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CardShark Content - Alex Lee (8/29/2005)

It may seem strange to some of you, but a lot of Magic players have never drafted. And I used to be one of them. Until this summer, when I went down to California and met some spell-slinging friends that happened to draft every weekend. So, we went down to the local store in San Jose and signed ourselves up for a Kamigawa block draft.

While we were waiting for it to start, I decided to browse the counters, which have every collectible game ever, including the awesome Pirates of the Spanish Main constructible strategy game. I bought some random stuff like Mortal Kombat sleeves and a cardboard box for my cards. And I also purchase a Fat Pack, which turns out to be a better deal than I thought. All the older Fat Packs are pretty much six boosters and a book, but the 9th edition one has all this cool stuff instead, like an oversized Force of Nature
Force of Nature
Force of NatureSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
6
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Force
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Power:
8
Toughness:
8
Text:
TrampleYou must pay GGGG during your upkeep or Force of Nature does 8 damage to you. You may still attack with Force of Nature even if you failed to pay the upkeep.
and a 20-sided die.

Anyway, the draft starts up, and I find myself in the same draft pod as one of my friends, and we each decide on a color combination to draft so we wouldn’t take each other’s colors. I decide on Black/Green, and he goes for Red/White. I was kind of nervous, as I had never drafted while everyone else seemed like they came here at least seven times a week. The Kamigawa packs were handed out, and I cracked open my pack, skip to the rare and see…

Reweave
Reweave
ReweaveSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
6
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
R
Number:
82
Artist:
Alex Horley-Orlandelli
Text:
Target permanent's controller sacrifices it. That player reveals cards from the top of his or her library until he or she reveals a card that shares a card type with the sacrificed permanent. The player puts that card into play, then shuffles his or her library. Splice onto Arcane 2UU
!

My dreams of opening a dragon or Meloku and riding it to victory vanished in an instant. Luckily, I was saved as there was a Glacial Ray
Glacial Ray
Glacial RaySet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Number:
168
Artist:
Jim Murray
Text:
Glacial Ray deals 2 damage to target creature or player. Splice onto Arcane 1R (As you play an Arcane spell, you may reveal this card from your hand and pay its splice cost. If you do, add this card's effects to that spell.)
in the pack. I know I should be drafting B/G, but the Ray’s too good to pass up. The next pack has nothing good except a Kitsune Blademaster
Kitsune Blademaster
Kitsune BlademasterSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Fox Samurai
Rarity:
C
Number:
25
Artist:
Keith Garletts
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
First strike Bushido 1 (When this blocks or becomes blocked, it gets +1/+1 until end of turn.)
, and I start to wonder if I should just abandon Black. But as fate would have it, the next pack is again unplayable crap, except for a Rend Flesh
Rend Flesh
Rend FleshSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Number:
140
Artist:
Stephen Tappin
Text:
Destroy target non-Spirit creature.
that I take. The fourth pack has another Rend Flesh
Rend Flesh
Rend FleshSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Number:
140
Artist:
Stephen Tappin
Text:
Destroy target non-Spirit creature.
, and I decide on a whim to try a popular drafting strategy and force a color, in this case Black.

And for the rest of Champions, I just snatch up every Black card I see, even if there are slightly better choices. This seemingly idiotic strategy pays off in Betrayers, where I crack open a Horobi’s Whisper and get another one third pick. And then, something incredibly strange happens. I get a Neverending Torment
Neverending Torment
Neverending TormentSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Text:
Search target player's library for X cards, where X is the number of cards in your hand, and remove them from the game. Then that player shuffles his or her library. Epic (For the rest of the game, you can't play spells. At the beginning of each of your upkeeps, copy this spell except for its epic ability. You may choose a new target for the copy.)
fourth pick, a card that seems really good in a 40-card format. And fifth pick, guess what I open. Yup, another Neverending Torment
Neverending Torment
Neverending TormentSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Text:
Search target player's library for X cards, where X is the number of cards in your hand, and remove them from the game. Then that player shuffles his or her library. Epic (For the rest of the game, you can't play spells. At the beginning of each of your upkeeps, copy this spell except for its epic ability. You may choose a new target for the copy.)
. When I open an Okiba-Gang Shinobi next, I wonder if there are not many Black drafters at the table. My suspicions are confirmed when I proceed to open two more Shinobis, turning my deck into an ungodly monster.

Saviors gives me some more Black goodies, such as the Hand of Cruelty
Hand of Cruelty
Hand of CrueltySet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Samurai
Rarity:
U
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Protection from white Bushido 1 (When this blocks or becomes blocked, it gets +1/+1 until end of turn.)
and multiple Raving Oni-Slaves. For the late game, I drafted some Sink into Takenuma
Sink into Takenuma
Sink into TakenumaSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Text:
Sweep - Return any number of Swamps you control to their owner's hand. Target player discards a card for each Swamp returned this way.
s and Exile into Darkness
Exile into Darkness
Exile into DarknessSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Text:
Target player sacrifices a creature with converted mana cost 3 or less. At the beginning of your upkeep, if you have more cards in hand than each opponent, you may return Exile into Darkness from your graveyard to your hand.
.

When I finished, I ended up with this Mono-Black deck:

Creatures: 14
3 Okiba-Gang Shinobi
2 Kami of Empty Graves
Kami of Empty Graves
Kami of Empty GravesSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Power:
4
Toughness:
1
Text:
Soulshift 3 (When this is put into a graveyard from play, you may return target Spirit card with converted mana cost 3 or less from your graveyard to your hand.)

2 Kuro’s Taken
2 Raving Oni-Slave
1 Hand of Cruelty
Hand of Cruelty
Hand of CrueltySet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Samurai
Rarity:
U
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Protection from white Bushido 1 (When this blocks or becomes blocked, it gets +1/+1 until end of turn.)

1 Ogre Marauder
Ogre Marauder
Ogre MarauderSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ogre Warrior
Rarity:
U
Number:
75
Artist:
Adam Rex
Power:
3
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever Ogre Marauder attacks, it can't be blocked this turn unless defending player sacrifices a creature.

1 Ashen-Skin Zubera
1 Deathmask Nezumi
Deathmask Nezumi
Deathmask NezumiSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat Shaman
Rarity:
C
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
As long as you have seven or more cards in hand, Deathmask Nezumi gets +2/+1 and has fear.

1 Painwracker Oni
Painwracker Oni
Painwracker OniSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Demon Spirit
Rarity:
U
Number:
136
Artist:
Hideaki Takamura
Power:
5
Toughness:
4
Text:
Fear At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice a creature if you don't control an Ogre.


Spells: 9
2 Neverending Torment
Neverending Torment
Neverending TormentSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Text:
Search target player's library for X cards, where X is the number of cards in your hand, and remove them from the game. Then that player shuffles his or her library. Epic (For the rest of the game, you can't play spells. At the beginning of each of your upkeeps, copy this spell except for its epic ability. You may choose a new target for the copy.)

2 Horobi’s Whisper
2 Rend Flesh
Rend Flesh
Rend FleshSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Number:
140
Artist:
Stephen Tappin
Text:
Destroy target non-Spirit creature.

1 Genju of the Fens
Genju of the Fens
Genju of the FensSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Swamp
Rarity:
U
Number:
66
Artist:
Tsutomu Kawade
Text:
2: Until end of turn, enchanted Swamp becomes a 2/2 black Spirit creature with "B: This creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn." It's still a land. When enchanted Swamp is put into a graveyard, you may return Genju of the Fens from your graveyard to your hand.

1 Exile into Darkness
Exile into Darkness
Exile into DarknessSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Text:
Target player sacrifices a creature with converted mana cost 3 or less. At the beginning of your upkeep, if you have more cards in hand than each opponent, you may return Exile into Darkness from your graveyard to your hand.

1 Sink into Takenuma
Sink into Takenuma
Sink into TakenumaSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Text:
Sweep - Return any number of Swamps you control to their owner's hand. Target player discards a card for each Swamp returned this way.


Land: 17
17 Swamp
Swamp
SwampSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add B to your mana pool.
s

Now, onto the rounds:

Match 1 against U/G:

Game 1: He gets manascrewed while I get a perfect curve with turn 2 Hand of Cruelty
Hand of Cruelty
Hand of CrueltySet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Samurai
Rarity:
U
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Protection from white Bushido 1 (When this blocks or becomes blocked, it gets +1/+1 until end of turn.)
, turn 3 Ogre Maraudar, and turn four 4 ninjitsued Okiba-Gang Shinobi.

Game 2: Now I know why my deck didn’t get any crazy bombs. He gets an Imawori of the Open Fist, Meloku the Clouded Mirror
Meloku the Clouded Mirror
Meloku the Clouded MirrorSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Moonfolk Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
74
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Power:
2
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying 1, Return a land you control to its owner's hand: Put a 1/1 blue Illusion creature token with flying into play.
, and Tatsumasa the Dragon’s Fang. My life total read 20, 10, 0.

Game 3: My deck performs well, taking out his Imawori and Moonbow Illusionist
Moonbow Illusionist
Moonbow IllusionistSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Moonfolk Wizard
Rarity:
C
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying 2, Return a land you control to its owner's hand: Target land becomes the basic land type of your choice until end of turn.
with a Rend Flesh
Rend Flesh
Rend FleshSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Number:
140
Artist:
Stephen Tappin
Text:
Destroy target non-Spirit creature.
and spliced Horobi’s Whisper. My cheap guys overrun his other defenses. I’ve learned that Neverending Torment
Neverending Torment
Neverending TormentSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Text:
Search target player's library for X cards, where X is the number of cards in your hand, and remove them from the game. Then that player shuffles his or her library. Epic (For the rest of the game, you can't play spells. At the beginning of each of your upkeeps, copy this spell except for its epic ability. You may choose a new target for the copy.)
is pretty useless when your deck is incredibly fast and needs to keep playing threats.

Match 2 against U/R:

Game 1: He plays out some early fliers that I kill with my removal, and my dual Shinobis rip his hand apart, revealing a Patron of the Moon
Patron of the Moon
Patron of the MoonSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
7
Color:
Blue
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
R
Number:
45
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Power:
5
Toughness:
4
Text:
Moonfolk offering (You may play this card any time you could play an instant by sacrificing a Moonfolk and paying the difference in mana costs between this and the sacrificed Moonfolk. Mana cost includes color.) Flying 1: Put up to two land cards from your hand into play tapped.
and some random fliers. I win the game shortly afterwards.

Game 2: This match is similar to the first game, except that he actually gets out Patron of the Moon
Patron of the Moon
Patron of the MoonSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
7
Color:
Blue
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
R
Number:
45
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Power:
5
Toughness:
4
Text:
Moonfolk offering (You may play this card any time you could play an instant by sacrificing a Moonfolk and paying the difference in mana costs between this and the sacrificed Moonfolk. Mana cost includes color.) Flying 1: Put up to two land cards from your hand into play tapped.
this time. Fortunately for me, it needs to stay on defense as I got him down to four life earlier. We don’t do anything until I topdeck a Horobi’s Whisper and win.

Round 3 against B/G:

Game 1: He’s the only other Black drafter at my pod, so he probably got some good stuff too. I get out a fast start involving Raving Oni-Slave, while he seems to be playing a spiritcraft deck. It’s going great for me until turn four, when he lays down a Razorjaw Oni
Razorjaw Oni
Razorjaw OniSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Demon Spirit
Rarity:
U
Power:
4
Toughness:
5
Text:
Black creatures can't block.
, rendering my defense useless. It and a Fork
Fork
ForkSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Amy Weber
Text:
Any one sorcery or instant spell just cast is duplicated. Treat Fork as an exact copy of target spell except that Fork remains red. Caster of Fork chooses the copy's target.
ed-Branch Garami kill me.

Game 2: This time he curves out perfectly with Promised Kannushi
Promised Kannushi
Promised KannushiSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Druid
Rarity:
C
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Soulshift 7 (When this is put into a graveyard from play, you may return target Spirit card with converted mana cost 7 or less from your graveyard to your hand.)
, Dripping Tongue Zubera
Dripping Tongue Zubera
Dripping Tongue ZuberaSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zubera Spirit
Rarity:
C
Number:
206
Artist:
Tsutomu Kawade
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Dripping-Tongue Zubera is put into a graveyard from play, put a 1/1 colorless Spirit creature token into play for each Zubera put into a graveyard from play this turn.
, Thief of Hope
Thief of Hope
Thief of HopeSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
U
Number:
147
Artist:
Tim Hildebrandt
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Whenever you play a Spirit or Arcane spell, target opponent loses 1 life and you gain 1 life. Soulshift 2 (When this is put into a graveyard from play, you may return target Spirit card with converted mana cost 2 or less from your graveyard to your hand.)
, Razorjaw Oni
Razorjaw Oni
Razorjaw OniSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Demon Spirit
Rarity:
U
Power:
4
Toughness:
5
Text:
Black creatures can't block.
, and Fork
Fork
ForkSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Amy Weber
Text:
Any one sorcery or instant spell just cast is duplicated. Treat Fork as an exact copy of target spell except that Fork remains red. Caster of Fork chooses the copy's target.
ed-Branch Garami. I can’t hold up against the tide of soulshifting spirits.

I end up going 2-1, and win two packs of Betrayers as my prize. A pretty good first draft, in my opinion. Black seems to be underdrafted, so I’m going to try to force it in other Kamigawa drafts.


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