by Terence Jason Dorman
Despite its relatively small number of cards compared to other games, The Spoils has hundreds of deck possibilities hidden in its currently printed 715 cards.
As with any card game there are popular decks, which at this moment seem to be Rage Sligh, Monty/Banker/Warlord, Ass, and Research Investment OTK decks. All of these decks are good in their own right and have seen much success and discussion but, like all decks, they started out as a simple pile of cards.
These decks were created by Spoils pioneers, new and old players alike, who fooled around with cards until something clicked. Maybe these decks started out as 150 card piles that needed to be whittled down. Maybe these decks started as something else entirely and morphed into their current forms via playtesting. Whatever the process was, these decks came about because the players chose to try something new.
To put it plainly, they got weird!
These players didn't print out the hottest decklist from the Internet and recreate it card for card. While I have never been a fan of netdecking (I could write an entire article on that alone) I do understand its place in gaming and its value to certain players. The players who created the above decks, however, didn't wait for the next bit thing to pop up online. They went out there and made it themselves.
To put it plainly again, they got weird!
Weirdness is where the big ideas lie dormant until somebody discovers them. They are the ideas that usually start with someone saying to himself, “Hey, if I do this followed by this, THIS could happen.” There is no guarantee that whatever THIS is will be a good or powerful thing, but it is usually something new that hasn't been done before.
If it hasn't been done before, it is pretty likely that it is weird. If it's weird, it has a good chance of taking The Spoils by surprise and creating a new deck idea you and other players could fool around with. Who knows, maybe with some playtesting and practice it could become the new deck that changes the metagame forever.
To be clear, I am not saying that every weird idea is going to be a game changer. Sometimes weirdness, while kooky and fun, simply does not work in the tournament environment. As much as I wanted it to (and trust me, I really wanted it to), my Wild Boars deck simply did not function as well as I hoped. It was a new idea, though, and it didn't hurt to try.
Well, maybe it hurt my pride a little. I put a lot of my heart into those Wild Boars.
Don't be afraid to try deck ideas just because, on paper, they don't look like they are going to work. While this may be the case, you will never truly know until you throw the 75+ cards together, shuffle up, and play a few games. You might be right, the deck doesn't work, but you also could surprise yourself and have a brand new competitive deck to play at your next tournament.
I could give dozens of examples of decks that started out as weird ideas and later morphed into pro-tier decks. One or two of my own decks (far fewer than I would like) have done just that and I still mess around with them today. Even some of the pro-tier decks I listed above started as strange, direction-less piles of cards that never looked like they were going to work. Had these players never “gotten weird,” we might not have the metagame that currently exists.
Who knows, maybe Purple Haze would still be the popular deck. Then again, even Purple Haze was the product of somebody getting weird.
So go out there and get weird! Throw together decks for whatever strange ideas you may come up with. Sure, they may end up being terrible decks, but they could also be totally awesome!
At the very worst you'll have a new deck to play in casual games and that the best you'll have the new top tournament decklist. You'll never know until you try and there is no harm in trying. The pros do it all the time, why can't you?