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CardShark Content - RC Freeman (1/30/2002)

“Madness, sheer madness!” That’s what I think of Torment
Torment
TormentSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
23
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Enchanted creature gets -3/-0.
. Yes, like so many of you around the world who play Magic, I participated in the Torment
Torment
TormentSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
23
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Enchanted creature gets -3/-0.
prerelease tournament last weekend. Events like this leave lasting memories and are what keep me playing this silly game, so there’s obviously a story to tell.

Two words describe my experience last weekend, “No Prizes.” Very little can be said about my performance at the two days of Torment
Torment
TormentSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
23
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Enchanted creature gets -3/-0.
in Portland, OR. I played well with the cards I had and lost to some superior players and decks.

I approached the weekend hoping (maybe expecting) to elevate my limited rating over 1850 and possibly break into the top 5 list of limited players in Oregon. My other intention was to prepare for the upcoming Grand Prix in Florida and the next PTQ season – which both happen to be Swiss limited. I may have achieved both, but not without some bittersweet moments.

One of the sweeter ones was when Eric Olson of Salem, OR finished the first main event undefeated. Eric is a regular player at Free Your Mind’s Friday Night Magic (this is my pitch for my favorite magic shop at http://freeyourmind.org/) and a member of my play testing group. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to get his decklist because he was so busy smashing skulls.

The one remarkable comment I heard Eric make at the end of the day was that his opponents were consistently mana-screwed. No doubt his skillful play and decent cards had more to do with his winnings than his opponents’ lack of resources. This is yet another testament to my new rule of thumb for limited: with all the discard effects available in this block that playing 18 lands in limited is not unreasonable, depending on your mana curve.

Well, if I can’t deliver the victory, at least someone on my team can. There are other highlights to share after I give you a little background on my demise this past weekend.

If you know me (or look at my DCI ratings) then you are aware that my limited skills are better than my constructed ones. A pre-release (or any other draft/sealed deck event) gets me all hot and bothered about playing Magic. This is especially the case after my abysmal showing during the extended season that is thankfully behind us.

Most important to me last weekend was that nearly the entire Humboldt County (CA) crew – minus Eddie who had to work, the loser – drove eight hours through snow and rain to join the madness. I learned to play Magic alongside those guys and our reunions are typically fun. That’s the second highlight.

Getting to the meat of the story, after playing in a flight of the main event on consecutive days my record was 6-3-2. My biggest disappointment was that I was two (cumulative) points shy of earning prizes.

This is not to say that I didn’t open good cards, play well or have fun in either event. Day one I had a solid deck without any bombs. I played G/B because that’s where the creatures were and my black included some viable removal. It was a winning deck with but without any bombs or card draw, so I lost to the best decks in the field.

I finished the first main event with thirteen points and a 4-2-1 record. The prizes stopped at 4-1-2. I declined to enter any side events as I was exhausted and wanted to play with my eyes open the following day.

Day two was a bit different from Saturday. I missed the first main while drafting with my friends who brought home some packs on Saturday. We played at my house over pancakes and eggs. It was a blast and well worth missing the first main.

After a six- person draft at my house I felt more familiar with the cards and ready to play another. I cleaned up the dishes and headed out for some adventure.

My best deck out of both days was Sunday’s. Unlike Saturday, where I had no bombs, my deck included many solid cards from Odyssey and Torment
Torment
TormentSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
23
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Enchanted creature gets -3/-0.
, as well as a bomb or two. The highlights included:

Shower of Coals
Shower of Coals
Shower of CoalsSet: Odyssey
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
221
Artist:
Matt Cavatto
Text:
Shower of Coals deals 2 damage to each of up to three target creatures and/or players. Threshold - Shower of Coals deals 4 damage to each of those creatures and/or players instead. (You have theshold if seven or more cards are in your graveyard.)
(the only real bomb)
2x Faceless Butcher
Faceless Butcher
Faceless ButcherSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nightmare Horror
Rarity:
C
Number:
60
Power:
2
Toughness:
3
Text:
When Faceless Butcher comes into play, remove target creature other than Faceless Butcher from the game. When Faceless Butcher leaves play, return the removed card to play under its owner's control.
s
2x Cephalid Sage
Cephalid Sage
Cephalid SageSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cephalid
Rarity:
U
Number:
29
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Threshold - When Cephalid Sage comes into play, draw three cards, then discard two cards from your hand.

Deep Analysis
Deep Analysis
Deep AnalysisSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
36
Text:
Target player draws two cards. Flashback - 1U, Pay 3 life.
(it’s amazing)
Shambling Swarm
Shambling Swarm
Shambling SwarmSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Horror
Rarity:
R
Number:
82
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
When Shambling Swarm is put into a graveyard from play, distribute three -1/-1 counters among one, two, or three target creatures. Remove those counters at end of turn.

Waste Away
Waste Away
Waste AwaySet: Torment
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
88
Text:
As an additional cost to play Waste Away, discard a card from your hand. Target creature gets -5/-5 until end of turn.

Cephalid Looter
Cephalid Looter
Cephalid LooterSet: Odyssey
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cephalid
Rarity:
C
Number:
72
Artist:
Keith Garletts
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Tap: Target player draws a card, then discards a card from his or her hand.

Mesmeric Fiend
Mesmeric Fiend
Mesmeric FiendSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nightmare Horror
Rarity:
C
Number:
69
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Mesmeric Fiend comes into play, target opponent reveals his or her hand and you choose a nonland card from it. Remove that card from the game. When Mesmeric Fiend leaves play, return the removed card to its owner's hand.

Deep Analysis
Deep Analysis
Deep AnalysisSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
36
Text:
Target player draws two cards. Flashback - 1U, Pay 3 life.

Ghastly Demise
Ghastly Demise
Ghastly DemiseSet: Odyssey
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
139
Artist:
Gary Ruddell
Text:
Destroy target nonblack creature if its toughness is less than or equal to the number of cards in your graveyard.


Cards that were conditional but solid were
Treetop Sentinal
Repel
Repel
RepelSet: Odyssey
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
98
Artist:
Terese Nielson
Text:
Put target creature on top of its owner's library.

Churning Eddy
Churning Eddy
Churning EddySet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
32
Text:
Return target creature and target land to their owners' hands.

Cabal Torturer
Cabal Torturer
Cabal TorturerSet: Torment
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Minion
Rarity:
C
Number:
53
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
B, T: Target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn. Threshold - 3BB, T: Target creature gets -2/-2 until end of turn.

Liquify
Liquify
LiquifySet: Torment
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
41
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Counter target spell with converted mana cost 3 or less. If it's countered this way, remove it from the game instead of putting it into its owner's graveyard.

Morgue Theft
Morgue Theft
Morgue TheftSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
151
Artist:
Justin Sweet
Text:
Return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand. Flashback 4B (You may play this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then remove it from the game.)

Fright Crawler
Dirty Wererat
Dirty Wererat
Dirty WereratSet: Odyssey
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Minion Rat
Rarity:
C
Number:
130
Artist:
Daren Bader
Power:
2
Toughness:
3
Text:
B, Discard a card from your hand: Regenerate Dirty Wererat. Threshold - Dirty Wererat gets +2/+2 and can't block. (You have threshold as long as seven or more cards are in your graveyard.)

Strength of Lunacy
Strength of Lunacy
Strength of LunacySet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
U
Number:
86
Text:
Enchanted creature gets +2/+1 and has protection from white. Madness B


The last match I played on Sunday was the third and final highlight of the beloved pre-release weekend. Aside from hanging with good friends and opening new cards there was not much else to comment on. Josh Maricle of Vancouver, WA kicked my head in with an amazing deck that few could rival.

I may have underestimated the pint-sized teenager who, judging from all outward appearances, doesn’t have his driver’s license or problems with acne yet. He played devastatingly well and my deck wasn’t the machine that his was. I’ll let you be the judge...

His deck included:

2x Waste Away
Waste Away
Waste AwaySet: Torment
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
88
Text:
As an additional cost to play Waste Away, discard a card from your hand. Target creature gets -5/-5 until end of turn.

2x Chainer’s Edict
Nantuko Shade
Nantuko Shade
Nantuko ShadeSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Insect Shade
Rarity:
R
Number:
74
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
B: Nantuko Shade gets +1/+1 until end of turn.

Balshan Collaborator
Balshan Collaborator
Balshan CollaboratorSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bird Soldier
Rarity:
U
Number:
25
Text:
Flying. B: Balshan Collaborator gets +1/+1 until end of turn.

Faceless Butcher
Faceless Butcher
Faceless ButcherSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nightmare Horror
Rarity:
C
Number:
60
Power:
2
Toughness:
3
Text:
When Faceless Butcher comes into play, remove target creature other than Faceless Butcher from the game. When Faceless Butcher leaves play, return the removed card to play under its owner's control.

Aven Windreader
Aven Windreader
Aven WindreaderSet: Odyssey
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bird Soldier Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
65
Artist:
Greg & Tim Hildebrandt
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying 1U: Target player reveals the top card of his or her library.

Aven Smokeweaver
Aven Smokeweaver
Aven SmokeweaverSet: Odyssey
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bird Soldier
Rarity:
U
Number:
64
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
2
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying, protection from red

Repel
Repel
RepelSet: Odyssey
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
98
Artist:
Terese Nielson
Text:
Put target creature on top of its owner's library.

Squirrel Nest
Squirrel Nest
Squirrel NestSet: Odyssey
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchant Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
274
Artist:
Anthony S. Waters
Text:
Card Text: Enchanted land has ``Tap: Put a 1/1 green Squirrel creature token into play.``

Basking Rootwalla
Basking Rootwalla
Basking RootwallaSet: Torment
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Lizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
121
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
1G: Basking Rootwalla gets +2/+2 until end of turn. Play this ability only once each turn. Madness 0

Werebear
Werebear
WerebearSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Druid Bear
Rarity:
C
Number:
282
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
: Tap: Add G to your mana pool. Threshold - Werebear gets +3/+3. (You have threshold as long as seven or more cards are in your graveyard.)

Arrogant Worm
Gravedigger
Gravedigger
GravediggerSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
134
Artist:
Dermot Power
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Gravedigger comes into play, you may return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand.

Aether burst

Nothing really broken, right? And with a flare of Psychatog
Psychatog
PsychatogSet: Odyssey
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Atog
Rarity:
U
Number:
292
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
Discard a card from your hand: Psychatog gets +1/+1 until end of turn. Remove two cards in your graveyard from the game: Psychatog gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
in mind, a 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.)
topped it all off, although said he never got to use it for the card drawing ability.

Needless to say that he went 2-0 against me and handily bounced me out of the prizes by a point with a record of 2-1-1. Watch out for this kid if he decides to ever invest energy in becoming a professional magic player: he may drop kick you quicker than you can say “Faceless Butcher
Faceless Butcher
Faceless ButcherSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nightmare Horror
Rarity:
C
Number:
60
Power:
2
Toughness:
3
Text:
When Faceless Butcher comes into play, remove target creature other than Faceless Butcher from the game. When Faceless Butcher leaves play, return the removed card to play under its owner's control.
.”

It’s clear to me that Torment
Torment
TormentSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
23
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Enchanted creature gets -3/-0.
has a lot of potential to impact all formats of sanctioned play. I need some time playtesting and reading before I have specific card combinations or competitive deck ideas that include Torment
Torment
TormentSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
23
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Enchanted creature gets -3/-0.
. Because of my limited exposure to the cards (and maybe my limited skills?) I do not yet know which specific cards are either viable or “broken.”

My initial impression of the coming changes to Standard Constructed is that the advantage lies with players who combine blue (primarily) and green with splashes of either black or red. White mages will have to wait until the next set for their day in the sun.

A lot of what we have to look forward to in the upcoming limited Pro Tour Qualifier season (for Nice, France) was in evidence this past weekend. The mechanics introduced with this set add an interesting and fun new dynamic to the game of Magic: playing cards as they are discarded. A future article will explore more in-depth the impact and future of Torment
Torment
TormentSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
23
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Enchanted creature gets -3/-0.
and the madness mechanic on both constructed and limited play.

I’ll let you know how it all plays out in the coming weeks.

PS. I owe a “Thank You” to my friend and sponsor, Shane Munyer, at http://ccghouse.com/ for buying a bunch of cards from me so that I could play at the event.

Yours in Magic,


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