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By: Tarmotog, Naoto Watabe
Jun 29 2008 7:49pm
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Hi again, Tarmotog here. Today I'll be showing you the cards from Shadowmoor you would want in your Singleton inventory. Of course we want pretty much everything but we are bound by the fact that we have limited resources. In a set of 301 cards, you definitely wouldn't need half as many. Here is a list of cards with a brief explanation as to why you may want it. There are many seemingly redundant cards in the list so you don't have to bother with those. The cards are shown in the order of appearance in the MTGO collection album.

Black cards:

Dusk Urchin: This is almost "3 mana 3/2 draw a card" or  a "3 mana deal 3 draw 2 cards" in some situations. Black can reuse creatures very often so I think that this creature is worth getting. Think of it like a slow Mulldrifter for black.

Faerie Macabre: Being able to snag 2 cards from the graveyard at instant speed, stoppable only by a handful of cards, makes this card a must get for any Singleton player. The fact that it's a creature makes it abusable by other cards like Grim Harvest or Oversold Cemetery is just pure gold.

Puppeteer Clique: This card, I feel, is really useful because it gets rid of irritating cards like Genesis, which is played rather frequently, or hits reanimation targets and removes them permanently (unless they kill them). Persist on it makes it a rather good blocker as well and you get to swing with the best creature in your opponent's graveyard. I believe this card to be the Vendilion Clique type of card where it is rather versatile in application. It is definitely a pity that it can't hit non-creatures but I think that this is rather strong by its own merits.

Beseech the Queen: Somehow I think this card doesn't belong out of mono black but it indeed is a good addition for monoblack. Why I say this is because it costs BBB at the very least and it will be a Diabolic Tutor or cost 5 or 6 in the end. Not many decks will be able to utilize this card properly. I believe that this card will be played minimally until they get Cabal Coffers to spit out mana.

Corrupt: If you don't already have this from 7th ed, here is a good chance to get a black bordered version (even though the rarity goes from common to uncommon). You would want to play this card in a deck spotting a large number of swamps or with Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth.

Blue cards:

Briarberry Cohort: This goes into a deck where you want a 2 mana 2/2 blue flier. There are other 2 mana 2/2 blue fliers but this time it's more about the volume and quality I guess.

Cursecatcher: Another Spiketail Hatchling if you need one. Do remember that it cannot counter a few types of cards unlike Spiketail Hatchling.

Savor the Moment: It's worth getting this card but you would have to know what you want out of it. I personally don't have a clue but it looks promising.

Biting Tether: An extra Control Magic effect if you want another. There are so many variations already but this particular one can steal persist guys and not let them come back into play when killed.

Puca's Mischief: This card is really interesting because it's one of the few "donate" cards available in the format. Trading away Illusions of Grandeur or even Delusions of Mediocrity can be quite good. I'll try that some time soon.

Green:

Devoted Druid: I'd want this in a deck trying to jump to 5 mana. You don't get cards that let you jump to 5 mana on turn 3 so this one is really good if you have things you want to cast at 5 mana.

Farhaven Elf: Another Wood Elves type of card for players of multicolored decks.

pawnwrithe: This card can get rather messy if you land a hit or two. Not something really backbreaking but looks like it has some potential.

Witherscale Wurm: 6 mana for a 9/9. Giving the opposing creatures wither is not going to be a big problem at all. At the very worse you would have dealt at least 9 damage somewhere and absorbed 9 damage.

Dramatic Entrance: This card can be used in a deck that tries to use Natural Order to cheat big green monsters into play. Simic Sky Swallower and Phantom Nishoba are possible targets for both. Try to recall the "Secret Force" deck for some ideas. For those with no idea what I'm talking about, it was a deck that tried to get a quick Verdant Force into play from extended many years back when Visions was still in extended.

Red:

Cragganwick Cremator: This 4 mana for a 5/4 is somewhat like Balduvian Horde but almost strictly better. It gives you more reason to play with Greater Gargadon. It's no longer in fashion to cast 4 mana 4/4s or 5/5s nowadays but it can be done.

Burn Trail: 4 mana for 3 or 6 damage depending on your creature count. Worth trying if you think you can conspire it.

Flame Javalin: RRR for 4 instant damage or a highly likely 2RR. Rarely but possibly 6 colorless at times as well. Now all colors have access to burn if they really want one. (Unless you count Moonglove Extract.)

Smash to Smithereens: With Mana Crypt coming in MED2 and cards like equipments, artifact lands or even Mishra's Factory and Blinkmoth Nexus around, it makes a neat maindeck or sideboard candidate for a burn deck or even other decks with red in them. I believe this is another must get card.

Rage Reflection: All your creatures gain double strike. While it seems really tough to pull off, I'm sure that if and when you do, you would usually win if you are not in a really bad shape.

White:

Order of the Whiteclay: This card can have a deck made around it easily unless you are bothered by the fact that it is very white. Works with Kitchen Finks.

Twilight Shepherd: A very good creature to stabilize with. An extra reason to keep fetchlands in play until necessary. Hard to kill and threatens to kill. Definitely worth getting a copy.

Spectral Procession 3 1/1 flying spirits for WWW. Not too shabby.

Prison Term: This replaces any deck trying to sport Arrest in their deck if they can afford 1WW.

Runed Halo: Protection from a card means no Gifts Ungiven targeting you or a poor man's "removal". "Protection from Tarmogoyf" means it can no longer deal you damage. Not something I think highly of but it's worth taking note of. (You can't get protection from tokens by the way)

Hybrid cards:

Ashenmoor Gouger: A nice card to throw into your deck if you are uncomfortable with your opponent aiming spells at your creatures. I believe it's more of a red card than a black card.

Augury Adept: Life gain in a creature that acts like an Ophidian. While I don't say it's game breaking or anything, it looks very promising in blue decks against the mirror or in white weenie decks.

Boartusk Liege: I see this card as a very likely RG beats component. With this, the value of multicolored cards will increase in the deck so the deck might turn out slightly different from usual builds.

Boggart Ram-Gang: A mono-red or RG good card. The fact that it has wither makes it so much better because it permanently disables bigger creatures, making non-trades unprofitable as well.

Cemetery Puca: I like how it interacts with cards like Phyrexian Dreadnought. It looks fine but would probably need some imagination to work better.

Demigod of Revenge: Not being able to return any friends is not a problem. In Singleton, it's a 5 power flying haste for RRRRR or even BBBBB.

Deus of Calamity: A big fat RG card that has inbuilt trample. (The trample part is the most enticing part about this card apart from its 6/6 stats) It threatens people to block it too.

Firespout: A big Pyroclasm or a small Wrath of God for decks that can provide red or/and green mana. Really useful to have in your inventory.

Fulminator Mage: A stone rain on feet. Any non-creature card that becomes a creature for almost the same cost is really good. No arguments there. A must get card.

Godhead of Awe: I'm sure someone would fancy this in a control deck. Just remember to play 1/1s yourself to put yourself in a good position.

Kitchen Finks: Usually, this is green but it fits easily into white as well. A great blocker and attacker. Works rather well with Llanowar Reborn too (when you return it into paly via persist, graft the +1/+1 counter onto it and it will cancel the -1/-1 counter, letting you use it for an additional time).

Murderous Redcap: Can't be compared straight up to Flametongue Kavu but it has its perks. More of a defensive creature than an offensive one. Being red or black opens many options.

Oona, Queen of the Fae: Big flyer that doesn't die to Shriekmaw. The only drawback to her is probably the fact that you don't get tokens without investing a large amount of mana and it isn't a sure hit ability unlike Meloku the Clouded Mirror. You may find yourself tapped out more than you should be and blocking with her more than you expect to.

Oversoul of Dusk: Mini-Akroma, Angel of Wrath. Harder to cast in some decks but it's really tough to handle unless you have green or white cards that don't have other colors in them. Basically a card that will force your opponent to win in a few turns.

Plumeveil: It's a very good blocker. Somewhat like a Phyrexian Ironfoot type of blocker for mono blue decks since they need it in there more than in white decks. Having flash can catch people off guard. It can't attack but it sure can keep you alive.

Puresight Merrow: I would prefer to think it as a WW card but you don't have to restrict your options. Letting you fix your draw is one thing. Being a 2/2 is another. It fights for a slot alongside many quality creatures.

Rhy, the Redeemed: Some people like this card but I am not a fan of mana consuming cards. Play it if you like it.

Swans of Bryn Argoll: The inpenetratable wall I guess. If you have the skills to manage tempo well, this card can be great for you otherwise it can become a free stream of cards for your opponent.

Sygg, River Cutthroat: Cool ability but UB is not really the deck that can deal 3 damage consistently. A card that seeks innovative deckbuilders I suppose.

Tattermunge Maniac: A card closely compared to Jackal Pup but the fact that it has to turn sideways every turn can be quite a relevant drawback. Give the card good support and it will go the mile for you.

Vexing Shusher: While not extremely spectacular, it can be very irritating. I believe it's similar to Sower of Temptation in how it functions. If they don't have the removal for it, it's going to wreck. It's a card that can single handedly put you back into a game with Counterbalance wrecking havoc.

Wilt-Leaf Cavaliers: 3 mana for a 3/4 for the GW deck. Not that great but a toughness of 4 makes it quite good as it can almost ensure 2 for 1 trades.

Wilt-Leaf Liege: A Dodecapod that helps you if you are playing green or white. Works wonderfully with Living Wish and Glittering Wish if the wish cards actually work. Being cast as a GW beating that pumps the team makes this creature desirable in a few decks. One of the better cards in the set.

River's Grasp: This card is more like a 2UB sorcery: Destroy target creature, look at your opponent's hand. You can always discard something else though. If you can afford casting sorceries in your UB deck, you may want to get one of this.

Safewright Quest: Being able to find a plains/forest is rather decent. There is a long list of lands you can pick up with this. Maybe this works in "few land belcher for Singleton"?

Torrent of Souls: This is a rather powerful reanimation spell. If you manage to cast this on Siege-Gang Commander, your opponent is going to be in for some beating. Marsh Flitter works as well.

Worldpurge: Resetting everything is ok. It gets much better if you start suspending cards or have cards that are returning into play some other time. It's the closest card to  the banned Upheaval.

Dream Salvage: In a format where you can find people discarding cards to Cephalid Coliseum or Thirst for Knowledge or even Careful Consideration, this card can easily be U Instant draw 2 or 3 against the right decks. This card has potential limited by only your imagination. The most straightforward way of forcing your opponent to discard helps too. Imagine Hymn to Tourach followed by this to draw 2 cards.

Fracturing Gust: Definitely a SB card you can consider. It is like Purify but the life gain can actually put you in a safe seat.

Guttural Response: If you really want as many red/green counters as you can get against blue decks, you should grab one of these.

Manamorphose: Great card to fit into a storm deck to filter out access red mana. It's really great that they made it accessible to red. Plus it's a cantrip that doesn't reduce mana.

Memory Plunder: A SB card for storm mirrors I'd have to say. Works great with Dark Ritualed mana too.

Mirrorweave: For this to work, you would need to have your deck slightly tuned to make it happen. A card with great potential. I'm hoping not to run into one.

Repel Intruders: Mystic Snake for UW that hits only creatures. Not very spectacular but it sounds rather decent with the amount of creatures played in this age.

Everlasting Torment: Players can't gain life. There are a few of such cards already but this card is slightly better against creatures where you can cripple cards you can't kill to mass burn. Worth considering.

Runes of the Deus: Sneaking this on a RG creature is going to be really life swinging (just like in limited). Beefing your creature and dealing tons of damage is a good way to win the mirror matchup.

Shield of the Oversoul: Indestructable cards are good. Only a handful of cards can deal with them. GW seems to have quite a number of very strong cards already.

Spiteful Vision: A Howling Mine that works in a different way. I play Howling Mine in my burn deck but mostly as a cheap source of gas and Shrapnel Blast fodder. If this costed 3 mana, it would be a nice replacement but at 4 mana, I will have to think more before using it.

Steel of the Godhead: Right now there is a buzz going on about it going together with Zur the Enchanter which makes much sense. It can work together with UW cards but most UW creature cards are unfortunately not multicolored.

Wheel of Sun and Moon: I would get one since it looks useful. GW has the most annoying cards in the Singleton cardpool like Gaddock Teeg or Aven Mindcensor.

Artifacts:

Grim Poppet: A neat way to stop Chameleon Colossus if you can't find a way to do so. It's worth trying in mono black builds because of its staying power unlike Triskelion and its friends which would belong to decks that can run Academy Ruins.

Painter's Savant: In Singleton, you have to think a little before committing to playing around 1 card but it definitely is possible.

Lands:

Fire-Lit Thicket/ Graven Cairns/ Mystic Gate/ Sunken Ruins/ Wooded Bastion: A must get cycle of filter lands.

Leechridden Swamp: This swamp is really useful together with Bitterblossom or just 2 random black permanents. If you think you can get 2 black permanents into play, you have no reason not to include this really powerful land.

Mistveil Plains: Putting cards at the bottom of your library is a neat way to keep Tarmogoyf small. You can reuse the powerful cards if you plan to play a really long game. Just be careful not to time out.

Moonring Island: Peeking at the top of a player's library is very powerful for the blue mage. You can know when to shuffle your library, what your opponent will draw, what will appear from Counterbalance etc. Predict is good too.
Reflecting Pool: Although you can also get this in Tempest, you should try to get this versatile land. To maximize the land, you would need to play lands that produce multiple colors. If you have to, you can always resort to using vivid lands like from block to ensure that Reflecting Pool would work like in standard. I will be testing this card intensively. For now, I think you should play it in a deck if you have 2x colored mana in the mana cost. (like 1RR cards in RG decks for example) Otherwise, I would currently advise against putting it into any random deck.

 ------ End of card list-------------

For those who don't like buying new cards, the important cards to get are the 6 rare lands, probably Kitchen Finks and Faerie Macabre. I think highly of Puppeteer Clique and it's really cheap so Singleton people should try getting one.

Issues of the Singleton PE

Last week, Jimb0v commented that  the lack of ID made the PE very  much  unappealing to play in. I know wizards want to bring new people into Magic but removing ID from the game is not the way to do it. For one, new players will almost never ever play Magic Online. If you tell a random person to play a card game online and keep pumping money into it, they will definitely shy away. People who play Magic Online almost always are people who have played the paper version and have some love for the game to make them willing to pay for "untouchable" items. ID is a system that may shut out players who do badly in the first few rounds but it is beneficial for players because they can actually have some time to rest. Magic is a complicated game to begin with and forcing players to slug it out is definitely not inviting. If IDs were so detrimental to getting people to play, then why is it that drafts are single elimination? New players do want to play with their decks past the first round and more likely than not, new players would end up losing to the more veteran players of the game. Imagine paying for 2 tickets and 3 packs only to finish the whole game in 30 minutes. Nobody likes that.

Removing ID has its merits. For example, it forces people to actually play out and it becomes more deck and skill dependant to actually top 8 an event. Going 3-0 in an event and IDing into top 8 is one path people could take in the past.

Personally, I think that it's not that big a deal to actually play out 2 more games but the change creates a situation whereby people cannot become comfortable until the very end because they would never know when they would actually make it into the top 8. While I myself am not comfortable with the decision, I continue to hope that people would come and fill up the Singleton PE when it comes back into the system.

Short Shadowmoor Chat

While it may be early to say this, I think that persist is going to make its impact felt in Singleton. If you can, I would strongly advise sneaking in Llanowar Reborn into your deck because I think it's bad enough that the card with persist returns once and it gets much worse with it returning twice. Persist makes attacking into it not worth the effort at all if the cards trade.

Also, the rare lands should make their presence felt with Reflecting Pool leading the way into the next generation of multicolored mana base. This I'm particularly excited about after seeing how the quick n toast mana base runs.

Talking about lands, an allied colored land can support 3 hybrid filterlands while an enemy colored pain/shock land can support 4 allied hybrid filterlands. The highly underrated Murmuring Bosk can single handedly activate all 5 hybrid filters! (and so can any land that can produce all 5 colors and Reflecting Pool but the available rainbow lands aren't that strong and Murmuring Bosk is a forest)
It becomes rather easy so chuck in a few of these filterlands into a deck trying to sport multiples of colored mana.

Note: Do remember that these lands differ from the Odyssey ones because they can produce colorless mana but you need colored mana to activate them.

Hopefully they bring in enemy hybrid lands. I strongly believe that enemy hybrids are slightly stronger than allied hybrids because they give allied colored lands access to 4 hybrids and allied lands are more plentiful, making it really easy to fix absurd mana bases.

--End of chat--

Until next time, this is Tarmotog messing around with the new lands.

tarmotog@hotmail.com