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"Speaking about Regionals, ..."

03.28.02    We are at an exciting time of the year for Magic right now.  Regionals are right around the corner, and while not everybody will be going to them, the Standard environment will most definitely change drastically after them.  For all those not attending Regionals this year, be on the lookout for a new environment after they are all finished.  Why do I say that?  While there will most definitely be the expected decks like Frog in a Blender, Fat Crank, Braids Rush (red or white), and U/G Madness, there are also going to be some major new decks out there.  These decks wonít be numerous, so they may not stand the best of chance of winning each individual tournament (the odds are simply against them with so many of the deck types mentioned above that are going to be there), but they will most likely put on quite a show and turn a lot of heads.  It will be these decks that will evolve the future environment.

            On that note, let me start speaking about my deck for regionals.  Well, as most of you would guess, it is not anywhere close to any of the decks I have mentioned earlier.  On the bright side, it handles those decks very nicely.  Also on the bright side, it does quite well against Psychatog and Enforcer-Go decks, too.  Keep in mind that there arenít too many known decks left out there that this deck wonít work well against.  If I were only able to think of the other rare decks that will be played.

            Now, I could give you a deck-list and make everything easy for all of you, but that would seem just too easy.  On top of that, Iím not sure I want to make my deck blatantly obvious to everyone, yet.  So, with all that said, I have decided to give many clues as to what may (or may not) be in it.  Oh heck, letís make it a contest.  With the clues I provide, if anyone can come very close to what is in my deck (my discretion, of course, but Iíll be fair), they will get a prize.  I donít promise big prizes, and I reserve the right to stop giving out prizes after a certain number (undetermined at this time) of people come close enough to warrant a prize.  You can contact me as many times as you want via email and/or IM (see info at end of article) to make guesses towards single cards or entire deck-lists.  I will only give yes or no answers, so it seems strategically sound to keep your guesses simple to receive specific feedback.  Well, with all this in mind, letís get into the clues.

1.)    The deck has somewhere between 2 and 4 colors (both of those numbers included in the range).

2.)    Enchantments are very key to this deck.

3.)    60 cards, no more or less.

4.)    Mainboard has both enchantment and artifact removal.

5.)    Neither my opponent nor I should have very many cards in the graveyard.

6.)    I do not fear FTKs, Edicts, or Bloods.

7.)    My deck can keep going, and going, and going, and goingÖ..

8.)    Two words: Life Gain.

9.)    This deck has three paths to victory (one of which is concession).

10.)            A 1-mana sorcery debuts in this deck (meaning, it is virtually unplayed anywhere else).

Ok, there are your clues.  The rest is all up to you, my readers.  Who can make anything out of the clues I gave, and come up with anything close?  Though I know most of the clues are vague, Iím sure at least one person can/will come up with the correct answer.  Good luck to all, and Iíll be hearing from you!

Moving on to other matters, I attended a PTQ this last weekend, and did fairly well.  Out of a field of 83 participants, all ripping open sealed decks and dueling it out against each other, I finished a respectable 11th.  I missed the top-8 on tiebreakers, but losing in the first round certainly didnít help matters out much.  My deck was utter crap, and Iím not sure how I did as well as I did.  Though I had a few bombs in Kirtarís Wrath, Shambling Swarm, and Grotesque Hybrid, the rest of the deck was meagerly put together.  With no Butchers, Mesmeric Fiends, Edicts, Innocent Bloods, Ghastly Demises, or any other staple card, I put my deck together.  Something major I noticed compared to most of the people there is that I only played two colors, and I believe this helped me a lot.  Except for waiting to drop enough lands to cast higher costing spells, I always had the mana I needed (meaning I was never screwed out of a color).  Being able to cast whatever is in your hand is a major key to playing in limited. 

Without kidding a single one of you, Iíll tell you now that Steamclaw was one of the best cards in my deck.  Now that you are all done laughing, let me explain further.  I ďkilledĒ numerous Elephant and Wurm tokens before they even made it into play, I saved my creatures by getting rid of Firebolts and Crippling Fatigues, I kept most opponents from threshold, I only had to kill important creatures once as I never let them get recurred, and the cards drawn off of Deep analysis were abundantly less than they would have been without Steamclaw.  With all that said, I would highly encourage anyone to play that card in their Limited deck if they have room (like I said, I had a bunch of crap so maybe I just the extra room).

In any case, I piloted my B/W sealed deck to a 5-2 record to receive 11th place and a box of Torment boosters.  Let me be the first to admit that I got one lucky break in the tournament that most likely amounted to the game (and match at that point) going in my direction.  If the person that was on the bad side of this break reads this, I apologize once more for his incidence of bad luck.  Iím happy, though that I can finally be on the receiving end of some good luck.  It has been quite a while.

The Magic community has been changing lately, and Iíd say for the worse.  Brainburst has now started charging for access to all their features.  Though some articles and decklists remain available to the public, the ďmajor stuffĒ is closed to those who donít pay.  There are several issues I have with this.  I understand that running a web-site is expensive, and that $4/month is a very small amount to pay for any service, but there just seems to be better answers.

  First of all, donít pay people to write.  Iíve already read all kinds of arguments about this so far, and Iím sure a lot of you have, as well.  Personally I agree with the person who wrote in and said that they prefer to read an article from someone who wants to write rather than an article by someone who was paid to write.  While I, too, would gladly accept money for my writings, that is far from the reason why I do it.  Matter of fact, Iím glad that Iím not paid, as now the only stress on writing comes from myself, and not an employer.  As is the case with a lot of things (reading books, for example), writing articles is much more fun (for both the writers and the readers) when there is no pressure to do so.

Secondly, most of those articles suck.  Iím sorry to not be able to put it in lighter terms, but take a look at them sometimes.  I'm going to pick on Zvi Mowshowitz for my example.  Have you people read very many of his articles?  First off, his articles, as posted, wouldnít be acceptable on a Middle School level.  They contain so many grammatical and spelling mistakes that itís almost funny to read it and count how many there are.  He gets paid for these?!  The other thing about his articles is that when you can understand what he is trying to say (which is only half the time, at best), he hardly says anything worth reading.  You donít really realize it, though, until you have finished reading the entire article.  Itís then that you realize how little content he actually provided.

Now Iím not saying that I have the best writing in the world, but Iíd also like to point out that I donít get paid to do this, either.  Alternatives need to be found, somehow, as to how these web-sites can maintain their sites with up-to-date content that people want to read, and still keep their heads above water.  On that note, Iíd like to give some props out to our editors who do a fine job and put in a lot of their time to keep this site going for all of us.  Us writers donít nearly put in as much time as those gentlemen do, and it is they that deserve your thanks and praise (insert applause here).  If you go to any other sites, make sure you thank those editors, too.  They all do a great job.

Well, thatís all for me this time.  I hope you found that reading this article was worth the time you put into it.  I challenge anyone to a game of J&A (an alternative format that John Turpish covered here: http://www.pojo.com/magic/Featured%20Writers/John/0108MagicOnline.html) that has Apprentice and wishes to play.  Again, I expect to hear from a lot of you concerning the deck.  Lots more next time.  Feel free to contact me with any ideas or comments you might have.

Until Psychatog gets a toothbrushÖ

Andrew Chapman


AIM handle: wchrisrock




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