Hello good folk! I hope that your day is going swimmingly! Mine too, because I am doing my favorite (and only) sub-series of my Top Ten today, which is the Random Top Ten. I love this thing so much!
How does it work? Great question! I head over to Gatherer and then I smash that "Random Card" button and then I am forced to write up that card, and give you a deep dive into all things about that card from deck ideas to highlights in various formats to how I have played the random card. I've played the vast majority of cards that have been printed, from Limited to brews to Commander to Cube to a draft I own called "AbeDraft" that has one of every card ever printed in it. Good stuff!
Now there are a few caveats. If I hit a basic land, I skip it. And if I hit something I've already hit, I'll skip it. I also have to keep things in the order that they are given to me, I cannot grab ten random cards and then sort them
I've only hit 2 cards in the previous 160 that I have not run yet! Will today make it #3? Let's find out!
#10. Thraben Sentry // Thraben Militia
It's cool that we are getting an Innistrad transform card in the same month that heading back to the plane happens with an emphasis on Werewolves and likely their transforming. This common card is just a 2/2 with vigilance for 4 mana but it transforms into a nasty 5/4 trampler and then won't transform back. It's pretty easy to get that death trigger of your stuff, which is easy in the Limited format as well as at the kitchen table. I've run it myself in multiple Limited builds like draft and sealed.
#9. Bloodbraid Elf
Whoa, heavy hitter! Someone dominated Standard and early Modern on this list! The Elf from the Bloodbraid (tribe?) is really good since it features haste and brings a card with that cascade to the table. It was so good and plentiful that it kept the powerhouse of Standard later like Jace, the Mind Sculptor off decks for months until it retired. Who hasn't played this in Commander, Limited, Standard or Modern. I certainly have!
#8. Boros Guildgate
The Guildgate Cycle. Ah yes. This thing was played in Ravnica formats and has a lot of things going for it with the Gate subtype and cards that care about it. I run the cycle in Abe's Deck of Happiness and Joy, a multiplayer deck with thousands of cards, as well as in Commander, Standard, Five Color, and Limited alike. The Boros Guildgate is pretty good!
After card from the plane of Innistrad! This is a Limited removal spell that is often too expensive for Constructed formats but is run for Limited removal to help answer problems. I know that I've run this at least once in a Rakdos deck. Throttle for the Win-ottle!
#6. Will, Scholar of Frost // Rowan, Scholar of Sparks
Another flip card in the first five cards! As you can see, we got this Standard-legal Mythic two-some! They share a spark and walk the planes together. They both have the same static ability. Will is a 5-drop with 4 loyalty that can +1 to 0/2 a potential attacker for a full round. You can just -3 hm for two cards and then he'll likely die. Rowan is a 3-drop with a pair of loyalty that can +1 to shoot each foe for a damage and then shoot them for three damage if you drew three (or more) cards this turn. She can -4 to copy spells for two generic mana as you cast them. Nice! I prefer Rowan in multiplayer and Will in duels. I have run them in Commander.
Now let's turn to the Top Five!!!
#5. Valkyrie's Sword
What to know what's cool about this uncommon White equipment? It's my third card from Kaldheim in a row! Pretty cool, right? I think so as well! This artifact equipment can drop for at least 2 mana for a +2/+1 equip boost in size for 3 mana. You can spend another 5 mana as it arrives to the battlefield to make a 4/4 Angel Warrior with flying, vigilance, and this on it, so that's 7/5 for 7 mana. I have run this in Limited on Arena. Cool stuff!
#4. Deeproot Elite
Are you ready to head back to Green Merfolk? I hope so, because they were really cool, right? This rare is a cheap 1/1 for 2 mana that puts +1/+1 counters as other Merfolk arrive to the team. You can put them on himself and swing, or on others and punch with theme. Only you cannot put them on non-Merfolk, so it's a Merfolk deck only. I've run it on Arena in Constructed as well as Limited. Good card!
#3. Sutured Ghoul
This is an amazing gamewinner at the casual table and I've run it in Abe's Deck of Happiness and Joy as well as other builds designed for multiplayer. This mono-black trampler can remove any or all of your creature cards from your graveyard. Its power is equal to the total power of the removed goods and its toughness is similarly defined. Pretty nice! You can easily get a 20/20 or 18/19 or 22/27 creature in the late game that has trample and can win in a single smash. It's amazing in Commander, Five-Color, multiplayer and other kitchen table formats!
#2. Silent Arbiter
Our penultimate card is this defensive powerhouse that's usually better than the Red enchant world Reserve List card Caverns of Despair, although it's double type with artifacts and dorks are easier to answer than an enchantment. This is heavily run in Commander, where there are 9,868 decks registered with it over at EDHREC.com. I play this in Abe's Deck of Happiness and Joy, multiple real life Commander brews, and in other places. It's great at shutting down attacks, and when paired with a Maze of Ith it's pretty good. Love it!
What is our last card?
#1. Altar's Reap
Talk about a Commander staple! This two-mana Black common is also pretty keen in Commander in sacrifice decks as a way to sacrifice and keep the card flow going! It's run in 6,157 decks right now over at EDHREC.com. It was first printed in Innistrad and has been printed...eight times since then! That's how prolific this common is at the kitchen table! It's incredible! I've played it all over the block - Limited, Commander, constructed, lots of places.
And there we are! I hope that you enjoyed this deep dive into all things random! Our #3 card that I haven't played wasn't here! Maybe next time!
Did you like those random 1-set cards of craziness? Excellent! Here are the first eleven iterations of random fun for you to unpack!
- Random Top Ten #1. My first top randomly features both hits (such as Grim Lavamancer) and 'what the?' moments, such as Narwhal. Enjoy!
- Random Top Ten #2. If you like high profile spells like Gush and Fire // Ice, then you came to the right place! If you like old and obscure stuff like Silver Seraph and Infernal Darkness, then you also came to the right place.
- Random Top Ten #3. Sometimes in these random builds you have a lack of any sort of theme. But we did finish with a rare that I used to win my first ever Sealed tournament, so there you are!
- Random Top Ten #4. This was about when I realized this series had legs, so I began to codify the various articles. This Top Ten's random feature is high profile cards and a full three are commonly seen in multiplayer or kitchen table gaming.
- Random Top Ten #5. Including cards like the dreaded and the game-winning Door to Nothingness, this is a fun random blast!
- Random Top Ten #6. This Random Gatherer-Inspired slate of ten includes cards such as Thallid, Forbidden Orchard, and everybody's favorite infect creature. And cards you likely forgot about (or never knew about) with Savage Firecat and Wall of Light in there as well! Check out the randomness!
- Random Top Ten #7. In this Random Gatherer article, we see cards like Blessing, Coercion, the Zombie Dinosaur beasts of Putrid Raptor, and Dingus Egg. Check it out!!!!
- Random Top Ten #8. From Bad Moon to Ball Lightning, and from Armory Automaton to Power of Fire, we have a ten-set of randomly chosen cards for your enjoyment. This Random List is the list that keeps giving, as I decide to pause and create a Top Ten Ways to Abuse Power of Fire in the middle of my top ten list so you get TWO TOP TEN LISTS for the price of reading a single article. What's not to love?
- Random Top Ten #9. Who wants Black Sun's Zenith or Muldrotha, the Gravetide? Who wants Kjeldoran Knight or Staggershock that you may not have known about? My #1 card was a Commander legal leader and I turned and was inspired enough to create a budget Commander around him the next week!
- Random Top Ten #10. Top Ten Ten Time! and you can see cycling lands, Eldrazi, Defenders, and Beetles. And not necessarily in that order! Enjoy!
- Random Top Ten #11. Lets break out of the ten-set! You can see cards in here like Sorin, Solemn Visitor, Claws of Gix and a powerful #4. We even get my favorite card name of all time. What'll be? Check it out!
- Random Top Ten #12. For this fun article I get forgotten cards like Samite Alchemist and fun cards like Hot Soup. I know you wanna check it out, right? Right!!!!!
- Random Top Ten #13. It's awesome. Sauce. Sau-some. It has cards in it like Call the Skybreaker and Kor Hookmaster. I know that you want to click that link for the Sau-some!
- Random Top Ten #14. Hither thou goest! It includes cards like Cloudshift and Blighted Fen. For the first time in the series the top card by power and quality in the list actually hit my #1 spot randomly.
- Random Top Ten #15. This is the second time I've had a card that I haven't played somewhere. That took a while! For this random pile of awesomeness we got cards like Novablast Wurm and Goldspan Dragon.
- Random Top Ten #16 - This one includes flavorful cards like Qarsi Deceiver and two 1-drop commons from the first set ever printed bookend it. It's pretty cool!