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Ranking the Mythics of Rise of the Eldrazi


Of all the sets I've looked forward to talking about the mythics, Rise of the Eldrazi is certainly a massive highlight for me personally. I came back to Magic after a couple year hiatus when Urza's Legacy came to Magic Online. It wasn't terribly exciting, but it got me to stick around long enough to check out the latest set as well for draft, which just happened to be Rise of the Eldrazi. When I say I was hooked, I mean it. I couldn't stop playing draft after draft and it brought me back to the game in force, especially with the return to Mirrodin right around the corner soon after.

The set itself isn't just a great draft set, but is also memorable for a bevy of outstanding cards that made an immediate splash and continue to be tremendously impactful to this day. There's no shortage of great mythics to talk about, but that doesn't even include powerhouses like Training Grounds, Bear Umbra, Kor Spiritdancer, Splinter Twin, and more. It's a great set top to bottom and introduced the world to the Eldrazi - Lovecraftian-style horrors from the Blind Eternities. Without further ado, let's jump into ranking them!

15. Hellcarver Demon

Hellcarver Demon

Most of the cards in this set absolutely rule and there's no shortage of great mythics, but wow is Hellcarver Demon truly just the pits. I've stared at this card so many times training to figure out ways to make it work but it is just way too tall of an ask to sacrifice everything else - including lands - and ditch your hand for some free spells. Weirdly, it has a pretty decent EDHREC ranking and is worth a few bucks, so clearly people are finding ways to do some nonsense with this (likely involving Doomsday, if I had to guess). For my money, though, I just can't see anyone doing anything with this unless you're truly willing to go all the way with it.

14. Sarkhan the Mad

Sarkhan the Mad

In the early days of planeswalkers, Sarkhan felt inventive because there weren't any ways to add additional counters to him. All he could utilize were minus and 0 cost abilities. Eventually it turned out this was meant to work along with Proliferate from Scars of Mirrodin - something that would later be reutilized in War of the Spark. Unfortunately, the card didn't end up seeing much use out of a handful of small finishes in Standard, and as time has gone on he's ended up largely forgotten. He's not necessarily a bad card, but doesn't do quite enough on his own and requires too much work to justify putting him higher here.

13. Cast Through Time

Cast Through Time

Cast Through Time is the epitome of a really cool card that costs way too much mana. Oftentimes when a new mechanic lands, Wizards will either severely undercost it or overprice it. In this case, it ended up being the latter, with a really sweet effect being far too expensive to be worthwhile - even in casual play. The effect was recently revisited in a much more cost efficient manner thanks to Ojer Pakpatiq, Deepest Epoch // Temple of Cyclical Time in The Lost Caverns of Ixalan, but the original remains mediocre - even if the idea behind the design was really awesome.

12. Transcendent Master

Transcendent Master

I absolutely love Transcendent Master. It was a card I was obsessed with when I came back to Magic in 2010 and thinking about it, it's probably one of the cards that kept me back into the game. I've used Transcendent Master avatars on Magic Online and have used the card in Cubes, Commander decks, and more. Unfortunately, though, it's the definition of a super casual card and one that hasn't aged super gracefully.

At the time when it was new? Yeah, it had a bit of shine on it if you opened it out of a pack or saw it in a shop's case, but it wouldn't be long before it was ignored. It's a lot of work to get to that last level and too easy to pick off before then, so while it's got some iconic artwork and feels fun for casual players, most people write it off and ignore it.

11. Kargan Dragonlord

Kargan Dragonlord

Kargan Dragonlord is the definition of a generally good card that's utterly boring, only it's not quite as good as it first appears. In most situations, it's going to be a hard to cast bear, and in the most aggressive decks you'll be wanting to play additional aggro spells rather than pumping it. When you do get to pump it, though - say when you run out of gas and need a mana sink - it's stellar. It had some tournament pedigree thanks to Mono-Red Aggro decks of the time, and feels a bit more reliable to beef up compared to Transcendent Master, but is still one of the less exciting cards in the set in hindsight.

10. Khalni Hydra

Khalni Hydra

Cost reducers are always awesome cards, but the notion of getting to cast a massive 8/8 trampler for free? Now that's a bargain! It's tough to pull off, but with the right deck, it's more than possible. At the time, you had cards like Leatherback Baloth in the picture to work with, and when combined with mana dorks like Llanowar Elves and Birds of Paradise, it was no problem to get this huge monstrosity down fast. Unfortunately, the card never really saw any competitive play, but it was a really awesome design that caught the attention of lots of casual players and ended up getting more love after the release of Theros a few years later on, making it command a fairly hefty price tag today.

9. All Is Dust

Board wipes are always a hot commodity in Magic and ones that leave you with stuff leftover are even hotter. All Is Dust is exactly that kind of card, wiping out everything that isn't colorless. As a result, the card has been tremendously popular in a variety of competitive formats over the years as well as seeing solid casual play. The catch, though, is it requires a very specific kind of deck, making it much less appealing on a broad scale compared to other cards on this list. However, if you've ever run afoul of a Tron deck over the years, chances are you've been smacked by one of these a time or two!

8. Nirkana Revenant

You know what casual players everywhere love? A good old fashioned mana doubler. They're even better when you can use the excess mana that you create to supercharge your creature for a massive amount of damage - potentially even a killing blow. This made Nirkana Revenant extremely popular in Commander for a long time, with the card at one point creeping up to a $25 card prior to its reprint in Battlebond. It's fairly affordable now, but as far as Commander favorites go, it's hard to beat this one.

7. Lighthouse Chronologist

Lighthouse Chronologist

If Nirkana Revenant is a Commander favorite, then Lighthouse Chronologist is about as loathed of a card as you can get. It's a card that doesn't do a whole ton on its own until suddenly you reach that final level and then all hell breaks loose. Suddenly, you'll find yourself absolutely swimming in extra turns and you'll find yourself quickly making enemies with the entire Commander pod. Completely lacking in competitive appeal, the card continues to be a monster of casual tables and commands a rock-solid price tag to match.

6. Linvala, Keeper of Silence

Do you hate when your opponents won't stop pulling off all kinds of shenanigans with creature activated abilities? Shut them down with this one simple trick! The original Linvala is extremely potent and will almost assuredly lead to plenty of grumbling around the table when she enters the battlefield, but at that point she's just doing her job right. That job is keeping opponents honest, and she does it extremely well. She's got lots of tournament pedigree and also sees plenty of casual play as well, making her an excellent and truly well-rounded option no matter how you play.

5. Gideon Jura

These days, Gideon Jura is remembered as that bulk mythic that kept showing up everywhere for a while and feels rather mediocre. In reality, he was a dominating force both times it was in Standard, providing control decks with a great finisher that soaked up aggro damage while also dishing the beats on its own. It was a long time favorite in the MTGO Vintage Cube for a long time as well for similar reasons, and even in Commander he still finds ways of being useful. Time may not have been the most kind to good ol' Chad, but it's hard to see him as anything but one of the most iconic cards in this set.

4. Vengevine

Vengevine has never really felt like a great mythic. I mean that more in the way that it doesn't feel like it does something unique enough to really put at mythic compared to others out there. After all, Bloodghast was in at rare two sets ago and does something similar. When you actually play with it - or better yet against it - that's when you really start to see the shenanigans you can get up to with it. All it takes is for you to dump a handful of creatures into your graveyard and then it comes back like nobody's business. It was a driving force behind such dominant decks as Hogaak in Modern and Survival in Legacy before those decks inevitably got banned. It may seem a little innocuous at times, but when it's good, Vengevine is about as nutso of a card as it gets.

1, 2, and 3. Emrakul, the Aeons Torn; Kozilek, Butcher of Truth; and Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre

"They came as three."

It would be foolish to even try separating the three Eldrazi titans from the top spot. I think just about everyone will agree that Emrakul is the undisputed champion of the bunch, earning a swift ban in Commander and being the premier top-end card for many decks in numerous formats. Despite that, the three of them together are far more indicative of a shift in terms of power in what a creature could be in Magic. Their competitive uses have been mixed on the whole, but even the most hardened competitive Spike on the planet won't dispute the sheer might of these three creatures. Nothing even came close to them before and almost nothing would match them until we got the second round of the Eldrazi with Battle For Zendikar. The impact on the game was and is simply titanic and to this day - almost 15 years later - they remain among the greatest of all time.

Paige Smith

Twitter: @TheMaverickGal

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