When a new set comes out, the Limited card-by-card analysis is the quickest cure for writers’ block. Just when it seems everything’s already been written about, Wizards saves everyone in my “profession” with 165 slices of heaven. Unfortunately, people seem to have grown tired of Limited set reviews, and I can’t blame them. Who wants to read several people on countless websites all saying things like:
“Blah blah this card is excellent more often than not, and blah blah is just gravy.”
“Take it early unless it comes late.”
“This would be better if it said ‘draw a card,’ but not every card can be a winner.”
“This would be better if it had trample, but not every card can be a winner.”
“Hi, my name is Nick Eisel.”
I have some bad news and some good news. The bad news is, this article is a generic Limited appraisal of Betrayers of Kamigawa White cards. This week, you won’t be learning much more than that Opal-Eye, Konda’s Yojimbo is good, Day of Destiny is bad, and Hundred-Talon Strike should be taken early unless it comes late and its Splice onto Arcane is just gravy. The good news is, I won’t be writing about any of these cards; my contribution was simply putting them in a pick order. Instead, I’ve enlisted the help of thirty of the greatest Limited minds in the game, by which I mean whoever happened to be online at the time, to provide their analysis of the new set. Here’s the breakdown by author:
“Name” Players: 9
Celebrated Authors: 2
Random Minnesotans: 6
Random Ohioans: 2
People Who Live in Either My Apartment or KK’s: 4
People Named Kate Who I May or May Not Be Trying to Get in the Sack: 1
In short, I think I’m sparing you and everyone else from a lot of wasted energy, plus I’m setting the record for most authors in a single article. I wonder if Ted’s gonna put all 31 names (I’m included since I’m writing this putrid introduction) in the byline. And don’t let suspicions of me posing as all these people spoil the gimmick for you. The entries were all written by the people to whom I give the credit. Impersonating other people is passe, unless you’re Osyp and/or it’s April Fools’ Day.
T.B.S. Productions proudly presents…
The Only Review of Betrayers White for Limited You’ll Ever Need
(a * indicates that the person didn’t expressly write an entry; I had to piece the author’s words together from an online chat)
Patron of the Kitsune
by Jesse Sigler
About Jesse Sigler: Jesse Sigler takes pride in his visors and is, ostensibly, the kind of guy who would threaten to kick my ass in high school but never actually do anything. His proudest Magic accomplishment is that he’s currently undefeated against Gerry Thompson in Limited play. A former writer for Brainburst, Sigler now primarily contributes to Inquest magazine.
So if you happen to open a pack containing this card, my advice is to take it. Moving on, I’d like to discuss the current overuse of the term “bearl” in Minnesota gaming circles. Derived from the core subject Ken Bearl, Minnesota MTG Pro-Tour Phenom, the simple monosyllabic utterance has been used to describe everything from french fries to basic physical functions of life. If you have been referred to as a “bearl,” “The One Who Is Bearl,” or perhaps even a “Teenage Mutant Ninja Bearl,” I urge you to ignore the comment and continue on with life as usual. Only through selective disregard will this fast-spreading lingo virus be stopped. For the instigators of the Bearl Epidemic, please think of the children and discontinue the use of this hazardous terminology. Nobody wants another triple-delicious on our already quivering, blood-stained hands. And to wrap things up, here’s a haiku.
Josh Day, man of myth
Hobbitesque legend of Saint
Paul, likes fat women.
by Mark Zajdner*
About Mark Zajdner: Mark, or “ScrubbyZ” as he is known on Magic Online, has been a fixture on the Pro Tour for many years. He made the Top 8 of Grand Prix Boston in 2003, and the most recent addition to his resume was a 15th place finish at PT Nagoya. Love him or hate him, it’s impossible to ignore his boisterous energy and love for the game.
What do you want me to say? They printed a rare that’s good. A little worse than Catastrophe. Slightly worse than Rout. A step behind Wrath. Basically, they printed another mass creature removal spell and tried to cost it fairly. Six mana is fair for a rare. It’s not the best Limited card ever printed, just another overcosted Wrath.
And by the way, Sebastien Roux is Wolfman 2k5. Looks just like him.
Opal-Eye, Konda’s Yojimbo
by Tim Bulger
About Tim Bulger: Tim Bulger is a dedicated Spike (at poker and Marvel) from Eden Prairie, MN engaged in the beautiful struggle to make it to the next level. Ba ha. He is one of Grand Prix Chicago champion John Pelcak roommates, and he spends almost as much time drafting on Magic Online as Pelcak himself.
HULLUH? This card is too absurd, and with a little Kitsune Healer action, ohhh my! To start off with, a 1/4 wall with bushido can hold down the fort against most ground dudes. With a threshold cost of only 3, it seems like it has much in common with the triple delicious (which, if you want to get technical, is $3.21 after tax and a great deal). His ability is a rather large bearl as well, stopping quite a few of the flyers in this format and leaving your opponents unable to cast their Glacial Rays, Flames and other Red plot twists at their convenience. Whether you have mana up or not, this bearl makes it very difficult for your opponents to double stun your characters.
About Josh Ravitz: Ravitz finished in the Top 64 at PT Nagoya and in the Top 4 of the Constructed Grand Prix Detroit. His claim to fame, however, is somehow carrying cadres of assorted bumbling buffoons to money finishes in New York, Boston, Seattle, and most recently, Grand Prix Chicago 2004. Despite this notoriety for being a Team Limited master, Ravitz is perhaps best known for his sunny disposition, particularly when conversing with his fans, his younger opponents, or pretty much anyone.
1WW for a 2/2 with a solid ability would have been a fine Limited card in all likelihood, but that is not quite what we have here. If you manage to flip this guy early, you’ll… eh, never mind. There isn’t much to say about this card. He’s simply the best in his class, not unlike your favorite internet Magic writer. Flipping him will render combat nearly impossible for your opponent while providing you with the single largest non-rare non-Glasskite flyer this side of Kamigawa. A first pick for sure, and probably the best non-rare White card in the set.
by Jon Lewis
About Jon Lewis: Many of the great players in the game have taken lucky children under their wing as sidekicks for money drafting and the like. Brock and Huey “adopted” the Baby-Faced Assassin, PTR had Derek Starleaf, and Lucas Glavin has Jon Lewis. If you’re playing in a Boston area PTQ, don’t be surprised if you lose a game to Mr. Lewis attacking you with a Kumano equipped by Umezawa’s Jitte.
The best of the Shoals, this makes it hard to lose any previously fair game. This is basically a mono-colored Captain’s Maneuver (a bomb any Red or White drafter would have happily splashed). The card’s uses range from saving your guy during combat while killing an opponent’s, to redirecting that Red burn spell, to sending damage from an unblocked attacker straight at an opponent’s head before swinging for the win. If you’re really good, you can make your opponent wish he had never played that Yamabushi’s Storm or caused that Earthshaker activation. Oh, and with the alternate casting cost, it can be played for FREE, which is almost always unfair and lets you put that useless Harsh Deceiver to work. Take it over any of the commons and probably even over Genju of the Fields.
by Sam Stein
About Sam Stein: Another money finisher at Nagoya, “the miserd00d on Modo” broke onto the tournament scene with a second-place finish at the 2003 JSS Championships. Don’t be too surprised if you see his name on the Rising Star ballot for next year’s Invitational.
Waxmane Baku is easily the best White common in the set. When this guy is untouched in the right deck, he gets out of hand. It’s a solid creature for its cost, and when you add in the factor that it can end a game in a single turn, you have the makings of a very good card.
by Brian Stroh
About Brian Stroh: Brian Stroh is an all-around good man from New York who is considerably easier to edit than almost everyone else involved in this article. He qualified for Worlds 2004 on rating but has been struggling a little of late. Understandably, he thinks anyone who could consider the PTQ scene part of something called a “Beautiful Struggle” should be bound, gagged, spat upon, and possibly quartered.
This card probably causes more headaches in combat than any card not ending in “…the Fevered Dream”. Easily the second best White common, Split-Tail Miko can actually jump ahead of Waxmane Baku in some spirit-light builds. If the fox comes down on turn 2 and you can follow it up with a halfway decent curve, it makes early combat really difficult for your opponent. Compare this card to last set’s shining star of a damage preventer, Kitsune Healer, and the Miko looks that much better. The activation cost is negligable most of the time, and the ability shuts down everything from Glacial Ray to the savagely underplayed Horizon Seed… not to mention that in the U/W mirror, this little dude rules all. Like the Knicks.
Oyobi, Who Split the Heavens
by Lucas Glavin
About Lucas Glavin: One of Boston’s most beloved players, The Notorious LCG recently piloted the innovative Cephalid Life deck to a 2nd-place finish at Grand Prix Boston. In addition, he won the 2002 Neutral Ground/Your Move Games “Grudge Match.” Besides forgetting to flashback Cabal Therapy, LCG’s claims to fame include all-around cuddliness, mocking Matt Rubin, and smelling like Communion wine on the Friday night before a Grand Prix.
Oyobi is one of the best cards you can possibly have and probably the second-best White rare in the set. It’s a little slow to get out there, and usually you’ll have cast most of your spells before it hits play, so you won’t be making too many 3/3 tokens. But honestly, who cares? Big Bird’s a splashable bomb like Meloku that I would take above almost every common regardless of color except Horobi’s Whisper. If I cast it, my CAW CAW birdcall will be heard throughout the building.
About Craig Krempels: Reigning U.S. National Champion Craig Krempels is a member of team TOGIT, the affiliation of most of the remaining competent U.S. Magic players. He has a string of impressive results under his belt and seems to perform optimally in Japan, having finished in the Top 16 at PT Nagoya and in 9th at PT Yokohama. Despite any rumors to the contrary, Krempels is a genuinely decent human being, and I proudly display his autograph on my desk.
Have you ever ended up including Harsh Deceiver in any of your draft decks? Didn’t you wish it was a better card, and didn’t you wish it had multiple relevant abilities? Well that’s Moonlit Strider. He is a man that can do it all. There’s a big back end to make for an effective blocker, the ability to save your best creature, and every now and then he will grab a Waxmane or Moth back from the graveyard that he was too late to protect the first time around. This may all sound obvious enough but you don’t gain a full appreciation for the Strider until it’s on your side of the board. Blessed Breath was a very powerful card to have because of its basement bargain cost of one. With the Breath’s capacity mashed into a creature with another good ability, you can tap out and be worry free.
by Mike Hayner
About Mike Hayner: Walter M. Hayner is Ken Krouner housemate and Adam Chambers best friend. Chambers coined the term “Haynering” someone to signify making sketchy plays an entire game except for the most important turn, which is played perfectly. Mr. Hayner recently qualified for Philadelphia, his first Pro Tour, by defeating Aluren and Life in the top 8…with a Goblin deck.
Ah, Terashi’s Verdict? An instant arcane that destroys an attacking creature with power 3 or less? White? For 1W? Yeah, that’s right. In my opinion the third best white uncommon Betrayers has to offer behind Faithful Squire and the White Genju, Verdict offers you removal in a color usually void of it. Keep in mind the power of Waxmane Baku and Split-Tail Miko when you open this, though, as those cards are awesome and more than likely you will take one of them over this cheap efficient piece of white removal. Under no circumstances would I ever cut this card from any deck in which I was playing White. The power of this card is at its peak when included with anything to splice onto it, whether it be Glacial Ray or one of Tim’s all-time favorites: Dampen Thought.
Genju of the Fields
by Nate Siftar
About Nate Siftar: The self-proclaimed master of the bon mot, Nate Siftar teamed with John Pelcak and Tim Bulger as part of team Ubernova at PT Boston 03. In addition, his hair is so long that he can proudly chew on it.
The first thing to know about Genju of the Fields is that you can activate it multiple times and add the “gain life” ability for each time you activate it. This can cause large swings in life, but it’s only really good if you have pretty much nothing else to do with your mana, as it’s just gaining you life and not really bettering your board position. When I’ve played this card, it seemed to just sit there early game, and late game it just didn’t seem to do enough. It’s an okay card and should be in most decks that drafted it, but it’s way overrated. Don’t go looking for this as your number one White pick or anything. It’s not even better than all the commons; Waxmane Baku and more than likely the healer are both better picks. Therefore, I give this card an okay, but not great, 2.5 out of 5 Bearls.
by Jill Costigan and Aaron Lipczynski
About Jill Costigan and Aaron Lipczynski: Aaron Lipczynski made Top 4 at GP Columbus in style; he Fist of the Anvilled a teary-eyed Jordan Berkowitz right out of the tournament. He would much rather beat you with splashy rares and garbage commons than a “regular” deck, but his technique has nonetheless propelled multiple Modo accounts to the Hall of Champions. To her credit, Jill has broken “Half the Hearts on the PT (TM).”
The Indebted Samurai isn’t a bad card, but we don’t really like it. It’s an excellent blocker, and it can attack through most stuff, but it’s not a very high pick in CCB unless you have a really focused samurai deck that can’t use the better spirit cards in Betrayers to full effect. By and large, the non-rare samurai in Betrayers are bunz, so we like our white decks to be spirit-heavy, with, you know, some Kitsune Blademasters if we can get them. The Indebted Samurai gets passed for obvious bombs that every deck would rather have (Shining Shoal, Final Judgement, Patron of the Kitsune, bla bla bla), for Split-tail Miko most of the time, and for Waxmane Baku and Moonlit Strider in any spirit deck.
by Jelger Wiegersma
About Jelger Wiegersma: Jelger Wiegersma has two individual Pro Tour Top 8s as well as a Pro Tour win as a member of Von Dutch. On the Grand Prix circuit, he has racked up a win at Goteborg and quite a few Top 8 appearances. He is, in short, one of the top players in perhaps the top Magic-playing country in the world.
This card’s definitely first-pick material if you have the enchantments to go with it (and a few arcanes or spirits). He’s best with stuff like Mystic Restraints and Cage of Hands, but he’ll always end up in your deck even if all you have is an Indomitable Will or an Uncontrollable Anger. Comparing it to the White commons, it’s probably better than Split-Tail Miko if you have a Cage. The card’s pretty good, but it’s still very hard to ever pick it over Waxmane Baku. You need three good targets to ever be able to make that pick. Tallowisp is best in U/W, where he’ll serve the purpose of locking down your opponents’ ground creatures while getting you some Gaseous Forms, or whatever they’re called nowadays, to take care of any Frostwielders, Kumanos, or Moss Kamis that would otherwise be real threats.
About Gadiel Szleifer: Gadiel recently finished 46th at Pro Tour San Diego, 7th at Pro Tour Seattle and 5th at Pro Tour Columbus before winning Grand Prix Chicago as a member of Team :B. He is currently one of the hottest young pros in the game.
There aren’t any problems with Kentaro, The Smiling Cat, but there isn’t a lot to be excited about either. His stats are a bit above average since he is effectively a 3/2 in combat. Unfortunately, the one toughness outside combat leaves him vulnerable to the one damage Red cards like Frostwielder, the Honden, Frostling, and First Volley. To think the “special” ability is good, you’d have to be in “special” ed, since it really never does anything. No, not even that one time you were playing against Johnny’s Fox/Cat deck. In conclusion, the happiest samurai will almost always make your white deck when you have it, but there are plenty of commons or uncommons to take before it.
by Tony Chopcinski
About Tony Chopcinski: Usually responding to the handle “The Nether,” Tony is one of the few Cleveland-area players who was far too cool to ever associate himself with anything called the “Get Fresh Crew.” He is a skilled player when he focuses on his game, and he performed well in the Mirrodin Block Constructed PTQs playing Affinity…with Molder Slug in the board. Not kidding.
Hundred-Talon Strike seems like it would be a great card; however, I feel that it is not as good as advertised. This card does not protect against targeted removal, making it clearly inferior to White’s other combat tricks. The only time I can see this card being spliced is while defending, but even then I’d rather have a Blessed Breath or Indomitable Will. This card seems good at first glance, but due to its narrow use, it is less than impressive.
About Gabriel Nassif: Gabriel Nassif was the 2003-2004 Player of the Year on the strength of 2nd-place finishes in New Orleans and Kobe as well as a Top 8 at Worlds. He is best known as a constructed master, and it would be hard to exclude him from a list of Top Five Best Magic Players for all formats. He’s one of the nicest guys you’ll meet, and his karaoke performance of Britney Spears’s “Baby One More Time” in Nagoya has quickly become legend.
This 1/1 for one will be just good enough to make the cut most of the time. Nothing great but definitely playable, it obviously becomes way better if you have a heavy Soulshift deck and have a need for low casting cost spirits, or if your opponent has good combat tricks such as Strength of Cedars or Blind with Anger.
Kami of the Honored Dead
by Josh Day
About Josh Day: Of all the Minnesotans approaching legendary status, Josh Day is second only to Ken Bearl himself. He is best known for the infamous Triple Delicious incident, but rest assured that hilarity will ensue wherever he is present.
One of the best seven-drops in this format, Kami of the Honored Dead offers you a good power with an even better toughness, along with the excellent life gaining ability. Whenever I open this guy and am White, I auto-windmill-slam him into my pile. Even if I am not White, I try to find a way to splash this Bearl. He’s absolutely absurd. Nothing can block him and get away with it except maybe a dragon, but who has those? Let me tell you a little story about this guy from a match I had against Minnesota State Cereal Eating Champion EMJ. I played Kami of the Honored Dead on turn 7, and in response EMJ roffled and ate 2 boxes of Lucky Charms and proceeded to concede. The power of this card is too much for most opponents to handle. Rylan Klatt, another top Minnesota gamer, once told me he devoured Japanese sensation Talksonabus Ato in a money draft with Kami of the Honored Dead. Talks was unable to handle the mighty 3/5 and told Rylan he was too man pretty and that the Fire Department had been shut down. Draft Kami of the Honored Dead whenever you can, and you will be the newest hull in your area.
by Alana Burman*
About Alana Burman: Best known as Platy, Ms. Burman managed a 7th-place finish at Grand Prix Chicago with as ragtag a bunch of misfits as this world has ever seen…and this world has seen the Max Fischer Players. Like many people I associate with, Alana is a good person who is nonetheless troubled and often misunderstood; like few people I associate with, she has promised to bring homemade brownies with her to Atlanta.
When I think of White decks, I think of small creatures entering the red zone or holding the fort until you can ramp up to your bombs or bigger guys. The Palliator keeps your smaller creatures around when they need to block and protects them from burn while simultaneously keeping you alive. It gets annoying very quickly if you have a Healer or Miko on the board too, and if you’re really lucky, you can sacrifice it to bring out the White Patron. I really like Palliator, and unlike, say, Hundred-Talon Strike, it’s good even if you are playing a more defensive style of deck that tries to stall the game until your overcosted fatties can enter play.
Kami of Tattered Shoji
by Pat Sullivan
About Pat Sullivan: A founding member of TOGIT, Patrick is a master of Red Deck Wins insofar as it’s possible to be one. He has earned a reputation as being something of a Munson; as he puts it, he’s in a perpetual state of having exactly 19 Pro Points and hence being forced to play in PTQs. Additionally, he expresses the same disdain for humanity and life itself as certain internet writers.
With the introduction of Betrayers into the current Limited environment, White becomes much more defensive and spirit-oriented. Removing one pack of Blademasters and Mothriders and replacing it with a pack of various slow, tapping, protection from color clunkers has transformed White from the best beatdown color into a themeless, incoherent conglomeration of creatures and spells. Nothing epitomizes this problem greater than Kami of the Tattered Shoji.
The cards Kami of the Tattered Shoji most resemble are Kami of the Painted Road and Hundred-Talon Kami. In fact, many people’s first impression of this stinker is that it’s a superior version of Kami of the Painted Road; both block, both can evade if a spirit or arcane is cast, both are generally unimpressive, etc. However, the 2/5 evades less consistently, can’t evade removal in the same fashion as the Painted guy, and generates a worse effect if its spiritcraft trigger is used as a combat trick. The only thing that the 2/5 does better is block flyers, which it can’t do consistently.
Hundred-Talon Kami, the other similar-looking but far superior card, does pretty much everything Kami of the Tethered Shoji does except generally better. It flies all of the time instead of some of the time. Soulshift has gone up in value with the introduction of Betrayers (Moonlit Strider and Waxmane Baku are excellent re-buy targets), so much so that I would gladly sacrifice two points of toughness to get soulshift on a five-mana creature. Even if Kami of the Tattered Shoji was a straight up 2/5 flyer for five, I’m not entirely convinced it would be better than Hundred-Talon Kami.
In closing, bear in mind that I compared this card to Hundred-Talon Stinker and Kami of the Painted Road, not exactly Mr. Moth and Mr. Blademaster. If a card is bad enough to be compared negatively to the previously mentioned D students of Champions of Kamigawa White, it should probably be kept in your sideboard, only to be brought in against a deck that somehow is both slow and contains a lot of creatures with low toughness. This card is comparable to a five mana Silent-Chant Zubera, which is about as good as it sounds.
About Takanobu Sato: The third member of the dorm room featuring Tim Bulger and John Pelcak, Taka qualified for Pro Tour Atlanta as a member of The Biggest Dirtiest Mustache. Like Josh Day, he is rapidly approaching legendary status, for his contributions to Magic lingo, his bonding with Tsuyoshi Fujita and other Japanese pros, and his bizarre worship of Rich Hoaen.
This card just looks like a reprint of Sandskin, but compared to Sandskin, it can be quite rebonculous. The card is solid in U/W decks with a lot of fliers, since you’ll be stopping 3/3s and 4/3s while you attack in the air. The card is also good in stopping bombs like Kumano or against decks with multiple Frostwielders or Cutthroats. Most of the time, though, this card will indeed just be the one who is bearl unless you’re Blue. Instead of just tearing this card into pieces, look at the flavor text first. What I’m trying to say is that everyone should be more like Rich Hoaen. Although some claim Rich is grumpy, he is the JOLLIEST person in the world. Be less of a snob, be more like Rich, and maybe you can attain a heart as bright as his.
P.S. Amsterdam will go through a major problem during the Marvel PC. Watch out for fire because all the fire departments will close down with the arrival of Rylan Klatt.
by Brent Heaser
About Brent Heaser: Brent Heaser, a.k.a. Brent Heezur, a.k.a. Brent Hasser is another member of The Biggest Dirtiest Mustache. The Minnesotan has played on the Pro Tour as a member of team Ziegler with brothers Paul and Brian; The Biggest Dirtiest Mustache is simply the newest incarnation of that team, with Taka subbing in for Brian Ziegler. As a final note, Heaser is a fan of Sevendust.
This is not quite Tangle Spider and not quite Samurai Enforcers. Neither of those are phenomemal by any means, which doesn’t bode well for our heroes of Silverstorm. Generally, the samurai decks run a lower curve and even shoot for 16 land. These guys just won’t fit the late-game bill; there are plenty of mediocre giants in White you can run instead (say Kami of the Palace Fields). You should be able to wheel these guys all day to around 10th pick.
by Ryan Opalk
About Ryan Opalk: Chicago-area gamer Ryan Opalk has a lot in common with some of the other authors, most notably Ken Krouner and Mark Zajdner. He played an integral role in the small-scale popularization of the amazing “Oh Pippen…TaJoooordan” lingo, and you’ll often see him on Modo as “pac dizzle.”
This is nothing more than an acceptable sideboard option. In my opinion, this will almost always be worse than Quiet Purity, for several reasons. The lifegain benefit to the Grasp is negligible as you typically won’t be gaining more than 4 life, if even that. Some life gain and the option to kill artifacts aren’t enough to really make this a more valuable card, considering the mana addition and the change from an instant to a sorcery. However, it will sometimes come in handy versus any of the bomby equipments or the random Jade Idol. The best case scenario is to kill a R/B player’s Uncontrollable Anger to rid yourself of their best attacker and gain enough life to be back in the game. Most of the time though, this will just be a clunky, awkward Quiet Purity.
Hokori, Dust Drinker
by Brian Ziegler
About Brian Ziegler: Brian Ziegler is the quiet workhorse of the Minnesota gaming community. He will often win the first PTQ of the season, and he can be counted on for clutch wins in team events and driving home on no sleep while his deranged twin pokes you in the neck from the back seat and says “eeeeeeee.” He’s one of many people who shamelessly squanders his Magical talents by focusing on his studies so that he can someday get a respectable “real” job.
to: Spongetim Atenpants
Four mana is a fair price for a 2/2 spirit and Winter Orb. Hickory, Hikari’s evil twin (by nature, one twin has to be the evil one, no?) seems decent. It’s clearly not better than Waxmane Baku or any of the top White uncommons and rares, but against slow decks, this should win the game if the opponent can’t find removal. White is an efficient color all around, so on average, Hickory should be okay and is a spirit to boot. Ideally, you would cast this on turn 4 or 5 after your opponent has tapped out. Unfortunately, most of these assumptions are in a perfect world with streets lined with gumballs and candy canes; my verdict is that this card is rather narrow. In the right deck (a spirit deck with a low curve or a U/W deck with some stall and flyers that needs a late game plan), this card will be jawsome or at least a great sideboard card against top-end decks. However, if you’ve curved out, you probably don’t need this guy to win. A 2/2 for four isn’t worthless, but you are paying a premium for the Winter Orb on a hickory stick.
About Adam Chambers: “Baby Chamby” finished in the Top 4 of the 2002 JSS Championships and got 2nd at Grand Prix Chicago as a member of Gindy’s Sister’s Fan Club. He is one of the class of players who, despite being excellent, have somehow managed to fly just below the radar. In his spare time, Chambers enjoys playing DDR’s “Whistle Song” for hours on end and watching Whoopi Goldberg movies.
I don’t really know what to say about this card. Well yeh, this card is an okay playable that you should be able to pick up late in pack 3 when you will know if you’re short on tricks. It’s passable in most decks, best in a deck where you’re likely to use it to save a guy with combat damage on the stack. That really is it for this card. It’s not arcane, not that exciting, but an okay playable if you’re in need.
by Kate Sullivan
About Kate Sullivan: Kate is a sound player who posted a Top 8 finish at Grand Prix Columbus last year. She shares husband Patrick’s bleak outlook on life but, like Pat, manages to hover above total despair thanks to a keen sense of humor regarding life and human folly.
So… Empty-Shrine Kannushi is bad. Really bad. It’s actually so bad that I’m having trouble articulating the reasons why. Where to start…
Like, your best case scenario involves your opponent playing the exact same colors that you are, right? In that case, this guy is either a guaranteed one damage a turn (not so hot) or a blocker that, you know, blocks pretty well. The thing is, white already has a lot of guys in this format that block really well, and most of them attack a lot better than this guy does. If you’ve ever played a white mirror, you probably found out pretty quickly that you can gum down the ground without a 1/1 with a drawback.
That’s right, a drawback. In most scenarios, you and your opponent don’t share the exact same colors. In that case, this guy just dies. To everything. Why? Because the only player in any game who is virtually guaranteed not to be able to target Empty-Shrine Kannushiis…you! That’s right – you can’t pump it with your Moth, you can’t Will it, and if you played down a permanent of your other color, you can’t target it with any of those tricks, either. This is also why it’s not even a great blocker in that ideal scenario above — the only creatures it will ever, ever kill are ones with one toughness, and your opponent knows it. Devoted Retainer, Lantern Kami, Kitsune Diviner, and even Kami of False Hope are all more playable than this thing.
So yeah… ten minutes of my life that I will never get back, spent explaining why I think an awful card is awful. Somebody kill me.
by Brian Brockway
About Brian Brockway: Brockway was a regular at Ohio’s Compendium in its heyday, frequently defeating Jason Opalka in Mirrodin block draft with some of the most bizarre Isochron Scepters fathomable. He has a goofy sort of charisma, and he spends his days tormenting Aaron “the BloodNinja” Cutler directly and indirectly.
For spot enchantment removal, this card is worse than the common Terashi’s Grasp, as Grasp can whack an artifact and is arcane. Scour does have the ability to Lobotomy all other copies of the enchantment in question; this is more relevant for common enchantments of which an opponent may have multiples. There are 40 different enchantments so far – 22 enchantments in Champions and 18 in Betrayers, with only a handful of these being playable. One maindeck enchantment removal card is more than enough if you are looking for card #23, and Grasp is much more flexible. My advice is to try to pick up a Grasp, and only sideboard in Scour if you know your opponent has enchantments.
About Ken Krouner: Ken was on the gravy train for over a year. His accomplishments in that time include 8th place at Worlds 2002, 9th place at US Nationals 2002, and Top 4 of GP Los Angeles.
While I talked about this card in my article, the fates determined that I would write about it again, albeit in a different context. While this card is solid in Blue or Black decks that have Ninjas, I’d shy away from it unless you have a Tallowisp or a Kistune Mystic you have to play. It isn’t that the card doesn’t do anything, it’s just that the effect it has on the game normally won’t be worth a card. I can’t think of many White decks that want to leave a bunch of mana open. With Zealous Inquisitor, if you tapped out and he was killed, no big deal, you lost a 2/2 for 3. With this one you lose whatever creature it was on and the Ward itself. I’d pass on this card in most cases.
About Star Wars Kid: SWK finished a respectable 9th at Grand Prix New Jersey, one of the largest events ever. Ted Knutson has a lot of faith in this guy to start posting results in the near future, partly because the kid has a lot of heart, and partly because he’s Ted’s most loyal (and possibly only) barn.
Day of Destiny reminds me of Tenza, Godo’s Maul, only it’s White, costs more mana, only gives +2/+2, and is completely useless when you don’t have any legends. It’s rare to have more than one legend in play, and it’s almost impossible to have more than two. Many of the legendary creatures are good enough to dominate the board on their own, and if not, you are only cluttering up your deck with two cards that aren’t good on their own and aren’t really that spectacular when they are out together. I don’t really want to be wasting my fourth turn on a card that most likely won’t affect the current board and can too often be a dead card. It seems to be too hard to find a situation where Day of Destiny would be worth it.
by Brock Parker*
About Brock Parker: To say that Brock Parker has a PT win and many solid money finishes under his belt is to ignore more noteworthy parts of Brock’s reputation. And also to assume that he wears a belt. Brock has in fact won a PT and plays Magic Online nonstop, but he is also a sheer poker master who allegedly won six figures in a single sitting of online Blackjack. In addition, he provides some of the more colorful commentary on food and current events that you will never be privy to.
Isn’t it the worst card ever? Am I missing something?
A large man with a larger casting cost. On its best day, it’s the last card out of your hand. I like the last cards I play to be Dragons or Rolling Thunder. The “special” ability is very “special” in the sense that it sucks and will hurt you. [Noah and Gadiel seem to have a similar sense of humor. – not Knut] 99.99% of the time, you raredraft this and move on. The 0.01% is when you have Patron of the Moon and two God’s Eye, Gate to the Reikai. Then it’s top banana.
You guys don’t get a conclusion this week. The whole point of this exercise was that I didn’t have to write anything. Yeah, that’s right. And I’ll do it again if I can get away with it. Stay tuned after the signoff for some pastes of me trying to encourage participation in this article.
1981-2005, with any luck
Too Cool to Write His Own Articles
founder of Taking Back Sunday (the team that doesn’t exist yet, not the band)
Don’t Bother Me on Modo
KoolKeith60 on AIM
“Don’t look surprised.”
DVD Extras: Recruiting Spiels
(names changed to protect everyone but me)
chester6561: will you write about a card for me for my next article
Ravitz: which 🙂
chester6561: dunno yet
chester6561: a white card
chester6561: random assignment
Ravitz: is there a card thats as bad as i am at this format
Ravitz: i mean
Ravitz: probably sure np
chester6561: unless you have a preference
chester6561: takeno’s cavalry
Ravitz: i feel as if i’ve been tricked
chester6561: ravitz pull yer head outta yer [censored]
chester6561: Ravitz: is there a card thats as bad as i am at this format
chester6561: that’s why i said.
Ravitz: got it.
Ravitz: i figured you’d want me to write about the card with the same power
Ravitz: as myself
Ravitz: or lack there of
chester6561: too bad i’m not doing blue
chester6561: you could be kami of vanishing touch
chester6561: yea yea i know
chester6561: can i mark you down for my next article
Brockway: what does that mean
Brockway: i haven’t read much anymore
chester6561: i give you a card to write about for limited
chester6561: and you can write about it any style you want
chester6561: then i publish it in my article
Brockway: lol… brockway gets tallowisp
chester6561: alright then.
Brockway: sure… what do i have to do
chester6561: i was gonna assign them randomly but if you’re that enthused
Brockway: does it have to be tallowisp
Brockway: so what does it entail
chester6561: just talk about the card’s functions and value in limited
chester6561: you can be as funny or deadpan as you want
chester6561: but if you’re gonna give false information i’d like it clear that it’s sarcasm
chester6561: that’s it
Brockway: why would someone who has actually won more than $10 at magic want me to write, even more, why would my opinion carry more weight than anyone else’s
chester6561: it doesnt
chester6561: i’m getting 30 names from my buddy list
chester6561: so far the list is tbulge and ryan opalk
Brockway: or is just a lot of work that you’d rather delegate
chester6561: yes and no
chester6561: since it’s probably about as much work coaxing and explaining the assignment as it would be to just say “takeno’s cavalry is turds” on my own
Brockway: lol… point taken
Brockway: can i do it incognito
Brockway: disguised if you will
chester6561: no since
chester6561: i could just lie and pretend to be all these people
chester6561: the lie is not the gimmick here
Brockway: yeah, it sounded like a good idea when i explained it in my head, but i now see that BloodNinja would not be too funny around here in about week
chester6561: you can include something about the bloodninja in what you write
Brockway: if i get a ninja
chester6561: there aren’t any white ninjas
chester6561: can i mark you down for writing about a betrayers card for limited for me
Kate: I mean, I guess a smart person would have demanded to know what the hell you were talking about
Kate: but I’ll go ahead and say yes first
chester6561 (5:21:16 PM): brock will you do me a solid
Brock (5:21:40 PM): im all outta solids for today
Brock (5:21:45 PM): may have some liquids/gasses for u tho
chester6561 (5:21:50 PM): lol
chester6561 (5:21:53 PM): well it wouldnt be today
chester6561 (5:22:25 PM): i need you to write about a card, one singular card, and its worth in limited
Brock (5:22:38 PM): is it kruskan beast
chester6561 (5:22:59 PM): it’s gonna be a white card
chester6561 (5:23:06 PM): but you can pretty much write whatever you want
chester6561 (5:23:15 PM): make fun of garyt for the whole thing for all i care
chester6561 (5:26:04 PM): i’ll take that as a no
chester6561 (5:26:12 PM): one of these days tho
chester6561 (5:26:19 PM): i’m not gonna be able to finish my fries
chester6561 (5:26:23 PM): and you know what i’m gonna do?
chester6561 (5:26:28 PM): i’m gonna THROW EM AWAY
Brock (5:26:50 PM): what do iknow about limit
chester6561 (5:26:57 PM): it doesnt matter
chester6561 (5:27:05 PM): i’m gonna be straight w/ ya here
chester6561 (5:27:10 PM): i need 30 different people
chester6561 (5:27:20 PM): to say whatever the hell they want about their given card
chester6561 (5:27:28 PM): it’s what’s known as a “gimmick” article in the biz
chester6561 (5:27:42 PM): wow ravitz is good
Brock (5:27:51 PM): why
Brock (5:27:55 PM): did he 03
chester6561 (5:27:58 PM): yes
chester6561 (5:28:26 PM): i need you brock
chester6561 (5:28:29 PM): you’re high profile
chester6561 (5:35:38 PM): k sure have fun with your 8022/16044 tables
chester6561 (5:35:44 PM): are you going to atlanta
Brock (5:40:20 PM): n
chester6561 (5:40:56 PM): favorite kind of pizza?
Brock (5:41:23 PM): depends on the mood
chester6561 (5:44:02 PM): WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON TAKENO’S CAVALRY IN LIMITED
Brock (5:44:12 PM): whats that
chester6561 (5:44:32 PM): it’s the 3W 1/1, bushido 1, tap to deal 1 to attacking or blocking spirit
Brock (5:44:44 PM): isnt it the worst card ever
Brock (5:44:51 PM): am i missing something
chester6561 (5:44:59 PM): yeah, some call it the josh ravitz of magic cards
chester6561 (5:45:06 PM): no but i’m quoting you on that in my article
chester6561 (5:45:11 PM): you’ve just been tricked
chester6561 (5:45:18 PM): Brock (5:44:44 PM): isnt it the worst card ever
Brock (5:44:51 PM): am i missing something
chester6561 (5:45:21 PM): right in the article
Brock (5:45:47 PM): they fooled ME jerry!
chester6561 (5:46:00 PM): lol.
chester6561: will you do a guest spot in my next article
Taka: but half
chester6561: write about one card and why it’s good or bad in lim
Taka: of the conversation
Taka: Half of it will be on
Taka: Rich Hoaen
Taka: and the other Half on how rebonculous he is
chester6561: i think you’ve finally reached the point
chester6561: where you make literally no sense
chester6561: that’s a commendable feat
chester6561: what are you going to do
chester6561: when you become more famous and masterful than your heroes
Taka: I’m never going to be better then Rich Hoaen
Taka: so i won’t have to worry about it
chester6561: better by what standards
Taka: his so Rebonc even for the word Rebonc
chester6561: whose word is rebonc
Taka: Rhoaen deserves a new word
Taka: I was going to describe him as being Rebonculous but his too rebonculous for it
chester6561: hulluh who said the word rebonc first hulluh
chester6561: was it a ziggler?
Taka: rebonc has a long history
Taka: it was Redonculous by Cole Heinrich
Taka: AND FOR YOUR RECORD
Taka: BAHA was originated from my good friend Dylan Vashro
chester6561: yeah yeah you said
chester6561: redonculous was not originated by anyone named cole heinrich
Taka: yes it was
chester6561: they were saying redonculous forever
chester6561: probably before he was born
Taka: anyways like two weeks ago
Taka: josh day mispronounced redonculous
Taka: and said Rebonculous
Taka: so i started saying it
Morgan Douglass: hi
Morgan: do you need ppl w/ CCB experience
Morgan: bc ive done 100000000000 CCC drafts
chester6561: there’s no reason you couldnt do it
chester6561: you want in?
chester6561: i’ll mark you down and have a card for you soon ty vvvvvvm
chester6561: i’m getting 30 people to write about one card each
Morgan: like what.
chester6561: oh oh you want an assignment
chester6561: you want a softball?
chester6561: you want the wrath?
chester6561: how much of a challenge do you want
Morgan: i thought you were just askin draft picks
Morgan: or something :/
chester6561: no no
chester6561: far stupider
chester6561: so you’re out then?
Morgan: guess so
chester6561: kibler are you busy
Kibler: i just missed a perfect on ddr by one step
Kibler: so mad
Kibler: on hysteria too
Kibler: which is pretty tough
Kibler: i blame my pajamas