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CardShark Content - Chewie! Slate (9/12/2005)

Hello my fellow dorks! I’m back again with more Magic deckbuilding goodness. This time, I want to look at the obstinate deckbuilder. In this particular case, I’m talking about me, but you can apply this to any obstinate deckbuilder you know, yourself probably included. So let’s get down to it.

Back when Onslaught
Onslaught
OnslaughtSet: Exodus
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
C
Number:
92
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Whenever you successfully cast a creature spell, tap target creature.
came out, I saw the Words cycle. I loved the Words Cycle. Except the blue one, but I’m not a hardcore Johnny player either. I’ve determined only the hardcore Johnny players love Words of Wind
Words of Wind
Words of WindSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
122
Artist:
Eric Peterson
Text:
1: The next time you would draw a card this turn, each player returns a permanent he or she controls to its owner's hand instead.
. But the rest were definitely playable. In order to exploit them, they need to be built around, just like any other card really. I decided that I really liked the Words of War
Words of War
Words of WarSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
244
Artist:
Justin Sweet
Text:
1: The next time you would draw a card this turn, Words of War deals 2 damage to target creature or player instead.
, Wilding, and Worship
Worship
WorshipSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
57
Artist:
Mark Zug
Text:
Damage that would reduce your life total to less than 1 instead reduces it to 1 if you control a creature.
and I wanted to build a deck that included each of them. These enchantments needed some support though. They just aren’t that good if you’re merely replacing your normal draws with 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.
, a bear, or five life. For one, you won’t be drawing any more cards! If you’re facing down an army of 1/1 creatures, then a 2/2 a turn won’t be so bad. Otherwise, that’s not really going to impress anyone. So some supplemental card-drawing is required. The only problem with this: I hate blue! I really do. Blue just really doesn’t match my playing style at all (which is almost like if Timmy and Johnny had a kid, never mind the biological issues there) so I don’t play it much. Logically though, in order to make a deck built around card-drawing, blue is a requirement, right?

Maybe for you, but not me! I’ve never let a little thing like logic stop me before, and I set out to build a non-blue card-drawing deck. Originally I had lots of crap like Striped Bears
Striped Bears
Striped BearsSet: Weatherlight
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bears
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Una Fricker
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Striped Bears comes into play, draw a card.
and Jayemdae Tome
Jayemdae Tome
Jayemdae TomeSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
4, T: Draw one extra card.
(5 mana for an instant speed 2/2!) to allow this, but then I had mana availability issues. Meanwhile, I completely ignored cards that would have been beautiful like Brainstorm
Brainstorm
BrainstormSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Draw three cards. Then, put any two cards from your hand on top of your library in any order.
and Accumulated Knowledge
Accumulated Knowledge
Accumulated KnowledgeSet: Nemesis
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
26
Artist:
Randy Gallegos
Text:
Draw a card, then draw cards equal to the number of Accumulated Knowledge cards in all graveyards.
. I worked around it a while and finally came up with the following workable deck at some point in the Mirrodin block, which supplied only the Mind’s Eye at the time.

Words V 1.0
Enchantments (17)
3: Words of War
Words of War
Words of WarSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
244
Artist:
Justin Sweet
Text:
1: The next time you would draw a card this turn, Words of War deals 2 damage to target creature or player instead.

3: Words of Wilding
Words of Wilding
Words of WildingSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
305
Artist:
Wayne England
Text:
1: The next time you would draw a card this turn, put a 2/2 green Bear creature token into play instead.

3: V29yZHMgb2YgWorship
Worship
WorshipSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
57
Artist:
Mark Zug
Text:
Damage that would reduce your life total to less than 1 instead reduces it to 1 if you control a creature.

3: Pursuit of Knowledge
Pursuit of Knowledge
Pursuit of KnowledgeSet: Stronghold
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
110
Artist:
DiTerlizzi
Text:
Skip drawing a card: Put a study counter on Pursuit of Knowledge.Remove three study counters from Pursuit of Knowledge, Sacrifice Pursuit of Knowledge: Draw seven cards.

2: 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.

1: Island Sanctuary
Island Sanctuary
Island SanctuarySet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
You may decline to draw a card from your library during draw phase. In exchange, until start of your next turn the only creatures that may attack you are those that fly or have islandwalk.

2: Ancestral Mask
Ancestral Mask
Ancestral MaskSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
229
Artist:
Massimilano Frezzato
Text:
Enchanted creature gets +2/+2 for each other enchantment in play.

Creatures (14)
4: Yavimaya Elder
Yavimaya Elder
Yavimaya ElderSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Druid
Rarity:
C
Number:
124
Artist:
Ray Lago
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Yavimaya Elder is put into a graveyard from play, you may search your library for up to two basic land cards, reveal them, and put them into your hand. If you do, shuffle your library.2, Sacrifice Yavimaya Elder: Draw a card.

2: Weathered Wayfarer
Weathered Wayfarer
Weathered WayfarerSet: Onslaught
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nomad Cleric
Rarity:
R
Number:
59
Artist:
Greg & Tim Hildebrandt
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
W, T: Search your library for a land card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library. Play this ability only if an opponent controls more lands than you.

2: Skyshroud Elf
Skyshroud Elf
Skyshroud ElfSet: Tempest
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Jeff Miracola
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Add G to your mana pool. Play this ability as a mana source.1: Add W or R to your mana pool. Play this ability as a mana source.

2: Multani
Multani
MultaniSet: Vanguard
Sub Type:
Character
Rarity:
X
Number:
3
Artist:
Brom
Power:
-3
Toughness:
-2
Text:
All creatures you control get +X/+0, where X is the number of cards in your hand.
’s Acolyte
2: Heart Warden
Heart Warden
Heart WardenSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf
Rarity:
C
Number:
108
Artist:
Adam Rex
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Add one green mana to your mana pool.2, Sacrifice Heart Warden: Draw a card.

1: Silklash Spider
Silklash Spider
Silklash SpiderSet: Onslaught
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spider
Rarity:
R
Number:
281
Artist:
Iain McCaig
Power:
2
Toughness:
7
Text:
Silklash Spider may block as though it had flying.. XGG: Silklash Spider deals X damage to each creature with flying.

Artifacts (7)
2: Mind’s Eye
2: 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.

1: 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.

1: Feldon’s Cane
1: Skull of Orm
Skull of Orm
Skull of OrmSet: The Dark
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Tom Wänerstrand
Text:
5, T: Bring one enchantment card from your graveyard to your hand.

Spells (5)
1: Naturalize
Naturalize
NaturalizeSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
275
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
Destroy target artifact or enchantment.

1: Decimate
Decimate
DecimateSet: Odyssey
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
287
Artist:
Alex Horley
Text:
: Destroy target artifact, target creature, target enchantment, and target land.

2: Oblation
Oblation
OblationSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
46
Artist:
Doug Chaffee
Text:
The owner of target nonland permanent shuffles it into his or her library, then draws two cards.

1: Restock
Restock
RestockSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
206
Artist:
Daren Bader
Text:
Return two target cards from your graveyard to your hand. Remove Restock from the game.

Land (20)
5: Mountain
Mountain
MountainSet: Arabian Nights
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Tap to add R to your mana pool.

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

5: Plains
Plains
PlainsSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add W to your mana pool.

2: Shivan Oasis
Shivan Oasis
Shivan OasisSet: Invasion
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
327
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
Shivan Oasis comes into play tapped.T: Add R or G to your mana pool.

2: Elfhame Palace
Elfhame Palace
Elfhame PalaceSet: Invasion
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
322
Artist:
Jerry Tiritilli
Text:
Elfhame Palace comes into play tapped.T: Add G or W to your mana pool.



It wasn’t great, but it worked and it won its fair share of games. It had mana acceleration and fixing, a few elements of control and a fair amount of card draw for a non-blue deck. Pursuit of Knowledge
Pursuit of Knowledge
Pursuit of KnowledgeSet: Stronghold
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
110
Artist:
DiTerlizzi
Text:
Skip drawing a card: Put a study counter on Pursuit of Knowledge.Remove three study counters from Pursuit of Knowledge, Sacrifice Pursuit of Knowledge: Draw seven cards.
was the main kill mechanism. Play it one turn with a Words of War
Words of War
Words of WarSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
244
Artist:
Justin Sweet
Text:
1: The next time you would draw a card this turn, Words of War deals 2 damage to target creature or player instead.
or Wilding, a 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.
, and preferably 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.
too. Next turn, skip your normal draw and the two Library draws to fill up the Pursuit. Sacrifice
Sacrifice
SacrificeSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Sacrifice one of your creatures to add to your mana pool a number of black mana equal to that creature's casting cost.
it to allow seven draws, giving you 14 damage to toss around or 14 power’s worth of bear tokens. As I said, it was working and it was fun to play, especially with the limited card pool I had to work with. Not to mention the fact that I had absolutely no knowledge of the last several blocks, having been out of the game since the time of the Rath Cycle.

Eventually, Kamigawa block showed up, introducing the Hondens. I had also gotten around to grabbing a few more cards that would help the deck run more smoothly and effectively. Here’s what it looked like then. Note the complete lack of blue.

Words V 1.5
Enchantments (21)
3: V29yZHMgb2YgWorship
Worship
WorshipSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
57
Artist:
Mark Zug
Text:
Damage that would reduce your life total to less than 1 instead reduces it to 1 if you control a creature.

2: Words of Wilding
Words of Wilding
Words of WildingSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
305
Artist:
Wayne England
Text:
1: The next time you would draw a card this turn, put a 2/2 green Bear creature token into play instead.

3: Words of War
Words of War
Words of WarSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
244
Artist:
Justin Sweet
Text:
1: The next time you would draw a card this turn, Words of War deals 2 damage to target creature or player instead.

1: Honden of Cleansing Fire
Honden of Cleansing Fire
Honden of Cleansing FireSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Legendary Enchantment - Shrine
Rarity:
U
Number:
14
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, you gain 2 life for each Shrine you control.

1: 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.

1: 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.

3: Pursuit of Knowledge
Pursuit of Knowledge
Pursuit of KnowledgeSet: Stronghold
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
110
Artist:
DiTerlizzi
Text:
Skip drawing a card: Put a study counter on Pursuit of Knowledge.Remove three study counters from Pursuit of Knowledge, Sacrifice Pursuit of Knowledge: Draw seven cards.

2: 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.

1: Sterling Grove
Sterling Grove
Sterling GroveSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
278
Artist:
Jeff Miracola
Text:
All other enchantments you control can't be the targets of spells or abilities.1, Sacrifice Sterling Grove: Search your library for an enchantment card and reveal that card. Shuffle your library, then put the card on top of it.

1: Island Sanctuary
Island Sanctuary
Island SanctuarySet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
You may decline to draw a card from your library during draw phase. In exchange, until start of your next turn the only creatures that may attack you are those that fly or have islandwalk.

1: Enchantress’s Presence
2: Ancestral Mask
Ancestral Mask
Ancestral MaskSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
229
Artist:
Massimilano Frezzato
Text:
Enchanted creature gets +2/+2 for each other enchantment in play.

Creatures (8)
3: Yavimaya Elder
Yavimaya Elder
Yavimaya ElderSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Druid
Rarity:
C
Number:
124
Artist:
Ray Lago
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Yavimaya Elder is put into a graveyard from play, you may search your library for up to two basic land cards, reveal them, and put them into your hand. If you do, shuffle your library.2, Sacrifice Yavimaya Elder: Draw a card.

2: Skyshroud Elf
Skyshroud Elf
Skyshroud ElfSet: Tempest
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Jeff Miracola
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Add G to your mana pool. Play this ability as a mana source.1: Add W or R to your mana pool. Play this ability as a mana source.

2: Ageless Entity
Ageless Entity
Ageless EntitySet: Darksteel
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elemental
Rarity:
R
Number:
73
Artist:
Jeff Miracola
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Whenever you gain life, put that many +1/+1 counters on Ageless Entity.

1: Silklash Spider
Silklash Spider
Silklash SpiderSet: Onslaught
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spider
Rarity:
R
Number:
281
Artist:
Iain McCaig
Power:
2
Toughness:
7
Text:
Silklash Spider may block as though it had flying.. XGG: Silklash Spider deals X damage to each creature with flying.

Artifacts (8)
2: 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.

2: Well of Lost Dreams
Well of Lost Dreams
Well of Lost DreamsSet: Darksteel
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
159
Artist:
Jeff Miracola
Text:
Whenever you gain life, you may pay X, where X is equal to or less than the amount of life you gain. If you do, draw X cards.

1: Skull of Orm
Skull of Orm
Skull of OrmSet: The Dark
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Tom Wänerstrand
Text:
5, T: Bring one enchantment card from your graveyard to your hand.

1: 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.

1: Barrin
Barrin
BarrinSet: Vanguard
Sub Type:
Character
Rarity:
X
Number:
1
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Power:
+0
Toughness:
+6
Text:
You may sacrifice a permanent to return any creature to its owner's hand. Play this ability as an instant.
’s Codex
1: Mind’s Eye
Spells (5)
1: Decimate
Decimate
DecimateSet: Odyssey
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
287
Artist:
Alex Horley
Text:
: Destroy target artifact, target creature, target enchantment, and target land.

2: Replenish
Replenish
ReplenishSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
15
Artist:
Jim Nelson
Text:
Return all enchantment cards from your graveyard to play. (Local enchantments with no permanent to enchant remain in your graveyard.)

2: Oblation
Oblation
OblationSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
46
Artist:
Doug Chaffee
Text:
The owner of target nonland permanent shuffles it into his or her library, then draws two cards.

Lands (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: Plains
Plains
PlainsSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add W to your mana pool.

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

2: Shivan Oasis
Shivan Oasis
Shivan OasisSet: Invasion
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
327
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
Shivan Oasis comes into play tapped.T: Add R or G to your mana pool.



I grabbed a Sterling Grove
Sterling Grove
Sterling GroveSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
278
Artist:
Jeff Miracola
Text:
All other enchantments you control can't be the targets of spells or abilities.1, Sacrifice Sterling Grove: Search your library for an enchantment card and reveal that card. Shuffle your library, then put the card on top of it.
because the dorks (love you guys!) I play with had learned to destroy the Pursuit of Knowledge
Pursuit of Knowledge
Pursuit of KnowledgeSet: Stronghold
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
110
Artist:
DiTerlizzi
Text:
Skip drawing a card: Put a study counter on Pursuit of Knowledge.Remove three study counters from Pursuit of Knowledge, Sacrifice Pursuit of Knowledge: Draw seven cards.
or the Words of War
Words of War
Words of WarSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
244
Artist:
Justin Sweet
Text:
1: The next time you would draw a card this turn, Words of War deals 2 damage to target creature or player instead.
as soon as possible. I nabbed a couple Replenish
Replenish
ReplenishSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
15
Artist:
Jim Nelson
Text:
Return all enchantment cards from your graveyard to play. (Local enchantments with no permanent to enchant remain in your graveyard.)
for the late game. I added one Honden of each color I was playing to increase my kill potential. Ageless Entity
Ageless Entity
Ageless EntitySet: Darksteel
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elemental
Rarity:
R
Number:
73
Artist:
Jeff Miracola
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Whenever you gain life, put that many +1/+1 counters on Ageless Entity.
had shown up to give my massive life-gain a point. Now I could gain life and use it to crush people. Well of Lost Dreams
Well of Lost Dreams
Well of Lost DreamsSet: Darksteel
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
159
Artist:
Jeff Miracola
Text:
Whenever you gain life, you may pay X, where X is equal to or less than the amount of life you gain. If you do, draw X cards.
was made to go with V29yZHMgb2YgWorship
Worship
WorshipSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
57
Artist:
Mark Zug
Text:
Damage that would reduce your life total to less than 1 instead reduces it to 1 if you control a creature.
, which made the Entity even more frightening. 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.
made me more popular with my opponents, plus gave me more card-drawing to abuse. In this deck, the Enchantress’s Presence was truly great. I threw in a Barrin
Barrin
BarrinSet: Vanguard
Sub Type:
Character
Rarity:
X
Number:
1
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Power:
+0
Toughness:
+6
Text:
You may sacrifice a permanent to return any creature to its owner's hand. Play this ability as an instant.
’s Codex as a sort of time-release Pursuit of Knowledge
Pursuit of Knowledge
Pursuit of KnowledgeSet: Stronghold
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
110
Artist:
DiTerlizzi
Text:
Skip drawing a card: Put a study counter on Pursuit of Knowledge.Remove three study counters from Pursuit of Knowledge, Sacrifice Pursuit of Knowledge: Draw seven cards.
. So I still had a ridiculous amount of card-drawing going on and still not a hint of blue in the deck. It was still a lot of fun and still worked pretty well, but it didn’t have the crushing power that I wanted. It took way too long to get set up and once set up it took way too long to actually finish anything off.

In deckbuilding, as well as in life, we sometimes get these crazy ideas in our heads and refuse to let them go, whether it’s good for us or not. My father is still convinced that the only good cars are American cars. He’s missing out on fuel economy and long-lasting vehicles. I personally refuse to acknowledge the X-Box as a real gaming system, even though intellectually I know it is. I’m missing out on Star Wars: KOTOR, Fable, and eventually Perfect Dark Zero. My girlfriend doesn’t like the Simpsons, probably because her parents thought it was bad or something (remember all the anti-Simpsons stuff going on about…14 or 15 years ago? Nah, I don’t either) and she just got the notion into her head. She’s missing out on a nigh-uncountable number of laughs and a load of cultural mocking. The sad thing is that none of these examples I’ve given will probably ever change their minds (You lose, Microsoft! I won’t be converted!). In the movie Fletch Lives, Chevy Chase said “It takes a big man to admit when he's wrong. I am NOT a big man.” This illustrates my point beautifully. Most of us would much rather remain adamant than admit that we’re just wrong (you lose again, Microsoft!), and we really aren’t doing anything but denying ourselves some good stuff. In this particular case, I was playing a semi-decent deck built around replacing card-drawing opportunities with neat effects, but I was doing so without the color that allows more card-drawing opportunities than the other 4 colors combined!

Sometimes though, we have to bite the bullet and just go with what is best rather than with what is best suited to our preconceived prejudices. I’ve been told since I was a kid that color doesn’t matter; it’s quality that matters. How strange that my mom would know about my Magic dilemma even before the mighty Richard Garfield had invented the game. I am usually the least-blue playing dork ever. Except maybe Bedford, but he’s silly. I have five decks that feature blue in them. One is blue only because I hated blue so much that I have lots of leftover crap (the Blue Crap Deck, soon to be split into two decks, actually). One is a beatdown deck (Unblockables). One is Birds (needed to be blue and white). The last two use blue as a support color to help reach the goal of each deck (Poison for untapping creatures and Chaos Discard for keeping hands full of cards to drop). That’s all. I have 26 decks built, mind you. That means I play with a whole mess of non-blue, and try to avoid it if at all possible.

I realized finally that a card-drawing deck without blue is like a Vintage burn deck without 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.
s. It’s like an oldschool mono-black deck without 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.
and Hypnotic Specter
Hypnotic Specter
Hypnotic SpecterSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Specter
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying An opponent damaged by Specter must discard a card at random from his or her hand. Ignore this effect if opponent has no cards left in hand.
. Do you get the point yet? It just doesn’t make sense! So I had to get past my Patented Azure Hatred
Hatred
HatredSet: Exodus
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
64
Artist:
Brom
Text:
Pay X life: Target creature gets +X/+0 until end of turn.
and rebuild the deck yet again. Doing so made the deck set up faster and kill much faster. Here’s how it looks now.

Words V 2.0
Enchantments (19)
3: Words of War
Words of War
Words of WarSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
244
Artist:
Justin Sweet
Text:
1: The next time you would draw a card this turn, Words of War deals 2 damage to target creature or player instead.

2: V29yZHMgb2YgWorship
Worship
WorshipSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
57
Artist:
Mark Zug
Text:
Damage that would reduce your life total to less than 1 instead reduces it to 1 if you control a creature.

2: Words of Wilding
Words of Wilding
Words of WildingSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
305
Artist:
Wayne England
Text:
1: The next time you would draw a card this turn, put a 2/2 green Bear creature token into play instead.

1: Honden of Cleansing Fire
Honden of Cleansing Fire
Honden of Cleansing FireSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Legendary Enchantment - Shrine
Rarity:
U
Number:
14
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, you gain 2 life for each Shrine you control.

1: 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.

1: 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.

1: 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.

3: Pursuit of Knowledge
Pursuit of Knowledge
Pursuit of KnowledgeSet: Stronghold
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
110
Artist:
DiTerlizzi
Text:
Skip drawing a card: Put a study counter on Pursuit of Knowledge.Remove three study counters from Pursuit of Knowledge, Sacrifice Pursuit of Knowledge: Draw seven cards.

2: 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.

2: Sterling Grove
Sterling Grove
Sterling GroveSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
278
Artist:
Jeff Miracola
Text:
All other enchantments you control can't be the targets of spells or abilities.1, Sacrifice Sterling Grove: Search your library for an enchantment card and reveal that card. Shuffle your library, then put the card on top of it.

1: Island Sanctuary
Island Sanctuary
Island SanctuarySet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
You may decline to draw a card from your library during draw phase. In exchange, until start of your next turn the only creatures that may attack you are those that fly or have islandwalk.

Creatures (13)
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.

4: Eternal Witness
Eternal Witness
Eternal WitnessSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Shaman
Rarity:
U
Number:
86
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever Eternal Witness comes into play, return target card from your graveayrd to your hand.

2: Ageless Entity
Ageless Entity
Ageless EntitySet: Darksteel
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elemental
Rarity:
R
Number:
73
Artist:
Jeff Miracola
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Whenever you gain life, put that many +1/+1 counters on Ageless Entity.

1: Silklash Spider
Silklash Spider
Silklash SpiderSet: Onslaught
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spider
Rarity:
R
Number:
281
Artist:
Iain McCaig
Power:
2
Toughness:
7
Text:
Silklash Spider may block as though it had flying.. XGG: Silklash Spider deals X damage to each creature with flying.

1: Archivist
Archivist
ArchivistSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
26
Artist:
Pete Venters
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Draw a card.

1: Arcanis the Omnipotent
Arcanis the Omnipotent
Arcanis the OmnipotentSet: Onslaught
Cost:
6
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard Legend
Rarity:
R
Number:
66
Artist:
Justin Sweet
Power:
3
Toughness:
4
Text:
T: Draw three cards.. 2UU: Return Arcanis the Omnipotent to its owner's hand.

Artifacts (5)
2: 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.

2: Well of Lost Dreams
Well of Lost Dreams
Well of Lost DreamsSet: Darksteel
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
159
Artist:
Jeff Miracola
Text:
Whenever you gain life, you may pay X, where X is equal to or less than the amount of life you gain. If you do, draw X cards.

1: Mind’s Eye
Spells (5)
2: Replenish
Replenish
ReplenishSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
15
Artist:
Jim Nelson
Text:
Return all enchantment cards from your graveyard to play. (Local enchantments with no permanent to enchant remain in your graveyard.)

2: Read the Runes
Read the Runes
Read the RunesSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
104
Artist:
Alan Pollack
Text:
Draw X cards. For each card drawn this way, discard a card from your hand unless you sacrifice a permanent.

1: Decimate
Decimate
DecimateSet: Odyssey
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
287
Artist:
Alex Horley
Text:
: Destroy target artifact, target creature, target enchantment, and target land.

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

5: Plains
Plains
PlainsSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add W to your mana pool.

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

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

2: Shivan Oasis
Shivan Oasis
Shivan OasisSet: Invasion
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
327
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
Shivan Oasis comes into play tapped.T: Add R or G to your mana pool.



Since I was already playing Hondens, I threw 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.
to really make the card-drawing ridiculous. I can easily cripple someone during my upkeep with a blue and one other Honden, a 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.
, and a Words of War
Words of War
Words of WarSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
244
Artist:
Justin Sweet
Text:
1: The next time you would draw a card this turn, Words of War deals 2 damage to target creature or player instead.
in play. I added in a few Read the Runes
Read the Runes
Read the RunesSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
104
Artist:
Alan Pollack
Text:
Draw X cards. For each card drawn this way, discard a card from your hand unless you sacrifice a permanent.
which, when paired with Words of War
Words of War
Words of WarSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
244
Artist:
Justin Sweet
Text:
1: The next time you would draw a card this turn, Words of War deals 2 damage to target creature or player instead.
, becomes a 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.
that you can split up into groups of two damage! Think about it. If you pay one blue and 4 to draw 4 cards, then pay 4 to use the Words instead of draw, that’s 9 mana for 8 damage! The blue Fireball
Fireball
FireballSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Fireball does X damage total, divided evenly (round down) among any number of targets. Pay 1 extra mana for each target beyond the first.
! (Waterball?) Other blue sources of card-draw came in the form of permanents that weren’t expensive to use, meaning Archivist
Archivist
ArchivistSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
26
Artist:
Pete Venters
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Draw a card.
and Arcanis. With Arcanis, I can immediately use a Pursuit of Knowledge
Pursuit of Knowledge
Pursuit of KnowledgeSet: Stronghold
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
110
Artist:
DiTerlizzi
Text:
Skip drawing a card: Put a study counter on Pursuit of Knowledge.Remove three study counters from Pursuit of Knowledge, Sacrifice Pursuit of Knowledge: Draw seven cards.
. Tap him to not draw three, then sacrifice the enchantment to draw seven. That’s much better than having to wait until next turn. Arcanis and his little buddy Archivist
Archivist
ArchivistSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
26
Artist:
Pete Venters
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Draw a card.
are also wicked with an Ageless Entity
Ageless Entity
Ageless EntitySet: Darksteel
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elemental
Rarity:
R
Number:
73
Artist:
Jeff Miracola
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Whenever you gain life, put that many +1/+1 counters on Ageless Entity.
. I can attack with it, and depending on blockers and whatnot I can tap them to gain 5 life a card, making the Entity truly huge in short order.

The Yavimaya Elder
Yavimaya Elder
Yavimaya ElderSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Druid
Rarity:
C
Number:
124
Artist:
Ray Lago
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Yavimaya Elder is put into a graveyard from play, you may search your library for up to two basic land cards, reveal them, and put them into your hand. If you do, shuffle your library.2, Sacrifice Yavimaya Elder: Draw a card.
s came out in favor of the 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.
s. I figure that losing the extra card draw and the extra basic land is nothing compared to speeding the whole process up a couple of turns. Before it took 5 mana to play and use the Yavimaya Elder
Yavimaya Elder
Yavimaya ElderSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Druid
Rarity:
C
Number:
124
Artist:
Ray Lago
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Yavimaya Elder is put into a graveyard from play, you may search your library for up to two basic land cards, reveal them, and put them into your hand. If you do, shuffle your library.2, Sacrifice Yavimaya Elder: Draw a card.
, but with the Sakura-Tribe it only takes two! This means those Yavimaya guys will probably find their way into my land-sac deck that you saw a month or so ago.

I recently found myself in possession of a full set of Eternal Witness
Eternal Witness
Eternal WitnessSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Shaman
Rarity:
U
Number:
86
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever Eternal Witness comes into play, return target card from your graveayrd to your hand.
es with no decks to put them in. So I put them in here for general-purpose utility and as early blockers. They can get Elders back in the early game, and they can get another use out of the Pursuit and even Replenish
Replenish
ReplenishSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
15
Artist:
Jim Nelson
Text:
Return all enchantment cards from your graveyard to play. (Local enchantments with no permanent to enchant remain in your graveyard.)
in the late game. I also have two Sterling Grove
Sterling Grove
Sterling GroveSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
278
Artist:
Jeff Miracola
Text:
All other enchantments you control can't be the targets of spells or abilities.1, Sacrifice Sterling Grove: Search your library for an enchantment card and reveal that card. Shuffle your library, then put the card on top of it.
s now, so I can use one to search for the other and Witness the original back out, thus making my enchantments untargetable. Wasn’t that a Nat King Cole song from way back when? “Untargetable in every way, and forever more that’s how you’ll stay…” Or maybe that was something else. All of you reading this had better be laughing or shaking your head in disbelief that anyone would make that joke.

Due to circumstances beyond my control, writing this article stopped at the end of the last paragraph for about a month. I got caught up with new article ideas, work, and life in general. In that time, I have realized that the Words of Wind
Words of Wind
Words of WindSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
122
Artist:
Eric Peterson
Text:
1: The next time you would draw a card this turn, each player returns a permanent he or she controls to its owner's hand instead.
is indeed a playable enchantment, even if you’re not a hardcore Johnny. The reasoning behind this sudden shift lies with the Eternal Witness
Eternal Witness
Eternal WitnessSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Shaman
Rarity:
U
Number:
86
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever Eternal Witness comes into play, return target card from your graveayrd to your hand.
es. I managed to set off a Pursuit of Knowledge
Pursuit of Knowledge
Pursuit of KnowledgeSet: Stronghold
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
110
Artist:
DiTerlizzi
Text:
Skip drawing a card: Put a study counter on Pursuit of Knowledge.Remove three study counters from Pursuit of Knowledge, Sacrifice Pursuit of Knowledge: Draw seven cards.
4 turns in a row in a game. I used the first one, then I Witnessed it back, then I used a Sterling Grove
Sterling Grove
Sterling GroveSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
278
Artist:
Jeff Miracola
Text:
All other enchantments you control can't be the targets of spells or abilities.1, Sacrifice Sterling Grove: Search your library for an enchantment card and reveal that card. Shuffle your library, then put the card on top of it.
to fetch another right before I cast Replenish
Replenish
ReplenishSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
15
Artist:
Jim Nelson
Text:
Return all enchantment cards from your graveyard to play. (Local enchantments with no permanent to enchant remain in your graveyard.)
. The next two turns I used the Replenish
Replenish
ReplenishSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
15
Artist:
Jim Nelson
Text:
Return all enchantment cards from your graveyard to play. (Local enchantments with no permanent to enchant remain in your graveyard.)
ed one and the Groved one. I won that game, in case you had any doubts. Dishing out 14 damage 4 turns in a row is truly a beautiful thing.

I realized that if I only had some way to bounce my Witnesses every turn, I could keep using the Pursuit to keep destroying all my opponents, and that’s when the idea hit me. Words of Wind
Words of Wind
Words of WindSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
122
Artist:
Eric Peterson
Text:
1: The next time you would draw a card this turn, each player returns a permanent he or she controls to its owner's hand instead.
! So out came the Read the Runes
Read the Runes
Read the RunesSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
104
Artist:
Alan Pollack
Text:
Draw X cards. For each card drawn this way, discard a card from your hand unless you sacrifice a permanent.
(good idea though they were), and in went two copies of Words of Wind
Words of Wind
Words of WindSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
122
Artist:
Eric Peterson
Text:
1: The next time you would draw a card this turn, each player returns a permanent he or she controls to its owner's hand instead.
. Now I can bounce my Witnesses, keep my Arcanis or Archivist
Archivist
ArchivistSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
26
Artist:
Pete Venters
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Draw a card.
alive, and have a measure of control over the tempo of the board. I just need to be sure to pick off any Cloudchasers on the board using the Words of War
Words of War
Words of WarSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
244
Artist:
Justin Sweet
Text:
1: The next time you would draw a card this turn, Words of War deals 2 damage to target creature or player instead.
before I start bouncing things every turn.

Also, once I snag a few more dual lands (of any kind – rare, uncommon, taplands, painlands, I’m running out!) I’m going to replace a few lands. Doing this might make the Elder a little useless, so I might trade him in for some Sylvan Scrying
Sylvan Scrying
Sylvan ScryingSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
130
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
Search your library for a land card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library.
s. Some Weathered Wayfarer
Weathered Wayfarer
Weathered WayfarerSet: Onslaught
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nomad Cleric
Rarity:
R
Number:
59
Artist:
Greg & Tim Hildebrandt
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
W, T: Search your library for a land card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library. Play this ability only if an opponent controls more lands than you.
s might make a comeback too. I’m going to try to grab a couple more Enlightened Tutor
Enlightened Tutor
Enlightened TutorSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
19
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Search your library for an artifact or enchantment card and reveal that card. Shuffle your library, then put the card on top of it.
s to seek out the enchantments I need. See? All decks evolve over time, even casual free-for-all decks. Especially casual free-for-all decks. Here's the ´´final´´ decklist as far as this article is concerned, now that I've overcome my hatred of blue in general AND my hatred of a blue spell in particular.

Words V 2.1
Enchantments (21)
3: Words of War
Words of War
Words of WarSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
244
Artist:
Justin Sweet
Text:
1: The next time you would draw a card this turn, Words of War deals 2 damage to target creature or player instead.

2: V29yZHMgb2YgWorship
Worship
WorshipSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
57
Artist:
Mark Zug
Text:
Damage that would reduce your life total to less than 1 instead reduces it to 1 if you control a creature.

2: Words of Wilding
Words of Wilding
Words of WildingSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
305
Artist:
Wayne England
Text:
1: The next time you would draw a card this turn, put a 2/2 green Bear creature token into play instead.

2: Words of Wind
Words of Wind
Words of WindSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
122
Artist:
Eric Peterson
Text:
1: The next time you would draw a card this turn, each player returns a permanent he or she controls to its owner's hand instead.

1: Honden of Cleansing Fire
Honden of Cleansing Fire
Honden of Cleansing FireSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Legendary Enchantment - Shrine
Rarity:
U
Number:
14
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, you gain 2 life for each Shrine you control.

1: 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.

1: 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.

1: 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.

3: Pursuit of Knowledge
Pursuit of Knowledge
Pursuit of KnowledgeSet: Stronghold
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
110
Artist:
DiTerlizzi
Text:
Skip drawing a card: Put a study counter on Pursuit of Knowledge.Remove three study counters from Pursuit of Knowledge, Sacrifice Pursuit of Knowledge: Draw seven cards.

2: 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.

2: Sterling Grove
Sterling Grove
Sterling GroveSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
278
Artist:
Jeff Miracola
Text:
All other enchantments you control can't be the targets of spells or abilities.1, Sacrifice Sterling Grove: Search your library for an enchantment card and reveal that card. Shuffle your library, then put the card on top of it.

1: Island Sanctuary
Island Sanctuary
Island SanctuarySet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
You may decline to draw a card from your library during draw phase. In exchange, until start of your next turn the only creatures that may attack you are those that fly or have islandwalk.

Creatures (13)
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.

4: Eternal Witness
Eternal Witness
Eternal WitnessSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Shaman
Rarity:
U
Number:
86
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever Eternal Witness comes into play, return target card from your graveayrd to your hand.

2: Ageless Entity
Ageless Entity
Ageless EntitySet: Darksteel
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elemental
Rarity:
R
Number:
73
Artist:
Jeff Miracola
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Whenever you gain life, put that many +1/+1 counters on Ageless Entity.

1: Silklash Spider
Silklash Spider
Silklash SpiderSet: Onslaught
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spider
Rarity:
R
Number:
281
Artist:
Iain McCaig
Power:
2
Toughness:
7
Text:
Silklash Spider may block as though it had flying.. XGG: Silklash Spider deals X damage to each creature with flying.

1: Archivist
Archivist
ArchivistSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
26
Artist:
Pete Venters
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Draw a card.

1: Arcanis the Omnipotent
Arcanis the Omnipotent
Arcanis the OmnipotentSet: Onslaught
Cost:
6
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard Legend
Rarity:
R
Number:
66
Artist:
Justin Sweet
Power:
3
Toughness:
4
Text:
T: Draw three cards.. 2UU: Return Arcanis the Omnipotent to its owner's hand.

Artifacts (5)
2: 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.

2: Well of Lost Dreams
Well of Lost Dreams
Well of Lost DreamsSet: Darksteel
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
159
Artist:
Jeff Miracola
Text:
Whenever you gain life, you may pay X, where X is equal to or less than the amount of life you gain. If you do, draw X cards.

1: Mind’s Eye
Spells (3)
2: Replenish
Replenish
ReplenishSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
15
Artist:
Jim Nelson
Text:
Return all enchantment cards from your graveyard to play. (Local enchantments with no permanent to enchant remain in your graveyard.)

1: Decimate
Decimate
DecimateSet: Odyssey
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
287
Artist:
Alex Horley
Text:
: Destroy target artifact, target creature, target enchantment, and target land.

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

5: Plains
Plains
PlainsSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add W to your mana pool.

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

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

2: Shivan Oasis
Shivan Oasis
Shivan OasisSet: Invasion
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
327
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
Shivan Oasis comes into play tapped.T: Add R or G to your mana pool.


The point of all this silliness is simple. Sometimes, we get these ideas in our heads that certain cards or colors or concepts are either utterly useless or pure gold, depending on the circumstances. These ideas are sometimes based in experience, sometimes not. Most of the time, they are completely silly. A few more examples:

“Lion’s-Eye Diamond? That sucks!”
“Constantine? He doesn’t need to be British. Let’s get Keanu Reeves to play him, it’ll be great! We can even give him holy cross shotguns! Get my yes-men in here to agree with me!”
“Sure, let’s go ahead with this ‘free’ mechanic. This Urza
Urza
UrzaSet: Vanguard
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Character
Rarity:
X
Number:
7
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Power:
-1
Toughness:
+10
Text:
3: Urza deals one damage to target creature or player.
block needs a bit more power.”
“Let’s push up the release of the Enter the Matrix game to coincide with the movie release date. What could go wrong?”
“This new art for Paladin en-Vec is sure not to offend anyone and definitely won’t get laughed at constantly.”

Yeah, he looks like a Klansman. Not Keanu Reeves, the Paladin. But seriously, no matter how good an idea might look, or how bad a certain thing might seem, there is absolutely no way to tell without actually giving it a shot. This is why the Lion’s-Eye Diamond is restricted in Vintage. Someone looked at it and said, “Hey, let’s give this a shot.” Bam, overpowered and undercosted free mana! One restriction, coming right up. The same applies to this deck, and to anything you might have rejected without thinking about. Blue in the Words deck? I don’t need no stinking blue! Turns out I did. Having the ability to throw out 7 2/2s, deal 14 damage, or gain 35 life at instant speed is truly a beautiful thing, and it happens all the time in the new deck. Like every turn once it starts. Life is good.

Until next time, enjoy casting off your preconceived prejudices. Or making fun of Keanu Reeves. Or Microsoft. Whichever you prefer.


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