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Top Planeswalkers of the Past Five Years #2


Top Planeswalkers of the Past Five Years Take Two! (#21-#38)

Hello awesome folks! I hope your day is going to be super mega well! This article is a sequel to last week's Top Five Years #1 (The Top 20 Planeswalkers of the Past Five Years | Article by Abe Sargent (coolstuffinc.com)) - which was a sequel to this article 5 years ago (Top Ten Planeswalkers in the Past Four Years | Article by Abe Sargent (coolstuffinc.com)) of the best in the past four years and then that was a sequel to this article almost 10 years ago (Top 10 Planeswalkers for Multiplayer | Article by Abe Sargent (coolstuffinc.com)). Note that this list is for casual play for multiplayer, Commander, Five Color, Highlander and more. You can find my tournament rankings here (The Top Sixteen Planeswalkers for Constructed | Article by Abe Sargent (coolstuffinc.com))

Ready for the fun to begin?

#38. Chandra, Legacy of Fire

Chandra, Legacy of Fire

Let's kick off our list with a planeswalker made for Commander and other planeswalkers too! This five-drop mono-Red with a small three loyalty is next. Her static will shoot your opposing dorks for damage equal to your planeswalker count at the end of your turn. Nasty win con for free! Then you can +1 her to make Red mana equal to your planeswalker count, massive ramping fun times with one. Then you can 0 her and remove loyalty counters from as many planeswalkers as you want to exile that many from your library as impulsive card flow this turn. The more colors you have, the fewer you'll want to exile on your turn since you might not have the colors to cast it, or more than one. She's fun for the wins!!! She's back here at the end of my second list since she costs five for just three loyalty, pricey for an undercurve thang. Plus, she is amazing with other planeswalkers of her type, but struggles outside of that one archetype.

#37. Narset of the Ancient Way

Narset of the Ancient Way

Her +1 will gain you 2 life, and then ramp you a mana in her colors to spend on non-dork spells. Ramp and life gain is awesome here. Then you can -2 her to draw a card and then you can discard for looting. Did you discard a non-land? Great! You can shoot a foe's dork or planeswalker for that mana cost in damage! She's ramp, lifegain, and removal and card draw, all in one package. But she's harder to run in Commander decks with her three color identity and then she can kill attackers with her -2 but it's hard to do for long with her starting loyalty and you have to discard, hence her getting the back spot on my second list.

#36. Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God

Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God

This five-drop Grixis God's static gives him the loyalty abilities of every other planeswalker on the battlefield! That's strong. Then you can +1 him to draw and have your opponents exile a card from their hand or the battlefield so that's removal tied to card draw on the +1. Note exiling there, but they can exile tokens like Treasures or 1/1 dorks. You can -3 him to Hero's Downfall. That can happen once with his base loyalty. That's a strong powerful queue of removal to save him, card draw, exiling removal, and copying all other loyalty abilities, but he's undercurved at just four loyalty for a five cost (you'd want at least five) and he is very, very, hard to cast. Enjoy the God-hood arrival.

#35. Mordenkainen


Our first mono-colored dork is this six-drop five loyalty dork with three abilities. You can +2 him to draw two and put one on the bottom of your library, like a bad Brainstorm in card count, but good where the card goes. Then you can -2 him twice with his starting loyalty to make a Dog Illusion win-con token with size equal to twice your hand size, so that's a fast kill. Or will keep folks from swinging your way. But he costs a lot at six mana, should have six loyalty, and his token creation is -2 to save that drops him to a Lightning Bolt'able three loyalty if you use it on the first turn to save him, and then you only made a dork and didn't draw. See why he's here at the 35 spot? I hope so!

#34. Kiora, Behemoth Beckoner

Kiora, Behemoth Beckoner

Next is our first uncommon from the planeswalker heavy War of the Spark. Kiora costs just three hybrid Simic mana for a massive seven loyalty and two abilities. Her static will draw you a card when a dork with a power of 4 or more ETBs on your side of the battlefield! Note there are no breaks like non-token or once/turn or your turn only. Her -1 will untap a permanent like a mana dork, rock, or land to ramp all up and down the block, or to get another use from The One Ring or Arcanis. She is super easy to cast, can load up tons of card draw over time, unlike Mordenkainen, and it's hard to drop that high loyalty, so I rank her one better. People don't target her for removal unless you are abusing a massive land like Gaea's Cradle or Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx with her untapping. But she's very strong at one thing, and he's more flexible.

#33. Nissa, Ascended Animist

Nissa, Ascended Animist

This compleated planeswalker is next! She costs between 5 and 7, and has between 3 and 7 loyalty counters, but you'll want to wait to activate that ultimate. Her +1 will make a dork with size equal to her loyalty, so 8/8 on the turn you drop her to protect her. Nasty. Then her -1 will destroy an artifact or enchantment, so just a -1 for a Naturalize removal effect is great too. Then you can -7 her to give your team +1/+1 for each Forest you control and trample for the turn to get a win out of nowhere! She's awesome if you wait until the seventh turn, but that's a high costs and she needs enough Forests and she has a cost of four Green mana when you do, which reduces her power in other brews. She's super strong and can grab wins out of nowhere with her -7 or slowly with her +1 each turn. Enjoy Nissa!

#32. Lolth, Spider Queen

Lolth, Spider Queen

This five-drop mono-Black four loyalty with four abilities is next! Note that none gain her loyalty, but her static to toss counters here when your stuff dies can very quickly break this, and there is no off-ramp there like non-token or once/turn. Then you can 0 her to draw and lose a life, card flow. Then you can -3 her to make two 2/1 tokens to block, and they have reach to stop flyers, and then menace to swing with evasion too later after you have established her. Then since you can easily get her to 8 loyalty with her static we'll look at her ultimate. You gain an uncounterable or answerable emblem that when your foe's are dealt combat damage less than 8, round up. That's a powerful win-con, and you can split attacks to smash each foe for minor damage and round up 8. See why she's here on my list? I hope so too! She draws, she makes two dorks to block flyers and swing, and then she can ultimate into a game winner that's more powerful in multiplayer. But she's back here because you need to get kills of your stuff to build her loyalty up, and that means you need the right deck and/or battlefield to truly dominate, otherwise you'll just have a four loyalty that draws each turn, but cannot grow, or a one loyalty after arrival with two tokens either of which states are easily killed.

#31. Kaya, Intangible Slayer

Kaya, Intangible Slayer

This seven-drop Orzhov colored six loyalty (undercurved) Standard legal 'walker is next! She has hexproof, so you cannot target kill her, if she resolves, you'll have to attack her. Nasty! Then she +2s to Syphon Soul your foes, but for three life not two, an old school multiplayer standard the first version of Kaya could do too. Then you can 0 her to draw two and your foes can scry one each. That means they may not want to swing and kill her, since they get something useful. And drawing two every turn is pretty strong without losing loyalty or doing something with the card like Mordenkainen putting one in your deck or graveyard for others. Then you can -3 her twice with her starting loyalty to exile an enchantment or dork and if it wasn't an Aura, copy it save it's a 1/1 Spirit with flying. So, you can remove and then make your own version note the exile there to perma-answer. She's just so powerful! She's worth the mana cost.

#30. Dakkon, Shadow Slayer

Dakkon, Shadow Slayer

Not being designed for Standard but Modern and older sets is this powerhouse. This Esper three-drop with loyalty equal to your land count, so minimum three on the third turn, or more later. You can +1 to surveil 2, better than scry 2. Then you can -3 to exile an opposing dork. Good deck control and exiling of what you need, note the exiling here to also perma-answer a dork just like Kaya above. Then you can -6 him to drop an artifact from your hand or graveyard to the battlefield for no mana down! If you have six lands, drop and use, and seven you can drop and abuse and keep. It's strong with the surveil to feed your graveyard from your library. He's great in lands and artifact matters stuff. And Esper loves artifacts matter! It was designed around it.

#29. Garruk, Cursed Huntsman

Garruk, Cursed Huntsman

Now we hitting up another expensive tw- color (Golgari this time instead of Orzhov) with easier to cast and an undercurved loyalty one fewer than cost. This also has no + loyalties, but you can 0 to make two 2/2 Wolves for blocking him or attacking later like Lolth, but this time, when they die, you'll net a loyalty counter on all of your Garruks! Then you can -3 him to Murder a dork and draw. Cantripping removal, but this is destroy, not exile, and can be answered with indestructible tricks. His ultimate which is just one more gives you a permanent Overrun. Good stuff for the win-tuff!

#28. Elminster


This five-cost Azorius colored five loyalty is next!! Note this can be your Commander and was printed for Commander. Its static will turn scries into instant/sorcery cost reduction equal to the scried amount. That's strong, and abuses his +2 to draw and scry 2. You'll want to combine that with things that are scalable like Stroke of Genius or Time Stretch. You can -3 him once with his starting loyalty to exile the top card of your library with X 1/1 Dragon flying tokens equal to its cost. That's nasty combined with its scry-liciousness. It's very synergetic with scry matters or library manipulation stuff like with Esper's Yennett, Cryptic Sovereign to cast an odd thing on top of your library when it swings. It's brilliant in its world!

#27. Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge

Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge

Back to War of the Spark, and this time we have the "Buy a Box" promo!! He has four abilities, Dimir colored, six-drop five loyalty. His static gives affinity for artifacts to your dorks and other planeswalkers. Nasty speeding your stuff. Then you can +2 him to kill your foes! How so? You drain them for life equal to your artifact count, including tokens like Treasures or Scrap. Then you can -3 him once with his starting loyalty to Regrowth an artifact to your hand. Great synergy for that beloved card type!!! Everyone loves artifacts!

#26. Calix, Destiny's Hand

Calix, Destiny's Hand

People were waiting a long time for an enchantment themed planeswalker that wasn't the Aura in the Commander deck. This four-drop four loyalty Selesnya leader is next! His +1 will dig four, you can draw an enchantment from the top four of your library, the rest heads to the bottom, so you clear them out. It's great after this color needs to reshuffle in, say, Sylvan Library or Mirri's Guile. Then the -3 here will exile a dork or enchantment you don't control until an enchantment you do control leaves play. That's sort of like an Oblivion Ring style temporary removal. If they cannot answer your enchantment, they cannot answer the removal, and you can protect it with enchantments in your color like Sterling Grove or Privileged Position to keep your removal hard to answer with targeted removal like Naturalize or Disenchant. And this is in the color of Doubling Season and that -7 is broken in enchantment brews. Welcome to the kitchen table Calix!

#25. Koth, Fire of Resistance

Koth, Fire of Resistance

His +2 will ramp a (basic) Mountain from your deck to your hand, but not onto the battlefield, but guaranteed land drops from a +2 four drop is great here! Then you can -3 him to Spitting Earth a dork. That grows with your Mountain count from the +2 so they work together nicely. Also note that you are really loving this alongside other Mountain loving stuff like the original Koth of the Hammer in mono-Red or land discards in your color to Shock like Land's Edge for everyone or Seismic Assault for just you! Or cycling with Tectonic Reformation. He's awesome for fun times to commence!

#24. Ashiok, Wicked Manipulator

Ashiok, Wicked Manipulator

We move up from two fours to a five-drop five loyalty planeswalker in mono-Black. They have four abilities. Their static will turn life payment to effects like Phyrexian Mana or Greed style card draw like Sign in Blood into exiling cards from your library instead, if it's big enough. This ability obviously wants bigger decks like 100 in Commander or 300 in Five Color. That's already good enough to run! Then their +1 will dig two, and exile one and draw the other. The -2 which can be done twice with starting loyalty will make two tokens of the Nightmare 1/1 with at the beginning of your combat, if a card was put into exile, this grows permanently by a +1/1 counter! Two dorks for blockers to save Ashiok and friends, or attack after growing in one ability is sweet! Their exile growth synergizes with the static and +1 abilities. It's not your stuff only, so exiling removal like Swords to Plowshares or Into the Core will also trigger this, on the same turn you made them in your pre-combat phase to grow them. Love 'em loads!

#23. Jaya, Fiery Negotiator

Jaya, Fiery Negotiator

She has four abilities, not one static and three loyalties, but four activated loyalty abilities giving her loads of flexibility. The +1 will make a 1/1 Monk with prowess to grow when people aren't expected to swing or block. Her -1 will exile two from your library (Ashiok above) and then you can cast one this turn, so that's impulsive card flow, but you are always down a card since only one could be cast. Then you can -2 her twice with her starting loyalty to shoot an opposing dork equal to your attackers this turn. The +1 and -1 fit into loads of decks but her -2 really wants tokens or going wide decks to kill reliably when swinging. Love this ol' gal loads!

#22. Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord

Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord

This three-drop four loyalty walker of the planes has a better loyalty for the cost. You can +1 him to give a dork lifelink, deathtouch this turn or a +1/+1 counter if a Vampire. You can also +1 him to sac a Vampire to shoot a target for three and gain three life. Then what breaks him in Vampire decks is the -3 on arrival to the battlefield to drop a Vampire for free from your hand to play! And it doesn't even kill him. He loves his kindred with three abilities, and just won a high-profile tournament with the just-printed Vein Ripper! Nasty stuff! But his dedication to one deck drops him to my #2 list on the #2 spot.

#21. Teyo, Geometric Tactician

Teyo, Geometric Tactician

Let's finish with another three-drop this time White and three loyalty. Teyo is much more flexible and usable than Sorin, but less powerful in the Vampire deck. This was made for Commander and didn't have to go through Standard-power level stuff. When he ETBs, you make a free 0/4 Wall with defender and flying to block attacks. Note that's ETB so you can blink and get that again. No one is bothered much by an 0/4 that cannot attack, and his +1 makes them happy with them and you each drawing that precious card! Then you can -2 him to force everyone, you too, to attack one direction until your next turn. That means that only one guy can swing your way at you or, hint hint, your planeswalkers to drop loyalty and you can block one with the Wall. I love him so much, and am sad he wasn't in last week's Top 20! I make up for that now! He is geared up to be a Multiplayer Classic from here since he plays into so many tricks I published earlier this year and last like no one will kill him (The Treasure Trove Effect) he adds to your Density of Creatures to keep back attacks, and he'll keep you alive so you can win (You Can't Win Until You Don't Lose). He's also amazing in toughness matters or Defender builds too with the free wall. I've never been sad to drop him.

Next week the spoilers for Outlaws at Thunder Junction will be out!

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