M13 was a great draft set. The colors were balanced, the reprints fit great and the new cards were creative and flavorful. Now Slivers are back, and I'm sure M14 will have its own delightful draft flavor. But before we move on, let's take a moment to look back at M13, and offer a fond farewell to the cards that made it such a sweet, sweet set.
#5 - Staff of Nin
Talk about just a useful card. While Staff of Nin has a prohibitively expensive mana cost, it integrates two very useful effects into one card. Card draw, especially late game when you often don't have a hand at all, is of supreme value. On top of that, being able to ping your opponent, or one of the many 1-toughness valuable creatures in the set, is a fantastic addition.
Losing this card wouldn't be so bad, though, if there were better replacements for it in the set. Ring of Three Wishes is going to be a great card for tutoring, but it's a mythic rare, which means at least half of us won't ever see the card. Then, for the pinging, we get Rod of Ruin, one of the lowest rated cards in all of Gatherer. If you could use it more than once on a turn, that'd be one thing, but it's just one damage for three mana, once every turn. I get that there have to be unimpressive cards in each set, but did Wizards have to go back to something so wildly bad?
Tune in later this week for the rest of my top five list.