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Plague Spitter
by Paul Hagan

What are the three most common Type II decks right now? Before you read on, I'd like you to do something for me. Close your eyes; envision you are at a nice, big tournament. What are the three most prominent decks there? Say them out loud. Now, I am willing to bet most of you out there said (or thought), "Rebels, Skies, and Fires." If you didn't, do so now.

So how do you hurt these decks? It's hard, I know, but how? Rebels: Kill the searchers (Sivvi and Sergeant). Skies: Kill the Airship and Hatchlings; try to kill the Spirit. Fires: Kill the mana producers (Elves and Birds) first, and then go for the throat. How do you do it? Two words: Plague Spitter.

This card, more than any, saved me at a local tournament run by DeQuan Watson, writer of The Dragon's Den, just a few weeks ago. I cannot claim many victories (3-2, 19th place), but I did notice a common threat between many of the games: Plague Spitter equals good fun.

[Side Note: The two losses were in rarely related to card choice, I made several poor plays and kept a few bad opening hands. I saw no point where Plague Spitter was a bad choice.]

Plague Spitter, during your upkeep, deals 1 damage to all creatures and players, and it is a 2/2 creature to boot; when he dies, he deals another damage to all creatures and players. Now, put this card into play against Skies first turn. Unless your opponent Foils (which might hurt quite a bit), it hits. This stops two of the three most common creatures in a Skies deck: Rishadan Airship and Spiketail Hatchling. That means they have to Wash Out or lay a Troublesome Spirit. You have already laid a good path to victory for game one. But what if they block with Spirit? Well, then both are dead. One damage hit during the upkeep, two hit when he blocked, and the one damage hit when he dies. Nice. In addition to those three, he can also kill Air Elemental, Cloud Skate, Chimeric Idol, and Cloud Sprite if your opponent felt the need to play with those (you may laugh now.)

Next, Rebels. Rebels are a tough deck to beat, but not impossible. One of the two problematic cards that come to mind is the Ramosian Sergeant. By second turn, this guy can be slapping you for one a turn, or hunting down a Defiant Falcon, Steadfast Guard, or Ramosian Lieutenant. Two of those bad boys hunt down the most dreaded of all rebels: Lin Sivvi. Fortunately, with a Plague Spitter, Ramosian Sergeant goes down in a turn, along with the Falcon. As with above, this guy can take down almost any creature in this deck. When blocked by anything, he kills all Steadfast Guards, Longbow Archers, Thermal Glider, and Ramosian Lieutenants. When blocked by Ramosian Sky Marshall, Lin Sivvi, Chimeric Idol, and Blinding Angel, the Spitter comes through and kills those too. At worst, Plague Spitter against Rebels will kill one creature when he goes down, but at best, he's a one-sided Wrath of God.

Finally, Fires. Fires is another rough deck, but Plague Spitter can turn it into one of the slowest decks around. Many Fires decks run the eight mana producers (Llanowar elves and Birds of Paradise) and eighteen to twenty lands. Slap down a Plague Spitter at any point, and they may be in serious trouble. No mana, no problem…for you. Its amazing what this card does to Fires decks, something never imagined: it makes them use land, not creatures, for mana. But what's better, the Spitter also kills Ancient Hydra, Thornscape Familiar, and River Boa (please, do keep regenerating). And when he's blocked, he takes down almost any version of a Saproling Token (sure, if they want to create a 6/6, that's ok), Skizzik, Chimeric Idol, Kavu Chameleon, Flame Tongue Kavu, and any number of others.

Of course, much of this strategy is when the Spitter is used on its own. Couple this card with Dark Ritual for a first turn Spitter. If you're running black for Spitter, why not stick in (the sideboard) Tsabo's Decree against Rebels, Parish for Fires/Blastogeddon, or team him up with the Thrashing Wumpus to take down almost anything in Skies (just make sure not to use Wumpus and Spitter at the same time, it doesn't work out too well). For another good card choice, consider this: Plague Spitter doesn't touch Chimeric Idol unless you want it to. Any of the kill spells (Snuff Out, Vendetta, Terror, Hand of Death, Seal of Doom, etc.) clear the path for the little 2/2 guy, and you could even use some older cards, such as Meekstone, to make sure no big guns (such as Blastoderm) get in his way.

Hope this article helped some of y'all. If you want to e-mail me, I can be reached at Also, I can't finish this article until I plug The Game Closet, the best place I know of for everything for anything RPG, CCG, and Miniature Game (War Hammer and Mage Knight type stuff) related. You can find it in Waco, Texas; so if you're in the area, stop on by.

Paul Hagan