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CardShark Content - Earl Burbridge (2/18/2002)

Hi, my name's Earl Burbridge, and I'm a Magic addict.

You know, I've been thinking a lot about what Magic was like when I first started playing. It was right before Fallen Empires, in the time where it was extremely tough to get a booster of ANYTHING. The basic set was Revised, and for a while, until Fallen Empires was released, the format being played in the now departed comic shop that I visited was ´´Revised Constructed.´´ It wasn't ACTUALLY called that, but it was, in truth, what was being played.

My first few attempts at deckbuilding were bad. Really bad. I just threw some white cards, including Serra Angel
Serra Angel
Serra AngelSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Angel
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying Attacking does not cause Serra Angel to tap.
, and some black cards, including Sengir Vampire
Sengir Vampire
Sengir VampireSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Anson Maddocks
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
FlyingVampire gets a +1/+1 counter each time a creature dies during a turn in which Vampire damaged it.
, together. I didn't know anything about mana curves, or card advantage, or any ideas that modern deck builders take for granted. The deck did badly, of course. So I tweaked it by... wait for it... adding in all of the Circles of Protection.

What does this have to do with anything today? Not much, in theory, but I still look back on that deck with fond memories. It was what got me addicted to this game for years. The thing is, if it wasn't for one of the most reviled decks ever, I would have probably quit Magic in frustration.

Think now. What deck would a guy who loves beatdown have played right after the release of Fallen Empires?

Channel
Channel
ChannelSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Richard Thomas
Text:
Until end of turn, you may add colorless mana to your mana pool at a cost of 1 life per point of mana. These additions are played with the speed of an interrupt. Effects that prevent or redirect damage may not be used to counter this loss of life.
ball, of course.

How many of you out there remember the thrills of ´´Turn one: Forest
Forest
ForestSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add G to your mana pool.
, elf. Turn two mountain, Kird Ape
Kird Ape
Kird ApeSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ape
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Ken Meyer, Jr.
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
While controller has forests in play, Kird Ape gains +1/+2.
, turn three, attack with ape, channel 19, fireball for 20.´´

Well, it was fun when YOU were the guy playing red/green. Red/Green, at the time, was unbelievable. Aside from the Channel
Channel
ChannelSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Richard Thomas
Text:
Until end of turn, you may add colorless mana to your mana pool at a cost of 1 life per point of mana. These additions are played with the speed of an interrupt. Effects that prevent or redirect damage may not be used to counter this loss of life.
and Ball, we had 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, we had Kird Ape
Kird Ape
Kird ApeSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ape
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Ken Meyer, Jr.
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
While controller has forests in play, Kird Ape gains +1/+2.
s, we had Juggernaut
Juggernaut
JuggernautSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Power:
5
Toughness:
3
Text:
Must attack each turn if possible. Can't be blocked by walls.
s, we had Kird Ape
Kird Ape
Kird ApeSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ape
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Ken Meyer, Jr.
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
While controller has forests in play, Kird Ape gains +1/+2.
s, we had Ernham. We had it all. I loved my deck, I loved it so much, that I still have it, and crack it out every once in a while, saying ´´Hey, do you want to play against the second deck I ever built?´´

Of course, my love affair with cheese ended. I was playing against a guy who was playing islands. ISLANDS! HA! What did the mighty burn have to fear from Island
Island
IslandSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add U to your mana pool.
s?

I remember the game as if it was yesterday... Not who I was playing against, unfortunately, but I remember the game.

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

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

Me: Flying Man? What's that?

Him: It's a 1/1 flier.

Me: Like a Scrub Sprite. Gotcha. Mountain
Mountain
MountainSet: Arabian Nights
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Tap to add R to your mana pool.
, Kird Ape
Kird Ape
Kird ApeSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ape
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Ken Meyer, Jr.
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
While controller has forests in play, Kird Ape gains +1/+2.
, go.

Him: Island
Island
IslandSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add U to your mana pool.
. Attack with the Man. Go.

Me: Attack with the ape. 18?

Him: Yep.

Me: Channel
Channel
ChannelSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Richard Thomas
Text:
Until end of turn, you may add colorless mana to your mana pool at a cost of 1 life per point of mana. These additions are played with the speed of an interrupt. Effects that prevent or redirect damage may not be used to counter this loss of life.
for 18, fireball you...

Him: Counterspell
Counterspell
CounterspellSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Counters target spell as it is being cast.
.

Me: What's that do?

And so, at an early point, I learned to hate islands. Hate them with a passion. Hate blue so much, that even now, I try to avoid playing blue, if at all possible.

I can hear you out there, asking ´´What does this have to do with anything?´´ I'll tell you what it has to do. I'd like to hear from some of you, hear what YOUR first competitive decks were. And how they influenced your play style. E-mail me at ayeembored@hotmail.com, and I might just let you fill some space in one of my future columns.

*****

Now, for the other shoe. It seems that as soon as I finish a column, something signifigant happens in the Magic world. This time, there's two things.

First off, I'm going to touch on the cancelation of APAC and Latin America championships. At first glance, these moves don't seem like much, although a person who lives in either of the regions effected would disagree with me. However, combine the cancelations with Pro Tour New York being Pro Tour Boston, and Pro Tour Chicago now being Pro Tour Houston, I've got a sinking feeling in my gut, a feeling that someone in a place of power has decided to start phasing out high-level tournaments. We have little changes, to begin with. Two Pro Tours moved to less expensive cities. The cancelation of APACs. Cancel
Cancel
CancelSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
51
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Counter target spell.
lation of Latin America. Heck, if you look back, it wouldn't be hard to add the end of Topdeck magazine to this list. Little, cost cutting things. Things that might not seem like much, but if they continue WILL add up.

I don't think that I'd be exaggerating if I said that THE biggest lure of Magic is the possibility to win prizes in tournaments. It's part of the addiction. Prizes are the carrot that is dangled in front of all of us. And, once a person gets skilled enough to win on the local level, PTQ's shine in their eyes. In some, an obsession to make the Pro Tour begins to build. It's the drive to become a ´´pro´´ that motivates many, many players. However, with the slow chipping away at the prestige of the Pro Tour, that drive will become less. And that's a bad thing.

Second, we have the departure of Scott Johns from Brainburst. Financial difficulties are the reason. I was one of many readers who followed Scott from Mindripper to Brainburst. Brainburst went from a site that was nearly unreadable to THE place to go on the net for Magic commentary. Here's hoping that Brainburst gets funding, and can re-hire Scott. The Magic community doesn't need to see another resource disappear.

*****

And that wraps it up for this week. Next week, I PROMISE I'll show you the first, maybe second, iteration of the OBC deck I'm working on. And we'll work on it together, okay?


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