OBC Quick Reference

Posted in Event Coverage on August 24, 2002

By Josh Bennett

After World Championships the Odyssey Block Constructed field seems more open than ever. Walking around the tables at today's event one can see everything from Soulcatcher's Aerie to basic mountain. There's plenty of surprises in store. However, there are a number of decks that have proven their worth, and are represented in greater numbers than others. Here's an abridged run-down.

Blue-Green Madness

Wild Mongrel
The template for this monster that has taken OBC by storm is the English Standard deck "Deep Dog". The green Madness heavy-hitters are powered out by the enablers Wild Mongrel and Aquamoeba. Aether Burst and Circular Logic keep the tempo game going. Wonder lets the deck outrace the opponent. Careful Study helps make sure cards end up in the zone they're supposed to. After that, the pattern breaks down. Do you run the powerhouse Phantom Centaur? Will there be few enough Bursts that Elephant Guide will be a wrecking ball? For that matter, how many Roars should you run? Envelop and Krosan Reclamation are popular choices out of the 'board.

Mono-Black Control

When it works, it's like you've managed to sneak an extended deck into the tournament. With more mana and better spells than your opponent, Mono-Black tends to turn the unfairness up to eleven. Gary Wise ran this beast to a 6-0 at Sydney. Eight Edicts and the black Wrath handle any creatures that touch down. Mind Sludge exterminates the hand, while Diabolic Tutor, Skeletal Scrying and Tainted Pact churn through to business. Mirari, while absurdly powerful, has been deemed optional.

Punisher Blue-White

Quiet Speculation
A surprise success at Worlds, Team Punisher's blue-white aggro deck ensured Tuomas Kotiranta his Top 8 spot, and, if not for misplaying his Spurnmage Advocates, Anton Jonsson would have joined him. Founded on Quiet Speculation, it can either dig up Battle Screeches to win in the air, Deep Analyses to outdraw the opponent, or tutor up a lone Prismatic Strands to win a race. Divine Sacrament beefs up the mob of efficient white creatures, and Spurnmage Advocate singlehandedly wrecks blue-green. Oh, and let's not forget about Glory.

Green-White Madness

Glory also shines in this powerhouse creature feature. Tireless Tribe teams up with Wild Mongrel to ensure quick Wurms and Rootwallas. The fat doesn't stop there, however, as Phantom Centaur and Anurid Brushhopper start hitting early and rarely stop. Elephant Guide and Krosan Reclamation round out the arsenal.

Blue-Green Threshold

Dave Humpherys took this group of cards to a perfect day, earning himself a Top 8 berth. He chose to run only Mongoose and Werebear as his threshold creatures, leaving the Seton's Scouts to Raphael Levy. Careful Study and Mental Note pile high the graveyard to turn them on. Standstills compliment his one casting-cost army, as does Aether Burst. The ubiquitous Wild Mongrel, Basking Rootwalla and Wonder are here, too. Centaur Garden helps push through the final damage. The board is chocked with matchup-specific nightmares, like Squirrel Nest, Phantom Centaur and Envelop.

Blue-Green Quiet Speculation

The dedicated version of this deck was played by none other than Kai Budde, who ran it at Worlds to a respectable 5-1 finish on the day. Basking Rootwalla, Wonder and Wild Mongrel stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Catalyst Stones, Quiet Speculation, Roar of the Wurm and Grizzly Fate. Careful Study and Mental Note pack the graveyard while Envelop runs defence. Deep Analysis and Moment's Peace are tutorable one-of's.

Contrast that design with Dario Minieri's 6-0 Speculation/Madness hybrid. It boasts most of the madness package, but makes room for a pair of Speculations, along with Acorn Harvest, Deep Analysis and Krosan Reclamation in case of emergency. Otherwise, they just dig up Roars for the win.

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