We all have them, good cards, fun cards, and even terrible cards that we just can’t help but love. Most of the time a persons favorite cards are ones that they have played in the past, sometimes they’re not. Regardless, there’s still a special place for them in our nerdy hearts. I’ve been trading recently for cards, and sometimes they’re very questionable but that doesn’t matter. It’s for sentimental value, not actual value. I’m going to take some time to list and discuss my top ten favorite Magic cards. I’m going to give you half this week, and finish out the list next week (barring an EPIC NELCQ tournament report).
Zombie Apocalypse: If you haven’t figured out by now from the four or five article I’ve mentioned this in – I LOVE ZOMBIES. This card has so much flavor, it’s practically leaking out of it. I recently acquired a foil one to sit in my binder and collect dust. I actually plan at some point to cast the card while it’s in standard. While I’ll probably go 1-4 that day, I’ll have so much fun it won’t matter. The deck will probably be Blue and Black with Forbidden Alchemy to put Zombies in the graveyard for reanimation. The one win I mention would come from the one UW or GW humans deck I would get paired against where Zombie Apocalypse acts as Plague Wind AND Living Death. Flavor, it’s not bad, and it has great artwork. While it’s not in my top 10, it’s still very awesome.
Psychatog: The reason Goblin Piledriver has protection from blue, Dr. Teeth himself. Psychatog has a very different place for me than any of the other cards on the list. I played Psychatog for a couple of months in Burning Tog, yes, the legendary Burning Tog. Made famous by an administrator on The Source, Peter_Rotten, I decided to follow in his footsteps for a while and played it to a Top 8 finish at one of Amrod’s monthly Legacy events. But that’s not entirely why he’s here. Dr. Teeth is really here because of during my first Top 8 and first win with The E.P.I.C Storm I was playing against Kyle Dorgan (a Jupiter Games regular) out in Connecticut where he was piloting Psychatog. I remember that match perfectly. It was an incredibly close round. During that match I finally understood why Psychatog was insanely good. I didn’t play competitively enough during his reign in standard, but I sure did feel the aftermath, going from twenty to dead.
Godo, Bandit Warlord: I finally accomplished something last week that was possible in theory, but I had never pulled off. I cast Godo, Bandit Warlord turn one on the play in an Elder Dragon Highlander/Commander game. I looked at my opening hand of Mountain, Moutain, Mana Crypt, Seething Song, Mana Vault, and a couple of irrelevant cards. “Mountain, Mana Crypt, Seething Song, Mana Vault, Godo finding Grafted Exoskeleton, go.” Man, it felt great. Aside from that play, I love Godo. I turned an unplayable mono-colored deck into a real competitor when people told me not to waste my time. He’s an extremely fun deck to play and it always puts a smile on my face when I say swing for 10, shock and draw [with Sword of Fire and Ice]. I love the reaction “WHAT, let me read that!”.
Slithermuse: I couldn’t decide if Slithermuse was number ten or eleven on the list. I flipped a coin. It didn’t make the top 10. Slithermuse, when it was spoiled, had all of the hype around it. But it had an Evoke cost of 3U, and a casting cost of 2UU. How disappointing. I still played the fishy little creature in my storm deck as a one-of, it was really good against the Landstill decks of the time potentially being a ‘draw 10’. Then Ad Nauseam was printed. Since then the signed Japanese foil has sat in my binder begging me to break it out and play it. I just can’t find a deck that needs the 3/3 beatstick.
Top Ten Favorite Magic Cards
10.) Vedalken Shackles
While Shackles is very much a still playable card in many control decks as a one-or-two-of, I don’t own any. I’d like to own a foil one eventually, but it’s not at the top of my list. My love for Vedalken Shackles comes from the time frame in Standard right after the artifact bannings in Mirrodin-Champions Standard. I was playing Mono-Blue Control (MUC) with Oblivion Stones, Stalking Stones, Theiving Magpie, Shackles, Meloku, Rewind, and a one-of Memnarch. This deck made me realize how powerful stealing creatures was, especially killing someone with their own creatures. No one likes losing to their own cards. Vedalken Shackles was so powerful I eventually began playing the card in my Legacy deck at the time – Angel Control. Between MUC and Angel Control, I won almost every event I played in for a few months due to Vedalken Shackles. During the time period there wasn’t anything in the Legacy metagame that was on-par with the re-usable Control Magic. Many decks didn’t even have answers for it besides trying to swarm the opponent with multiple creatures. And that usually didn’t work.
9.) Etched Oracle
I’ve never played this card in a sanctioned match of Magic. Saddening, I know. A 4/4 creature for 4 mana that just happens to Ancestral Recall, the robot isn’t exactly bad. I had my opportunities to play it in an event but never took the chance. She/he saw a lot of play in the four-color Gifts Ungiven deck in Standard, and a bit of play in Legacy with “It’s The Fear”. The deck was designed by David Gearhart and Oracle would be recurred with either Academy Ruins or Volrath’s Stronghold. It was quite unfair. Although, these things don’t matter that much to me. Etched Oracle’s true reason for being on this list is a format most of you probably haven’t played- Skittles. Skittles is a five-color format where players can only use uncommons and commons, and their decks must contain an even amount of every color exactly. (e.g. Rhox War Monk counts as one third each of Green, White, and Blue.) To balance their colors out many people run Bant Charm and Treva’s Charm, or run one three-color card from each Shard in Shards of Alara. Etched Oracle was a huge threat in that format where she/he smashed opponents because with only uncommons and commons, she’s/he’s large. Once opponents tried to kill the robot, you drew three cards. It was quite ridiculous, enough to leave a lasting impression on me.
No one likes Terastodon. Hell, I don’t even like the elephant sometimes. The second I see Bribery cast on me in Elder Dragon highlander/Commander I want to flip out. Giving an opponent three 3/3’s isn’t a fair trade for a violent ultimatum with a 9/9 body. I’m a hypocrite though, because the second my Tooth and Nail resolves, I am always excited to see the big guy with his friends. Terastodon paired along with Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker has caused more concessions than I can count. I even put the oversized Elephant in my Legacy Dredge deck for a while in the sideboard to deal with permanent-based hate. Unfortunately, last week I had to make some cuts to account for a new list with Faithless Looting. Looting forced Iona to the sideboard because the deck is now looking to be faster. Iona took Terastodon’s slot leaving two beautiful Terastodon’s in my play binder. None of those Graveborn ones either, a real foil and a Japanese both signed, then an Italian foil Terastodon in my Kresh deck. Terastodonte.
7.) Thieving Magpie
My favorite blue creature. I always have people asking if my foil signed one is for trade, I understand that it’s worth next to nothing, but it’s worth a lot more to me than the 3$ in trade that anyone would give me. I originally played Magpie in the Vedalken Shackles MUC deck mentioned earlier, it was then that I found how ridiculous the bird with Curiosity is. I once killed someone with twenty pecks of a Magpie, it was extremely satisfying. Then I created a Thraximundar EDH/Commander deck. The deck is no longer togethe, it just wasn’t that fun to play. It won a lot, but it took forever and opponents weren’t having fun. While the bird wasn’t as impressive in there, it added a lot of fun to a very competitive deck. I had a group of serious Magic friends and then a more casual group. In the casual group we had an unspoken rule- anyone who killed a Magpie was everyone’s target. Intentional or not. Thieving Magpie created a lot of fun between the five of us, with three or four people often playing the flying menace. Sometimes it’s about the fun and memories, not how good or bad the card is.
6.) Goblin Guide
Probably the most playable card on the list. I originally sold out of Standard some point after Ravnica block had finished but didn’t rotate out yet. I lost interest in standard for a very long time after that between Legacy, EDH, and school I just didn’t have the time to pay attention to another format. Zendikar block changed that. My return to standard wasn’t for the 2/2 with haste, in fact I probably traded away a playset or two before using the card. There was a huge standard event at the mall and Colin Chilbert helped me build a deck. It was Polymorph. Who doesn’t like putting a 15/15 protection from everything/win the game into play? Well it’s not as good as some people would imagine. I lost, a lot. It was then that I built Red Deck Wins and played my Goblin Guides until they rotated out a year and some change later. It sounds longer than it actually was, I could only play Magic during breaks from school. Red Deck never changed very much and the cards were always a dollar due to being commons or uncommons. Playing Goblin Guide was just insanely unfair, it was one of the most powerful cards in standard for a very long time. Probably the most powerful card after the banning of Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Stoneforge Mystic. I warped the metagame using the 2/2 haste, everyone was playing quite a few Red Deck hate cards for me. During the last month of standard with Goblin Guide, I hit a hot streak. I went 36-2 and with the deck, what a way to send Guide on its way. The last day the little guy was legal two important things happened, the first being that I opened a hand of four Goblin Guide, sadly only one Mountain. The second thing being I traded for a foil playset at next to nothing. I’ve played my Guides a couple times since they’ve rotated out, they were really good to me. I’m planning on casting them tonight in the Syracuse weekly Legacy event, if I do well, I may mention it.
So that’s the first half of my Top Ten list. Some good cards, some very good cards, and some fun cards. I had a lot of fun thinking about and discussing my top 10 favorite cards. I recommend it for the rest of you. Next time I’ll be back counting down to my number one favorite card, maybe you’ll be able to guess what it is or maybe it will surprise you.
Until then, keep Storming!
Bryant Cook on MTGthesource