I hope you are having an awesomely awesome day today!!
Pretty soon we are going to be visiting Eldraine, the home plane of two twins we already and barely know:
It's the home of the Kenrith twins, and now we may find out why they weren't in War of the Spark, despite the fact the set had to make up new 'walkers because they didn't have enough mono-blue ones, when Will was right there. And I think that Will McFrosty actually would have fit the layout of at least one of the uncommon 'walkers.
Anyways, now that we are heading to Rowan and Will's home, we may learn something about them. Anything, really, because they are barely known.
We've been told that, flavor wise, The Kenrith's stomping ground is intended to be Camelot meets the Brothers Grimm.
Well, Camelot means one very key thing. Knights are likely to be there, and in big numbers. While we've had the occasional Knight lord and Knight tribal card here and there, we've never really had a pushed Knight tribe. I think it's time.
I mean, I'd like to get Apes pushed first, but whatever. I guess that's just a sad, sad wisp of a dream.
Now did you know that we have almost 300 Knights out there! Crazy isn't it?
Before we head out into a set that's likely to have a Knight theme, let's look at the tribe.
Which are the best? Which ones will you want to remember as you Knight away your blues?
Now obviously, any such list will be subjective from my own vantage point, and with an eye toward kitchen table play, rather than the top tournament contenders. However, this list won't be ignorant of that history when I name my choices for you all assembled below.
Oh, and for the purposes of this list, I will consider Knights then and now, so if a creature gained the Knight type after being printed, then it's enough to count for me.
Ready? All right I dub this article about to begin!
Honorable Mention #1 - Knight of the White Orchid
This lil' Knight of Mine, I want to let him shine. Let him shine! Let him shine! Let him shine! With the power of his White Orchid magical powers I guess. Anyways... moving on, we have this powerful two-drop. He's on curve as a 2-drop with a 2/2 body and that first strike fun times that our Knight Friends know and love, but he's got a little secret for you. Does someone out there have more lands than you. So sad! That's all right, we'll ramp out a Plains for you in order to get you caught up. That makes him a great early drop for the land-needy, while also giving you the body and presence that you are looking for. Let White Orchid's Knight SHINE!!!
Honorable Mention #2 - Knight of New Alara
When Knight of New Alara debuted it was one of the first of these multicolored enhancers to hit the streets making it a pretty unique body to drop down. Even to this day, there aren't many of these mass pumpers for multicolored dorks that improve the power of the creature with the more colors it has. It'll make a five color legendary leader blow up the board, and others will adore it all day long. It's still a useful bit of kit for your builds!
10. Mirran Crusader // Phyrexian Crusader
This Crusader duo from Scars of Mirrodin Block was pretty cool. They each gave you some form of strike, and two colors of protection, including from each other. Both are powerful, as the first will punch for four damage and then blow up stuff soon, and the later for essentially four damage on a player and then the infect on first strike can drop a foe down to the point that it can't punch back and hurt. For example a 3/3 vanilla dork could normally block a 2/2 first strike and then slay it. Here? It dies, and only dealt one damage back.
You still see these at various kitchen tables, and they made many a tournament deck as well. Enjoy them!
9. Thalia's Lancers
Knights rarely provide card advantage. They swing. They punch. They block. They ride some sort of steed into battle. They might even wrestle. But they just aren't usually providing card advantage, and thus the Lancers are really cool. Five mana, net a 4/4 first strike and a tutored for legendary card of any type slotted into your hand. That's a solid body for the battlefield and a strong card that can be anything from a planeswalkers to a legendary land to a strong legendary dork. Card advantage matters!
8. Hero of Bladehold // Hero of Oxid Ridge
Much like #10 above, this mirrored Knight mythic pair was in the same set, and they are also pretty keen. Both of them were heavily played during their era in Standard at various times in their career. When you swung with the first you could stack the triggers so the token churning happened first, and now you had 7 damage swinging on turn five, and 11 on turn six from the Hero of Bladehold alone, without any help. Meanwhile, the Hero of Oxid Ridge's Haste enabled a faster smash and a bigger front punch. It also prevented your foes from blocking with their tiny tykes. These two also worked incredibly well together, and you have seen them helping each other on many an occasion.
7. Adun Oakenshield
Hello Legends! I hope that your day is going well. Adun Oakenshield does one simple thing really well. Tap. Raise Dead. Tap. Raise Dead. He's a really fun Jund leader for Commander, and he's a classic force at the kitchen table.
Now, one of the flavor things that Adun is exploring is not a traditional Black flavored form of reanimation. It's more Knight-like and righteous. It's more like Resurrection or Rally the Ancestors in flavor I feel. And yet...no White in there at all! If I forget thee, O Adun, let my right hand forget it's cunning.
6. Kulrath Knight
Kulrath is Cool-Wrath with me! Very few abilities out there hose counters as well as Kulrath Knight does. Plus, it flies and rocks wither to put counter on dorks, so they can't do anything. It remains one of the most unique and useful card out there for many a deck of the kitchen table and/or Commander persuasion. Come on now, Kulrath Knight this bad boy up.
Top five time...
5. Knight of Autumn
Remember what I mentioned up at #9? How card advantage was a rare thing for a Knight? This is another example in that line, and it's a brilliant card. For example, there are times when you may want to wait until later to drop a body that can take something out on arrival. You may lack for any targets, or want to maximum its power waiting for a better target. Sure thing. Nothing to take out on the third turn? No problem my friend! Just drop this as a 4/3. On the third turn. Or you could drop it for life later on as you need the speed bump. It's a full burn spell and more against burn decks and a powerful outlet of smashery in other places. I named it the best card in Guilds of Ravnica, and I've not been proven wrong.
4. Haakon, Stromgald Scourge
Haakon has always been an interesting Johnny/Jenny challenge because it seeks to reward them for various graveyard chicanery. If you manage to fill up your graveyard with goodies, or drop a simple Buried Alive or similar card, you can cast it from your graveyard while also getting to do the same to the little Knights out there that also want a turn leaving the dark and crowded graveyard for a open and free-range Knightfield of Face-Smashing good times. Because of the oddity of Haakon, it's been played in many formats and builds.
3. Rafiq of the Many
Rafiq of the Many does a whole lot of fun things as soon as he arrives on the battlefield. He dominates. For example, suppose you dropped him on turn four after you already had a 1/1 dork, and then it swung. Now you are swinging with a 2/2 double strike on turn four, dealing four damage, and hard to block as well. And if they manage to trade, they are setting themselves up for more damage next turn as Rafiq brings the heat. Or you can just keep sweeping with a small 1/1 or 2/2 that dials into a nasty threat over and over again, until Rafiq is ready to punch for 8 a couple of times and win.
He's also an incredibly powerful Commander who can swing and smash reliably, and you can build decks that can kill with Rafiq very, very quickly. I doubt you are surprised to see him hit this high.
2. Puresteel Paladin
Knights don't normally give card advantage. White doesn't normally have card advantage either. That means that your Puresteel friend proffers a nasty batch of card-drawing good times to fans of White and Knights. Did you drop some equipment onto the table? That's fine, here's a card for each one. Note that this is an enters-the-battlefield and not a cast trigger. Why does that matter? Because free way to drop equipment will also get you cards too!
Ready for the top of the pops today?
1. Ladies' Knight
Hey! I said best Knight at the kitchen table, I never said they had to be a black bordered Knight.
Wait...what? Are you sure...
All right...fine...you get it...
Here's your "real #1." Happy now?
The Real 1. Knight of the Reliquary
Tap. Sacrifice a basic land in its colors. Fetch out any land into play, not just a basic. It's not tapped. This lady gets bigger.
There is nothing that our good friend here cannot do. She's great early-game as she churns basics into better mana or other lands. She's great mid-game as you can churn unneeded mana lands into powerful lands and she's a pretty solid 5/5 or 6/6. She's great late game with the various fetches and isch in your 'yard and game braking lands you can toss out.
She can do anything. Get a Gaea's Cradle untapped? All right! All three Urzatron? All right! Cloudposts? All right! You get the idea. Hello Knight of the Reliquary. You are the strongest link. Welcome!
And there we are! What did you think of my list? Anything I missed? Thanks for reading, and let me know what you thought!