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CardShark Content - Brian Baker (12/15/2003)

This is an article for casual Magic players. Certainly anyone can read it; I’m not going to come over and kick you off your computer because the only card play you see is in tournaments and deck testing. There’s not killer tier-1 deck here, though, so if that’s all you’re here for, keep moving.

Why do we play Magic? It’s a question we probably don’t ask ourselves very often, and that really only makes sense. You don’t bite into a nice big steak and ask yourself, “why does this taste good? Why am I eating it?” Still, I think that the question- the magic one, not the steak one- is one worth considering.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably not a brand-new player. I’m not saying that it’s impossible, but it’s more likely for a player with some experience to be searching online for cards they need. New players begin pretty much completely with booster pulls and, where available, trading with friends.

So since you’re probably a tried-and-true magic player, try to remember back to what playing was like for you when you just started. You probably didn’t know the difference between a Wild Mongrel
Wild Mongrel
Wild MongrelSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Hound
Rarity:
C
Number:
283
Artist:
Anthony S. Waters
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Discard a card from your hand: Wild Mongrel gets +1/+1 and becomes the color of your choice until end of turn.
and a Grizzly Bears
Grizzly Bears
Grizzly BearsSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bears
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Jeff A. Menges
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
- you may have thought that the Bears were better, even- but that’s not a sin.

If you started playing some time ago, you’re still playing, and you’re not in it for the money, then I know why you played. You played because it was fun.

Why? That depends. Although I have a hard time identifying with them, many people enjoy the thrill of the tournament scene, living from one standard block to the next, waiting to find the killer deck and then doing their best to play it better than anyone else.

For other people, it’s the natural flow and structure of the game. The game has a symmetry and pace that’s just pleasing to players. Then there are people who enjoy it simply because of the other people they play with.

Finally, and I certainly fit into this category, some people really enjoy the infinite ways that cards can interact with each other, bringing a new and interesting experience to each game. Any or all of these reasons can make Magic fun.

The first deck I played with was a modified preconstructed from 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.
. The deck centered on blue bounce and green beasties. I bought a pack or two of Torment
Torment
TormentSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
23
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Enchanted creature gets -3/-0.
, which was the latest set, and I borrowed some swamps from my mentor. The result was a horribly messy UBG deck.

I loved it. My creatures were big, demanding attention from my opponent(s). If something came at me, swoosh! It was back in it’s owner’s hand. If a creature died, I played the awesome Raise Dead
Raise Dead
Raise DeadSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Jeff A. Menges
Text:
Bring one creature from your graveyard to your hand.
and laughed. Very rarely did it win against anything resembling a serious deck, but man, it was a blast to play.

For the purposes of this article, I’ve reconstructed it with a more modern build. There’s absolutely no tournament potential here, especially considering it would only be legal in Extended. You’ll also notice the lack of rares here. Casual players have access to buying whatever cards they need- the fact that you’re here is proof- but we aren’t going to buy a buttload of $5 cards for every deck. The lesson? Make the most with what you have, then fill in the blanks only where absolutely necessary.

Green (12)
3:Kavu Chameleon
Kavu Chameleon
Kavu ChameleonSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Kavu
Rarity:
U
Number:
191
Artist:
John Howe
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Kavu Chameleon can't be countered.G: Kavu Chameleon becomes the color of your choice until end of turn.

4:Uborg Elf
2:Ana Disciple
Ana Disciple
Ana DiscipleSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
73
Artist:
Darrell Riche
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
U, TAP: Target creature gains flying until end of turn. B, TAP: Target creature gets -2/-0 until end of turn.

3:Fog
Fog
FogSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Jesper Myrfors
Text:
Creatures attack and block as normal, but none deal any damage or otherwise affect any creature as a result of an attack or block. All attacking creatures are still tapped. Play any time before attack damage is dealt.


Blue (11)
3:Repulse
Repulse
RepulseSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
70
Artist:
Aaron Boyd
Text:
Return target creature to its owner's hand.Draw a card.

2:Unsummon
Unsummon
UnsummonSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Return target creature to owner's hand; enchantments on target creature are discarded.

2:Wonder
Wonder
WonderSet: Judgment
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Incarnation
Rarity:
U
Number:
54
Artist:
Rebecca Guay

Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying As long as Wonder is in your graveyard and you control an island, creatures you control have flying.

3:Inspiration
Inspiration
InspirationSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
76
Artist:
Zina Saunders
Text:
Target player draws two cards.

1:Bribary

Black (7)
2:Oversold Cemetery
Oversold Cemetery
Oversold CemeterySet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
160
Artist:
Thomas M. Baxa
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, if you have four or more creature cards in your graveyard, you may return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand.

3:Soul Scourge
Soul Scourge
Soul ScourgeSet: Torment
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nightmare Horror
Rarity:
C
Number:
85
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying. When Soul Scourge comes into play, target player loses 3 life. When Soul Scourge leaves play, that player gains 3 life.

2:Raise Dead
Raise Dead
Raise DeadSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Jeff A. Menges
Text:
Bring one creature from your graveyard to your hand.


Gold (5)
2: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.

2:Gaea’s Skyfolk
1: Yavimaya’s Embrace

Artifact (3)
3:Chromatic Sphere
Chromatic Sphere
Chromatic SphereSet: Invasion
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
299
Artist:
Luca Zontini
Text:
1, T, Sacrifice Chromatic Sphere: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. Draw a card.


Land (22)
8:Forest
Forest
ForestSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add G to your mana pool.

8:Island
Island
IslandSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add U to your mana pool.

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


Like I said, there’s no competitive value here. My point was never to give you a deck that will go 2-1 against affinity at your local FNM. This deck is versatile, easy to build, and fun to play.

So the next time you sit down to build a deck, ask yourself why you’re making it, and what you hope for it to play like. Indulge your inner newbie and build one to play with, not necessarily to win with. After all- it’s just a game!


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