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CardShark Content - Jonathan Schmidt (3/16/2004)

I played the beta version of Magic Online almost religiously back a couple years ago. In between classes and late into the night I would spend drafting. I was so upset when the beta version was over, that meant I would have to spend money to play.

Fast Forward 2 years

My Magic playing has dwindled in the sense that I generally only play limited or large (states, regionals, PTQ’s, etc.) tournaments. I decided to boot up Magic Online. I don’t really have the time to dig through stacks of commons and uncommons for cards I need to finish a deck, but that is the glory of Magic Online. I recently became hooked on some of the unusual formats that Magic Online has to offer.

Emperor: This is a format where each team has 3 players, 1 Emperor and 2 Flankers (one on the right and left of the emperor). The goal of the game is to reduce the opposing Emperor’s life to 0. There are many different types of Emperor, with the most popular being a type called 1/1/1. This means that your spells and effects only affect the person that casts the card and the people on that person’s immediate right and left, more on this later. The Emperor has a “specialized” deck that can be used to exploit seemingly bad cards into one-sided bombs. The most notorious of all these cards is New Frontiers
New Frontiers
New FrontiersSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
257
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Each player may search his or her library for up to X basic land cards and put them into play tapped. Then each player who searched his or her library this way shuffles it.
. This Odyssey rare is one of the number one sellers on Magic Online for good reason. For those of you that don’t know it is XG, each player may search his/her library for X basic lands and put them into play tapped, then shuffle library. In Emperor, since the spells only effect the people on their immediate right and left of the caster, this means that if the Emperor casts this card, the Emperor’s entire team gets an “X” Rampant Growth
Rampant Growth
Rampant GrowthSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
246
Artist:
Tom Kyffin
Text:
Search your library for a basic land card and put that card into play tapped. Then shuffle your library.
. The first Emperor to cast New Frontiers
New Frontiers
New FrontiersSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
257
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Each player may search his or her library for up to X basic land cards and put them into play tapped. Then each player who searched his or her library this way shuffles it.
does a lot for the team’s chance of winning.
Other cards that generally go into Emperor Decks:
Howling Mine
Howling Mine
Howling MineSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Each player must draw one extra card during the draw phase of each of his or her turns.
(entire team card draw)
Vernal Bloom
Vernal Bloom
Vernal BloomSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
281
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Whenever a forest is tapped for mana, it produces an additional G.
/Extraplanar Lens
Extraplanar Lens
Extraplanar LensSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
169
Artist:
Lars Grant-West
Text:
Imprint|When Extraplanar Lens comes into play, you may remove target land you control from the game. (The removed card is imprinted on this artifact.) Whenever a land with the same name as the imprinted card is tapped for mana, its controller adds one mana to his or her mana pool of any type that land produced.
(Mana Flare
Mana Flare
Mana FlareSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Whenever either player taps a land for mana, it produces 1 extra mana of the appropriate type.
for the team)
Wild Growth
Wild Growth
Wild GrowthSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchant Land
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Whenever the usual mana is drawn from target land, Wild Growth provides an extra G.
/Fertile Ground
Fertile Ground
Fertile GroundSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchant Land
Rarity:
C
Number:
252
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Text:
Whenever enchanted land is tapped for mana, it produces an additional one mana of any color.
(quick mana)
Hunted Wumpus
Hunted Wumpus
Hunted WumpusSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
U
Number:
253
Artist:
Brian Snoddy
Power:
6
Toughness:
6
Text:
When Hunted Wumpus comes into play, each other player may put a creature card from his or her hand into play under his or her control.
(free creatures for the flankers)
Planar Portal
Planar Portal
Planar PortalSet: Invasion
Cost:
6
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
308
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
6, T: Search your library for a card and put that card into your hand. Then shuffle your library.
(tutor for the game breaking cards)
Upwelling
Upwelling
UpwellingSet: Scourge
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
131
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
Mana pools don't empty at the end of phases or turns.
(allows your team to keep lots of mana)
Seedborn Muse
Seedborn Muse
Seedborn MuseSet: Legions
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
R
Number:
138
Power:
2
Toughness:
4
Text:
Untap all permanents you control during each other player's untap step.
(helps to abuse Upwelling
Upwelling
UpwellingSet: Scourge
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
131
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
Mana pools don't empty at the end of phases or turns.
and Planar Portal
Planar Portal
Planar PortalSet: Invasion
Cost:
6
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
308
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
6, T: Search your library for a card and put that card into your hand. Then shuffle your library.
)
Weird Harvest
Weird Harvest
Weird HarvestSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
299
Artist:
Bob Petillo
Text:
Each player may search his or her library for up to X creature cards, reveal those cards, and put them into his or her hand. Then each player who searched his or her library this way shuffles it.
(your team gets to search out big creatures and then put them into play with Hunted Wumpus
Hunted Wumpus
Hunted WumpusSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
U
Number:
253
Artist:
Brian Snoddy
Power:
6
Toughness:
6
Text:
When Hunted Wumpus comes into play, each other player may put a creature card from his or her hand into play under his or her control.
)
Moment’s Peace (keep your Flankers around so you aren’t vulnerable)
Gate to the Aether
Gate to the Aether
Gate to the AetherSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
6
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
174
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
At the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player reveals the top card of his or her library. If it's an artifact, creature, enchantment, or land card, the player may put it into play.
(your team can put cards into play for free)

Some Emperor decks splash red and/or white. Red is used primarily for Burning Wish
Burning Wish
Burning WishSet: Judgment
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
83
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer

Text:
Choose a sorcery you own from outside the game, reveal that card, and put it into your hand. Remove Burning Wish from the game.
and some use Mass Hysteria
Mass Hysteria
Mass HysteriaSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
99
Artist:
Adam Rex
Text:
All creatures have haste.
(to give your team’s creatures haste).

Flanker decks are generally made to abuse the broken cards of an Emperor deck. They run big fat creatures that they can put into play via Hunted Wumpus
Hunted Wumpus
Hunted WumpusSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
U
Number:
253
Artist:
Brian Snoddy
Power:
6
Toughness:
6
Text:
When Hunted Wumpus comes into play, each other player may put a creature card from his or her hand into play under his or her control.
. They play Wild Growth
Wild Growth
Wild GrowthSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchant Land
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Whenever the usual mana is drawn from target land, Wild Growth provides an extra G.
/Fertile Ground
Fertile Ground
Fertile GroundSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchant Land
Rarity:
C
Number:
252
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Text:
Whenever enchanted land is tapped for mana, it produces an additional one mana of any color.
/Elvish Guidance
Elvish Guidance
Elvish GuidanceSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchant Land
Rarity:
C
Number:
255
Artist:
Greg & Tim Hildebrandt
Text:
Whenever enchanted land is tapped for mana, its controller adds G to his or her mana pool for each Elf in play.
to help the Emperor get more mana quickly to play the great cards. They play cards that are geared to beat other Flanker decks, which are generally full of creatures. I personally tend to play G/U Flanker decks, so I can help the Emperor by playing card draw spells on them such as Deep Analysis
Deep Analysis
Deep AnalysisSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
36
Text:
Target player draws two cards. Flashback - 1U, Pay 3 life.
and Inspiration
Inspiration
InspirationSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
76
Artist:
Zina Saunders
Text:
Target player draws two cards.
.

I hope that sheds some light onto one of the “non-mainstream” formats of Magic Online.

Just remember, certain cards are not necessarily bad, you just need to look at them a little different.

I will delve into some of the other Magic Online formats at a later date.

Thanks for reading.


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