People Laughed At My Darts—Once

Posted in Feature on December 2, 2005

By John H. Klauk

In what can only be described as a most savage twist of events, the great minds behind Magic: The Gathering® Online have decided that now is the time to release the Mirage™ card set online. Mirage goes on sale for Magic: The Gathering Online starting December 5, 2005. Almost 10 years after its initial paper release, players will once again get to feel the joys of cracking open a Grinning Totem, an Enlightened Tutor, or a Cadaverous Bloom. Players will be able to Power Sink opponents’ spells online into the waiting clutches of Hokori, Dust Drinker. Players will be able to keep their creatures in a Shallow Grave, returning to do their bidding at a moment’s notice. Players will be able to pit flanking versus bushido.

Yes! Finally that age old question will be answered! Is my Samurai better than your Cavalry? Hmm… wait… what if you had Samurai Cavalry? Bushido and flanking?! Think about it R&D. Think about it.

The nostalgia factor alone will drive yours truly to purchase many a pack of Mirage online. I mean, Incinerate online?! C’mon! That common alone is worth the want to grab a few packs of one of the most entertaining Magic: The Gathering card sets ever! And if you don’t think Mirage truly deserves that title, then you, my friend, did not play with the set when it was first out on the streets.

Mirage hit shelves in late 1996, right at a time when players still had a bad taste in their mouths from Homelands (easily the least successful Magic: The Gathering set, from a creativity and playability standpoint).*Mirage delivered everything players felt they were deprived of from the lands of Baron Sengir. There was a Stalking Tiger, a Reality Ripple, and even a Phyrexian Dreadnought. All wanting wishes had been granted and all magical prayers answered. Not to mention that the next two sets, Visions™ and Weatherlight™, were dynamite expansion sets all by themselves. And who’s to say that if the release of Mirage online goes well, Wizards of the Coast will not back it up with other sets. Logically, this would be Visions and then Weatherlight. Exactly how cool would it be to draft Mirage block… again!? For some, that would be a first. For others, it would be the rediscovery of good times, long forgotten. Believe me when I say that Mirage block is an entity unlike any other you have ever known.

Psst… little secret. Draft Empyrial Armor high. I hear it’s good. Wow! I bet that thing is good with the sweep mechanic. Utter beatings at the hands of an Akki Underling.

Um, yeah… sorry. Now what was I saying?

Oh yes. I remember.

This really is an amazing thing when you think about it. Here is a chance for new players to experience a set of older Magic: The Gathering cards long after that chance originally came into being and has now faded away. I think this is one of the cooler things I have heard of concerning Magic in quite some time. I mean, after experiencing it, the evolution in design, the shift in power, the understanding of the game’s development… it will all be much, much clearer to many players. Don’t think so? Well, let me present this comparison for your reading pleasure.

I give you Telim’Tor’s Darts:

And now for something more current… Umezawa’s Jitte:

Well, let me tell you what. You know who’s still laughing Telim’? Umezawa, that’s who.

“Yes, Johanne, but can Umezawa wield more than one of his precious Jitte?”

Well, um…no, but…

“And can Umezawa use his precious Jitte without a servant at hand to wield it?”

Well, um… no, but…

“And can Mr. Fancy, Smancy Samurai really laugh, I mean really laugh when he finishes his big, bad opponent off with his precious Jitte? I think not! Anyone can wield that legendary thing and wade through the battlefield. Try throwing your darts over and over and over. It takes a lot of effort buddy! You feel like you actually worked to accomplish something! That’s the sort of thing that forges character Mister!”

I see your point.**

Almost enough to make me want to make a deck that “abuses” Telim’Tor’s Darts. Almost. Instead, I think I will be working on a few other decks for the December release of Mirage online. Here are a few to get your Mirage creative juices flowing.

Unican't Hurt Me

Download Arena Decklist

This is a fun, light-hearted, casual deck from back in the days. Not the best thing in the world, but one that will make you smile and your opponent groan when you win. It’s not for the faint of heart though, let me tell ya’. Don’t expect to win with that one too often, but then again… winning isn’t everything. Have some fun once in a while for goodness sake. Playing with bad cards is a much more enjoyable experience than you can even begin to believe.

Ok, so you want something with a competitive edge instead? Try this out for size:

Mirage-Only Counter-Burn

Download Arena Decklist
Creature (6)
3 Volcanic Dragon 3 Mist Dragon
Sorcery (4)
4 Hammer of Bogardan
Artifact (4)
2 Fire Diamond 2 Sky Diamond
Land (24)
12 Mountain 12 Island
Other (2)
2 Kaervek’s Torch
60 Cards

Man, and people complain that blue doesn’t get good card drawing spells now? All I have to say is that I remember loving Kaervek’s Torch versus Force of Will, and I remember loving Dissipate—ironically versus Hammer of Bogardan.

If you are feeling especially odd, try this Open deck in the casual room: 30 Talruum Minotaur
10 Fire Diamond
20 Mountain

What?! Good memories right there. Good times.

There are just so many other decks I never made out of this set that I always wanted to, and there are so many decks I made out of this set that I can’t wait to put back together online is some form or fashion. I’m sure we will see Cadaverous Bloom decks everywhere, but what I want to see are the Bazaar of Wonders and Forsaken Wastes decks.

Who knows what else other players can’t wait to put together. And I’m just thinking about Mirage-only deck lists. It’s going to be a beautiful, beautiful thing I tell you.

So, whatever you decide to throw together and make, have fun. A set like this doesn’t get released every day… just twice every decade.

Catch Ya’ll Later,
John H. Klauk
Klaukwork Wizard on Magic Online
johnklauk at

*Even so, Homelands was still much fun to play with. I mean, it had Magic cards in it, right? I have yet to experience a set of Magic cards I haven’t gotten some joy out of. Some are just better than others. My least favorite set is actually Fallen Empires. I mean, Homelands had Mammoth Harness in it! What more could you want?

**Actually, Telim’Tor is a pretty nice guy. We grab lunch together once in a while. I don’t know why he got so bent out of shape. It’s not my fault Wizards of the Coast didn’t make equipment back then. I’m sure his darts would have been a lot better than a cheaper Rod of Ruin if they did, but maybe not. Maybe he should just stop using darts and pick up a sword? I mean, really… who throws darts?

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