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Scepter of Kings - Top Cards to Put on Isochron Scepter - Kevin Moore (8/12/2007)

I was playing against a guy who was, let’s be honest, quite a lot better than I, but as any good player knows it’s much more valuable to lose and learn something than to win the most difficult games. But anyway, it was that player that introduced me to the true value of Isochron Scepter
Isochron Scepter
Isochron ScepterSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
188
Artist:
Mark Harrison
Text:
Imprint - When Isochron Scepter comes into play, you may remove an instant card with converted mana cost 2 or less in your hand from the game. (The removed card is imprinted on this artifact.) 2, T: You may copy the imprinted instant card and play the copy without paying its mana cost.
. For those of you who don’t know, Isochron Scepter
Isochron Scepter
Isochron ScepterSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
188
Artist:
Mark Harrison
Text:
Imprint - When Isochron Scepter comes into play, you may remove an instant card with converted mana cost 2 or less in your hand from the game. (The removed card is imprinted on this artifact.) 2, T: You may copy the imprinted instant card and play the copy without paying its mana cost.
is an artifact that has “Imprint any instant from your hand with converted mana cost two or less, pay 2 colorless mana and tap to copy the imprinted card.”

The first time I saw the Scepter used, Lightning Helix
Lightning Helix
Lightning HelixSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
213
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Lightning Helix deals 3 damage to target creature or player and you gain 3 life.
was imprinted on it and I thought it was such a great idea I started researching the other possible combos of this truly amazing card. The sheer value of Isochron Scepter
Isochron Scepter
Isochron ScepterSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
188
Artist:
Mark Harrison
Text:
Imprint - When Isochron Scepter comes into play, you may remove an instant card with converted mana cost 2 or less in your hand from the game. (The removed card is imprinted on this artifact.) 2, T: You may copy the imprinted instant card and play the copy without paying its mana cost.
is not only that you can keep using an instant over and over again but that it negates the colored mana costs allowing you to use just about any instant in any kind of deck. (It’s quite a revolutionary concept to have a red/green deck that can counter every turn.) So here’s a list and explanation of what I deemed the best combos.


Lightning Helix
Lightning Helix
Lightning HelixSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
213
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Lightning Helix deals 3 damage to target creature or player and you gain 3 life.
: (RW)

This card deals three damage to target creature or player and you gain three life. It’s definitely in the running as a must have Boros card just by itself, but when you combine it with Isochron Scepter
Isochron Scepter
Isochron ScepterSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
188
Artist:
Mark Harrison
Text:
Imprint - When Isochron Scepter comes into play, you may remove an instant card with converted mana cost 2 or less in your hand from the game. (The removed card is imprinted on this artifact.) 2, T: You may copy the imprinted instant card and play the copy without paying its mana cost.
, the void between you and you opponent grows larger and larger each turn. Works great in a single player red/white deck or with Roiling Horror
Roiling Horror
Roiling HorrorSet: Planar Chaos
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Horror
Rarity:
R
Number:
79
Artist:
John Avon
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Roiling Horror's power and toughness are each equal to your life total minus the life total of an opponent with the most life. Suspend X-XBBB. X can't be 0. Whenever a time counter is removed from Roiling Horror while it's removed from the game, target player loses 1 life and you gain 1 life.
, a black creature who’s power and toughness are equal to your life total minus the opponent’s with the highest amount of life.


Brain freeze: (1U)

This one puts the top three cards of target player’s library into their graveyard but also has storm. This combo is a must have with any strategy that works around decking your opponents. You can play this when your opponents have played quite a few spells on their turn and it opens up your hand size so, with enough mana, you can play more from your hand as well. It also stacks if you have multiple Isochron Scepter
Isochron Scepter
Isochron ScepterSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
188
Artist:
Mark Harrison
Text:
Imprint - When Isochron Scepter comes into play, you may remove an instant card with converted mana cost 2 or less in your hand from the game. (The removed card is imprinted on this artifact.) 2, T: You may copy the imprinted instant card and play the copy without paying its mana cost.
s with Brain Freeze
Brain Freeze
Brain FreezeSet: Scourge
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
29
Text:
Target player puts the top three cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
Storm
attached. This is a great way to start decking your opponents quickly by only turn two.


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.
: (BR)

This is a two mana instant that destroys target creature and it can’t be regenerated. Incredibly good on it’s own but imagine what it could do every turn. It’s an easy turn-two suppression tactic that will have your opponents crying their eyes out and praying to keep a creature on the field. Great in decks that focus on offense or ones that start off slowly and need that early defense.


Lim-Dul’s Vault: (BU)

Whoever says Sensei’s Divining Top is the ultimate deck rigger doesn’t know what they’re talking about. With this you can look at the top five cards of your library and as many times as you like, pay one life put them on the bottom of your library, and then look at the next five. When you have a set that you think is really good you get to shuffle your library and put those five on top in any order. This is a great way to get off to a great start or pull that one card you need to save yourself.


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.
: (UU)

The infamous two mana counter-anything. The greatest thing about this is with the Scepter, you don’t even need blue mana. This allows you to have an incredibly powerful counter combo in ANY kind of deck. Imagine the best card your opponent plays every turn is countered without a second thought. Plus you can protect your new favorite artifact from those pesky destroy cards. This is useful in any deck, period.


Angel’s Grace: (W)

Split second, you can’t lose the game, your opponents can’t win the game, and if your life total would be reduced to lower than one it’s reduced to one instead. The most recent use that I’ve found for this is with the new Future Sight
Future Sight
Future SightSet: Onslaught
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
84
Artist:
Matt Cavotta
Text:
Play with the top card of your library revealed. You may play the top card of your library as though it were in your hand.
pacts. These cards have zero casting cost but if you don’t pay a certain amount of mana at the beginning of your next upkeep, you lose. This isn’t a problem if you can’t lose this game. So you can essentially: kill a creature, counter a spell, get a 4/4 creature, find a green card in your library and prevent damage for free. This card really doesn’t need to be explained all that much, just enjoy being invincible.


Here are some other combos that I didn’t think were as great mostly because they are more defensive. However you may enjoy them a lot more than I do.


Accumulated Knowledge
Accumulated Knowledge
Accumulated KnowledgeSet: Nemesis
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
26
Artist:
Randy Gallegos
Text:
Draw a card, then draw cards equal to the number of Accumulated Knowledge cards in all graveyards.
: (1U)
Draw a card then draw cards equal to the number of Accumulated Knowledge
Accumulated Knowledge
Accumulated KnowledgeSet: Nemesis
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
26
Artist:
Randy Gallegos
Text:
Draw a card, then draw cards equal to the number of Accumulated Knowledge cards in all graveyards.
cards in all graveyards.

Dawn Charm
Dawn Charm
Dawn CharmSet: Planar Chaos
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
4
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
Choose one - Prevent all combat damage that would be dealt this turn; or regenerate target creature; or counter target spell that targets you.
: (1W)
Prevent all combat damage that would be dealt this turn, regenerate target creature you control, or counter target spell that targets you.

Life Burst
Life Burst
Life BurstSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
30
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
Target player gains 4 life, then gains 4 life for each Life Burst card in each graveyard.
: (1W)
Gain four life, the gain four life for each life burst card in all graveyards.

Orim
Orim
OrimSet: Vanguard
Sub Type:
Character
Rarity:
X
Number:
5
Artist:
Rebecca Guay
Power:
+0
Toughness:
+12
Text:
Your creatures can block as though they had flying.
’s Chant: (W)
Kicker (W) opponents can’t play spells this turn. If the kicker cost was paid creatures can’t attack either. (I didn’t include this card in the top combos simply because its price)
[Editor's note: Scepter Chant is in fact quite a popular Extended deck that involves locking an opponent down by, oddly enough, putting Orim's Chant
Orim's Chant
Orim's ChantSet: Planeshift
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
11
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Kicker W (You may pay an additional W as you play this spell.) Target player can't play spells this turn. If you paid the kicker cost, creatures can't attack this turn.
on the Isochron Scepter
Isochron Scepter
Isochron ScepterSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
188
Artist:
Mark Harrison
Text:
Imprint - When Isochron Scepter comes into play, you may remove an instant card with converted mana cost 2 or less in your hand from the game. (The removed card is imprinted on this artifact.) 2, T: You may copy the imprinted instant card and play the copy without paying its mana cost.
.]

Respite
Respite
RespiteSet: Tempest
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Rebecca Guay
Text:
Creatures deal no combat damage this turn. Gain 1 life for each attacking creature.
: (1U)
Creatures deal no damage this turn. You gain one life for every creature that is attacking.

Stream of Consciousness
Stream of Consciousness
Stream of ConsciousnessSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
U
Number:
53
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
Target player shuffles up to four target cards from his or her graveyard into his or her library.
: (1U)
Target player shuffles up to four cards in their graveyard into their library

Test of Faith
Test of Faith
Test of FaithSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
17
Artist:
Vance Kovacs
Text:
Prevent the next 3 damage that would be dealt to target creature this turn and put a +1 / +1 counter on that creature for each 1 damage prevented this way.
: (1W)
Prevent up to three damage that would be dealt to target creature this turn. Put a +1/+1 counter on it for each damage prevented this way.

Trickbind
Trickbind
TrickbindSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
88
Artist:
John Zeleznik
Text:
Split second (As long as this spell is on the stack, players can't play spells or activated abilities that aren't mana abilities.) Counter target activated or triggered ability. If a permanent's ability is countered this way, activated abilities of that permanent can't be played this turn. (Mana abilities can't be targeted.)
: (1U)
Split second, counter target activated or triggered ability. If a permanent’s ability is countered this way activated abilities of that permanent can’t be played this turn.


Hope these combos can help you and me guarantee that they’ll revolutionize any deck you put them in. So feel like a king over your opponents and use Isochron Scepter
Isochron Scepter
Isochron ScepterSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
188
Artist:
Mark Harrison
Text:
Imprint - When Isochron Scepter comes into play, you may remove an instant card with converted mana cost 2 or less in your hand from the game. (The removed card is imprinted on this artifact.) 2, T: You may copy the imprinted instant card and play the copy without paying its mana cost.
to its full effect.


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