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CardShark Content - Chewie! Slate (5/16/2005)

It’s Chewie here again, casual chaos player extraordinaire (as far as most of you know) and I’ve decided to do something a bit different this time. I wrote an article for Cardshark a long time ago entitled “The Most Humiliating Way to Lose” about one of my favorite decks. You can find it here if you’re at all interested:
http://www.cardshark.com/content/view_article.asp?article_id=3305
The editor at the time switched my title and subtitle for some reason, so the title you’ll find it under is “Winning Multiplayer by Poison.” That’s why you should always label your title, subtitle, author name, email address, and username that you would like to be applied to your article, because mostly it’s just going to get copied and pasted. But enough of that, let me get down to the business at hand.

With all the rumors of poison making a comeback in the Ravnica block (and according to Mark Rosewater, head Magic designer, it won’t be in the form of poison-laden squirrels) and some discussion of poison-based decks on the message boards, I have been inspired to re-write my poison deck to show its evolution over time. It has always been capable of taking out multiple opponents at once, but it is much more vicious than it used to be, and I want to demonstrate some ideas for deck editing.

It’s usually harder, as a casual player, to take a deck you really love and change it. You get attached to certain cards or lesser combos that are in there and you really hate to take them out. Not necessarily because they work so well, but because they’re JUST SO COOL that if you ever pull them off, they’ll be talked about forever in your play group and you will therefore become an immortal of sorts. Remind me to tell you sometime about the game I won using Kaervek’s Spite. No really, I did. Then there was the time Mike pumped up a 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.
IEJhbms= to immense proportions (well over 20 power), stole someone’s Mistform Mutant
Mistform Mutant
Mistform MutantSet: Onslaught
Cost:
6
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Illusion Mutant
Rarity:
U
Number:
95
Artist:
John Avon
Power:
3
Toughness:
4
Text:
1U: Choose a creature type other than Legend or Wall. Target creature's type becomes that type until end of turn.
, changed the 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.
IEJhbms=’s creature type so it could attack (pre-Defender days you know), and promptly got laughed at for a long, long time. Most recently there was the time all but AJ were playing big flyers, but we left him alive out of pity. He had Relentless Rats
Relentless Rats
Relentless RatsSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat
Rarity:
U
Number:
58
Artist:
Thomas M Baxa
Text:
Relentless Rats gets +1/+1 for each other creature named Relentless Rats in play. A deck can have any number of cards named Relentless Rats.
on a Soul Foundry
Soul Foundry
Soul FoundrySet: Mirrodin
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
246
Artist:
Arnie Swekel
Text:
Imprint - When Soul Foundry comes into play, you may remove a creature card in your hand from the game. (The removed card is imprinted on this artifact.) X, T: Put a creature token into play that's a copy of the imprinted creature card. X is the converted mana cost of that card.
, but the most he could have done was kill one of us and die horribly, so we were basically all at a stalemate, except for AJ, who was alive because we felt sorry for him. After amassing a horde of giant rats, he dropped a Marrow-Gnawer and immediately destroyed us all. These are the reasons we play multiplayer Magic in houses and apartments and dorms, and these are the stories that make all the playing and the money spent and the time blown worth it. Thus, we leave in the cool combos because we really want to make one of these stories.

But we have to learn to take out the trash sometimes, as much as it pains us to do it. After I used it once to win, I took out Kaervek’s Spite, because unless a deck is specifically crafted around it, it’s a completely useless crappy card 99.9% of the time. Casual decks also don’t go through the rigorous testing that tournament decks do, so they really don’t examine their weaknesses overly much. I’m hoping to illustrate some techniques for this. Nothing in depth though, because I’m still a casual player at heart and I’m still not too terribly good at these long, hard looks.

For those of you that aren’t terribly old school, you’ve probably been wondering what poison is. Poison counters are an alternate win condition. Once someone has 10 poison counters, they’re dead. There’s nothing to do about it except Leeches
Leeches
LeechesSet: Homelands
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Alan Rabinowitz
Text:
Target player loses all poison counters. Leeches deals 1 damage to that player for each poison counter removed in this way.
, an old card that removes poison counters at the cost of life. There is a grand total (currently) of 6 poison creatures. Half of them require the creature to attack without being blocked to give their poison counter. The other half say “Whenever this creature deals damage to a player” to cause their infection. Note that it doesn’t specify combat damage, and that’s where the fun comes in. I built a Poison Ping deck. In case you didn’t know, “pinging” is the ability to deal one damage to something. Frostwielder
Frostwielder
FrostwielderSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Shaman
Rarity:
C
Number:
167
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
T: Frostwielder deals 1 damage to target creature or player. If a creature dealt damage by Frostwielder this turn would be put into a graveyard, remove it from the game instead.
, Honden of Infinite Rage
Honden of Infinite Rage
Honden of Infinite RageSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Legendary Enchantment - Shrine
Rarity:
U
Number:
172
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, Honden of Infinite Rage deals damage to target creature or player equal to the number of Shrines you control.
, and Frostling
Frostling
FrostlingSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Number:
103
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Sacrifice Frostling Frostling deals 1 damage to target creature.
are Standard pinging options. Originally the deck was green, black, and red, but that sucked. Hard. I originally realized that blue could also give me pinging ability and other stuff to back me up. Here’s the original decent deck list.

Poison Ping, v 1.5

Poison (13)
4: Marsh Viper
Marsh Viper
Marsh ViperSet: Fourth Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Viper
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
If Marsh Viper damages a player, he or she gets two poison counters. If a player has ten or more poison counters, he or she loses the game.

4: Pit Scorpion
Pit Scorpion
Pit ScorpionSet: Fourth Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Scorpion
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Scott Kirschner
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
If Pit Scorpion damages a player, he or she gets a poison counter. If a player has ten or more poison counters, he or she loses the game.

3: Sabertooth Cobra
Sabertooth Cobra
Sabertooth CobraSet: Mirage
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cobra
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Andrew Robinson
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
If Sabertooth Cobra damages a player, he or she gets a poison counter. During that player's next upkeep, he or she gets another poison counter unless he or she pays 2 before then to prevent this effect. If any player has ten or more poison counters, he or she loses the game.

2: Serpent Generator
Serpent Generator
Serpent GeneratorSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
6
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
4, T: Put a Poison Snake token into play. Treat this token as a 1/1 artifact creature. If any Poison Snake damages any player, he or she gets a poison counter. If any player has ten or more poison counters, he or she loses the game.


Ping (6)
2: Hermetic Study
Hermetic Study
Hermetic StudySet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
78
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Enchanted creature gains T: This creature deals 1 damage to target creature or player.

4: Viridian Longbow
Viridian Longbow
Viridian LongbowSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
C
Number:
270
Artist:
Jeremy Jarvis
Text:
Equipped creature has 'T: This creature deals 1 damage to target creature or player.' 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.)


Untap (13)
2: Seedborn Muse
Seedborn Muse
Seedborn MuseSet: Legions
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
R
Number:
138
Power:
2
Toughness:
4
Text:
Untap all permanents you control during each other player's untap step.

4: Seeker
Seeker
SeekerSet: Fourth Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Target creature cannot be blocked except by white creatures and artifact creatures.
IG9mIFNreWJyZWFr
2: Pemmin’s Aura
2: Intruder Alarm
Intruder Alarm
Intruder AlarmSet: Stronghold
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
34
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
Creatures do not untap during their controllers' untap phases.Whenever any creature comes into play, untap all creatures.

3: Vitalize
Vitalize
VitalizeSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
265
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Untap all creatures you control.


Utility (8)
3: Quirion Elves
Quirion Elves
Quirion ElvesSet: Mirage
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elves
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Randy Gallegos
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When you play Quirion Elves, choose a color.T: Add one mana of the chosen color to your mana pool. Play this ability as a mana source.T: Add G to your mana pool. Play this ability as a mana source.

2: Naturalize
Naturalize
NaturalizeSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
275
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
Destroy target artifact or enchantment.

1: Terror
Terror
TerrorSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Buries target creature. Cannot target black creatures or artifact creatures.

1: Dark Banishing
Dark Banishing
Dark BanishingSet: Ice Age
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Drew Tucker
Text:
Bury target non-black creature.

1: Demonic Tutor
Demonic Tutor
Demonic TutorSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Search your library for one card and take it into your hand. Reshuffle your library afterwards.


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

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

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

3: Salt Marsh
Salt Marsh
Salt MarshSet: Invasion
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
326
Artist:
Jerry Tiritilli
Text:
Salt Marsh comes into play tapped.T: Add U or B to your mana pool.


The idea is simple. Drop a poison creature, drop a pinging enchantment or equipment on it, and ping your opponent to death. Nice and simple. I realized that the creature could only ping once every turn, and in a game involving 4-7 opponents, that’s just not going to cut it. So I included lots of ways to untap my creatures for more pinging fun. Pemmin’s Aura makes your little poison pinger dude a machine gun, and each bullet costs a single blue mana. Seeker
Seeker
SeekerSet: Fourth Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Target creature cannot be blocked except by white creatures and artifact creatures.
IG9mIFNreWJyZWFr allows you an extra ping a turn. Vitalize
Vitalize
VitalizeSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
265
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Untap all creatures you control.
can reset your entire pinging army.

The cool combo in question is Intruder Alarm
Intruder Alarm
Intruder AlarmSet: Stronghold
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
34
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
Creatures do not untap during their controllers' untap phases.Whenever any creature comes into play, untap all creatures.
and Serpent Generator
Serpent Generator
Serpent GeneratorSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
6
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
4, T: Put a Poison Snake token into play. Treat this token as a 1/1 artifact creature. If any Poison Snake damages any player, he or she gets a poison counter. If any player has ten or more poison counters, he or she loses the game.
. Not only do you get a whole round of pinging every time someone plays a creature, but with 4 mana, you can get another free round of pinging by making a poison snake token. The poison snake tokens just happen to be poison creatures that need to damage your opponent! It all fits in!

Since the deck was 3 colors, there were Quirion Elves
Quirion Elves
Quirion ElvesSet: Mirage
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elves
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Randy Gallegos
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When you play Quirion Elves, choose a color.T: Add one mana of the chosen color to your mana pool. Play this ability as a mana source.T: Add G to your mana pool. Play this ability as a mana source.
to try to balance out the mana and a few “just in case” options for control over creatures and whatnot. But since this is a multiplayer deck, having 2 Naturalize
Naturalize
NaturalizeSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
275
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
Destroy target artifact or enchantment.
s and 2 bits of creature removal is going to mean approximately squat. With this deck, once someone was ticked off enough to come for me, everyone else was also afraid of me. This means the entire table was out to get me. And with my little weenie poison creatures and elves, I was usually completely helpless. So those 4 spells were really taking up space in the deck that could be used for other, more useful things. What I needed was to be able to “go off” all of a sudden and destroy everybody with poison. The problem is that didn’t happen quite so often. The deck was just too clunky. With 3 colors and only 6 ways to ping, the deck mostly just sat there while I wondered what was going on. This went on until something actually went right and someone killed me out of fear, or until someone just killed me as an afterthought. So I decided to streamline the deck and make it easier for me to “go off” and win.

The first thing I did was lose a color. The only thing black was doing for me was providing 4 more poison creatures, a Demonic Tutor
Demonic Tutor
Demonic TutorSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Search your library for one card and take it into your hand. Reshuffle your library afterwards.
, and causing some of my lands to come into play tapped. So out it went. Now realize this – black is my favorite color. Hands down. Blue is my least favorite. For me to take out black and emphasize blue, it must be monumentally important to the deck. This is something casual players need to come to grips with. Realizing what’s best for the deck is usually more important than what’s best for you, like a good parent will eventually figure out. You’ll realize that the better the deck (or child) is doing, the better you’ll be doing. But anyway, with the removal of the third color, the Quirion Elves
Quirion Elves
Quirion ElvesSet: Mirage
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elves
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Randy Gallegos
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When you play Quirion Elves, choose a color.T: Add one mana of the chosen color to your mana pool. Play this ability as a mana source.T: Add G to your mana pool. Play this ability as a mana source.
were just silly. So out they went to smooth mana elsewhere. Or, in this case, to take up a place of honor in my stack of commons that are more useful than most next to Dark Ritual
Dark Ritual
Dark RitualSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Sandra Everingham
Text:
Add BBB to your mana pool.
, Naturalize
Naturalize
NaturalizeSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
275
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
Destroy target artifact or enchantment.
, Disenchant
Disenchant
DisenchantSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Amy Weber
Text:
Target enchantment or artifact is destroyed.
, Moment’s Peace, and a random copy of Bonethorn Valesk
Bonethorn Valesk
Bonethorn ValeskSet: Scourge
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
C
Number:
82
Artist:
Allan Pollack
Power:
4
Toughness:
2
Text:
Whenever a creature is turned face up, Bonethorn Valesk deals 1 damage to target creature or player.
that must have been put there accidentally.

Losing black also caused me to lose a third of my poison creatures. To fix this, I added in some creature searching. Worldly Tutor
Worldly Tutor
Worldly TutorSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
269
Artist:
David O'Connor
Text:
Search your library for a creature card and reveal that card. Shuffle your library, then put the card on top of it.
lets me find a creature and draw it next time. This is great if you need a poison creature or if you need some of your untapping guys. Defense of the Heart
Defense of the Heart
Defense of the HeartSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
100
Artist:
Rebecca Guay
Text:
During your upkeep, if one of your opponents controls three or more creatures, sacrifice Defense of the Heart, search your library for up to two creature cards, and put those creatures into play. Shuffle your library afterward.
is simply amazing. No really. In a multiplayer game, there’s a very good chance that someone will have three or more creatures fairly early in the game, so you can drop a viper and a seeker for a quick start. If you draw one mid to late game, you can use it to go get a Seedborn Muse
Seedborn Muse
Seedborn MuseSet: Legions
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
R
Number:
138
Power:
2
Toughness:
4
Text:
Untap all permanents you control during each other player's untap step.
and my other big untapping addition, the Patron of the Orochi
Patron of the Orochi
Patron of the OrochiSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
8
Color:
Green
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
R
Number:
138
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Power:
7
Toughness:
7
Text:
Snake offering (You may play this card any time you could play an instant by sacrificing a Snake and paying the difference in mana costs between this and the sacrificed Snake. Mana cost includes color.) T: Untap all Forests and all green creatures. Play this ability only once each turn.
. Was this guy built for this deck or what? Just by tapping him you untap all your poison guys and your untappers. It’s just too good. I also threw in some Soul Foundries. These are great for pumping out a crazy amount of poison guys. Given enough turns, you can easily overwhelm your opponents with an alpha strike. Not only that, but every time you pop out a new creature, everyone untaps! It’s just too good!

I also lost the Serpent Generator
Serpent Generator
Serpent GeneratorSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
6
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
4, T: Put a Poison Snake token into play. Treat this token as a 1/1 artifact creature. If any Poison Snake damages any player, he or she gets a poison counter. If any player has ten or more poison counters, he or she loses the game.
, because it’s slow, stupid, and most importantly, silly. Flavorful though it may be, the freaking thing costs 6 to cast! Nope, that’s just too much. I could have replaced it with something like The Hive
The Hive
The HiveSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
5
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Sandra Everingham
Text:
5, T: Creates one Giant Wasp, a 1/1 flying creature. Represent Wasps with tokens, making sure to indicate when each Wasp is tapped. Wasps can't attack during the turn created. Treat Wasps like artifact creatures in every way, except that they are removed from the game entirely if they ever leave play. If the Hive is destroyed, the Wasps must still be killed individually.
, but that’s just as slow without the added flavor. I could have used Breeding Pit
Breeding Pit
Breeding PitSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Adrian Smith
Text:
During your upkeep, pay BB or bury Breeding Pit.At the end of your turn, put a Thrull token into play. Treat this token as a 0/1 black creature.
, but I took out black, didn’t I? There’s the Honden of Life’s Web
Web
WebSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
Target creature gains +0/+2 and can now block flying creatures, though it does not gain flying ability.
, but then I’d be tempted to put in the Honden of Seeing Winds
Honden of Seeing Winds
Honden of Seeing WindsSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Legendary Enchantment - Shrine
Rarity:
U
Number:
69
Artist:
Martina Pilcerova
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, draw a card for each Shrine you control.
too, and that’s going down the road of two-card combos that don’t necessarily fit in the deck again! Then I realized that Intruder Alarm
Intruder Alarm
Intruder AlarmSet: Stronghold
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
34
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
Creatures do not untap during their controllers' untap phases.Whenever any creature comes into play, untap all creatures.
didn’t specify a creature coming into play under MY control. When this occurred to me, I threw in some Forbid
Forbid
ForbidSet: Exodus
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
35
Artist:
Scott Kirschner
Text:
Buyback Choose and discard two cards. (You may choose and discard two cards in addition to any other costs when you play this spell. If you do, put Forbid into your hand instead of your graveyard as part of the spell's effect.) Counter target spell.
ZGVuIE9yY2hhcmQ=s. Smooth out my mana issues and allow for more Intruder Alarm
Intruder Alarm
Intruder AlarmSet: Stronghold
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
34
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
Creatures do not untap during their controllers' untap phases.Whenever any creature comes into play, untap all creatures.
ing? Count me in!

More changes. I added more pinging enchantments to increase the chances of drawing and using them. If there were more pinging equipments that weren’t absolute crap, I’d include them instead. Sadly, Hankyu
Hankyu
HankyuSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact - Equipment
Rarity:
U
Number:
253
Artist:
Ben Thompson
Text:
Equipped creature has “T: Put an aim counter on Hankyu” and “T, Remove all aim counters from Hankyu: This creature deals damage to target creature or player equal to the number of aim counters removed.” Equip 4 (4: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery.)
just doesn’t qualify. Eventually I might try it, but I can’t see cutting my efficiency in half (from 1 tap=1 ping to 2 taps=1 ping). So I added in two more enchantments, but I used Psychic Gift just in case I ran into Scour
Scour
ScourSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
18
Artist:
Eric Peterson
Text:
Remove target enchantment from the game. Search its controller's graveyard, hand, and library for all copies of that card and remove them from the game. That player then shuffles his or her library.
, Quash
Quash
QuashSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
42
Artist:
Don Hazeltine
Text:
Counter target instant or sorcery spell. Search its controller's graveyard, hand, and library for all copies of that card and remove them from the game. That player then shuffles his or her library.
, or Echoing Calm
Echoing Calm
Echoing CalmSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
2
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Destroy target enchantment and all other enchantments with the same name as that enchantment.
.

I tried various other things to varying degrees of success. I added Sculpting Steel
Sculpting Steel
Sculpting SteelSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
238
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Text:
As Sculpting Steel comes into play, you may choose an artifact in play. If you do, Sculpting Steel comes into play as a copy of that artifact.
to attempt to copy one of the other 6 artifacts in the deck. The math was against me here. It sounded good in my head, but in practice, it was actually kind of stupid. For some reason I had in two copies of Tel-Jilad Justice
Justice
JusticeSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Ruth Thompson
Text:
During your upkeep, pay WW or bury Justice.Whenever any red creature or spell assigns damage, Justice deals an equal amount of damage to that creature's or spell's controller.
in there, and for the life of me I can’t remember why. I thought about including a Howling Mine
Howling Mine
Howling MineSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Each player must draw one extra card during the draw phase of each of his or her turns.
or a Horn of Greed
Horn of Greed
Horn of GreedSet: Stronghold
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
129
Artist:
Jeff Miracola
Text:
Whenever any player plays a land, that player draws a card.
to make me draw faster, but then I realized that I wanted the deck to “go off” before my opponents could deal with it. Causing them to draw more cards allows them to reach that Naturalize
Naturalize
NaturalizeSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
275
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
Destroy target artifact or enchantment.
or Terror
Terror
TerrorSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Buries target creature. Cannot target black creatures or artifact creatures.
or even Pyroclasm
Pyroclasm
PyroclasmSet: Ice Age
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Pat Morrissey
Text:
Pyroclasm deals 2 damage to each creature.
even faster. I thought about Sylvan Library
Sylvan Library
Sylvan LibrarySet: Fourth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Harold McNeill
Text:
You may draw two extra cards during your draw phase. If you do so, put two of the cards drawn this turn back on top of your library (in any order) or pay 4 life per card not replaced. Effects that prevent or redirect damage cannot be used to counter this loss of life.
or Sensei’s Divining Top, but I realized that once you get the initial look at the top 3 cards, you’re still only digging down one card at a time. So those ideas were kicked out too. I briefly reconsidered the two Hondens again, but I would need at least two of each to make it worth it, and I really didn’t feel like it for some reason. So instead, I went with a nice way of thinning out the deck and accelerating my mana. Everyone should be able to figure this one out. It’s only THE new staple green card, Sakura-Tribe Elder
Sakura-Tribe Elder
Sakura-Tribe ElderSet: Commander
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Snake Shaman
Rarity:
C
Number:
169
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Sacrifice Sakura-Tribe Elder: Search your library for a basic land card, put that card onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle your library.
.

So here’s the new version of the deck.

Poison Ping, v 2.3

Poison (8)
4: Marsh Viper
Marsh Viper
Marsh ViperSet: Fourth Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Viper
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
If Marsh Viper damages a player, he or she gets two poison counters. If a player has ten or more poison counters, he or she loses the game.

4: Sabertooth Cobra
Sabertooth Cobra
Sabertooth CobraSet: Mirage
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cobra
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Andrew Robinson
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
If Sabertooth Cobra damages a player, he or she gets a poison counter. During that player's next upkeep, he or she gets another poison counter unless he or she pays 2 before then to prevent this effect. If any player has ten or more poison counters, he or she loses the game.


Untap (15)
3: Intruder Alarm
Intruder Alarm
Intruder AlarmSet: Stronghold
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
34
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
Creatures do not untap during their controllers' untap phases.Whenever any creature comes into play, untap all creatures.

1: Patron of the Orochi
Patron of the Orochi
Patron of the OrochiSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
8
Color:
Green
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
R
Number:
138
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Power:
7
Toughness:
7
Text:
Snake offering (You may play this card any time you could play an instant by sacrificing a Snake and paying the difference in mana costs between this and the sacrificed Snake. Mana cost includes color.) T: Untap all Forests and all green creatures. Play this ability only once each turn.

2: Pemmin’s Aura
2: Seedborn Muse
Seedborn Muse
Seedborn MuseSet: Legions
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
R
Number:
138
Power:
2
Toughness:
4
Text:
Untap all permanents you control during each other player's untap step.

4: Seeker
Seeker
SeekerSet: Fourth Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Target creature cannot be blocked except by white creatures and artifact creatures.
IG9mIFNreWJyZWFr
3: Vitalize
Vitalize
VitalizeSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
265
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Untap all creatures you control.


Ping (8)
2: Hermetic Study
Hermetic Study
Hermetic StudySet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
78
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Enchanted creature gains T: This creature deals 1 damage to target creature or player.

2: Psychic Gift
4: Viridian Longbow
Viridian Longbow
Viridian LongbowSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
C
Number:
270
Artist:
Jeremy Jarvis
Text:
Equipped creature has 'T: This creature deals 1 damage to target creature or player.' 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.)


Utility (10)
2: Defense of the Heart
Defense of the Heart
Defense of the HeartSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
100
Artist:
Rebecca Guay
Text:
During your upkeep, if one of your opponents controls three or more creatures, sacrifice Defense of the Heart, search your library for up to two creature cards, and put those creatures into play. Shuffle your library afterward.

4: Sakura-Tribe Elder
Sakura-Tribe Elder
Sakura-Tribe ElderSet: Commander
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Snake Shaman
Rarity:
C
Number:
169
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Sacrifice Sakura-Tribe Elder: Search your library for a basic land card, put that card onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle your library.

2: Soul Foundry
Soul Foundry
Soul FoundrySet: Mirrodin
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
246
Artist:
Arnie Swekel
Text:
Imprint - When Soul Foundry comes into play, you may remove a creature card in your hand from the game. (The removed card is imprinted on this artifact.) X, T: Put a creature token into play that's a copy of the imprinted creature card. X is the converted mana cost of that card.

2: Worldly Tutor
Worldly Tutor
Worldly TutorSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
269
Artist:
David O'Connor
Text:
Search your library for a creature card and reveal that card. Shuffle your library, then put the card on top of it.


Land (21)
3: Forbid
Forbid
ForbidSet: Exodus
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
35
Artist:
Scott Kirschner
Text:
Buyback Choose and discard two cards. (You may choose and discard two cards in addition to any other costs when you play this spell. If you do, put Forbid into your hand instead of your graveyard as part of the spell's effect.) Counter target spell.
ZGVuIE9yY2hhcmQ=
10: 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.



So let’s recap, shall we? I took a deck that I really loved and realized what was wrong with it. It was slow, it was clunky, it was too hard to set up a win due to lack of certain resources. So I added some acceleration, lowered the mana curve, knocked out an extraneous color, and made the missing resources more available. I took out cards that had little or no place and replaced them with cards that worked toward the win. Each card in the deck is now working solely towards winning the game. There is no thought of self-preservation, no spells included “just in case,” and no way to recover quickly from disaster. This is the deck’s triumph and ultimately that is the deck’s tragedy. I decided that the Poison Ping deck would be an all-or-nothing deck. It is either going to win and win convincingly, or it is going to lose and lose horribly.

These are all decisions for the serious casual player (it makes sense, trust me). If you want your deck to shoot straight for the win, take out all the control elements. If you want to be more defensive, take out some of the early threats. If your deck just never seems to win or even work right, take a good hard look at it and figure out what specifically is causing the problem. Learn to let go of the ultra-cool combos. If they’re that cool, why not build an entire deck around them? I’ve come up with two different ways to use Kaervek’s Spite since I wrote that earlier paragraph. Neither of them actually works without a Vedalken Orrery
Vedalken Orrery
Vedalken OrrerySet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
163
Text:
You may play nonland cards anytime you could play an instant.
in play, but I can include those, no problem. Tournament level decks have been built around my cool combo from this deck, using Kiki-Jiki in place of Serpent Generator
Serpent Generator
Serpent GeneratorSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
6
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
4, T: Put a Poison Snake token into play. Treat this token as a 1/1 artifact creature. If any Poison Snake damages any player, he or she gets a poison counter. If any player has ten or more poison counters, he or she loses the game.
. Another idea from this deck has been used to build an infinite mana loop. If you turn Forbid
Forbid
ForbidSet: Exodus
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
35
Artist:
Scott Kirschner
Text:
Buyback Choose and discard two cards. (You may choose and discard two cards in addition to any other costs when you play this spell. If you do, put Forbid into your hand instead of your graveyard as part of the spell's effect.) Counter target spell.
ZGVuIE9yY2hhcmQ= into a creature, you can drop an Intruder Alarm
Intruder Alarm
Intruder AlarmSet: Stronghold
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
34
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
Creatures do not untap during their controllers' untap phases.Whenever any creature comes into play, untap all creatures.
and make all the mana you want. See if you can’t use your unnecessary but awesome combo elsewhere. Make the deck you took it out of even better. Learn to change around those decks you’ve played and loved forever and ever and make them better. You’ll feel better about it, I know you will. Be sure you hit the forums and let me know if this article did anything for you. If so, I’ll do another one, I’ve got the perfect idea. Until then, enjoy your dorking!

(Thanks to the aforementioned Mike for helping me with the title and abstract. Maybe now he won't hit me with his giant *snicker* 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.
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