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Rare Hunter 666

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Rare Hunter's Hunting Grounds

An Overview of Extended

     Hello guys, this is my first article for Pojo.com, and I would like to do a quick introduction. I have been a member of  the forums for about 2 and a half years.. Most if it for YGO needs, but I switched to MTG with my area around the release of Betrayers. I quickly read a lot of articles online, and surpassed most of the people in my area in terms of knowledge. My tournament experience isn’t much, just a PTQ Honolulu, which I got forty ninth out of 128.  Of course, I was playing a sub-par version of No-stick, and didn’t test as much as I should have, something I regret. Well, sit back, and grab a Mountain Dew, we are off to the Hunting Grounds.

Before getting the meat of the article, it’s a good idea to know what the legal sets are. Here is the current Banned/Restricted list, and list of legal sets. Notice how there are few banned cards. This, coupled with the larger number of legal sets makes this my favorite format. Its not very constraining, and you don’t have to buy a new deck every two years.  This is due to the three year rotation on Type 1.x. now then, the format is very healthy. It is diverse, and filled with numerous decks to play. This may be a problem for metagamers, who want to have the anti-deck, or a hate-board, but playing 6 different decks in a seven round PTQ is better than playing all affinity on a Type 2 one a year or so ago. The format has playable agro, control, and Combo decks, which is another good sign.  The cost of getting into the format isn’t that much either, depending on the deck. For instance, No-Stick, is expensive, while Affinity and Heartbeat Desire can be made under a lower budget. You may not know what most of these decks are, so lets go into detail.

Aggro:

Affinity: This deck is based around the affinity for artifacts ability, making it a fast agro deck. This deck gets hosed easily, by Kataki, War’s Wage. But, the deck can pack removal, such as Darkblast, or Shrapnel Blast. The deck has card draw, in Thoughtcast, and a great combat trick in the form of Cranial Plating. If it wasn’t for Kataki, the deck would be a lot better. But, as it stands, its definitely a contender, having many GP Top Eights.

Boros Deck Wins(BDW): This deck is what Red Deck Wins became once extended rotated. The loss of Jackal Pup, and Mogg Fanatic made it lose its main early game. Add in the release of Ravnica, which gave it  Sacred Foundry, and Lightning Helix. The deck is a powerhouse, earning many Top Eights this PTQ season, it’s a good option. It has access to Morning Tide, Kataki, and Suppression Field. Those all have there uses, such as Tog, Friggorid, and Affinity. 7-8 Main decked land destruction also make this a good choice. The Molten Rains work good against most of the formats mana base.

Friggorid: This deck is based around using Dredge aggressively, and Ichorid. It wants to flip the deck into the deck into the graveyard as soon as possible. This happens with Chrome Mox, and Tolarian Winds. This deck can go down to five mulliganing, and still win. It its fast, can be hard to stop, and has one of the best, if not the best creature in the game one its side. Though usually not hard cast, but if you need, it, it can take advantage of the large graveyard. Used mainly as Ichorid food,, if you can cast it, it can wins games.

Aggro Rock: A B/G deck, it can use Putrefy, which is a great kill spell. It also has the ability to bring out a second turn Hippie, or Troll Ascetic.  It has control elements, such as Therapy/Duress, and the Specter, but has some very aggro cards such as Jitte, and Sword of Fire and Ice. Call of The Herd and its flashback provide nice beats, as does an equipped Birds. It sometimes splashes white for Loxodon Hierarch, and some of the aforementioned hate.

Control:

Pyschatog: This deck comes in so may varieties. Classic U/B Tog, or Dredge-a-tog, or Gro-a-tog. But, the one thing the same is that they are controlling decks, and that they have at the center what is hailed as the best creature ever. Circular Logic is a great card in this deck, due to the massive graveyard. Also, topping into a Tog can win you the game. My favorite variety is by far Loam-a-Tog though. With Gifts Ungiven to set the engine up, it can easily fill up the ‘yard. Cunning Wish helps by giving it a tool box. This is one of the greatest deck in the format, its got removal, card draw, big flying Hulks.

No-Stick: I will try not to be very biased here, but this is my pet deck. This deck is based around Isochron Scepter, and imprinting two casting cost instants. Orim’s Chant for Example, will lock the opponent out of their turn for the rest of the game. Imprinting removal such as Lightning Helix, or Fire//Ice helps against aggro decks. This deck has been shown favoritism by the Japanese, and which we after Worlds shows something. The deck has good match up across the board, and only really loses to Friggorid, or a BDW. Win conditions vary greatly from list to list though.

U/W Solution: Not to be confused with No-Stick, this deck is based on using Blue and White to Control the opponent. While it hasn’t had any significant showing this season, it is good. As good as No-Stick? No. It is just more stable and consistent, not relying on drawing a stick or something.  This deck has a few things going for it, and I think is a contender. The deck can use Stifle, Suppression Field, Morning Tide, and just so mo many answers to common decks in the format.

Combo:

Heartbeat Desire: Based around using untapping spells such as  Early Harvest, lots of card draw, into a massive storm count, ending the game with a lethal Brain Freeze. Mind’s Desire helps build up this massive storm count. Then, it finishes with a lethal Brain Freeze, or possibly Tendrils of Agony. Moment’s Peace, coupled with Cunning Wish give it a strong early game. This deck is my choice for best deck in the format personally. Its not to expected, there not side boarded again as much as it should be, can go off unexpectedly, and just can stall for a long time. Sakura Tribe Elders chump block when needed, which seeing as they will have massive due to the Heartbeat of the Spring, you need it. The deck can usually be built under $150. Gifts Ungiven, and Cunning Wish are the most Expensive card in it. Its all basic land mana base helps keep things low. The only bad match up this deck has is the inevitable Control match up, but with proper timing, and a good hand, it can win.

CAL: Debuting at GP Kitakyuushuu, it was soon picked up by Oliver Ruel. The deck is a W/G/R/B deck that use Life form the Loam, Cycling lands, Seismic Assault, and Solitary Confinement for a lock, and a win. It can beat agro decks with ease usually, but control decks are harder on it. But, with the addition of black, they became easier to deal with. Cabal Therapy is just crazy here. It takes out controls answers, and then just leaves there to rot when you flashback. This deck is pretty good, but is starting to get side against, and has lost its rogue status.

Tooth and Nail: Tooth and Nail started as a Post-Affinity type 2 deck, being right up there with MUC in tier one. Having since rotated out, its been ported to extended. The deck uses the Urza lands to get out the nine mana needed to Tooth and Nail with Entwine. The deck isn’t so great I personally think, but it has results. A Darksteel Colossus  is a pain, if not impossible for most decks to deal with. Kiki-Jiki makes it swing a turn earlier, or destroys mass land with Sundering Titan. Again, I don’t like this deck much, and don’t know much about it.

Defining cards:

Life From the Loam: A reusable source of card advantage/deck thinning? Sign me up. Used in a few decks, it serves many uses.

Pyschatog: This creature is one of, if not the best in the game. In the beginning of this season, it was the defining card.

Not too many defining cards, because the format is so diverse.  The extended format is easily the most healthy one out there. The field is diverse, the card pool is large, and it’s a really balanced format. Rock-Paper-Scissors relationships exist, but the field is so diverse that they don’t matter much. If you are just now looking into the older formats, this is great place to start. Also, since it is only a few months into the format, most decks can still be deemed “rogue”. Or have fallen out of favor, and don’t carry the SB hate the used to. A good example is Goblins. Last format, they where all the rage, and now the Plagues have dropped form the SB. Now, the main decks to expect at any given tournament are either Friggorid, BDW, Affinity, and some form of ‘Tog. Of course, the other decks still see lots of play as well. Its quite possible to face 6 different decks at a seven round PTQ.

In conclusion, the format is quite healthy. If you can break it, go ahead and try. I would like to thank you guys for giving me a chance, and reading this.  Topics ideas, hate mail, tips, comments, and feedback in general are always welcome. Just send them to the email below:

Fricktard_666@hotmail.com

*Insert cheesy closing line here*

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