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How Are the Mythics of Magic 2015 Ranked?

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It's time for another mythic rankings article and this time it's yet another core set! This time it's Magic 2015, a set that continues the trend of focusing on a specific character for the theming utilizing the now evil Garruk as its center. This set would be the final numbered core set until Core Set 2019, as Magic Origins would prove the final traditional one until their brief revival a few years later. For now, let's dive in and see what this set has to offer on the mythic side of things, and I have to say: it's impressive how few reprints there are this time around! With so many new designs, just how well do they stack up to one another?

Number Fifteen

Oh how the mighty have fallen. Jace, the Mind Sculptor this is not, and though people tried to find ways to make this card work, they just couldn't. It does practically nothing for the mana you're paying to get it on the board and is underwhelming in every respect. It's been lambasted for years and while many of the Souls aren't much better, they at least could do something - even if it was doing that thing poorly - and beat face in the process.

Number Fourteen

Speaking of which, here's the first of those Souls! Let's not beat around the bush here: for the most part, this cycle of cards sucks, but it's mainly which ones suck more than others. The cycle was obviously meant to be a new take on the powerful Titans cycle from Magic 2011 but it really doesn't stick the landing well at all. I'm giving the worst of them to Soul of Ravnica, whose ability to draw cards is just way too expensive and will often only draw one or two cards topps. Compare this to something like Arcanis the Omnipotent which has a comparable mana cost, just taps to draw three cards every turn, and has protection as well. That bulk rare is leagues better than this card could ever hope to be.

Number Thirteen

This Soul honestly wasn't too bad, as getting to repeatedly make creatures is a solid deal. The problem is how it does it when cards like the various Garruks - including the one in this same set - or the popular bulk mythic Rampaging Baloths produce them far more easily. There was also the fact that Wizards made it the promo for Duels of the Planeswalkers for the year after multiple years prior with stellar promos and it just left that much more of a sour taste in many players' mouths compared to the others.

Number Twelve

Soul of Shandalar

On paper, Soul of Shandalar actually looks worse than the previous two souls. Drawing cards and making multiple creatures seems so much better than dealing damage, but it turns out that Soul of Shandalar just dishes out so much damage with extreme effectiveness. Not only does the activated ability hit both players and creatures for a big 6 point swing, the card also hits hard in the red zone and is even harder to deal with thanks to the first strike. It was way too expensive to make a real Constructed impact and too minimal an effect for Commander, but in Limited this thing was nigh unstoppable.

Number Eleven

Speaking of absolute Limited bombs, Soul of Theros had that in spades. Not only did it make all of your creatures extremely difficult to deal with, but it also provided monstrous life swings that made it difficult for opponents to come back from. The usefulness of this wide-ranging pump effect with the keywords as well even gave it some power in Commander where the others failed to really make a major impact. It even had a little Standard play, albeit not that much.

Number Ten

Once again, this Soul checks off a lot of the boxes. It was powerful in Limited thanks to the ability to get a triple Raise Dead effect every turn in addition to being a beast, saw Standard play (more than Soul of Theros), and was respectable in Commander as well. The only reason it's not higher is because while this one seems like it would have the biggest casual appeal of the bunch given just how much value it can often provide, we've seen this sort of thing before and in many ways done better on other cards. Hell, just within the previous year we had Champion of Stray Souls in Born of the Gods and it wasn't lost on players at the time how similar the cards were.

Number Nine

Ajani Steadfast isn't a bad card by any stretch of the imagination, but it's just sort of boring and underwhelming. After all, the card largely feels like a retread of the Lorwyn original Ajani Goldmane, sharing a similar minus effect granting counters to each of your creatures. This one also benefits other planeswalkers as well, though, making it useful in specific decks, but that doesn't change the fact that most of the card - especially its underwhelming ultimate - feels like somewhat of a letdown for where planeswalkers were now compared to where they were at the time of Lorwyn seven years prior.

Number Eight

Without a doubt, this is far and away the best of the six Soul cards. This being colorless allows it to slot easily into any deck and makes it a bit resistant to color screw in the process. Couple that with getting the powerful ability of granting indestructibility and you've got yourself a winner. It's still on the weaker end of cards, but it wasn't unexpected to see this at Commander pods the world over - particularly in this era.

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Number Seven

When it was released, Perilous Vault was seen as just sort of okay - particularly in a world where Oblivion Stone existed. If a deck could play either or, then why not just play the one where your stuff could stick around? Turns out a colorless board wipe is still a colorless board wipe and the exile aspect matters a reasonable amount as well. The card has seen reasonable competitive play now and then and still manages to be a popular casual card as well.

Number Six

Liliana's inclusion here in her original form is a bit weird, but at the same time is quite welcome. The card had gained substantial demand thanks to the rise of Commander and an injection of fresh supply was just what the doctor ordered. It also helps that while she was somewhat old hat at the time, she was far better than most of the other mythics in the set, making her extremely reasonable here. Interestingly, this was originally slated to be Liliana of the Veil, but Wizards swapped it late because they felt that Liliana would be too powerful. Funny that we've since gotten her back and you can play her right now in Standard.

Number Five

This card was extremely notable for several reasons. For one, it was here where we got to see a truly corrupted Garruk. Yes we saw him a bit in the Innistrad block, but it was on the backside of a card where most people remembered the front side or else on one-off cards like Triumph of Ferocity. Here, evil Garruk was front and center, and he was a truly monstrous force. The other big reason he was exciting, though, was the fact that he had four other abilities - something that up until this time only existed on a single other planeswalker: Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Garruk, Apex Predator saw modest play in Standard thanks to the prevalence of Abzan and Sultai decks, and he continues to shine still in Commander due to the sheer brute force of hit abilities.

Number Four

Chandra, Pyromaster was such an exemplary example of what a good Chandra card could look like that it only made sense to run her back here. There's not even that much to say beyond that that wasn't previously said in my Magic 2014 rankings article. The card remained a strong player in Standard and continues to be perfectly viable in Cubes despite its modern bulk mythic status.

Number Three

If you were playing a Green ramp deck in this era of Magic, you were playing Nissa, Worldwaker. Not only did she nearly rebuy herself right off the bat, but she could create massive bodies in a heartbeat. This led to her not just being a major Constructed player, but also a staple of Green in Cubes and Commander for years to come. That comes in spite of some minor controversy levied at the artist for seemingly tracing over/reworking a photo of a South African musician Yolandi Visser. Given the impressive pedigree, it would be tough to put her anywhere but toward the top.

Number Two

Up until this time, Wizards was very skittish on how they handled doing creative things with planeswalkers. Heck, even outright killing planeswalkers was taboo for a long time. It might be hard to believe now, but back in 2013 Hero's Downfall was a massive card for this very reason! While planeswalker removal has become more commonplace with time, doing things that allow you to activate loyalty abilities multiple times a turn hasn't. That makes The Chain Veil extra special, as a truly unique card that enabled all kinds of casual Planeswalker decks left and right until it eventually enabled powerful combo victories in Nykthos Ramp decks in Pioneer. That is, until Karn, the Great Creator was banned, of course.

Number One

Sliver Hivelord is a great example of how you don't always need competitive appeal to be number one. The card was the latest in a long line of legendary five-color slivers, and though it was arguably the weakest of the bunch when compared to Sliver Queen, Sliver Overlord, and Sliver Legion, there was no denying the power on display here. Sure, you can't make infinite tokens with ease, find any sliver you want, or get a Coat of Arms on a body, but giving everything indestructible? Yeah, that's huge for any would-be sliver fan, and it became an instant staple of Slivers Commander decks ever since - a status that remains true to this day.

Paige Smith

Twitter: @TheMaverickGal

Twitch: twitch.tv/themaverickgirl

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