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The Heretic's Sermon

Breaking Stupid Rares in Type II, Part 6 - Planar Overlay
By John Hornberg
Well, I'm falling back on what's worked for me in the past, because I've had serious computer troubles, and that has presented me with the trouble of finding a computer to write my articles on.  Thankfully, my friend Joey let me use his computer to do this.
So, I'll thank him here:
Now, we've all opened our fair share of crap rares.  Everything from Jinxed Totem to Battle of Wits, yet, some of them, a select few mind you, are actually playable.  One of these rares is Planar Overlay, which is a Planeshift Rare that is a sorcery for 2U, and says "Each player returns a land of each basic land type they control to its owners hand."  It is easily broken in mono blue surprisingly, abusing the mechanics presented by both Dream Thrush and Reef Shaman.
Planar Overlay is extremely bad, I'll give all the critics that, but when it's supported with Reef Shaman and Dream Thrush, it suddenly becomes a somewhat effective blue land-removal spell.  This is because both Dream Thrush and Reef Shaman have the ability to change the type of a basic land to another type.  Thus, if they have one or two types of land, you select one type, use your two creatures to change the types of them so that eventually they have all five types, and play Planar Overlay.  That puts five lands in their hand, which can be devastating in a game if they are short on mana, or if they need one specific type.  Naturally, you'll need four of each creature, which should be easy to obtain because they are both commons.. 
A don't for your deck is Shimmering Mirage, an Apocalypse common for 1U, which is an instant that does the same thing as Reef Shaman, except it's only once.  Even with the cantrip value, it has little place in the deck because it is so limited. 
So at this point, you have twelve cards that are a definite:
4 Dream Thrush
4 Reef Shaman
4 Planar Overlay
Now, at this point, you have an array of counters and card drawing spells that you can play.  Odyssey gives you some decent cards, such as Concentrate or even Peek, that can be effective.  This is on top of the already effective display of Fact or Fiction's and Opt's that you can play.  Of course, you're going to want to play three of these.  I suggest four of at least two of them, along with two of one of them.  I'll use this set up just for the sake of it.
4 Fact or Fiction
4 Opt
2 Concentrate
Also, you have a good selection of counterspells, with many options as well.  Here, you can stay in straight blue, because you have an amazing selection as is, or you can splash a color and go with one of the special counters from Invasion Block.. An advantage to that is that it allows you to play good sideboard cards, such as Spellbane Centaur, Tsabo's Decree, Ground Seal, etc, etc.....  A disadvantage to it though is that you could wind up with a dead card if you don't get that one dual, or that one basic land.
I highly recommend staying in one color.
So, with that in mind, here's an example of what your counters can look like:
4 Counterspell
4 Force Spike
2 Syncopate
Once again, I have a don't for you.  Now, while is is disputable, I recommend avoiding Standstill, because of the lack of offense this deck will have.  With the fact that Dream Thrush isn't great at attacking, and Reef Shaman is even worse, you could be stuck if you don't have a good creature when your opponent has such pivotal forces as Llanowar Elves.  This deck, unlike mono blue, can't really stand to sit there without a good creature.  Still, it is very debatable, and I could be wrong.
Next, it's always good to have a bestial force on hand to mangle your opponent.  I recommend either Amugaba or Mahamoti, but if there is some large blue creature that you want to play, then go for it.  This is all you. 
So, with that done, I give you my example deck:
2 Amugaba
4 Thieving Magpie
4 Reef Shaman
4 Dream Thrush
2 Concentrate
4 Fact or Fiction
4 Opt
4 Counterspell
4 Force Spike
2 Syncopate
4 Planar Overlay
22 Island
Now, they way you play this deck is kind of offensively.  You want to get at your opponent's lands as early as you can get, because it is pivotal to the combo.  Don't push your limits though, if they get something that could be an early problem, such as Wild Mongrel, don't worry, well not yet. 
This deck, like many combo decks, has the potential of being out-maneuvered, out-played, and out-classed all at the same time.  That's just what happens to combo decks. 
Still, you need to remember that the combo isn't a game winner.  Just because you pull it off, doesn't mean that you automatically win. You need to get a beast out, and lay into them with extreme prejudice.
Well, I guess that's it.  I hope you enjoyed the article.
Signing Out,
John "The Happy Heretic" Hornberg
You can e-mail me at promiseland85@hotmail.com if you have any thing you want to ask me, any complements, or criticism.  As I mentioned, I'm having computer troubles, so if I reply, it may not be as fast as I normally do. Sorry about that.



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