Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My top 10 Shards of Alara cards

I had a top 10 Shadowmoor cards when the said expansion was released. I wanted to do Eventide but I realized that after I ranked the cards, it didn't make any sense at all. I forgot what was my number 1 card but I know it wasn't worth it.

I'm changing my outlook on these rankings. Instead of just ranking them on how "powerful" they really are, I have to look whether the card would be applicable to have a deck that would make use of it. This different outlook will look towards how useful the card really is in the current metagame, and hopefully I have enough grasp of the metagame.

I'm ranking the cards from 10 going to 1. First, an honorable mention:

Mindlock Orb is bound to be a sideboard card. And it's just too bad that it's rare. I'm going to assume that players will cringe at opening packs that have this as the rare card because it's not that useful at the first glance. Seeing as it can affect quite a lot of powerful and useful cards: the Lorwyn tribal harbingers, Primal Command's search mode, Shards' panorama lands, etc., I've ranked it as an honorable mention. Not good enough to be in the top 10 but it should not be put aside also.

10. Ethersworn Canonist

It's a control player's card. It's not just for an Esper shard deck but placing this on a white-x control deck helps limit the spells that an opponent would play per turn. But there's just a catch. If the opponent is an Esper shard deck though, that's a situation. Overall, the advantages trump the single disadvantage. It's a circumcised Rule of Law on legs and it's a bear to boot!

9. Elvish Visionary

The new Sakura Tribe-Elder? Sure looks like it but it's not as fast. The card draw on legs is a great card for green and green has always been the color that needs card draws. Even late in the game, Elvish Visionary provides the body to block potential game killing creatures while providing that one extra card for a possible solution.

8. Wild Nacatl

The new Kird Ape is more at home in an extended deck with the Ravnica shock lands. I'd gamble in using Wild Nacatl even in a standard deck. 1 to cast for 3/3 is a good enough card.

7. Ranger of Eos

The art doesn't do him any justice but since this is not a top 10 for Magic art, disregard my last thought. First look I see Reveillark written all over it. Granted that there aren't many game changing 1 to cast creatures out there, it makes the card look a little bit tame. The first card to search that comes into mind is no other than Figure of Destiny. Figure of Destiny is one card that one wouldn't mind to get in the late game considering it can be transformed to its bigger incarnations. Another card option is Akrasan Squire. That one extra point (or 2 extra points) of damage from the Exalted ability might just provide the win for that turn.

6. Jund Charm

I placed Jund Charm here because of the instant Pyroclasm effect that it provides. The card instantly makes Pyroclasm useless for a red-x deck. Jund Charm's versatility is with the two other modes. Removing a player's graveyard is good against graveyard manipulation decks. Meanwhile, getting two +1/+1 counters isn't bad either. But the Pyroclasm effect is enough to convince me to put it at where it is.

5. Hell's Thunder

Hell's Thunder is currently looking like it's too high at where it's at. All I see in this card is a 3 to cast 4 damage similar to Flame Javelin. Or in another way putting it, it's an 8 to cast for 8 damage. Clearly it's not that as good as Flame Javelin because it can be killed before it can damage. At least, with its Unearth ability, it can provide a 2nd go-around. And that ability just makes one think twice before wasting a creature-kill on a creature that will just come back later on.

4. Goblin Assault

Following Morningtide's Bitterblossom, here is Shards with their own version but this time it is a red enchantment (quite unusual itself) that's 3 casting cost and produces the same 1/1 creature but with haste (and not flying). The lack of evasion puts this card down a little bit. But I've always associated red to producing creatures (right next to green) and the ability to churn out those pesky 1/1s every turn is good. And for those planning to just be rid of the creatures later on for Shards' Devour ability, go ahead.

3. Empyrial Archangel

It's costly at its casting cost but Empyrial Archangel can turn things around on its own. At 5/8 and shroud, it's got a huge butt and an unaffected butt at that. If it can get through, it's at most 4 turns of attack while the opponent has to figure out to dish out at least 8 points of damage to attempt to get rid of the angel. Altogether, it's a difficult situation to be in and the angel's game turning ability is a reason why I placed it at the 3rd spot.

2. Naya Charm

This is one charm that can turn out to be a game winner. The third mode says it all by tapping all the creatures that target player controls. It totally fits the Naya shard since it's a possible relentlessly attacking shard. The first mode is not bad itself considering that it's a creature removal mode.

1. 3-color tap lands

Ah. Lands. Beautiful lands. The 3-color tap lands will be a dominating presence in Standard constructed. Will they win games on their own? Not exactly. But they are sure to provide the mana that will win the games. And that is all that is required for these lands.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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