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Hey look I'm here! Sorry about last week everyone. Last week I had nothing. It is that week before the first tournaments with the new set but the new set has been out awhile, so I don't have much to write about. I'd rather miss a week than write something that people won't enjoy reading.

But that's in the past. This past weekend was the first time I got to play with the new cards in a tournament. My local store runs Type II for Friday Night Magic and on Saturday night runs another Type II for cash. I played in at least part of both events with my Orim's Chant deck that I mentioned last time. However, I have made changes from the initial deck listing that I created, and I'll go over the current deck and things that should be changed here.

The deck performed surprisingly well. Friday night I went 3-1 before dropping because I had to get up the next morning, and Saturday night I ended up 1-2-1. I honestly expected 0-2 or 1-2 performances, so I was pretty happy. Here's the current decklist:

4 Orim's Chant
4 Story Circle
4 Wrath of God
4 Howling Mine
4 Recall
4 Seal of Cleansing
2 Disenchant
1 Millstone
3 Prohibit
2 Mystical Tutor
2 Enlightened Tutor
4 Adarkar Wastes
4 Coastal Tower
18 Plains

Yes, it is not very complicated. You drop Howling Mines, you draw Chants and play them as often as possible, you run your opponents out of cards.
The thing that will make or break this deck in the tournament scene is not the core engine, it is the mana base and the support spells. Friday night I was 3-0, beating several creature-based decks. Third round I ran into a a G/R deck that pummeled me with three Flashfires in the second and third games. Saturday night I was 2-0 before I got paired against a U/W control deck with Rising Waters. We split the first two games then ran out of time. My losses were to the same G/R deck from the night before, only this time packing Hull Breach just to annoy me, and then to a B/R control deck that fired off Void for two to kill my Howling Mines more often than I like to admit.
This deck punishes just about any creature-based deck. Aginst the most aggressive decks like Fires, you'll want to drop the Seal of Cleansing first, them drop out your Mines. The Seals take care of Tangle Wires, Fires of Yavimaya, and Saproling Bursts that can keep you from having the coupole extra turns you need to develop and take control. Against anything else the first thing you want to get down and protect is the Howling Mines. They power everything else and keep the deck flowing, as well as being your primary win condition. The Millstone makes running your opponent out of cards easier, but if that fails, the fact that your opponent draws first for the Howling Mines is critical.
Like I said, though, those things are nt the deck's biggest problem. The biggest problem is the support spells and mana base. I thought I could get away without any counterspells. Then I found myself with no Chant in hand at the beginning of their turn, only to have my skull caved in by a Flashfires or Void. Saturday night I brought in Prohibit to try and combat Flashfires only to get beaten by the Void player. When looking at this deck's mana base, it is pretty solid, and really only weak because of Flashfires. You can combat this in part with more non-basic lands. Ruins of Trokair, for example act like Plains but do not get punished by Flashfires.

The support spells are trickier. I am convinced this deck needs hard counter magic like Absorb and Counterspell. The problem is making sure you have the white mana you need for Chants. I'm tempted to work in Islands, but worry that may be problematic. After the Coastal Tower and Adarkar Wastes the only option for multi-color is City of Brass, which is a big no-no in this deck due to the fact that a lone Rishadan Port can kill you. A possibility are the new tri-lands. I believe it is Treva's land that allows you to play U/W/G, you could play 2-4 of those and see how that works for you. Since it doesn't come into play tapped, it could be worth the time.

Finally, the sideboard. The first card you want to put in is 4 Gainsay. This card is phenomenal in this deck, it allows you to fight counter wars with U/W decks and is cheap to cast. Beyond that, I ran Tsabo's Web and a bunch of other cards that were either poor or inconsequential choices. Let me know what you come up with that might work better in the sideboard.

I enjoy playing this deck because I am a hardcore control player at heart. But if you're the type who likes swinging with big critters, you may want to avoid this deck. Have fun this weekend wherever you are!

Tim Stoltzfus