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CardShark Content - Randy Villarica (7/26/2005)

The unthinkable has happened!

My pet “mankey” Bubbles has broken out of his cage and stolen my Drafting Ingeniously Radical Tech machine, D.I.R.T. for short. He’s gotten so tired of watching me play modo and constant promises of freedom right after this one draft. Believe me, this is the last one! Unfortunately, being the draft monkey that I am, I went from one draft to another and yet another and Bubbles just couldn’t take it.

He has gained access to the Lair’s security systems and has locked me out of my own domain! Gah! Doesn’t he know that I have an article to write?


This is Bubbles and I’ll be taking over from RV from here on. Little does he know that I am not an ordinary monkey, rather I am a super-genius mankey! What he took as monkey chatter was in fact advice on how to draft well in CBS, the draft format not the channel. Stay tuned though as I take you through some things to remember when drafting CBS.

One of the important things you need to do before sitting down at that table is to know what colors you are planning to draft and what archetype you’re looking to build. RV usually goes for the R/G draft as G provides acceleration and some nice fatties as well as utility crits whereas R has the burn removal for their blockers and direct damage to push through a win.

In RV’s last green/red draft, he drafted Glacial Ray
Glacial Ray
Glacial RaySet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Number:
168
Artist:
Jim Murray
Text:
Glacial Ray deals 2 damage to target creature or player. Splice onto Arcane 1R (As you play an Arcane spell, you may reveal this card from your hand and pay its splice cost. If you do, add this card's effects to that spell.)
as a first pick. Glacial Ray
Glacial Ray
Glacial RaySet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Number:
168
Artist:
Jim Murray
Text:
Glacial Ray deals 2 damage to target creature or player. Splice onto Arcane 1R (As you play an Arcane spell, you may reveal this card from your hand and pay its splice cost. If you do, add this card's effects to that spell.)
, normally a heavily sought after card is even more important in CBS draft mostly because there is only one Champions pack being opened by each player and to pass it up would mean someone else will be going for it. It would definitely be a rare event to get two Glacial Ray
Glacial Ray
Glacial RaySet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Number:
168
Artist:
Jim Murray
Text:
Glacial Ray deals 2 damage to target creature or player. Splice onto Arcane 1R (As you play an Arcane spell, you may reveal this card from your hand and pay its splice cost. If you do, add this card's effects to that spell.)
s in a deck anymore because of this. Glacial Ray
Glacial Ray
Glacial RaySet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Number:
168
Artist:
Jim Murray
Text:
Glacial Ray deals 2 damage to target creature or player. Splice onto Arcane 1R (As you play an Arcane spell, you may reveal this card from your hand and pay its splice cost. If you do, add this card's effects to that spell.)
is still the higher pick than 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.
for the red player, but Honden has almost become the best uncommon red card you can choose first from your Champions pack.

The common green cards like Kodama's Reach
Kodama's Reach
Kodama's ReachSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Number:
225
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Text:
Search your library for two basic land cards, reveal those cards, and put one into play tapped and the other into your hand. Then shuffle your library.
, which you used to be able to draft as late as your fourth or fifth pick or later need to be drafted earlier as again the case is that someone else is going to scoop it up.

In the Betrayers packs, the value of cards that can bring down your opponent’s flyers has definitely increased, so drafting commons like Matsu-Tribe Sniper and Traproot Kami
Traproot Kami
Traproot KamiSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Number:
147
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
0
Toughness:
*
Text:
Defender (This creature can't attack.) Traproot Kami's toughness is equal to the number of Forests in play. Traproot Kami may block as though it had flying.
would not be the wrong move. The sniper’s ability comes in handy versus one toughness flyers but also locks down much larger prey like legendary dragons perhaps, taking them out of contention as attacker and possible blocker. The Traproot Kami
Traproot Kami
Traproot KamiSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Number:
147
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
0
Toughness:
*
Text:
Defender (This creature can't attack.) Traproot Kami's toughness is equal to the number of Forests in play. Traproot Kami may block as though it had flying.
, though a Defender, only costs G and can block flyers aside from the fact that its toughness is equal to the number of Forest
Forest
ForestSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add G to your mana pool.
s in play, and yes that means your opponent’s side of the board as well, locking down ground beaters like Stampeding Serow
Stampeding Serow
Stampeding SerowSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Antelope Beast
Rarity:
U
Power:
5
Toughness:
4
Text:
Trample At the beginning of your upkeep, return a green creature you control to its owner's hand.
and Iwamori and stemming the attack from the skies. Also being a spirit helps trigger those Spirit
Spirit
SpiritSet: Divine vs Demonic
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying
/Arcane loving cards like Elder Pine of Jukai
Elder Pine of Jukai
Elder Pine of JukaiSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever you play a Spirit or Arcane spell, reveal the top three cards of your library. Put all land cards revealed this way into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library in any order. Soulshift 2
and Budoka Pupil
Budoka Pupil
Budoka PupilSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Monk
Rarity:
U
Number:
122
Artist:
Shishizaru
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Whenever you play a Spirit or Arcane spell, you may put a ki counter on Budoka Pupil. At end of turn, if there are two or more ki counters on Budoka Pupil, you may flip it. ---- Ichiga, Who Topples Oaks Legendary Creature — Spirit 4/3 Trample Remove a ki counter from Ichiga, Who Topples Oaks Target creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn.
. A Miren, the Moaning Well
Miren, the Moaning Well
Miren, the Moaning WellSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Legendary Land
Rarity:
R
Text:
T Add 1 to your mana pool. 3, T, Sacrifice a creature: You gain life equal to the sacrificed creature's toughness.
would also love to sac a large Traproot Kami
Traproot Kami
Traproot KamiSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Number:
147
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
0
Toughness:
*
Text:
Defender (This creature can't attack.) Traproot Kami's toughness is equal to the number of Forests in play. Traproot Kami may block as though it had flying.
.

Speaking of which Budoka Pupil
Budoka Pupil
Budoka PupilSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Monk
Rarity:
U
Number:
122
Artist:
Shishizaru
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Whenever you play a Spirit or Arcane spell, you may put a ki counter on Budoka Pupil. At end of turn, if there are two or more ki counters on Budoka Pupil, you may flip it. ---- Ichiga, Who Topples Oaks Legendary Creature — Spirit 4/3 Trample Remove a ki counter from Ichiga, Who Topples Oaks Target creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn.
is definitely a card I love seeing as it is very easy to flip him on turn four (Traproot Kami
Traproot Kami
Traproot KamiSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Number:
147
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
0
Toughness:
*
Text:
Defender (This creature can't attack.) Traproot Kami's toughness is equal to the number of Forests in play. Traproot Kami may block as though it had flying.
helps). Budoka Pupil
Budoka Pupil
Budoka PupilSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Monk
Rarity:
U
Number:
122
Artist:
Shishizaru
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Whenever you play a Spirit or Arcane spell, you may put a ki counter on Budoka Pupil. At end of turn, if there are two or more ki counters on Budoka Pupil, you may flip it. ---- Ichiga, Who Topples Oaks Legendary Creature — Spirit 4/3 Trample Remove a ki counter from Ichiga, Who Topples Oaks Target creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn.
then turns into Ichiga, Who Topple
Topple
ToppleSet: Nemesis
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
24
Artist:
Daren Bader
Text:
Remove target creature with the greatest power from the game. (If two or more creatures are tied for greatest power, target only one of them.)
s Oaks, a formidable card indeed.

The other cards that you might take into consideration are Uproot
Uproot
UprootSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Number:
149
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Text:
Put target land on top of its owner's library.
, Splinter
Splinter
SplinterSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
121
Artist:
Daren Bader
Text:
Remove target artifact from the game. Search its controller's graveyard, hand, and library for all copies of that card and remove them from the game. That player then shuffles his or her library.
/Wear Away
Wear Away
Wear AwaySet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Number:
250
Artist:
Tim Hildebrandt
Text:
Destroy target artifact or enchantment. Splice onto Arcane 3G (As you play an Arcane spell, you may reveal this card from your hand and pay its splice cost. If you do, add this card's effects to that spell.)
and Kodama’s Might also Roar of Jukai
Roar of Jukai
Roar of JukaiSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Number:
140
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
If you control a Forest, each blocked creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn. Splice onto Arcane—An opponent gains 5 life. (As you play an Arcane spell, you may reveal this card from your hand and pay its splice cost. If you do, add this card's effects to that spell.)
as a neat combat trick. Uproot
Uproot
UprootSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Number:
149
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Text:
Put target land on top of its owner's library.
goes in the sideboard versus annoyingly hard to kill Genjus and Splinter
Splinter
SplinterSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
121
Artist:
Daren Bader
Text:
Remove target artifact from the game. Search its controller's graveyard, hand, and library for all copies of that card and remove them from the game. That player then shuffles his or her library.
/Wear Away
Wear Away
Wear AwaySet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Number:
250
Artist:
Tim Hildebrandt
Text:
Destroy target artifact or enchantment. Splice onto Arcane 3G (As you play an Arcane spell, you may reveal this card from your hand and pay its splice cost. If you do, add this card's effects to that spell.)
versus your opponent’s Jitte and the various other artifacts that this set has come out with.

On to Saviors.

Ghost-Lit Raider
Ghost-Lit Raider
Ghost-Lit RaiderSet: Prerelease Stamped
Type:
Creature
Rarity:
P
Artist:
Ittoku
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
is perhaps the best that you’re going to end up with in Saviors of Kamigawa in the red department. A 2/1 Spirit
Spirit
SpiritSet: Divine vs Demonic
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying
with 3 cc isn’t so bad, the ability to deal 2 damage to opponents’ creatures is definitely a plus as well as the channel ability to force down a larger creature that may be blocking your smaller creature. The fact that it’s a Spirit
Spirit
SpiritSet: Divine vs Demonic
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying
helps trigger the spirit/arcane interactions of your other picks, as well as benefiting from any Soulshift shenanigans that you might be able to pull off. Hey McDonnel, I was able to “seamlessly” include shenanigans in this article, you owe me $20! [Editor’s note: This site doesn’t condone illegal, non-sanctioned gambling of any sort, but if McDonnel doesn’t pay up he’s a dirty welcher]

Another possible pick is Burning-Eye Zubera. This 3/3 Zubera Spirit
Spirit
SpiritSet: Divine vs Demonic
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying
costs 2RR and has the ability to deal three damage to a creature or player if it goes to the graveyard on the same turn that it received at least four points of damage. This card can be very good in that it can block and bring down a 6/6 attacker.
With Saviors, “hand size matters” plays an important role and there are two direct damage cards in red that deal damage to a target equal to the number of cards in your hand. Most players pass up Gaze of Adamaro
Gaze of Adamaro
Gaze of AdamaroSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
U
Text:
Gaze of Adamaro deals damage equal to the number of cards in target player's hand to that player.
as it can only target players, pass on this if there are more promising cards out there. Spiraling Embers
Spiraling Embers
Spiraling EmbersSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Text:
Spiraling Embers deals damage to target creature or player equal to the number of cards in your hand.
targets creatures sure, but running on Sorcery speed definitely has its downside.

As I was going on and on about Elder Pine of Jukai
Elder Pine of Jukai
Elder Pine of JukaiSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever you play a Spirit or Arcane spell, reveal the top three cards of your library. Put all land cards revealed this way into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library in any order. Soulshift 2
earlier I will explain here now. At first seeing a 2/1 creature for 3 cc made me wince even though it was a Spirit
Spirit
SpiritSet: Divine vs Demonic
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying
and would fit well in my deck. Looking at the ability though made me think twice and smile. With all the cheap Spirit
Spirit
SpiritSet: Divine vs Demonic
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying
s that I’m likely to draft, I would in essence be solving my mana screw problems as well as keeping with the “hand size matters” part of the deck. That plus as I am thinning the deck of lands, I’m in fact paving the way to drawing threats and ensuring I have mana to cast those threats, and helping to eliminate a mana flood is definitely a plus. The Soulshift 2 ability definitely put it on my A1 list as it allows me to bring back some utility creatures and also my Traproot Kami
Traproot Kami
Traproot KamiSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Number:
147
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
0
Toughness:
*
Text:
Defender (This creature can't attack.) Traproot Kami's toughness is equal to the number of Forests in play. Traproot Kami may block as though it had flying.
.

Look for mana fixers, especially in your colors. In this case Pinecrest Ridge
Pinecrest Ridge
Pinecrest RidgeSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
281
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
T: Add 1 to your mana pool. T: Add R or G to your mana pool. Pinecrest Ridge doesn't untap during your next untap step.
would fit perfectly as it doubles as your G or R mana as well as smoothing out any double color cc of some cards.

My last piece of advice has something to do with card interactions. Keep your eyes open! Always look out not just for interactions on your side of the board but what your opponent is pulling off on his side as there may be an opportunity to use that tech in future drafts.

**COMBO ALERT** **COMBO ALERT** **COMBO ALERT**

This just in, here is an interesting interaction between two cards, Elder Pine of Jukai
Elder Pine of Jukai
Elder Pine of JukaiSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever you play a Spirit or Arcane spell, reveal the top three cards of your library. Put all land cards revealed this way into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library in any order. Soulshift 2
and Inner Calm, Outer Strength
Inner Calm, Outer Strength
Inner Calm, Outer StrengthSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Text:
Target creature gets +X/+X until end of turn, where X is the number of cards in your hand.
. Stack tricks aside, the Elder Pine triggers before ICOS triggers netting you some more cards in hand, a second ICOS just makes your unblocked critter even bigger especially if you net more cards with Elder Pine.

So there you have it. Drafting from a “mankey’s” point of view. Ooooh ooooh, aaaah aaahh, did you hear that? *scratch* *scratch* Do you feel that draft? Oh noooo! Ooooh oooh, aaaah, aaah!


Finally! This is RV again, finally caught my infernal “mankey”. What has he done to my pc! Monkey smudges all over the keyboard, banana peels stuck in the seat, ew. Ah wait, what’s this? An article! Aha! I’m saved!

Until next time, tune in for more “mankey” madness.


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