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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

The Kids Get it Done
By DeQuan Watson - April 21, 2006 

Have I ever mentioned how much I like the diversity in the Standard format?
Yeah? I had a feeling that I had. Every time, I look at results from a tournament, there is some new deck popping up. And so far, the previews from Dissention have me believing things will only get crazier. And that's a great situation to be in. Evens won't get stale.
Players can build new and interesting deck. The guys and gals that work their butts off testing and pushing their creative limits can be rewarded in tournaments. You can't really ask for more.

The neat thing is that the younger crowd always seems to be trying new things. I'm not sure if it is because they are naive or just ignorant to the situation at large. But sometimes they turn out some pretty good stuff. I've always loved the fact that age isn't really a factor in gaming. If you can read the cards and understand the rules, you have the ability to win a tournament. It doesn't matter if your 12 or 62.

We got a good example of the creativity among the younger crowd a few days ago. There was a JSS event in Dallas, TX. It was a pretty good sized event with 40 players showing up to try their hand at winning a scholarship. These guys are so lucky. You can play cards and pay for school. You gotta love it! Here's a rundown of the decks they played and my commentary.

1st place finisher Jeremy Ross Heartbeat of Spring Combo Deck 4 Heartbeat
of Spring

10 Island
1 Invoke the Firemind
4 Early Harvest
4 Remand
4 Drift of Phantasms
10 Forest
4 Muddle the Mixture
4 Senseib s Divining Top
1 Boomerang
4 Sakura-Tribe Elder
4 Kodamab s Reach
1 Mountain
1 Recollect
1 Maga, Traitor to Mortals
1 Savage Twister
1 Weird Harvest
1 Swamp
2 Savage Twister
1 Umezawab s Jitte
1 Dosan the Falling Leaf
2 Meloku the Clouded Mirror
1 Keiga, the Tide Star
3 Bottled Cloister
1 Pyroclasm
4 Vinelasher Kudzu

I can honestly say that I'm not a big fan of Heartbeat decks. They are
pretty boring to watch and equally as boring to play. That being said, the kid
was playing for a scholarship, so fun didn't really matter to him, I'd
imagine. The only complaint I have is with the sideboard. It seems a little weak.
I would have a few more cards to deal with some of the bigger decks. There
are a couple of answers, but it does seem a little weak. That being said
though, most of what Heartbeat ever needs is in the deck already, for the most

2nd place finisher Shawn Rudd Tron White
4 Yosei, the Morning Star
4 Weathered Wayfarer
4 Senseib s Divining Top
3 Faithb s Fetters
2 Storm Herd
4 Devouring Light
4 Wrath of God
2 Terashib s Grasp
2 Honden of Cleansing Fire
2 Genju of the Fields
3 Myojin of Cleansing Fire
1 Debtorb s Knell
1 Tatsumasa, the Dragonb s Fang
3 Urzab s Mine
4 Urzab s Tower
4 Urzab s Power Plant
13 Plains

3 Sacred Ground
3 Bottled Cloister
2 Genju of the Fields
2 Terashib s Grasp
1 Boseiju, Who Shelters All
4 Jesterb s Cap

I absolutely love the creativity in this deck. It plays some of the biggest
and baddest cards that white has to offer. It uses the Urzatron (Urza's
Land Trio) to get the mana it needs. I also get a little excited when I see a
deck that uses a card such as Storm Herd as a win condition. The deck also
has a lot of options. It has creature control, artifact and enchantment
removal, and even a little life gain. I personally would play a couple of Serra
Angels (mostly for style points). Overall, this deck seems pretty solid to me.
I might add a couple more ways to deal with creatures in the sideboard, but
outside of that, I like this one.

3rd place finisher David Shirek Red/white/blue 4 Firemane Angel
4 Lightning Helix
4 Wrath of God
3 Faithb s Fetters
1 Debtorb s Knell
1 Yosei, the Morning Star
4 Compulsive Research
3 Remand
2 Mana Leak
2 Hinder
2 Keiga, the Tide Star
1 Meloku the Clouded Mirror
2 Zurb s Weirding
2 Izzet Signet
2 Boros Signet
4 Battlefield Forge
2 Sacred Foundry
2 Boros Garrison
4 Plains
1 Miren, the Moaning Well
1 Minamo, School at Waterb s Edge
9 Island
1 Godo, Bandit Warlord
1 Tatsumasa, the Dragonb s Fang
1 Meloku the Clouded Mirror
3 Invoke the Firemind
3 Pithing Needle
2 Ivory Mask
3 Shadow of Doubt
1 Descendant of Kiyomaro

This deck is just full of good cards. I think a Blood Moon could do some
pretty ugly things to this deck, but wouldn't devastate it. I'm also not a big
fan of remand. I know several players dig this card, but I truly don't like
it. There are still several choices of cards that you can play and I'd
probably prefer a full set of Hinder and Mana Leak before remand. The thing that
I'd fear most about playing this deck is that some of the threats are pretty
expensive to get into play. The signets seem to help that though. I do
like the cute interaction of Zur's Wierding and Firemane Angel to try and like
your opponent down. I think I would enjoy having 3 Electrolyze in the deck
somewhere, but there may not be room. Overall, the deck seems solid and could
do well in most Friday Night Magic environments in the hands of a capable

4th place finisher Drew Coryell Orzhov black/white 2 Belfry Spirit
1 Skeletal Vampire
2 Watchwolf
2 Shadow Lance
2 Putrefy
4 Faithb s Fetters
2 Souls of the Faultless
4 Blind Hunter
2 Shrieking Grotesque
1 Ghost Council of Orzhova
1 Loxodon Hierarch
1 Hissing Miasma
1 Angel of Despair
2 Rampant Growth
1 Sakura-Tribe Elder
1 Chord of Calling
1 Woodwraith Corrupter
1 Orzhov Pontiff
1 Sanguine Praetor
1 Orzhov Guildmage
2 Civic Wayfinder
2 Mourning Thrull
3 Courier Hawk
3 Orzhov Signet
5 Swamp
5 Forest
5 Plains
3 Golgari Rot Farm
3 Selesnya Sanctuary
2 Orzhov Basilica
1 Orzhov, Church of Deals
No sideboard used

5th place finisher Stephen Thompson Orzhov black/white 12 Plains
10 Swamp
1 Orzhov Basilica
1 Ghost Council of Orzhova
2 Glorious Anthem
1 Wrath of God
3 Orzhov Signet
2 Lantern Kami
3 Suntail Hawk
2 Pillory of the Sleepless
3 Last Gasp
3 Ghostly Prison
2 Savannah Lion
3 Isamaru, Hound of Konda
1 Douse in Gloom
1 Eight-and-a-Half-Tails
2 Souls of the Faultless
2 Blind Hunters
1 Umezawab s Jitte
1 Yosei, the Morning Star
2 Faithb s Fetters
No sideboard used

I'm covering these two deck together. They are similar styles, but utilize
different cards. This should be a great sign if you like playing Black/White
decks. Neither of them had a sideboard. This is always a bad idea in any
major tournament. You should always give yourself the option of bringing in
ringers for the second and third games of a match. More than half the games
you play on any given day in tournament play will include sideboards. Not
having one puts you at a strategic disadvantage. Both decks have a lot of ones
and twos, so you can have answers to different situations. They still put up
decent finishes without sideboards, but you never know how things could have
turned out if they had them.

6th place finisher Parker May Mono Blue Control 4 Mana Leak
4 Hinder
3 Meloku the Clouded Mirror
2 Rewind
2 Keiga, the Tide Star
4 Jushi Apprentice
2 Confiscate
4 Boomerang
4 Remand
4 Threads of Disloyalty
3 Disrupting Shoal
1 Miren, the Moaning Well
4 Quicksand
3 Dimir Aqueduct
1 Minamo, School at Waterb s Edge
1 Shizo, Deathb s Storehouse
1 Mikokoro, Center of the Sea
14 Island
2 Remove Soul
2 Shadow of Doubt
2 Muddle the Mixture
2 Drift of Phantasms
3 Thieving Magpie
4 Convolute

I've never been a fan of Monoblue Control of any kind. I think the name is
a misnomer and that the deck is boring. I've also seen a lot of games go
awry because your opponent ended up with one key card slipping through the
cracks of your defense. However, the deck is solid. It plays the best cards, for
the most part. It's hard to mess this up really.

7th place finisher Chris Schoppe Wildfire RG 3 Moldervine Cloak
3 Arashi, the Sky Asunder
4 Rumbling Slum
4 Kird Ape
4 Burning-Tree Shaman
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Birds of Paradise
4 Sakura-Tribe Elder
4 Char
3 Pyroclasm
3 Wildfire
5 Mountain
5 Forest
4 Stomping Ground
4 Karplusan Forest
1 Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep
1 Okina, Temple to the Grandfathers
1 Skarrg, the Rage Pits
4 Naturalize
1 Pyroclasm
4 Blood Moon
3 Shatter
3 Savage Twister

Seeing Red/Green creature decks playing Wildfire is amusing. At first
thought, you'd assume they would hate this card. However, if you can get a
strategic point in the game with your big fatty ready to go, Wildfire can put the
game away for you. Also, Moldervine Cloak can create a fatty for you that
will outlive the fire. I'm still a big fan of Shock. I'd like to see that in
this deck. With that being said though, I think this another classic case of
the deck being so tightly tuned that there isn't much room to maneuver. This
is a deck that I could see many players doing well with in their local
environment. I'd give this one two thumbs up. The only downside is that is has a
lot of hot rares in it, so it could be tough to build if you have a limited
card pool.

8th place finisher Clayton Drazner Selesnya green/white 10 Forest
3 Sakura-Tribe Elder
10 Plains
2 Scatter the Seeds
1 Loxodon Hierarch
1 Loxodon Warhammer
4 Faithb s Fetters
1 Selesnya Guildmage
1 Silhana Starfletcher
2 Moldervine Cloak
2 Fists of Ironwood
2 Doubling Season
4 Silhana Ledgewalker
1 Glorious Anthem
2 Umezawab s Jitte
3 Selesnya Sanctuary
2 Watchwolf
1 Tolsimir Wolfblood
3 Vitu-Ghazi, the City Tree
2 Seedspark
4 Glare of Subdual
1 Congregation at Dawn

2 _Primeval Light_
1 _Transluminant_
1 _Silhana Starfletcher_
1 _Boros Fury-Shield_
1 _Conclave_  b s Blessing
1 _Sakura-Tribe Elder_
1 _Gaze of the Gorgon_
2 _Devouring Light_
1 _Carven Caryatid_
1 _Peregrine Mask_
1 _Leyline of the Meek_
1 _Mountain_
1 _Sunforger_

Just when I thought players had given up on Green/White this thing shows up.
And look at the sideboard. Man, talk about options. The toughest thing
about playing this deck could honestly be the turn by turn situations. This
deck looks like there are a lot of things you can play on each turn that could
lead to good or bad situations. The deck is neat because it doesn't rely too
heavily on any particular card to win, but it does possess several
gamebreakers. It has lots of power, you just have to be careful with your decision

Well, I think that covers it. There is bound to be something new to you
with a list like that. Put one of them together and have something new to play
at your FNM event next week.

Until next time,

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



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