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Great Things to Come for Extended

By John Hornberg


Great Things to Come for Extended
By John Hornberg and Rich "Cartman" Herbert

Wizards of the Coast recently announced that it would be making changes to the Extended format. It was released that as of Onslaughts inception to all formats, Ice Age Block, Mirage Block, Fifth Edition, and the Revised Dual Lands would cycle out of the Extended.

This came as a shock to many people. Many players, me included, were almost dead sure that within a year Fifth Edition and Ice Age Block would cycle out of Extended, so the added loss of Mirage Block is quite a new thing.

With the release of a single statement, Wizards of the Coast has dropped a Hydrogen Bomb on most of the major decks in Extended right now, severely hurting some, destroying others. 

Illusions-Donate won’t even exist, thanks to the loss of Illusions of Grandeur. 

Sligh will be severely undermined, with the loss of three of its major cards – Ball Lightning, Fireblast, and Incinerate. Of course Sligh will reincarnate itself in a different form. I always has.

The new Worldgorger Dragon Combo will never get off the ground in Extended, having its wings clipped by the loss of its core cards, Animate Dead and Dance of the Dead.

Numerous blue decks loose, and will sorely miss Force of Will, especially since Foil fails to cut it as a counter-for-free due to it’s loss of three cards from your hand. Blue decks can overcome the loss of 2 cards fairly easily, but three cards is loosing three cards, then expecting a deck to Ancestral Recall it back, when you most likely threw away a land or two early, or something that you’ll regret later.

In the far run, Wizards of the Coast’s bold move in making drastic changes to Extended will be a smart move. 

For one thing, it does away with so many of the tier one net decks out there for Extended. Three Deuce, Sligh, Mono Blue Control, the Rock and his Millions, and Miracle-Gro are all effected in some way with the loss of some cards. The loss of such cards as Fireblast, Force of Will, Ophidian, Ball Lightning, and numerous other cards will make the newer, not quite as powerful versions of those cards playable.

Which means that cards such as Skizzik will see play in Extended, and cards such as Urza’s Rage, Foil, Thieving Magpie, Shadowmage Infiltrator, and Thwart will see more play in extended, as players go hunting for new cards to fill the gaping holes in their decks with something similar. 

I think that Wizards is making ultimately the best decision they have made in years when it comes to format changes, bannings, and reorganizations. It has been fairly easy to see that Wizards has been trying to make Extended a very popular format, and has not had a ton of success at it, because so many of the power cards, and major cards are old, and expensive.

The cycling of Ice Age Block and the Duals does away with quite a few of those. Gone are Illusions of Grandeur, Force of Will, and Pox, which had helped to define a Extended.

The loss of 5th Edition also dramatically changes the face of Extended. 5th Edition was the last link to many of the cards from the sets previous to Ice Age in Extended, with numerous power cards like Ball Lightning will cycle out, leaving gaping holes which will be hard to fill with many of the current replacements that were originally only good when they were in Type II.

Thus, the format will become more accessible to more people, because more the new cards are playable. Thus, it will appeal to them, and will get players playing extended more often.

One of the other reasons that I think Wizards of the Coast chose to make changes to the Extended format was to keep newer sets and the cards in them relevant in another format besides Type II. As of right now, the only format people have ever come to expect change in is Type II, where a block cycles every year. New power and money cards emerge, and others sink as they plunge from Type II. 

It has gotten to the point where when a block rotates out of Type II, it virtually rotates into oblivion, because none of the new cards, or very few of them, have any impact at all on Extended. Only one card in the past 2 years has really put a ripple in the base of extended, and that was Call of the Herd. Nothing has really been able to shake the core decks in the format. This doesn’t go without mentioning that the only cards to impact the extended format in the past 3 years have been rare. 

Urza’s Rage, Call of the Herd, Spritmonger, and Quiron Dryad to name a few are some of the cards from the past 2 Type II’s seasons that are seeing play in extended as well.

Otherwise, when a set was rotating, it was getting to the point where the set would be forgotten. Invasion had left a lasting impact of Type II, and once it rotates, the entire block was going to be remembered for just 3 cards if it did not change – Spiritmonger, Urza’s Rage, and Fact or Fiction. Nothing else from the entire block was really good enough to make it in extended in any real sense. Domain, forgotten. Hippo-Go, forgotten as well.

Extended with each passing set had become not “How does this effect Extended,” but more “How does everything in Extended already thrash this.” 

Now, with the changes destroying many of the core decks for extended, it opens up the possibility for a return to many of the old type II decks. Ponza might see a return, as could Skies, even Fires has a chance.

Counter Rebel will become one of the most dominant archetypes.

Old IBC stuff might make an appearance, as will old stuff from other block eras.

With the cycling, perhaps my Rice Snax deck from months ago will become viable again… yeah, sure.

When pigs fly...

Here's some stuff that Cartman created for the Extended format in March. I think that his predictions are pretty accurate for November's changes.


Lands (22)
13 Mountain
3 Barbarian Ring
2 Ghitu Encampment
4 Rishadan Port

Creatures (15)
4 Jackal Pup
4 Mogg Fanatic
4 Chimeric Idol
3 Lightning Dragon

Other (26)
4 Firebolt
2 Powder Keg
4 Volcanic Hammer 
4 Browbeat
3 Urza's Rage
2 Breaking Point
4 Cursed Scroll



Lands (24)
7 Plains
5 Island
4 Adarkar Wastes
4 Coastal Tower
4 Rishadan Port

Creatures (25)
4 Mother of Runes
4 Ramosian Sergeant
3 Defiant Falcon
1 Ramosian Leitutent
2 Defiant Vanguard
4 Lin Sivvi, Defiant Hero
1 Jhovall Queen
4 Meddling Mage 
1 Rebel Informer

Other (11)
4 Counterspell
4 Absorb
4 Parallax Wave
1 Seal of Cleansing



Lands (22)

18 Swamp
4 Rishaden Port 

Creatures (7)

2 Avatar of Woe
1 Squee, Goblin Nabob
1 Multani, Maro-Sorcerer
1 Verdant Force
1 Crosis the Purger
1 Ascendant Evincar

Other (31)
4 Duress
4 Entomb
4 Reanimate
4 Vampiric Tutor
4 Exhume
3 Zombie Infestation
3 Buried Alive
1 Zombify
1 Eradicate
1 Powder Keg
1 Contamination
1 Massacre



4 Tinker
4 Metalworker
4 Voltaic Key
4 Thran Dymano
1 Phyrexian Colossus
2 Masticore
4 Grim Monolith
2 Phyrexian Proccesor
4 Tangle Wire
1 Karn, Silver Golem
2 Stroke of Genius
4 Brainstorm
1 Mishira's Helix
1 Crumbling Sanctuary

4 Rishaden Port
4 City of Traitors
14 island


Lands (21)
15 Forest
3 Gaea's Cradle
3 Treetop Village

Creatures (26)
4 Elvish Lyrist
3 Llanowar Elves
4 Pouncing Jaguar
4 Albino Troll
4 River Boa
4 Call of the Herd
4 Blastoderm

Other (12)
4 Giant Growth
4 Rancor
4 Cursed Scroll


White Weenie:.

4 Mother of Runes
4 Soul Warden
2 Spectral Lynx
4 Soltari Monk
4 Soltari Priest
4 Paladin En-Vec/Mystic Crusader
3 Masticore

2 Topple 
3 Seal of Cleansing
4 Crusade
1 Divine Sacrement 
2 Armageddon
4 Cursed Scroll

19 Plains



Lands (20)
14 Mountain
2 Ancient Tomb
4 City of Traitors

Creatures (9)
4 Covetous Dragon
4 Masticore
1 Karn, Silver Golem

Other (31)
4 Wildfire
3 Cursed Scroll
4 Voltaic Key
3 Fire Diamond
4 Grim Monolith
4 Temporal Aperture
2 Worn Powerstone
4 Thran Dynamo
1 Mishra's Helix
1 Defense Grid
1 Phyrexian Processer



3 Vampiric Tutor
4 Duress
4 Mesmeric Fiend
4 Cursed Scroll
4 Carnophage
4 Sarcomancy
3 Skittering Skirge
4 Dauthi Slayer
3 Dauthi Horror
4 Tangle Wire
2 Diabolic Edict
2 Masticore

4 Rishaden Port
15 Swamp


4 Carnophage
3 River Boa
3 Nantuko Shade
3 Dathuli Horror
2 Spiritmonger
2 Spike Weaver
1 Spike Feeder

4 Duress
4 Rancor
4 Cursed Scroll
4 Call of the Herd
4 Pernicious Deed

4 Llanowar Wastes
2 Treetop Village
5 Forest
12 Swamp



2 Thorn Elemental
3 Spike Weaver

4 Counterspell
2 Forbid
3 Mana Leak
3 Powder Keg 
4 Accumulated Knowledge
4 Brainstorm
3 Powder Keg
4 Force Spike
1 Abundance
4 Oath of Druids

2 Dust Bowl
5 Forest
10 Island
3 Treetop Village
4 Yavimaya Coast

- John Hornberg & Rich "Cartman" Herbert 



Copyright 2001 Pojo.com


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