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Another AFR Top Ten!


Hello happy people! I hope that you are having the best day in your life right now, and that each day moving forward will blow today out of the proverbial water!

The trek to DnD town is dense with a lot of foliage. It's so dense, in fact, that we'll spend more than one week looking at the best cards from the set.

The first week I gave you my Top Ten Cards (which you can find here - Top Ten Cards from Adventures in the Forgotten Realms | Article by Abe Sargent (coolstuffinc.com)). That list includes hitters like Oswald Fiddlebender and Demilich. Check it out! We finished with ten cards and one honorable mention, so we had 11 cards total.

In order to make this list you need to be good for casual, kitchen table formats like Commander. If you are kicking butt in Modern or Standard but aren't casting much of a shadow here, then they aren't going to make this cut.

Today we'll look at another top ten cards and one honorable mention, so these are going to be cards from #12 to #22 inclusive. Oh, and our top card? It'll be a common! I know you'll want to check it out, right? Right!

Let's get this list thing started!

Honorable Mention - 22. Ochre Jelly

Ochre Jelly

Ochre Jelly is better than a lot of Hydras since it only requires one Green mana in its cost, as opposed to Rock Hydra or Hooded Hydra. When this fun Ochre Jelly dies, you can make another one half this one's size, and then when that copy dies you can make another copy that's half its size until it dies. It can survive mass removal, at half its previous strength. Also, it has trample so it cannot be stopped with a chump blocking 1/1 or a 0/2 flying Fog Bank. You need to respect it. It's a great mana sink in the color of ramp.

All right, now my Top Ten proper!

21. Eye of Vecna

Eye of Vecna

Our third highest scoring artifact and second highest scoring colorless card is the Eye of Vecna! Why is it here? It's a 2-drop artifact and on arrival you trade two life for a card. That's a Greed activation, which is fine in decks that seek card draw early. Then, in each of your upkeeps you can pay 2 make the same life for cards trade. It's kind of like a Phyrexian Arena that you choose to activate and replaces itself immediately rather than taking another turn to pay dividends. If someone decides to destroy it, you're up a card! It's so good in the 40-life Commander format! It works well in colors that need card drawing like White and Red. As well as colors that gain life like White, Green, and Black. Don't sleep on colors that like doing things with artifacts that replace themselves, like every color that isn't Green. Also, don't ignore the colors of control that love drawing cards over time. It's also a guaranteed way of card drawing in Five-Color brews that will work even if you have the wrong color of mana, unlike things like Phyrexian Arena. This card is saucy!

Now let's look at my Top Twenty!

20. Mind Flayer

Mind Flayer

Hello fans of Sower of Temptation, which was a powerhouse in Standard while in print and is in 5,734 decks over at EDHREC.com. Now, Sower is the better card, as it's a 4-drop to Mind Flayer's five mana and it has flying. However, Mind Flayer is a great version of Sower and should get a lot of play. A lot of play. I like it tons as a supplement to Sower of Temptation. It's really good in decks that self-bounce or flicker their stuff as you can reload the Flayer after the creature it stole dies, or something better comes along.

19. Shambling Ghast

Shambling Ghast

It's not hitting #12, but this common is my only other one hitting the list today! Did you see what they just did? They just reprinted Memnite! Don't see it? Here let me unpack the Zombie and see if you can see it! You have a 1/1 for one mana and that's fine, if a bit slow for kitchen table play which prefers 2/1s for that mana. In this case, you get a Zombie and when said Zombie dies you have two options. 1) You can give a dork that a foe controls -1/-1 until the turn, which will kill any X/1s that your foes may control (from Birds of Paradise to Soul Warden to a Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer). Pretty good. And you can finish off something that has 1 damage left. Trade this in combat with any X/2 as you deal a damage and then -1/-1 it on death, pretty good defense for a 1-drop, right? This half is fine on its own! It already exists as Festering Goblin that is a Zombie Goblin and can hit your stuff if you only have your own stuff in play and is not a may trigger so its trigger is worse. But there's another option! 2) You can make a Treasure token. I love that flexibility a lot in sacrifice builds. Sacrifice it to something that's mana free like Goblin Bombardment and shoot something for a damage. Make a Treasure. Bring it back with something like Enduring Renewal. Break the Treasure, recast it, and drop it again and again and again. Win the game. It's a better Goblin death trigger and it's an engine of breakability. I love it in casual games!

18. The Book of Exalted Deeds

The Book of Exalted Deeds

The Book of Exalted Deeds is first of two Mythic Rare White cards in a row. This is a rough 3-drop requiring all White mana. If you gain 3 or more life this turn, you get a free 3/3 flying Angel token that's White at the end of your turn. Pretty good in decks that care about lifegain, right? And then you can spend yet another www and tap the The Book of Exalted Deeds and exile it (which is a non-bo in decks that want to recur this artifact with something like Goblin Welder). You then place a counter on a target Angel (maybe one you just made), and it becomes a Platinum Angel. You cannot lose the game and your foes cannot win as long as you control your souped-up Angel. Great stuff! Life gain will love it as a cheap and free token maker, Angel decks will enjoy it, and I can see it in other places. It's also making the cut in Standard decks as well. Enjoy it!

17. Grand Master of Flowers

Grand Master of Flowers
Monk of the Open Hand

Our lowest charting new planeswalker from the set is hitting back here at #17 and that feels pretty good, right? The other four hit higher here or in last week's article. I really enjoy where this mythic rare is going. It's four mana for a 3-loyalty 'walker that wants you to build up to 7 loyalty and has two +1s to get there. When the first +1 is activated, you turn an annoying potential blocker or swinger without first strike, double strike or vigilance into a non-blocker or attacker for a full turn, thus saving Bahamut from a swing or letting you slip through a big blocker. His other +1 lets you find Monk of the Open Hand and then put it into your hand from your library or graveyard. As you can see, the Elf Monk is a 1-drop 1/1 that has the ability to get a +1/+1 counter as you cast your second spell each turn. Not bad. In Commander you can only run one, and there are reasons to do so if you are leaning on the Grand Master of Flowers. How so? Well drop him with an extra w to spare, and then use his +1 to tutor for your Monk and then drop him to block. Did you jump in front of an attacker? Great! Now use the +1 to put it into your hand from your graveyard and drop the Monk again! You could also sacrifice the Monk over and over again and bring it back once/turn with that +1. All while building up to 7 loyalty in order to go off. Enjoy him!

Now let's turn to our Top Five!

16. Guardian of Faith

Guardian of Faith

Check out our third White card in a row! Cool for you White fans, right? This bad boy is a 3/2 for three mana with flash and vigilance. Very good and on curve. You flash out the Spirit Knight, and then some, or all, of your dorks (note the use of the word "other" means you cannot phase out Guardian) phase out. This is perfect in case of removal both targeted and mass. It's great to use defensively and it's better than indestructible for a turn in multiplayer since phasing out lasts more turns and since this can answer shuffle removal like Terminus or exiling removal like Swords to Plowshares. I love this card's power!

15. Vorpal Sword

Vorpal Sword

Our highest charting artifact and black card is... Vorpal Sword, baby! It's just one Black mana to drop and two to equip and it gives the equipped dork +2/+0 and deathtouch. Compare it to the overpowered Bonesplitter that gives +2/+0 for one mana to drop and equip or Basilisk Collar that's one to drop and two to equip and gives lifelink and deathtouch to said creature. Combining the best parts of one into the other is pretty cool for the same basic cost. It just converts from colorless to Black mana. And then you can spend eight mana (easy to do in Black) and you can kill someone that you dealt combat damage to which is also cool for the running and the funning. I also like this blade a lot as well!

14. Treasure Vault

Treasure Vault

Our only land on today's countdown is this rare. It taps for colorless mana and then you can sacrifice it for a few Treasures, which is pretty convenient. It has enhanced value in Commander brews that care about dying lands, bringing back dead lands or sacrifices. It's also an artifact land! I like it a lot in a few different builds and its fun here and there. I also really like the art for this card as well, and I enjoy the special art as well!

13. Mordenkainen


How do you make a character as well known as Mordenkainen as a card? No clue! Here we get a six-mana 5-loyalty house whose +2 will draw you two cards and put one from your hand on the bottom of your library. That's really nice. Then the -2 will make the ghostly Dog Illusion seen in the art that is equal in size to double your hand count, which could be really cool as well. There's a lot to like here in this mono Blue 6-drop!

And now our top card!

12. Minimus Containment

Minimus Containment

Look at Imprisoned in the Moon and Song of the Dryads. They can enchant a card and turn it into a land without any abilities. They are great in Commander as a way to answer Commanders without killing them and getting that same dork back post Commander Tax. They are both heavily played answers in the format, and White just got a common one! Now this one is worse. It won't enchant a land like Song of the Dryads will. It also turns the enchanted dork into a sacrificial lamb so if it's on a leader they can sacrifice it for mana and recast it, that's why it's on my second list, not my first. But it's a pretty good answer to a lot of problems and it doesn't mana ramp them a land either, just one mana once. It's also a useful cheaper Faith's Fetters that will shut down things like planeswalkers, artifacts, creatures, and enchantments. Fun stuff!

And there we go! So, what did you think of my next list? Anything in here that I missed or got in the wrong order? Just let me now in the comments below!

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