There are some amazing choices for multiplayer running around. After twenty years of making Magic cards, only the best of the best of the best can make the cut on a list like this. What are the best hundred cards in multiplayer?
Last week, we peered at the back quarter of cards from this list. Today, we are going to check out the choices from seventy-five through fifty-one, and tell me what you think. Are some cards too high? Too low? Are there cards missing or that you would take off? Let’s take a look and see the list.
(As a reminder, this list is not Commander-specific, but it does include Commander when looking at cards. This list also is an attempt to steer clear of pet cards and fun cards and instead focus on the powerhouses and necessary cards of multiplayer.)
Commander Eesha. If you’ve read like three of my articles, you know the massive love fest I have for her in multiplayer. But is she among the format’s Top 100? Not really. After initially including her at number sixty-four, I had to pull her off the list. I had to force my heart to match my head. Sorry, Eesha!
75. Sarkhan Vol – I like giving all of my creatures haste as a + ability on this hoss. Haste is marvelous in multiplayer. Considering how rarely you take a turn, notching an extra hit not only speeds up the game but allows your turns to be more fun! Don’t forget Sarkhan has two other useful abilities as well, and you have the makings of a planeswalker who is quite good when dialing it against multiple foes.
74. Umezawa's Jitte – This is clearly among the best Equipment pieces for duels of all time, but what enables it to really make the cut here? Well, let’s drill down into why this awesome Equipment is also the hots against multiple enemies. First of all, reusable creature removal is swank. Pulling counters off can really blow through a few creatures at the table, especially turn after turn. Second, don’t ignore the ability to pump the equipped creature. It makes blocking or attacking more difficult because you have to assume the creature is bigger than it actually is, so the counters have value even when not being used. And gaining life is never a bad thing, especially against the potential of multiple attack waves. Being able to drop this quickly and start collecting counters can turn the table, and a Jitte with 6 or 8 counters on it dominates the board.
73. Treachery and Take Possession – If you want to steal stuff, these two Auras are the ones I recommend. The first uses no mana with that untap ability. The second will take almost anything your soul desires. With that awesome split second, it cannot be responded to or countered. I love stealing a card with a sacrifice trigger, such as Oblivion Stone. Ahhh, you didn’t use it first? I’m sorry.
Tooth and Nail – Although it costs a lot more mana than the options at #83 last week (Defense of the Heart, Pattern of Rebirth), Tooth and Nail puts two guys into play fairly. Just search and put them on the battlefield. (You can technically drop something into play that was already in your hand prior to casting the spell, but who does that anyway?) This is a power-hungry spell that will change games when you prepare. Most decks that run this have an ideal tag team, and some even have instant-win combos in their decks, ready for the victory.
71. Eternal Witness and Regrowth – Returning any card from that graveyard has always been a specialty of green. These two cards do it best. In particular, Eternal Witness is a potent creature because the enters-the-battlefield trigger can be reused again and again with flicker, bounce, or reanimation. The ability to bring the best thing back can reload a nasty spell or creature and keep you in the fight.
70. Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker – Our second planeswalker on the list falls because our dragony overlord requires three colors of mana to befriend. Once you have made that investment, you control the single most powerful planeswalker for multiplayer. To be fair, you often only rock one use from him before he bites it. But even still, wreaking havoc with the board position messes with people’s plans.
69. Goblin Welder – In any deck that has an artifact theme, this guy instantly becomes the most powerful creature on the table. Even decks that have a smattering of artifacts but no heavy theme will find him quite powerful. As someone tries to blow up your Umezawa's Jitte, just swap it for that #77 Armillary Sphere in the graveyard.
Avatar of Woe and Visara the Dreadful – Simply put, these are some of the most powerful tap abilities in the game of Magic. They will crush and kill all that annoy or frustrate their controller. They are epic creatures of rockingness for multiplayer. Play them well.
67. Mirari's Wake – There was a time I thought this was among the most broken enchantments for multiplayer ever. It’s still on the list, but my affection for it has fallen. It’s still a Top 100 card, but it’s just no longer in the Top 5 global enchantments. Meanwhile, you control a card that not only pumps your team but doubles most of your mana—a potent double-dip of power.
66. Memory Jar – I’m surprised that this artifact is not loved as much as it once was. It’s still a pseudo-draw-seven for colorless mana. Use it on your turn, and you can play a land, sorceries, creatures, enchantments, and planeswalkers from it while your slow opponents may only play instants and flash cards with it. You have the lion’s share of benefit from it, so add some to your decks!
65. Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre – I adore Ulamog, and I think he’s much better than that ol’ Emrakul fella (#92). He has a cheaper cost by far, he’s indestructible, and he’s a cute little Desert Twister. Most importantly, he is a powerful, indestructible beater. That makes him win games. Emrakul dies to mass removal and usually doesn’t produce the extra turn because it had to be cheated into play. Ulamog often makes the Desert Twister trigger and has to be exiled to be offed. Ulamog for the win!
64. Birthing Pod – The next entry for today’s find-a-creature theme is Birthing Pod! You can sacrifice a creature to the Pod and grab another one better from the deck and put it right onto the battlefield. The gives you utility and a real threat, as any creature can turn into something different instantly as the board position demands.
Woodfall Primus – A lot of creatures beat for game. Few give you something extra. Fewer still can survive removal. The Primus can do both. The trigger destroys a nasty threat on an opponent’s battlefield, and you have a 6/6 trampler for your trouble. Then, when someone sweeps the board or kills your Primus, it comes back as a smaller 5/5, and it triggers again. Now, if it dies in this weakened state, it will be gone for good, but this double use yields important card advantage.
62. Karn Liberated – The ability to put this planeswalker into any deck and start exiling things is nasty. Want to force a discard? Here’s Karn! Want to exile an artifact in U/B or an enchantment in B/R? Here’s Karn! Karn covers the holes your color leaves behind. Enjoy Karn, today!
61. Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite – It turns out that giving all opposing creatures -2/-2 kills a lot of stuff. What survives is typically so weak you don’t care. Then, giving your guys +2/+2 is a real kick in the solar plexus of your opposing team. The resulting 4-point swing on power and toughness really changes the game and puts in right into your lap.
60. Genesis – If you want to return creatures from your graveyard to your hand turn after turn, look no further than Genesis! Sure, it costs 3 mana in your upkeep, but a free card is a free card. There’s no disadvantage to running Genesis. It’s particularly nasty if you have ways of dumping large amounts of cards in your graveyard, such as . . . say . . . with #76 Hermit Druid. It’s a good target for #93 Jarad's Orders as well.
59. Moat – I can’t keep a card off the list even if it costs a bazillion dollars. Moat shuts down massive hordes of creatures. Sure, multiplayer has a lot of flyers, and you need to worry about them as well. Just like the kings of old, you can hind behind that Moat with a great deal of safety. If you can handle the remaining flyers (#64 will help!), you are in business!
Mother of Runes – The Mother can do almost anything. She can tap to protect a creature from damage, from a spell that targets it, or from taking damage in combat—or even allow you to swing unblockably with something. The sheer versatility of Mama will shock and amaze people who forget just how useful she can actually be. Remind them!
57. Stoneforge Mystic and Stonehewer Giant – These two creatures will tutor for an Equipment card very well. One has a cheap cost and a powerful enters-the-battlefield trigger and can tap to put an Equipment into play from your hand. The other can tap to fetch one piece a turn, putting it into place and equipping a creature already. Both are downright awesome, even in a deck with just five or six pieces of Equipment. After all, having a creature tutor for the relics will mean you have something to equip with them.
56. The Primordial Cycle (Sylvan Primordial, et al.) – These five bodies each scale in power based on the number of opponents you are facing. Each of them will yield incredible board position and card advantage. From reanimating multiple creatures to tutoring many Forests into play, the triggers on the Primordials will break some backs. Then, don’t forget that each is a powerful body of swingingness ready to carve into a foe with alacrity.
55. Nim Deathmantle – If you have creatures that die, why not consider this Equipment? Not only does it do a lot when equipping stuff, but it also allows you to spend 4 colorless mana anytime one of your dorks bites the dust to bring it back into play. You can reuse triggers such as #56, #57, #63, or even #72. And don’t forget that you can save your creature from mass removal, targeted removal, or death in combat. If you have the mana, you can keep multiple guys from biting it.
Timetwister and Time Spiral – Having a card that draws the table seven cards is quite valuable in many circumstances. In this case, you end graveyard abuse, and you bring all hands to seven after shuffling. You can fight people who like to hold cards in their hands because they find little value from cards like these. It can also be used to restock your library to prevent milling death or to find the right answer to impending death.
53. Future Sight – If you want to draw cards well, this is the card for you. You usually can play at least two cards from your deck each turn—one spell and one land. But you’ll often run three or more cards from it. It plays very well with any shuffle effects or something like #86 Sensei's Divining Top. (When you hit a card you cannot play, just tap the Top to draw that card and then play the Top for 1 mana to go down to the next card in your library.) This card breaks card advantage over your knee.
52. Sunforger – I love a card with a great deal of flexibility and power. You add +4/+0 with it equipped, so that has value right there. Then, you can search your library for any red and/or white instant of 4 mana or less and play it as a fast effect. The sheer number of cards you can find staggers the mind. It is as flexible as your imagination! It’s also an amazing combo with #57 Stonehewer Giant. When an opponent does something you must respond to, just pay for the Giant, search out Sunforger and equip it on a creature, and then sped to unequip it and search for an instant to pay without paying its mana cost to respond in an emergency.
51. Sneak Attack – Dropping a big smasher for , giving it haste, and then seeing it die at the end of the turn smashes many cards into pieces. So many creatures work well with it, such as #63 Woodfall Primus, Symbiotic Wurm, and Inferno Titan. You can also instant out a blocker to stop damage or kill an attacker, toss out any creature with an ETB trigger for 1 mana, and more. When combined with the many options out there for abuse (Colfenor's Urn, Lifeline, #55 Nim Deathmantle, and Deathrender jump to mind), you can storm the gates of awesome. This is a suitably nasty card to end today’s countdown.
All right! Another twenty-five done—we’ll hit fifty through twenty-six next week.
Of course, any list like this will have some subjectivity in it. That’s the nature of the beast. So, let’s hear your opinion! Your comments are always heavily appreciated. It’s an honor to think that you take some time out of your easy day to discuss my article.
See you next week,