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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
Interesting Blue/Red Deck
By DeQuan Watson - March 29, 2006 

This past weekend, JDS Events (one of the groups I work with) hosted a Team Challenge event.  It was an interesting format where everyone made a four man team.  Each team member participated in a different format.  Two of the formats are regular competitive formats.  Two were more casual formats.
This lead to some interesting deck building.  Also, because of the point scoring system, positioning and standings were more important, as there were no playoff rounds in each individual event.  So, there were some neat ideas and strategies that were tried.
A fun deck that managed win the Standard format was Izzet Tron.  It's a Blue/Red deck.  It's managed to go 3-0-1.  That's pretty solid considering the matchups that the deck was up against.
Here is what Martin Alcala's build looked like:
Izzet Tron
4 Remand
4 Mana Leak
4 Telling Time
3 Cerebral Vortex
3 Keiga, the Tide Star
3 Ryusei, the Falling Star
3 Electrolyze
3 Volcanic Hammer
2 Mimeofacture
2 Blaze
1 Invoke the Firemind
1 Tatsuma, the Dragon's Fang
1 Godo, Bandit Warlord
4 Shivan Reef
4 Urza's Mine
4 Urza's Tower
4 Urza's Power Plant
4 Steam Vents
4 Izzet Signet
1 Miren, the Moaning Well
1 Minamo, School at Water's Edge
4 Giant Solifuge
4 Remove Soul
3 Pyroclasm
3 Shattering Spree
1 Mimeofacture
I wish I had more time to ask about some of the card choices, but overall it seems pretty straight forward.  The interesting thing about this build is that it strays from some of the normal choices.  That's one of the reasons I like this build.
The notable exception right from the start is Meloku.  Meloku seems to be an automatic choice for everyone that plays a slower Blue deck, but not this time.  I also like the inclusion of Good in this build.  Having the Urza lands makes him a bit more viable.  Also, the underappreciated dragon is being played in this deck as well.  So there are some neat idea going on here that players should enjoy for a good change of pace.
I'm personally not a big fan of Cerebral Vortex.  There has to be something better that this deck can play.  I'd do some looking around, but there most definitely has to be a better choice.  Play something you feel comfortable with in that slot, but the vortex just doesn't do it for me.
I must admit that I'm not a huge fan of the Giant Solifuge.  However, against control type matchups, this card could be key.  Once it hits the table, they need a board sweeping effect to deal with it.  Also, the fact that it has haste will allow it to sneak in for four damage quickly and keep you on tempo. 
I would like to see just a little more direct damage in here.  Maybe another Volcanic Hammer and some Shocks would be nice.  Mimeofacture seems to have a few limited uses, but I'm not sure I'd want that extra one hanging out in the sideboard.  As a matter of fact, I may even want a couple of bounce type effects to get Blood Moon off the board in case of emergency.  I'd hate to see my Urza lands stuck as mountains.
The deck did manage to get the job done though, so there's a lot to be said about this build.  It also stood up to a good selection of decks which included creature rush decks and control decks.
Unfortunately, this decks been covered so much online recently that there isn't a lot to say about it.  I just felt it was important to give you guys a heads up on different variations that you might run into.    It's obvious that this deck is very versatile.
There are a ton of card choices that Blue/Red players have access to right now.  I've personally been looking into putting together some interesting Blue/Red stuff and that's the largest reason.  You can build a deck that can morph easily to accommodate any Standard environment right now.  When preparing against it though, this means that you won't be able to plan your strategy so simply.  You won't know for sure what you are up against.
You should definitely experiment with a deck like this.  Find what you like and don't like.  And more importantly, tune it to fit what you expect to play against locally.  You have the options to allow yourself this luxury.  Take full advantage of it.  You can even be more aggressive if you want.  There's no law that says Blue/Red has to be control heavy. 

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