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CardShark Content - Ernest Lin (5/19/2005)

Many tournament based decks I’ve seen these days lack flavor or connection between cards. The novels of the Kamigawa Block introduced a very interesting protagonist in Toshiro Umezawa
Toshiro Umezawa
Toshiro UmezawaSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Human Samurai
Rarity:
R
Number:
89
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Bushido 1 (When this blocks or becomes blocked, it gets +1/+1 until end of turn.) Whenever a creature an opponent controls is put into a graveyard from play, you may play target instant card in your graveyard. If that card would be put into a graveyard this turn, remove it from the game instead.
. As a character, he is quite the charismatic and sneaky, which makes his persona all the more likable. After reading the novels I bet many people have thought in their mind, “What can I do to make a deck based on the novel?” No doubt, I had the same thought going through my mind after finishing the second book. With Saviors of Kamigawa is only a few weeks away, I am very excited at the potential that this deck will have in block competition. So, with no further adieu, let’s talk about the deck itself.

The deck itself links the characters Toshiro Umezawa
Toshiro Umezawa
Toshiro UmezawaSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Human Samurai
Rarity:
R
Number:
89
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Bushido 1 (When this blocks or becomes blocked, it gets +1/+1 until end of turn.) Whenever a creature an opponent controls is put into a graveyard from play, you may play target instant card in your graveyard. If that card would be put into a graveyard this turn, remove it from the game instead.
, Heartless Hidetsugu
Heartless Hidetsugu
Heartless HidetsuguSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Ogre Shaman
Rarity:
R
Number:
107
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
4
Toughness:
3
Text:
T: Heartless Hidetsugu deals to each player damage equal to half that player's life total, rounded down.
, and Kiku, Night’s Flower. These three characters were all Hyozan Reckoners in the novel, and work surprisingly well together. Kiku, with her ability to use an opponent’s creature’s power against itself, is a great way to activate Toshiro’s ability. Hidetsugu, on the other hand, gives you the option of a one turn kill combo, as well as a decent beatstick. The other Reckoner that I left out of the deck is Marrow-Gnawer, but that’s because we’re not going with rats in this build. With Toshiro’s ability to play an instant from your graveyard any time an opponent’s monster goes to the graveyard from play, I thought to myself, “Red would be the best color to play with!” In this deck we want to abuse as many instants as possible, and have the instants be able to win the game for us as well.

Let’s take a look at the list of candidates for red instants:

Glacial Ray
Glacial Ray
Glacial RaySet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Number:
168
Artist:
Jim Murray
Text:
Glacial Ray deals 2 damage to target creature or player. Splice onto Arcane 1R (As you play an Arcane spell, you may reveal this card from your hand and pay its splice cost. If you do, add this card's effects to that spell.)
– 2 damage and spliceable. It definitely goes in.
Overblaze
Overblaze
OverblazeSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
U
Number:
114
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Each time target permanent would deal damage to a creature or player this turn, it deals double that damage to that creature or player instead. Splice onto Arcane 2RR (As you play an Arcane spell, you may reveal this card from your hand and pay its splice cost. If you do, add this card's effects to that spell.)
– The instant kill combo with Hidetsugu makes it a staple in any deck that plays him.
First Volley
First Volley
First VolleySet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Number:
100
Artist:
Glen Angus
Text:
First Volley deals 1 damage to target creature and 1 damage to that creature's controller.
– Good early removal when it's wasteful to use your Rend Flesh
Rend Flesh
Rend FleshSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Number:
140
Artist:
Stephen Tappin
Text:
Destroy target non-Spirit creature.
es and Whispers on 1 toughness creatures.

The black spells:

Horobi’s Whisper – Creature hate = good. I wouldn’t splice this in this deck though.
Rend Flesh
Rend Flesh
Rend FleshSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Number:
140
Artist:
Stephen Tappin
Text:
Destroy target non-Spirit creature.
– More creature hate.
Goryo’s Vengeance
Vengeance
VengeanceSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Keith Parkinson
Text:
Destroy any one tapped creature.
– Reusable recursion is very good.

The Jitte: Toshiro’s favorite weapon. Put it on an Ogre Marauder
Ogre Marauder
Ogre MarauderSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ogre Warrior
Rarity:
U
Number:
75
Artist:
Adam Rex
Power:
3
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever Ogre Marauder attacks, it can't be blocked this turn unless defending player sacrifices a creature.
and you force your opponent to choose between activating Toshiro’s ability, or Jitte’s counters.

Here’s the deck list:

Creatures - 17

4x Hearth Kami
Hearth Kami
Hearth KamiSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Number:
171
Artist:
Luca Zontini
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
X, Sacrifice Hearth Kami: Destroy target artifact with converted mana cost X.

4x Ogre Marauder
Ogre Marauder
Ogre MarauderSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ogre Warrior
Rarity:
U
Number:
75
Artist:
Adam Rex
Power:
3
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever Ogre Marauder attacks, it can't be blocked this turn unless defending player sacrifices a creature.


3x Kiku, Night's Flower
Kiku, Night's Flower
Kiku, Night's FlowerSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Human Assassin
Rarity:
R
Number:
121
Artist:
Jim Murray
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
2BB, T: Target creature deals damage to itself equal to its power.

3x Toshiro Umezawa
Toshiro Umezawa
Toshiro UmezawaSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Human Samurai
Rarity:
R
Number:
89
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Bushido 1 (When this blocks or becomes blocked, it gets +1/+1 until end of turn.) Whenever a creature an opponent controls is put into a graveyard from play, you may play target instant card in your graveyard. If that card would be put into a graveyard this turn, remove it from the game instead.

3x Heartless Hidetsugu
Heartless Hidetsugu
Heartless HidetsuguSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Ogre Shaman
Rarity:
R
Number:
107
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
4
Toughness:
3
Text:
T: Heartless Hidetsugu deals to each player damage equal to half that player's life total, rounded down.


Spells - 21

4x Rend Flesh
Rend Flesh
Rend FleshSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Number:
140
Artist:
Stephen Tappin
Text:
Destroy target non-Spirit creature.

4x Glacial Ray
Glacial Ray
Glacial RaySet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Number:
168
Artist:
Jim Murray
Text:
Glacial Ray deals 2 damage to target creature or player. Splice onto Arcane 1R (As you play an Arcane spell, you may reveal this card from your hand and pay its splice cost. If you do, add this card's effects to that spell.)

3x Overblaze
Overblaze
OverblazeSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
U
Number:
114
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Each time target permanent would deal damage to a creature or player this turn, it deals double that damage to that creature or player instead. Splice onto Arcane 2RR (As you play an Arcane spell, you may reveal this card from your hand and pay its splice cost. If you do, add this card's effects to that spell.)

3x First Volley
First Volley
First VolleySet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Number:
100
Artist:
Glen Angus
Text:
First Volley deals 1 damage to target creature and 1 damage to that creature's controller.

2x Horobi’s Whisper
2x Goryo’s Vengeance
Vengeance
VengeanceSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Keith Parkinson
Text:
Destroy any one tapped creature.


3x Umezawa's Jitte
Umezawa's Jitte
Umezawa's JitteSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Legendary Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
R
Number:
163
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage, put two charge counters on Umezawa's Jitte. Remove a charge counter from Umezawa's Jitte Choose one — Equipped creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn; or target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn; or you gain 2 life. Equip 2


Land - 22

9x Mountain
Mountain
MountainSet: Arabian Nights
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Tap to add R to your mana pool.

11x Swamp
Swamp
SwampSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add B to your mana pool.

1x Shizo, Death's Storehouse
Shizo, Death's Storehouse
Shizo, Death's StorehouseSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Color:
Land
Type:
Legendary Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
283
Artist:
John Matson
Text:
T: Add B to your mana pool. B, T: Target legendary creature gains fear until end of turn.

1x Shinka, Bloodsoaked Keep

The way to play this deck is to try to start with early game with an Ogre Marauder
Ogre Marauder
Ogre MarauderSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ogre Warrior
Rarity:
U
Number:
75
Artist:
Adam Rex
Power:
3
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever Ogre Marauder attacks, it can't be blocked this turn unless defending player sacrifices a creature.
and Toshiro with a few instants in the graveyard (Glacial Ray
Glacial Ray
Glacial RaySet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Number:
168
Artist:
Jim Murray
Text:
Glacial Ray deals 2 damage to target creature or player. Splice onto Arcane 1R (As you play an Arcane spell, you may reveal this card from your hand and pay its splice cost. If you do, add this card's effects to that spell.)
, First Volley
First Volley
First VolleySet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Number:
100
Artist:
Glen Angus
Text:
First Volley deals 1 damage to target creature and 1 damage to that creature's controller.
). At this point, your opponent will have a tough time if he cannot get rid of your Toshiro. Each time you attack with Ogre Marauder
Ogre Marauder
Ogre MarauderSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ogre Warrior
Rarity:
U
Number:
75
Artist:
Adam Rex
Power:
3
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever Ogre Marauder attacks, it can't be blocked this turn unless defending player sacrifices a creature.
, he/she will have a tough choice to make. Also, on turn 4, you can use Kiku’s ability, so that’s even more havoc. Late game, if you haven’t already won, bring in Hidetsugu and perhaps attack or Overblaze
Overblaze
OverblazeSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
U
Number:
114
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Each time target permanent would deal damage to a creature or player this turn, it deals double that damage to that creature or player instead. Splice onto Arcane 2RR (As you play an Arcane spell, you may reveal this card from your hand and pay its splice cost. If you do, add this card's effects to that spell.)
for the win.

I’m sure you will have as much fun playing this deck as I have. This is by no means the only build for this type of deck. Also try Toshiro with blue for some nice drawing combos. After reading this article you should have a good idea how to tap into Toshiro’s potential. Not many people are using him right now, but I think that will change in the near future.


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