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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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Old dog, New Tricks

By DeQuan Watson - March 22, 2006 

So, the format Standard format has gotten a bit of a shake-up recently.  It came in an interesting way this year.  We got a host of decks from the Pro Tour.  It appears that using the Standard format for a Pro Tour turned out to be a huge success.  Players were interested in the results.  It was a format that participants were eager to test for and play with.  It’s also a good way to step up the creative level for the format. 
Of course, even with all this information available, I can’t just put it to the side and let it lie.  Of course, I’ve got to try new decks.  I think everyone does though.  But, I’ve recently had people asking me about White Weenie again.  And honestly, I still come back to White Weenie/Red.  The reason is that WW just doesn’t have the finishing power that you need to get the job done.  Even with that in mind, the current builds of Red/White that I’ve seen floating around come up a bit short. 
What’s that all add up to?  Who the heck knows.  I do know though, that I got a wild hair and wanted to build a better ww/r deck.  I like having a format that’s wide open and the current Standard format allows that.  So why not give ww/r a shot?  It’s far from unviable. 
Here’s the build I want to go with:
Fire Wire
2 Isamaru, Hound of Konda
4 Lantern Kami
3 Samurai of the Pale Curtain
3 Skyknight Legionnaire
4 Leonin Skyhunter
3 Hand of Honor
3 Paladin en-Vec
3 Glorious Anthem
3 Umezawa’s Jitte
4 Shock
3 Char
4 Lightning Helix
1 Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion
4 Sacred Foundry
4 Battlefield Forge
4 Mountain
9 Plains
4 Reciprocate
3 Terashi’s Grasp
3 Blood Moon
2 Ghostway
3 Kami of Ancient Law
We can start at the top and work our way down for explanations on card choices.  For starters, I know a lot of people like having three or four copies of Isamaru.  I’m highly against this.  I don’t like have that many copies of a legendary creature in an aggressive or rush deck.  Too often, they can kill your other creature that may be on the table with Isamaru, and then leave you unable to play another creature because the one in your hand is an Isamaru as well.  I can’t stand that happening.  However, the card is still too good to be without.   
For the longest time, Samurai of the Pale Curtain had found it’s way out of the deck.  However, with recent developments showing lots of the legendary dragons being played, make this much more wanted for the deck.  Against other creature decks, it’s one more creature that’s hard to stop.  It’s also cheap and relatively easy to cast still.  And, this card does have a few small benefits against Green/Black. I’m glad there was a reason to play this card again though, because I really like it.
Hand of Honor and Paladin en-Vec are both great cards.  But, their color protection really brings their stock way up.  And truthfully, the Paladin gets a chance to shine against Green/Red.  Keeping your guys on the field (or being unblock able late in the game) is really good.   It just gives you one more way to add pressure.
The rest of the spells and creatures are pretty basic.  If you play the deck a few times, you can see why each other card has its place.  There’s not much need to go into boring details and explain those cards.  However, the sideboard is a bit of a different situation.
There are three different cards in the sideboard that are really important and/or innovative.  The first is Reciprocate.  Reciprocate is neat for a lot of reasons.  It’s simply outstanding against Red/Green.  Because of creatures like Burning Tree Shaman and Rumbling Slum, you can get some easy creature kill.  Players seem to forget that a creature just has to deal damage to you in order to be killed by Reciprocate.  It doesn’t have to deal COMBAT damage, which is completely different.  Any damage, including upkeep effects like Rumbling Slum, will make them fodder for the Reciprocate.
The second card to key in on is Blood Moon.  There are several decks packing three colors that are using more than 10 nonbasic lands.  This allows Blood Moon to give them some serious fits.  And remember, you don’t have to stop them for Blood Moon to be useful.  You just have to slow them down for a few turns.  With the amount of speed and damage you can produce, sometimes and extra two turns is all you need.
The last card to look at is Ghostway.  It’s an insurance policy.  When you come up against cards such as Hideous Laughter ot Wrath of God, you can still save your team.  This keeps the pressure on your opponent and doesn’t give them an out.  Your creatures will just keep coming.  Another thing to note is that you can add damage to the stack in combat and still save your team while your opponent loses theirs.  So, it’s a little more versatile than players give it credit for. 
I think that about covers it.  Sometimes, it’s fun to revisit older decks.  I love the fun ones like this.  It’s a fun deck to play that people have written off.  So, you could just surprise your local tournament by busting this one out again.
Have fun.
Until next time,
DeQuan Watson
a.k.a. PowrDragn
PowrDragn at Pojo dot com

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