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CardShark Content - Matthew Smith (8/24/2002)

GenCon this year started, for me, as a bad Sienfield episode. Who skips out on a move and foreclosing on a lease to attend GenCon? Yeah, you guessed it, I did. I left at 8:00 Wednesday morning to a house full of stuff and returned 2:00 Monday morning to an unfamiliar house, in an unfamiliar city, full of stuff. Still, the report must go on!

As proposed to me last week, I wonder how many women would be interested in purchasing the book “The Widows of Magic”. A hard-covered novel, compiled of thousands of zany tales of debauchery that every girlfriend/wife of Magic players around the world have experienced.

In all honesty I hadn’t thought I was attending this year’s GenCon. Origins was more than enough to satiate my gaming palate, and in truth, I couldn’t afford to go. But c’mon, this IS GenCon after all. Marcus, editor of Cardshark, finally convinced me to go—not that I needed much convincing—and I eventually managed to weasel a confirmed ‘yes’ from my better half.

I’d like to tell of the wild ride down to Milwaukee, the crazy Wednesday before GenCon started, and the outrageously drunken mishaps that I and my group experienced, but I think I’ll leave that to someone else. Okay, yes, I did feel awful for leaving in the middle of a move and, to tell the truth, my entire weekend was motivated by a guilty conscious. I wore two phone cards out, and I’m sure my roommates were getting tired of loaning me their cell phones to call home. With all of these long distance troubles, it was no wonder I had time to have any fun whilst I was at the annual gaming Mecca.

But I did manage to squeak out a little fun.

Where else can one play Type One for fun and profit? At Origins this year you’ll remember that I was playing a mono-blue deck and I ended up doing fairly well. This time around at GenCon I was defending my title from last year, so I decided to make a few changes to the deck I took to Origins and see how they flew in a few of the smaller T1 tourneys spread throughout the four days. Oh yeah, there were FIVE T1 events. I can’t begin to explain how much that rocks.

The cool thing about playing a distinct format like T1 is that you get the chance to see some of the same people. It’s like living in a small town, where everyone knows everyone else, as opposed to the ‘big city’ living of a format like Standard where every new face is as strange as the last. I got to talk to a lot of the same people I met last year, and a few new people as well. It made me proud to hear of the thriving T1 communities that they played in. I gawked at the tales of ‘shops that have T1 tourneys’ and ‘lots of people to play T1 with’—could it be true?

Talking to these folks about T1 all weekend, rooting in the Vintage mud, just breathing the format, that was just about Nirvana I’d have to say. I could only compare it with something like a Trekkie meeting William Shatner, or Band Camp. It’s as if you’ve finally found what you’ve been searching for, and the mess you’ve been living in has only been a temporary fix.

My wife complains when I get with my Magic buddies for the weekend because she claims I’m speaking a different language. I, on the other hand (like most of you), are completely in my element. This is what I do. Hours spent tweaking decks, metagaming, shuffling, sweaty nights spent rushing downstairs pulling out cards like a madman for a new deck, long road trips with unhealthy diets, suffering the offensiveness of gamers everywhere, all of this to get a little more time with the addiction. Now take that feeling and multiply it by ten and that’s how I feel when I’m talking tech with a group of T1 guys.

You want an addiction? Try exploring a format that not many people play because it doesn’t pay out. The very fact that it reaps little to no monetary awards tells you something about the people who play the format. You’ve heard of playing for the love of the game? Imagine buying cards, testing decks, and picking up a few casual games at FNM every week just so you can get a little taste of a format that you’ll only play competitively a few times a year.

TRY THAT MISTER!

With very little time, and even a smaller amount of packing, I was on my way to Grand Rapids where I was to meet my ride. The week started off good, as my car has no radio, the driver’s side window doesn’t roll down, the front wheels have a slow leak, the steering wheel has about four inches of play, the heater works funny—blasting out jets of hot air in the summer, trickling out streams of cold air in the winter—and to top it off the car was leaking fluid, nothing really, just a gallon or so of radiator fluid and GAS! One flicked cigarette from a passing semi driver, and WHOOSH! No more Magic for this guy. Of course I knew the risks before I left. C’mon, I’m getting a chance to play T1. (That was my mantra…errr, silent prayer…for the entire trip to GR, by the way—kissing the dashboard and chanting ‘Five T1 events, Five T1 events’ the entire trip.)

So I obviously live, made it to Milwaukee with relative ease, and helped CardShark set up the booth. I then got to meet the awesome crew that pays me, (Shameless plug), and I also met Adam Fischer. After talking with Adam, I can now say that I understand what it takes to make it to the Pro Tour. And no, I’ll not be going anytime soon! The level of commitment that Adam puts into everything Magic is amazing, and to me it’s a testament of what one man can accomplish if he really just wants it bad enough. For some reason everyone in the room feels a sense of camaraderie and the entire week is spent with the ambiance of old friends getting together.

Enter Thursday, where I must wait until 4pm until the first tournament starts. I’ve finagled Editor Marcus into playing in as many T1 tournaments as possible this weekend and he’s made a surprisingly solid Pox
Pox
PoxSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
Each player loses 1/3 of his or her life; then chooses and discards 1/3 of his or her hand; then sacrifices 1/3 of the creatures he or she controls; and then sacrifices 1/3 of the lands he or she controls. Round each loss up.
deck. Without anything else to do but spend 5 bucks on a breaded bowl of piping hot chili, Mr. Al and I decide to do the rounds in the convention center. Three hours later we’ve covered half the convention and it’s about time to get into my event. You’ll recall that I said I changed my deck from Origins, the biggest changes being the replacement 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.
for 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.
and cutting down to only 2 Cunning Wish
Cunning Wish
Cunning WishSet: Judgment
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
37
Artist:
Jim Nelson

Text:
Choose an instant you own from outside the game, reveal that card, and put it into your hand. Remove Cunning Wish from the game.
by adding the Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction
Fact or FictionSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
57
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
Reveal the top five cards of your library. An opponent separates those cards into two face-up piles. Put one pile into your hand and the other into your graveyard.
. I also removed a Powder Keg
Powder Keg
Powder KegSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
136
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, you may put a fuse counter on Powder Keg.tap, Sacrifice Powder Keg: Destroy each artifact and creature with converted mana cost equal to the number of fuse counters on Powder Keg.
and increased to 4 Impulse
Impulse
ImpulseSet: Visions
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Bryan Talbot
Text:
Look at the top four cards of your library. Put one of them into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library. Shuffle your library afterwards.
. I knew beforehand this might not be a wise idea when entering an unknown field, but this wasn’t for the big prize and I wanted to experiment.

The deck on Thursday:

Papa Don’t Preach

// Creatures
2 - Morphling
Morphling
MorphlingSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Shapeshifter
Rarity:
R
Number:
85
Artist:
rk post
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
U: Untap Morphling.U: Morphling gains flying until end of turn.U: Morphling cannot be the target of spells or abilities until end of turn.1: Morphling gets +1/-1 until end of turn.1: Morphling gets -1/+1 until end of turn.

1 - Masticore
Masticore
MasticoreSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Rarity:
R
Number:
134
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, you may choose and discard a card from your hand. If you don't, sacrifice Masticore.2: Masticore deals 1 damage to target creature.2: Regenerate Masticore.


// Card Drawing
1 - Ancestral Recall
Ancestral Recall
Ancestral RecallSet: Alpha
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Draw 3 cards or force opponent to draw 3 cards.

4 - 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.

2 - Cunning Wish
Cunning Wish
Cunning WishSet: Judgment
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
37
Artist:
Jim Nelson

Text:
Choose an instant you own from outside the game, reveal that card, and put it into your hand. Remove Cunning Wish from the game.

4 - Impulse
Impulse
ImpulseSet: Visions
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Bryan Talbot
Text:
Look at the top four cards of your library. Put one of them into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library. Shuffle your library afterwards.

1 - Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction
Fact or FictionSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
57
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
Reveal the top five cards of your library. An opponent separates those cards into two face-up piles. Put one pile into your hand and the other into your graveyard.


// Counters
4 - Mana Drain
Mana Drain
Mana DrainSet: Legends
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Counters target spell. At the beginning of your next main phase, add X to your mana pool, where X is the casting cost of target spell.

3 - Mana Leak
Mana Leak
Mana LeakSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
36
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Counter target spell unless its caster pays an additional 3.

1 - 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.

4 - Force of Will
Force of Will
Force of WillSet: Alliances
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
You may pay 1 life and remove a blue card in your hand from the game instead of paying Force of Will's casting cost. Effects that prevent or redirect damage cannot be used to counter this loss of life. Counter target spell.

2 - Misdirection
Misdirection
MisdirectionSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
87
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
You may remove a blue card in your hand from the game instead of paying Misdirection's mana cost.Target spell with a single target targets another target instead.


// Other Stuff
2 - Back to Basics
Back to Basics
Back to BasicsSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
62
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Nonbasic lands do not untap during their controllers' untap phases.

2 - Powder Keg
Powder Keg
Powder KegSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
136
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, you may put a fuse counter on Powder Keg.tap, Sacrifice Powder Keg: Destroy each artifact and creature with converted mana cost equal to the number of fuse counters on Powder Keg.

1 - Time Walk
Time Walk
Time WalkSet: Alpha
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Amy Weber
Text:
Take an extra turn after this one.


// Mana
15 - Island
Island
IslandSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add U to your mana pool.

2 - Wasteland
Wasteland
WastelandSet: Tempest
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Una Fricker
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.tap, Sacrifice Wasteland: Destroy target nonbasic land.

1 - Strip Mine
Strip Mine
Strip MineSet: Fourth Edition
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Daniel Gelon
Text:
T: Add 1 colorless mana to your mana pool.T: Sacrifice Strip Mine to destroy target land.

1 - Library of Alexandria
Library of Alexandria
Library of AlexandriaSet: Arabian Nights
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Tap to add 1 colorless mana to your mana pool or draw a card from your library; you may use the card-drawing ability only if you have exactly seven cards in your hand.

1 - Cephalid Coliseum
Cephalid Coliseum
Cephalid ColiseumSet: Odyssey
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
317
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
Tap: Add U to your mana pool. Cephalid Coliseum deals 1 damage to you. Threshold - U, Tap, Sacifice Cephalid Coliseum: Target player draws three cards, then discards three cards from his or her hand. (Play this ability only if seven or more cards are in your graveyard.)

5 - Moxen
1 - Sol Ring
Sol Ring
Sol RingSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
T: Add 2 colorless mana to your mana pool. This ability is played as an interrupt.

1 - 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.


//Sideboard
4 - Blue Elemental Blast
Blue Elemental Blast
Blue Elemental BlastSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Richard Thomas
Text:
Counters a red spell being cast or destroys a red card in play.

1 - 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.

2 - Back to Basics
Back to Basics
Back to BasicsSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
62
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Nonbasic lands do not untap during their controllers' untap phases.

1 - Misdirection
Misdirection
MisdirectionSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
87
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
You may remove a blue card in your hand from the game instead of paying Misdirection's mana cost.Target spell with a single target targets another target instead.

2 - Scrying Glass
Scrying Glass
Scrying GlassSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
137
Artist:
Patrick Ho
Text:
3, T: Choose a number greater than 0 and a color. Target opponent reveals his or her hand. If that opponent reveals exactly the chosen number of cards of the chosen color, you draw a card.

3 - Control Magic
Control Magic
Control MagicSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Dameon Willich
Text:
You control target creature until enchantment is discarded or game ends. If target creature is already tapped it stays tapped until you can untap it. If destroyed, target creature is put in its owner's graveyard.

1 - 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.

1 - Psionic Blast
Psionic Blast
Psionic BlastSet: Alpha
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Psionic Blast does 4 damage to any target, but it does 2 damage to you as well.


Not much different than Origins, but a little. I really liked the Scrying Glass
Scrying Glass
Scrying GlassSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
137
Artist:
Patrick Ho
Text:
3, T: Choose a number greater than 0 and a color. Target opponent reveals his or her hand. If that opponent reveals exactly the chosen number of cards of the chosen color, you draw a card.
in the board for the mirror, but I only saw the mirror once and it proved to be not as useful as I’d have liked.

The tournament? Well it seems as if mono black is popular in Wisconsin this year. My first three matches were against some form of mono black, whether it was Void
Void
VoidSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
287
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Choose a number. Destroy all artifacts and creatures with converted mana cost equal to that number. Then target player reveals his or her hand and discards from it all nonland cards with converted mana cost equal to the number.
, Suicide, or some other mix. By the way, mono black is probably this deck’s worst match-up.

Despite, the sea of black, I managed to squeak out a 4-2-1 record, drawing with Keeper player Marc Hutchinson when I probably could have won. We were so busy joking around and having a good time that it ended up being a draw. Not that I was disappointed, I had a good time during the tourney and I was able to size up what deck I wanted to try on Friday. It also gave me the opportunity to talk to a few good guys after the tournament, Marc, being one of them, and Craig Olsen, another Keeper player, who ended up taking third. Two guys I met at GenCon last year. Afterwards we talked about all things T1 and came to consensus that Zoo is pretty damn good right now. Astonishingly enough, aggro decks did very well all weekend. I think that based on the GenCon meta game, Zoo and other aggressive decks (mono black, sligh, and variants) can indeed compete in a field full of mono blue and Keeper. Huh…I guess that makes Back to Basics
Back to Basics
Back to BasicsSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
62
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Nonbasic lands do not untap during their controllers' untap phases.
really good. Oh wait, Back to Basics
Back to Basics
Back to BasicsSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
62
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Nonbasic lands do not untap during their controllers' untap phases.
doesn’t mean JACK when you have to wade through the black trenches to eek out a decent record. 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.
also sucks but more on that later.

So I end up going back to the hotel room convinced that I’m going to play my fun Power Artifact
Power Artifact
Power ArtifactSet: Antiquities
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchant Artifact
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
The activation cost of target artifact is reduced by 2. If this would reduce target artifact's activation cost below 1, target artifact's activation cost becomes 1. Power Artifact has no effect on artifacts that have no activation cost or whose activation cost is 0.
combo deck tomorrow, and Mr. Al gets obnoxiously drunk. I tip back a Corona or two and find myself putting together said combo deck at 2 in the morning. At the butt crack of dawn (literally the crack, as Mr. Al has got his half moon all up in my face at about 8 in the morning) I hear a horrendous:

*PPPPHHHHHHRRRRRAAAAAATTTTTTTT……FFFFFOOOOOOO…whoooosh*

Rip about 2 inches from my head, and then a *Click* and “Hey kids its Barney! Want to play?” Apparently Mr. Al gets gas after a night of drinking and he suffers not from the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune known as HANGOVER. Not that I’m hung-over, as I only had a few, but I’m pretty sure that Mr. Al had only one good day without drinking this weekend. Al’s newly purchased sword lying in the corner looked so tempting…

After another brisk few hours in the distributor’s hall it is back to the CCG room, which I might say was ridiculously crammed for the weekend, and another few hours spent being a gadfly before my event started. I manage to get in a bit of trading. With the help of Craig I secure a pretty sweet deal on a beta Timetwister
Timetwister
TimetwisterSet: Alpha
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Set Timetwister aside in a new graveyard pile. Shuffle your hand, library, and graveyard together into a new library and draw a new hand of seven cards, leaving all cards in play where they are; opponent must do the same.
and a beta Mox Ruby
Mox Ruby
Mox RubySet: Alpha
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Mono Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Add 1 red mana to your mana pool. Tapping this artifact can be played as an interrupt.
, both of which help me to get my P9 closer to their final destination—all black bordered. I’ve found that this small edge in cardboard coloring proves to win me plenty more games than I ought to, if not only for the sheer intimidation factor.

I do end up playing my Power Artifact
Power Artifact
Power ArtifactSet: Antiquities
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchant Artifact
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
The activation cost of target artifact is reduced by 2. If this would reduce target artifact's activation cost below 1, target artifact's activation cost becomes 1. Power Artifact has no effect on artifacts that have no activation cost or whose activation cost is 0.
deck, and I’ll tell you, it was damn fun. Editor Marcus plays Sligh, a build he put together the night before and ends up walking home with some product. Just TWO T1 tournaments and he’s winning, good job!

Like the first day, I run into black disruption galore. This time I was a bit more ready. While the deck isn’t what I would call completely tournament viable, the main deck Atog
Atog
AtogSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Atog
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Jesper Myrfors
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
0: +2/+2. Each time you use this ability, you must sacrifice one of your artifacts in play.
could probably be something better, the deck is a complete BLAST to play and it makes your head hurt at the end of the day—a sure sign of a challenging deck.

Here’s the deck list:

Power Artifact
Power Artifact
Power ArtifactSet: Antiquities
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchant Artifact
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
The activation cost of target artifact is reduced by 2. If this would reduce target artifact's activation cost below 1, target artifact's activation cost becomes 1. Power Artifact has no effect on artifacts that have no activation cost or whose activation cost is 0.
(Some have called it The Restricted List)

Restricted
R – Ancestral Recall
Ancestral Recall
Ancestral RecallSet: Alpha
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Draw 3 cards or force opponent to draw 3 cards.

R – Timetwister
Timetwister
TimetwisterSet: Alpha
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Set Timetwister aside in a new graveyard pile. Shuffle your hand, library, and graveyard together into a new library and draw a new hand of seven cards, leaving all cards in play where they are; opponent must do the same.

R – Time Spiral
Time Spiral
Time SpiralSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
6
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
103
Artist:
Michael Sutfin
Text:
Remove Time Spiral from the game. Each player shuffles his or her graveyard and hand into his or her library, then draws seven cards. You untap up to six lands.

R – Mind Over Matter
Mind Over Matter
Mind Over MatterSet: Exodus
Cost:
6
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
40
Artist:
Keith Parkinson
Text:
Choose and discard a card: Tap or untap target artifact, creature, or land.

R - Mystical Tutor
Mystical Tutor
Mystical TutorSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
83
Artist:
David O'Connor
Text:
Search your library for an instant or sorcery card and reveal that card. Shuffle your library, then put the card on top of it.

R – Stroke of Genius
Stroke of Genius
Stroke of GeniusSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
100
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Target player draws X cards.

R – Braingeyser
Braingeyser
BraingeyserSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Target player must draw X cards.

R – Demonic Tutor
Demonic Tutor
Demonic TutorSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Search your library for one card and take it into your hand. Reshuffle your library afterwards.

R – Memory Jar
Memory Jar
Memory JarSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
5
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
129
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
tap, Sacrifice Memory Jar: Each player sets aside his or her hand, face down, and draws seven cards. At end of turn, each player discards his or her hand and returns to his or her hand each card he or she set aside this way.

R – Tinker
Tinker
TinkerSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
45
Artist:
Mike Raabe
Text:
At the time you play Tinker, sacrifice an artifact.Search your library for an artifact card and put that artifact into play. Shuffle your library afterward.

R – Grim Monolith
Grim Monolith
Grim MonolithSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
126
Artist:
Chippy
Text:
Grim Monolith does not untap during your untap phase.T: Add three colorless mana to your mana pool. Play this ability as a mana source.4: Untap Grim Monolith.

R – 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.

R – Mox Ruby
Mox Ruby
Mox RubySet: Alpha
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Mono Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Add 1 red mana to your mana pool. Tapping this artifact can be played as an interrupt.

R – Mox Sapphire
Mox Sapphire
Mox SapphireSet: Alpha
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Mono Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Add 1 blue mana to your mana pool. Tapping this artifact can be played as an interrupt.

R – Mox Jet
Mox Jet
Mox JetSet: Alpha
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Mono Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Add 1 black mana to your mana pool. Tapping this artifact can be played as an interrupt.

R – Mox Emerald
Mox Emerald
Mox EmeraldSet: Alpha
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Mono Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Add 1 green mana to your mana pool. Tapping this artifact can be played as an interrupt.

R – Mox Pearl
Mox Pearl
Mox PearlSet: Alpha
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Mono Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Add 1 white mana to your mana pool. Tapping this artifact can be played as an interrupt.

R – Yawgmoth’s Bargain
Bargain
BargainSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Phil Foglio
Text:
Your opponent draws a card. You gain 7 life.

R – Necropotence
Necropotence
NecropotenceSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Skip your draw phase.Whenever you discard a card, remove that card from the game.Pay 1 life: Set aside the top card of your library. Put that card into your hand at the beginning of your discard phase.

R – Fastbond
Fastbond
FastbondSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
You may put as many lands into play as you want each turn. Fastbond does 1 damage to you for every land beyond the first that you play in a single turn.

R – Yawgmoth’s Will
R – Mana Vault
Mana Vault
Mana VaultSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
T: Add 3 colorless mana to your mana pool. Mana Vault doesn't untap normally during untap phase; to untap it, you must pay 4 mana during your upkeep. If Mana Vault remains tapped during upkeep it does 1 damage to you. Drawing mana from this artifact is played as an interrupt.

R – Sol Ring
Sol Ring
Sol RingSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
T: Add 2 colorless mana to your mana pool. This ability is played as an interrupt.

R – Mana Crypt
R – Balance
Balance
BalanceSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Whichever player has more lands in play must discard enough lands of his or her choice to equalize the number of lands both players have in play. Next, equalize the cards in hand and then creatures in play the same way. Creatures lost in this manner are considered buried.

R – Vampiric Tutor
Vampiric Tutor
Vampiric TutorSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
161
Artist:
Gary Leach
Text:
Search your library for a card, then shuffle your library and put that card on top of it. You lose 2 life.

R – Mind Twist
Mind Twist
Mind TwistSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Julie Baroh
Text:
Opponent must discard X cards at random from hand. If opponent doesn't have enough cards in hand, entire hand is discarded.

R – Wheel of Fortune
Wheel of Fortune
Wheel of FortuneSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Daniel Gelon
Text:
All players must discard their hands and draw seven new cards.

R – Windfall
Windfall
WindfallSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
111
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Each player discards his or her hand and draws cards equal to the greatest number a player discarded this way.

R – Tolarian Academy
Tolarian Academy
Tolarian AcademySet: Urza's Saga
Color:
Land
Type:
Legendary Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
330
Artist:
Stephen Daniele
Text:
T: Add U to your mana pool for each artifact you control.


Land

4 – Underground Sea
Underground Sea
Underground SeaSet: Revised Edition
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
T: Add either B or U to your mana pool.Counts as both swamp 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 – Badland
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.

2 – Underground River
Underground River
Underground RiverSet: Fifth Edition
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Jeff Miracola
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.T: Add U or B to your mana pool. Underground River deals 1 damage to you.

1 – 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.


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 – 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.

1 – Defense Grid
Defense Grid
Defense GridSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
125
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
During each player's turn, spells played by another player cost an additional 3.

4 – Force of Will
Force of Will
Force of WillSet: Alliances
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
You may pay 1 life and remove a blue card in your hand from the game instead of paying Force of Will's casting cost. Effects that prevent or redirect damage cannot be used to counter this loss of life. Counter target spell.

1 – Atog
Atog
AtogSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Atog
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Jesper Myrfors
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
0: +2/+2. Each time you use this ability, you must sacrifice one of your artifacts in play.

2 – Impulse
Impulse
ImpulseSet: Visions
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Bryan Talbot
Text:
Look at the top four cards of your library. Put one of them into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library. Shuffle your library afterwards.

1 – Tainted Pact
Tainted Pact
Tainted PactSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
164
Artist:
Adam Rex
Text:
Remove the top card of your library from the game. You may put that card into your hand unless it has the same name as another card removed this way. Repeat this process until you put a card into your hand or you remove two cards with the same name, whichever comes first.

1 – Cunning Wish
Cunning Wish
Cunning WishSet: Judgment
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
37
Artist:
Jim Nelson

Text:
Choose an instant you own from outside the game, reveal that card, and put it into your hand. Remove Cunning Wish from the game.

1 – Zuran Orb
Zuran Orb
Zuran OrbSet: Ice Age
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Sandra Everingham
Text:
0: Sacrifice a land to gain 2 life.

2 – Candelabra of Tawnos
Candelabra of Tawnos
Candelabra of TawnosSet: Antiquities
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Mono Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
X: Untap X separate lands.

1 – Power Artifact
Power Artifact
Power ArtifactSet: Antiquities
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchant Artifact
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
The activation cost of target artifact is reduced by 2. If this would reduce target artifact's activation cost below 1, target artifact's activation cost becomes 1. Power Artifact has no effect on artifacts that have no activation cost or whose activation cost is 0.

1 – Fireball
Fireball
FireballSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Fireball does X damage total, divided evenly (round down) among any number of targets. Pay 1 extra mana for each target beyond the first.


I can’t recall the sideboard, but if I remember right it was geared towards beating disruption, something like 4 Red Elemental Blast
Red Elemental Blast
Red Elemental BlastSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Richard Thomas
Text:
Counters a blue spell being cast or destroys a blue card in play.
, Searing Touch
Searing Touch
Searing TouchSet: Tempest
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Text:
Buyback 4 (You may pay an additional 4 when you play this spell. If you do, put it into your hand instead of your graveyard as part of the spell's effect.) Searing Touch deals 1 damage to target creature or player.
, Abeyance
Abeyance
AbeyanceSet: Oversize Cards
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Thomas Gianni
Text:
Until end of turn, target player cannot play instants, interrupts, sorceries, or abilities requiring an activation cost.Draw a card.
, Diabolic Edict
Diabolic Edict
Diabolic EdictSet: Tempest
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Target player sacrifices a creature.
, mainly stuff I could Cunning Wish
Cunning Wish
Cunning WishSet: Judgment
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
37
Artist:
Jim Nelson

Text:
Choose an instant you own from outside the game, reveal that card, and put it into your hand. Remove Cunning Wish from the game.
for also if need be. The deck is a blast to play, but I wouldn’t recommend taking it to a tournament where you have to register it unless you’ve got a deck list already typed up!

I posted a 5-2 record with the deck, ironically only losing to two aggressive decks while smashing my way through three control decks. In hindsight I’m sure if I were to play this deck competitively I’d replace the Atog
Atog
AtogSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Atog
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Jesper Myrfors
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
0: +2/+2. Each time you use this ability, you must sacrifice one of your artifacts in play.
with another Power Artifact
Power Artifact
Power ArtifactSet: Antiquities
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchant Artifact
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
The activation cost of target artifact is reduced by 2. If this would reduce target artifact's activation cost below 1, target artifact's activation cost becomes 1. Power Artifact has no effect on artifacts that have no activation cost or whose activation cost is 0.
and perhaps find room to squeeze in another Cunning Wish
Cunning Wish
Cunning WishSet: Judgment
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
37
Artist:
Jim Nelson

Text:
Choose an instant you own from outside the game, reveal that card, and put it into your hand. Remove Cunning Wish from the game.
. The Wish just grabs anything you need for any situation. The deck has other certain cards in it like Fireball
Fireball
FireballSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Fireball does X damage total, divided evenly (round down) among any number of targets. Pay 1 extra mana for each target beyond the first.
over something like Torch because, I own a beta Fireball
Fireball
FireballSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Fireball does X damage total, divided evenly (round down) among any number of targets. Pay 1 extra mana for each target beyond the first.
and the opponent feels better when you’ve been masturbating with your deck for an hour but you still have the respect to kill them off with style—call it a mercy card.

After the tournament I realized that if I were to play in the Big Show I’d really have to modify my mono blue deck. I’d been thinking about a few changes, some of them a bit radical, and after talking with the T1 guys I felt secure enough to try them out. First of all the 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.
s had to go. The current state of the GenCon meta wouldn’t allow for them. Sure 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.
s are great if you’ve got them active and there are no blockers, but I found on Thursday that all of my counter magic was being used to just keep them alive and clear, and that’s not good when your opponent is dropping threats you have to deal with.

With that thought in mind, and knowing that mono black and aggro would be prevalent, I knew I had to put the 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.
back in the deck. The nice thing about AK is that I don’t mind one bit if they are discarded, in fact, I prefer it. That way they just keep getting bigger until it’s really quite ridiculous. I also knew that my first mistake, the removal of one of the Powder Keg
Powder Keg
Powder KegSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
136
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, you may put a fuse counter on Powder Keg.tap, Sacrifice Powder Keg: Destroy each artifact and creature with converted mana cost equal to the number of fuse counters on Powder Keg.
s, was going to get changed fast. In an environment like GenCon three Powder Keg
Powder Keg
Powder KegSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
136
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, you may put a fuse counter on Powder Keg.tap, Sacrifice Powder Keg: Destroy each artifact and creature with converted mana cost equal to the number of fuse counters on Powder Keg.
s is a prerequisite. I had also toyed with the idea of adding Brainstorm
Brainstorm
BrainstormSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Draw three cards. Then, put any two cards from your hand on top of your library in any order.
, obviously for reasons pertaining to discard, and at 1:00 in the morning on the way back to my hotel room, it was only a matter of how many. With shuffle effects like Impulse
Impulse
ImpulseSet: Visions
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Bryan Talbot
Text:
Look at the top four cards of your library. Put one of them into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library. Shuffle your library afterwards.
and Mystical Tutor
Mystical Tutor
Mystical TutorSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
83
Artist:
David O'Connor
Text:
Search your library for an instant or sorcery card and reveal that card. Shuffle your library, then put the card on top of it.
, Brainstorm
Brainstorm
BrainstormSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Draw three cards. Then, put any two cards from your hand on top of your library in any order.
becomes very similar in nature to an Ancestral, as I draw three good cards and bury two bad cards.

In all actuality I had changed the face of the deck entirely, but I think I’m much more happy with the changes, and if I were to play again I’d only really probably add Merchant Scroll
Merchant Scroll
Merchant ScrollSet: Homelands
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Liz Danforth
Text:
Search your library for a blue instant or interrupt. Reveal that card to all players and put it into your hand. Reshuffle your library afterwards.
(Which I now see as a must in this type of build).

Papa Don’t Preach (GenCon remix)

// Creatures - 3
2 - Morphling
Morphling
MorphlingSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Shapeshifter
Rarity:
R
Number:
85
Artist:
rk post
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
U: Untap Morphling.U: Morphling gains flying until end of turn.U: Morphling cannot be the target of spells or abilities until end of turn.1: Morphling gets +1/-1 until end of turn.1: Morphling gets -1/+1 until end of turn.

1 - Masticore
Masticore
MasticoreSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Rarity:
R
Number:
134
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, you may choose and discard a card from your hand. If you don't, sacrifice Masticore.2: Masticore deals 1 damage to target creature.2: Regenerate Masticore.


// Card Drawing - 14
1 - Ancestral Recall
Ancestral Recall
Ancestral RecallSet: Alpha
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Draw 3 cards or force opponent to draw 3 cards.

4 - 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.

2 - Brainstorm
Brainstorm
BrainstormSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Draw three cards. Then, put any two cards from your hand on top of your library in any order.

4 - Impulse
Impulse
ImpulseSet: Visions
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Bryan Talbot
Text:
Look at the top four cards of your library. Put one of them into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library. Shuffle your library afterwards.

1 - Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction
Fact or FictionSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
57
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
Reveal the top five cards of your library. An opponent separates those cards into two face-up piles. Put one pile into your hand and the other into your graveyard.

1 - Jayemdae Tome
Jayemdae Tome
Jayemdae TomeSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
4, T: Draw one extra card.

1 - Mystical Tutor
Mystical Tutor
Mystical TutorSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
83
Artist:
David O'Connor
Text:
Search your library for an instant or sorcery card and reveal that card. Shuffle your library, then put the card on top of it.


// Counters - 14
4 - Mana Drain
Mana Drain
Mana DrainSet: Legends
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Counters target spell. At the beginning of your next main phase, add X to your mana pool, where X is the casting cost of target spell.

3 - Mana Leak
Mana Leak
Mana LeakSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
36
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Counter target spell unless its caster pays an additional 3.

1 - Prohibit
Prohibit
ProhibitSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
67
Artist:
Adam Rex
Text:
Kicker 2 (You may pay an additional 2 as you play this spell.)Counter target spell if its converted mana cost is 2 or less. If you paid the kicker cost, counter that spell if its converted mana cost is 4 or less instead.

4 - Force of Will
Force of Will
Force of WillSet: Alliances
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
You may pay 1 life and remove a blue card in your hand from the game instead of paying Force of Will's casting cost. Effects that prevent or redirect damage cannot be used to counter this loss of life. Counter target spell.

2 - Misdirection
Misdirection
MisdirectionSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
87
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
You may remove a blue card in your hand from the game instead of paying Misdirection's mana cost.Target spell with a single target targets another target instead.


// Other Stuff - 5
1 - Back to Basics
Back to Basics
Back to BasicsSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
62
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Nonbasic lands do not untap during their controllers' untap phases.

3 - Powder Keg
Powder Keg
Powder KegSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
136
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, you may put a fuse counter on Powder Keg.tap, Sacrifice Powder Keg: Destroy each artifact and creature with converted mana cost equal to the number of fuse counters on Powder Keg.

1 - Time Walk
Time Walk
Time WalkSet: Alpha
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Amy Weber
Text:
Take an extra turn after this one.


// Mana -25
15 - Island
Island
IslandSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add U to your mana pool.

1 - Strip Mine
Strip Mine
Strip MineSet: Fourth Edition
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Daniel Gelon
Text:
T: Add 1 colorless mana to your mana pool.T: Sacrifice Strip Mine to destroy target land.

1 - Library of Alexandria
Library of Alexandria
Library of AlexandriaSet: Arabian Nights
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Tap to add 1 colorless mana to your mana pool or draw a card from your library; you may use the card-drawing ability only if you have exactly seven cards in your hand.

1 - Cephalid Coliseum
Cephalid Coliseum
Cephalid ColiseumSet: Odyssey
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
317
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
Tap: Add U to your mana pool. Cephalid Coliseum deals 1 damage to you. Threshold - U, Tap, Sacifice Cephalid Coliseum: Target player draws three cards, then discards three cards from his or her hand. (Play this ability only if seven or more cards are in your graveyard.)

5 - Moxen
1 - Sol Ring
Sol Ring
Sol RingSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
T: Add 2 colorless mana to your mana pool. This ability is played as an interrupt.

1 - 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.


//Sideboard
4 - Blue Elemental Blast
Blue Elemental Blast
Blue Elemental BlastSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Richard Thomas
Text:
Counters a red spell being cast or destroys a red card in play.

1 - 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.

3 - Back to Basics
Back to Basics
Back to BasicsSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
62
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Nonbasic lands do not untap during their controllers' untap phases.

1 - Misdirection
Misdirection
MisdirectionSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
87
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
You may remove a blue card in your hand from the game instead of paying Misdirection's mana cost.Target spell with a single target targets another target instead.

1 - Scrying Glass
Scrying Glass
Scrying GlassSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
137
Artist:
Patrick Ho
Text:
3, T: Choose a number greater than 0 and a color. Target opponent reveals his or her hand. If that opponent reveals exactly the chosen number of cards of the chosen color, you draw a card.

3 - Control Magic
Control Magic
Control MagicSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Dameon Willich
Text:
You control target creature until enchantment is discarded or game ends. If target creature is already tapped it stays tapped until you can untap it. If destroyed, target creature is put in its owner's graveyard.

2 - 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.


First off, the deck only runs three win conditions, two Morphling
Morphling
MorphlingSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Shapeshifter
Rarity:
R
Number:
85
Artist:
rk post
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
U: Untap Morphling.U: Morphling gains flying until end of turn.U: Morphling cannot be the target of spells or abilities until end of turn.1: Morphling gets +1/-1 until end of turn.1: Morphling gets -1/+1 until end of turn.
and a Masticore
Masticore
MasticoreSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Rarity:
R
Number:
134
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, you may choose and discard a card from your hand. If you don't, sacrifice Masticore.2: Masticore deals 1 damage to target creature.2: Regenerate Masticore.
. This was actually not planned, as I only had the two Morphling
Morphling
MorphlingSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Shapeshifter
Rarity:
R
Number:
85
Artist:
rk post
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
U: Untap Morphling.U: Morphling gains flying until end of turn.U: Morphling cannot be the target of spells or abilities until end of turn.1: Morphling gets +1/-1 until end of turn.1: Morphling gets -1/+1 until end of turn.
s on me or there would be more, but it worked out in my favor as I had to play a more controllish game. With only three win conditions in your deck you make sure that you can protect the bejeezus out of whatever it is you drop.

Secondly another card that got me plenty of weird looks was the main deck Jayemdae Tome
Jayemdae Tome
Jayemdae TomeSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
4, T: Draw one extra card.
, but if truth be told it fits the deck like a glove. One problem I’d often encounter after the restriction of Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction
Fact or FictionSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
57
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
Reveal the top five cards of your library. An opponent separates those cards into two face-up piles. Put one pile into your hand and the other into your graveyard.
was the need to dump mana somewhere after a large Mana Drain
Mana Drain
Mana DrainSet: Legends
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Counters target spell. At the beginning of your next main phase, add X to your mana pool, where X is the casting cost of target spell.
. Most mono blue decks took the easy way out and added Stroke of Genius
Stroke of Genius
Stroke of GeniusSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
100
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Target player draws X cards.
or Braingeyser
Braingeyser
BraingeyserSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Target player must draw X cards.
, or both. Jayemdae Tome
Jayemdae Tome
Jayemdae TomeSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
4, T: Draw one extra card.
won me games. Now granted, if you play a Tome you’d better be prepared to be in it for the long haul, but if it only draws two cards it has already done the job of Braingeyser
Braingeyser
BraingeyserSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Target player must draw X cards.
and twice the job of Stroke. Mono blue isn’t going to get anything incredibly broken off a two card draw, except maybe two more counters, and I feel that the Tome really accelerates the deck. It may sound weird, but it worked.

I’d like to give a play by play account, but hell, I can’t even remember what I had for dinner last night and I can’t keep notes worth a Mongoloid in a tongue-piercer’s convention, so you’ll just have to know that I ended up going 4-0-2, drawing into the top eight with Pat Chapin, only to lose to Chapin’s Miracle Gro deck in the first round. Truth be told, I really believe that his deck was the only thing to stop me from taking it again too.

The match-up for mono blue against Miracle Gro is, at best, sub-par and here’s why: all of my counterspells, with the exception of Force of Will
Force of Will
Force of WillSet: Alliances
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
You may pay 1 life and remove a blue card in your hand from the game instead of paying Force of Will's casting cost. Effects that prevent or redirect damage cannot be used to counter this loss of life. Counter target spell.
, cost two. You are not going to win a counter war (over something important) if you don’t have the mana to compete. I found myself continually coming up short in the counter department when I was the one supposedly playing more permission.

You’d think that you could sit back, build up your mana base, and then attack when the opportunity is right. Except Miracle Gro isn’t really a counter deck—it’s an aggro deck. It’s actually not too hard to slip a Dryad through a few counters and in a couple of turns:



WHAAAMMMOOO!!!!!


The stinking whip wielding chick is so friggin huge that not even a Morphling
Morphling
MorphlingSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Shapeshifter
Rarity:
R
Number:
85
Artist:
rk post
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
U: Untap Morphling.U: Morphling gains flying until end of turn.U: Morphling cannot be the target of spells or abilities until end of turn.1: Morphling gets +1/-1 until end of turn.1: Morphling gets -1/+1 until end of turn.
can chump block enough to save your ass!

Was I disappointed? Well yeah! $250 smackeroos is a lot of money to be walking home with, and I’m pretty positive with the deck I was playing it was indeed possible. I hadn’t lost all night (although my only real draw was with an interesting mono artifact deck that I would have been reluctant to play again) and I was feeling pretty good about my chances.


And what’s up with a pro player in the T1 event, doesn’t Pat Chapin realize that a Vintage rating means nothing!

Kidding aside, Chapin was actually one of the coolest pros that I’ve ever met. His love for the forgotten format shows his love for the game. After the match we talked for a while about the meta game, and while I can’t say that I agree with him totally, it will be interesting to see what comes of ‘Chapin Gro’ and what it eventually transforms into.

For your reference here’s the deck as given to me.

Chapin Gro

4 – Gush
Gush
GushSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
82
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
You may return two islands you control to their owner's hand instead of paying Gush's mana cost.Draw two cards.

4 – Sleight of Hand
Sleight of Hand
Sleight of HandSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Phil Foglio
Text:
Look at the top two cards of your library. Put one of them into your hand and the other on the bottom of your library.

4 – 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.

4 – Brainstorm
Brainstorm
BrainstormSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Draw three cards. Then, put any two cards from your hand on top of your library in any order.

4 – Force of Will
Force of Will
Force of WillSet: Alliances
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
You may pay 1 life and remove a blue card in your hand from the game instead of paying Force of Will's casting cost. Effects that prevent or redirect damage cannot be used to counter this loss of life. Counter target spell.

4 – Misdirection
Misdirection
MisdirectionSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
87
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
You may remove a blue card in your hand from the game instead of paying Misdirection's mana cost.Target spell with a single target targets another target instead.

2 – Daze
Daze
DazeSet: Nemesis
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
30
Artist:
Matthew D. Wilson
Text:
You may return an island you control to its owner's hand instead of paying Daze's mana cost. Counter target spell unless its controller pays 1.

1 – Divert
Divert
DivertSet: Odyssey
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
82
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
Change the target of target spell with a single target unless that spell's controller pays 2.

2 – Merchant Scroll
Merchant Scroll
Merchant ScrollSet: Homelands
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Liz Danforth
Text:
Search your library for a blue instant or interrupt. Reveal that card to all players and put it into your hand. Reshuffle your library afterwards.

4 – Quirion Dryad
Quirion Dryad
Quirion DryadSet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Dryad
Rarity:
R
Number:
89
Artist:
Don Hazeltine
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever you play a white, blue, black, or red spell, put a +1/+1 counter on Quirion Dryad.

1 – Cunning Wish
Cunning Wish
Cunning WishSet: Judgment
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
37
Artist:
Jim Nelson

Text:
Choose an instant you own from outside the game, reveal that card, and put it into your hand. Remove Cunning Wish from the game.

1 – Opt
Opt
OptSet: Invasion
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
64
Artist:
John Howe
Text:
Look at the top card of your library. You may put that card on the bottom of your library.Draw a card.

2 – Foil
Foil
FoilSet: Prophecy
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
34
Artist:
Bradley Williams
Text:
You may discard an island and another card from your hand instead of paying Foil's mana cost. Counter target spell.

1 – 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.

1 – Time Walk
Time Walk
Time WalkSet: Alpha
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Amy Weber
Text:
Take an extra turn after this one.

1 – Ancestral Recall
Ancestral Recall
Ancestral RecallSet: Alpha
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Draw 3 cards or force opponent to draw 3 cards.


Mana
4 – Land Grant
Land Grant
Land GrantSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
255
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Text:
If you have no land cards in hand, you may reveal your hand instead of paying Land Grant's mana cost.Search your library for a forest card and put that card into your hand. Then shuffle your library.

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.

4 – Island
Island
IslandSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add U to your mana pool.

1 – Library of Alexandria
Library of Alexandria
Library of AlexandriaSet: Arabian Nights
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Tap to add 1 colorless mana to your mana pool or draw a card from your library; you may use the card-drawing ability only if you have exactly seven cards in your hand.

1 – Mox Emerald
Mox Emerald
Mox EmeraldSet: Alpha
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Mono Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Add 1 green mana to your mana pool. Tapping this artifact can be played as an interrupt.

1 – Mox Pearl
Mox Pearl
Mox PearlSet: Alpha
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Mono Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Add 1 white mana to your mana pool. Tapping this artifact can be played as an interrupt.

1 – Mox Sapphire
Mox Sapphire
Mox SapphireSet: Alpha
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Mono Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Add 1 blue mana to your mana pool. Tapping this artifact can be played as an interrupt.

1 – Mox Ruby
Mox Ruby
Mox RubySet: Alpha
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Mono Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Add 1 red mana to your mana pool. Tapping this artifact can be played as an interrupt.

1 – 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.

1 – Sol Ring
Sol Ring
Sol RingSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
T: Add 2 colorless mana to your mana pool. This ability is played as an interrupt.


I’m sure the deck will go through some changes as people strive to adapt it to their own fields, and as those same people realize that in its current form it is not, in fact, inflatable. One change I was considering already was the addition of Merfolk Looter
Merfolk Looter
Merfolk LooterSet: Exodus
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Merfolk
Rarity:
C
Number:
39
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Draw a card, then choose and discard a card.
s and the removal of 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.
, but that was merely at a glance—it may be all wrong. I can say however, that I’ll be testing this deck out as much as I can.

Mainly so I can learn how to beat it.


Stay tuned for Part II of the GenCon experience.

Viva,


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