Much has been made of the effectiveness of The Barrens on the newsgroup lately, so I figured I'd explain why I put it in every deck I build...
- Stealth-bleed decks especially like the Barrens when some smart-ass pulls the "don't block" trick. With the Barrens, you can clear out the unneeded stealth cards quickly, and get to the happy bleed cards so you can smite the punk.
- Dude, it's free. Who cares if they contest it? It's free.
- It allows you to prepare for one more contingency. You'll typically be exposed to a fair number of different deck types over the course of a tournament. Account for everything that could possibly be thrown at you is impossible, but that extra discard per turn allows you to include another measure or countermeasure against a certain deck type without diluting your deck.
- Even if you're not a fan of including that extra contingency measure, and prefer to stick to your guns and build the most efficient deck you can (trusting your assumptions of the metagame), there will still be occasions where you'll still have too much of one type of card and not enough of another type of card. Hand jam can strike anyone at any time. The Barrens can help maintain the proper ratio of card types in your hand.
- It helps me play with more kinds of master cards in my deck. Don't need one? Cycle it out! It's not that I need the Barrens because I have so many masters in my deck. I have so many masters in my deck because I have the Barrens.
- For that matter, it helps me play with more of any type of card in my deck. For card cycling to the extreme, check out my winning deck from DragonCon '99 on The Lasombra's site (http://www.thelasombra.com). 2 Barrens, 2 Dreams, and 2 Books of Frag let me rapidly switch between bleed, combat defense, bleed defense, and intercept modes. With all three in play, I could have almost a whole new hand in one turn.
I typically use two in a deck so I can draw into it a bit more quickly. If I draw the second one, I use the Barrens to discard it. :) I typically don't need it in my initial draw. I rely on it more for that second wind in the middle of a game.
Ben Peal, Prince of Boston and contributing writer for Rustwurk, resides in Somerville, Massachusetts.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Here's an old article by the esteemed Benjamin Peal, originally published on the Rustwurk website in October 2001. He writes about the usefulness of "The Barrens", but in general the article is about why card flow is so important in VtES. Since the website is out of order for long time I decided to re-post the article ...