Sometimes it's funny where articles come from. There are times that I feel that I am honestly running out of material and other times where I have too much. This week was one of the low weeks. I was trying to decide what to go with. Then it hit me. Over the course of three days I was asked the same question roughly 10 times.
"If you were going to play in a tournament tomorrow, what would you play?"
And truthfully, that's a tough one to answer. Blame it on Skullcamp. Better yet, blame it on the lack of Skullclamp. Don't take this the wrong way. I'm not complaining. I might be one of the happiest folks on the planet that Skullclamp was banned. I honestly felt that a few more cards should have been banned. However, I was obviously wrong. But of course, that's not a good enough response.
I learned a long time ago that once you are a celebrity (or more of a "personalty" in my case), you can't get away with an easy answer. In anything competitive, people want to nail you to an answer. You have to make a statement and stick with it. Boxers are always asked what they think or how they feel about a fight they are going into. You will never hear one of them say they are worried about the other guy beating them. That's not what the public wants to hear. Even if they know their odds aren't great, they can't say that. But if they say they feel good and think they should get a win, people expect them two. Obviously one of them HAS to lose.
Well, it's sort of the same in our cases as internet writers. If we don't give an answer, we are either perceived to be hiding a good deck or strategy or we are afraid to risk our credibility. So how do we fix this? We don't. We simply give an answer and stick with it. That's what I do anyway. And sometimes I'm wrong. Sometimes I'm write. Other times, I still think I'm right, even when a players comes back and tells me they got smashed.
Sometimes, I want to recommend what I think is the best deck for a particular field to a player but I can't. I know the player can't acquire the cards in time sometimes. There are other moments that I have to take into account a person's play skill. There are some decks that are just too complicated for some players. It's hard to line all of those things up when making a suggestion. There have been moments in the past that made me realize that a particular deck was better that what I was choosing. I was also smart enough to know that my practice time was short and I wasn't going to completely understand the deck. I guess sometimes you can police a lot of this by keeping yourself in check.
But again, some of you are reading this thinking that I'm trying to dodge the question. Truthfully, you should play whatever you have the cards for. Right now though I like Hot Momma (you can read about it here) with a few updates. I also like MonoBlack, both control and creature variations. I also think the Obliterate decks, if played carefully can be really strong. So, I think any of those decks have a possibility, it just depends on the field you are looking to go against.
The second topic that I heard a lot of discussion about involves the current PTQ season. It's Mirrodin Block Constructed for those of you that are unaware. This isn't the big deal. Some people just seem bothered that talk and strategy about the format is all over the place and they aren't interested. Obviously, not everyone will be interested. However, most of the writers online are competitive players, so they are going to be working on that format anyway. Personally, my rating is hopefully high enough (if not, I'm 2 or 3 points short) to get an invite via rating. So I'm still spending time helping players build Standard decks for our Texas Magic League $5,000 Championship (you can read about it here).
I think there are still ideas to be gathered from these reports even if you aren't completely interested. Every season, if you notice, some strategies appear in block season and slowly work their way into the constructed metagame. So, don't automatically discount it when you read it.
But you can take this a step further. Why not use the time to take advantage of the Standard events at your local venue. If everyone is distracted with block constructed, you can slowly get an edge, right? Perfect your game. I know in some places, attendance drops a little on Friday Night Magic events, because players will not show up, wanting to get rest before large tournament. This is your time to clean up. It's a chance to try new decks. It's a chance to get your confidence level back up. Everyone can use a little confidence boosting. Take advantage of Standard events right now and go play. There is very little reason not to at this point.
But since I've gotten you all used to it, I won't leave you stranded. I do have a deck for you this week:
4 Goblin Piledriver
4 Goblin Sharpshooter
4 Goblin Sledder
4 Goblin Warchief
4 Siege-Gang Commander
4 Skirk Prospector
4 Electrostatic Bolt
2 Patriarch's Bidding
4 Bloodstained Mire
3 City of Brass
4 Dwarven Blastminer
2 Patriarch's Bidding
3 Sulfuric Vortex
That's right. It's good ol' Goblin Bidding. It's still good believe it or not. When you are playing against a field full of U/W Control and landkill decks, this deck is great. This past weekend, I firmly believe that if someone had played this in our local $5K qualifier, they would have had a pretty easy day. It may not be the best choice for EVERY field, but it's about understanding your metagame. It's also proof that oldies and still be goodies.
I just have to be fair though. I'm all about fairness right. Here's a deck for you block constructed folks:
4 Fangren Firstborn
4 Molder Slug
4 Sylvok Explorer
4 Tel-Jilad Chosen
4 Troll Ascetic
3 Viridian Shaman
2 Viridian Zealot
3 Beacon of Creation
2 Echoing Courage
1 Rude Awakening
3 Echoing Truth
3 Eternal Witness
3 Oblivion Stone
1 Rude Awakening
2 Sword of Fire and Ice
4 Tel-Jilad Justice
I'm still unsure of the Sword of Fire and Ice in the sideboard. I was big on it at first. I was big on it for the sideboard for a lot of decks. However, lately, I've started to stray away from it. So replace it with whatever you see fit. I think it's a fun deck. Of all the block decks I've seen so far, this one is the most fun to play.
Anyway, that should hold you guys until next week :)
Until next time,
PowrDragn at Pojo dot com
Copyright 2001 Pojo.com
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.