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Odyssey: A Retailer's Take ...

Well here I've been researching the new type 2 environment.  Not a whole lot of things are out of the ordinary from what I can tell, but with States less than a month away, some of you are looking for some greater insight.
 
I will say this... I'm proud of my deck that I have and it is creature oriented.  I like turning my cards 90 degrees to reduce my opponents life total :)  However, I figured for something different I would give you all a run down of what I could see as high sellers and fast movers and what they might potentially be used for:
 
TRAUMATIZE
 
I'm not sure of this cards effectiveness.  It's obvious that it can be used with Haunting Echoes.  Also, anyone that tells you this combo is crap...just be aware that it WILL be out there (at least for a few weeks, depending on it's results).  A secondary use that I've seen people using it with is Millstone decks.  They use the traumatize to speed up the decking process. 
The jury is still out on how effective this strategy is.  Something to consider is that playing Traumatize does have it's drawbacks.  Your opponent will have threshold once it resolves.  You also have to consider the fact that some cards with cheap flashback (i.s. Roar of the Wurm) will see some play.  Let's also mention here that there are a few decks that are utilizing traumatize along with Twilight's Call.  Basically this creates a situation similar to the Living Death decks of old.

HAUNTING ECHOES
 
We already touhed on how this card combos with Traumatize.  No need to explain any further.  I have seen a few decks just playing this card alone. 
The main use is to just keep your opponent below threshold level.  My only problem with that, is that I would prefer to sideboard it, instead of maindeck it.  It's much better to have a cards used solely to stop threshold run part time until we find out how important threshold is going to be in the environment.  This card also works interestingly well with Gravestorm.
 
MIRARI
 
I figured that some of you would want to see what I had to say that's interesting and useful about this card.  Well, I hate to deliver the sad news, but I have no idea what to do with this card.  I've seen a few decks with it, but it was not an integral part of them.  I am still of the assumption that Mirari goes well in a combo deck of some sort that I haven't figured out yet.  Serious tournament players aren't too hyped up about this card.  On the other hand casual players love this card, so packing some in your trade binder on the way to States definitely won't suck for you.
 
KIRTAR'S WRATH
 
I have had a few debates with people on the effectiveness of this card.  The main part of the discussions have come down to it's effectiveness in an environment with cheaper, better forms of Wrath of God.  Also though, in slow controls decks, one or two of these could be huge, as you would be able to destroy everything and acquire a couple of blockers (possibly attackers) and could seal the game for you.  It's also bee suggested to use this in a creature oriented deck where it is more likely that you would reach threshold fast.
 
PIANNA, NOMAD CAPTAIN
 
Pianna is pretty straight forward.  This card helps push the beatdown on your opponent.  The drawback of being a legend doesn't help in beatdown decks, so I wouldn't expect most decks to carry more than two to three of them.  Having four seems like a huge drawback.  White weenie is still a viable option, but what version is the best?  Regardless of which is, I would expect there to be a few Pianna's in the room somewhere.
 
IRIDESCENT ANGEL
 
The card is good.  You have to wait a while to get it out.  Having protection from everything is really good though.  Definitely not a strong creature in control heavy environments.  It's a great creature in creature heavy environments.
 
UPHEAVAL
 
This card hasn't been touched on much be many people.  There is a combo with this card that has been working interestingly well.  The combo is Upheaval/Zombie Infestation.  You can pick up all permanents.  Float two mana.  Cast Zombie Infestation.  Drop all your cards to make a lot of zombies and give you a creature advantage.  Also Upheaval can be used in fear of Overrun.  The problem is hibernation is more efficient in that situation.
 
MOLTEN INFLUENCE
 
This card has recently started to move in a lot of places.  I think it is going to be key for aggressive decsk with red to have this.  It can be so huge against control style decks.  It can also put the control players in a bad spot when casting Wrath of God and such.  It's neat because it adds another element to the game.  Many players are just now starting to give this card a try.  don't be surprised if more of these start popping up in your areas.
 
CALL OF THE HERD
 
Sales on this card are still high everywhere.  The funny thing about it all is that I haven't seen a ton of people playing with it yet.  There's no real tricks here, the card is simply a 3/3 for 3.  It's very cost effective and aggressive and has a relatively cheap Flashback cost.
 
SHADOWMAGE INFILTRATOR
 
This is another card that has been leaving the shelves at blistering speed. 
The card obviously has uses.  I might also go as far as to say that this card might be see the most play at States (at least as far as Odyssey cards are considered).  The success of this card will depend on the success of the other decks at the event it is being used in.  Terminate, Vindicate, and Urza's Rage are all relatively cheap and fast answers to this creature and are highly playable.  The card may be good, but seems fairly balanced.  I think the card will have more success in aggressive decks than it will in control/passive decks.
 
FILTER LANDS
 
These only seem marginally good.  I see them as more useful in three color decks than they are in two color decks.  Also, I think they are only good in ones and twos.  Any more than that might slow down some potentially good opening hands.

Well, like I've promised, I have been spending lots of time looking over the Odyssey cards, tracking players reactions on this set and even experimenting with decks.  I've taken a little time off from tournament play, at least Standard, because I'm preparing for post November 1 Standard environment.  I have been having some success with quite a few things, but we'll touch on that later.
 
I want to tell all of you to keep an eye out for new things around the site.  We are going to quickly start becoming one of the best stops online.  The decks to beat section will be back up and updated regularly.  We we'll have more sections for more formats.  The revisions are endless.  We might even be considered your "one stop Magic site" :)  Also, I'll be linking my store site to here soon.  Hopefully we can have it up and running by the end of the week, but no promises as of yet.
 
Also, I have to give some credit to Fletcher for helping bring this site along being the new editor and all.  Even though I guess in all seriousness, I'm senior staff ;)  I wouldn't have time anyway.  I do hope that Fletcher enjoys his job and everything goes well for us under his leadership.
 
Well, next time I hope I will have more more good Odyssey tidbits to help your deck construction.
 
Until next time,
 
DeQuan
a.k.a. PowrDragn

 


 

Biography

Name: DeQuan Watson

    Many readers have gathered a lot of information about me through my writings.  For those of you that haven't though, this should tell you a little more. 

    I'm 23 years old and I own my own business. Well, more accurately I own a game store.  The Game Closet, my store is one of the premiere places to play
in the Texas.  I play Magic on a pretty regular basis.  I help people build decks and teach the game to people multiple times a week.  Owning a store is
neat, because it gives me another perspective to write my articles from.  I
can usually tell what the average player likes and can judge some of the
tendencies of the average player a little better.

    However, I know a decent bit about pro level play as well.  I myself have
played on the Pro Tour.  I have multiple Top 8 finishes at Pro Tour
Qualifiers.  I also have made Day Two at two Grand Prix tournaments.  I was also invited to the Event horizons Invitational last year.  These are not
stellar achievements, but high enough to let you know I have my head on
straight when talking about the game. I also spend lots of time each week talking to, e-mailing, or chatting with top level players.  I get to see their perspective on a lot of things as well.  Between the two, I think I get a good sense of balance of the game.

    Most importantly, I still enjoy the game for the sake of the game itself.  I like the time, the competition, and the general interaction of players.  I plan to be playing it until it goes away...if it ever does.

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