Hello everyone! I hope you are having a great day today!
Ever since Invasion, I feel that gold cards have been something special and interesting. All the way back to Legends we had gold cards, and The Dark was the first set to feature non-legendary gold cards. But it wasn’t really until Invasion that the occasional flirting with gold cards and mechanics really came into its own and the real power of gold cards was unleashed, alongside split cards and later hybrid. Multicolored has been one of the most common themes for sets ever since.
I adore gold cards. There’s something special to them. Today is the 7th edition of my Top Ten sets looking at the best cards in each two-color combination. I began with the five allied color pairs for you before dipping my toes into the enemy pairings. My least favorite color combs are , which feels too scattered, and , which at times feels too reliant on a single archetype (instants/sorceries matter).
Given that, I wanted to start with these enemy color combos before moving into the powerhouses of gold in the last three colors. I mean there are cards in there that I don’t have to roll-call for you that you know are some of the best multiplayer and casual cards of all time.
Luckily, I have played most of the cards. There are roughly 113 cards in . Of them I have played 109.1 That gives me a good foundation to judge them for today’s article. So given that, what are the top ten Blue and Red cards for casual play?
So what is a multicolored card?
Well let’s start by looking at some cards that aren’t multicolored:
These are both good cards! And they have a Blue and Red color identity! But they aren’t multicolored. We’re looking for split, hybrid, or gold cards, for this project. Think more Quicksilver Dagger and less Illuminate.
Now what are the best of the best?
All right, top ten time!
10. Storm the Vault
The only reason this awesome flip card is hitting all the way back at #10 when it’s likely a lot higher is because we haven’t had enough play yet to cast it further up the list for its colors, but it’s already nasty in the play it’s gotten. The ability to churn out artifact Treasures as you smash as well as flipping into a Tolarian Academy is great. It plays perfectly into artifact-friendly shells, which is a lot of these shells! Blue and Red are just great at artifact support, this slides into a lot. Plus, you don’t even need to have a heavy artifact deck, as it makes the treasure to flip itself. I don’t need a dense enough artifact selection for affinity or metalcraft to work. It just works with some artifact dorks and equipment and mana rocks. Boom, transform away!
9. Ral Zarek
Our latest Servant of Nicol Bolas is Ral Zarek, a fine little Lightning Lad from Ravnica. Ral Zarek is solid for your decks, and I played him in my Standard deck that did some damage at FNMs at the time, as people would really respect Ral in that era, especially with the Double Lightning Bolt available for four mana at -2. Casting Ral, shooting something dead, and then having Ral die to removal or burn was not bad, it set them back and gave me both card equilibrium and tempo. Also his +1 was solid too, as you could kill dorks, and then tap a blocker to hit with some stuff, or untap a dork post-attack to keep back and protect your Ral. You could also untap lands and such as well. So nice! And that combo makes Ral a saucy little Lightning Lad.
8. Dack’s Duplicate
Dack's Duplicate is one of the best Clones ever printed. Let’s look at why! 4 mana is about the cheapest a Clone or Clone variant can come. This guy will swing in immediately with haste, and Clone with haste is really nice, because you can often hit first in the Clone Wars. Copy an opposing dork that’s really good, and smash first. You can also copy something and then hit the person with the highest life total. Note that dethrone doesn’t work when damage is dealt, but when it attacks. So you could Dack's Duplicate your own Mulldrifter, draw two cards, swing for three damage over defenses, and now have a 3/3 flyer out that can get bigger and bigger over time. What’s not to love?
7. Fire// Ice and Electrolyze
There are a lot of people out there for whom Fire // Ice remains the best split card of all time, due to its iconic tournament status, including Vintage, Legacy and Standard. It’s a heavyweight, sure, as well as the later iteration it inspired in Electrolyze. These are some of the best and most iconic spells in this genre of all time. The ability to Forked Bolt perfectly fits a lot of situations, and the Fire half of this spell has often slain two bodies, or deal one damage to a, X/1 and another to its controller, which a Lightning Bolt cannot do. You can burn a ‘walker and shoot a dork, and so forth. Tapping and drawing a card has massive value, and even when that trick isn’t needed, you can essentially “cycle” the card. Electrolyze gets you the cantrip and the Fire effect as well, making it arguably the best version of this effect later, although at the cost of an additional mana to cast. The rest is a powerful, iconic effect that still can be found in Commander decks with this color combination to this day!
6. Saheeli Rai
Saheeli Rai dominated Standard for a time because of her infinite combo with a certain Cat, but she was good before and after the Felidar Guardian was banned. You have played with her enough to know that she has a lot of value to offer a friend who summons her to the battlefield. Playing multiplayer? Great! Her +1 will let you scry while also hitting everyone else for a damage. That little damage adds up. And then, as we already know, she can essentially Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker one of your artifacts or dorks, making an artifact critter copy for a turn to smash. That has a lot of options, especially as you can copy a non-creature artifact like Spine of Ish Sah or Gilded Lotus. She is deep! And if you scry a bunch and built up for an ultimate, putting three artifacts onto the battlefield from your library is game-winning. This card brings the quality.
5. The Locust God
One of the best things that The Locust God does is give you a powerful long game with everything about it. Let’s begin.
The result is one of the strongest long-game presences for your color combination!
4. Keranos, God of Storms
Keranos is no surprise here. He remains one of the best Gods out there for multicolored purposes. Reveal the first card you draw on your turn which is typically your normal draw during your draw step. Great. Did you reveal a land? You win a Blue prize! Draw another card for winning! Did you reveal a non-land? You win a Red prize! Shoot something for three damage for winning! That powerful long-game is just really hard to match. Everyone wants to draw more cards! Everyone wants to shoot stuff for Lightning Bolts! You get this attached to an indestructible card that’s hard to take out as well as a 6/5 dork that can fade into play occasionally and smash or block as needed. That is a great card for five mana.
3. Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius and Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind
The great thing about Niv-Mizzet’s two incarnations is that in each pass, you get a sizeable flying Dragon that also draws you a throng of cards while also having a built-in combo engine to build around! One will shoot stuff, and draw you a card when you do! Two mana: deal 1 damage to a player and draw a card is one of the best activated abilities of all time, given how cheap it is! You can clear out dorks too, and have a powerful 5/5 smashing someone’s face. Meanwhile the original is no joke either, with the free-ping effect any time you draw a card tethered to the ability to tap and draw a card. So, on your turn, you can draw at least two cards and deal two damage forked between different targets as you wish.
2. Jhoira of the Ghitu
Jhoira of the Ghitu is great at playing well for a lot of teams. She is an amazing Commander as she is a 3-drop ramp spell all by herself. Cast her on the 3rd turn. On the 4th suspend two cards you wouldn’t be able to cast. On the 5th turn, repeat. Result, tons of stuff getting cast without anything other than Jhoira arriving. Now, she is particularly known for suspending Obliterate and similar death-to-everything spells as well as dorks to swing with haste after it arrives. And that’s a powerful combo! But she does so much more in many other shells. Ramp out Eldrazi. Cast Insurrection. Ramp out Time Stretch or Omniscience. Drop Bosh, Iron Golem. Put her as the leader of a casting-cost matters build that uses effects like Explosive Revelation to smash people with higher casting costs or effects like Rush of Knowledge with an expensive card such as Draco. There are so many paths you can hew! That’s the power of Jhoira.
1. Dack Fayden
In most casual and Commander formats, Dack Fayden is the arguably the best 3-drop planeswalker ever printed. That’s strong. The first ability to Loot two cards and jump up Dack’s loyalty by one is very good at sculpting your hand early while building up the bond between yourself and your best thief friend. Then you can use the -2 to steal that great artifact you’ve been eyeing, and you retain it for the rest of the game. Those two abilities alone are enough to make Dack amazing as a 3-drop that can impact the board immediately and powerfully. But if you manage to Loot up enough counters to ultimate, having an emblem that will let you steal a lot of stuff is pretty keen.
And there we go! I hope you enjoyed our top cards in Red and Blue! Anything in there you are excited to run? Anything I got wrong or forgot? Let me know!
In celebration of March Madness, I expect next week to be looking at the top madness cards of all time; and then we’ll likely have to talk about new sets slated and such, but we will return to this list and wrap it up soon. See you next week!
Did you list this top ten list? Want to read more? Great! Here are my first five allied lists for you to check out: