Hello would-be patients and everyone else daring enough
to wander into my office.

  So how many of you have ever gone to see what Spike's
Vulpix has to say? Or maybe you've been thoroughly
twisted by one of Satoshi's challenges. Perhaps you've
even stopped by Aaron's School for a pointer or two.

  Well now it's my turn to provide some levity for an
otherwise dreary afternoon.

     Introducing....... Theme Challenge!!

   As some regular readers may be aware, I'm somewhat
fond of theme decks. They show originality and a desire
to have fun, which is the basis of any CCG. In the past
I've given several theme decks a good run over, from the
one based upon Star Wars to the recent Weird Al
Yankovic deck.
   The response has been overwhelming. I have since been
swamped with numerous theme decks on all kinds of
topics from The Addams Family to DragonBallZ. (A to
Z, get it? Of course you don't. Get your finger outta your
nose!) This got me thinking. (An activity I save for
special occasions.) It seems as though I'm hailed as the
source to go to for theme deck assistance through no
real intent of my own. I'm uncertain what to say about
this development, but have found a way to have fun with it.
   Since a lot of people seem to enjoy creating theme
decks, I've decided to issue biweekly theme challenges
to keep everyone thinking and playing. Here's how it will

    Every other week I will select a particular theme, such
as, oh, I don't know, let's use the WWF as an example.
Your job is to make a LEGAL theme deck that revolves
around the chosen topic. Get creative, think about it.
Open your binders and look at cards you've never used
before. Chances are they're perfect for a theme deck.

    Once you've made the deck up, send me the contents.
Be sure to include reasons why you've included certain
cards. I could easily understand your having Machamp in
the deck, but something like Lass symbolizing Debra or
Tori may not be so obvious to me. EXPLAIN
YOURSELF. And make sure the word "THEME" is listed
in the subject header someplace. That way I'll know
exactly what it is and how to deal with it.

    When making the deck, try to make it competitive if at
all possible. I'm not going to bash any theme decks, but
I'm not going to give them major fixes either. This is just
for a challenging change of pace. I might offer
suggestions, but nothing more. Theme decks don't have
to win all the time. They just need to be fun.

  On alternating weeks, the ones where I don't issue a new
challenge, I'll post the most creative or well thought out
decks I get. But I'll only post a few, so make them good!
Once I've posted the so-called winning decks, I'll think of
a new challenge for the next week. It's simple as that.

   Of course with any structured exercise, there is bound
to be rules. So here they are. Take notes.

   1: FOLLOW THE THEME. This is really a no-brainer.
If the theme is WWF and you send me one based upon
Walt Disney films, guess what? It's headed straight for
the trash. I have to say this though, or I just know I'll get
people who screw it up.

may have tons of cool references, but if you don't list
them out, who's gonna know? Any decks without
sufficient explanations will be tossed out and never
looked back upon.

only going to post theme decks for the current, most
recent challenge. Once I move past the WWF challenge,
or any other such challenge, I'm not gonna post
latecomers. If you decide to do this,  you're only wasting
your time.

   4: KEEP IT CLEAN: If anyone's ever bothered to
notice, I keep this Garage's content clean. There are
many young people as well as older folk who come to
my Shrink Tank. I don't want them picking up bad words
or off-color ideas from me or anything I post. This hasn't
been a huge problem so far, but I don't want it to become
one either. I'm not going to give Pokemon hating parents
another log for their fire.

   5: MAKE SURE IT'S LEGAL. If you build a theme
deck, you should equally be able to play with it. No point
in that if the deck has, oh, 14 Dratinis in it, is there? I
hate people who break the most basic of rules. This is
one of them.

WORD "THEME". This is important!! If you fail to do so,
I'll just think it's a regualar Deck Garage submission. I'm
keeping the theme decks separate from everything else,
so help me out here. If I see "Theme" in the subject
header I'll know exactly what it is and will take care of it
accordingly. If you fail to do this requirement, I WILL
toss out the deck. Sorry, but this one's very important.

   7: SPELLING COUNTS. Take the time to make sure
your submission is well typed. I'm not gonna nitpick over
a small typo or two, but spelling Ash's favorite Pokemon
"Pekechew" is just plain unforgivable. It's worth it if the
deck makes it to the winner's circle. You won't look like
a complete moron for starters. Second, it really helps me
get through it faster. If I can't figure out what it is you're
trying to tell me, I'm not gonna wrack my brain over it.
It's much easier to hit 'delete' and move on to something
written in English.

one for me. It's become way too easy these days to
encode all kinds of evil crap into message attachments. If
I don't know you, I'm not going to open an attachment.
Nothing personal against anyone, mind you. I'm just
trying to save myself grief that would come as a result of
watching the data pour out of my computer like a

   9: NO FUNKY COLORS OR TEXT. Not many people
know this, but I'm extremely nearsighted. Consequently, I
have a hard time reading yellow text or letters that were
typed in an extremely small or absurd font. Doing these
challenges isn't worth my going blind. On a higher level,
it just makes your deck difficult to break down if I'm
stuck scratching my head over whether that's an "M" or 
an "N".

  10: BE CREATIVE. I'm not going to choose anything so
horrendously narrow that
not a soul on this planet except for Harvard professors will know what the heck
I'm asking for. You will not see a theme based upon 19th Century Swiss
architects. Maybe German ones, but not Swiss. No, really. The topics will be
broad, so go to town.

  11: DON'T ASK ME TO FIX IT. That's not why I'm doing this. These challenges
are just for fun. I'll give you ideas or pointers, but you're not getting a new
deck out of the deal. I haven't got that much time. Any submission requesting
this will instantly become a matter of importance only to historians, if you
get my drift.


    That pretty much concludes the Rules portion. Most of it is common sense,
and I know that some of are lacking in this department, but try anyhow.
     Any submission that obviously ignores even one of these rules will not be
posted and I'll have a good time laughing evilly as I convert your submission
into a virtual  wad before shooting it into the recycling bin. I'm not a mean
person, but I'm a stickler for the rules.

   If at any time you forget the rules, just refer back here
and you'll find them in good old Black & White to help
you out. I'll be keeping them up at all times.

     Good Luck with the theme challenges everyone and
remember to have fun while you do them. That's the real

                          Dr. Crash Landon