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Hello, again, everyone. Before I get into my article I'd like to let everyone know what's been up for the past few months and why I haven't been writing anything. My original intention a few months back was to actually quit playing. The game was taking too much time from things that were a bit more important (girlfriend, family, work) so I decided to get out. But as we all know, this game is too addictive to just give up. So, after a few months of my cards collecting dust, I broke them back out and started playtesting (the last tournament I've been to was the Judgment pre-release). Another item that made me want to come back is the intrigue of the upcoming Extended rotation. That caught my eye and got me to working on November Extended fairly quickly. So, I wrote to Scott to see if I could come back and write and here I am. So on with the article.

This week's deck comes from a fellow named Phil Scopa. The deck is supposed to use small creatures with annoying abilities to mess with your opponent until you pull out one of your fatties and crush their skull in. Here's the list:

2 Sengir Vampire
1 Femeref Archers
1 Fungus Elemental
1 Aisling Leprechaun
2 Enraging Licid
1 Nurturing Licid
1 Lhurgoyf
1 Knight of Dusk
1 Crash of Rhinos
1 Sandstone Warrior
1 Lim-Dul's High Guard
1 Bounty Hunter
1 Fallen Angel
1 Leeching Licid
1 Centaur Archer
1 Discordant Spirit
1 Viashivan Dragon
1 Vaevictis Asmati
1 Misfortune
1 Fireball
1 Shower of Sparks
1 Incinerate
1 Disintegrate
1 Lightning Blast
1 Respite
1 Desert Twister
1 Rolling Thunder
1 Winter's Grasp
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Mind Twist
1 Grindstone
1 Essence Bottle
1 Library of Leng
1 Cursed Land
1 Giant Strength
1 Rowen
1 Regeneration
1 Fervor
1 No Quarter
6 Swamp
6 Mountain
6 Forest

The first problem to notice is that there are only 59 cards in this deck. The next is the apparent
randomness of the deck. More experienced players know that decks with multiple copies of cards run better and are more consistent. The only way you can usually get away with running a lot of one-of copies of cards is if you have a lot of search cards. There is only one Demonic Tutor for searching not near enough. So, my guess is that our intrepid builder has less of a budget than most or else there would be a lot more power cards in the deck (like Mind Twist but cards that are Extended legal). We'll try and keep the deck based off of the B/G/R theme but use better and newer cards. The first place is the creatures. Although lots of annoying abilities are nice, they usually won't win games by themselves. So we'll some better, more flexible creatures instead. The first one that comes to my mind is River Boa. He's good so we'll use four of them. Dauthi Horror is great for breaking up standstills and only has one colored mana in his cost. Erhnam Djinn is big and fairly cheap. I also have an idea for the mana base that will let us use him without any side effects. The last of the creatures I want to add is Spiritmonger. I'm not going to discuss his attributes as you've all heard it before.

After creatures, of course, come the spells. We'll use some better creature removal and a couple of better utility spells in this area. First up is Duress. See Spiritmonger for reason why it's here. After that comes Terminate. It's an instant, hits black critters, is cheap, and, best of all, a common. Same thing with Shock. One mana for two damage definitely isn't horrible. Browbeat will let us either draw more threats and removal or take a quarter of their life with one spell. Not too shabby. Incinerate stops regenerators and is the only card in the deck that will rotate out in November. Diabolic Edict stops that evil, evil Morphling and is better than Chainer's Edict since it's an instant. The last spell to drop in is Vampiric Tutor. I know it's a
rare just like the Djinn and Monger, but only two copies shouldn't be too terribly hard to get a hold of and will let us find what we want when we want it.

The spot to look at is the mana base. Six of each land just won't work in a deck like this. Also, since I'm sort of trying to keep the deck cost down, we won't use any rare lands. If you have them, use them. Here's what we'll try: 9 Swamps, 2 Darigaaz's Caldera, 4 Shivan Oasis, 4 Tainted Peak and 4 Tainted Wood. These lands should be pretty easy and cheap to find. The Oasis set and the Calderas may slow you down a bit, but shouldn't be too bad. It also beats
spending $10 per dual land or $5-$8 per painland. After all these changes, here's the final decklist:

3 Browbeat
3 Incinerate
4 Shock
4 Diabolic Edict
3 Terminate
4 Duress
2 Vampiric Tutor
4 River Boa
3 Erhnam Djinn
4 Dauthi Horror
3 Spiritmonger
9 Swamp
2 Darigaaz's Caldera
4 Shivan Oasis
4 Tainted Peak
4 Tainted Wood

The sideboard will vary depending on what you expect. Choke should be in along with maybe Gloom. Either Boil or Scald should go in. Emerald Charm is also an option. Other than that it's pretty much open.

This deck will definitely work way better than what we had for not too much out of pocket. The Erhnams won't be too hard to find, nor will the Tutors. The Mongers will probably be the only ones that you have to shell out some cash for since most everything else is common
or uncommon.

Well, that'll do it for this time around. I need another deck to do for next week, so send me something if you want me to have a look at it. Remember that I may not respond to everything, but I do read it all. If you sent me something months ago and never got a reply, try again and I'll see what I can do. Thanks.

Until next time, keep 'em legal (and cheap)





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