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CardShark Content - Vincent Lovaglio (3/30/2004)

When looking at the current Tier I in Standard, we see a fomat dominated by Ravager Affinity, Goblin Bidding, and Astral Slide
Astral Slide
Astral SlideSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
4
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
Whenever a player cycles a card, you may remove target creature from the game. If you do, return that creature to play under its owner's control at end of turn.
. Breaking it down to deck type we have 2 aggressive decks (one with a semi-combo element) and a non-permissive control deck. So,what type of deck can beat these decks. Easy, one that can win faster than the aggressive decks and one that is not affected by the controlling elements of Astral Slide
Astral Slide
Astral SlideSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
4
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
Whenever a player cycles a card, you may remove target creature from the game. If you do, return that creature to play under its owner's control at end of turn.
. The answer lies in combo. More specifically, Mind's Desire
Mind's Desire
Mind's DesireSet: Scourge
Cost:
6
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
41
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Shuffle your library. Remove the top card of your library from the game. Until the end of turn, you may play this card without paying its mana cost. Storm (When you play this spell, copy it for each spell played before this turn)
.

Here is the decklist.
4 Seat of the Synod
Seat of the Synod
Seat of the SynodSet: Mirrodin
Color:
Land
Type:
Artifact Land
Rarity:
C
Number:
283
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
(Seat of the Synod isn't a spell.) T: Add U to your mana pool.

4 City of Brass
City of Brass
City of BrassSet: Fifth Edition
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Tom Wänerstrand
Text:
Whenever City of Brass becomes tapped, it deals 1 damage to you.T: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool.

4 Great Furnace
Great Furnace
Great FurnaceSet: Mirrodin
Color:
Land
Type:
Artifact Land
Rarity:
C
Number:
282
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
(Great Furnace isn't a spell.) T: Add R to your mana pool.

4 Chrome Mox
Chrome Mox
Chrome MoxSet: Mirrodin
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
152
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
Imprint - When Chrome Mox comes into play, you may remove a nonartifact, nonland card in your hand from the game. (The removed card is imprinted on this artifact.) T: Add one mana of any of the imprinted card's colors to your mana pool.

4 Seething Song
Seething Song
Seething SongSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
104
Artist:
Martina Pilcerova
Text:
Add RRRRR to your mana pool.

4 Talisman of Dominance
Talisman of Dominance
Talisman of DominanceSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
253
Artist:
Mike Dringenberg
Text:
T: Add 1 to your mana pool. T: Add U or B to your mana pool. Talisman of Dominance deals 1 damage to you.

3 Talisman of Progress
Talisman of Progress
Talisman of ProgressSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
256
Artist:
Mike Dringenberg
Text:
T: Add 1 to your mana pool. T: Add W or U to your mana pool. Talisman of Progress deals 1 damage to you.

4 Mind's Desire
Mind's Desire
Mind's DesireSet: Scourge
Cost:
6
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
41
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Shuffle your library. Remove the top card of your library from the game. Until the end of turn, you may play this card without paying its mana cost. Storm (When you play this spell, copy it for each spell played before this turn)

2 Tendril's of Agony
4 Thoughtcast
Thoughtcast
ThoughtcastSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
54
Artist:
Greg Hildebrandt
Text:
Affinity for artifacts (This spell costs 1 less to play for each artifact you control.) Draw two cards.

3 Trade Secrets
Trade Secrets
Trade SecretsSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
118
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
Target opponent draws two cards, then you draw up to four cards. That opponent may repeat this process as many times as he or she chooses.

4 Thirst
Thirst
ThirstSet: Mirage
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Roger Raupp
Text:
When Thirst comes into play, tap enchanted creature.During your upkeep, pay U or bury Thirst.Enchanted creature does not untap during its controller's untap phase.
IGZvciBLbm93bGVkZ2U=
4 Gilded Lotus
Gilded Lotus
Gilded LotusSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
5
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
175
Artist:
Martina Pilcerova
Text:
T: Add three mana of any one color to your mana pool.

4 Serum Powder
Serum Powder
Serum PowderSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
138
Artist:
Matt Thompson
Text:
T: Add 1 to your mana pool. Any time you could mulligan and Serum Powder is in your hand, you may remove your hand from the game, then draw that many cards. (You can do this in addition to taking mulligans.)

4 Dream's Grip
Dream's Grip
Dream's GripSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
34
Artist:
Jim Nelson
Text:
Choose one - Tap target permanent; or untap target permanent. Entwine 1 (Choose both if you pay the entwine cost.)

4 Twiddle
Twiddle
TwiddleSet: Fourth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
Tap or untap target land, artifact, or creature.


One of the cards that Darksteel gave the deck is Serum Powder
Serum Powder
Serum PowderSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
138
Artist:
Matt Thompson
Text:
T: Add 1 to your mana pool. Any time you could mulligan and Serum Powder is in your hand, you may remove your hand from the game, then draw that many cards. (You can do this in addition to taking mulligans.)
, a 3 mana artifact that allows the controller to mulligan and still draw a 7 card hand after removing the initial hand. This really helps the deck's consistency and allows it to go off on turns 4-5 about 50% of the time.

The mana base is made up of two sets of artifact lands, City of Brass
City of Brass
City of BrassSet: Fifth Edition
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Tom Wänerstrand
Text:
Whenever City of Brass becomes tapped, it deals 1 damage to you.T: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool.
, and Chrome Mox
Chrome Mox
Chrome MoxSet: Mirrodin
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
152
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
Imprint - When Chrome Mox comes into play, you may remove a nonartifact, nonland card in your hand from the game. (The removed card is imprinted on this artifact.) T: Add one mana of any of the imprinted card's colors to your mana pool.
. The mana artifacts are great to throw away to Thirst
Thirst
ThirstSet: Mirage
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Roger Raupp
Text:
When Thirst comes into play, tap enchanted creature.During your upkeep, pay U or bury Thirst.Enchanted creature does not untap during its controller's untap phase.
IGZvciBLbm93bGVkZ2U= and can accelerate Thoughtcast
Thoughtcast
ThoughtcastSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
54
Artist:
Greg Hildebrandt
Text:
Affinity for artifacts (This spell costs 1 less to play for each artifact you control.) Draw two cards.
. Chrome Mox
Chrome Mox
Chrome MoxSet: Mirrodin
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
152
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
Imprint - When Chrome Mox comes into play, you may remove a nonartifact, nonland card in your hand from the game. (The removed card is imprinted on this artifact.) T: Add one mana of any of the imprinted card's colors to your mana pool.
is also useful because it is a free spell that allows you to improve the storm of Mind's Desire
Mind's Desire
Mind's DesireSet: Scourge
Cost:
6
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
41
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Shuffle your library. Remove the top card of your library from the game. Until the end of turn, you may play this card without paying its mana cost. Storm (When you play this spell, copy it for each spell played before this turn)
.

Because of the low land count, a total of 7 Talismans are used. They are able to accelerate you into third or fourth turn Gilded Lotus
Gilded Lotus
Gilded LotusSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
5
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
175
Artist:
Martina Pilcerova
Text:
T: Add three mana of any one color to your mana pool.
, which is another key component of the deck. The Lotus blasts your mana amount so that you have enough to cast numerous spells before a big Mind's Desire
Mind's Desire
Mind's DesireSet: Scourge
Cost:
6
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
41
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Shuffle your library. Remove the top card of your library from the game. Until the end of turn, you may play this card without paying its mana cost. Storm (When you play this spell, copy it for each spell played before this turn)
.

To find the combo, a total of 11 card drawing spells are used. They include Trade Secrets
Trade Secrets
Trade SecretsSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
118
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
Target opponent draws two cards, then you draw up to four cards. That opponent may repeat this process as many times as he or she chooses.
, Thirst
Thirst
ThirstSet: Mirage
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Roger Raupp
Text:
When Thirst comes into play, tap enchanted creature.During your upkeep, pay U or bury Thirst.Enchanted creature does not untap during its controller's untap phase.
IGZvciBLbm93bGVkZ2U=, and Thoughtcast
Thoughtcast
ThoughtcastSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
54
Artist:
Greg Hildebrandt
Text:
Affinity for artifacts (This spell costs 1 less to play for each artifact you control.) Draw two cards.
.

The utility for the deck includes cards like Twiddle
Twiddle
TwiddleSet: Fourth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
Tap or untap target land, artifact, or creature.
and Dream's Grip
Dream's Grip
Dream's GripSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
34
Artist:
Jim Nelson
Text:
Choose one - Tap target permanent; or untap target permanent. Entwine 1 (Choose both if you pay the entwine cost.)
, ´´free spells.´´ They not only untap lands, but also untap Gilded Lotus
Gilded Lotus
Gilded LotusSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
5
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
175
Artist:
Martina Pilcerova
Text:
T: Add three mana of any one color to your mana pool.
for more explosive mana bursts.

Next, the sideboard of the deck must be examined. Mine looks like this.
4 Holy Day
Holy Day
Holy DaySet: Legends
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Justin Hampton
Text:
Creatures attack and block as normal, but none deal any damage. All attacking creatures are still tapped. Play any time before attack damage is assigned.

4 Stabilizer
Stabilizer
StabilizerSet: Scourge
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
142
Artist:
David Martin
Text:
Players can't cycle cards.
´´Hold that thought.´´ - Pemmin, Riptide survivor.

3 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.

4 Metagame Choice

The Holy Day
Holy Day
Holy DaySet: Legends
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Justin Hampton
Text:
Creatures attack and block as normal, but none deal any damage. All attacking creatures are still tapped. Play any time before attack damage is assigned.
are there for the Affinity match where Arcbound Ravager
Arcbound Ravager
Arcbound RavagerSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Rarity:
R
Number:
100
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
0
Toughness:
0
Text:
Sacrifice an artifact: Put a +1/+1 counter on Arcbound Ravager. Modular 1 (This comes into play with a +1/+1 counter on it. When it's put into a graveyard, you may put its +1/+1 counters on target artifact creature.)
s and Disciple of the Vault
Disciple of the Vault
Disciple of the VaultSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Cleric
Rarity:
C
Number:
62
Artist:
Matt Thompson
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever an artifact is put into a graveyard from play, you may have target opponent lose 1 life.
can kill you before the combo is established. The Holy Day
Holy Day
Holy DaySet: Legends
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Justin Hampton
Text:
Creatures attack and block as normal, but none deal any damage. All attacking creatures are still tapped. Play any time before attack damage is assigned.
s are also used against Goblins. Stabilizer
Stabilizer
StabilizerSet: Scourge
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
142
Artist:
David Martin
Text:
Players can't cycle cards.
´´Hold that thought.´´ - Pemmin, Riptide survivor.
handles the other Tier I deck, Slide while 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.
controls your toughest matchup in RG Land Destruction.

Now, you must be wondering how Desire handles the rest of the field.

vs. Ravager Affinity (45-55)(55-45)
Desire is about even against Ravager Affinity before and after sideboarding. The games are simply races between your opponent's aggressive creatures and your combo. The games are normally and unfortunately decided on who goes first. Why? Each deck normally wins on the same turn, turn number 5. The games after board are a little better for you as Holy Day
Holy Day
Holy DaySet: Legends
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Justin Hampton
Text:
Creatures attack and block as normal, but none deal any damage. All attacking creatures are still tapped. Play any time before attack damage is assigned.
allows you to stall for another turn to pull of the combo.

vs. Goblin Bidding (50-50)(55-45)
Both games are about even and in both you should focus on getting the combo out as fast as possible. After board you bring in Holy Day
Holy Day
Holy DaySet: Legends
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Justin Hampton
Text:
Creatures attack and block as normal, but none deal any damage. All attacking creatures are still tapped. Play any time before attack damage is assigned.
s that let you survive for the crucial extra turn.

vs. Astral Slide
Astral Slide
Astral SlideSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
4
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
Whenever a player cycles a card, you may remove target creature from the game. If you do, return that creature to play under its owner's control at end of turn.
(90-10)(95-5)
Like I stated, Slide is a nonpermissive, slow control deck that plans to defeat you by wiping out your creatures with spells like 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 QWtyb21hJ3MgVengeance
Vengeance
VengeanceSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Keith Parkinson
Text:
Destroy any one tapped creature.
. Unfortunately for them, you don't rely on creatures to win. Sideboarding you bring in Stabilizer
Stabilizer
StabilizerSet: Scourge
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
142
Artist:
David Martin
Text:
Players can't cycle cards.
´´Hold that thought.´´ - Pemmin, Riptide survivor.
s which cripples them even further.

As you can see, combo is definitely a solid choice for Regionals.
Until the next time.


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