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The Dragon's Den
Jack - A Different Extended Deck
By DeQuan Watson - 2.10.05

There are a ton of changes happening by the day in the world of extended.  Wizards of the Coast is even listing out the decks for each qualifier around the world.  They are posting them up at www.magicthegathering.com.  

It now looks as though anything has a serious shot of winning.  But there are a lot of decks running around that have a very strong control feel or element to them.  But we need something a little more fun.  We need something with creatures.  We need something that has answers to a lot of stuff.  So, is there something out there like that?  Honestly, I don't know.  But I can show you what my lab put together this week.  It's definitely fun.  I will tell you though; this deck does require quite a few rares.  Here's the list:

Jack (as in jack of all trades)
Extended Deck

4 Birds of Paradise
3 River Boa
3 Spiritmonger
2 Shadowmage Infiltrator
3 Wall of Blossoms
3 Meddling Mage
2 Eternal Witness
3 Tradewind Rider

2 Vampire Tutor
2 Naturalize
3 Mana Leak
2 Armageddon
3 Diabolic Edict
3 Stifle
3 Duress
1 Brushland
7 Forest
2 Island
1 Llanowar Wastes
1 Plains
1 Polluted Delta
3 Swamp
1 Underground River
2 Windswept Heath
1 Yavimaya Coast

1 Duress
1 Naturalize
2 Viridian Shaman
1 Mana Leak
2 Annul
3 Reprisal
3 Propaganda
2 Engineered Plague

OK, don't turn your head immediately.  I know it looks like a large pile of jumbled mess.  I suggest just playing it a bit and giving it a chance.  I however, the first thing I would change is the mana base.  The choice of lands you wish to use will be based on the cards you play obviously.  This also includes the sideboard.  Because you are playing four colors (all but red), you can play almost anything you want in the board.

The deck has a lot of simple tricks in it.  Obviously, the bulk of the spells are cheap to cast.  This allows you to get away with playing a minimal amount of lands.  Also, it makes Armageddon less threatening to you and more devastating for your opponent.  Personally, I would like to add two lands and three Mox Diamond at some point.  Tradewind Rider is great later in the game with Wall of Blossoms and Eternal Witness.  The card advantage you can achieve from reusing these cards is amazing.  Shadowmage Infiltrator is another creature that many people forget about.  This guy is all about developing huge card advantage while dealing damage the whole way.

There are enough creatures, that you can be a little bit lazy.  Yeah, I know, you shouldn't ever play lazy.  But as a competitive extended deck, this is reasonably easy to play.  Meddling Mage is a good filler in the deck as well.  It's easy to get into play and it can stop anything you find scary outright.  I also like Stifle.  This is a powerful card.  With all the different Scepter Chant decks around (that utilize Orim's Chant), this can be good in getting that extra turn or two of stability.  Also, the Stifle can be critical in slowly down the blue/green madness decks a bit.  

The sideboard is a bit of a different story.  
Being unsure of what to go with, I filled in a lot of slots that the deck squeezed out.  Cards like Duress, Mana Leak, and Naturalize, which are better in some matches than in other let you fill out some sets.  Cards like Propaganda are always fun.  Combined with Armageddon and Tradewind Rider, this is a big issue.  Engineered Plague helps out in matchups against Aluren and creature themed decks like Goblins.  This can slow them down enough for you to take control if things go right.  And finally, you needed something to address Reanimator.  Reprisal seems to be a decent answer.  Since Reanimator generally uses multiple spells or effects to get their big monster into play, you can take advantage of the situation be shoving them back into the graveyard.  

This gives you all of the versatility that you could want.  Obviously it could be a bit difficult at times to get things to go your way with such a large mix of cards, so choosing your mana correctly is critical.  But be careful with your play choices.  Everything in the deck can do some neat things with other cards in the deck.  As you play it, you will discover a lot of tricks.  

Just take the time to learn the deck.  And add or replace cards as you see fit for your metagame.  The current card mix is kind of all over the page to give you a shot at everything.  Don't get discouraged if it doesn't work.  This is one of the few decks that can play a lot of answer.  It's also fun, because your opponent won't know what all you've got packed away.

Until next time,

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


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