I start reviewing a set by going through the cards one by one and just picking out those that are really good, really bad or just tickle me. I found about 80 cards that stood out to me in this set. I didn't really want to do a top 80, but it became apparent that there were enough bad cards to do a whole post on. I usually throw my bottom cards prior to my rankings. I'll still do a top 40, but this will cut down some of the length of those even though there are still a bunch I want to comment on.
3. Wetland Sambar
Poor Blue. Just pretend you cast Snapcaster Mage on your turn and had no legal targets.
Removing Gods is a good time. Otherwise it's a Fistpunch away from being a good card.
1. Embodiment of Spring
It's a Blue Wall of Wood and Caravan Vigil all in one. In a multicolor set it's borderline playable. But it's still pretty smelly.
20. Dragon's Eye Savants
Maybe I'm underestimating the power of Glasses of Urza. But I don't think so. Now I love Wall of Denial for some reason and this isn't terribly far from that, but you can't say this is playable outside of limited.
19. Bloodfire Mentor
It can block. That is more than Sinbad has going for him. Oops I mean Sindbad. I've just never been high on cycling, especially for 3 mana.
18. Archers' Parapet
My fourth card in a row without any power. You have to actually deal 20 points of damage with the cards in your deck. This guy at least can hit for unblockable life loss. Editors Note - Barren Glory, Battle of Wits and Dark Steel Reactor are viable means of playing 0 power cards.
17. Leaping Master
This probably isn't that terrible in Hindsight. It is strictly better than Wetland Sambar which didn't make this list exactly. Red is aggressive, this card wouldn't work in Jeskai. Mardu can find room for it though in Limited. Not playable still. Being able to block late game or potentially being evasive is a boon. Ah, who am I kidding, this kid is the fricking Avatar!
16. Highland Game
Our 3rd 2/1 card. Noticing another trend? 0 power cards followed by 2/1s. At least Black got Bloodsoaked Champion. Why is this even worse than the Red or even the Blue with no ability? Well Green already has it's Grizzly Bear in the form of Human Shaman Smoke Teller. Green has options, Blue doesn't have that luxury. Heir of the Wilds, Alpine Grizzly, Kin-Tree Warden and Rattleclaw Mystic are all just better. This might be a Mark Rosewater way of looking at it, but it's true.
15. Bloodfire Expert
At least we have something with 3 power. And Prowess. There aren't many 3 drops for Red that you can replace it with outside of morphs. Now there might be better 2 drops than it in Red...
14. Barrage of Boulders
A 3 mana Sorcery better do something better than ping your opponents creatures. Scouring Sands wasn't playable at 2 mana, and you could scry. Anger of the Gods this is not. You just have to ask yourself one question, do you feel lucky?
13. Jeskai Student
Here we have the exact opposite P/T of Bloodfire Expert. It costs one less and can block morphs and live. I might accept defeat on this one, but wouldn't it be better to have Ainok Bond-Kin, Mardu Hateblade, Master of Pearls, or Seeker of the Way? It really depends on that extra point of toughness.
12. Ainok Tracker
My gosh. 6 mana for this scout? It's as small as a scout I suppose. You could make it 8 mana total with the morph cost. I want to see Tarmogoyf eat this guy in the Magic movie.
11. Kheru Dreadmaw
They couldn't give us a 4/4 Black creature with an ability. Oh no. That's too OP. Let's give it defender. That will fix him. They could have made this croc 3 mana. Turning Sulti chumpblockers into life since 1988.
10. Taigam's Scheming
Pay one more mana for that Sultai Ascendancy. You aren't using this in any other clan.
Probably better than Tome Scour, but not as good as the Vision.
9. Sidisi's Pet
Question - Name a card that actually gets smaller after a morph. There aren't many(though there are on this list...). Paying 4, 6 who cares, it's not worth it. They wasted perfectly good zombie ape artwork for this.
8. Tomb of the Spirit Dragon
Not in this set. No sire bob. I wouldn't not like them in Affinity, I would not like them in a morph deck. I would not like them in a Mire deck. I do not want your shitty lands Sam I am.
This was a rare in Legends. We have come a longggg ways since then. I think they were trying to prove Pillarfield Ox wasn't the worst card ever made.
6. Canyon Lurkers
5/2 is too fragile to be considered a dangerous card. I remember loving Eron the Relentless back in my heyday. Well imagine that without Haste or Regenerating and adding a 7 mana morph cost.
5. Firehoof Cavalry
It's almost not bad enough to even be a card. Why even give it an ability like this. Is it a finisher? Who is playing this on turn one or even turn three and by turn four wasting your turn swinging with a 3/1.
4. Lens of Clarity
This is even less of a card than the Cavalry. It simply does nothing in multiples.
Worst rated artifact on Gatherer for one mana?Juju Bubble!
Actually that bubble is even worse than this. But it's in the conversation.
3. Feed the Clan
It's easy to rag on life gain. That said, 10 life for 2 mana is almost worth a card. I think 15 would be the number I would need to be playable in a good deck. It's an instant so you can cast it if you have nothing better. Against a burn deck it can be huge. The high on this card is 65 cents. Just wait, it's going to be the next Wilt-Leaf Liege.
2. Sage-Eye Harrier
Imagine the math. 7 mana for a surprise 1/5 flying blocker. You can play Elesh Norn for that same amount. Silent Sentinel? Heck, even Venerable Lammasu is worlds better. Oh you want to cast it for 5? More expensive than both Wingmate Roc and High Sentinels of Arashin. Rares I get it, but this would be unplayable at 4 mana.
1. Mardu Blazebringer
I really dislike cards like this. Thankfully it's uncommon so you won't see it too often. Better as blocker than a burn spell. Ball Lightning has Trample, more power, and the element of surprise and that is far from a staple card in any format.
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