What are the best multiplayer cards of all time? If you’ve played any multiplayer or Commander, you can list many of them: cards like Rout and Akroma, Angel of Wrath; Insurrection and Volrath's Stronghold. You can rollcall a bunch of them. Good job!
And I did so back in early 2013 is a series of four articles that counted down my take on the Top 100 cards for multiplayer for all time.
But we’ve had a lot of sets printed since then. What cards have been printed from 2013 and on that would make that list? What is the cream of the crop? So I thought it would be really powerful to give you my list of the Top 10 Cards for Multiplayer from each year from 2013 and on. A few weeks ago, I did the remainder of 2013. Today, I want to give you the Top 10 cards from 2014.
What sets were printed then?
- Commander (2014 Edition)
- Magic 2015
- Journey into Nyx
- Khans of Tarkir
- Born of the Gods
While all of the cards below are stronger, they are very different in power level, structure, and value at the table. But they are all top-quality stuff.
10 — Bitter Revelation
I have to admit my own bias here. Bitter Revelation may be a bit of a pet card with me—we’ll see. But I find it’s the perfect entry in that same category as Read the Bones, Harmonize, Ambition's Cost, Browbeat, and Act on Impulse for my decks. Maybe the reason is I love the graveyard, so anything that stocks it up is all right with me. Maybe the Revelation’s ability to clear off the top four cards of my library and draw me the better two while doing so is useful with a lot of stuff I regularly play (Scroll Rack, Sensei's Divining Top, Brainstorm, Sylvan Library, etc.). From hitting your delirium or threshold to gaining a stocked graveyard for reanimation to Anger/Wonder/Glory/Genesis fun-times to flashback to dredge to Bloodghast and more, there’s a lot going on here. And this is an ideal support card to boot.
9 — Reclamation Sage
Sometimes, you see a little body like this that’s just perfect for what it does. Let’s check things off:
- The Sage will pop either an enchantment or an artifact on arrival.
- The Sage costs just 3 mana, making it a cheap adjunct for your removal.
- The Sage’s creature nature allows it to be abused and used by various creature-based abilities.
- The Sage is a 2/1 creature, a solid result from the investment and card removal.
- The Sage is an Elf. It’s in one of the most supported tribes in all of Magic.
That is a lot of quality in one simple uncommon. It’s the simple little Mulldrifter and Acidic Slime and Eternal Witness and Karmic Guide of 2014, and it is among the best dorks out there at bringing it.
Red has always had a love–hate relationship with artifacts. It’s a bit schizophrenic at times. It’s like pulling petals off a daisy. I like artifacts; I hate artifacts. I like artifacts; I hate artifacts . . . Is red going to toss your fancy jewelry Into the Core and Shatter it or just turn it into a lovely ashtray? Prior to Daretti swinging by, red’s artifact love was something that was very rare outside of artifact-loving blocks. So you might see a Krark-Clan Shaman or a Krark-Clan Stoker from Mirrodin. Despite this all, I loved the theme. I had a Bosh, Iron Golem deck all ready to throw artifacts at people for a metric ton of damage. And then the Daretti deck came out and brought a ton of red help and something else. Daretti, Scrap Savant is one of the single best pro-artifact red cards of all time. You can discard stuff into your ’yard with the +2 ability to set up for the Trash for Treasure at -2 loyalty later on. And its ultimate is brokenly good as well, and with +2 getting you there with decent speed, Daretti is ready for the long game and is among the most synergetic Planeswalkers out there, with its abilities all supporting each other nicely.
I discusses the power of Perplexing Chimera in my Top 10 article for Born of the Gods. It’s played as well as I hoped, and other cards from its set have disappointed in Casual Town, so I’d move it up from eleven to the top three. Because you gain control of any spell on the stack, you can swap this little 3/3 for a big ol‘ Planeswalker, creature, sorcery, instant, or enchantment. There’s always something you want to steal! And it plays well with a ton of cards people are already playing—Homeward Path, bounce effects, Flicker effects, and such. And it’s just a fun, crazy, chaotic card that always switches the board up when it arrives, with an interesting political angle.
Black didn’t use to have Swords to Plowshares. Exiling any creature was the iconic difference between Swords to Plowshares and Terror. It was the better class of card. Ever since, black has been loaded with Terror variants—Go for the Throat, Dark Banishing, Murder, Doom Blade, and such. Great stuff. But you know what? Recently, black has been receiving a collection of exiling pinpoint removal spells instead, including Sever the Bloodline, Gild, Oblivion Strike, Silence the Believers. And of that lot, Silence the Believers is one of the top choices for. Why? What’s going on with it? Well, you have a 4-mana instant Swords to Plowshares that doesn’t have the gain-life issue or a Path to Exile without the land-giving component. It has no downside. And if you have mana and the appropriate target, you can strive a few times and exile more creatures, thus providing alternate removal options, card advantage, and instant answers to many problems at once. To my mind, it’s the best pinpoint creature-only removal spell currently in print for black. So it should be on this list by default.
There are a lot of things to recommend about the Soul of New Phyrexia. There are a few strong, big creatures I love from 2014 for this list, but the huge color requirements of many of them reduce the opportunity for play. (Take Surrak Dragonclaw as a brilliant example.) But the great thing about the Soul of New Phyrexia is that it’s clean. The artifact-creature status lets you play it in any deck you want. And the 6/6 size gives you a threat for your investment. It also works in any shell that would like to occasionally make its creatures indestructible. In case you hadn’t heard, that’s basically every creature ever printed. If your deck has creatures, there’s a spot for the Soul, from a tokens deck that seeks to go wide to a reanimation deck that can chuck the Soul into the graveyard with Buried Alive to serve as an emergency trigger in case of any removal targeting your big bad. Do you have an aggro deck that fears the mass removal of control? Do you have a control deck that doesn’t want to waste protection for your key guys with other cards? Is mass removal of any sort a problem? Then the Soul is a great addition to that deck.
The Courser is a great adjunct for a lot of decks out there. Every green deck wants to play lands. Even cheap, aggressive, stompy decks are interested. Since you can play lands from the top of your library as well as your hand, it increases your chance of hitting every land drop. It’s cheap enough to be played early on to gain immediate results. Plus, it has a better size than some other land-based accelerant creatures, it plays well with “top-of-the-library” effects, and it is an enchantment and a creature, so cards that harness the power of either will increase its synergy. From Sigil of the Empty Throne to Crystal Ball to Exploration, there’re a lot of interesting homes here! Enjoy!
3 — Dualcaster Mage
Did you see how good Reclamation Sage was above? It just does a lot for a little price. Dualcaster Mage has the same converted cost, an identical body, and a great enters-the-battlefield trigger as well. So why is it here? A few reasons! First, green has a lot of other options—Indrik Stomphowler, Conclave Naturalists, Mold Shambler, Acidic Slime, and more. There are a lot of options! How many creatures in red have an enters-the-battlefield trigger that duplicates a spell on arrival? Hmmm . . . Precisely. Does your deck have good spells? Red decks usually do! You can Fork some great stuff. Do your opponents have great spells? They usually do! You can Fork some of their great cards as well. I’ve copied everything from Kodama's Reach to Opportunity, Swords to Plowshares to Cyclonic Rift overloaded. I even once made a duplicate of Plague Wind so that everything would die, not leaving behind junk for my foe who played it.
Grave Pact has always been among the most dominant enchantments ever since it was printed. You didn’t need synergy, you just needed creatures. But if you controlled synergetic elements, such as creatures to sacrifice (Sakura-Tribe Elder) or outlets to use (Goblin Bombardment) or multiple threats from one source (Beetleback Chief), all you have to do is attack and swing, and people are forced to make tough decisions. Take the damage? Kill the creature and then suffer the sacrifice trigger? You often keep people from attacking into you as well, for fear of the carnage that results. Now add flash to the Pact, and you have a better version of one of the single best cards of all time—period.
1 — Perilous Vault
Ever since Limited Edition Alpha gave us Nevinyrral's Disk, we’ve only had a handful of true top-quality sweeping effects on the artifact side of life. Sometimes, you need a little saving. The Disk helps, but you often need something else, like Oblivion Stone and Perilous Vault. It even sweeps out unsightly Planeswalkers. Enchantments and artifacts? Creatures? All gone! Only your lands are left. And it also exiles stuff, so it’s a real reset button, and you don’t have to worry about things like indestructible or someone with a Solemn Simulacrum drawing a card or anything like that. Just hit the button, and exile all of this crap. It’s a great life preserver.
So what did you think? Was there anything in there that piqued your fancy?