Sunday, March 30, 2014

My Top 100 One Drop (CC) Creatures (80-61)

My Top 100 One Drop (CC) Creatures (100-81)

80. Phyrexian Dreadnought
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Illusionary Mask combo aside, a 12/12 Trample for one is certainly an interesting idea. At some point in the game you will have some 1/1s or even 2/2s that you don't need, maybe something get's Pacifism'd. Then you have a real card capable of becoming the largest threat on the board that will end the game in two turns unless dealt with. It does have quite the possibility of ruining your entire game plan if it gets Doom Blade'd or something. There are other ways to abuse it - Torpor Orb, Pandemonium, Fling.

79. Kor Duelist
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Requiring equipment for it to be useful is a drawback, but for one mana you get the possibility of a double striking monster. Even if you could give it +2/+0 or heck Loxodon Warhammer then you get a fantastic deal for a single mana. Put it in a deck with the Swords and just go to town. A turn two Bonesplitter will hit for six.

78. Scattershot Archer
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Repeated Bitterblossom kill. It is an elf and can block for two on top of it. Takes down other nasty cards like Lingering Souls and Spectral Procession.

77. Hex Parasite
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It can kill Planeswalkers, Ratchet Bombs or anything with counters that might be an issue. It is repeatable, and doesn't have to cost a ton of mana. It's at least a sideboard contention thing for control Black. It works well with Undying abilities as well as Cumulative Upkeep.

76. Sidewinder Sliver
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Flanking is downright abusive in the correct situation. Slivers just happen to be in that situation. It's essentially a +1/+1 boost on a one mana creature that can flat out not be blocked by 1/1s. That is a great ability itself. But on all creatures you control, it's pretty fantastic as the abilites work with each other. I don't know if it's truly better than Plated Sliver, but works well with Spined Sliver.

75. Festering Newt
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It probably wouldn't make the cut if it just gave -1/-1 when it died, though it does have value even then. It's the combo with the witch which allows you to Lash of the Whip for the price of one that makes this a great card. The Bogbrew Witch can also fetch the Newt. And on top of that the Bubbling Cauldron gets you an eight point swing for one of these.

74. Orochi Leafcaller
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No mana ramping here, no flying defense, just straight up fashioned 5 color enabler. It turns every forest you control into a Mox Opal(I'm sure there are other examples, just the first one at the tip of my head). Works with Myr Superion, Fist of Suns and any other kind of Sunburst card.

73. Galerider Sliver
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Flying is one of the best abilities, Flying Men was solid in the old days for a one drop. They have clearly outdone themselves with Galerider. It seems like it would be an auto include for a Sliver deck, at least one playing Blue. People say it is strictly better than Winged Sliver, and I would agree.

72. Magus of the Scroll
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Cursed Scroll was such a great card. Well they reprinted it essentially. The only differences being it takes a Red mana, swings for one, dies to more removal and you get to pick the card instead of your opponent. Works fairly well with Training Grounds.

71. Hero of Leina Tower
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No Trample hurts it big time. All it will be is a medium to decent sized creature if you are lucky. That doesn't make it bad, far from it. As far as heroic abilities go this is probably as high as it can go. It works really well with such great Green classics like Giant Growth or Rancor.

70. Death's Shadow
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Obviously not a typical one drop. You can't play this unless you are losing which is good and bad. The good news is that it will never be a dead card in a game that you lose. You will always find a way to play a giant fatty for one mana even if it can't help early game at all.

69. Enclave Cryptologist
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It's kind of expensive to level up. It never does anything except for draw you cards. Six mana can be a bit for an effect that can be easily blasted immediately after causing a huge loss in tempo. I've never been high on the draw one/discard one ability except for in specific decks - Reanimator, etc.

68. Orcish Lumberjack
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Super ramp for any combination of Red or Green. It's not an every turn ability but casting a five drop - Stormbreath Dragon for example on turn two is clearly a big problem. It's a reusable Black Lotus for Gruul that costs a land, I think that's good enough to make it #68 if not higher.

67. Roc Hatchling
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Same flavor as Rukh Egg. A worse, early version of suspend. It may not become a problem until turn five, but you do get a free 3/3 flier then. It loses quite a few points due to it being one of the worst top decks you could ever get. Works well with #77 Hex Parasite and the aforementioned Illusionary Mask.

66. Gorilla Shaman
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I love repeatable effects, and the ability to blow up artifacts repeatedly is awesome to me. It also destroys the best artifacts the cheapest. Moxes? 1 mana. Sol Ring? 3 mana. Swiftfoot Boots? 3 mana. Just another great option for Red artifact removal.

65. Avacyn's Pilgrim
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Elvish Mystic this is not. It does mana ramp, and it can mana ramp especially well in Selesyna decks. the real issue is that you can't get the mana you need if you are mono green making this weaker than an elf which can do it outright or a BOP which can do any mana.

64. Kederekt Parasite
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One mana Underworld Dreams variant. A Rakdos only card, but a decent sideboard that immediately starts a 20 turn clock. Sure it will probably die to just about any kind of removal, especially if it's up against a control deck.

63. Tinder Wall
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I use the word better than quite a bit, but this card is flat out better than Wall of Wood. Strictly better than Wall of Wood one might say. The Perfect mana ramp for a Gruul deck. Blocks in a pinch and can damage said attacker. Ramps to four on turn two or five on turn three.

62. Rogue Elephant
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Works much better in the aggressive deck. Though I have many of these I've never played one. The loss of a land drop is a real drawback. Most of my Green decks can't handle the mana loss which really shouldn't be an issue. Combos well with Harvest Wurm.

61. Reckless Waif
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It does require your opponent to not play something or get blasted in the face. A very good one drop though especially in Limited 1vs1 where your opponent may not have something to play. I'm only so so on the Werewolf theme, but this one is quick and hits hard. Quite close to Delver of Secrets, which we shall get to one day.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

My Top 100 One Drop (CC) Creatures (100-81)

One drops are the least important thing in any draft or sealed pool. You shouldn't play them pretty much ever. They typically do little for you, don't fit random cards, or just suck. And why should they, you aren't expected to win the game by turn 1(not counting you Legacy). In constructed, it's a whole different ball game. You have these cheap cards that actually interact with other cards in your deck. Not only that - your selection is a lot wider and if you look deep enough, you can find cards that can really put the pressure on.

The number 100 just kind of worked out. There are approximately 600 one costed creatures, and I honestly only checked out about 400 of them - top half and the very bottom(maybe I trust The Gatherer too much, but I'm always open to suggestions!). I found 95 that I really liked just naturally. The other 5 are included as my bottom 5, but 100 of course just sounded better.
I could have forced myself to get 5 more, but there are essentially 7 duplicates that you will see actually bringing the total to 102.

The 5 Worst:
5. Kitsune Diviner
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I'm sure it's decent in a block draft, but in any other scenario it's a completely unplayable 0/1 do nothing creature. Ornithopter, Phyrexian Walker and Shield Sphere are all cheaper and better.

4. Wall of Wood
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One of the original cards and it's hard to hate on my man Richard. How bad is it? Well there exists a 0/4 artifact wall, which makes this strictly worse than that. Artifacts are supposed to be toned down because they can be played in all decks. This thing though if made today would need to be a 0/5 at minimum making this permanently awful.

3. Crazed Goblin
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1/1 for one was somehow too strong. No one was playing Mons Goblin Raiders before. This is the kind of card you would only add if trying to make one of the worst decks of all time. At least the Impetuous Sunchaser has haste and flying. The only good news is that it doesn't have a drawback that can ruin a game plan, unlike this next card.

2. Alabaster Leech
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This actually made my number 6 for the worst creatures of all time. I mean, what kind of a drawback is this? It puts you a complete turn behind for a 1/3 on turn 1. If it were a 3/1, we might be having a completely different conversation.

1. Primordial Ooze
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The only one drop that can straight up kill you single handily if you aren't prepared. It requires a serious amount of mana commitment after you play it and doesn't even have evasion. If you didn't have to tap it then maybe it's at least a clock. Even if you hit for two damage on turn two, you are permantley behind in mana, or you are going to be behind in life quickly.

Honorable Mention:
Savannah Lions
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The standard that I will set every creature on this list to. The very first thing I think of when I hear aggressive one drop. It's the first thing that used to make a White Weenie deck. It's just outclassed occasionally by better cards these days.

95. Orcish Spy
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You are not going to be breaking any games open with this guy. But being able to look at the top three cards of your opponents libray is no slouch of an ability. Being able to plan ahead can be a pretty big advantage for one mana.

94. Pulse Tracker
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It's clearly more dangerous as a multiplayer card, but it is swinging for two damage on turn two. A nice Vraska/Jace flavor text. Even when it gets outclassed you don't necessarily have to chump block with it, just add that extra life loss.

93. Nova Cleric
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Sideboard only of course. There are many creatures that can blow up enchantments. None of them except this guy can take out all of them. Sure you could just play some sorcery that can probably do the same thing, but maybe this gets some damage and in the meantime forces your opponent to hold back in some scenarios. An extra point of toughness is worth mentioning as well.

92. Honorable Scout
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Another sideboard card, this one also works better with more opponents. How much life would you like to gain to consider this playable? Eight life maybe? So that's four creatures, not hard to pull off though it's clearly not a pure one drop either. Eight life and a chump blocker would be borderline playable for one. Works in U/W control.

91. Soldier of Fortune
 photo SoldierofFortune_zps789393e3.jpg
It's at the very least mildly annoying. At best, it's a sideboard card against all sort of tutors. It's a permanent answer to these cards that do top deck manipulation. A card I've always wanted to play that never quite had enough umph for me to play in one of my constructed decks.

90. Treefolk Harbinger
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A Wall of Wood that will minimally fetch you a Forest. Could be good or bad, the ability potential at least makes the card relevant. Being able to grab another Treefolk in a Treefolk deck is what sets this apart and sets your deck up for other shenanigans.

89. Tormented Soul
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Obviously if you can take advantage of the unblockable ability it gets better. Aggressive decks only would think about this. It puts that 20 turn clock on. Works well with Bloodthirst and Exalted. Equipment makes it dangerous as does other pump-like auras.

88. Goblin Gaveleer
 photo GoblinGaveleer_zps80c00a94.jpg
Speaking of equipment, adding a mere +0/+3 Kiteshield(arguably the worst equipment) makes this bugger a 3/4 Trampler. Not too shabby. It's at minimum is a 1/1 Trampler with a useful creature type. Comparatively speaking, that's not bad. That art is pretty funny as well.

87. Ezuri's Archers
 photo EzurisArchers_zps8bf97bd8.jpg
I've always wanted to like the Archers more. I just don't as much as I think I should. It's definitley a sideboard card. A 4/2 reach that can stop small fliers is a sweet deal for a mana. In other scenarios you are stuck with your vanilla creature.

86. Guul Draz Vampire
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I like that late game it becomes relevant as well for a one drop. That is a major thing I want in a cheap card, to be useful in a late game scenario. If you are aggressive and your opponent isn't Black, it can be a real problem.

85. Hada Freeblade
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You wouldn't play it if it weren't in a Ally deck, that knocks it down a few notches. But when you do play it, it's a great staple of said deck. It can grow quite big, even making it a better ability than evolve.

84. Chronomaton
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I don't like that you have to tap it. If you could attack and still only use it's ability once a turn it would be much better. But as it is you get a larger blocker every turn. It just never does what you want. If your opponent has a larger creature, it won't be blocking alone and surviving. If your opponent is reeling, there is not a good answer to if you should just attack with a smaller creature or hold off.

83. Thallid
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Thallid is much better served being played during turn one opposed to late game. It also works much better with a concentrated fungus deck. It may not be playable outside of that theme deck. As for Utopia Mycon - getting mana for your Saprolings is a slightly better deal. You still don't play either of these unless you can do something with all the cranked out beasties (ex: Thelon of Havenwood).

82. Martyr of Ashes
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Probably an instant Pyroclasm at minimum sitting in play. You do need to keep two mana open and doesn't affect pesky fliers, but it can also potentially deal 4-5 damage for a mere three mana. The real problem is it doesn't really work with other strategies, or at least any I can think of. If you think you are running into weenies, just play Anger of the Gods or some equivalent. Red has too many answers to truly look here.

81. Diregraf Ghoul
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I don't think the comes into play tapped drawback is that big of a deal. So it can't chump block immediately if played late game. So what. Can't block creatures on the draw? Also not the worst deal. If you are going aggressive it's clearly solid. Would you rather play Felhide Brawler, Fleshmad Steed or heck even Tormented Hero? Didn't think so.

Check out my other posts:
The Top 10 Planeswalkers
The Top 20 Land Cards
The Top 20 Theros Cards
The Top 20 Dragon's Maze Cards
The Top 20 Common Cards
The 30 Coolest Dragons
The Top 40 Black Cards
The 80 Worst Creatures
100 Unique Creatures
The 100 Worst Cards

Thursday, March 6, 2014

My Top 40 Born of the Gods Magic Cards 2/2

My Top 40 Born of the Gods Magic Cards 1/2

Honorable Mentions Part 2:
 photo SpitefulReturned_zps911cfa88.jpg  photo 
Pheres-BandRaiders_zps76f06271.jpg  photo 
SnakeoftheGoldenGrove_zps7980a343.jpg  photo 
Just a few more I wanted to mention that all seem like decent, good Limited cards. They probably won't sniff the light of Constructed day though. Standard is too quick to play these.
Spiteful Returned can be a nice punch on a hard to kill creature or as a almost 3/1 for 2.
Raiders can take over the game if you are in a long control game.
Snake will almost always gain you 4 life. If only you could bounce this thing though.
Elightenment is still a creature aura and +1/+1 flying for 3 mana isn't the best deal, but it also lends itself to a long game where you can slowly pump your creatures.
Also considered Forlorn Pseudamma, unblockable beastie that can create other creatures is a good deal.

The Bottom Five:
5. Felhide Brawler
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Innistrad just had a Black 2/2 for 2. Now we can't get one again with this drawback nonsense again. Common designers. Make it 2/3 or something.

4. Evanescent Intellect
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Heroic isn't a consideration for me here. You aren't going to make a good creature your mill threat. I guess it does do some Inspire work, but all the other colors have better ways to do this. I would rather White's gain life, or Green's mana.

3. Hold at Bay
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It doesn't make your creature bigger, just saves it from a trade. I guess it fogs as well. You go ahead and play this card in Limited, but it's awful in any other formats and bad in multiples. I much prefer Acolyte's Reward or Crypsis which either gives the element of surprise or can actually kill something.

 photo Crypsis_zpscfb01286.jpg photo AcolytesReward_zps67472322.jpg

2. Heroes Podium
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Completely unplayable in Limited, basically unplayable in Standard. Not viable in Modern. That doesn't leave much wiggle room. You can't remake Aladdin's Lamp and get away with it!

1. Culling Mark
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Three mana for a sorcery that simply forces blocking is not good removal even for Green.
Provoke at least cantriped and untapped a creature. That would have at least allowed you to Heroic or Inspire your own creature. This didn't have to cost 3 mana though.

Also considered Sunbond which is awful in Limited and probably really bad in Standard. I could see it having Constructed uses though.

Whims of the Fates also was considered. It isn't a good strategy, it won't often work but maybe just maybe this can save someone's game.

Best Reprint:
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There are only two or three of them, but this is useful with Inspired Chromanticore decks.

Best Removal:
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Bolt of Keranos, Excoriate, Asphyxiate and even Gild all cost too much mana or are too slow. Here we have an instant that can allow you to take out many cards and all it takes is a beastie of your own.

Best Counterspell
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This beats the only other one I can think of, but useful though right?!

Best Multi-Player Card:
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5 damage to each opponent might actually come up, though you will probably just get your 5/5 still.

Best Lord:
 photo Ragemonger_zps56f1bebb.jpg
They keep trying to make Minotaurs work. The problem though isn't the casting cost of the creatures. It is the power level and overall lack of usefulness of the creatures which Ragemonger doesn't fix.

Best Overrun:
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Probably costs too much, but it hits and it hits hard.

Best Multicolor that's not Multicolor Card:
 photo OdunosRiverTrawler_zps73368af1.jpg
 photo AkroanPhalanx_zps4ef3b368.jpg
The Izzet scry creature costs too much to use. The Phalanx is good for aggressive strategies. The zombie River Trawler though can gain you card advantage at an instant speed, or block and search. There are many uses for Orzhov.

20. Pain Seer
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Bob he is not. But severally underrated he is. It actually works better with Springleaf Drum and other mechanics in this set than Confidant would. Card advantage is card advantage even on a grizzly bear.

19. Fated Retribution
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We get another wrath variant which isn't a bad thing. Seven mana is just a different kind of effect. You aren't counting on this to survive, this is a setup to something much greater. Killing planeswalkers is kind of nifty.

18. Searing Blood
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It would be so much better if it hit a creature for 3, but even as is - it's pretty good. It gives Magma Jet a run for it's money. It's obviously been compared to Searing Blaze. 

17. Archetype of Courage
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A three mana 2/2 first strike would be playable in Limited. But to affect every other creature on the board is very efficient for a three mana enchantment. But to put them together at that cost is just good value.

16. Fated Intervention
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Goes really well in an aggressive deck. But whether you decide to combat trick this or scry two you are getting a deal. Six power toughness for five mana is quite good. Pseudo card advantage. Scrying two can set you up well even if the creatures are sacrificed for a noble cause.

15. Kiora's Follower
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Untapping permanents works well in all sorts of formats. Limited has inspired. Vintage has Time Vault. All sorts of wonderful things can be had for cards that don't normally untap during their untap phase. Allowing your creatures to attack and give one Vigilance at instant speed is a thing. So many functions.

14. Hero of Iroas
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Cheap bear with an ability to make other cards cost less. Good start. Heroic to boot. Kind of Goblin Electromancer like. Also reminds me of Skylasher, a good two drop with lots of upside depending on what you are trying to do.

13. Drown in Sorrow
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The Black Pyroclasm. Works well in a control deck. Some Blue White decks or Green decks get moving quickly and there is no better way to stop an aggressive hoard except by destroying the board.

12. Nessian Wilds Ravager
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Both Tribute abilities work well though this card more than any can mess your opponent up if chosen incorrectly. You aren't likely to get a 12/12 unless there is chump blocking coming for some time/removal or some other Pacifism like plan.

11. Spirit of the Labyrinth
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It's most important function is as a sideboard card. A normal sideboard card won't get much love from me, but this also brings three power on turn two. So even if your opponent doesn't have anything to lose from the ability, you've got a good blocker that can trade with a three drop, or an aggressive beater.

10. Fanatic of Xenagos
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Great deal no matter how it gets played. A 3/3 Trample Haste for three is pretty nice for Gruul to mess around with. No one would cry for a 4/4 Trampler either. It combos well with other aggressive strategies you can have. This set has many good three drops for lots of colors that are powerful.

9. Eidolon of Countless Battles
 photo Eidolon-of-Countless-Battles_zps002f0ed5.jpg
Maybe this should be higher, it's big and quick. It's probably best used aggressively, but there's no reason you can't build around him either. However Eidolon is also vanilla. It's an insane version of Keldon Warlord. That bestow cost is so cheap for what it brings.

8. Herald of Torment
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You exchange life for a lower casting cost here. It's at least a good option to have. Quick aggressive decks would love to have this guy. I don't know if a Black White Control deck is going to run this in Standard but it at least has potential to be good. It sure does work well as a creature by itself, though I'm sure bestowing even a sunchaser would have benefits.

7. Temple of Enlightenment
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Essentially Guild Gates which also allow you to scry 1. That makes them better than the gates at least except maybe flavor wise. Does scrying and the mana fixing alleviate the pain of being a turn slower than your opponent. I think it depends on how fast your deck needs to be. In an aggressive deck, you can't afford to waste a turn on a land even if it were an attempt to alleviate mana problems. In a three color or more deck it's a different story. The Blue White one is my favorite of the color combos as it is the most likely to be con-trolly. 

6. Bile Blight
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Good cheap removal at instant speed. Attacks indestructible beasties and can hit a whole swarm. Reminds me of Homing Lightning from Gatecrash. It attacks all sorts of creatures from Pack and Relentless Rats to Boros Reckoners.

5. Courser of Kruphix
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Great set of abilities on a good bodied three drop. Gains life and draws cards, hard to ask much more out of a card. The four toughness is huge is surviving all types of removal. Isn't going to win any offensive categories, but drawing a card every one or two turns it isn't meant to. Does hurt the element of surprise and multiples just simply gain you more life.

4. Gods
Harder to become creatures compared to Theros which doesn't seem possible with two colors. The idea is the same though. Large Indestructible creatures that have abilities.
(E)Karametra, God of Harvests
 photo Karametra-God-of-Harvests_zps676a4ef2.jpg
Definitely the weakest God yet. But that doesn't make it a bad card that so many people have said. Is it Primeval Titan? No, but it's in the conversation. It's also cheaper, larger and Indestructible. It's not black and white a bad card. It could be really good.

(D)Ephara, God of the Polis
 photo Ephara-God-of-the-Polis_zps1ed458d3.jpg
Actually quite similar to Karametra. The difference being card draw is better than a free land and four mana is much better than five.Works with Spirit of the Labyrinth and Brimaz well. Good combos with Azorious's flickering.

(C)Phenax, God of Deception
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In the right deck this thing is going to be nuts. Just play a bunch of giant walls and defend yo'self. If mill is what you want look no further. Five mana is quite a bit for something that might not affect the table immediately. Does turbo win with Eater of the Dead. Kick in the pants with Consuming Arberration.

(B)Mogis, God of Slaughter
 photo Mogis-God-of-Slaughter_zpsfa823f3c.jpg
This thing is dumb, it might actually be the best card in the set. The ability is incredible. A 7/5 isn't even on my radar.Well costed, works in all sorts of colors - Jund, Dega, Grixis. I can see a 4x Mogis and 4x Fate Unraveler as a good start to any crazy aggressive deck.

(A)Xenagos, God of Revels
 photo Xenagos-God-of-Revels_zps502941a8.jpg
A little more restrictive than Mogis, but this thing makes a giant creature every turn and can just wreck a game plan. Goes well with Ruric Thar, Kalonian Hydra or Nova Chaser, heck any 3 power creature or bigger is going to be nuts.

3. Flame-Wreathed Phoenix
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Tribute isn't good.The Tribute can't go wrong here though. You might get your 5/5 if it can be dealt with, but that's the name of the game. Draw some hate with your four drop. Sad it is a mythic, but it gets all the good parts of Chandra's Phoenix and Rathi Dragon all in one. Scary in a deck full of Storm Breath Dragons or Hammer of Purphoros.

2. Brimaz, King of Oreskos
 photo Brimaz-King-of-Oreskos_zps90a45dcf.jpg
It hits and it hits hard. Super aggressive for a three drop. Thankfully it's Legendardy to prevent it from completely being broken. But as it is it's a hard to kill beastie that can gain pseudo card advantage. Fits into a Selesnya tokens mold or a White weenie deck.

1. Kiora, the Crashing Wave
 photo KioratheCrashingWave_zps8dd8e92a.jpg
It starts off with a low loyalty which is the worst thing I can say for it. It's still pretty nutty at four mana. Holding back your opponents biggest threat every turn is very Icy Manipulator like. The occasional card draw can help you win the game and if you ever ultimate, forget about it. Even if it just replaces itself while adding a land it's still worth the cost. Smoothing out a mana flood, or stopping a beastie this gal is a wave of excitement.