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DeQuan Watson

    Many readers have gathered a lot of information about me through my writings.  For those of you that haven't though, this should tell you a little more. 

    I'm 25 years old and I own my own business. Well, more accurately I own a game store.  The Game Closet, my store, is one of the premiere places to play in the Texas.  I play Magic on a pretty regular basis.  I help people build decks and teach the game to people multiple times a week.  Owning a store is neat, because it gives me another perspective to write my articles from.  I can usually tell what the average player likes and can judge some of the tendencies of the average player a little better.  Of course, owning a store means I have knowledge of a lot of games and not just Magic.  I also find out my fair share of insider information on the industry.  But having other resources to pull from makes for more informative writings.

    However, I know a decent bit about pro level play as well.  I myself have
played on the Pro Tour.  I have multiple Top 8 finishes at Pro Tour Qualifiers.  I also have made Day Two at two Grand Prix tournaments.  I have also been invited to the Event horizons Invitational.  These are not stellar achievements, but high enough to let you know I have my head on straight when talking about the game. I also spend lots of time each week talking to, e-mailing, or chatting with top level players.  I get to see their perspective on a lot of things as well.  Between the two, I think I get a good sense of balance of the game.

    Most importantly, I still enjoy the game for the sake of the game itself.  I like the time, the competition, and the general interaction of players.  I plan to be playing it until it fades away...if it ever does.

 

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The Dragon's Den

Blue/Green Deck Article
By DeQuan Watson - June 21, 2006 

Lately, a lot of players have been trying to get a handle on the new diverse format that is the new Standard.  There are a million options and there are a ton of good cards at our disposal.  The trick is how to fix a deck up right.  I know players like seeing something new and different.  So, today I’m going to serve you up a blue/green deck.
 
For starters, I want to say that some people try way too hard to build a deck out of new cards.  Just because the cards in Dissension include a lot of Blue and Green cards, doesn’t mean that you have to play them.  I think that’s the worst mistake that players make with each set release.  In this instance, players seem to be trying to play with every Graft guy they can squeeze into the deck.  I started out building this deck as a small project, and it has turned out to be pretty good.  I’m sure there are a couple of small changes that will be made over the next week or so, but it’s pretty close to the finished version that I want it to be.
 
Take a look at the list and then we’ll break some things down card by card.
 
BUTTON MEN
 
2 Simic Sky Swallower
4 Trygon Predator
4 Plaxcaster Frog
4 Cytoplast Root-Kin
3 Sakura-Tribe Elder
4 Simic Guildmage
2 Vinelasher Kudzu
4 Birds of Paradise
 
3 Mana Leak
4 Voidslime
4 Cytoshape
 
4 Yavimaya Coast
4 Breeding Pool
7 Forest
7 Island
 

I didn’t have a better name for the deck unfortunately.  However, I think Button Men is a very fitting name, because of all the counters and small trickery the deck allows you to do.  The deck plays very smooth and allows for an ease of casting most of your spells.  Only cards in the deck (Voideslime and Cytoplast Root-kin) require you to have more than one mana of the same color to cast anything.   But, you are probably wondering why certain cards are (or aren’t) in here.
 
Obviously, Graft is the big ability that was given to the Simic guild in Dissension.  If you review the Graft cards, the Green ones are efficient, while the Blue ones have neat abilities, but cost more to play generally.  This made me turn away from several of the Blue Graft cards instantly.   After looking at all the Graft cards, I decided that Cytoplast Root-kin and Plaxcaster Frog were to two most efficient and powerful Graft cards for their respective costs.  The interesting thing here is that I decided that these two cards along with a couple copies of Vinelasher Kudzu would be the decks sources of +1/+1 counters. 
 
Now, going with those choices meant that all the creatures chosen to fill the other slots had to be either highly efficient or highly powerful.  There’s not a lot of room for filler if I’m going to rely on these guys to be my Graft engine.  This makes the Graft mechanic more of a support than a centerpiece.  I’m totally OK with this.  You’ll be surprised at how often you really don’t need a ton of counters and how effective these few spells are.  And for those of you that are curious, there aren’t more Vinelasher Kudzu in the deck simply because you hate drawing these cards late in the game.
 
One card I want to spotlight briefly is the Trygon Predator.  This card seems to get overlooked in a lot of Blue/Green decks that I have sent to me.  It definitely warrants further consideration.  It’s an efficient flier, weighing in a 2/3 with a solid ability for only three mana.  On top of that, it can many times be larger than that because of the Graft tricks going on.  You also like having this guy show up against decks playing cards like Heartbeat of Spring, Worship, or Debtors’ Knell.  You can get it out early and he’s usually reasonably easy to protect.  Also, because he’s got the Disenchant/Naturalize ability, the deck can have space freed up for other spells that are more synergistic.
 
The non-creature spells in this deck are very easy to understand.  Mana Leak and Voidslime are there to protect your key components for the most part.  Don’t forget how tricky Voidslime can be.  You can stop the activation from something as small as Seal of Fire.  You can also stop various “comes into play abilities.”  So, sometimes, you’ll need to stop in the middle of a game and observe your options before sitting on it strictly as a spell counter.  But, even with all that being mentioned, Voidslime isn’t the most versatile card in the deck.  That honor belongs to Cytoshape.  Cytoshape can effectively give Blue/Green a creature killing spell by turning a creature without counters into a copy of a Graft creature.  You can also turn your Birds of Paradise into a Simic Sky Swallower when attempting to go for the win.  You can turn a Keiga, the Tide Star into a small guy to make sure it can’t steal a creature after it blocks.  I even once turned one of my creatures into a Giant Solifuge to keep it from being targeted.  So, there are a lot of things that can be done with this card.  Cytoshape is definitely a card that got overlooked in the first couple of weeks Dissension was released, but has since, started to turn some heads.
 
As usual, choosing a sideboard can be really difficult.  This deck makes it a little easy to choose cards for the sideboard.  It’s likely due to the fact that it’s creature heavy, but doesn’t fit the look of the average aggressive deck that wandering around in the format right now.    Here’s the deck again with a  mock-up sideboard:
 
BUTTON MEN
 
2 Simic Sky Swallower
4 Trygon Predator
4 Plaxcaster Frog
4 Cytoplast Root-Kin
3 Sakura-Tribe Elder
4 Simic Guildmage
2 Vinelasher Kudzu
4 Birds of Paradise
 
3 Mana Leak
4 Voidslime
4 Cytoshape
 
4 Yavimaya Coast
4 Breeding Pool
7 Forest
7 Island
 
Sideboard:
 
2 Giant Solifuge
3 Naturalize
3 Spell Snare
3 Azorius Guildmage
3 Plaxmanta
1 Bound/Determined
 
Giant Solifuge is an easy one to figure out.  It’s possible you may want to go up to three copies of this card in the ‘board is you plan on facing a lot of control heavy decks.    Against most control decks you can take out the Trygon Predators and a couple of Cytoshape.  If you want to speed things up, you can potentially remove one Cytoplast Root-kin as well. 
 
I do also like Plaxmanta against deck full of heavy removal.  That generally includes Red/White and Green/Black decks.  Both of those deck types have a lot of spells that can target creatures.  Plaxmanta is a cheap way to save your creatures for a turn while giving you an additional creature at instand speed. 
 
Unfortunately, I’m still experimenting with Azorius Guildmage.  I’m not totally sure if it has a permanent place in the ‘board or not.  There are a few activated abilities that it’s been good against, but none of them have been game breaking.  If you have a spell you prefer in this slot, feel free to replace these three cards for sure.  Honestly, I’m considering making them another couple of copies of Spell Snare and/or Giant Solifuge. 
 
The experimental card for the deck which I’m starting to like is Bound/Determined.  At first, I was using this card to force through a key spell.  It was usually making sure I could load up my board with counters from a Cytoplast Root-Kin.  But a couple of times, I used to force through a Simic Sky Swallower.  The funny thing is though, just recently, the Bound side has been coming into play for me as well.  Birds of Paradise make this totally possible.  This gives you a bit of recursion as well. 
 
Overall, the deck is about lots of versatility.  Having these options is a good thing.  The downside is that it creates a very difficult bundle of choices from game to game.  You don’t ever want to blow a spell on something small unless it’s going to be game changing.  Sometimes you’ll need to look for the deeper play as well.  It’s not always obvious. 
 
This is definitely another fun deck to add to your arsenal.  It’s entertaining.  It’s competitive.  And it’s different. 
 
Enjoy.
 



 

 

 

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