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Card of the Day

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Sickening Shoal 
Champions of Kamigawa

Reviewed January 31, 2005

Constructed: 3.50
Casual: 2.75
Limited: 4.25

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
(Shuffle and Cut)

The shoals, in general, are just sick. this particular shoal, the Sickening Shoal, is super sick. MBC (That's Mono-Black Control) just picked up the Weapon on Mass Destruction. Now, they can feasibly throw away things like extra Kokushos while blowing up whatever might be in their way, and do it all while tapped out. If they have the extra mana, you can just pay the price and whack it that way. The card is unbeleivably vertatile and is a must play in every MBC deck.

In limited, it's also a no brainer. Things that kill creatures must be played. This card would fit nicely in any limited deck running black.

Constructed: 5 (type 2 MBC)
Limited: 4.5


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

 Sickening Shoal - Monday

This seems like a fun card for black decks. You have to dedicate to playing a lot of black, so this won't work for those decks that only splash it for removal. Control decks will probably won't four of these in their deck. It's targeted, but being able to kill a creature for free is always good times.

Constructed: 4
Casual: 3
Limited: 3.5
 Sickening Shoal --

I've always been a fan of alternate casting cost cards, and Sickening Shoal really isn't an exception. Usually, I immediately ignore any form of targeted removal that involves giving out negatives to a creature -- that sort of ability is best left to mass removal, such as Mutilate or Hideous Laughter. However, if I don't have to pay for it, and I have a card that I don't need, Sickening Shoal seems a bit better. There is still a ton of good removal in Type II right now, though, so don't expect to see this card roaming around your local tourney scene.

For casual players, unless you have placed set restrictions on yourself, just don't play this card. You have hundreds of good removal options, and Sickening Shoal isn't one of them.

I would definitely play this card in limited. Any removal is good removal, and the fact that you can kill an absolutely massive creature by removing an expensive spell seems decent enough to me.

Constructed Rating: 2.0
Casual Rating: 2.0
Limited Rating: 3.5


* game store owner
(Shuffle and Cut)

 Sickening Shoal

The Shoals have proven to be some of the more popular cards of the new Betrayers of Kamigawa set, and Sickening one of the better Shoals. It's alternate casting cost really makes it evil. If you can manage the normal casting cost, great. If you can't, you don't need mana open and can make it go off anyhow with any black card in hand. Giving a creature negatives is usually much more efficient than doing damage to them, as damage has ways of being stopped, while negs are much more difficult to deal with. That's one reason that Sickening Shoal has come out ahead of Blazing Shoal as a better bet. Not that Blazing is's not, and if you're going red, it's a nice card. It's a good bet that you'll see Sickening in constructed, especially in block, and it will also prove popular in limited, both sealed and draft.

Constructed - 4.5
Casual - 3
Limited - 4.5
Ray Powers
Sickening Shoal

This card is definitely a top card for Limited, as a removal spell that can hit almost any creature in the format, and is not susceptible to Regeneration or Damage Prevention spells. It also has some great surprise ability with its alternate casting cost that lets you tap out but still be able to use it, albeit at the cost of another card. In casual play, its fine but not amazing, and in constructed, its likely to be played only in a control black deck, and this card may indeed help make one possible.

Constructed: 2
Casual: 3
Limited: 5

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