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CardShark Content - James Carpenter (2/4/2005)

I am 27 and I work in a cubicle at my day job. The boredom can be excruciating. I usually fill the time with reading…Maxim Magazine, Magic the Gathering novels…whatever. Recently I received the Invasion Fat Pack as a gift, which of course came with the Invasion novel by J. Robert King (highly recommended). There is this one part in the book where the Phyrexian horde is streaming out of a portal above the city of Zhalfir. Teferi orders his mages to attack with Armored Pegasus
Armored Pegasus
Armored PegasusSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Pegasus
Rarity:
C
Number:
5
Artist:
Andrew Robinson
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying
, Angels, unicorns, and every other idyllic white creature imaginable. Meanwhile, and this is the best part, Teferi cast a spell to flip gravity 100 yards above the heads of the mages casting their spells. So while the unicorns, Pegasi, and other Whities, flew with the speed of gravity toward their foes, the Phyrexian dragon engines and other horrors of Yawgmoth’s creation had to work just to get out of the portal.

First things first: Take one of your decks and take out as many creatures as you like. The more creatures you take out, the longer the game will last. Place them in any configuration that you like, for instance, taking my black Chainer/Nightmare
Nightmare
NightmareSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nightmare
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Melissa A. Benson
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Flying Nightmare's power and toughness both equal the number of swamps its controller has in play.
deck, I took out all of the creatures and placed them in 5 columns of 4 (a la Space Invaders). This represents the Phyrexian Horde coming out of the portal way up in the air.

Make sure you leave 2 spaces between the Horde and your play area. The space where you play your enchantments, artifacts, and creatures represent the ground. The place where you put your land represents…you guessed it…land. At the end of each of your turns you will move one of the enemy columns up one space. You’re objective of course is to make sure you reduce those columns to rubble so they can’t move up and mow down your defenders.

Next: Take the deck you wish to play with. Shuffle, cut and draw your seven as you would against a normal opponent. For instance, I took my favorite 5 color Fist of Suns
Fist of Suns
Fist of SunsSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
123
Artist:
Arnie Swekel
Text:
You may pay WUBRG to play any spell instead of its mana cost.
deck, shuffled up and proceeded to play as though against a traditional opponent. First turn I put down a Volcanic Island
Volcanic Island
Volcanic IslandSet: Revised Edition
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Brian Snoddy
Text:
T: Add either U or R to your mana pool.Counts as both islands and mountains and is affected by spells that affect either. If a spell destroys one of these land types, this card is destroyed; if a spell alters one of these land types, the other land type is unaffected.
and bolted Vampire Bats
Vampire Bats
Vampire BatsSet: Fourth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bats
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Anson Maddocks
Power:
0
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying B: +1/+0 until end of turn. You cannot spend more than BB in this way each turn.
off the front line. With nothing left to do I ended my turn.

With my turn over I moved up the column where the Bats were. Now Obsianus Golem
Obsianus Golem
Obsianus GolemSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
6
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Jesper Myrfors
Power:
4
Toughness:
6
was in front along with 4 of his buddies. They are all still 2 spaces away from my play area. Bolting the Bats made it so the column where the Bats were had to move forward. When you remove an enemy from the front line, the column it was in will be the one to move forward. If you blast multiple enemies off the front line only one column will still move up. You cannot destroy anything that is not on the front line.

Now lets talk about Creature-to-Creature combat! This is where it gets interesting.

My second turn, I draw from my deck and put down another land, Plateau
Plateau
PlateauSet: Revised Edition
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Drew Tucker
Text:
T: Add either R or W to your mana pool.Counts as both mountains and plains and is affected by spells that affect either. If a spell destroys one of these land types, this card is destroyed; if a spell alters one of these land types, the other land type is unaffected.
. I need a defender on the field so I play Goblin Striker
Goblin Striker
Goblin StrikerSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Goblin Berserker
Rarity:
C
Number:
94
Artist:
Kevin Dobler
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
First strike, haste
. He’s got haste and First Strike so if I wanted I could throw him up in the air at whichever front line enemy I wish. (Remember that reverse gravity spell I told you about?) Now since he doesn’t have flying he’ll be stuck up there fighting each successive creature in the column each turn until he either dies or breaks through to the back of the column. If he was strong enough to make it through then he’ll be considered lost when he goes through the portal and leaves the field. I do have the option of enchanting him to help him keep fighting, or perhaps give him flying to bring him back to the ground. Or it is even possible to send another flying creature of mine up to grab him and bring him back, as opposed to going into combat.

I decide to leave Goblin Striker
Goblin Striker
Goblin StrikerSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Goblin Berserker
Rarity:
C
Number:
94
Artist:
Kevin Dobler
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
First strike, haste
on the ground and end my turn.

All columns are even so Column 1 moves up. The Obisanus Golem is now first in line and has now entered the first row of spaces between the Horde and my defense area. If I don’t get rid of the Obsianus Golem
Obsianus Golem
Obsianus GolemSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
6
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Jesper Myrfors
Power:
4
Toughness:
6
or any creatures from any other column then Column 2 will move up at the end of my next turn.

And so I continued playing, once I had the 5 colors of mana I needed and the Fist of Suns
Fist of Suns
Fist of SunsSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
123
Artist:
Arnie Swekel
Text:
You may pay WUBRG to play any spell instead of its mana cost.
out I was playing big spells every turn. I’d get my own creatures out as defense or attack (Vampiric Dragon
Vampiric Dragon
Vampiric DragonSet: Odyssey
Cost:
8
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire Dragon
Rarity:
R
Number:
296
Artist:
Gary Ruddell
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
Flying Whenever a creature dealt damage by Vampiric Dragon this turn is put into a graveyard, put a +1/+1 counter on Vampiric Dragon. 1R: Vampiric Dragon deals 1 damage to target creature.
, Bringer of the Red Dawn
Bringer of the Red Dawn
Bringer of the Red DawnSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
9
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bringer
Rarity:
R
Number:
62
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
You may pay WUBRG instead or paying Bringer of the Red Dawn's mana cost. Trample. At the beginning of your upkeep, you may untap target creature and gain control of it until end of turn. That creature has haste until end of turn.
, Akroma, etc.) I burned what creatures I could before and after the combat phase. I played Time Stretch
Time Stretch
Time StretchSet: Odyssey
Cost:
10
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
108
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Target player takes two extra turns after this one.
to give me a couple of extra turns to beat back the Horde. Each deck you have will have strengths and weaknesses in this type of solitaire game. I’ve played again using my Elf Deck. Due to an ugly hand the black horde moved forward crushing my elves into E.L.Fudge.

So to sum up:

Play every turn like you would in a traditional game.

Your objective is to clear the field of enemies.

At the end of every turn move one column of enemies up. If all columns are even along the front line, move the 1st column forward, then the 2nd, and so on. If there is a creature missing along the front line, move that column forward instead.

Land bound creatures can be “flung” up into the air to travel a straight path to their enemy. If they defeat the creature in front of them during combat they will move up to take the place of the creature that has been removed. The same rules apply to moving the column forward even if your creature is up in that column. The next combat phase they will be automatically forced into combat with whatever creature is in front of them. If they make it through the entire column they leave the field, unless retrieved or enchanted to bring them back to the ground.

Flying creatures may move anywhere on the field they wish. They may even retrieve land bound creatures that have been “flung”.

Cast spells as you normally would to enhance or remove your creatures from combat.

You lose if the Horde takes the land and you have no creatures left to fight.

Remember to have fun with it, and check out any of the Magic the Gathering novels for inspiration!


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