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CardShark Content - Adam Eason (6/7/2004)

Scry appears to be one of those abilities that the whole of the Magic community overlooks, mostly because, on the surface, it doesn't do anything worth noting. It doesn't blow up boards or draw infinite mana, or, well, anything flashy. Just because it's not shiny, however, doesn't mean it's not worth noting. Let's have a look at what this thing does for you.

What it does: Scry is an ability attached to instants that, when cast, allows you to look at the top 2 cards of your library. On top of that, it let's you choose to rearrange them, put one on the bottom of your library, or put both on the bottom of your library.

Why is it good? This presents us with two abilities. One, it let's you look at the top two cards of the library (duh). This is good for the same reason that its ability says: you can look at your library. One of the reasons that Magic is fun to play is because of the library, as it adds that element of randomness and tension to the game, as you sit wondering what your next draw will be, and whether or not it will help pull you out of a bad spot. Therefore, anything that let's you look at the top card of your library is going to make the game a little easier for you. It let's you know what's coming, allowing you to plan ahead. Scry essentially boils down to letting you look at your next two draws. By knowing those, you can plan ahead accordingly, effectively putting you two turns ahead of your opponent in terms of mind games. Just as importantly, knowing the next two cards and planning for those two cards to be drawn will also let you anticipate what to do when things go wrong, minimizing damage that your opponent can do to you. From such a simple ability comes a good deal of play advantage.

Another good thing about Scry is that it lets you maximize your choices. Any time you can maximize your choices in the game means you have that many more options that allow you to win. As another example, card drawing is an amazing ability because it lets you get more cards in your hand, increasing the number of spells you can choose from, as well as increasing the chance of getting the cards you need. While Scry isn't card drawing, it does allow similar effects. In fact, it maximizes your choices right away: you can keep the two cards on top in the same order, you can rearrange them, you can move one to the bottom of your library, and you can move both to the bottom of your library. One ability, with four different choices available. With this variety, you can choose the best option for getting the cards you need into your hand.

Finally, Scry lets you shuffle through your library. If both of the cards are cards you need right away, then you can keep them there and draw them. Does there happen to be a land that you don't need? Stick it on the bottom of the library, and never see it again. Are both cards you see cards you would rather not see? Get rid of them. The effectiveness of this ability can easily be underestimated, but when you can put a card from the top of your library to the bottom of your library, that is, quite simply, an extra 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.
. No, it doesn't give you another turn, but it does bring you one turn closer to drawing the cards you need for that situation. Look at it this way: if you draw a dead card, that's one more turn that your opponent can do something, meaning your opponent is one turn closer to winning. If you skip that card, that means you're now one turn closer to winning.

With that said, let's have a quick look at the cards with Scry, ranked from worst to best as I see it in Standard tournaments.

Ferocious Charge
Ferocious Charge
Ferocious ChargeSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
88
Text:
Target creature gets +4/+4 until end of turn. Scry 2 (Look at the top two cards of your library. Put any number of them on the bottom of your library and the rest on top in any order.)
: 2G +4/+4 and Scry
I don't see this one being used in tournaments at all. The deck that might use it (Tooth and Nail
Tooth and Nail
Tooth and NailSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
7
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
134
Artist:
Greg Hildebrandt
Text:
Choose one - Search your library for up to two creature cards, reveal them, put them into your hand, then shuffle your library; or put up to two creature cards from your hand into play. Entwine 2 (Choose both if you pay the entwine cost.)
) needs its slots for other things, and by the time this spell can be used, after Tooth and Nail
Tooth and Nail
Tooth and NailSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
7
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
134
Artist:
Greg Hildebrandt
Text:
Choose one - Search your library for up to two creature cards, reveal them, put them into your hand, then shuffle your library; or put up to two creature cards from your hand into play. Entwine 2 (Choose both if you pay the entwine cost.)
is cast, it's too late for the scry to be of any use.
1/5

Fill with Fright
Fill with Fright
Fill with FrightSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
50
Text:
Target player discards two cards from his or her hand. Scry 2
: 3B Discard 2 and Scry
Another card that won't see much play. It might find a home in Mono Black control, but honestly, it's expensive for what it does and there are other cards that can be more helpful. Still, it's better than Ferocious Charge
Ferocious Charge
Ferocious ChargeSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
88
Text:
Target creature gets +4/+4 until end of turn. Scry 2 (Look at the top two cards of your library. Put any number of them on the bottom of your library and the rest on top in any order.)
.
1.5/5

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 +1/+1 and Scry
Alright, it's pump and it's white. First of all, there aren't many white decks out there that can use this, as white weenie fell to the faster Affinity decks. It just doesn't seem to fit anywhere at the moment.
1.5/5

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 Counter target spell unless opponent pays X and Scry.
This block has almost no counterspells, which forced new twists on Control decks. 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
is in a weird place to me. It might be playable, or it might not. There are certainly better counterspells out there, like Mana Leak
Mana Leak
Mana LeakSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
36
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Counter target spell unless its caster pays an additional 3.
, but counters just don't seem to be run at the moment. It's hard to tell where this one stands, but I give it a 2.5, because it's more playable than the other Scry cards.
2.5/5

Magma Jet
Magma Jet
Magma JetSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
73
Text:
Magma Jet deals 2 damage to target creature or player. Scry 2
: 1R 2 damage and Scry
This is getting better. It's cost efficient, it removes a threat, it has scry. It can fill the empty slot left by Skullclamp
Skullclamp
SkullclampSet: Darksteel
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
U
Number:
140
Artist:
Luca Zontini
Text:
Equipped creature gets +1/-1. Whenever equipped creature is put in a graveyard from play, draw two cards. Equip 1 (1: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card comes into play unattached and stays in play if the creature leaves play.)
in Goblin Bidding, helping to sift through the deck now that insane card drawing is gone. It can help solidify Astral Slide
Astral Slide
Astral SlideSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
4
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
Whenever a player cycles a card, you may remove target creature from the game. If you do, return that creature to play under its owner's control at end of turn.
. In fact, any red deck might find use with this. Add to this that red is one of the dominant colors right now, and you have a solid card.
3/5

Tel-Jilad Justice
Justice
JusticeSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Ruth Thompson
Text:
During your upkeep, pay WW or bury Justice.Whenever any red creature or spell assigns damage, Justice deals an equal amount of damage to that creature's or spell's controller.
: 1G Destroy an artifact and Scry
Obviously, this can help a lot for artifact hate decks. It also fits in Tooth and Nail
Tooth and Nail
Tooth and NailSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
7
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
134
Artist:
Greg Hildebrandt
Text:
Choose one - Search your library for up to two creature cards, reveal them, put them into your hand, then shuffle your library; or put up to two creature cards from your hand into play. Entwine 2 (Choose both if you pay the entwine cost.)
, removing artifact threats while at the same time bringing combo pieces closer to your hand. Another solid card, and a very usable one, I think.
4/5

Lose hope: B -1/-1 and Scry.
Similar to Magma Jet
Magma Jet
Magma JetSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
73
Text:
Magma Jet deals 2 damage to target creature or player. Scry 2
, but I think it's better. It cleans away 1 toughness critters like Disciple of the Vault
Disciple of the Vault
Disciple of the VaultSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Cleric
Rarity:
C
Number:
62
Artist:
Matt Thompson
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever an artifact is put into a graveyard from play, you may have target opponent lose 1 life.
and Goblin Sharpshooter
Goblin Sharpshooter
Goblin SharpshooterSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Goblin
Rarity:
R
Number:
207
Artist:
Greg Staples
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Goblin Sharpshooter doesn't untap during your untap step. Whenever a. creature is put into a graveyard from play, untap Goblin Sharpshooter.. T: Goblin Sharpshooter deals 1 damage to target creature or player.
. It fits in Affinity decks, especially with out Skullclamp
Skullclamp
SkullclampSet: Darksteel
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
U
Number:
140
Artist:
Luca Zontini
Text:
Equipped creature gets +1/-1. Whenever equipped creature is put in a graveyard from play, draw two cards. Equip 1 (1: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card comes into play unattached and stays in play if the creature leaves play.)
to push through the deck. It fits in Black control. And considering the sheer number of 1 toughness creatures that find a way to kill you, it can be used by any one who has access to Black mana.
4/5

Serum Vision: U Draw a card and Scry.
This is at the top of my list because of deck efficiency, which is what Scry is all about. It wraps card draw and deck stacking into one card. For one blue mana, you get a card, and you get the next two cards in your head. Congratulations, you are now 3 turns ahead of your opponent. I can see this taking the place of Skullclamp
Skullclamp
SkullclampSet: Darksteel
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
U
Number:
140
Artist:
Luca Zontini
Text:
Equipped creature gets +1/-1. Whenever equipped creature is put in a graveyard from play, draw two cards. Equip 1 (1: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card comes into play unattached and stays in play if the creature leaves play.)
in Affinity decks. Yeah, Thoughtcast
Thoughtcast
ThoughtcastSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
54
Artist:
Greg Hildebrandt
Text:
Affinity for artifacts (This spell costs 1 less to play for each artifact you control.) Draw two cards.
gives you two cards, but can it stack the deck in your favor? I didn't think so. In fact, I would go as far to say that I would choose 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.
over Thoughtcast
Thoughtcast
ThoughtcastSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
54
Artist:
Greg Hildebrandt
Text:
Affinity for artifacts (This spell costs 1 less to play for each artifact you control.) Draw two cards.
specifically because of the deck rigging ability.
5/5

There is one last card that needs to be mentioned, and that is the enchantment Eyes of the Watcher
Eyes of the Watcher
Eyes of the WatcherSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
30
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
Whenever you play an instant or sorcery, you may pay 1. If you do, that spell has Scry 2 (Look at the top two cards of your library. Put any number of them on the bottom of your library and the rest on top in any order.)
. I really don't think that this card will impact Standard format at all, except in the form of Rogue decks, but it might come up in a combo deck of some sort. I mean, when every instant and sorcery rigs your deck for you that is a good thing, since you're not limited to the cards mentioned above. And it's an enchantment, not an artifact, which means there's a chance it will be overlooked as far as destruction cards go. Still, I don't think it will have much impact at all.

No, Scry is not a great ability. It doesn't win games on its own; it doesn't produce flashy board effects. But what it does do is promote efficiency, and anything that makes a good deck more efficient means that deck just got better. At worst, it'll just be an ability that lets you search for combo pieces, but consider that not only do you get to Scry, you get the ability that Scry is attached to, as well. More options. Well, I'll leave you alone now so you can judge. Take it or leave it.


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