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CardShark Content - Spencer Bogan (8/2/2005)

Whenever a new set comes into existences, the public clamors for all the content they can get about it. However, it isn’t very often that you see and article talking about what actually happens. What cards were actually good? What cards were more over hyped than Q2hhbGljZSBvZiB0aGUgVoid
Void
VoidSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
287
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Choose a number. Destroy all artifacts and creatures with converted mana cost equal to that number. Then target player reveals his or her hand and discards from it all nonland cards with converted mana cost equal to the number.
? Sometimes, I just like getting the answers to those questions. This time, I think I have them myself.

Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, I would like to state that all these ratings and opinions are from my personal experience I have amassed in the past two months. The use of these cards in limited is not calculated.

The Best Performers

Erayo, Soratami Ascendant
Erayo, Soratami Ascendant
Erayo, Soratami AscendantSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Moonfolk Monk
Rarity:
R
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying Whenever the fourth spell of a turn is played, flip Erayo, Soratami Ascendant. ----- Erayo's Essence Legendary Enchantment Whenever an opponent plays a spell for the first time in a turn, counter that spell.

To say I was surprised by this card is an underestimate. I thought the card was going to be just another rare to sit in my binder. However, I have changed my mind drastically. Erayo is funny for a few reasons. First it seems hard to flip. With the cards provided by Eighth Edition and Kamigawa Block that is a true sentiment. When you add in the cheap artifacts of Mirrodin, it becomes almost child’s play to flip Erayo. From then on you are almost on autopilot. At Regionals I witnessed a player flip it turn one. He won that game. Then I saw him flip it turn 5 and it won him the game. The guy finished with a record of 7-2. If Erayo doesn’t show up in Extended, I will be very surprised.

Arashi, the Sky Asunder
Arashi, the Sky Asunder
Arashi, the Sky AsunderSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
R
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
XG, T Arashi, the Sky Asunder deals X damage to target creature with flying. Channel - XGG, Discard Arashi: Arashi deals X damage to each creature with flying.

Arashi saw a lot of play in the sideboard of Tooth and Nail
Tooth and Nail
Tooth and NailSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
7
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
134
Artist:
Greg Hildebrandt
Text:
Choose one - Search your library for up to two creature cards, reveal them, put them into your hand, then shuffle your library; or put up to two creature cards from your hand into play. Entwine 2 (Choose both if you pay the entwine cost.)
at Regionals. I saw it run in Mono Green Aggro to impressive results. Often it was just, just, a 5/5 for 3GG. That is pretty solid by itself. Sometimes it killed 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.
to mana screw Gifts opponents. Sometimes it was Channel
Channel
ChannelSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Richard Thomas
Text:
Until end of turn, you may add colorless mana to your mana pool at a cost of 1 life per point of mana. These additions are played with the speed of an interrupt. Effects that prevent or redirect damage may not be used to counter this loss of life.
ed to destroy Meloku and friends for some Tempo thievery.

O-Naginata
When I saw this card played for the first time I was puzzled. It seemed like it didn’t do enough to really help. Of course that was in limited. The next week I showed up at the shop and saw Black Hand in testing. The equipment was stellar. It gave everyday 3/3s that needed some evasion a huge boost in power and that very useful ability called trample. It makes Black Hand in the way that Time of Need
Time of Need
Time of NeedSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
247
Artist:
Dany Orizio
Text:
Search your library for a legendary creature card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library.
makes Accelerate
Accelerate
AccelerateSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
90
Artist:
Gary Ruddell
Text:
Target creature gains haste until end of turn. Draw a card.
d Bombs. Black Hand could function without it, but not as well as it does with it.

Tomb of Urami
Tomb of Urami
Tomb of UramiSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Legendary Land
Rarity:
R
Text:
T Add B to your mana pool. Tomb of Urami deals 1 damage to you if you don't control an Ogre. 2BB, T, Sacrifice all lands you control: Put a legendary 5/5 black Demon Spirit creature token with flying named Urami into play.

The Tomb was originally much maligned since Armageddon
Armageddon
ArmageddonSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Jesper Myrfors
Text:
All lands in play are destroyed.
for you isn’t attractive in the least bit. However, the ability to cash in your land for a fatty is very sound and the drawback isn’t too steep to keep it out of Black decks. We went from one, to two, and finally up to three Tombs in Black Hand because the card is so strong. In the mirror, the flying makes up a lot of ground. Against WW it is a fatty that only has to worry about Jitte. Of course you always have to worry about Jitte.

The Hands – Hand of Honor
Hand of Honor
Hand of HonorSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Samurai
Rarity:
U
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Protection from black Bushido 1 (When this blocks or becomes blocked, it gets +1/+1 until end of turn.)
and Hand of Cruelty
Hand of Cruelty
Hand of CrueltySet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Samurai
Rarity:
U
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Protection from white Bushido 1 (When this blocks or becomes blocked, it gets +1/+1 until end of turn.)

The Hands are very powerful and fit into the two aggressive decks in the format that are currently being played. In the White against Black match ups, whoever gets the upper hand wins. Sometimes a Hand with a Jitte will just steal the game. Other times it will serve as Moat
Moat
MoatSet: Legends
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Jeff A. Menges
Text:
Non-flying creatures cannot attack.
until it is time to smash. Testing with Black Hand against WW showed me the true power of Hand of Cruelty
Hand of Cruelty
Hand of CrueltySet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Samurai
Rarity:
U
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Protection from white Bushido 1 (When this blocks or becomes blocked, it gets +1/+1 until end of turn.)
. When the WW decks started running their own hand, it became who drew Jitte first.

The biggest busts of Saviors are quite obvious. However, here is what I have at the top busts and why.

Adamaro, First to Desire
Adamaro, First to Desire
Adamaro, First to DesireSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
R
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Adamaro, First to Desire's power and toughness are each equal to the number of cards in the hand of the opponent with the most cards in hand.

This card is really tough to decipher. Sometimes it is just huge. Getting a 6/6 for three mana is very good. The problem is that your opponent can just dump their hand pretty easily. The few times I have cast Adamaro after turn 3, he has been quite horrid. However, when I dropped him on turn 2, he dealt about 10 damage all by his lonesome. With 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.
and Llanowar Elves
Llanowar Elves
Llanowar ElvesSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elves
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Anson Maddocks
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Add G to your mana pool. This ability is played as an interrupt.
to be in the same format as Adamaro, it would be conceivable that Adamaro’s power level could rise significantly.

Thoughts of Ruin
Thoughts of Ruin
Thoughts of RuinSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Text:
Each player sacrifices a land for each card in your hand.

I remember when I saw this “Armageddon
Armageddon
ArmageddonSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Jesper Myrfors
Text:
All lands in play are destroyed.
Clone
Clone
CloneSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Clone
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Julie Baroh
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Upon summoning, Clone acquires all characteristics, including color, of any one creature in play on either side; any creature enchantments on original creature are not copied. Clone retains these characteristics even after original creature is destroyed. Clone cannot be summoned if there are no creatures in play.
” for the first time. I, like most everyone else, was swept up in the madness. However, I soon learned that Ponza would rather just destroy one or two land and win with Arc-Slogger. While being very synergistic with Adamaro, that one-two punch doesn’t show up on time and together often. Simply put, the card has less in common with the card Armageddon
Armageddon
ArmageddonSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Jesper Myrfors
Text:
All lands in play are destroyed.
than it does with the movie Armageddon
Armageddon
ArmageddonSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Jesper Myrfors
Text:
All lands in play are destroyed.
. (If you are puzzled, then I will just say that the film Armageddon
Armageddon
ArmageddonSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Jesper Myrfors
Text:
All lands in play are destroyed.
was severely over-hyped).

Enduring Ideal
Enduring Ideal
Enduring IdealSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
7
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Text:
Search your library for an enchantment card and put it into play. Then shuffle your library. Epic (For the rest of the game, you can't play spells. At the beginning of each of your upkeeps, copy this spell except for its epic ability.)

When the Epic mechanic was first shown, people were floored. However, it was soon apparent the true cost of the spell was too much. The actual mana cost of the spell is seven mana. That is quite tough to pull off reasonably early. However, you lose all surprise once you have it resolve. No longer can you have that hidden Wrath effect. You get to play one card a turn at the same time every turn. No frills, no surprises. Even if you can down a lock, the winning is still difficult. People still are trying to make it work, but I am not sure if you could make it work even with Form of the Dragon
Form of the Dragon
Form of the DragonSet: Scourge
Cost:
7
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
93
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, Form of the Dragon deals 5 damage to target creature or player.
At the end of each turn, your life total becomes 5.
Creatures without flying can't attack you.
returning to Standard soon.


The last group of card I am going to cover is what I think are the later bloomers. These are cards that just need to show their worth, the sooner the better.

Pithing Needle
Pithing Needle
Pithing NeedleSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Color:
Colorless
Rarity:
R

The Needle trades for a lot. It costs a lot. It does…little? Sadly, I haven’t seen Pithing Needle
Pithing Needle
Pithing NeedleSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Color:
Colorless
Rarity:
R
do anything special. Let alone anything at all. However, I do think that the potential is there. It gives Red and Black an answer to enchantments. Blue has ways to stop artifacts. It just gives a little bit of utility to all colors. Now I just need to see what it really does.

Kataki, War’s Wage
Supposedly this card wrecks Affinity. I know it kills the speed that makes Affinity so attractive. I think it is better than Energy Flux
Energy Flux
Energy FluxSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Kaja Foglio
Text:
All artifacts in play now require an upkeep cost of 2 in addition to any other upkeep costs they may have. If the upkeep cost for an artifact is not paid, the artifact must be discarded.
since you can main deck it and still just smash when the whole anti artifact ability isn’t so useful. The problem is that I don’t know how effective the legend is, if it is effective at all. Don’t be surprised if Kataki becomes a sleeper hit.

Kagemaro, First to Suffer
Kagemaro, First to Suffer
Kagemaro, First to SufferSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Demon Spirit
Rarity:
R
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Kagemaro, First to Suffer's power and toughness are each equal to the number of cards in your hand. B, Sacrifice Kagemaro: All creatures get -X/-X until end of turn, where X is the number of cards in your hand.

What I have seen of the Black “Maro
Maro
MaroSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elemental
Rarity:
R
Number:
241
Artist:
Stuart Griffin
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Maro's power and toughness are each equal to the number of cards in your hand.
” in action is quite promising. However, that is all. Just Promising. I haven’t been floored and often times it is a split creature. You either get a 6 mana Mutilate
Mutilate
MutilateSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
73
Text:
All creatures get -1/-1 until end of turn for each swamp you control.
or a 5 mana Maro
Maro
MaroSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elemental
Rarity:
R
Number:
241
Artist:
Stuart Griffin
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Maro's power and toughness are each equal to the number of cards in your hand.
. Sometimes you have the fatty in play and smash and then a situation comes up when you have to sweep the board clean. Often it will turn out what you already know what you are going to use it as before you even play it. I just don’t know if it will match the hype.

Manriki-Gus
Gus
GusSet: Unglued
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Gus
Rarity:
C
Number:
62
Artist:
DiTerlizzi
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Gus comes into play with one +1/+1 counter on it for each game you have lost to your opponent since you last won a Magic game against him or her.
ari
This nifty equipment is starting to show up more often. I think that by the end of the Block season it will be the second most common equipment card (behind Umezawa’s Jitte of course) played. In testing we have seen the boost in toughness to matter greatly and the ability to gain Jitte advantage is invaluable. Just too beneficial to not be included in the fun. Maybe other people will think my way soon.

So that wraps up that.


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