Cook’s Kitchen – Top Ten Favorite Cards Part Two

After taking a break to give you the report of my first place NELC Qualifier finish, I’m going back to my Top Ten favorite cards. I’m just going to jump right in where we left off, the first half was:

10.) Vedalken Shackles

9.) Etched Oracle

8.) Terastodon

7.) Thieving Magpie

6.) Goblin Guide

Moving on…

5.) Skeletal Scrying:


One of my favorite draw spells. I mentioned a deck in the first half of My Top Ten called Angel Control, and Skeletal Scrying was the draw engine in the deck. The life loss from Skeletal Scrying was offset by Exalted Angel and it was extremely powerful. I remember buying a foil playset from Star City before they were a huge franchise for $8 each, and it was a steal at the time. I wish I still owned one. I can remember an event I was playing in a while ago, I had almost every land in my deck that tapped for mana in play against mono-black with Juzam in it. During his end step, I cast Skeletal Scrying for 13 going back down to near twenty and winning the game. While it may not be the best story, it always feels incredible to draw that many cards (especially in a sanctioned event).

4.) Myr Incubator:

Last time I mentioned briefly the artifact bannings in Mirrodin-Champions Standard. The bannings killed one of my favorite decks of all time: Klark-Clan Ironworks (KCI). I played this deck for the entire timeframe when I could, it was the first deck to bring my standard rating above 1800, which was a big deal to me at the time. All of the good players in ‘Cuse often talked about their ELO ratings and I was finally amongst them. One of my favorite memories of the deck is a kid coming up to me and asking me to play against him for fun. It was the first and only time I ever opened up with the turn two kill. Vault of Whispers, Chrome Mox (Removing Condescend), Pentad Prism, Talisman of Dominance, Thoughtcast. Turn two, Seat of the Synod, Krark-Clan Ironworks, Chrome Mox, Myr Incubator (Removing all of the artifact lands), Goblin Charbelcher, activate. I couldn’t believe I opened it. It was pretty incredible. It was then that the kid stood up and said this to me, “This is why my brother told me to play Yi-gi-Oh”. That’s a word-for-word quote, while being pretty funny is also terrible. I created a Yi-Gi-Oh player…


3.) Grozoth:

I have never once cast or even had the desire to cast Grozoth. But that doesn’t mean I can’t own 463 of them (currently). Back in Time Spiral block a teammate of mine on E.P.I.C. was on MTGSalvation and was banned for posting a one line post in a Dragonstorm thread that read:


“Needs more Grozoth”


Then during my first top 8 ever with The E.P.I.C Storm, Zach Tartell (Also a teammate), gave me my first Grozoth that had the quote written on it after I had knocked him out of Top 8. I went on to win the event after that. Zach and I later had an agreement that whenever I won a match of Magic, he would give me a Grozoth with a message written on it. Zach quickly ran out of Grozoth’s. He then contacted Star City and offered them 17 cents per Grozoth they had. That week, Grozoth reigned number one on their chart of most sold cards (They sadly no longer have this). I now have all of the Grozoth’s Zach bought. I still trade for the ones I can find, most of the time they have “E.P.I.C. DLD” written on them for the Dual Land Draft our team held, where with entry you received a Grozoth, if you returned the Grozoth at the next event it would be 5$ off entry (we never had another event). I ended up winning that event too and there wasn’t any additional Grozoth for winning. But that event created a new rule for Zach and I. Whenever I won a major event, I would receive a foil Grozoth.


2.) Grapeshot:


Everyone reading this probably saw this coming. I’m a storm player at heart, most of you probably expected the list to be ten or so cards from The E.P.I.C. Storm. Sorry. I do love Grapeshotting people almost more than anything else

in Magic. Recently, people haven’t been letting me because they’ve seen it coming or I’ve done it too many times to them before. Where’s the fun people? There’s a certain satisfaction of playing with your opponent like kids do with food to just ultimately Grapeshot them for 60 after drawing your entire deck.


While all of this is very nice, there’s more to Grapeshot than just seeing how high you can count. It teaches some opponents a lesson, if they act like a jerk, Grapeshot them. It’s embarrassing to lose that badly. One of my favorite Grapeshot moments came from the deciding round of Grand Prix Columbus, where winner made the top 8. I was playing against Ari Lax for the first time.


Here’s an excerpt from my tournament report:


Round Fifteen: Ari Lax with ANT

Game One: He has two Duress and tons of mana and resolves Nauseam before I can.

Sideboarding: -1 Empty the Warrens, +1 Pyroblast

Game Two: This game is a straight up cripple fight. He goes all in turn one after I go Sea, Ponder into Chant, Petal go. He casts 2 Lotus Petal, land, Grim Tutor for Lion’s Eye Diamond, Lotus Petal, Lotus Petal, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Infernal, I chant him. He gets Duress. It’s dragged out a ton, I mini Tendrils him down to 5 at one point. We each had tons of protection to rip apart the other person. I end up drawing Infernal casting it, getting Nauseam and passing. He passes. I cast Nauseam from 24… he keeps saying just show me the Tendrils, I refuse because well he has a condescending tone in his voice the entire round and was a bit cocky. I Burning Wished for Grapeshot, he responds with, “Real cute, real cute.”

Game Three: I keep a hand of Tendrils, Duress, Underground Sea, Chant, Ponder, Gemstone, Petal. He Thoughtseizes me, takes Chant. I draw Duress, I Duress him, take Ill-Gotten Gains because he wasn’t able to be hellbent without it. He Duresses me, takes Duress. I draw Orim’s Chant. Ponder, Shuffle, draw Lion’s Eye Diamond. Play it, pass. He goes all in, I Chant him. I draw Infernal tutor and win sometime after. He lost the confidence he had the first two games during game three, he was much more of a real person.”


The true power of Grapeshot.


I’ve talked to Ari since, he’s a nice guy, but during that round things were different. I really owe Geoff Smelksi a thank you for inspiring me to play Grapeshot. Runed Halo was a real problem, until I rediscovered the pinging spell.


1.) Exalted Angel:


My favorite creature, my favorite Magic card. Period. I played Angel Control for over a year straight for a reason, I dominated with that deck. Mainly due to Exalted Angel and her swingyness. An eight point life swing was nothing to scoff at back in the day, it’s still not now. With Baneslayer Angel now available Exalted doesn’t see play ever, but that’s not the point. I’d still play Exalted over Baneslayer any day of the week. It’s about reminiscing over the times. About two months ago, Matt Kadilak, an old friend I’ve mentioned in a previous article stopped by an event one day and gave me his old four Exalted’s. I couldn’t have been more excited until later that week when I traded for a foil Exalted Angel, I lost on the trade but they’re practically impossible to find. I was dying to play the flying beauty but couldn’t think of a deck to rock her in. Until three weeks ago, when I played Eli Kassis’ UWR Tempo deck. I know, I know, Exalted Angel isn’t a tempo card. You’re still missing the point. She’s awesome. I ran her as a one of in the sideboard and never got to cast her or attack. Meaning, she’ll find her way into another one of my decks soon enough.


Favorite cards are not always the best cards you’ve played, most likely they’re not. They’re probably awful cards that you’ve ran but had a blast with anyway or they could be like Grozoth. Completely pointless, but there’s some terrible reason that you may continue to collect them.


If anyone would like to donate Grozoths to the collection message or email me and I’ll give you more information.

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