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Top Ten Split Cards in Casual Play


Hello awesome players! Do I have a fun Top Ten for y'all today! We'll be looking at the best split cards ever printed for casual play like multiplayer, Commander, other Highlander format, Type Four and Five Color. We will not be including cards like Aftermath or Adventure that plays similarly. We are going to be looking at the Top Ten of all time plus a quartet of Honorable Mentions, ready?

Let's do it to it!

Honorable Mention #1 (#14 Overall) - Far // Away

Far // Away

As a reminder, most split cards give you the ability to cast one half of the spell in question, but it's more mana than normal. Far // Away are both one more mana. Far is a two blue instant that bounces creature, one more mana than Unsummon. The Away is an instant that forces a sacrifice for three mana, one more than Diabolic Edict. You'll run the Edict side regularly, with the bounce a nice backup option. But this was in the set with "fuse" splits where you could get both halves for the total cost in one spell - so five mana total for both a bounce and a Edict effect.

Tempo and creature control in one effect makes our list. This is stronger in Type Four with infinite mana, but just one spell per turn, since the bounce will set them back one full turn and the Edict will kill their other creature and get around hexproof and indestructible. It sets them back two turns for one spell and kills something. Nasty! Don't sleep on bouncing an annoying Commander to get it off the board and then getting the sacrifice, or bouncing the other and sacrificing their only dork left. It's great stuff.

Honorable Mention #2 (#13 Overall) - Response // Resurgence

Response // Resurgence

I run this in many of my Commander decks, more so than the next few. But it's not as flexible. This Boros option has two great ways to play. The instant is two and deals 5 to an attacking or blocking dork. That's a lot of damage and usually ends anything. It's also better in multiplayer where you can end someone not attacking you or other blockers. You can also team up to kill an attacker with a bigger butt by multiple blocking. Then the sorcery is a five cost that gives your team vigilance, first strike, and another attack phase, so it's a better Relentless Assault variant hiding in your removal section. Vigilance means you can attack twice and stay untapped for blocking. First strike twice is very strong. I love it with deathtouch enablers in black or green, or equipment like Basilisk Collar. Either option scales up in multiplayer. Love this thing loads, but it's two-color identity keeps it here in my Honorable Mention section.

Honorable Mention #3 (#12 Overall) - Fast // Furious

Fast // Furious

This strong mono-Red split card was never printed in a Standard-legal set, so it's more powerful. The instant is a discard one, draw two, so you get the typical Rummaging card draw of Red to discard and then draw, like Big Score. This is at instant speed so you can do it to dig and find an answer, unlike most of these effects. Three mana seems reasonable for this.

Then the sorcery one is five and deals 3 damage to each nonflier. Mass removal tethered to card flow? That's very strong, and many commonly played 3 or smaller toughness Commander Classics are killable with this, like Hate Bears like Esper Sentinel, Goblin Welder, Flametongue Kavu, Eternal Witness, Soul Warden, Ravenous Chupacabra, and loads more. The only commonly played ones I can think that are killable and fly are things like Mulldrifter and Baleful Strix and random Aven Mindcensor. Most commonly played tokens are grounded like Goblins, Zombies, Soldiers and such. Adding in a mass removal spell to a card draw one makes this very powerful at most kitchen table formats, and it's one color, so it's pretty easy to add into your decks in Commander where color identity matters.

Honorable Mention #4 (#11 Overall) - Supply // Demand

Supply // Demand

This is a fun Bant sorcery threat. The Supply Side is a game winning X with two to start that makes X Saprolings of the 1/1 size. That's on curve, two to start, and then X made. I love Supply with tokens, Aggro, planeswalkers making a bunch of blockers to keep your team alive or control to get a bunch of blockers earlier or win later. Demand is a three-mana Azorius sorcery that tutors your deck for a multicolored card, reveals it, and then puts it into your hand. That's pretty strong! It's great as a backup Tutor for key things like Cloudblazer, Absorb, or Silverquill Command or Selesnya Charm. Love this thing loads as Supply, and it can be a backup tutor as well. Good stuff for the winning of the game. Supply is too good to play in Type Four. It's here in my Honorable Mention section because it's three colors for Commander which reduces it's play there.

Top Ten Time!

#10. Ready // Willing

Ready // Willing

Let's turn to what I think is the best combat trick ever printed! Each half is an instant, and note that fuse at the end to cast them both. The Ready half will make your critters indestructible for the turn and untap them. For three mana? That's what your white indestructible tricks like Rootborn Defenses already cost, and you are adding an untap, so you can untap your team to block out of nowhere. The Willing half also costs three and gives your team deathtouch and lifelink! Nasty, since now your stuff can trade with anything they damage as well as double the life swing with lifelink. If you fuse them? Then they can trade up, untap to block, won't die, and you'll gain a ton of life. That's just nasty in quantum. See why it's my favorite combat trick? However, it does need three colors outta five for Commander, hence it hitting here at the 10 spot overall. Though if you are running those three, and you have creatures, this is pretty amazing. Run it and see what you think? This is also amazing in my Type Four Stack.

#9. Carnival // Carnage

Carnival // Carnage

I ran this as a four of in my Standard-legal Rakdos Midrange deck on Arena in my sideboard since it was great against dorks and control like Mono-Blue Aggro (Carnival) and activating spectacle for Light Up the Stage. Then the Carnage was awesome against control builds without many or any creatures for my Murders to swap out with. It was very strong in this deck after being added to my sideboard. The Carnival costs one, shoots one target for one, and then their controller as well. Then the Carnage costs four and is a Blightning for one more. Nice pair to run against people. Good stuff for the win-tough.

#8. Bound // Determined

Bound // Determined

Love this pair! The Golgari side sacrifices a dork you control to recur one card per color from your graveyard to your hand. I love it with your Commander that has all of your colors for sure that was about to die anyway to a Farewell or Damnation or Blasphemous Act. It's very strong just using a body in sacrifice shells that has two or more colors. The Simic side is just two and prevents all of your spells from being countered this turn by spells...or abilities like the cycling trigger of Decree of Silence. Then you'll draw a card too so it's a free cantrip! Love this on an Isochron Scepter loads. It's very strong in all the right places, but again that three color identity keeps it down due to Commander.

#7. Assault // Battery

Assault // Battery

Hitting hallway in our list is this split card that debuted in the set that premiered this mechanic. The Red half costs one, and deals 2 to any target at sorcery speed. So, it's a slower Shock for the same price. The Green half makes a Green Hill Giant. Removal or a dork on one card? Nice! There was a dominant Standard deck called "Fires" in Gruul that was built around fellow uncommon "Fires of Yavimaya" that ran this. It was very strong. It's a lot of versatility in one card, and here your mana isn't being taxed, just the speed. This would be great instants at that cost, and Shock already was played where tournament legal, but slowing them down is the tax here in this split card. It's a great split card!

#6. Beck // Call

Beck // Call

Our final card before hitting the Top Five, and then our penultimate three-color split card is this fun powerhouse that was played in lots of formats. Beck is the powerhouse here. Two Simic colored mana for a "Draw a card" for each creature that'll arrive this turn to any battlefield. That's the powerhouse right there! That's nasty in any going wide deck from Bant Tokens to outside of Commander Simic going wide. Just two dorks this turn is card draw, and then more than two is really strong. The Call is a six mana Azorius that makes 4 1/1 flyers and that's one more mana than normal. Fusing them for a massive 8 mana will draw four guaranteed even on a naked hand without anything else and that's great if you topdeck it late game. Three mana identity keeps it back in my 6-spot, but I do love it loads at the kitchen table in loads of places like Five Color and Type Four.

#5. Spite // Malice

Spite // Malice

Hello happy people! I hope that your day is going quite well! Check out this Dimir four-mana instant pair! This was played in Standard in decks like Nether Go. The Spite can counter any noncreature, so it's a more expensive Negate, which we know how powerful it is at the kitchen table. Then Malice is a destroy target non-Black dork, so it's a more expensive Doom Blade. When it was printed it was heavily played in kitchen table formats like early Commander and Five Color that dominated the format with their good answer to anything save for a black dork. But the four-mana status for either side dropped it and hence it hitting here at the last spot in my Top Five proper. Love this thing so much!

#4. Crime // Punishment AND Life // Death

Crime // Punishment
Life // Death

Let's check out this duality! Crime // Punishment are the highest charting three-color card. Each half is amazing here! The Crime half is a five-cost Orzhov sorcery that Zombifies a dork or enchantment from your foe's graveyard to yours. Getting an enchantment too like their Sylvan Library or Land Tax or Rhystic Study is nasty. Don't sleep on that, although you'll usually want a Red zone-caring critter. Then the Punishment half is a Golgari X-costed sorcery that sweeps everything with that X cost of the artifact, enchantment and creature variety. It's mass removal tethered to a recursion spell. Can you see why it's my favorite three color spell with a precision-based mass removal spell and a recursive option that can bring back an enchantment too?

Then look at Life // Death. Life is one drop and makes all of your lands 1/1 dorks for the turn that are still lands. This lets you swing outta nowhere at someone's face for lethal. Nice! But this is here for Death. Two mana, return a dork from your graveyard to the battlefield and lose life equal to its cost. So it's a two mana Reanimate. In a 40-life environment like Commander, that's a minor payment, and then you net a two-mana recursion spell. It was heavily played for Death in tournament formats when legal. Both halves have value, sure, but this split card is charting for Death.

#3. Order // Chaos

Order // Chaos

Let's knock off one Boros one now! This powerful instant-speed duo got play when it was printed, and rose heavily after the next few blocks were printed. Let's look at why! The Order half! This four-mana instant will exile any attacking dork you can target. In multiplayer, note that it doesn't have to be attacking you, it can be attacking another. Now let's look at why this thing's play got increased as more sets were released over the next few blocks...

In just a short period of time, Akroma, Angel of Wrath was printed. This was played everywhere from Standard in Mono-White control to every kitchen table format ever designed where she was legal. This 8-costed drop came with a solid 6/6 body and then 6 keywords! And she could attack with haste right then and there. One of those keywords was protection from Black and Red, so Red and Black targeted removal like Dark Banishing couldn't touch her. You needed removal that could answer her so targeted removal in Green, White, or Blue.

Then another block was printed and with it came another major enemy at the kitchen table. The Darksteel Colossus. It was played everywhere, and since it was colorless unlike Akroma, it was played in more decks, and the was the target of Tinkers everywhere. This also introduced indestructible to the kitchen table. It needed exiling answers. So now we needed our removal able to exile as well and just be White, Blue or Green. Enter the Order half of Order // Chaos, the perfect answer since they played these two dorks to swing at your face. It was powerful stuff at the kitchen table, and don't sleep on Chaos, a three-mana Falter that's more expensive, but keeps all things from blocking as a surprise win out of nowhere. It's very strong too. Nice Boros pair!

#2. Wear // Tear

Wear // Tear

Our highest-hitting fuse card is this instant that's been played everywhere. Wear is a two cost that destroys an artifact, so it's a Shatter for the same mana. Then the Tear half destroys any targeted enchantment, so that's a Demystify for the same mana. And then you can do both for just three mana. Nasty. This thing has dominated tournament formats and was played all over. It's a powerful tool for card advantage in three mana fused, and unlike most split cards, you aren't losing mana for each half or speed like Assault // Battery. It's very strong at any kitchen table format, and then quite the fun thang in Commander despite its two-color identity in one of the least played two color combos. It's just too powerful not to make my list of the Top Split Cards of all time. But it's not my #1.

So...what is?

#1. Fire // Ice

Fire // Ice

This is! The Fire half splits two damage among two targets, so it can be a 2-for-1 with one-toughness things. In multiplayer with more targets, this is even more likely. The Ice half can tap anything (even a land) at instant speed and then draws you a card, so it basically cycles if you don't have the need for removal. It's really strong on your foe's upkeep after untapping, before drawing, on the only land of a certain color to lock them out of that color this turn, while drawing you a card. In Commander you can tap their namesake to give you another turn to survive from Commander Damage or swing through a one-dork defense with yours to win with it. I also love this on an Isochron Scepter. This thing was so powerful it was run in Vintage decks among many other formats. It's very strong at the kitchen table as well as the tournament one.

And there we go! What did you think of my 14 choices for this article? Sad that the silver-bordered one wasn't here? I hear you!

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