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By: Salgy, Michael Salgado
Mar 23 2008 12:56am
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Last week I got the pleasure of interviewing our very own Puremtgo Writer MirrorMage due to the numerous amounts of leagues he played and his impressive performance.  Today I sat down with someone new to the League scene and has done quite well, placing 15th in one league and in the run for 1st place on another league.  Nabu was willing to give his output on playing in the sealed formats and shared a little bit about his personal life.  Read more to learn about the man who has done extremely well in leagues and gaze into his busy lifestyle.

Full Name: Phillip Dowzicky
Age: 20
Hometown: Collegeville, PA

Occupation: Junior Biomedical Engineer at Johns Hopkins

Clan: Rare Drafters

Other Hobbies: I love going to the Philadelphia Eagles football games, playing any type of sport, and I also work in a research lab focused on the cardiovascular effects of aging.

Previous Accomplishments: I am an Eagle Scout, Junior year of high school I was an academic All-American for swimming (I swam 30 hours a week). As far as MTGO, I have made top eight in a few sealed PE however they havent been since Ravnica. I usually only have time to do draft or standard eight mans due to my school and work schedules. 

Player Rating:

Favorite Format: Drafts

Favorite Card: Shivan Dragon (I started playing in fourth edition and loved the art for the card. Including that art from fourth edition would be cool).

Favorite Magic Set: Invasion (Such an awesome block in general, gotta go with the lead set for it).
Shivan Dragon

Now to the good part; his sealed deck!

Name of League Deck: Invigorating
created by Nabu

1x Coordinated Barrage
2x Weight of Conscience
1x Hurly-Burly
1x Rivals' Duel
1x Reins of the Vinesteed

1x Ashling the Pilgrim
1x Brighthearth Banneret
1x Fire Juggler
1x Mudbutton Torchrunner
1x Rage Forger
1x Sunflare Shaman
1x Ambassador Oak
1x Bosk Banneret
1x Bramblewood Paragon
1x Fertilid
1x Game-Trail Changeling
1x Gilt-Leaf Seer
1x Lys Alana Bowmaster
1x Nath's Elite
1x Vigor
1x Woodland Changeling

1x Springleaf Drum

8x Forest
6x Mountain
3x Plains
Rage Forger

(MS=Milkshake Nabu=himself)

MS: Why did you build your deck like this?

Nabu:  Well, I opened the bombs Ashling the Pilgrim and Vigor and as you can see the two uncommon morningtide lords have a good deal of synergy with the shaman/warriors I pulled. I also pulled Supreme Exemplar and a few other solid cards from the different colors, but this format is very agressive and all about synergy so I had to go with the red/green guys. The white splash was necessary because red didnt bless me with much targeted removal so the Weight of Conscience have def come in handy for big beef or annoying guys that i need to get outta the way.
MS: When playing it, what did you find to be good matchups?

Nabu: Elves, Treefolk, Giants, Meerfolk. This deck can get off to some amazing starts with second turn bosk, third turn ashling/ gilt leaf seer, fourth turn woodland changeling rage forger for example, so the slower tribes tend to be better matchups. Also, if the game gets stalled I can usually win through the attrition with Vigor, or sacking a built up Ashling the Pilgrim to blow up everything, including my opponent. This set is all about synergy so whenever I dont see that im playing blue black fae I think I have a solid chance of winning.
MS: What are it's poor matchups in events?

Nabu: Faeries and extremely aggressive kithkin starts. I lack targeted removal Hurly-Burly and Rivals' Duel can only do so much and the kithkin can just overwhelm me if I get a poor draw. Due to the lack of land fixing, I do get some rather unsightly opening hands that I have to wait a while to get going. Both of those decks punish slow and poor mana starts. If i get off to a quick start it is usually 50/50 as we keep swinging until one person is left standing.

MS:  Do you have any Advice for Magic Online Players?

Nabu:  Rivals' Duel has often times gotten me a two for 1 with two of their best creatures gone off the other side. Also Springleaf Drum is very underrated in this environment due its aggro nature. It is the only first turn method of gettin acceleration (assuming you can lay a creature turn two) and has definitely let me build up some pretty nasty early games. Bramblewood Paragon and Rage Forger are nuts period, especially with the proper support.

Limited in this environment is very skill intensive and relies heavily on what synergies you can crack. Sure having a bomb or two is great but I would much rather have one or two solid tribal uncommons and a whole pool filled of a single class. Also I would try to make the quickest deck possible because I have seen several turn four wins and even turn five wins arent all that uncommons with some of the crazy lord cards in the set. As far as drafts, while I havent done any MMM drafts, definitely let the cards come to you. All the tribes are excellent if you are the only one drafting them within two seats of either side of you. Take cards that offer the most flexibility early then cut as soon as possible. I usually find myself playing elves or elementals because they tend to be more neglected in the drafts I have done. An elemental deck with fifteenth pick Flamekin Brawlers and a little help from Smokebraider can destroy an entire pod if overlooked.

Try and build up a solid foundation of playable standard commons/uncommons that allow you to try multiple decks and then just trade for some of the key rares. While my collection has really blossomed over the past few months, back when I didnt have as many solid rares I would play decks like U/G madness and mono red burn because they were very competitive and cheap. Also, drafting takes practice so dont get dissapointed if you wash out on your first dozen or so drafts of a format. Once you get the hang its a ton of fun and can really net some profit.
Bramblewood Paragon

MS:  Do you have any cool Magic stories that you would like to tell? 

Nabu:  My first league I got second in during ravnica. I had the sick combo of two Thoughtpicker Witch, three Selesnya Evangel, Selesnya Guildmage and the lord Twilight Drover. Made for some awesome matches.
MS:  What do you think about Morningtide?

Nabu: Great for limited. Looking forward to doing lots of drafts. I think that MTG really hit it well with these two sets. A lot of diversity, a lot of fun, and tons of different playable archetypes.
Thoughtpicker Witch

MS: What cards can you see in Tide making an impact?

Nabu: Well aside from the big ones of Mutavault, Bitterblossom, and Reveillark, I dont know if there will be a ton of format changing cards. I would like to see someone make an awesome elemental deck because the pieces are there, but they just gotta be put into a proper order. Im interested in seeing how block plays out too with so many different options. Playtesting should be interesting :)

Thank you once again Nabu for your wonderful insight.  Goes to show you can make a deck out of anything and it be competitive in sealed.  With all the insightful tips from both wonderful league players and a bunch of examples and links on leagueing, I encourage everyone out there to give it a shot and see how good you do.  Take care everyone and tune in next week for another Community Profile.


by MoNtCo Represent (Unregistered) (not verified) at Sun, 03/23/2008 - 07:55
MoNtCo Represent (Unregistered)'s picture

yo Phill next time you home in college ville e-mail me I would like to play some physical live in the Limerick area off of kugler road

RE: Sweet and Montco by Salgy at Mon, 03/24/2008 - 17:04
Salgy's picture

ill let him know montco that you want to reach him im not sure if he has seen the article yet.  So i'll show him.

Sweet: Elementals are getting ALOT stronger with the elemental banneret and smokebraider you can dish them out fast now.  I want to experiment something with wizards a merfolk/faerie wizard.  Some of the decent cards are wizards to begin with, Mistbind Clique, Wyden, spellstutters, silvergill throw in sage and scion you can drop a 5/5 wydwen quick or a 6/6 clique super fast for some quick beats.  Potiental card draw+shroud always good

? by Sweet (Unregistered) (not verified) at Sun, 03/23/2008 - 06:44
Sweet (Unregistered)'s picture

Nice article.

Elementalz rock, mulldrifter and shreikmaw anyway. spitebellows wrex az well.

I tried mono green elf warriors with obsidian battleaxe, and chameleon collossus. garruk