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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 25 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.  Of course, owning a store means I have knowledge of a lot of games and not just Magic.  I also find out my fair share of insider information on the industry.  But having other resources to pull from makes for more informative writings.

    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 have also been invited to the Event horizons Invitational.  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 fades away...if it ever does.


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The Dragon's Den
Gotta Love a New Format

By DeQuan Watson - March 1, 2006 

I'm not sure how many of you love a new format.  I know that I sure do.  There's usually a revival of an old deck type or two.  You get to see a couple of new decks.  And some old decks finally get some convenient answers to them.
We held an event this past weekend and the results were very interesting.  We had a top 8 where all the colors got represented.  We had a variety of control decks and aggressive decks.  There were even some right in the middle. 
More than anything, I think that diversity is important to a format.  That's what keeps it interesting and makes testing and playing fun.  When there is a large variety of things to be played, it keeps the format from going stale.  It also makes it less frustrating, because you have other options that you can turn to.  If you find a tough matchup or something you don't like dealing with, you can come back at it with a different deck.  Sometimes, you may want to change decks just to be different.  But you still want it to be competitive.  The current environment should allow you to do that.
I know that most of you reading this are probably more interested in the decks below than what I have to say.  So, we'll get right to those.  I will have a few comments below each deck.
Jim Shuman (1st)
Ghazi-Glare Homebrew  
2 Birds of Paradise
2 Seedborn Muse
4 Loxodon Hierarch
2 Stampeding Serow
4 Carven Caryatid
4 Llanowar Elves
3 Selensya Guildmage
3 Wood Eleves
1 Hokori, Dust Drinker
1 Yosei, the Morning Star
2 Arashi, the Sky Asunder
3 Glare of Subdual
2 Priviledged Position
3 Umezawa's Jitte
2 Naturalize
6 Forest
3 Plains
2 Brushland
4 Vitu-Ghazi, the City-Tree
4 Temple Garden
3 Selesnya Sanctuary
1 Okina, Temple to the Grandfathers
2 Pithing Needle
4 Reciprocate
3 Circle of Protection: Red
2 Yosei, the Morning Star
2 Ivory Mask
1 Scour
1 Seed Spark
The most interesting thing about this deck is the use of Stampeding Serow.  And honestly, it might even need to go up by one in this deck.  It can be used to get more land (Wood Elves), gain more life (Loxodon Hierarch), or even draw cards (Carven Caryatid).  So, overall all, this deck gets mad props for creativity on an old theme.

Chris Block (2nd)
BW Thing  
4 Mortify
4 Blind Hunter
3 Phyrexian Arena
3 Wrath of God
3 Devouring Light
3 Shrieking Grotesque
3 Ravenous Rats
3 Yosei, the Morning Star
2 Persecute
2 Kokusho, the Evening Star
2 Kagemaro, First to Suffer
2 Dark Banishing
1 Ghost Council of Orzhova
3 Orzhova Signet
4 Godless Shrine
1 Orzhova, the Church of Deals
1 Miren, the Moaning Well
2 Caves of Koilos
6 Swamp
8 Plains
2 Ivory Mask
3 Ghostway
3 Cranial Extraction
3 Kami of Ancient Law
4 Slay
There's not a lot to say about this deck.  This one is pretty much loaded up with the good cards in each of it's colors.  It only packs a few creatures, so if you play this deck, don't get careless.  If you are frivolous about the use of your critters, you could end up in trouble.  Other than that, this is a solid deck as well.

Chris Arthur (3rd/4th)
4 Burning-Tree Shaman
1 Char
4 Clacial Ray
1 Gruul Turf
1 Volcani Hammer
4 Scab-Clan Mauler
4 Stomping Ground
1 Wear Away
2 Umezawa's Jitte
4 Rumbling Slum
4 Lava Spike
3 Kird Ape
4 Kodama's Might
4 Frenzied Goblin
4 Dryad Sophisticate
3 Karplulsan Forest
6 Forest
6 Mountain
1 Blood Moon
2 Dosan the Falling Leaf
2 Pyroclasm
1 Defense Grid
2 Smash
1 Silklash Spider
1 Arashi, the Sky Asunder
2 Mana Clash
2 Splinter
1 Wear Away
I might switch Volcanic Hammer into another Char and turn the Frenzied Goblin into Wild Cantor.  It might also be worth finding room for a guildmage or two.  Other than that, this should look a lot like the stereotypical G/R deck that you'll find in your local FNM scene.

Matt Stassen (3rd/4th)
Ghazi Glare  
4 Temple Garden
4 Brushland
4 Vitu-Ghazi, the City-Tree
4 Selesnya Sanctuary
6 Forest
1 Okina, Temple to the Grandfathers
4 Selesnya Guildmage
3 Kodama of the North Tree
4 Loxodon Hierarch
2 Congregation at Dawn
3 Glare of Subdual
3 Seed Spark
4 Umezaw's Jitte
2 Arashi, the Sky Asunder
3 Yosei, the Morning Star
3 Llanowar Elves
4 Wood Elves
1 Birds of Paradise
1 Paladin en-Vec
3 Defense Grid
1 Kodama of the North Tree
1 Silklash Spider
1 Yosei, the Morning Star
3 Paladin en-Vec
3 Greater Good
2 Naturalize
1 Arashi, the Sky Asunder
Standard fare here.  nothing exciting, but it gets the job done.

Casey Gonzales (5th-8th)
2 Svogthos, the Restless Tomb
1 Vitu-Ghazi, the City Tree
1 Miren, the Moaning Well
1 Shizo, Death;s Storehouse
2 Temple Garden
2 Godless Shrine
4 Overgrown Tomb
1 Plains
4 Forest
3 Swamp
4 Phyrexian Arena
2 Loxodon Warhammer
2 Umezawa's Jitte
2 Selesnya Guildmage
2 Kodama of the North Tree
2 Loxodon Hierarch
3 Kokusho, the Evening Star
1 Kagmaro, First to Suffer
1 Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni
4 Hypnotic Specter
4 Birds of Paradise
2 Elves of Deep Shadow
2 Sakura-Tribe Elder
1 Wood Elves
3 Putrefy
1 Kodama's Reach
3 Mortify
2 Leyline of Lifeforce
2 Leyline of the Void
2 Eradicate
1 Kagemaro, First to Suffer
1 Pithing Needle
1 Life from the Loam
2 Shadow of Doubt
4 Cranial Extraction
I know that Casey worked on this deck for a long while.  At first glance, it appears to be all over the board.  But once you play it or see it in action, you get a quick idea of how focused and surprising it can be.  There's very little this deck CAN'T do.

Paul Hagan (5th-8th)
RW Weenie 
4 Char
2 Eight-and-a-Half Tails
4 Glorious Anthem
4 Hand of Honor
4 Isamaru, Hound of Konda
2 Kami of Ancient Law
3 Lantern Kami
4 Leonin Skyhunter
4 Lightning Helix
4 Savannah Lions
1 Suntail Hawk
4 Umezawa's Jitte
4 Battlefield Forge
1 Eiganjo Castle
9 Plains
4 Sacred Foundry
1 Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep
1 Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion
3 Blood Moon
3 Devouring Light
3 Empty-Shrine Kannushi
3 Ghostway
3 Terashi's Grasp
This deck did OK, but needs a few modifications.  Isamaru can be dropped down to 2 copies.  And 8.5 Tails can go the way of the dodo as well.  It's definitely a fun and interesting deck.  And it's good to see that white weenie still has legs.

Clifton Powell (5th-8th)
BU Legendary-Killer  
3 Loxodon Warhammer
4 Leyline of Sungularity
4 Hinder
3 Hunted Phantasm
4 Twincast
4 Hunted Horror
4 Dark Confidant
4 Hypnotic Specter
4 Hero's Demise
4 Last Gasp
11 Swamp
6 Island
4 Watery Grave
1 Minamo, School at Water's Edge
3 Mana Leak
1 Keiga, the Tide Star
1 Kokusho, the Evening Star
2 Pithing Needle
1 Kagemaro, First to Suffer
1 Meloku the Clouded Mirror
1 Ink-Eye's, Servant of the Oni
2 Nezumi Graverobber
3 Gifts Ungiven
This deck has some neat stuff built into it.  I would however, give up a couple of the creatures to add in a couple of Hideous Laughter.  Other than that, this is an interesting deck to play. It might be the weakest overall of the eight decks, but it is truly fun.

Donna Carroll (5th-8th)
4 Paladin en Vec
4 Hypnotic Specter
2 Ghost Council of Orzhova
2 Orzhova Guildmage
2 Courier Hawk
3 Leonin Skyhunter
3 Suntail Hawk
3 Lantern Kami
3 Will-'o-Wisp
4 Glorious Anthem
3 Devouring Light
3 Mortify
2 Umezawa's Jitte
3 Loxodon Warhammer
4 Godless Shrine
2 Caves of Koilos
2 Orzhov Basilica
7 Swamp
7 Plains
3 Supression Field
3 Terashi's Grasp
3 Sacred Ground
2 Promise of Bunrei
2 Hand of Honor
2 Hand of Cruelty
This deck surprised me a little bit.  It would appear that this deck wouldn't have the power to punch through when it needed it.  However, it did just that.  The quantities of a few cards need to be adjusted, but this is definitely a good start to a new idea
Well, there you have it.  It's a new dawn on a new format.  Put this information to use and get after it!
Until next time,
DeQuan Watson
a.k.a. PowrDragn
PowrDragn at Pojo dot com



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