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The Dragon's Den
Igloo - a Rogue Extended Deck

By DeQuan Watson - 11.23.05

Well, extended season is well underway. We have a large variety of different decks making their appearance this time around. This just leads us all to the same opinion that Wizards of the Coast is doing a great job of monitoring the format and staying on top of things.

As with all formats though, the average player is going to play something that he already knows well. The average player is also likely to play a deck that popular. It's not really to be part of the 'in' crowd though. It's more about general knowledge.

When a deck is popular, many people talk about it. You can cruise the internet and find information about a popular deck on a ton of different sites. Professional players will even break down the deck and its various matchups. This can save a player tons of time in figuring out various sideboard situations. A player also won't have to worry about which things to look out for. Your testing time is now a quarter of what it once was.

That's all fine and good, but at the same time, it opens up the possibility that your opponent has that same information available. This means that he also knows how to beat the popular deck. This means that there are no secrets for the pilot of the popular deck in question. This is honestly a two way street and can create a lot of interesting situations.

In some cases, this helps a player's sideboard choices along. There are often times you will see a game decided by an interesting card brought in from the sideboard. What if the deck is THAT popular' Sometimes, a deck gets so popular that it makes up 20% of the metagame field or more. In those situations, players have been known to put cards that hurt those metagame decks in their main deck. This may seem slightly risky at first, but if you are expecting to face a particular matchup three times in one day, that gives you an edge in a third of your matches. And that's not a bad thing in any way.

So, what's all this mean? Well, sometimes players try too hard to make a new rogue deck to bust the format wide open. And many times, it doesn't even happen. Sometimes, rogue choices can come from anywhere. Just this past weekend Olivier Ruel won a Grand Prix with a Solitary Confinement deck. It's a deck that players knew about, but no one was acknowledging. He managed to take it and turn it into a winning strategy and come out on top. So, it can be done. Sometimes, you might just need to look at things you already know and go from there. Many times, the need to go out on a limb isn't as 'needed' as it seems.

I come to you with a rogue deck choice today. Honestly, I've only done a little bit of testing with it thus far. I've spent a bit of time playing this build against a couple of different Psychatog variations and monoblack control and have some decent results. Also, be aware that this is an extended deck that's largely a metagame choice. If your field has a lot of 'Tog, Monoblack, and possibly even Desire, this deck could be a decent choice for you. Let's get to the deck list.


2 Auriok Champion
4 Hand of Honor
2 Isamaru, Hound of Khonda
4 Leonin Skyhunter
4 Meddling Mage
4 Soul Warden
4 White Knight

4 Chrome Mox
3 Glorious Anthem
4 Mana Leak
4 Stifle
4 Suppression Field

4 Adarkar Wastes
2 City of Brass
4 Island
8 Plains

4 Disenchant
2 Gilded Light
2 Kami of Ancient Law
3 Morning Tide
4 Silver Knight

This deck seems painfully simple. In many ways, it is. Personally, I think it can be changed a bit to include a couple of Bonesplitter, but bend to your tastes. So why are the card choices what they are?

Well, as it turns out, having life gain is actually decent against 'Tog. When you are constantly going at them, they have to keep burning cards to take out our guys on the block. This leaves them with less cards to try and finish you with. At first it seemed a bit odd, but as things went along, it became more obvious that this is a small issue. The Auriok Champion and Soul Warden help with this strategy.

If you notice, the deck is sporting ten creatures with Protection from Black. This is really important. Psychatog is black. Monoblack control obviously has a lot of black. Smother is the creature kill spell of choice these days, and it too, is black. Even the Stinkweed Imp that many decks are playing is black. This makes it extremely difficult to deal with your creatures. You force them into have to play a Kagemaro or Boomerang to have a solid shot at beating you.

We also know that there are combo decks out there. ScepterChant is still being played. And we know that Mind's Desire is a pretty tough deck. Meddling Mage and Stifle can help you deal with these problems. You can stop them from playing a card your are worried about, or you can just as well stop the Storm trigger from the Mind' Desire. Also, stifle can be used against a lot of things. Early in a match you might even use a Stifle to stop your opponent from land searching.

Remember earlier, how we discussed certain cards sometimes being played in the main deck simply due to metagame awareness? Well, this is one of those times. Suppression Field in the main is huge. Psychatog can't activate with this on the table. Isochron Scepter can't activate. Lands can't sacrifice to search. Goblins can't sacrifice your damage, or mana, or power bonuses. Also, Wild Mongrels and Rootwallas can't activate.

This deck isn't a huge powerhouse of any kind. However, it does what it needs to do. It gives you a fair matchup with potential answers to everything. Be aware that the sideboard is rough and needs to be tailored up a bit. That's always going to be a work in progress.

But, here's a deck that gives you the option to be different ands till be competitive this extended season. There is a lot you can do with this. The best part is that it's not all that difficult to play.

Until next time,

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



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