Melissa DeTora’s Cognivore Oath

Posted in Daily Deck on July 10, 2015

By Melissa DeTora

Melissa is a former Magic pro player and strategy writer who is now working in R&D on the Play Design team.

The final installment of R&D Origin Story Decks comes from my own personal deck vault. Today's deck qualified me for my very first Pro Tour. The year was 2002 and the Extended format had just rotated. Gone were the original Beta dual lands and Force of Will, and many players were on a mission to solve this wild, new format.

One of the popular decks back then was Oath of Druids. Oath decks dominated the previous Extended format, but with Gaea's Blessing gone many players said that the deck was no longer viable. After all, you could hit your creature with only a handful of cards left in your library and run the risk of losing the game to an empty library.

Oath was still a powerful card, and the deck adapted. The new win condition of choice was Cognivore, which can get pretty large when you are milling yourself with Oath of Druids. Most players played Sultai (back then just referred to as BUG). The deck was a typical control deck with counterspells, black creature removal, and Pernicious Deed. My take on the deck was only blue-green. Cutting the black from the deck allowed me to play creature lands such as Treetop Village and Faerie Conclave. I also played a lot fewer pain lands, which made my aggro matchups better. Since I didn't have access to Pernicious Deed, I used Powder Keg as my sweeper. Keg was a little faster and a lot less mana-intensive, which definitely helped me.

My PTQ win with this deck was in December 2002 at a store in Milford, MA, called TJ's Collectibles. This was one of my proudest moments in Magic, because I piloted a difficult-to-play control deck with a lot of intricacies all the way to first place in a tough field. I attended the Pro Tour in Venice, Italy, a few months later. It was not only my first Pro Tour, but also my first time traveling across the Atlantic Ocean. I didn't do so well in that Pro Tour, but I had lots of fun and it marked the beginning of my Magic career.

Melissa DeTora’s Cognivore Oath

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