The Dragon's Den

Name: 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 23 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.

    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 was also invited to the Event horizons Invitational last year.  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 goes away...if it ever does.


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3.21.02 - Regionals Already?

So here we are again. Let first apologize for my long absence from writing.  You guys may not have seen me, but I have been highly active in the Magic community still.  And of course I have been doing my daily job reviewing cards for Card of the Day.  

Let me get a few things out of the way.  I want to say thank you to all of the readers/fans of our website.  We are gradually getting more and more hits every day.  Also, the quality of your submissions has gone way up.  That helps make the site worth reading and we really appreciate that.

Also, I got some e-mail from people stating "rumors" that our store was broken in to.  Well, unfortunately, those rumors are true.  We did have a burglary.  We lost some money, but our little store should survive.  We're behind a couple of bills, but it shouldn't be anything that we can't handle.  However, if you're in the area, you're always welcome to come play.

The Writer's War is still going.  We are going to try and keep everyone up to date with links, so you can vote for your favorite Pojo writers.  Just be aware that right now John Hornberg is up in his second rounds.  I believe that my second round starts next week and Fletcher's should be the week after that.

There is a new site you guys should check out.  It's a new small site being run by Pro Tour regular, Andrew Johnson.  The site is called  It's a good new community site for the Magic community.  Many parts are still under construction, but it's entertaining and worth a look.

Another site, WWW.AGYPSY.COM  has made some improvements as well.  It would be appreciated if all of you readers that can sign up for the service.  It's a useful program, has a good database, and they are a sponsor.  Them getting paid helps us pay the bills around here.  Which leads me to?...

....The new premium program.  Is there anything wrong with that?  I don't think so.  If people don't use the sponsors on the site, then the site can't get paid.  The good writer's may want to get paid.  Honestly, I say they deserve the money.  Are there players out there that would write for free?  Most definitely.  Would the writing be the same quality and draw in as many readers?  Probably not.  I am not a huge reader of the stuff on  However, if I were, I would gladly pay the price for premium service.  I'm a firm believer in supporting the places you use.  I expect people to help my store out if they are going to game here, so why not do the same for a website?

Well, that felt good, I finally got all the community issues out of the way.

We now have to look at something almost everyone will be participating in....Regionals.  People have been holding out on Standard (Type 2 for you old schoolers) tech.  I can't say that I blame them.  I have a couple of decks that I've been working on and even at my store, I am keeping them to myself a bit.  I do break them out for occasional playtesting and for Friday Night Magic.  I do have to get some real testing in after all.  The real secret is that they are holding out, because the field is so wide open.  I think that anyone that serious takes the time to look can see how one or two different card choices or sideboard choices and shift the metagame.

Just go back and review the Type 2 scene from the past three months.  A few changes here and a few changes there and some cards and even decks become useless. However, on that same note, some cards/decks that were useless are now good again.

Well, I may not be able to tell you exactly what to play, but I can definitely go over a few key deck types and card choices to give you a bit of a head start.  Honestly knowing what decks to look for helps out a whole lot.  You always need somewhere to get started.


There basically only two versions of decks that fit this theme.  There are those that are creature heavy.  The creatures include Ichorid, Nantuko Shade, Faceless Butcher, Mesmeric Fiend, and Sengir Vampire.  Then there are those that are more control-ish.  These version play more creature kill spells and capitalize on big "x" spells for the finisher.  Stuff along the lines of Soul Burn and Corrupt.


Well, this one is pretty obvious.  The only time cards choices differ depends on what the creator decides the local metagame will be.  Some pack more burn and raw speed with the likes of Raging Kavu.  While many versions I have seen go for cheap early creature then later fatties with Kavu Titan and Skizzik.

You also have some of the Frog in a Blender variety.  It's just a matter of preference.  Red/Green obviously has some good cards to work with right now.


There appear to be quite a few decks that fall into this category.  The first one is the threshold deck.  It tries to utilize, Werebear, Nimble Mongoose, and Wild Mongrel to their fullest.

The next version is an Upheaval deck.  It is very potent with cheap creatures, like the mongoose, to drop after the upheaval.

With the inclusion of Torment there is one more type of deck and it's the madness deck.  This type takes full advantage of cards such as Arrogant Wurm and Basking Rootwalla.

The choice of counterspells is going to vary from deck to deck.  They will most likely all be playing Counterspell.  After that it can be Exclude, Syncopate, or even Circular Logic.  Just take note of what works better.


Well, there are a few different versions of counter burn.  They play a decent bit of cheap burn with Shock and Firebolt.  They also play both Fact or Fiction and Prophetic Bolt.  This usually means, you have to hurry, or they can rush through their deck and find an answer.  I think this is a viable deck that is overlooked due to its lack of win conditions.  Burn or no?


Well, this looks just like the above deck, but adds white for some key spells.  Usually these are Absorb and Lightning Angel.  I've seen a few that main deck Orim's Chant.  I don't think it's a great idea, but I guess that is a metagame call.  The most popular deck of this variety is Star Spangled Slaughter. However, this extra color can open sideboard options.  This isn't a bad choice either as you are given a few more options.


This verdict is still out here.  Is it better to play Divine Sacrament or Glorious Anthem.  Is it better to play Pianna, Nomad Captain or no?  Plus it also comes back to figuring out if you even want it to stay mono white.  The main weakness to this deck is finding ways to deal/recover from Pernicious Deed.  The enchantments are almost a must to win games against some decks.


These decks come in two varieties.  Psychatog and non-Psychatog.  The straight Blue/Black control seems to be inferior to the Psychatog variety, however.  The newest things for the Atog decks is to play Upheaval.  I haven't tried this out yet.  However, I can see how it would help some of their troubled matchups.  'Tog may not be the sure thing it was four weeks ago, but rest assured that it is not dead.


I haven't actually seen many of these around.  The only ones I have seen recently tried to capitalize on all the life gain that is available and hang in long enough to Millstone/Traumatize you out.  Not a bad strategy.  I'm just not sure that it is fast enough.  This is probably my least favorite choice in Type 2 right now.  In addition to that, it is probably the slowest deck you can play right now.


Many people think this deck is just no good.  Why they have those thoughts I have no idea.  It may not be the clear out and out winner, but it's still a contender.  With card choices like Terminate, Chainer's Edict, and Urza's Rage, it can still hang with the big boys.  There is a good review in a strategy section by Paul Hagan.  He does a complete rundown on this deck (including a decklist for you lazy bums out there).  I'm not gonna pick this deck to WIN Regionals.  I will say, to be prepared for it just in case though.

My personal recommendation would have to be to play creatures at Regionals.  This year is not a good year for control it seems.  Well, at least not traditional control.  The best method of winning right now is turning creatures sideways.  Unfortunately, I have only seen one decent combo deck.  Notice I said decent, not good :)  It's hard to find a good one in this environment really.  Also, when you do, it has to be able to get set up fast.

Don't get me wrong, the above list is by no means all of the contenders.  After all, I didn't go into the three and four color decks.  Those alone will open up other strategies.  Just consider this a small stepping on point for Regionals.  Just some ideas to look at.  Maybe it will help you get some ideas flowing.

I might spend some time writing up some good playtesting tips and sideboarding strategies next time around.  Both of these take some time and thought.  Also, both are VERY key to having a successful day at a long tournament like Regionals.

I will get to put some quality testing in this weekend.  Maybe, if things go well, I'll have a better view on the format.  I want to at least have my deck choice narrowed down to two solid deck within two weeks so I can spend the whole last week making changes and getting comfortable with the deck.

Until next time...

DeQuan Watson
a.k.a. PowrDragn

Copyright 2001


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