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CardShark Content - Marc Dalton (7/5/2005)

[Editor's note: As always, when an article needs to be edited after it has been posted, the forum link disappears, so here's this one again. If you want to discuss this article, go here:
http://ccncomics.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=964
Thank you and sorry about that.]

Well guys and gals this is my first article here at Cardshark and hopefully not my last. I am sure by now you have digested all the Regional reports and busy tweaking the various deck lists to your liking. I want to offer my own tweak and explain the changes and thought behind them. To do this me must start with a base deck, I’ll use our own Nathan Gatts Rat deck he piloted at last weeks Regionals.

Creatures (26)
4: Ravenous Rats
Ravenous Rats
Ravenous RatsSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat
Rarity:
C
Number:
68
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Ravenous Rats comes into play, target opponent chooses and discards a card from his or her hand.

4: Chittering Rats
Chittering Rats
Chittering RatsSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat
Rarity:
C
Number:
39
Artist:
Tom Wanerstrand
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Chittering Rats comes into play target opponent puts a card from his or her hand on top of his or her library.

4: Nezumi Shortfang
Nezumi Shortfang
Nezumi ShortfangSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat Rogue
Rarity:
R
Number:
131
Artist:
Daren Bader
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
1B, T: Target opponent discards a card. Then if that player has no cards in hand, flip Nezumi Shortfang. ----- Stabwhisker the Odious Legendary Creature - Rat Shaman 3/3 At the beginning of each opponent's upkeep, that player loses 1 life for each card fewer than three in his or her hand.

3: Skull Collector
Skull Collector
Skull CollectorSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ogre Warrior
Rarity:
U
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, return a black creature you control to its owner's hand. 1B: Regenerate Skull Collector.

3: Nezumi Cutthroat
Nezumi Cutthroat
Nezumi CutthroatSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat Warrior
Rarity:
C
Number:
128
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Fear Nezumi Cutthroat can't block.

3: Throat Slitter
Throat Slitter
Throat SlitterSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat Ninja
Rarity:
U
Number:
88
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Ninjutsu 2B (2B, Return an unblocked attacker you control to hand Put this card into play from your hand tapped and attacking.) Whenever Throat Slitter deals combat damage to a player, destroy target nonblack creature that player controls.

3: Nekrataal
Nekrataal
NekrataalSet: Visions
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nekrataal
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Adrian Smith
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
First strike When Nekrataal comes into play, bury target nonartifact, nonblack creature.

2: Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni

Spells (2)
2: Persecute
Persecute
PersecuteSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
146
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Text:
Choose a color. Look at target player's hand. That player discards all cards of the chosen color.


Artifacts (10)
4: Aether Vial
Aether Vial
Aether VialSet: Darksteel
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
91
Artist:
Greg Hildebrandt
Text:
At the begining of your upkeep you may put a charge counter on Aether Vial. T: You may put a creature card with converted mana cost equal to the number of charge counters on Aether Vial from your hand into play.

3: Umezawa's Jitte
Umezawa's Jitte
Umezawa's JitteSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Legendary Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
R
Number:
163
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage, put two charge counters on Umezawa's Jitte. Remove a charge counter from Umezawa's Jitte Choose one — Equipped creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn; or target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn; or you gain 2 life. Equip 2

2: Pithing Needle
Pithing Needle
Pithing NeedleSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Color:
Colorless
Rarity:
R

1: Sword of Fire and Ice
Sword of Fire and Ice
Sword of Fire and IceSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
148
Artist:
Mark Zug
Text:
Equip 2 Equipped creature gets +2/+2 and has protection from red and from blue. Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage to a player, you may draw a card and have it deal 2 damage to target creature.


Land (22)
17: Swamp
Swamp
SwampSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add B to your mana pool.

3: Blinkmoth Nexus
Blinkmoth Nexus
Blinkmoth NexusSet: Darksteel
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
163
Artist:
Brian Snöddy
Text:
T: Add 1 to your mana pool. 1: Blinkmoth Nexus becomes a 1/1 Blinkmoth artifact creature with flying until end of turn. It's still a land. 1, T: Target Blinkmoth gets +1/+1 until end of turn.

1: Shizo, Death's Storehouse
Shizo, Death's Storehouse
Shizo, Death's StorehouseSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Color:
Land
Type:
Legendary Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
283
Artist:
John Matson
Text:
T: Add B to your mana pool. B, T: Target legendary creature gains fear until end of turn.


Sideboard (15)
4: 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.

3: Echoing Decay
Echoing Decay
Echoing DecaySet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
41
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Target creature and all other creatures with the same name as that creature get -2/-2 until end of turn.

2: Blood Clock
Blood Clock
Blood ClockSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Artifact
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Text:
At the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player returns a permanent he or she controls to its owner's hand unless he or she pays 2 life.

1: Nekrataal
Nekrataal
NekrataalSet: Visions
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nekrataal
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Adrian Smith
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
First strike When Nekrataal comes into play, bury target nonartifact, nonblack creature.

2: Persecute
Persecute
PersecuteSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
146
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Text:
Choose a color. Look at target player's hand. That player discards all cards of the chosen color.

2: Sword of Light and Shadow
Sword of Light and Shadow
Sword of Light and ShadowSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
149
Artist:
Mark Zug
Text:
Equipped creature gets +2/+2 and has protection from white and from black. Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage to a player, you gain 3 life and you may return up to one target creature card from your graveyard to your hand. Equip 2

1: Pithing Needle
Pithing Needle
Pithing NeedleSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Color:
Colorless
Rarity:
R


I ran a very similar deck to his but finished only 4-4. We will start with the creatures we will be keeping.

4: Ravenous Rats
Ravenous Rats
Ravenous RatsSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat
Rarity:
C
Number:
68
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Ravenous Rats comes into play, target opponent chooses and discards a card from his or her hand.
(Hand Disrupt
Disrupt
DisruptSet: Weatherlight
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Adam Rex
Text:
Counter target instant, interrupt, or sorcery spell unless its caster pays an additional 1.Draw a card.
ion)
4: Chittering Rats
Chittering Rats
Chittering RatsSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat
Rarity:
C
Number:
39
Artist:
Tom Wanerstrand
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Chittering Rats comes into play target opponent puts a card from his or her hand on top of his or her library.
(Hand Disrupt
Disrupt
DisruptSet: Weatherlight
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Adam Rex
Text:
Counter target instant, interrupt, or sorcery spell unless its caster pays an additional 1.Draw a card.
ion)
3: Skull Collector
Skull Collector
Skull CollectorSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ogre Warrior
Rarity:
U
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, return a black creature you control to its owner's hand. 1B: Regenerate Skull Collector.
(Obvious synergy with Chittering and Ravenous Rats
Ravenous Rats
Ravenous RatsSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat
Rarity:
C
Number:
68
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Ravenous Rats comes into play, target opponent chooses and discards a card from his or her hand.
)
3: Nezumi Cutthroat
Nezumi Cutthroat
Nezumi CutthroatSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat Warrior
Rarity:
C
Number:
128
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Fear Nezumi Cutthroat can't block.
(Very good evasion)
3: Nekrataal
Nekrataal
NekrataalSet: Visions
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nekrataal
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Adrian Smith
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
First strike When Nekrataal comes into play, bury target nonartifact, nonblack creature.
(Creature control and good with Skull Collector
Skull Collector
Skull CollectorSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ogre Warrior
Rarity:
U
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, return a black creature you control to its owner's hand. 1B: Regenerate Skull Collector.
)
2: Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni (Yes I would like Your Open Fist Please)

Ok now for a couple of changes.

We will ditch the Nezumi Shortfang
Nezumi Shortfang
Nezumi ShortfangSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat Rogue
Rarity:
R
Number:
131
Artist:
Daren Bader
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
1B, T: Target opponent discards a card. Then if that player has no cards in hand, flip Nezumi Shortfang. ----- Stabwhisker the Odious Legendary Creature - Rat Shaman 3/3 At the beginning of each opponent's upkeep, that player loses 1 life for each card fewer than three in his or her hand.
and the main deck Persecute
Persecute
PersecuteSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
146
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Text:
Choose a color. Look at target player's hand. That player discards all cards of the chosen color.
s. I found that Shortfang dies too easy and the Persecute
Persecute
PersecuteSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
146
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Text:
Choose a color. Look at target player's hand. That player discards all cards of the chosen color.
s were very situational, so what do we fill the slots with? We still need the hand disruption that those cards provided for us, but I want to be more aggressive in the creature slot. So enter Deathmask Nezumi
Deathmask Nezumi
Deathmask NezumiSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat Shaman
Rarity:
C
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
As long as you have seven or more cards in hand, Deathmask Nezumi gets +2/+1 and has fear.
and Sink into Takenuma
Sink into Takenuma
Sink into TakenumaSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Text:
Sweep - Return any number of Swamps you control to their owner's hand. Target player discards a card for each Swamp returned this way.
. The death mask has a bigger butt than Shortfang and had the added ability of gaining +2/+1 and fear. The problem with that is we need to bring him online fast, that’s where Sink into Takenuma
Sink into Takenuma
Sink into TakenumaSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Text:
Sweep - Return any number of Swamps you control to their owner's hand. Target player discards a card for each Swamp returned this way.
fills two rows in our deck. It replaces the discard effects that we lost from Persecute
Persecute
PersecuteSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
146
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Text:
Choose a color. Look at target player's hand. That player discards all cards of the chosen color.
and Shortfang in one fell swoop. It has the same cost as Persecute
Persecute
PersecuteSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
146
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Text:
Choose a color. Look at target player's hand. That player discards all cards of the chosen color.
-1 black mana and it works well no matter what color your opponent is playing.

Next the Throat slitter will give way for the fourth Nexus, the third Pithing Needle
Pithing Needle
Pithing NeedleSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Color:
Colorless
Rarity:
R
, and the fourth Umezawa's Jitte
Umezawa's Jitte
Umezawa's JitteSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Legendary Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
R
Number:
163
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage, put two charge counters on Umezawa's Jitte. Remove a charge counter from Umezawa's Jitte Choose one — Equipped creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn; or target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn; or you gain 2 life. Equip 2
. I agree with Nathan getting the Jitte out first is very important. So let’s look at the finished deck list.


Creatures (23)

4: Ravenous Rats
Ravenous Rats
Ravenous RatsSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat
Rarity:
C
Number:
68
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Ravenous Rats comes into play, target opponent chooses and discards a card from his or her hand.

4: Chittering Rats
Chittering Rats
Chittering RatsSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat
Rarity:
C
Number:
39
Artist:
Tom Wanerstrand
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Chittering Rats comes into play target opponent puts a card from his or her hand on top of his or her library.

4: Deathmask Nezumi
Deathmask Nezumi
Deathmask NezumiSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat Shaman
Rarity:
C
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
As long as you have seven or more cards in hand, Deathmask Nezumi gets +2/+1 and has fear.

3: Skull Collector
Skull Collector
Skull CollectorSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ogre Warrior
Rarity:
U
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, return a black creature you control to its owner's hand. 1B: Regenerate Skull Collector.

3: Nezumi Cutthroat
Nezumi Cutthroat
Nezumi CutthroatSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat Warrior
Rarity:
C
Number:
128
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Fear Nezumi Cutthroat can't block.

3: Nekrataal
Nekrataal
NekrataalSet: Visions
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nekrataal
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Adrian Smith
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
First strike When Nekrataal comes into play, bury target nonartifact, nonblack creature.

2: Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni

Spells (3)
3: Sink into Takenuma
Sink into Takenuma
Sink into TakenumaSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Text:
Sweep - Return any number of Swamps you control to their owner's hand. Target player discards a card for each Swamp returned this way.


Artifacts (11)
4: Aether Vial
Aether Vial
Aether VialSet: Darksteel
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
91
Artist:
Greg Hildebrandt
Text:
At the begining of your upkeep you may put a charge counter on Aether Vial. T: You may put a creature card with converted mana cost equal to the number of charge counters on Aether Vial from your hand into play.

4: Umezawa's Jitte
Umezawa's Jitte
Umezawa's JitteSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Legendary Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
R
Number:
163
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage, put two charge counters on Umezawa's Jitte. Remove a charge counter from Umezawa's Jitte Choose one — Equipped creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn; or target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn; or you gain 2 life. Equip 2

3: Pithing Needle
Pithing Needle
Pithing NeedleSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Color:
Colorless
Rarity:
R


Land (23)
17: Swamp
Swamp
SwampSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add B to your mana pool.

4: Blinkmoth Nexus
Blinkmoth Nexus
Blinkmoth NexusSet: Darksteel
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
163
Artist:
Brian Snöddy
Text:
T: Add 1 to your mana pool. 1: Blinkmoth Nexus becomes a 1/1 Blinkmoth artifact creature with flying until end of turn. It's still a land. 1, T: Target Blinkmoth gets +1/+1 until end of turn.

1: Shizo, Death's Storehouse
Shizo, Death's Storehouse
Shizo, Death's StorehouseSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Color:
Land
Type:
Legendary Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
283
Artist:
John Matson
Text:
T: Add B to your mana pool. B, T: Target legendary creature gains fear until end of turn.


Sideboard (15)
3: 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.

3: Echoing Decay
Echoing Decay
Echoing DecaySet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
41
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Target creature and all other creatures with the same name as that creature get -2/-2 until end of turn.

3: Dark Banishing
Dark Banishing
Dark BanishingSet: Ice Age
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Drew Tucker
Text:
Bury target non-black creature.

1: Nekrataal
Nekrataal
NekrataalSet: Visions
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nekrataal
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Adrian Smith
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
First strike When Nekrataal comes into play, bury target nonartifact, nonblack creature.

1: Sink into Takenuma
Sink into Takenuma
Sink into TakenumaSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Text:
Sweep - Return any number of Swamps you control to their owner's hand. Target player discards a card for each Swamp returned this way.

3: Sword of Light and Shadow
Sword of Light and Shadow
Sword of Light and ShadowSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
149
Artist:
Mark Zug
Text:
Equipped creature gets +2/+2 and has protection from white and from black. Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage to a player, you gain 3 life and you may return up to one target creature card from your graveyard to your hand. Equip 2

1: Pithing Needle
Pithing Needle
Pithing NeedleSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Color:
Colorless
Rarity:
R



I think you will find that this slight change will make a major impact to this standard deck list. If you have any suggestions or comments please feel free to share them with me. Thanks for taking the time to read this article.


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