PCLA 2006 -The Almost Deck – From Qward with Hate

I may be totally wrong here, but I thought some of the VS fans out there would like to see some of the inner workings of one of the old school teams from the Pro Circuit.  I thought it would be interesting to review a deck that almost made it to the Pro Circuit.  For those interested I am sharing one of the decks that we had built before Pro Circuit LA 2006.  This deck is one of the decks we were tuning before we came up with the Devil’s Due deck that Adam Prosak won the tournament with.  I have attached the chat logs for everyone to see the progression of the deck.  The deck was originally created by David Frayer.

Post 1:

Hey guys, please take a good look at this deck:

4x Nightshade
4x Detective Chimp (1)
4x Courtney Ross
7x Hellfire Club Initiate
3x Valeria Von Doom
1x Boris
1x Beast (2-MOR)
4x Dr Light (3-DGL)
4x Dr. Doom (3)
1x Silver Surfer (5)

4x Power and Wealth
4x Straight to the Grave
4x Enemy of My Enemy
4x Reign of Terror
4x Latveria
4x Birthing Chamber
4x From Qward With Hate

Basically how it goes is on turn 4 you need Chimp, Beast, Latveria
and some random guys in play. You need access to 1 Reign and 2 From
Qward With Hate. You call Anti-Matter w/ Chimp, play Dr. Doom and
Reign what you can, then chain the two FQWH, ko’ing your 4 random
guys and all your resources to ko the opponents entire board. Usually
you are left with Doom and Light in play, for a fairly strong board
advantage. Typically, you will rinse and repeat on turn 8 (repeat 4)
if needed.

Now, I can get this to go off about 75% (maybe more) of the time
(goldfishing) on turn 4 and almost 100% on turn 5 with Surfer back-up
(bounce their 4). It totally devastates curve decks, but I need to
test it against HV and Titans, obv. I have already been playing and
tweaking this deck for a couple weeks. I originally had the 4 drop
Doom to flip the P&W, but having the 3 is more vesatile. I went with
a Hellfire Club base in this version because of P&W and concealment,
but I think it is possible to use a Heralds base (Frankie, Surfer 2,
Creation, etc) or even straight AM.

So, the question is can we make it better? More consistant? One
problem is how to kill them after you ko their board; 5 attack is
kinda slow. Run that 6/2 2-drop w/ Light? Run 1 TNB? I dunno. Are
there search cards I am missing or synergies with like Sorcerer’s
Treasure and the like? Also, is there a better play than Surfer on 5
if you are forced to wait? What about fizzle and the like? What about
the numbers; more Boris or Beast? Less Latverias? Anyway, please
discuss, put it together and try it out. It is somewhat difficult to
play, I had to chain like 4 things on 4 to get the set-up right, but
it’s not too bad. And please, please, please DON’T show anyone who
isn’t a teammate.

Post 2:

This deck seems ridiculous. Is it supposed to have 1 drop nightshade
or 1 drop nightmaster? I agree that a better win condition might help.
I’m thinking more copies of boris could make the deck more consistent.
I will try and do some testing against high voltage and teen titans
and let you know what i come up with.

Post 3:

Yes, Nightshade, the 1 drop concealed shadowpact guy. He is there so
you can actually play Chimp on 1 or 2. Speaking of which can you use
Nightshade’s ability more than once per attack? That is can you pay 30
to give him + 10 attack?

Post 4:

What about adding in the 2 Drop Boomerang to this deck? It would
remove one of their permanents Pre-Hate and make you lose less life

Post 5:

1x Madame Xanadu
3x Nightmaster
2x Nightshade
4x Detective Chimp (1)
1x Courtney Ross
2x Hellfire Club Initiate
3x Valeria Von Doom
3x Boris
1x Beast (2-MOR)
1x Dr Light (3-DGL)
1x Dr. Doom (3)
1x Silver Surfer (5)
1x Poisen Ivy
4x Beetle
1x Nenora
1x Chomin
1x Qwardian Watchdog

1x Slaughter Swamp
4x Power and Wealth
4x Straight to the Grave
4x Enemy of My Enemy
4x Reign of Terror
1x Latveria
1x Birthing Chamber
4x From Qward With Hate
4x Hard Sound Construct
1x UN Building
1x Soul World

i’m sure this is just worse, but i think the deck has the capability
to go in this direction. also, i like the thought of qwardian
watchdogs on turn one in this environment.

Post 6:

1x haywire

4x watchdog
1x orb
4x det chimp
3x luna maximoff
1x nightshade
2x nightmaster
1x chomin
1x nenora
1x shadow creatures
2x hellfire club initiate
1x dallas riordan
1x courtney ross
1x valeria von doom
2x boris

1x poisen ivy
3x beast

1x dr. light
1X dr. doom

1x dr. doom

1x silver surfer

3x latveria
3x soul world
2x birthing chamber

4x straight to the grave
4x enemy
4x reign of terror
4x fqwh
2x power and wealth

Post 7:

Orb and Dallas are excellent, I’ll have to try them. Is that enough
copies of Light and Doom? 3 Luna? I’ll play around with this version.
Anybody else try it out?

Post 7 is the last one we had regarding this deck, because of bannings and the fact that the Devil’s Due deck was broken.  I loved the idea of this deck, going back to the old magic days this deck was like playing Ernham-Geddon.   With more and more talk about Golden Age, I would love to see this deck rebuilt and tuned.  There was one more version of the deck list that came that I can’t find the post for, and I wish I could, because we found the best character to have after FQWH, Fatility.  It was awesome to have a Fatality out and then reset the board so that you only had her on the field, guaranteeing that their new 1-3 drops would be destroyed again.   

This is just one of the crazy decks we had for Golden Age.  I’d love to hear any crazy ideas that you may have.  See you on the realms. 



Shadowmoor Release Event by Robert Swarowski

I attended the Shadowmoor Prerelease event a few weeks ago, donked it by going 2-2 and left. It made me feel sick that I wasn’t able to win some new packs, that and I got beat down by a guy who looks like a fish and a woman. I heard that the release event was going to be held in 2 different locations at the same time…6:00 PM Friday May 2nd. That’s just like Vegas to schedule 2 release events that compete with each other, this way the 25 magic players in town get split between 2 places on the same day…wonderful. There is gameworld which used to give alright prizes, but now the owner is an idiot who keeps letting his business license expire and has to pay late fees. That and his girlfriend helps run the place and lets her kid run wild in the store, this eventually makes the owner cuss and yell at the little guy. Gameworld also doesn’t put a high priority on fixing things like air conditioners, and in Las Vegas this device is much needed. The other place is Little Shop of Magic, I knew this place when is was under a different name and different management and thought it was ok. So my choice was made I’ll take the unknown owner over the white trash guy owner. I called my friends and one by one they all said that they had better things to do on Friday night then playing a sealed event, this made me not want to go as I would get roped in to conversations with people I don’t really know. On to the tournament. 


I arrived at the place at 5:40 and it was packed, I never knew there were this many magic players in Vegas. I spotted Chris Hagashi, I went to KL with him for the Pro Tour, and I spotted David Glasser. I work with David Glasser so I have more of a connection to him then the other random kids at the tournament, but other then that we aren’t much alike. He has kids, a wife, long hair, and is about 40. I don’t have kids or a wife and even though I’m young I cut my hair. David is fine to talk to in short bursts but after a while we run out of topics and he starts to tell me about his wacky decks. So I go over to Chis and talk a bit to him, after a bit of chit chat I go to register, I am number 40 and only first 32 get the foil card that they are handing out. After I sign up David catches up with me and he tells me about some enchantment deck, this is bad only 5 minutes in and hes already giving me the deck lists. I go back to Chris and he informs me that this shop owner is a really uptight, and I should watch myself around him. I look up at the front desk and see 2 girls running it, these two were beauties. The first one was blonde and wearing short shorts, which would have been really nice if her legs didn’t look like 2 pounds of lumpy oatmeal stuffed in to a 1 pound bag. She also had a really really lazy eye, I’m sure this eye was collecting welfare it was so lazy. The other girl was your typical overweight nerd girl, not much else to say. Even though I just ripped them a bit on their looks, which is funny if you know what I look like, they were nice and helpful not bitches at all so at least they had that going for them. Now the owner makes his announcement that deck registration is about to begin and everyone needs to get out. Is this a joke? No sir, he wants everyone out and then people will come in 2 at a time and sit down. We are also not allowed to bring any other cards inside, leave your trade bait and casual decks in your cars, I’m looking at you ham hock. We are all outside now and he preaches about cheating and stuff, I ask about prizes and he says 1 pack per person. Yep, 48 packs for 48 players and nothing kicked in from the store. I ask for a prize breakdown and he says that he’ll work on it. There will be a cut to top 8 with no draft and then the top 8 will get the spoils. We all head in after a bit and now the registration is going to begin, but listen to how he wants it done. He wants us to alphabetise the cards by color and then pass them to the person we are sitting across from us, they will then write them all down and pass them back to us with the sheet. Now we will get to build the deck but not register the cards, so we are free to change them round to round. Seems like a lot of drama for 48 packs.


Here is the card pool I got.



1 Foil Mountain

1 Fire-Lit Thicket

1 Madblind Mountain



1 Gnarled Effigy

1 Scrapbasket

1 Trip Noose

3 Wingrattle Scarecrow



1 Barrenton Medic

1 Boon Reflection

1 Goldenglow Moth

1 Inquisitor’s Snare

1 Last Breath

1 Mistmeadow Skulk

1 Niveous Wisps

2 Safehold Sentry

1 Woeleecher



1 Curse of Chains

1 Mistmeadow Witch

1 Steel of the Godhead

1 Thistledown Duo

1 Zealous Guardian



1 Cursecatcher

1 Drowner Initiate

1 Flow of Ideas

1 Ghastly Discovery

1 Prismwake Merrow



1 Fate Transfer

1 Gravelgill Axeshark

1 Helm of the Ghastlord

1 Inkfathom Infiltrator

1 Memory Sluice

1 Oona’s Gatewarden

1 Wanderbrine Rootcutters



1 Faerie Macabre

1 Incremental Blight

2 Loch Korrigan

1 Rite of Consumption

2 Splitting Headache



1 Poison the Well

1 Sootstoke Kindler

2 Sootwalkers

1 Spiteflame Witch

1 Torrent of Souls



1 Burn Trail

1 Crimson Wisps

1 Ember Gale

1 Inescapable Brute

1 Jaws of Stone

1 Knollspine Dragon

1 Power of Fire

2 Puncture Bolt

1 Pyre Charger



1 Loamdragger Giant

1 Scuzzback Scrapper

1 Tattermunge Witch



1 Farhaven Elf

1 Foxfire Oak

1 Juvenile Gloomwidow

2 Roughshod Mentor



3 Old Ghastbark

1 Oracle of Nectars

2 Safehold Duo

1 Safewright Quest

1 Wilt-Leaf Liege


Here is my deck.

1 Inquisitor’s Snare

1 Last Breath

1 Mistmeadow Skulk

2 Safehold Sentry

1 Farhaven Elf

2 Roughshod Mentor

3 Old Ghastbark

1 Oracle of Nectars

2 Safehold Duo

1 Safewright Quest

1 Wilt-Leaf Liege

1 Curse of Chains

1 Burn Trail

2 Puncture Bolt

1 Gnarled Effigy

1 Scrapbasket

1 Trip Noose

2 Mountains

1 Fire-Lit Thicket

8 Plains

6 Forests


Round 1: Random Dude

After the first 2 turns it quickly became apparent that this guy just started playing. He was playing all the one casting cost 1/1s he could, but didn’t really attack with them. He cast the 5/5 that puts -1/-1 counters on non black guys and he tried to kill his black hybrid guys, I reminded him that they don’t die, I also let him go back a few times because he was a retard. I Lost the first game, lame. The next game he cast splitting headache and I discarded the 4/4 lord and put him in to play and crushed him. The third game I bashed him with Gnarled Effigy as all his creatures died to it. Oh and by the way that card was the 23rd card, DING!



Round 2: Another Random Dude

He, like my last opponent, was mentally retarded. He missed attacks and just played bad. I had gained 30 life and he did knock me down to 18; so he was visibly upset that I beat him. “Without that card I would have won,” he said, “well no shit,” I said. The next game Gnarled Effigy came out again and dominated.  



Round 3: Some Guy Who Knew Me But I Didn’t Know

The first game I get the gain life guy out and start to machine the life up, but I don’t have a win on the board. He keeps casting big guys and then this one turn he concedes. I don’t know if he was running out of paper keeping track of my life or what but I’ll take it. The next game he starts to bash me then I put the defenses up, then he drops the G/W shield and brings it in the air. I have out Gnarled Effigy but this is going to take some time. 2 turns later he draws and looks at his friend, and the friend says wow I cant believe you drew that, he repies yeah I didn’t even know that was still in my deck I thought I cut it. He casts the enchantment that makes a dude fly and gives it +1/+1 for each plains, but he casts it on the shield guy, you know the one that already flys. In response I add a counter with Gnarled Effigy and last breath it out of the game. A few turns later I win cause he drew like 12 land. His friend says after why didn’t you enchant the 3/6 that pumps his attack, hes like i thought indestructible guy would be cooler. How did that work out for you?



Round 4: David Glasser

There are only 6 people that are 3-0 we all drew in to the top 8. We played for fun and I crushed him.


At this point I ask the store owner what the prize break down is, he says that he hasn’t done it yet. Nice, I guess 4 rounds of swiss wasn’t enough time.


Quarters: Spanish Guy Who Loves To Attack

This guy is relativity new to Vegas and not too bad if he would take time to block once in a while. I swear this guy taps his creatures every turn, even if he loses more guys he still attacks. The first game he lives up to his name and brings it, a few turns later he attacks with a 2/2 and I block with an 0/3 and then attack him back with 2 1/1 tokens. We end up trading removal back and forth but I sneak it in with the Gnarled Effigy. The next game isn’t as close because he cant remove the 4/4 lord.



Semis: David Glasser

He starts to moan and complain about playing me, you know coworker vs coworker. The first game he thought was amazingly close as he is one point away from killing me with Rite of Consumption. I showed him the last breath that I could have used on my own guy to gain 4 to stop those silly thoughts. The next game was a complete blow out, with the play of the game being me killing a tapped untap elf and attacking for the win (he thinks I wouldn’t notice that). BAH!



Finals: John Dwyer

John is an old school player that stopped for a couple of years but came back. His first sentence to me is, can I finally beat you, my response, no. John is playing black red, seems like everyone but me was, and my big dudes just outclassed his widdle guys game one. The next game he casts that 3/2 disrupting scepter guy. I didn’t really know what this guy did, I had read something about this guy that he cant trade for a creature and a card in hand so I went with those thoughts. The next turn when he doesn’t attack and instead taps him I am like what ohhhhhhhh. I discard a removal spell, next turn same thing he taps and I discard a removal spell. Now the 3rd time I discard the 4/4 lord and serve it up. If I took the time to read the card and not play like a mental patient I could have killed it and kept all my removal, instead I kept casting beaters and attacking but losing removal. He kills the lord and I think I might be in trouble, but of course those who know me know that I top deck burn to win when I’ve messed up. For some reason he attacks with his guys, I untap, draw burn trail, attack with my one guy, and burn him out.



I win a grand total of 16 packs. I win a 48 person sealed deck tournament and I get 16 packs. Yeah I left knowing I won but feeling I lost in the quarters with those prizes. If you want to waste 6 hours, watch trolls at the front desk, talk to annoying little kids, smash tard faces, and then feel like shit for winning and only getting 16 packs go to Little Shop of Magic! I did!


Rob Swarowski


First and Last by Tim Rivera

I remember the day as if it were yesterday, Wizards of the Coast announced its new tournament and a big grin came to my face.  They had announced that they were going to start running State Championships.  The first State Championship was Sealed Deck (Mirage Sealed Deck with 2 Vision Packs), with Top 8 receiving a new Sealed Deck.  The tournament was held at the one of the worst Casinos in Las Vegas, the Debbie Reynolds Casino (picture below). I’m sorry to tell you that if you missed your opportunity to see the great Debbie Reynolds Casino, you’ll never get your chance; it closed down days after the tournament.  


When the first state championship was held, there had two different divisions – juniors and seniors.  To play in the juniors you had to be younger then 18 years old, and at the time I was only 16.   All my friends (all of them were also under 18 ) had decided that they wanted to play in the seniors division.  I said screw that noise, I wanted the easy win so I decided to play juniors.  All my friends had decided that now they should play the juniors division with one goal, to stop me.  The only thing was that they couldn’t fight destiny.  I plowed through the field winning every match in the regular rounds.  Soon would come my first challenge of the day.  I played against Rob.  Rob is a machine….





Rob at the time was my number one nemesis.  He stopped me from qualifying for my first PT, only to lose in the finals.  It was my time for revenge.  After splitting the first two games, I was stuck on 3 lands and Rob was able to kill one thanks to a Goblin.  Luckily for me, I top decked one the following turn and that’s all I needed, as  99% of my spells had a cost 3 or less.  Rob then went on a sick run of drawing 5 lands in a row to go with his 7 he already had.  I then proceeded to bash the shit out of him. 



           After losing the game Rob blew up, he started cussing at me, yelled something about my three casting cost deck of doom, then he threw his deck at me.  I couldn’t believe it, and then 3 seconds he helped picked up all his crap and said he was sorry.  Once I had eliminated my main competition, securing the win was just a formality. 

Fast forward 11 years, wow I’m old…

The constructed State Championship had rolled around again, and during the week before the tournament I had no idea what to play, I probably switched my mind 50 times on what to play and decided on playing U/W Blink.  Below is my list:

Land, 4 Blinks, some guys that go good with Blink, counterspells.

Throughout the tourney I played a bunch of donks.  I lost one match throughout the day when I played the mirror.  He kept in cards that are terrible in our match-up, but of course I drew nothing relevant and lose to a Teferi.  IN the Quarterfinals, I was playing Venser to bounce suspended spells, which I later found out is not possible with Venser.  Neither my opponent nor myself knew that, but in the end I what could we have done after playing 5 turns that way.  In the finals I played against one of my friends named Skylar Gonzalez.   I wasn’t thrilled about the match, he was playing goblins, but I am 30-0 against Skylar in DCI rated matches, so I knew the State Championship was mine.  Throughout the match, Skylar was too distracted talking about Tummy sticks and I ended up killing him and his dream of ever beating me 2-0. 

Being the first and the last state champion for Nevada is awesome, but I’m really disappointed that they ended this program.  I believe it is the one fun tourney a year, and now it is gone.  I’ll forever be known as the first and last State Champion for Nevada.