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What Are My Favorites?

Well, here I was today thinking about what I should write about for your entertainment this week.  I thought about doing a little bit about the newest set, Champions of Kamigawa, but to be honest, that didn't excite me.  Don't take that the wrong way.  I think the new set is great, but right now, everyone is going to be talking about it.

I wanted to do something different, that could still be an interesting read for you guys.  So I figured I would review some old e-mails from readers and see what some of the most requested things were and go from there.  Well, after reading a couple (and talking with fellow Pojo writers), I realized that many of you are curious as to what our favorite deck types and such are.  So, that looked like a great opening for an article.

First of all, I want to put a stop to some of the e-mails.  I mean, seriously, I like fan mail as much, if not more, than the next writer.  However, it's pretty silly, when you practically have a form letter set up for responses.  Most of us writers play a large variety of decks and deck types. With all of the articles you see us write about the metagame and whatnot, you should understand that we follow a lot of that same information ourselves.  That being the case, we often end up playing many different decks.  

But, there are many times that I will learn one deck, and make adjustments, and play the same deck for a long period of time.  It helps develop consistency.  Truth be told, it often leads to me winning some matches that I should lose, because I simply know the matchup and/or deck better than my opponent.  

Despite the fact that we don't have favorite decks, we do have favorite cards.  Now, it would have been neat to find out the entire staffs favorite cards, it would have been an insane job gathering up all of that information.  So, I figured the best I could do is give you my favorite picks with the reasons why I like them.  And as added incentive, I will even let you know which cards I like the least.

So let's get to it:

Favorite White Card:


I know this one may surprise some people, but for the longest time, Disenchant was the strongest card int he game.  Back in the day, many f the best cards were artifacts or enchantment; Black Lotus, Moxes, The Abyss, Nether Void, etc.  Disenchant was able to deal with all of them.  I think I found a way to splash this card into a deck with every chance I got.  Even now the card is still strong, it is just no longer Standard legal and has since been replaced by Naturalize.

Least Favorite White Card:


This card is such a misnomer.  This card is completely UN-balanced.  It simply ruled games.  Even now, this card is still a highly played card in Vintage (Type 1).  The ability of this card to swing games is ridiculous.  It's definitely not fun playing this card.  Without some way to protect yourself (usually counterspells), this card could serious hinder your strategy when you opponent was holding it.

Favorite Blue Card:


This card is so fun.  It's a three casting cost 2/2 creature, which isn't that great.  However, the ability to bounce nearly any creature back to their opponent's hand is great.  Another thing people forget is that you can use this on your own creatures.  This let's you reset any cards that have fading counters, or anything with a useful "comes into play" ability.  This was another card that got splashed into decks more often than it needed to be.

Least Favorite Blue Card:


There are several blue cards that are really strong.  Admittedly, most of them are older cards, but the truth it that blue had some unfair cards back in the day.  Outside of the artifacts, blue has some of the most expensive Vintage cards.  Now, I'm not saying that Counterspell is all that expensive, but it sure is powerful.  It outright stops a spell for just two mana.  There are no tricks, no limitations, it just stops it.  If you look at every other card in the game that stops something, they all cost more or have some kind of catch.

Favorite Black Card:


It's the original creature killer.  It's cheap to cast.  It's an instant.  Unfortunately, it doesn't work on black and artifact creatures.  That's OK though.  I'm glad that it's still useful to this day.  What's even funnier is that Wizards of the Coast are releasing a special art version of this soon as part of the player rewards program.  

Least Favorite Black Card:


My reasons for disliking this card are kind of funny so hang in there for a second while I explain.  When Ice Age first released, I was waiting in my local shop (which was predominantly a comic store as most wear at the time) to trade these from my friends as they opened them.  I truly had no good understanding as to the true power of the card, but I was determined to build a deck around it.  Well, I put together a deck that was OK, so I kept making changes from day to day and was slowly developing an insane deck.  So, we decide to travel down south, to play in a tournament, and as luck would have it five of the top eight players had Necropotence int heir deck.  Here I was thinking I was original and was onto something and everyone else already had it.  Well, I ended p getting third and from that day forward I vowed to never play Necropotence in a deck again and I never have.  As a matter of fact, I immediately started working on a Green/Red deck with Whirling Dervish and some burn and I was able to handle Necropotence decks pretty well.

Favorite Red Card:

Grim Lavamancer

Here I am mentioning these older cards, and then a card like this makes one of my lists.  I love this card for soooo many reasons.  It's cheap to cast.  It's keeps dealing damage.  It targets creatures AND can target players.  You don't mind drawing this card early in the game or late in the game.  Sad as it is, we started playing a 1.5 league around my shop and I totally forgot about his guy while I was building a White Weenie deck that is splashing red.  I was so ashamed.  If I play the deck from now on, it will have this guy in it though.

Least Favorite Red Card:

Mogg Squad

This thing just might be the absolute worst creature in the game.  This card represents everything in cards that people get upset about when they are made.  Damn, I'm not even sure if that last statement makes any sense. See, that's what this card does to me.  Seriously though, I can't stand this card.  It's useful in no good way.  Maybe there is some crazy combo with Enduring Renewal, but let's face it Ornithopters simply serve that purpose better.

Favorite Green Card:

Ravenous Baloth

Now, after bragging about Disenchant so highly earlier, it would make sense that Naturalize is my favorite green card.  And to be honest, it probably is.  But, I need to choose something different to keep you all from being bored.  So, my choice for this category is Ravenous Baloth.  It's not often that green cards show up and make gargantuan impacts on tournament scenes.  Right out of the gate, this card was getting played in both Standard and Extended.  It's got great art.  It's a strong card.  It can be used in combination with a lot of other cards.  A solid all around creature.

Least Favorite Green Cards:


This card needed to be banned from day one.  I will say though, I am definitely glad that I got to play it when I did.  I think I have a stretch in my DCI match history that is something silly like 44-2-3 or some such from when I was able to play this card.  It is simply there for decks to dumb combo tricks and gained mana advantage that's simply unfair.  If it couldn't be used more than once or twice in a turn, it would be OK...maaaaaybe.  Crazy.  Simply, crazy.  It's such an insane ability.

Favorite Artifact:

Straw Golem

Yeah, a lot of people just read that name and scratched their heads.  This card was not very good for main deck really.  But, when it came time to sideboard, this card could be a monster.  When your opponent was playing a deck with very few creatures, this card was just crazy out of the board.  Back in the day with Dark Ritual, it gave it the option to get stronger guys out early.  It was great for forcing the early Wrath of God out of your opponent and could help you reach a point of dictating the game early.

Least Favorite Artifact:


Yep, it sure is strong.  Honestly, it's too strong.  It's too easy to use this in an infinite loop.  The effect is just really crazy.  Honestly, the idea of letting a player operate another players turn shouldn't even BE in a CARD game, much less Magic.  This is personal opinion of course, but the all around design of this card is bothersome to me.

Favorite Land:


This was a balanced version of Strip Mine.  I love it.  Some decks already had problems dealing with land kill and Strip Mine would make some of those decks near unbeatable.  Wasteland was powerful, but a bit more limiting though.  It's still a strong card in older formats.  It's relatively inexpensive to acquire as well.  

Least Favorite Land:

Kjeldoran Outpost
Maze of Ith

Maze of Ith makes the list for being so poorly worded.  Most of you reading have no idea how many times the question, "Does this stop a Serra Angel from attacking?" was asked.  This card caused more headaches than it should have.  Kjeldoran Outpost makes the list for being simply unfair.  This card was a staple of control decks for far too long.  When it rotated out of Standard and then out of Extended I wasn't one bit upset to see it go.  I like strong cards as much as the next guy, however, when they are dominating a tournament scene and are everywhere, I'm ready for them to get the boot.

Well, there you have it.  I'm not sure if my list amazed you or surprised you.  I just hope it didn't bore you.  Hopefully you learned something and had a good time.  If nothing else, maybe it was a minor history lesson on Magic cards that you were unfamiliar with.

I guess this it for now.

Until next time,

DeQuan Watson
a.k.a. PowrDragn
PowrDragn at Pojo dot com







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