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CardShark Content - Beatdown Bedford Crenshaw (4/28/2006)

Well, here we start again with set reviews. Considering that I have yet to complete any set review in Ravnica yet, and I liked how my recent MTGO Visions
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.
review went, I have redone my reviews. Instead of saying “limited filler” a dozen times, just assume any card I don’t mention is just limited filler and nothing special. Normally I start my set discussions with the prerelease, but all I did there was a single booster draft, for many reasons that I’d just as soon not discuss right now. Let’s just say that one of the reasons I would like a better job, or move someplace, is so I won’t have to rely on Indy for prereleases. Indiana Magic was at its greatest with George Pratt in charge. Then came Mitch Smithson, who had a harder edge but did quite well on his own. Then came Vic Aldridge, who had competence and friendliness but not enough gumption to do as well as his predecessors. Now, under Pastimes, Indiana tourneys simply don’t have any spirit.

Anyways, on to the reviews.

BEST RED COMMON: Seal of Fire
Seal of Fire
Seal of FireSet: Nemesis
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
C
Number:
98
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
Sacrifice Seal of Fire: Seal of Fire deals 2 damage to target creature or player.

I’d rather have a Penguin of Fire, but I’ll take what I can get. In my Visions
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.
review, I purposely avoided reprints, as reprints add nothing to the MTGO environment. I also avoided reprints from 8th Edition when I reviewed 9th Edition. But a reprint of a card in an expansion in print is different. It actually matters if it’s reprinted. Seal of Fire
Seal of Fire
Seal of FireSet: Nemesis
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
C
Number:
98
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
Sacrifice Seal of Fire: Seal of Fire deals 2 damage to target creature or player.
was always seen as a good card, as it got you a Shock
Shock
ShockSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
206
Artist:
Randy Gallegos
Text:
Shock deals 2 damage to target creature or player.
available that a counterspeller probably couldn’t deal with. Counterspell
Counterspell
CounterspellSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Counters target spell as it is being cast.
s are not as worrisome right now, but the fact that the Seal goes along with the Hellbent mechanic so well ensures its constant goodness. Plus, the other commons in red that are of any quality require you to play more than one color.

BEST RED UNCOMMON: Ignorant Bliss
Ignorant Bliss
Ignorant BlissSet: Dissension
Color:
Red
Rarity:
U
Number:
64
Artist:
Jeff Miracola

If this true, then Ohio, Kentucky, and West-Central Indiana motorists should be the happiest people on Earth. Although as a whole I like red in Dissension, the uncommons are useful only in oddball Johnny decks. I would love to pick Squealing Devil
Squealing Devil
Squealing DevilSet: Dissension
Color:
Red
Rarity:
U
Number:
72
Artist:
Matt Cavotta
, as my old high school was the Red Devils, but it’s only useful in a R/B deck. The Bliss fits in mono-red decks as it not only protects you from discarding, it also aids the Hellbent mechanic. The Guildmage is OK in mono-red, since it gives red a 2/2 for 2 with no drawback, but I find the other red guildmages in previous sets much better, as they have better abilities. I want Ball Lightning
Ball Lightning
Ball LightningSet: Fourth Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ball Lightning
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Quinton Hoover
Power:
6
Toughness:
1
Text:
Trample Ball Lightning can attack the turn it comes into play. At the end of any turn, bury Ball Lightning.
, not a bunch of wannabees.

BEST RED RARE: Demonfire
Demonfire
DemonfireSet: Dissension
Color:
Red
Rarity:
R
Number:
60
Artist:
Greg Staples

I always liked that G.I. Joe miniseries, and never saw enough of it. Oh wait, that was Operation DRAGONfire. Oh well. This was a hard choice. Avatar of Discord
Avatar of Discord
Avatar of DiscordSet: Dissension
Cost:
11
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Avatar
Rarity:
R
Number:
140
Artist:
rk post
Power:
5
Toughness:
3
Text:
((B/R) can be paid with either B or R.) Flying When Avatar of Discord comes into play, sacrifice it unless you discard two cards.
has power, but requires a lot of working around, especially without Madness in the environment. The Pit Dragon is occasionally nothing better than a Hill Giant
Hill Giant
Hill GiantSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Giant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
. U3RhbGtpbmcgVengeance
Vengeance
VengeanceSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Keith Parkinson
Text:
Destroy any one tapped creature.
is a little expensive. War’s Toll is sometimes useless. But being able to Blaze
Blaze
BlazeSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
168
Artist:
Gerry Grace
Text:
Blaze deals X damage to target creature or player.
away a critter for good, and make it unpreventable and uncounterable, is always useful. With the rares in this set, I am thinking that mono-red in standard is quite possible and very likely viable.

BEST RED CREATURE: Rakdos Pit Dragon
Rakdos Pit Dragon
Rakdos Pit DragonSet: Dissension
Color:
Red
Rarity:
R
Number:
69
Artist:
Kev Walker

Boy I am glad it’s a Pit Dragon; a Spit Dragon would cause a lot of unsportsmanlike penalties at PTQs. With three strong abilities, the Pit Dragon is the first double-striker that is tourney worthy on its own. Sure it’s occasionally a spoofed up Hill Giant
Hill Giant
Hill GiantSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Giant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
, but with RR it can deal 6 to an opponent on many an occasion. None of Red’s Dissension critters are bad. U3RhbGtpbmcgVengeance
Vengeance
VengeanceSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Keith Parkinson
Text:
Destroy any one tapped creature.
has strong possibilities, although you need to make sure you have the mana sources. The Kill-Suit Cultist and Squealing Devil
Squealing Devil
Squealing DevilSet: Dissension
Color:
Red
Rarity:
U
Number:
72
Artist:
Matt Cavotta
are strong filler in Rakdos decks. Ogre Gatecrasher
Ogre Gatecrasher
Ogre GatecrasherSet: Dissension
Color:
Red
Rarity:
C
Number:
67
Artist:
Daren Bader
could potentially see some action in sideboards against Defenders.

BEST RED NON-CREATURE: Demonfire
Demonfire
DemonfireSet: Dissension
Color:
Red
Rarity:
R
Number:
60
Artist:
Greg Staples

Yep, I’m sold on Demonfire
Demonfire
DemonfireSet: Dissension
Color:
Red
Rarity:
R
Number:
60
Artist:
Greg Staples
. However, Seal of Fire
Seal of Fire
Seal of FireSet: Nemesis
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
C
Number:
98
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
Sacrifice Seal of Fire: Seal of Fire deals 2 damage to target creature or player.
will probably see more play. The other mono-red enchantments are also very likely to appear in decks. Ignorant Bliss
Ignorant Bliss
Ignorant BlissSet: Dissension
Color:
Red
Rarity:
U
Number:
64
Artist:
Jeff Miracola
works wonderfully with Demonfire
Demonfire
DemonfireSet: Dissension
Color:
Red
Rarity:
R
Number:
60
Artist:
Greg Staples
and Pit Dragon. Psychotic Fury
Psychotic Fury
Psychotic FurySet: Dissension
Color:
Red
Rarity:
C
Number:
68
Artist:
Kev Walker
has strong possibilities in any Rakdos, Gruul, or Boros deck.

BEST RED TIMMY CARD: U3RhbGtpbmcgVengeance
Vengeance
VengeanceSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Keith Parkinson
Text:
Destroy any one tapped creature.

That’s right, if you stalk someone you better be afraid that they will retaliate. Normally, anything over 6 mana is auto-trash. Timmy doesn’t care; he just likes big stuff. Also, it can win games with its haste and special ability.

BEST RED JOHNNY CARD: Stormscale Anarch
Stormscale Anarch
Stormscale AnarchSet: Dissension
Color:
Red
Rarity:
R
Number:
74
Artist:
Ralph Horsley

Does the scale range from “light breeze” to “Katrina”? I can just see some Johnny making a deck based on getting lots of mana and lots of multicolor to build a deck around this. Very combolicious. Flaring Flame-Kin could have some potential, considering the strong auras we have been seeing.

BEST RED SPIKE CARD: Seal of Fire
Seal of Fire
Seal of FireSet: Nemesis
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
C
Number:
98
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
Sacrifice Seal of Fire: Seal of Fire deals 2 damage to target creature or player.

You know, Platypus of Fire would be kind of cool as well. Spike likes dependability. It is always useful to have a Shock
Shock
ShockSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
206
Artist:
Randy Gallegos
Text:
Shock deals 2 damage to target creature or player.
on standby, especially one that gels well with his Hellbents.

BEST RED SPIKE/TIMMY CARD: Rakdos Pit Dragon
Rakdos Pit Dragon
Rakdos Pit DragonSet: Dissension
Color:
Red
Rarity:
R
Number:
69
Artist:
Kev Walker

I took MaRo’s most recent Spike/Johnny/Timmy test, and it came up with Spike/Timmy for me. A S/T loves to not just win, but win BIG. With its ability to deal massive damage for relatively little cost, it does a wonder job in continuing the legacy of Dragon Whelp
Dragon Whelp
Dragon WhelpSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Dragon
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Amy Weber
Power:
2
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying R: +1/+0; if more than RRR is spent in this way during one turn, Dragon Whelp is killed at end of turn.
, Lightning Dragon
Lightning Dragon
Lightning DragonSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Dragon
Rarity:
R
Number:
202
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying; echo (During your next upkeep after this permanent comes under your control, pay its casting cost or sacrifice it.) R: Lightning Dragon gets +1/+0 until end of turn.
, and Fledging Dragon.

BEST RED ARTWORK: War’s Toll
It’s still cheaper than Chicago’s tolls. I love the fiery colors. Plus, it’s a card that might actually appear in tourney decks, as it hurts the ability of blue players to counterspell, and it gets rid of potential blockers. Pretty & extremely useful, which is just like I prefer my cards…and my women. :D

WACKIEST RED CARD: Kindle
Kindle
KindleSet: Tempest
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
Kindle deals to target creature or player an amount of damage equal to 2 plus the number of Kindle cards in all graveyards.
IHRoZSBDYXJuYWdl
Maybe that’s what Spidey and Venom
Venom
VenomSet: Fourth Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Tom Wänerstrand
Text:
At the end of combat, destroy all non-wall creatures blocking or blocked by target creature.
should have done. [Editor’s note: That’s basically what they did the first time Carnage showed up. Third subway rail, baby!] Black had One With Nothing; Red gets this. With red’s ability to run out of cards in hand, except basic lands, this should rarely do damage. Plus, it doesn’t hurt players, where it would be a possible use for such a card. However, I am definitely amused at the attempt.

BIGGEST PILE OF RED GUANO: Cackling Flames
Cackling Flames
Cackling FlamesSet: Dissension
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
59
Artist:
Shishizaru
Text:
Cackling Flames deals 3 damage to target creature or player. Hellbent - Cackling Flames deals 5 damage to that creature or player instead if you have no cards in hand.

I wonder how many are having to look up the meaning of guano. [Editor’s note: No one is. Everyone saw the second Ace Ventura movie.] Anyways, this piece of excrement is either a bad Incinerate
Incinerate
IncinerateSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
Incinerate deals 3 damage to target creature or player. Creatures damaged by Incinerate cannot regenerate this turn.
or a slight improvement on Lava Axe
Lava Axe
Lava AxeSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
84
Artist:
Brian Snoddy
Text:
Lava Axe deals 5 damage to target player.
? How appropriate that the card actually does seem to have red guano in its artwork. Flame-Kin War Scout isn’t much better.

BEDFORD’S FAVORITE RED CARD: Rakdos Pit Dragon
Rakdos Pit Dragon
Rakdos Pit DragonSet: Dissension
Color:
Red
Rarity:
R
Number:
69
Artist:
Kev Walker

What can I say? I LOVE playable Dragons

Once I get my free box of Dissension, I am definitely trying a mono-red deck. There is enough goodness to really excel.


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