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CardShark Content - Stanley Rutkowski III (12/2/2001)

With the new metagame growing, mostly including creature based decks (how can you resist the likes of Finkle, Spiritmonger
Spiritmonger
SpiritmongerSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
R
Number:
121
Artist:
Glen Angus
Power:
6
Toughness:
6
Text:
Whenever Spiritmonger deals damage to a creature, put a +1/+1 counter on Spiritmonger. B: Regenerate Spiritmonger. G: Spiritmonger becomes the color of your choice until end of turn.
, Flametongue Kavu
Flametongue Kavu
Flametongue KavuSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Kavu
Rarity:
U
Number:
60
Artist:
Pete Venters
Power:
4
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Flametongue Kavu comes into play, it deals 4 damage to target creature.
and on and on). Here is a deck made to crush the creature strategy. “This is the end of you puny rebellion” (sorry couldn’t help the reference). Now to the meat of the article, the deck list:

2 x Extract
Extract
ExtractSet: Odyssey
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
85
Artist:
Matt Cavotta
Text:
Search target player's library for a card, and remove that card from the game. Then that player shuffles his or her library.

4 x Millstone
Millstone
MillstoneSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Kaja Foglio
Text:
2, T: Take the top two cards from target player's library and put them in target player's graveyard.

4 x Rout
Rout
RoutSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
34
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
You may play Rout any time you could play an instant if you pay 2 more to play it.Destroy all creatures. They can't be regenerated.

3 x Kirtar’s Wrath
3 x Wrath of God
Wrath of God
Wrath of GodSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Quinton Hoover
Text:
All creatures in play are buried.

4 x Absorb
Absorb
AbsorbSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
226
Artist:
Andrew Goldhawk
Text:
Counter target spell. You gain 3 life.

4 x 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.

4 x Syncopate
Syncopate
SyncopateSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
103
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Counter target spell unless its controller pays X. If that spell is countered this way, remove it from the game instead of putting it into its owner's graveyard.

2 x Aegis of Honor
Aegis of Honor
Aegis of HonorSet: Odyssey
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
1
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
1: The next time an instant or sorcery spell would deal damage to you this turn, that spell deals that damage to its controller instead.

3 x Standstill
Standstill
StandstillSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
102
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Text:
When a player plays a spell, sacrifice Standstill. If you do, then each of that player's opponents draws three cards.

3 x Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction
Fact or FictionSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
57
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
Reveal the top five cards of your library. An opponent separates those cards into two face-up piles. Put one pile into your hand and the other into your graveyard.

7 x Plains
Plains
PlainsSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add W to your mana pool.

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

4 x Costal Tower
4 x Adarkar Wastes
Adarkar Wastes
Adarkar WastesSet: Fifth Edition
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Gary Leach
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.T: Add W or U to your mana pool. Adarkar Wastes deals 1 damage to you.


Sideboard:
3 x Gainsay
Gainsay
GainsaySet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
26
Artist:
Roger Raupp
Text:
Counter target blue spell.

1 x Extract
Extract
ExtractSet: Odyssey
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
85
Artist:
Matt Cavotta
Text:
Search target player's library for a card, and remove that card from the game. Then that player shuffles his or her library.

2 x Divert
Divert
DivertSet: Odyssey
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
82
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
Change the target of target spell with a single target unless that spell's controller pays 2.

1 x Iridescent Angel
Iridescent Angel
Iridescent AngelSet: Odyssey
Cost:
7
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Angel
Rarity:
R
Number:
288
Artist:
Matt Cavatto
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
: Flying, protection from all colors

2 x Traumatize
Traumatize
TraumatizeSet: Odyssey
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
110
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Target player puts the top half of his or her library, rounded down, into his or her graveyard.

2 x Sacred Ground
Sacred Ground
Sacred GroundSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
112
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
Whenever an effect controlled by any opponent puts a land into your graveyard from play, put that land into play.

3 x Dismantling Blow
Dismantling Blow
Dismantling BlowSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
14
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Kicker 2U (You may pay an additional 2U as you play this spell.)Destroy target artifact or enchantment.If you paid the kicker cost, draw two cards.

1 x Wrath of God
Wrath of God
Wrath of GodSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Quinton Hoover
Text:
All creatures in play are buried.


And now to the explanation:

Control:
4 x Absorb
Absorb
AbsorbSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
226
Artist:
Andrew Goldhawk
Text:
Counter target spell. You gain 3 life.

4 x 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.

4 x Syncopate
Syncopate
SyncopateSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
103
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Counter target spell unless its controller pays X. If that spell is countered this way, remove it from the game instead of putting it into its owner's graveyard.


The control aspect is to keep the millstone on the table and to protect yourself to get to the global removal. Syncopate
Syncopate
SyncopateSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
103
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Counter target spell unless its controller pays X. If that spell is countered this way, remove it from the game instead of putting it into its owner's graveyard.
can be amazing in this format. Token generators with flashback are everywhere and you get both in one shot. After board against red it becomes broken. At states every red player sided in UHJpY2Ugb2YgGlory
Glory
GlorySet: Judgment
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Sub Type:
Incarnation
Rarity:
R
Number:
11
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying 2W: Creatures you control gain protection from the color of your choice until end of turn. Play this ability only if Glory is in your graveyard.
against me. With Sacred Ground
Sacred Ground
Sacred GroundSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
112
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
Whenever an effect controlled by any opponent puts a land into your graveyard from play, put that land into play.
in play Syncopate
Syncopate
SyncopateSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
103
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Counter target spell unless its controller pays X. If that spell is countered this way, remove it from the game instead of putting it into its owner's graveyard.
become a “FREE” counterspell.

Global Removal:
4 x Rout
Rout
RoutSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
34
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
You may play Rout any time you could play an instant if you pay 2 more to play it.Destroy all creatures. They can't be regenerated.

3 x Wrath of God
Wrath of God
Wrath of GodSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Quinton Hoover
Text:
All creatures in play are buried.

3 x Kirtar’s Wrath

Rout
Rout
RoutSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
34
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
You may play Rout any time you could play an instant if you pay 2 more to play it.Destroy all creatures. They can't be regenerated.
as an instant gets the leg up on the other two removal spells. Against a “fast” beatdown deck one Kirtar’s Wrath normally would be sided out for a faster version Wrath of God
Wrath of God
Wrath of GodSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Quinton Hoover
Text:
All creatures in play are buried.
. Kirtar’s Wrath is also you alternate win condition in the main deck. It is not nether spirit but fits the best in the color scheme.

Card Draw:
3 x Standstill
Standstill
StandstillSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
102
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Text:
When a player plays a spell, sacrifice Standstill. If you do, then each of that player's opponents draws three cards.

3 x Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction
Fact or FictionSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
57
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
Reveal the top five cards of your library. An opponent separates those cards into two face-up piles. Put one pile into your hand and the other into your graveyard.


Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction
Fact or FictionSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
57
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
Reveal the top five cards of your library. An opponent separates those cards into two face-up piles. Put one pile into your hand and the other into your graveyard.
is a card that needs no explaining. Standstill
Standstill
StandstillSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
102
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Text:
When a player plays a spell, sacrifice Standstill. If you do, then each of that player's opponents draws three cards.
is a dual purpose card in the deck. A Turn two millstone followed by a turn thee standstill will most likely net you the global removal spell to reset the board in your favor. In the late game, standstill becomes an extra millstone to get cards out of the library.

Win Condition:
4 x Millstone
Millstone
MillstoneSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Kaja Foglio
Text:
2, T: Take the top two cards from target player's library and put them in target player's graveyard.


The deck is built around decking your opponent. Watch out for Deed

Protection:
2 x Extract
Extract
ExtractSet: Odyssey
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
85
Artist:
Matt Cavotta
Text:
Search target player's library for a card, and remove that card from the game. Then that player shuffles his or her library.

2 x Aegis of Honor
Aegis of Honor
Aegis of HonorSet: Odyssey
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
1
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
1: The next time an instant or sorcery spell would deal damage to you this turn, that spell deals that damage to its controller instead.


These cards may need some explaining. The deck that caused me the most trouble in play testing was domain and domain variants. These decks all had one thing in common, Legacy Weapon
Legacy Weapon
Legacy WeaponSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
7
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
137
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
WUBRG: Remove target permanent from the game. If Legacy Weapon would be put into a graveyard from anywhere, reveal Legacy Weapon and shuffle it into its owner's library instead.
. This is the bane of a millstone deck. Thus 2 x extract eliminates the Weapon from the equation. Also a great turn one play if you don’t have a Costal Tower. For one blue mana you get the knowledge of the opponents deck. Aegis of Honor
Aegis of Honor
Aegis of HonorSet: Odyssey
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
1
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
1: The next time an instant or sorcery spell would deal damage to you this turn, that spell deals that damage to its controller instead.
, this card stops the red mage from burning you out. Also lets the sideboard contain divert which is better in the control match up as opposed to deflection which is better in the burn match up.

I ran 61 cards in the deck because I could not find a card to cut. Also this give you an advantage of having 25 lands in the deck. This deck is manna intensive and the extra land was crucial in play testing. I wanted to find room for Traumatize
Traumatize
TraumatizeSet: Odyssey
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
110
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Target player puts the top half of his or her library, rounded down, into his or her graveyard.
in the main deck, but in the control match up it is a dead card. This deck does not play enough threats thus a control player will have plenty of counters for the card by turns 5-8. This deck needs to protect the millstone in this match up and thus a counter war over Traumatize
Traumatize
TraumatizeSet: Odyssey
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
110
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Target player puts the top half of his or her library, rounded down, into his or her graveyard.
is normally a fruitless adventure.

At states I lost three matches with this deck. Two of the matches were to bad luck. In one match up I had twenty cards left in my library and eleven of the cards were “Wrath of God
Wrath of God
Wrath of GodSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Quinton Hoover
Text:
All creatures in play are buried.
.” The second match loss was to Game one not drawing enough lands and game two drawing nothing but lands. This tells me I need to shuffle better. The one true loss was to an opposition deck. You can not let Static Orb
Static Orb
Static OrbSet: Tempest
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dermot Power
Text:
Players cannot untap more than two permanents during their untap phases.
resolve in this match up. That is also why three of the sideboard cards are Dismantling Blow
Dismantling Blow
Dismantling BlowSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
14
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Kicker 2U (You may pay an additional 2U as you play this spell.)Destroy target artifact or enchantment.If you paid the kicker cost, draw two cards.
(I chose this over disenchant for the kicker ability).

Below is a list of match up possibilities with the deck. I have reduced the match ups to the “metagame” that I have seen from my experience at States and since in local tournaments.

Orbasition: (Static Orb
Static Orb
Static OrbSet: Tempest
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dermot Power
Text:
Players cannot untap more than two permanents during their untap phases.
/Opposition
Opposition
OppositionSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
40
Artist:
Todd Lockwood
Text:
Tap an untapped creature you control: Tap target artifact, creature, or land.
): This match up is all about static orb. This card will ruin your deck. Make sure that it does not resolve. This was the worst match up in play testing this deck. When testing for the metagame, many other decks rule orbasition and I have seen it falling out a favor with many people. Don’t under estimate the deck, but it is becoming less likely that the deck will be played.

Green/Red Beats and other variants including splashes of black: Remember that creatures do not hurt you. You can take damage from the creatures for a short amount of time and a global removal spell will fix the creature issue. Watch out for Deed on your millstones. If blue is not in the deck, Traumatize
Traumatize
TraumatizeSet: Odyssey
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
110
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Target player puts the top half of his or her library, rounded down, into his or her graveyard.
can seal the victory. Don’t forget that destructive flow can be splashed into any decks running 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.
. More than likely it will be prudent to side in your sacred grounds in this match up.

Land Destruction: This match up is very favorable to your deck. Sacred ground wins this match up for you. Syncopate
Syncopate
SyncopateSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
103
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Counter target spell unless its controller pays X. If that spell is countered this way, remove it from the game instead of putting it into its owner's graveyard.
becomes a “free” counter spell in the match up if your opponents makes the mistake of siding in UHJpY2Ugb2YgGlory
Glory
GlorySet: Judgment
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Sub Type:
Incarnation
Rarity:
R
Number:
11
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying 2W: Creatures you control gain protection from the color of your choice until end of turn. Play this ability only if Glory is in your graveyard.
. After more play testing I think that most players will realize that it is a bad card to side in, but until they do, you get an advantage from their misjudgment.

Control (including variants of U/W, U/W/B, U/B): This match up is all about an early protected millstone. They will most likely try to bounce your millstone, but once it hits the table the game is most likely yours. Rout
Rout
RoutSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
34
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
You may play Rout any time you could play an instant if you pay 2 more to play it.Destroy all creatures. They can't be regenerated.
as an instant can force your opponent to “tap out” during their turn, opening the window for a second global removal on yours. This match up takes patience, but is your favor most of the time because you have a fast way to apply the pressure.

Tempo and Liquid tempo: Most of the “bounce” is oriented towards creatures in these decks. You may take some pain from an early mongoose, but stay your course. Most times you will win the counter war and Aegis becomes your ace against their burn spells. Remember that you might have to miss a mill or two at the end of a turn to protect against a response to tapping out.
Rice Snacks: Again the cards to watch out for are deed and manna short. Aegis of honor is the ace in this match. Treat this deck as a “burn” type deck and save your counterspells for the truly dangerous cards. Don’t worry so much about the setup of the combo as the combo itself. Use your counters to protect the Aegis and the millstones. Don’t side out all of the removal because they could bring in Ordered migration or the Chameleon for an alternate victory condition.


Questions, comments and suggestions are always appreciated.

Thanks for reading!


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