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The Dragon's Den
Get Out There And Play
By DeQuan Watson - 2.17.05

OK, for those of you that don't go out and play competitively, I have one thing to say; You don't know what you're missing.  Well, at least right now. The extended format is one of the best tournament formats that there have been in a while.  There is nearly perfect parody among the decks in the format.  There is also room for creativity.  This is always a bonus.
 
The other thing to remember is that Extended is the format that allows the most cards/sets to be played among Pro Tour Qualifier formats.  So this is the one time you will have to play cards from Tempest to present and earn yourself a spot on the Pro Tour.  For those of you that are unaware though, let me give you a quick rundown of what the Extended format looks like:

The following card sets are permitted in Extended tournaments:

  • Classic (Sixth Edition)
  • Seventh Edition
  • Eighth Edition
  • Tempest
  • Stronghold
  • Exodus
  • Urza's Saga
  • Urza's Legacy
  • Urza's Destiny
  • Mercadian Masques
  • Nemesis
  • Prophecy
  • Invasion
  • Planeshift
  • Apocalypse
  • Odyssey
  • Torment
  • Judgment
  • Onslaught
  • Legions
  • Scourge
  • Mirrodin
  • Darksteel
  • Fifth Dawn
  • Champions of Kamigawa
  • Betrayers of Kamigawa -- effective February 20, 2005

The following cards are banned in Extended tournaments:

  • Ancient Tomb
  • Dark Ritual
  • Dream Halls
  • Earthcraft
  • Entomb
  • Frantic Search
  • Goblin Lackey
  • Goblin Recruiter
  • Grim Monolith
  • Hermit Druid
  • Lotus Petal
  • Memory Jar
  • Metalworker
  • Mind Over Matter
  • Oath of Druids
  • Replenish
  • Survival of the Fittest
  • Skullclamp
  • Time Spiral
  • Tinker
  • Tolarian Academy
  • Windfall
  • Yawgmoth’s Bargain
  • Yawgmoth’s Will
Check out that lists.  That's a TON of cards that you can play and very few that you can't play.  Other than what's available, the format as a whole is great right now.  Everyone is excited about it.  Players always turn up for Extended events that you may not see at any other major event all year. 
 
And it doesn't stop there.  Wizards of the Coast has taken a full step further and started posting the top 8 decks from every qualifier on their website.  The link is at:
 
 
Even better, is that you aren't too late.  We are barely reaching the halfway point in the season.  So it is very likely that there are still one or two Pro Tour Qualifiers within driving distance of where you live.  The season runs all the way to March 26th.
 
OK, so maybe I still don't have you convinced.  I'm going to help you out, and hopefully motivate you just a LITTLE bit more.  I'm going to give a crash course on the decks in the formats.  I will be showing decks that have done well across the nation this qualifier season.  So here they are (in no particular order):
 
Lance Loden / Kiki-Opposition
2nd Place - Alabama - Birmingham - 2/5
Main Deck
60 cards
Sideboard
City of Brass
Shivan Reef
Yavimaya Coast
Karplusan Forest
Island
Forest
Mountain
Reflecting Pool
 

21 land

Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
Sakura-Tribe Elder
Birds of Paradise
Wall of Blossoms
Eternal Witness
Mystic Snake
Tradewind Rider
Flametongue Kavu
Siege-Gang Commander
 

25 creatures
AEther Vial
Opposition
Living Wish
Counterspell
Mana Leak
 

14 other spells
Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
Gilded Drake
Seeker of Skybreak
Dust Bowl
Tradewind Rider
Shivan Reef
Spike Weaver
Viridian Shaman
Ravenous Baloth
Naturalize
Oxidize
Monk Realist
Siege-Gang Commander
 

15 sideboard cards
 
This deck is pretty straight forward in what it does.  It wants to keep making more and more guys with the use of Kiki-Jiki.  Also, creature that sacrifice themselves and have "comes into play" abilities work great in this deck.  However, when Opposition hits, things can become a big problem.  The good news is that this deck doesn't run a lot of spell counters, so it can be dealt with.  The bad news is that it's hard to sneak out of a Opposition lock if they have any backup.
 
 
Matt Meader / Reanimator
1st Place - California - Costa Mesa - 2/5
Main Deck
60 cards
Sideboard


12 creatures
 
 
Cabal Therapy
Reanimate
Exhume
Duress
Vampiric Tutor
Sickening Dreams
Careful Study
Brainstorm
Rushing River
Chrome Mox
 

32 other spells
Smother
Grim Reminder
Echoing Truth
Engineered Plague
Duress
Energy Flux
Mana Maze
Gilded Drake
Waterfront Bouncer
 

15 sideboard cards
 
This deck is based around flat out abusing cards.  There are a lot of ways to get your creatures into the graveyard in this deck.  Then it makes use of cheap reanimation spells such as Reanimate and Exhume.  It is possible to be staring a turn two Akroma attacking you.  It doesn't spell the end of the game for you.  It just means that you need to be in a hurry.
 
 
Donald Paul / Red Deck Wins
5th Place - Louisiana - Shreveport - 2/5
Main Deck
60 cards
Sideboard
Bloodstained Mire
Mountain
Rishadan Port
Wasteland
Wooded Foothills
 

24 land

Blistering Firecat
Grim Lavamancer
Jackal Pup
Mogg Fanatic
 

16 creatures
Cursed Scroll
Lava Dart
Pillage
Seal of Fire
Volcanic Hammer
 

20 other spells
Blood Oath
Ensnaring Bridge
Flametongue Kavu
Fledgling Dragon
 

15 sideboard cards
 
 
This deck is summed up in one word: Efficiency.  It's got creatures with great abilities.  It's able to hit hard.  It has a lot of removal.  And it's got potential for some huge damage out of the sideboard with cards such as Blood Oath.  The down side is that it's creatures are a little fragile.  So against cards like Soul of Night's Betrayal, you will likely have to get your damage in early and finish them with burn.  It's a fun deck to play too.
 
 

Every time I see a Rock build, it simply looks like a best of the best card list.  And honestly, it just might be.  The creatures are great and the spells are great.  The deck has a lot of versatility and can go the distance with slow decks.  The downside is that many people playtest against this deck.  So your opponent usually knows the matchup better than you.  However, it's still a strong deck.
 
 
Carl Tamez / Goblins
7th Place - Texas - Waco - 2/12
Main Deck
60 cards
Sideboard
Sulfurous Springs
Bloodstained Mire
Swamp
12  Mountain
 

23 land

Sparksmith
Clickslither
Skirk Prospector
Gempalm Incinerator
Goblin Ringleader
Goblin Warchief
Goblin Sharpshooter
Goblin Piledriver
Siege-Gang Commander
Goblin Matron
 

30 creatures
Duress
Cabal Therapy
 

7 other spells
Terminate
Diabolic Edict
Coffin Purge
Wrench Mind
 

15 sideboard cards
 
There were rumors of the Goblins' demise.  Those rumors are obviously false.  These guys are still viable. The trick is that this deck needs the black mana.  The discard is so important in Extended.  I would cut some of the sideboard Wrench Mind for Soul of Night's Betrayal.  Red Deck Wins is an awful matchup for this deck.
 
 
Timothy Wu / Gro-a-Tog
5th Place - Maryland - Rockville - 2/13
Main Deck
60 cards
Sideboard
Island
Swamp
Plains
Polluted Delta
Flooded Strand
City of Brass
 

18 land

Quirion Dryad
Meddling Mage
Psychatog
 

11 creatures
Sleight of Hand
Mox Diamond
Serum Visions
Brainstorm
Opt
Fire/Ice
Daze
Armageddon
Stifle
Vampiric Tutor
Gush
 

31 other spells
Engineered Plague
Chill
Energy Flux
Echoing Truth
Stifle
Vampiric Tutor
 

15 sideboard cards
 
Honestly, this deck is interesting.  It revolves around Quirion Dryad.  They play a ton of spells to make a giant creature and bash you about the head and neck with it.  And if things go bad, they will try to finish you with Psychatog. 
 
 
Lawrence Creech / Psychatog
2nd Place - Maryland - Rockville - 2/13
Main Deck
60 cards
Sideboard
11  Island
Swamp
Dust Bowl
Polluted Delta
Underground River
 

23 land

Wonder
Psychatog
Morphling
 

5 creatures
Duress
Mana Leak
Powder Keg
Accumulated Knowledge
Force Spike
Cunning Wish
Counterspell
Deep Analysis
Upheaval
Brainstorm
Fact or Fiction
Intuition
 

32 other spells
Forbid
Rebuild
Coffin Purge
Stifle
Shadow Rift
Fact or Fiction
Corpse Dance
Vampiric Tutor
Gilded Drake
Chalice of the Void
Chill
 

15 sideboard cards
 
Yeah, and speaking of Psychatog, here is featured in his own deck.  There aren't a lot of tricks here.  They try to stop everything you do.  Then they try to land a Psychatog to finish you off.  Nothing special, but it's still highly effective.
 
Steve Terranova / Blue-green Madness
5th Place - New York - Rochester - 2/13
Main Deck
60 cards
Sideboard
Island
Yavimaya Coast
Forest
Centaur Garden
 

19 land

Basking Rootwalla
Wonder
Wild Mongrel
Aquamoeba
Merfolk Looter
Thought Courier
Arrogant Wurm
 

21 creatures
Gifts Ungiven
Careful Study
Circular Logic
Roar of the Wurm
Chrome Mox
Daze
Deep Analysis
Mana Leak
 

20 other spells
Energy Flux
Oxidize
Snap
Seedtime
Waterfront Bouncer
 

15 sideboard cards

This deck is probably one of the easiest to build in the format.  Lots of players still have the bulk of these cards from when they played the deck in Standard.  It's highly effective and has some interesting tricks.  If you are looking for a deck to play, this one isn't a bad choice. 
 
 
OK, so review those above.  That's a strong list of decks.  And that's not nearly everything.  There's still Blue/White control, Enchantress, Scepter Chant, Aluren, and even Affinity.
 
Now is the best time to play Extended. 
 
Do some testing.  Get some friends together.  Put in a road trip.  Enjoy Magic.
 
Until next time,
 
DeQuan Watson
a.k.a. PowrDragn
at Pojo dot com



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