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CardShark Content - Will Price (1/24/2006)

Hello everyone and welcome to my second article here on Cardshark. This time I would like to examine a slightly more competitive deck than last time (although my R/W control took third recently in a local tournament). For those of you who are unfamiliar with “the Rock” I will say that it is traditionally a G/B control deck that uses hand disruption and creature destruction to stall your opponent until you can drop one of you fatties. Ravnica and 9th edition have done a lot to make Rock viable in standard, and Kamigawa block provides great mana fixing and one of the best creatures in Standard right now (Kokusho). My younger brother has been playing the build I am presenting in this article recently and he has been cruising his way into the top 8 at our local tournaments. Here’s the deck list he has been playing with. Right away you will see that this is nowhere near a “budget” deck, it would probably cost around $300 to build. When I discuss the cards I will mention “budget” alternatives.


Lands - 23
5 - Forest
Forest
ForestSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add G to your mana pool.

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

4 - Overgrown Tomb
Overgrown Tomb
Overgrown TombSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Sub Type:
Swamp Forest
Rarity:
R
Number:
279
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
(T: Add B or G to your mana pool.) As Overgrown Tomb comes into play, you may pay 2 life. If you don’t, Overgrown Tomb comes into play tapped instead.

4 - 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.

2 - Svogthos, the Restless Tomb
Svogthos, the Restless Tomb
Svogthos, the Restless TombSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
283
Artist:
Martina Pilcerova
Text:
T: Add 1 to your mana pool. 3BG: Until end of turn, Svogthos, the Restless Tomb becomes a black and green Plant Zombie creature with “This creature’s power and toughness are each equal to the number of creature cards in your graveyard.” It’s still a land.

1 - Shizo, Death’s Storehouse
1 - Okina, Temple to the Grandfathers
Okina, Temple to the Grandfathers
Okina, Temple to the GrandfathersSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Color:
Land
Type:
Legendary Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
280
Artist:
Keith Garletts
Text:
T: Add G to your mana pool. G, T: Target legendary creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn.

1 - Miren, the Moaning Well
Miren, the Moaning Well
Miren, the Moaning WellSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Legendary Land
Rarity:
R
Text:
T Add 1 to your mana pool. 3, T, Sacrifice a creature: You gain life equal to the sacrificed creature's toughness.


Creatures - 19
4 - 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.

4 - Sakura-Tribe Elder
Sakura-Tribe Elder
Sakura-Tribe ElderSet: Commander
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Snake Shaman
Rarity:
C
Number:
169
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Sacrifice Sakura-Tribe Elder: Search your library for a basic land card, put that card onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle your library.

4 - 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 - Grave-Shell Scar
Scar
ScarSet: Shadowmoor
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
194
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Put a -1/-1 counter on target creature.
ab
3 - Kokusho, the Evening Star
Kokusho, the Evening Star
Kokusho, the Evening StarSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Dragon Spirit
Rarity:
R
Number:
122
Artist:
Tsutomu Kawade
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
Flying When Kokusho, the Evening Star is put into a graveyard from play, each opponent loses 5 life. You gain life equal to the life lost this way.


Enchantments - 3
3 - Phyrexian Arena
Phyrexian Arena
Phyrexian ArenaSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
47
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, you draw a card and you lose 1 life.


Artifacts - 2
2 - Plague Boiler
Plague Boiler
Plague BoilerSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
269
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, put a plague counter on Plague Boiler. 1BG: Put a plague counter on Plague Boiler or remove a plague counter from it. When Plague Boiler has three or more plague counters on it, sacrifice it. If you do, destroy all nonland permanents.


Instants - 13
3 - Last Gasp
Last Gasp
Last GaspSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
93
Artist:
Thomas M. Baxa
Text:
Target creature gets -3/-3 until end of turn.

3 - Naturalize
Naturalize
NaturalizeSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
275
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
Destroy target artifact or enchantment.

4 - Putrefy
Putrefy
PutrefySet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
221
Artist:
Jim Nelson
Text:
Destroy target artifact or creature. It can’t be regenerated.

3 - 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.


Sideboard - 15
2 - Persecute
Persecute
PersecuteSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
146
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Text:
Choose a color. Look at target player's hand. That player discards all cards of the chosen color.

2 - Isao, Enlightened Bushi
Isao, Enlightened Bushi
Isao, Enlightened BushiSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Human Samurai
Rarity:
R
Number:
129
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Isao, Enlightened Bushi can't be countered. Bushido 2 (When this blocks or becomes blocked, it gets +2/+2 until end of turn.) 2: Regenerate target Samurai.

1 - Naturalize
Naturalize
NaturalizeSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
275
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
Destroy target artifact or enchantment.

4 - 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.

3 - 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.)

3 - 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.



Alright so that’s the deck. It’s pretty self explanatory but I will talk about the cards a bit anyway.

Overgrown Tomb
Overgrown Tomb
Overgrown TombSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Sub Type:
Swamp Forest
Rarity:
R
Number:
279
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
(T: Add B or G to your mana pool.) As Overgrown Tomb comes into play, you may pay 2 life. If you don’t, Overgrown Tomb comes into play tapped instead.
/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.
– Dual lands are never bad for a multicolor deck. There is no better way to prevent mana screw, especially in a deck like this that has cards with double black and double green casting costs. If you can’t afford these you can try to use Golgari Rotfarm at the cost of tempo.

Svogthos, The Restless Tomb – Against control, or the occasional mill deck, this thing can be an absolute beast, often animating for 5+ points of damage.

Shizo/Okina/Miren – Shizo and Okina are strictly better than a forest or swamp, and they aren’t even that expensive. You probably won’t use the abilities often but you never know. Miren makes a little more sense since you can use it to sac your Kokusho if you need. Gain 10 and they lose 5? Sounds good to me. It can also be used to sac a Graveshell Scar
Scar
ScarSet: Shadowmoor
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
194
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Put a -1/-1 counter on target creature.
ab if you need the life, since you can always just dredge it back next turn.

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.
/Sakura-Tribe Elder
Sakura-Tribe Elder
Sakura-Tribe ElderSet: Commander
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Snake Shaman
Rarity:
C
Number:
169
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Sacrifice Sakura-Tribe Elder: Search your library for a basic land card, put that card onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle your library.
– Sakura is probably the best green card to come out of Kamigawa block and Birds is your ideal turn one play in this deck. It can lead to a turn 2 hypnotic specter which can be good game against some decks. The Elders shouldn’t be too hard to find but Birds are not for a budget player. A reasonable alternative can be found in Llanowar Elves
Llanowar Elves
Llanowar ElvesSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elves
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Anson Maddocks
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Add G to your mana pool. This ability is played as an interrupt.
or Elves of Deep Shadow
Elves of Deep Shadow
Elves of Deep ShadowSet: The Dark
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elves
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Jesper Myrfors
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Add B to your mana pool, and Elves of Deep Shadow do 1 damage to you. This ability is played as an interrupt.
.

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.
– Comes out turn 2 with birds, swings for 2 in the air and random discard? If you don’t have them you can substitute it with blackmail/distress/ravenous rats for discard. Another possible replacement could be Carven Caryatid
Carven Caryatid
Carven CaryatidSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
U
Number:
155
Artist:
Jim Nelson
Power:
2
Toughness:
5
Text:
Defender (This creature can’t attack.) When Carven Caryatid comes into play, draw a card.
if there is a lot of weenie in your area.

Grave-Shell Scar
Scar
ScarSet: Shadowmoor
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
194
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Put a -1/-1 counter on target creature.
ab/Kokusho – The main win conditions of the deck. Grave-Shell is absolutely crazy against control because it never goes away, and Kokusho is bad news if your opponent lets it hit the table. Grave-Shell is pretty affordable, but Kokusho can be 18$+. Possible replacements: Gleancrawler
Gleancrawler
GleancrawlerSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
18
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Insect Horror
Rarity:
R
Number:
247
Artist:
Dave Allsop
Power:
6
Toughness:
6
Text:
(B/G can be paid with either B or G.) Trample At the end of your turn, return to your hand all creature cards in your graveyard that were put into your graveyard from play this turn.
, Helldozer
Helldozer
HelldozerSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Giant
Rarity:
R
Number:
88
Artist:
Zoltan Boros & Gabor Szikszai
Power:
6
Toughness:
5
Text:
BBB, T: Destroy target land. If that land is nonbasic, untap Helldozer.
, Golgari Rotwurm
Golgari Rotwurm
Golgari RotwurmSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Wurm
Rarity:
C
Number:
210
Artist:
Wayne England
Power:
5
Toughness:
4
Text:
B, Sacrifice a creature: Target player loses 1 life.
or any other 5-6 casting cost fatty you can think of.

Phyrexian Arena
Phyrexian Arena
Phyrexian ArenaSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
47
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, you draw a card and you lose 1 life.
– Another excellent reprint from 9th, Phyrexian Arena
Phyrexian Arena
Phyrexian ArenaSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
47
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, you draw a card and you lose 1 life.
gets you twice as many cards a turn at the cost of just one life.

Plague Boiler
Plague Boiler
Plague BoilerSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
269
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, put a plague counter on Plague Boiler. 1BG: Put a plague counter on Plague Boiler or remove a plague counter from it. When Plague Boiler has three or more plague counters on it, sacrifice it. If you do, destroy all nonland permanents.
– Your emergency reset button, it clears the board if you’re getting overrun by weenies, tokens, or multiple enchantments. Ideally, you shouldn’t have to use this but it is excellent backup.

Last Gasp
Last Gasp
Last GaspSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
93
Artist:
Thomas M. Baxa
Text:
Target creature gets -3/-3 until end of turn.
/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.
/Putrefy
Putrefy
PutrefySet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
221
Artist:
Jim Nelson
Text:
Destroy target artifact or creature. It can’t be regenerated.
– Creature control is what this deck does best. Putrefy
Putrefy
PutrefySet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
221
Artist:
Jim Nelson
Text:
Destroy target artifact or creature. It can’t be regenerated.
doubles as artifact hate.

Naturalize
Naturalize
NaturalizeSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
275
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
Destroy target artifact or enchantment.
– Main deck naturalize? This is a meta choice mainly, but main deck artifact and enchantment hate can’t be bad when there are so many Jitte’s running around and a plethora of annoying enchantments that could cost you game one if you don’t take care of them.

That’s the deck as it stands right now. It’s only real weakness seems to be combo decks like Heartbeat-Maga and Reanigreater, although after sideboard these matches become much more reasonable. 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.
and Persecute
Persecute
PersecuteSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
146
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Text:
Choose a color. Look at target player's hand. That player discards all cards of the chosen color.
can be devastating against combo decks that are packing counterspells. Isao is there to help against counter decks, 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.)
makes it almost impossible for weenie to win and the Graverobber cleans out the graveyard against reanimator or dredge decks. Everything in this sideboard is pretty affordable with the exception of the cranial extractions. Jester’s Cap is a moderately priced alternative, along with any other kind of hand disruption.

That pretty much covers everything about the deck. If you have the cards, build the version I posted and enjoy beating face.


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