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Summer Sun Causes Ceta Fires

Well, again it has been much longer than I intended before I wrote another article. I guess I won't be winning any Rizzo awards, eh? The reasons for my lack of content are negligible, save for just not taking the time to do it. To all my readers, and also to my editor and colleagues, I apologize.

So, what do we have going on in the world of Magic? Has everyone heard their fill of Quiet Speculation to know that most people think it will be a broken card? Here's a news flash for everyone that hasn't: PEOPLE WILL BE PLAYING THAT CARD! Notice I didn't mention anything about it, save for the fact that people will be playing it. The Quiet Roar decks are something to look out for, as they work, and have been proven to win. Sadly enough, they aren't nearly as good as the hype surrounding them. Even with that taken into consideration, they will be a force to reckon with, so be prepared.

I thought I would take the time in this article to do several things. First of all, I want to touch on some older sets within Type 2, and find some possibly underplayed cards within them. This has been an interesting issue of mine lately, trying to find cards that could be played but aren't. Most of these cards are decent in ability, but just don't seem to cut the cake. Or do they?

AEther Mutation

What happened to this card? Last time I checked, bouncing creatures was good, and putting tokens into play was even better. Here we have a card that does both. So, what holds it back? A 3UG casting cost and a Sorcery speed doesn't help its cause any. Still, what I see is an abusable effect if someone is willing to try. What would be the optimal decks to use this? U/G Opposition would certainly love it, as it would single-handedly break a creature stall, and could also help finish someone off. Even bouncing a 3cc creature (Tog, anyone?) means having one less creature to tap down and 3 more creatures to do some tapping with.

Maybe a U/G aggressive deck could also take advantage of it. Perhaps one using Overrun or the new Keep Watch from Judgment (we'll get to that card later). Either situation would prove most devastating. Again, going to a 3cc creature example (Anurid Brushhopper anyone?), 3 4/4 tramplers or 3 more cards drawn seems like a nice after affect. Granted, there is also the fact that they make great chump blockers for extra defense. AEther Mutation seems to be a card worth looking at for the above mentioned decks.

Suffocating Blast

How is it that a card that is only not usable when there are a few creatures isn't used more when the field is so run by creatures such as now? Killing creatures is good. Countering spells is even better. The problem? It costs 4 mana and requires a creature in play that it can target or else you can't play it. That may sound a bit circumstantial, but I assure you that it happens more often than not. First of all, the creature only needs to be present when you announce the spell and declare the targets. If the creature is somehow made so that it can't be effected, Suffocating Blast will still counter the spell.

Counter-burn has such a great weapon in this card, and maybe even Trenches, too. Killing a creature and countering a spell all in one card, this is yet again another way to achieve card advantage. Has everyone heard all the lessons about card advantage? If not, let me sum them up for you: CARD ADVANTAGE WINS GAMES. Try this spell out folks. You'll like it.

Guided Passage

What we have here is a 3cc Sorcery that, when it resolves, will get you three cards. What are the problems with this? Well, it doesn't always get you the cards you want, and it has three different colors in its casting cost. Still, think for a second about a counter-burn strategy that splashes green. Mystic Snake is the only creature available in the deck and is thus chosen every time for Guided Passage. You get a land into your hand, which by itself is a cost of one green (Lay of the Land), and then you get some other card. Generally, I think we put good spells into our decks, and so this won't get us bad cards when played. If you are worried about the lack of creatures, remember that you can play Call of the Heard or Roar of the Wurm to get creatures. Flametongue Kavu is also a great choice, as I don't know of too many people who LIKE to give their opponents an FTK.

Still not convinced? A 3cc card that gets you three cards every time it resolves is nothing to scoff at. A little designing in your deck can lead you to truly abuse this card. Maybe this is something that the Snake Tongue decks of today could utilize. Time will tell, but only if you are willing to try it.

Ok, so now that I have taken a look at a few older cards, lets look a few short days ahead to Judgment. For this being a new set, it sure seems old to so many people. This set has been analyzed every which way by numerous people. Though I don't deny that most of what I have heard is fairly well sounded, I do have a few thoughts of my own. First of all, Judgment won't change much. With every new set, there is a rush to play the new cards, and many people seem to put as many of those new cards into one deck as they possibly can. It always strikes me as humorous to watch people go crazy over the new cards before things finally settle down.

Has white gotten enough power to become viable as a main color? I don't think so. The Brushhopper is good, but it is green, and green has better combinations than to play with white. Frankly, white has no way to recover from card disadvantage, and it is so easily prone to fall into it. Even the Brushhopper has this problem. How many times can you truly afford to ditch two cards from your hand? I don't know about you, but I enjoy having cards in my hand. Sure, you might play with green madness and flashback spells to help out with that problem, but as I stated earlier, if you are going to play green than white isn't the color you should be playing with it.

Quiet Speculation decks are all over the net. Its impressive to see, but honestly I don't see the point. QS is only good (for the most part) early on in the match. Outside of that setting, and beyond the first casting, it simply ends up being more hassle (or even a dead card) than it is worth. Seriously, haven't U/G decks been pumping out cards and Wurms already with amazing ease? With that in mind, we can see that Quiet Speculation isn't really adding anything to the strategy of the deck that it didn't have beforehand. In fact, I care to say that it may detract from the strategy enough to make it even less viable than it was before. However, as I said earlier, the Quiet Roar decks ARE good, and they should be feared. Players wielding this deck will hand out plenty of losses.

Judgment offers other gems, though.

Browbeat

I don't know if anyone has said this yet, but I will go on the record of saying this is the best red card since Flametongue Kavu. Card drawing has been absent from red for a long time, and this is definitely an efficient card drawer. My findings on this card show that a player will only take the damage from Browbeat once, and they will often wish that they didn't do even that. All in all, this is a great card. It doesn't go in all deck styles, but if you find yourself running out of steam or needing some more fuel for your red decks, try this baby out. She's worth it.

Keep Watch

This card is a hidden gem, I think. Back while Masques block was still in, people used a deck called Blue Skies. Skies featured a horde of mana efficient flying creatures and backed it up with some minimal card drawing and counterspells. Basically, the style was quite aggressive and it was the premier aggro-control deck of its time. Keep Watch may be able to bring back a similar strategy, albeit with a new twist. With Keep Watch, you can play cheap efficient creatures and then refill your hand by doing exactly what you want to be doing anyway; attacking. The new influx of cards can help you maintain or renew your assault on your opponent. Combine this with cards that give you multiple creatures (like AEther Mutation from above) and you could have a very effective strategy.

Grave Consequences

Keeping with the trend of card-drawing, Grave Consequences is a cantrip attached to a potentially abusable effect. Tog (aka Mr. Smiley) got you down? Teach him the consequences of relying on his graveyard. A 2cc instant speed spell from black that draws a card and can either do a bunch of damage, disrupt a major resource, or a little of both is a great consideration. What decks get the most bang for their buck out of this card? Honestly, that's the real question. Perhaps black control decks can use it to their advantage (bringing up the idea of Gravestorm as a possibility). Maybe this card will simply be used from the sideboard. Either way, I think it will see time somewhere.

The OBC season is upon us, and though I haven't done the most testing on the format (I currently have no plans to do anything with it), I have derived a few logical insights about it. Wonder is a force that MUST be reckoned with. Either you run it, or you make sure you can handle it. In either case, it is clear that Wonder will be a defining card in the format.

Mono-Black seems to have great potential. Whether it be an aggressive style or a control one, there is no doubting the strength of black within the Odyssey block. Gravestorm, Nantuko Shade, Shambling Swarm, Braids, Mesmeric Fiend, Laquatus's ChampionÖ There are many strengths to build from within black. Choosing the best cards and the best strategy may be the hardest part.

Well, an article wouldn't be good if it didn't have a decklist, right? You've stuck with me this far (or maybe you haven't), and you deserve one. I hope this deck covers your desires for tech to use. I have taken an old concept and applied new cards to it to make a decent deck. I say decent because I am still testing the deck some against the proposed metagame. When the time comes, I'm not sure what will actually be played and be successful. In any case, here is the deck I am currently playing for Judgment type 2:

Ceta Fires 2002 - Andrew Chapman

4x Birds of Paradise
4x Llanowar Elves
4x Phantom Centaur
4x Flametongue Kavu
4x Yavimaya Barbarian

4x Grizzly Fate
4x Ceta Sanctuary
4x Fires of Yavimaya
4x Fire/Ice

4x City of Brass
3x Island
3x Karplusan Forest
1x Mossfire Valley
8x Forest
5x Mountain

SB:
3x Aether Mutation 
     (see, I use my own advice)
3x Spellbane Centaur
2x Compost
2x Obliterate
3x Hull Breach
2x Jade Leech

Well, thereís my share of strategy for you for today.  I know I crammed a lot in there, and I hope you enjoyed reading it and got something out of it.  I would also like to take this time to tell you all about a new site I have co-created.  Its just a small site, and we donít even know if it will fly, but I wanted to give you all the chance to know about it.  In no way will it compare to Pojo, and it wonít infringe on anything I do here at this wonderful site.  While the site isnít up and going yet (it will be within a month, hopefully), I can give you the URL for it now.

www.roguemagic.cjb.net

On the same note, if you have any comments or things youíd like to see on this new site, please feel free to contact me via my email address or you can also reach me at editor@roguemagic.cjb.net (hey Scott, you like that?  Iím an editor now!  Even if I only edit my own and a couple otherís things)

Until Kamahl starts a petting zooÖ

Andrew Chapman
Whitechrisrock@yahoo.com
AIM: wchrisrock

 

 

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