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Pojo's Duel Masters Card of the Day

Image from Wizards Duel Master site

  Illusionary Merfolk
Base Set

Card # DM32

Date Reviewed: 08.17.05

Constructed Average Rating:
Limited Average Rating:

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 being the worst. 3 ... average.
5 is the highest rating.

Nimbly Hey Pojo People! I don’t have a featured article this week, on account of the fact that I’ll be on vacation for the next 4-5 days, so I have no time to concentrate on a topic. I’ll write a COTD for you guys though, as this card has me curious on its use.

Well, how about another installment of “Old cards that magically have use again!”. We have stuff like Ghost Touch making its way back into the meta, and this guy. Who’s a huge 4000 attacker with some draw in it?

No, not Plasma Chaser!...Honestly…Plasma Chaser?...What were you thinking…

Illusionary Merfolk
Civilization: Water
Type: Gel Fish
Mana Cost: 5
Power: 4000
Ability: If you summon this monster while a cyber lord is on your side of the field, Draw up to 3 cards.

The Rundown

Yea, we all see this guy. Lots of play…especially in blue…blah, blah, blah. With Emeral and Corile being overly abused in Water decks, this guy makes perfect use right?

The Positive Side

(March 2004) – And we go back in time. Remember when we first encountered this guy? Yea, we all thought, “Wow this card is crap. We have 1 cyber lord and that guy sucks. Oooh, beware of the ever powerful Tropico!
When we’ll see a decent cyber lord?...”

Yea. I remember being like that. So how long until we got them cyber lords. 1 broken one comes in the next set and another broken one comes another set later. Yep. Good old Emeral and Corile.

It’s pretty obvious why this guy is great. Run 4 Emerals and Coriles, and this guy has a field day. Drawing 3 cards is amazing. Period.

Water already has some strong draw power cards. We have our over abused Aqua Hulcus, our under looked Brain Serum and Energy Stream, and other things in the current field.

Does Merfolk work? Yes…Yes it does. Most of the time, you’ll always have a Corile or Emeral on the field if you have them in good amounts (at least 3 of each). Not only do you get the draw, but you get this 4000 beatstick that takes down plenty of monsters. I mean, 4000 is a heavy monster to take care of… And we all know that hand advantage will win games.

So yea. That’s about it. There isn’t much to explain about this card. It’s pretty simple. Play, draw, beatdown. GG

The Negative Side

There are some bad things. The most obvious would be its mana cost, but don’t get selfish. It does cost 5, so it doesn’t conveniently chain with anything. But Look at what you get for 5 mana. 3 cards and a 4000 attacker. Oh yea, that sucks…

The more important thing I notice about this guy, (and the reason why I don’t use it in my new R/U deck), is that you pay 5 for the card, but you really don’t get anything else out of it. Most of the time, 5 mana basically takes up your turn. You get the draw, but you have to make sure that you can wait a turn to actually use them to your advantage.

See, if you’re shieldless, with no blockers, and you have 5 mana, then you really don’t want to play Merfolk, cause if your shieldless at 5 mana, you’re probably facing some pyrofighters, so you’ll lose.

It’s complicated, but I see it more as an insurance policy instead of a game changer. Drawing cards is great, but if you don’t have time to use them, then what good are they?

Finally here’s “What else could you use?”
- Corile, but you probably are already
- Emeral, but you probably are already
- Aqua Hulcus, but you probably…you get the point

If you got it, and you’re using around 6-8 cyber lords, then you’ll be fine. It should be a help to you.

The Limited Side

No. Just don’t. I mean a 4000 attacker is great in limited, but wait a turn and you get a lot of great double breakers. Plus, you won’t really get any cyber lords, unless your lucky and play with Evo and Rampage. Plus Plus, drawing doesn’t always help in limited as much. Plus Plus Plus, the chances of you having a cyber lord out with this guy is very unlikely. Get it?

The Recap

Here’s our + and – Recap

- Uber Draw power
- Cyber Lords well in use
- 3 Cards are good…
- 4000 beatstick too?!!!

- 5 Mana is high, but still reasonable
- Not good in certain situations
- Doesn’t really “save” games

Constructed (with 6-8 CLs) – 3.5/5 – Great card to use if you have the Cyber Lord Power. Use 2 on average, but 3 max. 4 is asking for problems…
Limited – 1.5/5 – Draw can help, but 99% of the time, you won’t pull of it’s effect. Even though it’s got 4000 attack, that’s still low to our power attackers in recent sets.
Art – 2.5/5 – Kinda like a floating Rabbit’s head with tentacles…Seriously, what the hell is it? And that thing makes you draw?...

That’s it for Illusionary Merfolk. If anyone has a question, Comment/Concern/Complaint, a reply to a review or article, or you just want to talk about the game, E-Mail me at nimbly@gmail.com
Later Days…

Next article. Next week.
Steven Cantrell

Today’s card has surprisingly never been reviewed. It was the source of plenty of controversy several months ago, and continues to be the single most powerful draw engine to date. Let’s take a closer look at...


Illusionary Merfolk

Type: Creature

Civilization: Water

Race: Gel Fish

Mana Cost: Five (5)

Rules Text:

When you put this creature into the battle zone, if you have a Cyber Lord in the battle zone, draw up to 3 cards.

Flavor Text:

The Cyber Lords' devotion to beauty is so extreme, they even designed their warrior race to have a pleasant appearance.

Power: 4000

Rarity: Uncommon

Set: Base Set


Power/Cost: Illusionary Merfolk fits right into the mid-cost range. A return of 4k power is about what you can expect for five mana. This ratio is nothing spectacular, but it is enough to survive the ever-popular Searing Wave. Merfolk is kind of in no man’s land with enough power to tackle all weenies, but not enough to get by Thrash Crawler, Barkwhip, etc. Average score here.


Civilization/Race: Water is the king of draw power, so it comes as no surprise that Merfolk does just that. It would also make sense that he shares a civilization with the Cyber Lords, whom his effect depends upon. Merfolk’s own race has no significance at all. While there are many Gel Fish, fourteen to be exact, they have minimal support at the moment.


Effects: This ability is absolutely insane. Of course the tremendous advantage comes with a condition, though it not all that difficult to pull off. There a number of excellent Cyber Lords available to fulfill the effect requirement. I honestly don’t know how WotC could possibly miss nerfing such a powerful card. The prospect of three free cards is just too good to pass up. Keep thinking that over and over in your head. Three free cards, three free cards...


Limited: 2/5

Tropico is the only Cyber Lord available for drafting along with Merfolk, which means you probably will not pull off the draw ability. That leaves Merfolk as just a 4k creature for five mana. Avoid him if possible.


Constructed: 4.5/5

In the regular format, his beauty knows no bounds. Merfolk is currently one of the few cards that can turn around an entire game in an instant. Almost all decks with Water should run 2-4 copies along with some Corile and Emeral.


Steven Cantrell


Elk Illusionary Merfolk

Hi everybody. It's Elk and I'm back. I haven't been doing reviews because it was the summer time and I was just blazing the forums.( You all know me, Elk, the one who helped ALL of your decks, lol) But anyways, I'm reviewing cards so I can have something to do to take my mind off of school and the like. Today I'm reviewing the all known Illusionary Merfolk. As I have been seeing on the boards the use of this card has declined in some control decks, but it is still used a lot nonetheless. Lets look at the stats.

Card Name: Illusionary Merfolk
Card Type: Creature
Creature Type: Gel Fish
Color: Water
Summoning Cost: 5
Power: 4000
Mana Value: 1
Effect: When you put this creature into the battle zone, if you have a Cyber Lord in the battle zone, draw up to 3 cards.

3 cards. How nice.

Back in the base set, the only Cyber Lord was Tropico. Merfolk didn't see much play in the Base Set. But in the Evo set, we got another one.
The most loved and most hated card called Corile. I think he got played a little bit more when Evo came out. Then in Rampage, we got another one. Emeral. When he was released the use of Merfolk rised.
Then people used Merfolk in their B/U/x control decks as their main draw method. But now with people using 4 Hulci and 4 Streams, as well as the use for Emeral decreasing, Merfolk's use has slowly been declining.

Now lets look at the stats!!!

Type: Gel Fish

At the moment, Gel Fish have no support at all. But I hope that in future sets we will see some Gel Fish Evos and Support cards.

Civilization: Water

Of course this card belongs to the Water civilization. Which other civi would let you net 3 cards?

Cost: 5

This is the perfect cost. By turn 5, if you have had no shields broken and have been laying mana every turn, as well as been making plays, your hand is definately exhausted and you will have to make a quick decision on wheter or not to put the card you just draw into the mana zone, or battle zone. Luckily, Merfolk will net you 3 cards off the top of your deck on turn 5 or 6, giving you more options to choose from, and that is always a good thing.

Power: 4000

Just the right power level. It has enough power to survive the wave, and can kill the weaker creatures if they are tapped.

Effect: What is their to say? 3 cards?

I have to go. My mom is rushing me >_<

Constructed 5/5
Limited 2/5
Art 3/5

My new email is imarealog@gamil.com
I'll be back
Lee Sandow


Greetings from college!  Steven brought it to my attention that I wanted to review the cards he selected for this week, and he was right.  Pity I missed Corile and Holy Awe last week, but other reviewers said what needed to be said about them anyways.  And if you really want my opinion about Corile, look for the Valentines Day special.  Moving swiftly on, today we are reviewing a card I once hated more than anything.  Then Pyrofighter came along, and I got over this card.  This card is also excellently countered by Friday's COTD.  Introducing the Cyber Lord loving...
Illusionary Merfolk

Cost:  5

Civilization:  Water

Card Type:  Creature
Race:  Gel Fish

  • When you put this creature into the battle zone, if you a Cyber Lord in the battle zone, draw three cards.

Power: 4000

Mana Generated: 1

Rarity:  Uncommon

Card Number:  32/110


Most cards slowly lose playability after the set they are released in.  This guy, however, got BETTER.  I'll discuss why in a minute.
Civilization/Race:  He's water, and he's a... Gel fish?  That race doesn't do much to help him by itself, but he is blessed in being part of the watr civilization.  Water is loved for it's ability to control and draw cards... which is what this guy does best.


Cost:  He costs five mana.  That's too expensive for his 4000 power.  Throw in his effect, and it's MORE than worth it.  Bear in mind this is only good IF you will be getting his effect.  Let that be known. 


Power:   Pyrofighter can't kill his 4000 power.  Few things that aren't evo's or spells can kill this.  He's great for flattening weenie creatures, and also good for killing blockers.  He's fun.


Abilities:  When you summon him, you get to draw three cards, IF you have a Cyber Lord in the battle zone.  First, let's review what Cyber Lords see play that this has synergy with.  People use Emeral and Corile alot.  This gut plays VERY well with them.  Now, on to his effect.  Drawing three cards gives you massive advantage over your opponent.  As ever, having more resources than your opponent means you have more ways to conceivably beat them.  This guy is a very popular combo, for good reason.


Ok, now that I've reviewed these stats, let's see how they stack up. 


Constructed overview:  In a deck that has enough Cyber Lords to conceiebaly pull of the combo, this card is a beast.  In a BUG deck like Steven Cantrells, where an Emeral hits on turn 2, a BAT on turn 3, and this guy on turn 4, your odds of winning lessen considerably.  Try this guy out.  You'll probably like what you see.  4/5, IN THE RIGHT DECK.

Limited overview:  IF you are only drafting base set, I need to remind you of a few things.  There is ONE craptacular Cyber Lord in the base set. So unless you pull a Tropico, this guy will net you no return.  Most often, here, you will not get his effect, so he's simply a 5 for 4000 body.  You can PROBABLY do better.  2/5


College rules!

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