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If I can be serious for a moment...

First of all, to answer some questions as to where I've been and what I've been doing...takin' care of bidness.  I want to prepare you guys from a small rant here, so brace yourselves.

I hate to linger on the whole terrorist explosion and all that, but this is indirectly related to it.  A couple of weeks back, the owner of Neutral Ground New York, but out and offer, a plea of sorts to the Magic community to pre-order boxes from him.  I noticed a few people taking shots at him for it.  I was also given the feeling that several people thought this was a terrible thing to do.  I want to make sure I that my readers know where I stand on issues like that...

... I applaud what he did.

Don't take this the wrong way, but it does take a special type of person to do what he did.  He laid his feelings and his business on the table and took a chance at being ridiculed.  He was putting faith in his friends and the community and his reputation to help him through the bad times.

I'll be honest here.  He wasn't the only place hurt by these attacks.  My store also had a set of slow weeks because of this stupid situation.  We were hurting...we are doing OK now, but we are still trying to make up some of the slack from those bad weeks.  I was half tempted to come on here and post a plea of similar feeling to you guys.  I figured I would just tough it out.  After seeing that post on Neutral Ground though, I honestly felt for him.  Players don't understand how hard it is to truly run a store.  And by run it, I mean run it well....host tournaments, keep it clean, have decent sales, make the customers happy, etc.  If it was as easy as the average person thinks it is, then why doesn't everyone have a store?  Why are so many stores closing down?

We don't make a ton of money.  We aren't getting rich quick.

Bottom line: Support your local game store or the game stores that you can, when you can.  My store included :)

But, on a lighter note, for those of you that are going to be in the area, we have a CASH MAGIC EVENT coming up this weekend!  Come play and win some quick cash!


DATE: Saturday, October 13th 2001
TIME: 12:00PM (NOON!)
FORMAT:            Current Standard (Type 2)
LOCATION:         The Game Closet
                        5201 Sanger Ave, Suite #K
                        Waco, TX 76710

PRIZES: 80% ($16) of all the entry fee will go toward the prize pool.  Cash to the Top 4, prizes through 8th.  If we get more than 30 entries, cash goes to the Top 8 and prizes through 16th.      

Try to be here a little early to register your deck.  We try to start as close to on time as possible.

We will have side events all day.  Type 1, Extended, Sealed Deck, Booster Draft, type 2, Post Odyssey T2, and even Team Sealed!


We are doing this event to bring more people into the store and to give back to folks, because we are entering our 3RD year!  So why not making fun for everyone and give some money back to the community :)

Wow, that was a lot to go through and I'm just getting to what I wanted to talk about.  I wanted to give my take on Odyssey now that I've had a chance to play with it a little bit.

FLASHBACK - This is a great ability.  However, it's not for all decks.  Some decks I've tested just can't afford to have anything with flashback higher than 3-4 casting cost.  I think a good deck that can go the distance with flashback spells can turn out to be a headache for counter mages.

THRESHOLD - Excellently balanced ability!  When I first heard about it, I thought, "Great...how hard it is for someone to get stuff into their graveyard. Everyone is going to reach threshold all the time."  Sometimes, it doesn't happen.  Even with weeny decks and stuff dying.  Sometimes it just doesn't happen.  It's still a useful ability nonetheless.

These are both abilities that lend themselves to the more experienced player.  I think the players that are paying more attention to what is happening on the board and are more aware of the state of the game will win more often than not because of these abilities.  I have already seen games I would have won had I not been reminding some of my opponents what cards do.

I also think now is going to be the time for creative deckbuilders.  So many people have come into my store and said, "There aren't that many good rares."  Yet after watching more and more people playing with the cards they come up asking, "Hey, do you guys have (insert Odyssey rare here)?"

The set has a lot of cards that are becoming more and more useful as they are starting to see more play.  I have had both employees and customers come up to me and pitch ideas for different card uses.  Many of them have been things that I haven't even considered.  All of this is only in standard.  I have already seen a few combos in Extended, (as I am sure that many of you have).  This set has a lot of potential.  

Now, let's be honest for a second.  The set doesn't have the power level of Invasion block.  I'm think we should be fine with this.  How nuts would it have been to have SIX insane sets in the environment at one time.  Just to refresh people's memories, we had this situation once.  Remember when Urza's Saga came out and we were still playing with Rath cycle cards?  Those were some insane decks.  Both insane speed and insane power.

I think the power level of Odyssey lies somewhere below Invasion and somewhere above Mercadian Masques.  Also, Masques was a set that was overlooked.  However, when you think about it, in the end there were a ton of Masque cards that got played.  Some of you are saying, "Yeah Right!"  But seriously think about the list of cards that got used form Masque block:

Nether Spirit, Unmask, Misdirection, Chimeric Idol, Blastoderm, Saproling Burst, Squee, Dust Bowl, Rishadan Port, Lin Sivvi, Rising Waters, Thrashing Wumpus, Blinding Angel, etc.... And people said there were hardly any good rares in these sets ;)

Seriously.  I think you have to just give the set time.  Let it develop.  Get with people and playtest.  Try out a lot of different theories.  Now is the time for creative deckbuilding.  Many of the deck ideas that I have seen that are similar are even using different cards.  There are a ton of options.  Don't let creativity go to waste.  At the very least, at least give your Odyssey cards a second look before you rush to trade them.  There is likely a reason that the person you are trading it to wants it.  There are definitely some sleepers.  Also, don't forget that we are only on the first set of the block.  If anything, Invasion block should have taught us a lesson about believing the best cards have to come in the beginning of the block.

There is potential for weenie decks, control decks, and as much as people will hate to hear me say it...combo decks!  I don't think these combo decks are going to be as insane as those we got accustomed to seeing though.  Thank goodness.  There will be decks and cards to fit every style.  Also, look beyond the cards...several of the new cards work well with some of the cards from Invasion block, both individually and as decks).

I'm putting a decent amount of time into playing with Odyssey, so expect to hear more about this out of me in the future.  

Don't forget to come to our cash event next Saturday! We'd appreciate your business and we are definitely going to run it well and make it fun for the players :)

Until next time,

DeQuan Watson
a.k.a. PowrDragn

The Game Closet



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.


Copyright 2001 Pojo.com


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