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CardShark Content - Brian Baker (5/27/2004)

The Fifth Dawn is nigh upon us, and boy, is it frickin awesome.

I saw the previews on MagicTheGathering.com and I was impressed. I saw the spoiler list on mtgnews.com and I was blown away. I attended the prerelease and I wept with joy. Fifth Dawn is a goldmine of deep strategy and powerful cards.

It’s a fair prediction that every aspect of Magic is going to take something away from the new set. While it’s too early to say what the next Skullclamp
Skullclamp
SkullclampSet: Darksteel
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
U
Number:
140
Artist:
Luca Zontini
Text:
Equipped creature gets +1/-1. Whenever equipped creature is put in a graveyard from play, draw two cards. Equip 1 (1: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card comes into play unattached and stays in play if the creature leaves play.)
or Chrome Mox
Chrome Mox
Chrome MoxSet: Mirrodin
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
152
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
Imprint - When Chrome Mox comes into play, you may remove a nonartifact, nonland card in your hand from the game. (The removed card is imprinted on this artifact.) T: Add one mana of any of the imprinted card's colors to your mana pool.
is going to be, there are candidates for admission into a multitude of deck types in every format of play, from Type-2 to casual Open.

For this article, I’m going to examine a personal Type-2 deck as it stands now and how it’s going to be changed in a month when Fifth Dawn becomes legal. If this article is deemed worthy, and if my muse stays with me, I’ll try to make this the first of a trend leading up to that big switch.

This deck is called Mono-Red Control. Although it’s chock-full of red damage, this deck is more about finding answers to your opponent’s deck before it can become a problem.

Creatures (10)
Arc-Slogger:2
Blistering Firecat
Blistering Firecat
Blistering FirecatSet: Onslaught
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat
Rarity:
R
Number:
189
Artist:
Arnie Swekel
Power:
7
Toughness:
1
Text:
Trample, haste. At end of turn, sacrifice Blistering Firecat.. Morph RR (You may play this face down as a 2/2 creature for 3. Turn it face. up any time for its morph cost.)
:2
Rorix Bladewing
Rorix Bladewing
Rorix BladewingSet: Onslaught
Cost:
6
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Dragon Legend
Rarity:
R
Number:
224
Artist:
Darrell Riche
Power:
6
Toughness:
5
Text:
Flying, haste
:2
Spikeshot Goblin
Spikeshot Goblin
Spikeshot GoblinSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Goblin Shaman
Rarity:
C
Number:
108
Artist:
Alan Pollack
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
R, T: Spikeshot Goblin deals damage equal to its power to target creature or player.
:4

Sorceries (15)
Molten Rain
Molten Rain
Molten RainSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
101
Artist:
Hugh Jamieson
Text:
Destroy target land. If that land is nonbasic, Molten Rain deals 2 damage to the land's controller.
:4
Pyroclasm
Pyroclasm
PyroclasmSet: Ice Age
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Pat Morrissey
Text:
Pyroclasm deals 2 damage to each creature.
:3
Slice and Dice
Slice and Dice
Slice and DiceSet: Onslaught
Cost:
6
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
232
Artist:
Mark Brill
Text:
Slice and Dice deals 4 damage to each creature. Cycling 2R (2R, Discard this card from your hand: Draw a card.)
When you cycle Slice and Dice you may have it deal 1 damage to each creature.
:4
Stone Rain
Stone Rain
Stone RainSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Daniel Gelon
Text:
Destroy target land.
:4

Instants (8)
Grab the Reigns:4
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.
:4

Artifacts (5)
Chrome Mox
Chrome Mox
Chrome MoxSet: Mirrodin
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
152
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
Imprint - When Chrome Mox comes into play, you may remove a nonartifact, nonland card in your hand from the game. (The removed card is imprinted on this artifact.) T: Add one mana of any of the imprinted card's colors to your mana pool.
:2
Loxodon Warhammer
Loxodon Warhammer
Loxodon WarhammerSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
U
Number:
201
Artist:
Jeremy Jarvis
Text:
Equipped creature gets +3/+0, has trample, and has 'Whenever this creature deals damage, you gain that much life.' Equip 3 (3: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card comes into play unattached and stays in play if the creature leaves play.)
:3

Lands (22)
Mountain
Mountain
MountainSet: Arabian Nights
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Tap to add R to your mana pool.
:22

Sideboard (15)
Boil
Boil
BoilSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
169
Artist:
Jason Alexander Behnke
Text:
Destroy all islands.
:3
Damping Matrix
Damping Matrix
Damping MatrixSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
161
Artist:
Mike Dringenberg
Text:
Activated abilities of artifacts and creatures can't be played unless they're mana abilities.
:3
Echoing Ruin
Echoing Ruin
Echoing RuinSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
59
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Destroy target artifact and all other artifacts with the same name as that artifact.
:3
Flashfires
Flashfires
FlashfiresSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Dameon Willich
Text:
All plains in play are destroyed.
:3
Shatter
Shatter
ShatterSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Amy Weber
Text:
Shatter destroys target artifact.
:3

As you’ve undoubtedly noticed, I’ve thrown the artifact removal into the sideboard. That’s because the last time I played a variant of this deck, it was loaded with main deck removal that saw absolutely no action against first LD and then Zombies. As a result, Echoing Ruin
Echoing Ruin
Echoing RuinSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
59
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Destroy target artifact and all other artifacts with the same name as that artifact.
and Shatter
Shatter
ShatterSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Amy Weber
Text:
Shatter destroys target artifact.
are waiting in the wings for the affinity players and their ilk.

Using the deck is simple. Begin nuking the opponent’s land as soon as possible, then clear out any creatures he or she managed to drop with their meager mana. Once the board is yours, drop your powerful creatures and dominate. If by chance they drop a blocker or a big fatty somehow, use Grab the Reigns to either move it out of the way, chuck a creature to the head, or both.

Note that dropping a Mox on the first turn isn’t always the right idea. If you don’t have a 2 cost spell, I suggest that you hold onto it and play it next turn. That way, you know you can Stone or Molten rain on the second turn, without having to worry if the Mox is still around.

As good as this deck can be, it gets a serious boost from Fifth Dawn. Think of the same deck-stopping answers, with more of a beatdown edge to it, and you’ve got a fast but streamlined deck that always comes out on top.

Creatures go up in number, due to the increase in quality that Spark Elemental
Spark Elemental
Spark ElementalSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Sub Type:
Elemental
Rarity:
C
Number:
79
Artist:
John Avon
Power:
3
Toughness:
1
Text:
Trample. At the end of turn, sacrifice Spark Elemental.
provides. The new, smaller 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.
is a Lightning Bolt
Lightning Bolt
Lightning BoltSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Lightning Bolt does 3 damage to one target.
to the head on the first turn. Vulshok Sorcerer
Vulshok Sorcerer
Vulshok SorcererSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Shaman
Rarity:
C
Number:
80
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Haste. Tap: Vulshok Sorcerer deals 1 damage to target creature or player.
replaces the Spikeshot, having less potential power but always capable of dealing its one point, which is good considering how much you’ll be hitting the board for 2 damage. Which brings us to the incredible monster that is the Magma Giant
Magma Giant
Magma GiantSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
7
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Giant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Michael Weaver
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
When Magma Giant comes into play from your hand, it deals 2 damage to each creature and player. (This includes you and your creatures, including Magma Giant.)
.

Creatures (16)
Arc-Slogger:2
Blistering Firecat
Blistering Firecat
Blistering FirecatSet: Onslaught
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat
Rarity:
R
Number:
189
Artist:
Arnie Swekel
Power:
7
Toughness:
1
Text:
Trample, haste. At end of turn, sacrifice Blistering Firecat.. Morph RR (You may play this face down as a 2/2 creature for 3. Turn it face. up any time for its morph cost.)
:2
Magma Giant
Magma Giant
Magma GiantSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
7
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Giant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Michael Weaver
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
When Magma Giant comes into play from your hand, it deals 2 damage to each creature and player. (This includes you and your creatures, including Magma Giant.)
:3
Rorix Bladewing
Rorix Bladewing
Rorix BladewingSet: Onslaught
Cost:
6
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Dragon Legend
Rarity:
R
Number:
224
Artist:
Darrell Riche
Power:
6
Toughness:
5
Text:
Flying, haste
:2
Spark Elemental
Spark Elemental
Spark ElementalSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Sub Type:
Elemental
Rarity:
C
Number:
79
Artist:
John Avon
Power:
3
Toughness:
1
Text:
Trample. At the end of turn, sacrifice Spark Elemental.
:4
Vulshok Sorcerer
Vulshok Sorcerer
Vulshok SorcererSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Shaman
Rarity:
C
Number:
80
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Haste. Tap: Vulshok Sorcerer deals 1 damage to target creature or player.
:3

We’re removing the Pyroclasm
Pyroclasm
PyroclasmSet: Ice Age
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Pat Morrissey
Text:
Pyroclasm deals 2 damage to each creature.
s and adding a Slice and Dice
Slice and Dice
Slice and DiceSet: Onslaught
Cost:
6
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
232
Artist:
Mark Brill
Text:
Slice and Dice deals 4 damage to each creature. Cycling 2R (2R, Discard this card from your hand: Draw a card.)
When you cycle Slice and Dice you may have it deal 1 damage to each creature.
, since the Magma Giant
Magma Giant
Magma GiantSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
7
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Giant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Michael Weaver
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
When Magma Giant comes into play from your hand, it deals 2 damage to each creature and player. (This includes you and your creatures, including Magma Giant.)
fills the role of the clasm while providing a fat body and the Slice allows for more card draw.

Sorceries (12)
Molten Rain
Molten Rain
Molten RainSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
101
Artist:
Hugh Jamieson
Text:
Destroy target land. If that land is nonbasic, Molten Rain deals 2 damage to the land's controller.
:4
Slice and Dice
Slice and Dice
Slice and DiceSet: Onslaught
Cost:
6
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
232
Artist:
Mark Brill
Text:
Slice and Dice deals 4 damage to each creature. Cycling 2R (2R, Discard this card from your hand: Draw a card.)
When you cycle Slice and Dice you may have it deal 1 damage to each creature.
:4
Stone Rain
Stone Rain
Stone RainSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Daniel Gelon
Text:
Destroy target land.
:4

Magma Jet
Magma Jet
Magma JetSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
73
Text:
Magma Jet deals 2 damage to target creature or player. Scry 2
replaces 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.
, plain and simple. While I’m always a big fan of the efficient 1 casting cost instant, Magma Jet
Magma Jet
Magma JetSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
73
Text:
Magma Jet deals 2 damage to target creature or player. Scry 2
’s ability to take a little look into your library and plan ahead is valuable indeed.

Instants (8)
Grab the Reigns:4
Magma Jet
Magma Jet
Magma JetSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
73
Text:
Magma Jet deals 2 damage to target creature or player. Scry 2
:4

No more Warhammer. It’s a great card, both a favorite and the bane of my existence, depending on whose it is. Unfortunately, without the Spikeshot to combo with, it drops in importance. In order to make room for all of those nice new creatures, something’s gotta go, and it’s the hammers.

Artifacts (2)
Chrome Mox
Chrome Mox
Chrome MoxSet: Mirrodin
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
152
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
Imprint - When Chrome Mox comes into play, you may remove a nonartifact, nonland card in your hand from the game. (The removed card is imprinted on this artifact.) T: Add one mana of any of the imprinted card's colors to your mana pool.
:2

Lands are good as they are. They really should be, since there isn’t a single one in Fifth Dawn. Sideboard remains the same, but sideboards are a personal decision to me. Feel free to pick and choose as you like.

Lands (22)
Mountain
Mountain
MountainSet: Arabian Nights
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Tap to add R to your mana pool.
:22

Sideboard (15)
Boil
Boil
BoilSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
169
Artist:
Jason Alexander Behnke
Text:
Destroy all islands.
:3
Damping Matrix
Damping Matrix
Damping MatrixSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
161
Artist:
Mike Dringenberg
Text:
Activated abilities of artifacts and creatures can't be played unless they're mana abilities.
:3
Echoing Ruin
Echoing Ruin
Echoing RuinSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
59
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Destroy target artifact and all other artifacts with the same name as that artifact.
:3
Flashfires
Flashfires
FlashfiresSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Dameon Willich
Text:
All plains in play are destroyed.
:3
Shatter
Shatter
ShatterSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Amy Weber
Text:
Shatter destroys target artifact.
:3

And so, there you have it. Hopefully, you’ve taken away some perspective on a powerful red archetype in the Standard environment, and you’ll be ready to use it when the next big set becomes legal. Next time, I’ll be taking a closer look at the blue side of life and how it’s going to be changed in one short month.

Thanks for reading, and take care.


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