The Daily Shot: The Onslaught Blue Set Review, J – Z

Are your creatures about to eat a Mutilate? Read the Runes! Drawing too many land? Read the Runes and clear out that deadwood! Is someone casting Armageddon? Read the Runes, you won’t need the land anyway! Did you draw a redundant copy of some card? Read the Runes, and cycle it along! Wife sleeping with the mailman? Read the Runes can’t help you there…. Unless you’re Gambit from the X-Men, and then you can use your powers to imbue the card with kinetic force!

Mage’s Guile 1U

Instant C

Target creature can’t be the target of spells or abilities this turn.

Cycling U (U, Discard this card from your hand: Draw a card.)

“Next time, don’t bother.”

Should be a cantrip, and screw the cycling. As a cantrip, it would almost be on par with something like Shelter, though not quite as good. Instead, we get a card that’s guarenteed to trade one-for-one. Sure, it might trade with that first-pick removal, but Disenchant trades with first-picks all the time. That doesn’t mean you want to draft them until you’re blue in the face.

Not the first Guile card to suck, either. Mirri’s Guile was no great shakes. Who knew that making Sylvan Library easier to understand would also make it almost completely useless?

Meddle 1U

Instant U

If target spell has only one target and that target is a creature, change that spell’s target to another creature.

Strength may win the fight, but style wins the crowd.

If figure skating has taught us nothing else – and it hasn’t – it’s taught us that style does win the crowd. And then what do you get? That’s right. A meddle.

Or you can just contract the Russian mob. Either way is good – those judges are pushovers. Speaking of which, why don’t we give it a try with Magic? If Mike Guptil says you’re guilty of misrepresentation, and Valeri and his AK-47 say that you’re not guilty, who do you really think is the more persuasive? The DCI is a nice governing body, but they aren’t packing heat.

That I know of.

Maybe Rune Horvik has got his pistol point cocked, and is ready to lay shots nonstop? Until he sees my monkey ass drop?

That would be wack.

Mistform Dreamer 2U

Creature – Illusion C


1: Mistform Dreamer’s type becomes the creature type of your choice until end of turn.

Devotion, the second myth of reality: The faithful are most hurt by the objects of their faith.


I’m sorry, I cheated and read ahead…and it turns out there are about three-hundred or so of these”Mistform” guys, and none of them are good or even the least bit interesting.

First thing’s first – this is a flyer and a fairly good one, so don’t feel bad taking it.


Stay awake! Keep your eye on the prize!

Mistform Mask 1U

Enchant Creature C

1: Enchanted creature’s type becomes the creature type of your choice until end of turn.

Trust, the fifth myth of reality: Every truth holds the seed of betrayal.

Check the flavor text on these things. Apparently these mistform scholar types are pretty cynical.

Man…I’m so disillusioned. Why must the design team expose my fragile mind to stanza after chilling stanza of Mistform rhetoric? In fact, why must the design team expose my fragile mind to yet another Mistform card? There are a bunch more on the way!

I cry uncle! Let me go review a limb amputation or something!

Mistform Mutant 4UU

Creature – Illusion Mutant U

1U: Choose a creature type other than Legend or Wall. Target creature’s type becomes that type until end of turn.

Familiarity, the first myth of reality: What you know the best, you observe the least.


Missing the line”Flying”. And who is this Mutant trying to fool anyway?

Mistform Mutant: “Check it out! You’re not really a dumpy Goblin Warrior! You’re an Angel!”

Goblin Raider: “…Huh?”

Mistform Mutant: “It’s true!”

Goblin Raider: “If I’m an Angel, why do I dress like this?”

Zanam Djinn was uncommon and that didn’t kill anyone. (Um… The Ferrett, on the end of a couple of Zanam beatings) Why stick this guy on the ground? Since when is Mist earthbound?

Mistform Shrieker 3UU

Creature – Illusion U


1: Mistform Shrieker’s type becomes the creature type of your choice until end of turn.

Morph 3UU (You may play this face down as a 2/2 creature for 3. Turn it face up any time for its morph cost.)


Oh wait, here we go. This is about as good as Aven Windreader and Hydromorph Gull, so go nuts and take ’em as they come.

Mistform Skyreaver 5UU

Creature – Illusion R


1: Mistform Skyreaver’s type becomes the creature type of your choice until end of turn.

Conviction, the third myth of reality: Only those who seek the truth can be deceived.


Rare for Limited. Reminds me of “The Bus”, Amugaba. If you play this guy on turn 7 and your opponent plays a 7CC pile like Crowd Favorites, you can be sure that you’ve got the upper hand. One of the few 7CC creatures in the set that actually lives up to the hype.

Mistform Stalker 1U

Creature – Illusion U

1: Mistform Stalker’s type becomes the creature type of your choice until end of turn.

2UU: Mistform Stalker gets +2/+2 and gains flying until end of turn.





There hasn’t been a Constructed-quality card on this list since Christ was lecturing in Omaha.

Mistform Wall 2U

Creature – Illusion Wall C

(Walls can’t attack.)

1: Mistform Wall’s type becomes the creature type of your choice until end of turn.

Fellowship, the fourth myth of reality: As the tides of war shift, so do loyalties.


Of course. Couldn’t do without the MISTFORM WALL. Dear God, kill me now. There are guys doing twenty to life who would refuse to review this slew of cards, even if offered a pardon and a chicken dinner.

Nameless One 3U

Creature – Wizard Avatar U

Nameless One’s power and toughness are each equal to the number of Wizards in play.

Morph 2U (You may play this face down as a 2/2 creature for 3. Turn it face up any time for its morph cost.)

“Open your mind to me.”


Interesting that this guy is an uncommon. Was the white one an uncommon, too? I thought it was rare. Repeat after me, class.

In the right deck,

(in the right deck)

….this guy….

(this guy)

…could be pretty strong.

(could be pretty strong.)

Okay, nap time.

Oh! And….


…he sucks in Constructed.

Peer Pressure 3U

Sorcery R

Choose a creature type. If you control more creatures of that type than any other player, you gain control of all creatures of that type. (This effect doesn’t end at end of turn.)

Looks like someone goofed and mixed in the Unglued II design notes again. This is the only case I’ve ever seen of drug use causing Peer Pressure, as opposed to the other way around.

Psychic Trance 2UU

Instant R

Until end of turn, Wizards you control gain”T: Counter target spell.”

The Riptide Project was perhaps the only school devoted to preventing the spread of knowledge.

Only useful in Limited. In Constructed, guess what it’s going to do if your deck is running fine? It’ll counter one spell. Also works as a sort of Abeyance, since the enemy won’t be eager to run any more spells into your army of counter-happy little magicians.

Heck, this should be a cantrip, or at least have cycling. I probably don’t have to mention to you how useful this is when you have no Wizards, or when they’re all tapped, or when your one Wizard has summoning sickness.

Dionne Warwick couldn’t save this card, even at $5.99/minute.

Quicksilver Dragon 4UU

Creature – Dragon R


U: If target spell has only one target and that target is Quicksilver Dragon, change that spell’s target to another creature.

Morph 4U (You may play this face down as a 2/2 creature for 3. Turn it face up any time for its morph cost.)


Great Limited rare and Monoblue’s biggest dragon ever, this beast could be swinging as early as turn 5. The standard rules apply, though – you might want to wait until turn 6 just to make sure you don’t get bounced back to the stone age. I applaud this card – it seems well balanced.

You might remember this ability from back when it was on Silver Wyvern. It wasn’t any good in Constructed then, either.

Read the Runes XU

Instant R

Draw X cards. For each card drawn this way, discard a card from your hand unless you sacrifice a permanent.

“The world is a puzzle, and the mind is its key.”

If you’re wondering whether or not this card is good; the answer is that it is in fact very good. As long as you have the mana available, you will never lose card advantage by overextending and investing too many permanents on the table. This is Reprocess in Blue and at instant speed, with the option to keep some the permanents if the cards are useless. Though this is different from other card drawing effects in that you’ll never come out ahead in terms of permanents and card investment, it’s still the nuts.

Let me run down the list.

Read the Runes is good in a threshold deck. Far better in the early game than Breakthrough, it still packs tons of punch in the late game. It puts those extra lands in the bin and recoups the loss by filling your hand with more gas.

Read the Runes, like Reprocess, can produce a fast kill when used with Psychatog. Reprocess is an interesting card in Psychatog because the only cards that the ‘Tog can’t eat are those that are actually in-play. Reprocess comes out of nowhere (usually thanks to Burning Wish) and suddenly every card (besides the ‘Tog itself) becomes edible. It’s the ultimate cannibalization – every card in hand, every permanent in play, every card in the graveyard is used to make that killing blow.

Read the Runes is great with madness and other cards that need to be discarded, like Incarnations.

Read the Runes is great when you have a bunch of stuff that is going to die anyhow. Are your creatures about to eat a Mutilate? Read the Runes! Don’t lose a stitch of card economy! Drawing too many land? Read the Runes and clear out that deadwood! Is someone casting Armageddon? Read the Runes, you won’t need the land anyway! Did you draw a redundant copy of some card? Read the Runes, and cycle it along!

Wife sleeping with the mailman? Read the Runes can’t help you there. Unless you’re Gambit from the X-Men, and you can use your powers to imbue the card with kinetic force. That crazy Cajun.

Reminisce 2U

Sorcery U

Target player shuffles his or her graveyard into his or her library.

“Leave the door to the past even slightly ajar and it could be blown off its hinges.”

When I was seventeen

I played some very good cards

Some very good cards like Necro

And Tower of Ivory…

My name was Brian McGee

I beat everyone who played green

When I was seventeen

“Everything that Timetwister was, and more!” gushes The New York Post!

It’s nice to have a recursion card in the format in something besides Green.

Riptide Biologist 1U

Creature – Wizard C

Protection from Beasts

Morph 2U (You may play this face down as a 2/2 creature for 3. Turn it face up any time for its morph cost.)

“I gave it two choices: life in the lab or death in the hunt.”


This guy is an excellent goalie when you’re trying to avoid an untimely demise via Beasts, but I can’t help thinking that he should do a little more. Marginally maindeckable in those situations when you really need a Grey Ogre.

Riptide Chronologist 3UU

Creature – Wizard U

U, Sacrifice Riptide Chronologist: Untap all creatures of the type of your choice.

The wizard consulted the Riptide Project about how to further his research. He wasn’t prepared for what they told him.


They want me to pay five for that crappy effect? Why does this guy not cost 2U or 1UU?

More than that, though, I ask you: With Riptide Biologist and Riptide Chronologist already burned into the unwilling retinas of the player base, can Riptide Proctologist be far behind? Brings a whole new meaning to “Probe, with kicker!”

Riptide Entrancer 1UU

Creature – Wizard R

Whenever Riptide Entrancer deals combat damage to a player, you may sacrifice it. If you do, gain control of target creature that player controls. (This effect doesn’t end at end of turn.)

Morph UU (You may play this face down as a 2/2 creature for 3. Turn it face up any time for its morph cost.)


Thalakos Deceiver wasn’t any good.

Tolarian Entrancer wasn’t any good.

Riptide Entrancer is going to fit right in.

Riptide Shapeshifter 3UU

Creature – Shapeshifter U

2UU, Sacrifice Riptide Shapeshifter: Choose a creature type. Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a creature card of that type. Put that card into play and shuffle the rest into your library.


Now this is interesting. Riptide Shapeshifter, if it survives to be used, is like a Blue version of Natural Order. Just put one Verdant Force into your deck, say”Elemental” and you’re all set.

End of turn sac Shapeshifter, naming”Legend”… Hey, look! It’s Arcanis. He’s come out to say hello and draw me three cards per turn. Ideally, the Shapeshifter deck would have four Shapeshifters, some Brainstorm or cycling-type effects to put dead-draw fat back into the library or exchange them for useful cards, and one really big creature of as many types as you like, though the right number is probably two to four.

Arcanis would be the Legend and the card drawing. And who plays the part of the fat? How about Symbiotic Wurm? It’s a 7/7 that, should it die, fires seven Insect tokens into play. Just pop the Shapeshifter, name Wurm, and go to town. You don’t even really have to play Green – though you will want to, because that is the only place you are going to get any mana acceleration.

So you get Arcanis if you want cards, and the Wurm when you want to beatdown…how about some creature removal? Here comes Butcher Orgg! End of turn sac Shapeshifter, name Orgg, untap, attack, wreck your board? The fun never stops with Riptide Shapeshifter.

Rummaging Wizard 3U

Creature – Wizard U

2U: Look at the top card of your library. You may put that card into your graveyard.

“I’ve got everything you’d ever need right here. Just give me some time to find it.”


Should have cost 2U.

There are tons of set reviews out there, and I’m glad you decided to read this one, so lets just do what we’re both thinking, and skip over this piece of crap and onto the next card.

Sage Aven 3U

Creature – Bird Wizard C


When Sage Aven comes into play, look at the top four cards of your library, then put them back in any order.

From their mountain aeries, aven scholars see far more than the distant horizon.


Also should have cost 2U, or should have been a 2/3. Again, why print this at 3U unless you just want to make a bad card?

Screaming Seahawk 4U

Creature – Bird C


When Screaming Seahawk comes into play, you may search your library for a card named Screaming Seahawk, reveal it, and put it into your hand. If you do, shuffle your library.


That’s an ugly casting cost for any two-power Limited flier not named”Hunting Drake”, but the mechanic is a good one in a format where the flier is king. This card will be good early on in the Onslaught season, but it’ll get worse with the release of Legions… And once you’re only opening one pack of Onslaught instead of three, it’ll be downright terrible.

Sea’s Claim U

Enchant Land C

Enchanted land is an island.

“My vengeance will drown my enemies as my storms drown the desert.”

-Ixidor, reality sculptor

This card fails one of my fundamental tests, the test I call”Would you play this card if it was free?” If a card is so bad that you wouldn’t play it if it were free, you’ve got a problem. Here’s how you do the test. Pick an awful card – say… Screaming Seahawk, just above.

Would you play it if the cost was 0? Of course – you could play four Seahawks on turn 1.

I would never play Sea’s Claim. Not in a million years. The only use for this card is to allow one of your Islandhome guys to attack, and even then it’s only good as a sideboard card.

Slipstream Eel 5UU

Creature – Beast C

Slipstream Eel can’t attack unless defending player controls an island.

Cycling 1U (1U, Discard this card from your hand: Draw a card.)

“It’s a fine way to travel, if you don’t mind the smell.”


Ah, here’s the eel in question. If you draft four or five of these guys, you might want to actually maindeck your Sea’s Claim. Maybe. At least he has cycling – I’ll have no fear of putting a couple in my Limited deck. I like beating down, but I can’t stand choking on fat when the men are stranded in hand.

Spy Network U

Instant C

Look at target player’s hand, the top card of that player’s library, and any face-down creatures he or she controls. Look at the top four cards of your library, then put them back in any order.

How much is information worth? Telepathy was a good information card, and it was never played because any deck that wanted it couldn’t put up with the card investment for so little return. After all, Nantuko Shade smashes your face whether you see him coming or not.

They missed a perfect opportunity here to make this card playable – all they had to do was give it”Cycling: U”. Those frickin’ guys! They put cycling on cards that should be cantrips and then they have this card, Spy Network, that would be way too strong as a cantrip… And they screw it up and leave cycling off!

As it is now, there is no way in hell this card will be played over Peek. What would you rather do – draw a card, or look at your top 4? I don’t know about you, but I’ll take the draw every time.

Spy Network is to Peek as Sage Owl is to Impulse. Wakefield thought Sage Owl was up there with Impulse and now look at him – he’s off playing Dark Age of Camelot. Don’t let it happen to you.

Standardize UU

Instant R

Choose a creature type other than Legend or Wall. Each creature’s type becomes that type until end of turn.

At that point, the wizards’ argument got a lot uglier

All you need to know about standardization is that Betamax videocassetes were smaller, had greater capacity and were more resistant to wear than VHS cassettes.

VHS, on the other hand, had a better marketing team. I hope Standardize does, too, because it’s just as inferior as VHS was.

Supreme Inquisitor 3UU

Creature – Wizard Lord R

Tap five untapped Wizards you control: Search target player’s library for up to five cards and remove them from the game. Then that player shuffles his or her library.

“It’s hard to fight on an empty mind.”


The crappiest of the lords, this guy does nothing to affect the table, and taps what likely amounts to your entire defense force in an effort to deck the enemy. Obvious garbage in Constructed (even Denying Wind was better), he really isn’t a first pick in Limited either… Not if you’re looking for something to deal with what your opponent has on the table.

Then again, nobody expects the Supreme Inquisition.

Trade Secrets 1UU

Sorcery R

Target opponent draws two cards, then you draw up to four cards. That opponent may repeat this process as many times as he or she chooses.

The previous 3CC”Draw four,” Meditate, gave up one card – it also handed over an entire untap phase, attack phase, and all the main phases that go with ’em. This doesn’t give the turn, but it does give two cards, which in a way is like giving two turns – and it’s likely that the opponent will get first crack with his.

That being said, Meditate was awful in the early game, whereas this isn’t really that bad. Even if the enemy has two more cards, can he really use them if he has only just laid his third land? Could be great in a very, very fast deck that can dump a hand in no time.

One caveat for Trade Secrets – if you cast it, your opponent is going to be able to draw his entire deck if he so desires, and untap with all of those cards in hand. You, of course, get to draw a ton of cards as well… But what if he can use his better than you can use yours? What if he just loads up on cards until he gets a Mind Sludge to put you back to the drawing board? Or worse?

Trickery Charm U

Instant C

Choose one – Target creature gains flying until end of turn; or target creature’s type becomes the creature type of your choice until end of turn; or look at the top four cards of your library, then put them back in any order.

This charm counters the removal abilities on the other charms, and interacts well with any number of cards. If you need a 23rd card, you could do worse. Always available to board in if you’re up against a guy with three Fever Charms to fire at your Wizards, or if you want to feed an opposing baddy to your pet Hurricane Spider.

Voidmage Prodigy UU

Creature – Wizard R

UU, Sacrifice a Wizard: Counter target spell.

Morph U (You may play this face down as a 2/2 creature for 3. Turn it face up any time for its morph cost.)


Kai’s card is a great aggro-control weenie, and sure to see a lot of play. The playable Wizard roster is shaping nicely, too – Shadowmage Infiltrator is also a Wizard, as is Arcanis, The Omnipotent. Arcanis might be borderline – but Finkel and Kai are obviously top-tier.

Of course it’s possible, even likely, that playing a Wizard deck isn’t the right way to use the Voidmage Prodigy. It’s a great creature even if you don’t play any other Wizards, probably the strongest 2CC blue creature ever printed. Lord Of Atlantis was good – but is he Kai good? I think not.

Wheel and Deal 3U

Instant R

Any number of target opponents each discards his or her hand and draws seven cards.

Draw a card.

Gives new meaning to the phrase”Putting out a Contract.” And that’s what you’ll be doing, too – in more ways that one.

Want to make friends and influence people? This card, like several others in the set, was printed with multiplayer in mind,and it has an effect so strong that you’ll be able to make all sorts of beneficial arrangements.

Want a player dead? A permanent gone? Or maybe you need a little card drawing help of your own. Just reveal the Wheel and make the Deal.

Words of Wind 2U

Enchantment R

1: The next time you would draw a card this turn, each player returns a permanent he or she controls to its owner’s hand instead.

“Be logical in all things. Do not allow instinct or passion to cloud your mind.”

-Volume II, The Book of Insight

Not a first-pick in draft, but that’s nothing new; after all, players at Magic events have been passing Wind for years now.


Come on, that was funny!


Screw you all.

This card must have been too good in lock decks with the original wording, which probably forced the bounce on opponents only. As it stands now, it’s still got a little potential if you can find permanents of your own you don’t mind bouncing. Words of Wind could be useful with something like Avalanche Riders or other 187 creatures. There are better ways to recur a Riders though, and they don’t involve screwing yourself out of your draw phase.

The real key to this card is zero-casting cost artifacts and the infinite combos that always come with them. Could it be good in T1 with Moxen and Sylvan Library? Only if your opponent doesn’t draw his Moxen or other zero casting cost artifacts, or if you destroy them. Still, here is a combo using cards you might see in T1:

Yawgmoth’s Bargain + Words Of Wind + a Mox/Mana Crypt/Mana Vault = one returned enemy permanent for every one life you pay, plus the possibility of massive mana production. You, of course, repeatedly return and replay your own mana artifact, which allows you to pretty much ignore the effects while your opponent has to scoop up every permanent he has.

In multiplayer, you can Upheaval the whole table except for yourself with a minimum of trouble – just go Mox Sapphire, Words Of Wind, then Rector out or cast a Bargain and have fun. Throw in a Contemplation to make it infinite if you’re going to run out of life.

Well, that’s Blue…. We’re two-fifths of the way done. Still going strong. Go out, get really hammered, and come back for Black – we’ll make it through this together, I promise.

Geordie Tait

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