Samite Belcher

What to play at the Nationals?

It's that time again.!

A friend of mine has recently qualified at Hull with a Rogue deck that just happened to be able to deal with Counter-Rebels. This was good for him as a large proportion of the field was Counter-Rebel, Man that sounds SOOO boring! Don't get me wrong here I love Blue but I cannot stand Rebels… they Suck!

Incoming Rant!

For all of those people that played Counter Rebel and didn't qualify…
Maybe you should have played that deck you were playing before you saw the Pro Tour Result !!

It is better to play a Deck that you know inside and out and you have tested to death rather than play something that did well with someone else playing it!! Last year I should have played Acc. Blue because I was good at playing with it but I changed to Replenish without the time to test it properly and didn't qualify…

You only have yourself to blame!! What you have to understand is it takes time and devotion to play a deck as Dull and Boring as Counter Rebel well and at the end of the day you would have had more fun playing something else.

Think of the time spent making that Sideboard to be able to cope with Fires, Skies and discard, only to spend all day playing Mirrors! He he.

Rant over!

You have Five possible ways to go…



Discard (with or without Warped Devotion)

Counter-Rebel (No!)



I'm not going to go into what you should or shouldn't play in the main deck, just the Sideboard options. What you have, on your side, is Speed.

Skies, Boil is very good, as is Hurricane, Calming Verse Discard, Fires can top-deck really well and any early damage will really hurt
Discard, nothing required.
Counter-Rebel, Flashfires, Brutal Suppression (maybe), Calming Verse, Cave-in


Fires, Washout, Bounce, Chill Discard
I can't see Discard beating Skies without Warped Devotion but this isn't consistent so Bounce
Counter-Rebel, Rising Waters is a good start, and then better Counters


Fires, Emptying the hand is easy but it's the Kill that is a problem, Perish, Chill, pray they don't top-deck Flametongue with the mana to play it
Skies, Hmmm?
Counter Rebel, Massacre, Washout, Warped Devotion


Oh look some Sheep!


Well it depends on what you play!!
If Fires is BIG in your local area then try this…

4 Questing Hippo
4 Charging Troll
4 River Boa
4 Noble Panther
4 Exile
4 Armadildo Cloak
3 Tangle
1 Enlightened Tutor
3 Wax/Wane
4 Birds
4 Thornscape Familiar

it beats Fires!!


Stuart Haffenden