My multiplayer reviews are fairly straightforward: I look for cards that are better in multiplayer games than they would be in standard 1v1 games. Tibalt, Rakish Instigator is exactly what I'm talking about. Against one opponent, he is preventing a player who may have no way to gain life, from gaining life. In multiplayer, you will almost certainly find at least one player who is looking to gain a ton of life. Tibalt shuts that down and is a much better card in multiplayer as a result. No, Tibalt isn't good enough to make the list since I'm not spending mana on a spell that does only that. And don't talk to me about a 1/1 Red Devil that only makes it easier to get Tibalt off the battlefield. Tibalt may get his moment, but it won't be with this card.
This list isn't the best cards for multiplayer games; I'm looking at cards that get better because of multiplayer. Then I take what I think are the best cards from those cards and talk about them here.
There are several cards I'm excited about in Core Set 2020, so let's get started!
10. Yarok's Fenlurker
Yarok's Fenlurker is the epitome of a card that is better in multiplayer than 1v1. Against a single opponent, the Fenlurker exiles one card. In multiplayer, the Fenlurker exiles many more.
Of course, just because the Fenlurker is better in multiplayer doesn't mean that it is actually worth putting into your decks! Unless you have a way to regularly recur it, exiling a single card from each opponent's hand probably isn't good enough. The reason it made the list here is because I live in Boston, home of baseball's famous Fenway Park. I pictured Yarok's Fenlurker as "Yawkey Fenlurker." The Yawkey Fenlurker is a skeevy scalper, loitering just far enough from Fenway to be ignored by the cops. If you are looking to get robbed, I recommend selling your tickets to Yawkey Fenlurker. If you are looking to get fleeced with overpriced tickets, or just outright fakes, buy from a Yawkey Fenlurker!
9. Vampire Opportunist
Vampire Opportunist is another card that is better in multiplayer than against a single opponent, but it still isn't good enough. Taking two life from each opponent and gaining two life is nice, but for seven mana? Older cards with this ability used to give you all the life that was lost by your opponents, so in a four player game, each opponent would lose two life and you would gain six. Even that is not worth the seven mana, but at least you could entertain the thought.
8. Atemsis, All-Seeing
Atemsis, All-Seeing is better in multiplayer since you are more likely to find an opponent that Atemsis can hit. The reason it sits so low on the list is everything else about the card. The opponent that is most likely to suffer from Atemsis is also the opponent most at risk to die anyway. You won't be the only one sending a large flying creature over to do damage to that opponent, so the ability to make them lose is weakened.
This all assumes you can amass the hand needed to make this happen. It should be remembered that you are a Blue player as well, so revealing your hand eliminates any of the questions your opponents had about what you are holding.
Spending three mana to draw two and discard one card is great, but having to tap Atemsis to do it means that it is a trick you are saving until the end of your last opponent's turn. It also means that you are going to be reluctant to ever attack with it. Those three Blue mana is the six-mana casting cost doesn't make this particularly easy to cast either.
7. Corpse Knight
Corpse Knight can be a great card in the right deck. Whether you are looking at a zombie tokens strategy or Living Death and similar variants, there are plenty of Orzhov based decks that see a lot of creatures enter the battlefield under your control. I can see Corpse Knight causing your opponents to lose five or more life in a single turn. Adding a 2/2 body to the mix just doesn't hurt. This is yet another card that works with my pet card, Tombstone Stairwell.
6. Veil of Summer
Veil of Summer makes the list because multiple opponents means that the odds of facing a Blue or Black deck goes up. This is one mana protection against bounce or removal, and it replaces itself. Leaving open a single Green mana gives nothing away, as no one is going to be expecting this to be the card you are leaving mana open to cast.
I love that Green is getting a tricky spell that will undoubtedly bait out some juicy spell from one of your opponents trying to wipe out your carefully built up board state. Not sure I'm sold on the name, but the card is an all-star.
5. Glint-Horn Buccaneer
I'm not sure if Glint-Horn Buccaneer should be this high on the list, but the potential is pretty cool. With five mana you can swing and use the ability to get a better card and do a point of damage to each opponent. Later in the game, you can swing and use the ability once to dig for an answer. If you don't find it, just keep digging, all the while doing another point of damage. It also works as a way to do significant damage to all your opponents.
I like the idea of attacking an opponent who is at a low life total. Before blockers are declared, use the ability repeatedly to kill off that opponent, so you aren't risking the Glint-Horn Buccaneer. The obvious issue lies with using up all your mana on your turn, but this will load up your graveyard for recursion decks, or get life totals down to manageable levels if you are relying on direct damage to get the win. I know my friend Andy's Minotaur Commander deck will happily add this to the mix, just for the card draw.
4. Epicure of Blood
Epicure of Blood is another card that is better with multiple opponents, but don't kid yourself, this card is all about the combo. This card and all the cards like it are looking for Exquisite Blood. Once they are both out there, you just need the match to start the loop that doesn't end until all of your opponents are dead.
If you aren't running the combo with this card, why are you running a 4/4 creature for five mana who does a point of damage here or there?
In any event, watch very carefully for cards that do this, as it is likely the other shoe will be dropping very shortly!
3. Cavalier of Flame
Cavalier of Flame is very interesting. It works best with multiple opponents, as it is doing way more damage for the same cost. The interesting part to me is the X damage is reliant on the number of lands in your graveyard. Commander games see plenty of land go to the graveyard. If you want them there, you are likely run lands that sacrifice to find another land. Those tend to be more pronounced in multicolored decks, where cards with three of the same mana colors in the cost are tough to cast. It certainly isn't impossible to cast this, as the second ability does give you a way to get some lands from your hand into the graveyard, but the mana cost is definitely something to keep in mind.
After all of this, something your opponents might forget is that for only two mana, your creatures all have haste and a little power bump. While this 6/5 with no evasion isn't going to get through very often without some help, creatures in your following turns will.
2. Chandra, Awakened Inferno
Chandra, Awakened Inferno can be a monster in multiplayer games. You will be giving out emblems to all your opponents, not just one. You will be wiping the board of all smaller creatures on a regular basis. Both of these abilities scale up with multiple opponents. The fact that it can't be countered is even better in multiplayer games, since there are multiple opponents who might have wanted to counter it.
So the real question becomes whether you and Chandra will be the primary targets for the table. Every time you give everyone an emblem, you are guaranteeing they are going to take a point of damage on their upkeep. Killing Chandra doesn't stop it, and there is no way to get rid of the emblem, so it just keeps going. While a single point of damage seems like nothing, what happens if they can't get rid of a Chandra that has eight loyalty counters on it? Taking two damage every turn becomes even more annoying. Being reminded at the start of each person's turn that you are the reason they are constantly losing life is not necessarily the best place to be.
I think this card is a reminder that you can't rely completely on creatures to kill off planeswalkers. Chandra can hit the table and take out every 3 toughness creature or less immediately, and still have five loyalty. That eliminates a whole lot of creatures people might be relying on to deal with your planeswalkers. If your meta uses permanent removal extensively, Chandra is probably more of a six-mana way to do six damage to a problematic permanent.
Blightbeetle is great in multiplayer because it likely shuts down one of your opponents' decks completely, and hinders at least one other's deck. Every color now abuses +1/+1 counters to some extent. Wizards has been printing tons of new cards with counters on them. This is just a massive shutdown. White weenie strategies are destroyed. Green counters are neutered. So many Simic options demand that Blightbeetle be dealt with before they can continue. Now add protection from Green to the card and your opponents are going to have to use creature removal to solve the issue.
Imagine, your opponents are going to have to waste removal on a 1/1 for two mana! When you realize that Blightbeetle is Black and you are likely going to just be able to put it out again once they destroy it, this creature just gets better and better. I think this is quietly one of the best cards in the set and won't be waiting long to get my copies.
So are there other cards you are excited to run that shine against multiple opponents? Share your additions in the comments and on Twitter!