• Magic: The Gathering
  • Magic: The Gathering Online

Which game do you want to buy from?

How to Buy at a Glance

  • 1. Search for items
  • 2. Purchase via PayPal or CC
  • 3. Receive items in the mail
    (usually in less than a week!)
Want Magic prices from CardShark.com on your Mobile device? - Try the Decked Builder app

Re-Skin for the Win 3 - Ben Counter (1/30/2014)

It's time to re-skin some more flavour failures, this time taking on a recently-pushed format which stays cool and down with the kids while still letting players flash their hundred-dollar cards around like the beardiest of Legacy weirdos.

My experience with the Modern format is very limited, mostly consisting of putting together a Blistercoil Weird
Blistercoil Weird
Blistercoil WeirdSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Weird
Rarity:
U
Number:
211
Artist:
Dan Scott
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell, Blistercoil Weird gets +1/+1 until end of turn. Untap it.
combo deck to randomly win on turn 2 in approximately 20% of games and lose all the others. However, like any other format in Magic's long history, some proper faceaches turn up.

Like a shallow Casanova, I am disgusted by these smart but ugly cards and feel compelled to sign them up for surgery to make them feel worthy of my attention. Thankfully in this case we're not talking about emotionally coerced tummy tucks, but the painless surgery of the word processor! The following are ugly ducklings who need to get their swan on if they want to continue hitting Modern tournament playmats without disgusting onlookers.


SHRIEKMAW
Shriekmaw
Shriekmaw
ShriekmawSet: Lorwyn
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elemental
Rarity:
U
Number:
139
Artist:
Steve Prescott
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
Text:
Fear When Shriekmaw comes into play, destroy target nonartifact, nonblack creature. Evoke 1B (You may play this spell for its evoke cost. If you do, it's sacrificed when it comes into play.)
is a very powerful card, a Doom Blade
Doom Blade
Doom BladeSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
93
Artist:
Chippy
Text:
Destroy target nonblack creature.
on a stick (that's what the pros call these things, right?) that can also punch faces and turns up in various sideboards to rough up anything that dares to get in the way of your recently Living End
Living End
Living EndSet: Time Spiral
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
115
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Living End is black. Suspend 3-2BB Each player removes all creature cards in his or her graveyard from the game, then sacrifices all creatures he or she controls, then puts into play all cards he or she removed this way.
ed-horde. The name is pretty good, too – I'm partial to names with 'Maw' in them, it always sounds creepy and animalistic, with the sense of swallowing an enemy and consigning him to a gruesome digestive oblivion.

Shriekmaw
Shriekmaw
ShriekmawSet: Lorwyn
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elemental
Rarity:
U
Number:
139
Artist:
Steve Prescott
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
Text:
Fear When Shriekmaw comes into play, destroy target nonartifact, nonblack creature. Evoke 1B (You may play this spell for its evoke cost. If you do, it's sacrificed when it comes into play.)
, however, looks like a chicken. While I have great respect for all the artists who put pen/mouse to paper/tablet to make the game more than cardboard chess, I can't take Shriekmaw
Shriekmaw
ShriekmawSet: Lorwyn
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elemental
Rarity:
U
Number:
139
Artist:
Steve Prescott
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
Text:
Fear When Shriekmaw comes into play, destroy target nonartifact, nonblack creature. Evoke 1B (You may play this spell for its evoke cost. If you do, it's sacrificed when it comes into play.)
's art seriously. The card has all the tools – it's an elemental, it's scary, it's in a colour that loves to do the things Shriekmaw
Shriekmaw
ShriekmawSet: Lorwyn
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elemental
Rarity:
U
Number:
139
Artist:
Steve Prescott
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
Text:
Fear When Shriekmaw comes into play, destroy target nonartifact, nonblack creature. Evoke 1B (You may play this spell for its evoke cost. If you do, it's sacrificed when it comes into play.)
does so efficiently – but it's still a chicken. Conversely, the sheer colour-appropriateness of everything Shriekmaw
Shriekmaw
ShriekmawSet: Lorwyn
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elemental
Rarity:
U
Number:
139
Artist:
Steve Prescott
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
Text:
Fear When Shriekmaw comes into play, destroy target nonartifact, nonblack creature. Evoke 1B (You may play this spell for its evoke cost. If you do, it's sacrificed when it comes into play.)
does makes it difficult to make it something other than a generic Dark Haunter of Night. I decided to embrace the genericness with this one, and take advantage of the creature type as well.

An aside: This card let me address one of my pet hates in fantasy. There's no reason for a fantasy world to stick to the four (or five) classical elements of real-world ancient science. A fantasy world could have just about any elements the creators wanted, and so I want my elemental to be something other than water/earth/fire/air.

MURDER ELEMENTAL
Art Brief: A humanoid, muscled form composed of congealed and oozing blood stands in a landscape composed of violently killed corpses. Various implements of killing – swords, daggers, arrows – are lodged in its body. Its face is barely there, just a hint of a furrowed brow and hateful scowl. The scene is of horror and desolation.

Flavour Text: After an aeon of malice, hatred itself will take form.


GRAPESHOT
I love Grapeshot
Grapeshot
GrapeshotSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
160
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Grapeshot deals 1 damage to target creature or player. Storm (When you play this spell, copy it for each spell played before it this turn. You may choose new targets for the copies.)
. Sometimes my Blistercoil Weird
Blistercoil Weird
Blistercoil WeirdSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Weird
Rarity:
U
Number:
211
Artist:
Dan Scott
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell, Blistercoil Weird gets +1/+1 until end of turn. Untap it.
will get Godzilla big and thunderpunch someone off a flashbacked Artful Dodge
Artful Dodge
Artful DodgeSet: Dark Ascension
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
27
Artist:
Tomasz Jedruszek
Text:
Target creature is unblockable this turn. Flashback {U} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)
, but mostly it's a Grapeshot
Grapeshot
GrapeshotSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
160
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Grapeshot deals 1 damage to target creature or player. Storm (When you play this spell, copy it for each spell played before it this turn. You may choose new targets for the copies.)
copied nineteen times that does the business. But as much as I appreciate this combo death machine, it has a problem.

Actual grapeshot is a type of cannon round which fires several pellets out of the barrel. Firing this at people is a seriously nasty business and grapeshot was used against infantry in warfare. Grapeshot
Grapeshot
GrapeshotSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
160
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Grapeshot deals 1 damage to target creature or player. Storm (When you play this spell, copy it for each spell played before it this turn. You may choose new targets for the copies.)
, therefore, all goes off at once rather than bit by bit with one copy off the stack at a time. Also, Magic doesn't really 'do' guns and Grapeshot
Grapeshot
GrapeshotSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
160
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Grapeshot deals 1 damage to target creature or player. Storm (When you play this spell, copy it for each spell played before it this turn. You may choose new targets for the copies.)
is clearly a reference to a cannon being fired, which made it rather incongruous when there are griffins and noggles and lhurgoyfs flying around. Furthermore the new Modern Masters art makes it look like a wizard is flicking an actual grape at someone.

A reimagining was clearly needed and it struck me that being Grapeshot
Grapeshot
GrapeshotSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
160
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Grapeshot deals 1 damage to target creature or player. Storm (When you play this spell, copy it for each spell played before it this turn. You may choose new targets for the copies.)
ted by a series of weeny little spells gallivanting off the stack was like a death by slow cuts, the very gruesome concept that struck me as being perfect to represent what this card actually does. On its own it's painful, maybe only irritating, but when it happens over and over again it's fatal. Perhaps the idea fits a bit better in black, but a more red idea would involve fire and make the card conceptually indistinguishable from the hundred other red 'burn your face' spells around already. Black is cruel but red can be, too, and the idea also shows off the grim side of red's creativity. The card that results is about as dark as I would want a Magic card to go.

THOUSAND CUTS
A lean man stands against a dungeon wall, torso bare and arms outstretched. The head is out of frame – this person is being treated like an object, not a human being. Scores of tiny ink marks cover the skin marking out a pattern of cuts, like a diagram for butchering an animal into cuts of meat. There is no overt gore but the meaning is clear – these marks show where the cuts will be and the order they will be in.

Flavour Text: One is annoying. Two are painful. No one ever reaches a thousand.


ABRUPT DECAY
Abrupt Decay
Abrupt Decay
Abrupt DecaySet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
141
Artist:
Svetlin Velinov
Text:
Abrupt Decay can't be countered by spells or abilities. Destroy target nonland permanent with converted mana cost 3 or less.
is an example of a card that exists to fill a very specific place in a format – an uncounterable answer to anything cheap and powerful, to keep eternal format decks honest in a 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.
ing and Force Of Willful world. As a result it's not a 'top-down' design, so the flavour of the card wasn't foremost when it was designed. It's not a truly horrible card but two things about it really bug me.

First off, decay isn't abrupt. It's a slow, corrosive force, destroying one fibre and cell at a time. It's lengthy and insidious – it doesn't wipe something out with no possible reply at instant speed. Secondly, the flavour text bugs me. It just isn't very punchy or interesting. It's supposed to be a bit of a joke, sure, but it doesn't encapsulate the suddenness, force or meanness of the card's function. Given the harsh cruelty of the card's effect I wanted a new flavour, ideally something that fitted into the card's home background of Ravnica.

CRUSH HOPE
In a dank sewer junction beneath Ravnica, a host of Golgari scavengers and zombies stands looking down at a lone Boros paladin. The soldier's armour is tarnished and rusting, and his flesh is blistering. This heroic figure has been reduced to a pitiful and doomed wretch. We see this from a worm's eye view from just behind the cowering paladin, the Golgari host looming down at us.

Flavour Text: “Did you truly think you could stand against us? We are a million. You are barely even one.”


As ever, further suggestions for re-skinning are always gratefully received, especially if there's a theme running through them. Commander staples? Legendary creatures? Cards from tournament-winning decks or that are particularly valuable in monetary terms? As long as they're ugly as sin, they can all be laid gleefully on the re-skinner's table.


Rate Article



Discuss Article

Click here to discuss this article in forum or leave comments for the author.

RSS feed RSS Feed


This article is provided to you by CardShark.com - A Better Way to Buy and Sell Collectable Games Online. Please check out the rest of our site - you won't be disappointed.

View More ArticlesView More Articles