The Dragon's Den
Jack - A Different Extended
By DeQuan Watson - 2.10.05
are a ton of changes happening by the day in the world of
extended. Wizards of the Coast is even
out the decks for each qualifier around the world. They are
posting them up at www.magicthegathering.com.
It now looks as though anything has a serious shot of
winning. But there are a lot of decks running around that
have a very strong control feel or element to them. But we
need something a little more fun. We need something with
creatures. We need something that has answers to a lot of
stuff. So, is there something out there like that?
Honestly, I don't know. But I can show you what my lab put
together this week. It's definitely fun. I will tell you
though; this deck does require quite a few rares. Here's
Jack (as in jack of all trades)
4 Birds of Paradise
3 River Boa
2 Shadowmage Infiltrator
3 Wall of Blossoms
3 Meddling Mage
2 Eternal Witness
3 Tradewind Rider
turn your head immediately. I know it looks like a large
pile of jumbled mess. I suggest just playing it a bit and
giving it a chance. I however, the first thing I would
change is the mana base. The choice of lands you wish to
use will be based on the cards you play obviously. This
also includes the sideboard. Because you are playing four
colors (all but red), you can play almost anything you want
in the board.
The deck has a lot of simple tricks in it. Obviously, the
bulk of the spells are cheap to cast. This allows you to
get away with playing a minimal amount of lands. Also, it
makes Armageddon less threatening to you and more
devastating for your opponent. Personally, I would like to
add two lands and three Mox Diamond at some point. Tradewind
Rider is great later in the game with Wall of Blossoms and
Eternal Witness. The card advantage you can achieve from
reusing these cards is amazing. Shadowmage Infiltrator is
another creature that many people forget about. This guy is
all about developing huge card advantage while dealing
damage the whole way.
There are enough creatures, that you can be a little bit
lazy. Yeah, I know, you shouldn't ever play lazy. But as a
competitive extended deck, this is reasonably easy to play.
Meddling Mage is a good filler in the deck as well. It's
easy to get into play and it can stop anything you find
scary outright. I also like Stifle. This is a powerful
card. With all the different Scepter Chant decks around
(that utilize Orim's Chant), this can be good in getting
that extra turn or two of stability. Also, the Stifle can
be critical in slowly down the blue/green madness decks a
The sideboard is a bit of a different story. Being
unsure of what to go with, I filled in a lot of slots that
the deck squeezed out. Cards like Duress, Mana Leak, and
Naturalize, which are better in some matches than in other
let you fill out some sets. Cards like Propaganda are
with Armageddon and Tradewind Rider, this is a big issue.
Engineered Plague helps out in matchups against Aluren and
creature themed decks like Goblins. This can slow them down
enough for you to take control if things go right. And
finally, you needed something to address Reanimator.
Reprisal seems to be a decent answer. Since Reanimator
generally uses multiple spells or effects to get their big
monster into play, you can take advantage of the situation
be shoving them back into the graveyard.
This gives you all of the versatility that you could want.
Obviously it could be a bit difficult at times to get
things to go your way with such a large mix of cards, so
choosing your mana correctly is critical. But be careful
with your play choices. Everything in the deck can do some
neat things with other cards in the deck. As you play it,
you will discover a lot of tricks.
Just take the time to learn the deck. And add or replace
cards as you see fit for your metagame. The current card
mix is kind of all over the page to give you a shot at
everything. Don't get discouraged if it doesn't work. This
is one of the few decks that can play a lot of answer. It's
also fun, because your opponent won't know what all you've
got packed away.