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CardShark Content - Michael Potter (12/17/2002)

This was an interesting PTQ to play in for me. It featured me almost getting a game loss (to cost me the match) in match 1 due to new sleeve problems, a discussion about what a 0 on a ten-sided die means, and being hounded by spectators during my last match to try and make me make a play error (and cost me the game) and then to concede once the match was over (ending in a draw).

The first misadventure was using brand new sleeves. I always use new sleeves before a REL 3 tournament. I don’t want to take the risk of getting a game or match loss due to marked sleeves. The problem is that new sleeves are slick and cards slide all over the place until they’re a little worn in.

In my first match, four cards slide off of the top of my deck. None were revealed and the order was apparent, but the judge decided to give me a warning. In the third match, one sleeve stuck to another when I was drawing a card and it flipped up to reveal the next card. The judge then was going to give me a game loss for the same offense two times in the match. I didn’t think it was fair, and the head judge came over and agreed that I shouldn’t have received a warning for the first incident (I, of course, deserved one for revealing the card).

In another match later that day, I rolled a 10-sided die and came up with a “0”. I have been gaming for a long time (close to 25 years), and a “0” on a 10-sided die has always equaled “10” (unless you’re rolling 2 of them for a number from 1 – 100). I considered calling a judge, but, after a little bit of thought, came to the conclusion that the argument had merit. Maybe my opponent was being a little bit of a dick (I’ve played him before and win or lose he has always been ok to play, so I doubt that’s the case). I try and be positive and I think my opponent was gently reminding me about PTQ’s and higher REL and prizes. All I had to do was clarify before I rolled that it was a 10 (or a zero), and everything would have been fine. Lesson learned (including how to not be confrontational when having that type of discussion).

The final match was pretty hard fought. My opponent did things like count my library before the first game and before sideboarding, but that’s no big deal. In the waning seconds of the game, when it was obvious that I was going to combo him out, some of the other players who were watching the game started to get on my case about my play (I was “lucky”) and about conceding to my opponent. The solution was simple, I could have asked the judges to clear the spectators away. It really didn’t affect me; I have competed in other types of tournaments and have been in far worse situations during my work experience. It has been part of the top ranks of every sport and game I have ever competed in. When you’re playing for the prize, it seems that almost everyone gets “mean”. I used to be meaner than mean. I can be that way again if that is what it takes to win.

I’m sure many people have read about Draco
Draco
DracoSet: Planeshift
Cost:
16
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Dragon
Rarity:
R
Number:
131
Artist:
Sam Wood
Power:
9
Toughness:
9
Text:
Flying. Draco costs 2 less to play for each basic land type among lands you control. At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice Draco unless you pay 10. This cost is reduced by 2 for each basic land type among lands you control.
Explosion and wonder what it is like to play. I will be honest up front; it probably is not a deck that will get you qualified. It is a combo deck that is a little fragile in getting its combo and it loses a little when people know it is coming. It also has a rougher time against Rock than it used to because more Rock decks are running Feeders to counter the rise in Sligh decks. It does have a chance to get you to the T8 and it is fun to play. My recommendation is to play a Red deck or play The Rock if you want the best shot at winning the slot.

This is the version of the deck that I played (based on the T8 Reims deck, I just messed with the sideboard):

Draco
Draco
DracoSet: Planeshift
Cost:
16
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Dragon
Rarity:
R
Number:
131
Artist:
Sam Wood
Power:
9
Toughness:
9
Text:
Flying. Draco costs 2 less to play for each basic land type among lands you control. At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice Draco unless you pay 10. This cost is reduced by 2 for each basic land type among lands you control.
Explosion (Boom!)

The combo

3 x Draco
Draco
DracoSet: Planeshift
Cost:
16
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Dragon
Rarity:
R
Number:
131
Artist:
Sam Wood
Power:
9
Toughness:
9
Text:
Flying. Draco costs 2 less to play for each basic land type among lands you control. At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice Draco unless you pay 10. This cost is reduced by 2 for each basic land type among lands you control.

3 x Erratic Explosion
Erratic Explosion
Erratic ExplosionSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
201
Artist:
Gary Ruddell
Text:
Choose target creature or player. Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a nonland card. Erratic Explosion deals damage equal to that card's converted mana cost to that creature or player. Put the revealed cards on the bottom of your library in any order.


The Set-up

4 x 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.

3 x Scroll Rack
Scroll Rack
Scroll RackSet: Tempest
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Text:
1, T: Choose any number of cards in your hand and set those cards aside. Put an equal number of cards from the top of your library into your hand. Then put the cards set aside in this way on top of your library in any order.


The other spells

4 x 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.

3 x Intuition
Intuition
IntuitionSet: Tempest
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
April Lee
Text:
Search your library for any three cards and reveal them to target opponent. He or she chooses one. Put that card into your hand and the rest into your graveyard. Shuffle your library afterwards.

4 x 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.

3 x 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 x Earthquake
Earthquake
EarthquakeSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Does X damage to each player and each non-flying creature in play.

4 x Fire/Ice
3 x 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 x 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 x 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.


Land (23)

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

4 x Mountain
Mountain
MountainSet: Arabian Nights
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Tap to add R to your mana pool.

3 x Polluted Delta
Polluted Delta
Polluted DeltaSet: Onslaught
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
321
Artist:
Land
Text:
T, Pay 1 life, Sacrifice Polluted Delta: Search your library for an island or swamp card and put it into play. Then shuffle your library. Rob Alexander

1 x Wooded Foothills
Wooded Foothills
Wooded FoothillsSet: Onslaught
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
330
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
T, Pay 1 life, Sacrifice Wooded Foothills: Search your library for a mountain or forest card and put it into play. Then shuffle your library.

1 x Dust Bowl
Dust Bowl
Dust BowlSet: Mercadian Masques
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
316
Artist:
Ben Thompson
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.3, tap, Sacrifice a land: Destroy target nonbasic land.

2 x Faerie Conclave
Faerie Conclave
Faerie ConclaveSet: Urza's Legacy
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
139
Artist:
Val Mayerik
Text:
Faerie Conclave comes into play tapped.T: Add one blue mana to your mana pool.1U: Faerie Conclave becomes a 2/1 blue creature with flying until end of turn. This creature still counts as a land.

2 x Lonely Sandbar
Lonely Sandbar
Lonely SandbarSet: Onslaught
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Number:
320
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Text:
Lonely Sandbar comes into play tapped. T: Add U to your mana pool. Cycling U (U, Discard this card from your hand: Draw a card.)

4 x Shivan Reef
Shivan Reef
Shivan ReefSet: Apocalypse
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
142
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
TAP: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool. TAP: Add U or R to your mana pool. Shivan Reef deals 1 damage to you.



Sideboard (15 cards)

3 x Annul
Annul
AnnulSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
59
Artist:
Greg Simanson
Text:
Counter target artifact or enchantment spell.

2 x Chain of Vapor
Chain of Vapor
Chain of VaporSet: Onslaught
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
73
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Return target nonland permanent to its owner's hand. Then that permanent's controller may sacrifice a land. If the player does, he or she may copy this spell and may choose a new target for that copy.

1 x Earthquake
Earthquake
EarthquakeSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Does X damage to each player and each non-flying creature in play.

1 x 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 x 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.
(replaced 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 x 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 x Fault Line
Fault Line
Fault LineSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
185
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Fault Line deals X damage to each creature without flying and each player.

1 x Rack and Ruin
Rack and Ruin
Rack and RuinSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
89
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
Destroy two target artifacts.
(replaced Rmxhc2ggb2YgInsight
Insight
InsightSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
75
Artist:
Ron Chironna
Text:
Whenever one of your opponents plays a green spell, you draw a card.
)
2 x Mana Short
Mana Short
Mana ShortSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dameon Willich
Text:
All opponent's lands are tapped, and opponent's mana pool is emptied. Opponent takes no damage from unspent mana.

1 x 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.

1 x Sonic Burst
Sonic Burst
Sonic BurstSet: Exodus
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
103
Artist:
Brian Snoddy
Text:
Discard a card at random: Sonic Burst deals 4 damage to target creature or player.


I have seen a fair amount of message board traffic on this deck, and I put a reasonable amount of time into play testing it, so I’ll try and write somewhat of a primer on how to play it and what to do in the various match-ups you will have. Please excuse the basic explanations that I’ll begin with. I get emails all the time from newer players who thank me for explaining what more experienced players have been taking for granted for years.

The deck wins by dealing 16 points of damage via Erratic Explosion
Erratic Explosion
Erratic ExplosionSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
201
Artist:
Gary Ruddell
Text:
Choose target creature or player. Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a nonland card. Erratic Explosion deals damage equal to that card's converted mana cost to that creature or player. Put the revealed cards on the bottom of your library in any order.
revealing Draco
Draco
DracoSet: Planeshift
Cost:
16
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Dragon
Rarity:
R
Number:
131
Artist:
Sam Wood
Power:
9
Toughness:
9
Text:
Flying. Draco costs 2 less to play for each basic land type among lands you control. At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice Draco unless you pay 10. This cost is reduced by 2 for each basic land type among lands you control.
. The key is stacking your deck so that you know that Draco
Draco
DracoSet: Planeshift
Cost:
16
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Dragon
Rarity:
R
Number:
131
Artist:
Sam Wood
Power:
9
Toughness:
9
Text:
Flying. Draco costs 2 less to play for each basic land type among lands you control. At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice Draco unless you pay 10. This cost is reduced by 2 for each basic land type among lands you control.
will be the next spell revealed. 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.
and Scroll Rack
Scroll Rack
Scroll RackSet: Tempest
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Text:
1, T: Choose any number of cards in your hand and set those cards aside. Put an equal number of cards from the top of your library into your hand. Then put the cards set aside in this way on top of your library in any order.
are the tools to stack the top of your deck.

Erratic Explosion
Erratic Explosion
Erratic ExplosionSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
201
Artist:
Gary Ruddell
Text:
Choose target creature or player. Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a nonland card. Erratic Explosion deals damage equal to that card's converted mana cost to that creature or player. Put the revealed cards on the bottom of your library in any order.
2R, Sorcery:

Text (ON): Choose target creature or player. Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a nonland card. ~this~ deals damage equal to that card's converted mana cost to that creature or player. Put the revealed cards on the bottom of your library in any order.

There are two key points that I will make right here about Erratic Explosion
Erratic Explosion
Erratic ExplosionSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
201
Artist:
Gary Ruddell
Text:
Choose target creature or player. Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a nonland card. Erratic Explosion deals damage equal to that card's converted mana cost to that creature or player. Put the revealed cards on the bottom of your library in any order.
:

1) It does not only have to be used with Draco
Draco
DracoSet: Planeshift
Cost:
16
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Dragon
Rarity:
R
Number:
131
Artist:
Sam Wood
Power:
9
Toughness:
9
Text:
Flying. Draco costs 2 less to play for each basic land type among lands you control. At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice Draco unless you pay 10. This cost is reduced by 2 for each basic land type among lands you control.
. It is amazing how easy it is to be blinded by this fact. In one play test game, I was playing Sligh against Draco
Draco
DracoSet: Planeshift
Cost:
16
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Dragon
Rarity:
R
Number:
131
Artist:
Sam Wood
Power:
9
Toughness:
9
Text:
Flying. Draco costs 2 less to play for each basic land type among lands you control. At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice Draco unless you pay 10. This cost is reduced by 2 for each basic land type among lands you control.
Explosion. I was at 2 life and my opponent had 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.
, Erratic Explosion
Erratic Explosion
Erratic ExplosionSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
201
Artist:
Gary Ruddell
Text:
Choose target creature or player. Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a nonland card. Erratic Explosion deals damage equal to that card's converted mana cost to that creature or player. Put the revealed cards on the bottom of your library in any order.
, and Intuition
Intuition
IntuitionSet: Tempest
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
April Lee
Text:
Search your library for any three cards and reveal them to target opponent. He or she chooses one. Put that card into your hand and the rest into your graveyard. Shuffle your library afterwards.
in his hand. He did not see that 3 points of damage is just fine when your opponent is at 2.

2) Erratic Explosion
Erratic Explosion
Erratic ExplosionSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
201
Artist:
Gary Ruddell
Text:
Choose target creature or player. Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a nonland card. Erratic Explosion deals damage equal to that card's converted mana cost to that creature or player. Put the revealed cards on the bottom of your library in any order.
can be used to clear debris off the top of your deck. If you hit a big land clump and you’re having trouble finding you combo when using Scroll Rack
Scroll Rack
Scroll RackSet: Tempest
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Text:
1, T: Choose any number of cards in your hand and set those cards aside. Put an equal number of cards from the top of your library into your hand. Then put the cards set aside in this way on top of your library in any order.
, Erratic Explosion
Erratic Explosion
Erratic ExplosionSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
201
Artist:
Gary Ruddell
Text:
Choose target creature or player. Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a nonland card. Erratic Explosion deals damage equal to that card's converted mana cost to that creature or player. Put the revealed cards on the bottom of your library in any order.
can be used to put that land at the bottom of your deck so that Scroll Rack
Scroll Rack
Scroll RackSet: Tempest
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Text:
1, T: Choose any number of cards in your hand and set those cards aside. Put an equal number of cards from the top of your library into your hand. Then put the cards set aside in this way on top of your library in any order.
will dig through new cards. You also can stack your deck with Land – Draco
Draco
DracoSet: Planeshift
Cost:
16
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Dragon
Rarity:
R
Number:
131
Artist:
Sam Wood
Power:
9
Toughness:
9
Text:
Flying. Draco costs 2 less to play for each basic land type among lands you control. At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice Draco unless you pay 10. This cost is reduced by 2 for each basic land type among lands you control.
via 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.
to get a land you do not need onto the bottom of your deck so you will not draw it. This increases the chance that you’ll draw whatever burn you need to do the last few points of damage.

There is another combo in the deck as well. Intuition
Intuition
IntuitionSet: Tempest
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
April Lee
Text:
Search your library for any three cards and reveal them to target opponent. He or she chooses one. Put that card into your hand and the rest into your graveyard. Shuffle your library afterwards.
and 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.
is a card drawing combo. This combo is why the deck is not as effected by hand-destruction as a few of the other decks in the format. It doesn’t try and win on turn 2, and it has a fair amount of cards that can be used to give it an extra draw step or two so that it can top deck card drawing and recover.

The deck only runs 7 counter spells, and only 4 of them are hard counters. I experimented with 3 Force Spike
Force Spike
Force SpikeSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
John Matson
Text:
Counter target spell unless its caster pays an additional 1.
s instead of 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.
s. In the end, I found Force Spike
Force Spike
Force SpikeSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
John Matson
Text:
Counter target spell unless its caster pays an additional 1.
to be muck more situational than 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.
and countering a spell turn 1 didn’t seem to be as important as I thought it was going to be. I also experimented with Memory Lapse
Memory Lapse
Memory LapseSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Counter target spell. Put that spell on top of owner's library.
. I had mixed results with it. It was a hard counter, but it didn’t make the problem go away. In the early game, you need the problem to go away, not to be asked again if you have an answer to the threat. Later in the game, Memory Lapse
Memory Lapse
Memory LapseSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Counter target spell. Put that spell on top of owner's library.
was more useful as it often gave me the one more turn I needed to finish putting together the combo.

There are 8 main deck burn spells. Fire/Ice is the most versatile and usually is your finisher. Earthquake
Earthquake
EarthquakeSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Does X damage to each player and each non-flying creature in play.
is your mass creature removal and it also can be used to do the final few points of damage as well. Of course, Erratic Explosion
Erratic Explosion
Erratic ExplosionSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
201
Artist:
Gary Ruddell
Text:
Choose target creature or player. Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a nonland card. Erratic Explosion deals damage equal to that card's converted mana cost to that creature or player. Put the revealed cards on the bottom of your library in any order.
is burn, potentially very potent burn.

One important item about Earthquake
Earthquake
EarthquakeSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Does X damage to each player and each non-flying creature in play.
and Erratic Explosion
Erratic Explosion
Erratic ExplosionSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
201
Artist:
Gary Ruddell
Text:
Choose target creature or player. Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a nonland card. Erratic Explosion deals damage equal to that card's converted mana cost to that creature or player. Put the revealed cards on the bottom of your library in any order.
– they’re both Sorceries. That means that Rishadan Port
Rishadan Port
Rishadan PortSet: Mercadian Masques
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
324
Artist:
Jerry Tiritilli
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.1, T: Tap target land.
and Tangle
Tangle
TangleSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
213
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
Prevent all combat damage that would be dealt this turn.Attacking creatures don't untap during their controllers' next untap steps.
IFdpcmU= can shut you out of the main phase. One way around Rishadan Port
Rishadan Port
Rishadan PortSet: Mercadian Masques
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
324
Artist:
Jerry Tiritilli
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.1, T: Tap target land.
is to use Ice at the end of their turn, targeting Port. This could allow you to keep untapped the mana you need to win the game. If your opponent only leaves one other mana untapped other than the Port (usually coloured mana), it is better to tap that mana instead of the Port as the colourless mana that the Port can generate isn’t that useful compared to coloured mana.

The rest of your lands are card drawing and search/tutors. 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.
could probably be swapped out for another Earthquake
Earthquake
EarthquakeSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Does X damage to each player and each non-flying creature in play.
main deck. The Mystic Tutor almost gives you two copies of the 2 1-ofs (FoF and Earthquake
Earthquake
EarthquakeSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Does X damage to each player and each non-flying creature in play.
). You need to wait a turn for it to show up, but it can find the important spells in your deck.

Intuition
Intuition
IntuitionSet: Tempest
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
April Lee
Text:
Search your library for any three cards and reveal them to target opponent. He or she chooses one. Put that card into your hand and the rest into your graveyard. Shuffle your library afterwards.
is dangerous when used with Erratic Explosion
Erratic Explosion
Erratic ExplosionSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
201
Artist:
Gary Ruddell
Text:
Choose target creature or player. Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a nonland card. Erratic Explosion deals damage equal to that card's converted mana cost to that creature or player. Put the revealed cards on the bottom of your library in any order.
, less so with Draco
Draco
DracoSet: Planeshift
Cost:
16
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Dragon
Rarity:
R
Number:
131
Artist:
Sam Wood
Power:
9
Toughness:
9
Text:
Flying. Draco costs 2 less to play for each basic land type among lands you control. At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice Draco unless you pay 10. This cost is reduced by 2 for each basic land type among lands you control.
. Remember that the revealed cards do not go to the graveyard so you could combo again with just 1 Draco
Draco
DracoSet: Planeshift
Cost:
16
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Dragon
Rarity:
R
Number:
131
Artist:
Sam Wood
Power:
9
Toughness:
9
Text:
Flying. Draco costs 2 less to play for each basic land type among lands you control. At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice Draco unless you pay 10. This cost is reduced by 2 for each basic land type among lands you control.
left (albeit that it will be hard to find that Draco
Draco
DracoSet: Planeshift
Cost:
16
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Dragon
Rarity:
R
Number:
131
Artist:
Sam Wood
Power:
9
Toughness:
9
Text:
Flying. Draco costs 2 less to play for each basic land type among lands you control. At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice Draco unless you pay 10. This cost is reduced by 2 for each basic land type among lands you control.
again).

Intuition
Intuition
IntuitionSet: Tempest
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
April Lee
Text:
Search your library for any three cards and reveal them to target opponent. He or she chooses one. Put that card into your hand and the rest into your graveyard. Shuffle your library afterwards.
and the fetch lands serve one other important purpose – they shuffle your deck. Sometimes you use Scroll Rack
Scroll Rack
Scroll RackSet: Tempest
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Text:
1, T: Choose any number of cards in your hand and set those cards aside. Put an equal number of cards from the top of your library into your hand. Then put the cards set aside in this way on top of your library in any order.
a couple of times and still can’t find the combo. Intuition
Intuition
IntuitionSet: Tempest
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
April Lee
Text:
Search your library for any three cards and reveal them to target opponent. He or she chooses one. Put that card into your hand and the rest into your graveyard. Shuffle your library afterwards.
and the fetch lands will let you shuffle the dreck away and hopefully bring the cards you need to the top. Be careful with these shuffling cards, you don’t want to lose your combo.

The lands

13 of the deck’s 23 lands are non-basic. That makes them vulnerable to Dust Bowl
Dust Bowl
Dust BowlSet: Mercadian Masques
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
316
Artist:
Ben Thompson
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.3, tap, Sacrifice a land: Destroy target nonbasic land.
s and 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.
s. I am strongly considering working in a copy of Teferi’s Response into the sideboard. You need to be very careful in how you play your lands.

My first rule of thumb is to play out blue lands until I need Red. The only UR deck that I’m aware of is Draco
Draco
DracoSet: Planeshift
Cost:
16
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Dragon
Rarity:
R
Number:
131
Artist:
Sam Wood
Power:
9
Toughness:
9
Text:
Flying. Draco costs 2 less to play for each basic land type among lands you control. At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice Draco unless you pay 10. This cost is reduced by 2 for each basic land type among lands you control.
Explosion. The longer you can keep what you are playing secret, the more damage your opponent will do to themselves via pain lands, and spells like Reanimate
Reanimate
ReanimateSet: Tempest
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Robert Bliss
Text:
Put target creature card from any graveyard into play under your control. Lose life equal to that creature's total casting cost.
. You also want to be able to hide spells from discard via 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.
as early as possible.

The Faerie Conclave
Faerie Conclave
Faerie ConclaveSet: Urza's Legacy
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
139
Artist:
Val Mayerik
Text:
Faerie Conclave comes into play tapped.T: Add one blue mana to your mana pool.1U: Faerie Conclave becomes a 2/1 blue creature with flying until end of turn. This creature still counts as a land.
s are your alternate win condition. They can punch through the extra 2-4 damage you need to win. Don’t forget that Deed for 0 and 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 with 0 counters can and will destroy man-lands.

Dust Bowl
Dust Bowl
Dust BowlSet: Mercadian Masques
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
316
Artist:
Ben Thompson
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.3, tap, Sacrifice a land: Destroy target nonbasic land.
takes some thinking to play properly. I try never to play it unless it is the turn I plan on using it in. Hopefully you can take out an opposing Dust Bowl
Dust Bowl
Dust BowlSet: Mercadian Masques
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
316
Artist:
Ben Thompson
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.3, tap, Sacrifice a land: Destroy target nonbasic land.
without your opponent having an untapped Dust Bowl
Dust Bowl
Dust BowlSet: Mercadian Masques
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
316
Artist:
Ben Thompson
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.3, tap, Sacrifice a land: Destroy target nonbasic land.
or enough mana to power the Dust Bowl
Dust Bowl
Dust BowlSet: Mercadian Masques
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
316
Artist:
Ben Thompson
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.3, tap, Sacrifice a land: Destroy target nonbasic land.
that they have played. Dust Bowl
Dust Bowl
Dust BowlSet: Mercadian Masques
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
316
Artist:
Ben Thompson
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.3, tap, Sacrifice a land: Destroy target nonbasic land.
s are your best protection against Treetop Village
Treetop Village
Treetop VillageSet: Urza's Legacy
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
143
Artist:
Anthony S. Waters
Text:
Treetop Village comes into play tapped.T: Add one green mana to your mana pool.1G: Treetop Village becomes a 3/3 green creature with trample until end of turn. This creature still counts as a land.
s. When you play against The Rock and Oath, Dust Bowl
Dust Bowl
Dust BowlSet: Mercadian Masques
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
316
Artist:
Ben Thompson
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.3, tap, Sacrifice a land: Destroy target nonbasic land.
advantage often wins you games.

Your fetch lands just find one colour of mana and serve an important purpose – they shuffle your deck. If you’re a little light on land in your opening hand, do not use the sac land until you need the mana. If you do, you take another source out of your deck and you’ll decrease your chances of drawing more land. Of course, the opposite is true if you have lots of land and you don’t want to draw any more. I remind you again that you’ll often need to shuffle your deck when you’re trying to find combo pieces, so save the fetch lands if you can.

The Sideboard

The sideboard is strongly effected by the use of 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.
in the main deck. It has quite a few “silver bullets” and a few other spells in multiples. The net deck lists had 1 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.
either main deck on in the sideboard. After a ton of play testing, I could never come up with a match-up in which I went to 7 mana (so I could protect it) where casting it would make all that much of a difference. There still is too much untargeted removal in the field.

I pulled Rmxhc2ggb2YgInsight
Insight
InsightSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
75
Artist:
Ron Chironna
Text:
Whenever one of your opponents plays a green spell, you draw a card.
out of the sideboard and that may have been a mistake. Flash
Flash
FlashSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
67
Artist:
David Ho
Text:
Put a creature card from your hand into play. You may pay its mana cost reduced by up to 2. If you don't, sacrifice it.
of Insight
Insight
InsightSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
75
Artist:
Ron Chironna
Text:
Whenever one of your opponents plays a green spell, you draw a card.
can be used to clear a couple of cards off the top of your deck. I like 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.
better, though as it clears 5 cards off of the top and can put more into your hand.

I’m going to try and work a Teferi’s Response into the sideboard to help with the Dust Bowl
Dust Bowl
Dust BowlSet: Mercadian Masques
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
316
Artist:
Ben Thompson
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.3, tap, Sacrifice a land: Destroy target nonbasic land.
wars. It also needs better artifact removal than Rack and Ruin
Rack and Ruin
Rack and RuinSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
89
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
Destroy two target artifacts.
. Shattering Pulse
Shattering Pulse
Shattering PulseSet: Exodus
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
102
Artist:
Donato Giancola
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.) Destroy target artifact.
is probably the best choice. Rack and Ruin
Rack and Ruin
Rack and RuinSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
89
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
Destroy two target artifacts.
is good against 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.
, but no one is playing 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.
these days. You need a method to get rid of Cursed Scroll
Cursed Scroll
Cursed ScrollSet: Oversize Cards
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
X
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Text:
3, T:Name a card. Target opponent chooses a card at random from your hand. If he or she chooses the named card, Cursed Scoll deals 2 damage to target creature or player.
s and Tangle
Tangle
TangleSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
213
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
Prevent all combat damage that would be dealt this turn.Attacking creatures don't untap during their controllers' next untap steps.
IFdpcmU=s. The buy-back from Shattering Pulse
Shattering Pulse
Shattering PulseSet: Exodus
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
102
Artist:
Donato Giancola
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.) Destroy target artifact.
is a bonus.
Sonic Burst
Sonic Burst
Sonic BurstSet: Exodus
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
103
Artist:
Brian Snoddy
Text:
Discard a card at random: Sonic Burst deals 4 damage to target creature or player.
is your finisher as it deals 4 points of damage. It also kills/forces the sacrifice of Baloth (so you don’t lose life in 4 point chunks) and causes a player with Negator in play to sacrifice 4 permanents.

The Match-ups

I’m going to start with the two bad match-ups:

Psychotog

This is almost impossible to win. It has a ton of counter magic and your creature removal cannot deal with Tog. If you use counter magic to stop Tog from being played, you probably will not have enough to force your combo through. You need to 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 Mana Short
Mana Short
Mana ShortSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dameon Willich
Text:
All opponent's lands are tapped, and opponent's mana pool is emptied. Opponent takes no damage from unspent mana.
as soon as possible and you need to get them to 16 as soon as possible. I remove the three 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.
es for 2 Mana Short
Mana Short
Mana ShortSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dameon Willich
Text:
All opponent's lands are tapped, and opponent's mana pool is emptied. Opponent takes no damage from unspent mana.
s and either a Mytical Tutor or a 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.
for games 2 and 3.

Suicide Black

A combination of hand destruction, cheap flyers that dodge Earthquake
Earthquake
EarthquakeSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Does X damage to each player and each non-flying creature in play.
(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.
), and a good creature rush make this very tough to win. I normally take the Wishes out and bring in the extra Earthquake
Earthquake
EarthquakeSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Does X damage to each player and each non-flying creature in play.
, Fault Line
Fault Line
Fault LineSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
185
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Fault Line deals X damage to each creature without flying and each player.
, and a Chain of Vapor
Chain of Vapor
Chain of VaporSet: Onslaught
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
73
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Return target nonland permanent to its owner's hand. Then that permanent's controller may sacrifice a land. If the player does, he or she may copy this spell and may choose a new target for that copy.
.

The Decent Match-Ups

These seem to be slightly in the favor of Draco
Draco
DracoSet: Planeshift
Cost:
16
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Dragon
Rarity:
R
Number:
131
Artist:
Sam Wood
Power:
9
Toughness:
9
Text:
Flying. Draco costs 2 less to play for each basic land type among lands you control. At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice Draco unless you pay 10. This cost is reduced by 2 for each basic land type among lands you control.
Explosion (at least according to my play testing)

The Rock

This was easier before all the life gain cards came in reaction to Sligh. The good news is that the deck is not quite as fast a beat-down deck because mana creatures have been taken out and replaced with Walls which are not threats to you (other than fuel for flashing back Cabal Therapy
Cabal Therapy
Cabal TherapySet: Judgment
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
62
Artist:
Ron Spencer

Text:
Name a nonland card. Target player reveals his or her hand and discards from it all cards with that name. Flashback - Sacrifice a creature.
).

The only card drawing “engine” in this deck is Yavimaya Elder
Yavimaya Elder
Yavimaya ElderSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Druid
Rarity:
C
Number:
124
Artist:
Ray Lago
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Yavimaya Elder is put into a graveyard from play, you may search your library for up to two basic land cards, reveal them, and put them into your hand. If you do, shuffle your library.2, Sacrifice Yavimaya Elder: Draw a card.
and it does not run counter spells, so you should be able to get your combo off at least once. The Rock usually attacks your hand for the first two turns, and this is two land drops that you get to make. It runs a fair amount of pain lands and 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.
, so you usually only have to combo off once. Earthquake
Earthquake
EarthquakeSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Does X damage to each player and each non-flying creature in play.
is your “X” spell to end the game if The Rock has gained life.

Be careful with your Faerie Conclave
Faerie Conclave
Faerie ConclaveSet: Urza's Legacy
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
139
Artist:
Val Mayerik
Text:
Faerie Conclave comes into play tapped.T: Add one blue mana to your mana pool.1U: Faerie Conclave becomes a 2/1 blue creature with flying until end of turn. This creature still counts as a land.
s as the deck does run Diabolic Edict
Diabolic Edict
Diabolic EdictSet: Tempest
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Target player sacrifices a creature.
s.

This is a match-up where Dust Bowl
Dust Bowl
Dust BowlSet: Mercadian Masques
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
316
Artist:
Ben Thompson
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.3, tap, Sacrifice a land: Destroy target nonbasic land.
battles occur. Go after their Tree Top Villages. Note – if they’re falling back to the Village plan, you’re a big step ahead of them as it is very slow beatdown. This is a match-up where Teferi’s response could cause a big swing in momentum and one of the main reasons why I’m strongly considering bringing it into the main deck.

This is the deck I suggest you spend most of your play testing time against. It is probably the most popular deck for the better players that your are likely to run against later in the tournament.

I usually sideboard in another Earthquake
Earthquake
EarthquakeSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Does X damage to each player and each non-flying creature in play.
for a 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.
. I have experimented with bringing in Fault Line
Fault Line
Fault LineSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
185
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Fault Line deals X damage to each creature without flying and each player.
as well and I’m going to try and see if Teferi’s Rresponse makes sense. 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.
is also important as you’ll need to replenish your hand after the initial assault.

The spells I most want to counter are Spirit
Spirit
SpiritSet: Divine vs Demonic
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying
Monger, Ravenous Baloth
Ravenous Baloth
Ravenous BalothSet: Onslaught
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
R
Number:
278
Artist:
Arnie Swekel
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Sacrifice a Beast: You gain 4 life.
, Spike Feeder
Spike Feeder
Spike FeederSet: Stronghold
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spike
Rarity:
U
Number:
68
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Power:
0
Toughness:
0
Text:
Spike Feeder comes into play with two +1/+1 counters on it.2, Remove a +1/+1 counter from Spike Feeder: Put a +1/+1 counter on target creature.Remove a +1/+1 counter from Spike Feeder: Gain 2 life.
, and Living Wish
Living Wish
Living WishSet: Judgment
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
124
Artist:
Eric Peterson

Text:
Choose a creature or land card you own from outside the game, reveal that card, and put it into your hand. Remove Living Wish from the game.
(to keep Dust Bowl
Dust Bowl
Dust BowlSet: Mercadian Masques
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
316
Artist:
Ben Thompson
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.3, tap, Sacrifice a land: Destroy target nonbasic land.
off the table – this is a difficult call – most other Wishes I would say counter the spell it gets, but you can’t counter a Dust Bowl
Dust Bowl
Dust BowlSet: Mercadian Masques
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
316
Artist:
Ben Thompson
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.3, tap, Sacrifice a land: Destroy target nonbasic land.
being played). Yavimaya Elder
Yavimaya Elder
Yavimaya ElderSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Druid
Rarity:
C
Number:
124
Artist:
Ray Lago
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Yavimaya Elder is put into a graveyard from play, you may search your library for up to two basic land cards, reveal them, and put them into your hand. If you do, shuffle your library.2, Sacrifice Yavimaya Elder: Draw a card.
is another card that I’ll counter if I’m trying to keep the Rock player slowed down, especially if he missed a land drop or is missing non-pain lands for his colors.

WW/u

Meddling Mage
Meddling Mage
Meddling MageSet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
116
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
As Meddling Mage comes into play, name a nonland card. The named card can't be played.
naming Erratic Explosion
Erratic Explosion
Erratic ExplosionSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
201
Artist:
Gary Ruddell
Text:
Choose target creature or player. Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a nonland card. Erratic Explosion deals damage equal to that card's converted mana cost to that creature or player. Put the revealed cards on the bottom of your library in any order.
is a problem, especially if the Mage is protected by a Mother of Runes
Mother of Runes
Mother of RunesSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cleric
Rarity:
U
Number:
14
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Target creature you control gains protection from a color of your choice until end of turn.
. Depending on the draw and how the counter-wars go, this is either an easy match up or a very difficult one. The good news is that most of the different versions do not run counter spells. 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 Chain of Vapor
Chain of Vapor
Chain of VaporSet: Onslaught
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
73
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Return target nonland permanent to its owner's hand. Then that permanent's controller may sacrifice a land. If the player does, he or she may copy this spell and may choose a new target for that copy.
on the Meddling Mage
Meddling Mage
Meddling MageSet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
116
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
As Meddling Mage comes into play, name a nonland card. The named card can't be played.
or True Believer
True Believer
True BelieverSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cleric
Rarity:
R
Number:
57
Artist:
Alex Horley-Orlandelli
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
You can't be the target of spells or abilities.
should result in a win for you.

Bring in the extra Earthquake
Earthquake
EarthquakeSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Does X damage to each player and each non-flying creature in play.
and the two Chain of Vapor
Chain of Vapor
Chain of VaporSet: Onslaught
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
73
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Return target nonland permanent to its owner's hand. Then that permanent's controller may sacrifice a land. If the player does, he or she may copy this spell and may choose a new target for that copy.
s for your Wishes.

GU Madness

If they get the God draw, you’re in big trouble. Try and counter Wild Mongrel
Wild Mongrel
Wild MongrelSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Hound
Rarity:
C
Number:
283
Artist:
Anthony S. Waters
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Discard a card from your hand: Wild Mongrel gets +1/+1 and becomes the color of your choice until end of turn.
if at all possible. This deck runs 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.
and 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.
, so it has some pretty potent counter magic to keep the combo from going off. This is a match-up where you’ll want access to Hibernation
Hibernation
HibernationSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
79
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Return all green permanents to owners' hands.
and, if you expect to see a lot of it, work Hibernation
Hibernation
HibernationSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
79
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Return all green permanents to owners' hands.
into the Sideboard. In my play testing, I won slightly more matches than I lost, but it was close to being even.

I had a fair amount of success by bringing in Chain of Vapor
Chain of Vapor
Chain of VaporSet: Onslaught
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
73
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Return target nonland permanent to its owner's hand. Then that permanent's controller may sacrifice a land. If the player does, he or she may copy this spell and may choose a new target for that copy.
for 2 of the Wishes. If you’re running Hibernation
Hibernation
HibernationSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
79
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Return all green permanents to owners' hands.
in the sideboard, bring it in too.

Reanimator

This match-up comes down to a couple of plays. The first is if they use Reanimate
Reanimate
ReanimateSet: Tempest
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Robert Bliss
Text:
Put target creature card from any graveyard into play under your control. Lose life equal to that creature's total casting cost.
or Exhume
Exhume
ExhumeSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
134
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Each player chooses a creature card in his or her graveyard and puts that creature into play.
to get their fatty out of the graveyard. The second is what card they go for. Phantom Nishoba
Phantom Nishoba
Phantom NishobaSet: Judgment
Cost:
7
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast Spirit
Rarity:
R
Number:
140
Artist:
Arnie Swekel

Power:
0
Toughness:
0
Text:
Trample. Phantom Nishoba comes into play with seven +1/+1 counters on it. Whenever Phantom Nishoba deals damage, you gain that much life. If damage would be dealt to Phantom Nishoba, prevent that damage. Remove a +1/+1 counter from Phantom Nishoba.
makes comboing them out much more difficult. Verdant Force
Verdant Force
Verdant ForceSet: Tempest
Cost:
8
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elemental
Rarity:
R
Artist:
DiTerlizzi
Power:
7
Toughness:
7
Text:
During each player's upkeep, put a Saproling token into play. Treat this token as a 1/1 green creature.
puts you on a lightning quick clock.

This is a match-up where playing an Island
Island
IslandSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add U to your mana pool.
as your first land drop is important. A Benzo player will almost always respond by attacking your hand instead of going for a quick fatty out of the graveyard. Every turn that you gain without your life total going down quickly is another turn where you get to play a land and draw another card.

Ice is an important stalling tactic to keep your life total high. If you have the combo, then Ice is better against Nishoba than Fire. If you don’t have the combo, you may benefit from reducing Nishoba’s power by using Fire on it and the controller. This is especially true if Reanimate
Reanimate
ReanimateSet: Tempest
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Robert Bliss
Text:
Put target creature card from any graveyard into play under your control. Lose life equal to that creature's total casting cost.
was used to get the Nishoba into play.

Sideboarding is usually a matter of taking a couple of Wishes out for Chain of Vapor
Chain of Vapor
Chain of VaporSet: Onslaught
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
73
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Return target nonland permanent to its owner's hand. Then that permanent's controller may sacrifice a land. If the player does, he or she may copy this spell and may choose a new target for that copy.
.

Aluren
Aluren
AlurenSet: Tempest
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
April Lee
Text:
Any player may play a creature card with total casting cost 3 or less whenever he or she could play an instant and without paying its casting cost.


This is a mixed battle. You can win an unwinnable game if they get cocky and use 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.
on you while you have access to 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.
via 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.
. You can kill their Wirewood Savage
Wirewood Savage
Wirewood SavageSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf
Rarity:
C
Number:
304
Artist:
DiTerlizzi
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Whenever a Beast comes into play, you may draw a card.
in response to Aluren
Aluren
AlurenSet: Tempest
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
April Lee
Text:
Any player may play a creature card with total casting cost 3 or less whenever he or she could play an instant and without paying its casting cost.
and they might fizzle at that point. Alluren runs a ton of non-Basic lands, so Dust Bowl
Dust Bowl
Dust BowlSet: Mercadian Masques
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
316
Artist:
Ben Thompson
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.3, tap, Sacrifice a land: Destroy target nonbasic land.
can win the game for you if you can last long enough to get it active.

If at all possible, you need to stop them from gaining infinite life.

Sideboard in the Annul
Annul
AnnulSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
59
Artist:
Greg Simanson
Text:
Counter target artifact or enchantment spell.
s and the 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.
and take out a 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.
and the three Wishes.

Good Matches

Sligh

There are two different version of Sligh – Lackey Sligh and RDW2002. The key cards in these match-ups are Fire/Ice and Earthquake
Earthquake
EarthquakeSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Does X damage to each player and each non-flying creature in play.
. In some ways, you want Sligh to play out their little creatures quickly so you can Earthquake
Earthquake
EarthquakeSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Does X damage to each player and each non-flying creature in play.
them all away and then build up your hand as they try and recover. You have to watch out for Tangle
Tangle
TangleSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
213
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
Prevent all combat damage that would be dealt this turn.Attacking creatures don't untap during their controllers' next untap steps.
IFdpcmU= and watch your mana to make sure that 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.
or Rishadan Port
Rishadan Port
Rishadan PortSet: Mercadian Masques
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
324
Artist:
Jerry Tiritilli
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.1, T: Tap target land.
can’t ruin your day.

Sligh does not have counter spells nor does it have card drawing. If you can stabilize in turns 3-4, you’ll usually win. Bring in the extra Earthquake
Earthquake
EarthquakeSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Does X damage to each player and each non-flying creature in play.
for a 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.
. You may or may not want to bring in the extra Tutor and Shattering Pulse
Shattering Pulse
Shattering PulseSet: Exodus
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
102
Artist:
Donato Giancola
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.) Destroy target artifact.
as well. Teferi’s Response is a good answer to Rishadan Port
Rishadan Port
Rishadan PortSet: Mercadian Masques
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
324
Artist:
Jerry Tiritilli
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.1, T: Tap target land.
.

In a lot of my play test games, Sligh had quite a few matches where it drew lots of colorless mana (Ports and 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.
), and this seriously slowed the deck down.

Oath

This is probably your best match-up out of all the Tier 1 decks. Wish for Mana Short
Mana Short
Mana ShortSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dameon Willich
Text:
All opponent's lands are tapped, and opponent's mana pool is emptied. Opponent takes no damage from unspent mana.
game 1 and watch out for a free counter spell when you try and go off. Bring the two Mana Short
Mana Short
Mana ShortSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dameon Willich
Text:
All opponent's lands are tapped, and opponent's mana pool is emptied. Opponent takes no damage from unspent mana.
s in along with the Tutor or 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.
, or just leave the third Wish in to go get anything else you need game 2. This is another deck where Dust Bowl
Dust Bowl
Dust BowlSet: Mercadian Masques
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
316
Artist:
Ben Thompson
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.3, tap, Sacrifice a land: Destroy target nonbasic land.
wars make a big difference.

I’m going to mention this again. You’ll increase your chances of making the Pro Tour if you play The Rock or Sligh instead of Draco
Draco
DracoSet: Planeshift
Cost:
16
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Dragon
Rarity:
R
Number:
131
Artist:
Sam Wood
Power:
9
Toughness:
9
Text:
Flying. Draco costs 2 less to play for each basic land type among lands you control. At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice Draco unless you pay 10. This cost is reduced by 2 for each basic land type among lands you control.
Explosion. I’m not saying that it isn’t a good deck, but my play testing and tournament play has shown that it does fizzle.

PTQ Venice at Matchplay (former Neutral Ground – SF)

As written in his tournament report, Adam Fisher won the tournament running his version of The Rock. I didn’t take the same level of detail notes that I usually do.

Round 1 – vs. Justin playing Lackey Sligh

He won the roll and opened with Goblin Lackey
Goblin Lackey
Goblin LackeySet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Goblin
Rarity:
U
Number:
190
Artist:
Jerry Tiritilli
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever Goblin Lackey successfully deals damage to a player, you may choose a Goblin card in your hand and put that Goblin into play.
. I managed to get him below 16 life, but was one turn short of the combo for the win before he burned me out. Game 2, I managed to control the early rush and got him to 16 and comboed his out. Game 3 was unfinished as we ran out of time. I have only drawn against Sligh once before in all the times I have played against it.

I was pretty worried about this version of Sligh and was glad to see that me deck could hold its own. I was happy to see that the normal Sligh problem of running out of gas applied to it just as it applied to every other version of Sligh that I had faced.

Matches 0-0-1, Games 1-1-1

Round 2 – Frank playing mono-Black Reanimator

He won the die roll for game 1 and proceeded to draw a ton of land. He started beating me down with a Nether Spirit
Nether Spirit
Nether SpiritSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
R
Number:
149
Artist:
Alan Pollack
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, if Nether Spirit is the only creature card in your graveyard, you may return Nether Spirit to play.
(after using it to flash back Cabal Therapy
Cabal Therapy
Cabal TherapySet: Judgment
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
62
Artist:
Ron Spencer

Text:
Name a nonland card. Target player reveals his or her hand and discards from it all cards with that name. Flashback - Sacrifice a creature.
). I hit him once with the combo which made the Reanimate
Reanimate
ReanimateSet: Tempest
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Robert Bliss
Text:
Put target creature card from any graveyard into play under your control. Lose life equal to that creature's total casting cost.
he drew impossible to cast (he was at 4 life). I then used Fire twice to finish him off. Frank then didn’t draw much land at all game 2 and I got the combo off. Both games he did a good job of attacking my opening hand, but I then quickly rebuilt it and won.

The loss of my hand followed by rebuilding it went exact as my play testing had shown against this match-up. I also lucked out as Frank’s mana draws were poor. I used 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.
to hide spells that I couldn’t afford to lose.

Matches 1-0-1, games 3-2-1

Round 3 Beau playing Lackey Sligh

I win the roll game 1 and decide to play. He drops lackey turn 1 and a few turns later I found zero burn even after using 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.
and Scroll Rack
Scroll Rack
Scroll RackSet: Tempest
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Text:
1, T: Choose any number of cards in your hand and set those cards aside. Put an equal number of cards from the top of your library into your hand. Then put the cards set aside in this way on top of your library in any order.
. Game 2 he has big mana problems and I have all the time in the world to get him to 16 and then use the combo on him. Game 3 I last as long as possible looking for something to save me. I actually combo him twice on the same turn for the win. I was at 5 life, it was a close game.

In both the Lackey Sligh matches I played against, I managed to counter Tangle
Tangle
TangleSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
213
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
Prevent all combat damage that would be dealt this turn.Attacking creatures don't untap during their controllers' next untap steps.
IFdpcmU=. That probably was what gave me the results I obtained.

Matches 2-0-1 Games 5-3-1

Round 4 – Jim playing Oath

My opponent was my play test partner. We confirmed with each other that we would go to Venice if we won the tournament and then started to play. I eventually got him down to 12 life and had the combo in my hand. I had 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.
ed for Mana Short
Mana Short
Mana ShortSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dameon Willich
Text:
All opponent's lands are tapped, and opponent's mana pool is emptied. Opponent takes no damage from unspent mana.
earlier in the match and had 3 x 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.
, Draco
Draco
DracoSet: Planeshift
Cost:
16
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Dragon
Rarity:
R
Number:
131
Artist:
Sam Wood
Power:
9
Toughness:
9
Text:
Flying. Draco costs 2 less to play for each basic land type among lands you control. At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice Draco unless you pay 10. This cost is reduced by 2 for each basic land type among lands you control.
, Erratic Explosion
Erratic Explosion
Erratic ExplosionSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
201
Artist:
Gary Ruddell
Text:
Choose target creature or player. Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a nonland card. Erratic Explosion deals damage equal to that card's converted mana cost to that creature or player. Put the revealed cards on the bottom of your library in any order.
, 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.
, Fire/Ice and Mana Short
Mana Short
Mana ShortSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dameon Willich
Text:
All opponent's lands are tapped, and opponent's mana pool is emptied. Opponent takes no damage from unspent mana.
with an active Scroll Rack
Scroll Rack
Scroll RackSet: Tempest
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Text:
1, T: Choose any number of cards in your hand and set those cards aside. Put an equal number of cards from the top of your library into your hand. Then put the cards set aside in this way on top of your library in any order.
. For some brain dead reason, I discarded the Mana Short
Mana Short
Mana ShortSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dameon Willich
Text:
All opponent's lands are tapped, and opponent's mana pool is emptied. Opponent takes no damage from unspent mana.
instead of the 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.
I intended to and tossed the game away. I tired to force the combo through a few times, but he out countered me and won the game as time ended.

I think this was the biggest error I have made in all my tournament playing. I should have discarded Fire/Ice and not even been thinking about 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.
(we both had tons of land at the time).

Matches 2-1-1, Games 5-4-1

Round 5 – Adam playing mono-Blue control with 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 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.


Game 1 was strange. I had two Erratic Explosion
Erratic Explosion
Erratic ExplosionSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
201
Artist:
Gary Ruddell
Text:
Choose target creature or player. Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a nonland card. Erratic Explosion deals damage equal to that card's converted mana cost to that creature or player. Put the revealed cards on the bottom of your library in any order.
s in hand fairly early and decide to fire once off blindly to see if I could draw out a counter spell. Adam lets it resolve and it turns over a 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.
. Two turns later I fire off the second Explosion, but this time I know that Draco
Draco
DracoSet: Planeshift
Cost:
16
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Dragon
Rarity:
R
Number:
131
Artist:
Sam Wood
Power:
9
Toughness:
9
Text:
Flying. Draco costs 2 less to play for each basic land type among lands you control. At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice Draco unless you pay 10. This cost is reduced by 2 for each basic land type among lands you control.
is next. It resolves as well with no counter spell attepted. I can only guess that Adam didn’t draw counters. I do the last 3 points to him and we go onto game 2.

Game 2 was long. Very long. He 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.
ed for 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.
and Thwart
Thwart
ThwartSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
108
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
You may return three islands you control to their owner's hand instead of paying Thwart's mana cost.Counter target spell.
(with a ton of Island
Island
IslandSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add U to your mana pool.
s out), so I have to be carefull. I fetch my own 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.
and have a Mana Short
Mana Short
Mana ShortSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dameon Willich
Text:
All opponent's lands are tapped, and opponent's mana pool is emptied. Opponent takes no damage from unspent mana.
in hand. He eventually gets 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.
out and then later 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.
, but he just can’t find his last two creatures. Time is called and he is one turn short of killing me. Of course, the last two cards in his deck are creatures.

Game 2, he cast Plagiarize
Plagiarize
PlagiarizeSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
44
Artist:
Ben Thompson
Text:
Until end of turn, if target player would draw a card, instead that player skips that draw and you draw a card.
and then sacrificed 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.)
, targeting me. I had know about that combo but that was the first time I had actually seen it (he drew the three off of the Plagiarize
Plagiarize
PlagiarizeSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
44
Artist:
Ben Thompson
Text:
Until end of turn, if target player would draw a card, instead that player skips that draw and you draw a card.
and then I discarded the three).
Matches 3-1-1, Games 6-4-2

Round 6 vs. Allen Sun playing The Rock

Allen and I were now in the position of needing to win this match to make it into the Top 8. We had never met each other before and had a little light banter before the game. Adam Fischer was playing next to us and Allen joked to his opponent that Adam was a Card Shark feature writer. I told Allen that I was one too and he answered back that if he had read any of my articles, he couldn’t remember them. My earlier error against the Oath deck had reaffirmed that I still had quite a ways to go as a Magic player. Allen’s comment was a funny blow to my ego as well.

Allen won the roll and, in typical Rock fashion, ripped the crap out of my opening hand. I managed to get him below 16, but he used life gaining creatures to get to 23 and out of range. Game 1 took quite a while to play.

Game 2 was a long struggle. I managed to get and keep him below 16 but couldn’t find the combo. I had an active Scroll Rack
Scroll Rack
Scroll RackSet: Tempest
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Text:
1, T: Choose any number of cards in your hand and set those cards aside. Put an equal number of cards from the top of your library into your hand. Then put the cards set aside in this way on top of your library in any order.
out and Faerie Conclave
Faerie Conclave
Faerie ConclaveSet: Urza's Legacy
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
139
Artist:
Val Mayerik
Text:
Faerie Conclave comes into play tapped.T: Add one blue mana to your mana pool.1U: Faerie Conclave becomes a 2/1 blue creature with flying until end of turn. This creature still counts as a land.
s on the table. He had a Deed on the table. In the very last turn of extra turns, I found the combo and won. The end was interesting, Allen had what appeared to be a few of his friends watching and they were heckling me a little and trying to get the judge to give me a game loss. The judge ignored them.

Allen and I didn’t know each other and had no reason to concede. Neither of us were felling charitable and the game ended in a draw and we both missed the Top 8.

Matches 3-1-2, Games 7-5-2

I will mention this one last time. Look at the games score. Draws. Not much over 50% in the win column. Think carefully before playing this deck in a PTQ. It takes a fair amount of practice to get right.


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