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Creativity Is Back

It seems as though we are seeing a lot of creativity in the world of Magic these days. There are a number of factors that are contributing to this rush of creativity. First of all, the quality of cards available in all the different color right now is insane. I would even venture to say that overall, right now, there are more powerful cards in the game than ever before. I have been compiling some results locally to see how variable the format really is right now.

In our Friday Night Magic tournament last week (July 13th), we had 19 participants. The only decks that were similar, were two blue/white control decks and two fires decks. The final eight decks had two fires deck and the other 6 were all different.

The very next day, we held another Standard (Type 2) tournament. This tournament was slightly smaller. It had 16 participants. The field was again totally diverse with only two decks being similar. The final eight decks were ALL different.

How long has it been since there are a time when the top eight decks of any given tournament were all different? Better yet, how long has it been since they were all different and still all competitive? From what I can tell, it's been a long time. This latest rotation of cards has so many people breaking out cards for deckbuilding again. It is truly a great time to be a magic player.

Another thing to make mention of is the Peasant Magic tournament that Wizards is supporting for GenCon. I will be at GenCon, but I may not have time to catch the tournament. Anyway, this apparently has brought out the creative juices in a lot of people. I personally was always a fan of Red/Green decks when I started and that's probably what I would go with. My deck would look something like this:

4 Llanowar Elves 4 Kird Ape 4 Lightning Bolt 4 Giant Growth 4 Rogue Elephant 3 Invigorate

Actually, I'm not sure what else I would put in :) Id have to look over some of the older card. Regardless, I think it is a fun format. Maybe I can stop by the battle ground during the weekend and get a report to you guys.

Something else I find interesting is that there are several cards available that do similar effects. I think that's part of what is helping with the influx of creative decks. People are starting to build decks with cards that enjoy or feel comfortable with. This leads to a larger variety of cards being played in any given tournament. Some players you talk to are dead set on playing Seal of Cleansing. However, there are several other players that prefer disenchant. If you want to be even more strategic you could be playing Dismantling Blow if you are playing Blue/White. There's also Orim's Thunder if you are playing Red/White. Then again, it just depends on your preference.

The funny thing about all of this is that there are still people that believe that one is just outright better than the others. I think they are wrong. However, I think it is irrelevant even if they are right. When helping kids in the store build new decks, I try to find out what cards they already play with or enjoy playing. The main reason I do this is because I believe in what I call "card comfort."

Sometimes you understand some cards better than other. You might better understand the timing of its effects. It might fit better in your style of decks because of it's casting cost. Regardless, I believe you have to have a solid comfort level with a deck. I also think comfort level of the individual cards in the deck can be even more important than the comfort level for the deck as a whole. Granted this only really applies when the card sin question are key cards to winning with the deck. Sometimes when I can't decide what cards to top a deck off with, I just go to some of my favorite cards that I know are good. They make decent space fillers until I decide what else I need or want to replace. The more you like a card, the less you have to think to play it. The fewer judgment calls you leave yourself, the better. It can drastically help reduce your number of errors. Give that some though next time. Why play a "good" card, if its going to mess up your game play?

I wish I knew who to thank at Wizards for this whole swing in the environment. We are seeing everything from monocolor decks to domain decks. The variability is fun. It also increases tournament attendance. More players like showing up to play when all the decks are different. Also, you can build decks with a variety of cards and still be competitive right now. Many newer players see this as a good thing, because they don't have to own all the "good" cards to be competitive.

Funny thing is, I've had several people trying to get me to reveal what the metagame is. My honest answer has been that there is no set metagame. There probably won't be one for months. Right now, if a metagame ever starts to form, it's going to be torn apart by a few people that build a new creative deck to beat whatever is being played and then it starts all over again. That's another neat thing. Right now, there are decent answers to EVERY card and/or deck in the environment.

I need to apologize for the shortness here, but I will make up for it by bringing you some decklists here pretty quick. Maybe I will scrounge up some stuff from our Friday Night Magic event or our Saturday event this week. Regardless, stay tuned, as the site has a lot coming your way.

Until next time,

DeQuan Watson 
a.k.a. PowrDragn 

PS If anyone knows where I can get a copy of the GenCon tournament schedule, please e-mail me and let me know. I need to play in one or two Standard (Type 2) events and go 2-0 drop to ensure my invitation to New Orleans.




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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