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CardShark Content - Beatdown Bedford Crenshaw (1/18/2006)

Back in September I reviewed the previous off color cards in Magic; in particular, the R/W (Boros) and B/G (Golgari) cards. There are lots of gold cards with allied colors, but few of enemy colors. This time, with Guildpact having two more enemy-color combinations, it is time to look at those. Since that would leave one single enemy-color combo left, which is not enough for its own article, I’m adding U/G (which will be featured in Dissension) as well.


IZZET

Dracoplasm
Dracoplasm
DracoplasmSet: Tempest
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Shapeshifter
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Andrew Robinson
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Flying When you play Dracoplasm, sacrifice any number of creatures.Dracoplasm comes into play with power equal to the total power of the sacrificed creatures and toughness equal to the total toughness of those creatures.R: Dracoplasm gets +1/+0 until end of turn.
(TE)
Grade C-
It’s cheap, and flying can win games, but it requires too much sacrifice to make it worthwhile for anyone other than Johnnies.

Emberwilde Caliph
Emberwilde Caliph
Emberwilde CaliphSet: Mirage
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Djinn
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Jennifer Law
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying, trampleEmberwilde Caliph attacks each turn if able.For each 1 damage Emberwilde Caliph successfully deals, lose 1 life.
(MI)
Grade C
Well, if you are playing red you probably can get them lower in life than you to make it worth while, almost, if you are Johnny. But Blue and Red are not known for their life gain, making the Caliph way too chancy for real play.

Fire/Ice (AP)
Grade A
The red half is worthy of being used even if it was its own separate card. The blue can often be useful. Put it together and you have one great card.

Firestorm
Firestorm
FirestormSet: Weatherlight
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Jeff Miracola
Text:
Choose and discard X cards: Firestorm deals X damage to each of X target creatures and/or players.
IEhlbGxraXRl (VI)
Grade B-
It flies, it tramples, and it’s a Dragon! Plus the cumulative upkeep isn’t that bad, all things considered. Add blue to your casual Dragon deck and have fun with this.

Frenetic Djinn (MI)
Grade B-
I never saw the great appeal to this card. Then again, it came out when creatures were relatively weak. Still, some people greatly love it and its place in history can’t be ignored.

Minotaur Illusionist
Minotaur Illusionist
Minotaur IllusionistSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Minotaur
Rarity:
U
Number:
111
Artist:
Mark Zug
Power:
3
Toughness:
4
Text:
1U: Minotaur Illusionist can't be the target of spells or abilities this turn. R, Sacrifice Minotaur Illusionist: Minotaur Illusionist deals damage equal to its power to target creature.
(AP)
Grade C+
This card helps to bridge Labyrinth Minotaur
Labyrinth Minotaur
Labyrinth MinotaurSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Minotaur
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Anson Maddocks
Power:
1
Toughness:
4
Text:
If Labyrinth Minotaur blocks any creature, that creature does not untap during its controller's next untap phase.
(the only mono-blue minotaur besides Mistform Ultimus
Mistform Ultimus
Mistform UltimusSet: Legions
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Illusion Legend
Rarity:
R
Number:
47
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Mistform Ultimus is every creature type (even if this card isn’t in play).
Mistform Ultimus may attack as though it weren’t a Wall.
) to the rest of the Minotaurs. Neither is a particular strong reason to run blue in a Minotaur tribal deck. Of course, Didgeridoo
Didgeridoo
DidgeridooSet: Homelands
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Melissa A. Benson
Text:
3: Take a Minotaur from your hand and put it directly into play as though it were just summoned.
doesn’t care about color, so perhaps playing the illusionist won’t be a problem. It’s a 3/4 with some nifty abilities, but neither are particularly valuable, as one just protects it and the other is weak compared to the burn that playing red anyways can help you.

Prophetic Bolt
Prophetic Bolt
Prophetic BoltSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
116
Artist:
Dave Dorman
Text:
Prophetic Bolt deals 4 damage to target creature or player. Look at the top four cards of your library. Put one of those cards into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library.
(AP)
Grade C-
A trash rare on paper, and $11 online; I choose trash rare. Not bad in Limited, but two abilities that don’t mesh well on an overpriced card seal one’s fate. Anyone who pays $11 for this is a fool.

Quicksilver Dagger
Quicksilver Dagger
Quicksilver DaggerSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
118
Artist:
Alex Horley
Text:
Enchanted creature has "TAP: This creature deals 1 damage to target player. You draw a card."
(AP)
Grade C
A name like this would now be limited to equipment. Tim effects come much cheaper now, but being able to draw a card as well is kinda nifty. Not bad.

Razorfin Hunter
Razorfin Hunter
Razorfin HunterSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Merfolk Goblin
Rarity:
C
Number:
119
Artist:
Jeff Easley
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
TAP: Razorfin Hunter deals 1 damage to target creature or player.
(AP)
Grade C+
There is something fishy about this goblin. It’s a fairly cheap Tim, and there is just something about a creature that is both a merfolk and a goblin that I like.

Squee
Squee
SqueeSet: Vanguard
Sub Type:
Character
Rarity:
X
Number:
7
Artist:
Daniel Gelon
Power:
+3
Toughness:
-4
Text:
Your opponents play with their hands face up.
’s Revenge (AP)
Grade C-
It gives you another reason to play Krark’s Thumb, but unless you are feeling very lucky, blue has better drawing options.

Suffocating Blast
Suffocating Blast
Suffocating BlastSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
124
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
Counter target spell and Suffocating Blast deals 3 damage to target creature.
(AP)
Grade D
If it damaged a player, it would have been much better; I guess Undermine
Undermine
UndermineSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
282
Artist:
Massimilano Frezzato
Text:
Counter target spell. Its controller loses 3 life.
’s presence in the same block is the reason the Blast was restricted to creatures only. As it is, it sucks.


ORZHOV

Circle of Despair
Circle of Despair
Circle of DespairSet: Mirage
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
1, Sacrifice a creature: Prevent all damage to any creature or player from any one source.
(MI)
Grade C-
A weak color combination at the time, plus a high cost of using, means that this card never saw play. Besides, white has lots of options to prevent damage, most of which are more utility than this.

Death Grasp
Death Grasp
Death GraspSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
95
Artist:
Eric Peterson
Text:
Death Grasp deals X damage to target creature or player. You gain X life.
(AP)
Grade B
An improved Drain Life
Drain Life
Drain LifeSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Drain Life does 1 damage to a single target for each B spent in addition to the casting cost. Caster gains 1 life for each damage inflicted. If you drain life from a creature, you cannot gain more life than the creature's current toughness.
, making it a very sweet card. If I ever make that BOP Vanguard deck for Extended, then I’d consider using this card

Gerrard
Gerrard
GerrardSet: Vanguard
Sub Type:
Character
Rarity:
X
Number:
2
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Power:
-4
Toughness:
+0
Text:
During your draw phase, draw an additional card.
’s Verdict (AP)
Grade B-
A Hymn to Tourach
Hymn to Tourach
Hymn to TourachSet: Fallen Empires
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
12
Artist:
Susan Van Camp
Text:
Target player discards two cards at random from his or her hand. If target player does not have enough cards, his or her entire hand is discarded.
variant. The fact that it’s not random hurts it, but them again the Hymn was once banned in tourneys, so this is probably more than fair.

Martyr’s Tomb (AP)
Grade D
Yuck! White has much better ways to protect its critters.

Night/Day (AP)
Grade B
Two useful choices on one card, I’m surprised this wasn’t used more back in the day. One of the few good IPA cards that is relatively cheap on MTGO, I’d suggest picking it up.

Purgatory
Purgatory
PurgatorySet: Mirage
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mike Dringenberg
Text:
Whenever a summon card is put into your graveyard from play, put that card face up under Purgatory.During your upkeep, you may pay 4 and 2 life to put any card under Purgatory into play as though it were just played.If Purgatory leaves play, remove all cards under if from the game.
(MI)
Grade D+
Too mana intensive to ever see play, although I like the attempt that was made for this.

Putrid Warrior
Putrid Warrior
Putrid WarriorSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Soldier Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
117
Artist:
Ray Lago
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Whenever Putrid Warrior deals damage, choose one - each player loses 1 life; or each player gains 1 life.
(AP)
Grade C+
I want to like this card, but it needed to be built around, and it wasn’t big enough to build around. Too bad.

Righteous War
Righteous War
Righteous WarSet: Visions
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Ian Miller
Text:
All white creatures you control gain protection from black.All black creatures you control gain protection from white.
(VI)
Grade D+
If there are ever a lot of B/W mirror matches, than this is a card that would see play. However, that has never existed and never will exist.

Selenia, Dark Angel
Selenia, Dark Angel
Selenia, Dark AngelSet: Tempest
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Legend
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Matthew D. Wilson
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying Selenia, Dark Angel counts as an Angel.Pay 2 life: Return Selenia to owner's hand.
(TE)
Grade C
A cult favorite card, but both colors have much better fliers, and the retrieval function just isn’t worth it.

Soul Link
Soul Link
Soul LinkSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
120
Artist:
Jeff Easley
Text:
Whenever enchanted creature deals or is dealt damage, you gain that much life.
(AP)
Grade C+
People often tell me to get a life; this is one of the better ways to do it.

Vindicate
Vindicate
VindicateSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
126
Artist:
Brian Snoddy
Text:
Destroy target permanent.
(AP)
Grade A
You’ve got to love the utility of this card, just like you’ve got to hate how ridiculously expensive it is on MTGO. One of the best cards of all time.


SIMIC

Aether Mutation
Aether Mutation
Aether MutationSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
91
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Return target creature to its owner's hand. Put X 1/1 green Saproling creature tokens into play, where X is its converted mana cost.
(AP)
Grade C
An expensive Boomerang
Boomerang
BoomerangSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Alan Rabinowitz
Text:
Return target permanent to owner's hand.
, but if you want to make Saproling
Saproling
SaprolingSet: Phyrexia vs. The Coalition
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Saproling
Rarity:
C
Number:
3
Artist:
Warren Mahy
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
s, I guess you can do worse.

Gaea’s Skyfolk (AP)
Grade C+
At one time, a 2/2 flyer for 2cc with no drawback would have been awesome. But white now gets Leonin Skyhunter
Leonin Skyhunter
Leonin SkyhunterSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat Knight
Rarity:
U
Number:
11
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying
, so this isn’t so spectacular. Still, Elf Merfolk are inherently cool.

Illusion/Reality (AP)
Grade C-
You can lace, which tends to be weak, or destroy artifacts, which green has a lot better options. Split cards come much better than this.

Jungle Barrier
Jungle Barrier
Jungle BarrierSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wall
Rarity:
U
Number:
106
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Power:
2
Toughness:
6
Text:
(Walls can't attack.) When Jungle Barrier comes into play, draw a card.
(AP)
Grade C-
Sorry
Sorry
SorrySet: Unglued
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
27
Artist:
Kaja Foglio
Text:
Before playing any spell, if a copy of that spell card is in any graveyard, the spell's caster may say Sorry. If he or she does not, any other player may counter the spell by saying Sorry as it is cast.If any player says Sorry at any other time, Sorry deals 2 damage to that player.
; I am still missing Wall of Blossoms
Wall of Blossoms
Wall of BlossomsSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wall
Rarity:
U
Number:
75
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Power:
0
Toughness:
4
Text:
(Walls cannot attack.) When Wall of Blossoms comes into play, draw a card.
.

Malignant Growth
Malignant Growth
Malignant GrowthSet: Mirage
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
Cumulative upkeep 1During your upkeep, put a growth counter on Malignant Growth.During target opponent's draw phase, he or she draws an additional card for each growth counter on Malignant Growth. For each card that opponent draws in this way, Malignant Growth deals 1 damage to him or her.
(MI)
Grade C-
Too slow to be useful, but a fun card for Johnny nevertheless.

Mystic Snake
Mystic Snake
Mystic SnakeSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Snake
Rarity:
R
Number:
112
Artist:
Daren Bader
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
You may play Mystic Snake any time you could play an instant. When Mystic Snake comes into play, counter target spell.
(AP)
Grade C+
This card has always offended me, as it was what an Invitational winner wanted to submit, but was told not to. If you like snakes, you’ll like this card.

Pygmy Hippo
Pygmy Hippo
Pygmy HippoSet: Visions
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Hippopotamus
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Steve White
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
If Pygmy Hippo attacks and is not blocked, you may choose to have it deal no combat damage this turn. If you do, defending player draws all mana from his or her lands and then his or her mana pool is emptied. After combat, add an equal amount of colorless mana to your mana pool.
(VI)
Grade D+
You want to read War and Peace but can’t find the book? After reading the ability text of this card, you’ll feel like you just did. No card should have that much text.

Temporal Spring
Temporal Spring
Temporal SpringSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
125
Artist:
John Matson
Text:
Put target permanent on top of its owner's library.
(AP)
Grade D+
A card like this needs to return 2 to make it worthwhile. This doesn’t.

Warping Wurm
Warping Wurm
Warping WurmSet: Mirage
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wurm
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Phasing During your upkeep, pay 2GU or Warping Wurm phases out. When Warping Wurm phases in, put a +1/+1 counter on it.
(MI)
Grade C-
I always wanted to like this card, but it is just too slow. Green now gets 4/4 for 4cc with no drawback, so this card will never be a serious card, even for not-so-serious Johnnies.

Wood Sage
Wood Sage
Wood SageSet: Tempest
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Druid
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Name a creature card. Reveal the top four cards of your library to all players. If any of those cards are the named card, put them into your hand. Put the rest into your graveyard.
(TE)
Grade C
With Sensei’s Divining Top, it can be quite useful. Still, both colors have better library manipulation.

Yavimaya’s Embrace (AP)
Grade C-
I like all the abilities, but that 8cc absolutely cripples it.


That concludes my look at the enemy color cards already in Magic. In my previous article, I showed how R/W was weak in previous sets, and B/G was quite powerful, and lo and behold the corresponding Ravnica cards match. Previous U/R cards were eccentric, so Izzet will probably be like that. The power of previous W/B cards, especially in Apocalypse
Apocalypse
ApocalypseSet: Tempest
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
L. A. Williams
Text:
Remove all permanents from the game. Discard your hand.
, bolds well for Orzhov decks. But U/G cards have sucked in the past, and no doubt that Dissension will be seriously hurt if the past is any indication. So, at the prerelease, focus on W/B and ignore the rest.


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