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CardShark Content - Aaron Swersky (6/29/2004)

This is the first in a series of articles to assist the player who has little or no experience in drafting Fifth Dawn. This new set can be difficult to draft, between the temptation to attempt a 5-color deck and maximize the Sunburst cards, and the desire to play it safe and stay with the standard 2 colors.

Since the majority of the cards you see in any given draft are commons, we'll be looking at those first. This article will be looking at the White and Blue commons in the set, ranking them in terms of playability and assisting you in deciding what's gold, what's decent, and what you shouldn't cast near an open flame.

Please note that this article will strictly be dealing with these cards in a Limited aspect.
While there are some cards that will be excellent in Constructed decks (U2VydW0gVisions
Visions
VisionsSet: Fourth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
NéNé Thomas
Text:
Look at the top five cards of any library. You may then shuffle that library.
, I'm talking to you), those cards won't receive a high rating unless they're also useful in Limited play.

In case you're wondering, here is my rating system.
* - Do not draft this card. Ever. There must be something better in that pack!
** - Borderline playable. Never goes into your maindeck on game 1 - sideboard only.
*** - Not bad, good filler for your deck. A good standby, don't be afraid to take this.
**** - Very strong. Take these often, as long as they're in your colors.
***** - Broken. Take these whenever you see them no matter what. Uber-powerful.

WHITE
------------------
Abuna's Chant
Abuna's Chant
Abuna's ChantSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
1
Artist:
John Matson
Text:
Choose one- Gain 5 life, or prevent the next 5 damage that would be dealt to target creature this turn. Entwine 2
(3W)
Instant
Choose one - You gain 5 life; or prevent the next 5 damage to target creature this turn.
Entwine: 2
This card, simply put, is not as good as it looks. Preventing 5 damage is a fairly nice effect, but is largely overkill in this format; how often will preventing 3 damage not have the same effect? Gaining 5 life is also nice, but the casting cost of this card is prohibitive. Having to keep 3W open to use it is a serious liability, and is likely to prevent you from casting other, more important spells.
Rating: ** out of *****

Armed Response
Armed Response
Armed ResponseSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
2
Artist:
Doug Chaffee
Text:
Armde Response deals an amount of damage to target attacking creature equal to the number of equipment you control.
(2W)
Instant
Armed Response
Armed Response
Armed ResponseSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
2
Artist:
Doug Chaffee
Text:
Armde Response deals an amount of damage to target attacking creature equal to the number of equipment you control.
deals to target attacking creature damage equal to the number of Equipment you control.
Probably the worst white common of the set, this card demands that you keep three mana open to deal what will probably be no more than one or two points of damage to an attacking creature. While the presence of the entire Mirrodin block does make for a fairly deep pool of Equipment, I seldom see more than two, maybe three equipment cards on either side of the table throughout the entire game. That said, if you're drafting very heavy equipment, this might almost be worth pulling from the sideboard...maybe.
Rating: *1/2 out of *****

Leonin Squire
Leonin Squire
Leonin SquireSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat Soldier
Rarity:
C
Number:
9
Artist:
Pete Venters
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Leonin Squire comes into play, return target artifact card from your graveyard with a converted mana cost of 1 or less to your hand.
(1W)
Creature - Cat Soldier
When Leonin Squire
Leonin Squire
Leonin SquireSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat Soldier
Rarity:
C
Number:
9
Artist:
Pete Venters
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Leonin Squire comes into play, return target artifact card from your graveyard with a converted mana cost of 1 or less to your hand.
comes into play, return target artifact card with converted mana cost 1 or less from your graveyard to your hand.
2/2
I like this card. I like it a lot. Not only is it able to retrieve your cheaper fallen equipment, but it's able to retrieve used Baubles for another usage. Also, take a look at its power and toughness when compared to its casting cost - it's like a Glory Seeker
Glory Seeker
Glory SeekerSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Soldier
Rarity:
C
Number:
31
Artist:
Dave Dorman
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
, except with an added ability. Draft this without hesitation, as it's a decent body with a potentially nice ability.
Rating: *** out of *****

Loxodon Anchorite
Loxodon Anchorite
Loxodon AnchoriteSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elephant Cleric
Rarity:
C
Number:
10
Artist:
Jim Nelson
Power:
2
Toughness:
3
Text:
Tap: Prevent the next two daamage that would be dealt to target creature or player.
(2WW)
Creature - Elephant
Elephant
ElephantSet: Garruk vs. Liliana
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elephant
Rarity:
C
Number:
3
Artist:
Arnie Swekel
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Cleric
T: Prevent the next 2 damage to target creature or player.
2/3
A pretty strong card. 4 mana for a 2/3 with a nice ability isn't overcosted at all, and there's a lot to be said for preventing 2 damage whenever you feel like it. Effectively a 2/5 blocker, and has the potential to really mess around with your opponent's math when he's not sure what to attack with, if anything at all. Fits into any deck with white as a main color.
Rating: ***1/2 out of *****

Skyhunter Prowler
Skyhunter Prowler
Skyhunter ProwlerSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat Knight
Rarity:
C
Number:
15
Power:
1
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying. Attacking does not cause Skyhunter Prowler to tap.
(2W)
Creature - Cat Knight
Flying
Attacking does not cause Skyhunter Prowler
Skyhunter Prowler
Skyhunter ProwlerSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat Knight
Rarity:
C
Number:
15
Power:
1
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying. Attacking does not cause Skyhunter Prowler to tap.
to tap.
1/3
White gets another solid flyer in this card. Sure, it doesn't look like much - after all, it's only got a power of 1 for 3 mana, right? Don't forget, though...it flies, making it evasive. It has a 3 toughness, meaning you can block with it without fear of losing it. And because it's vigilant, you can swing with it without worrying about suffering a counterattack. Definitely one of the most underappreciated commons in the color.
Rating: *** out of *****

Stand Firm
Stand Firm
Stand FirmSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
17
Text:
Target creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn. Scry 2
(W)
Instant
Target creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
Scry: 2
I can't say this enough: this, like its black sibling, is an excellent surprise card. If your opponent knows you're holding cards like this, he's going to have to wonder about his math. Suddenly, trading creatures with you becomes a losing proposition unless he overcommits to keeping his creatures alive, and that in itself is a massive liability. This being said, don't forget that you probably don't want too many of these - just one should put the fear of you-know-who into your opponent.
Rating: *** out of *****

Stasis
Stasis
StasisSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Fay Jones
Text:
Players do not get an untap phase. Pay U during your upkeep or Stasis is destroyed; cards still do not untap until the next untap phase.
IENvY29vbg== (1W)
Enchant Artifact
Enchanted artifact's activated abilities can't be played.
If enchanted artifact is a creature, it can't attack or block.
This card is, in a word, amazing. Shuts down equipment cards, Arrest
Arrest
ArrestSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
U
Number:
4
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Enchanted creature can't attack or block, and its activated abilities can't be played.
s artifact creatures...in an environment like MD5, this card has a million and one uses. I can scarcely imagine the deck that would not be adversely affected by one of these. Don't over-rely on it, but you should definitely try to squeeze one into your deck.
Rating: ***1/2 out of *****

BLUE
------------
Advanced Hoverguard
Advanced Hoverguard
Advanced HoverguardSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Drone
Rarity:
C
Number:
22
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying. U: Advnaced Hoverguard can't be the target of spells or abilities until end of turn.
(3U)
Creature - Drone
Flying
U: Advanced Hoverguard
Advanced Hoverguard
Advanced HoverguardSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Drone
Rarity:
C
Number:
22
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying. U: Advnaced Hoverguard can't be the target of spells or abilities until end of turn.
can't be the target of spells or abilities until end of turn.
2/2
A fairly solid card here. Comparable in power to Wind Drake
Wind Drake
Wind DrakeSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Drake
Rarity:
C
Number:
106
Artist:
Zina Saunders
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying
, except that you're paying 1 more for the ability to make it untargetable at will. The bad news is that the environment has a good number of 2-power flying creatures that are willing to trade with it, often unfavorably. The good news is that this is pretty much immune to removal spells, ranging from Spikeshot to Terror
Terror
TerrorSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Buries target creature. Cannot target black creatures or artifact creatures.
to Arrest
Arrest
ArrestSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
U
Number:
4
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Enchanted creature can't attack or block, and its activated abilities can't be played.
. Not an amazing creature, but not terrible either.
Rating: *** out of *****

Condescend
Condescend
CondescendSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
27
Text:
Counter target spell unless that spell's controller pays. Scry 2
(XU)
Instant
Counter target spell unless its caster pays X.
Scry: 2
A fairly strong card, especially in the late game when both players' hands are often empty or nearly so. The ability to dig two cards into your library makes it that much stronger. Add to this the fact that the MD5 environment has very few counterspells worth playing in any way, and you shouldn't worry too much about slipping one or two of these into your deck to take out that random bomb your opponent snapped up.
Rating: **1/2 out of *****

Early Frost
Early Frost
Early FrostSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
29
Text:
Tap up to three target lands.
(1U)
Instant
Tap up to three target lands.
Plain, simple, and not very good. Early in the game, it's basically a Time Walk
Time Walk
Time WalkSet: Alpha
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Amy Weber
Text:
Take an extra turn after this one.
, that's true. And if you can somehow slip this onto an Isochron Scepter
Isochron Scepter
Isochron ScepterSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
188
Artist:
Mark Harrison
Text:
Imprint - When Isochron Scepter comes into play, you may remove an instant card with converted mana cost 2 or less in your hand from the game. (The removed card is imprinted on this artifact.) 2, T: You may copy the imprinted instant card and play the copy without paying its mana cost.
, it's nasty. But in the late game, it's a dead draw, when you could be putting something onto the table that could push the kill through for you. I might put one into a deck if I'd wound up with a mediocre blue pull, but I'd think twice about it.
Rating: ** out of *****

Into Thin Air
Into Thin Air
Into Thin AirSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
6
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
33
Text:
Affinity for artifacts. Return target artifact to its owner's hand.
(5U)
Instant
Affinity for Artifacts
Return target artifact to its owner's hand.
I just don't like this card, it's just that simple. Even if you control five artifacts, it's less powerful than a Boomerang
Boomerang
BoomerangSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Alan Rabinowitz
Text:
Return target permanent to owner's hand.
, and inferior to an Unsummon
Unsummon
UnsummonSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Return target creature to owner's hand; enchantments on target creature are discarded.
. While I suppose it could be used to take out the errant Platinum Angel
Platinum Angel
Platinum AngelSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
7
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Angel
Rarity:
R
Number:
228
Artist:
Brom
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying You can't lose the game and your opponents can't win the game.
or Arcbound Ravager
Arcbound Ravager
Arcbound RavagerSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Rarity:
R
Number:
100
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
0
Toughness:
0
Text:
Sacrifice an artifact: Put a +1/+1 counter on Arcbound Ravager. Modular 1 (This comes into play with a +1/+1 counter on it. When it's put into a graveyard, you may put its +1/+1 counters on target artifact creature.)
, I just don't see it as being that good. Most of the time, you're better off either playing artifact removal or something like Stasis
Stasis
StasisSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Fay Jones
Text:
Players do not get an untap phase. Pay U during your upkeep or Stasis is destroyed; cards still do not untap until the next untap phase.
IENvY29vbg==. Not a terrible sideboard card, but not a very good one either.
Rating: ** out of *****

U2VydW0gVisions
Visions
VisionsSet: Fourth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
NéNé Thomas
Text:
Look at the top five cards of any library. You may then shuffle that library.
(U)
Sorcery
Draw a card.
Scry: 2
Do NOT underestimate the power of this card. In essence, it has Cycling: U, and lets you set up your next two draws. In effect, U2VydW0gVisions
Visions
VisionsSet: Fourth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
NéNé Thomas
Text:
Look at the top five cards of any library. You may then shuffle that library.
lets you dig three cards into your library...the one you draw, plus the next two draws you set up. Considering that the average draft deck is 40 cards, you just cheated a little bit. Don't worry, WotC says it's okay. :)
Rating: ***1/2 out of *****

Thought Courier
Thought Courier
Thought CourierSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
38
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Tap: Draw a card, then discard a card from your hand.
(1U)
Creature - Human Wizard
T: Draw a card, then discard a card from your hand.
1/1
This wizardly reprint of Merfolk Looter
Merfolk Looter
Merfolk LooterSet: Exodus
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Merfolk
Rarity:
C
Number:
39
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Draw a card, then choose and discard a card.
is just as strong as its predecessor. Pitch lands you don't need in the late game, pitch expensive spells if you get mana-hosed...this even allows you to play some of the more conditionally good spells in the color. Don't need Into Thin Air
Into Thin Air
Into Thin AirSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
6
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
33
Text:
Affinity for artifacts. Return target artifact to its owner's hand.
against your opponent's red/green deck? Toss it! Draw Early Frost
Early Frost
Early FrostSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
29
Text:
Tap up to three target lands.
on turn 17? Toss it! The ability to turn your bad draws into good draws should never be underestimated.
Rating: ***1/2 out of *****

Trinket Mage
Trinket Mage
Trinket MageSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
39
Artist:
Mark A Nelson
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Trinket Mage comes into play, you may search your library for an artifact card with converted mana cost 1 or less, reveal that card, and put it into your hand. If you do, shuffle your library.
(2U)
Creature - Human Wizard
When Trinket Mage
Trinket Mage
Trinket MageSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
39
Artist:
Mark A Nelson
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Trinket Mage comes into play, you may search your library for an artifact card with converted mana cost 1 or less, reveal that card, and put it into your hand. If you do, shuffle your library.
comes into play, you may search your library for an artifact card with converted mana cost 1 or less, reveal that card, and put it into your hand. If you do, shuffle your library.
2/2
Not a bad pull for this color. Can be used to go fetch anything from Spellbombs to Scimitars to Clamps to...well, you get the idea. Not only does this help in thinning out your library, but it gets you what you want, when you want it. What's more, a 2/2 body means that it can actually swing a little bit without getting laughed at by your opponent too hard. Not bad in any deck, strong in the right deck.
Rating: *** out of *****

And there you have it. Next installment, I'll be taking a look at black and red.


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