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10th Edition Draft Guide Part 1 - Roland Guiscard (11/26/2008)

Here's the first half of a two-part 10th edition draft guide I've been working on. I was going to submit it as a whole article, but it was taking so long I thought I should just turn in this half now!

I'm a big fan of drafting the core sets. They're much more forgiving than the expansions, and they provide cards that are relevant for a long, long time, meaning I get the most out of what I win. They also tend to not be bothered with by the pros, which gives some of the less-hardcore Magic players like me a chance to go for the gold. There's a downside to not having many pros playing, though. Few people write articles or evaluate the cards, and so unless you've played a lot or have been drafting core sets for years, you often are at a loss in regards to the value of certain cards. I aim to fix that.

About the Format:
Tenth Edition has got to be the slowest draft format in a long, long time. The creatures and spells are large and slow, and tricks are rare. As Nick Eisel pointed out in his article ´´Limited Lessons: X Marks the Draft,´´ this means that card draw and card quality are what win games. The power level of cards is low, stalling out with a crowded board is common, and you will win games most often because one of your bombs or evasion guys got through over and over again.

Tenth Edition has some very impressive rares and some very fat men, much more so than previous core sets, and so your primary objective should be to draft these guys and then get them out. So just as Josh Silvestri pointed out in ´´Deconstruct
Deconstruct
DeconstructSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
118
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Text:
Destroy target artifact. Then add GGG to your mana pool.
ing Constructed: Tenth Edition Drafting,´´ you can't miss those first five land drops, since the guy who throws down the four or five mana fat-man is usually the one who wins. There are few combat tricks and most of them are pretty easy to spot, and the removal is lighter than it is in most sets. There are no ´´bad´´ colors or ´´bad´´ color combinations, but it's important to know what you should go for in each instance. It's also easy to switch colors mid-draft, so keep an eye out for what's going strong, and don't be afraid to switch your draft around a bit to better suit what's being passed to you.

A quick guide to my evaluation system. I give each card a line or two of my thoughts, and then a rating. The ratings are as follows:

A - This card is a total bomb and should always be picked, possibly even be splashed if possible. The only reason you should pass this is if you are firmly committed to other colors already, or a better bomb exists.
B - This is a very solid card and should only be passed over by other A cards or B cards that better suit your current needs.
C - This card is of average importance, and should be included in your deck, but there's nothing wrong with passing it.
D - This card is barely playable, and should be included in your deck only if you are low in playables or need to fill a hole.
F- This card is not playable.
S - This card is playable as a sideboard card or only in specific deck archetypes, in which case it can range from average to a downright bomb.

Keep in mind that not all As or Bs or Cs are equal, only that this is intended to ´´bracket´´ the power levels so as to make the cards a little better understood.

***

BLUE
Blue's strengths are card draw, countermagic and evasion. As such, Wizards tends to neuter them in the core sets, but they are still powerful, especially since the rest of the colors are likewise taken down a few notches. Still, evasion is always good, card draw is always good, and countermagic is always good, so blue is very often a good ´´companion color´´ which allows you to apply pressure and dig for the cards you need.

Academy Researchers
Academy Researchers
Academy ResearchersSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizards
Rarity:
U
Number:
58
Artist:
Stephen Daniele
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Academy Researchers comes into play, you may choose an enchant creature card in your hand and put that enchantment into play on Academy Researchers.
- These guys are nothing but a grey ogre. There are few auras in the set worth playing, and most of them exist to neuter or steal enemy creatures. D

Air Elemental
Air Elemental
Air ElementalSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elemental
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Richard Thomas
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying
- In a set where most flyers have a toughness of two or less, the Air Elemental
Air Elemental
Air ElementalSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elemental
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Richard Thomas
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying
is king. Fast, efficient and able to drop on turn 5 when most people are laying highly blockable groundpounders. A wrecking ball of a card. A

Ambassador Laquatus
Ambassador Laquatus
Ambassador LaquatusSet: Torment
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Merfolk Legend
Rarity:
R
Number:
23
Artist:
Eric Peterson
Power:
1
Toughness:
3
Text:
3: Target player puts the top three cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
- Most people pass this card over, but if you get him early and build around him, he can actually be very evil and annoying. Milling is not the greatest strategy in the format, but if you are running U/G and can stall out the board in addition to creating lots of mana, you can make this guy an actual threat. S

Arcanis the Omnipotent
Arcanis the Omnipotent
Arcanis the OmnipotentSet: Onslaught
Cost:
6
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard Legend
Rarity:
R
Number:
66
Artist:
Justin Sweet
Power:
3
Toughness:
4
Text:
T: Draw three cards.. 2UU: Return Arcanis the Omnipotent to its owner's hand.
- Remember what I said about card draw being mega-important in this format? If you drop this guy on turn six, you will usually dig your way into whatever you need to win the game. His second ability rarely comes up since if he's to be killed it usually happens right away, but if he goes online, he can ruin things for your opponent. A

Aura Graft
Aura Graft
Aura GraftSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
62
Artist:
Ray Lago
Text:
Move target enchantment that's enchanting a permanent to another permanent it can enchant. Gain control of that enchantment. (This effect doesn't end at end of turn.)
- Too few targets. Yes, I know that if you are running U/B or U/R and have no access to enchantment destruction it can move a Pacifism
Pacifism
PacifismSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
33
Artist:
Robert Bliss
Text:
Enchanted creature can't attack or block.
around, but such a weak, specific answer to a problem is not worth having. F

Aven Fisher
Aven Fisher
Aven FisherSet: Odyssey
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bird Soldier
Rarity:
C
Number:
63
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying When Aven Fisher is put into a graveyard from play, you may draw a card.
- A very solid little flyer who replaces himself and comes down on the ever-important Hill Giant
Hill Giant
Hill GiantSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Giant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
turn, this guy is a staple of any blue deck. B

Aven Windreader
Aven Windreader
Aven WindreaderSet: Odyssey
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bird Soldier Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
65
Artist:
Greg & Tim Hildebrandt
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying 1U: Target player reveals the top card of his or her library.
- A 3/3 flyer for five is always a good deal in a slow format, and this guy is great at flying through for damage or keeping other smaller flyers away from you. His ability is also a good way to gain information on your opponent and your upcoming draws at the end of your opponent's turn, when you have mana that would otherwise go to waste. B

Boomerang
Boomerang
BoomerangSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Alan Rabinowitz
Text:
Return target permanent to owner's hand.
- The viability of this card depends on your strategy, and since this format is so slow, tempo isn't as important as it normally is. That being said, in the right deck it is an absolute bomb. If you can reliably bounce an opponent's land on turn 2 you'll want as many of these as you can, and if you know you've got solid, late-coming flyers, you should load up on these and send your opponent's men back to their hand at the worst possible moment. S

Cancel
Cancel
CancelSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
51
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Counter target spell.
- Even a neutered counterspell is still a great counterspell. A

Cephalid Constable
Cephalid Constable
Cephalid ConstableSet: Judgment
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cephalid Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
35
Artist:
Alan Pollack

Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever Cephalid Constable deals combat damage to a player, return up to X target permanents that player controls to their owner's hand, where X is the damage dealt to that player.
- If they have anything to return, they will block this guy. Yes, you can give him flying or other evasion through special abilities, but you should be saving those things for guys who can really affect board position. If you wanna play the bounce game, get some Boomerang
Boomerang
BoomerangSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Alan Rabinowitz
Text:
Return target permanent to owner's hand.
s. F

Clone
Clone
CloneSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Clone
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Julie Baroh
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Upon summoning, Clone acquires all characteristics, including color, of any one creature in play on either side; any creature enchantments on original creature are not copied. Clone retains these characteristics even after original creature is destroyed. Clone cannot be summoned if there are no creatures in play.
- This guy is usually solid, since he can copy the best man on the board, and usually either force a trade or take some of the pressure off. In my experience however, he tends to only be a ´´win more´´ card, since he is most effective when he can copy your best man, in which case you probably already have a favorable board position. C

Cloud Elemental
Cloud Elemental
Cloud ElementalSet: Visions
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elemental
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Adam Rex
Power:
2
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying Cloud Elemental can block only creatures with flying.
- This guy never needs to block anyway, and his three-power toughness makes him very durable compared to most of the flyers. B

Cloud Sprite
Cloud Sprite
Cloud SpriteSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Faerie
Rarity:
C
Number:
67
Artist:
Mark Zug
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying Cloud Sprite may block only creatures with flying.
- In such a slow format with so many pingers, life gain, and small flyers, a 1/1 flyer for 1 isn't that big of a deal, espcially since it can't block. D

Counsel of the Soratami
Counsel of the Soratami
Counsel of the SoratamiSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
55
Artist:
Randy Gallegos
Text:
Draw two cards.
- It's no Inspiration
Inspiration
InspirationSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
76
Artist:
Zina Saunders
Text:
Target player draws two cards.
but I'll take it, and as you'll rarely have anything you MUST play on Turn 3, this is a very good, relevant card-drawing spell, since it will let you set up later draws. It's also a good, cheap way to refuel in the late game yet still have enough mana open to play what you draw. B

Crafty Pathmage
Crafty Pathmage
Crafty PathmageSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
77
Artist:
Wayne England
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Target creature with power 2 or less is unblockable this turn.
- I used to think of this as a purely junk card, but sometimes, for some reason, you end up with a lot of small guys with weird abilities that require them to go unblocked, in which case the Pathmage becomes relevant. You should never set out to take this guy, but in rare instances you may actually want him, although the relevancy of small men in this format is always low. S, but with reservations.

Dehydration
Dehydration
DehydrationSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
73
Artist:
Val Mayerik
Text:
Enchanted creature doesn't untap during its controller's untap step.
- It's pseudo removal and it shuts down utility men. You have to pick it because removal is so light in this format that even something as large and clunky as Dehydration
Dehydration
DehydrationSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
73
Artist:
Val Mayerik
Text:
Enchanted creature doesn't untap during its controller's untap step.
is still removal. B

Deluge
Deluge
DelugeSet: Odyssey
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
80
Artist:
Wayne England
Text:
Tap all creatures without flying.
- This card is really most useful as an expensive Fog
Fog
FogSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Jesper Myrfors
Text:
Creatures attack and block as normal, but none deal any damage or otherwise affect any creature as a result of an attack or block. All attacking creatures are still tapped. Play any time before attack damage is dealt.
, thrown down during your opponent's turn. It can swing the game in the right situation, but usually it just sits in your hand and waits. If you have enough flyers to where it doesn't affect you, you should be winning already anyway. D

Denizen of the Deep
Denizen of the Deep
Denizen of the DeepSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
8
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Serpent
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Anson Maddocks
Power:
11
Toughness:
11
Text:
When Denizen of the Deep comes into play from your hand, return all your other creatures from play to your hand.
- If you tap out to cast this guy, you will have no mana available to throw your men back down, leaving you open. Too much of an investment for a card that is vulnerable to any and all removal. D

Discombobulate
Discombobulate
DiscombobulateSet: Onslaught
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
79
Artist:
Alex Horley-Orlandelli
Text:
Counter target spell. Look at the top four cards of your library, then put them back in any order.
- Again, even a neutered counterspell is still good, and its deck setting ability can help out sometimes. B

Dreamborn Muse
Dreamborn Muse
Dreamborn MuseSet: Legions
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
R
Number:
36
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
At the beginning of each player’s upkeep, that player puts the top X cards from his or her library into his or her graveyard, where X is the number of cards in his or her hand.
- In the right deck this can be a real threat as it chews through your opponent's library at lightning speed, but it also chews through yours, meaning you need some way of stalling the ground and putting cards back in your library if you're to stay alive. I saw someone use it well on me once, but personally I avoid it. S

Evacuation
Evacuation
EvacuationSet: Stronghold
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
30
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
Return all creatures to owners' hands.
- Too expensive for you to start rebuilding one it's thrown down, all it does is delay the inevitable. D

Flashfreeze
Flashfreeze
FlashfreezeSet: Coldsnap
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
33
Artist:
Brian Despain
Text:
Counter target red or green spell.
- Obviously a great sideboard card. S

Fog Elemental
Fog Elemental
Fog ElementalSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elemental
Rarity:
C
Number:
69
Artist:
Jon J Muth
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying When Fog Elemental attacks or blocks, sacrifice it at end of combat.
- A lot of people see how this thing dies after one use and dismiss it outright, but it's actually a darn fine wall in blue-based decks that need to set up, as it trades with much more expensive men. C

Fugitive Wizard
Fugitive Wizard
Fugitive WizardSet: Legions
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
38
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
- F

Horseshoe Crab
Horseshoe Crab
Horseshoe CrabSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Crab
Rarity:
C
Number:
80
Artist:
Scott Kirschner
Power:
1
Toughness:
3
Text:
U: Untap Horseshoe Crab.
- It's a combo piece with no other pieces to go with. It's too small to stand up to big men, so it's of no use in this format. D

Hurkyl's Recall
Hurkyl's Recall
Hurkyl's RecallSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
NéNé Thomas
Text:
All artifacts in play owned by target player are returned to target player's hand. Any enchantments on those artifacts are discarded.
- Not even really worth siding in, since all it does is force them to lay the artifacts down again. F

Lumengrid Warden
Lumengrid Warden
Lumengrid WardenSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
41
Artist:
Matt Thompson
Power:
1
Toughness:
3
- Too small. F

Mahamoti Djinn
Mahamoti Djinn
Mahamoti DjinnSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
6
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Djinn
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Power:
5
Toughness:
6
Text:
Flying
- He's gigantic, he flies, and he's aggressively costed. He's Air Elemental
Air Elemental
Air ElementalSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elemental
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Richard Thomas
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying
's big brother, and while not priced to splash he's something they HAVE to use removal on, and fast, or else you win. A

March of the Machines
March of the Machines
March of the MachinesSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
42
Artist:
Ben Thompson
Text:
Each noncreature artifact is an artifact creature with power and toughness each equal to its converted mana cost. (Equipment that's a creature can't equip a creature.)
- Not enough artifacts in the set. F

Merfolk Looter
Merfolk Looter
Merfolk LooterSet: Exodus
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Merfolk
Rarity:
C
Number:
39
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Draw a card, then choose and discard a card.
- Remember how I said that this was a slow format where card draw was important? This guy is better than anyone else ever at turning those crappy cards in your hand into awesome things. Eisel said everything that needs to be said about this guy. Pick him highly. A

Mind Bend
Mind Bend
Mind BendSet: Mirage
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Mike Dringenberg
Text:
Change the text of target permanent by replacing all instances of one color word or basic land type with another. (For example, you may change nonred creature to nongreen creature or plainswalk to swampwalk.)
- What's worth wasting a card to change? F

Peek
Peek
PeekSet: Odyssey
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
91
Artist:
Adam Rex
Text:
Look at target player's hand. Draw a card.
- Looking at your opponent's hand is a great way to help you decide what to do next, but Peek
Peek
PeekSet: Odyssey
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
91
Artist:
Adam Rex
Text:
Look at target player's hand. Draw a card.
just doesn't do enough for me. I personally don't play it, but the fact that it replaces itself and comes out before you do anything means that it's not worthless. D

Persuasion
Persuasion
PersuasionSet: Odyssey
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
R
Number:
92
Artist:
Adam Rex
Text:
You control enchanted creature.
- This card wins games, period. It's the ultimate answer to a big man on the other side of the board. It's like laying two creatures, since it moves them down one and you up one. It shouldn't be an uncommon, but it is, so let's enjoy that. A

Phantom Warrior
Phantom Warrior
Phantom WarriorSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Illusion
Rarity:
U
Number:
85
Artist:
John Matson
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Phantom Warrior is unblockable.
- A lot of people don't like this guy because he's a small man in the land of big men, but he comes down before anything else and they can't stop him from hitting every turn no matter what they do, so they HAVE to use removal on him. Personally I think he's great, and I shouldn't see him coming around as late as I do. B

Plagiarize
Plagiarize
PlagiarizeSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
44
Artist:
Ben Thompson
Text:
Until end of turn, if target player would draw a card, instead that player skips that draw and you draw a card.
- Too expensive for too little effect. F

Puppeteer
Puppeteer
PuppeteerSet: Odyssey
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
U
Number:
97
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
U, Tap: Tap or untap target creature.
- Everyone loves Loxodon Mystic
Loxodon Mystic
Loxodon MysticSet: Darksteel
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elephant Cleric
Rarity:
C
Number:
7
Artist:
Ed Beard
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
W, T: Tap target creature.
because he's common, but don't count out the uncommon Puppeteer
Puppeteer
PuppeteerSet: Odyssey
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
U
Number:
97
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
U, Tap: Tap or untap target creature.
as he will ruin your day over and over again. You'll rarely use his untap ability, but it comes into accord sometimes. A

Reminisce
Reminisce
ReminisceSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
105
Artist:
Bradley Williams
Text:
Target player shuffles his or her graveyard into his or her library.
- The only way I could see this as playable would be if you were running Dreamborn Muse
Dreamborn Muse
Dreamborn MuseSet: Legions
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
R
Number:
36
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
At the beginning of each player’s upkeep, that player puts the top X cards from his or her library into his or her graveyard, where X is the number of cards in his or her hand.
, and even that is debatable. F

Remove
Remove
RemoveSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
DiTerlizzi
Text:
Play Remove only after you're attacked, before you declare blockers.Return any one attacking creature to its owner's hand.
IFNvdWw= - It stops a man, any man, at one go, for two mana. Since most the cards played in a Tenth draft are creatures, this tends to be as good as Cancel
Cancel
CancelSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
51
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Counter target spell.
, only cheaper. A

Robe of Mirrors
Robe of Mirrors
Robe of MirrorsSet: Exodus
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
43
Artist:
John Matson
Text:
Enchanted creature cannot be the target of spells or abilities.
- You lose a card and gain too little back. F

Rootwater Commando
Rootwater Commando
Rootwater CommandoSet: Nemesis
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Merfolk
Rarity:
C
Number:
39
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Islandwalk (This creature is unblockable as long as defending player controls an island.)
- Any one of the common landwalkers is playable, but not superb, as they are all small. C

Sage Owl
Sage Owl
Sage OwlSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bird
Rarity:
C
Number:
95
Artist:
Mark Poole
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying When Sage Owl comes into play, look at the top four cards of your library and put them back in any order you choose.
- Comes in early and small and sets up your deck, and is fun to bounce, but it's not good enough to go chasing after. C

Scalpelexis
Scalpelexis
ScalpelexisSet: Judgment
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Rarity:
R
Number:
50
Artist:
Mark Tedin

Power:
1
Toughness:
5
Text:
Flying. Whenever Scaplelexis deals combat damage to a player, that player removes the top four cards of his or her library from the game. If two or more of those cards have the same name, repeat the process.
- People are surprisingly afraid of this card, for some reason. Seeing as it, and all the other milling cards are rare, I can't see why, as it very rarely goes off past the initial strike. It's also so small that almost any flyer can block it and live, so it usually ends up being a large flying wall. If I'm going blue I'll play it, but it's not worth building a deck around. C

Sea Monster
Sea Monster
Sea MonsterSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
6
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Serpent
Rarity:
C
Number:
96
Artist:
Daniel Gelon
Power:
6
Toughness:
6
Text:
Sea Monster can't attack unless defending player controls an island.
- Seeing as there are very few ways to give your opponents islands, it nonetheless blocks just about anything in the format and survives, making it an excellent wall, so your flyers can get through. Newer players seem to not realize how useful it is in this regard. C

Shimmering Wings
Shimmering Wings
Shimmering WingsSet: Tempest
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Steve Luke
Text:
Enchanted creature gains flying.U: Return Shimmering Wings to owner's hand.
- It's nice that it can bounce in order to save your opponent from getting a 2-for-1, but it's still not worth the trouble most the time since the big blue men who matter can already fly.

Sift
Sift
SiftSet: Stronghold
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
42
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Draw three cards, then choose and discard a card.
- Best card drawer in the set, since it's common, cheap, and splashable. It sets up your hand and ensures you have what you need. I can say nothing bad about it. A

Sky Weaver
Sky Weaver
Sky WeaverSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
U
Number:
74
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
2: Target white or black creature gains flying until end of turn.
- Too small to be of use in combat, and its ability is only relevant if your deck supports it. D

Snapping Drake
Snapping Drake
Snapping DrakeSet: Starter 1999
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Drake
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying
- Aggressively costed, it may be a little fragile since it dies to Shock
Shock
ShockSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
206
Artist:
Randy Gallegos
Text:
Shock deals 2 damage to target creature or player.
and most of the other common flyers, it nonetheless can really put the hurt on your opponent unless they deal with it quickly. B

Spiketail Hatchling
Spiketail Hatchling
Spiketail HatchlingSet: Prophecy
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Drake
Rarity:
C
Number:
49
Artist:
Greg Staples
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying Sacrifice Spiketail Hatchling: Counter target spell unless its controller pays 1.
- Too small for combat, but it makes your opponent hold off a bit if you drop it early. Irrelevant in the late game, however. C

Sunken Hope
Sunken Hope
Sunken HopeSet: Planeshift
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
37
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
At the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player returns a creature he or she controls to its owner's hand.
- If you manage to get a few good ´´comes into play´´ guys, Sunken Hope
Sunken Hope
Sunken HopeSet: Planeshift
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
37
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
At the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player returns a creature he or she controls to its owner's hand.
can be very good. Otherwise it's pointless, as you'll both just be returning your cheapest guy every turn. S

Telepathy
Telepathy
TelepathySet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
102
Artist:
Matthew D. Wilson
Text:
Each of your opponents plays with his or her hand revealed.
- Again, seeing your opponent's hand is useful. Squandering a card to do so is not. F

Telling Time
Telling Time
Telling TimeSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
69
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
Look at the top three cards of your library. Put one of those cards into your hand, one on top of your library, and one on the bottom of your library.
- Not the most awesomest card draw, but it's very very good since it both replaces itself and sets up future draws. B

Thieving Magpie
Thieving Magpie
Thieving MagpieSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bird
Rarity:
U
Number:
49
Artist:
Una Fricker
Power:
1
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying Whenever Thieving Magpie deals damage to one of your opponents, you draw a card.
- I always get the rotten luck of dropping this guy only to have my opponent drop a spider next turn, but other people seem to always get it in for a few cards on me. B

Tidings
Tidings
TidingsSet: Starter 1999
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Draw four cards.
- A late-game card that completely restocks your hand, you should never pass this up if you're solidly in Blue. A

Time Stop
Time Stop
Time StopSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
6
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
97
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
End the turn. (Remove all spells and abilities on the stack from the game, including this card. The player whose turn it is discards down to his or her maximum hand size. Damage wears off, and “this turn” and “until end of turn” effects end.)
- When played right, this not only gives you a free turn, but stops your opponent from doing whatever it is they're doing. My favorite time playing this was when my opponent was casting Serra Angel
Serra Angel
Serra AngelSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Angel
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying Attacking does not cause Serra Angel to tap.
. Don't forget that it shuts down the stack, so it's both a Counterspell
Counterspell
CounterspellSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Counters target spell as it is being cast.
and a Time Walk
Time Walk
Time WalkSet: Alpha
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Amy Weber
Text:
Take an extra turn after this one.
if your opponent is silly enough to play something good during their first main phase. A

Time Stretch
Time Stretch
Time StretchSet: Odyssey
Cost:
10
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
108
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Target player takes two extra turns after this one.
- Neat but...Way too expensive. If you haven't won by the time you get ten mana, this probably won't help much. F

Traumatize
Traumatize
TraumatizeSet: Odyssey
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
110
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Target player puts the top half of his or her library, rounded down, into his or her graveyard.
- This would be a lot more effective if there were non-rare ways to mill your opponent, but the psychological impact of this is not to be underestimated, especially on newer players. That being said, it comes out on turn 5, when you should be casting a big man. S

Twincast
Twincast
TwincastSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Color:
Blue
Rarity:
R
- Fork
Fork
ForkSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Amy Weber
Text:
Any one sorcery or instant spell just cast is duplicated. Treat Fork as an exact copy of target spell except that Fork remains red. Caster of Fork chooses the copy's target.
was a lot more fun back when it had better targets. F

Twitch
Twitch
TwitchSet: Tempest
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
DiTerlizzi
Text:
Tap or untap target artifact, creature, or land.Draw a card.
- I used to think this card was complete junk, but if you're a good player and know when and where to use it, it can actually save a game. That being said, it's a one-shot answer to a problem that may not occur, and it's more of a ´´use it if you have it´´ than a ´´must go get it´´ sort of card. D

Unsummon
Unsummon
UnsummonSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Return target creature to owner's hand; enchantments on target creature are discarded.
- The most annoying card of the set, and blue's best combat trick. Nothing makes 'em fume like bouncing a big man they just went to a lot of trouble to cast at the end of their turn. A

Vedalken Mastermind
Vedalken Mastermind
Vedalken MastermindSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Veldalken Wizard
Rarity:
U
Number:
40
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
U, Tap: Return target permanent you control to its owner's hand.
- Great with comes-into-play guys, it's really not all that useful otherwise, so if you pick up a lot of such men it's value goes up. Otherwise it'll be useless, so it goes late. Grab it if it's appropriate. S

Wall of Air
Wall of Air
Wall of AirSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wall
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Richard Thomas
Power:
1
Toughness:
5
Text:
Flying
- It's a wall. Not much else to say about it. C

***

WHITE

White is the shallowest of all the colors in this set. It also has a strong focus on small men, which makes it useless in a slow format of big men. White always pairs off with someone else, or is splashed, and outside of Pacifism
Pacifism
PacifismSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
33
Artist:
Robert Bliss
Text:
Enchanted creature can't attack or block.
and a few other bombs it's of little use. Don't discount the White ability to gain life, however. In a long, slow game, constantly bumping your life total back up can give you the time you need to dig deep into your deck. But gaining life isn't winning, so you'll need something to back it up.

Ancestor's Chosen
Ancestor's Chosen
Ancestor's ChosenSet: Judgment
Cost:
7
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cleric
Rarity:
U
Number:
1
Artist:
Pete Venters

Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
First Strike When Ancestor's Chosen comes into play, you gain one life for each card in your graveyard.
- He's expensive but fat, and you usually gain a lot of life off him by the time he comes down. He can also kill all but the biggest men without dying himself since he has first strike. He is darned expensive though, and tends to be too little too late. B

Angel of Mercy
Angel of Mercy
Angel of MercySet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Angel
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Melissa A. Benson
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying When Angel of Mercy comes into play from your hand, you gain 3 life.
- A very solid, splashable card that delays the inevitable while putting pressure on your opponent. She's also too big to be killed by a lot of the smaller bits of removal or common flyers. B

Angelic Blessing
Angelic Blessing
Angelic BlessingSet: Exodus
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
2
Artist:
Mark Zug
Text:
Target creature gets +3/+3 and gains flying until end of turn.
- Even if this were an enchantment it would still be sketchy. F

Angelic Chorus
Angelic Chorus
Angelic ChorusSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
3
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Whenever a creature comes into play under your control, gain life equal to that creature's toughness.
- By the time you hit five mana, you should already have your best men on the board, or be putting them on the board. Standing around trying to not die will just get you killed. D

Angelic Wall
Angelic Wall
Angelic WallSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wall
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Rebecca Guay
Power:
0
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying Walls can't attack.
- Useful, solid, and it stops Hill Giant
Hill Giant
Hill GiantSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Giant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
s. C

Aura of Silence
Aura of Silence
Aura of SilenceSet: Weatherlight
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Text:
Artifact and enchantment spells cost target opponent an additional 2 to play.Sacrifice Aura of Silence: Destroy target artifact or enchantment.
- Clear
Clear
ClearSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
7
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Destroy target enchantment.Cycling 2 (You may pay 2 and discard this card from your hand to draw a card. Play this ability as an instant.)
ly intended to lap, be your 13th pick, and get sided in when your opponent whips out Icy Manipulator
Icy Manipulator
Icy ManipulatorSet: Ice Age
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Amy Weber
Text:
1, T: Tap target artifact, creature, or land.
or some other suck evil device. S

Aven Cloudchaser
Aven Cloudchaser
Aven CloudchaserSet: Odyssey
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bird Soldier
Rarity:
C
Number:
7
Artist:
Justin Sweet
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying When Aven Cloudchaser comes into play, destroy target enchantment.
- Smaller than a lot of the other common flyers, the ability is often irrelevant or harmful since you MUST destroy an enchantment, it's not optional. Still, it flies. C

Ballista Squad
Ballista Squad
Ballista SquadSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rebel
Rarity:
U
Number:
5
Artist:
Matthew D. Wilson
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
XW, T: Ballista Squad deals X damage to target attacking or blocking creature.
- An absolute wrecking ball, this guy makes it so even your small men can trade with your big men. And he's even mostly splashable. A

Bandage
Bandage
BandageSet: Stronghold
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
101
Artist:
Rebecca Guay
Text:
Prevent 1 damage to any creature or player.Draw a card.
- Again, one of those little answer cards that replace themselves, I personally think the effect is rather small, but some people swear by it. D

Beacon of Immortality
Beacon of Immortality
Beacon of ImmortalitySet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
6
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
6
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
Double target player's life total. Shuffle Beacon of Immortality into its owner's library.
- Remember what I said about life gain is not winning, it's just not losing? This is a good example of that. And because it doubles your life total, it's most useful when it's irrelevant, and least useful when it's most needed. F

Benalish Knight
Benalish Knight
Benalish KnightSet: Weatherlight
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Knight
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Zina Saunders
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
First strike You may play Benalish Knight whenever you could play an instant.
- An excellent, aggressively priced man and a combo trick all in one. What's not to love? B

Cho-Manno, Revolutionary - Basically a very expensive wall that can't be killed by burn. C

Condemn
Condemn
CondemnSet: Dissension
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
8
Artist:
Daren Bader
Text:
Put target attacking creature on the bottom of its owner's library. Its controller gains life equal to its toughness.
- Solid removal, although the life gain your opponent gets can be very harmful if you're trying to race. Pick it highly but use it carefully. I find it to be best at sniping early-played evasion men, to mitigate the life gain. A

Demystify
Demystify
DemystifySet: Onslaught
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
24
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Destroy target enchantment.
- S

Field Marshal
Field Marshal
Field MarshalSet: Coldsnap
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Soldier
Rarity:
R
Number:
5
Artist:
Stephen Tappin
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Other Soldiers get +1 +1 and have first strike.
- Obviously dependent on you getting a lot of soldiers, but soldiers tend to be lousy, and they're scattered across several colors. I've never played him, or seen him played, and there's probably a reason for that. D

Ghost Warden
Ghost Warden
Ghost WardenSet: Guildpact
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Number:
5
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Target creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
- In the land of few combat tricks, Ghost Warden
Ghost Warden
Ghost WardenSet: Guildpact
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Number:
5
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Target creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
is King. He forces your opponent into awkward situations, and he makes sure your big men are ever so slightly bigger than his. He's also splashable, which is important in white. B

Glorious Anthem
Glorious Anthem
Glorious AnthemSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
15
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
All creatures you control get +1/+1.
- This would be so much greater if it wasn't so solidly in white. Still, should you be able to play one, you won't regret it. A

Hail of Arrows
Hail of Arrows
Hail of ArrowsSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Color:
White
Rarity:
U
- I generally end up using this to kill one big attacking guy late in the game by tapping out, making it very expensive removal. Unfortunately, White lacks good removal outside of Pacifism
Pacifism
PacifismSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
33
Artist:
Robert Bliss
Text:
Enchanted creature can't attack or block.
, so sometimes you have to resort to this. B

Heart of Light
Heart of Light
Heart of LightSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
6
Artist:
Luca Zontini
Text:
Prevent all damage that would be dealt to and dealt by enchanted creature.
- It's pseudo removal that turns the guy into an infinite wall. It's good for stopping a giant man from smashing your face, but it doesn't stop him from getting in your way. C

High Ground
High Ground
High GroundSet: Exodus
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
7
Artist:
rk post
Text:
Each creature you control may block one additional creature. (All defense must be legal.)
- The point of this game is to attack, not to defend. The only way I could see this being good is that it would allow you to effectively double all your chump blockers, but if you're hurting for chumps, you're probably already losing and High Ground
High Ground
High GroundSet: Exodus
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
7
Artist:
rk post
Text:
Each creature you control may block one additional creature. (All defense must be legal.)
won't stop the bleeding. F

Holy Day
Holy Day
Holy DaySet: Legends
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Justin Hampton
Text:
Creatures attack and block as normal, but none deal any damage. All attacking creatures are still tapped. Play any time before attack damage is assigned.
- It's a fog! No better way to screw up combat than to throw this down. For extra fun, actually go ahead and block to see if you can draw out combat tricks. This card needs to be played well to work, but man does it ever in the right situation. A

Holy Strength
Holy Strength
Holy StrengthSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Anson Maddocks
Text:
Target creature gains +1/+2.
- It's a 2-4-1 for your opponent! F

Honor Guard
Honor Guard
Honor GuardSet: Stronghold
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Soldier
Rarity:
C
Number:
107
Artist:
Joel Biske
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
W: Honor Guard gets +0/+1 until end of turn.
- Too small, ability is too irrelevant and expensive. F

Icatian Priest
Icatian Priest
Icatian PriestSet: Fallen Empires
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cleric
Rarity:
U
Number:
156
Artist:
Drew Tucker
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
1WW: Target creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
- Ability is too expensive, body is too small, especially in the face of Ghost Warden
Ghost Warden
Ghost WardenSet: Guildpact
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Number:
5
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Target creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
up there. F

Kjeldoran Royal Guard
Kjeldoran Royal Guard
Kjeldoran Royal GuardSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Soldiers
Rarity:
R
Artist:
L. A. Williams
Power:
2
Toughness:
5
Text:
T: Redirect from you to Kjeldoran Royal Guard all combat damage dealt by unblocked creatures this turn.
- Wanna like this guy, really I do, because he effectively blocks anything and everything by taking the damage. But most of the time, he just ends up delaying the inevitable, and at five mana you really should be playing something to make you win, instead of something to keep you from losing. C

Loxodon Mystic
Loxodon Mystic
Loxodon MysticSet: Darksteel
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elephant Cleric
Rarity:
C
Number:
7
Artist:
Ed Beard
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
W, T: Tap target creature.
- He's very big for a tapper. That's OK. That means that he can survive a lot of burn, and he may even get to start swinging depending on your board position. He can really screw up your opponent's game, so he's very nice to have around. A

Loyal Sentry
Loyal Sentry
Loyal SentrySet: Starter 1999
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Soldier
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Ron Spears
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Loyal Sentry blocks, destroy it and the creature it blocks. (Destroy both creatures before dealing damage.)
- Nobody attacks into this guy with anything they can't afford to lose. If he had Flash
Flash
FlashSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
67
Artist:
David Ho
Text:
Put a creature card from your hand into play. You may pay its mana cost reduced by up to 2. If you don't, sacrifice it.
he would be amazing, but he doesn't. F

Luminesce
Luminesce
LuminesceSet: Coldsnap
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
14
Artist:
Daren Bader
Text:
Prevent all damage that black and or red sources would deal this turn.
- A fog for Red and Black, making it more specific and less useful. Use it if you must. S

Mobilization
Mobilization
MobilizationSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
44
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Attacking doesn't cause Soldiers to tap. 2W: Put a 1/1 white Soldier creature token into play.
- I know that small men tend to be less relevant, but this can be a real house since you can flood the board with blockers and swarm your opponent. This also makes pump-all effects like Glorious Anthem
Glorious Anthem
Glorious AnthemSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
15
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
All creatures you control get +1/+1.
very relevant. Good if you draft around it. S

Nomad Mythmaker
Nomad Mythmaker
Nomad MythmakerSet: Judgment
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cleric
Rarity:
R
Number:
15
Artist:
Eric Peterson

Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
W, T: Put target enchant creature card from a graveyard into play enchanting a creature you control.
- Hey look, it's a gray ogre in the rare slot! D

Pacifism
Pacifism
PacifismSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
33
Artist:
Robert Bliss
Text:
Enchanted creature can't attack or block.
- If you don't know how good this is, you don't play Magic. A

Paladin En-Vec - This guy usually ends up being irrelevant due to his size, but sometimes he can suddenly become very important if he can wall or evade your opponent's men. Pick him if you need a three-drop, he's useless late. B

Pariah
Pariah
PariahSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
R
Number:
28
Artist:
Jon J Muth
Text:
Redirect to enchanted creature all damage dealt to you.
- Some people think of this as removal because you can put it on their best man and use it as a shield. I'd play it if I ended up with it, but it's not worth going after. C

Reviving Dose
Reviving Dose
Reviving DoseSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
31
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Text:
You gain 3 life.Draw a card.
- It doesn't really DO anything. F

Reya Dawnbringer
Reya Dawnbringer
Reya DawnbringerSet: Invasion
Cost:
9
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Angel Legend
Rarity:
R
Number:
33
Artist:
Matthew D. Wilson
Power:
4
Toughness:
6
Text:
Flying At the beginning of your upkeep, you may return target creature card from your graveyard to play.
- Yes, she comes out very late. But she's huge, she flies, and this is a slow format so you might actually make it up to eight mana, and she brings back all your lesser drops for more. If you can get her out, she's a game winner. A

Righteousness
Righteousness
RighteousnessSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Target defending creature gains +7/+7 until end of turn.
- The ultimate ´´Gotcha´´ combat trick, but not something you wanna actively seek out. C

Rule of Law
Rule of Law
Rule of LawSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
19
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
Each player can't play more than one spell each turn.
- As expensive as things are, most of the time only one spell is played per turn anyway. F

Samite Healer
Samite Healer
Samite HealerSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cleric
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Tom Wänerstrand
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Prevent 1 damage to any target.
- Screws up combat math, saves you from dying, and can nullify pinging effects. What more do you want? A

Serra Angel
Serra Angel
Serra AngelSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Angel
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying Attacking does not cause Serra Angel to tap.
- It's an Air Elemental
Air Elemental
Air ElementalSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elemental
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Richard Thomas
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying
that can play defense too! White's best flyer in terms of cost-to-benefits, and she's very hard to stop, and very easy to love. A

Serra's Embrace
Serra's Embrace
Serra's EmbraceSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
U
Number:
47
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
Enchanted creature gets +2/+2 and gains flying. Attacking does not cause enchanted creature to tap.
- I think they include cards like this to teach new players that enchantments are risky investments that may or may not pay off. I find that this is one of the few that can, but be careful with it. C

Skyhunter Patrol
Skyhunter Patrol
Skyhunter PatrolSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat Knight
Rarity:
C
Number:
22
Artist:
Matt Cavotta
Power:
2
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying, first strike
- It kills most of the other common flyers, lives to tell about it, and it's also very well costed. A perfect example of the ´´efficient flyer´´ that White is supposed to have. B

Skyhunter Prowler
Skyhunter Prowler
Skyhunter ProwlerSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat Knight
Rarity:
C
Number:
15
Power:
1
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying. Attacking does not cause Skyhunter Prowler to tap.
- Similar to the patrol, only as it's smaller it ends up being a lot less relevant, even though it can block better. C

Skyhunter Skirmisher
Skyhunter Skirmisher
Skyhunter SkirmisherSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat Knight
Rarity:
U
Number:
16
Artist:
Greg Staples
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying, Double Strike
- Double Strike is a lot better if you can put it on a decent sized man. This little guy dies to anything, and the only reason he's playable is because of cards like Leonin Scimitar
Leonin Scimitar
Leonin ScimitarSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
C
Number:
193
Artist:
Doug Chaffee
Text:
Equipped creature gets +1/+1. Equip 1 (1: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card comes into play unattached and stays in play if the creature leaves play.)
. C

Soul Warden
Soul Warden
Soul WardenSet: Exodus
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cleric
Rarity:
C
Number:
21
Artist:
Randy Gallegos
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever any other creature comes into play, gain 1 life.
- Drop this on Turn 1 and you'll find that you have a lot more breathing room, at least until she gets killed. I personally love this card, and it's an example of how life gain can be very relevant. A

Spirit
Spirit
SpiritSet: Divine vs Demonic
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying
IExpbms= - People like to use this as poor man's removal by throwing it on a creature they can't deal with so they gain back the life each turn. Don't forget that you gain back the life AFTER damage is dealt, so it doesn't stop a man from killing you. I avoid it. D

Sprit Weaver - The worst of the weavers. F

Starlight Invoker
Starlight Invoker
Starlight InvokerSet: Legions
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cleric Mutant
Rarity:
C
Number:
20
Power:
1
Toughness:
3
Text:
7W: You gain 5 life.
- The worst of the invokers. F

Steadfast Guard
Steadfast Guard
Steadfast GuardSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rebel
Rarity:
C
Number:
50
Artist:
Adam Rex
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Attacking doesn't cause Steadfast Guard to tap.
- The worst of the...Actually, he's not unplayable, but he is too small. D

Story Circle
Story Circle
Story CircleSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
51
Artist:
Bradley Williams
Text:
As Story Circle comes into play, choose a color.W: The next time a source of your choice of the chosen color would deal damage to you this turn, prevent that damage.
- The ´´fixed´´ version of the Circles of Protection, Story Circle
Story Circle
Story CircleSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
51
Artist:
Bradley Williams
Text:
As Story Circle comes into play, choose a color.W: The next time a source of your choice of the chosen color would deal damage to you this turn, prevent that damage.
can be annoying but it rarely wins you games, since it's not like they're going to walk into it or anything. C

Suntail Hawk
Suntail Hawk
Suntail HawkSet: Judgment
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bird
Rarity:
C
Number:
28
Artist:
Heather Hudson

Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying
- Too small. D

Tempest of Light
Tempest of Light
Tempest of LightSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
28
Artist:
Wayne England
Text:
Destroy all enchantments.
- S

Treasure Hunter
Treasure Hunter
Treasure HunterSet: Exodus
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Townsfolk
Rarity:
U
Number:
23
Artist:
Adam Rex
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Treasure Hunter comes into play, you may return target artifact card from your graveyard to your hand.
- Never enough targets for this guy. D

True Believer
True Believer
True BelieverSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cleric
Rarity:
R
Number:
57
Artist:
Alex Horley-Orlandelli
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
You can't be the target of spells or abilities.
- There isn't much burn in this format, and there isn't a lot of discard either, and you have to be committed to white to play this guy soon enough to be relevant. C

Tundra
Tundra
TundraSet: Revised Edition
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Jesper Myrfors
Text:
T: Add either U or W to your mana pool.Counts as both islands and plains and is affected by spells that affect either. If a spell destroys one of these land types, this card is destroyed; if a spell alters one of these land types, the other land type is unaffected.
IFdvbHZlcw== - Also too small. F

Venerable Monk
Venerable Monk
Venerable MonkSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cleric
Rarity:
C
Number:
50
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Venerable Monk comes into play, you gain 2 life.
- This guy is normally OK since he's just a Grey Ogre, but if you combo him with any return-to-hand ability like Vedalken Mastermind
Vedalken Mastermind
Vedalken MastermindSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Veldalken Wizard
Rarity:
U
Number:
40
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
U, Tap: Return target permanent you control to its owner's hand.
, he can become a major pain, so pick him higher if you have such. C

Voice of All
Voice of All
Voice of AllSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Angel
Rarity:
U
Number:
19
Artist:
rk post
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying. As Voice of All comes into play, choose a color. Voice of All has protection from the chosen color.
- Solid, and it's nice that it usually becomes hard to block or kill. B

Wall of Swords
Wall of Swords
Wall of SwordsSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wall
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Power:
3
Toughness:
5
Text:
Flying
- The best wall is still a wall, and it doesn't help you win, only keep you from losing. Still, it'll keep 'em off you while you set up, so play it if you need to. C

Warrior's Honor
Warrior's Honor
Warrior's HonorSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
53
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Text:
Creatures you control get +1/+1 until end of turn.
- I've won several games with this little combat trick, since for some reason a lot of people aren't expecting it. You shouldn't fall into that trap, especially since it's a common. B

Wild Griffin
Wild Griffin
Wild GriffinSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Griffin
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Jeff Miracola
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying
- Small but aggressively costed, and it flies. B

Windborn Muse
Windborn Muse
Windborn MuseSet: Legions
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
R
Number:
28
Power:
2
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying
Creatures can't attack you unless their controller pays 2 for each creature
attacking you. (This cost is paid as attackers are declared.)
- One of the better muses, since not only can she stop your opponent from alpha-striking, she can fly over there and punch him in the face a few times. I'd definitely say she's worth getting, and her three toughness makes her hard to kill too. A

Wrath of God
Wrath of God
Wrath of GodSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Quinton Hoover
Text:
All creatures in play are buried.
- A

Youthful Knight
Youthful Knight
Youthful KnightSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Knight
Rarity:
C
Number:
125
Artist:
Rebecca Guay
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
First strike
- Too small, but his First Strike and aggressive cost make him sometimes relevant, since he can come down early, swing once or twice, then hold the ground. Still, I'd rather not be using him. C

***

BLACK

Black is one of the deeper colors thanks to solid removal and a lot of good creatures, and playing mono-black is possible in some situations. While there are still a few pointless or worthless cards, most black cards are at least playable, and the fact that black creatures tend to be able to deal a lot of damage means that they can usually trade with something relevant.

Afflict
Afflict
AfflictSet: Odyssey
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
115
Artist:
Roger Raupp
Text:
Target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn. Draw a card.
- I personally don't like this card much since it does so little and is often not relevant because of it, it nonetheless is both removal and combat trick, and it does replace itself. So I use it, I just don't like to. B

Agonizing Memories
Agonizing Memories
Agonizing MemoriesSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
111
Artist:
Mike Dringenberg
Text:
Look at target player's hand and choose two cards from it. Put those cards on top of that player's library in any order you choose.
- I used to think that this was just another junky card, but I was very wrong It totally screws up someone's draws in a way that pure discard does not, and it ensures that any answers they might have are put at least a turn away. B

Ascendant Evincar
Ascendant Evincar
Ascendant EvincarSet: Nemesis
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Legend
Rarity:
R
Number:
51
Artist:
Mark Zug
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying Other black creatures get +1/+1. Nonblack creatures get -1/-1.
- I once cracked this guy in pack one, built around him and never looked back. Obviously he's intended for mono-black, but if you are black-heavy he can still be a total house. I'm a big fan of this guy, provided I don't open him on Pack 3 when I'm already well into other colors. A

Assassinate
Assassinate
AssassinateSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
95
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Destroy target tapped creature.
- It kills anything that's tapped. Anything. And what doesn't tap at least once? A

Beacon of Unrest
Beacon of Unrest
Beacon of UnrestSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Rarity:
R
Number:
41
Text:
Sorcery. Put target creature or artifact card in a graveyard into play under your control. Shuffle Beacon of Unrest into its owner's library.
- I find this to be the best of the beacons in this set, since it lets me reload quickly after losing a bomb or other big man. Seeing as it really helps you to come back from a surprise bit of removal, I think you should consider this, even if it isn't a bomb in and of itself. B

Bog Wraith
Bog Wraith
Bog WraithSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wraith
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Jeff A. Menges
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Swampwalk
- A Hill Giant
Hill Giant
Hill GiantSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Giant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
that is sometimes unblockable. You want these to be the filler in your deck for sure. C

Consume Spirit
Consume Spirit
Consume SpiritSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
60
Artist:
Matt Thompson
Text:
Spend only black mana on X. Consume Spirit deals X damage to target creature or player. You gain X life.
- Yeah, it's pricey, but it's almost always worth it. Again you need to be running almost pure black to make it work, but it can swing games, or go in for those last few points to the dome. [Editor's note: I didn't have a rating for this one, but I'm going to guess it was supposed to be a B]

Contaminated Bond
Contaminated Bond
Contaminated BondSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
61
Artist:
Thomas M. Baxa
Text:
Whenever enchanted creature attacks or blocks, its controller loses 3 life.
- If the creature is good enough for them to tap it anyway, you're probably already in huge trouble. F

Cruel Edict
Cruel Edict
Cruel EdictSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Jeffrey R. Busch
Text:
Your opponent chooses one of his or her creatures. Destroy that creature.
- This piece of removal has its value go up the more removal you have. It's not always optimal, but it lets you kill men that would otherwise be off-limits, and it's always really hard on your opponent to have to pick and choose like that. A

Deathmark
Deathmark
DeathmarkSet: Coldsnap
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
54
Artist:
Jeremy Jarvis
Text:
Destroy target green or white creature.
- I once threw this at a Craw Wurm
Craw Wurm
Craw WurmSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
6
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wurm
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Daniel Gelon
Power:
6
Toughness:
4
that was going to hit me for the win. My opponent then DCed and made me wait for the clock. S

Diabolic Tutor
Diabolic Tutor
Diabolic TutorSet: Odyssey
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
129
Artist:
Rick Farrell
Text:
Search your library for a card, and put that card into your hand. Then shuffle your library.
- It's an extra copy of any bomb you happen to have! Neat! This is one of those cards that really shines in long, slow formats like Tenth Draft. A

Distress
Distress
DistressSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
111
Artist:
Michael Sutfin
Text:
Target player reveals his or her hand. You choose a nonland card from it. That player discards that card.
- There was a time when I thought that discard in draft was generally irrelevant. Long gone is that time. Distress
Distress
DistressSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
111
Artist:
Michael Sutfin
Text:
Target player reveals his or her hand. You choose a nonland card from it. That player discards that card.
not only kills your opponent's best card, but also lets you know what to watch out for. And it comes down early, before either of you really play anything. B

Doomed Necromancer
Doomed Necromancer
Doomed NecromancerSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cleric Mercenary
Rarity:
R
Number:
140
Artist:
Mark Brill
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
B, T, Sacrifice Doomed Necromancer: Return target creature card from your graveyard to play.
- A Grey Ogre that's relevant in the late game? MADNESS! Actually I'm a big fan of this guy since he lets you reload, and if he survives that first turn, there's no point in your opponent wasting removal on him, so he can hang out until he's most optimal. A

Dross Crocodile
Dross Crocodile
Dross CrocodileSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Crocodlie
Rarity:
C
Number:
47
Power:
5
Toughness:
1
- It's not great, and a lot of people hate on it, but you're getting five power for four mana, so he can trade with just about anything. Consider him a very strange, awkward removal spell. C

Drudge Skeletons
Drudge Skeletons
Drudge SkeletonsSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Skeletons
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Sandra Everingham
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
B: Regenerates.
- They hold ground so you don't die, and are better than most walls. C

Dusk Imp
Dusk Imp
Dusk ImpSet: Odyssey
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Imp
Rarity:
C
Number:
131
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying.
- One of the more aggressively costed flyers, this guy's dream is to die in combat with a Snapping Drake
Snapping Drake
Snapping DrakeSet: Starter 1999
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Drake
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying
. B

Essence Drain
Essence Drain
Essence DrainSet: Darksteel
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
43
Artist:
Tony Szczudlo
Text:
Essence Drain deals 3 damage to target creature or player and you gain 3 life.
- I love this card. At three damage, it kills Hill Giant
Hill Giant
Hill GiantSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Giant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
s, so it's very relevant, and it also helps you live longer. It can also swoop in and go for three to the dome so you win. A

Fear
Fear
FearSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Target creature cannot be blocked by any creatures except black creatures and artifact creatures.
- Another card designed to teach new players not to fiddle with auras. F

Festering Goblin
Festering Goblin
Festering GoblinSet: Onslaught
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Goblin
Rarity:
C
Number:
148
Artist:
Thomas M. Baxa
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Festering Goblin is put into a graveyard from play, target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn.
- Back in the Onslaught
Onslaught
OnslaughtSet: Exodus
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
C
Number:
92
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Whenever you successfully cast a creature spell, tap target creature.
days, ol' Uncle Fester was a big deal, since he could trade with a Morph. Now he's just a 23rd card. D

Grave Pact
Grave Pact
Grave PactSet: Stronghold
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
10
Artist:
Scott Kirschner
Text:
Whenever any creature you control is put into any graveyard, each other player sacrifices a creature.
- If you build around this it can be a real bother, but of course you'll need to run mono-black. Still, it ensures that every attack and block they make is painful, and that even your smallest creatures are now relevant. [Editor's note: Didn't have one here either. I'm gonna guess here too. Let's say B]

Graveborn Muse
Graveborn Muse
Graveborn MuseSet: Legions
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Spirit
Rarity:
R
Number:
73
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, you draw X cards and you lose X life,
where X is the number of Zombies you control.
- I personally think she's the best of the muses, even if you don't have any other zombies on the board, so she ends up just being a Phyrexian Arena
Phyrexian Arena
Phyrexian ArenaSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
47
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, you draw a card and you lose 1 life.
. But Phyrexian Arena
Phyrexian Arena
Phyrexian ArenaSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
47
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, you draw a card and you lose 1 life.
is an awesome card, and the fact that she is a Hill Giant
Hill Giant
Hill GiantSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Giant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
in addition to a card machine makes her eternally relevant and useful. A

Gravedigger
Gravedigger
GravediggerSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
134
Artist:
Dermot Power
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Gravedigger comes into play, you may return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand.
- He brings back your men for more, but he's not much for trading. Still, if you get a repeatable bounce effect, he can be insane, and he's always solid. B

Hate Weaver
Hate Weaver
Hate WeaverSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
U
Number:
108
Artist:
Roger Raupp
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
2: Target blue or red creature gets +1/+0 until end of turn.
- The weavers suck. D

Head Games
Head Games
Head GamesSet: Onslaught
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
155
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
Target opponent puts the cards from his or her hand on top of his or her library. Search that player's library for that many cards. The player puts those cards into his or her hand, then shuffles his or her library.
- Another card I used to think little of, this is actually a very quiet, very deadly BOMB. Turn 5 is usually the critical turn in Tenth Edition Draft, since it's usually the point at which one player starts laying down fat beaters, and the other player starts getting punched in the face. Head Games
Head Games
Head GamesSet: Onslaught
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
155
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
Target opponent puts the cards from his or her hand on top of his or her library. Search that player's library for that many cards. The player puts those cards into his or her hand, then shuffles his or her library.
can ensure that your opponent is the one getting punched, by putting any and all of his relevant late game cards somewhere deep in his deck, and then giving him a bunch of lands he didn't need anyway. A

Hidden Horror
Hidden Horror
Hidden HorrorSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Horror
Rarity:
U
Number:
137
Artist:
Clint Langley
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
When Hidden Horror comes into play, choose and discard a creature card from your hand. If you don't, sacrifice Hidden Horror.
- It can kill a hill giant and survive, but the drawback is a pain. Still, you can often throw away something too big to cast now, and get it back later, especially if you're playing all black. B

Highway Robber
Highway Robber
Highway RobberSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Mercenary
Rarity:
C
Number:
139
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Highway Robber comes into play, you gain 2 life and target opponent loses 2 life.
- Black is really the king of comes-into-play in this set, and Highway Robber
Highway Robber
Highway RobberSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Mercenary
Rarity:
C
Number:
139
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Highway Robber comes into play, you gain 2 life and target opponent loses 2 life.
is an automatic four-point swing in your favor. The fact that he costs four isn't a big deal in this format. [Editor's note: You guessed it, no rating. The big life swing isn't irrelevant, but the small body is. I'll do it again and say B]

Hypnotic Specter
Hypnotic Specter
Hypnotic SpecterSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Specter
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying An opponent damaged by Specter must discard a card at random from his or her hand. Ignore this effect if opponent has no cards left in hand.
- There aren't a lot of cheap flyers in this format, so he can often come down early, eliminate a few cards, and then trade. Just because there's no Dark Ritual
Dark Ritual
Dark RitualSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Sandra Everingham
Text:
Add BBB to your mana pool.
doesn't mean he's not still a pretty cool dude. A

Knight of Dusk - A lot of people overvalue this card. Its ability basically means it's unblockable so long as you have black mana open, but because of its small size, it can't do much to affect the board. Still, it's solid. C

Looming Shade
Looming Shade
Looming ShadeSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Shade
Rarity:
C
Number:
139
Artist:
Vincent Evans
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
B: Looming Shade gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
- A small man that can become a huge man if you're not doing anything, this guy can be a real pain in that mid-game range since he's so difficult to block. Obviously best in mono-black. B

Lord of the Pit
Lord of the Pit
Lord of the PitSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
7
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Demon
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Power:
7
Toughness:
7
Text:
Flying, trample You must sacrifice one of your own creatures during your upkeep or Lord of the Pit does 7 damage to you. You may still attack with Lord of the Pit even if you failed to sacrifice a creature. Lord of the Pit may not be sacrificed to itself.
- When I was in 7th grade, I thought Lord of the Pit
Lord of the Pit
Lord of the PitSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
7
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Demon
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Power:
7
Toughness:
7
Text:
Flying, trample You must sacrifice one of your own creatures during your upkeep or Lord of the Pit does 7 damage to you. You may still attack with Lord of the Pit even if you failed to sacrifice a creature. Lord of the Pit may not be sacrificed to itself.
was totally awesome. I'm beyond that now. The thing about Lord of the Pit
Lord of the Pit
Lord of the PitSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
7
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Demon
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Power:
7
Toughness:
7
Text:
Flying, trample You must sacrifice one of your own creatures during your upkeep or Lord of the Pit does 7 damage to you. You may still attack with Lord of the Pit even if you failed to sacrifice a creature. Lord of the Pit may not be sacrificed to itself.
is that if he doesn't win you the game, FAST, he will cause you to lose. And if they play something like Pacifism
Pacifism
PacifismSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
33
Artist:
Robert Bliss
Text:
Enchanted creature can't attack or block.
on him, you're totally screwed, since you can't attack with him and he still demands sacrifices. Some people like to gamble with him, but personally I don't risk it. D

Lord of the Undead
Lord of the Undead
Lord of the UndeadSet: Planeshift
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Lord
Rarity:
R
Number:
44
Artist:
Brom
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
All Zombies get +1/+1. 1B, T: Return target Zombie card from your graveyard to your hand.
- The best of the Lords, in my opinion, since he brings back his legions and there are a lot of good zombies to choose from, since a lot of the smash-face black creatures are Zombies. You wanna kind of draft around him of course, by grabbing every Zombie you can, but he makes all your men hard to kill and hard to fight. Which is awesome. A

Mass of Ghouls
Mass of Ghouls
Mass of GhoulsSet: Future Sight
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Warrior
Rarity:
C
Number:
88
Artist:
Lucio Parrillo
Power:
5
Toughness:
3
- It's huge, it fights well, and it is well costed. Yes, it dies to Hill Giant
Hill Giant
Hill GiantSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Giant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
s, but it trades with almost anything, so they usually have to throw something at it. B

Megrim
Megrim
MegrimSet: Stronghold
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
12
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
Whenever any opponent discards a card, Megrim deals 2 damage to him or her.
- This card was designed for constructed, and it even sucks there. F

Midnight Ritual
Midnight Ritual
Midnight RitualSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
146
Artist:
Jeff Easley
Text:
Remove X target creature cards in your graveyard from the game. For each creature card removed this way, put a black 2/2 Zombie creature token into play.
- In the late game, you suddenly have a huge gang of zombies, making it very hard for your opponent to attack. It doesn't play well with Gravedigger
Gravedigger
GravediggerSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
134
Artist:
Dermot Power
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Gravedigger comes into play, you may return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand.
and his friends, but if you can get three or more Zombies out of it, it's usually worth it. B

Mind Rot
Mind Rot
Mind RotSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Your opponent chooses and discards two cards from his or her hand. (If your opponent has only one card, he or she discards it.)
- Again, I once thought that discard wasn't too relevant in draft, and I was wrong. This isn't as good as Counsel of the Soratami
Counsel of the Soratami
Counsel of the SoratamiSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
55
Artist:
Randy Gallegos
Text:
Draw two cards.
since it doesn't help you win, but it can really put the hurt on the opponent when played properly, and it forces good players to hold on to extra lands or junk cards. B

Mortal Combat
Mortal Combat
Mortal CombatSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
71
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, if twenty or more creature cards are in your graveyard, you win the game.
- It was a silly series of games, and it's a rather silly card. Most draft decks don't have 20 creatures in total, even in this format. F

Mortivore
Mortivore
MortivoreSet: Odyssey
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Lhurgoyf
Rarity:
R
Number:
152
Artist:
Anthony S. Waters
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Mortivore's power and toughness are each equal to the number of creature cards in all graveyards. B: Regenerate Mortivore.
- Obviously a total bomb in the late game, since by the time the going gets rough he should be a 6/6 or higher. The fact that he regenerates means that he can stick around until he gets a chance to become a wrecking ball, then not die even then. A

Nantuko Husk
Nantuko Husk
Nantuko HuskSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Insect
Rarity:
C
Number:
159
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Sacrifice a creature: Nantuko Husk gets +2/+2 until end of turn.
- A lot of people pick this guy real high because back in the heyday he was really relevant, but in a format that is so slow and in which you shouldn't be playing that many small men anyway, he's really only solid. B

Nekrataal
Nekrataal
NekrataalSet: Visions
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nekrataal
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Adrian Smith
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
First strike When Nekrataal comes into play, bury target nonartifact, nonblack creature.
- It kills, and then hangs out to try and trade with a big man, and is insane with repeatable bounce. A

Nightmare
Nightmare
NightmareSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nightmare
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Melissa A. Benson
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Flying Nightmare's power and toughness both equal the number of swamps its controller has in play.
- Obviously only good in mono-black, it often ends up to be the biggest flying thing on the table as soon as it comes out. You really need to draft around it though, as it's even more all-black-dependent than other mostly-monoblack cards. I was playing one once in B/G, and it came out as a 3/3 on turn 6. Weak. A

No Rest for the Wicked
No Rest for the Wicked
No Rest for the WickedSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
142
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Sacrifice No Rest for the Wicked: Return to your hand all creature cards put into your graveyard from play this turn.
- This card isn't all that great, but I once sideboarded it in against a guy who had WOG just to make him fume. That's about the only use for it. F

Phage the Untouchable
Phage the Untouchable
Phage the UntouchableSet: Legions
Cost:
7
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Minion Legend
Rarity:
R
Number:
78
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
When Phage the Untouchable comes into play, if you didn’t play it from your
hand, you lose the game.
Whenever Phage deals combat damage to a creature, destroy that creature. It
can’t be regenerated.
Whenever Phage deals combat damage to a player, that player loses the game.
- Seeing as there's no ´´Flicker
Flicker
FlickerSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
9
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Remove target nontoken permanent from the game, then return it to play under its owner's control.
´´ effects in this set, Phage is actually playable if you're running mono-black, since she forces your opponent to block her every single turn. The fact that she's only a 4/4 means she tends to not be all that scary, though, since two lesser men can trade with her, and almost everyone else that costs as much as her can trade with her. C

Phyrexian Rager
Phyrexian Rager
Phyrexian RagerSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Horror
Rarity:
C
Number:
49
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Phyrexian Rager comes into play, you draw a card and you lose 1 life.
- If you're running black, you NEED these little men. They come out early, replace themselves, and then get in one or two hits before undergoing the honorable death of a chump block. And of course repeatable bounce, etc. etc. blah blah blah. A

Plague Beetle
Plague Beetle
Plague BeetleSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Insect
Rarity:
C
Number:
64
Artist:
Tom Fleming
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Swampwalk (If defending player controls a swamp, this creature is unblockable.)
- Too small. F

Plague Wind
Plague Wind
Plague WindSet: Prophecy
Cost:
9
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
74
Artist:
Alan Pollack
Text:
Destroy all creatures you don't control. They can't be regenerated.
- Way too expensive. If you aren't already winning by the time you hit 9 mana, there's something wrong. Plague Wind
Plague Wind
Plague WindSet: Prophecy
Cost:
9
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
74
Artist:
Alan Pollack
Text:
Destroy all creatures you don't control. They can't be regenerated.
might fix that, but it'll be a dead card for a long, long time before then. F

Rain of Tears
Rain of Tears
Rain of TearsSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
155
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Text:
Destroy target land.
- Because of the importance of hitting Land #5 first, Rain of Tears
Rain of Tears
Rain of TearsSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
155
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Text:
Destroy target land.
actually becomes pretty relevant, and if you get one you should definitely play it. Yes, it's pointless in the late game, but so are a lot of cards. I've had this game set someone back on tempo very severely, especially when they're splashing a lot. B

That's all for now, but hopefully I'll be back soon with the rest of Black, along with Red, Green and Artifact. Happy drafting!


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