Monk's Corner
by
Ray Powers

*Level III Judge

*WOTC Tournament Organizer for Arizona & San Diego


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10.06.04 

 

Champions in Limited Ė Blue

 

You know the best thing about the PTQ I just ran on Saturday? I finished my set of Champions in it! Now itís much easier to review, because I can stare at the cards as I go down the list. Even better, this PTQ had no real good stories to tell, and if ever I wanted a boring PTQ so I didnít waste any good stories, it would be now, while Iím committed to this limited review project.

 

Let me preface this week with the overall belief that blue is not very strong in this format. It seems like it should be with the nice fliers available to it, but it has no ground game, and only the River Kami around to hold off the infinite ground forces. While it may fit well as a splash color for many decks, Iím not a big believer in it as a main color.

 

Now, without further ado, here we go!

 

 

Aura of Dominion

Itís a creature enchantment. It doesnít do damage. It doesnít protect your creatures. It doesnít kill anything. It doesnít go in your deck.

 

 

Azami, Lady of Scrolls

Well, there are 12 Wizards I saw in blue, and youíd even want to draft a lot of them. As such, this girl may not be too bad a pick. I donít think Iíd pick her early to try to build a ďwizard deckĒ, but if youíre already in blue and have a few wizardsÖ. Pick her up.

 

Callous Deceiver

The Deceivers are difficult cards for me to rate. Most of their abilities make them good to have, and they normally seem well costed or close to it, but the intense mana requirements of their abilities turn me off to them. This one has a three butt at least, making him a nice stopper for the hordes of 2/2ís that may come your way. Heís a nice middle range pick, but not a first one.

 

Consuming Vortex

Itís an Unsummon. Some decks can use an Unsummon, some canít. The only time I rate this card as a high pick is if you are playing Teller of Tales, because a bounce plus a tap/untap as an instant can spell certain doom for a deck in the right situation.

 

Counsel of Soratami

I am a big believer in things that draw me more cards. This card is very straightforward, and well worth a pick. I donít think you want to play more than three in a draft deck, but I doubt youíll draft more than three, so all good.

 

Cut the Tethers

Itís a sorcery; it will rarely bounce more than one thing, and may bounce some of yours. Itís a horrible card. If itís fifteen pick for you, ask for a recount.

 

Dampen Thought

Milling your opponent is not a very easy strategy in limited, even if they do have 40 card decks. One time milling effects do not really work in this format. Even if you get this off three times thanks to splice, itís not going to win you the game. Take a different card.

 

Eerie Procession

This is another one of those cards I like only if you have drafted Teller of Tales, as it goes well with it. Oh, and some Arcane spells worth fetching. :

 

Eye of Nowhere

Itís a sorcery Boomerang. I thought this card barely made the cut for limited when I put it in a sealed deck last week, then I actually tried to cast it  (yes, I had a Teller of Tales on the table) and my opponent pointed out that it was a sorcery. Since that dark day I have vowed never to play this card again.

 

Field of Reality

While this card can help push through the finishing damage, its very situational, as they may have non-spirits in play. Iíd vote against this card.

 

Floating Dream Zubera

Itís kind of a cantrip fog that may get through for a couple points of damage. Itís floating, so it would be nice if it actually had flying, but oh well. If you donít see things better than this card, grab it, and it may fill out your deck. Blue is lacking in two drops.

 

 

Gifts Ungiven

I like this card a lot. Its card advantage, itís an instant, which makes it even better, and it gives your opponent the chance to make bad decisions, which to me is the hallmark of a great card. I rate this card a very high pick.

 

Graceful Adept

Its ability is virtually useless in limited, so basically you are getting a 1/3 for three mana. Do you want a 1/3 for three mana? Then go draft the Callous Deceiver.

 

Guardian of Solitude

This guy is not so great, but he does fill the two-drop slot or blue. He best fits in a green deck because flying trampling Moss Kami make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. You should be able to float this guy, and catch him on the second pass.

 

Hinder

Itís a hard counter for three mana, and a Time Ebb when it needs to be to stop your opponent from drawing something next turn. This card should be a very high pick and a must have for your deck.

 

Hisoka, Minamo Sensei

Another ability you are unlikely to use, and may not want to even if you could. So, once again, you are paying way too much for a 1/3. Skip this guy.

Hisokaís Defiance

I may not like Hisoka, but his defiant attitude has some promise to it. This is a hard counter for roughly half of the cards in the format for 1U. I strongly suggest picking it up.

 

Hisokaís Guard

While I do complain about the lack of two drops for blue in this set, that does not mean I am desperate enough to play this guy. He may be good as a trick preventer, but you have to leave two mana untapped all the time to protect people. I donít think heís worth it.

 

 

Honden of Seeing Winds

Always a big fan of card advantage, I think this card is a must have. Not a lot of enchantment hate is being played main deck, so this card sticks when it hits, and gets you plenty of extra cards. I strongly suggest this.

 

Jushi Apprentice

As usual, Iím going with the theory that more often than not, you will never flip a flip card, so you need to rate it by itís unflipped state. A 1/2 for 1U is not too bad a start, and the ability to draw cards can be useful mid to late game. I would suggest him as amid to high level pick.

 

Kami of the Twisted Reflection

While this guy is barely better than a Grey Ogre, he is a solid fill in the three slot, and his ability is often pretty useful. For a heavy blue deck, I strongly suggest him.

 

 

Keiga, the Tide Star

Can I just say, ďdraft all the big legendary dragons and beat peoples faces in with themĒ to save time?

 

Lifted By Clouds

We all know how much you liked Jump, and you thought about how much better it would be if only it cost a couple more mana. No? Me either.

 

Meloku, the Clouded Mirror

The words ďFirst PickĒ come to mind when looking at this guy. Heís a 2/4 flier, he is splashable, with only one colored mana in his cost, and his ability normally ends up reading ďwin target game in two turns.Ē Pick him every time.

 

Myojin of Seeing Winds

Ok, letís look at this. This guy costs ten mana, thatís ten lands in play. You probably have a couple guys in play, so letís say 13 permanents, then him, 14 permanents. If you cast him on turn ten, you have drawn 16 or 17 cards, so, the question becomes, will he draw you out if you use his ability, or is he just a wildly overcosted 3/3 indestructible creature? I will pass on this guy, but maybe thatís just me.

 

Mystic Restraints

Blueís only removal. This card is a top pick for any blue heavy deck. The instant speed ability of this card makes it quite the handy combat trick as well.

 

Part the Veil

Well, itís rare at least?

 

Peer through Depths

Another card that screams to me ďPlay me only if you have Teller of Tales.Ē

 

 

Petals of Insight

Iím sure this ability seems a bit expensive, but the five drop area of this color is not too heavy consisting of Teller of Tales, Soratami Seer and Meloku. Drawing three cards if you are not playing those guys seems like a good deal for turn five.

 

Psychic Puppetry

No Twiddle for me, thank you.

 

Reach Through Mists

Another great Teller of Tales card, and not a bad deck thinner in any case, I play this more often than I expected to.

 

Reweave

This is one situational card, but has its moments. The possibility of turning someoneís Legendary Dragon into a Zeruba makes me all tingly inside, so I think itís worth a pick.

 

River Kaijin

If you are drafting heavy blue, or blue white fliers, this guy is your man. A 1/4 may seem like nothing special until you realize how well he holds the ground against all those 2/2 bushido guys. Horrible in some decks, a master of others, choose wisely when considering this creature.

 

Sift Through Sands

The UU in the cost makes it kind of annoying as deck search except in blue heavy decks. Itís a playable card, but if you can take a creature instead, do so.

 

Sire of the Storm

Every card that I said is only good with Teller of Tales is pretty damn good with this guy as well. This card is a first pick or close to it. A 3/3 flier that makes half of your deck cantrips is nothing to sneeze at.

 

Soratami Cloudskater

I am one of those people that just do not like this guy. Heís 1/1 for two mana, and his ability is mana intensive, mana debilitating, and is not card advantage, merely search. I would pick a Counsel of Soratami over this guy, personally.

 

Soratami Mirror-Guard

Heís a 3/1 flier for four mana whoís ability you will never use. That being said, I am ok with a 3/1 flier for four mana, and recommend him.

 

Soratami Mirror-Mage

Now this one is a 2/1 flier for four mana, but you will use his ability. In fact, in the right circumstances his ability will win you the game. A high pick.

 

Soratami Rainshaper

The real reason you pick all of the Soratamis are because they fly, not because of their abilities. The abilities are just icing on the cake. The Rainshaper is best because he is so much better than Hisokaís Guard that I donít feel bad telling you to not pick the guard, which the rainshaper can do the same thing, and attack for two a turn.

 

 

Soratami Savant

The double colored mana in his casting cost makes him a bit harder to cast, but his ability also has the power to just win you games, especially since you can use it more than once in response to a spell.

 

Soratami Seer

Five mana for a 2/3 flier that has an ability you may or may not use. I place the Seer much further down on the scale of playable cards, but if you need another creature, give him a pick.

 

Squelch

Squelch is a very situational card, but a possibly good trick to save your creature or even yourself. If you have to take it, do so, and put it in your sideboard and see if you can find an opportunity to use it well. You never know.

 

Student of Elements

I will never get to flip him unless I am playing such bad cards that my deck will lose no matter what. Pass on this guy.

 

Swirl the Mists

Uh, no.

 

Teller of Tales

You can build a deck around this guy, and when you do, itís amazing. If you can get two of them, draft every spirit and arcane spell you can play and go to town. This card is a very high pick for the blue drafter.

 

Thoughtbind

This card has potential, but most things that cost four or less you can handle better with other cards. A mid range pick at best.

 

 

Time Stop

Itís gold. Itís a counterspell, it may even be a time walk that taps all of your opponentís creatures. Itís a god trick and worth a try.

 

The Unspeakable

Well, heís one less than the Myojin, so that has to be good, right?! Well, heís still nine mana, but from what I have seen, Champions games last that long, so he may be good times after all. Iíd put him in the right deck.

 

Uyo, Silent Prophet

A 4/4 flier with a copy ability, this creature is a powerhouse. He is a definite first pick in every occasion.

 

Wandering Ones

No generic 1/1ís for one mana for me thank you very much.

 

Tune in next week when we go over black, and I have to take back everything I said about flip cards!

 

E-mail me at rayp-at-primenet.com.

 

 

 

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