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CardShark Content - Mike McQueen (5/23/2005)

I must admit I have ordinarily had terrible luck in the drafting business. I call it a business but really only one transaction was being made: me giving away my money. One faithful draft I managed to get both a Honden of infinite rage and Honden of life’s web. I had never even seen shrines before and decided to see if they could really be useful, and to my surprise everyone was turned into dust. My drafting deck included many smaller creatures to distract the opposition while I spit lands out and eventually got out my shrines. By then, dealing 2 damage per turn and creating two creatures per turn was just too much to handle against the small arsenal drafting provided my opponent. After the match I decided to see if shrines could really put up a match against another deck, and made a simple one with one shrine of each color, nothing fancy. I did horrible, I think I went about 1/9 in my first 10 matches. I did some buying, some trading, and this is what I came up with:

3: Honden of Cleansing Fire
Honden of Cleansing Fire
Honden of Cleansing FireSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Legendary Enchantment - Shrine
Rarity:
U
Number:
14
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, you gain 2 life for each Shrine you control.

3: Honden of Infinite Rage
Honden of Infinite Rage
Honden of Infinite RageSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Legendary Enchantment - Shrine
Rarity:
U
Number:
172
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, Honden of Infinite Rage deals damage to target creature or player equal to the number of Shrines you control.

3: Honden of Night’s reach
3: Honden of Seeing Winds
Honden of Seeing Winds
Honden of Seeing WindsSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Legendary Enchantment - Shrine
Rarity:
U
Number:
69
Artist:
Martina Pilcerova
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, draw a card for each Shrine you control.

4: Honden of Life’s Web
Web
WebSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
Target creature gains +0/+2 and can now block flying creatures, though it does not gain flying ability.

3: Graceful Adept
Graceful Adept
Graceful AdeptSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
U
Number:
63
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Power:
1
Toughness:
3
Text:
You have no maximum hand size.

2: Heart of Light
Heart of Light
Heart of LightSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
6
Artist:
Luca Zontini
Text:
Prevent all damage that would be dealt to and dealt by enchanted creature.

2: Gale Force
Gale Force
Gale ForceSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
209
Artist:
Lars Grant-West
Text:
Gale Force deals 5 damage to each creature with flying.

3: Mirror Gallery
Mirror Gallery
Mirror GallerySet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
5
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
154
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
The "legend rule" doesn't apply.

3: Unsummon
Unsummon
UnsummonSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Return target creature to owner's hand; enchantments on target creature are discarded.

3: Holy Day
Holy Day
Holy DaySet: Legends
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Justin Hampton
Text:
Creatures attack and block as normal, but none deal any damage. All attacking creatures are still tapped. Play any time before attack damage is assigned.

28: lands (6 of each, 5 swamp, 5 mountain)

With 1 of each shrine out, you will be doing 5 damage to whatever you choose, gaining 10 life, having the player discard 5 cards, drawing 5 cards, and getting 5 1/1 creatures onto the board. Here is a breakdown of why I included every card:

Graceful Adept
Graceful Adept
Graceful AdeptSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
U
Number:
63
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Power:
1
Toughness:
3
Text:
You have no maximum hand size.
: allows you to have no maximum hand size, this is pretty important if you don’t want to be discarding 4-5 cards per turn

Heart of Light
Heart of Light
Heart of LightSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
6
Artist:
Luca Zontini
Text:
Prevent all damage that would be dealt to and dealt by enchanted creature.
: this was kind of an awkward addition to me, because I thought it be useless, but after I got destroyed by a nice pumped 11/11 flying creature, I decided it was a good addition, as it negates all damage done to and from enchanted creature

Gale Force
Gale Force
Gale ForceSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
209
Artist:
Lars Grant-West
Text:
Gale Force deals 5 damage to each creature with flying.
: flying creatures are a big nuisance to this deck, of any power really since we have no blockers, but gale force does 5 damage to each creature with flying, perfect for this deck since it won’t affect your creatures.

Mirror Gallery
Mirror Gallery
Mirror GallerySet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
5
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
154
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
The "legend rule" doesn't apply.
: if you get this card out and have a nice stock of shrines in your hand you’re golden, this card lets you have more than one shrine out at one time. So, in a perfect scenario you could be doing 18 damage per turn, gaining 36 life per turn, etc.

Unsummon
Unsummon
UnsummonSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Return target creature to owner's hand; enchantments on target creature are discarded.
: a huge disadvantage to this deck is the set up time, so this card is here to aid in that, along with sending enchanted flying creatures back to their hands to negate the enchants.

Holy day: another great way to deal with flying creatures, along with early game attackers, or creatures that will make you discard cards if they hit you. The last thing you want to do is discard a card, every card in this deck can and needs to be played to see its potential.

Lands: I picked mountains and swamps to have the least because we have no other black or red spells, and the discarding of cards on the opponent is probably the least needy of the five shrines

How to play effectively: a lot of people hate to mulligan, no one wants to lose that card in your hand, because they can be very important, that’s one more card to deal with your opponent. In this deck you have to get used to taking a mulligan here and there, early shrines are vital. If you get say a Red and White shrine, but two islands, take it. This deck is almost 50% lands, you will get land, a lot of land. By the time you have the chance to get the shrines out, you will most likely have land of that color, if not, just keep them at bay with all those Holy Day
Holy Day
Holy DaySet: Legends
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Justin Hampton
Text:
Creatures attack and block as normal, but none deal any damage. All attacking creatures are still tapped. Play any time before attack damage is assigned.
s, Unsummon
Unsummon
UnsummonSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Return target creature to owner's hand; enchantments on target creature are discarded.
s’, etc.

When you have more than 1 of each shrine out, make sure you can keep two or more mirror galleries out. I’ve had a lot of people criticize me for having two of the same exact cards on the board, but if they had destroyed the one I had out, the shrines would destroy each other and my deck would be useless, as most of my shrines just took a dive into the graveyard. The same principle relates with the Graceful Adept
Graceful Adept
Graceful AdeptSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
U
Number:
63
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Power:
1
Toughness:
3
Text:
You have no maximum hand size.
s, if you have 15 cards in your hand make sure you keep them out of danger, and try to keep more than one on the board, as noted above. The latter should be obvious, but just making sure to cover it.

A few ideas to ponder on where to take this card to next: there is a card named Student of the Elements, it starts out as “When Student of the Elements has flying, flip it”, after you give it flying (any enchantment that will give him flying) it gives all your creatures flying. As you can imagine, having 10 1/1 flying creatures is pretty overwhelming, and gives you quite the heads up, and this is only an uncommon card as well, so it’s easily obtainable. Another card that would be wonderful is Overrun
Overrun
OverrunSet: Tempest
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Jeff Miracola
Text:
All creatures you control get +3/+3 and gain trample until end of turn.
, which is in Tempest and Odyssey, while not as easily obtainable, they would obviously pretty much give you the game.

Pros to this deck: very cheap, the most expensive card in this deck is Mirror Gallery
Mirror Gallery
Mirror GallerySet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
5
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
154
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
The "legend rule" doesn't apply.
which you can easily find online for two tickets at the time of this, the Hondens can be found 4 or 5 for 1 ticket if you shop around, and most of the other cards are commons. This can be a great “starter” deck if you don’t want to spend much money at one time, but you can spend a few bucks here and there to tweak it as you see fit. Once you get all five shrines out you can deal with nearly everything an opponent can dish out. You discard their hand so no more stockpiling those sorceries and arcanes against you, you can deal with any creature 5 power or less, and you’re spitting out creatures at an alarming rate.

Cons: there are a few cards which do take quite a toll on this deck, cards that destroy all cards of the same type for one, will kill all your spirit 1/1 creatures, and there is a black card, the name escapes me, which makes you sacrifice either a land or a creature for each creature you bring into play, that will kill all your spirits until you have enough lands in play to start sacrificing, then you can start whittling away at their life. Another deck I seem to always have trouble with is the land destroying decks, anything that kills my mana supply early troubles me, simply because I seem to end up with 3 plains when all I need is that mountain.

Now it’s up to you, are shrines overrated wastes or overlooked gems?


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