Thursday, October 11, 2012

Top 5 Colorless Cards from M13

As we always say, love is colorblind. But for those of you who only see color (you goddamn racists), here are some cards you simply can't judge. Also, maybe you should go listen to some Paul Simon, get some culture there, Jethro.

5. Gem of Becoming

Some people will look at Gem of Becoming and say, "It only makes sense in a blue/black/red deck." And that's partly true; to reap the full benefits of the card, you need ways to make effective use of an Island, a Swamp, and a Mountain.

Is that so tough? There are cards in each of those colors, even at the common level, that would be worth splashing. Searing Spear, Divination, Bloodhunter Bat, they're all cards that would make it nice to have just a little of their respective manas. Gem of Becoming is particularly useful in red decks, because in the worst case, if you end up drawing more Swamps or Islands than you need, you can use Wild Guess or Rummaging Goblin to turn those unnecessary cards into good ones.

4. Ring of Xathrid

Each of the rings is pretty much limited to its own color as far as the best benefit, but for my money, Ring of Xathrid has the most broad appeal. Being able to save a creature by regenerating it is a very nice effect. Additionally, with so few artifacts in this set, many opponents simply won't use main deck space to incorporate artifact removal.

Also, and this is more of a "feel" thing than anything else, but it seems like black creatures could really use a little help in the form of counters. Even just getting one counter on Giant Scorpion puts him out of Searing Spear or Essence Drain range, and that's a big, big thing.

3. Chronomaton

Chronomaton seems to be a divisive card among Magic players. Some people love its cheap cost, its ability to pump itself over time, and its ability to trick rookie opponents into attacking, then blocking and pumping. Others dismiss its predictability against better players, its weakness as an early attacker, and its general lack of elegance.

Both groups are right; I just happen to be in the former.

I like the idea of having a card that gets bigger over time, and I especially like the ability to use extra mana I might have lying around. I think sometimes people get caught up in leaving the mana up, preventing themselves from casting a much better spell. Chronomaton takes some judgment and a willingness to let it sit for a round or two if necessary, but I like its usefulness far more than I worry about its limitations.

2. Evolving Wilds

The most complete mana-fixing card in the set, a card like Evolving Wilds gets printed for most sets these days. The reason being that it's important to give any color deck a way to get another color in, and the way to do that is by making the fixer itself a land card. Truthfully, if you're drafting, you want at least one Evolving Wilds, and you wouldn't be wrong to set out to draft four or five of them, if the packs comply.

1. Cathedral of War

It took me some time, but I've really come around to the Exalted mechanic. It gives you a reason to be more aggressive, and my biggest problem in Magic tends to be that I'm not aggressive enough. Putting Exalted on a land makes it fit into nearly any deck, which explains why it comes into the battlefield tapped.

I have dreams of pairing Cathedral of War with a couple Chronomatons, but as of yet, it's not happened. Dare to dream though, right?

The rest of the articles are coming. Be prepared.


Nick Engle said...

NIce article bro. I wish M13 had more artifacts or sweet lands, but it's a core set. Not much going on besides solid cards like Evolving Wilds.

Joe Mattingly said...

Staff of Nin is obviously an epic card, but there's nothing special about it. It's just two really good features on one card.

Nick Engle said...

Yeah staff is pretty sweet. The Ping is never bad but drawing 2 every turn is money. Now you made me upset that you didn't include it. I retract my "nice article bro" comment. You'll have to earn it back...

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