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CardShark Content - Chris Terry (9/22/2003)

I’m not the one to tell you how to build a deck. I lost my first match at the Mirrodin prerelease Saturday probably because I stuffed 44 or 45 cards, including a few overcosted ones, into the deck.

But I can give you some tips that will make people who have a clue not hate you and want to beat you up before your parents show up to pick you up.

Oh yeah, and I’ll briefly tell you non-tournament types how to do one of these things, seeing as this is only my third tournament (my first was at a pre-tournament qualifier in Rosemont. Got my butt handed to me by the best!)

Rule #1: Do not touch my life counter. Ever. You may think you are moving things along by adjusting my 20-sided die when you do damage to me but don’t reach across the table. I am patient, but seeing as many of my Magic opponents lack basic social skills, the next guy could slap or cut you for doing that. Yes, this happened to be by a little punk in round 4 who had a God card pool (Luminous Angel
Luminous Angel
Luminous AngelSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
7
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Angel
Rarity:
R
Number:
15
Artist:
Matthew D. Wilson
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying At the beginning of your upkeep, you may put a 1/1 white Spirit creature token with flying into play.
, Molder Slug
Molder Slug
Molder SlugSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
R
Number:
125
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Power:
4
Toughness:
6
Text:
At the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player sacrifices an artifact.
, Nuisance Engine
Nuisance Engine
Nuisance EngineSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
221
Artist:
Stephen Tappin
Text:
2, T: Put a 0/1 Pest artifact creature token into play.
, two Arrest
Arrest
ArrestSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
U
Number:
4
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Enchanted creature can't attack or block, and its activated abilities can't be played.
s – a monkey could have won with that deck).

Rule #2: Pay attention when it is time for your tournament to begin. We sat around waiting for one guy, who was over looking at vendors’ cards. Luckily, our judge knew the offender and found him. We were polite because it was late in the day, but in that first flight we would have strangled him.

Rule #3: Ooh and ahhh over the cards you are opening only AFTER you register them. I played two tournaments and both times got cards that were not alphabetized or sorted well and when I have to do that to verify my cards are all there, well that takes a big chunk of the 20 minutes I had to build a deck and I was not happy. By the way, why depress yourself over the cards you will likely NOT GET? Both tournaments, I opened great packs only to pass them to someone else.

Rule #4: Say “excuse me” instead of shoving your way through me. It makes a crowded cattle call that much more civilized.

Rule #5: Listen, Shut your mouth and listen to the overhead speaker. It is hard enough to hear directions in a crowded place when no one is talking. And you will open packs too early and screw it up for the rest of us. We have to wait long enough (2 hours if I recall) to even start a tournament after registering.

Rule #6: Do not sit next to your friend during a tournament match and ask him if he is going to play X or Y or Z card. You stopped in time but next time I will call the judge or beat you silly in the parking lot (NOTE to Cardshark fans and editors: This is a joke. I would only beat you serious. OK OK I am not going to beat you…probably. Just be nice. I am not advocating violence)

Rule #7: (and luckily I think most of the 350+ people playing in the first 5-round tournament adhered to this rule) Wear DEODERANT. In a hot sticky place where they have to run fans (which was a whole ‘nother story when you played next to one and had your top library card flip over), smell factor is a big distraction. Also do not eat too much Taco Bell if you know what I mean.

Rule #8: Do not tell me I made a bad play. Ask first. “Why did you use SHATTER on BONESPLITTER instead of SOUL FOUNDRY or any other artifact?” – even with the obvious irritation in your voice at losing to me – is a fine approach. I replied, “I didn’t see it sitting over there.” But really, I think I did and saw the cheaper-to-equip Bonesplitter
Bonesplitter
BonesplitterSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
C
Number:
146
Artist:
Darrell Riche
Text:
Equipped creature gets +2/+0. Equip 1 (1: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card comes into play unattached and stays in play if the creature leaves play.)
as a bigger threat than the Clockwork Condor
Clockwork Condor
Clockwork CondorSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Bird
Rarity:
C
Number:
154
Artist:
Arnie Swekel
Power:
0
Toughness:
0
Text:
Flying Clockwork Condor comes into play with three +1/+1 counters on it. Whenever Clockwork Condor attacks or blocks, remove a +1/+1 counter from it at end of combat.
-chump-blocker-token generator that cost 4 to use each time. Because I could deal with the condor each turn and you couldn’t play anything else. So there. Pltttttth. But seriously, NOT EVERYONE AT A PRERELEASE IS AN 1800-LEVEL PLAYER. Heck there were some complete newbies there. Be nice and they will continue playing and you will hopefully play against them and win. Ask them if they would mind some advice. At my disastrous PTQ in Rosemont (during Legions), my opponent said, “Do you mind if I look at your cards?” after I lost. I said “sure” and he gave me a great lesson on deck building. That was the way to go. Don’t force your “skills” or “knowledge” on me unless you are Kai Budde
Kai Budde
Kai BuddeSet: Promotional Other
Rarity:
P
Text:
Magic Pro Tour Player Card, four-time Player of the Year
(and you are not and never will be).

That is all.
Oh, so if you care: my results.

First 5-round tournament 2-2 and drop. My fixed red-green deck with 2 Fangren Hunter
Fangren Hunter
Fangren HunterSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
C
Number:
119
Artist:
Darrell Riche
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Trample
s (4/4 tramplers for 3GG) 2 Krark-Clan Grunts , Ogre Leadfoot
Ogre Leadfoot
Ogre LeadfootSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ogre
Rarity:
C
Number:
102
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Whenever Ogre Leadfoot becomes blocked by an artifact creature, destroy that creature.
, Rustmouth Ogre
Rustmouth Ogre
Rustmouth OgreSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
6
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ogre
Rarity:
U
Number:
103
Artist:
Brian Snoddy
Power:
5
Toughness:
4
Text:
Whenever Rustmouth Ogre deals combat damage to a player, you may destroy target artifact that player controls.
and a Fireshrieker
Fireshrieker
FireshriekerSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
U
Number:
171
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
Equipped creature has double strike. (It deals both first-strike and regular combat damage.) Equip 2 (2: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card comes into play unattached and stays in play if the creature leaves play.)
(doublestrike on my tramplers? OUCH), Dragon Blood
Dragon Blood
Dragon BloodSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
293
Artist:
Greg Simanson
Text:
3, T: Put a +1/+1 counter on target creature.
(add a counter to any Clockwork creature), Leonine Scimitar worked well together. I won the next two matches. Even when my third-round opponent lost in game 2 to manascrew, we fun-played the third game and I still won. It was a good deck until I ran into annoying monkey-deck boy, who had Luminesce
Luminesce
LuminesceSet: Coldsnap
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
14
Artist:
Daren Bader
Text:
Prevent all damage that black and or red sources would deal this turn.
nt Angel, 4/6 annoying, Nuisance Engine
Nuisance Engine
Nuisance EngineSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
221
Artist:
Stephen Tappin
Text:
2, T: Put a 0/1 Pest artifact creature token into play.
, the artifact-destroying Slug and 2 Arrest
Arrest
ArrestSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
U
Number:
4
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Enchanted creature can't attack or block, and its activated abilities can't be played.
s. My answer – an entwined Grab the Reins
Grab the Reins
Grab the ReinsSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
95
Artist:
Michael Sutfin
Text:
Choose one - Until end of turn, you gain control of target creature and it gains haste; or sacrifice a creature, then Grab the Reins deals damage equal to that creature's power to target creature or player. Entwine 2R (Choose both if you pay the entwine cost.)
– which would have let me control and sac his 4/6 to take out his angel, came one turn too late. Who knows if I could have taken him game 3. He had a tough deck to fight.

By the way, a very dangerous card in this sealed-deck format at least: Loxodon Warhammer
Loxodon Warhammer
Loxodon WarhammerSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
U
Number:
201
Artist:
Jeremy Jarvis
Text:
Equipped creature gets +3/+0, has trample, and has 'Whenever this creature deals damage, you gain that much life.' Equip 3 (3: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card comes into play unattached and stays in play if the creature leaves play.)
. If you get it, play it. If you draft it, take it. It hurts your opponent bad.

I lost the first match in my next 3-round tourney, played the 2nd match and lost because I was waiting for my friend to finish. The card pool stunk. I could barely put together a 2-card deck and I stuffed every artifact creature I could into it.

Thanks for reading! Have fun and play nice.


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