Hello, everyone.  Today is going to be a low-key day; we’re going to take a look at the flavorful evolution of the theme deck with a Hazezon Tamar list from one of the regular players in my local group. 
First, though, this is what’s coming up at GDC:  
-Avacyn Restored: thoughts from the prerelease, deck updates from the set, and which crap rare I’m cursed with opening in every other pack…
-The Danger of Nice Things: Intet and the problem of “goodstuff”.  (This one is going to be co-written by a guest author, so stay tuned.  I’m excited for the outcome.)
Tuck.  Because I haven’t really complained about anything properly in a while…
The ‘Intet’ article is the start of an addition of a few new writers around here.  We’re still working out details, schedules, and availability, so expect the usual weekly schedule to change as things iron out.
Finally, the completion of the Sharuum contest is in the mail.  I’ve sent e-mails to all of the participants, so check your inboxes.  A few of you have some alterations coming your way, and you’re all going to be “drafting” the Sharuum decklist as a reward for your hard work.  I’ll be spicing things up a bit here and there, and making it interesting.  Stay tuned!
THE SPICE MUST FLOW
I’m not the best theme deck builder out there.  (Okay…to be fair, I’m not the best deck builder period.)  I have a hell of a time figuring out what cards fit theme, forcing myself to make cuts to old standards in favor of flavorful inclusions, and packaging the whole thing in a pile that is even remotely functional, much less enjoyable to play.
This is why I love coming across decks that go this far above and beyond creatively.  Santo is one of the regulars at Worlds Apart, and he and I were both building Hazezon Tamar decks at roughly the same time.  Now, I love my list; it’s my first take on a solid tokens theme, and I think it delivers strongly.  Santo, however, took it up several notches from there by not only going all-in on a theme deck based on the movie Dune, but by visually redesigning the cards involved with Magic Set Editor. 
We’re talking right down to the flavor text.  It’s so well-done.  I’ll include some of the mock-ups he did, because descriptions just don’t do them justice.
His general isn’t Hazezon…it’s Paul Atreides.  He’s not running Sigil Captain…he’s running Gurney Halleck.  His deck doesn’t make wurm tokens…it makes Shai-Hulud.   
This is how a theme deck is done, folks.  I hope you enjoy.
GENERAL – Hazezon Tamar (Paul Atreides)
Creatures – 24
Primeval Titan (Baron Harkonnen)
Sun Titan (Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen)
Inferno Titan (Rabban Harkonnen)
Regal Force (Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV)
Flame-Kin Zealot (Duncan Idaho)
Sigil Captain (Gurney Halleck)
Homura, Human Ascendant (Duke Leto Atreides)
Yavimaya Elder (Lady Jessica)
Tattermunge Witch (Reverend Mother Mohiam)
Sakura-Tribe Elder (Liet Kynes)
Enchantments – 9
Rites of Flourishing (“The spice must flow!”)
Artifacts – 7
Instants and Sorceries – 21
Lands – 39

11 x Forest
5 x Mountain
5 x Plains
.   .   .   .   .
It’s fully a work in progress; Santo is constantly updating the MSE file with new art and finding new ways to tie the movie theme into the deck to create more characters.  As is, though, it’s pretty fantastic, and it perfectly encapsules both what a theme deck should be, and (in my opinion) the creativity that makes EDH such a compelling and enjoyable format to begin with. Great work here, Santo.
Enjoy the Prereleases this weekend, everyone.  See you next week.
àDJ