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How are the Mythics of Dragon's Maze Ranked?


If you had to think of the worst sets of all time, you'd probably think of ones like Homelands, Prophecy, or Saviors of Kamigawa. They're all respectable choices, but one that stands out to most players and comes up frequently is the final set of the Return to Ravnica block: Dragon's Maze. The set was absolutely lambasted for weak designs, being overstuffed for a small set, and odd choices that led to things like Voice of Resurgence and Emmara Tandris having their cards essentially swapped around.

Today, we're going to be going through and ranking all of the mythics in the set. Are there some diamonds in the rough or are they real stinkers all the way down? Let's dive in and check it out!

Number Eleven

Council of the Absolute

Every time I see this card I think of Grand Arbiter Augustin IV, the powerful Stax Commander that people love to hate. Then I read the card and remember how awful it is. The fact that it limits the kinds of cards you can name is really rough - particularly the creature side of it. For 4 mana you could be casting two Meddling Mages instead and get the full value of shutting down whatever your opponent is doing! In many cases - even in Constructed - it's hard to line this up where you're casting the same kind of spells you want to shut down and get them to cost less, making that particular line feel fairly unexciting. Just play any other "opponents can't cast these spells" cards instead, you'll have a much better time.

Number Ten

Reap Intellect

Reap Intellect provides a fairly reasonable ability, allowing you to rip away tons of cards from your opponent's hand and then take out everything from their deck and graveyard as well. The problem with this card, though, is how expensive it ends up being. It's 5 mana to rip just one card out of your opponent's hand and at that point you could just play something like Memoricide and get one card for 4 mana. Additionally, oftentimes you'll find that by the time you could get to the mana needed to play this card, your opponent will have likely played out their whole hand, making the core play behind the card fairly worthless. Couple this with the fact that Rakdos's Return came out two sets ago, providing you with the ability to still do something powerful even if your opponent was hellbent, and you've got a card that was dead on arrival.

Number Nine

I'll be honest: I kind of like Savageborn Hydra. I don't like most hydras given how they feel rather inflexible since you often pay into them once and that's it. Savageborn Hydra fixes that by allowing you to add to its power after the fact, while also having the brutal power of double strike backing it as well. While you need to give it trample as well to really make use of it, it feels a lot more threatening than many other hydras by comparison. Despite it feeling kinda cool, it's awfully basic and even somewhat generic for a mythic rare. It's better than the bottom two cards, but that's not saying a ton, and so it finds a firm home here at number nine.

Number Eight

Legion's Initiative had a lot of people scratching their heads over how weird it was. The anthem was weird in all but the most dedicated Boros decks, and then the exile effect? Why is that there? That feels so antithetical to what you want to be doing as an aggressive player. People didn't really know what to make of it, even though it looked decent, and while it did see a tiny bit of play, it wasn't enough to be very memorable in the long run.

Number Seven

Deadbridge Chant was one of the few cards that quickly got players excited out of this set, and mostly from the Commander side. Self-mill is rarely a bad thing in the decks that want to utilize it, and the Golgari in particular are big fans of that. Couple that with the fact that you can get stuff back every turn and you've got a card that's bound to be an immediate hit! It's a little expensive to be practical in most cases, but for your super casual games, it's awesome.

Numbe Six

I can think of few cards that screamed instant Commander staple quite as loudly as Progenitor Mimic. Everyone loves a good Clone card, and at the time they were fairly few and far between. What if here you could not just copy something once, but then copy it over and over again? This basically ends up being a cross between a Clone and a Followed Footsteps all in one package, both of which are wildly popular cards among casual players. To this day it's still incredibly popular, holding the third highest EDHREC ranking of mythics in this set, and while it never really saw wider use, it's hard to deny just how fun it is to play.

Number Five

A lot of times I bring up mythics that end up being overhyped in this mythic ranking series. In the case of Blood Baron of Vizkopa, though, it's actually a case of being underhyped. At the time, Obzedat, Ghost Council was tearing up Standard quite a bit and a lot of people thought Blood Baron would be somewhat winmore, would rarely buff up to max power, and wouldn't be as useful in Constructed. As it turns out, the card was a driving force in those various Obzedat-based decks and it drove up the price to over $20 a pop during the RTR-Theros Standard season. Nowadays it's pretty useless, but for a brief moment in time, it was a surprisingly powerful force from such a rough set.

Number Four

How do you make a planeswalker simultaneously awesome yet a tad underwhelming? By making Ral Zarek, obviously! Getting multiple Lightning Bolt activations is pretty great, and if you can get to the extra turn coin flips it becomes exciting, edge of your seat energy as you wait to see how many turns you end up getting. Unfortunately, Ral's +1 rarely feels great unless you're in full control mode. It was fairly popular in Magic Online's Cubes for a while, though, since you could often use it to untap things like Mana Vault and Grim Monolith for some really speedy value. It's just good enough that it has a solid amount of appeal and held it afloat as one of the more expensive cards in the set for some time until a number of reprints crushed its price.

Number Three

Stat-wise, Master of Cruelties is a tremendously unremarkable card. Couple that with the fact that it can only attack on its own, and it can feel a little middling as a result. When it actually manages to hit a player in the face, though, it's nothing short of incredible - particularly when it's in a game of Commander where players start at 40 life. The card was an immediate hit in the format, particularly due to Kaalia of the Vast decks that could cheat it into play and get around the fact that it normally has to attack by its lonesome.

Number Two

Maze's End is everyone's favorite kind of build around, particularly back in the day. When Dragon's Maze first came out, you only had the very basic common gate tap lands. Frankly, those sucked, and so people didn't put much stock in the utility of Maze's End. Then players realized there were enough Fog effects in the format that you could fill a Maze's End deck up with them and play the long game for a win. As the years went on, it could never make it in other competitive formats, but it continues seeing lots of love in Commander and was a key card in many Golos, Tireless Pilgrim decks before that card was banned in the format.

Number One

There's so much to talk about with Voice of Resurgence. Do you want to cover how it was originally supposed to be Emmara Tandris before they got cold feet on splitting the maze runners between mythic and rare? Maybe it's worth bringing up how generally mediocre the card feels compared to so many other first place winners of past sets. The simple reality is, though, that Voice of Resurgence has had the most use in a variety of formats across the board. For as much as it is just a techy role player more than flashy centerpiece, it's extremely good at what it does and - at the time - wowed people for the crazy amount of power you could get from such a small creature.

Paige Smith

Twitter: @TheMaverickGal

Twitch: twitch.tv/themaverickgirl

YouTube: TheMaverickGal

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