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CardShark Content - Alan McCandless (1/24/2002)

Okay, here is the blue breakdown, card by card, and a few of the random rants I have. Once again, I am using the database that Brainburst has provided, so card judgments are based on those provided. Cards will each have a constructed/limited rating based on their overall effectiveness in the appropriate environment. On a scale of 1-10, with one being the worst and 10 being the best, I will hopefully give you some insight into both constructed and limited worthy cards.

Alter Reality
Alter Reality
Alter RealitySet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
22
Artist:
Justin Sweet
Text:
Change the text of target permanent or spell by replacing all instances of one color word with another. (This effect doesn't end at end of turn.) Flashback 1U

R, Instant , 1U
Change the text of target permanent or spell by
replacing all instances of one color word with
another. (This effect doesn't end at end of turn.)
Flash
Flash
FlashSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
67
Artist:
David Ho
Text:
Put a creature card from your hand into play. You may pay its mana cost reduced by up to 2. If you don't, sacrifice it.
back 1U

Hmmmm.....Sleight of Mind
Sleight of Mind
Sleight of MindSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Change the text of any card being played or already in play by replacing one color word with another. For example, you can change Counters red spells to Counters black spells. Sleight of Mind cannot change mana symbols.
with flashback. Though Sleight has been out of the environment for awhile now, it was never really played to begin with. A few decks in the previous extended season saw Magical Hack
Magical Hack
Magical HackSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Julie Baroh
Text:
Change the text of any card being played or already in play by replacing one basic land type with another. For example, you can change swampwalk to plainswalk.
in the board, and this is where this guy will belong. For limited play, expect the blue mage to run this a little more often, as there are 23 cards in Torment
Torment
TormentSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
23
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Enchanted creature gets -3/-0.
alone that specify a color in their text. Overall, probably your above average rare, though not by much.

Constructed/Limited Rating: 4/5

Ambassador Laquatus
Ambassador Laquatus
Ambassador LaquatusSet: Torment
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Merfolk Legend
Rarity:
R
Number:
23
Artist:
Eric Peterson
Power:
1
Toughness:
3
Text:
3: Target player puts the top three cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.

R, Creature - Merfolk Legend, 1UU, 1/3
3: Target player puts the top three cards of his or
her library into his or her graveyard.

Wow, a creature millstone for X, well almost for X. Ambassador will dominate the limited format, especially with very little removal readily available. With such a minor casting cost for a 1/3, an early one of these could spell the end of game for your opponent, either by running out of cards, or thresholding yourself by turn 6. While this card is that good in limited, constructed play will probably try to run it to begin with, but will see that the amount of removal that formerly was used against Shadowmage will do just as well against this. (Can we say Rage?). Overall, a solid card for both formats, but much more useful in limited.

Constructed/Limited Rating: 5/8

Aquamoeba
Aquamoeba
AquamoebaSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
C
Number:
24
Artist:
Arnie Swekel
Power:
1
Toughness:
3
Text:
Discard a card from your hand: Switch Aquamoeba's power and toughness until end of turn.

C, Creature - Beast
Beast
BeastSet: Garruk vs. Liliana
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
C
Number:
1
Artist:
John Donahue
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
, 1U, 1/3
Discard a card from your hand: Switch Aquamoeba
Aquamoeba
AquamoebaSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
C
Number:
24
Artist:
Arnie Swekel
Power:
1
Toughness:
3
Text:
Discard a card from your hand: Switch Aquamoeba's power and toughness until end of turn.
's
power and toughness until end of turn.

Hmmm....a 1/3 for 1U, not a bad start. In limited, the About Face
About Face
About FaceSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
73
Artist:
Melissa A. Benson
Text:
Switch target creature's power and toughness until end of turn. Effects that alter the creature's power alter its toughness instead, and vice versa, this turn.
effect could provide early beats and then switch to defense mid to late game. A few tricks involving the damage stack can be used here as well, with making it a 3/1, damage on stack, and then reversing it back to normal. A very good card for limited blue mages, but will not see the light of constructed play.

Constructed/Limited Rating: 2/5

Balshan Collaborator
Balshan Collaborator
Balshan CollaboratorSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bird Soldier
Rarity:
U
Number:
25
Text:
Flying. B: Balshan Collaborator gets +1/+1 until end of turn.

U, Creature - Bird Soldier, 3U, 2/2
Flying
B: Balshan Collaborator
Balshan Collaborator
Balshan CollaboratorSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bird Soldier
Rarity:
U
Number:
25
Text:
Flying. B: Balshan Collaborator gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
gets +1/+1 until end of turn.

Okay, black/blue just gets better and better. A 2/2 flyer for 4 may seem overcosted, but when you look at the fact that he has Frozen Shade
Frozen Shade
Frozen ShadeSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Shade
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Power:
0
Toughness:
1
Text:
B: +1/+1
ness, wow. Expect to see many limited players with this in their deck, and probably at the winning tables. There is very little reason this will see any type of constructed play, as there are just much better cards to put in over this soldier of fortune.

Constructed/Limited Rating: 3/6

Breakthrough
Breakthrough
BreakthroughSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
26
Text:
Draw four cards, then choose X cards in your hand and discard the rest from it.

U, Sorcery , XU
Draw four cards, then choose X cards in your hand and
discard the rest from it.

This card really has instant written all over it! But since it is a sorcery, it’s constructed play will be short lived, as players will find after a few initial tests that Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction
Fact or FictionSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
57
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
Reveal the top five cards of your library. An opponent separates those cards into two face-up piles. Put one pile into your hand and the other into your graveyard.
is that much better and Stroke of Genius
Stroke of Genius
Stroke of GeniusSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
100
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Target player draws X cards.
it isn’t. Psychatog
Psychatog
PsychatogSet: Odyssey
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Atog
Rarity:
U
Number:
292
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
Discard a card from your hand: Psychatog gets +1/+1 until end of turn. Remove two cards in your graveyard from the game: Psychatog gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
may find this card useful late game for the winning blow, but very few decks will be willing other than it to sacrifice their hand. Limited on the other hand, could find this a great mid-to-late game card that can replenish their arsenal almost at once. A card which may still find a solid place in both environments, be on the lookout for what tricks may be used with it.

Constructed/Limited Rating: 5/4

Cephalid Aristocrat
Cephalid Aristocrat
Cephalid AristocratSet: Torment
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cephalid
Rarity:
C
Number:
27
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever Cephalid Aristocrat becomes the target of a spell or ability, put the top two cards of your library into your graveyard.

C, Creature - Cephalid, 4U, 3/3
Whenever Cephalid Aristocrat
Cephalid Aristocrat
Cephalid AristocratSet: Torment
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cephalid
Rarity:
C
Number:
27
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever Cephalid Aristocrat becomes the target of a spell or ability, put the top two cards of your library into your graveyard.
becomes the target of a
spell or ability, put the top two cards of your
library into your graveyard.

Well, I think overall this is one of the first cards I might encompass as a general loss. A 3/3 for 5 mana is overcosted to start, and with the possibly negative effect of your opponent taking advantage of his ability, you could watch your library disappear in minutes. Reaching threshold may be vital, but I believe there are much better ways to achieve it. Both constructed and limited should pass this card up, unless there is a desperate need for chump blockers.

Constructed/Limited Rating: 2/2

Cephalid Illusionist
Cephalid Illusionist
Cephalid IllusionistSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cephalid Wizard
Rarity:
U
Number:
28
Power:
2
Toughness:
3
Text:
Whenever Cephalid Illusionist becomes the target of a spell or ability, put the top three cards of your library into your graveyard. 2U, T: This turn prevent all combat damage that would be dealt to and dealt by target creature you control.

U, Creature - Cephalid Wizard, 1U, 1/1
Whenever Cephalid Illusionist
Cephalid Illusionist
Cephalid IllusionistSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cephalid Wizard
Rarity:
U
Number:
28
Power:
2
Toughness:
3
Text:
Whenever Cephalid Illusionist becomes the target of a spell or ability, put the top three cards of your library into your graveyard. 2U, T: This turn prevent all combat damage that would be dealt to and dealt by target creature you control.
becomes the target of a
spell or ability, put the top three cards of your
library into your graveyard.
2U, T: This turn prevent all combat damage that would
be dealt to and dealt by target creature you control.

Again, the drawback here is rather significant, though the cost and ability may make it worthwhile. A 1/1 for 2 is fine, and the prevent combat damage is definitely a boon, however, if someone decides that tapping your Wizard is a pretty effective millstone, then you could loose rather quickly. Though slightly better in the limited format than his counterpart, the Illusionist still lacks any real appeal to be played in either constructed or limited.

Constructed/Limited Rating: 2/2

Cephalid Sage
Cephalid Sage
Cephalid SageSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cephalid
Rarity:
U
Number:
29
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Threshold - When Cephalid Sage comes into play, draw three cards, then discard two cards from your hand.

U, Creature - Cephalid, 3U, 2/3
Threshold - When Cephalid Sage
Cephalid Sage
Cephalid SageSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cephalid
Rarity:
U
Number:
29
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Threshold - When Cephalid Sage comes into play, draw three cards, then discard two cards from your hand.
comes into play, draw
three cards, then discard two cards from your hand.

If this card didn’t have the threshold requirement for the drawing ability, it would be much better than what it is. However, even with the threshold requirement, a 2/3 for 4 is rather expensive, and since the draw and discard doesn’t take hold until threshold is already acquired, it’s usefulness is even downplayed further. Expect this guy to continue to be passed around the draft table until 9th or 10th pick. Constructed shrugs its’ shoulders with a sigh at this card, and will add him to the stack of cardshark uncommons to be listed.

Constructed/Limited Rating: 2/3

Cephalid Snitch
Cephalid Snitch
Cephalid SnitchSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cephalid Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
30
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Sacrifice Cephalid Snitch: Target creature loses protection from black until end of turn.

C, Creature - Cephalid Wizard, 1U, 1/1
Sacrifice
Sacrifice
SacrificeSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Sacrifice one of your creatures to add to your mana pool a number of black mana equal to that creature's casting cost.
Cephalid Snitch
Cephalid Snitch
Cephalid SnitchSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cephalid Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
30
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Sacrifice Cephalid Snitch: Target creature loses protection from black until end of turn.
: Target creature loses
protection from black until end of turn.

A means to an end with this little feller. Since blue will most likely be combined with black in both limited and constructed environments, this critter could see play in both. In limited, he can turn the tides of battle against the pro-black forces of white or green. In constructed, he might sneak into some sideboards as a way to deal with Mystic Enforcer
Mystic Enforcer
Mystic EnforcerSet: Odyssey
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nomad Mystic
Rarity:
R
Number:
290
Artist:
Gary Ruddell
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Protection from black Threshold - Mystic Enforcer gets +3/+3 and has flying. (You have threshold as long as seven or more cards are in your graveyard.)
and other such creatures. While both of these ideas are eminently viable, don’t expect to see a lot of him, and please don’t take him first pick.

Constructed/Limited Rating: 4/3

Cephalid Vandal
Cephalid Vandal
Cephalid VandalSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cephalid
Rarity:
R
Number:
31
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, put a shred counter on Cephalid Vandal. Then put the top card of your library into your graveyard for each shred counter on Cephalid Vandal.

R, Creature - Cephalid, 1U, 1/1
At the beginning of your upkeep, put a shred counter
on Cephalid Vandal
Cephalid Vandal
Cephalid VandalSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cephalid
Rarity:
R
Number:
31
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, put a shred counter on Cephalid Vandal. Then put the top card of your library into your graveyard for each shred counter on Cephalid Vandal.
. Then put the top card of your
library into your graveyard for each shred counter on Cephalid Vandal
Cephalid Vandal
Cephalid VandalSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cephalid
Rarity:
R
Number:
31
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, put a shred counter on Cephalid Vandal. Then put the top card of your library into your graveyard for each shred counter on Cephalid Vandal.
.
Okay, absolute crap. I was hoping I didn’t have to say that about any of this set, especially rares, and hopefully not until the red section :) Really people, if you put this one in your deck, you deserve to loose. Oh, and in case you didn’t really comprehend what I’ve been saying, here’s the rating.

Constructed/Limited Rating: 1/1

Churning Eddy
Churning Eddy
Churning EddySet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
32
Text:
Return target creature and target land to their owners' hands.

C, Sorcery , 3U
Return target creature and target land to their
owners' hands.

Not a bad combo, though putting them back on top of their library would have been more a sorcery style, and this cries INSTANT. The effect is still a viable one, especially in the limited environment, where a two turn delay could stop the kill and give you time to muster your forces. Since it is a sorcery, it’s defensive value drops, and so does it’s limited playability. Once again, a limited worthy card that may see some constructed environments.

Constructed/Limited Rating: 4/6

Circular Logic
Circular Logic
Circular LogicSet: Torment
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
33
Artist:
Anthony S. Waters
Text:
Counter target spell unless its controller pays 1 for each card in your graveyard. Madness U

U, Instant , 2U
Counter target spell unless its controller pays 1 for
each card in your graveyard.
Madness U

This is one of those that will probably see more constructed play than limited, as currently good blue counterspells are in serious need of a tune-up (read Fervent Denial
Fervent Denial
Fervent DenialSet: Odyssey
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
86
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
Counter target spell. Flashback 5UU (You may play this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then remove it from the game.)
). The madness effect of it just compliments the viability of the card, and will see play in Psychatog
Psychatog
PsychatogSet: Odyssey
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Atog
Rarity:
U
Number:
292
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
Discard a card from your hand: Psychatog gets +1/+1 until end of turn. Remove two cards in your graveyard from the game: Psychatog gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
decks aplenty. Limited will still see the blue mage readily grabbing up this uncommon, as it could counter that all important spell late game.

Constructed/Limited Rating: 7/4

Compulsion
Compulsion
CompulsionSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
34
Text:
1U, Discard a card from your hand: Draw a card. 1U, Sacrifice Compulsion: Draw a card.

U, Enchantment , 1U
1U, Discard a card from your hand: Draw a card.
1U, Sacrifice
Sacrifice
SacrificeSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Sacrifice one of your creatures to add to your mana pool a number of black mana equal to that creature's casting cost.
Compulsion
Compulsion
CompulsionSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
34
Text:
1U, Discard a card from your hand: Draw a card. 1U, Sacrifice Compulsion: Draw a card.
: Draw a card.

A variation on the Trade Routes
Trade Routes
Trade RoutesSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
112
Artist:
Matt Cavotta
Text:
1: Return target land you control to its owner's hand.1, Discard a land card from your hand: Draw a card.
theme, this card will definitely find a place in both constructed and limited play, as the control player for either environment will find it much too useful to leave out. Attaining threshold without sacrificing cards advantage and manipulating your hand are both desirable.

Constructed/Limited Rating: 6/6

Coral Net
Coral Net
Coral NetSet: Torment
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
35
Text:
Coral Net can enchant only a green or white creature. Enchanted creature has At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice this creature unless you discard a card from your hand.

C, Enchant Creature , U
Coral Net
Coral Net
Coral NetSet: Torment
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
35
Text:
Coral Net can enchant only a green or white creature. Enchanted creature has At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice this creature unless you discard a card from your hand.
can enchant only a green or white creature.
Enchanted creature has ´´At the beginning of your
upkeep, sacrifice this creature unless you discard a
card from your hand.´´

Possibly one of the better enchantments in the new set, this makes a creature into a Masticore
Masticore
MasticoreSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Rarity:
R
Number:
134
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, you may choose and discard a card from your hand. If you don't, sacrifice Masticore.2: Masticore deals 1 damage to target creature.2: Regenerate Masticore.
for the negative, all of the disadvantages and none of the advantages. Once again, this is only sideboard worthy, but may find its’ way into both environments. Still, a mediocre card at best, it may become a sideboard staple for the Regional metagame.

Constructed/Limited Rating: 4/4

Deep Analysis
Deep Analysis
Deep AnalysisSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
36
Text:
Target player draws two cards. Flashback - 1U, Pay 3 life.

C, Sorcery , 3U
Target player draws two cards.
Flash
Flash
FlashSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
67
Artist:
David Ho
Text:
Put a creature card from your hand into play. You may pay its mana cost reduced by up to 2. If you don't, sacrifice it.
back-1U, Pay 3 life.

Okay, card advantage is good. Limited play will see this card used, however, even when flashback is taken into consideration, Concentrate
Concentrate
ConcentrateSet: Odyssey
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
78
Artist:
Glen Angus & Arnie Swekel
Text:
Draw three cards.
is probably the better choice for a constructed deck, if you were to have to choose between the two. However, allied with a strong amount of control, you could see this in constructed blue/white control.

Constructed/Limited Rating: 5/4

False Memories
False Memories
False MemoriesSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
37
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Put the top seven cards of your library into your graveyard. At end of turn, remove seven cards in your graveyard from the game.

R, Instant , 1U
Put the top seven cards of your library into your
graveyard. At end of turn, remove seven cards in your
graveyard from the game.

Tolarian Winds
Tolarian Winds
Tolarian WindsSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
104
Artist:
Lawrence Snelly
Text:
Discard your hand, then draw that many cards.
it isn’t, and when you look at this card you are forced to compare. Awful in both formats, this is yet another one that will hit the trade binder in hopes of some fool thinking that he can break it. Temporary threshold isn’t worth the overall sacrifice.

Constructed/Limited Rating: 1/1

Ghostly Wings
Ghostly Wings
Ghostly WingsSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
38
Text:
Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 and has flying. Discard a card from your hand: Return enchanted creature to its owner's hand.

C, Enchant Creature , 1U
Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 and has flying.
Discard a card from your hand: Return enchanted
creature to its owner's hand.

A mixture between Flight
Flight
FlightSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Anson Maddocks
Text:
Target creature is now a flying creature.
and Angelic Shield
Angelic Shield
Angelic ShieldSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
228
Artist:
Adam Rex
Text:
Creatures you control get +0/+1.Sacrifice Angelic Shield: Return target creature to its owner's hand.
, this card is best suited for the limited environment, another of the better enchantments to find itself in your deck, it can prove quite useful against creature-hate. Evasion and pumping for a mere 1U is well worth the cost. Constructed, as with all enchantments of this nature, just doesn’t want to make the space required to run a possible 2 for 1 card loss.

Constructed/Limited Rating: 2/6

Hydromorph Guardian
Hydromorph Guardian
Hydromorph GuardianSet: Torment
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Guardian
Rarity:
C
Number:
39
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
U, Sacrifice Hydromorph Guardian: Counter target spell that targets one or more creatures you control.

C, Creature - Guardian, 2U, 2/2
U, Sacrifice
Sacrifice
SacrificeSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Sacrifice one of your creatures to add to your mana pool a number of black mana equal to that creature's casting cost.
Hydromorph Guardian
Hydromorph Guardian
Hydromorph GuardianSet: Torment
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Guardian
Rarity:
C
Number:
39
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
U, Sacrifice Hydromorph Guardian: Counter target spell that targets one or more creatures you control.
: Counter target spell
that targets one or more creatures you control.

A solid choice in any blue limited deck, it adds a counterspell against creature removal, which is all important in any limited format. The fact that it is a bear for 3 is compensated by this fact. Constructed play, as is usual with most of the decent limited cards in a new set, will say adieu to this creature and find more effective countermeasures.

Constructed/Limited Rating: 3/6

Hydromorph Gull
Hydromorph Gull
Hydromorph GullSet: Torment
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bird Guardian
Rarity:
U
Number:
40
Text:
Flying. U, Sacrifice Hydromorph Gull: Counter target spell that targets one or more creatures you control.

U, Creature - Bird Guardian, 3UU, 3/3
Flying
U, Sacrifice
Sacrifice
SacrificeSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Sacrifice one of your creatures to add to your mana pool a number of black mana equal to that creature's casting cost.
Hydromorph Gull
Hydromorph Gull
Hydromorph GullSet: Torment
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bird Guardian
Rarity:
U
Number:
40
Text:
Flying. U, Sacrifice Hydromorph Gull: Counter target spell that targets one or more creatures you control.
: Counter target spell
that targets one or more creatures you control.

Once again, as with its’ counterpart, this is a solid choice for any blue limited deck. Aven Windreader
Aven Windreader
Aven WindreaderSet: Odyssey
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bird Soldier Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
65
Artist:
Greg & Tim Hildebrandt
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying 1U: Target player reveals the top card of his or her library.
proved what a beatstick a 3/3 flyer can be, even for 5 during the Odyssey limited format. Once again, the added ability to protect your creatures allows for the inclusion of this uncommon into many limited decks. The added evasion gives it a slight edge over the Guardian, though the double colored mana cost negates the overall versatility. Along with its’ ground-pounding cousin, constructed play will not show this bird to be worthy of the nest and toss him out before his egg is hatched.

Constructed/Limited Rating: 3/6

Liquify
Liquify
LiquifySet: Torment
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
41
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Counter target spell with converted mana cost 3 or less. If it's countered this way, remove it from the game instead of putting it into its owner's graveyard.

C, Instant , 2U
Counter target spell with converted mana cost 3 or
less. If it's countered this way, remove it from the
game instead of putting it into its owner's graveyard.

Wow, another decent counterspell probably worthy of both environments, though much more likely to see limited play. I am a big fan of Prohibit
Prohibit
ProhibitSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
67
Artist:
Adam Rex
Text:
Kicker 2 (You may pay an additional 2 as you play this spell.)Counter target spell if its converted mana cost is 2 or less. If you paid the kicker cost, counter that spell if its converted mana cost is 4 or less instead.
in constructed, and this would be a notch less worthy than it. The removal effect takes care of pesky flashback cards, and the drawback of three or less is only minorly prohibitive, as this will usually negate most counters and quick creatures (especially Psychatog
Psychatog
PsychatogSet: Odyssey
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Atog
Rarity:
U
Number:
292
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
Discard a card from your hand: Psychatog gets +1/+1 until end of turn. Remove two cards in your graveyard from the game: Psychatog gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
). A mixture between prohibit and syncopate, the limited blue deck may snag it up, but unfortunately, the constructed mage will probably pass it by.

Constructed/Limited Rating: 4/5

Llawan, Cephalid Empress
Llawan, Cephalid Empress
Llawan, Cephalid EmpressSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cephalid Legend
Rarity:
R
Number:
42
Artist:
Mark Zug
Text:
When Llawan, Cephalid Empress comes into play, return all blue creatures your opponents control to their owners' hands. Your opponents can't play blue creature spells.

R, Creature - Cephalid Legend, 3U, 2/3
When Llawan, Cephalid Empress
Llawan, Cephalid Empress
Llawan, Cephalid EmpressSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cephalid Legend
Rarity:
R
Number:
42
Artist:
Mark Zug
Text:
When Llawan, Cephalid Empress comes into play, return all blue creatures your opponents control to their owners' hands. Your opponents can't play blue creature spells.
comes into play, return
all blue creatures your opponents control to their
owners' hands.
Your opponents can't play blue creature spells.

A nice mixture of bounce and control, Llawan is sure to be a chase rare many people have ideas for, especially with the new Sleight of Mind
Sleight of Mind
Sleight of MindSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Change the text of any card being played or already in play by replacing one color word with another. For example, you can change Counters red spells to Counters black spells. Sleight of Mind cannot change mana symbols.
. At 4 mana, a 2/3 isn’t bad, but the added ability which can completely overwhelm your opponent in the right matchups could be devastating. More a sideboard choice than main though, I believe she will find her way into many decks, both constructed and limited.

Constructed/Limited Rating: 6/5

Obsessive Search
Obsessive Search
Obsessive SearchSet: Torment
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
43
Text:
Draw a card. Madness U

C, Instant , U
Draw a card.
Madness U

Another above average search card for blue, they may be trying to replace the loss of accumulated knowledge in blue decks. In combination with many of the discard abilities used in the limited format, pitching a card to replace itself and advancing both your threshold and creature effect seems quite dominating. Sure to find its’ way into both constructed and limited decks, the blue mage is all smiles when it comes to this card.

Constructed/Limited Rating: 7/7

Plagiarize
Plagiarize
PlagiarizeSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
44
Artist:
Ben Thompson
Text:
Until end of turn, if target player would draw a card, instead that player skips that draw and you draw a card.

R, Instant , 3U
Until end of turn, if target player would draw a card,
instead that player skips that draw and you draw a card.

A card that is sure to make the top of the trade binder, it is worthy of some praise. The fact that the effect lasts until end of turn is just amazing, instead of a one shot deal. Play it during your opponent’s upkeep, and it’s like 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.
. Play it in response to some card drawing spell or ability, and it can be utterly amazing. Worthy of both constructed and limited play, take this card in high esteem and trade for it early and often. Takes my vote for best blue rare of the set.

Constructed/Limited Rating: 9/9

Possessed Aven
Possessed Aven
Possessed AvenSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bird Soldier Horror
Rarity:
R
Number:
45
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
Flying. Threshold - Possessed Aven gets +1/+1, is black, and has 2B, T: Destroy target blue creature.

R, Creature - Bird Soldier Horror, 2UU, 3/3
Flying
Threshold - Possessed Aven
Possessed Aven
Possessed AvenSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bird Soldier Horror
Rarity:
R
Number:
45
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
Flying. Threshold - Possessed Aven gets +1/+1, is black, and has 2B, T: Destroy target blue creature.
gets +1/+1, is black, and
has ´´2B, T: Destroy target blue creature.´´

A better than average rare, especially since it’s ability is with an allied color. A 3/3 flyer for 4 is pretty standard and a solid card, however, threshold gives this card an edge with which it might become constructed worthy. A solid draft pick, and probably a future constructed card, especially block worthy, it’s overall effectiveness and playability rate it high on the scale.

Constructed/Limited Rating: 8/7

Retraced Image
Retraced Image
Retraced ImageSet: Torment
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
46
Text:
Reveal a card in your hand, then put that card into play if it has the same name as a permanent in play.

R, Sorcery , U
Reveal a card in your hand, then put that card into
play if it has the same name as a permanent in play.

Much more a constructed card than a limited one as repetitive cards rarely come in flocks during sealed events, it may be worthwhile in some drafts where you attain multiples. Useful for attaining a mana advantage in limited events, the overall effectiveness of the card is low. Show and Tell
Show and Tell
Show and TellSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
96
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Each player may choose an artifact, creature, enchantment, or land card in his or her hand and put that permanent into play.
saw very little play, and it’s ability was far better than this.

Constructed/Limited Rating: 3/2

Skywing Aven
Skywing Aven
Skywing AvenSet: Torment
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bird Soldier
Rarity:
C
Number:
47
Text:
Flying. Discard a card from your hand: Return Skywing Aven to its owner's hand.

C, Creature - Bird Soldier, 2U, 2/1
Flying
Discard a card from your hand: Return Skywing Aven
Skywing Aven
Skywing AvenSet: Torment
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bird Soldier
Rarity:
C
Number:
47
Text:
Flying. Discard a card from your hand: Return Skywing Aven to its owner's hand.
to
its owner's hand.

Can anyone say Fleeting Image
Fleeting Image
Fleeting ImageSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Illusion
Rarity:
R
Number:
31
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying 1U: Return Fleeting Image to owner's hand.
? The ability is slightly different, but the end result is the same. Instead of costing you mana, you loose card advantage, a thing most blue mages are nigh to approve of. However, in limited play a 2/1 flyer is always a positive addition to a deck, and it will probably see the red zone in many draft and sealed decks. As with Fleeting Image
Fleeting Image
Fleeting ImageSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Illusion
Rarity:
R
Number:
31
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying 1U: Return Fleeting Image to owner's hand.
, constructed will raise its’ eyebrow in consideration and then snicker that it even thought of using it.

Constructed/Limited Rating: 3/5

Stupefying Touch
Stupefying Touch
Stupefying TouchSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
U
Number:
48
Text:
When Stupefying Touch comes into play, draw a card. Enchanted creature's activated abilities can't be played.

U, Enchant Creature , 1U
When Stupefying Touch
Stupefying Touch
Stupefying TouchSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
U
Number:
48
Text:
When Stupefying Touch comes into play, draw a card. Enchanted creature's activated abilities can't be played.
comes into play, draw a card.
Enchanted creature's activated abilities can't be played.

A hoser for all regenerators, and a cantrip besides, this card may appear much more useful than at first site. If you take a look at the creatures in the set, no less than 38 have activated abilities. That’s a quarter of the set, which means a majority of the creatures can be affected by this enchantment. It seems blue has the dominance on enchantments so far, and this one just solidifies its’ position. Once again, as with most enchantments, limited will love, constructed will deny, and its’ usefulness will be in the pack from which you open it.

Constructed/Limited Rating: 2/5

Turbulent Dreams
Turbulent Dreams
Turbulent DreamsSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
49
Text:
As an additional cost to play Turbulent Dreams, discard X cards from your hand. Return X target nonland permanents to their owners' hands.

R, Sorcery , UU
As an additional cost to play Turbulent Dreams
Turbulent Dreams
Turbulent DreamsSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
49
Text:
As an additional cost to play Turbulent Dreams, discard X cards from your hand. Return X target nonland permanents to their owners' hands.
,
discard X cards from your hand.
Return X target nonland permanents to their owners' hands.

Why oh why do they make cards that scream instant into sorceries? Still, as Distorting Wake
Distorting Wake
Distorting WakeSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
52
Artist:
Arnie Swekel
Text:
Return X target nonland permanents to their owners' hands.
proved in Invasion, returning an opponent’s board to their hand can be a devastating blow in a stalled out game. The switch between mana and cards though may be a larger drawback than is feasible, and could make this card completely unplayable. A possibility for limited play, it won’t get to find a home in any current deck for constructed.

Constructed/Limited Rating: 3/4

Well, there’s a peek at the Blue in Torment
Torment
TormentSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
23
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Enchanted creature gets -3/-0.
, and soon will be the all too anticipated dominance of the set, Black. As always, all comments and questions are welcome.


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