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Extended Leave
By Russell Sherman
I love extended. I honestly do. Itís a chance to take out some of those fun cards that you used to love so dearly and to let them once again see play. Itís a chance to compete without having to be constantly aware of the shifting environment. I truly love extended.

That said, Iím a college student, which means I donít have money. Yes, thatís right, I actually donít have the money to build the extended decks I would like. Pernicious Deeds are incredible drains, Birds of Paradise are luxuries I simply canít afford. Fortunately for me, and for all of you out there, it is possible to play extended thatís both effective and fun, on a budget that requires very little more than 4-8 rares and a collection of old uncommons.

Letís begin with one of my favorites, a classic standby in extended, a deck that everybody loves, Sligh.

Patrick Melloís Sligh from GP Reims looked like this:

4x Raging Goblin
4x Mogg Flunkies
4x Mogg Fanatic
4x Jackal Pup
4x Goblin Piledriver (rare)
4x Goblin Lackey
1x Goblin Cadets
3x Lava Dart
4x Reckless Abandon
4x Reckless Charge
4x Seal of Fire
2x Shock

14x Mountain
4x Barbarian Ring

Can you count the rares? 4. 4x Goblin Piledrivers. 4 recent rares, and Patrick Mello took this deck to the top 8. This is the simplest deck to build and play, and the one youíre likely to do the best with. Goblin Piledriver will often attack for ridiculous amounts (7, 9, etc.) and your removal should generally be used to kill of their blockers until theyíre below 6. Once that happens, if they get control of the game, it should be sent straight at their head.

This deck can go faster than nearly any deck in the history of man. If unopposed, a pretty plausible opening for this deck is:

Turn 1: Goblin Lackey
Turn 2: Jackal Pups, Reckless Charge Jackal pups, attack with the pups and the lackey for 6 damage, and drop a goblin piledriver from the lackey.
Turn 3: Raging Goblin, attack with the Raging Goblin, the Jackal Pups, the Goblin Lackey, and the Goblin Piledriver (now a 5/2) for 9. Cast Seal of Fire and Reckless Abandon for the game-winner. Notice that most of these cards are replaceable. A turn 2 mogg flunkies/goblin piledriver, followed by a reckless-charged mogg fanatic and Reckless abandon would deal 20 as well. Goblin Piledriver and Goblin Lackey are just incredible cards.


Psychatog decks have been in the top 8 of both Houston and Reims, the two biggest recent tournaments, that looked something like this:

4x Psychatog
1x Wonder
2x Force Spike
3x Duress
3x Gush
3x Diabolic Edict
2x Intuition (rare)
4x Counterspell
4x Mana Leak
4x Brainstorm
4x Accumulated Knowledge
3x Fact or fiction
1x Upheaval (rare)

22 lands, my split of which looks like
7 Swamps
15 Islands

Not counting the lands from the original deck, there are 3 rares in the deck. The rares that may be difficult to get are the intuitions, which are, unfortunately, very important and nearly irreplaceable. Psychatog is a powerful deck, in the right hands, with all the answers and some incredible options, but itís a much harder deck to play. You must know when to counter and when to let things resolve against different decks, you have to know when to go for the kill and when to hold back and be safe. The ideal combination is an upheaval (which returns all permanents to their ownerís hand) where you float at least two mana, and then play a Land and a psychatog. Once youíve discarded your extra cards, you should have enough in your hand and graveyard to make psychatog at least a 20/21 and win the game with an attack next turn. If you want to play this deck, PRACTICE. Sligh you can play well with less work, psychatog takes time.


Suicide Black is a deck that lends itself to cheap rip-offs, and that is exactly what I intend to do. It has one particular card that I will cut for the sake of cost, and that card is called Sarcomancy. Itís a powerful enchantment for B, that puts a 2/2 zombie token into play, and if you donít control a zombie (any zombie) during your upkeep, it deals you 1 damage. They give the deck an immense boost, but theyíre not required. Edited, suicide black looks something like this

4x Duress
4x Cabal Therapy
4x Carnophage
4x Dauthi Slayer
4x Diabolic Edict
4x Dauthi Horror
4x Skittering Skirge
3x Phyrexian Negator (rare)
4x Unholy Strength
3x Twisted Experiment
3x Terror
19x Swamp

The three Phyrexian Negators are non-negotiable. 3 Mana for a 5/5 is incredible, even with their drawback. This deck truly does suffer from the lack or sarcomancy which has good synergy with both Skittering Skirge (since itís not a creature spell) and Phyrexian Negator (since you can sacrifice the enchantment and not the token it makes). Iíve tried to make the deck a little more capable of delivering the final blow. 8 Shadow creatures make for a powerful, unblockable team, and a twisted Experiment on a Dauthi Slayer is a 4-turn clock against opponents who arenít playing sligh. This deck DIES to sligh, but is a little better against most other decks out there (phyrexian negator is the single worst card to play against slighÖ). This deck is a lot of fun and not easy to stop. Against some of the more powerful internet extended decks (reanimator, for instance) itís also a lot more effective. The Terrors are excellent cards against those decks, as well as against sligh. This deck wonít win as often as sligh, but itís as easy to play and probably more fun. The Duresses and Cabal Therapies are capable of crushing control and combo decks by themselves.

All three of these decks are wonderful and effective. If you want to surprise your friends with a cheap, powerful deck, any of them will do. Living on a budget has made me realize just how wonderful Extended is, when you can win with so few expensive cards.

I hope you all have fun with this format, and keep your eyes open for interesting quirks in any of these old, steady decks.

The Goblin Lackey,
Russell Sherman

Read More Articles by Russell Sherman!

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