Hello folks! Welcome, I hope your day/night is going well.
Today I want to delve into my random Top Tens and do another for you. How do they work? Great question!
I head over to Gatherer and hit the random button ten times, and then line them up in order they were given. Since I have been playing since 1994 continuously, I have played with the vast majority of cards that have been printed, especially in limited and AbeDraft (a limited format with one of every legal card printed in it).
I enjoy as I get cards that are winners, forgottens, or never-weres. Standard stalwarts and Commander classics.
Ready? Here we go.
10. Slippery Karst
Please note that Gatherer has a chance of showing you a random card for each time it's been printed, so this has been printed a full nine times, so there nine chances to get it. Here you go! Unlike the cycling lands from Onslaught block these have not been made Modern legal. All of these cards are great ways to secure card flow, particularly in colors like White and Red that could really benefit from it. The cycling lands are iconic and strong, and have been printed many times. They are still regularly featured in many Commander builds and seen in many kitchen table decks through today.
That was a fun way to start this thing off! Now what's next?
9. Simic Keyrune
From mana lands to mana rocks, Simic Keyrune has you covered! Like various entrants in these two-mana genres, here we can turn our mana rock into sweet creature face-punching in order to surprise someone who swings, or to slip and get in a punch.
Now there is a super-secret ability that this has. It cannot be killed by targeted removal like Disenchant, Vindicate, or Naturalize. All you have to do it turn it into a dork, and your foe's removal will be countered by its sweet hexproof. That gives this a durability that most similar mana-dork-rocks don't have. Enjoy your Keyrune explorations!!
8. Pincher Beetles
Do you see a theme? Green land. rock that can become a dork with hexproof. Green dork with shroud which is old-hexproof. Pincher Beetles have been useful and fun in many a space, as you always really enjoyed dropped it on the 3rd turn in Limited and other various formats. Red had a turn of common burn in this era, so the shroud it had was quite pertinent during Rath Block Draft. I don't remember anyone ever leaving it aside.
Maybe our next dork will connect with something here like being an Insect or a 3/1 common dork or something. Let's find out...
7. Farrelite Priest
Nope! But instead of being a three-mana 3/1 it's a three-mana 1/3! That's pretty flowing. This remains one of the most unusual White cards ever printed and Johnnies and Jennies take note. This washes colorless mana into White, and you can use combo-effects that make colorless mana and convert it to White for using elsewhere. Also note that while the Farrelite Priest will bite it at the end of the turn, if you wish, then losing the Priest won't be a major issue for you.
Cards like these will suffice at securing you some colorless mana.
And then you can make White mana to make 1/1 dorks that can win:
Like these two enchantments. They'll take your colorless mana and turn it into dorks.
You can combo off with effects like Mana Echoes too. Just Priest, Echoes, and Mesa will allow you to make any number of flying Pegasus tokens.
Farrelite Priest doesn't suck!
6. Unstable Mutation
Ah well, you know the flow from 10-7 was going to end at some point in time. Due to being reprinted in Time Spiral, this Arabian Nights common is Modern legal. It's always been a fun card in Blue that can either be used as slow removal that will kill something you can wait to die off or to pump one of your own fast dorks to smash fast and hard.
Royal Assassin was heavily played during this era, and it would be a rough ask to deal with for a color like Blue that may not have an answer. But you can wait four turns and it'll die with Unstable Mutation, then you can swing. Or you could drop it on your 1st turn Flying Men and swing for 4, 3, 2, and 1 damage which would give you around 10 damage overall. Often folks would misplay and not trade with it because your dork was going to die, and then they are killed.
I also ran a deck that I really liked around this, it's Ice Age companion, and cards like Hakim, Loreweaver and Enchantment Alteration and Crown of the Ages. It was so cool! You would put the Mutation on something or the Flare. Then you could move the Mutation off once you had built enough -1/-1 counters to kill your target, and move it to another dork and start killing it.
For example, take Royal Assassin. It's a 4/4. Then it gets a -1/-1 counter and drops to a 3/3. Now hop the Mutation to another dork your foe controls, like Prodigal Sorcerer or something. The Assassin dies as it's now a mighty 0/0. And on the next turn, you can repeat and kill the Sorcerer, or spend four turns dropping a Sengir Vampire or something. You can recur the aura with Hakim, and then move it around.
That was fun!
5. Pride Guardian
Our 1-drop defender has a number of things going for it. As people swing into it with their early drops, you'll gain life until they can swing with something that can crack it. However, after playing with it, I pulled it out of decks quickly because it needed to od one of two things - have a bigger butt (Many two-drop have enough power in front to kill it like Watchwolf) or enough power to suggest trades and keep folks away. But as an 0/3 its' just not as exciting.
Compare it to say, Perimeter Captain, which is much stronger. Or even the colorless Steel Wall that's maximally flexible. I think you'll find that this is where you should be looking for early 1st turn bodies that are intended to block.
Next, oh Random Gatherer?
Hello Mundungu! Welcome to the party. This little dork is a definite improvement on the first creature that could tap to Force Spike back in Fallen Empires, Vodalian Mage. Now you have a win condition stapled onto the dork. Now sure, it's across two colors instead of one, but the Mage also cost a Blue mana to tap it, so you had to keep it read and unused. But, our good Mundungu friend here is not about that at all! Just catch and release.
In fact, given its usefulness in a lot of places, it could probably be seen in more shells today.
3. Rapacious One
Our next random card on today's list is this face-punching Eldrazi. However much damage your trampling Drone does to your foe you'll get in 0/1 creature tokens. And they can be sacrificed for mana, or to various sacrifice cards like Goblin Bombardment. You could easily make this fancy with giving It double strike or by pumping it up.
See how nasty the effect of pumping up for each dork is here? Every time you smash with your fat trampler, all the combat damage to your foe makes dorks, which make your creature bigger, which will make a bigger dork and more 0/1 dorks. And it's not as if your attacked foe can just jump a small 1/1 dork in front to stop the damage.
Enjoy the rage!
Many people reading this article may not have realized that Tempest had this cycle of uncommon mana lands. It sure did! While we had previous set of rare like the Sulfurous Springs's pain lands, or the Lava Tubes slow lands or the Tundra dual lands or the Kjeldoran Outpost sac lands and many more, from City of Brass to Undiscovered Paradise, this set was the first uncommon set of mana smoothing lands that could tap for two colors. They were much better than the aforementioned Tubes too. The Mogg Hollows was great since you could tap it for colorless when you didn't need the mana, and then you'd only lose them for a turn if you really needed the mana. They also arrived untapped and ready to be used. I still have them in decks today! The Lava Tubes cycle though can't tap for colorless, and that's not nothing. They are always locked down for a turn. The depletion counter thing is weird too. If your foe can put more depletion counter on with effects like proliferate, then they become a lot more-tapped down than they should be. But they learned quickly, and you can see that just a few sets later, they were dropped in commonalty and fixed.
1. Ivy Elemental
Hello folks! Ivy Elemental is simple. It's doesn't have any special or weird things happening. It was before Hydras were shifted to Green, and it was one of the first of these X creatures for the color. It was a great way to show the direction the color was moving toward mechanically, and played in a lot of places as a useful ramping creature. Now, it's not good in the early game, as a 1/1 vanilla for or a 2/2 for is really weak. But as you start getting more you are getting into useful sizes in the mid game, like a 4/4 for five mana is right on curve and Durkwood Boars. 5/5 for 6? 7/7 for 8? It really scaled up well, and unlike a simple burn effect, as a dork it had the potential to smash and keep smashing. It remains the only Elemental in Green with a flexible cost, so if you are building a Commander Elemental deck, there's a lot of value here.
Here's a fun point. Not only have I played all of these cards in multiple decks, but I have played seven in my banner deck, Abe's Deck of Happiness and Joy.
Thanks for your time everyone! I hope that you enjoyed our look at ten random cards. Anything in here you forgot about or never knew existed?
Did you like those random cards of craziness? Excellent! Here are the first six iterations of random fun for you to unpack!
- Random Top Ten #1 - http://www.gatheringmagic.com/abesargent-03212017-top-ten-random-cards/ - My first top randomly randomly features both hits (such as Grim Lavamancer) and what the moments, such as Narwhal. Enjoy!
- Random Top Ten #2 - http://www.gatheringmagic.com/abesargent-05232017-top-ten-random-cards-round-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 - http://www.gatheringmagic.com/abesargent-07182017-return-of-top-ten-random-cards/ 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 - http://www.gatheringmagic.com/abesargent-10032017-top-ten-random-cards-round-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 - http://www.gatheringmagic.com/abesargent-12122017-top-ten-random-cards-v/ Including cards like the dreaded and the game-winning Door to Nothingness, this is a fun random blast!
- Random Top Ten #6 - http://www.gatheringmagic.com/abesargent-05292018-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 - https://www.coolstuffinc.com/a/abesargent-07102018-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 - https://www.coolstuffinc.com/a/abesargent-08312018-random-top-10-the-ocho 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 - https://www.coolstuffinc.com/a/abesargent-04052019-random-top-ten-no-9 - Who wants Black Sun's Zenith or Muldrotha, the Gravetide? Who wants Kjeldoran Knight or Staggershock that you may not have know about? My #1 card was a Commander legal leader and I turned and was inspired enough to crate a budget Commander around him the next week! https://www.coolstuffinc.com/a/abesargnet-04092019-budget-commander-47-hua-tuo-honored-physician