Hello awesome casual kitchen table fans! I hope that you are having a most excellent Friday and looking forward to a fun weekend! I know what you want! Good stuff from new stuff. Lots of stuff. New cards are the lifeblood of formats, even kitchen table ones like Commander, Type Four, Five Color, Highlander and other multiplayer stuff. I got you!
Last week we looked at my Top Ten cards from Wilds of Eldraine. I also tossed in three Honorable Mentions, so today is a sequel to that looking at another 13 great cards from this set for kitchen table formats. Ready? Let's do it to it!
Honorable Mention #1 (#26 Overall) - Ashiok's Reaper AND Tanglespan Lookout
Let's look at this Golgari uncommon enchantment caring duo. The Black one costs four, and then has a Hill Giant sized body and cost with one ability. When an enchantment leaves your battlefield? Draw! This is great with all of the heavily printed enchantment creatrures in Kamigawa or Theros sets.
I love this in Aristocrats where you can sacrifice a cheap one-drop enchantment creature with Phyrexian Arena for one mana of it's color and then recast it with something like Enduring Renewal and draw a bunch of cards. I love this with Sagas that are only here for a short period of time before leaving and thus you can draw per Saga you have played. Nasty!
The Green one costs three for a 2/3 body. Did an Aura ETB on your side of the battlefield? Draw a card! If both happen then you could draw two cards if you dropped and lost an Aura like Rancor this turn that can be recast easily again. Love this pair loads! Next is our first of two Dimir adventures in today's list.
Honorable Mention #2 (#25 Overall) - Spellscorn Coven
I adore this in multiplayer formats. You start with this at three mana in Blue at instant speed to bounce a foe's spell. Nice tempo there for free, without casting a spell. Then you can cast this for four on a 2/3 flying body to for everyone to discard a card.
This scales up over time and against multiple foes. This is strong in tempo/aggro brews with the instant, or midrange to drop multiple ETB triggers over time or blink to abuse it. I think is great in singleton formats like Highlander and Commander where you can run this with Liliana's Specter. Love this things power loads.
Honorable Mention #3 (#24 Overall) - Realm-Scorcher Hellkite
Check out this six-drop 4/6 mythic with flying and haste. Normal for the curve with modern Dragons with the swinging on the turn it arrives and then hitting an open player without flying or reach held back. Then you can spend two mana to shoot any target for a damage. Ping. Use that to take out small stuff, or offer as a mana sink for things like Gruul with ramp or Rakdos and Coffers and Urborg, or any Red deck that makes Treasures with Dockside Extortionist.
If you are making Treasures anyway, why not sacrifice one to make four mana on arrival to the battlefield with that bargain? Or you can just sacrifice an artifact with a death trigger like Solemn Simulacrum and replay it from your graveyard with Goblin Welder. Nice, right? And don't forget about sacrificing enchantments in Naya Auras around Uril, the Miststalker or token creatures in Boros Tokens.
Also note that Artifacts-Matter is the most played archetype in Commander according to EDHREC.com and Treasures is second. This plays strong roles in both. Next is our first card in the Top Ten and this is a legendary creature for your Command Zone need and it's also Dimir!
#10. (#23 Overall) - Talion, the Kindly Lord
Check out this fun Top Ten dork! On arrival to the battlefield, you choose a number between 1 and 10. When your foes cast a spell with the chosen mana value, power, or toughness you draw a card at the cost of two life from them. So, it's a win con attached to a card flow. Since it's a may effect, unless they are low in life or it really doesn't matter, they may not cast it and just cast something else instead.
I like the idea of encouraging them to cast and have you draw. How can we do it? I like Talion with Dimir Group Hug with things like Howling Mine and Font of Mythos. If they are drawing more cards anyway without investing any resources or mana, then they are less likely to hold back and prevent you from drawing a card from that cost. Also, since they are drawing more cards, they'll need to cast more to keep from discarding if they have a grip of seven. That's where I think Talion shines, with cards that let your foes feel safe to cast the number you choose. Next is the other Dimir adventure, so we are having a bit of a Dimir theme here back to back!
#9. (#22 Overall) - Cruel Somnophage
The game winning two-drop Nightmare! The Adventure is a two-cost sorcery you have someone mill four cards and then you can cast this as a creature for two and then it's power and toughness are equal to the creatures in all graveyards. Most two drops just count yours, but not this! Then you can aim the mill at you in self-mill, reanimation, flashback or graveyard centric decks with mass recursion like Living Death to set up, or in mill decks.
As you may have noted, this is a mill spell like normal, but it doesn't take up a spell slot since you still get the creature. This is a gamewinner with mill and a gamewinner in the red zone and casting both on the fourth turn is quite easy and fun to do. It also gets better the more graveyards you have in multiplayer or the longer the game goes.
#8. (#21 Overall) - Horned Loch-Whale
This fun adventure is my 21st overall! Its base is six mana for an on curve 6/6 with ward 2 and flash and if you cast it with flash, it ETBS tapped so you cannot do flash tricks to block out of nowhere. Then you have the two mana instant speed Lagoon Breach which can be cast early, and you bounce an attacking dork onto the top of your opponent's library. Unlike normal bounce, this is not card disadvantage but card neutral. They have to waste a turn drawing it so they are down a card, but just on two mana. Then later when you need a game winner you can cast the Whale.
What other legendary dork with Black in its identity is next?
#7. (#20 Overall) - Lord Skitter, Sewer King
Hitting roughly halfway in my list is this three-drop Commander eligible mono-Black rare. With a 3/3 body and two abilities. The first is simple - when another Rat ETBs? Exile a card from another graveyard so he's a break on graveyard abuse. Then at the beginning of your combat you'll make a free 1/1 Rat token that cannot block and also doesn't cost anything else to drop the token and that will give you one free exile each combat by itself. This good King wants to go wide with Rats and their token makers. It's a lot of fun leading or in the 99 of its tribe, and it has made the cuts in a few Standard deck lists I've read.
#6. (#19 Overall) - The Restless Land Cycle
Ah yes, the lands. They are never sexy, but they are required for the fun things to start happening. I like lands that smooth your mana with making two colors of mana and then do something else.
A good example is the scry lands like Temple of Abandon. I also like this cycle overall, as all of these are bigger and have attack triggers. They are also very cheap on the secondary market right now here at CoolStuffInc.com so buy some now for your casual decks like Standard or Commander or Five Color.
Top Five Time! Our first card is another Black identity Commander.
#5. (#18 Overall) - Totentanz, Swarm Piper
Welcome to the Rakdos colors this time baby! This is an uncommon three-drop 2/3 almost on curve and with two abilities too. Whenever any nontoken dorks under your control dies? Make a 1/1 Black Rat that cannot block, just like Lord Skitter. Then you can spend two mana to make an attacking Rat gain deathtouch.
Why is he here and higher than Skitter? He opens up another color for your Rat decks, so that's first. But that's not really why this Warlock Bard is here. It's here for one other reason! What is the 7th most-played archetype in Commander according to EDHREC.com? Yup, it's Aristocrats. Here's how this deck works:
- Sacrifice effect that costs nothing and makes you something like Viscera Seer or Goblin Bombardment, or ideally one that makes mana like Phyrexian Altar.
- Death triggers that win the game like Zulaport Cutthroat or Blood Artist.
- A self-sacrificial dork that can be recurred over and over again, like Reassembling Skeleton or Bloodghast or Gravecrawler.
- Use the mana from the sac to recast the dork and eventually win.
The Swarm Piper is the death trigger in the Command Zone. You can sac 300 times and then make 300 Rats, give them haste if you can, and then swing at each foe with 100 Rats each to win right now. It's a strong Aristocrats leader, hence it being here. Or you just can lead a Rat deck too. Next is our first enchantment, but what?
#4. (#17 Overall) - Up the Beanstalk
This two-drop enchantment in Green that's uncommon is awesome! When it ETBs, you draw a card so it's always free even if answered immediately. Then when you cast a five-drop or more, you draw a card. Nasty!
This card flow for pricier things has always been tethered to something like a creature of a certain power level. But here it's attached to any five-drop - from creatures to X spells with at least five mana total to planeswalkers and instants and sorceries. Lots of key things will trigger this - Time Warp, Consecrated Sphinx, Karmic Guide, Sun Titan, Elspeth, Sun's Champion, Blasphemous Act, and so many more cards! And this is on a hard to answer enchantment. I really like this in Commander with a key five drop leader. Ideally, you'll do this:
- Turn 1 - Drop ETB tapped land.
- Turn 2 - Drop ETB untapped, cast Up the Beanstalk - draw.
- Turn 3 - Drop untapped land, ramp if you can.
- Turn 4 - Drop an untapped land, cast five-cost Commander that's in Green - draw. You are already up a card.
Good examples to do this with are the aforementioned Uril; Borborygmos and Fblthp; Chulane, Teller of Tales; Ghave, Guru of Spores; Karametra, God of Harvests; Korvold, Fae-Cursed King; Niv-Mizzet Reborn; and my favorite Surrak Dragonclaw! The card flow in strong with this one.
#3 (#16 Overall) - Charming Scoundrel
This thing is getting play in Standard too, but I like it here too. This two-drop Red dork 1/1 body has haste so you can swing at someone open in the early game while they are setting up their mana. You have three options. You can make it a 2/2 with the Wicked role. You can make a free Treasure to cast a four cost next turn. Or you can discard to draw, card flow, but not card draw since you are even. You can discard a pricey card you drew but cannot cast to see, or something with flashback to cast like Deep Analysis or fill up your graveyard or use extra lands if you draw it later. It's very strong with two great options for most decks and formats. It's great in loads of places. Hitting next at the 15th spot is another creature and it also makes Treasure!
#2. (#15 Overall) - Discerning Financier
And I like these in the same deck too, by the by. Our second-highest scoring card on our second-highest scoring list and our highest scoring uncommon!
You sow three White mana. You reap a 2/3 with two abilities. At the beginning of your upkeep you make a free Treasure token if someone has more lands than you. Someone in every multiplayer game has Green and ramps. So, this will happen every turn there for a while so this is very strong if you are not ramping.
You can use this free Treasure to ramp you, sure. But you can also spend three mana to give this Treasure to another player and draw a card. You give ramp and you draw cards! This thing is awesome in decks that want ramp or with other Treasure makers like Smothering Tithe in your colors. And then give them and draw.
Since people are getting free ramp, they'll be less likely to kill the Financier unlike, say, the Tithe. It might be caught up in a mass removal spell, but I don't think most would want to hurt it actively.
#1. (#14 Overall) - The Goose Mother
This X spell Simic Commander is our top card in the second list. This fun flying Bird Hydra has Simic mana to start and a 2/2 size base to grow off of. It enters the battlefield with X +1/+1 counters and half X Food, so it makes tokens and artifacts which can be sacrificed for life. Then when you swing you can swap a Food for a card like a Clue for no mana or any other costs.
Obviously, since it makes Food on arrival and ETBs with counters, it wants to be played with Doubling Season. It's a mana sink in the Command Zone for your ramp spells and with X at least at three, you'll be at five mana for Up the Beanstalk. It's basically Hydroid Krasis in the Command Zone. It's both a +1/+1 counters-matter leader in this archetype as well as a Food matters one. That's pretty strong here with all of the card flow, life gain, and flyers.
I hope you enjoyed my second Top Ten! Next week we'll finish up this set with another!