• Magic: The Gathering
  • Magic: The Gathering Online

Which game do you want to buy from?

How to Buy at a Glance

  • 1. Search for items
  • 2. Purchase via PayPal or CC
  • 3. Receive items in the mail
    (usually in less than a week!)
Want Magic prices from CardShark.com on your Mobile device? - Try the Decked Builder app

CardShark Content - Michael Potter (6/4/2002)

After months and months of finishing in the top 3-4 (and winning often) in the local tournaments, I recently hit a losing streak. It is frustrating when it happens, but I’ve made it through losing streaks before in other hobbies. I’m partially the reason for the streak as I’ve been so busy the last few months that I haven’t put enough time into playing, and I have been hopping from deck to deck for the hell of it. Of course, my opponents have out played me as well, as I mentioned in my last article, the player base is getting better.

When I started playing (just over a year ago), I played in a store where all the players were significantly better than me. Even allowing for me being new to the game, the player base was a serious one with multiple T8’s in PTQs and the occasional (and in the case of one of the players many including a win) visits to the Pro Tour. We couldn’t keep a consistent number of players (8 or above to have sanctioned events) and the games eventually ended. I also had been playing in Pleasanton Sports Cards, but the player base was very different (younger with very few “serious” players). I could make mistakes and still win.

I had the same thing happen to me in the SCA (www.sca.org) years ago. I got better than all but one person in the local group (Montreal at the time – where I grew up and why I toss in the “u”’s in colour all the time) and the other very good fighter and I got so used to each other that we didn’t really get the best practice in when we fought because we knew the other person’s style too much. We also goofed around and changed weapons types all the time just for the hell of it. I started doing poorly when I did travel to larger tournaments and started getting beaten by the locals as well.

What my friend and I did was decide that we would put the time needed into traveling to events and practices. We went on a year-long spree of hitting the road every weekend, even if it was to a practice (6 hour road trips to Providence just to get a good practice in). I also pushed myself hard and made sure that I fought people that were better than me and that I got to see their good stuff:

Good Fighter: “Hi, I’m Duke Sir Good Guy”

Me: “Duke Sir Good Guy? I’ve always wanted to fight you, I’ve heard that you used to be good.”

For some reason that line always got be a good fight (and bruises on top of bruises). In the end, it paid off. I stuck to sword and shield and kept working on whatever weaknesses were pointed out to me. The better I got, the more the good fighters wanted to practice with me. Eventually, it paid off for my friend and I as we were both knighted.

I’ve decided that I need to do that in Magic as well. The good news is that I enjoy a good game and don’t get upset when I lose, so I can bear pushing myself into playing against better players or in higher level events and not doing so well.

The other good news for me is that there is a fairly wide-open field coming up in the new Extended, OBC with Judgment, and Team Sealed. That means testing and deck building will rise even more in value.

Here are some of my thoughts on this:

The New Extended

I knew that the DCI was going to rotate out the Dual Lands before the next Extended season. I started playing not long after the Planeshift prerelease. As I’ve mentioned, the local store runs 1.5 tournaments 3 out of 4 Sundays. That means I was exposed to Dual Lands almost right away and quickly started looking into picking them up. In finally completed my Dual Land playset at approximately $10 each or a $400 investment. When the last one arrived in the mail, I had a premonition that my resources for Extended were going to take a hit.

I’m not as upset that the duals rotated out as I’ve seen expressed by others. I get to use them a fair bit in the local game and the rotation should make them cheaper for others in the store to get them and build stronger decks. I may spur more people to push their stores into running 1.5 tournaments as well, and maybe, just maybe, the DCI will support 1.5 more in the future.

Also, the frank answer is that if you want to continue playing in DCI sanctioned events, you have to follow their format rules. It is a free and open market, so everyone is welcome to go play other games if they want to. I suspect that all games by all companies will face the same issues over time. Magic has been around longer so the problem is larger, but it is sure to exist in other games. Decipher’s LoTR game is already listing out the different formats to come with the next sets and that will reduce the value of existing cards.

What I do wish is that the DCI list the new banned list ASAP – or at least a statement that the currently banned cards will remain banned. With the big change in the format, the sooner we can start working on new decks, the better job we’ll be able to do. Of course, we have no idea about what is coming in Onslaught
Onslaught
OnslaughtSet: Exodus
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
C
Number:
92
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Whenever you successfully cast a creature spell, tap target creature.
. The lands or land search in Onslaught
Onslaught
OnslaughtSet: Exodus
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
C
Number:
92
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Whenever you successfully cast a creature spell, tap target creature.
may significantly change our mana bases and who knows, white may actually get decent creature removal again.

I have played a far amount of the different staple Extended decks in the local 1.5 tournaments. Here are my initial thoughts on what the rotation will mean.

Dual Lands

Decks will lose consistency. There are quite a few search mechanisms that can find lands based on their type. For example, 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.
allows you to go find a forest which means that decks like Miracle Grow could go find a 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.
and have access to both Green and Blue mana. Other than 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.
and Crop Rotation
Crop Rotation
Crop RotationSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
98
Artist:
DiTerlizzi
Text:
At the time you play Crop Rotation, sacrifice a land.Search your library for a land card and put that land into play. Shuffle your library afterward.
, the non-basic land search mechanism is pretty poor and all land finding spells are very heavily weighted towards Green. In the end, multi-coloured decks will have more colour problems than they do right now. My prediction is that this will lead to many more mono-coloured decks being played and very few 3 or more coloured decks. Blue’s card drawing allows it to support multi-colours better than the other non-Green colours.

Decks will lose some speed. Many of the other lands that provide multiple colours of mana either come into play tapped or bounce a land (the Lair lands). Before the rotation you could run 4 Pain Lands and four Dual Lands and get access to the mana the turn the lands came into play. The reduction in consistency noted above will also slow decks down as players will be waiting an extra turn or two to draw that one colour they need.

Lands will do more damage to players. Pain Lands will see more use. As such, players will take more pain from tapping lands for coloured mana. This should help more aggressive decks win as control and combo-decks often stabilize or go off at a fairly low life total.

Mono-coloured decks will rise in popularity. The extra consistency and the continued speed means they may do better than the greater flexibility the multi-coloured decks have.

Without access to good land search that works off of the Dual Lands, 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 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.
will get a boost in usefulness. This may be somewhat offset by the increase in mono-coloured decks.

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.


Blue decks will be slower as they will be much less able to tap out early in the game. This will give other decks an extra turn or two to get the final damage through or make them more able to force through the one spell they need to win the game. This makes it easier to get spells like Choke
Choke
ChokeSet: Tempest
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
Islands do not untap during their controllers' untap phases.
through and makes card drawing to look for an answer less powerful as the Blue deck will need the mana to search and then cast the counter. Of course, the alternate casting cost counters from the Masques block do exist and I predict they’ll see more use.

Combo decks will gain a little more power as the major zero-mana counter leaves the environment.

Swords to Plowshares
Swords to Plowshares
Swords to PlowsharesSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Jeff A. Menges
Text:
Target creature is removed from game entirely. Creature's controller gains life points equal to creature's power.


This makes a splash of White even less likely to occur. Many decks added a little White to get access to Swords and Disenchant
Disenchant
DisenchantSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Amy Weber
Text:
Target enchantment or artifact is destroyed.
. Swords often was the one great answer to whatever creature your opponent played (unless it was untargetable or Pro-White). It also makes cards like Academy Rector
Academy Rector
Academy RectorSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cleric
Rarity:
R
Number:
1
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Academy Rector is put into a graveyard from play, you may remove Academy Rector from the game. If you do, search your library for an enchantment card and put that card into play. Then shuffle your library.
more powerful as creature kill now plops the creature in the graveyard.

WW loses its ability to stop the big fatty that can stop it and it also loses an important instant-speed response to many combos or tricks.

Mono Color decks

These will lose none of their existing speed and consistency

Mono red will win more because their opponents take more painland damage

Colour hosers become even more important. Now what kills mountains ….?

My plan of action is to study the Type 2 block decks for the different blocks that are now in the current card pool. That will give me a starting base to tinker with. As my playing started with MM/IN Type 2, I have a fair amount of experience with the decks from that time onwards. I like the Fires deck and the various Opposition
Opposition
OppositionSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
40
Artist:
Todd Lockwood
Text:
Tap an untapped creature you control: Tap target artifact, creature, or land.
decks as well (plus Counter Rebels). I don’t have as much knowledge of the decks from the blocks before then, but the Internet has a ton of old deck lists.

Here’s a very good Internet resource:

http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://thedojo.com

That link will take you to saved copies of “The Dojo”. This site has tons and tons of articles on the leading decks during the time period for the “new” Extended. Brainburst, Star City Games, and Mindripper all have good articles on the T2 blocks in question. Finally, both the online version of Sideboard plus the older articles in the Duelist archives have T2 decks from the eras that count.

I’m looking at starting testing with 6 different deck designs:

Fires*
Counter-Rebels*
WW (with Shadow)
Sligh
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.

Threshold/Geddon

* these are the two T2 decks that were around when I started so I actually know them pretty well. I prefer Fires because I like the relentless attack flow that is behind the deck.

I’m not going to go too crazy with the testing, just enough so that I can get a feel for the way the decks work. I think the most prudent use of testing time would be to get an idea of how the decks work, their basic flow. I also think the 6 decks above are not even close to a list that should be used when exploring different possibilities. For example, there is a huge lack of Blue in the list above and there were a bunch of Mono-Brown decks from the Urza
Urza
UrzaSet: Vanguard
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Character
Rarity:
X
Number:
7
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Power:
-1
Toughness:
+10
Text:
3: Urza deals one damage to target creature or player.
’s T2 blocks that are very tough as well. I also have a strong suspicion that “The Rock and His Millions” will be strong as it didn’t get hit too hard by the rotation.

I bought the World Championship decks for 1999, 2000, and 2001 a while ago. I use them to teach people how to play once they have the basics down. Plus they make a good testing suite to run deck ideas through.

The important thing for me is to start thinking about the decks early so when the PTQ season does roll around, I will already have done a little testing and thinking about what to face. I’m hoping that this will have the same effect that other training I have done has had on me. I usually do better after “warming up” and then having a lay-off. For some reason, my mind works better when it isn’t directly working on a problem.

This is my test bed 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.
build. The main damage from the rotation was the Dual Lands (lots of pain now), Man o’ War (replaced by Arctic Merfolk
Arctic Merfolk
Arctic MerfolkSet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Merfolk
Rarity:
C
Number:
21
Artist:
Ron Spears
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Kicker-Return a creature you control to its owner's hand. (You may return a creature you control to its owner's hand in addition to any other costs as you play this spell.) If you paid the kicker cost, Arctic Merfolk comes into play with a +1/+1 counter on it.
– only bounces creatures you control), and Wall of Roots
Wall of Roots
Wall of RootsSet: Mirage
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wall
Rarity:
C
Artist:
John Matson
Power:
0
Toughness:
5
Text:
Put a -0/-1 counter on Wall of Roots: Add G to your mana pool. Play this ability as a mana source. Use this ability only once each turn.
(replaced by Wall of Blossoms
Wall of Blossoms
Wall of BlossomsSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wall
Rarity:
U
Number:
75
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Power:
0
Toughness:
4
Text:
(Walls cannot attack.) When Wall of Blossoms comes into play, draw a card.
).

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.


4 x Maggot Carrier
Maggot Carrier
Maggot CarrierSet: Planeshift
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
45
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Maggot Carrier comes into play, each player loses 1 life.

4 x Cavern Harpy
Cavern Harpy
Cavern HarpySet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
C
Number:
97
Artist:
Daren Bader
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying. When Cavern Harpy comes into play, return a blue or black creature you control to its owner's hand. Pay 1 life: Return Cavern Harpy to its owner's hand.

4 x Raven Familiar
Raven Familiar
Raven FamiliarSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bird
Rarity:
U
Number:
39
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying; echo (During your next upkeep after this permanent comes under your control, pay its casting cost or sacrifice it.) When Raven Familiar comes into play, look at the top three cards of your library. Put one of them into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.

4 x 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.

4 x Wall of Blossoms
Wall of Blossoms
Wall of BlossomsSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wall
Rarity:
U
Number:
75
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Power:
0
Toughness:
4
Text:
(Walls cannot attack.) When Wall of Blossoms comes into play, draw a card.

4 x Arctic Merfolk
Arctic Merfolk
Arctic MerfolkSet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Merfolk
Rarity:
C
Number:
21
Artist:
Ron Spears
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Kicker-Return a creature you control to its owner's hand. (You may return a creature you control to its owner's hand in addition to any other costs as you play this spell.) If you paid the kicker cost, Arctic Merfolk comes into play with a +1/+1 counter on it.


4 x 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.

4 x 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.

4 x 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.


4 x 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.

4 x Llanawar Wastes
4 x Yavamya Coast
4 x Salt Marsh
Salt Marsh
Salt MarshSet: Invasion
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
326
Artist:
Jerry Tiritilli
Text:
Salt Marsh comes into play tapped.T: Add U or B to your mana pool.

4 x 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.

2 x Forest
Forest
ForestSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add G to your mana pool.

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


(no sideboard yet)

There is a slight chance that readers may not know the winning combo, so I’ll explain it. 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.
lets you “cast” creatures as instants for free as long as they cost less than or equal to three mana. You use the Raven Familiar
Raven Familiar
Raven FamiliarSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bird
Rarity:
U
Number:
39
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying; echo (During your next upkeep after this permanent comes under your control, pay its casting cost or sacrifice it.) When Raven Familiar comes into play, look at the top three cards of your library. Put one of them into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.
(or Arctic Merfolk
Arctic Merfolk
Arctic MerfolkSet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Merfolk
Rarity:
C
Number:
21
Artist:
Ron Spears
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Kicker-Return a creature you control to its owner's hand. (You may return a creature you control to its owner's hand in addition to any other costs as you play this spell.) If you paid the kicker cost, Arctic Merfolk comes into play with a +1/+1 counter on it.
and Wall of Blossoms
Wall of Blossoms
Wall of BlossomsSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wall
Rarity:
U
Number:
75
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Power:
0
Toughness:
4
Text:
(Walls cannot attack.) When Wall of Blossoms comes into play, draw a card.
if you have to) and the Cavern Harpy
Cavern Harpy
Cavern HarpySet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
C
Number:
97
Artist:
Daren Bader
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying. When Cavern Harpy comes into play, return a blue or black creature you control to its owner's hand. Pay 1 life: Return Cavern Harpy to its owner's hand.
to draw lots of cards (paying life to return the Harpy to your hand). The killing combo is using Arctic Merfolk
Arctic Merfolk
Arctic MerfolkSet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Merfolk
Rarity:
C
Number:
21
Artist:
Ron Spears
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Kicker-Return a creature you control to its owner's hand. (You may return a creature you control to its owner's hand in addition to any other costs as you play this spell.) If you paid the kicker cost, Arctic Merfolk comes into play with a +1/+1 counter on it.
to bounce the 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.
after one spike is removed for 2 life, then bounce the Merfolk with the Harpy, return the Harpy to your hand for one life, rise and repeat until you have a huge amount of life. Then you use the Maggot Carrier
Maggot Carrier
Maggot CarrierSet: Planeshift
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
45
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Maggot Carrier comes into play, each player loses 1 life.
and the Harpy to deal lethal damage to your opponent. Maggot Carrier
Maggot Carrier
Maggot CarrierSet: Planeshift
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
45
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Maggot Carrier comes into play, each player loses 1 life.
causes life loss, so it gets around Worship
Worship
WorshipSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
57
Artist:
Mark Zug
Text:
Damage that would reduce your life total to less than 1 instead reduces it to 1 if you control a creature.
and other enchantments that reduce or prevent damage.

There is another variation that uses Rishadan Cutpurse
Rishadan Cutpurse
Rishadan CutpurseSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Pirate
Rarity:
C
Number:
93
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Rishadan Cutpurse comes into play, each opponent sacrifices a permanent unless he or she pays 1.
to make your opponent sacrifice all their permanents. It might be worth tossing in one Cutpurse to get around 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.
. 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.
is very bad for this deck the way it is listed as there is no creature removal or bounce in the current listing.

The mana base is very shaky right now. There is tons and tons of pain there and there probably is too much Black mana. I also wonder about the lack of mana acceleration. If you make all four land drops, the earliest the deck can go off is turn 4. One possible change would be to swap out the Wall of Blossoms
Wall of Blossoms
Wall of BlossomsSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wall
Rarity:
U
Number:
75
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Power:
0
Toughness:
4
Text:
(Walls cannot attack.) When Wall of Blossoms comes into play, draw a card.
for Birds of Paradise
Birds of Paradise
Birds of ParadiseSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Mana Birds
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Poole
Power:
0
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying T: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. This ability is played as an interrupt.
. That would allow you to play 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.
turn 3. The trade off is a decent sized blocker that draws a card compared to one turn of mana acceleration. I don’t know enough about the environment to say what is better.

The 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.
is a placeholder for what may be better spells. 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.
lets you dig for mana or a combo piece. You could run Terror
Terror
TerrorSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Buries target creature. Cannot target black creatures or artifact creatures.
, or bounce here as well. Again, this is a metagame choice and there isn’t a metagame yet (I can pretty much bet that Sligh type decks will be out in force, but I don’t have a clue otherwise). 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.
in and of itself is pretty good. You can remove the card that worries you the most and you get to see what you have to face.

Odyssey Block Constructed

Am I the only one that ignores Block constructed until the Block is complete and tournaments for the non-Pros show up? I’ve started looking at the Osaka listings only in the last week or so and have been working to form a small OBC testing group with some local players. This is the next PTQ tournament type (after Team Sealed), so I’ll be spending much more time on this than the New Extended.

My first thoughts are no different than what I’ve seen elsewhere. I think that Red got a good boost from the new set. The addition of a “Wrath of God
Wrath of God
Wrath of GodSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Quinton Hoover
Text:
All creatures in play are buried.
”, card drawing, and Firecat Blitz
Firecat Blitz
Firecat BlitzSet: Judgment
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
88
Artist:
David Martin

Text:
Put X 1/1 red Cat creature tokens with haste into play. Remove them from the game at end of turn. Flashback RR, Sacrifice X Mountains.
/Rites of Initiation
Rites of Initiation
Rites of InitiationSet: Odyssey
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
217
Artist:
Bradley Williams
Text:
Discard any number of cards at random from your hand. Creatures you control get +1/+0 until end of turn for each card discarded this way.
should make for some explosive decks. Unfortunately, I didn’t call mono-Red first, so I’ll have to work on another deck type. Once I get some testing in, I’ll write about my experiences.

I’m working on a WW deck (I don’t see it being strong, but I find that it helps deck building to start mono-coloured and then add one colour to plug weaknesses that you find). I also am thinking about UG since there is so much excitement about Quiet Speculation
Quiet Speculation
Quiet SpeculationSet: Judgment
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
49
Artist:
John Avon

Text:
Search target player's Library for up to three cards with flashback and put them into that players graveyard. Then that player shuffles his or her library.
and Roar of the Wurm
Roar of the Wurm
Roar of the WurmSet: Odyssey
Cost:
7
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
266
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Put a 6/6 green Wurm creature token into play. Flashback 3G (You may play this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then remove it from the game.)
.

Team Sealed

I played in a GP – New Jersey trial a few weekends ago. We received a fairly sub-optimal bunch of cards, but it didn’t help that we lost one game due to a deck registration problem and another due to not returning cards that were removed from the game back into the deck for game 2.

We’re going to try and test a couple of time before the PTQ in July, but Sealed Deck has so much luck tossed in that I don’t find that testing does all that much to help. The best testing appears to be knowing the cards in a limited environment. Booster drafting helps.

The part I look forward to is playing with two friends. I played with a couple of people I just met in Malaysia last year (I was on a business trip to KL the same weekend that the Asia Pacific Championship was going on) and it was fun as well. I’ll try and keep the card pool together from our test session and write about why we built the decks the way we did.

Miscellaneous

As Jay Schnieder pointed out to me in response to my last article on his Salmon Snack deck (http://www.cardshark.com/content/view_article.asp?article_id=418), 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.
is the answer to Aegis of Honor
Aegis of Honor
Aegis of HonorSet: Odyssey
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
1
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
1: The next time an instant or sorcery spell would deal damage to you this turn, that spell deals that damage to its controller instead.
. He agrees that Karmic Justice
Karmic Justice
Karmic JusticeSet: Odyssey
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
26
Artist:
Ray Lago
Text:
Whenever a spell or ability an opponent controls destroys a noncreature permanent you control, you may destroy target permanent that opponent controls.
doesn’t quite do what he thought it did and it should be swapped out of the sideboard. I suggest Pernicious Deed
Pernicious Deed
Pernicious DeedSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
114
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
X, Sacrifice Pernicious Deed: Destroy each artifact, creature, and enchantment with converted mana cost X or less.
.

I now also have an even greater admiration for those who are able to write articles every week. I had a business trip a few weeks ago (we raised $100 million + in a secondary offering and I got to present to Mutual and Hedge Funds for the second time on a stock roadshow) and then spent the next week catching up. I don’t know how others can keep up their weekly output. From what they share of their life in their articles, they seem pretty busy as well. I guess I’ll just have to step things up.


Rate Article



Discuss Article

Click here to discuss this article in forum or leave comments for the author.

RSS feed RSS Feed


This article is provided to you by CardShark.com - A Better Way to Buy and Sell Collectable Games Online. Please check out the rest of our site - you won't be disappointed.

View More ArticlesView More Articles