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CardShark Content - Kenneth Smith (9/15/2003)

The weekend started off great with an interesting format at a not so local card shop. It was Friday night, so I would have naturally expected the predictable Type Two environment or even a draft. Instead, my buddies and I found ourselves gearing up for a forty-card Type One brawl. There was only one twist, though. Mono-colored and artifact spells weren’t allowed. It was a “Type One” multi-colored “beat down.”

To say the least, it was a rare opportunity for me to reopen the dusty boxes of unused cards that would have probably waited for a discount rack at a collectable store. (Card shops are in short supply in my area.) My biggest problem the whole time was deciding which colors to use. There were many options all across the board. Everyone can imagine the kingpins of this format. Vindicate
Vindicate
VindicateSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
126
Artist:
Brian Snoddy
Text:
Destroy target permanent.
. Undermine
Undermine
UndermineSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
282
Artist:
Massimilano Frezzato
Text:
Counter target spell. Its controller loses 3 life.
. Absorb
Absorb
AbsorbSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
226
Artist:
Andrew Goldhawk
Text:
Counter target spell. You gain 3 life.
. Mystic Snake
Mystic Snake
Mystic SnakeSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Snake
Rarity:
R
Number:
112
Artist:
Daren Bader
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
You may play Mystic Snake any time you could play an instant. When Mystic Snake comes into play, counter target spell.
. Spiritmonger
Spiritmonger
SpiritmongerSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
R
Number:
121
Artist:
Glen Angus
Power:
6
Toughness:
6
Text:
Whenever Spiritmonger deals damage to a creature, put a +1/+1 counter on Spiritmonger. B: Regenerate Spiritmonger. G: Spiritmonger becomes the color of your choice until end of turn.
. Shadowmage Infiltrator
Shadowmage Infiltrator
Shadowmage InfiltratorSet: Odyssey
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
294
Artist:
Rick Farrell
Power:
1
Toughness:
3
Text:
Shadowmage Infiltrator can't be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or black creatures. Whenever Shadowmage Infiltrator deals combat damage to a player, you may draw a card.
. Pernicious Deed
Pernicious Deed
Pernicious DeedSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
114
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
X, Sacrifice Pernicious Deed: Destroy each artifact, creature, and enchantment with converted mana cost X or less.
. 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.
. Raging Kavu
Raging Kavu
Raging KavuSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Kavu
Rarity:
R
Number:
262
Artist:
Arnie Swekel
Power:
3
Toughness:
1
Text:
Haste (This creature may attack and T the turn it comes under your control.)You may play Raging Kavu any time you could play an instant.
. Fires of Yavimaya
Fires of Yavimaya
Fires of YavimayaSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
246
Artist:
Val Mayerik
Text:
Creatures you control have haste. (They may attack and T the turn they come under your control.)Sacrifice Fires of Yavimaya: Target creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn.
. You get the point.

But that wasn’t all. There were still great commons like Armadillo Cloak
Armadillo Cloak
Armadillo CloakSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
229
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Enchanted creature gets +2/+2 and has trample.Whenever enchanted creature deals damage, you gain that much life.
, Recoil
Recoil
RecoilSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
264
Artist:
Alan Pollack
Text:
Return target permanent to its owner's hand. Then that player discards a card from his or her hand.
, Terminate
Terminate
TerminateSet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
128
Artist:
DiTerlizzi
Text:
Destroy target creature. It can't be regenerated.
, the multi-colored weenies (Gaea’s Skyfolk, Galina’s Knight, etc.). All from just recent blocks. It was a Magic environment within a Magic environment. No first turn combos available. No Dark Ritual
Dark Ritual
Dark RitualSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Sandra Everingham
Text:
Add BBB to your mana pool.
. No Berserk
Berserk
BerserkSet: Alpha
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Until end of turn, target creature's current power doubles and it gains trample ability. If it attacks, target creature is destroyed at end of turn. This spell cannot be cast after current turn's attack is completed.
. Some deck manipulation It trims many typical things out of a standard Magic game, yet leaves an amazing option-viable environment. Creatures had just as much chance as control in certain colors and so forth. People playing had to work for their victories.

It forced me to consider what I wanted to do with the deck. For casual players and even tournament players, focusing on purpose is tuning the deck. What works and what doesn’t work. How to respond to different threats. What makes it more efficient. How it stands against other decks in the environment. Most of this happens while play-testing and reviewing the recent tournament/casual environment.

As this was the first tournament I knew of its kind, I was faced with possibilities and my own imaginations. If there was ever a format where things could be so uncertain, I think I may have found it. It wasn’t just, will I play a control deck? No, the complicated question evolved into a two-step equation: what can I play, and what colors will allow me to play it most efficiently. It was nerve-racking to realize I could almost play anything, but not really. The produce-anything-you-want land (i.e. City of Brass
City of Brass
City of BrassSet: Fifth Edition
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Tom Wänerstrand
Text:
Whenever City of Brass becomes tapped, it deals 1 damage to you.T: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool.
, Undiscovered Paradise
Undiscovered Paradise
Undiscovered ParadiseSet: Visions
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Artist:
David O'Connor
Text:
T: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. At the beginning of your next untap phase, return Undiscovered Paradise to owner's hand.
, Forsaken City
Forsaken City
Forsaken CitySet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
139
Artist:
Dana Knutson
Text:
Forsaken City doesn't untap during your untap step. At the beginning of your upkeep, you may remove a card in your hand from the game. If you do, untap Forsaken City. T: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool.
, etc.) could enable anything to happen, but against fast forty-card decks, the draw backs become too cumbersome to be comfortable.

In the end I stuck to what I knew and could reasonably predict. I played White, Blue, and Green. I was reluctant about some choices, knowing I would forgo many options by what colors I thinned down to. I may needlessly remind you that it was a forty-card minimum limit, so efficiency was all that mattered. So, what did I do? Taking my familiarity with weenies and control, I built a sixty-card deck. A sixty-card deck, in a forty-card environment? Yes, and, excepting critical play errors, the larger deck proved able to stand against the other smaller decks.

Multi-colored Spells [Of Course] (38)
(4) Meddling Mage
Meddling Mage
Meddling MageSet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
116
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
As Meddling Mage comes into play, name a nonland card. The named card can't be played.

(3) Ranger en-Vec
(3) Gaea’s Skyfolk
(3) Galina’s Knight
(3) Llanowar Knight
Llanowar Knight
Llanowar KnightSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf Knight
Rarity:
C
Number:
254
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Protection from black

(4) Armadillo Cloak
Armadillo Cloak
Armadillo CloakSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
229
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Enchanted creature gets +2/+2 and has trample.Whenever enchanted creature deals damage, you gain that much life.

(4) Mystic Snake
Mystic Snake
Mystic SnakeSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Snake
Rarity:
R
Number:
112
Artist:
Daren Bader
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
You may play Mystic Snake any time you could play an instant. When Mystic Snake comes into play, counter target spell.

(4) Absorb
Absorb
AbsorbSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
226
Artist:
Andrew Goldhawk
Text:
Counter target spell. You gain 3 life.

(2) Reparations
Reparations
ReparationsSet: Mirage
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Whenever target opponent successfully casts a spell that targets you or a creature you control, you may draw a card.

(3) Fleetfoot Panther
Fleetfoot Panther
Fleetfoot PantherSet: Planeshift
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat
Rarity:
U
Number:
108
Artist:
Mark Brill
Power:
3
Toughness:
4
Text:
You may play Fleetfoot Panther any time you could play an instant. When Fleetfoot Panther comes into play, return a green or white creature you control to its owner's hand.

(3) Wings of Hope
Wings of Hope
Wings of HopeSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
289
Artist:
Wayne England
Text:
Enchanted creature gets +1/+3 and has flying.

(2) Mystic Crusader
Mystic Crusader
Mystic CrusaderSet: Odyssey
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nomad Mystic
Rarity:
R
Number:
33
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Protection from black and from red Threshold - Mystic Crusader gets +1/+1 and has flying. (You have threshold as long as seven or more cards are in your graveyard.)


Land [All non-basic, go figure] (22)
(3) Tundra
Tundra
TundraSet: Revised Edition
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Jesper Myrfors
Text:
T: Add either U or W to your mana pool.Counts as both islands 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.

(4) Tropical Island
Tropical Island
Tropical IslandSet: Revised Edition
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Jesper Myrfors
Text:
T: Add either G or U to your mana pool.Counts as both forest and islands 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.

(2) Savanna
(4) Reflecting Pool
Reflecting Pool
Reflecting PoolSet: Tempest
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Adam Rex
Text:
T: Add to your mana pool one mana of any type that any land you control can produce.

(3) City of Brass
City of Brass
City of BrassSet: Fifth Edition
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Tom Wänerstrand
Text:
Whenever City of Brass becomes tapped, it deals 1 damage to you.T: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool.

(3) Windswept Heath
Windswept Heath
Windswept HeathSet: Onslaught
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
328
Artist:
Anthony S. Waters
Text:
T, Pay 1 life, Sacrifice Windswept Heath: Search your library for a forest or plains card and put it into play. Then shuffle your library.

(2) Thran Quarry
Thran Quarry
Thran QuarrySet: Urza's Saga
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
329
Artist:
Michael Sutfin
Text:
At the end of each turn, if you control no creatures, sacrifice Thran Quarry.T: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool.

(1) Gemstone Mine
Gemstone Mine
Gemstone MineSet: Weatherlight
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Brom
Text:
When Gemstone Mine comes into play, put three mining counters on it.tap, Remove a mining counter from Gemstone Mine: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. If there are no mining counters on Gemstone Mine, bury it.


Sideboard:
(4) Spiritmonger
Spiritmonger
SpiritmongerSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
R
Number:
121
Artist:
Glen Angus
Power:
6
Toughness:
6
Text:
Whenever Spiritmonger deals damage to a creature, put a +1/+1 counter on Spiritmonger. B: Regenerate Spiritmonger. G: Spiritmonger becomes the color of your choice until end of turn.

(4) Pernicious Deed
Pernicious Deed
Pernicious DeedSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
114
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
X, Sacrifice Pernicious Deed: Destroy each artifact, creature, and enchantment with converted mana cost X or less.

(4) Bayou
Bayou
BayouSet: Revised Edition
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Jesper Myrfors
Text:
T: Add either B or G to your mana pool.Counts as both swamp and forest 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.

(3) Hero’s Reunion

Yes, aside from the fact many of these cards are “moneymongers”, the deck had but one crucial error: the sideboard. As you see, I couldn’t get completely away from the “I want it all” feeling. Needless to say, the only cards I ever sideboarded in were the Hero’s Reunions.

The tournament was decent as far as tentative formats go. The entry price was a decent rare per player (around $2-5), the winner collecting the pot at the end. It was single elimination. I didn’t win the tournament due to mistakes in playing, but I didn’t grumble too much. It was still a fun and intriguing experience for me.

As far as tentative deck types go, the most common were Black, White, Blue control using Absorb
Absorb
AbsorbSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
226
Artist:
Andrew Goldhawk
Text:
Counter target spell. You gain 3 life.
s, Undermine
Undermine
UndermineSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
282
Artist:
Massimilano Frezzato
Text:
Counter target spell. Its controller loses 3 life.
s, and Vindicate
Vindicate
VindicateSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
126
Artist:
Brian Snoddy
Text:
Destroy target permanent.
s with a variety of creatures and additional support. Another used Green as well for an added element of control and beat down. Red-Green decks weren’t seen much, though Black-Red base decks show some promise. The ultimate factor in the tournament, though, was the rampant use of Blue-based control. 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.
s backed with various removal and protection proved to be daunting even for mirror matches.

Further refinement may introduce a better base for all players to participate. Perhaps restricting and/or banning rare cards altogether? Even without rares, the multi-color only format still has plenty of options. I hope more formats like these will stick around. It is refreshing to be competitive, if only in a more creative way.


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