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CardShark Content - Stanley Rutkowski III (12/10/2001)

With all of the creature decks looming about in the environment, I have been working on decks to defeat them. My last article was on a U/W millstone deck that cleared the board with “Wrath” type removal. This deck is designed to remove all of the permanents on the board. After the official spoiler was released a card that caught my eye was Upheaval
Upheaval
UpheavalSet: Odyssey
Cost:
6
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
113
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Return all permanents to their owners' hands.
. The card is pricey to cast but is great reset button for a blue deck. The next card that caught my eye was Zombie Infestation
Zombie Infestation
Zombie InfestationSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
170
Artist:
Thomas M. Baxa
Text:
Discard two cards from your hand: Put a 2/2 black Zombie creature token into play.
. I automatically returned my focus to Upheaval
Upheaval
UpheavalSet: Odyssey
Cost:
6
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
113
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Return all permanents to their owners' hands.
and thought “this is a great combo”. So now the tone of the deck was set and the rest needed to setup or protect the combo. If you have not noticed by my articles, I am a Blue player. Permission is the type of deck that I enjoy playing the most. I started playing Magic when Prophecy
Prophecy
ProphecySet: Homelands
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Reveal the top card of target opponent's library to all players. If it is a land, gain 1 life. That opponent then shuffles his or her library. Draw a card at the beginning of the next turn's upkeep.
was released and that was towards the end of the Saga Block era. The two “best” decks being played in the area were Replenish
Replenish
ReplenishSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
15
Artist:
Jim Nelson
Text:
Return all enchantment cards from your graveyard to play. (Local enchantments with no permanent to enchant remain in your graveyard.)
and Bargain
Bargain
BargainSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Phil Foglio
Text:
Your opponent draws a card. You gain 7 life.
and the only deck type that I could find to have a chance was 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 Blue.

The Deck

4 x Force Spike
Force Spike
Force SpikeSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
John Matson
Text:
Counter target spell unless its caster pays an additional 1.

3 x Evacuation
Evacuation
EvacuationSet: Stronghold
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
30
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
Return all creatures to owners' hands.

4 x Zombie Infestation
Zombie Infestation
Zombie InfestationSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
170
Artist:
Thomas M. Baxa
Text:
Discard two cards from your hand: Put a 2/2 black Zombie creature token into play.

4 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.

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 Repulse
Repulse
RepulseSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
70
Artist:
Aaron Boyd
Text:
Return target creature to its owner's hand.Draw a card.

3 x Upheaval
Upheaval
UpheavalSet: Odyssey
Cost:
6
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
113
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Return all permanents to their owners' hands.

4 x Opt
Opt
OptSet: Invasion
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
64
Artist:
John Howe
Text:
Look at the top card of your library. You may put that card on the bottom of your library.Draw a card.

3 x Slight of Hand
3 x Memory Lapse
Memory Lapse
Memory LapseSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Counter target spell. Put that spell on top of owner's library.

4 x Salt Marsh
Salt Marsh
Salt MarshSet: Invasion
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
326
Artist:
Jerry Tiritilli
Text:
Salt Marsh comes into play tapped.T: Add U or B to your mana pool.

4 x Underground River
Underground River
Underground RiverSet: Fifth Edition
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Jeff Miracola
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.T: Add U or B to your mana pool. Underground River deals 1 damage to you.

3 x Swamp
Swamp
SwampSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add B to your mana pool.

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


Sideboard
2 x Spite/Malice
2 x Recoil
Recoil
RecoilSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
264
Artist:
Alan Pollack
Text:
Return target permanent to its owner's hand. Then that player discards a card from his or her hand.

2 x Disrupt
Disrupt
DisruptSet: Weatherlight
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Adam Rex
Text:
Counter target instant, interrupt, or sorcery spell unless its caster pays an additional 1.Draw a card.

2 x Mana Short
Mana Short
Mana ShortSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dameon Willich
Text:
All opponent's lands are tapped, and opponent's mana pool is emptied. Opponent takes no damage from unspent mana.

4 x Hibernation
Hibernation
HibernationSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
79
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Return all green permanents to owners' hands.

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


Force Spike
Force Spike
Force SpikeSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
John Matson
Text:
Counter target spell unless its caster pays an additional 1.
is a great early counter and is a great card after Upheaval
Upheaval
UpheavalSet: Odyssey
Cost:
6
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
113
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Return all permanents to their owners' hands.
resolves. This deck is setup with card draw to get the combo and protect itself until the combo is setup. Force spike allows you to play Slight of Hand and Opt
Opt
OptSet: Invasion
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
64
Artist:
John Howe
Text:
Look at the top card of your library. You may put that card on the bottom of your library.Draw a card.
early and still have an option to counter a spell.
Evacuation
Evacuation
EvacuationSet: Stronghold
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
30
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
Return all creatures to owners' hands.
is a non-targeting removal spell. Against an aggressive control deck they will “waste” their counter war on Evacuation
Evacuation
EvacuationSet: Stronghold
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
30
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
Return all creatures to owners' hands.
thus leaving themselves open to the combo.

Zombie Infestation
Zombie Infestation
Zombie InfestationSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
170
Artist:
Thomas M. Baxa
Text:
Discard two cards from your hand: Put a 2/2 black Zombie creature token into play.
is the kill in the deck. Basically on turn eight (the removal etc. allows the deck to protect itself until turn eight) you cast Upheaval
Upheaval
UpheavalSet: Odyssey
Cost:
6
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
113
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Return all permanents to their owners' hands.
and “float” a black and colorless mana. After Upheaval
Upheaval
UpheavalSet: Odyssey
Cost:
6
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
113
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Return all permanents to their owners' hands.
resolves, you cast Infest
Infest
InfestSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
157
Artist:
Ben Thompson
Text:
All creatures get -2/-2 until end of turn.
ation and create tokens with all the cards returned to your hand. Most times you can create 5 tokens and still have cards in your hand. At that point your opponent has two turns to deal with 5 2/2 zombies beating with no permanents on the board.

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.
, Opt
Opt
OptSet: Invasion
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
64
Artist:
John Howe
Text:
Look at the top card of your library. You may put that card on the bottom of your library.Draw a card.
and Slight of hand are the card drawing engine for the deck. This is a similar engine to the one that powered Chevy Blue while Masques Block was still in the Type 2 seen. I chose 4 Opt
Opt
OptSet: Invasion
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
64
Artist:
John Howe
Text:
Look at the top card of your library. You may put that card on the bottom of your library.Draw a card.
over Slight of Hand because of Instant speed of Opt
Opt
OptSet: Invasion
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
64
Artist:
John Howe
Text:
Look at the top card of your library. You may put that card on the bottom of your library.Draw a card.
.

Repulse
Repulse
RepulseSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
70
Artist:
Aaron Boyd
Text:
Return target creature to its owner's hand.Draw a card.
helps deal with an early creature and helps with the card drawing engine. It also ties up your opponent’s resources to replay the creature thus holding off the army of creatures.

Memory lapse is an addition counter that delays the spell. I find this counter better than syncopate in the match up with G/R because with birds and elves they have more mana than you and syncopate is not always useful. Plus syncopate would not leave mana open for Opt
Opt
OptSet: Invasion
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
64
Artist:
John Howe
Text:
Look at the top card of your library. You may put that card on the bottom of your library.Draw a card.
at the end of turn.

Spite/Malice gives you creature removal for Meddling mages and an extra counter when needed. There are other counters that would be better for the deck, but the lesser counter is outweighed by the removal for the mage.

Recoil
Recoil
RecoilSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
264
Artist:
Alan Pollack
Text:
Return target permanent to its owner's hand. Then that player discards a card from his or her hand.
is an additional bounce for the deck. This card is amazing against the Rice Snacks deck.

Disrupt
Disrupt
DisruptSet: Weatherlight
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Adam Rex
Text:
Counter target instant, interrupt, or sorcery spell unless its caster pays an additional 1.Draw a card.
is another “cheap” counter that helps with X spells in the format. It also helps with the card draw engine. Force Spike
Force Spike
Force SpikeSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
John Matson
Text:
Counter target spell unless its caster pays an additional 1.
is in the main deck over disrupt because it can deal with creature as well.

Mana Short
Mana Short
Mana ShortSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dameon Willich
Text:
All opponent's lands are tapped, and opponent's mana pool is emptied. Opponent takes no damage from unspent mana.
is for control decks. Is kills the rice snack deck as well. Most times Mana Short
Mana Short
Mana ShortSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dameon Willich
Text:
All opponent's lands are tapped, and opponent's mana pool is emptied. Opponent takes no damage from unspent mana.
wins games with this deck. Against another control deck if it resolves, you combo works, if a counter war ensues, you took away the counters from your combo. Most times with the counter war, the end result is that the opponent will tap out anyway and you get to the end result of the combo without harm.

Gainsay
Gainsay
GainsaySet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
26
Artist:
Roger Raupp
Text:
Counter target blue spell.
is a better counter against another control deck than memory Lapse. The field is not totally blue, so the Lapse gets the nod in the main deck.

Hibernation
Hibernation
HibernationSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
79
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Return all green permanents to owners' hands.
is the key to stopping an aggressive green deck. Green has the best acceleration in the format and Holistic Wisdom
Holistic Wisdom
Holistic WisdomSet: Odyssey
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
243
Artist:
Rebecca Guay
Text:
2, Remove a card in your hand from the game: Return target card from your graveyard to your hand if it shares a type with the card removed this way. (The card types are artifact, creature, enchantment, instant, land and sorcery.)
decks have start to show up. This takes care of both scenarios. It is also cheaper than evacuation, but is color specific thus the nod to evacuation in the main deck.

Remember this is a control deck, so life loss is not a huge deal. Once your combo resolves you have a significant upper hand. You start at 20 life and can win the game at 1 life. Be patient the deck will get you where you need to go.

Match ups

I played this deck in a Monday night tournament as well as play testing. Below are the results from both.

Rice Snacks (With and without Holistic Wisdom
Holistic Wisdom
Holistic WisdomSet: Odyssey
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
243
Artist:
Rebecca Guay
Text:
2, Remove a card in your hand from the game: Return target card from your graveyard to your hand if it shares a type with the card removed this way. (The card types are artifact, creature, enchantment, instant, land and sorcery.)
)
Game one is a pretty close call. Without Holistic wisdom the match up favors you. With the Wisdom it is a 50-50 split. The dead cards (Evacuation
Evacuation
EvacuationSet: Stronghold
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
30
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
Return all creatures to owners' hands.
, and Repulse
Repulse
RepulseSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
70
Artist:
Aaron Boyd
Text:
Return target creature to its owner's hand.Draw a card.
) being replaced by (Recoil
Recoil
RecoilSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
264
Artist:
Alan Pollack
Text:
Return target permanent to its owner's hand. Then that player discards a card from his or her hand.
and Mana Short
Mana Short
Mana ShortSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dameon Willich
Text:
All opponent's lands are tapped, and opponent's mana pool is emptied. Opponent takes no damage from unspent mana.
) as well as the more reliable Gainsay
Gainsay
GainsaySet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
26
Artist:
Roger Raupp
Text:
Counter target blue spell.
over memory Lapse turn the tide in your favor. In the Tournament Game one lasted 20+ minutes (with a loss) and games two and three combined took 10 minutes. Recoil
Recoil
RecoilSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
264
Artist:
Alan Pollack
Text:
Return target permanent to its owner's hand. Then that player discards a card from his or her hand.
ing the extra lands pushed the deck back to equal pace and Mana Short
Mana Short
Mana ShortSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dameon Willich
Text:
All opponent's lands are tapped, and opponent's mana pool is emptied. Opponent takes no damage from unspent mana.
crippled the stoppage of the Combo.

Green/Red and decks with splashes of White or Black
The biggest issue is main deck mongoose. Other than that the bounce fends off the attackers until the combo arrives. Watch out for white having a disenchant to deal with the infestation in games two and three. The deck can cause problems with bad draws on your part, but normally the card draw will push you thru to the combo.

Finkle
This deck again can cause issues with counter wars. Most time you want to start them before you get to the combo. Use your bounce at the end of their turn to ensue a counter battle. Side in the gainsays and Mana shorts for your protection in this match up.

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.

Again as with the 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.
deck in my last article, this is the bane of the control deck. If Static orb resolves it normally means the end to a control deck. You need to make sure that the Orb is kept off the board at all costs. Recoil
Recoil
RecoilSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
264
Artist:
Alan Pollack
Text:
Return target permanent to its owner's hand. Then that player discards a card from his or her hand.
helps if the orb does resolve, but the longer it is on the board, the worse your chances of victory.

This deck is fun to play and takes a little practice to master. Remember it takes patience and you will take damage during the course of playing it, but the look on your opponents face after the combo resolves is priceless. Most times, after the combo resolves your opponent will “scoop” because there is almost no way to recover. An aggressive G/R “turbo Obliterate
Obliterate
ObliterateSet: Invasion
Cost:
8
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
156
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Obliterate can't be countered.Destroy all artifacts, creatures, and lands. They can't be regenerated.
” deck could cause you problems as well so be careful to spot this match up. I have not seen this deck being played since IBC and I am not sure it is still viable, but they could get the “jump” on you with greens acceleration.

As always, questions and comments are appreciated.
Thanks for reading.

Stanley Rutkowski III
Stanr3@yahoo.com


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