About Dee

dee-profile-pic.jpgThe following text was added on January 7, 2009.

Hi, my name is Dee Barizo. I’m the founder and editor of this site.

I started playing Magic The Gathering over 10 years ago – around the time Ice Age was released. To this day, I’m not sure why my friend gave me a copy of the rulebook before showing me any of the cards. I had nothing better to do that day, so I read the rulebook in that day in one sitting. I’d never heard of collectible card games but MTG seemed like a great concept based on the rulebook.

I bought some cards soon after and started playing. I was hooked pretty easily. I played casually for a couple months and then stumbled onto the competitive Magic scene through the internet.

I played in my first PTQ. The format was Ice Age/Alliances sealed deck. I went 2-4-1. My dad gave me some money for my birthday, so I bought a bunch of Alliances packs. I opened a couple Force of Will and later traded them for Anarchy since I needed them in the sideboard of my mono red deck to kill Circle of Protection Red.

I wanted to start playing Constructed but I didn’t have many cards. I decided that I was going to be a blue mage since countering spells seemed so powerful. I remember convincing my mom to buy me a playset of every common and uncommon counterspell. I was going to build a mono blue deck with 20+ counterspells and just counter everything my opponent played.

However, my blue deck ended up losing to everything so I looked for another deck. At this point, red Sligh decks were doing well in tournaments. I had never copied a deck before but since I was losing so much, I decided my deck building skill was not very good.

I went online and found a Sligh decklist I liked. It had Ironclaw Orcs, Incinerate, Hammer of Bogardan, Orcish Artillery, Fireblast, and even two Orcish Librarian. I traded for the cards and brought the netdeck to a local tournament.

I remember debating whether or not to play the fourth Fireblast. I finally decided to play all four, and of course, Fireblast was the best card in the deck. It allowed me to kill someone even when they locked my mana with Stasis. I got second place in the tournament and realized the power of netdecking. Also, prize support must’ve gotten better since then, because all I got for second place was a Mahamoti Djinn.

I went to college and quit the Magic tournament scene since I didn’t have a car to drive to tournaments. I still played casually and also learned how to play Netrunner, which I consider to be the best collectible card game ever made.

After college, I got a car and started playing Magic competitively again. Also, I joined Magic Online and immediately maxed out my credit card. I was a decent player. I almost got a 1800 limited rating on MTGO but tilt caused me to spew too many tickets. Ravnica draft on MTGO was so addicting.

In Constructed formats, I consider myself to be a Johnny/Spike player. I still netdeck a lot but I usually play under the radar rogue decks. I like rogue decks because I hate playing mirror matches. They seem too random. Also, I like surprise factor that comes from playing cards that most people don’t play with. Many players make misplays against cards they’re not familiar with.

Here are some of the rogue decks I’ve done well with.

I got first place and won $100 with the following zombie deck in a 2003 Standard tournament. I got the idea of playing zombies from this old article on Brainburst. (Magic.TCGplayer.com used to be Brainburst.com.)

Zombies!
Creatures (22)
Spells (13)
Lands (25)

This deck was so good since everyone was playing Blue/Green Madness. Withered Wretch stopped the cards that interacted with their graveyard like Circular Logic, Deep Analysis, and Wonder. Smother killed Wild Mongrel. Stronghold Assassin was my personal addition. It worked well with Rotlung Reanimator and Unholy Grotto and it killed all of Blue/Green Madness’ creatures.

The following Death Cloud deck serve me well during the 2004 Standard season. I found it on Magic League. Magic League is a great place to find rogue decks that are actually good. That’s where the Elves! Pro Tour Extended deck was first found.

Mono Black Death Cloud
Creatures (8)
Spells (28)
Lands (24)

I liked this deck because it was easy to play. Also, it was good against everything except Affinity. My local metagame did not have a lot of Affinity and the players playing Affinity were pretty bad. The lone Island was for 4 March of the Machines in the sideboard.

Finally, here is the deck I played during the Standard season before Shards of Alara came into the picture. I found the deck on MTG Salvation.

Iron Maiden
Creatures (6)
Spells (25)
Lands (25)
Sideboard (15)