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The Twelve-Step Program for the Strategy Impaired
with Scott Gerhardt

With States Around the Corner...


We've got states looming in just a few short days.  Of course, you start to wonder two things - what are you going to play and what is everyone else going to play?  There are certainly a WHOLE bunch of options.  This is the whole point to States - the first new Type 2 tournament.  I'd like to spend a little time looking over some of the contenders and things that might help and hurt them.

Ravager Affinity - For the last 8 months, this has been the deck to beat.  It has dominated the environment.  So will it dominate States?  My answer - no.  At this point, players know how to play around it.  Additionally, we have a little beatstick known as Imi Statue.  Like Stabilizer was, this is a must card in any sideboard not running affinity.  Combo this with artifact removal for a handy solution. 

Goblins - These guys never seem to go away.  If there is Magic, there is a Goblin deck that is at least somewhat viable it seems.  Now we loose a lot of steam here.  No incinerator, no Bidding...lose everything from Onslaught.  Kamigawa goes give us some other ones, though.  Zo Zu, The Punisher should not be ignored.  An Ankh with legs might allow the goblin deck to go land kill and be viable.  Akki Avalanchers aren't fantastic early, but they can get the job done late.  Never count Goblins out, but I think they will have a much harder time being good on their own than they did before.  Also, if people are playing Night of Soul's Betrayal, it locks down this deck pretty bad (does a number on Affinity as well).

Tooth and Nail - It's been discussed that this deck best survived rotation, losing very, very few required components.  You still have tooth, you still have some ultra-large fatties, and you still have all the acceleration required.  Additionally, you now have legendary fatties - cards you can go search out and play instead of the tradtional, boring 2 Colossus.  If you need to off a board, Kuro, Pitlord is good.  You probably can't pay it's upkeep, but if you can give it haste, ALA Mass Hysteria, then it will certainly be effective.  Another card that should NOT be overlooked it Through the Breach.  It's a Sneak Attack to get a fattie in for a swing early, or in response to an attack.  Drop your Kuro after they swing and see them cry. :)  It kinda morphs the deck a little, but don't you have to morph a little to stay on the edge?

White Weenie - I can't lie - I like writing this here.  This deck is quite viable, even with the loss of Knights and Whipcorder.  Auriok Champion is a really nice card here, but with fast cards like Isamura, Hound of Konda almost insuring a good 1 drop, Sensei Golden Tail, Eight-And-A-Half Tails, and Samurai of the Pale Curtain all being amazing 2 drops, with the curve continuing from there, there is no doubt that some people will try to overrun their opponent with some mad speed here.

Green/White Control - I wouldn't have written the article if I didn't think the deck was good    Read the article for more info on this deck, but I think people that play it will like the results.

Blue Control - This is The Unspeakable deck.  People have realized that all the combo components are good, so this deck can't be bad.  You have to look out for Bojesu, Who Shelters All, but you can run your own to deal with them and legend rule them out.  Survive to The Unspeakable, then counter anything they throw at you.  All the components are there to make this viable - will it show up?

Black Control - The last deck I will mention today may be the most potent.  With plenty of ways to kill creatures and gain life, this deck has little-to-no problem finding it's way into the late game.  Cranial Extraction can deal with ANY threat posed to it but simply naming it.  Kokusho, the Evening Star is an ultra-effective kill mechanism that can deal with an opponent if they kill it or not.  Look for some HEAVY prominence of this deck.

Well, that's my states recap.  The sever decks above I expect to see rule states...then again, maybe not.  Maybe it will be Kiki-Jiki / Intruder Alarm.  Maybe someone will find a G/B Rock variant.  Maybe it will be something that no one is thinking about.  Any way, it's gonna be fun to watch.

For those needing cards for States, www.ShuffleAndCut.com is your best source.  We have everything you need for States and offer rush shipping as fast as overnight, so go buy from the guys you trust to get it there fast and cheap!

Until next time, keep playing!



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