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CardShark Content - Eric Becker (2/10/2004)

With Friday’s release of Darksteel, there is sure to be a number of Darksteel booster drafts on the horizon. So, I figured I could help try to help all ya out with an article on the top picks of Darksteel. I’ve decided to only rank the commons for the obvious reason; they are the only cards you can plan on seeing throughout the draft. I’ve sorted out my picks by color and ranked cards according to my experience and the experience of others from the prerelease. So here goes…..

Black
1.Echoing Decay
Echoing Decay
Echoing DecaySet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
41
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Target creature and all other creatures with the same name as that creature get -2/-2 until end of turn.
– Removal is very important, sure this isn’t the best removal spell, heck it probably won’t kill a good creature, but its instant speed it huge during combat.
2.Essence Drain
Essence Drain
Essence DrainSet: Darksteel
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
43
Artist:
Tony Szczudlo
Text:
Essence Drain deals 3 damage to target creature or player and you gain 3 life.
– Again removal is needed even when its overcosted…..at least its splashable.
3. Dross Golem
Dross Golem
Dross GolemSet: Darksteel
Cost:
5
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Golem
Rarity:
C
Number:
119
Artist:
Adam Rex
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
Text:
Fear. Affinity for Swamps (This spell costs 1 less to play for each Swamp you control.)
– Turn 3 almost every game for a 3/2 fear creature. Still good even when fear isn’t too valuable.
4.Chittering Rats
Chittering Rats
Chittering RatsSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat
Rarity:
C
Number:
39
Artist:
Tom Wanerstrand
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Chittering Rats comes into play target opponent puts a card from his or her hand on top of his or her library.
– Solid. It’s a card advantage…great when an opponent is waiting for a land.
5.Grimclaw Bats
Grimclaw Bats
Grimclaw BatsSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bat
Rarity:
C
Number:
45
Artist:
Tom Wanerstrand
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying. B, Pay 1 life: Grimclaw Bats gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
– Not too helpful on the O, but can be a stud on the D. No matter what it’s a 1/1 flier for 2.

Green
1. Tangle
Tangle
TangleSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
213
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
Prevent all combat damage that would be dealt this turn.Attacking creatures don't untap during their controllers' next untap steps.
IEdvbGVt – In limited he’s a big creature fast, what else can I say 4 toughness.. often a 2 for one.
2. Echoing Courage
Echoing Courage
Echoing CourageSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
74
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Target creature and all other creatures with the same name as that creature get +2/+2 until end of turn.
–What can I say other than combat tricks.
3. Tangle
Tangle
TangleSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
213
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
Prevent all combat damage that would be dealt this turn.Attacking creatures don't untap during their controllers' next untap steps.
IFNwaWRlcg== – Surprise! I’ll block your annoying Drill-Skimmer.
4. Tel-Jilad Wolf –You’ll catch you’re opponent changing their attacks over and over for this 10th round pick.
5. Viridian Acolyte
Viridian Acolyte
Viridian AcolyteSet: Darksteel
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf Shaman
Rarity:
C
Number:
89
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
1,T: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. We have no sun to guide our dead so I send the prismatic flames of the spirit fires that show the souls their way. When I die I hope there is one left to guide my spirit home.
–Very useful when splashing a color for 2-3 cards.
6. Nourish
Nourish
NourishSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
78
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
You gain 6 life.
– that’s 6 life for 2. In limited that can be huge….but I’d rather have a decent creature.

Red
1. Echoing Ruin
Echoing Ruin
Echoing RuinSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
59
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Destroy target artifact and all other artifacts with the same name as that artifact.
– You’ll be happy to pull this, crush 2 golems at once, or maybe just one but you’ll still be happy.
2. Barbed Lightning
Barbed Lightning
Barbed LightningSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
55
Artist:
Hugh Jamieson
Text:
Choose one: Barbed Lightning deals 3 damage to target creature; or Barbed Lightning deals 3 damage to target player. Entwine 2.
– Finally, some fairly efficient creature removal. Kills just bout everything but the golems.
3. Oxidia Golem – Don’t underestimate him, he’s a frequent turn 4-5. You can probably play 3 maybe 4 since he’ll be overlooked.
4. Unforge
Unforge
UnforgeSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
71
Artist:
Kev Walter
Text:
Destroy target Equipment. If that Equipment was attached to a creature. Unforge deals 2 damage to that creature.
– Good but conditional…..don’t play more than 2
5. Krark Clan-Stoker – Call him Modular/Mana fun maker

Blue
1. Spire Golem
Spire Golem
Spire GolemSet: Darksteel
Cost:
6
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Golem
Rarity:
C
Number:
145
Artist:
Daren Bader
Power:
2
Toughness:
4
Text:
Affinity for Islands, Flying.
– 2/4 flier for 3-4 mana, great blocker too.
2. Veldaken Engineer – Gotta have love for the supporting cast. Suddenly off color golems are a good possibility.
3. Quicksliver Behemoth – Should read “upkeep 1-2 U, doesn’t tap to attack”
4. Echoing Truth
Echoing Truth
Echoing TruthSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
21
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Return target non-land permanent and all permanents that share a name with it to owner's hands.
– Bounce
5. Neurok Prodigy
Neurok Prodigy
Neurok ProdigySet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
26
Artist:
Puddnhead
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying. Discard an artifact card from your hand: Return Neurok Prodigy to owners hand.
– At 1 toughness he is very vulnerable to EVERYTHING, think of all those 1/1 fliers in the set.

White
1. Razor Golem
Razor Golem
Razor GolemSet: Darksteel
Cost:
6
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Golem
Rarity:
C
Number:
137
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Power:
3
Toughness:
4
Text:
Affinity for Plains (This spell costs 1 less to play for each Plains you control. Attacking doesn't cause Razor Golem to tap.
– If you’re playing against him kill him immediately cause he is just that good.
2. Auriok Glavemaster – Just be careful don’t draft him unless you’ve got some good equipment, if you got some good equipment he is great.
3. Pterodan Ghost – 1/1 flier for 2, with a built in Welding Jar
Welding Jar
Welding JarSet: Mirrodin
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
C
Number:
274
Artist:
Mark Brill
Text:
Sacrifice Welding Jar: Regenerate target artifact.

4. Loxodon Mystic
Loxodon Mystic
Loxodon MysticSet: Darksteel
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elephant Cleric
Rarity:
C
Number:
7
Artist:
Ed Beard
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
W, T: Tap target creature.
– Slow, but effective.

Artifacts
1. Vulshok Morningstar
Vulshok Morningstar
Vulshok MorningstarSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
C
Number:
157
Artist:
David Martin
Text:
Equipped Creature gets +2/+2 Equip 2
– Its not a bonesplitter, but that added toughness is HUGE, it makes golems just unstoppable.
2. Arcbound Bruiser
Arcbound Bruiser
Arcbound BruiserSet: Darksteel
Cost:
5
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
94
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Power:
0
Toughness:
0
Text:
Modular 3 (This comes into play with three +1/+1 counters on it. When it's put into a graveyard, you may put its +1/+1 counters on target artifact creature.)
– 3/3 for 5 isn’t that bad in limited. Modular makes it great, especially when you’ve got a golem out
3. Whipersilk Cloak – With this you can make neurok spies out of any creature but at the cost of an extra card….great for dealing the last 5-10 damage
4. Leonin Bola
Leonin Bola
Leonin BolaSet: Darksteel
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
C
Number:
127
Artist:
Chris Moeller
Text:
Equipped creature has T Unattach Leonin Bola: Tap target creature. 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.)
– Free up an attack or D up
5. Arcbound Hyrbid – Don’t underestimate Modular
6. Arcbound Stinger
Arcbound Stinger
Arcbound StingerSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
103
Artist:
Vance Kovacs
Power:
0
Toughness:
0
Text:
Flying. Modular 1(This comes into play with one +1/+1 counters on it. When it's put into the graveyard, you may put its +1/+1 counters on target artifact creature)
– Evasion/modular/flying/2 mana
7. Drill-Skimmer – Evasion/non-modular/flying/4 mana
8. Darksteel Pendant
Darksteel Pendant
Darksteel PendantSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
C
Number:
113
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
Darksteel Pendant is indestructable. (Destroy effects and lethal damage don't destroy it.) 1 T: Look at the top card of your library. You may put that card on the bottom of your library.
– Deckthinning

Other things to note about drafting Darksteel:
- Its half the size of Mirrodin, meaning you’ve got twice the chance of seeing a certain card.
- Artifacts lands won’t be abundant
- It is possible to play off-color golems

Well, that’s the basics for drafting Darksteel. Good luck and enjoy the tourneys.


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