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CardShark Content - Marcus Anderson (2/21/2001)

The top commons for the white, green and red had enchantments, creatures, and utility. How will the next spectrum of cards and colors turn out? I think you will be surprised in the selection!

Blue:

Capsize
Capsize
CapsizeSet: Tempest
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Tom Wänerstrand
Text:
Buyback 3 (You may pay an additional 3 when you play this spell. If you do, put it into your hand instead of your graveyard as part of the spell's effect.) Return target permanent to owner's hand.
is the real winner here. For six mana, you can get rid of most any permanent in the commons arena. If you make it to twelve lands, you can go for the every-annoying capsize lock. Bounce two lands over and over and then go for the permanents. You have seen Awakening
Awakening
AwakeningSet: Stronghold
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
51
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
At the beginning of each player's upkeep, untap all creatures and lands.
and Tradewind Rider
Tradewind Rider
Tradewind RiderSet: Tempest
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
R
Artist:
John Matson
Power:
1
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying tap, Tap two creatures you control: Return target permanent to owner's hand.
decks use Capsize
Capsize
CapsizeSet: Tempest
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Tom Wänerstrand
Text:
Buyback 3 (You may pay an additional 3 when you play this spell. If you do, put it into your hand instead of your graveyard as part of the spell's effect.) Return target permanent to owner's hand.
to its fullest. It fits perfectly in any blue deck.

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.
is also a no-brainer for the ´´perfect-card´´. It is ultimate removal in the right hands. In the early game, it can stop a creature beating. It can halt a red removal spell. It will thwart a Blastoderm
Blastoderm
BlastodermSet: Nemesis
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
C
Number:
102
Artist:
Eric Peterson
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
Fading 3 (This creature comes into play with three fade counters on it. At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a fade counter from it. If you can't, sacrifice it.) Blastoderm can't be the target of spells or abilities.
. Let's face it, who wouldn't fear a blue player with two open islands? The threat can even slow the game down for the opponent. With all of the great countermagic in the game, this common (reprinted numerous times) is well worth it.

The final power common is a power-Tim. The Stinging Barrier
Stinging Barrier
Stinging BarrierSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wall
Rarity:
C
Number:
107
Artist:
Pat Morrissey
Power:
0
Toughness:
4
Text:
(Walls can't attack.) U, T: Stinging Barrier deals 1 damage to target creature or player.
is a dream for blocking and damaging. Many Mercadian Masques drafts were designed for this plinker. You can block a medium sized creature with its awesome four toughness, and you can serve up some damage! What a great deal for four mana! The burn player will most likely have to use two cards (or two mountains: Fireblast
Fireblast
FireblastSet: Visions
Cost:
6
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Michael Danza
Text:
You may sacrifice two mountains instead of paying Fireblast's casting cost. Fireblast deals 4 damage to target creature or player.
) to rid themselves of an awesome goblin killer. Most other colors cannot stop a blue source of damage (bye bye pump knights)! It is the control creature of choice! Imagine Sigil of Sleep
Sigil of Sleep
Sigil of SleepSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
46
Artist:
Greg & Tim Hildebrandt
Text:
Whenever enchanted creature deals damage to a player, return target creature that player controls to its owner's hand.
on this thing...Nice!

Honorable Mention: Bounce creatures like Waterfront Bouncer
Waterfront Bouncer
Waterfront BouncerSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spellshaper
Rarity:
C
Number:
114
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
U, tap, Discard a card from your hand: Return target creature to its owner's hand.
and Man O War are great choices for keeping the pressure on the opponent. However, Ophidian
Ophidian
OphidianSet: Weatherlight
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Snake
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Cliff Nielsen
Power:
1
Toughness:
3
Text:
0: Draw a card. Ophidian deals no combat damage this turn. Use this ability only if Ophidian is attacking and unblocked and only once each turn.
would be my dark horse candidate. If you were able to clear the board of creatures, you have the ultimate card drawing engine in commons! Other bounce and countermagic make blue a challenging deck to play and play against!

Black:

Hymn to Tourach
Hymn to Tourach
Hymn to TourachSet: Fallen Empires
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
12
Artist:
Susan Van Camp
Text:
Target player discards two cards at random from his or her hand. If target player does not have enough cards, his or her entire hand is discarded.
is Fallen Empire's saving grace. Hymn to Tourach
Hymn to Tourach
Hymn to TourachSet: Fallen Empires
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
12
Artist:
Susan Van Camp
Text:
Target player discards two cards at random from his or her hand. If target player does not have enough cards, his or her entire hand is discarded.
is two for one. ´´I play one card, you lose two!´´ It is almost unfair in its brutality. It can strip a hand that contains land, countermagic, burn, pumping spells, or a late game surprise that would ruin your day. If this card comes after a Duress
Duress
DuressSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
132
Artist:
Lawrence Snelly
Text:
Look at target opponent's hand and choose a noncreature, nonland card there. That player discards that card.
, the effects are disastrous to the opponent. Imagine this opening play. ´´I play a swamp. I play 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.
. I cast Duress
Duress
DuressSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
132
Artist:
Lawrence Snelly
Text:
Look at target opponent's hand and choose a noncreature, nonland card there. That player discards that card.
. Now I play HYMN.´´ Granted, you have spent three cards for three of their cards, but who will come back faster?

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.
is the cheap Black Lotus
Black Lotus
Black LotusSet: Oversize Cards
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Mono Artifact
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Adds 3 mana of any single color of your choice to your mana pool, then is discarded. Tapping this artifact can be played as an interrupt.
in the common world. It makes suicide black decks win on turn four. Drop three Carnophage
Carnophage
CarnophageSet: Exodus
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
53
Artist:
Pete Venters
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
During your upkeep, pay 1 life or tap Carnophage.
creatures on turn one! How about an Erg raider and an Unholy Strength
Unholy Strength
Unholy StrengthSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Target creature gains +2/+1.
? Skittering Skirge
Skittering Skirge
Skittering SkirgeSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Imp
Rarity:
C
Number:
158
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying When you successfully cast a creature spell, sacrifice Skittering Skirge.
(with Unholy Strength
Unholy Strength
Unholy StrengthSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Target creature gains +2/+1.
) or Skittering Horror
Skittering Horror
Skittering HorrorSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Horror
Rarity:
C
Number:
70
Artist:
Mark Zug
Power:
4
Toughness:
3
Text:
When you play a creature spell, sacrifice Skittering Horror.
sound good? It causes a lot of pain really quick. Too bad the Phyrexian Negator
Phyrexian Negator
Phyrexian NegatorSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Horror
Rarity:
R
Number:
65
Artist:
John Zeleznik
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
TrampleWhenever Phyrexian Negator is dealt damage, sacrifice a permanent for each 1 damage dealt to it.
wasn't a common. I know you may think this card is bad late game, but consider its main partner in battle - the Drain Life
Drain Life
Drain LifeSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Drain Life does 1 damage to a single target for each B spent in addition to the casting cost. Caster gains 1 life for each damage inflicted. If you drain life from a creature, you cannot gain more life than the creature's current toughness.
!

How good is Drain Life
Drain Life
Drain LifeSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Drain Life does 1 damage to a single target for each B spent in addition to the casting cost. Caster gains 1 life for each damage inflicted. If you drain life from a creature, you cannot gain more life than the creature's current toughness.
? Amazingly good! It is direct damage, life gain, and time advantage. Packed in the late game with a ritual, the card can swing the match. This card breaks stalemates and kills black creatures. It is quite a beating when going for the NERCO-style mega-drains on the opponent. Why do you think this common isn't reprinted anymore? A common card shouldn't cause this much havoc, but it does!

Honorable Mention:
The Order of the Ebon Hand
Order of the Ebon Hand
Order of the Ebon HandSet: Fallen Empires
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Clerics
Rarity:
C
Number:
25
Artist:
Melissa A. Benson
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Protection from whiteBB: +1/+0 until end of turnB: First strike until end of turn
(pump knight) and the ´´Skittering´´ creatures are great for beat-down games. Removal such as ´´Expunge
Expunge
ExpungeSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
135
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
Destroy target nonartifact, nonblack creature. That creature cannot be regenerated this turn.Cycling 2 (You may pay 2 and discard this card from your hand to draw a card. Play this ability as an instant.)
´´ is never dead in your hand thanks to the cycling mechanic. Diabolic Edit is solid removal for even a Blastoderm
Blastoderm
BlastodermSet: Nemesis
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
C
Number:
102
Artist:
Eric Peterson
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
Fading 3 (This creature comes into play with three fade counters on it. At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a fade counter from it. If you can't, sacrifice it.) Blastoderm can't be the target of spells or abilities.
. Black has control all over the board! Black has trouble with other protection creatures - which brings us to our next section...

Artifacts:

The only real power artifact common I find that I use in most every deck is the Serrated Arrows
Serrated Arrows
Serrated ArrowsSet: Homelands
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
C
Artist:
David A. Cherry
Text:
When Serrated Arrows comes into play, put three arrowhead counters on it.During your upkeep, bury Serrated Arrows if there are no arrowhead counters on it.T: Remove an arrowhead counter from Serrated Arrows to put a -1/-1 counter on target creature.
. When it was first played against me in a commons tournament, I was in disbelief! I didn't even think of it! As John Weldy used it in his control black deck, it killed elves, goblins, shadow creatures and pump knights. It really cleaned the board with great card advantage. Many times the card will kill two or three creatures sending the opponent to struggle for a new creature.

To add to the powerful nature of the card, it allows non-control decks some creature removal. Green and blue now have a chance to get some mid-game tempo and time to stop the rush of the creature attack.

Lands:

Desert
Desert
DesertSet: Arabian Nights
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Jesper Myrfors
Text:
Tap to add 1 colorless mana to your mana pool or do 1 damage to an attacking creature after it deals its damage.
, the Arabian Nights land, is the clear winner. It can plink a small creature and give colorless mana. Need four removal spells? Try four lands with built in creature control. The only drawback to the land is the scarcity and price of the card itself. The Desert
Desert
DesertSet: Arabian Nights
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Jesper Myrfors
Text:
Tap to add 1 colorless mana to your mana pool or do 1 damage to an attacking creature after it deals its damage.
land may not be necessary in many decks, but it could be the land needed to slow the army from crashing upon you!

Multi-colored cards:

This section is up for wild debate because, until recently, there hasn't been a pool of decent multi-colored cards to choose from. With Planeshift and Invasion sets, the quality and quantity have sharply increased. Since the beginning of the common tournaments, all top-class decks have been mono-colored. I see in the next few weeks, the inclusion of 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.
and 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.
into control decks fueled by these efficient cards.

I encourage you to see what a little money can buy (and I do mean a LITTLE money). When building a deck with these commons, you will sharpen your skills and challenge many with your deck. In weeks to come I will post common decks that utilize most of these power cards and their complementary cousins. I encourage all to submit ideas, suggestions, and ideas for the next power common card that I may have overlooked. In short, build the best deck that spare change can buy!


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