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CardShark Content - Stanley Rutkowski III (8/29/2005)

[Editor’s note: Stan wrote an article predicting how discard could become a force in post-9th Standard last month. In this article, he tests his theories, which is a valuable process we should all learn. If you want to see his original ideas, go here:
http://www.cardshark.com/content/view_article.asp?article_id=3770 ]

With Ninth Edition now legal in Standard, I took the following deck to a local Friday Night Magic

4 x Hypnotic Specter
Hypnotic Specter
Hypnotic SpecterSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Specter
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying An opponent damaged by Specter must discard a card at random from his or her hand. Ignore this effect if opponent has no cards left in hand.

4 x Ravenous Rats
Ravenous Rats
Ravenous RatsSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat
Rarity:
C
Number:
68
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Ravenous Rats comes into play, target opponent chooses and discards a card from his or her hand.

4 x Chittering Rats
Chittering Rats
Chittering RatsSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat
Rarity:
C
Number:
39
Artist:
Tom Wanerstrand
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Chittering Rats comes into play target opponent puts a card from his or her hand on top of his or her library.

3 x Skull Collector
Skull Collector
Skull CollectorSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ogre Warrior
Rarity:
U
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, return a black creature you control to its owner's hand. 1B: Regenerate Skull Collector.

4 x Ogre Marauder
Ogre Marauder
Ogre MarauderSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ogre Warrior
Rarity:
U
Number:
75
Artist:
Adam Rex
Power:
3
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever Ogre Marauder attacks, it can't be blocked this turn unless defending player sacrifices a creature.

2 x Umezawa’s Jitte
4 x Cruel Edict
Cruel Edict
Cruel EdictSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Jeffrey R. Busch
Text:
Your opponent chooses one of his or her creatures. Destroy that creature.

4 x Kiku’s Shadow
4 x Distress
Distress
DistressSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
111
Artist:
Michael Sutfin
Text:
Target player reveals his or her hand. You choose a nonland card from it. That player discards that card.

2 x Cranial Extraction
Cranial Extraction
Cranial ExtractionSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
R
Number:
105
Artist:
Dave Allsop
Text:
Name a nonland card. Search target player's graveyard, hand, and library for all cards with that name and remove them from the game. Then that player shuffles his or her library.

1 x Diabolic Tutor
Diabolic Tutor
Diabolic TutorSet: Odyssey
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
129
Artist:
Rick Farrell
Text:
Search your library for a card, and put that card into your hand. Then shuffle your library.

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


Sideboard:
3 x Jester’s Cap (for control decks and for Tooth as this can take out the target creatures as opposed to extraction for the Tooth itself)
2 x Barter in Blood
Barter in Blood
Barter in BloodSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
57
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Each player sacrifices two creatures.
(for Tooth decks)
1 x Genju of the Fens
Genju of the Fens
Genju of the FensSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Swamp
Rarity:
U
Number:
66
Artist:
Tsutomu Kawade
Text:
2: Until end of turn, enchanted Swamp becomes a 2/2 black Spirit creature with "B: This creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn." It's still a land. When enchanted Swamp is put into a graveyard, you may return Genju of the Fens from your graveyard to your hand.
(for control decks)
3 x Hideous Laughter
Hideous Laughter
Hideous LaughterSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
U
Number:
115
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
All creatures get -2/-2 until end of turn. Splice onto Arcane 3BB (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.)
(White weenie and Clouded Mirror decks)
3 x Nezumi Graverobber
Nezumi Graverobber
Nezumi GraverobberSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat Rogue
Rarity:
U
Number:
129
Artist:
Jim Nelson
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
1B: Remove target card in an opponent's graveyard from the game. If no cards are in that graveyard, flip Nezumi Graverobber. ----- Nighteyes the Desecrator Legendary Creature - Rat Wizard 4/2 4B: Put target creature card in a graveyard into play under your control.
( for Witness decks)
3 x 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 (Anti Jitte)

Discard:
The discard in this deck is part one of the two control aspects of the deck:

Hypnotic Specter
Hypnotic Specter
Hypnotic SpecterSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Specter
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying An opponent damaged by Specter must discard a card at random from his or her hand. Ignore this effect if opponent has no cards left in hand.
flies (evasion), has two power, includes the word random and is repeatable as each time it deals damage it takes away another card. More than once during the tournament the random was the key as it took Mana Leak
Mana Leak
Mana LeakSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
36
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Counter target spell unless its caster pays an additional 3.
at the most opportune times)

Ravenous Rats
Ravenous Rats
Ravenous RatsSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat
Rarity:
C
Number:
68
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Ravenous Rats comes into play, target opponent chooses and discards a card from his or her hand.
are great simply by the casting cost of 1B. In this deck your curve includes these, Jitte, Edict, Shadow and Distress
Distress
DistressSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
111
Artist:
Michael Sutfin
Text:
Target player reveals his or her hand. You choose a nonland card from it. That player discards that card.
giving you almost always a turn two play to gain control. These rats also are your second choice for reuse with the Collector if a Chittering is not available.

Chittering Rats
Chittering Rats
Chittering RatsSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat
Rarity:
C
Number:
39
Artist:
Tom Wanerstrand
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Chittering Rats comes into play target opponent puts a card from his or her hand on top of his or her library.
again fill the three casting cost slot with the Specter, Marauder and Collector, but the potential lock with the Collector is brutal plus alone it can be a time walk in itself.

Skull Collector
Skull Collector
Skull CollectorSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ogre Warrior
Rarity:
U
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, return a black creature you control to its owner's hand. 1B: Regenerate Skull Collector.
acts as a bounce devise for your rats and is a 3/3 regenerator that laughs at your opponent’s Stalking Stones
Stalking Stones
Stalking StonesSet: Tempest
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Stephen Daniele
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.6: Stalking Stones becomes a 3/3 artifact creature permanently. (This creature still counts as a land.)
.
Distress
Distress
DistressSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
111
Artist:
Michael Sutfin
Text:
Target player reveals his or her hand. You choose a nonland card from it. That player discards that card.
allows you to strip a non land card for two mana. Granted Blackmail
Blackmail
BlackmailSet: Onslaught
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
127
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
Target player reveals three cards from his or her hand and you choose one of them. That player discards that card.
only cost 1 mana, but on turn two they can have more cards than you can see with the Blackmail
Blackmail
BlackmailSet: Onslaught
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
127
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
Target player reveals three cards from his or her hand and you choose one of them. That player discards that card.
.

Cranial Extraction
Cranial Extraction
Cranial ExtractionSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
R
Number:
105
Artist:
Dave Allsop
Text:
Name a nonland card. Search target player's graveyard, hand, and library for all cards with that name and remove them from the game. Then that player shuffles his or her library.
is a pseudo discard, it did get sided out a lot for Jester’s cap as I played a lot of control so 4 copies of all kill cards was not the norm of the night. Cap may be a better main deck card as vs. Tooth you can still take out the Tooth targets.


Creature Control:
The creature control in this deck is part two of the two control aspects of the deck:

Cruel Edict
Cruel Edict
Cruel EdictSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Jeffrey R. Busch
Text:
Your opponent chooses one of his or her creatures. Destroy that creature.
was the second card from 9th edition that I saw that pushed me to play this deck. Simple in it use, but potentially devastating with the added discard portions.

Kiku’s Shadow is another two casting cost creature control. More than once during the night, I wished they were rend flesh or another control method as they are great against aggressive decks and stalking stones, but fall short for Magpie and the Clouded Mirror.

Ogre Marauder
Ogre Marauder
Ogre MarauderSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ogre Warrior
Rarity:
U
Number:
75
Artist:
Adam Rex
Power:
3
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever Ogre Marauder attacks, it can't be blocked this turn unless defending player sacrifices a creature.
is a pseudo creature control as your opponent has to sacrifice a creature to block. Add in the Edict and Shadow and they won’t have many options available.

Jitte was used mostly for creature control during the night as the -1/-1 was more impressive than the +2/+2 in most of the matchups.

The single Tutor was for a couple of reasons. First I wanted another Jitte in the deck, but I do not own a third copy and the tutor tried to make up for the missing Jitte, but it was used more often for more creature control.

24 land is essential in the deck as you need to ensure that you get a steady flow of lands and with the collector bouncing one of your creatures, you want to make sure that you still can cast your new spells as well.

The tourney showed me a wide range of decks and I did not play against any Tooth decks. The tourney was a FNM so they were not the most tuned decks in play. I will go through the decks I played and after the brief information on that I will point out what I would change in the deck from the experience. During the night I played and lost to a Green/Blue Mirror Control deck as the Shackles
Shackles
ShacklesSet: Exodus
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
18
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Text:
Enchanted creature does not untap during its controller's untap phase.W: Return Shackles to owner's hand.
was my downfall. I played a white weenie deck and the Laughters saved the day in that matchup. I played a goblin deck and the Laughters and creature control shined again. I played a blue/white control deck and with the discard, I was able to get a Chittering Rats
Chittering Rats
Chittering RatsSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat
Rarity:
C
Number:
39
Artist:
Tom Wanerstrand
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Chittering Rats comes into play target opponent puts a card from his or her hand on top of his or her library.
-Skull Collector
Skull Collector
Skull CollectorSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ogre Warrior
Rarity:
U
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, return a black creature you control to its owner's hand. 1B: Regenerate Skull Collector.
lock for the victory. In the top four I played the green/blue Mirror deck again and was able to get discard control in games one and three for the win and then split in the finals with a goblin deck.

The glaring weakness in the deck was artifact removal. Also with Hyppie making a big splash on the metagame, enchantment removal will be key in the board as COP Black is going to start seeing play. Both of these issues can be helped with adding green to the deck as a splash color.

This is how I would alter the deck to play again

4 x Hypnotic Specter
Hypnotic Specter
Hypnotic SpecterSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Specter
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying An opponent damaged by Specter must discard a card at random from his or her hand. Ignore this effect if opponent has no cards left in hand.

4 x Ravenous Rats
Ravenous Rats
Ravenous RatsSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat
Rarity:
C
Number:
68
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Ravenous Rats comes into play, target opponent chooses and discards a card from his or her hand.

4 x Chittering Rats
Chittering Rats
Chittering RatsSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat
Rarity:
C
Number:
39
Artist:
Tom Wanerstrand
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Chittering Rats comes into play target opponent puts a card from his or her hand on top of his or her library.

3 x Skull Collector
Skull Collector
Skull CollectorSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ogre Warrior
Rarity:
U
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, return a black creature you control to its owner's hand. 1B: Regenerate Skull Collector.

4 x Ogre Marauder
Ogre Marauder
Ogre MarauderSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ogre Warrior
Rarity:
U
Number:
75
Artist:
Adam Rex
Power:
3
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever Ogre Marauder attacks, it can't be blocked this turn unless defending player sacrifices a creature.

2 x Umezawa’s Jitte
4 x Cruel Edict
Cruel Edict
Cruel EdictSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Jeffrey R. Busch
Text:
Your opponent chooses one of his or her creatures. Destroy that creature.

3 x Rend Flesh
Rend Flesh
Rend FleshSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Number:
140
Artist:
Stephen Tappin
Text:
Destroy target non-Spirit creature.

4 x Distress
Distress
DistressSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
111
Artist:
Michael Sutfin
Text:
Target player reveals his or her hand. You choose a nonland card from it. That player discards that card.

4 x Viridian Shaman
Viridian Shaman
Viridian ShamanSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf Shaman
Rarity:
U
Number:
139
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Viridian Shaman comes into play, destroy target artifact.

1 x Forest
Forest
ForestSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add G to your mana pool.

4 x Llanowar Wastes
Llanowar Wastes
Llanowar WastesSet: Apocalypse
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
141
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
TAP: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool. TAP: Add B or G to your mana pool. Llanowar Wastes deals 1 damage to you.

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


Sideboard:
3 x Jester’s Cap (for control decks and for Tooth as this can take out the target creatures as opposed to extraction for the Tooth itself)
3 x Hideous Laughter
Hideous Laughter
Hideous LaughterSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
U
Number:
115
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
All creatures get -2/-2 until end of turn. Splice onto Arcane 3BB (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.)
(White weenie and Clouded Mirror decks)
3 x Nezumi Graverobber
Nezumi Graverobber
Nezumi GraverobberSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat Rogue
Rarity:
U
Number:
129
Artist:
Jim Nelson
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
1B: Remove target card in an opponent's graveyard from the game. If no cards are in that graveyard, flip Nezumi Graverobber. ----- Nighteyes the Desecrator Legendary Creature - Rat Wizard 4/2 4B: Put target creature card in a graveyard into play under your control.
( for Witness decks)
3 x Naturalize
Naturalize
NaturalizeSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
275
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
Destroy target artifact or enchantment.
(For COP Black and for Worship
Worship
WorshipSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
57
Artist:
Mark Zug
Text:
Damage that would reduce your life total to less than 1 instead reduces it to 1 if you control a creature.
and any other problematic enchantments)
2 x Cranial Extraction
Cranial Extraction
Cranial ExtractionSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
R
Number:
105
Artist:
Dave Allsop
Text:
Name a nonland card. Search target player's graveyard, hand, and library for all cards with that name and remove them from the game. Then that player shuffles his or her library.

1 x Enshrined Memories
Enshrined Memories
Enshrined MemoriesSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
124
Artist:
Jeff Easley
Text:
Reveal the top X cards of your library. Put all creature cards revealed this way into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.
(incase you need more creatures, this may seem a bit random, but I really like the card)

The changes give you an out against Shackles
Shackles
ShacklesSet: Exodus
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
18
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Text:
Enchanted creature does not untap during its controller's untap phase.W: Return Shackles to owner's hand.
, Pithing Needle
Pithing Needle
Pithing NeedleSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Color:
Colorless
Rarity:
R
and other problematic artifacts that are floating in the metagame. I realize that I am missing Aether Vial
Aether Vial
Aether VialSet: Darksteel
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
91
Artist:
Greg Hildebrandt
Text:
At the begining of your upkeep you may put a charge counter on Aether Vial. T: You may put a creature card with converted mana cost equal to the number of charge counters on Aether Vial from your hand into play.
from the deck and it could be very good set at three for the Specter, Chittering, Marauder, Collector and Shaman, but I would like to test more prior to changing the deck more than the above list as this list would have piloted me more in the metagame I faced this Friday. Also with some Nationals being played this weekend, the game may shift a bit with the first major tourneys played with Ninth Edition, so the metagame defined by a single FNM is not the best sample of decks to base all the decisions on.

Thanks for reading!


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