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From: Will S [mailto:hydraphonix@hotmail.com]
Sent: Friday, June 24, 2005 7:18 PM

Subject: Type II: Rare Black Gem Unearthed - W. Sair

Type II: Rare Black Gem Unearthed

Black is no longer calls the shots with creatures on the board. The good old days are gone. With the decline of mana-efficient black creature-removal spells, many hardcore Mono-Black-Control (MBC) fans are hastily making the switch to playing Sligh. But, really, who could blame them? In the slowed Type II environment, red creature-kill spells are still abundant as ever.
Black, on the other hand, had been deprived of anything useful, and left with "sealed-deck worthy" spells such as Rend Flesh and Rend Spirit.
Until now.
A savior has revealed him (but most likely her) self in the new block, Saviors of Kamigawa.

Kiku's Shadow - BB

Target creature deals damage to itself equal to its power.

An uncommon for two black mana, this second-turn wonder is capable of taking out everything worthy of a removal spell. Well, almost everything.

There is always the odd white fatty with way higher toughness than power, but then again, I did say anything that is worthy of a removal spell.
The real beauty of this card lies in its potential to deal with opposing black decks. Toshiro, Shirei, Kuro, Ink-Eyes and tons more, these multi-purpose black legends have been appearing in every combo-based or Beatdown deck lately. All of them are easy prey for Kiku's Shadow. In fact, Kiku's Shadow can effectively take out the majority of black creatures made.

Ever. This is because of the fact that most black creatures either have a higher power than toughness or power that is equal to its toughness.
A plus is that, since it is not an arcane spell, it will never be a victim of arcane-counter-spells or the dreaded Psychic Spear. And although there is another candidate for legend-removal, Hero's Demise, why get a rare with more restricting properties when you can get an uncommon with a much wider range of targets?
Once again, it is the time of the year for uncertainty in the Type II Magic community, as the previous core and expansion set are rotating out and their relief has not yet been released. Terror, from Mirrodin, is no longer dependable. Although there is a good chance that it may be filtered into Ninth, it is still only a distant possibility. Players should focus on building decks around cards from Kamigawa and cut their losses regarding Mirrodin.
Kiku's Shadow is a fine addition to any deck playing black, both one or two-color decks. The mana cost is only two black mana, meaning that if you have enough lands or mana-acceleration, it will never throw you off your mana curve. Situations will never arise where you are unable to play this spell; a more likely scenario would be you playing Kiku's too soon, much like pressing the panic button with the old Counterspell.
What are you doing still sitting here reading? Go out right now and dish out two dollars to get four copies of Kiku's Shadow for your black deck before everyone else does.

Note: I write articles about cards that are interesting and price-efficient, this is my first one on this site, I will write more if it is being received well. Also I am looking to get noticed by a Magic: The Gathering-related site so I can be a featured writer.


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