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Random Top Ten No. 11


Hello folks! I hope your day is going well!

As you are reading this, I am out on vacation in Cape Verde over in Africa. Today I'm scheduled to be on the island of São Vicente and its capital of Mindelo. By the time I finish up my nine-day trip, I will have been on Santiago, Sal, São Vicente, Santo Antão, and Boa Vista. Five of the nine islands in the nation.

Because I am not here, I wrote this article in mid-February to be a fun generic article. It won't be up on the current news or anything else.

Let's do another Random Top Ten. As someone who has bene actively played this game since 1994, I've played with most of the cards in the game! What I like to do is to hit "random card" over on Gatherer, and then talk about the card that I got. I've done more than 10 of these and I really enjoy taking about random cards!

Let's get started!

#10. Elvish Aberration

Elvish Aberration
Eternal Dragon

One of the great innovations that Scourge gave us were cards like Eternal Dragon that gave us a motif off cycling where you could "X-Cycle" and tutor for that X from your library. I ran all seven from the set in my decks as I had several five-color decks discarding a Chartooth Cougar to fetch a Taiga was really good. We'd see this again and again from Sliver-cycling to Basic Land cycling and more. This was a big iteration of the basic ability of "cycling" that used the same keyword but in different ways. I wish we'd get more of these, because it works with all cards that care about cycling.

Rumbling Aftershocks

Take Overload as a great example! If you were to have named it something like IzzetKicker or Niv's Kicker (chose a name that you like) then you could have added in the synergy for cards that care about it, such as Rumbling Aftershocks. X-Land Cycling could have been named something like PlainsHold but instead it has the synergies of cards with that mechanic. Enjoy it!

#9. Trespasser il-Vec

Trespasser il-Vec

Although it doesn't have shadow innately like Dauthi Marauder, you can give it if it's needed to finish someone off or trade with a key shadow offending creature. The discard cost is high, but this set had Rakdos madness with cards like Fiery Temper and Dark Withering so you had this as a decent discard outlet in case you wanted to get a madness discount. While I've never run this card in a Constructed deck, I have in a few Limited brews. Love it!

#8. Extractor of Sin

Extricator of Sin

Hello! Would you like to extract some sin tonight? What about some flesh instead? Or maybe a little bit of both? I bet! The initial edition sacrifices any other permanent (land, token, dork, walker on its final counter and about to die, etc.) on arrival and gives you a 3/2. You have a total of 3/5 across two bodies. Once you have enough types in that sweet yard, you flip it over, and unlike many of these transformers, you never flip it back! Your Eldrazi, itself and the others, are now rocking vigilance, and you can tap and churn non-Eldrazi into 3/2 vigilances. For an initial investment of three mana? That ain't bad!

#7. Sorin, Solemn Visitor

Sorin, Solemn Visitor

Is this the first planeswalker that I've gotten in this series? Welcome O Visitor. I've always found this version of Sorin to be a little lackluster when I've run it. Unlike many four-mana walkers, you cannot get a +X ability with his token making, so he'll die after twice making a Vampire. His +1 to just give +1/+0 and lifelink is minor. Without pumping the butt, and I'd prefer a better ability like deathtouch or flying. His -6 is great as it's The Abyss for your foes. Given how weak the +1 to get to it, it's weak overall. What do you think?

#6. Scourge Servant

Scourge Servant

Winfect! I know you want to win with Infect, right? Right! Since Infect halves the damage you need to deal, I find that double strike is the coolest adjunct. One double on the Scourge Servant is up to six poison counters, and you can win the next turn easily. If you've already managed to infect them with four counters, then you've won. Winfect!

Hollow Dogs
Midnight Scavengers

Phyrexian Bloodstock
Poisonbelly Ogre

I've run Scourge Servant in many Limited builds, as a solid 3/3 body with some powerful effects. It was the Hollow Dogs of the set, a common five-mana, 3/3 Black creature with a cool ability. Because my Abedraft grabs 11 commons vs 3 uncommcons and 1 rare/mythic, I see more of these sorts of dorks and I love Black in Abedraft of most of the cards in existence, so I grab these when I see them as a useful way to win once I've cleared the board with my Orzhov or Rakdos removal deck.

#5. Claws of Gix

Claws of Gix

Oh yeah baby! I got the Urza's Saga version, but don't forget that it was also in Time Spiral. Forget when this was released, I have some Claws in decks right now! Sacrifice matters, and this will turn any card into life for a single mana. Unlike other effects, it's free, so you can drop it if it's in your hand while also using your mana to get a combo ready. Unlike cards like Zuran Orb or Goblin Bombardment, this could sacrifice any permanent you were running. It's awesome in shells that want to sacrifice for combos, as well as those that want to net value from things like tokens. I love it in modern Commander as you can sacrifice something in order to keep it from being exiled. If your foe looks your way with a Swords to Plowshares or similar effect that would exile your card, preventing you from recurring it, you can just sacrifice it and gain a life and keep it around. Claws of Gix is Claws of Awesome!

#4. Worldly Tutor

Worldly Tutor

Ditto! It's in my decks as well! It's a fun and useful card that turns card advantage into card quality. You lose a card, but you get to grab the best dork from your deck for a single mana. Among the Enlightened Tutor and Mystical Tutor ones in this cycle, Worldly is my favorite. Every deck has creatures. You can get something like Cloudblazer or Solemn Simulacrum that will restore some card equilibrium. You can fetch a powerful game--winning dork just as easily as a powerful answering dork that will destroy something vital to keep someone else from winning. It's awesome!

#3. Keeper of the Nine Gales

Keeper of the Nine Gales

Hello, Keeper of the Nine Gales! Four years later, this is still my favorite card name of all time. I love its name and its mana-free Bouncery. You could easily have dropped the two Birds needed on turns one/two with things like Suntail Hawk and Squadron Hawk. Then you can drop this and begin bouncing on turn four. If you bounce one land per turn, they'll never be able to get any more lands out than they already have. You are likely to win the game on that alone. Enjoy!

#2. Seasinger

Sea's Claim

Bounce and steal. Classic Blue. Neither cost anything to tap and use; they just require setting up. You need two Birds for Keeper of the Nine Gales and they need an Island for Seasinger. Seasinger will love cards like Sea's Claim or a similar effect that give your foes those sweet Islands in order to steal their dork with Seasinger. You used to see these in sideboards in 1994-1995 in Frozen Fish decks with Merfolk and Winter Orb. You'd see them as additions if your foe was running blue and had dorks to grab. Sing that Song of Six Pence my friends! Sing it all day long!

#1. Elkin Bottle

Elkin Bottle
Bosium Strip
Elkin Lair

Guess what? I have played with all 10 of these dorks in real-life builds somewhere along the way. Elkin Bottle looks like a Klein Bottle, in a way not dissimilar to how Bosium Strip is a Moebius Strip. Both are objects that have just one side. The Bottle is a fine way to "draw" a card for three mana. It's temporary, which seems to fit a weird object like the Klein Bottle. I've used it often to drop a land or get a key card. Elkin Lair is a riff off the same card, from the inside view of a Klein Bottle. In this case each player randomly gets a card from their hand that must be played that turn or discarded. It's a very weird version of "Each player discards a card." Bottle up!

And there we are! Now let's be honest, didn't you enjoy that? What did you think of my list? Anything I missed, or that you forgot about? Just let know!

Random Appendices

Did you like those random 1--set cards of craziness? Excellent! Here are the first ten iterations of random fun for you to unpack!

1. Random Top Ten #1

My first top randomly randomly features both hits (such as Grim Lavamancer) and what the moments, like Narwhal. Enjoy!

2. 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.

3. 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!

4. 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.

5. Random Top Ten #5

Including cards like the dreaded X4B and the game-winning Door to Nothingness, this is a fun random blast!

6. 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!

7. 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!

8. 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?

9. 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!

10. Random Top Ten #10

Top Ten Ten Time! You can see cycling lands, Eldrazi, Defenders, and Beetles. And not necessarily in that order! Enjoy!

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