[Torment] - Nantuko Shade

Beyond Dominia: The Type One Magic Mill: Tournament -- T1ToC Archived Threads: [Torment] - Nantuko Shade

By Matt Caplan (Caplan) on Thursday, January 10, 2002 - 02:22 pm:

The following card has been confirmed by Inquest:

Name = Nantuko Shade
Type = Creature - Insect Shade
Cost = BB
Text(TO) = {B}: ~this~ gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
P/T = 2/1

Am I the only one who sees this going straight into Suicide Black and Nether Void?
Let's celebrate! It's the first good black card printed since Destiny!

Link to a picture:

By Magimaster (Magimaster) on Thursday, January 10, 2002 - 07:46 pm:

no. I have been drilling that into the peeps at MTGnews for like the past month.

4x Negator
4x Nantuko Shade
4x Carnophage/Sarcomancy (might run 2 of each)

that's what I plan on running once Torment hits.

Nantuko Shade = Tech.

Midgame = Beats the crap out of Morphling.

By RAZ0R on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 12:05 am:

I agree, 4 of these are heading for my aggro deck as soon as I can get them. Early in the game shade kicks ass (5 damage on turn 3 even with no mana accel.) and it just gets better from there. Midgame, you'll be smiling at those extra dark rituals in your hand rather than cursing them. I think this is THE shade. I mean is there any other shade (or pumpable creature for that matter) as good as this one? Caplan, you're right, I haven't been this excited about a black creature in a long time.

I probably seem a little TOO sold on the shade but my aggro deck goes through cards in no time and I'm left with a bunch of extra mana and no cards. I've been using the pump knights for awhile but I think this will work a LOT better.

By Valdner (Valdner) on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 01:05 am:

Yeah, this guy is definetly cool. That link doesn't work.

By RAZ0R on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 01:48 am:

I got it to work but you can try this one as a backup if it still isn't working for you


By Magimaster (Magimaster) on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 01:53 am:

This is going out on a limb here....

but this is what I feel will happen once torment hits:

Black will become too powerful (Nantuko is a godsend. Unburnable[kinda] and it can get past morphling.) and it might become an elite deck. The first recent non-blue deck that might make, as some of you like to put it, Tier 1 status.

Don't quote me on that!!

By RAZ0R on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 02:09 am:

Even though there are alot of black cards in Torment most of the power cards I've seen are non-black. The shade is the only black card I've really been sold on so far. It'll make mono-black better but they'll still face mostly the same problems vs. control. I'd like to see torment move black up to tier 1 but for some reason I doubt it'll happen...

By Dandan (Dandan) on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 03:31 am:

It could singlehandedly force Keeper to put Moat back in the maindeck. Moat annoys SuiBlack somewhat (especially since Hyppie is out of favour with a lot of folks).

It might also force out all those 0/1 pumpables for B2 or 1/2s for B3 that populate bad casual decks :-)
Why is this card so out of line with every pumpable printed? (except possibly Killer Bees)

By Magimaster (Magimaster) on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 03:59 am:

Dandan: That's exactly what I had in mind.

Think about Black's main weaknes: It lacks a decent ground combat weenie.
Pump Knight's were probably the best out of all of them with Rotting Giant in second place. Everything else, like the Zombies, Flesh Reavers, all sucked ass against other decks agggro forces. Sligh could burn them away, other creatures, especially morphling, could easily block and kill black's other weenies. With 11 Mana, Pump Knights can be unstopable from Morph, but Nantuko Shade needs only 5, and that's only if Morph has the ability to go from 3/3 to 5/1 then back to 0/6. Usualy, without will or Necro, black slows a little during the mid-game and endgame. This creature can go the distance. It only get's better as the game progresses. 4 spots are reserved in my deck for sure for this creature. A+

We may see moat in future decks :) I thinky

Fear the Shade, I will eat your soul.

By White Knight (White_Knight) on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 06:14 am:

And it's a rare! Should we be surprised by it? I felt it was just another solid common:P

Damn, black is getting so cool that even I'm going to reconsider my decks' color choices!
Perhaps it'll replace those 2cc creature's slots in many suicide decks. It's definitly better than fleshreaver and a turn after it comes in play it can be pumped up to 5/4! Damn, this card rocks!

By Magimaster (Magimaster) on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 07:28 am:

you might not want to be pumping ot to a 5/4 too fast. Save your mana conservatively. Either use the 3 mana on your 3rd turn to lay some threats or disrupt or hold back and try and keep some B open to pump him incase of burn or to block a nasty attacker. Against control, you'll probably want to do the earlier suggestion...just do anything to keep the shade alive, he'll go the distance, not even morph will be able to stop him.

Against aggro you'd probably want to play defensively. Hold him back to block. keep pump open so your opponent may be forced to use 2 burn on him, good tradeoff, since you will be running 4 shade.It's nearly futile trying to outrace a good aggro deck (Stacker, Sligh, Stompy). When you've firmly established yourself and simmered down the opponent a little then move in for the kill. That's how I'd play it anyways...because once it's released I plan to rely heavily on this creature. It is the savior.

By perio on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 07:32 am:

I don't think black will become too powerful b/c of a single creature. While it's a good card and worth a slot in some black decks, it still dies to abyss, edict, StP, keg, and if you're a flaming idiot, fire/ice.

Still pretty cool, though.

By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 07:58 am:


And it's a rare! Should we be surprised by it? I felt it was just another solid common:P

If this were a common, then Odyssey Block would have an overpowered bear, don't you think?

By FeverDog (Feverdog) on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 08:07 am:

The Shade is definetly the best 2cc black critter ever, im not going out on a limb here either. Flesh Reaver may be better vs control but only slightly and the Shade rocks vs both control and aggro, also the fact that it makes Dark Rituals into Giant Growths isnt too shabby ;) I cant wait to get 4 Shades for my suicide deck. I still cant believe its this good, i had to see the picture to be convinced.

By White Knight (White_Knight) on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 08:31 am:

Magimaster: I didn't said I was going to pump it mad, I was just showing how good it can be.

Rakso: well, you know how good wizards is at determining rarity in its cards. I think the card is solid, but was it worth a rare spot? Well, either way it rocks.

By White Knight (White_Knight) on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 08:39 am:

Since this thread was specially made for the card I feel that we should compare it to other 2cc black weenies.

Fleshreaver is good vs control, but vs aggro it can make a big difference and make you lose in the end...

Skittering Skirge is great, and I'm personally still using them. A 3/2 flyer for BB is very good still...

The big question is wether what is best: Shade or Knight of Stromgald/Order of the Ebon Hand? I think the shade is far better.

A single fire/ice can kill both knights and we all know how popular this apocalypse card is getting. From my use of orders I know pumping is a big issue and a single damage point can make a big difference, but with black or white orders you have to spend about 2 mana to pump just their power to 1. Sure you can trigger first strike, but it's far better to use the shade.

Black orders are pro:white and thus can't be stopped by StP, while white orders can't be stopped by abyss. Each one is vulnerable to what the other is not and unfortunetely for both, Fire/Ice kills them both... In pairs if it needs to!!

Verdict: I'm definitly gonna start playing more black:P

By zenvir on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 09:01 am:

I don't see it making much of a difference against a solid keeper. Moat+Abyss+Balance, plus the varied critter control methods seem to make this shade just like all other non-morph creatures; nice, but bleh.

Maybe those STP's I still use with Edict's will be more wisely used :)


By Zherbus (Zherbus) on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 09:14 am:

Then suicide will switch back to Pump Knights when swords become to popular and thus begins the circle of life.

*Cue Elton John Music*

By Dandan (Dandan) on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 09:17 am:

I think he is great but against Sligh if you drop him anytime before you have 5 mana (BB + BBB available) he is toast. After you have 5 mana Sligh would have already lost (or more likely won) anyway.

He is still great vs Morphling and other creatures.

Sickening how stock creatures have become rare recently.......

The difference with the Shade is that he can do some serious damage while you are looking for your Moat/StP/Edict/Balance and while Abyss is killing off puny zombies. Keeper should be afraid of him, Superman can't swat this insect.

(Wizards - since when has a fantasy game had insects as bad guys, give us back pure shades, demons, wraiths, etc and this guy is a Knight - a pump knight not a puffed up shady cockroach!!!)

By FeverDog (Feverdog) on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 09:44 am:

Dandan, i dont care if they called him Prancing Fairie, lets just be happy they printed a great black critter.

By zenvir on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 09:49 am:

Maybe if STP's become a staple once again (in some environments), perhaps Mirror Universe will become an attractive compliment. I for one, already use it from time to time.

Keeper tends to nearly kill itself many times and when used in combination with STP's, it becomes quite powerful and an easy way to use up some of that Mana Drain...


By JBay, the Zombie Necromancer (Jbay) on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 09:49 am:

Hi Everybody!

I also agree with Zherbus. If people start using the shade, people will just switch back to Swords to Plowshres in the Sb or even md. If people switch back to pump knights, it begins. What will people use? Would 2 pump knights and 2 shades be optimal?

By FeverDog (Feverdog) on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 10:28 am:

Guys, i love the Shade and im a big fan of playing black but people did not stop playing swords because it cant hit Pump Knights(LOL). They stopped playing them because it cant hit Morph and as good as the Shade is i dont think its gonna alter the environment. Even if Keeper starts running a single swords again, thats hardly reason to switch the Shades back to Pump Knights.

By Nevyn, the Village Idiot (Nevyn) on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 10:49 am:

First things first.

a) the spoiler is rumoured. Most of the cards are likely true but errors in cost , P/T, and little words like (use this ability only once per turn) are fairly common for this type of spoiler list, so you don't have the shade yet.

b) the shade has no evasion and no protection from removal. It is vulnerable to Moat and Abyss. hence, it isnt exactly an anti-keeper card.

c) while it looks like a fast card, when exactly will you be playing it? As a 2 drop it is just begging for a fire/ice, and will likely attack like a bear for a while, unless you feel like investing your early mana in pumping it (meaning that you abandon your disruption plan and keeper stabilizes). As a later drop, morphling will fly over it and moat ,abyss , or stp will stop it from being that big a threat.

In short, the key to winning versus keeper with the deck is to drop a fast clock and then disrupt them enough for your threat to finish the game. Cards like skittering skirge and phyrexian negator are great at this.

The shade is cool but is probably not a much better clock than skirge (and skirge flies over moat), as it requires mana that you should be using to attack keeper's hand and mana sources.

He may be playable in the deck but he wont help the keeper matchup much. He will have much more impact against creature decks (but seems a little slow versus red, which is the matchup you would really like to fix).

By JBay, the Zombie Necromancer (Jbay) on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 11:07 am:

The card is confirmed by R @ D, Inquest, Scrye, Sideboard, and many other sources, just to tell you.

By Elrohir (Elrohir) on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 11:45 am:

Out of randomness, isn't it funny that we refer to "pump knights" even though they are identical reprints in all but name of the "pump clerics" found in FE? I guess knights sound more bad-ass than clerics.

By Superman on dope (Dope) on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 12:16 pm:

I agree with Nevyn. The Shade is a great addition to Suicide but I believe it won't greatly affect the current environment for all those hopefulls who think this will catapult Suicide any higher than it is now. They definitely replace pump knights/clerics in my deck, as I don't see many Swords in my area. Remember, there are still a few ways to kill creatures in Type 1 :)

By Magimaster (Magimaster) on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 12:26 pm:

but it's hard to kill this mofo! ya Moat stops it cold...but it stops a lot of other things as well.

And don't forget you're (most likely) gonna be running 4, meaning there's the chance of you getting 2 or 3 out. Plow one, OK I'll pump the other one take 8 go.

I see big things for this guy.

He can also greatly speed up the game. When suicide black goes into "go for the throat" mode he can greatly speed things up.

one thing though. He's a rare, meaning he's gona be a pain in the ass to get from all the T2 players :(

By Nevyn, the Village Idiot (Nevyn) on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 12:38 pm:

Magimaster, not all that hard.

If played early, he is vulnerable to everything except burn. He is also vulnerable to instant speed burn when pumped so against a deck with red you will be playing him as a 2/1 until they either try to kill him or they have no burn in hand (or you have loads of black mana).

Most other T1 removal kills him. As for speeding up the game, Im just not sure. In order to be fast in type one, you need to pump him aggresively, eating up all of you mana. he gets points for being a six turn goldfish if you draw 3 black sources, but that assumes the opponent does nothing.

With Shade playing for speed

turn 2 shade
turn 3 hit for 5?
turn 4 hit for 6?
turn 5 hit for 6-7?

Compared to:

turn 2 skirge
turn 3 hit for 3, negator
turn 4 hit for 8, hymn sinkhole
turn 5 hit for 8

In short, he is quick in newer formats where he will apply pressure quickly, but he only applies lots of life pressure in type one if you invest lots of mana into him. Which means no more threats or disruption for that turn.

ANd if you try to pump him to the max versus keeper, expect a swords in response to the pumps, leaving you with no mana and giving them a time walk.

He IS type one playable, but an environment altering card he is not.

By granor on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 12:42 pm:

hummm nevyn you can't cast another citter spell after skirge hits the table or skirge dies sorry.

By Boltbait, the Master of the Hunt (Boltbait) on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 01:18 pm:

Could you imagine this card in the "free stuff" Necro build from PT:Chicago 1999?

By RAZ0R on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 01:55 pm:

Nevyn, I doubt anyone is going to ignore their disruption spells and funnel all the mana into the Shade. You'd probably work it in just about the same way as Negator, disruption first, then beatdown. If your opponent starts to recover you can just throw out a Wasteland/Sinkhole/Hymn/ect and only attack for 4 or 5 damage that turn.

The shade is just going to be another beatstick to go with Negator, which will make black more competitive. I mean it's really hard to beatdown with a pump knight, though I do it sometimes with two. :) I'm not too sold on the Skirge either.

I agree with you that it's not going to make a huge impact on the T1 environment. Like I said, black will still have basically the same problems vs. control and I don't see the shade being a huge factor vs. most red decks either. That being said I'm still running out and getting 4 ;)

By granor on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 02:30 pm:

I run 4 pump knights in my black deck and I would love to have 2 knights and 2 insects in the deck instead, protect white is good but hitting for more points is better most of the time. Sure they can use swords but they have to find it quick.
It also forces red to kill them durrin their own turn.

By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 02:46 pm:

Why do you guys look for something that cheats already? :)

It's a 2/1 early that happens to have this abiility you can use after you've played out your hand or off a fattie that blocks.

A bit like pump knights... :)

By RAZ0R on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 03:18 pm:

granor, I'm probably going to try 4 shades and 2 pump knights. Maybe switch to 3 of each if my metagame goes white, but I doubt it. More likely I'll just drop both knights. I can usually Duress or Hymn their STP first if they have one. Putting my opponent in a situation where they need to topdeck a STP or balance in 3 or 4 turns is a good situation to be in I think :)

By granor on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 03:37 pm:

you are going to run 4 hu? Do you think drawing 2 or 3 in one hand would be a bad thing or not? I am kind of worried about it but then again you could just hold on to one, pump the other like crazy then put out the other once they kill the first...

By RAZ0R on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 04:23 pm:

Yeh, it might suck to have two in a hand but then again I'd much rather have two than none at all. Besides, like you said, the first one could get killed off. Knowing WOTC though it'll probably end up as a creature you can only pump once each turn and this whole discussion will be for waste :)

By Razor (Razor) on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 07:13 pm:

Razor, please change your name.

It looks like a decent card. As for type one playability, do you see very many Killer Bees played?

I don't.



By Raz0r on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 07:27 pm:

No, but I see a good amount of pump knights/clerics, skirges, rotting giants, etc. and I think it's playable in T1 as a replacement for some of those. It's not a card that's going to change the environment but I like it. =P

By Wu Affiliate (Wu) on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 08:24 pm:

did he not ask you to change your name Raz0r/RAZ0R?

i think it will replace the pump knights in most Sui builds, i dont find it @ all like killer bees its more mana = power, and has a decent pump :) its stronger vs Aggro which is the main problem with Sui atm.

but i could be wrong ;)

By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 09:26 pm:

Raz0r, please change your name.

By Liam (Liam) on Saturday, January 12, 2002 - 06:30 pm:

I have never seen a card with a complete pic, including artwork, to be wrong.

I think he's good. He won't speed up Black really, but he makes it more stable then the horribly UNstable Reaver. Don't get me wrong I love the Reaver, but this little bugger makes certain matchups a lot smoother.

As for sinking all your mana into it, don't. Of course you only use left over mana, as otherwise you loose. However, due to the unwritten law against overextending, you should have plenty of B to throw around.


By Tristal on Saturday, January 12, 2002 - 10:36 pm:

It still dies to Abyss, and is much weaker both on defense (Not pro-white; the toughness boost is moot, since you'll spend 6 mana defending it from a bolt) and in combat (No first strike). Black Knight is better, and so are Pump Knights in my opinion. This should not replace anything in T1.

By Tristal on Saturday, January 12, 2002 - 10:37 pm:

Er, I just read the creature again - I thought it pumped for BB, not B. My mistake. What do you know, Wizards printed a decent creature. ;)

By White Knight (White_Knight) on Sunday, January 13, 2002 - 07:20 am:

LOL, so, are you ready to revise your arguments;)

By Cuandoman (Cuando) on Sunday, January 13, 2002 - 09:47 am:

Look, you play this creature just like pump knights, except that it can be hit by STP. If you dont see a lot of STP action... the shade is better, if you do consider the knights

By FeverDog (Feverdog) on Sunday, January 13, 2002 - 01:16 pm:

Look, no one is gonna pump him on turn 2 instead of playing a Hymn or Sinkhole, that would be dumb. But consider that Suicide can easily dump its hand by turn 3-4 and you see that the Shade will be going into beatdown mode earlier than most think. Also, unless your environment is absolutely filled with Swords, hes much better than traditional Pump Knights.

By Dandan (Dandan) on Monday, January 14, 2002 - 08:33 am:

Not to mention he is better against Sligh since kamikaze Goblins can't ping him as easily and in some situations it is hard to bolt him (not common situations - Sligh vs SuiBlack isn't known for a lategame). The ability to beatdown for 5-6 in midgame is not to be sniffed at.

Very solid.

I thought green was meant to get the best creatures? Surely 2/1 for BB plus B plus life for +1/+1 would have been enough?

By Boltbait, the Master of the Hunt (Boltbait) on Monday, January 14, 2002 - 10:15 am:


I thought green was meant to get the best creatures? Surely 2/1 for BB plus B plus life for +1/+1 would have been enough?

Black was always about speed and disruption. With Dark Ritual out of the set, WOTC had to give something back to black to make it viable again. If they didn't want to give black the mana acceleration that it has always counted on, then they had to give it something else. The total lack of black as anything but a support color in most constructed formats must have finally tipped them off to the royal screw job that they had given the color, and they decided to try to compensate for it. All in all, it seems to be a better solution than taking counters, efficient green creatures, burn, and protection effects out of the environment so the other colors would be as equally screwed.

By granor on Monday, January 14, 2002 - 10:36 am:


The total lack of black as anything but a support color in most constructed formats must have finally tipped them
off to the royal screw job that they had given the color

uuuu what about green?? someimtes it isn't even a supporting color...

By bjimminy on Monday, January 14, 2002 - 11:53 am:

Green has been the dominant color of the last two standard seasons. (Fires, Saproling Burst, Blastoderm, Pernicious Deed, Spiritmonger, Call of the Herd...) Yeah, green's really suffering.

Black is a whipping boy. It's always been a tough color to run on its own because of its lack of removal for enchantments and artifacts. Then it lost its primary means of mana accelleration.

By granor on Monday, January 14, 2002 - 12:14 pm:

I guess I am more looking at type 1 than anything else. we do have oath decks they use green but stompy decks would love to have the equivelent pump knight that was green, the orginal ones or the new one.

By Nevyn, the Village Idiot (Nevyn) on Monday, January 14, 2002 - 12:43 pm:

Not sure about that Granor. Stompy has lots of undercosted monsters available and rancor as a cheap booster, and tends to run skimpily on the mana, meaning a green pumper would not ever get that much of a pump.

Also , can we lose the 'which colour got screwed debate'. It's been coming up for years and has rarely solved a thing.

By Matt Caplan (Caplan) on Monday, January 14, 2002 - 01:18 pm:

Well, at least we can agree that it isn't blue.
(Fact or Fiction, etc.)

By granor on Monday, January 14, 2002 - 01:35 pm:

Well I didn't mean to bring up the "best color" debate so I am sorry.

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