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CardShark Content - Lorien Elleman (1/29/2005)

I’m here once again to evaluate cards I feel to be promising for the Type II environment. This time, the set is Betrayers of Kamigawa. The main purpose of this article is to give inexperienced players the chance to see why certain cards are good and why people end up playing with them. Underlying all of these evaluation articles is a perceivable method I use that eliminates other cards I haven’t listed because they aren’t worth playing. Of course, I know that I’ll be wrong some of the time, but even the pros can be terrible at predicting the next bombs. For example, Ghostly Prison
Ghostly Prison
Ghostly PrisonSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
10
Artist:
Lars Grant-West
Text:
Creatures can't attack you unless their controller pays 2 for each creature attacking you. (This cost is paid as attackers are declared.)
got crazy hype, especially for being able to dominate Affinity, yet White Weenie is still in the shadows of Tiers 2 and 3. I attempt not to overlook cards that could potentially make a scene, even though they may be currently questionable in Type II. So, let’s begin.

Blazing Shoal
Blazing Shoal
Blazing ShoalSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
R
Number:
96
Artist:
Glen Angus
Text:
You may remove a red card with converted mana cost X in your hand from the game rather than pay Blazing Shoal's mana cost. Target creature gets +X/+0 until end of turn.
[R]
XRR
Instant — Arcane
You may remove a red card with converted mana cost X in your hand from the game rather than pay Blazing Shoal
Blazing Shoal
Blazing ShoalSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
R
Number:
96
Artist:
Glen Angus
Text:
You may remove a red card with converted mana cost X in your hand from the game rather than pay Blazing Shoal's mana cost. Target creature gets +X/+0 until end of turn.
’s mana cost.
Target creature gets +X/+0 until end of turn.

This card can end games quickly. Even removing something like an Arc-Slogger from the game to get five free damage is significant when you’re trying to burn somebody out. Burning Shoal also introduces a Turn-1 kill to Type 2: Play a mountain, Spark Elemental
Spark Elemental
Spark ElementalSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Sub Type:
Elemental
Rarity:
C
Number:
79
Artist:
John Avon
Power:
3
Toughness:
1
Text:
Trample. At the end of turn, sacrifice Spark Elemental.
, use two Blazing Shoal
Blazing Shoal
Blazing ShoalSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
R
Number:
96
Artist:
Glen Angus
Text:
You may remove a red card with converted mana cost X in your hand from the game rather than pay Blazing Shoal's mana cost. Target creature gets +X/+0 until end of turn.
on it, removing two appropriately-sized creatures (such as Furnace Dragon
Furnace Dragon
Furnace DragonSet: Darksteel
Cost:
9
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Dragon
Rarity:
R
Number:
62
Artist:
Matthew D Wilson
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
Affinity for Artifacts, Flying. When Furnace Dragon comes into play if you played it from your hand remove all artifacts from the game.
) and that’s game. Extremely broken? Not likely, but Blazing Shoal
Blazing Shoal
Blazing ShoalSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
R
Number:
96
Artist:
Glen Angus
Text:
You may remove a red card with converted mana cost X in your hand from the game rather than pay Blazing Shoal's mana cost. Target creature gets +X/+0 until end of turn.
will probably see play.

Enshrined Memories
Enshrined Memories
Enshrined MemoriesSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
124
Artist:
Jeff Easley
Text:
Reveal the top X cards of your library. Put all creature cards revealed this way into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.
[R]
XG
Sorcery
Reveal the top X cards of your library. Put all creature cards revealed this way into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.

I remember how well Commune with Nature worked in creature-heavy decks, and I think to myself, “It could probably work. With the help of Sensei’s Divining Top or some such thing, you can get major card advantage for just a couple of mana.” On the other hand, I’m sure sometimes you’ll pay four or five mana and come up with nothing.

Eradicate
Eradicate
EradicateSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
60
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Remove target nonblack creature from the game. Search its controller's graveyard, hand, and library for all copies of that card and remove them from the game. That player then shuffles his or her library.
[U]
2BB
Sorcery
Remove
Remove
RemoveSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
DiTerlizzi
Text:
Play Remove only after you're attacked, before you declare blockers.Return any one attacking creature to its owner's hand.
target nonblack creature from the game. Search its controller’s graveyard, hand, and library for all cards with the same name as that creature and remove them from the game. That player then shuffles his or her library.

I don’t I like this as much as Horobi’s Whisper (which I’ll get to in a bit) but I’m sure it’s good in certain situations… it sure makes those pesky Eternal Witness
Eternal Witness
Eternal WitnessSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Shaman
Rarity:
U
Number:
86
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever Eternal Witness comes into play, return target card from your graveayrd to your hand.
es go away, and a Big Red deck without its Arc-Sloggers will be in a tough place to win. For those that complained about Cranial Extraction
Cranial Extraction
Cranial ExtractionSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
R
Number:
105
Artist:
Dave Allsop
Text:
Name a nonland card. Search target player's graveyard, hand, and library for all cards with that name and remove them from the game. Then that player shuffles his or her library.
not affecting the board at all, here’s an equal-cost creature-specific version that does affect the board… problem is, it only gets rid of creatures.

Final Judgment
Final Judgment
Final JudgmentSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
6
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
4
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Remove all creatures from the game.
[R]
4WW
Sorcery
Remove
Remove
RemoveSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
DiTerlizzi
Text:
Play Remove only after you're attacked, before you declare blockers.Return any one attacking creature to its owner's hand.
all creatures from the game.

At this point in the metagame, White Control is as good as dead. Final Judgment
Final Judgment
Final JudgmentSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
6
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
4
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Remove all creatures from the game.
, along with several other cards in this set, might be enough to boost White back into a decent standing. Basically functioning as additional Wraths of God, Final Judgment
Final Judgment
Final JudgmentSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
6
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
4
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Remove all creatures from the game.
will allow more consistent creature control mid to late game. Of course, the “remove from game” effect will hose all the usual suspects, from Disciple of the Vault
Disciple of the Vault
Disciple of the VaultSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Cleric
Rarity:
C
Number:
62
Artist:
Matt Thompson
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever an artifact is put into a graveyard from play, you may have target opponent lose 1 life.
to Zombify
Zombify
ZombifySet: Odyssey
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
171
Artist:
Mark Romanoski
Text:
Return target creature card from your graveyard to play.
.

The Genjus[C and R]

There is a Genju for each color. Each colored Genju is an Enchant Land, is one colored mana and only enchants the basic land of its color (example: the red Genju only enchants Mountain
Mountain
MountainSet: Arabian Nights
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Tap to add R to your mana pool.
s). If the enchanted land goes to your graveyard, you may return the Genju to your hand. Each Genju requires you pay two to activate the ability of making the land into a creature, and each creature is relatively unique to its own color’s abilities (the blue one has flying, the black one is pump-able).

I like all of the Genjus and would think that each one of them could have a place in the right deck. As Meloku, the Clouded Mirror showed me, effectively blocking with lands can buy you a lot of time to draw the cards you need. A lot of decks, like MBC for example, don’t have many 1-drops, so a few Genjus would fit the mana curve perfectly.
There is a five-color Genju that lets you swing with a huge 8/12 trampler, and that Genju can be enchanted on any land. It will be, however, much more difficult to use because of the whole five-color thing.

God’s Eye, Gate to the Reikai[U]
Legendary Land
Tap : Add 1 to your mana pool.
When Gods’ Eye, Gate to the Reikai is put into a graveyard from play, put a 1/1 colorless Spirit
Spirit
SpiritSet: Divine vs Demonic
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying
creature token into play.

Most of the non-basic lands in Kamigawa provoke in me the unenthusiastic response, “Sure, why not?” God’s Eye is no exception. If you play with one God’s Eye, once in one thousand games, you’ll get a 1/1 token because your L-D opponent was in quite a hurry. Don’t spend the fatty you get all in one place, now… Your options with a colorless 1/1 are almost infinite… like chump blocking… and… chump blocking.

Heartless Hidetsugu
Heartless Hidetsugu
Heartless HidetsuguSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Ogre Shaman
Rarity:
R
Number:
107
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
4
Toughness:
3
Text:
T: Heartless Hidetsugu deals to each player damage equal to half that player's life total, rounded down.
[R]
3RR
Legendary Creature — Ogre Shaman
Ogre Shaman
Ogre ShamanSet: Exodus
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ogre
Rarity:
R
Number:
91
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
2, Discard a card at random: Ogre Shaman deals 2 damage to target creature or player.

Tap: Heartless Hidetsugu
Heartless Hidetsugu
Heartless HidetsuguSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Ogre Shaman
Rarity:
R
Number:
107
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
4
Toughness:
3
Text:
T: Heartless Hidetsugu deals to each player damage equal to half that player's life total, rounded down.
deals to each player damage equal to half that player’s life total, rounded down.
4/3

This guy is ridiculous! If your opponent is playing control, he has to get rid of ol’ Hearty immediately… you’ll whittle his life away completely oblivious to all walls and chump blockers. Of course, you’ll be putting yourself in a precarious position as well, which is why this card will probably keep some sideboards warm; no matter how clever you think you are, you most likely will lose if you try to use this against Affinity.

Higure, the Still Wind[R]
3UU
Legendary Creature — Human Ninja
Ninjutsu 2UU (2UU, Return an unblocked attacker you control to hand: Put this card into play from your hand tapped and attacking.)
Whenever Higure deals combat damage to a player, you may search your library for a Ninja card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. If you do, shuffle your library.
2: Target Ninja is unblockable this turn.
3/4

I’m going to give all the ninja-lovers the benefit of the doubt that there’s some viable U/B ninja deck out there. That being granted, Higure would be a nice addition to any Ninja deck… he can get you ninjas and let them through as well, which is nice for all of their triggered effects. But if somebody offers you a Birds of Paradise
Birds of Paradise
Birds of ParadiseSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Mana Birds
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Poole
Power:
0
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying T: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. This ability is played as an interrupt.
for it because they are that much of a ninja fan, you know what to do… I sure did.

Hokori, Dust Drinker
Hokori, Dust Drinker
Hokori, Dust DrinkerSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
R
Number:
7
Artist:
Darrell Riche
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Lands don't untap during their controllers' untap steps. At the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player untaps a land he or she controls.
[R]
2WW
Legendary Creature — Spirit
Spirit
SpiritSet: Divine vs Demonic
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying

Lands don’t untap during their controllers’ untap steps.
At the beginning of each player’s upkeep, that player untaps a land he or she controls.
2/2

I’m sure there’s something you could do with this… it’s got Control written all over it. It isn’t quite as good as the old Stasis
Stasis
StasisSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Fay Jones
Text:
Players do not get an untap phase. Pay U during your upkeep or Stasis is destroyed; cards still do not untap until the next untap phase.
, however, since your opponent can slowly eek out mana. I’ve got faith in it, though.

Horobi’s Whisper[C]
1BB
Instant — Arcane
If you control a Swamp
Swamp
SwampSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add B to your mana pool.
, destroy target nonblack creature.
Splice onto Arcane—Remove
Remove
RemoveSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
DiTerlizzi
Text:
Play Remove only after you're attacked, before you declare blockers.Return any one attacking creature to its owner's hand.
four cards in your graveyard from the game. (As you play an Arcane spell, you may reveal this card from your hand and pay its splice cost. If you do, add this card’s effects to that spell.)

I like Horobi’s Whisper. A lot. Maybe I’m being overoptimistic, but let’s say you play three Horobi’s Whisper, three Rend Flesh
Rend Flesh
Rend FleshSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Number:
140
Artist:
Stephen Tappin
Text:
Destroy target non-Spirit creature.
and three Cranial Extraction
Cranial Extraction
Cranial ExtractionSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
R
Number:
105
Artist:
Dave Allsop
Text:
Name a nonland card. Search target player's graveyard, hand, and library for all cards with that name and remove them from the game. Then that player shuffles his or her library.
s. With one Horobi’s Whisper in hand, there’s eight other spells in your deck that will allow you to more or less kill a creature for free. Removing four cards in your graveyard isn’t exactly possible turn 1, but neither is Cranial Extraction
Cranial Extraction
Cranial ExtractionSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
R
Number:
105
Artist:
Dave Allsop
Text:
Name a nonland card. Search target player's graveyard, hand, and library for all cards with that name and remove them from the game. Then that player shuffles his or her library.
. What with Distress
Distress
DistressSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
111
Artist:
Michael Sutfin
Text:
Target player reveals his or her hand. You choose a nonland card from it. That player discards that card.
, Night’s Whisper and various dead rats to say the least, I don’t see having a few cards in the graveyard to be a significant problem, although you might not want to play with Nezumi Graverobber
Nezumi Graverobber
Nezumi GraverobberSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat Rogue
Rarity:
U
Number:
129
Artist:
Jim Nelson
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
1B: Remove target card in an opponent's graveyard from the game. If no cards are in that graveyard, flip Nezumi Graverobber. ----- Nighteyes the Desecrator Legendary Creature - Rat Wizard 4/2 4B: Put target creature card in a graveyard into play under your control.
any more.

Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni[R]
4BB
Legendary Creature — Rat Ninja
Ninjutsu 3BB(3BB, Return an unblocked attacker you control to hand: Put this card into play from your hand tapped and attacking.)
Whenever Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni deals combat damage to a player, you may put target creature card from that player’s graveyard into play under your control.
2: Regenerate
Regenerate
RegenerateSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
202
Artist:
Rebecca Guay
Text:
Regenerate target creature. (The next time that creature would be destroyed this turn, it isn't. Instead tap it, remove all damage from it, and remove it from combat.)
Ink-Eyes.
5/4

I’m more skeptical of Ink-Eyes than Higure, mainly because the Ninjutsu cost is one more, which makes her even clunkier. If you can snag the right creature on the first attack, however, she might present a significant-enough advantage that outweighs your previously bad board position. Once again, I have my doubts about Ninja decks, but am trying to keep an open mind.

Isao, Enlightened Bushi
Isao, Enlightened Bushi
Isao, Enlightened BushiSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Human Samurai
Rarity:
R
Number:
129
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Isao, Enlightened Bushi can't be countered. Bushido 2 (When this blocks or becomes blocked, it gets +2/+2 until end of turn.) 2: Regenerate target Samurai.
[R]
2G
Legendary Creature — Human Samurai
Isao, Enlightened Bushi
Isao, Enlightened Bushi
Isao, Enlightened BushiSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Human Samurai
Rarity:
R
Number:
129
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Isao, Enlightened Bushi can't be countered. Bushido 2 (When this blocks or becomes blocked, it gets +2/+2 until end of turn.) 2: Regenerate target Samurai.
can’t be countered.
Bushido 2 (When this blocks or becomes blocked, it gets +2/+2 until end of turn.)
2: Regenerate
Regenerate
RegenerateSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
202
Artist:
Rebecca Guay
Text:
Regenerate target creature. (The next time that creature would be destroyed this turn, it isn't. Instead tap it, remove all damage from it, and remove it from combat.)
target Samurai.
2/1

I’m not sure if this guy will be any good in Type 2, but he sure is flashy. He comes with all the bells and whistles that you would expect from a Green Samurai. Only problem is, he’s the only Green Samurai, hence his state of enlightenment. With Affinity at the top of the game, however, perhaps a splash of green in White Weenie is just what players needed anyway.

Iwamori of the Open Fist
Iwamori of the Open Fist
Iwamori of the Open FistSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Human Monk
Rarity:
R
Number:
130
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
Trample When Iwamori of the Open Fist comes into play, each opponent may put a legendary creature card from his or her hand into play.
[R]
2GG
Legendary Creature — Human Monk
Trample
When Iwamori of the Open Fist
Iwamori of the Open Fist
Iwamori of the Open FistSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Human Monk
Rarity:
R
Number:
130
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
Trample When Iwamori of the Open Fist comes into play, each opponent may put a legendary creature card from his or her hand into play.
comes into play, each opponent may put a legendary creature card from his or her hand into play. R
5/5

4 words: Best 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.
ever. The number of Legendary creatures in the current environment is pretty small, basically consisting of one for each color. In addition, an Affinity player will never be able to take advantage of the trigger. On top of this, in a Green deck it is relatively easy to play Iwamori on turn three. The only way this guy isn’t broken is if the Affinity metagame has messed everything up so much that a turn 3 5/5 is considered “too slow.”

Kentaro, the Smiling Cat
Kentaro, the Smiling Cat
Kentaro, the Smiling CatSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Human Samurai
Rarity:
R
Number:
13
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Bushido 1 (When this blocks or becomes blocked, it gets +1/+1 until end of turn.) You may pay X rather than pay the mana cost for Samurai spells you play, where X is that spell's converted mana cost.
[R]
1W
Legendary Creature — Human Samurai
Bushido 1 (When this blocks or becomes blocked, it gets +1/+1 until end of turn.)
You may pay X rather than pay the mana cost for Samurai spells you play, where X is that spell’s converted mana cost.
2/1

I’m thinking of a W/R/G samurai deck, and I’m thinking this guy will probably work pretty well in it.

Unfortunately I didn’t see any noteworthy cards from L or M (although Moonlit Strider
Moonlit Strider
Moonlit StriderSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Number:
16
Artist:
John Avon
Power:
1
Toughness:
4
Text:
Sacrifice Moonlit Strider Target creature you control gains protection from the color of your choice until end of turn. Soulshift 3 (When this is put into a graveyard from play, you may return target Spirit card with converted mana cost 3 or less from your graveyard to your hand.)
was close). Next time I’ll cover N-Z. As always, thanks for reading my article and I hope it has been helpful.


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