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Pojo's Book Reviews



Seven Course Meal

Hello, and welcome to my first article here at Pojo. My name is Andrew Chapman, and I am currently residing in Brockport, NY, which is just west of Rochester. I have been playing Magic since Ice Age, and playing competitively since the Tempest block. In general, I only play type 2, but I do occasionally play other formats. Though I have a wife and one-and-a-half children (that means I have one on the way for those of you not familiar with the terms of a young, growing family) at the age of 21, I manage to play every week (it helps that she plays, too). Outside of playing Magic, I am a Physical Education student at SUNY Brockport, and I find work wherever I can.
Those of you that read, and remember, John Turpish's column, Deviations From the Norm, may recognize my name (or initials, as it is in his latest article (thanks John)). I have a lot in common with John, though, as far as the game of Magic is concerned. We're both control players at heart, and we often think the same things about cards. That's where the comparisons stop, as our lifestyles are completely different. In any case, as our friend John would say, moving on…

Net-decks are everywhere we look nowadays, and you could know what to expect at an up-and-coming local tournament simply by spending an hour or two looking on the internet. There are others, however. There are those people who dare do be different, even when facing the possibility of humiliating failure. Those people are your local "rogues".
I am the local "rogue" player in Rochester and, without trying to be modest, one of the more successful rogue players I know of. Creating, and actually playing, a different deck is a talent, and a gift. This gift can be taken many directions, and some that have the gift fail to use it properly. In any case, my articles will all be designed to tap this talent within myself and within any of those people who read it that have this talent.
Well, let me introduce my first piece of work. I have played this deck many times now, and it has won me numerous tournaments. It often gets scoffed at when first seen, mostly due to its strange nature. The deck is strong, nonetheless, though it does take some time to get used to. At this point, let me show you all the deck…

Seven Course Meal by Andrew Chapman

4x Soul Feast
4x Death Grasp
4x Recoup
3x Innocent Blood
2x Terminate
4x Diabolic Tutor
3x Gerrard's Verdict
4x Vindicate
1x Yawgmoth's Agenda
1x Haunting Echoes
2x Void
2x Greed
2x Wrath of God
3x Sulfurous Springs
3x Caves of Koilos
2x Battlefield Forge
2x Urborg Vulcano
6x Swamp
5x Plains
3x Mountain


1x Innocent Blood
1x Yawgmoth's Agenda
2x Persecute
1x Haunting Echoes
2x Pyroclasm
2x Duress
1x Wrath of God
1x Rout
4x (these sideboard slots changed a lot)

Well, when you first see the deck, it isn't obvious as to what it exactly does. In fact, many people that I show it to say the exact same thing to me, "How do you win?" It's when you play it that you start to realize it's potential. The first odd thing you see about the deck is one of its strongest points. The deck has virtually no non-land permanents, and absolutely no creatures. Think to yourself how many decks run removal spells of any type and then note how MANY of these removal spells these decks pack. Those spells are dead (or at least greatly hindered) in your opponent's hand, making their resources more limited than what they might like. The three enchantments may get destroyed if/when they come out, but hardly ever warrant keeping any enchantment removal in after side-boarding if they can help it. Even after side-boarding, your opponent will, more times than not, still have less-than-efficient cards to deal with your plans. This form of resource disruption can prove very fatal for many the opponent.
So, what does the deck actually do? Well, anyone looking at the deck should be able to see the large amount of creature control available. This large amount of removal makes it very hard for your opponent to keep anything on the table (indeed, though, this deck is it's own worst enemy!). The next stage of the assault comes in the form of further resource disruption. Void, Gerrard's Verdict, and Haunting Echoes can rip through an already weakened opponent, eliminating almost all chance of return for them. Death Grasps and Soul Feasts then finish the job.
The hidden tool, and the true center of this deck, though, is Recoup. I have already mentioned how this deck can eliminate the resources of the opponent, but I haven't mentioned how it makes better use of it's own resources. Every sorcery (virtually everything) is reusable thanks to Recoup. Yawgmoth's Agenda also supplies this ability, but tends to be more of a finishing mechanism rather than supplying the all around versatility offered by Recoup. Whether it be recasting a Gerrard's Verdict to further empty your opponent's hand, Void to hit both creatures and hand, Diabolic Tutor to fetch the next needed tool, or Soul Feast/Death Grasp to finish the opponent off, Recoup works wonders in this deck.
Finishing out the deck, it needs ways to get everything together and then keep it together. Diabolic Tutor fills the spot nicely for getting things together. Being able to fetch out any card you need, including the much needed fifth land, is very useful for this deck, and Recoup allows for this usefulness to be repeated as necessary. Greed is also a shining star in this deck. Life is the prime resource for this deck, and Greed makes good use of this resource. Other similar effects have been tried here, but none have worked as well as Greed. Infernal Contract was the next best thing, followed by Phyrexian Arena.

So this concludes my first deck presentation. Feel free to try Seven Course Meal out for yourself. It takes a little time of playing with it to get the feel for the deck, so don't give up on it immediately.
I encourage all of you to explore this game you play. Net-decks are often there because they TEND to be the best, most consistent decks out there. With well over a thousand cards available in the present type 2 environment, combinations exist that haven't been exploited. It is we, the "rogues" that will find these combinations.
If you have any questions about this deck, about being a "rogue" Magic player, or anything else, please feel free to contact me (information below). I hope to continue writing articles here at Pojo, so you might be hearing more from me.

Until Braids becomes a centerfold…
Andrew Chapman

AOL screen name: wchrisrock




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