Essential Magic Articles


Everything You Need to Know About Drafting the Core Set

by Jeff Fullmer


Top Ten Uncommon Creatures

1. Nekrataal-It’s a terror attached to a 2/1 first strike creature.  Taking out a creature and leaving you with a decent body is one of the best two-for-ones in the set.

2.  Ballista Squad-This is a very powerful card that you can use as repeated removal.  It’s quite exceptional.  The drawback that the creature has to be attacking or blocking limits its effectiveness and you do have to pay mana to use its ability, which makes it worse than Nekretaal, but still excellent.

3. Air Elemental-It’s an incredibly efficient flyer in blue.  Really no uncommon in the set is as efficient as this.

4. Stampeeding Wildebeests-A 5/4 trample for 4 is as efficient as you are going to get in this set for a green beater.  Also, don’t look at its other ability as a drawback, look it as a way to reuse your Civic Wayfinder’s ability.

5. Thieving Magpie-It can draw you more cards in a long game than Sift or Counsel of the Soratami.  The fact that it is a creature is both a draw and a setback.  While it can block and do damage, it also can be killed.

6.  Orcish Artillery-Its ability is twice as powerful as that of Prodigal Pyromancer.  Although it causes you a loss of life, killing a creature is generally worth the loss of three life.  Plus, against slower decks your loss of life will be irrelevant if you can beat your opponent before they have an opportunity to go on the offensive.

7. Enormous Baloth-It’s the fattest creature in the set at uncommon.  It’s a bit too high in mana cost to be incredible, but you can’t go wrong with a 7/7.

8. Hidden Horror-As a 4/4 for four mana you won’t find any creature more efficient.  Its setback is significant but because it is in black you have cards like Gravedigger and Recover that can help mitigate that setback.

9. Soul Warden-This can gain you insane amounts of mana over a long game for only one mana.  Possibly the best life gain card it the set.

10. Furnace Whelp-Some people don’t rate this that high and I do not know why.  A 2/2 flying for four mana is not underpowered.  But its huge ability is the firebreathing.  Firebreathing is what makes Shivan Dragon good, not the fact that it comes out as a 5/5.  Firebreathing on a four mana creature can win you the game real quick.  With five mana on turn five you can have it swinging as a 7/7.  

Honorable Mentions-Earth Elemental, Thundering Giant, Hunted Wumpus, Karplusan Strider, Angel of Mercy, Femeref Archers, Wall of Swords.

Earth Elemental is a 4/5 for five, which puts it up there with the wurms and the five toughness makes it better than Mass of Ghouls.  It is also in red, but Enormous Baloth, Hidden Horror, and Stampeeding Wildebeests are all beefier than it, even if they come with a draw back.  It’s good but just not as good as the others.  The Thundering Giant is also good, but ultimately its just a Lightning Elemental at one mana more with two more toughness.  Hunted Wumpus is another piece of beef.  It can single-handedly win or lose a game for you, because it is often so bad, it doesn’t make the list.  Karpulsan Strider is, at first glance nothing special, but it is great versus blue or black, they can’t remove it, and they often don’t have anything as big as it.  Against other matchups it is sub-par and because it is only conditionally good it doesn’t make the list.  Angel of Mercy is basically a Aven Windreader that gains you three life.  A lot of other people first pick it, but I don’t think it is as good as some of the others.  Finally, Femeref Archers and Wall of Swords are great answers to blue’s flyers but Wall of Swords cannot attack and Femeref Archers is underpowered offensively.  Because they are really only good on defense they do not make the list as the cards that made the list are good both offensively and defensively.   

Last edited 6/15/2009 1:14:36 PM Page 4 of 6  Prev  Next  Go to page:

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