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CardShark Content - Jacob Goodisman (6/1/2004)

This is another format I’m working on. Its much different from dual play and the break is often appreciated. The central rules of this are that each player gets one spell per turn, like Arcane Laboratory
Arcane Laboratory
Arcane LaboratorySet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
60
Artist:
Stephen Daniele
Text:
Each player cannot play more than one spell each turn.
, each player may access any amount of any color mana at any time, and both players draw from one deck.

The effects of these rules is that mana abilities, like elves, land acceleration abilities, and mana fixing abilities are useless. Since each player gets only one spell per turn, that spell should really count and that makes most of those cards unusable anyway. I also put in only one of each card to make them that much better, not only did player A draw it but player B didn’t.

A complete deck list could be too long, I have 57 cards in the deck and the specific cards aren’t that important anyway. I started the list with creatures whose only purpose is to attack mercilessly (Akroma, Silvos, and 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.
for example) and started looking for answers to those creatures. There are two obvious ways to deal with a creature; kill it and have a better creature.

I began to find interesting removal. Terror
Terror
TerrorSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Buries target creature. Cannot target black creatures or artifact creatures.
or Vindicate
Vindicate
VindicateSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
126
Artist:
Brian Snoddy
Text:
Destroy target permanent.
are efficient but boring, Bane of the Living
Bane of the Living
Bane of the LivingSet: Legions
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Insect
Rarity:
R
Number:
60
Power:
4
Toughness:
3
Text:
Morph XBB (You may play this face down as a 2/2 creature for 3. Turn it face up any time for its morph cost.) When Bane of the Living is turned face up, all creatures get -X/-X until end of turn.
is better and Grab the Reigns is even better. Along with Bane of the Living
Bane of the Living
Bane of the LivingSet: Legions
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Insect
Rarity:
R
Number:
60
Power:
4
Toughness:
3
Text:
Morph XBB (You may play this face down as a 2/2 creature for 3. Turn it face up any time for its morph cost.) When Bane of the Living is turned face up, all creatures get -X/-X until end of turn.
, Flowstone Slide
Flowstone Slide
Flowstone SlideSet: Nemesis
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
83
Artist:
Chippy
Text:
All creatures get +X/-X until end of turn.
and Forced March
Forced March
Forced MarchSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
136
Artist:
Greg & Tim Hildebrandt
Text:
Destroy all creatures with converted mana cost X or less.
can be a Wrath of God
Wrath of God
Wrath of GodSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Quinton Hoover
Text:
All creatures in play are buried.
or can let the biggest creature, if its yours, survive unopposed. I found control spells, like Thieves’ Auction and Resurrection
Resurrection
ResurrectionSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Take a creature from your graveyard and put it directly into play. Treat this creature as though it were just summoned.
, to be more effective than death effects. Not only doesn’t the caster about spells have to worry about threats, the player’s opponents do.

As far as better creatures, there will always be a biggest creature. So instead of looking up, I looked down. Voracious Cobra
Voracious Cobra
Voracious CobraSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Snake
Rarity:
U
Number:
288
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
First strike Whenever Voracious Cobra deals combat damage to a creature, destroy that creature.
kills creatures before most creatures deal damage and Darksteel Brute
Darksteel Brute
Darksteel BruteSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
108
Artist:
Nottsuo
Text:
Darksteel Brute is indestructible (Destroy effects and lethal damage don't destroy it.) 3: Darksteel Brute becomes a 2/2 artifact creature until end of turn.
just doesn’t care about large creatures. Dominating Licid
Dominating Licid
Dominating LicidSet: Exodus
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Licid
Rarity:
R
Number:
30
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
1UU, T: Dominating Licid loses this ability and becomes a creature enchantment that reads Gain control of enchanted creature instead of any other type of permanent. Move Dominating Licid onto target creature. You may pay U to end this effect.
is both a nearly unkillable creatures and a Control Magic
Control Magic
Control MagicSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Dameon Willich
Text:
You control target creature until enchantment is discarded or game ends. If target creature is already tapped it stays tapped until you can untap it. If destroyed, target creature is put in its owner's graveyard.
in a box. Another way to beat the big creature is with recursion, creatures that return themselves to your hand or play. Eternal Dragon
Eternal Dragon
Eternal DragonSet: Scourge
Cost:
7
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Dragon Spirit
Rarity:
R
Number:
12
Artist:
Justin Sweet
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
Flying.
3WW: Return Eternal Dragon from your graveyard to your hand. Play this ability only during your upkeep.
Plainscycling 2
and Gigapede
Gigapede
GigapedeSet: Onslaught
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Insect
Rarity:
R
Number:
264
Artist:
Glen Angus
Power:
6
Toughness:
1
Text:
Gigapede can't be the target of spells or abilities.. At the beginning of your upkeep, if Gigapede is in your graveyard, you may discard a card from your hand. If you do, return Gigapede to your hand.
both mess up offensive strategies, either of these may kill creatures and can be resummoned each turn.

Now that I have answers to my original set, bashing creatures, I wanted to look for answers to the answers. 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.
effects are easy answers to removal or control as well as sacrificing creatures. A Seige-Gang Commander, for example, is a 2/2 and 3 1/1 creatures or, in the case of removal, eight points of damage. Decree of Annihilation
Decree of Annihilation
Decree of AnnihilationSet: Scourge
Cost:
10
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
85
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
Remove all artifacts, creatures, lands, graveyards, and hands from the game.
Cycling 5RR
When you cycle Decree of Annihilation, destroy all lands.
removes the game, regeneration and recursion don’t apply, and is also a good way to get rid of a Licid.

Once I started playtesting this, I found that the winner was usually decided in a couple turns, even if the game continued; often the winning hand had large creatures with countermagic back up and there was nothing the other player could do. What the deck needed was cards that were quick solutions and could turn around the situation. The first type of additions were instants, as a rule in Magic instants are less powerful than sorceries but instants have become threatening enough to warrant countering. Obviously, countermagic spent on instants isn’t spent on sorceries. The next additions were reliable card drawing, from Fact of Fiction to Recycle
Recycle
RecycleSet: Tempest
Cost:
6
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Phil Foglio
Text:
Skip your draw phase.Whenever you play a card, draw a card.During your discard phase, choose and discard all but two cards.
to Temporal Cascade
Temporal Cascade
Temporal CascadeSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
7
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
52
Artist:
Puddnhead
Text:
Choose one - Each player shuffles his or her hand and graveyard into his or her library; or each player draws seven cards. Entwine 2 (Choose both if you pay the entwine cost.)
, because these often could sway the game. Instants, lots of instants, were also good from Rout
Rout
RoutSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
34
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
You may play Rout any time you could play an instant if you pay 2 more to play it.Destroy all creatures. They can't be regenerated.
to Beast Attack
Beast Attack
Beast AttackSet: Odyssey
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
230
Artist:
Ciruelo
Text:
Put a 4/4 green Beast creature token into play. Flashback 2GGG (You may play this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then remove it from the game.)
to Prophetic Bolt
Prophetic Bolt
Prophetic BoltSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
116
Artist:
Dave Dorman
Text:
Prophetic Bolt deals 4 damage to target creature or player. Look at the top four cards of your library. Put one of those cards into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library.
.

Play usually takes the form bomb-antibomb in two player until one player runs out of antibombs. In multiplayer, the winner is the one that can find the most creatures and keep them on the table to deal damage. There is usually only two or three creatures on the table per player at a time.

A final note about how this plays out: I chose three cards as the starting hand and 20 life to start. Of course this is variable. Adding life to the starting total often just makes the game unbearably longer, most of the time its pretty clear who is going to win. Changing the hand size often effects the game how players want; a card in either direction has serious effects on the tempo and duration of the game. If the players run through the deck, have the players lose and seriously rethink the rules you’re playing by.

Many of the cards I mentioned are pretty expensive and are really powerful. There is no reason that each deck has to have these, in fact I encourage testing cards that your group would never play with otherwise. Many of the cards that are expensive are so because of their low mana cost, when mana is no longer a factor the expensive cards seem less special; he plays a $20 creature and you wipe it out with a 50 cent card, as well as both of your hands and graveyard. The Elder Dragon Legends are good examples; any of them munch Akroma every time but they cost a lot, both each turn as well as initially. An interesting note about the power of a card; power is relative so Krosan Tusker
Krosan Tusker
Krosan TuskerSet: Onslaught
Cost:
7
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
C
Number:
272
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
6
Toughness:
5
Text:
Cycling 2G (2G, Discard this card from your hand: Draw a card.). When you cycle Krosan Tusker, you may search your library for a basic land card, reveal that card, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library.
is extremely powerful in some contexts and not powerful in other contexts.

I’m also most familiar with the expensive cards, many of my friends are serious tournament players. This type of play is very flexible from unwanted drafted cards to any other collection of cards. Whatever you play with, this format should be fun.


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