or take 995 or so)
First of all, a big thanks to all the people who responded to my last column asking about what people want to see me do. I also really appreciate the guy who filled me in on what Squee’s Revenge exactly was in the book.
The most common request I got was for info on the Invasion Block Constructed PTQ season that is coming up. Fortunately, my local store is running IBC tournaments on Saturday nights for people to warm up to this new format, so after this past Saturday night, I actually have some information to share.
First of all, I personally played a Domain variation, primarily based on Kai Budde’s design from the Barcelona Masters tournament.
The deck performed decently, carrying me to a 3-1-1 record in the swiss rounds, but a skull-crushing defeat in the first round of the Top 8. Looking at how to strengthen the deck against my losses is my primary focus, and the deck’s weaknesses in the current environment stood out horribly. Discard can absolutely wreck your day with this deck. It tends to need to sit back and wait a few turns before it really gets churning, and a deck that plays Ravenous Rats followed by a Gerrard’s Verdict can make mincemeat of you.
Star Compass is in there primarily as a replacement for Fertile Ground, as I really don’t have a desire to make it any easier for a Vindicate to hurt you than it already is.
At this point, I’d want to mix in some more, cheap countermagic like Evasive Action or Prohibit, and I’m looking into the possibility of entirely different builds of Domain, including a creatureless variant that would count on Tribal Flames and Exotic Disease for the win. At this point, I think Domain is probably a tier two deck, weakened by the proliferation of discard spells in this environment and the presence of Vindicate which can make it very difficult to keep a Collective Restraint on the board. However, it is definitely a deck I enjoy playing, and will give it more work in the future.
My Top 8 loss was to the deck that ended up winning the entire event, a deceptively simple B/U deck that simply wrecked me in two games. It’s similar to a Probe-Go or Go-Mar variant.
Largely untuned, yes. Exceedingly effective, yes. I asked the builder of this deck afterwards if he had not seen a Dodecapod all day long, and he said “Yeah, but then I just Repulsed it or blocked with my Nightscape Familiar.” In my case, I dropped a Dodecapod 2nd turn due to Rats, he Repulsed it after going to 15, then just attacked with his Doomsday Specter and picked me apart.
My other loss on the day was to a G/R/B aggro deck
that met the above U/B deck in the finals.
A lot of people have been excited by Blurred
Mongoose lately, and while I admittedly don’t really get
the fascination, it seems to be working.
Unfortunately I was unable to get a complete
deckist but I know it included
A bunch of bears and burn, along with the Battlemages to provide some discard and general board control.
The other intriguing decks I saw included people
playing a version of Counter-Burn for IBC, which was
creatureless and ran
Name: Tim Stoltzfus
I'm a genetic mutant, spawned from government experiments on monkeys and blowfish that resulted in a new form of human being that can climb trees and breathe underwater. Sadly, I also have a paralyzing phobia of being wet and I can't stand heights, so I was sent out into society to attempt to live a normal life. Your tax dollars hard at work.
Unfortunately, the attempt at a normal life was thwarted when I was introduced to the game of Magic:The Gathering in the spring of 1994. From the first day I got my head bashed in by a Force of Nature that trampled over my Ironroot Treefolk who I played third turn by tapping the Dark Ritual I had played on the first turn, I was hooked on this goofy game. (Don't ask, we had no idea what the rules were, and I suspect neither did WotC at the time.)
I've played almost continuously since then, taking a six month hiatus from the game to move from Pennsylvania down here to Dallas, Texas in January of 1996.
I've played in way too many PTQs to count, been lucky enough to attend Origins for a few years when Nationals was held there, and I've even qualified for two Pro Tours, finishing 136th at PT Dallas with the first (and only) NecroHaups deck, and finishing 46th at PT Secaucus (Aka PTNY 99).
Over the past year or so I've regressed a little as a competitive player, not being quite as eager to travel to PTQ's, but still being very active in my local tournament scene.
I enjoy the card interactions in Magic, and love to build odd decks that try to captialize on those unique interactions. I'm not always successful, but I always have fun, and enjoy meeting people involved with the game.
I've been writing about Magic for a few years now, getting my start doing a column about rules for The Dojo back when Fank Kusumoto was the Sensei there. Later on I started Techsas under the watchful eye of Chris Senhouse, with the name of the column coined by the brilliant Al Tran. After The Dojo went the way of the dodo, Scott Gerhardt contacted me in a panic, desperately pleading with me to write for the new Pojo Magic site. I think his exact words were something like, "If you don't suck, I'll let you do it once a week."
Apparently I don't suck, although that could change at any moment.
Techsas. Enjoy it while it doesn't suck.
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