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By: JXClaytor, Joshua Claytor
Feb 26 2008 1:04am
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Hello, and welcome to the Unoffical Deckopedia of Extended Play.  My intentions with this article are simple.  I intend to provide you with the most up to date and comprehensive guide to the Extended format available on the internet today.  What I am going to do is show you at least one example of every deck that has made the top eight since I started the Extended Play series.  Of course some decks are not going to be featured, I mean really, there was one time that a Standard version of Elves! made the top eight of an event, and since then, it has not top eighted any where in the Extended format.  Okay, the introduction has lasted long enough, let's get to the decklists! 


st off we are going to take a look at the most dominant deck on MTGO.  Yes, this means we are going to look at Dredge! 

The previous version is the typical Dredge build. It has fifteen lands, and looks to combo off quickly with a Dread Return targeting Flame-Kin Zealot. This is not the only version of Dredge to see play. We also have a slightly less stable build of the deck that uses, get this, TEN lands. Let's look at that build now.

That pretty much finishes up the look at Dredge. I'll exclude going a little more in depth about the deck, because well, if you do not know that it gets a combo kill with Bridge from Below, then maybe Extended is not the right format for you. However, if you want to check out an awesome article, check this one out, as it explains the deck in a very good manner.


Moving on, we're going to take a look at one of the breakthrough decks from Grand Prix Vancouver. If you read any of the top eight coverage than you will see that two team mates played The Extended Perfect Storm (TEPS for short.) to a top eight finish. This deck sets up a lot like the Enduring Ideal deck. They both pretty much share the same Invasion land base, but where as Ideal looks to combo out over a longer game (Unless the opponent is already at five life, Form of the Dragon does take longer to kill than the mechanic that TEPS uses.) where as TEPS looks to take a really dumb turn that involves casting a ton of Ritual effects to generate a large storm count, than casts Mind's Desire. Mind's Desire gives you more spells for free, and than you can fire off a lethal Tendrils of Agony.

The Extended Perfect Storm

Other Spells
4 Burning Wish
4 Cabal Ritual
3 Channel the Suns
3 Chromatic Sphere
4 Chromatic Star
2 Chrome Mox
1 Darkwater Egg
3 Infernal Tutor
4 Lotus Bloom
3 Mind's Desire
2 Plunge into Darkness
4 Rite of Flame
4 Seething Song
2 Sins of the Past
1 Tendrils of Agony
3 Gemstone Mine
3 Geothermal Crevice
4 Irrigation Ditch
4 Sulfur Vent
2 Tinder Farm

1 Channel the Suns
4 Deathmark
1 Empty the Warrens
1 Hull Breach
4 Leyline of the Void
1 Mind's Desire
1 Pyroclasm
1 Sins of the Past
1 Tendrils of Agony

Again, I am going to let someone better than me explain the deck to you. Frank Karsten wrote an excellent walkthrough on the deck when he was writing for the mothership, so here are links to that article series.



I just touched on the similarities between TEPS and Enduring Ideal. Turns out, that outside of a very similar mana base and some Burning Wishs but outside of that the game plans really are quite different. Ideal as an enchantment based combo deck that resolves around the Epic spell and some game winning enchantments. Form of the Dragon more often than not wins you the game, but you can also lock your opponent out of casting any answers to the enchantments with Dovescape (Well, Ronom Unicorn will still destroy things.) Here is a sample list of Ideal.

Again, here is a link to a more indepth breakdown of the deck, this time in video form from Wizards of the Coast coverage of Pro Tour Valencia. Keep ahold of this link, you'll see it again.


Ideal also has an alternate version.  Some versions of the deck include Draco and Erratic Explosion as a back up plan to any main deck hate.  This does only deal sixteen damage, but against most decks in the format (I mean there are a ton of fetch and shock lands.) dealing sixteen to the face hole is more often than not a game winner!  Here is the alternate list.  

We've already covered Dredge, TEPS, and Ideal. We are moving at a snail's pace through the combo decks but fear not, we've only got a few more to go. Let's look at another Mind's Desire based combo deck in the form of Heartbeat of Spring combo.

Heartbeat is a Mind's Desire based combo, but unlike TEPS resolves around Brain Freeze for the win.  What happens is you cast copies of Heartbeat of Spring and use Early Harvest to generate large amounts of mana.  With all the untapped lands, you continue to play spells, and fire off a huge Mind's Desire which hopefully finds you either the winning Brain Freeze or a copy of Cunning Wish to get the instant kill.  A thing to note about Heartbeat is that this deck can win on the opponent's end step without the help of Desire.  Hunting Pack and four other end of turn spells will get you five 4/4 beasts to beat down with.  

Here is a sample Heartbeat list.  

I have another link for you here, and though this may be a little dated, the general card choices in this deck have not changed since Pro Tour Los Angeles, when this deck was piloted to the top eight by one Chris McDaniel. He wrote a report from the event here.


Moving right along, we are going to look at a recent combo deck from.  Olivier Ruel played this version of Cephalid Breakfast to a day two finish at Grand Prix Vancouver.  Breakfast is an appealing deck to some.  While it suffers from the same hate as Dredge, the deck has the potential to be quicker than the current graveyard based menance.  So why is it not seen on MTGO often?  

As you can see, the win mechanic that Ruel used is the Tarmogoyf, Sutured Ghoul, Dread Return combo.  That sadly does not work on MTGO.  For some reason the programmer's have known about this not working, and just have not fixed it yet.  Fear not though, if you are interested in playing the deck you still can.  You must replace the Tarmogoyf with Krosan Colossus, this way you will still have enough beef to make the Ghoul lethal when it comes into play. 

So why would anyone play this over Dredge?  The only thing I can guess is this.  You can win on turn one with the deck.  It involves a perfect hand, but it not that hard to assemble.  All you need is a Cephalid Illusionist, Shuko (this involves needing three mana on turn one.) a blue source of mana, and either two Simian Spirit Guides or one guide and a Chrome Mox.  You win be targeting the Cephalid with the Shuko enough times to empty your library into the graveyard.  While doing this you will put (Narcomeoba)s into play so you can flash back Dread Return.  I just gave the perfect walkthrough for the turn one kill, but that does not happen often.  Regardless the promise of it being there is enough for some players!

Here is Ruel's list from the Grand Prix.

Again, we have another dated walkthrough for you to read. No one has really talked about this deck since the time this article was written, and even though cards like Gilded Drake and Bone Shredder are not in the format, the goal of this deck is the same goal as the previous build. Check out this walkthrough here.


The next combo deck that I want to talk about is Elf Alarm.  It's a cute combo deck, that uses a ton of Elves as a secondary game plan to winning.  I mean the combat step is not so bad for this deck, where as for other combo decks, you're just going to move right though it.  

With Intruder Alarm and Sprout Swarm or Imperious Perfect you can make a ton of men on your opponent's end step and just win on your next combat.  It works but is mighty weak against a Pernicious Deed!  Let's look at a recent list.  

There are no real articles about the deck online, but here is how it has played out for me.

Turn one: Birds of Paradise or Llanowar Elves

Turn two: With access to three mana, casting a Perfect here is ideal, as with a land drop and an Intruder Alarm on turn three, you can win on your combat step in turn four.

Turn three: Cast Intruder Alarm with a mana creature left untapped. You want to do this, because the trigger on Intruder Alarm will untap all of your creatures, which will allow you to make as many guys as you want. During your opponent's end of turn, make a bunch of dorks.

Turn four: Untap, Upkeep, Draw, Main phase, CHARGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm almost done talking about combo decks, we've got a few more to discuss, and then we will move on to the next archtype.  

Kuan-Kuan Tian is one of the most exciting deck builders that has come into the scene this past year.  While he may not command the same type of respect that Wafo Tapa gets from the community, he still makes some fantastic decks.  His newest creature,  Bubble Hulk has been warmly received by the PTQ players, and I think it will be received in kind by the MTGO players when Morningtide comes to the program. 

Here is the list for Bubble Hulk: 

Thankfully, this deck is much too complicated for me to explain here. I have yet to play it, and honestly I would feel like the wrong person to explain the deck here. Kuan-Kuan is a very good writer (and in fact, is my favorite writer right now.) and goes through into the creation and evolution of the deck. Here is a link to that article!


I am going to wrap up talking about decklists with this final list.  Tooth and Nail has been a tournament staple since Nassif unleashed it at the Mirrodin Block Constructed Pro Tour.  It dominated Standard (Well dominated as much as it could while fighting Affinity) and has put up decent finishes in the PTQ scene since it rotated out.  This is also going to be one of the few decks that gets a list here, and in the control section, because some versions of Tooth and Nail do not rely on the combo kill that is Sky Hussar and Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker.  Basically what the deck does is ramp up to nine mana, with tron lands and casts the name sake sorcery.  This can be done as soon as turn four.  With Sky Hussar and Kiki-Jiki, we have an Intruder Alarm type combo kill. 

Here is a list:

Okay, really, we are almost done. The following decks are ones that have made a very, very small impact on the MTGO scene, but are ones that you may want to watch out for regardless. I will not be covering them, but I will be showing off the decklists, just so you can have the knowledge of them in case you get to battle one of these!





This will finish it up for the combo edition of the Extended Play Deckopedia. I will update this as more combo decks come up through the season, and will revamp this when the Extended rotation happens later on this year. Join me as I will bring you the aggro and control decks of the format in the next two installments.  Enjoy playing around with these 15 lists.  In the words of the founder of the Dojo (This site was magic's premier site when the internet was a new thing.) Study and grow strong!  


by Anonymous (Unregistered) (not verified) at Thu, 02/28/2008 - 11:45
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Why on earth would the T&N deck play 2 vine trellis over Wall of roots? And there really should be 4 wall of roots...

by Anonymous (Unregistered) (not verified) at Thu, 02/28/2008 - 11:47
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You know, I am not entirely sure.  I did not build these decks, I just found examples of them throughout the internet  

by JXClaytor at Wed, 02/27/2008 - 11:11
JXClaytor's picture

Thank you all for the kind words.  I will be running a recap for the month of Feb and how Extended looked there, and as soon as PEs start again after tide is released the regular weekly metagame will come back.    

Magic by ernie pewp (Unregistered) (not verified) at Wed, 02/27/2008 - 11:28
ernie pewp (Unregistered)'s picture

Good job writing this article, I like that you included decklists.

by Anonymous (Unregistered) (not verified) at Wed, 02/27/2008 - 05:47
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best article u ever wrote

love it by Anonymous (Unregistered) (not verified) at Tue, 02/26/2008 - 20:20
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Hey nice article and looking forward to the next two in the series!



boom chicka wa wa by Anonymous (Unregistered) (not verified) at Tue, 02/26/2008 - 06:04
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Nice article, but zomg where are the extended metagame results!?

As I Have said earlier that by drawing (not verified) at Fri, 09/18/2009 - 02:09
drawing's picture

As I Have said earlier that your work are so much illustrative and your article with so much explanatory points that it leaves none with any kind of doubt. I was really fascinated to look to the Sunny Side Up work. It's very detailed and work is just fabulous.

There is a need to adopt to by lenyrose2013 at Thu, 09/29/2016 - 07:46
lenyrose2013's picture

There is a need to adopt to the new system. So that there will be a simultaneous move during the tournament. - Mark Zokle