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By: Tarmotog, Naoto Watabe
Feb 24 2010 3:25am
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Welcome again to One Double O where you get to read about the 100 card Singleton format, the format where everything you can ever imagine happens. This week, I'll be going through lighter stuff with a look at relevant tournament information as usual, a review on the upcoming Duel decks and I'll also be sharing an odd deck to be playing with for those of you who don't like the norm.

For the newcomers, the 100 card singleton is a classic based format where you get to play any card online. Every card is restricted except for basic lands and there is a banned list that goes with it. People who play it say that they like how every game is totally different. I personally like it because I get to do the evil stuff of classic, extended and standard all at the same time. It's not an east format to start out with but if you have the patience, you can easily grow your collection at a comfortable pace. I did it that way, spending on mtgo every now and then. It's rather affordable because you only need 1 copy of a said card and you're basically done. Each new set contributes a few powerful cards for you to add to your arsenal so you don't actually need to be really involved to keep in touch. It's definitely a nice format to play games in.

-----------------------One Double O Tournament Center-----------------------

Here, I'll be running through the competitive side of the format for those of you who want to bring the format to the next level. I will have links to the decklists that have done well and will sometimes introduce the newer concepts that are brought to the tournament. The big tournament for the format is during the weekend in the Premier event section. For those of you who want a good deal, I would say that the payout for the tournament is just plain profitable because going into top 16 nets you a draftset of TSE which is worth 12 for an entry of only 6 tix. Going t8 and higher nets you even more packs and 3 Qualifier Points. It is, by any measurement, one of the best tournaments to take part in during the week. I kid you not.

Febuary Bannings Update

First things first, we have an update on the banned list (since the format has no restrictions):

Tolarian Academy from Urza's Saga is banned.

Comments: Tolarian Academy is pure goodness which isn't too difficult to get more out of. It's a pity we won't get to see it at work. No point blowing it up. It's not something that is hard to expect. It's so unfair in what it does. On the other hand, we are getting the other lands in the format which I can't wait to see. Gaea's Cradle is a very high powered land.

tolarian academy

That aside, the announcement has no real effect on the format, with zero cards unbanned or banned from the current card pool. I still think that there are cards that need to be unbanned. It's so annoying not to be able to play with strong and can give rise to various strategies but not outright wrong (such as Life from the Loam).
I keep harping on it because given the current format, those cards won't impact the way games are played in a very warping manner. Life from the Loam and Crucible of Worlds in the format might just induce people to maindeck one or two pieces of graveyard hate like Relic of Progenitus or Phyrexian Furnace in control decks. That's about as much damage it would do to the format if it doesn't actually help other matchups such as decks with Recurring Nightmare.

Tournament Results
For those of you interested in the previous tournament top 8, here they are (02/12/2010): http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Digital/MagicOnlineTourn.aspx?x=mtg/digital/magiconline/tourn/947074

Monored + goblins
5c Rock
UB control
UB control
Naya combo

What is Naya combo? It's basically a Naya deck with a couple of 2 card combos that are available to the RGW color combination.
The most glaring combos are:
-Stuffy Doll + Guilty Conscience (infinite damage)
-Squirrel Nest + Earthcraft (infinite squirrels)
-Imperial Recruiter + Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker (if it means anything to you)
The deck has quite a few tricks up its sleeves with enchantment search for a combo piece, Survival of the Fittest or even Moat. The deck can just go Naya beatdown with auras to beef up the creatures. (It spots Uril, the miststalker which gets rather scary with auras.)
I'm not too sure where to start to talk about the deck because the whole deck itself is a complex web of interactions. It's probably stronger against aggressive decks but it's more vulnerable to control strategies which can prey on the fundamental weaknesses of the deck in that it plays cards that heavily depend on the board situation (since the cards interact with each other) to work but other than that, it definitely looks capable of messing around with decks that want to play fair.
It's an interesting original take on the format. I suspect that you need to play the deck a few times to actually make the better play decisions because of how vulnerable the deck is to poor choices.

Other than that, I am rather surprised to see so many Naya decks hanging around in the top 8. It is definitely a good choice to use to beat aggressive red decks with. While it doesn't actually have a poor matchup against control, I'd rather meet Naya than Monored when I am playing countermagic simply because the deck is clunkier.

PT San Diego Tech Update
With a standard Pro Tour just over, we can revise our valuation of cards with updated information.

-The value of Knight of the Reliquary has gone up with Worldwake with Sejiri Steppe is a cool option for protecting your creatures and as a way to get more manlands into play.

-Basilisk Collar + creatures that deal damage directly to creature are good against creature decks. Playable pingers include Grim Lavamancer, Granger Guildmage or even Mogg Fanatic.

-Finest Hour is goodstuff with more manlands.

-Jace, the Mind Sculptor is a very strong card. I'm not too sure how he fares in 100c Singleton (because of how aggressive the format is and how often burn spells fly around) but he's made appearances in multiple formats including Standard, Legacy and extended as well. I might have underrated his +2 fateseal or his -1 Unsummon.

-----------------------One Double O Card Review - Duel Decks: Phyrexia vs. The Coalition-----------------------

The full decklists for the Duel decks: Phyrexia vs. The Coalition were up on Monday. They can be found here. To summarize the decklists, the "new cards" are basically found in the Phyrexian half of the deck. The "new cards" come from the Urza's block. The paper release for the duel decks are on March 19. I will assume that the online release would be simultaneous or not too far back. Urza's Saga comes online on March 29 so there is really only a marginal difference if you could play with Voltaic Key a week or two earlier. So what's new that's driving the sale of the duel decks? Should you make the effort to obtain a copy?

There are 2 black cards that will be the main reason to get the duel decks: Phyrexian Negator and Bone Shredder.
Before I look specifically at the two cards, here is a list of cards that are "new":

Urza's Saga (I will be doing a review on this set soon so I'll leave things to then)
Worn Powerstone
Voltaic Key
Phyrexian Processor
Order of Yawgmoth
Phyrexian Ghoul
Priest of Gix
Sanguine Guard

Urza's Legacy (The random phyrexians are not very impressive although I like their flavor text)
Phyrexian Broodlings
Phyrexian Debaser
Phyrexian Defiler
Phyrexian Denouncer
Bone Shredder

Urza's Destiny
Phyrexian Negator

Phyrexian Negator

"The creature in the wardrobe flung back the bone in-laid doors, ripping them from their hinges, and emerged.

It was a huge thing, in general configuration human, though with its armor implants, protruding bone spikes, and barb-edged legs, it seems almost an insect. A pair of steel struts extended its lower jaw, which was tipped with glimmering metal tusks that dripped Jhoira's blood. Its nose had been replaced with another spike, the task of breathing being accomplished through a series of holes bored through the creature's sternum and directly into its bronchia. Its eyes seemed to glow, bedded deep in mirrored sockets, and its horned-studded brow ridge rose into a... crest that also ran with blood. Sharpened tips of bone protruded from shoulders, elbows, fingertips, knees, and toes." - Chapter 6, Time Streams by J. Robert King.

That, is the description of a Phyrexian Negator when Karn, Silver Golem encountered it for the first time.

This card will be in the Duel Decks: Phyrexia vs. The Coalition in an alternate art foiled version. The beauty of it is its size and cost. 2B for a 5/5 trampler is no funny business. Without any resistance, it's a 4 turn clock by itself. With acceleration, that clock can start as early as turn 1 with a Dark Ritual.
Unfortunately, Phyrexian Negator has no business against burn decks as one can tell from its drawback. As such, I wouldn't recommend it in the maindeck.

However, it's an incredibly powerful sideboard card against control decks or decks that don't mainly use creatures. It's super buff and the pressure it creates on the board is just overwhelming. Although the creature creep (the constant improvement of creatures) has gotten to the point where a 5/5 for 3 isn't all that impressive now (as seen with Woolly Thoctar), trample + a big body is not something to laugh off. Phyrexian Negator is much easier to cast than Woolly Thoctar is. Phyrexian Negator is a big deal for ancient technology even in modern times. Something like the Terminator.

One thing to note is that its drawback is negligible against wrath effects or removals so you get much more value out of it against specific decks. As such., the main home for this is probably control/combo decks over aggressive decks because it's another way to win by itself, especially when you have some means of protection. 

Bone Shredder

What is this card supposed to be? A Terror on a body that has echo?
It is as the description says but it is definitely different from Shriekmaw in terms of how it can be used. There are a few things that come to mind:

#1 Cavern Harpy + Bone Shredder for multiple Terror action.
#2 AlurenBone Shredder as a free creature kill option for the deck.
#3 Reveillark action which is not possible with Shriekmaw.
#4 Imperial Recruiter toolbox option.
#5 Shirei, Shizo's Caretaker for a free Terror every turn.
#6 A blocker for a turn + Terror

Not too shabby for a card that looks somewhat clunky huh.

Value-wise, there are 3 other cards worth looking at: Living Death, Foil alternate art Urza's Rage and alternate art Armadillo Cloak. Picture for the cloak can be found here on their facebook page. Living Death is currently $6 at MTGOtraders.com and the other 2 are 2+ each so you get at least $10 worth of cards from these 3. Add the new cards and the other older cards and you probably might have it very much worth the buy depending on how much you value the cards. For me, I have no reason not to get a copy of this. I like alternate art and I like new cards.

-----------------------One Double O.dec - Living End-----------------------

With the extended season on going, a deck from it caught my eye: the Living End deck.
The concept is simple: Cycle a bunch of creatures into the graveyard and cascade into Living End via Violent Outburst and Demonic Dread.
Here's the extended deck for reference:

The deck looked possible in the 100 card Singleton format. There are a ton of cycling cards from across time and the fundamental part of the deck was already explored previously when I made my 84 land.dec, toying with (Swans of Bryn Argol) and Seismic Assault as the main combo. That deck was functionally interesting but it suffered from not being viable enough in the face of some troublesome removals and countermagic in general.

The other sign of viability is the presence of multiple cards that do the same thing as Living End.
In fact, Living End was made after Living Death from Tempest.
Other cards include Twilight's Call from Invasion and All Hallow's Eve from MED III which are similar but not identical. These 2 cards don't have a built in wrath effect but they return creatures from the graveyard.

The main idea of the deck is to avoid the low casting costs so that the cascade spells will hit Living End consistently. That is the main difference between this version and the extended version. I have to make sure that the business spells don't start at least 4-5 because there are only 3 cascade spells that cost 3. The others cost 4 or more so adjustments have to be made there. (Feel free to remove Architects of Will in order to ensure that you don't Bituminous Blast into it. )

The card choices are very straightforward. I started out by looking through the cycling cards and dumped a huge chunk of them into the deck since these cards were the main engine of the deck. However, these could not fill up the entire deck so I had to look at alternative cards that I could play.
The first restriction would be the cost. The cards can't cost less than 4. They should either be creatures or spells that gained access to creatures.

The mechanics that came to mind immediately for the creatures were: Morph and Evoke. Ingot Chewer, Mulldrifter, Shriekmaw and Aethersnipe were really good in the deck design. The morph creatures were not so important because they would probably be dead more than half the time. However, I made sure that some of them could morph up for a reasonable cost or just to get a small board advantage. Gathan Raiders and the most annoying catch-all-tricks Zombie Cutthroat are honorable mentions. Maelstrom Djinn, Quicksilver Dragon and Exalted Angel are morphs I expect to flip up. Baneslayer angel is just a randomly powerful creature that is definitely playable in the deck.

The high casting cost cards that supported the deck were: Liliana Vess, Beseech the Queen, Primal command and the unexpectable Force of Will (since people don't get used to seeing good cards with crappy cards).

Lastly, the mana base was formed out of fetchlands, dual lands, shock lands, basic lands and some utility lands. The land cyclers and the fetchlands actually enable the deck to go for a basic land setup without ever needing to use the non-basic lands. If no non-basic hate is suspected, the lands can go all out and find the dual lands for heavy mana fixing action.

5c Living End
by Tarmotog
1 Bloodbraid Elf
1 Monstrous Carabid
1 Greater Gargadon
1 Maelstrom Djinn
1 Quicksilver Dragon
1 Jungle Weaver
1 Shriekmaw
1 Primoc Escapee
1 Valley Rannet
1 Elvish Aberration
1 Pale Recluse
1 Ridge Rannet
1 Sphinx of Lost Truths
1 Ingot Chewer
1 Enigma Sphinx
1 Architects of Will
1 Scion of Darkness
1 Jhessian Zombies
1 Noble Templar
1 Wirewood Guardian
1 Chartooth Cougar
1 Naya Sojourners
1 Shoreline Ranger
1 Igneous Pouncer
1 Zombie Cutthroat
1 Tombstalker
1 Mulldrifter
1 Gathan Raiders
1 Akroma, Angel of Fury
1 Exalted Angel
1 Barkhide Mauler
1 Deadshot Minotaur
1 Enlisted Wurm
1 Street Wraith
1 Glassdust Hulk
1 Macetail Hystrodon
1 Brine Elemental
1 Eternal Dragon
1 Yoked Plowbeast
1 Baneslayer Angel
1 Twisted Abomination
1 Krosan Tusker
1 Avatar of Woe
1 Kathari Remnant
1 Aethersnipe
45 cards

Other Spells
1 Violent Outburst
1 Deny Reality
1 Force of Will
1 Primal Command
1 Twilight's Call
1 Beseech the Queen
1 Bituminous Blast
1 Ardent Plea
1 Stormcaller's Boon
1 Living End
1 Living Death
1 Captured Sunlight
1 Demonic Dread
1 All Hallow's Eve
1 Liliana Vess
15 cards
1 Windswept Heath
1 Volrath's Stronghold
1 Wooded Foothills
1 Bloodstained Mire
1 Polluted Delta
1 Flooded Strand
1 Tundra
1 Taiga
1 Savannah
1 Badlands
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Underground Sea
1 Volcanic Island
1 Karakas
1 Temple Garden
1 Swamp
1 Mountain
1 Sacred Foundry
1 Watery Grave
1 Plateau
1 Steam Vents
1 Verdant Catacombs
1 Scalding Tarn
1 Wasteland
1 Island
1 Stomping Ground
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Breeding Pool
1 Bazaar of Baghdad
1 Godless Shrine
1 Tropical Island
1 Marsh Flats
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Plains
1 Hallowed Fountain
1 Scrubland
1 Forest
1 Krosan Verge
1 Arid Mesa
1 Bayou
40 cards
Living Death

Playing the deck:

The deck itself plays in a very linear way. You start the game by cycling your creatures into the graveyard. You then cast a cascade spell which will hit Living End in order to Damnation + Twilight's Call to turn the board position around. The concept is simple but the games are much more interesting.

The gameplay evolves when you actually move away from the main route for whatever reason might be possible from heavy counter magic to even graveyard hate. You get to actually play the fatties for their cost as vanilla but fat threats.

The deck itself is strong against creature based decks since the main gameplan involves a Damnation. Control matchups are a problem but you can get lucky with cards like Greater Gargadon, Enlisted Wurm and Enigma Sphinx. I would believe that sideboarding options that include land destruction would be rather effective against control decks. I see cards like Avalanche Riders, Acidic Slime and Fulminator Mage to make good avenues of attack. Blood Moon or Magus of the Moon are perfectly annoying cards that can be prepared against during the setup and they can be hit with some consistency with cascade.
Traps are really ideal in this deck where you don't actually want a low casting cost card that you could cascade into easily.

I won't go around claiming that this deck is at a competitive level but it definitely has some potential in it as well as flexibility to some extent. Playing it requires some skill as you need to be flexible to change your options on the spot. It does suffer to cards that are generally better against creatures but the surprise factor is another thing in itself.

-----------------------Last Words-----------------------

I'll soon be back with more technology for the 100 card Singleton format which I'm somewhat excited to present in the next One Double O. Be back on puremtgo.com for more 100 card Singleton! Until then, enjoy the Worldwake release events and get what you need such as manlands and the chase cards.

tarmotog on myMTGO


also in the duel deck by Niabock (not verified) at Wed, 02/24/2010 - 04:20
Niabock's picture

There are two Yavimaya elders in the duel deck as well (with new art too). He's been a 10-15tic common out of the commander decks, so this should let some people pick him up at a more reasonable price.

5c Living End by Anonymous (not verified) at Wed, 02/24/2010 - 05:05
Anonymous's picture

I have 100s living end deck too, i would suggest replacing All Hallow's Eve with Pyrrhic Revival and perhaps Wonder and Anger for evasion+haste - these two cards need more sac effects like Diamond Valley or Corpse Connoisseur which i consider all-star for any reanimator deck :]
Another card i would definitely play is Sawtooth Loon because with all those cycling I was topdecking Living End quite often.

I have been enjoying the new by Neoshinji :P (not verified) at Wed, 02/24/2010 - 15:56
Neoshinji :P's picture

I have been enjoying the new Jace quite a bit. Works really well with U/W Control with Mass Land and Creature Removal backed by Counters. I can tap out to play him and use his +2 ability to get a feel for what they might cast next. And just blow up the lands on next turn while popping any big creature threats to their hand.

Good call on the Stoneforge Mystic. Good against control and aggro imo.

The duel decks will by Tarmotog at Wed, 02/24/2010 - 23:34
Tarmotog's picture

The duel decks will definitely be a good buy for new players (The commander decks are also good buys) since they have a variety of playable cards for reasonable costs but buying on online stores (mtgotraders.com etc) might actually be cheaper (which I strongly suspect since many of the cards are already available from past sets) so I try to think minimally about these special sets when evaluating them so that people would have a better sense of what they are really getting.

Pyrrhic Revival & corpse connoisseur sound gd.. I don't really think u would need the incarnations since their impact on the game are marginal... (u'll have a small group of fatties in play and some have haste or flying too) Sawtooth loon looks like a good answer to living end in hand... I really hate it when you draw it and the only way to use it is to suspend it... =( all hallow's eve isn't too bad since you actually resolve it when you cast it unlike suspend. Some large cascade spells can catch it too. Phyrrhic is definitely better thou. =)

Neoshinji: Armageddon propaganda! Fateseal post geddon sounds like game. Stoneforge is gdstuff. =) Apart from what she already does, she opens up any deck to more equipments such as Lightning Greaves.

The Xira Aren commander deck by Willythenilly (not verified) at Thu, 03/11/2010 - 23:55
Willythenilly's picture

The Xira Aren commander deck has a Yayimaya Elder and a Sakura-Tribe Elder. The Rubina deck has a Rhysic study and some other good stuff.