Get the MTG
Alright everyone. It's that time of the year again.
Everyone's favorite time … Nationals! It's that time
where everyone comes together to compete for those few
spots to be on the National Team to represent our fine
country at Worlds. Not to mention, that $25,000 + first
place prize seems pretty sweet compared to what wizards
gives other National champions.
Now reflecting on my past Nationals experience (which my
only trip to Nationals was last year), I had a blast.
Not only was I impressed by the facility that the event
was held in, I was impressed at how everything came
together and flowed so well.
I took the trip down to Florida last year unqualified
for Nationals in hopes to grind in just like hundreds of
other players. Well, I only got to play in one grinder
since I happened to do so well, but I missed qualifying
by one match. Basically in order to grind, you have to
go 6-0 since it is single elimination. The top 4 from
each grinder last year made Nationals, and hence going
6-0 got you into the T4. Well, I piloted my rogue
Phyrexian Ghoul deck jokingly titled "My Dixie
Wrecked" to a 5-1 record. I played Stompy, then
Wildfire, then Replenish, then Rebels, then Rebels
again. I was 5-0 and all I had to do was win the next
round. Well, to make a long story short, I lost to Bryce
Currence and his "Trinity Green" deck.
Now I was pleased with my performance even though I did
not qualify for Nationals. I did get a box of product
for my troubles, but I did realize something important.
Rogue decks are something that always have to be on the
lookout for. I can't count the number of times that I
killed someone on the third turn with my deck and they
said something like, "I can't believe that you just
beat me! That deck is horrible and you got lucky!"
In fact I playtested for a couple of months before
Nationals with this deck and fined tuned it with the
proper card drawers and search cards so this deck was
For those of you who do not know how the deck worked, it
went - First Turn Birds of Paradise. Second turn
Phyrexian Ghoul. Third turn Academy Rector - Attack with
Ghoul, Sac Rector for Pattern of Rebirth to put on the
Bird, Sac Bird and use Pattern to go get a Rector, Sac
Rector to get a Saproling Burst, make 6 guys, sac them
to the Ghoul for a total of 20 damage on turn 3. This
deck was very consistent and had many good defense cards
like that of Reverent Mantra and Parallax Wave.
But let's get straight to the point of this article.
What will people be playing at Nationals? We all know
the different archtypes, but you do have to be on the
lookout for those rogue decks. Even the National
Champion Jon Finkel used a rogue black deck to pilot his
way to $25k last year. But you really can't get ready
and playtest for those rogue decks that you might be
paired up against. You just have to be prepared for all
of those different archtypes that will be at Nationals.
Hell, I'd play a rogue deck that was geared to beat the
other archtypes. But you can't build one deck to beat
all the others or everyone would be playing that deck.
So once again I ask the magic question. What is everyone
going to be playing this year? Well, we all know the
main answer, and that is Fires. People just can't get
enough of Fires. Don't get me wrong. Fires is a great
deck since it is very consistent and it has many answers
to a lot of different cards. Not to mention that the
deck is very fast and has the potential to kill on turn
4. Even though there will be a lot of Fires in Florida
this year, I also think there will be a lot of Blue.
Wow, Blue! Not just in the form of Draw-Go or straight
counter decks, but the new deck that is seeming to do
well. And that deck my friends is Orb-osition. I think
this deck is great and has some really good potential.
Two players made T8 in the German Nationals with this
deck because this deck is very, very good. Once this
deck has the lock, it is almost impossible to get out of
This deck of course uses Static Orb and Opposition as
the lock cards that keeps your opponent from doing
anything. This deck also uses very good creatures to
help out early in the game and to help slow your
opponent down. Cards like Glacial Wall help block those
early big creatures like Blastoderm, and cards like
Spiketail Hatchling make your opponent wait until they
have one more mana or they will have their creatures
countered early on. The deck also uses Merfolk Looter to
help draw cards to search out the key cards to get the
lock out early. Also Temporal Adapt helps the fight as
you can bounce whatever you want. The reason this deck
is so good is because Static Orb is one of the few
artifacts that turns off when it is tapped. So at the
end of your opponents turn, tap your Static Orb and then
untap all of your permanents on your next turn.
Most of the Orb-osition decks use very few counterspells.
Usually only running 4 counterspell and 4 thwart. This
is because the deck shouldn't need anymore counters then
that. A typical Orb-osistion deck that you should see
plenty of at Nationals would look something like this:
4 Static Orb
4 Glacial Wall
4 Thieving Magpie
4 Spiketail Hatchling
3 Merfolk Looter
2 Temporal Adept
2 Rishidan Port
The sideboard for this deck has 3 Prodigal Sorcerer,
3 Stinging Barrier, 2 Temporal Adept, 3 Hibernation, 2
Boomerang, and 2 Dominate. This is a very unusual
looking sideboard, but it does work very well.
Since this deck was the talked about deck at German
Nationals, this deck will see a lot of play. But of
course not as much as Fires will see. Everyone and their
mothers will be playing fires but Orb-osition will show
a strong following as well. I think that the T8 will
look a little something like this:
1 Machine Head
1 Green White
So Hopefully I will be able to predict the results
from Nationals. But I wish all of you that attend the
best of luck and I wish that everyone could win. I
unfortunately won't be able to attend this year, but you
bet I'll be following it on the Sideboard and I will be
there next year. Have fun in the Grinders and in the
Main Event. And I can't stress this enough - Watch your
stuff carefully. Even though I hate to say this, there
are a lot of dishonest magic players out there and I had
2 boxes full of packs stolen from right in front of me
last year. Just watch your stuff. I hate to end this in
a bad note so I won't. It's a great experience so I
encourage everyone to go and have fun. Enjoy it! Any
Questions or Comments you can email me at Motumbo@pojo.com.
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