Hello happy readers! I hope that your day is going swimmingly! In honor of Innistrad's love/hate relationship with the number 13, I hope that today is one of the Top 13 days in your life! And if not yet, I hope it will be by the end of the day at midnight local time.
Last week I counted down my Top Ten Cards from Innistrad: Midnight Hunt. This list also included two Honorable Mentions. It included cards like Curse of Silence and Sludge Monster.
Let's look at another Top Ten with two more Honorable Mentions today shall, we? In order to make today's list you need to be one of the best cards from the set for kitchen table play. Powerhouses in limited or Standard that won't get play in Commander, Five Color, Highlander, multiplayer, and other kitchen table formats won't make my list.
We actually have uncommons in this week's Top Ten! We had a ton of commons in last week's Top Ten Overall (more than usual) but no uncommons. This week's commonality breakdown is:
- Mythic: 3
- Rare: 3
- Uncommon: 5
- Common: 1
We have all of those uncommons that missed last week hitting this one!
Ready? Let's look at the cards rated #24-#13!
Honorable Mention #1 (#24). Fateful Absence
This is a fun option for removal for kitchen table play. Like Path to Exile or commonly played counters like Vex or Arcane Denial we have a normal 1:1 trade that gives your opponent card advantage. Here they can spend two mana to sacrifice their Clue to draw their card, which is better than just giving them a card or a land straightaway.
One of the reasons I like this is because it hits planeswalkers, which is rare in White, since it usual only answers dorks. I also enjoy card advantage tools like this one since you can turn them on yourselves, like needing your Green mana so you Path to Exile your 2-drop and get a land, or Swords to Plowsharing to gain life to keep yourself alive, or casting Oblation on your Commander to draw two cards.
In this case, you can turn it on your own early drop or about-to-die planeswalker that has a lethal attack coming to draw a card. Its disadvantage is an advantage. My only issue is that I wish that it exiled the target rather than destroyed, and that's one of the reasons you'll find it back here hitting Honorable Mention on my second list. You will see it in Commander.
Honorable Mention #2 - (#23). Vivisection
Did you notice? Blue just got something in sorceries that Black loves! Sacrificing a creature to draw cards! For example, compare Vivisection to Altar's Reap from the first Innistrad. It's a two-mana sorcery, sacrifice a creature, draw two cards. It's card neutrality. (Your creature and the Reap for two cards drawn) but played in 6,199 decks over at EDHREC.com. This is a Blue Blood Divination (989 decks). The reason this is noteworthy is that the sacrificing decks these are getting played in are those that have loads of death triggers like Aristocrats decks and Self-Sacrifice shells. It'll trigger your Zulaport Cutthroat or Harvester of Souls. That's why they are heavily played at the kitchen table, and this ability is now in Blue! That's pretty noteworthy from where I am sitting.
#10. (#22 Overall). Bloodthirsty Adversary
Our penultimate card in the Adversary cycle is this powerful card that I've seen in Standard brews already. It's pretty good for casual land as well. On arrival it's a 2/2 for haste with two mana, which is on curve and useable. As you can see, on arrival to the battlefield (which allows things like blink and reanimation to work) you can spend extra mana and pump up this Vampire and when you do you can cast an instant/sorcery from your graveyard for free if it meets the qualifications. That's nasty! It's good on the second turn, it's good on the fifth turn, and it's good late game with a few options to exile and copy and cast. I like it a lot!
#9. (#21 Overall). Infernal Grasp
The more life your format has to begin with, the better Infernal Grasp becomes! 40 life? No problem! This thing is cheaper than Murder and just one color so skip past Terminate, the cost is just 2 life lost and that's it, and that's 5% of your starting life total in Commander, so that's pretty doable there, right? Right!
Let's look at the card that hit #20 overall!
#8. (#20 Overall). The Celestus
This is an awesome Manalith in casual town that can tap to make any color of mana, but it also can tap for 3 mana (as a sorcery) and then change night to day and back again. Then you'll gain a life, which is good in 20 life formats like Five Color, and then you Loot a card! (Draw and then discard, named after Merfolk Looter rather than the first Jalum Tome). I have already run The Celestus in one of my Commander decks for you!
#7. (#19 Overall). Dreadhound
In addition to using The Celestus in a Commander brew for already, I've also used this beefy 6/6 for 6 mana as well, in the Ludevic deck (which you can find linked above). It self-mills on arrival, which is pretty keen for decks that care about graveyards. Like Syr Konrad, it triggers when a creature heads to the graveyard from your library just as much as from the battlefield upon death. That makes the Demon Dog good in decks with him. It serves as player kill in decks like Aristocrats, Self-Milling, and other fun times. And it's an on-curve beater that can swing and block rather than a tiny 0/1 Blood Artist that can't do anything without equipment. Enjoy this uncommon!
#6. (#18 Overall) Ardent Elementalist
Check out our only common on today's list! As you can see, Ardent Elementalist is a 4-mana 2/1 with an enters the battlefield ability to return an instant or sorcery from your graveyard to your hand! Why is this here? Good question! This ability began as Anarchist, which was a 5-drop 2/2 that recurred a sorcery, and Blue got Scrivener in the same cycle which would return an instant. Then the ability to bring back any spell was added to both colors in Izzet Chronarch, another 5-mana 2/2.
This became the standard in getting back instants and sorceries. Then blue got both in a mono-colored creature that was cheaper than Izzet Chronarch - Archaeomancer. A 4-mana, 1/2 that returned any spell. And now mono-Red gets an Archaeomancer. It can now recur both without needing Blue. That's a pretty big deal! You can add it to your spell-heavy non-Blue builds like Boros's Feather, the Redeemed instant and sorcery heavy build in Commander, which leads 3,389 decks over at EDHREC.com and is the most played creature in her color combo. Enjoy the power of this new common!
Top Five Time! We have 1 rare, 2 mythics and 2 uncommons in here!
#5. (#17 Overall). Storm the Festival
This is a fun 6-drop rare that's a bit hard on the casting cost with its triple cost. But it's worth it with the amount of options you get, as well as the ability to do it all over again with the right mana available to flash it back. You dig five cards deep and you can reveal two permanents with a mana value of 5 or less, and then windmill slam them down onto the battlefield and break people's faces with the mana saved in a deck that is probably running ramp.
This 6 mana could easily drop two 5-drops, for 10 mana saved. You can easily break this sort of free stuff. But keeping it back on my second list is the fact that it's a sorcery. It's good in the midgame when you can cast it on turn 4 or 5 with ramp, and also amazing late game as a top deck. Good flashback card!
#4. (#16 Overall). Play with Fire
Shock still gets play at the kitchen table despite the fact that other burn spells are better. It's probably the cost - Lightning Bolt is $2.99 here at CoolStuffInc.com for its cheapest version and Shock is just $0.49 for 4. That's a difference of 50 cents for 4 versus twelve dollars for four. I get it. Shock is even played in Commander where over at EDHREC.com it's run in 3,740 decks even though there are tons of better burn spells from Seal of Fire to Lightning Bolt to arguably Incinerate effects.
Play with Fire is better though, since it's Shock to a foe's dork or planeswalker, and Super Shock to a player since you'll scry 1 for no additional investment of mana, like Magma Jet's extra mana. Now it's not at Shock cheap levels of cost, right now just after release it's $0.75 for one here, but that's a lot better than Lightning Bolt!
#3. (#15 Overall). Ambitious Farmhand // Seasoned Cathar
Our only transform card on today's list! I pulled out 59 cards for my lists and I am doing a few weeks of this. I had a few transform cards in last week's list, but I only have one today, but there are four transform cards left. The Farmhand is a 2-drop 1/1 that, on arrival to the battlefield, will fetch a basic Plains from your deck and put it into your hand.
Why is it here? Great question! Note that unlike most White-based mana ramp like Land Tax on down the ages to cards in Standard, you only ramp the White card if you are down a land, but not so here! Here you can be on the play, and still get a Plains on the second turn even up a land. Pretty good, right? And then you have the potential, with coven, to transform it into a 3/3 later with lifelink. And you never need to do that to make this card worth the price of entry! I enjoy it a lot.
#2. (#14 Overall). Spectral Adversary
Our highest-scoring member of the Adversary cycle is this fun, flashable 2/1 flyer. It's fine to flash out and block an attack and make a kill, or to flash to out at the end of someone's turn and then untap and swing with your flyer that no one prepared for. Pretty good! And then you can pay its extra mana cost on arrival to the battlefield (again, note the synergy with ways to get it to the battlefield without casting it, unlike something like kicker). You can place a +1/+1 counter on it for as much as you want to spend, and that is very strong.
Also note that the number of counters you place on it will phase out that many artifacts, creatures, and enchantments. You can flash this out to protect a key creature, like your Commander. Phasing is better than hexproof and indestructible since it won't be in play for future opposing turns either. Note the use of the word "other" so you cannot protect the Adversary itself. You could also use this aggressively to phase out attackers or potential defenders in order to keep them from blockers. It's very strong at casual tables due it it's ability to protect, grow, fly, and flash.
And now let's turn to our top card overall!
#1. (#13 Overall). Wrenn and Seven
This is a powerful planeswalker for kitchen table play, although I suspect that Wrenn is better in formats like Standard. He's a 5-drop, 5-loyalty planeswalker which is pretty good. His +1 digs four cards deep and puts all lands into your hand and the rest in the graveyard. That's good for lands-matter brews like landfall and graveyard-matters brews like reanimation.
Wrenn's 0 can drop a bunch of lands from your hand to the battlefield tapped which is also good for land matters brews. You can -3 it and churn out a X/X Treefolk is equal to the lands you control - also good for lands matter brews, so you can see where to run this walker of the planes.
And there you go! So...what did you think of this list? Anything in the wrong place, or is missing altogether? Just let me know!