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By: Burble, Vladislav Arkhipov
Jun 06 2010 11:43pm
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I like Bant colors, but I also have one special love. It's black discard spells which cost just one mana and allow to choose the target card. Inquisition of Kozilek is one of the choices available now. The main goal of this article is to pay some tribute to this card, and show its power in current Standard metagame.

I can't stand starting from a historical intro. A brief research shows that the idea comes to Urza's Legacy Ostracize, first printed in 1999 and reprinted in 7th Edition two years later. The idea behind the name is great as it refers to social penalty in Ancient Greece when a person was forced to leave a community.

Since then Duress took the lead, and it was printed in the same 7th Edition. However, It was substituted for certain period by a true staple of its kind. It was a one mana spell which allowed you to choose any non-land card to be discarded without any restrictions. Such power could not be made without additional price, and it was two life. Of course, I speak of Thoughtseize which was Standard during Lorwyn. 

When Lorwyn moved to Extended, but before ROE,  there were two options. First one, indeed, was Duress. It is still very strong, because it can deal with planeswalkers, artifact staples and so on. It cannot force to discard a creature though. Second option was Mire's Toll. It doesn't have serious effect limitations, but only monoblack decks can properly use it, and only starting from the mid-game (good for Vampires' sideboard though).

Generally, Duress still keeps its position, and I see no reason why it shouldn't. However, strength of a card depends not only from its rules, but also from current metagame.

Today we can see a lot of Jund, Bant and Red Deck Wins decks. Jund is based on several low-CMC creatures and removal spells. Bant finds its base in cheap mana-generating creatures. RDW bids for cost-effective direct damage spells and creatures which are also cheap, but are dangerous in a short run. As general CMC here is low, it's a good time to consider how threat can be managed with pretty little card in discussion:

Inquisition of Kozilek


I think that analysis of which cards in metagame may be discarded with this weapon may be helpful for some players. Not to go far, I took decklists from Pro-Tour San Juan Last Chance Qualifier (May 27, 2010) which is quite representative: they include up-to-date Jund, Vengevine Naya and Mythic Conscription. The decklists are not really needed for this article, and you may find them here. Trying to be objective, I also have considered RDW, UW Control, Eldrazi, Allies, Avenger, Time Sieve and Grixis from Standard Daily of May 25, Eldrazi Overrun from another Standard Daily of same day, Goblins from May 24 event, and Vampires from another May 24 event.

Both maindeck and sideboard spells which can be hit by Inquisition of Kozilek are reviewed in the tables below. I have put some numbering so that it would be easier to read, and marked creatures with color for the little bonus I will give in the end of this article.

 TARGETS

Table 1. Jund

No. Card
CMC
Basic Type
M A I N D E C K
1.
Putrid Leech 2 Creature
2. Sprouting Thrinax 3 Creature
3. Blightning 3 Sorcery
4. Lightning Bolt 1 Instant
5. Maelstrom Pulse 3 Sorcery
S I D E B O A R D
1. Basilisk Collar 1 Artifact
2. Cunning Sparkmage 3 Creature
3. Doom Blade 2 Instant
4. Prophetic Prism 2 Artifact

NOTES: Sprouting Thrinax triggers only when it is put into a graveyard from PLAY.

Also, Goblin Ruinblaster will also be hit by Inquisition of Kozilek.

 

Table 2. Vengevine Naya

No. Card
CMC
Basic Type
M A I N D E C K
1.
Birds of Paradise 1 Creature
2. Knight of the Reliquary 3 Creature
3. Noble Hierarch 1 Creature
4. Qasali Pridemage 2 Creature
5. Woolly Thoctar 3 Creature
S I D E B O A R D
1. Oblivion Ring 3 Enchantment
2. Path to Exile 1 Instant

NOTES: Scute Mob, Stoneforge Mystic and Wild Nacatl will also suffer.

 

Table 3. Mythic Conscription

No. Card
CMC
Basic Type
M A I N D E C K
1.
Birds of Paradise 1 Creature
2. Dauntless Escort 3 Creature
3. Knight of the Reliquary 3 Creature
4. Lotus Cobra 2 Creature
5. Noble Hierarch 1 Creature
S I D E B O A R D
1. Bant Charm 3 Instant
2. Kor Firewalker 2 Creature
3. Meddling Mage 2 Creature
4. Negate 2 Instant
5. Path to Exile 1 Instant
6. Qasali Pridemage 2 Creature

 

Table 4. Red Deck Wins

No. Card
CMC
Basic Type
M A I N D E C K
1.
Ball Lightning 3 Creature
2. Goblin Guide 1 Creature
3. Hell's Thunder 3 Creature
4. Hellspark Elemental 2 Creature
5. Plated Geopede 2 Creature
6. Burst Lightning 1 Instant
7. Earthquake 1 Sorcery
8. Lightning Bolt 1 Instant
9. Searing Blaze 2 Instant
S I D E B O A R D
1. Banefire 1 Sorcery
2. Magma Rift 3 Sorcery
3. Mark of Mutiny 3 Sorcery
4. Unstable Footing 1 Instant

NOTES: This table shows that in some cases spells with kicker or "X" in mana cost may be tricky.

Also, you should be careful with Hellspark Elemental and Hell's Thunder as they have unearth.

 

Table 5. UW Control

No. Card
CMC
Basic Type
M A I N D E C K
1.
Knight of the White Orchid 2 Creature
2. Wall of Omens 2 Creature
3. Divination 3 Sorcery
4. Mind Spring 2 Sorcery
5. Negate 2 Instant
6. Oblivion Ring 3 Enchantment
7. Path to Exile 1 Instant
8. Spreading Seas 2 Enchantment
S I D E B O A R D
1. Flashfreeze 2 Instant
2. Kor Firewalker 2 Creature
3. Kor Sanctifiers 3 Creature
4. Meddling Mage 2 Creature
5. Negate 2 Instant
6. Oblivion Ring 3 Enchantment

 

Table 6. Eldrazi

No. Card
CMC
Basic Type
M A I N D E C K
1.
(Ancient Stirring) 1 Sorcery
2. Everflowing Chalice 0 Artifact
3. Explore 2 Sorcery
4. Growth Spasm 3 Instant
5. Rampant Growth 2 Sorcery
S I D E B O A R D
1. Dragon's Claw 2 Artifact

NOTES: Obviously, this deck is quite stable against Inquisition of Kozilek. There are little cheap spells, and there are some fatties which are shuffled in when discarded.

 

Table 7. Allies

No. Card
CMC
Basic Type
M A I N D E C K
1.
Akoum Battlesinger 2 Creature
2. Goblin Bushwhacker 1 Creature
3. Hada Freeblade 1 Creature
4. Harabaz Druid 2 Creature
5. Kabira Evangel 3 Creature
6. Kazandu Blademaster 2 Creature
7. Oran-Rief Survivalist 2 Creature
S I D E B O A R D
1. Ondu Cleric 2 Creature
2. Path to Exile 1 Instant
3. Pithing Needle 1 Artifact

NOTES: This deck is heavy on cheap creatures, so Inquisition of Kozilek goes into spree here.

 

Table 8. Avenger

No. Card
CMC
Basic Type
M A I N D E C K
1.
Deprive 2 Instant
2. Explore 2 Sorcery
3. Fog 1 Instant
4. Mind Spring 2 Sorcery
5. Ponder 1 Sorcery
6. Rampant Growth 2 Sorcery
S I D E B O A R D
1. Deprive 2 Instant
2. Negate 2 Instant
3. Spell Pierce 1 Instant
4. Spreading Seas 2 Enchantment

 

Table 9. Time Sieve

No. Card
CMC
Basic Type
M A I N D E C K
1.
Amulet of Vigor 1 Artifact
2. Angelsong 2 Instant
3. Fieldmist Borderpost 3 Artifact
4. Howling Mine 2 Artifact
5. Jace Beleren 3 Planeswalker
6. Kaleidostone 2 Artifact
7. Mistvein Borderpost 3 Artifact
8. Prophetic Prism 2 Artifact
9. Time Sieve 2 Artifact
S I D E B O A R D
1. Executioner's Capsule 1 Artifact
2. Negate 2 Instant
3. Oblivion Ring 3 Enchantment

 

Table 10. Grixis

No. Card
CMC
Basic Type
M A I N D E C K
1.
Gatekeeper of Malakir 2 Creature
2. Sedraxis Specter 3 Creature
3. Blightning 3 Sorcery
4. Countersquall 2 Instant
5. Lightning Bolt 1 Instant
6. Spreading Seas 2 Enchantment
7. Terminate 2 Instant
S I D E B O A R D
1. Countersquall 2 Instant
2. Cunning Sparkmage 3 Creature
3. Duress 1 Sorcery
4. Magma Spray 1 Instant
5. Terminate 2 Instant

 

Table 11. Goblins

No. Card
CMC
Basic Type
M A I N D E C K
1.
Goblin Bushwhacker 1 Creature
2. Goblin Chieftain 3 Creature
3. Goblin Guide 1 Creature
4. Goblin Shortcutter 2 Creature
5. Tuktuk the Explorer 3 Creature
6. Warren Instigator 2 Creature
7. Burst Lightning 1 Instant
8. Dragon Fodder 2 Sorcery
9. Mark of Mutiny 3 Instant
S I D E B O A R D
1. Banefire 1 Sorcery
2. Burst Lightning 1 Instant
3. Dragon's Claw 2 Artifact
4. Goblin Ruinblaster 3 Creature
5. Unstable Footing 1 Instant

NOTES: Tuktuk the Explorer similar to Sprouting Thrinax triggers only if it is put into a graveyard from the BATTLEFIELD.

 

Table 12. Vampires

No. Card
CMC
Basic Type
M A I N D E C K
1.
Bloodghast 2 Creature
2. Gatekeeper of Malakir 2 Creature
3. Vampire Hexmage 2 Creature
4. Vampire Nighthawk 3 Creature
5. Grim Discovery 2 Sorcery
6. Mind Shatter 2 Sorcery
7. Sign in Blood 2 Sorcery
S I D E B O A R D
1. Deathmark 1 Sorcery
2. Doom Blade 2 Instant
3. Duress 1 Sorcery
4. Sadistic Sacrament 3 Sorcery

 

CONCLUSION

Now, it is time for some general statistics. I have counted the total amounts of each type from the list above and got this:

Creatures (CMC of a spell is 3 or less): 38

Other spells (CMC of a spell is 3 or less): 46

Total spells: 84

Well, 84 spells which Inquisition of Kozilek may deal with, in particular 38 creature spells which cannot be targeted by Duress, is a fair amount and I think that this is a strong argument for this spell.

Also, Inquisition of Kozilek itself is not present in decklists I selected, which makes it quite unexpected (by the time I write these words, of course). So, I suppose that anyone who has some black splash in the deck may consider this spell at least for sideboard.

You still should be careful with what you force to discard (just as with what you destroy or return to its owner's hand): creatures with low unearth cost may cause high threat.

Now, my little content BONUS:

Smother

This card, firstly introduced in Onslaught, currently is a counterpart of Inquisition of Kozilek. If you don't have red in your deck for Terminate, but you still want to destroy black creatures, just Smother them, for there are plenty of those 3 CMC and below.

And I say you what, Knight of the Reliquary, even if she has two copies of Eldrazi Conscription attached, is still "a creature with converted mana cost 3 or less"!

 

 

8 Comments

core card of jund: bloodbraid by rainin6 at Mon, 06/07/2010 - 01:03
rainin6's picture

core card of jund: bloodbraid elf
core card of uw: jace
core card of mythic: lotus cobra (sovereigns?)
core card of nlb: vengevine
core card of uwr: any of the 4cc/5cc planeswalkers
core card of naya: bloodbraid elf (knight of reliquary?)

biggest problem of inquisition is that it rarely nabs the key component cards that you really want to stop and then you also of course run the risk that they do not hold any cards that are 3cc or less. perhaps in the right deck, and only in that deck, can inquisition of kozilek be playable.

just my opinion.

Agreed. The fact that it by StealthBadger at Mon, 06/07/2010 - 04:49
StealthBadger's picture

Agreed. The fact that it doesn't hit any relevant planeswalkers, bloodbraid Elf or Polymorph is what's holding it back.

They're the key components in each of their respective decks, and i don't think you'd particulalry want a discard spell against nl-bant. It might be good against naya and/or mono-r, but that's four sideboard slots, when doom-blade would probably be equally as good against them, and randomly useful elsewhere.

Against mythic, I don't think duress or inq are good enough. Ostracise almost certainly would be though!

I do think that it's a good card though, and at some meta at some point, it will be good enough (alas, jace is in the same block!).

against vamps why pick by Salgy at Mon, 06/07/2010 - 04:06
Salgy's picture

against vamps why pick bloodghast? you win dice and discard bloodghast ur giving them a free 2/1

I had thought about the by The D.K. at Mon, 06/07/2010 - 04:12
The D.K.'s picture

I had thought about the inclusion of Bloodghast on that list myself. Hitting a Bloodghast period with any form of discard is bad. It WILL come back. That's the bad part about it, and what makes Vampires even remotely viable. It's a rough deck otherwise, but mass removal could answer it without Bloodghast. With Bloodghast, however... There's just no way to stop the guy short of Path to Exile, and then there's three more in that deck somewhere.

i maindeck bojuka bogs in any by this isnt the n... at Mon, 06/07/2010 - 05:40
this isnt the name i chose's picture

i maindeck bojuka bogs in any heavy black deck now, takes care of so many random shenanigans.

Inquisition isnt a bad card, but its pretty pathetic in standard right now. I think in extended its much stronger though. Hits everything vs zoo/goblins and hits tarmogoyf and jittes etc etc etc. But in std it hits nothing that matters.

You couldn't be more wrong. by Bliven731 at Mon, 06/07/2010 - 10:43
Bliven731's picture

You couldn't be more wrong. If you are playing vampires, the main cards that crush you from jund are thrinax and putrid leech. You think jund wouldn't want to hit a wall of omens or spreading seas from U/W? You think taking a knight of the reliquary is nothing? Esper control wouldn't want to hit a hexmage or o ring? Jund on the play doesn't want to take a goblin Guide? I think duress is probably better, but inquisition certainly has it's good matchups (like Jund)

In this regard, I agree. Some by The D.K. at Mon, 06/07/2010 - 13:18
The D.K.'s picture

In this regard, I agree. Some people will keep openers with one main creature or card, but if you strip it during the first turn of the game, it can seriously hinder their plan. If people ever get that horribly affected by this card, they can counteract it without even changing their deck by changing their mull strategy somewhat.

However, Inquisition is still only just as good as Duress (or worse, as you said). And considering the somewhat low amount of Duress in decks nowadays, Inquisition won't be seen very often either.

Std No Ext|LEG and Classic YES YES YES by TheBizzar at Mon, 06/07/2010 - 14:00
TheBizzar's picture

In the older formats this card gains strength. For standard it is weaker.