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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Spinal Parasite

Cost: 5 Mana

Artifact Creature-Insect

P/T: -1/-1

Sunburst (this comes into play with a +1/+1 for each color of mana used to cast it) Remove Two +1/+1 counters from Spinal Parasite: Remove a counter from target permanent.

Spinal Parasite 
Fifth Dawn Uncommon

Reviewed May 18, 2004


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

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Card of the Day Reviews 


* game store owner in CA, ShuffleAndCut

Uh... meh. Poop. I'm not finagling 5 colors of mana for a creature that's claim to fame is that it removes 2 counters total from another permanent then dies. I just can't imagine this as an ability so useful that I'd pay 5 colors to use it.

In casual, this will be a homeless body, I'm afraid.  No, scratch that. I'm not afraid...I'm happy to report that it's crap.

Forget it in have better things to do with your mana I hope. If you don't, please drop from the tournament before you humiliate yourself.

Constructed: 1
Casual: 1
Limited: 1
   Current Price:
Spinal Paradise - Fifth Dawn - $Not worth it


Judge Bill

*Level 2
MTG Judge

*game store employee

Spinal Parasite
Continuing the trend of breaking rules for starting the week, we get the first card with a (base) power and toughness of -1. This can also be a good card if a pesky deck pops up that relies on putting counters on permanents. However, I don't see one, so this is rather useless in any format.
Constructed: 1
Casual: 1
Limited: 1

Ray "Monk"
* Level 3 DCI Judge
*DCI Tournament Organizer
*Game Store Owner (Gamer's Edge)

Spinal Parasite


Like yesterday’s card, this card is another “rule’s breaker,” this time by making a card that has a “negative” power and toughness. Now every casual player is going to have to understand the concept of negative power and how it interacts with the game. Poor players.


Even worse, he’s slightly weak. For BURGW you get a 4/4 with the ability to possible remove two +1/+1 counters from something by killing itself… Not too amazing.


Constructed:                 1

Casual:                         2

Limited:                        2


2 Grand Prix Top 8's

Multiple Pro Tour appearances

Spinal Parasite


Ummm….why?  I’m waiting for the part where this card matters to anyone.  It doesn’t foil any of the actual constructed decks, so just ignore this and move on.


I definitely see some fun purposes for this in casual; stealing counters from things like Darksteel Reactor could make for a pretty sizable amount of fun.  It’s got limited use, but at least some fun could be had.


If you aren’t going to hit at least four colors of mana, I don’t see this serving any sort of reasonable purpose.  It just won’t be efficient enough otherwise; Arcbound Bruiser is already a marginally good creature, I wouldn’t fret about trying to fit anything worse than that into your draft deck.  His ability is only really good with all five counters on it, I think, so it’s practically ignorable.


Constructed:  1.5

Casual:  3.0

Limited:  2.0



* game store owner (The Game Closet - Waco,TX)

* pro tour player

Spinal Parasite
I'm not sure I totally understand the concept of this card.  It's not good if you just cast it with one color.  With two colors you can't even use it's ability.  So you need to use a minimum of three colors to even make this card useful.  On top of that, it's ability is extremely limited.  I'd expect it to see very little play.  There might be a few strange and interesting uses in extended though.
Constructed: 1
Casual: 1
Limited: 1

Jeff Zandi

5 Time Pro Tour

Level 2 Judge

Spinal Parasite
Imagine, a place where you would never have back trouble, where spinal
injuries could never happen. Oh, sorry, I thought this card was called
Spinal PARADISE. Spinal Parasite is another Fifth Dawn card featuring
"Sunburst", meaning that it gains a number of counters when it comes into
play equal to the number of different colors of mana you used to cast it.
(the judge in me requires me to mention that you don't get to invent new
colors, you are restricted to the five legal Magic colors of mana) I think
this ability generally inflates the price of a card that will be
underpowered for its cost unless you were able to use four or all five
colors to cast it. I do think this ability is cute in that it gives you a
colorless casting cost but encourages you to use colored mana. This card,
and Sunburst cards in general, are a REALLY BAD combo with Urza's lands. So,
for five mana, if you have all five colors, you get a 5/5 creature. Anything
less is rather unexciting. This creature's ability must have seemed like a
good idea during testing when the testing group became entirely TOO FIXATED
on the creatures with counters, Clockwork and Arcbound creatures, and so on.
CASUAL:           2.5
LIMITED:          2.5

 Van Zandt

Spinal Parasite
Sunburst = bad.  This guy = worse, since he's inherently smaller than your average bad sunburst dude.  At best he's a 4/4 for 5, and his ability does not make up for it.  He'd be extremely lucky if he ever saw a place in a sideboard, I think.  Maybe I'm missing something.
constructed 1
casual 1.5
limited 2

Spinal Parasite is fascinating because it is the first negative power/toughness creature we have seen. The downside of this card is that you need at least 2 colors of mana just to play it and you also need a total of 5. It does, however combo with a number of interesting cards including anything with cumulative upkeep. I think we will see it in fun creative combo decks but I fear it is too slow and requires too much support for more competitive builds.

Constructed - Just seems like too many cards are needed to support multiple uses of the Spinal Parasite, too slow as well - 2.0

 Limited - Probably an awful pick since it is not an aggressive creature for the investment, may act as poor creature kill for weak Sunburst cards - 2.0

Casual - Some fun decks especially with so many abilities that are kept track of with counters - 2.5


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