frank Kusamoto- Started the DoJo

People I would like to hit:

Zvi Moshowitz- I hated his latest article about "The New Extended"
Rick Grizzs
George Bush
Ex Girlfriend Nikki
Jon Finkel
Kai Budde
Anyone who makes magic players look bad and/or who makes fun of us….you know who I’m talking about.

Links to great sites:

casualplayers.org/
mtgnews.com
starcitygames.com
bdominario.com
essentialmagic.com
magicthegathering.net
magicthegathering.com
wizards.com/sideboard
http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.thedojo.com
http://web.archive.org/web/20010216223424/www.thedojo.com/b994/ponza.shtml

those are the magic related ones I have more but have to do with strange things so I won’t bother…

Anyways…now that you have learned about me as a player, I have to start formulating ideas for future article because I want ot start making this a regular thing. Thanx for listening and good luck and happy gaming. E-mail if you have any questions regarding life in general.

Proud member of the CPA
Turtlewax Joe
Matt Saxon
On AOL IM: LifesASquirrel

Read More Articles by Matt "TJ" Saxon!

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