Hello happy people! I hope that your day (and week and month and year and life!) are going amazingly well! If not...I hope they will be super-fast!
Today is a sad day! This is my final week where I am spending some time taking a deep dive into the quality and depth of the recent set, Midnight Hunt. I have spent the last few weeks looking over the Top Cards in the set for casual play at the kitchen table in formats like Commander, multiplayer and Five Color. It's a solid set that, in my opinion, lacks the heavy hitters that other recent sets had, but is pretty deep with solid entries.
You can find my previous entries here. Each entry has a Top Ten proper and then two Honorable Mentions. Let's finish that up with 12 (sorta, I have a cycle of 5) cards and take it home!
This is another rare/mythic heavy list with just 1 common and 2 uncommons.
Honorable Mention #1 (#60 Overall) - Bloodtithe Collector
I really enjoy the potential power of this awesome 3/4 flying 5-drop. As you can see, when it arrives to the battlefield, if a foe lost life this turn, it's a Liliana's Specter, which is pretty good. It's much better than the 2/1 flying 3-drop as two more mana gives you +1/+3 in size, and in builds where that's reliable like aggro or Group Slug then it's a strong card. I added it to my Commander brew here. It's back here at #60 since it's not as reliable as the Specter.
Honorable Mention #2 (#59 Overall) - Intrepid Adversary
I misread this card and had it much higher on my list initially. But the worst one of the cycle was not as good as I thought when I looked at it again. Why not? Two mana for a 3/1 lifelink is already on-curve, right? Sure, but no one runs 3/1 lifelinks with no ability in Commander. But then the ability, unlike the other members in the cycle, does not give the Adversary +1/+1 tokens, but valor ones. Rough. If you topdeck this on a naked board in the late game, it'll never be bigger than a 3/1. On the other hand, the other ones in the cycle scale as the game goes on and you have access to more and more mana. There is a just one place for this in decks that want to go wide like tokens. But I don't like it as much as I used to. Did you misread it as well?
#10. (#58 Overall) - Search Party Captain
Our highest-charting mono-White card and common in today's list is this Grizzly Bear that replaces itself. It's strong in decks where you expect to drop it for less than its full cost with the first reduction, as getting a card-free Bear is pretty strong. It's the same casting cost and ability as Striped Bear when this was first printed way back when, only with the casting cost reduction, but it's still feasible without it in decks. I could see it in blink and aggro decks.
#9. (#57 Overall) - Grafted Identity
If you go back to the beginning of the game, Blue has an aura with the same casting cost called Control Magic that's pretty cheap on the secondary market. This is the cheapest (in mana) stealing aura we've seen in a while, but it requires a sacrifice to make it work. I really like it in decks that care about sacrifices like Dimir Zombies, especially post-Midnight Hunt that may have fun decayed Zombie tokens to sacrifice. Sure, that's a rougher cost attached, but it's pretty good there and will see some cool play! I really like the idea of stealing an opposing Commander and pumping it at the same time for just four mana.
#8. (#56 Overall) - Geistflame Reservoir
Spellslinger decks...I've got a card that you may want to consider right here! As you cast instants and sorceries and Considers, toss a charge counter on this 3-drop artifact. You can remove those counters to shoot something for that much damage. Don't need that? No worries, you can just tap it and a pair of mana to exile a card and then play it this turn! And if you exiled an instant or sorcery and cast it? Keep on keeping on! That's the real reason it's here - reliable card advantage over time. Yay! Enjoy this fun thing!
#7. (#55 Overall) Ominous Roost
This is a fun 3-drop uncommon that enables decks that build around casting things from the graveyard like flashback, disturb, or jump-start. All good stuff. Note that is replaces itself with a 1/1 Bird flyer, so if's it's answered by 1:1 removal like a Krosan Grip you still netted a creature token. I like it a lot! I really like it in Commander decks where you cast your leader from the graveyard over and over again. Good stuff!
#6. (#54 Overall) - Sigarda, Champion of Light
Hello happy people! I hope that your day is going well. As you can see, this mythic 4-drop 4/4 flyer with trample is our very on-curve force at the #6 spot and just outside of my Top 5. It lacks hexproof of any sort unlike her first two versions - sad. She doesn't even have ward! But she's an Anthem for Humans, which is pretty good for the tribe, and when she swings you can coven and dig 5 for a Human and "draw" it. She's more than 160 decks over at EDHREC.com. Kendra Smith turned her into a Commander brew over here. Enjoy the flample power!
And now it's Top Five Time!!! We have 1 mythic and 4 slots for rares.
#5. (#53 Overall) - Consuming Blob
Check out this fun card! Its power (and most of its toughness) is equal to the amount of card types in your graveyard. In a typical Commander deck with fetch lands, about 20-30 creatures, 5 or 6 planeswalkers, 25 instants and sorceries, 10ish artifacts and around 5-15 enchantments based on your theme, this gets really reliable after a few turns in the mid to late game. That makes this pretty good.
Also note that this can make an equally sized dork at the beginning of your end step, so you'll usually get at least two before things go downhill. This is only as good as your metagame allows for graveyard removal, hence it's appearance at #53 overall. This thing is a Bojuka Bog away from just being a 0/1 and that's pretty embarrassing for a five drop. If your metagame has cards like that, Relic of Progenitus and similar answers seen pretty commonly, then run far away from this mythic rare. But if its graveyard answers are very rare or nonexistent, then embrace this new card.
Everything left are rares!
#4. (#52 Overall) - Croaking Counterpart
Number four in my final list but Number one in my heart is this awesome Frog-tastic card! As you can see, this is a 3-mana sorcery that's creates token of a non-Frog. Said token is now just a 1/1 but has all of the abilities. Sometimes...this isn't good. A 1/1 Darksteel Colossus? Trample on a 1/1 is funny. It's also funny since it's now a ribbit green Frog. However, there are time where a 3-mana copy of a powerful drop is just fine, like a Consecrated Sphinx or Solemn Simulacrum. And if you want to copy something else, or the same option, again, you can just flash it back for another pair of generic mana. It's a lot of fun. And that's what games are supposed to be about, having fun! Enjoy your Frog-ventures!
Top Three Time!
#3. (#51 Overall) - Florian, Voldaren Scion
I loved the Commander deck I built around this fun powerhouse over here. Florian is a 3/3 with the first strike ability, and it loves to dig and let you cast a card from your library with its effect. As you can see, you can dig pretty deeply. This Vampire Noble is pretty keen at punching above its weight with ongoing card advantage of a strong source. There are a massive 264 decks with it leading in just a few weeks over at EDHREC.com so it's finding an audience, and I agree with it. Good stuff for the kitchen table!
Our next card is the #50 Overall card, which is pretty keen, as well as the penultimate scoring card in the final list. But...what it is?
#2. (#50 Overall) - Smoldering Egg // Ashmouth Dragon
This is a powerful card in Standard in Izzet decks that run the 2-drop 0/4 blocker to stop early stuff and then transform it with cantrips or Alrund's Epiphany. It's very strong in 20-life formats where you can get the 4/4 flying Dragon over time and then remove things as you cast more and more instants and sorceries. Good stuff!
The reason it's back here is that's it's not as good at the kitchen table in Commander. Attacking with just a 4/4 flyer isn't as important to work towards, and the backside trigger isn't as game-winning as something like Guttersnipe which hits all foes for two damage. This is more flexible as it can hit dorks or planeswalkers to finish them off, but you are trading power for flexibility. I also like Geistflame Reservoir better in Izzet Spellslinger decks in Commander since it'll draw you cards if you don't have the engine going, or to cast more spells if you do, but this is better at the kitchen table generally as well as in 20 life formats like Five Color, Standard. It's also better in duels. Overall, I rate this a little better.
#1. (#49 Overall) - Deserted Beach and Friends
I know that my final card in my fifth and final review of this fun set just being boring lands is...well...boring! But you know what? Mana matters! In Commander you get another land to toss into your two colored allied color decks and makes both colors, and there are times when it will arrive untapped as well, although not that common at the Commander table, they are still a better cycle than something like the Gates like Azorius Guildgate. Enjoy the admittedly boring cycle!
And there we have it! So...what did you think about my last Top Ten or the pair of Honorable Mentions? Just let me know! Next week we'll look at the Top Ten Cards from Midnight Hunt Commander. Enjoy!