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CardShark Content - Will Price (7/12/2006)

Anyone who has been following Standard since the release of Dissension has probably seen, or at least heard of, the new UG decks that made a modest showing at Regionals recently. The deck is being heralded as Critical Mass update and it looks like it will definitely live up to the fame and power of its namesake. Here is the build that I have been using with a lot of success at the local tournaments and FNM’s I have attended the past couple of weeks.

Critical Mass “Update”

Lands – 22
4x Breeding Pool
Breeding Pool
Breeding PoolSet: Dissension
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
172
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
Forest Island, (T: Add G or U to your mana pool.) As Breeding Pool comes into play, you may pay 2 life. If you don't, Breeding Pool comes into play tapped instead.

4x Yavimaya Coast
Yavimaya Coast
Yavimaya CoastSet: Apocalypse
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
143
Artist:
Anthony S. Waters
Text:
TAP: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool. TAP: Add G or U to your mana pool. Yavimaya Coast deals 1 damage to you.

2x Simic Growth Chamber
Simic Growth Chamber
Simic Growth ChamberSet: Dissension
Color:
Land
Rarity:
C
Number:
180
Artist:
John Avon

6x Forest
Forest
ForestSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add G to your mana pool.

4x Island
Island
IslandSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add U to your mana pool.

1x Novijen, Heart of Progress
Novijen, Heart of Progress
Novijen, Heart of ProgressSet: Dissension
Color:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
175
Artist:
Martina Pilcerova


Creatures – 28
4x 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.

4x Wood Elves
Wood Elves
Wood ElvesSet: Exodus
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elves
Rarity:
C
Number:
130
Artist:
Rebecca Guay
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Wood Elves comes into play, search your library for a forest card and put that forest into play. Shuffle your library afterwards.

4x Vinelasher Kudzu
Vinelasher Kudzu
Vinelasher KudzuSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Plant
Rarity:
R
Number:
189
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever a land comes into play under your control, put a +1/+1 counter on Vinelasher Kudzu.

4x Plaxmanta
Plaxmanta
PlaxmantaSet: Dissension
Color:
Blue
Rarity:
U
Number:
29
Artist:
Alan Pollack

4x Plaxcaster Frogling
Plaxcaster Frogling
Plaxcaster FroglingSet: Dissension
Color:
Multicolor
Rarity:
U
Number:
123
Artist:
Greg Staples

4x Cytoplast Rootkin
2x Keiga, the Tide Star
Keiga, the Tide Star
Keiga, the Tide StarSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
6
Color:
Blue
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Dragon Spirit
Rarity:
R
Number:
72
Artist:
Ittoku
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
Flying When Keiga, the Tide Star is put into a graveyard from play, gain control of target creature.

2x Kodama of the North Tree
Kodama of the North Tree
Kodama of the North TreeSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
R
Number:
222
Artist:
Shishizaru
Power:
6
Toughness:
4
Text:
Trample Kodama of the North Tree can't be the target of spells or abilities.


Other Spells – 10
4x Remand
Remand
RemandSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
63
Artist:
Mark A. Nelson
Text:
Counter target spell. If that spell is countered this way, put it into its owner’s hand instead of into that player's graveyard. Draw a card.

4x 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.

2x Voidslime
Voidslime
VoidslimeSet: Dissension
Color:
Multicolor
Rarity:
R
Number:
137
Artist:
Jim Murray


Sideboard – 15
2x Voidslime
Voidslime
VoidslimeSet: Dissension
Color:
Multicolor
Rarity:
R
Number:
137
Artist:
Jim Murray

4x Spell Snare
Spell Snare
Spell SnareSet: Dissension
Color:
Blue
Rarity:
U
Number:
33
Artist:
Hideaki Takamura

9x Meta-Dependent picks

Here is a run down of the cards in the deck.

Lands: require no explanation I hope.

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.
: acceleration to drop the fatties early, and more importantly, makes the 2nd turn 2/2 kudzu possible.

Wood Elves
Wood Elves
Wood ElvesSet: Exodus
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elves
Rarity:
C
Number:
130
Artist:
Rebecca Guay
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Wood Elves comes into play, search your library for a forest card and put that forest into play. Shuffle your library afterwards.
: Gets the land out of your deck and adds a counter to the Kudzu
Kudzu
KudzuSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchant Land
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
When target land becomes tapped, it is destroyed. Unless that was the last land in play, Kudzu is not discarded; instead, the player whose land it just destroyed may place it on any other land in play.
.

Kudzu
Kudzu
KudzuSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchant Land
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
When target land becomes tapped, it is destroyed. Unless that was the last land in play, Kudzu is not discarded; instead, the player whose land it just destroyed may place it on any other land in play.
: So much beatdown. This guy will grow pretty easily for the first 4-5 turns if you curve out decently, this guy is a huge problem for any deck because if they can’t control him fast he will just dominate the board.

Plaxmanta
Plaxmanta
PlaxmantaSet: Dissension
Color:
Blue
Rarity:
U
Number:
29
Artist:
Alan Pollack
: This card is just so good. I looked at some builds from Regionals and most of them had him sitting in the sideboard. I completely disagree! This card wins games, it’s like mystic snake but costs 2 less to play.

Plaxcaster Frogling
Plaxcaster Frogling
Plaxcaster FroglingSet: Dissension
Color:
Multicolor
Rarity:
U
Number:
123
Artist:
Greg Staples
: 3cc for a 3/3 makes him a good beater and he keeps Kudzu
Kudzu
KudzuSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchant Land
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
When target land becomes tapped, it is destroyed. Unless that was the last land in play, Kudzu is not discarded; instead, the player whose land it just destroyed may place it on any other land in play.
and Rootkin from getting hit with point removal. The graft is great too since it can pump up Kodama or Keiga.

Cytoplast Rootkin: An amazing come-into-play effect stacked onto a 4/4 body at a ridiculously low casting cost. Another card that can just win games by growing your whole team. Don’t forget his activated ability, which can punish your opponent for letting him through unblocked.

Keiga/Kodama: 2 of the best creatures to come out of the Kamigawa block, they make excellent late game win conditions if for some reason your opponent resolves a Wrath against you. Don’t forget to graft onto Kodama to make him even bigger.

Voidslime
Voidslime
VoidslimeSet: Dissension
Color:
Multicolor
Rarity:
R
Number:
137
Artist:
Jim Murray
/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.
/Remand
Remand
RemandSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
63
Artist:
Mark A. Nelson
Text:
Counter target spell. If that spell is countered this way, put it into its owner’s hand instead of into that player's graveyard. Draw a card.
: The counters are what make this deck more than just a beatdown pile. The biggest weakness of all aggro decks is that once a Wrath hits the board, the opponent nets ridiculous card advantage. 10x counters means that Wrath is not going to come down on turn 4 like the control player planned.


Playing the deck:
Against control: Ideally you want to drop an early Kudzu
Kudzu
KudzuSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchant Land
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
When target land becomes tapped, it is destroyed. Unless that was the last land in play, Kudzu is not discarded; instead, the player whose land it just destroyed may place it on any other land in play.
and grow him as fast as possible, dropping a Frogling for added beats and protection. After turn 3 or 4, if your opponent is playing white, it is important to leave mana open for counters at all times to protect your creatures from a Wrath. If your opponent stumbles on land or you are sure he is not packing any board sweep just continue to beat down with your early drops and play any of your creatures with cc4 or higher to win fast. Control decks provide your toughest matchups because if you get a slow start it can be hard to win in the late game once they have a lot of land out.

Against Aggro: Guess what, this match is pretty easy since our creatures are typically of a much higher quality. Frogling is a good defender early, and you can chump with Wood Elves
Wood Elves
Wood ElvesSet: Exodus
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elves
Rarity:
C
Number:
130
Artist:
Rebecca Guay
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Wood Elves comes into play, search your library for a forest card and put that forest into play. Shuffle your library afterwards.
after they have fetched out a land. Once you drop a Kodama or Keiga it should be game over because they are too big for most aggro builds to handle. Accelerating into your larger creatures is essential here.

Against combo: If you get a Vinelasher down and are holding a lot of counters you will probably win. Heartbeat especially has a tough time trying to combo out when you are holding Voidslime
Voidslime
VoidslimeSet: Dissension
Color:
Multicolor
Rarity:
R
Number:
137
Artist:
Jim Murray
s. You will definitely want to bring in more counters from the sideboard here to keep them from combo-ing off.


That’s basically the deck in a nutshell. I didn’t really do a comprehensive matchups section since there are so many decks in the format right now. This deck is truly amazing because it has the power to be tier 1 but is also fun to play because you get to smash face with Kudzu
Kudzu
KudzuSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchant Land
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
When target land becomes tapped, it is destroyed. Unless that was the last land in play, Kudzu is not discarded; instead, the player whose land it just destroyed may place it on any other land in play.
and the like. Enjoy!


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