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CardShark Content - Chris Morling (4/17/2001)

I only live a couple of hours from Detroit, but Marcus and his friends had decided to get a hotel for the nights of the tournament, and offered to let me stay with them, so I drove to Detroit on Friday. I followed the advice that everyone espouses but no one practices: I got to bed early. It was quite an experience for me, as my typical routine involves being up past 1.

I got up before 8 the next morning and took a shower before heading down to enjoy a complementary breakfast. Booyah! I think the scrambled eggs did not agree with me, and for the first couple of rounds of the tournament I was regretting my choice of food.

We all drove to the tourney together, and arrived with plenty of time to spare. Those of us who hadn’t registered did so. The Grand Prix was taking place in Detroit’s Renaissance Center, and the room was massive. We watched Dave playtest a rogue deck against Fires and waited for the tournament to begin.

Things took a while. We were seated for deck registration around 10:45, and I was seated opposite a woman from Michigan whose name eludes me, but whom I met judging or organizing a tournament in January. In a room filled with so many people I didn’t know it was comforting to be seated opposite a familiar face. The deck I received looked decent, but not fantastic. There were plenty of nice blue fliers, capped with a Waterspout Elemental
Waterspout Elemental
Waterspout ElementalSet: Planeshift
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elemental
Rarity:
R
Number:
38
Artist:
Mark Romanoski
Power:
3
Toughness:
4
Text:
Kicker U (You may pay an additional U as you play this spell.) Flying. When Waterspout Elemental comes into play, if you paid the kicker cost, return all other creatures to their owners' hands and you skip your next turn.
. Black also looked good, but white looked really weak. There was some good red stuff, but there was very little of it. The deck also had too little removal for my liking.

We turned in the decks, and waited for deck construction. The deck I received had some good blue fliers and great red and black removal, but the red and black creatures were pretty weak. I choose U/B/r, but looking at the card pool I think I should have given more consideration to G/r/b. I had 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.
, Quirion Dryad
Quirion Dryad
Quirion DryadSet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Dryad
Rarity:
R
Number:
89
Artist:
Don Hazeltine
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever you play a white, blue, black, or red spell, put a +1/+1 counter on Quirion Dryad.
, Nomadic Elves, Yavimaya Barbarian
Yavimaya Barbarian
Yavimaya BarbarianSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Barbarian Elf
Rarity:
C
Number:
290
Artist:
Don Hazeltine
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Protection from blue
, and Horned Kavu
Horned Kavu
Horned KavuSet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Kavu
Rarity:
C
Number:
110
Artist:
Michael Sutfin
Power:
3
Toughness:
4
Text:
When Horned Kavu comes into play, return a red or green creature you control to its owner's hand.
as 2 drops. I also had Thicket Elemental
Thicket Elemental
Thicket ElementalSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elemental
Rarity:
R
Number:
214
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Kicker 1G (You may pay an additional 1G as you play this spell.)When Thicket Elemental comes into play, if you paid the kicker cost, you may reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a creature card. If you do, put that card into play and shuffle all other cards revealed this way into your library.
, Stone Kavu
Stone Kavu
Stone KavuSet: Planeshift
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Kavu
Rarity:
C
Number:
93
Artist:
Adam Rex
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
R: Stone Kavu gets +1/+0 until end of turn. W: Stone Kavu gets +0/+1 until end of turn.
, Kavu Chameleon
Kavu Chameleon
Kavu ChameleonSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Kavu
Rarity:
U
Number:
191
Artist:
John Howe
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Kavu Chameleon can't be countered.G: Kavu Chameleon becomes the color of your choice until end of turn.
, and Serpentine Kavu
Serpentine Kavu
Serpentine KavuSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Kavu
Rarity:
C
Number:
211
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
R: Serpentine Kavu gains haste until end of turn. (It may attack and T the turn it comes under your control.)
as fat 5 drops. I could have added Rith’s Char
Char
CharSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
117
Artist:
Adam Rex
Text:
Char deals 4 damage to target creature or player and 2 damage to you.
m and Frenzied Tilling
Frenzied Tilling
Frenzied TillingSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
247
Artist:
Mike Raabe
Text:
Destroy target land. Search your library for a basic land card and put that card into play tapped. Then shuffle your library.
had I played R/G/B. I would have lost all my fliers and Tidal Visionary
Tidal Visionary
Tidal VisionarySet: Invasion
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
80
Artist:
Glen Angus
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Target creature becomes the color of your choice until end of turn.
, as well as Probe
Probe
ProbeSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
66
Artist:
Eric Peterson
Text:
Kicker 1B (You may pay an additional 1B as you play this spell.)Draw three cards, then discard two cards from your hand.If you paid the kicker cost, target player discards two cards from his or her hand.
, Repulse
Repulse
RepulseSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
70
Artist:
Aaron Boyd
Text:
Return target creature to its owner's hand.Draw a card.
, Rushing River
Rushing River
Rushing RiverSet: Planeshift
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
30
Artist:
Don Hazeltine
Text:
Kicker-Sacrifice a land. (You may sacrifice a land in addition to any other costs as you play this spell.) Return target nonland permanent to its owner's hand. If you paid the kicker cost, return another target nonland permanent to its owner's hand.
, Stormscape Battlemage
Stormscape Battlemage
Stormscape BattlemageSet: Planeshift
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
U
Number:
35
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Kicker W and/or 2B. When Stormscape Battlemage comes into play, if you paid the W kicker cost, you gain 3 life. When Stormscape Battlemage comes into play, if you paid the 2B kicker cost, destroy target nonblack creature. That creature can't be regenerated.
, and the Spite half of Spite/Malice. I doubt that I had the mana fixings to play all four colors, and I still think the blue was stronger, but I probably should have considered sideboarding into R/G/B in some games.

At the time, I wasn’t fanatical about my cards, but looking back I think they were jaw-droppingly good. The fact that I had ten green cards that qualify as 1st to 3rd picks in draft and great blue picks was great.

Here’s what I played:

Invasion Planeshift
Blue:
Metathran Aerostat
Metathran Aerostat
Metathran AerostatSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ship
Rarity:
R
Number:
61
Artist:
Greg Staples
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying XU: You may put a creature card with converted mana cost X from your hand into play. If you do, return Metathran Aerostat to its owner's hand.

Hunting Drake
Hunting Drake
Hunting DrakeSet: Planeshift
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Drake
Rarity:
C
Number:
27
Artist:
Wayne England
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying. When Hunting Drake comes into play, put target red or green creature on top of its owner's library.


Probe
Probe
ProbeSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
66
Artist:
Eric Peterson
Text:
Kicker 1B (You may pay an additional 1B as you play this spell.)Draw three cards, then discard two cards from your hand.If you paid the kicker cost, target player discards two cards from his or her hand.

Rushing River
Rushing River
Rushing RiverSet: Planeshift
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
30
Artist:
Don Hazeltine
Text:
Kicker-Sacrifice a land. (You may sacrifice a land in addition to any other costs as you play this spell.) Return target nonland permanent to its owner's hand. If you paid the kicker cost, return another target nonland permanent to its owner's hand.


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

Stormscape Battlemage
Stormscape Battlemage
Stormscape BattlemageSet: Planeshift
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
U
Number:
35
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Kicker W and/or 2B. When Stormscape Battlemage comes into play, if you paid the W kicker cost, you gain 3 life. When Stormscape Battlemage comes into play, if you paid the 2B kicker cost, destroy target nonblack creature. That creature can't be regenerated.


Shoreline Raider
Shoreline Raider
Shoreline RaiderSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Merfolk
Rarity:
C
Number:
73
Artist:
Nelson DeCastro
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Protection from Kavu

Stormscape Familiar
Stormscape Familiar
Stormscape FamiliarSet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bird
Rarity:
C
Number:
36
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying. White spells and black spells you play cost 1 less to play.


Tidal Visionary
Tidal Visionary
Tidal VisionarySet: Invasion
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
80
Artist:
Glen Angus
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Target creature becomes the color of your choice until end of turn.



Vodalian Merchant
Vodalian Merchant
Vodalian MerchantSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Merfolk
Rarity:
C
Number:
85
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Vodalian Merchant comes into play, draw a card, then discard a card from your hand.



Black:
Agonizing Demise
Agonizing Demise
Agonizing DemiseSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
92
Artist:
Mark Brill
Text:
Kicker 1R (You may pay an additional 1R as you play this spell.)Destroy target nonblack creature. It can't be regenerated. If you paid the kicker cost, Agonizing Demise deals damage equal to that creature's power to the creature's controller.

Phyrexian Bloodstock
Phyrexian Bloodstock
Phyrexian BloodstockSet: Planeshift
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
50
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
When Phyrexian Bloodstock leaves play, destroy target white creature. It can't be regenerated.


Duskwalker
Duskwalker
DuskwalkerSet: Invasion
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Minion
Rarity:
C
Number:
104
Artist:
David Martin
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Kicker 3B (You may pay an additional 3B as you play this spell.)If you paid the kicker cost, Duskwalker comes into play with two +1/+1 counters on it and has Duskwalker can't be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or black creatures.



Urborg Skeleton
Urborg Skeleton
Urborg SkeletonSet: Invasion
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Skeleton
Rarity:
C
Number:
134
Artist:
Alan Pollack
Power:
0
Toughness:
1
Text:
Kicker 3 (You may pay an additional 3 as you play this spell.)B: Regenerate Urborg Skeleton.If you paid the kicker cost, Urborg Skeleton comes into play with a +1/+1 counter on it.



Red:
Zap
Zap
ZapSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
180
Artist:
John Matson
Text:
Zap deals 1 damage to target creature or player.Draw a card.

Flametongue Kavu
Flametongue Kavu
Flametongue KavuSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Kavu
Rarity:
U
Number:
60
Artist:
Pete Venters
Power:
4
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Flametongue Kavu comes into play, it deals 4 damage to target creature.



Magma Burst
Magma Burst
Magma BurstSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
66
Artist:
Bradley Williams
Text:
Kicker-Sacrifice two lands. (You may sacrifice two lands in addition to any other costs as you play this spell.) Magma Burst deals 3 damage to target creature or player. If you paid the kicker cost, Magma Burst deals 3 damage to another target creature or player.



Mire Kavu
Mire Kavu
Mire KavuSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Kavu
Rarity:
C
Number:
67
Artist:
Wayne England
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
Text:
Mire Kavu gets +1/+1 as long as you control a swamp.



Slingshot Goblin
Slingshot Goblin
Slingshot GoblinSet: Planeshift
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Goblin
Rarity:
C
Number:
72
Artist:
Jeff Easley
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
R, T: Slingshot Goblin deals 2 damage to target blue creature.


Gold:
Plague Spores
Plague Spores
Plague SporesSet: Invasion
Cost:
6
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
260
Artist:
Randy Gallegos
Text:
Destroy target nonblack creature and target land. They can't be regenerated.

Cavern Harpy
Cavern Harpy
Cavern HarpySet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
C
Number:
97
Artist:
Daren Bader
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying. When Cavern Harpy comes into play, return a blue or black creature you control to its owner's hand. Pay 1 life: Return Cavern Harpy to its owner's hand.


Split:
Spite/Malace


Artifact:
Drake-Skull Cameo


Land:
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.

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

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




Take a quick count of the removal: seven removal spells, plus Slingshot Goblin
Slingshot Goblin
Slingshot GoblinSet: Planeshift
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Goblin
Rarity:
C
Number:
72
Artist:
Jeff Easley
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
R, T: Slingshot Goblin deals 2 damage to target blue creature.
, Phyrexian Bloodstock
Phyrexian Bloodstock
Phyrexian BloodstockSet: Planeshift
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
50
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
When Phyrexian Bloodstock leaves play, destroy target white creature. It can't be regenerated.
, Hunting Drake
Hunting Drake
Hunting DrakeSet: Planeshift
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Drake
Rarity:
C
Number:
27
Artist:
Wayne England
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying. When Hunting Drake comes into play, put target red or green creature on top of its owner's library.
, and two bounce spells. That’s really, really nice. Take a look through those cards, and try to guess the day’s MVP. Magma Burst
Magma Burst
Magma BurstSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
66
Artist:
Bradley Williams
Text:
Kicker-Sacrifice two lands. (You may sacrifice two lands in addition to any other costs as you play this spell.) Magma Burst deals 3 damage to target creature or player. If you paid the kicker cost, Magma Burst deals 3 damage to another target creature or player.
? Won me a couple of games, but not it. Flametongue Kavu
Flametongue Kavu
Flametongue KavuSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Kavu
Rarity:
U
Number:
60
Artist:
Pete Venters
Power:
4
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Flametongue Kavu comes into play, it deals 4 damage to target creature.
? Really strong, but not the best. The right answer is Tidal Visionary
Tidal Visionary
Tidal VisionarySet: Invasion
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
80
Artist:
Glen Angus
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Target creature becomes the color of your choice until end of turn.
. Once that hit the table, my opponent couldn’t use black removal, couldn’t avoid my black removal, and couldn’t rely on protection from a color. To add insult to injury, Tidal Visionary
Tidal Visionary
Tidal VisionarySet: Invasion
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
80
Artist:
Glen Angus
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Target creature becomes the color of your choice until end of turn.
took Phyrexian Bloodstock
Phyrexian Bloodstock
Phyrexian BloodstockSet: Planeshift
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
50
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
When Phyrexian Bloodstock leaves play, destroy target white creature. It can't be regenerated.
from good to amazing, and Slingshot Goblin
Slingshot Goblin
Slingshot GoblinSet: Planeshift
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Goblin
Rarity:
C
Number:
72
Artist:
Jeff Easley
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
R, T: Slingshot Goblin deals 2 damage to target blue creature.
from good to serious MVP contender.

The first card I saw that impressed me looking at the cards was Metathran Aerostat
Metathran Aerostat
Metathran AerostatSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ship
Rarity:
R
Number:
61
Artist:
Greg Staples
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying XU: You may put a creature card with converted mana cost X from your hand into play. If you do, return Metathran Aerostat to its owner's hand.
. After all, it’s a 2/2 flier with an ability that makes it hard to remove. In play, however, the Aerostat was never that useful, and I never took advantage of its ability.

In a typical game, my opponent would come out faster than I did. I would player bigger and better creatures, Probe
Probe
ProbeSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
66
Artist:
Eric Peterson
Text:
Kicker 1B (You may pay an additional 1B as you play this spell.)Draw three cards, then discard two cards from your hand.If you paid the kicker cost, target player discards two cards from his or her hand.
, remove my opponent’s creatures, then attack. My opponent would play a creature on his or her turn, and I’d remove it and attack on my turn. The deck just rolled over people.

Marcus and I played a few practice games, and I was winning something like 80 to 90 percent of them. Unfortunately, I kept making really stupid mistakes. I’d forget that the Harpy has gating and play it as my only creature. I’d tap the wrong mana and keep red open when I controlled an Urborg Skeleton
Urborg Skeleton
Urborg SkeletonSet: Invasion
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Skeleton
Rarity:
C
Number:
134
Artist:
Alan Pollack
Power:
0
Toughness:
1
Text:
Kicker 3 (You may pay an additional 3 as you play this spell.)B: Regenerate Urborg Skeleton.If you paid the kicker cost, Urborg Skeleton comes into play with a +1/+1 counter on it.
and could have left a swamp untapped. I was very, very dumb. Fortunately, I decided to make all my mistakes in practice, and I played very well during the actual tournament.

Round 1 (vs. Tom Magyarodi):

Tom comes out pretty fast with a U/W/B deck I learned featured Dromar. In the first game I play Slingshot Goblin
Slingshot Goblin
Slingshot GoblinSet: Planeshift
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Goblin
Rarity:
C
Number:
72
Artist:
Jeff Easley
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
R, T: Slingshot Goblin deals 2 damage to target blue creature.
, Phyrexian Bloodstock
Phyrexian Bloodstock
Phyrexian BloodstockSet: Planeshift
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
50
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
When Phyrexian Bloodstock leaves play, destroy target white creature. It can't be regenerated.
, and Tidal Visonary to Tom’s Galina’s Knight, Samite Pilgrim
Samite Pilgrim
Samite PilgrimSet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cleric
Rarity:
C
Number:
15
Artist:
D.J. Cleland-Hura
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Prevent the next X damage that would be dealt to target creature this turn, where X is the number of basic land types among lands you control.
, and one other creature, as well as an Angelic Shield
Angelic Shield
Angelic ShieldSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
228
Artist:
Adam Rex
Text:
Creatures you control get +0/+1.Sacrifice Angelic Shield: Return target creature to its owner's hand.
. Tom plays a Vodalian Serpent
Vodalian Serpent
Vodalian SerpentSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Serpent
Rarity:
C
Number:
86
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Kicker 2 (You may pay an additional 2 as you play this spell.)Vodalian Serpent can't attack unless defending player controls an island.If you paid the kicker cost, Vodalian Serpent comes into play with four +1/+1 counters on it.
with kicker, but I draw a Cavern Harpy
Cavern Harpy
Cavern HarpySet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
C
Number:
97
Artist:
Daren Bader
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying. When Cavern Harpy comes into play, return a blue or black creature you control to its owner's hand. Pay 1 life: Return Cavern Harpy to its owner's hand.
and use the Tidal Visionary
Tidal Visionary
Tidal VisionarySet: Invasion
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
80
Artist:
Glen Angus
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Target creature becomes the color of your choice until end of turn.
to turn the Serpent white then bounce the Bloodstock. After I target the Serpent, Tom bounces it by sacrificing the Angelic Shield
Angelic Shield
Angelic ShieldSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
228
Artist:
Adam Rex
Text:
Creatures you control get +0/+1.Sacrifice Angelic Shield: Return target creature to its owner's hand.
. When Tom replays the Serpent, I repeat the play and kill it. Eventually, I overwhelm him. I lack red mana early in the game. I only have one mountain, and it would have been nice to use Slingshot Goblin
Slingshot Goblin
Slingshot GoblinSet: Planeshift
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Goblin
Rarity:
C
Number:
72
Artist:
Jeff Easley
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
R, T: Slingshot Goblin deals 2 damage to target blue creature.
and cast Zap
Zap
ZapSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
180
Artist:
John Matson
Text:
Zap deals 1 damage to target creature or player.Draw a card.
, but that isn’t possible.

In game two, Tom keeps a one-land hand and never really puts up any resistance. He tells me he kept it because he was holding Dromar. I don’t agree with that decision.

Tom made a couple of mistakes during play, such as attacking into a bad block. I let him take these moves back when he asks. To be honest, I doubt that I would have done that had the game been a bit closer.

Matches: 1-0
Games: 2-0

Round 2 (vs. Trent Rogers): Trent is playing U/B/R. I win the first game by eliminating his creatures while attacking with a Mire Kavu
Mire Kavu
Mire KavuSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Kavu
Rarity:
C
Number:
67
Artist:
Wayne England
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
Text:
Mire Kavu gets +1/+1 as long as you control a swamp.
and one other 1/1. For the second game, I side in the Planeswalker Scorn for the Phyrexian Bloodstock
Phyrexian Bloodstock
Phyrexian BloodstockSet: Planeshift
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
50
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
When Phyrexian Bloodstock leaves play, destroy target white creature. It can't be regenerated.
. The game is quite close, with the lead going back and forth. I draw the Scorn, and make good use of it, killing three creatures in three tries. I play a Stormscape Familiar
Stormscape Familiar
Stormscape FamiliarSet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bird
Rarity:
C
Number:
36
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying. White spells and black spells you play cost 1 less to play.
, and attack with it every turn. Trent keeps playing creatures, but I kill them and attack each turn. On one of the uses of the Planeswalker Scorn, I see a Spinal Embrace
Spinal Embrace
Spinal EmbraceSet: Invasion
Cost:
6
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
276
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
Play Spinal Embrace only during combat.Untap target creature you don't control and gain control of it. It gains haste until end of turn. At end of turn, sacrifice it. If you do, you gain life equal to its toughness. (The creature may attack and T the turn it comes under your control.)
. I’m holding a Duskwalker
Duskwalker
DuskwalkerSet: Invasion
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Minion
Rarity:
C
Number:
104
Artist:
David Martin
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Kicker 3B (You may pay an additional 3B as you play this spell.)If you paid the kicker cost, Duskwalker comes into play with two +1/+1 counters on it and has Duskwalker can't be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or black creatures.
and a Zap
Zap
ZapSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
180
Artist:
John Matson
Text:
Zap deals 1 damage to target creature or player.Draw a card.
. I play the Duskwalker
Duskwalker
DuskwalkerSet: Invasion
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Minion
Rarity:
C
Number:
104
Artist:
David Martin
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Kicker 3B (You may pay an additional 3B as you play this spell.)If you paid the kicker cost, Duskwalker comes into play with two +1/+1 counters on it and has Duskwalker can't be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or black creatures.
without the kicker. When Trent tries to Embrace the Familiar to block the Duskwalker
Duskwalker
DuskwalkerSet: Invasion
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Minion
Rarity:
C
Number:
104
Artist:
David Martin
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Kicker 3B (You may pay an additional 3B as you play this spell.)If you paid the kicker cost, Duskwalker comes into play with two +1/+1 counters on it and has Duskwalker can't be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or black creatures.
, I Zap
Zap
ZapSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
180
Artist:
John Matson
Text:
Zap deals 1 damage to target creature or player.Draw a card.
the Familiar in response, and that pretty much locks up the game.

Matches: 2-0
Games: 4-0

Round 3 (vs. Mauro Bongiovanni):

Mauro is the Canadian for whom this article is named. The reason for his prominent placement will soon become apparent. This is Mauro’s first match. He got two byes based on his high ranking. Apparently, he was four DCI points short of qualifying for Barcelona based on his rating.

In the first game, I get ahead, then decide to play conservatively. Mauro starts to stabilize, but I manage to win in a long game. I again side the Scorn in for the Bloodstock.

In the second game, Mauro has a Hooded Kavu
Hooded Kavu
Hooded KavuSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Kavu
Rarity:
C
Number:
147
Artist:
John Howe
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
B: Hooded Kavu can't be blocked this turn except by artifact creatures and/or black creatures.
, which has a quite useful ability against my Shoreline Raider
Shoreline Raider
Shoreline RaiderSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Merfolk
Rarity:
C
Number:
73
Artist:
Nelson DeCastro
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Protection from Kavu
. Mauro keeps up the pressure, and I can’t keep up. He delivers me my first game loss.

Mauro seems mana-screwed in the third game, but he puts up quite a good fight. My deck starts to roll, and I beat him with big creatures backed up with removal for his blockers.

After the match, Mauro points out that if you win the flip and choose to draw firt (as I did) then you do not need to mulligan first, you can wait until your opponent chooses whether or not to mulligan. That was nice of him.

Matches: 3-0
Games: 6-1

Round 4 (vs. Mary Rochelle):

Mary has come to Detroit from college in Philadelphia. She’s come to Philadelphia from Tennessee. This is Mary’s first match, since she won a GP Trial, and she tells me she’s quite nervous, but it isn’t apparent in her play.

In game one, I have no red mana, and I struggle for a while. Mary brings me down to six life, then I play a Flametongue Kavu
Flametongue Kavu
Flametongue KavuSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Kavu
Rarity:
U
Number:
60
Artist:
Pete Venters
Power:
4
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Flametongue Kavu comes into play, it deals 4 damage to target creature.
to kill a Duskwalker
Duskwalker
DuskwalkerSet: Invasion
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Minion
Rarity:
C
Number:
104
Artist:
David Martin
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Kicker 3B (You may pay an additional 3B as you play this spell.)If you paid the kicker cost, Duskwalker comes into play with two +1/+1 counters on it and has Duskwalker can't be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or black creatures.
and a Shoreline Runner to block her Caldera Kavu
Caldera Kavu
Caldera KavuSet: Planeshift
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Kavu
Rarity:
C
Number:
58
Artist:
Arnie Swekel
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
1B: Caldera Kavu gets +1/+1 until end of turn. G: Caldera Kavu becomes the color of your choice until end of turn.
. I kill her Kavu next turn, then I attack for nine for two turns. She concedes before my final attack phase.

In game two, Mary draws too much mana. I keep attacking with weenies, and I kill every creature she plays by drawing a ton of removal.

Matches: 4-0
Games: 8-1

At this point, I start thinking about how I have to do for the next few matches to draw in. I figure if I win the next two I can draw in. I’m pretty sure that I won’t make it at 6-2.

Round 5 (vs. Scott Valastyan):

Scott has one four consecutive rounds, having a bye for his first.

In the first game, Scott gets an early lead, but my removal stops him in his tracks. Scott plays a Reckless Assault
Reckless Assault
Reckless AssaultSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
263
Artist:
Jeff Easley
Text:
1, Pay 2 life: Reckless Assault deals 1 damage to target creature or player.
, which I have no way of dealing with, but I just keep playing threats and Scott can’t kill all of them because of the life cost.

In game two, I’m leading, at fourteen life to Scott’s five. Scott’s removal kicks in and he keeps bouncing my creatures. I have eight mana, but I’ve got so many creatures in hand that I wish I had more. I get down to four life to Scott’s three, with Scott having a 1/1 creature and 2/2, and me having a Cavern Harpy
Cavern Harpy
Cavern HarpySet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
C
Number:
97
Artist:
Daren Bader
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying. When Cavern Harpy comes into play, return a blue or black creature you control to its owner's hand. Pay 1 life: Return Cavern Harpy to its owner's hand.
and Vodalian Trader. Scott also has a Reckless Assault
Reckless Assault
Reckless AssaultSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
263
Artist:
Jeff Easley
Text:
1, Pay 2 life: Reckless Assault deals 1 damage to target creature or player.
. Scott attacks with both of his creatures and Rushing River
Rushing River
Rushing RiverSet: Planeshift
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
30
Artist:
Don Hazeltine
Text:
Kicker-Sacrifice a land. (You may sacrifice a land in addition to any other costs as you play this spell.) Return target nonland permanent to its owner's hand. If you paid the kicker cost, return another target nonland permanent to its owner's hand.
s both of mine. If I let him hit me, he can Reckless Assault
Reckless Assault
Reckless AssaultSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
263
Artist:
Jeff Easley
Text:
1, Pay 2 life: Reckless Assault deals 1 damage to target creature or player.
me, so I Zap
Zap
ZapSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
180
Artist:
John Matson
Text:
Zap deals 1 damage to target creature or player.Draw a card.
the 1/1 and go to two. Scott shoots me with the Assault taking us both to one, and then shoots me again. I start to go into my annoying pedagogical mode to tell him this kills him first, but he knows and doesn’t put up a fight. I kind of wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t known. Perhaps Scott would have told me that he was dead, and he just wanted to see what would happen. Perhaps he would have not. I’m not sure if not telling me would have been technically legal but ultimately shady play, or if it would have been illegal.

Matches: 5-0
Games: 10-1

Round 6 (vs. Kurt Fruth):

Kurt had no byes, and has got this far though good play and an excellent deck.

In the first game, I’m doing pretty well, attacking with weenies and am ahead, but Kurt locks the ground with a Benalish Heralds
Benalish Heralds
Benalish HeraldsSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Soldier
Rarity:
U
Number:
6
Artist:
Don Hazeltine
Power:
2
Toughness:
4
Text:
3U, T: Draw a card.
and then plays a Plague Spitter
Plague Spitter
Plague SpitterSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Horror
Rarity:
U
Number:
119
Artist:
Chippy
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, Plague Spitter deals 1 damage to each creature and each player.When Plague Spitter is put into a graveyard from play, Plague Spitter deals 1 damage to each creature and each player.
, clearing my side. Kurt goes on to kill me.

In the second game, I get ahead and decide to press tempo by using removal on every creature he plays, but I run out of burn just in time for Kurt to drop a Tsabo’s Assassin. That card is pretty good. I eventually get Planeswalker’s Scorn and eight mana, which I use to kill off several of his creatures, but his advantage is too great and he beats me for my first match loss.

Matches: 5-1
Games: 10-3

Round 7 (vs. Ped Bun):

This is my first match against a name I recognize. Ped is partially responsible for MaherOath, the powerful extended deck.

Ped Parises in the first game then keeps a one-land hand. I get a pretty crummy draw, but he has almost no resistance and I win.

I get Tidal Visionary
Tidal Visionary
Tidal VisionarySet: Invasion
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
80
Artist:
Glen Angus
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Target creature becomes the color of your choice until end of turn.
and Slingshot Goblin
Slingshot Goblin
Slingshot GoblinSet: Planeshift
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Goblin
Rarity:
C
Number:
72
Artist:
Jeff Easley
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
R, T: Slingshot Goblin deals 2 damage to target blue creature.
, so things look pretty good, but Ped plays Pyre Zombie
Pyre Zombie
Pyre ZombieSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
R
Number:
261
Artist:
Nelson DeCastro
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, if Pyre Zombie is in your graveyard, you may pay 1BB. If you do, return Pyre Zombie from your graveyard to your hand.1RR, Sacrifice Pyre Zombie: Pyre Zombie deals 2 damage to target creature or player.
, which I have no way of dealing with. Ped only has one red mana, so he can’t totally abuse it. I kill it every turn with the Visionary/Goblin combo, but that ties up those two creatures. I’m playing Cavern Harpy
Cavern Harpy
Cavern HarpySet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
C
Number:
97
Artist:
Daren Bader
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying. When Cavern Harpy comes into play, return a blue or black creature you control to its owner's hand. Pay 1 life: Return Cavern Harpy to its owner's hand.
and blocking with it, bouncing a Vodalian Trader, but I can’t get enough. At one point, he plays Seer’s Vision, and sees something like Magma Burst
Magma Burst
Magma BurstSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
66
Artist:
Bradley Williams
Text:
Kicker-Sacrifice two lands. (You may sacrifice two lands in addition to any other costs as you play this spell.) Magma Burst deals 3 damage to target creature or player. If you paid the kicker cost, Magma Burst deals 3 damage to another target creature or player.
, Flametongue Kavu
Flametongue Kavu
Flametongue KavuSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Kavu
Rarity:
U
Number:
60
Artist:
Pete Venters
Power:
4
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Flametongue Kavu comes into play, it deals 4 damage to target creature.
, Agonizing Demise
Agonizing Demise
Agonizing DemiseSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
92
Artist:
Mark Brill
Text:
Kicker 1R (You may pay an additional 1R as you play this spell.)Destroy target nonblack creature. It can't be regenerated. If you paid the kicker cost, Agonizing Demise deals damage equal to that creature's power to the creature's controller.
, Spite/Malice, and a couple of other decent cards. He Bog Down
Bog Down
Bog DownSet: Planeshift
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
39
Artist:
Andrew Goldhawk
Text:
Kicker-Sacrifice two lands. (You may sacrifice two lands in addition to any other costs as you play this spell.) Target player discards two cards from his or her hand. If you paid the kicker cost, that player discards three cards from his or her hand instead.
s with kicker, then forces me to discard the Kavu. Ped wins this game.

In game three, my deck decides it’s had enough of Ped, and just steps up. He plays a creature, and then I play removal and attack. He plays a creature, and then I play removal and attack. It seems like there’s nothing he can do. I bounce both of Ped’s creatures, a Sparring Golem
Sparring Golem
Sparring GolemSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Golem
Rarity:
U
Number:
312
Artist:
Adam Rex
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Whenever Sparring Golem becomes blocked, it gets +1/+1 until end of turn for each creature blocking it.
and a 1/1 weenie, then attack with a Duskwalker
Duskwalker
DuskwalkerSet: Invasion
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Minion
Rarity:
C
Number:
104
Artist:
David Martin
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Kicker 3B (You may pay an additional 3B as you play this spell.)If you paid the kicker cost, Duskwalker comes into play with two +1/+1 counters on it and has Duskwalker can't be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or black creatures.
and Tidal Visionary
Tidal Visionary
Tidal VisionarySet: Invasion
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
80
Artist:
Glen Angus
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Target creature becomes the color of your choice until end of turn.
, bringing Ped to 1 life to my 15. On Ped’s turn, he plays a Pyre Zombie
Pyre Zombie
Pyre ZombieSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
R
Number:
261
Artist:
Nelson DeCastro
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, if Pyre Zombie is in your graveyard, you may pay 1BB. If you do, return Pyre Zombie from your graveyard to your hand.1RR, Sacrifice Pyre Zombie: Pyre Zombie deals 2 damage to target creature or player.
. On my turn, I turn the Zombie green then attack with the Duskwalker
Duskwalker
DuskwalkerSet: Invasion
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Minion
Rarity:
C
Number:
104
Artist:
David Martin
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Kicker 3B (You may pay an additional 3B as you play this spell.)If you paid the kicker cost, Duskwalker comes into play with two +1/+1 counters on it and has Duskwalker can't be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or black creatures.
, for the game and the opportunity to draw into day two.

I could have attacked with the Visionary, I suppose, but he might have been holding removal.

Matches: 6-1
Games: 12-4

I’m pretty pleased at this point. I’ve never gotten this far, and I’m looking forward to playing in day two. Then I run into Mauro, my Canadian opponent from round three. Mauro asks me if I’m planning on drawing into day two, and I tell him that, of course, I am. He points out:
a) If I draw, I’ll need to do fantastically on day two, 5-1. If I win, I’ll probably only need to do 4-2. (As it turns out after the tournament, 4-2 would have put me at 33 points, and I would have been between 7th and 9th place.)
b) Mauro tells me my deck is fantastic. He says his deck is good enough to play this round (he’s also at 6-1) and mine is better than his. (This is probably true.)

I mull over this and consider a couple of other things. Coming in the top 32 would net me $250 dollars. That would impress a few people, including my parents and girlfriend. If I draw, I have a decent, but not great chance of making the top 32.

I also consider the fact that I don’t have any experience drafting Planeshift, and my experience drafting Invasion is minimal. My draft deck might not be so good. On the other hand, my sealed deck was great.

Finally, I consider the fact that if I draw, I’ll have to come back the next day, and I’ll probably blow it. If I play, I’ll have to come back, and I’ll probably blow it, but I’ll still finish pretty well. 3-2-1 will probably put me in the top twelve, and will probably net me a PT Barcelona invite, which is my goal.

I weigh these things carefully and decide I’m going to play. Pretty much immediately afterwards, pairings are announced. I see my table, but don’t bother to look for my opponent. I proceed to table 18, and see my opponent...

Round 8 (vs. Michelle Bush):

Mighty Mighty Michelle Bush

I sit down, and Michelle asks me if I want to draw. I mull over the decision a little bit, but say no. Michelle is not pleased. People around me ask me if I know who Michelle is. I tell them I do. Michelle tells me I’m making a mistake. I tell her I’m not convinced.

Michelle is pretty annoyed. She makes it pretty clear that she was hoping to draw this round, and that I’m preventing her from sleeping, eating, and otherwise not playing round eight. I feel a twinge of guilt, but mostly, I'm scared. I’m not scared of Michelle Bush beating me. I scared I’m going to beat her, and make some enemies. I’m scared I’m going to infuriate Michelle and have an enemy for life. I’m also afraid that I’m going to beat her and make an enemy of all of Michelle’s fans, which includes, I think, everyone who follows Magic.

Now, having said that, I don’t want to give the impression I didn’t play my best game this round. I did everything I could to win. I didn’t (intentionally, at least) give Michelle an inch. I was afraid of winning, but I’m hugely competitive, and my goal, for this round at least, was to put Michelle at 6-2.

In the first game I had to Paris. Then, Michelle took the lead with Volcanic Imp. We both had kickered Duskwalker
Duskwalker
DuskwalkerSet: Invasion
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Minion
Rarity:
C
Number:
104
Artist:
David Martin
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Kicker 3B (You may pay an additional 3B as you play this spell.)If you paid the kicker cost, Duskwalker comes into play with two +1/+1 counters on it and has Duskwalker can't be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or black creatures.
s out, and we both had Cavern Harpies, and I had one other 2/2. I was stabilizing, and got down to one life. I played a Flametongue Kavu
Flametongue Kavu
Flametongue KavuSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Kavu
Rarity:
U
Number:
60
Artist:
Pete Venters
Power:
4
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Flametongue Kavu comes into play, it deals 4 damage to target creature.
and killed the Imp. I thought, “I might win this game.” I have 9 power worth of creatures ignoring the Harpy, mana untapped, and a Rushing River
Rushing River
Rushing RiverSet: Planeshift
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
30
Artist:
Don Hazeltine
Text:
Kicker-Sacrifice a land. (You may sacrifice a land in addition to any other costs as you play this spell.) Return target nonland permanent to its owner's hand. If you paid the kicker cost, return another target nonland permanent to its owner's hand.
in hand. She has two creatures, is at ten life. She’s going to attack with the Harpy, and I’m going to block with mine. I’ll block, and she’ll pay one life and go down to nine. She’ll replay the Harpy, then the Duskwalker
Duskwalker
DuskwalkerSet: Invasion
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Minion
Rarity:
C
Number:
104
Artist:
David Martin
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Kicker 3B (You may pay an additional 3B as you play this spell.)If you paid the kicker cost, Duskwalker comes into play with two +1/+1 counters on it and has Duskwalker can't be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or black creatures.
. At the end of her turn, I’ll bounce both of her creatures, then win the game.

Michelle tapped two mana before attacking and played Ravenous Rats
Ravenous Rats
Ravenous RatsSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat
Rarity:
C
Number:
68
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Ravenous Rats comes into play, target opponent chooses and discards a card from his or her hand.
. I discarded an Island
Island
IslandSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add U to your mana pool.
. Michelle attacked with the Harpy and I blocked with mine. She payed one life and went down to nine. She replayed the Harpy. In response, I bounced her Rats and Duskwalker
Duskwalker
DuskwalkerSet: Invasion
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Minion
Rarity:
C
Number:
104
Artist:
David Martin
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Kicker 3B (You may pay an additional 3B as you play this spell.)If you paid the kicker cost, Duskwalker comes into play with two +1/+1 counters on it and has Duskwalker can't be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or black creatures.
with the River. Michelle allows this to resolve, and returns the Harpy to her hand. I put the River in my graveyard. At this point, there’s a little commotion. Michelle asks if I sacrificed a land to pay the River’s kicker. I look in my graveyard, and the top cards are Rushing River
Rushing River
Rushing RiverSet: Planeshift
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
30
Artist:
Don Hazeltine
Text:
Kicker-Sacrifice a land. (You may sacrifice a land in addition to any other costs as you play this spell.) Return target nonland permanent to its owner's hand. If you paid the kicker cost, return another target nonland permanent to its owner's hand.
, then an Island
Island
IslandSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add U to your mana pool.
, then Cavern Harpy
Cavern Harpy
Cavern HarpySet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
C
Number:
97
Artist:
Daren Bader
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying. When Cavern Harpy comes into play, return a blue or black creature you control to its owner's hand. Pay 1 life: Return Cavern Harpy to its owner's hand.
. I remember discarding an Island
Island
IslandSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add U to your mana pool.
, and tell Michelle I must not have paid the kicker cost. Michelle (who is enraged, remember, about having to play) is a little angry about this situation and turns to the judge (who is watching this game since most people have agreed to draw.) I look through my graveyard and notice an Island
Island
IslandSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add U to your mana pool.
under the Harpy. The situation resolves without a problem.

Michelle replays the Rats, then the Harpy, then the Rats again. On my turn, if I draw removal, I’m in a good position. I can attack with everything, and Michelle will have to block because otherwise she’ll lose. I can remove the other creature after she attacks with it. I’m also looking good if I draw a flier. I can attack with everything, then play the flier to block the Harpy (or Rats if she chose to block with the Harpy and bounce it.) I untap and draw a land. I lose.

The next game is pretty similar. Michelle takes an early lead, and I stabilize at one life. This time, I have a hand full of removal, and some big creatures in play. Unfortunately, Michelle Death Bomb
Death Bomb
Death BombSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
41
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
As an additional cost to play Death Bomb, sacrifice a creature. Destroy target nonblack creature. It can't be regenerated. Its controller loses 2 life.
s my Mire Kavu
Mire Kavu
Mire KavuSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Kavu
Rarity:
C
Number:
67
Artist:
Wayne England
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
Text:
Mire Kavu gets +1/+1 as long as you control a swamp.
(sacrificing her only creature to do so.) If I’d had untapped mana, I could have killed the Kavu in response (which would have caused the Death Bomb
Death Bomb
Death BombSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
41
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
As an additional cost to play Death Bomb, sacrifice a creature. Destroy target nonblack creature. It can't be regenerated. Its controller loses 2 life.
to become countered.) Unfortunately, I had just tapped out to play the Kavu, and can only shake Michelle’s hand and wish her luck for the next day.

Michelle cheers up after winning the match. I mention that she seemed really, really annoyed at having to play. She tells me that she ´´played it up to intimidate me´´, and I guess that’s okay. One thing I didn’t enjoy this match was when the gathered crowd cheered after Michelle won the first game. Perhaps I’m just whining, but that seemed a little distasteful. I’m just some local scrub, and Michelle is the clear favorite to win. It’s not like I’m an experienced bully picking on Michelle and she’s the underdog in need of support.

I’m a little disappointed, but I’m pleased with my performance on the day. People congratulate me, and, writing this report, I see some plays I made that I’m pretty proud of (especially the Duskwalker
Duskwalker
DuskwalkerSet: Invasion
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Minion
Rarity:
C
Number:
104
Artist:
David Martin
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Kicker 3B (You may pay an additional 3B as you play this spell.)If you paid the kicker cost, Duskwalker comes into play with two +1/+1 counters on it and has Duskwalker can't be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or black creatures.
without kicker in game two of round two). I run into Mauro after my game with Michelle. He lost in round eight after choosing to play, and so he’s also missed day two. I jokingly tell him off for encouraging me to play and tell him I’ll see him again soon. Ratings come up, and I’m in 75th place, although 6-2 went as high as 57th place.

Looking back on the decision to play in round eight, I still think it was the right move. I think my odds in that game were better than my odds on day two. Or course, given the choice between losing in round eight and tying, I’d definitely choose to tie, but given what I thought my odds were (and what I still think my odds were) I think I’d choose to play. The next time I’m in this position (which might not be very soon) I might change my mind, but if I could have a do over, I’d go back to the game as opposed to the choice to play. ´´Blame Canada´´, probably isn’t the most accurate title for this article, considering the fact that I think the advice was good, but I think it was the most appropriate title.

Good luck to all the competitors who made it to Barcelona.


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