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Pojo's Book Reviews



02.01.02  - Instead of the normal deck fix, I thought I'd post my 6-0-1 deck that I got this past weekend at the Torment prerelease.  Even thought the spoiler was out for a while I really learned quite a few things about the set by actually playing.  I was VERY fortunate to get a bunch of removal as well as a few solid rares.  Winning is always more fun than losing, I had a great time to say the least!  

What I'll do is post all the cards that were passed to me first... that way if you want you can use this list to see how YOU would have built the deck.  (and if you don't care then just skip down to my comments on the prerelease below)  I'll warn you it wasn't easy because EVERY color had some very tempting choices.  I was very happy with my final build... but I'm not sure if it was quite perfect.  Anyway... here's all the cards!  

Twig Walker
Nimble Mongoose
Roar of the Wurn
Rites of Spring
Moment's Peace
Leaf Dancer
Elephant Ambush
Seton's Desire
Primal Frenzy

Possessed Centaur
Anurid Scavenger
2x Krosan Constrictor
Acorn Harvest
Nantuko Calmer

Steam Vines
Pardic Swordsmith
Reckless Charge
Acceptable Losses
Pardic Firecat

Grim Lavamancer
Violent Eruption
3x Sonic Seizure
Barbarian Outcast
Fiery Temper
Crackling Club
Kamahl's Sledge

Last Rites
Cabal Inquisitor
Overeager Apprentice
Ghastly Demise
Whispering Shade
Patriarch's Desire
Fledgling Imp
Morgue Theft

Boneshard Slasher
Sickening Dreams
Rancid Earth
Cabal Ritual
Putrid Imp
Restless Dreams
2x Faceless Butcher
Carion Rats
Soul Scourge
Waste Away

Graceful Antelope
Aven Archer
Testament of Faith
Dedicated Martyr
Aven Flock
Angelic Wall
Pilgrim of Justice
Hallowed Healer

Aven Trooper
Frantic Purification
Stern Judge
Floating Shield
Pay No Heed
Mystic Familiar
Strength of Isolation

Aura Graft
Rites of Refusal
Aboshan's Desire
Cephalid Scout

Coral Net  
Cephalid Aristocrat
Cephalid Snitch
Churning Eddy

Patchwork Gnomes

Abandoned Outpost
Bog Wreckage
Nomad Stadium
(unlimited Landswap)

I dang near cried when I realized I wasn't gonna be able to support the big 'ol nasty Amugaba!  =(  

White didn't impress me greatly either... my shinny Graceful Antelope was cool looking but the double white requirement really turned me off.  White did have a bit more to offer than blue with several fliers... most of them were mediocre and expensive at best though.

Green was the color that I had a hard time deciding on.  While nothing abusable, green provides what it always does... warm solid bodies.  Spells like Elephant Ambush, Leaf Dancer and Possessed Centaur are all definite threats if left unchecked... however the double green in all of them made it tough for me to splash with the other two colors I KNEW I would have to play... Red and Black.  

Having said that... here's the decklist I played (and kicked major bootay with)

Carrion Rats  
Grim Lavamancer
Barbarian Outcast
Boneshard Slasher
Fledgling Imp
Hollowed Healer
Patchwork Gnomes
2x Faceless Butcher
Whispering Shade
Pardic Firecat
Soul Scourge

3x Sonic Seizure
Ghastly Demise
Morgue Theft
Fiery Temper
Patriach's Desire
Violent Eruption
Waste Away

1 Abandoned Outpost
1 Plains
1 Bog Wreckage
7 Swamps
7 Mountains

Busty removal, lackluster creatures... I'll take it anytime.  There is no way to overstate how powerful quality removal is in Sealed play.  

The actual build itself was nothing fancy, just the standard 14 creature, 9 Spell, 17 Land setup.  The amount of playable cards just in Red and Black alone made it even more of a safe build as a 2 color deck means not having to worry nearly as much about mana-screw!  

So why the Hallowed Healer?  Well, for a couple reasons really.

a)  Suprisingly, this was a pure control deck.  All the removal meant this deck was gonna deal with nearly anything offensive the opponents could throw at me... very much like a good counterspell deck in constructed.  Playing the deck this way I realized the ability to further slow down anything the opponent can muster up with the Healer would be very valuable.  Healer more than once saved me from being "burnt out" by opponents direct damage... Torment has a ton of playable burn. (My decklist can attest to that!)  Healer also protected my creatures which was a good thing as they weren't spectacular by any means.  Also in a pinch I actually ATTACKED with the friggin' card... my friend Dave can vouch for me!

b)  I REALLY needed the three drop.  This is also why I played with the goofy Gnomes as well.  One thing I've noticed is that there is a severe lack of quality 3cc spells in Odyssey Block so far.  While building my limited decks I always separate all my spells into three piles, the 0-2cc pile, the 3cc pile, and 4cc and up.  Without going into deep analysis... lets just say I think it is very important to have each one of these three piles evenly allocated.  If any one of the three piles are bloated or lacking you're in for trouble... having mainly 4 and 5 casting cost spells in your deck can be extremely bad as you can easily be ran over by an opposing weenie.  On the flip side... hardly any high cc spells will mean your mid-late game more than likely will suck!

As far as actually playing of games... I won't bore you with a round by round breakdown of all the opponents I played.  I was very impressed with the two new mechanics of Torment however... Madness and Nightmare!

I see Nightmare as R&D's way of printing everyone's favorite 187 effects without having to worry about them being abused by bounce... however they can still be sassy with graveyard recursion!  My deck had 5 total Nightmare creatures.  The two Faceless Butchers really were a big part to my decks success.  The ability to clear an annoying blocker out of the way so you can continue attacking AND at the same time put another attacker on the board for next turn was nuts.  Butcher can even take out Black creatures which is super important with the HEAVY focus on black in Torment.  Soul Scourge is another common Nightmare that is a 3 offense flier that bolts the opponent for cripes sake!!  Petradon, while expensive, was the decks trump card.  I took out THREE Squirrel Nest's during the day!!  Nothing like having main deck enchantment removal in a Red/Black deck!  =)  A 5/6 Firebreather ends games in a hurry I hear.

While I only had 2 madness spells main deck (Fiery Temper and Violent Eruption) they both kicked butt.  Regardless of the madness, Instantaneous burn to either a creature(s) or player is outstanding in Limited.  Having said that... cards like Sonic Seizure, Waste Away and Patchwork Gnomes really combined well with madness.  

The cool thing about the madness mechanic is that the spells can be cast at instant speed when normally they couldn't be!  The most memorable play of the tournament for me was because of this ability.  In the 5th round of the tournament I was playing a 1800+ Limited player who was playing a heavy Black deck.  It was the third game, and I had sideboarded in Strength of Isolation (a madness enchantment that gives +1/+2 and Pro Black to target creature).

As always I had control of the game and was attacking slowly with my Faceless Butcher (that had removed his Teroh's Faithful from the game).  However at the end of my turn he used Insidious Dreams to tudor to 2 cards at the end of my turn.  During his turn he drew and attempted to Morbid Hunger my Faceless Butcher... which would have put him directly back into the game as he would've gained a total of 7 life from the play.  Unfortunately for him the two spells in my hand were Sonic Seizure and Strength of Isolation.  For the bargain cost of  one Red and one White mana I was able to "bolt" his other creature and enchant my Faceless Butcher with Strength of Isolation.  Not only did this allow my to save my Butcher, it fizzled the Morbid Hunger and he gained 0 life instead of 7 and I went on to win the match the next turn!  (what creature did I "bolt" of his?  A Mesmeric Fiend that he had used early to temporarily steal my Fiery Temper!  Talk about a sweet play!!)

Lastly, I thought everyone I spoke with enjoyed playing the new Torment set.  MANY of the commons and uncommons are playable/well costed and are good for limited play.  Even better in my opinion is the apparent lack of Insane Bomb Rares in the Torment set.  I remember back at the Odyssey prerelease many people were annoyed by being cheesed by all the Bombs like Cabal Patriarch, Ashen Firebeast, Vampiric Dragon, Iridescent Angel and Shower of Coals.  OK, so Shower isn't rare but damn it's GOOD in limited.  Regardless... Chainer is really the only BOMB rare I can see in Torment.

Poo on a stick was this long winded!  Sorry if I blathered a bit too much... hopefully you guys got something out of it.  My point overall is I really liked my first testing of Torment and hope this is a good sign for Odyssey block overall!

Hope this helps... have fun!



Copyright 2001 Pojo.com


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