Friday, September 26, 2014

My Top 40 M15 Cards (Part 2/2)

Well it's been four months since part one. Two sets have come out in this time which seems like a lot, but it's right on par with what Wizards has done the last ten years. It's no surprise that I didn't recognize the game after fifteen years away from it. I've been keeping up fairly well with the new sets, though sometimes the special boxes, sets(Conspiracy), Commander cards elude me.
This is my opinion on the "new" M15 set. I made this list back in September and I won't be changing it which should be entertaining for us both.

Back to Part 1

I will kick this off with a little activity called my least favorite cards. Always fun to see what crap Wizards comes up with and maybe what they were thinking.


The Bottom 8: (no particular reason why 8, these just seemed to make the cut)

8. Wall of Limbs
 photo WallofLimbs_zps47296e97.png
Three mana for a Wall of Wood, not a great start. It's a zombie archetype which is kind of relevant. A counter if you gain life, well you aren't typically going to gain lots of life and that makes this a specific card. For seven additional you can throw away your hard earned mana for a couple life points. Not the greatest strategy. 

7. Necromancer's Assistant

 photo NecromancersAssistant_zpse5d4a4ad.png
Really bad for three mana, who cares if it mills three? It dies to everything. A zombie again which is worth noting given the heavy zombie cards we are seeing lately.

6. Tyrant's Machine

 photo TyrantsMachine_zpsd6f1d126.png
Icy Manipulator this is not. The cost of four mana a turn gives you the ability to tap a creature - this might save you occasionally, but it will be hard to recover if you are relying on this.

5. Vineweft

 photo Vineweft_zpscdef4b17.png
I think this was the first time we saw these new borders? I think they look fine, or at least I don't dislike them. Another narrow card. It will trigger Heroic at least once. Six mana to give another creature a counter is too expensive. An instant and making it cost like three to bring it back would have made it much better. Still not playable, but better!

4. Clear a Path

 photo ClearaPath_zps23e446c2.png
Dragon's Maze reprint. It sucked then and it sucks here. How many walls are in need to getting rid of clearing? Wall of Denial or Wall of Frost? Not in this set. One day I'll make my top ten defenders list. 

3. Tireless Missionaries

 photo TirelessMissionaries_zps719d70cb.png
Ish. Five mana. You can't justify this for that much, I don't care how you rationalize it. Life gain isn't great to begin with. You won't build around this thing. All kinds of unplayable. Four mana would have been bad. Three would have been decent in limited. Two - decent in constructed, you get the idea. 

2. Fugitive Wizard

 photo FugitiveWizard_zps13be5af7.png
More of a snooze than anything. There are 466 creatures with one power, toughness and casting cost. 61 of them Blue. They are all better than this guy with the exception of possibly a Merfolk or Spirit. So now we have our third generic blue one drop. Enjoy! 

1. Mediation Puzzle

 photo MeditationPuzzle_zpsc5686744.png
Five mana wouldn't be worth twelve life. One more mana and one more life than Angel's Mercy. I see through you. You think Convoke is going to make us excited, it doesn't. At least your opponent isn't drawing a card - see the worst card ever printed.


Back to the top 40!


20. Chord of Calling

 photo ChordofCalling_zps833565ed.png
Triple green hurts the card a bit. But being an instant at least puts it in the conversation with Green Sun's Zenith. Convoke can be relevant in the scenario where you are on the defense and your opponent thinks you are tapped out.

19. Master of Predicaments

 photo MasterofPredicaments_zps3baac42f.png
In a way it's just a boring Air Elemental. But it's got a plus on top of that. I'm not a huge fan of cards that only do work after they have dealt damage to an opponents life total. Your opponent isn't going to ever guess 3 or less in any casual game of magic. Is it a competitive card? Probably not, but it's fun enough to deserve a mention.

18. Liliana Vess

 photo LilianaVess_zpsa5ba85d1.png
Reprint of maybe the worst Liliana. I had this as number four in my top ten planeswalkers. I know that isn't right now. Sure I've never actually played the card so this is all speculation.
Don't get me wrong, it's a Pain, Vampiric Tutor and super Living Death all rolled into one. It's not always how you want to be spending turn five. Sure a tutor is always great, but you don't get it right away and there is a good chance Lilly will bite it afterwards.

17. Kalonian Twingrove

 photo KalonianTwingrove_zpsdc226a8f.png
Despite the casting cost, it's a card that goes into the mono green deck. Blinking such a thing could create great things. Two 6/6 creatures for six mana is way over the curve. Cast Nylea afterwards and watch sparks fly.

16. Soul of New Phyrexia

 photo SoulofNewPhyrexia_zps1dc7bb7b.png
Probably my second favorite Soul. A colorless 6/6 Trampler at six mana works so well in many decks. If you can get it to live a turn, your opponent is in for a beating. And even if it dies immediately(which it should) it still has a decent graveyard play. All in all a great six drop.

15. Resolute Archangel

 photo ResoluteArchangel_zpsed8715ce.png
This can save your behind and win you a game at the same time. It's sort of situational and at seven mana is a dead card for a good chunk of the game. But if you are feeling confident it will be cast in good time you can afford to play more recklessly than your opponent will expect. That's what winners do.

14. Hornet Queen

 photo HornetQueen_zps523222c2.png
Another seven drop with specific color requirements. Sure it doesn't take well to a tiny Hurricane or Drown in Sorrow, but stops opposing flyers cold. Six points of Deathtouchy power will topple most regimes

13. Genesis Hydra

 photo GenesisHydra_zpse6973ee5.png
They really didn't short green in the creature department with this set. You need to cast it for a big amount - not all hydra's require that. Not as broken as it's Genesis Wave cousin, but it is cheaper and gives you a body on top of things.

12. Soul of Shandalar
 photo SoulofShandalar_zpsa95b606a.png
First strike is barely relevant and it really just means it will forever chump blocked. That's where that ability comes into play. A reusable better version of Searing Blood afixed to this guy. Again it gets a free shot from the grave which is nothing to sneeze at. Five seems about right for this ability. 

11. Ob Nixilis, Unshackled

 photo ObNixilisUnshackled_zps9dc40ee6.png
Four abilities on a 4/4 for six mana is a great thing. Trample on a 4/4 flyer is rarely relevant. Flying is the best part of it. The second best being it grows ever so slightly bigger when any creature dies. This thing is clearly a bomb. Even if the 10 life loss ability never goes off - as it seems like it wouldn't in most cases - it's quite solid. 

10. Scuttling Doom Engine

 photo ScuttlingDoomEngine_zpsaf367d52.png
Maybe my second favorite card other than Soul of New Phyrexia. Colorless fatty beasts are great in many a scenario. Can't be chump blocked is a good ability. Hitting your opponent for at least six and probably not losing card advantage is very strong. The artwork reminds me of that spider in Wild Wild West. 

9. Cone of Flame

 photo ConeofFlame_zps0ed1b854.png
It's a sorcery and five mana, so it might not be worthy of a top ten mention. When this thing hits though, you have tipped the game in your favor. 2-1 or 3-1, either way this thing will do it's job. It's not legacy playable in the lightning bolt or pyroclasm way, but in limited I have had it wreck boards.

8. Indulgent Tormentor

 photo IndulgentTormentor_zpsaf35cf08.png
Three toughness is a bit low, but on a flier it doesn't mean as much in combat. Sure more spells are likely to get him, but not too many in limited. It really doesn't have to attack to do work though. Sure there is a possibility of your opponent taking eight, but more than likely you are at least gaining card advantage. Whether that is through your opponents worst creature or a free draw - card advantage is always king.

7. Aetherspouts

 photo AEligtherspouts_zps8b050250.png
Yikes this thing is great. Never trust a blue player with five open mana. Let that be lesson number one. It can create a game winning blowout. It's like a warm blanket. Makes your opponent pay for overextending.

6. Chandra, Pyromaster

 photo ChandraPyromaster_zps9b0f3768.png
I love my planeswalkers and my top five of this 2015 set is loaded with them. Chandra's zero ability is just pure card advantage which we have discussed - wins games. Poking a creature may be relevant or stopping the best blocker for at least a turn is a tide turnable thing. You can't count on the ultimate often as it takes four turns of poking to get there. 

5. Garruk, Apex Predator

 photo GarrukApexPredator_zpsfd791c01.png
I'm pretty sure this is the poster boy for M15. Garruk has turned to the shadows. What an Apex Predator is - I don't care to know. Seven mana is a ton for a competitive Planeswalker. it pails in comparison to Karn, Nicol Bolas or even the new Ugin. Though it boasts four abilities that I don't know has happened before. It can also kill the aforementioned baddies. Creating a 3/3 for plus one is quite similar to Garruk, Primal Hunter. It doesn't draw cards though sadly even if Deathtouch is relevant. Destroying your opponent's best creature and gaining life for it is probably the best thing this has going for it. If that were -2 instead, I would probably be more on board.

4. Nissa, Worldwaker

 photo NissaWorldwaker_zps9b9aef31.png
Filling the void of a Green Planeswalker that Garruk left is a card that rivals the Garruks that came before. Adding GGGG essentially to your mana pool is pretty great for a +1. Creating a 4/4 blocker as another plus ability is also great late or early game. The ultimate is a game ender, whether it's a win or not.

3. Avacyn, Guardian Angel

 photo AvacynGuardianAngel_zpsa536967a.png
The top three cards are all White interestingly. Serra Angel was always considered one of the best creatures in the game. Well for the same mana cost we get a card that is almost strictly better. Being a legend and one more White are slight drawbacks. These two abilities are pretty great. The first ability of protecting your other creatures is almost Mother of Runes like. Saving yourself from direct damage to the face is always fantastic even if it doesn't come up often. Can even save teammates in games. It also has an extra point of attack which is a nice boon.

2. Soul of Theros

 photo SoulofTheros_zps9351e90e.png
Vigilance, Trample, First Strike are all great abilities on these souls. Probably Deathtouch is the worst. Flying might be the best. But they are all good on these cards. They aren't up to the same level as the Titan cycle, but doing things from the graveyard creates great times. Pumping all your creatures and giving First Strike/Lifelink is so great. You need a board obviously for it to be super dumb, but attacking with a 8/8 Vigilant, First Strike, Lifelinker on turn seven isn't too shabby.

1. Ajani Steadfast

 photo AjaniSteadfast_zps78c0f9cf.png
Doesn't create pure card advantage like the great Planeswalkers do, this one has to work with a board state. When it hits with at least three cards that it can pump. it's very powerful. It's splashy and works well with super friends. I love that combination of three abilities that Soul of Theros also has. 

That's it for now. I think in hindsight either Aetherspouts, Nissa or one of the Souls probably deserve top billing but I think Ajani is still in the running.

Check out my other posts:

Sets:
Top 20 Journey Into Nyx Cards 
Top 40 Born of the Gods Cards 
Top 20 Theros Cards 
Top 30 M14 Cards
Top 20 Dragon's Maze Cards

Card Types:

Top 10 Planeswalkers
Top 20 Land Cards 
Top 20 Common Cards
Top 40 Black Cards 
Top 100 One Drop Creatures
30 Coolest Dragons
80 Worst Creatures
100 Worst Cards
100 Unique Creatures

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