crystal shared book cover

Crystal Shard, Can I Get A Witness

If you aren’t familiar with Robert Anthony Salvatore first book The Crystal Shard: The Legend of Drizzt, Book 4 spend a weekend and give it a read and you’ll be surprised out how many Magic cards that Salvatore inspired through this book.

crystal shard magic card

Sometimes a deck can be a brilliant innovation, fun to play, have seeming strategic dominance over the field, and be completely the wrong choice to play. This is Crystal Witness, from Matteo Cirigliano in 2004’s Mirrodin Block Constructed.

I don’t want to take anything away from this brilliant blue-green concoction. It has creatures with comes-into-play abilities. It has card drawing and permission. It reuses those creatures with Crystal Shard until you’re happily bouncing and replaying and destroying everything your opponent has over and over and over. Somewhere around turn fourteen, your opponent might realize they can’t possibly beat your Eternal Witness when it comes into play for the eighth straight turn.

But… let’s be real for a second. Is this deck Affinity? No, it is not. Affinity was totally legal in Mirrodin Block Constructed at the time (well, not Skullclamp), and this deck has zero cards with Affinity or that kill the opponent for one mana. Instead, it has eleven maindeck artifact removal spells and more in the sideboard.

Is it going to beat Affinity most of the time? Well… let’s focus on how cool it is, instead. Let’s block their guys with Solemn Simulacrum, activate Triskelion before bouncing it back to our hand, and draw more Viridian Shamans than our opponent has overpowered artifacts.

But somehow, someway, things come together in favor of coolness over power. This deck debuted with a 13-1-1 record at a Grand Prix, the only loss coming in the finals because of… the incredibly overpowered Affinity? Tooth and Nail easily winning on turn four? Its own lack of powerful cards? Nope. It didn’t draw enough lands.

Cards in this Deck:

12 Forest
12 Island
24 lands

4 Eternal Witness
4 Solemn Simulacrum
2 Triskelion
4 Viridian Shaman
14 creatures

3 Annul
4 Condescend
3 Crystal Shard
4 Echoing Truth
4 Oxidize
4 Thirst for Knowledge
22 other spells

1 Annul
2 Duplicant
4 Last Word
4 Tel-Jilad Justice
4 Troll Ascetic
15 sideboard cards

Forward by: Matt Dolge
Written by: Jesse “CAN I GET A WITNESS?” Mason

Looking forward to your comments…

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