Essential Magic Articles


Why Scry? (Or Clash, for that matter)

by Shad Wills

    Magic is a game of skill and chance. Skilled deckmakers can see a bargain in a spell’s casting cost, sense the power of card synergy, and tune a mana base so it spreads like butter. A skilled player shocks his opponent with Shock, kills and saves with one Giant Growth, and waits until her Cancel causes concession. But it only works when you draw the right cards. Cancel, Giant Growth, and Shock all mean nothing if they’re not in your hand. And what’s worse, even if they are in your hand, they’re still meaningless if you don’t have the mana to power them. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to make sure you could play the cards you wanted to play? Well, there is! It’s called scry (and clash) and you should use it. So, what is scry (or clash) and why should you use it?

    Scry and clash are both abilities that allow you to stack your deck. That’s right! Put a card where you want it. Draw what you want, wait for what you don’t want. Scry reads like this: “scry x: look at the top x cards of your library, then put them on top or bottom of your library in any order.” Scry is not a particularly new ability, especially not for blue. But the cycle of scry cards in the Future Sight set come in every color. And what’s better, is that the scry cards from Future Sight don’t just stack your deck. Some deal damage to your opponent, kill creatures, or are creatures themselves. Riddle of Lightning can deal 10+ damage to your opponents face as an instant for five mana, and it lets you scry 3.

    Clash is a totally new ability that came out with Lorwyn. Clash reads like this: “each player reveals the top card of his/her library. The player who reveals the highest casting cost wins the clash. Each player puts the revealed card on the top or bottom of his/her library.” It’s not only useful, it’s fun! Like the scry cards, all of the cards with clash also do something else. What’s really great about the clash cards especially is that they are a bargain if you win the clash- a 3/2 creature for 1r, Time Ebb for 1b, six damage for 1r- and they stack your deck no matter what.

    There are multiple benefits to playing cards with scry and/or clash. Of course they help to smooth out your draws.They keep you from being mana screwed, or mana flooded, and allow you to run a higher overall mana curve.they let you put your unplayable spells where they won’t be seen for a while. My scry/clash deck is the only deck I’ve ever had that consistently plays one of it’s fatties. I’m talking fatties like Akroma, Angel of Wrath. And it outright casts it, no tricks, just smooth playing. Besides that, these spells are bargains for their costs. Lash Out always deals three damage to a creature, and when I win the clash it deals three damage to it’s controller too. That’s like two incinerates for the price of one. The clash cards, and some of the scry cards give benefits for running spells with larger casting costs; and because they smooth out your draws, they simultaneously make it easier to play you larger casting cost spells. Also, there are many spells with alternative casting costs that allow you to reap the advantage of winning a clash, while still being affordable to cast; the “remove two cards from your hand from the game” cards from Coldsnap, and of course cards with suspend for example.

    Mix it up. Add some scry/clash cards to a deck you already have and see how it smoothes things out. Run some cards like Chromatic Star with your scry/clash to really get what you want. Add a shuffler like Terramorphic Expanse to get those expensive cards back in the mix. But most of all have fun playing the spells you always wanted.

Last edited 1/11/2008 9:57:40 AM Page 1 of 1  Prev  Next  Go to page:

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