Ranking The Mirrodin White Cards, Or If You Give Me Another Feature Match I’m Going To Scream

As usual, one of the internet’s most entertaining writers would like to remind you how horrible he is… Yet somehow he has a 1900+ Limited rating and made Day Two at Grand Prix: Kansas City. He’s going to show you the white picks, explain his finish at the Grand Prix, and discuss his growing loathing of Feature Matches. Listen to him. He’s good.

Hi!! My name is Tim Aten. You may remember me from my round 10 feature match a few weeks ago. Fresh off my dead-last finish at Grand Prix: Kansas City, I’m here to tell you all how to draft Mirrodin White. I hope the irony isn’t lost on you. (Well, you came in dead last on Day Two The Ferrett, knowing that it’s still not thrilling, but an accomplishment hundreds of other people would have been happy to have)

Before we get to that, there are a number of things/points/etc I’d like to mention, most of which pertain to GPKC in some way:

1) This Article Isn’t Going To Be Particularly Funny.

I’m sorry I’m not in a good mood. What incentive this leaves for my core target audience (my half-dozen friends) to read this article is beyond me, but all you random folk out there who don’t care that I don’t have the high place finishes and MODO renown of certain other banned writers, read up. You can learn more from failure than success. That’s probably some sort of variant on a Confucianist saying, but if it’s not, I’m taking it for my own. I’m taking it back for the white man.

So why am I not in a good mood? I’m sure the Grand Prix has a lot to do with it. Here’s another choice snippet of wisdom for you:”You can only get back on the horse so many times.” If you keep on playing and playing and you never ever win ever not even once, what incentive do you have to keep playing? And don’t say”for fun.” Once you’ve gone competitive, you can’t go back to the multiplayer arena. You just can’t. When was the last time you saw Tiger Woods at the local Putt Putt? It’s conceivable for me to enjoy a well-played match even if I lost, but repeated failure can be demoralizing even for someone as”arrogant” as myself.

I’m not sure whether I’m going to quit Magic, and as such, I certainly don’t want to make any promises. Most”I’m quitting Magic” discussions go like this:

Person 1:”I’m quitting gaming.”

Person 2:”No you aren’t.”

Person 1:”Yes I am! I think I’m done for good this time.”

Person 2:”See you next week, Rodman!”

(four days later)

Person 2:”I thought you said you were quitting.”

Person 1: *hangs head in shame*

Person 2: *laughs*”Ah, who cares? Let’s just test the Rock mirror for five hours.”

Person 1:”Okay!”

Walk off into the sunset, hand in hand; fade to black.

This naturally begs the question: What -am- I going to do these next few months and years? (Note how I pretend that you care. I’m really good at pretending I have a rapt audience. Like when I sing Stone Sour in the car. Yes, Stone Sour. And yes, I’m a decent screamer. Really.) Well, I have a plan that I’ve told to, among others, one Kurtis Hahn. I have about $575 in the bank right now. I will purchase lottery tickets at the rate of fifteen per week until I either win, or have just enough money left in my bank account for a gun and a bullet. Either way, my misery will be a thing of the past. And people like the aforementioned Mr. Hahn won’t have to deal with my inane, insane messaging on AIM anymore. If you’re interested, Kurt thinks the lotto is a very bad idea. You can read more about it at www.ohiolottery.com.

2) GPs Suck

And not just because I made the same amount of money as Trey Van Cleave (who was in attendance) at the Grand Prix. Maybe it’s because I don’t like the people who go to these things as a collective entity anymore. Maybe it’s because flying/driving to these things really sucks. But mostly, the more objective problem is the one to worry about.

There is very little late-night money drafting anymore. This is because everyone’s too busy either sleeping or doing cool guy stuff like drinking, pokering, and getting paid $250 to do ‘shrooms. Also, the site closes too early on Sundays. There’s not really much that could or should be done about this from a logistical standpoint, but that doesn’t make it suck any less! Suck, suck, suck. My high school English teacher would be proud of my masterful diction and elocution and zeitgeist and verisimilitude.

Hah. An inside joke that only my brother (who doesn’t read my articles), if anyone, will catch. Hopefully it at least has some verisimilitude in your lives. (www.m-w.com)

So in sum, I hate going to events, I hate being bored at events, I hate losing at events, I hate poker barns, and I hate life.

3) All Gerry, All the Time

Yes, my obligatory Gerry Thompson section has expanded this week, to the delight of all his faithful barns. You know who you are *cough cough Zieglers*. I actually have a reason for mentioning him this week: he top 8ed the GP, proving once and for all that he is a master and I am not and I should just seppuku it up.

By which I mean, congratulations Gerry!!

But I’ve already said all that in person. What really needs to be addressed is the utter publicity smashing Gerry received on the sideboard dot com. Nate Heiss said that he drafted awfully, and Antonino echoed the sentiment. The”article” on Ant’s draft was, in fact, a mere five paragraphs; fully 1/5th of the report was gratuitous Gerry-bashing. In addition, the only picture Gerry got on the Sideboard was of Antonino acting as though he’s about to backhand him. The picture labeled as”Gerry Thompson” is really Mike Krumb – who, incidentally, eats his own poo.

So if you read the Sideboard, you walked away thinking Gerry is a big idiot. In actuality, he had a 1950 rating coming into the event, and he’s even better at constructed. As the Sideboard did mention, he played in three Pro Tours last year. He’s perfectly competent, and he was due. (And Gerry, if you read this and msg me a nice”tb,” I may ride my purple bike to Deer Excrement, MN and intentionally get hit by your car as you leave the driveway and sue you for all your GPKC winnings). Even good players can have bad drafts. Which brings me to my next point.

4) So Long, Astoria

I’m a reeeeeal Munson, basically. Remember my Regionals report about how one round was all it took to keep me from glory and to reduce me to wondering if I really have any skill whatsoever? Well, just replace the word”round” with”draft” and you’ll have my GPKC report.

A few asides before I go into more detail. First, I’m going to stop with the reminder text on my asides. This is the last article with the format:

Aside (I really overuse that term because I’m lazy. What a tool I am).

It will be replaced by the new, sleeker


You know, like they did with Fear?

Right, guys?


The subtitle of this section is the title of the current Ataris album. I don’t like the Ataris. I don’t even know which Astoria they’re saying so long to. I’ve just taken the name”Astoria” to be synonymous with”dreams of glory,” for no other reason than that it’s convenient. You should try this technique sometime. You’ll find that it’s very Okonomowoc.

Now then, onto my Grand Prix experience. My sealed deck was solid. It didn’t have Arc-Slogger, Megatog, Soul Foundry, and Solemn Simulacrum like a certain someone’s did, but it was good enough to get the job done. And since I got a feature match (more on that later, needless to say), I can just go to the Sideboard and look at my deck. For reference, here it is.

If you have a shred of decency, you’ll skip past the pics. I know I’m sickly.

Now then; individual card notes. The missing fortieth card is Electrostatic Bolt. The Neurok Familiars hit a little more than they should have, even though I built the deck to maximize them. The Moriok Scavenger splash was a little random, based on the fact that I wanted to run another artifact land and on-color Myr as much as anything. The deck wanted 16.5 lands; in almost every game 2, I sided out a Myr or something for a seventeenth land. I especially wanted the extra land when I was on the play.

And lastly, we arrive at my bomb. I only have one, unless you count Icy Manipulator. I’m sorry – Goblin Charbelcher isn’t a bomb. It’s a nice stalemate breaker, and it’s a good way for a total ‘foon to steal a win off you, but it is slow and too erratic to be a bomb. No, my”bomb” was Platinum Angel. Which is only good because it’s a 4/4 flier.

Now I know what you’re thinking… I’m trying to downplay my deck to make my day 1 success seem even more like sheer mastery on my part. This is not true.* My deck was excellent, and I know it. But KK said he’d take Shatter over Platinum Angel in draft. I thought he was just Being KK (which is slang for”having basically no clue about pick orders”) – but as it turns out, he’s right. In many cases, you have to play like the Angel doesn’t have the”you can’t lose” ability, since savvy players will wait till you’re in the negatives, then bounce, borrow, or kill her. So usually, you won’t be allowed to go below zero even if the angel’s in play. And you’re certainly not going to run out of cards with a 4/4 flying monster in play.

So the angel’s cool, but she’s not an auto-first pick. How ’bout that?

Bla bla bla, second draft went fine, bla bla bla lost to the best deck at the table round 11 to 2-1 my pod because I got landflooded game 3 bla bla bla and that brings us to the second draft. The draft that will live in infamy.

Basically, what it came down to was, I took too long to commit to a color. The person to my right was solidly green and later chose blue as a supplement. I ended up going into white to avoid stepping on any toes, but the cards weren’t there. My big mistake that I keep thinking about even now as I take hits from a gallon jug of bleach is that I took Solemn Simulacrum over Granite Shard. Sure, the Simulacrum is solid, but the Shard is more relevant to the board, and I should have signalled red, even though the gentleman on my left was trying to go red. I had to pass up on a few too many powerful cards, since I was trying to be too friendly with the guy I was feeding. He should have to change, not me. But I blew it. He and the other guy who went red early (Sonne, whose deck was preposterous) went on to 2-0-1 the pod. I drafted a white/black artifact deck with all 1-toughness guys, played the guy on my left (Kevin Quirk) the first round, got demolished, went on tilt, and dropped from the tournament.

I’m still on tilt now. Full life tilt. It’s amazing how a simple piece of cardboard can perpetuate the downward spiral. I spend my days now messaging Krumb, Hahn, and anyone else who will listen, spouting the gibberish of a crazed, broken man and then having them assure me that I’m not crazy.

I love happy endings, don’t you?

5) I Am Not A Fan Of Feature Matches…

…since people will ultimately find out how bad I usually am. Ironically, mistakes don’t seem to have any bearing on whether I win or lose. I can play horribly and still win, or just outmaneuver my buffoon opponent at every turn and just get topdecked right outta the tournament. But that’s another whine for another day.

Let’s dialogue about the feature matches, shall we? Round two was my obligatory internet writer feature match – a term coined by Josh Bennett. Basically, no one good is playing round 2, so The Powers That Be look for a name that people may have had a remote chance of having heard somewhere. Hence, the round 1 and 2 feature matches end up being Some Guy You Only Know Because He Writes vs. Some Guy Who’s Playing the Guy You Only Know Because He Writes. And the latter normally isn’t very good, so it doesn’t even make for a good feature match.

But that’s not my fault! And I’m not passing judgment on the poor guy… He just started playing, he’s just getting into the competitive scene, and so on and so on…I’m not trying to be cruel by saying that he wasn’t very good, I’m just stating a fact. He’ll probably be very good one day if he sticks with it. Keep playing, keep saying your prayers, keep eating your vitamins. And buy plenty of singles from the StarCity online store. I especially recommend the foil Oblivion Stones and Beta Birds of Paradise. They’re excellent.

At the time of my feature match with Jon Sonne, I was a little upset. I had specifically pleaded for NO MORE FEATURE MATCHES PLEASE GOD after round 2. I even tried to cover my face with my cards so they couldn’t take pictures. Plus, I thought I was going to lose, and I didn’t want to play badly and/or lose in front of everyone. My fears were for naught. I won, bringing my yearly (and, who am I kidding? lifetime) feature match record to 3-0, or 2-0 depending on who you ask. The match wasn’t very interesting. The play was straightforward on both sides. Naturally, the match was covered by Mary Van Tyne, bless her heart. Here’s the writeup.

I’m not going to bother filling in the missing information – since as I said, not much interesting happened in the match, so it wouldn’t really have mattered if internet personality John Rizzo himself were covering the match. In retrospect, it was good that I had a”real” feature match to balance out the sympathy one. Maybe feature matches aren’t a terrible thing, as long as I keep winning and they keep providing me with sweet, sweet renown.

Did you ever notice that the less people have to say, the more they end up saying?

This is shaping up to be a very long piece of Bearl, even though I didn’t want to dwell too much on the GP that finally stole my last remaining shreds of dignity and sanity. So let’s talk about more (I wanted to adjectify the word”levity” but such a word doesn’t exist so I’ll just say) gooder topics, like kitties, angels, and the wrath of the almighty.

(Editor’s note: Tim is actually very good at limited. At the time of this writing, his limited rating is 1981. When he says he’s really bad, he’s talking in the absolute sense, not, say, as compared to the general Magic-playing populace.)

(I didn’t write that, technically speaking, but I probably would have – The Ferrett, always amazed by the nitrogen-fueled self-deprecation of Mr. Aten)

1. Solar Tide
The first four cards could obviously be in any order, since they’re mutually exclusive. The actual order isn’t as important as the underlying strategy; synergy will cause you to take some cards over others. Oh and, just because artifacts like equipment can often be more relevant threats than creatures themselves doesn’t mean that mass removal stopped being good. Don’t take anything over this, B.

(Well, maybe Loxodon Warhammer. The card is unfair and goes in every deck. It’s the second best card in the set. But we’ll leave that discussion for later.)

2. Leonin Abunas

Don’t let his appearance deceive you; this little kitty is a bomb. It changes the way your opponent must play the game and completely nullifies several cards in his deck. It’s incredibly resilient since its toughness is five and can’t be killed by Shatter, Deconstruct, and the like. Until your opponent finds a way to remove this behemoth, he won’t be able to do anything to your artifacts and artifact creatures: no Domineer, no Blinding Beam, no Detonate, no activated ability of Soldier Replica, no anything. The Abunas can block just about every ground creature in the format and can be equipped just as easily as the next man. I’ve seen more than a few games where a player would have won if his (or her, Jill) opponent didn’t control the noble Abunas.

3. Leonin Sun Standard

Naturally, I’ll be grouping the white artifacts in with the other white cards. It only makes sense.

Giving a creature +x/+x is probably the most versatile effect in Limited Magic. On unblocked creatures, it’s direct damage; on blocked or blocking creatures, it’s removal; in response to any sort of damage, it’s prevention. This card is useful even with only one creature in play; any more than that and it gets ugly fast. A mere two creatures in play with six mana up means an additional six points of damage – not exactly a negligible clock. And like Timberwatch Elf before it, the threat of its activation makes every combat step a losing proposition for your opponent; effective attacking or blocking becomes nearly impossible.

Did I just use four semicolons in a single paragraph? I think I did.

4. Luminous Angel

Like Solar Tide before it, this is a no-brainer. While the high cost barely justifies the token-making ability, you simply cannot go wrong with Big Fat Fliers. If you drafted correctly, though, this will be able to make an appearance before turn 7; Myrs and Talismans are excellent cards. Unlike many other powerful cards in the set, this requires a heavy color commitment, increasing your chances that you’ll be forced to pass it as the draft progresses.

5. Leonin Skyhunter

Typically, the Mirrodin white draft deck is all about tempo. You’d like to play a decent threat on each of turns 2-4, and possibly turn 1. Naturally, then, a 2/2 flier for two mana becomes quite an attractive proposition. It’s a powerful card that fills an important hole in your mana curve. This stands on its own much better than Skyhunter Cub and comes out a turn sooner, assuming a decent commitment to white. Evasion seems rarer in this format, so get your hands on as much as possible.

6. Arrest

Fliers are good, removal is good…I’m starting to sound like a broken record here. (For more information on broken records, visit www.afireinside.net). This stops almost any creature from doing anything useful, including the dreaded Spikeshot Goblin. Naturally, the opponent can bounce his creature or nail Arrest with an occasional enchantment removal spell, but this will usually go uncontested as a three-mana solution to any creature problem.

7. Slith Ascendant

The best Slith, since evasion is conducive to enhancement of the Slith’s size. It’s more likely to get through the first time, meaning it’s more likely to get through additional times. Once it gets up to 3/3, it becomes a nigh-unstoppable force. If you ever put a Fireshrieker on this bad boy, especially against me, I will strongly recommend a DCI investigation of you on the grounds of deck stacking.

But pay attention to your mana symbols; the double white can be annoying.

8. Skyhunter Patrol

Another wonderful double-white flier. Either a 2/3 flier for four or a 2/3 first striker for four would have been rather good in this format. How lucky for all of us that we get both in a tight little package. Again, I’m inclined to take this over Skyhunter Cub and Leonin Den-Guard since it’s vastly superior to them when unequipped and nearly as good when equipped. And this is out of Electrostatic Bolt/Pyrite Spellbomb range. Ooooooh.

9. Auriok Bladewarden

Finally a chance for me to say something other than”fliers are good!”

Naturally, you’d prefer that this guy was equipped – but even if he isn’t, he’s a weaker Timberwatch Elf. Once you have equipment in play and a bunch of mana, you can make some pretty huge attackers. With the equipment on the Bladewarden, tap to pump something; then, move the equipment to the enhanced creature or another attacker. Even when active, the Bladewarden is still susceptible to most removal, so, um… Keep that in mind I guess.

A final note on this and Spikeshot Goblin: If they kill or bounce it in response to an activation, the game uses a wonderful concept called”last known information.” If it had a Vulshok Battlegear on it when your opponent Terrored it, the target will get +4/+4.

10. Skyhunter Cub

Believe it or not, a 2/2 beater for three can be a decent threat. That’s not to say that you should play this if you don’t have any equipment. You can run it if you have at least one, but if it doesn’t look like you’ll have at least four quality pieces of equipment when the draft is done, don’t take this very high. It will take awhile for you to get a good bead on what kind of equipment to expect and how late to expect it. In general, though, since everyone can make good use of equipment and only a few people can make good use of the Cub, you should probably take good equipment over this guy until you feel you have enough to be safe… But you also don’t want your neighbors moving into white. It’s a delicate balance to strike.

11. Leonin Den-Guard

Again, taking this card high assumes you either have a good deal of equipment or expect to pick it up. Something as simple as a Leonin Scimitar turns this into a 3/5 attacker and a 3/5 blocker all rolled up into one. And you can imagine how disgusting putting Vulshok Gauntlets on this will be. Den-Guard + Gauntlets or Cub + Bonesplitter can make for a rather unforgiving threat. If your opponent stumbles in the slightest, or has no quick way to remove it, then that is.**

12. Soul Nova

I am personally not a fan of this card. If my opponent, with four cards in hand and equipment out that he refuses to attach to anything just heaves a world-weary sigh and says”go” while sitting on five mana, I get a little suspicious. That said, it is annoying to play around, and you may not be able to recover from the ensuing damage if you walk into it. It’s very good when you have some pressure in play already, but if your board is underdeveloped and your opponent continues to play threats while not attacking with reckless abandon, you could be in for some trouble. The ideal scenario for a white deck is a brutal killing machine with five Den-Guards/Cubs, three Scimitars, and a bunch more good equipment and efficient creatures… But if you can’t approach the ideal and you have to settle for a more mid-range, card-advantage-based,”normal” deck, this surpasses the common creatures.

Oh, and its value goes down in Rochester draft. Durr.

13. Pearl Shard

Reusable effects more than make up for their lack of surprise with their power. Sometimes, after a particularly lengthy bender, people will run their 2/2s into yours while this is out and active. But don’t count on that. What you can count on is that this can save you a few points of Neurok Spy or flier damage per turn, render Electrostatic Bolt useless until they draw another burn spell, and make combat significantly harder for your adversary (a common theme of many good cards).

14. Loxodon Punisher

Naturally, a healthy equipment count is paramount before even thinking about taking this. Since it’s so bad on its own, you need even more Scimitars and Banshee’s Blades and Whatnots than you would for the common guys. And it doesn’t get evasion. And it taps to attack. The Punisher is a risky proposition even pick 1 pack 1, since sometimes the equipment never shows up. If you happen to get this angry elephant up and smashing, your opponent probably isn’t long for this world.

Unless he has Soul Nova. Ouch.

15. Altar’s Light

Yes, it’s clunky and mana-intensive… But artifact removal is artifact removal. Hopefully, you’ll have a few Shatters or Deconstructs, but this is not always the case, so sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and go toward the Light. As a bonus, this can take care of a select few problems that ordinary artifact removal cannot; it rids you of Pewter Golem and circumvents Moriok Scavenger, for instance.

16. Blinding Beam

Sorry, Joey… It’s time to let the cat out of the Bags. Shesheshe.

This seemingly innocuous card is a powerhouse. It is a simply horrible thing for someone to do to you, usually clearing the way for two uncontested attacks while sparing you damage for those two turns. The Beam is considerably better in aggressive decks, or against decks that don’t keep many threats on the board at once. If you don’t have any pressure on the board, this just gives you a little borrowed time. Because of Equipment, removal, and creatures, there is little room in a draft deck for novelties. Make no mistake, though – this is one of the few tricks that you always want to maindeck.

Note: You must have two targets for this if you play the first ability. If you want to get around a sole blocker, declare your attackers, then Beam your opponent’s guy and one of your own before blocks are declared.

17. Auriok Transfixer

Now here’s something you don’t see every day – a solid one-drop. It can get a few points in early before it becomes a nice Master Decoy for your foe’s artifact men (of which he will probably have quite a few). Or you can just suit him up and keep bashing. Additionally, you can stunt your opponent’s mana by tapping Myrs or artifact lands, you can keep an opposing Icy under control, or you can target one of the few artifacts that”turn off” when tapped.

18. Taj-Nar Swordsmith

It’s a solid body, it’s a tutor that brings a very powerful card right into play – and yes, it’s expensive. Even if you get your trusty Bonesplitter, this costs five mana. But hey, not every card can be as efficient as Leonin Skyhunter.

If you have equipment that you really need to get to, this is the cat for the job. This is especially true if you have countless Cubs and Den-Guards but only one or two pieces of flair, or if you have something really spicy like Loxodon Warhammer (or even the aforementioned Bonesplitter) which would make your life a lot more comfortable. You can play semi-expensive cards if you have the Myr and your curve allows for it. It’s gonna be… Okay.

19. Auriok Steelshaper

Here’s another humdinger that I’m simply not impressed with. Unless you have a lot of Soldiers and Knights, you’re better off just equipping the Knight itself and swinging with that. You have to be cautious about an opponent killing it or the equipment on it, thusly peeing on your combat parade. Sometimes this guy will have to sit on the sidelines for fear of getting blocked (hence ending his continuous effect). Oh, and without equipment, it’s a 1/1 for two. If you have some expensive equipment that you need to move around a lot, like Viridian Longbow, then this guy moves up the ranks. The equip cost ability is the winner of the two, in my mind.

20. Soldier Replica

Did I mention that, once again, white is rather deep? Since creatures are at a premium, why not have a smooth, buttery*** combat trick with a creature attached? You, uh, probably don’t want to play this if you aren’t white – but if you are, this can take down almost every evasion creature or deal four damage to a non-evasion attacker/blocker all by itself. Its only real downside is that it only has a power of one unless it’s equapped [sic].

21. Roar of the Kha

…And we’re firmly entrenched in Not Necessarily Maindeck zone. Either one of these tricks can ruin an opponent’s day, and they’re better (and still fairly cheap) in conjunction. There’s not much bad that you can say about this card. Alas, your deck may not have room for it. This is a 23rd card in this set. Really. Like I said earlier, in order to save room for creatures and removal and equipment, you need to cut back on all but the most game-shattering tricks (which include Blinding Beam and Predator’s Strike).

22. Raise the Alarm

This can be a nice two-drop in an aggressive deck. It gives you two fresh equipment targets, and it goes up in value if you have an Isochron Scepter or nice rares like the Steelshaper or the Sun Standard. The best use for this card is ambushing an attacking mana Myr (or God forbid, Tel-Jilad’s Chosen) and netting you a 1/1. The reason this card is so low is that, while two 1/1s make for better blockers than a sole 2/2, they do not make for better attackers. If your opponent has a creature out, chances are that your tokens can’t attack into it.

23. Titanium Golem

Sadly, I’ve had to play this in a few of my most recent non-white decks. In white, this is a pretty good creature, but there are more efficient men for the job. In most circumstances, being an artifact is a detriment in a white deck; the Golem is more susceptible to removal than white men, and it can get locked down by Transfixers and pro-artifact men. At least there’s no colored mana in the casting cost.

Did I just use the euphemism”men” to refer to creatures three times in the same paragraph? Yes I did. Am I Mike Flores in disguise? No I am not.

24. Razor Barrier

Yes, it’s a very good trick, but there’s just not room for it in most decks. Bring it in if your opponent has a great deal of artifact and/or creature removal. In many blocks, this would be a good combat trick, but in Mirrodin, you don’t see too many 2/2s running into each other. If both players happen to have creatures in play, one player’s dude just outclasses the other’s more often than not.

25. Leonin Elder

My second Rochester deck in KC had one of these in it. Need I say more?

26. Ancient Den

I’ll get to the Den in a second, but back to the Elder for a second. Sure, you can gain quite a bit of life over a long game… But life gain doesn’t pay the bills. In some games, the extra boost will put you over the top in the race, but that situation doesn’t come up often. Blinding Beam wins races, not this turd.

As for the Den. There’s no reason to play this in a monowhite deck. Generally, if you have any compelling reason in another color to play an artifact land, you might as well (“mise,” to the layperson). These include Thoughtcast, Atog, Nim Shrieker, their ilk, their ilk’s ilk, and all manner of other cards.

27. Sunbeam Spellbomb

Take a deep breath. Only nineteen more cards to go. This card’s primary use is to cycle, or to sit in play to fuel affinity or Shriekers or the like and then cycled. If I had a lot of bombs, I’d be more inclined to run these, operating on the”39-card deck” principle. And sometimes, the life gain will be useful. Miserelli.

28. Loxodon Peacekeeper

This can be a skill-intensive card, involving mana burning at opportune times and knowing when and when not to attack. But seeing as it’s a purely symmetrical card, and that you’d get as much benefit out of it regardless of who played it, I think you’re better off letting the other guy waste a slot in his deck.

29. Tempest of Light

A gun rack?? A gun rack? I don’t even own a gun, let alone many guns that would necessitate an entire rack. What am I gonna do… With a gun rack?****

In other words, side this in if you play Triple-Arrest Guy.

30. Loxodon Mender

Cough cough six-mana 3/3 cough.

31. Awe Strike

A completely inferior trick. It’s only good in combat, and even then it’s only really good when gang-blocking. This isn’t to say you won’t get beaten by this card from time to time. If you really have nothing else, there are more embarrassing things to play as your twenty-third card…

32. Sphere of Purity

…such as this turd. It’s so expensive, and its effect is negligible. There are probably some rare instances where you’d side this in, like against Myr Incubator or a deck with all artifact creatures and no equipment.

33. Second Sunrise

Every few months, a deck will come together that can make use of this card. It would have to be quite the deck, featuring something like two Atogs and a Megatog. Or you could side it in against Solar Tide. Extremely powerful yet extremely narrow; this will get raredrafted before it gets to the deck that wants it.

34. Rule of Law

Finally, mercifully, we’ve reached the end. I can’t even fathom a situation where you’d sideboard this in. Could be good in Extended, though.

This is getting long-winded, so I’m gonna let y’all go back to your online pokering. Mad props to the little Minnesota kid in the TrustCompany hoodie. Peace out.

Tim Aten

A Disgrace to Humanity

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* – I bet you thought there would be a relevant footnote here.

** – That is a somewhat trendier way to say”that’s game, boys” without going through all the motions.

*** – I apologize for the Chris Leather lingo.

**** – Enchantments are the guns, Tempest is the rack. Damn, you’re slow.