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Beasties and Game-Enders - Black/Green in the Monstrosity called Type II
By John Hornberg
 
         Whew!  I'm glad I'm past that!  I finally got my computer back, and you'll again start to hear from me on a regular basis!
 
         Well, no time for my usual chit-chat, on with the article!  This article was inspired by one of the local players, whose name is E (just the letter).  His deck dominated me, and thus, I chose to write about it.
 
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Black/Green in Type II - By John Hornberg

         We all remember the black green decks of yesterday, donít we:  in the 2000 season, green decks abusing Blastoderm, Yawgmothís Bargain, and other black and green cards.  In the 2001 season, green/black decks reemerged, ripping opponents to pieces with cards such as Pernicious Deed, Ebony Treefolk, Consume Strength, and the ever present, ever controversial Spiritmonger.  
Today, people look at black with sort of a disappointment.  The cards it got from Odyssey when looked at from a drafters point of view were pathetic to say the least.  Still, when you expand your horizons to the format of constructed, you notice, that when you utilize both the awesome creatures from Invasion Block, and the utility cards you get from Odyssey, you actually can build a decent deck.
         Invasion Block would supply a modern style Type II Black/Green deck with the necessary large creatures, with the right amount of removal, to make the deck playable.  Cards such as Ebony Treefolk and Kavu Titan are great cards for this style of deck.  Their great size makes them both imposing forces on the board, and like Blastoderm before them, they just cannot be ignored when they are played.  This makes it possible for multiple threats to hit the board, and attack simultaneously, making the a black/green beatdown deck a hard hitting monstrosity.  Still, no deck running both these colors is complete without the mahatma of creatures from the Apocalypse expansion - Spiritmonger.  My views of this beast have changes with each passing defeat at his hands, as he is a great card, who ends the game literally within three turns of hitting the board if he is not dealt with.  Unfortunately, aside from bouncing him, Terminate is the only card that kills him.  Along with all these beasts, Apocalypse added some great supplements, such as Pernicious Deed and even Consume Strength.  Pernicious Deed is the multi colored equivalent of Nevinyrralís Disk, and who wouldnít want that when they get into a pinch.  Consume Strength is a little more limited, but still equally as effective.  Itís ability to make creature larger, while at the same time making a creature smaller can be helpful in overcoming a large behemoth when blocking or attacking.  In the end, Invasion block set up this style of deck, but Odyssey would finish off the matter with an interesting array of utility cards to help make the deck even better.

        
Odyssey adds cards to the mix that makes a Black/Green deck even better than it was before.  A perfect example of this is Zombie Infestation, an enchantment for 1B that allows you to discard two cards from your hand to put a 2/2 Zombie token into play.  This card gives you decent sized creatures for two cards, and has the possibility of giving you that extra advantage against your opponent of a 2/2 whenever you need one, as well as the fact that it can add that extra two damage, which can sway the game in your favor.  Itís major downfall though is that you are forced to give up card advantage for this creature, and on some occasions, you may be forced to drop something you donít want.  Still, when it comes to green, what do you drop - Some flashback spells, namely Roar of the Wurn, or land. 

     Normally, losing the cards in your hand will not be a problem for what you can do with the Zombie Token you get from it.  Another card that should pop up in many decks of these colors is Overrun.  Overrun is a literal game -ender if it is allowed to be played because it does the equivalent of a giant growth, throwing in Trample.  Imaging what you could do:  Spiritmonger is becomes a 9/9, if not more, with trample, and regeneration;  Ebony Treefolk becomes a 6/6 trample, that pumps.  On a much smaller magnitude is Sylvan Might, which can be a game saver when it comes to defeating an opponent.  The fact that it gives creatures trample should make opponents weary of it, because then they canít throw 1/1ís in front of creatures like Spiritmonger, because it simple tramples over.
        
     So where does this deck rank among the top decks of the current format? 
Well, where it falls depends on itís construction, but in reality, this deck ranks fairly high among the the top decks.  It has the potential to beat Traumatize-Haunting Echoes before it even has a chance to kick in (that deck requires at least 5 to 7 turns before it can pull off Traumatize).  Plus, if you run any token cards, Traumatize literally hands you the game on a silver platter.  Never mind waiting to draw the cards, just flash them back from your graveyard, and the game is over.  The problem that I see with this deck is that is unfortunately falls to an extremely stupid card if it ever hits the board - Amboshan, Cephalid Emperor.  His ability to tap all non flying creatures is wicked, but at a cumbersome six mana to play, you donít have to play your deck too much faster than normal.  That is because by the time they draw that sixth mana, then that should be the turn that they go to zero in the life column.
        
      The deck is basically yours for the building.  It benefits from itís sheer size, and itís ability to stomp an opponent into the ground before they have a chance to really do anything.  It accomplishes this through cards like Pernicious Deed, Consume Strength, Zombie Infestation, and Overrun, as well as with large creatures that can kill a creature in one fell swoop.  

     Creatures like Spiritmonger, Ebony Treefolk, and token cards like Roar of the Wurm make this possible.  Unfortunately, it has yet to see the play, as well as the recognition that it deserves, even though it ranks as one of the most potent decks in the current Type II format.  In due time, though, it will see that recognition.

 

 

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