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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

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Read the Runes 
Onslaught Rare

Reviewed September 30, 2002

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

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Judge Bill

Read the Runes is an amazing card. An instant that allows you to draw X cards, with almost any drawback, will see a lot of play. The drawback on this is only very mild, though. Two very popular decks right now won't mind the drawback at all.
U/G will pitch a couple of Wallas, or in some instances, a Logic. Tog will just pitch most of the cards and sac a couple of lands to use as tog food from the graveyard.
This card will also see play in a lot of decks it shouldn't see play in, simply because it is instant speed card drawing.
In the right deck, though, this is better than Fact or Fiction. And there are really 2 right decks, mentioned above.
In limited, this is not as amazing. Yes, you get to draw some cards. But you have to lose resources (either cards in hand or permanents) for the cards you drew. Maybe a 20-23rd card in a deck. I don't see myself playing it very often in limited.
Constructed: 5++++
Limited: 2


Read is an excellent instant card drawing spell for Blue. At a cost of only U+X (X being the number of cards you draw and the number of cards you discard or permanents you sacrifice) this is a very powerful spell which allows the control U or U/x mage to load their hand with good cards and even help obtain threshold (if desired). Late game sacking surplus land to keep a larger and higher quality hand is another strong possibility. In short, this card is a powerful instant which is strongest in the mid to late game. It will be a staple of control oriented decks for a long time.
In limited it is a good but not great spell with the same basic advantages as constructed but on a scaled down basis. I would play it but I don't think it merits a high pick.
Constructed 4
Limited 2.5


  Ok, before trying to break this card, lets see if we can use it honestly:

1. It could be used as a searcher or a very good way of improving the quality of your hand without actually giving you card advantage.

2. Could be used as a madness outlet. Although most decks already have wild mongrel, you have to decide whether you want an extra 1 damage or an extra card. I think the card is probably a better choice.

3. Reach threshold quickly

The dishonest ways:

1. As a kill mechanism when used with wild mongrel or psychatog: Draw loads of cards, sac loads of permanents to keep the cards in hand, pitch all your cards to mongrel/psychatog. (as 'tog uses upheaval to win, this strategy is pretty much confined to u/g threshold decks)

2. Combo with the "Words" enchantments - the black, white and green ones look especially good.

So the rating. A 4.5 in constructed: damn good but not in all decks. This assumes it isn't banned really quickly.

Limited: Not much to say here. Its ok, for example if all you need to win is that <<cardname>> use read the runes to get it. A 3 in limited.
Mad Hatter
Read the Runes:
    Yet more broken blue card drawing. With Madness, this card becomes _way_,_way_ too powerful. Without Madness, this card still allows a player to get to the cards that he needs while discarding land and junk. Alos, it feeds Threshold. I wish that WOTC would come to the understanding that blue's card drawing ability is, and always has been, way over the top and too powerful. This one is so broken, that you can do it as an instant in combat when your creatures are about to die, and then sacrifice them when they were going to die anyway. Expect to see this card everywhere.

Copyright 2001


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