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CardShark Content - Wenhao Xia (3/22/2004)

Continuing with my Darksteel set review, I will now be looking through the blue cards in Darksteel. I will be reviewing the blue cards from Psychic Overload
Psychic Overload
Psychic OverloadSet: Darksteel
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchant Permanent
Rarity:
U
Number:
28
Artist:
Jeremy Jarvis
Text:
When Psychic Overload comes into play, tap enchanted permanent.
- Vex
Vex
VexSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
36
Artist:
Brian Snoddy
Text:
Counter target spell. That spell's controller may draw a card.
. Once again, each card will receive a constructed rating as well as a limited rating. Ratings range from 1-5, with 1 being the worst and 5 being the best. Keep in mind that these are my opinions only and my opinions may not be the best. You are free to judge the cards on your own. Now let’s get started…

Psychic Overload
Psychic Overload
Psychic OverloadSet: Darksteel
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchant Permanent
Rarity:
U
Number:
28
Artist:
Jeremy Jarvis
Text:
When Psychic Overload comes into play, tap enchanted permanent.

Constructed - 2
Limited -4

This is a really interesting card. Since this card is an enchant Permanent, it could enchant anything, and whatever it enchant is as good as neutralized. The problem is that is doesn’t really have a home. If we take a look at the big three right now (Goblin, U/W, affinity) we can see that it really can’t be used against anyone of them. Against goblin, it’s way too slow to be used. When you go against goblin, you can’t use a removal that cost four, but still leaves a fodder for Siege Gang Commander
Siege Gang Commander
Siege Gang CommanderSet: Scourge
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Goblin
Rarity:
R
Number:
103
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Siege-Gang Commander comes into play, put three 1/1 red Goblin creature tokens into play.
1R , Sacrifice a Goblin : Siege-Gang Commander deals 2 damage to target creature or player.
, or a Goblin Sledder
Goblin Sledder
Goblin SledderSet: Onslaught
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Goblin
Rarity:
C
Number:
209
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Sacrifice a Goblin: Target creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
. Against affinity, you’ll often be facing a hasted Broodstar
Broodstar
BroodstarSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
10
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
R
Number:
31
Artist:
Glen Angus
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Affinity for artifacts (This spell costs 1 less to play for each artifact you control.) Flying Broodstar's power and toughness are each equal to the number of artifacts you control.
and won’t even have a chance to use psychic Overload
Overload
OverloadSet: Invasion
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
157
Artist:
Gary Ruddell
Text:
Kicker 2 (You may pay an additional 2 as you play this spell.)Destroy target artifact if its converted mana cost is 2 or less. If you paid the kicker cost, destroy that artifact if its converted mana cost is 5 or less instead.
, and even if you do, it’s not like they won’t have artifacts to discard, and a few hit from a Broodstar
Broodstar
BroodstarSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
10
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
R
Number:
31
Artist:
Glen Angus
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Affinity for artifacts (This spell costs 1 less to play for each artifact you control.) Flying Broodstar's power and toughness are each equal to the number of artifacts you control.
is usually enough to kill you. This might be used as a removal against U/W, but looking at it closely, this card can only really be used in a U/W deck and in a mirror match, there’s much better choice. Still though, I’d keep my eye open on this, it could turn out to be a good removal.

In limited this is as almost as good as arrest, except it won’t stop activated ability that doesn’t have tapping, but it’s as good a removal as any other. It also has an advantage over arrest in that it could enchant any permanent and not just a creature. I would say that this is the best removal that blue have. So if you’re drafting or playing in sealed, make sure to take this. It’s as a good removal as you’re going to get in blue.

Pulses of the Grid
Constructed - 4
Limited -4

This card is great in constructed. First of all, there’s a very clear home for this card in the affinity deck. With affinity being able to dump almost all of their cards on turn one; this will just keep on returning to your hand. Best of all, it allows you to filter through your deck and pick and choose which card you want. This card could also fit into U/W control, but it’s not as spectacular as affinity, the reason being that U/W control usually has a full hand, so this card is just a Catalog
Catalog
CatalogSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
64
Artist:
Berry
Text:
Draw two cards, then choose and discard a card.
ue. But Pulses of the Grid will never lose you card advantage and even if it’s just a Catalog
Catalog
CatalogSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
64
Artist:
Berry
Text:
Draw two cards, then choose and discard a card.
ue, it’s not that bad. I’m expecting a lot of this card in affinity decks, but we’ll see how it goes.

In limited, this card is not quite as spectacular as it is in constructed, the reason being that you usually can’t control the number of card in you hand. But if you’re playing blue, then your deck is usually not very slow, with the addition of Vedalken Engineer
Vedalken Engineer
Vedalken EngineerSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vedalken Artificer
Rarity:
C
Number:
35
Artist:
Lars Grant-West
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Add 2 mana of any color to your mana pool. This mana may only be spent on artifacts and activated abilities of artifacts.
. And this card will allow you to refill your hand. If we look at it more in depth, we see that this card really is never bad. Let’s say that you’re mana screwed, then technically, you won’t usually be able to utilize the full potential of this card, but at least it will help you get out of a mana screw. If you, instead, draw a fast hand, then this will refill your hand. If you have a slow hand, this will dig deeper into your deck. No matter what kind of deck you have, as long as it has blue, you should play with Pulses of the Grid.

Quicksilver Behemoth
Quicksilver Behemoth
Quicksilver BehemothSet: Darksteel
Cost:
7
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
C
Number:
30
Artist:
Anthony S. Waters
Power:
4
Toughness:
5
Text:
Affinity for artifacts. When Quicksilver Behemoth attacks or blocks return it to owner's hand at end of combat.

Constructed - 1
Limited - 2

It is clear now that wizard does not want to give affinity and more good cards for their deck, because if affinities for artifact creatures are now like this, then there probably won’t be any good affinity for artifact creatures later. In constructed, you will want to run a Broodstar
Broodstar
BroodstarSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
10
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
R
Number:
31
Artist:
Glen Angus
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Affinity for artifacts (This spell costs 1 less to play for each artifact you control.) Flying Broodstar's power and toughness are each equal to the number of artifacts you control.
than this, even a Myr enforcer is better than this card. In the end, don’t play this unless you’re playing affinity and does not have the money to get Broodstar
Broodstar
BroodstarSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
10
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
R
Number:
31
Artist:
Glen Angus
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Affinity for artifacts (This spell costs 1 less to play for each artifact you control.) Flying Broodstar's power and toughness are each equal to the number of artifacts you control.
. (Even if you couldn’t get Broodstar
Broodstar
BroodstarSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
10
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
R
Number:
31
Artist:
Glen Angus
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Affinity for artifacts (This spell costs 1 less to play for each artifact you control.) Flying Broodstar's power and toughness are each equal to the number of artifacts you control.
, I’d suggest Nim Shrieker
Nim Shrieker
Nim ShriekerSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
73
Artist:
Adam Rex
Power:
0
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying Nim Shrieker gets +1/+0 for each artifact you control.
over the Behemoth.)

In limited, this is a better card, though still inferior to Myr enforcer. You will want to play with him if you think you have enough artifacts to lower his casting cost to one very quickly, otherwise, there is probably better card to play. He is a 4/5 though, and can attack for a lot of damage if you get him out their early enough. But his drawback is just terrible, not only do you have to recast him if he attacks or blocks, but you rarely want to put any equipment on him as it’ll just slow you down even more having to reequip. In the end, take this only if you’re heavy in artifact and affinity card and lacking in creatures, but otherwise, it’s wiser to just pass him on, or not put him in your deck.

Reshape
Reshape
ReshapeSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
31
Artist:
Jon Foster
Text:
As an additional cost to play Reshape sacrifice an artifact. Search your library for an artifact card with converted mana cost X or less and put it into play. Then shuffle your library.

Constructed - 2
Limited - 2

This card is the new tinker, and now we know that wizard is going to continue turning incredibly good card into unplayable junk. This is pointless in any deck out there. What it allows you to do is to get any artifact out of your deck at the cost of that artifact’s converted mana cost and two extra mana, plus the lose of one card advantage, as you’re trading two card for one. (Reshape
Reshape
ReshapeSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
31
Artist:
Jon Foster
Text:
As an additional cost to play Reshape sacrifice an artifact. Search your library for an artifact card with converted mana cost X or less and put it into play. Then shuffle your library.
and the Sacrifice
Sacrifice
SacrificeSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Sacrifice one of your creatures to add to your mana pool a number of black mana equal to that creature's casting cost.
d artifact for whatever you’re searching for) All in all, this is pointless, don’t play it and pray that you don’t open it in a pack. I still gave it a 2 though as it has a powerful effect and tutor effects like this can not be ignored.

This card is easier to play in limited, but it’ll still cost you two blue along with the casting cost of the artifact. I suggest only playing this card if you drafted, or opened a bomb artifact that will just end games. Because most of the times, the artifact you get will just get shattered or something. In the end, play this only in blue heavy artifact decks that have one or two really good ones.

Retract
Retract
RetractSet: Darksteel
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
32
Artist:
Matt Cavotta
Text:
Return all artifacts you control to owners' hands.

Constructed - 2.5
Limited - 1

Clear
Clear
ClearSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
7
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Destroy target enchantment.Cycling 2 (You may pay 2 and discard this card from your hand to draw a card. Play this ability as an instant.)
ly this card is made for type one; I mean, why would you want to return all of your artifacts to your hand anyway? But if one looks at the card a bit more closely, we see that this card can possibly be used in two type two decks. First of all, in affinity, one can use this save one’s self from an Akroma’s vengeance, (though a counterspell would be much better) or one can use it build up storm counts in a Minds desire deck, or in an affinity deck that either uses Tendril of Agony or Temporal Fissure
Temporal Fissure
Temporal FissureSet: Scourge
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
53
Artist:
Edward P. Beard Jr.
Text:
Returen target permanent to ower's hand.
Storm
for the win. But I haven’t seen any retract been used yet, so it’s score is purely based upon potential. (I didn’t test this card at all in comparison to all the other Darksteel cards, so feel free to try it out yourself, I might be wrong in saying that it’s completely pointless).

Okay now in limited, this card is completely useless. There would be no time that you would want to return all artifact to your hand, so when you open one of these in a draft, pass it on, and if you open one in a sealed format, then I’m really sorry for you.

Second Sight
Second Sight
Second SightSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
33
Artist:
Luca Zontini
Text:
Choose one: Look at the top five cards of target opponent's library then put them back in any order; or look at the top five cards of your library and put them back in any order. Entwine U.

Constructed - 2
Limited - 2

The problem with card of this type is that it doesn’t allow you to draw deeper into your deck and its effect is completely irrelevant if you have enough turns to draw all the cards that it rearranged for you. Second is interesting though, as you get an index as well as a halfway ransack. It might be good if you can entwine it soon enough (turn three would be good) to really mess up your opponents play. I can see an affinity player using this card to speed up their play and slow down a U/W control. But there exist another problem with these kinds of card, how are you going to stack your opponent’s deck? You can try to mana screw him, but he just might have too much mana in hand anyway, or you could try to mana flood him, but he’ll only be happy because he didn’t have the mana to play the spell yet. All in all, its way too unpredictable to be used, and usually won’t accomplish a lot.

In limited, this card might be even more useless as five turns are really nothing in a sealed deck tournament. I would never take this over a solid creature or a removal, or even an average card. The only way I can think of using this card is to get a second turn Myr or talisman and mana screw your opponent on his third turn, as most limited decks doesn’t run a lot of land, but that’s still a risky proposition, so I suggest just not using this card at all.

Synod Artificer
Synod Artificer
Synod ArtificerSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vedalken Artificer
Rarity:
R
Number:
34
Artist:
Mark Zug
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
X, T: Tap X target noncreature artifacts. X, T: Untap X target noncreature artifacts.

Constructed - 1
Limited - 1

I don’t see how this card could be effectively used at all in constructed or limited. If it could simply tap or untap artifact, then it’ll be great. But it has to be a noncreature artifact. The only thing that I could come up with is to use it to generate a few extra manas with artifact that produce more than one mana, but even that it’s too slow. He could perhaps also untap some of your artifact that requires tapping, but there’s much better card out there for that. He has an interesting ability, I just don’t think it’s that powerful, and if you open him in a sealed pack, just ignore him.

If anyone is able to find a good use for this card, please tell me, for I can’t think of one way to use this effectively.

Vedalken Engineer
Vedalken Engineer
Vedalken EngineerSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vedalken Artificer
Rarity:
C
Number:
35
Artist:
Lars Grant-West
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Add 2 mana of any color to your mana pool. This mana may only be spent on artifacts and activated abilities of artifacts.

Constructed - 2
Limited - 5

This card is pretty bad in constructed. The only deck that this could be put in is affinity, and affinity does not need this card as all of their artifacts already cost nothing to play. This could be used in an arcbound deck, but I don’t know how prevalent arcbound deck is going to be, so I’ll keep this at a 2 rating for now. It could potentially be much better if either the arcbound turned out to be a tier one deck (I really don’t believe it could, but I could be wrong…) or if another deck comes out that focuses solely on artifact (not using affinity).

This card is a bomb in limited. While most people in limited want a second turn Myr, this on the second turn is a crazy start. It’ll allow you to play artifact that cost five on the third turn. Costing only one blue, this card is also very much splashable. I suggest taking this card early in draft and definitely play him in sealed. I will say that this card is better than the prodigy and the observer. So for the three blue cards that I rated a 5, I believe the Engineer is the best, followed by the observer and then the prodigy.

Vex
Vex
VexSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
36
Artist:
Brian Snoddy
Text:
Counter target spell. That spell's controller may draw a card.

Constructed - 4
Limited - 4

Finally, Wizards decided to print a usable counterspell. This is a good spell at a reasonable price that does what you expect it to do. While it will incur card disadvantage, it is still good in that you can spell any of your opponent’s key spell. The first time I saw this card, I compared to a card back from alliance, and that of course is Arcane Denial
Arcane Denial
Arcane DenialSet: Alliances
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Richard Kane Ferguson
Text:
Counter target spell. That spell's caster may draw up to two cards at the beginning of the next turn's upkeep.Draw a card at the beginning of the next turn's upkeep.
. This card has almost exactly the same drawback as denial, in that it will give your opponent one more card. Arcane Denial
Arcane Denial
Arcane DenialSet: Alliances
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Richard Kane Ferguson
Text:
Counter target spell. That spell's caster may draw up to two cards at the beginning of the next turn's upkeep.Draw a card at the beginning of the next turn's upkeep.
proved to be a good counterspell, I believe vex will be also.

In limited, this is still very good. In fact, any solid counterspell in good in limited. Save this for a spell you really need to counter though, because using it on a trivial spell will only speed your opponent towards drawing what he needs. Definitely take this card, but if you’re lacking on creature, I suggest taking a more solid creature over this card.

Well that finishes my blue review. And blue seems to be extremely powerful in the new limited environment with cards such as Vedalken Engineer
Vedalken Engineer
Vedalken EngineerSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vedalken Artificer
Rarity:
C
Number:
35
Artist:
Lars Grant-West
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Add 2 mana of any color to your mana pool. This mana may only be spent on artifacts and activated abilities of artifacts.
and Neurok Prodigy
Neurok Prodigy
Neurok ProdigySet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
26
Artist:
Puddnhead
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying. Discard an artifact card from your hand: Return Neurok Prodigy to owners hand.
in the common slot, I will expect blue to be drafted a lot in MMD draft. Keep on improving!


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