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Top Ten Cards #3 from Strixhaven: #33-23


Hello folks! Are you having an awesomely awesome day today? Awesome possum!

What I am doing is taking a few weeks to take a deep dive into the best cards from Strixhaven. We are in the third week of a five-week tour of the best of the set. The awesome cards, if you will.

Today is the middle article of those five, and we'll be counting down #33 - #23 inclusive.

Here are my previous ones!

The first week I brought to you my Top Ten Cards from Strixhaven for the entire set, #11 - #1! That was a lot of the best cards from the entire set for casual kitchen table play including Commander. My top card in the set was a common, the first time that has happened in years. Check it out here!

The second week I brought to you my next 11 cards from #22 to #12 that included an honorable mention and cards that juuust missed my top ten proper. I know you want to check it out!

Alright, are you ready for this article? Let's get it started!

#33. Honorable Mention. Archway Commons

Archway Commons

Hello fans of two previous versions of this card! The most recent was Gateway Plaza over in War of the Spark as well as other Ravnica-themed sets with Gates. This is a verbatim new version of these two commons, and that's why it's not in my top ten, but I adore it here at #33 as my honorable mention! It's a great card with a lot of power in four or five-color brews as a budget-friendly option to make all of the mana that you heart desires for spending a mana when it arrives, and then you have a perfect pain free mana maker! Again, I adore it!

#32. Daemogoth Titan

Daemogoth Titan

Hello fans of big fat dorks! Look how keen this bad boy is! Don't sleep on this Demon at the kitchen table! It works very well as a sacrifice force of attacking nature in typical Golgari sacrifice shells to sacrifice fodder for no mana down once a turn when you swing. Also, there are several builds in Black that care about the most power for the cheapest possible cost and this is one such powerful dork. It'll kill in two hits at a 20-life game and four in Commander against most players. It's so keen its claws are razor sharp!

#31. Exponential Growth

Exponential Growth

Hello fans of math. Wow, do I have the card for you! Well actually this is second best as there is another card hitting that's even more math heavy than this! Double it once for four mana. Double it twice if you want. Double it three times, which seems pretty powerful and doable in a typical Commander ramp deck. It's a fun Berserk variant that's just going to be a blast to play, and being fun to play? That's what games are all about!

#30. Efreet Flamepainter

Efreet Flamepainter

I really like this bad Shaman of the Efreeti lineage. Check it out! Double strike? Check! Combat damage trigger? Check! It can cast a free sorcery/instant from your 'yard and then exile it? Check! I really like it a lot a lot. It reminds me of similar double striking card advantage combat damage dorks in Red already and plays into them nicely. Enjoy!

#29. Crackle with Power

Crackle with Power

This is the card I alluded to in Exponential Growth's discussion above. Wow. To simplify things for the math novices, this is basically a card with four modes:

  • Five mana: Five to one target of your choice.
  • Eight mana: Ten damage to two targets of your choice
  • 11 mana: Fifteen damage to three targets of your choice
  • 14 mana: Twenty damage to four targets of your choice

That can win many games and could kill all three in a multiplayer game. It will for sure in a five-way game or smaller at 14 mana. It's a faster way to deal 20 damage than a traditional X spell. It's also pretty kicking at Commander even with it's 40-life starting curse. It's a great player killer X spell. Pretty kicking, indeed.

#28. Quandrix Cultivator

Quandrix Cultivator

Hello fans of ramping in Simic. I have your body right here! This can ramp out either a Forest or an Island and it's solid sized too for the four-mana body. Note that it can only grab basics so it cannot fetch you a dual land, hence it hitting back here at #28. But I do like it and like the idea of running it quite a bit! I just built a Commander deck that was led by Tanazir Quandrix that runs the Cultivator.

#27. Kasmina, Enigma Sage

Kasmina, Enigma Sage

I also ran Kasmina Take Two in that Commander deck as well! This is my lowest-scoring planeswalker in the set, and I think you can see why. She's a three-drop, which is a great place to be in the canon of 'walkers, but with just two loyalty and her token making a -X she cannot make blockers reliably to protect herself, and her +2 is just scry 1. If it were scry 2? If she had three loyalty? Then there would be some more selling here, but as it is she hits my middle article at #27. She still pretty good and she is the first planeswalker I have put into a decklist for you, but she would need some upgrading to get higher on my list. Enjoy her!

#26. Shadrix Silverquill

Shadrix Silverquill

Our lowest-hitting Elder Dragon is Shadrix! Look at our good Dragon! As you can see you get double strike and flying which is nice so he's really a 4/5 guy for five mana, not bad at all. You could add him to an Orzhov Voltron build with that pair of abilities already going. See that attack trigger? You can draw a card, toss a counter on your stuff, or make a flyer to partner with Shadrix. But you have to give one to a foe. He's pretty good in multiplayer games like Commander where you can use his ability to make friends, and don't sleep on the counter giving to someone without creatures to blank it. But being forced to help your opponents each turn drops this's value to my mind as you don't want to be forced to do this turn after turn after turn. It's not bad though!

#25. Lorehold Command

Lorehold Command

Take a looksee at Lorehold Command! It has four fun options for your Commanding considerations. Make a 3/2 dork. Give your stuff haste, indestructible and +1/+0. Shoot a target for three damage and gain three life. And sac a permanent (probably a land) and draw two cards. You can save this and use it to keep your team alive from mass removal. You can kill an attacker with X/3 size (or smaller) with it's making of a dork to block and trade. You can kill a planeswalker or dork with 3 or smaller toughness and gain some life. It's pretty strong! What keeps it here at #25? Well, it's casting cost is a bit high and its card advantage options are harder to hit, but hitting here is pretty strong right? Right!

#24. Elite Spellbinder

Elite Spellbinder

This is a fun card. For three mana you get a 3/1 flyer, but I don't like that it trades down. When it arrives to the party you can grab a nonland from a foe's hand and exile it with a tax. It's pretty nifty and new ability for White and I enjoy it a lot! What drops it to #24 on my list? Well, the issue is tension with its 3/1 body. If I am keeping a key dork or spell from resolving for a few turns I may not want to lose the Elite Spellbinder. If you control something that I might normally swing past, like a 1/2 flyer, I cannot do so since we'd trade down and lose the tax. I'd prefer more body here. It's also weaker at the kitchen table in formats like Commander then it is in tournament duels like Standard. Good stuff!

Now what is my top card? Err...cards?

#23. The Snarl Cycle

Frostboil Snarl

This cycle of lands finishes the cycle begun a while ago. It's nice to have them for Standard and kitchen table play! Any duel with a chance of arriving to the battlefield untapped and ready to be used is good for your graces. It'll see heavy play in formats like Commander as well! Now because it requires a Mountain or Plains it's usually only going to be in two-color decks as the more colors you run the harder it is to get triggered. Also, many Commander decks runs a ton of non-basics so it's trigger it less likely in a tricked-out deck, hence it hitting back here at #23. This cycle is snarly delicious!

And there we go! I hope that you enjoyed my look at the cards that hit between #33 and #23 from the set! Let me know your thoughts and see you next week!

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