Breaking Through – The Doctor is In!

I have been writing for about six years now and in that time, I have explored quite a bit of ground in that time and have certainly seen my fair of successes and failures along the way. To this day, however, there is one segment that gets referenced far more than any other—Deck Doctor. I still occasionally get an email or Tweet or Facebook message asking if I am I still running the column. For the last three years or so, that answer has been no, but just like Pogs, Lee Pipes, and Homelands, great products always find a way to endure!

In other words, Deck Doctor is back!

Luckily, having done this before, there are some changes to the formula this time around to hopefully result in a better process for me and a better product for you, but we will get to that in a second. First, I realize that a few of you might be scratching your head and wondering what the heck I am even talking about, so let’s start there!

Deck Doctor was a series I ran back in the day here on ChannelFireball. The premise was simple: Take reader-submitted brew and offer my improved version.

What exactly I turned the deck into varied based on the deck. Some decks were close to competitive and just needed some polishing. In those instances, a solid tier 2 or 3 deck was not out of the question. Other times, the selected brew would be really fun and interesting, but a little too involved or flawed for tournament play. In those cases, I would try to make the deck better, but mostly would focus on making the deck run as smoothly as it possibly could.

This time around, I intend to maintain that same spirit, but I figured some updates were also in order! The first time around, my primary interaction with deck submissions came in the form of email. Readers would submit a list and include some explanation of their goals. I would do my best to check out every deck submitted and then choose one each week to work on. This process was not the fastest, however, and there was a lot of time being left on the cutting room floor. I want to better utilize social media this time.

What We’re Looking For

As you might expect coming from me, Deck Doctor is not about run-of-the-mill decks. I can fully appreciate that switching out aggressive creatures for planeswalkers in your Abzan deck was a genius metagame choice, but it isn’t what I’m looking for here. For Deck Doctor, I hope to highlight the crazy and the bizarre.

Please pay attention to past Deck Doctors before submitting a list though, as I will never repeat anything I have done (or anything too close to something already done).

All submissions should be Standard decks only. During Modern season or on special occasions, I will probably end up looking at other formats, but the majority of decks featured will be Standard legal.

In addition, because this series will involve videos shot using Magic Online, please note that I cannot feature decks that are not yet fully online. If you have a sweet brew using the latest set, just wait a couple of weeks until the cards are available online before submitting it because I will not be able to work with the list until then.


I’ll use Twitter as the submission medium now. Keen readers will note that a deck list is not going to fit into 140 characters, however. The idea here is for you to use whatever deckbuilding site or software you wish and then to link it in your Tweet. I don’t really care whether you are using TCGplayer or ChannelFireball so long as the deck is organized well and easy to read. I will be honest in saying if the deck looks like a mess, there is very little chance I will spend the time sorting it out to make sense of it as I will have plenty of other submissions to sort through.

If you want to leave any notes about your list, most of the deck list hosting sites allow this, but please keep them minimal and relevant. If you have a specific goal that is not well told by the list itself, please note it, but listing why you chose 7 Mountains and only 5 Swamps is completely unnecessary.

  • Create a deck on whatever external deck builder you wish
  • Add important notes as necessary
  • Send me a Tweet with a link to the deck – @Conley81
  • Remember to include the hashtag #DeckDoctor so that I can easily sort and find your deck
  • Please only 1 submission per person per month

Twitter – @Conley81
Hashtag – #DeckDoctor

From there I will check out your deck! If I end up selecting your deck to work on, I will simply Tweet back at you to let you know and then if I have any follow up questions, we will have a direct means of communication!

References made to you will be your name or Twitter handle unless you otherwise state that you would like to be referred to as something else!


One of the reasons I stopped doing Deck Doctor the first time around is that it is a ton of work compared to basically anything else. Sorting through emails and reading a bunch of notes on decks takes a lot of prep time. This combined with a weekly or bi-weekly schedule just became too much to keep up with as there would need to be playtesting and videos recorded and I eventually just fell too far behind. Hopefully, receiving primarily deck lists with only a few notes by using Twitter will help with this, but I will also only be covering one deck each month to keep things manageable.

In terms of content, that is still going to be one Deck Doctor article each month, a video series covering the deck as it was submitted by the reader, and then a video series with changes to the deck and its remodeled form. Eventually, if I manage to get into a good rhythm, I will increase the frequency, but I wanted to start off at a reasonable pace.

I am going to begin look at decks for March as soon as they start coming in, so send away! Hopefully we can get into a nice groove and bring this back together! Until next week, thanks for reading!

Conley Woods


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