Argothian Treehouse
Andy Van Zandt



Card Price Guide

MTG Fan Articles
Single Card Strategy 
Deck Tips & Strategies 
Tourney Reports 
Peasant Magic 
Featured Articles

Featured Writers
The Dragon's Den
Rumblings From The Ass
The Heretic's Sermon
Through The Portal
DAB: Oh My!
The Argothian Treehouse

Deck Garage
Aaron's School

Message Board 
Magic League

Contact Us

Pojo's Book Reviews



Argothian Treehouse

with Andy Van Zandt

Formats That Don't Matter: Triple Scourge Draft

Did everyone have fun at the Scourge pre-release last weekend?  Good, good. 
Perhaps you got in a draft or two?  Then maybe you took the comparatively
rare chance most people have to play in some real life sanctioned
Scourge-Scourge-Scourge drafts?  If not, you missed out.  Today we're going
to go over some of the more interesting points of it, even though it's a
format that, for the most part, doesn't matter.  You'll not get to play in
triple scourge ptq's, pt's, or at regionals/nats, or really much of anywhere
except online or at your local store, if you can get 8 people together who
are willing to draft it.  But it's fun, in any case, and for those who are
interested in such things, here you are.

The Good:
Every format has it's power points, the stuff you play colors for, the stuff
you automatically include in your decks.  Triple Scourge is no exception. 
And I've got one (sort of) word for you: LandCyclers.  These guys are your
A-number-1 building blocks.  They're some of the best creatures,  and with
their ability to cycle for appropriate land you can draft and play as many
of them as you can get your hands on, since they're never dead;  and despite
Scourge's predisposition towards helping fatty creatures, the landcyclers
are a large part of the relatively small count of non-rare
6-casting-cost-plus critters that these helpers will apply to, outside of
green.  First among equals is the black one, a fatty that regenerates being
a powerhouse in this (and most) limited environments.  Tack on any of the
"enchant-fatty" enhancers and this guy protects himself while taking care of
your opponent.  Speaking of taking care of your opponent- Pemmin's aura, the
superman cloak itself, can do just that, in short work.  Flying, self
protecting, pumping creatures that can attack and defend are pretty good, in
general.  A third turn baby morphling is still a third turn morphling.

Now that you've got some offense going, better get some card advantage. 
Let's turn to Rush of Knowledge first.  Some people don't like 5 mana
sorcery speed card-drawers, and some people are fools.  If you can stall the
ground, or even just buy a free turn, this baby will invariably refuel you,
usually for four or five cards, and often this is more than enough to break
your opponent's back.  Unburden isn't stupor, but it does cycle, so it's
never dead, and that makes it a very good card.  Just make sure you don't
sacrifice too much tempo Unburden'ing your opponent. Aside from these, there
are two cool storm cards to give you a little extra punch- Reaping the
Graves and Sprouting Vines.  The latter will invariably get you 2 more lands
(at least) of your choice while thinning your deck of them, always
worthwhile; and the former will give you back 2 or three of your casualties
of war... or 2 of your landcyclers!  See?  They get better and better!

The Bad:
As mentioned before, the plethora of things that reward you for laying
expensive guys aren't quite as useful in scourge x 3 as they would be in
onslaught/legions/scourge.  That doesn't mean they're dead, but unless
you're playing green, you'll often be re-enchanting a landcycler of the same
color as the enchantment, which, for the most part, don't get that much
benefit from them.  It's still ok to hard cast them, but not getting the
added bonus of re-use is sub-par.  Temporal Fissure.  Don't play it unless
you have a good reason to.  A very good reason.  Like a lot of one-drops, so
you can bounce their team... or if you have no other way to get rid of a
pesky enchantment. Skulltap is another card that needs to be an instant,
really badly.

The Fun:
Aven Liberator is far spiffier than you might think at first glance,
especially since several of the major removal spells in the environment are
enchantments (lingering death, frozen solid).  Speaking of which, you should
be maindecking your cycling enchantment kill (Wipe Clean and Break Asunder).
  You'll certainly be able to either get rid of one of those
critter-wreckers, or move an enchant-dragon off of a pesky dude.  And if you
can't, you get to cycle it.  Better safe than sorry.  Speaking of cycling,
to beat a dead horse, landcycler, landcyclers, landcycling.  If you play
enough of these guys, you get the added benefit of playing less land in your
deck- even though they are technically the high end of your mana curve.  I
played a three color deck with 5 land cyclers and only 15 land, and rarely
had any difficulties.  Scornful Egotist.  No joke, with a couple of the
converted-cost-counters, this guy becomes more than just a bad morph.  8
damage to your opponent or 8 cards is well worth shrinking a gray ogre a
bit.  Carrion Feeder- remember this guy because he "feeds" storm at one
casting cost.  And he has the more obvious potential to get big when your
guys die.  It's really a shame he can't block, because usually when you're
losing guys, you need the added defense, but still, one mana for a 3/3 or
4/4 is still a deal.  Toss an aura on him and see how much longer your
attack phases take as your opponent sits and calculates the potential total
damage he can deal.

All in all, it's good fun to draft this set, and any time you can easily
play three colors, it's always worth playing a couple drafts.  Good luck and
remember: LANDCYCLERS!  Questions? Comments? Feel free to shoot me an email.


You can reach Andy at:

Copyright 2001

Magic the Gathering is a Registered Trademark of Wizards of the Coast.
This site is not affiliated with Wizards of the Coast and is not an Official Site.