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CardShark Content - Michael Potter (9/13/2002)

I’m writing this report on a plane flight to Shanghai. The quiet time where I’m trapped in my seat gives me a chance to write. I’m waiting for them to be able to keep an Internet connection going on the plane so I can play MTGO while I’m traveling.

I do business trips to Shanghai, Seoul, and Kuala Lumpur fairly often (once a quarter or so). If you’re in one of those cities and happen to read this article, send me an email and let me know where to go to play Magic. KL is easier as I can find tournaments using Wizard’s locator, but I’d like to know which is the larger one or the one with the most challenge to play in.

Flying on 9/11 (I left on 9/10 and arrived 9/11 in China) brought up interesting emotions. I was in France on vacation the same time last year and experienced the event while in Europe. I lived in NJ when I moved to the US about 11 years ago and I worked in NYC for 2 years. My dad and my best friend both work in NYC and I rank NYC as my favourite city in the world (I have been around to most of the major cities in Asia and Europe). I know my thoughts are more on the victims than Magic today, and I have a fair amount of anger inside me about the attacks, even a year after.

One reward of writing articles is that I get emails from people with deck ideas or with improvements to the decks I used. One example is the Hypochondria
Hypochondria
HypochondriaSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
7
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
W, Discard a card from your hand: Prevent the next 3 damage that would be dealt to target creature or player this turn. W, Sacrifice Hypochondria: Prevent the next 3 damage that would be dealt to target creature or player this turn.
/Spirit Cairn
Spirit Cairn
Spirit CairnSet: Judgment
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
26
Artist:
Gary Ruddell

Text:
Whenever a player discards a card from their hand, you may pay W. If you do, put a 1/1 flying Spirit white token into play.
combo that won me a match in the last PTQ I played in. Another is the deck I played last weekend.

This is the deck that Jason Lomberg sent me:

Grapes of Rukh

Lands (24)
10x Island
Island
IslandSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add U to your mana pool.

6x Mountain
Mountain
MountainSet: Arabian Nights
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Tap to add R to your mana pool.

4x 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.

4x Volcanic Island
Volcanic Island
Volcanic IslandSet: Revised Edition
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Brian Snoddy
Text:
T: Add either U or R to your mana pool.Counts as both islands and mountains 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.


Creatures (6)
4x Rukh Egg
Rukh Egg
Rukh EggSet: Arabian Nights
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Egg
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Power:
0
Toughness:
3
Text:
If Rukh Egg goes to the graveyard, a Rukha 4/4 red flying creaturecomes into play on your side at the end of that turn. Use a counter to represent Rukh. Rukh is treated exactly like a normal creature except that if it leaves play it is removed from the game entirely.

2x FTK

Sorceries/Instants (30)
4x Prophetic Bolt
Prophetic Bolt
Prophetic BoltSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
116
Artist:
Dave Dorman
Text:
Prophetic Bolt deals 4 damage to target creature or player. Look at the top four cards of your library. Put one of those cards into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library.

4x Fire/Ice
4x Lightning Bolt
Lightning Bolt
Lightning BoltSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Lightning Bolt does 3 damage to one target.

4x Forbid
Forbid
ForbidSet: Exodus
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
35
Artist:
Scott Kirschner
Text:
Buyback Choose and discard two cards. (You may choose and discard two cards in addition to any other costs when you play this spell. If you do, put Forbid into your hand instead of your graveyard as part of the spell's effect.) Counter target spell.

3x Powersink
4x Arcane Denial
Arcane Denial
Arcane DenialSet: Alliances
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Richard Kane Ferguson
Text:
Counter target spell. That spell's caster may draw up to two cards at the beginning of the next turn's upkeep.Draw a card at the beginning of the next turn's upkeep.

4x 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.

2x Jokulhaups
Jokulhaups
JokulhaupsSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
6
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mike Kerr
Text:
Bury all artifacts, creatures, and lands.


Artifacts (1)
1x Mirror Universe
Mirror Universe
Mirror UniverseSet: Legends
Cost:
6
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Phil Foglio
Text:
T: Sacrifice Mirror Universe during your upkeep, and trade your number of lives with opponent. For example, if you had 2 life points and your opponent had 10, you would now have 10 life points and your opponent would have 2. Effects that prevent or redirect damage may not be used to counter this change of life.


Sideboard
1x Lodestone Bauble
Lodestone Bauble
Lodestone BaubleSet: Alliances
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
1, T: Sacrifice Lodestone Bauble to put up to four target basic lands from any player's graveyard on top of his or her library in any order. That player draws a card at the beginning of the next turn's upkeep.

4x Red Elemental Blast
Red Elemental Blast
Red Elemental BlastSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Richard Thomas
Text:
Counters a blue spell being cast or destroys a blue card in play.

4x Douse
Douse
DouseSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
70
Artist:
Val Mayerik
Text:
1U: Counter target red spell. Play this ability as an interrupt.

2x Pyrokinesis
Pyrokinesis
PyrokinesisSet: Alliances
Cost:
6
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
You may remove a red card in your hand from the game instead of paying Pyrokinesis's casting cost. Pyrokinesis deals 4 damage, divided any way you choose among any number of target creatures.

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


He assured me that he had won his local (southern NJ) 1.5 tournaments with it fairly often. I looked over the list and I decided that I didn’t like a few cards. The first is Arcane Denial
Arcane Denial
Arcane DenialSet: Alliances
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Richard Kane Ferguson
Text:
Counter target spell. That spell's caster may draw up to two cards at the beginning of the next turn's upkeep.Draw a card at the beginning of the next turn's upkeep.
. I have never been a fan of Arcane Denial
Arcane Denial
Arcane DenialSet: Alliances
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Richard Kane Ferguson
Text:
Counter target spell. That spell's caster may draw up to two cards at the beginning of the next turn's upkeep.Draw a card at the beginning of the next turn's upkeep.
because it let’s your opponent draw two more threats. It is a cantrip and it does have less Blue mana requirements, but I decided to replace it. There are a fair number of decks that you need a turn 1 or turn 2 counter in order to have a fighting chance, so I decided that 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.
would be a good substitute.

The next spell I looked at was Forbid
Forbid
ForbidSet: Exodus
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
35
Artist:
Scott Kirschner
Text:
Buyback Choose and discard two cards. (You may choose and discard two cards in addition to any other costs when you play this spell. If you do, put Forbid into your hand instead of your graveyard as part of the spell's effect.) Counter target spell.
. I like Forbid
Forbid
ForbidSet: Exodus
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
35
Artist:
Scott Kirschner
Text:
Buyback Choose and discard two cards. (You may choose and discard two cards in addition to any other costs when you play this spell. If you do, put Forbid into your hand instead of your graveyard as part of the spell's effect.) Counter target spell.
, but with no real way to refill my hand I get worried about the Buyback cost. That isn’t that huge an item as you can often just draw cards and then use the Buyback to counter twice when you really have to, but I also have recently purchased 4 x Mana Drain
Mana Drain
Mana DrainSet: Legends
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Counters target spell. At the beginning of your next main phase, add X to your mana pool, where X is the casting cost of target spell.
(Italian versions, so they were less expensive) and I wanted to work them in. The Mana Drain
Mana Drain
Mana DrainSet: Legends
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Counters target spell. At the beginning of your next main phase, add X to your mana pool, where X is the casting cost of target spell.
s also really help in casting some of the more expensive spells.

I looked at the sideboard and decided that I needed to make a few changes to work within my local environment. I needed something to control graveyards and something to handle weenie rushes. I don’t own any Pyrokinesis
Pyrokinesis
PyrokinesisSet: Alliances
Cost:
6
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
You may remove a red card in your hand from the game instead of paying Pyrokinesis's casting cost. Pyrokinesis deals 4 damage, divided any way you choose among any number of target creatures.
(I will soon as I’ve ordered them via Cardshark), so I swapped in two Power Kegs for them. Land Destruction is not a big theme at my store, so I didn’t think the Lodestone Bauble
Lodestone Bauble
Lodestone BaubleSet: Alliances
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
1, T: Sacrifice Lodestone Bauble to put up to four target basic lands from any player's graveyard on top of his or her library in any order. That player draws a card at the beginning of the next turn's upkeep.
would be all that useful. This is what I played:

Egg on My Face (played cold without testing)

Lands (24)
10x Island
Island
IslandSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add U to your mana pool.

6x Mountain
Mountain
MountainSet: Arabian Nights
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Tap to add R to your mana pool.

4x 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.

4x Volcanic Island
Volcanic Island
Volcanic IslandSet: Revised Edition
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Brian Snoddy
Text:
T: Add either U or R to your mana pool.Counts as both islands and mountains 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.


Creatures (6)
4x Rukh Egg
Rukh Egg
Rukh EggSet: Arabian Nights
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Egg
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Power:
0
Toughness:
3
Text:
If Rukh Egg goes to the graveyard, a Rukha 4/4 red flying creaturecomes into play on your side at the end of that turn. Use a counter to represent Rukh. Rukh is treated exactly like a normal creature except that if it leaves play it is removed from the game entirely.

2x FTK

Sorceries/Instants (30)
4x Prophetic Bolt
Prophetic Bolt
Prophetic BoltSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
116
Artist:
Dave Dorman
Text:
Prophetic Bolt deals 4 damage to target creature or player. Look at the top four cards of your library. Put one of those cards into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library.

4x Fire/Ice
4x Lightning Bolt
Lightning Bolt
Lightning BoltSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Lightning Bolt does 3 damage to one target.

3x Mana Drain
Mana Drain
Mana DrainSet: Legends
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Counters target spell. At the beginning of your next main phase, add X to your mana pool, where X is the casting cost of target spell.

1x Forbid
Forbid
ForbidSet: Exodus
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
35
Artist:
Scott Kirschner
Text:
Buyback Choose and discard two cards. (You may choose and discard two cards in addition to any other costs when you play this spell. If you do, put Forbid into your hand instead of your graveyard as part of the spell's effect.) Counter target spell.

3x Powersink
4x 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.

4x 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.

2x Jokulhaups
Jokulhaups
JokulhaupsSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
6
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mike Kerr
Text:
Bury all artifacts, creatures, and lands.


Artifacts (1)
1x Mirror Universe
Mirror Universe
Mirror UniverseSet: Legends
Cost:
6
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Phil Foglio
Text:
T: Sacrifice Mirror Universe during your upkeep, and trade your number of lives with opponent. For example, if you had 2 life points and your opponent had 10, you would now have 10 life points and your opponent would have 2. Effects that prevent or redirect damage may not be used to counter this change of life.


Sideboard
3x Pyroblast
Pyroblast
PyroblastSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Kaja Foglio
Text:
Counter target spell if it is blue, or destroy target permanent if it is blue. (If this spell targets a permanent, play it as an instant.)

3x Douse
Douse
DouseSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
70
Artist:
Val Mayerik
Text:
1U: Counter target red spell. Play this ability as an interrupt.

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

3x Phyrexian Furnace
Phyrexian Furnace
Phyrexian FurnaceSet: Weatherlight
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Artist:
George Pratt
Text:
T: Remove the bottom card of target player's graveyard from the game.1, Sacrifice Phyrexian Furnace: Remove target card in any graveyard from the game and draw a card.

2x 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.


Off I went to the local card shop, Pleasanton Sports Cards. We had a 31 person tournament and played our normal 4 rounds of Swiss. The weather finally changed and we’re getting out of the fairly hot days so it was much more comfortable to play (it never gets too bad in Pleasanton, but 90+ degree days with a full store makes for some sweaty playing at times). I looked around the room and the people who normally play Sligh/Burn were not around. Of course that happens when I have committed a great deal of my sideboard to anti-Red.

Round 1 -David Carlson playing 10 land Stompy

I haven’t played against Dave that many times. He usually works behind the counter on Sundays and he doesn’t enter the tournament if the store gets too crowded. I know that I’ll be facing a decent deck as Dave plays good decks and rotates through them so I never know what to expect. I win the initial die roll and play an island. Dave drops a Forest
Forest
ForestSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add G to your mana pool.
and an Elf and says go. I lay another land down and pass again. The Elf attacks and then I have to counter a Winter Orb
Winter Orb
Winter OrbSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
A player may not untap more than one land during the untap phase of each of his or her turns.
. At this point I’m pretty sure that he’s playing Stompy and that he has a slow start. The Elf beats me down and I counter another Winter Orb
Winter Orb
Winter OrbSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
A player may not untap more than one land during the untap phase of each of his or her turns.
and a Blastoderm
Blastoderm
BlastodermSet: Nemesis
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
C
Number:
102
Artist:
Eric Peterson
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
Fading 3 (This creature comes into play with three fade counters on it. At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a fade counter from it. If you can't, sacrifice it.) Blastoderm can't be the target of spells or abilities.
. Dave lays down a fair amount of land and I’m pretty sure he was being land flooded. I eventually Mana Drain
Mana Drain
Mana DrainSet: Legends
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Counters target spell. At the beginning of your next main phase, add X to your mana pool, where X is the casting cost of target spell.
an Elvish Spirit Guide
Elvish Spirit Guide
Elvish Spirit GuideSet: Alliances
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Julie Baroh
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
If Elvish Spirit Guide is in your hand, you may remove it from the game to add G to your mana pool. Play this ability as an interrupt.
and use the mana to drop a Flame Tongue Kavu and kill the Elf that has beaten me down to 11. The Kavu then goes all the way as Dave either draws land or has whatever spell he casts either countered or the creature burned out of the way of my Kavu.

I sided in 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 and set myself for the creature rush. This a match where Pyrokenesis would have come in handy. Dave drops a Wild Dog turn 1 and a Skycloud Ridgeback turn 2. I play 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.
Turn 2, take the hit to 14, and then blow up the Keg with one counter on it and take care of the threats. I mana Drain his next play and use the mana to cast a Rukh Egg
Rukh Egg
Rukh EggSet: Arabian Nights
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Egg
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Power:
0
Toughness:
3
Text:
If Rukh Egg goes to the graveyard, a Rukha 4/4 red flying creaturecomes into play on your side at the end of that turn. Use a counter to represent Rukh. Rukh is treated exactly like a normal creature except that if it leaves play it is removed from the game entirely.
. He gets a Rouge Elephant
Elephant
ElephantSet: Garruk vs. Liliana
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elephant
Rarity:
C
Number:
3
Artist:
Arnie Swekel
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
down and attacks into my Egg. I block and make a Rukh token. Next turn I FTK his Elephant
Elephant
ElephantSet: Garruk vs. Liliana
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elephant
Rarity:
C
Number:
3
Artist:
Arnie Swekel
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
and swing with the Rukh. He casts Vine Dryad
Vine Dryad
Vine DryadSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Dryad
Rarity:
R
Number:
284
Artist:
Jeff Laubenstein
Power:
1
Toughness:
3
Text:
Forestwalk (This creature is unblockable as long as defending player controls a forest.) You may play Vine Dryad any time you could play an instant.You may remove a green card in your hand from the game instead of paying Vine Dryad's mana cost.
by tossing a Blastoderm
Blastoderm
BlastodermSet: Nemesis
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
C
Number:
102
Artist:
Eric Peterson
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
Fading 3 (This creature comes into play with three fade counters on it. At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a fade counter from it. If you can't, sacrifice it.) Blastoderm can't be the target of spells or abilities.
(he was not drawing many creatures at this point). I swing with the Rukh to take him to 12 and then he Blanchwood Armor
Blanchwood Armor
Blanchwood ArmorSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
U
Number:
237
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Enchanted creature gets +X/+X, where X is the number of forests you control.
s his Dryad and waits. I swing with both the Rukh and the FTK as I have Fire/Ice in my hand (but no counters). He lets them both in. He has a couple of cards in hand so I wonder what he is up to. He puts another Blanchwood Armor
Blanchwood Armor
Blanchwood ArmorSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
U
Number:
237
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Enchanted creature gets +X/+X, where X is the number of forests you control.
on the Dryad and then I start worrying about Giant Growth
Giant Growth
Giant GrowthSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Sandra Everingham
Text:
Target creature gains +3/+3 until end of turn.
or other pumpers. He asks my life total, fingers some cards in his hand, and then declares his attack phase. I Ice the Dryad and then swing for the win the next turn. He had successfully cast Winters Orb in this game, but I was able to play around it and it might have slowed him down 1 turn.

Matches 1-0, Games 2-0

Round 2 - Jon Ma playing Enchantress

Jon was looking for a little revenge for my win the previous week in draft. He wins the die roll and I get a decent opening hand. John starts playing out Enchantresses and enchantments and drawing cards. I stop the Auratog
Auratog
AuratogSet: Tempest
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Atog
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Jeff Miracola
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
Sacrifice an enchantment: Auratog gets +2/+2 until end of turn.
with a FTK and I swing in a few time to get him down to 8 (he took 4 pain getting white mana). I have a Haups in hand and could really wreck his board, but no Rukh Egg
Rukh Egg
Rukh EggSet: Arabian Nights
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Egg
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Power:
0
Toughness:
3
Text:
If Rukh Egg goes to the graveyard, a Rukha 4/4 red flying creaturecomes into play on your side at the end of that turn. Use a counter to represent Rukh. Rukh is treated exactly like a normal creature except that if it leaves play it is removed from the game entirely.
s have shown up. I wait one turn too many and he overwhelms me with Enchantments and eventually gets an Ancestral Mask
Ancestral Mask
Ancestral MaskSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
229
Artist:
Massimilano Frezzato
Text:
Enchanted creature gets +2/+2 for each other enchantment in play.
down on an Enchantress and swings for 20 in one big swing. Jon played it very smart, he built up his hand with multiple Masks and I couldn’t counter everything. I played it dumb. I should have destroyed all the lands when I had a chance.

I sided in 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 and he mulliganed. I had a very nice draw with counters and burn and I kept the board clear. I got a Rukh Egg
Rukh Egg
Rukh EggSet: Arabian Nights
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Egg
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Power:
0
Toughness:
3
Text:
If Rukh Egg goes to the graveyard, a Rukha 4/4 red flying creaturecomes into play on your side at the end of that turn. Use a counter to represent Rukh. Rukh is treated exactly like a normal creature except that if it leaves play it is removed from the game entirely.
down and then used my won FTK on it. The Rukh went all the way as I continued to shut him down. Game 3 he mulliganed again. I countered a 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.
and used Mana Drain
Mana Drain
Mana DrainSet: Legends
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Counters target spell. At the beginning of your next main phase, add X to your mana pool, where X is the casting cost of target spell.
to get an Egg down and then I got another 2 Eggs down and blew the World up. He couldn’t handle 3 flying 4/4’s and died in two turns (he Rancor
Rancor
RancorSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
110
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Enchanted creature gains +2/+0 and trample.When Rancor is put into a graveyard from play, return Rancor to owner's hand.
ed two of my Rukhs for style points).

Matches 2-0, Games 4-1

Round 3 – Iain Bartolomei playing Secret Force

I had never played against Secret Force before. I knew I had to worry about Natural Order
Natural Order
Natural OrderSet: Portal
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Alan Rabinowitz
Text:
Search your deck for a green summon creature and put that card into play. Treat it as though you just played it from your hand. Then put one of your green creatures into your discard pile. Shuffle your deck afterwards.
, but I figured that I could just counter what I had to. Iain went first game 1. I burned the Elf he played, but he developed his mana and I couldn’t find my combo. He got a Natural Order
Natural Order
Natural OrderSet: Portal
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Alan Rabinowitz
Text:
Search your deck for a green summon creature and put that card into play. Treat it as though you just played it from your hand. Then put one of your green creatures into your discard pile. Shuffle your deck afterwards.
/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.
out but I wasn’t panicking as I could Haups soon. Next turn he dropped 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.
ate one of the lands I needed. The 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.
and his Saproling
Saproling
SaprolingSet: Phyrexia vs. The Coalition
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Saproling
Rarity:
C
Number:
3
Artist:
Warren Mahy
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
buddies proceeded to squish me.

Game 2 was a horrible mulliganing decision by me. I had a 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.
but no other Blue spells. I’m hoping my Lightning Bolt
Lightning Bolt
Lightning BoltSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Lightning Bolt does 3 damage to one target.
will stop early acceleration, and I had a Rukh Egg
Rukh Egg
Rukh EggSet: Arabian Nights
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Egg
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Power:
0
Toughness:
3
Text:
If Rukh Egg goes to the graveyard, a Rukha 4/4 red flying creaturecomes into play on your side at the end of that turn. Use a counter to represent Rukh. Rukh is treated exactly like a normal creature except that if it leaves play it is removed from the game entirely.
as well. He mulliganed and then kept a one land hand. Iain topdecked another land, dropped 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.
(my Bolt could do nothing against that) and then Natural Order
Natural Order
Natural OrderSet: Portal
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Alan Rabinowitz
Text:
Search your deck for a green summon creature and put that card into play. Treat it as though you just played it from your hand. Then put one of your green creatures into your discard pile. Shuffle your deck afterwards.
ed out a 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.
the next turn as I found no Blue spells or counter spells in my draws. The Rukh Egg
Rukh Egg
Rukh EggSet: Arabian Nights
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Egg
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Power:
0
Toughness:
3
Text:
If Rukh Egg goes to the graveyard, a Rukha 4/4 red flying creaturecomes into play on your side at the end of that turn. Use a counter to represent Rukh. Rukh is treated exactly like a normal creature except that if it leaves play it is removed from the game entirely.
slowed down the assault a little bit, but I didn’t find a Haups to reset the world and got squished again. I should never have kept that opening hand.

Matches 2-1, Games 4-3

Round 4 – Ben Hubbard playing 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.
combo

Ben almost always plays 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.
. He won the die roll. I fought and fought to keep 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.
from hitting the table. He finally got one down and he had already played out a few creatures. He couldn’t find the combo to go off as I had targeted 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.
s as much as I could plus had also targeted Man O’ Wars. I actually died to normal creature damage in this game. Game 2 I managed to counter everything that was important and I kept 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.
from hitting the table. I took Ben out with a combination of burn and FTK’s. Ben made a big mistake in the end. He got a 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.
out with a 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.
. I had a Rukh in play along with my Kavu. He blocked and killed my Kavu with 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.
. Instead of gaining life and turns, he moved the counters to the wall. I flew over the wall for the win the next turn. I had sided in 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, but didn’t see any. Game 3 was a real nail-biter. Burn and a FTK (with a little pain as well) got him down to 4 life. He took one last pain to try and get an 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.
down and I Bolted him for the win.

Matches 3-1, games 6-4

The end result was a 3-1 finish and 8th place overall. I was really unhappy with Mirror Universe
Mirror Universe
Mirror UniverseSet: Legends
Cost:
6
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Phil Foglio
Text:
T: Sacrifice Mirror Universe during your upkeep, and trade your number of lives with opponent. For example, if you had 2 life points and your opponent had 10, you would now have 10 life points and your opponent would have 2. Effects that prevent or redirect damage may not be used to counter this change of life.
. It is too slow and I’m going to take it out of the deck the next time I play it. I also think the deck needs a little more card drawing. I had a few games where I really needed to find the Haups. This might be a deck where Burning Wish
Burning Wish
Burning WishSet: Judgment
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
83
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer

Text:
Choose a sorcery you own from outside the game, reveal that card, and put it into your hand. Remove Burning Wish from the game.
would fit in – I just need to figure out the sideboard a little more if I did that.

The tournament was won by Mark Axelrod who was playing his version of “Full English Breakfast” again. He sent me the deck list, it works very well and I would recommend it as a Type 1.5 deck to play:

13 spells :

4 Survival of the fittest
4 Force of will
3 Arcane denial
2 Living wish

24 creatures

3 Volrath
Volrath
VolrathSet: Vanguard
Sub Type:
Character
Rarity:
X
Number:
8
Artist:
Anson Maddocks
Power:
+2
Toughness:
-3
Text:
Whenever any of your creatures is put into your graveyard from play, you may put that creature on top of your library.
's shapeshifter
4 Wall of roots
4 Birds of paradise
1 Yavimaya granger
1 Squee
Squee
SqueeSet: Vanguard
Sub Type:
Character
Rarity:
X
Number:
7
Artist:
Daniel Gelon
Power:
+3
Toughness:
-4
Text:
Your opponents play with their hands face up.
, goblin nabob
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.

1 Genesis
Genesis
GenesisSet: Judgment
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Incarnation
Rarity:
R
Number:
117
Artist:
Mark Zug

Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, if Genesis is in your graveyard, you may pay 2G. If you do, return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand.

3 Tradewind rider
1 Reya, dawnbringer
1 Phyrexian dreadnaught
1 Flowstone hellion
1 Radiant's dragoons
1 Gilded drake
1 Elvish lyrist

23 land
4 Tropical island
4 Yavimaya coast
3 City of brass
2 Undiscovered paradise
3 Forest
Forest
ForestSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add G to your mana pool.

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

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

2 Savannah
Savannah
SavannahSet: Revised Edition
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
T: Add either W or G to your mana pool.Counts as both plains and forest 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.

1 Volrath
Volrath
VolrathSet: Vanguard
Sub Type:
Character
Rarity:
X
Number:
8
Artist:
Anson Maddocks
Power:
+2
Toughness:
-3
Text:
Whenever any of your creatures is put into your graveyard from play, you may put that creature on top of your library.
's stronghold

Sideboard

1 Volrath
Volrath
VolrathSet: Vanguard
Sub Type:
Character
Rarity:
X
Number:
8
Artist:
Anson Maddocks
Power:
+2
Toughness:
-3
Text:
Whenever any of your creatures is put into your graveyard from play, you may put that creature on top of your library.
's shapeshifter
1 Phyrexian dreadnaught
1 Scragnoth
Scragnoth
ScragnothSet: Tempest
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Jeff Laubenstein
Power:
3
Toughness:
4
Text:
Protection from blueWhile Scragnoth is being cast, it cannot be countered.

1 Maze of ith
1 Dust bowl
1 Gemstone mine
1 Sliver queen
1 Zephyr falcon (anti-Stasis
Stasis
StasisSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Fay Jones
Text:
Players do not get an untap phase. Pay U during your upkeep or Stasis is destroyed; cards still do not untap until the next untap phase.
)
1 Verdant force
1 Masticore
Masticore
MasticoreSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Rarity:
R
Number:
134
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, you may choose and discard a card from your hand. If you don't, sacrifice Masticore.2: Masticore deals 1 damage to target creature.2: Regenerate Masticore.

1 Tradewind rider
1 Spike weaver
2 Elvish lyrist
1 Uktabi orangutan

This is a very, very complicated deck to play. It hopes to us Volrath
Volrath
VolrathSet: Vanguard
Sub Type:
Character
Rarity:
X
Number:
8
Artist:
Anson Maddocks
Power:
+2
Toughness:
-3
Text:
Whenever any of your creatures is put into your graveyard from play, you may put that creature on top of your library.
Shapeshifter
Shapeshifter
ShapeshifterSet: Fourth Edition
Cost:
6
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Power:
*
Toughness:
(7-*)
Text:
Shapeshifter has power and toughness that add up to seven, but neither may be more than seven. Set them when Shapeshifter comes into play; you may change them during your upkeep.
tricks to punch through for the win, but it can win with its creature base as well. Mark is 7-0-1 with this deck over the last two tournaments he played. If you’re playing against a deck like this, you have to kill or counter the Shapeshifter
Shapeshifter
ShapeshifterSet: Fourth Edition
Cost:
6
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Power:
*
Toughness:
(7-*)
Text:
Shapeshifter has power and toughness that add up to seven, but neither may be more than seven. Set them when Shapeshifter comes into play; you may change them during your upkeep.
and you need a way to clear Genesis
Genesis
GenesisSet: Judgment
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Incarnation
Rarity:
R
Number:
117
Artist:
Mark Zug

Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, if Genesis is in your graveyard, you may pay 2G. If you do, return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand.
out of the graveyard. Remember that he can give the Shapeshifter
Shapeshifter
ShapeshifterSet: Fourth Edition
Cost:
6
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Power:
*
Toughness:
(7-*)
Text:
Shapeshifter has power and toughness that add up to seven, but neither may be more than seven. Set them when Shapeshifter comes into play; you may change them during your upkeep.
Haste by discarding the Flowstone Hellion
Flowstone Hellion
Flowstone HellionSet: Stronghold
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
U
Number:
84
Artist:
Daren Bader
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flowstone Hellion is unaffected by summoning sickness.0: Flowstone Hellion gets +1/-1 until end of turn.
.

I suggest that you read the article at this link if you want to try the above deck out:

http://www.neutralground.net/Forums/ForumItem.asp?NewsID=1205&BackupLink=Main.asp

I’m going to make an effort to get more 1.5 deck lists in the future. It is an interesting format to play in and I’d love to see other deck lists that people think are good and would like others to play. Just send it to the email address at the bottom of the article. I try and respond with suggestions (if asked for) to all the email I get. I even gave a little help to someone who won a Black Lotus
Black Lotus
Black LotusSet: Oversize Cards
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Mono Artifact
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Adds 3 mana of any single color of your choice to your mana pool, then is discarded. Tapping this artifact can be played as an interrupt.
at the tournament he went and played at (first 1.5 tournament for him).

I’m considering a Miracle Grow deck, a WW, or a 1.5 version of Fires for my next tournament. Suggestions are encouraged.

Fun with Statistics

Every once and a while I like to look at where my rankings are. It is a fresh dose of reality whenever I get too full of myself (doesn’t happen too often, but it happens to everyone once and a while). After my last two decent runs at PTQ’s, I have a 1748 rating which places me at 9803th place in the DCI table. So when you’re looking at my articles, remember that there are 9802 people who are better than me (at least according to DCI rankings). Vintage has many, many fewer people ranked, and I’m #2558 with a 1673 ranking. I actually look for other author’s names and, in general, I’ve found the higher the ranking, the less “bombastic” the articles tend to be. Find someone with a 1600 rating writing articles and you’ll tend to also find that their articles are full of statements like “best deck ever” and “beats 90% of the field”. When I read an article, I tend to be very, very skeptical, and I always try and remember that the environment the person plays in makes a huge difference. If you’re playing in a more casual tournament environment, the decks you’ll face and the caliber of opposition you’ll face can and will be very different than you’ll see in a PTQ or at a Pro Tour event.


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