When I started this blog, I edited the ‘about me’-section to be relevant for Magic-players: instead of talking about myself, I talked about my favorite cards. With the most recent card being from Worldwake, I figured it was time for an update. These are my new favorite cards.
Creature: Sun Titan
I like my creatures to give me some card advantage. Coming from the infamous cycle of Titans led by Primeval, Sun Titan gives you a card back right when you cast him. And also when he attacks! I really like vigilance, and Sun Titan does that admirably. I’ve had him in multiple decks, bringing back everything from Terramorphic Expanse and Tidehollow Sculler to Court Hussar and Oblivion Rings. I currently play him with Strionic Resonator and foresee it won’t be the last deck he’s in. (Decktech coming soon!)
Non-creature: Momentary Blink
Speaking of Strionic Resonator, here we have one of the latest additions to said deck (thanks Rick). Sometimes you just forget old cards for no particular reason. That happened to Blink, who has drawn me lots of cards over time with Mulldrifter, gained life with Aven Riftwatcher, and occasionally killed a guy with Shriekmaw. Flashback is inherent card advantage, and when you can up the advantage even more, you’ve got just my kinda card.
I seem to be segue’ing myself from one card to the next, as my favorite blue card loves Momentary Blink just as much as Blink loves. Him. Or her. Or it. Whatever. Like Blink, Mulldrifter hasn’t been in a lot of recent decks because I just seemed to forget about it. But I plan on correcting that. It’s just a fantastic card: a Divination on turn 3, and a creature starting on turn 5. I’ve combined it with Blink, but also Makeshift Mannequin and Profane Command. I hereby promise Mulldrifter – and myself – that my next blue deck will at least consider this little elemental.
Non-creature: Tezzeret’s Gambit
Proliferate is, for me personally, the best mechanic in years – I’m serious. I tried to build various decks based around it, from Braid of Fire to planeswalkers to my Simic Evolve deck. Before Gambit, I had to use Volt Charge, which isn’t half-bad itself. But when Tezzeret’s Gambit got released, it opened op a whole new avenue of deckbuilding opportunities. Because proliferate is so open-ended, I will keep thinking of this card every time I’m building a new deck involving counters of some sort.
Creature: Vampire Nighthawk
In my previous list, I had Korlash here. Since then, I haven’t really played with black creatures that jumped out to me. I might have not played black all that much, even. For my creature choice, I chose Vampire Nighthawk because it’s so good at what it does. It attacks and blocks fearless – fearless of being challenged in combat, fearless regardless of if it was the right choice to attack or block. The lifegain makes it a formidable card to race with, but you wouldn’t feel bad letting her block either. Also, I really like the deathtouch keyword. It’s the reason my Glissa-deck works so well (that link is very old; I should write about the current deck sometime soon).
Non-creature: Profane Command
This was one of my favorite cards from Lorwyn and a card that still gets considered every time I make a midrange or controlling black deck (which is pretty much every time I make a black deck). It’s a burn spell for creatures or players (or both), it’s a reanimation-spell, and a way to force through some damage when you can’t burn ’em out but when you’ve got creatures that can get ’em. Currently, I don’t have any copies in active decks. This could be considered an oversight, and I might just put something together with Profane Command and Mulldrifter at the basis, as a way to make amends with those two heavily neglected cards.
Creature: Young Pyromancer
If there’s one thing that oozes through this list, it’s card advantage. And, if I can help it (most of the times, I can’t), it’s spell-based card advantage. Young Pyromancer was quite the hot topic back when it got released last summer, and rightly so. He works in almost all the spell-based decks I build, which almost always share the same glaring oversight: not too much ways to defend yourself early on. Pyromancer fixes this and also ensures you can once or twice nab a few life-points off of your opponent. I’ve already summoned him in two different decks, and seeing as how the latest isn’t all that I hoped it to be, I could see myself giving hem another try on a new, blank canvas.
Non-creature: Increasing Vengeance
This is another one of those cards that I add to almost every spell-based red deck I’m trying to build (and again, ‘spell-based’ includes pretty much every deck I build), but sadly falls short almost just as often. Unlike Lightning Bolt, which is on every list and makes the deck almost every time. But being the most-played red card is not equivalent of my favorite red card. That title goes to Increasing Vengeance. Copying and flashbacking for more copies: again, that’s card advantage all over the wazoo. I really like copying spells, and if I can find a way to make a fun non-infinite Epic Experiment-list, I really want to give Increasing Vengeance a worthy deck to be a part of. And hey, that’s a Young Pyromancer-deck right there if ever there was one.
Creature: Acidic Slime
Artifacts and enchantments are often a problem for me. You know you should dedicate some slots to removal, but you don’t want to, ’cause it’s kinda lame. Well, Acidic Slime sure isn’t. It blows up everything and threatens to kill the two types it can’t directly kill: creatures and planeswalkers. Slime has a place in my Birthing Pod-deck (don’t worry, no Modern-like combos and consistency) and was a mainstay in my Mono Green Lockdown-deck before I starter overhauling it. Having an affinity for blinking and recursion, it should come as no surprise that Acidic Slime is a favorite of mine.
Non-creature: Primal Command
Surprisingly it took me a while to come to the ubiquitous green favorite spell. Maybe Bow of Nylea? Life from the Loam? I almost went for Loam, but then I remembered that other green sorcery I almost played in Braids Rock. I have eight copies of this card and tons of deck it’s been in. I like Primal Command best in decks with Eternal Witness, because some decks just can’t come back from that avalanche of card advantage and disruption those two present. All you need is a Primal Command to start things up. Then you search for Witness to bring it back, bounce a land against slower decks or gain 7 life against aggressive decks. And every once in a while, you can kill a Terravore or Consuming Aberration. And repeat.
Creature: Prophet of Kruphix
With this pick, I’m thinking ahead. Just like a prophet does – heh. It’s just a recent card that I play in just one deck, but it’s a card that’s just tailor-made for my style of play. In the deck I have her in (Wortless Bant, old list here), she is probably the most important card. I don’t play an awful lot of creatures there, but being able to unload Fact or Fictions and such twice in a turn cycle is too good. I’m sure Prophet will find its way into many, many more of my decks for the time to come. She is partly my favorite color, so I’m sure she’ll come up once or twice in the next year or so. Blue is my favorite color, and blue/green is one of my favorite color combinations.
Non-creature: Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas
When I first saw Tezzeret on the spoiler, I knew I had to get a playset. I did, and it’s still in the same (active) deck it once in right after Mirrodin Besieged. It’s not the amount of play that gets a card on this list, it’s the joy of playing it that counts. And that’s where Tezzy shines. I have seven two-drop accelerators to ensure a turn three planeswalker (Jace, Architect of Thought is another recent addition). Against aggressive decks, I often make a blocker and start Impulsing. Against controllish decks, the +1 is more often used , but pressuring with a 5/5 isn’t out of the question either. That’s the beauty of our grizzled hero: he does a few jobs, and he does so admirably. I find myself marveling at his versatility even now, years after I first started playing with him.
Creature: Solemn Simulacrum
Ah, dear old Jens. Another one of those cards that went through the ‘this would be good in my next deck – maybe try just a few copies – meh, maybe next time’-cycle. There was this Heartless Summoning/Havengul Lich-deck I had that Solemn was a part of (but the deck was a tad too slow and, although fun for me, very boring to play against), and I played him in my Strionic Resonator-deck for a while (again, article coming soon), but he always come out. He’s another card on my list of cards that should be in a deck, but aren’t; cards that I kinda want to build a deck specifically for. In this category I also have Ichor Wellspring and Mycosynth Wellspring, so perhaps there’s something there. But neither Wellspring is as fun as good old Jens.
Non-creature: Everflowing Chalice
Here we have another key piece of my Tezzeret-deck. You already saw Tezzeret and his Gambit. The fact that here we have the third card of said deck is a testament to its power, but first and foremost the fun I get out of playing it. A few years ago, Mind Stone would be my de facto two-mana accelerant for decks that didn’t really care about colored mana. Great early on, great later in the game. The same goes for Chalice, although its late-game use comes from multikicker. Far and away its best features is that it has counters – proliferatable counters, no less.
Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
Another recent card on this list. (Counting my honorable mention below, four cards on this list are currently legal in Standard.) At first I wasn’t very impressed by Nykthos. It smelled like a really bad Cabal Coffers, but it turned out better than that. Besides, a bad Cabal Coffers is often still a good card. I suspect I wasn’t the only one whose eyes where opened at Pro Tour Theros, where Nykthos featured in decks of pretty much every color. Initially, I started to make a B/w Devotion deck, but Nykthos wasn’t working there. So I reworked my ValueTown-deck, which isn’t really a deck anymore that can be called as such. If anything, Wortless Bant is more deserving of that title! Anyway, I took some ideas from the Standard-legal green devotion decks and added my own twist (mainly the already existing basis of Birds of Paradise, Sword of Feast and Famine, and Garruk Wildspeaker). I’m sure there are more decks to build with Nykthos, mainly because it is as open-ended as proliferate.
Honorable mention: Maze’s End
It was hard to pick Nykthos over this, but it was the right choice. But I couldn’t not mention Maze’s End, so here it is. It spoke more to me at first glance than Nykthos did, but in the end, Nykthos was way more versatile and applicable. I have one Maze’s End deck, and it’ll probably stay at that number. I keep refining it bit by bit, playing every now and then, and enjoying it. The deck is an acquired taste, one I’m glad to have savored.