Sealed Revealed II: Card Pool Five

A card pool containing Meloku, Fumiko, and more burn than you can shake a stick at? Could Craig possibly get that lucky? Will he find the right build this time, or will the Scousemaster insist on playing White again?

Ah, good! I thought. My article is up!

I sat to read Ted’s editorial comment on the Star City Games front page, knowing that he always has a quip or a giggle to offer. And this is what I saw:

“At this point I’m certain we don’t need to explain Sealed Revealed and Craig Stevenson to you. Either you love the balding Scouser and think he’s the cat’s pajamas or you think he’s pure bollocks.”

Excuse me?!

Pure bollocks?

Who thinks that? Where are you? C’mon, put up yer dukes, I’ll moidalize the lotta ya!

For a while, I was fuming. But then, I calmed down and had some tea. It always helps clear my head.

I should call them out, I thought, get those who think I’m rubbish to make themselves known in the forums.

But then I realized… what if they DID?

If they did, I’d probably be upset. After all, we all like to think of ourselves as untouchable. Noone likes being told they’re crap. And of course, if those who hate me did troop to the forums, the increase in traffic would probably break the Internet.

In the end, I knew that, like the Arc of the Covenant, there are some boxes best left unopened. I’m rather happy with the status quo.

So if you hate me, that’s fine. I know I’m an acquired taste. To be honest, sometimes I hate myself.

But there is one thing I must question… pure bollocks? What the hell are they? Bollocks that are pristine and shiny? Virgin bollocks, bollocks that have never been kissed?

Ted, Ted, Ted…. sometimes I despair of you, I really do. [All I knew was that saying you were the dog’s bollocks would have been repetitive there. Sadly, the general consistency of bollocks or bollocks-like substances are unknown to me. – Knut, still not a Brit in spite of his love for “football”]

Last time out, the pool was poor. There were gaps in all colors, and we were pulled in all directions while searching for the forty-select. To cap it all, there was nothing degenerate for us to abuse.

Don’t worry. We’ll not have the same problem this time.


Indomitable Will

Kami of Ancient Law

Kitsune Diviner

Kitsune Healer

Mothrider Samurai

Terashi’s Cry


2 Heart of Light

Kami of False Hope

Kitsune Palliator

Moonlit Strider

Waxmane Baku


Floating-Dream Zubera

Graceful Adept

Meloku, the Clouded Mirror

River Kaijin

Soratami Rainshaper


Wandering Ones

Disrupting Shoal

Quillmane Baku

Ribbons of the Reikai

Toils of Night and Day

Veil of Secrecy

Walker of Secret Ways


Devouring Greed

Midnight Covenant

Nezumi Cutthroat

Pull Under

Soulless Revival

Thief of Hope

Villainous Ogre

Wicked Akuba

Bile Urchin

Skullmane Baku


Stir the Grave

Takenuma Bleeder

Three Tragedies


Akki Avalanchers

Akki Underminer

Blind with Anger

Brutal Deceiver

Desperate Ritual

Glacial Ray

Hanabi Blast

Kumano’s Pupils

Stone Rain

Unnatural Speed

Yamabushi’s Storm

Ashen Monstrosity

Crack the Earth

Frost Ogre

Fumiko the Lowblood

Kumano’s Blessing

Ronin Cliffrider

Torrent of Stone


Commune with Nature

Dripping-Tongue Zubera

Feast of Worms

Joyous Respite

Kodama’s Might


Sakura-Tribe Elder

Serpent Skin

Time of Need

Gnarled Mass

Mark of Sakiko

2 Matsu-Tribe Sniper

Roar of Jukai


Journeyer’s Kite

Uba Mask


Pinecrest Ridge

Put on your racing goggles, folks. We’re under starter’s orders…

One color, two color, three color, four,

Make me a deck that can kick down a door,

Four color, three color, two color, one,

Make it as strong as the baddie in Tron.

To aid your decisions, here are my thoughts on the cards we see before us.


So far in this series, I’ve penned four articles. And so far, I’ve played some form of White card in… wait for it… four decks. So I suppose it’s only natural of you people to think I love White with an unnatural lust.

Well, here’s news for ya.

I’ll not be playing White today!

So you can keep your smart comments to yourselves, thank you very much.

Anyway, I’ll still give you the low-down on the cards. After all, you must be here for the funny, because you can’t be here for the tech…

  • We’ll begin, as is the custom with White, by considering the chumps. As we’d expect, these guys hit the table early: that’s why they’re called Weenies, after all. At least I hope that’s why they’re called Weenies, if only for the sake of their wives. Anyway, we start with the busty fan-flapping fox, the Kitsune Diviner. In this block, this guy/gal counts as pretty solid removal. It holds down Dragons and Deceivers and all manner of dodginess. And if your opponent wastes removal on it, then all the better.

  • One mana also gives us the fog-trog, the Kami of False Hope. I’m not a fan of one-shot fog effects, especially ones that need to be on the board before they’re activated. I mean, where’s the trick in this? Where’s the surprise? I’d rather run Ethereal Haze… and I don’t even want to run that.

  • Kami of Ancient Law, a.k.a. Neil of Cleansing, is a card that has grown in importance since the introduction of Betrayers. Sure, he won’t take down a Jitte, but he’ll do his bit against Genjus and Hondens and Shackifisms and Serpent Skins… he’s a real trooper. And after all that gubbins, he still beats down for two. Respect the law and play this card.

  • Next, I present the lovable ball of candles, Waxy Bob! He’d make a wonderful pet for any young child: after all, he doesn’t need feeding! Just remember not to take him out in the rain, and whatever you do… don’t stroke or pet him. You’ll wind up in Casualty. As for the Magic applications of Waxmane Baku… they’re fine. Play him.

  • Kitsune Palliator is a new card to Sealed Revealed. And boy does this guy stink of White. He has Whiteness oozing from every pore. His effect is actually pretty decent, but unfortunately it’s symmetrical. Coupled with other healing effects, such as Split-Tail Mako, then he has worth. But he’s not Kabuto Moth, that’s for sure. He sounds like an Arnie film… “Coming soon… Arnold Schwarzenegger is… The Pallinator!” And he wears a thimble on his head. Surely this sign of madness is enough to leave him at home?

  • Four mana is the top-end for decency in a White Army, unless the guy is, y’know, a 4/5 spirit-linked flyer, or a 5/5 dragon that cycles for a plains, or something. Still, Moonlit Strider does some major-league striding, and therefore is a fine addition to the White fray. Especially in a defensive deck ramping up to a random bomb dude.

  • Mothrider Samurai is another four-mana staple of the White menace. He flies, always a bonus for four mana… but the best thing is his Bushido makes trading with a Teller of Tales a distinct possibility. If he isn’t tapped, or course.

  • Finally, we have the four-mana Kitsune Healer, another card that has been laminated in pure White. Tap to prevent damage… that’s so dated. The ‘save a legend’ clause is nice at times, but this guy should be a 1/1 for two, or maybe three at a pinch. Don’t be tempted by this guy.

The White men in this pool are frankly appalling. No Moth, no Blademaster… nothing. So no White shenanigans from me, which I’m sure you’ll be glad to hear.

However, even without the muscle, White can sometimes offer some playable splash cards. And I’d usually be trying to snuffle them out like a truffle pig. This time… no such luck.

  • Yes, we have the two-mana pants named Indomitable Will… but they’re no big fat cigar. And they’re hardly “indomitable,” as they get pulled down convincingly by spot removal and big blockers. A nice trick, but not worth forcing a splash or a color for.

  • The rest of the cards are quite, quite terrible. We have, for example, double Heart of Light. Now, I’m in the habit of writing silly rhymes whenever I see double-duty commons… but only if they’re good. The only thing I can find to rhyme in the Heart of Light Song is “Mucking Grit.”

  • Terashi’s Cry. Just what is Terashi’s Cry? Well, if you listen closely, you’ll see it’s a cry of despair, given out when Terashi realised that this card was a sorcery instead of an instant. Barely, barely playable, and only in the right deck. I find that weaker, quick-ish decks can benefit from this card… but little else.

  • Vigilance? Not a chance, son. After all, I’d hardly call a bloke who’s set his hair aflame particularly vigilant. I’d rather use the words “dozy tit.”

It is a sad day today, my friends. It is the first day in which White does not deserve a second glance. Lower your heads and pray silence for the passing on an era.

And don’t worry. I’m sure the White cards will be back again soon.


*Looks at the Blue cards*

*Pauses over one card in particular*

*Reads the card in some detail. Examines the back to see if there’s been a ghastly error*

*Breaks out laughing*

So what do we have in Blue?

  • Let’s see now… there’s nothing of any particular value here. Of cou- MELOOOOOOOOOOOKU! All aboard the Broken Train, woo-woo! As I’m sure you’re aware, I’ll be playing at least one Island in this deck. Meloku is the nuttiest of nuts in the nuthouse. Apparently, she has a “Clouded Mirror.” This probably explains her cack-handed makeup. [Or perhaps he is a right tart. – Knut, who knows how anal the forums are about the genders of Magic art]

  • Diving deeper into the Blue depths, we see there are some decent floaters, but most of the guys are bottom-feeding scum-dwellers. Floating-Dream Zubera, however, is definitely a floater: it says so on the frickin’ card. Half-a-Jens makes my team, if the Blue is to swell from a trickle to a torrent.

  • We’ve also a guy who shores up the ground, who triggers Spiritcraft, and who sometimes swings for one… all for a knock-down price of three mana. Yup, it’s the River Kaijin. Not content with having his image on a card, a la Voidmage Prodigy, Kai now has his name on one too. This time, however, he can’t complain about the artwork: it’s a fantastic likeness (only jokin’ fella!).

  • Now, we shall take to the skies! At three mana, there’s the desirable Soratami Rainshaper. He’s costed well, and his ability isn’t a shabby one. And he’s a “Rainshaper.” Apparently, this means he can “shape rain.” I can shape snow, into a snowman. Can this guy shape rain into Dustin Hoffman?

  • Sadly, now we start scraping the blackened bits from the base of the Blue toaster. Three mana gives us the 1/2 Graceful Adept. “You have no maximum hand size.” Does that mean you can play a match while wearing a huge foam hand? I hope so. I’d watch the Pro Tour webcasts if that were the case.

  • Next to the slaughter… the one-mana Wandering Ones. Each time I see these, I pray that they’ll wander under a bus. I must admit, though… I do admire their natty headgear. It’d be like wearing a Satsuma to work.

  • The Walker of Secret Ways is a guy that may be of limited use, provided the pool is awash with ninja-rific action. Sadly, this pool has no such depth. This Walker had better wend his Secret Way toward the dole queue.

  • To end the litany of Blue mediocrity, we have the underwhelming Quillmane Baku, a.k.a. Quilly Bob. A 3/3 for five should fly. Accept no substitutes, people. This guy has an ability that is largely pointless, as by the time he hits play and gains a few counters, the game will be over. Boooo!

The Blue men in this pool are a mixed bag. They have no depth, but they do hail to the true king. Meloku is this block’s Elvis, ladies and gents. Don’t let him leave the building.

On we go, clippety clop clop clop!

  • So, is Disrupting Shoal any good? I’m not talking Limited, of course- it’s pretty poor in that regard. But in Constructed? Have people made up their minds yet? Sure, it’s situational… but it’s still a free counterspell. Come to the forums and tell us. As for this exercise… don’t bother.

  • Keeping up the Counter Clan, we have Thoughtbind. I’m still not a counter-fan in Limited, and this card does little to change my mind. Sealed is notoriously slower than other Limited formats, thus people get to play the big cards. It’s suck royally to be holding this when your opponent drops his Kokusho. And the artwork! Freddie Kruger meets Hannibal Lecter meets Mr T… fantastic!

  • Ribbons of the Reikaianother card with Kai’s name on it! Can no-one stop the German Juggernaut? Don’t play this, unless you’re playing a strange variation of Magic with the optional rule “if you cast Ribbons of the Reikai, you win the game.”

  • We have two cards left… and thankfully, they both have merit. This makes our Blue contingent splash-rific, if not overall maindeck-tastic. Firstly, the Veil of Secrecy is once more drawn back. Essentially, this card lets you swing for the win, lets you save a guy from removal, and even does funky Oingy Boingy tricks when spliced. Say it with me, now… Oingy Boingy!

  • And now, Toils of Night and Day. While not as strong as Veil of Secrecy, this card can make combat a complete nightmare. Tap down their blockers, untap your own blockers, stop them attacking… it’s all good. And it’s arcane to boot! Give it a go, Joe.

Blue, in the most part, is passable. There are nice support spells, and a fantastic game-winner. The creatures fall off the Credible Cliff pretty damn quickly, though. Without Meloku, there’s little to write home about. Which is just as well, because all our stamp money has been used penning sonnets about our favourite 2/4 Blue flyer.


As I’ve mentioned before, it seems that everyone from Jazzy Jeff to the Fresh Prince plays Black these days. Sure, it’s the color of pure removal, and also the skater-punk-goth angst color of choice (hey, I play Black! I’m so damn edgy!), but there must be more to it than that.

Of course there is.

Black is the only color with decent mid-range aggressive guys in depth.

And again, this pool does not disappoint.

  • We’ll begin with the two-drops. Nezumi Cutthroat is a guy that needs no introduction, as he was the staple black two-drop for quite a while. Sadly, as everyone now plays Black, he has lost a touch of power. However, he can make mincemeat of certain decks, especially if he breaks out on turn 2.

  • Another Rat to consider is the playable Skullsnatcher, a.k.a. the pointless ninja. He’s a 2/1 for two mana, and that’s it. He has an ability, but it can be ignored. While I’d rather see a Cruel Deceiver in this slot, the snatcher of skulls will suffice.

  • Two power, two toughness, two Black mana: the poor man’s Nantuko Shade, Wicked Akuba. He swings, he sings, he cooks nice things, he wears audacious diamond rings! He’s fabulous, especially with fear effects such as Kami of the Waning Moon and Veil of Secrecy. And he’s usually the first target for a soulshifter.

  • Three mana in this pool brings us three guys, each with a decent pedigree. The first, the Thief of Hope, is a very aptly-named card. If he remains unmolested, he’ll win you the game. Michael Jackson, take note.

  • Second of the three amigos, we have the Takenuma Bleeder. He’s a beefy 3/3, and is drawback is piffling. Lose a life if he attacks? Sure. Take three, hahahahahaaa! I win the damage race! And hell, who knows… maybe you’ll see a demon.

  • Talking of demons, the third three-drop dude has an ability that’s spiffing if a demon comes to town. He’s the Villainous Ogre, and he is indeed a bit of a villain. Why? Because this 3/2 bog-snorkeller can’t block. While this is fine in a 2/1 for two that hits the ground running, three mana needs to see us with more utility. I’ve played the Villainous One before, and I’ll play him again… but there are better options to consider in CCB.

  • That takes care of the important two and three drops… what of the overlooked one-drop slot? Well, we have the Bile Urchin… he serves a purpose. With Ninjas, he’s a star. Without, he’s filler. He triggers Spiritcraft, and he’s worth a four-point life-swing with a Devouring Greed… but nothing brilliant. As for the artwork… good lord, that’s one ugly picture. I’ve dated worse, mind.

  • Finally, we have the five mana Skullmane Baku, or Skully Bob. That makes three of the Bobs in this pool thus far. Go-go five-color Baku deck! This guy, a 2/1 for five with a strong yet slow ability, can Baku Off.

The men in this pool are solid enough. The come out on turn 2, and turn 3, and they beat face. There’s nothing to make us explode in sexual ecstasy, of course: I’m sure this is reassuring news to those taxed with mopping up the mess.

But as always, the measure of Black bootiliciousness lies in the removal. And this pool had had the removal removed.

  • We have one removal spell, and it costs six bloody mana. Pull Under is hideously slow, but it will remove virtually any threat known to man or beast. A necessary evil. I’d run it, but I hate seeing it in my opening hand.

  • Four mana gives us the much-loved game-winner, Devouring Greed. I for one am sick to death of drawing this card when I’ve no spirits in play. Sure, it can win… but it is inordinately situational. The more spirits, the better, of course. Just don’t blame me when you draw it with a table full of bloody ogres.

  • Soulless Revival is a card I like. Sure, the effect itself is nice… but the true shine of this card is the cheap splice cost. Returning guys turn after turn is a patented Good Thing. This, coupled with Glacial Ray and a few other arcanes? Wunderbar!

  • On the other side of the reanimation garden stands Stir the Grave. The forums waxed long and hard over the merits of this one (and, by proxy, the merits of Soulless Revival). While I’d rather play a Soulless Revival, I can still see the goodness in Stirring the Gravy. What do you guys think? Convince me that this is a bad card.

  • You’re once… twice… three tiiiiiimes, a tragedy…Lionel Ritchie’s invitational cards. I think that this, while powerful, is one rung too high up the discard ladder. Waking Nightmare is much more preferable. Still, as a 23rd card, then why the hell not?

  • The last Black of the stack is wack. Midnight Covenant should be burnt at the feckin’ stake. I applaud the artwork, especially the hand kebabs that circle the main guy, but as for playable…no chance.

Black winds up on the right side of the street, but only just. It provides us with some lovely mid-range men, but frankly there’s little oomph in this prawn sandwich.

We’re lacking in removal, thus far. Hopefully, Red will lead us to glory in that regard.


Ray, Blind, Torrent, Blast, Storm…

And what’s that? Fumiko?!


  • Glacial Ray has come out to play once again! And this time, he’s brought a slew of his fiery friends to join the fun! “Two damage to target creature or player…” Ah, bliss! The splice-tastic nature of this spell is a joy to behold. On a Revival, or a Might, or even a Toils, Glacial Ray is some good.

  • To back him up, we have Hanabi Blast. Like the Ray, this is one burn spell that keeps on burnin’. I like this card as it allows skilful players to maximize their usage by holding back lands and not over-committing resources. It’s a pristine pisser when plucked from a full grip, though. Once, activating a Planeswalker’s Fury against a friend’s Domain deck, I pulled Draco from his grip of seven. He wasn’t impressed.

  • Still burning away at four mana, we have the Torrent of Stone. Four damage will likely take down anything that poses a threat, especially as it’s splicable with the Ray. The removal in this color is frankly stunning.

  • Next up, we have Yamabushi’s Strom, a cruel wind in the face of any Blue or Black mage. Creatures such as the Moonfolk, or Rats or Ogres, greatly fear this mass-removal. It has recently gained some maindeck momentum, though in a pool such as this I’d keep it aside and bring it in for matches that truly shine.

  • Five cards down and we’re still cooking with gas. Indeed, it may be that Blind with Anger is the biggest cooker in the showroom. This card has a number of uses, not least the ability to meddle with combat like a Scooby-Doo kid. If games get scrappy (heh), then the Blind can “blind-side” your opponent and allow you to rob their guy for some critical alpha-strike fun.

  • Here on in, things begin to get a little shaky. Of course, it’s of little consequence, as in removal we’ve all we could ask for and more. Stone Rain is the staple land-go-bye-bye card, and as such is a little limited in Limited. Feel free to bring it in against the five-color Baku decks.

  • Similarly, Crack the Earth is a wasted slot. The symmetrical nature of the card make it a royal clunker. There are one too many ‘r’s in the name, and I’m not talking about “Eath.”

  • There are three support cards remaining, and I’d not play any of them. So rather than waste time, I’ll skip by them ASAP. Firstly, we have Unnatural Speed. There should be a card called “Natural Speed,” which does absolutely nothing. Or maybe there shouldn’t, I dunno. To be honest, I’ve not really thought that one through.

  • Desperate Ritual is similarly poor. Three mana for two? Do you really need that burst of speed? There should be a card called “Laid-Back Ritual,” which costs two mana and produces one mana. … … … No, that one didn’t work either. Sorry about that.

  • Finally, there’s the God-awful Kumano’s Blessing. This is a true stinker, with little to no impact on any format. There should be a card called “Kumano’s Curse,” which does… something… opposite to the blessing, probably. Ah, stuff this. Let’s move onto the fellas.

In this pool, Red Removal is both Oingy and Boingy!

The Red guys in this pool? They’re Droingy and Floingy!

(no, I don’t know what it means either).

  • Fumiko the Lowblood. Yes, she demands to be played. Yes, she’s a bomb. And yes, she’s hot. In an “alternative rock” style, of course, but hot nonetheless. She’s a little fragile, and she can be played around… but if she sticks, she’s a beauty.

  • Three mana sees one of the stronger Deceivers, the Brutal Deceiver. The Black still pips it, and the Green comes a close third (which would be higher if Green was a little stronger overall). His ability is very threatening, and he can trade with a Blademaster with a little luck. The ol’ sunflower-noggin is a must-include.

  • Five mana, Frost Ogre. Vanilla 5/3, marginal at best. But coupled with strong removal, it’s a clock-and-a-half. It’s no Skizzik, but it has uses. At the very least, he can keep your Pepsi cold as you play.

  • Five mana also gives us the Ronin Cliffrider, forging bravely through the snow on Clifford the Horned Yak. He’d best be careful or he’ll do himself a mischief with that big pointy stick of his. As for playability… 2/2 for 5? Doubtful. Then again, his ability is uber-strong. One swing from this guy and the path could be cleared for attacky-tacky goodness. Worth a shot.

  • Up atop the mana-muffin sits the Ashen Monstrosity. And to be frank, Monstrosity is right. Seven mana, 7/4? Still prone to removal, and will be double-blocked to oblivion. I wouldn’t bother.

  • I’d like to bring things down now, ladies and gents, and talk of a little itty-bitty guy called Akki Avalanchers. Now, this little Akki was a lonely lad, never getting to run and play with the big boys. Until one fine day, when the Mana Men decreed that little Akki was given his shot at the big time! With eyes full of hope and a smile a mile wide, he strode gleefully toward his destiny… and he was rubbish. Everyone laughed at him, and he was devastated. Well, what did you expect? This ain’t no fairy tale.

  • La la laaa, two guys to go. Four mana, Akki Underminer. Does this guy counter target spell, and make its caster lose 3 life? No it bloody well doesn’t. Into the bin he goes.

  • Finally, there’s Kumano’s Pupils. Let’s compare this card to the other “artwork-includes-two-blokes-fighting” card from this set, Order of the Sacred Bell. Now, Order of the Sacred Bell is a 4/3 for four mana. While essentially a vanilla creature, it fills an undeniable beatdown role in any Green deck. It slots into a curve beautifully, is costed well for its strength, and is likely to get the job done quickly. Thus, Order of the Sacred Bell is considered one on the stronger Green commons, and rightly so. Kumano’s Pupils, on the other hand, is sh**.

So Red has some quality creatures, with a few stand-outs, and Mr BombASTIC removal. I sense that Red will be making the final table here today.

And now we move on to the most fungalicious color… the mean, Green beatdown machine.


What is Green? Green is the color of apples. It is the color or grass, and the smell of a spring morning. It is the color of boogers, glistening on your bathroom mirror.

It is the color of beatdown. It is the color of monsters.

And in CoK Block, it is the color of defeat.

Here are the men:

  • We’ll start things off with two Matsu-Tribe Snipers. These two-mana, four-armed 1/1 guys are actually pretty cool. After all, they hold off the attacking flyers like a can of pepper-spray. They won’t win you the game, but that’s not a problem. After all, we have Meloku to do that for us.

  • Next up, we have the Sakura-Tribe Elder. Yes, you play him. Nothing more to say, except that as Standard stretches its post-Affinity wings, we’ll be seeing a whole lot of Elders from the Sakura-Tribe. I hope they have enough. And here’s another thing… how the hell did these guys live long enough to become elders? Everyone sacs them on turn friggin’ two!

  • Now we move to the picnic-pooping Dripping-Tongue Zubera. He’s a fine filler, but he hardly sets the forest abuzz with his name. Happy to play him, sad if he’s all I have.

  • Three mana gives us the Whomping Willow, a.k.a. the Gnarled Mass. [Bob Gnarly. – Knut, making fetch… nevermind] Three mana, three power, three toughness. Three is, after all, the Magic number. Very playable, if not splashable.

  • Another 3/3 sits one antler higher on the mana-moose: the serviceable Rootrunner. He’s a warm body, but his sac ability is nothing stellar. For Limited, he’s basically a 3/3 with Soulshift 3. Whether this is worth an extra mana remains to be seen. I’d probably run with him (along those roots), but I would cut him if a better option was present.

Hmm… not the thick and tasty Guy Goulash we’ve come to expect from Green. Yes, the guys are playable… but there is something amiss in this particular enchanted forest.

Maybe the spells will support our lumbar…

  • I’m almost contractually obliged to begin with Time of Need, as it’s such an addition to this pool. Two mana, fetch Meloku or Fumiko… mmmm, smells goooood. If I wind up ditching the Green, I think I’ll miss this card the most.

  • On a similar note, Commune with Nature is also a decent card in this pool. Anything that can accelerate me toward my gamewinners is… well… a gamewinner. However, the Commune has a drawback here too, as there’s bound to be quality removal slipping to the bottom of the deck when cast. Maybe the Time of Need would be ample.

  • Kodama’s Might? Kodamas might what? Kodamas might be rubbish? Kodamas might be good? Who knows? Frankly, this card is fabulous. The cheap splice is excellent, and it shines like a star in a shoe-buffer when Glacial Ray comes to stay. Another excellent card for this pool.

  • Our last true playable is the undervalued Serpent Skin. Regeneration is a great ability in this block, being both ultra-rare and the bane of almost all Kamigawan removal. Instant speed, pump, regen… good stuff. I do suggest that the dude on the card sees a doctor though. His eczema is shocking.

  • While we’re not quite scraping the bottom of the barrel yet, out knuckles are rapping against wood as we delve deeper. The Roar of Jukai, for example, can be situationally excellent. However, it certainly doesn’t warrant maindeck inclusion. Again, it is a card with Kai’s name on it! Wizards, we need new heroes! What about Platinum Aten, or Osypthopter, Flores Spuzzem, or even Blast from the Paskins? Put your thinking caps on!

  • I love the art on Feast of Worms. The worms themselves are brilliant, candy-cane creepies with tiny teeth and shiny eyes. The card itself, however, isn’t the greatest, especially for the Limited crowd. Don’t join the feast. It’s best to go hungry.

  • Four mana, 4+ life. Joyous Respite? Respite from what? Certain death the following turn? I doubt it. NO!

  • Finally, we have Mark of Sakiko. This guy should get together with the other bloke named Mark, the cave-dwelling Mark of the Oni. I’m sure they’ll have much to talk about. As for the card… nah. It does weird constructed-smelling “mana” things. Leave this at home, it’s far too serious. Especially the artwork. The guy looks like he’s contemplating a rather beefy fart.

Green gives us some nice early guys… but it lacks that certain spark.

Green gives us some nice support options… but not much in depth.

Where the hell do we go with these colors?

Maybe the artifacts will help us.


Uba Mask?

Oh, I dunno. I’m not clever enough to think this one through. I don’t think it’s good, though, or I’d’ve surely read about it somewhere.

Sit, Uba, Sit.

Good Mask.

Journeyer’s Kite, on the other hand, is a little easier on the brain. Although slow, this card will help you win the long game. Anything that can repeatedly thin your deck, and also stop mana-screw, gets my vote.


There is… a ridge… in New Orleans…

They caaaaaaaaaaaaal the Piiiiiiiiiiine-Cressssssssst….

It’s beeeeeeeen the ruin… of many a poor wizard…

From the scrubbiest… tooooo… the bessssst.


Me? I don’t like ’em. But if ya must, ya must.

So how did you do?

Did you play the Red cards?

Did you play the Green cards, or the White cards?

And how many Blue cards did you splash?

D’ya wanna know how I did, I did, I did?

D’ya wanna know how I did? WOAH YEAH!

D’ya wanna know how I did, I did, I did?

D’ya wanna know how I did?


I’m the Builllllder! I’m the Builllllder!

I’m the Builder of the Decks, I am!

I’m the Builllllder! I’m the Buillll- *scriiiiiiitch*

Enough of that. To the deck!

Blue (3):

Soratami Rainshaper

Meloku, the Clouded Mirror

Veil of Secrecy

Black (10):

Bile Urchin

Nezumi Cutthroat

Wicked Akuba


Thief of Hope

Villainous Ogre

Takenuma Bleeder

Pull Under

Soulless Revival

Three Tragedies

Red (8):

Brutal Deceiver

Fumiko the Lowblood

Frost Ogre

Ronin Cliffrider

Blind with Anger

Glacial Ray

Hanabi Blast

Torrent of Stone

Artifact (1):

Journeyer’s Kite

Land (18):

8 Swamp

7 Mountain

3 Island

Creatures: 13

0cc =

1cc = C

2cc = CCC SSS

3cc = CCCCC SS

4cc = C SS

5cc = CCC S

6cc = S

7cc =

8cc =

I very, very nearly ran Green over Black in this pool. In the end, the Black just edged the choice because without it, the Hot Soup of this deck is lacking the vital Creature Croutons.

Now I’ll explain my likes and dislikes in easy-to digest bullet points. Remember to quote these in the forums later when you’re ripping me to shreds.


  • So much removal, I don’t know which way to jump. As long as we have access to Red mana, we’re golden.

  • Decent mid-range beaters, and two out-and-out game-breakers. What’s not to love here?

  • The splash is intensely manageable, especially if we see the Journeyer’s Kite.

  • There is the optimum efficiency regarding splice, for the Ray and the Torrent and the Veil.

  • Did I mention Meloku? *checks above* Oh yes, I did. Still, she’s worth a second mention, that’s for sure.


  • Only 13 creatures… a little light for me, even with a Soulless Revival.

  • I’d love to play the Green over the Black, if only for the Kodama’s Might and the Time of Need (which is stooped in this deck). But it cuts down on the creature count, and limits the number of arcane triggers…

  • Three Tragedies over Devouring Greed? Am I mad? In this pool, I think that the Greed is sub-par due to the lack of spirits. Three Tragedies isn’t great, but I believe it’ll have more impact than an underpowered Greed. Of course, this is open to debate, and I can see myself changing this very easily.

  • On a similar note, I ran the Rainmaker over the Toils in the Blue splash for one reason alone: I need the guys. Again, though, I can see the wisdom of swapping them one-for-one.

This pool, I feel, has the cards to take me all the way. If I pull something similar at a PTQ for PT: London, I’ll be the happiest kid in the chocolate shop.

Of course, that’ll never happen.

It’s a know fact here in England that as soon as I pre-register for a tournament, the T.O.s seek out seventy-five of the worst cards in the history of mankind, bundle them up and present them to me on the big day. Once, my five rares consisted of a Pale Moon, a Mudhole, a Nine of Diamonds, the Rules of Bridge, and a photograph of my mother in the nude.

I lost the tournament.

But I kept the photo.

Until the next pile,

Thanks for listening.

Craig Stevenson

[email protected]

Scouseboy on MTGO

P.S.: Circumstances beyond my control meant I missed the PTQ action over the Easter weekend. As soon as I play a PTQ, there’ll be a Sealed Revealed special documenting my progress (or lack thereof).

Oingy Boingy!