Last article, we looked at that wacky set known as Unglued. For years, Unglued has been the backwater of many groups – they neither want to play the cards, nor associate with them. However, with the impending release of a new Unglued set (Unhinged), it is very appropriate to examine Unglued.
It is obvious that there are a lot of good, fun cards from Unglued when you start to look through a spoiler. However, there are also some amazingly broken cards as well. In order to bring the good cards to your casual playgroup, you may very well need to examine the potential of a few Unglued cards.
Don’t worry too much. Last week, I created a banned and restricted list for Unglued. Four cards were banned, and two were restricted. An additional watch list of three cards was also listed, so that you would know what the likely trouble cards are. You can keep an eye on them to make sure that they don’t get out of hand.
Last week, I promised that in this article I would take a look at individual Unglued cards. Here are the cards that are powerful enough that you may want to pick up a few. More important that that, the cards included here will be listed along with their suggested wordings by D’Angelo. Wizards of the Coast has never released an official Oracle for Unglued. However, D’Angelo, over at www.crystalkeep.com, has created a suggested list of updated wordings for the cards. He also has some rulings on individual cards as well.
Although literally any card in a casual and fun set is eligible for play, some are simply better than others. The list below is my personal list of the best cards in the Unglued set. We will not, however, include any of the cards that I suggested should be banned in casual play last week. This list will give you a good sense of what cards to try and acquire as you bring Unglued into your casual game.
The Abe Sargent Top 27 Cards in Unglued
27. Goblin Bookie
We start our countdown with a simple 1/1 for one mana. However, this little Goblin Bookie is a pretty powerful package. Along with a card like Krark’s Thumb, you can flip a bunch of coins. One Bookie and the Thumb give you three chances to flip correctly. This card is including, not for it’s power, but for it’s synergy with a lot of casual decks. If you want to use your internal Johnny, run Goblin Bookies and Krark’s Thumb with Chance Encounter and cards like Frenetic Efreet.
26. Prismatic Wardrobe
If you are not playing with D’Angelo rulings, but instead using the card as printed, then the Wardrobe jumps in power in a major way. The card, as printed, does not exclude artifacts and lands. Since those are colorless, it is impossible to have colorless clothing. That makes the Wardrobe a one mana sorcery that pops any artifact, land, or maybe other things as well. With the D’Angelo wording, it becomes much less powerful. As a word of note, don’t expect to ever be able to destroy a Blue permanent, and White and Black are hard to take out as well. Green and Red are your best bets. Note that clothing only includes items that are worn and made of cloth – not watches, jewelry, and such.
25. Ashnod’s Coupon
Note that an Ivory Mask or similar effect will prevent you from being targeted. A drink must be able to be purchased, legally, by the target in the vicinity. You cannot make someone get into their car, drive into the city, and return with a milkshake. Both the target and the recipient must be of legal drinking age if an alcoholic drink is selected. In other words, this is a fun card that really helps lazy people. I hope Unhinged will include Mishra’s Snack Machine, so you can make someone get you a snack. [Or a sammich! – Knut] However, ideally, Unhinged will include Tawnos’s Messenger Service, that will force someone to call the pizza place and order food. We are always arguing about who should make the call in our group.
For a card that is a bad Fugue, Handcuffs is a lot of fun. However, because it lacks the raw power of other cards, it is lower on our list. If you have the old Mirage cards that read local or global enchantment, note that Handcuffs is a local enchantment because it is an enchant player. People are not allowed to disturb the target’s hands.
23. Clay Pigeon
If you practice with a Clay Pigeon, you can reliably catch it an overwhelming majority of the time. As such, Clay Pigeon become a cheap and reliable Circle of Protection: Anything. You can use the Pigeon’s ability even if it is tapped. Like Handcuffs, you cannot interfere with the throwing or catching of the Pigeon.
22. Checks and Balances
Are cards being played in your multiplayer game that tick off everybody else? Is somebody always playing Armageddon and the like. A great way to stop such insanity is Checks and Balances. If everybody else discards a card, then your spell is countered. The interesting part about this spell is that some may discard, and some may not. You may talk about everybody discarding cards, but it should go around the playgroup in turn order when it comes time to actually discard. As such, imagine the power you have if everybody has discarded a card, and now you may discard and counter, or have everybody else waste a discard. This card is best in smaller multiplayer games instead of larger ones.
21. Hungry Hungry Heifer
This card is powerful in two major ways. Firstly, it’s a 3/3 beatstick for three mana, making it a very mana efficient creature. Secondly, it removes counter from your cards. Normally, removing counters is a bad things, because you like your counters. Not always, though. Decree of Silence become much better with a Heifer out. Even old school cards like Unstable Mutation are that much better. Playing with cards like this and the Heifer is very synergetic, and the Heifer is usually the most powerful card in such decks.
20. Double Take
Since it only draws two cards at instant speed, you may wonder why a five mana instant makes our top twenty. Take a closer look. Opportunity draws four cards at instant speed for six mana – here we have five mana. Right there, Double Take is powerful. Drawing two cards at the beginning of the next game with that player is also pretty good. Only two cards with the double mechanic make our list, and Double Take is pretty powerful. If you are losing, you might want to tutor for as many Double Takes as possible and play them. Might as well set yourself up for the next game.
19. Goblin Tutor
It’s a random tutor effect, but it is an instant. How many tutor effects put the card right in your hand at instant speed? Goblin Tutor is best in a cuisinart deck. When you have a lot of different things in a deck, Goblin Tutor will always get you something useful, unless you roll a one. And if you do, then there’s always Goblin Bookie….
18. Infernal Spawn of Evil
A 7/7 flying, first strike machine that goes well with reanimation strategies. The Infernal Spawn, however, can make its presence felt earlier by pinging a player. I’ve personally dealt 20 points of damage with just an Infernal Spawns pinging ability. (My opponent had out a Humility). There are only a few ways of stopping the Infernal Spawn’s pinging ability, which should drive control decks nuts. A traditional blue counter deck is unable to handle the Spawn.
The beauty of Censorship isn’t in how cheap the card is to play, although it is amazingly cheap. It is in the choosing of the turn. Choosing words like”You” or”Attack” and you’ve made for a pretty unusual game. I remember a game where two Censorships were keyed to the words,”I” and”You.” How annoying. Dealing two on a regular basis to everybody is very powerful. Its only drawback is that it paints a bright red target on you. Note that the card simply looks for speech. As such, the words”eye” and”I” will both trigger the damage if a player chooses”I.”
16. Cardboard Carapace
Although Cardboard Carapace is just an enchant creature, it can be a very powerful, enchant creature. With twenty Carapaces in your possession, each one turns a normal creature into a player killer. The only thing keeping Cardboard Carapace down is the fact that you have to collect a bunch of rare enchant creatures. Oh, and that this is merely an enchant creature which can result in a loss of card advantage no matter how big the enchantment makes the creature.
15. Common Courtesy
First of all, it’s important to note that Common Courtesy also affects the controller’s spells. You have to ask yourself for permission even if you control a Common Courtesy. Let’s suppose that Wizards made a Seal of Countermagic. I’ve always wanted an enchantment that could be sacrificed to counter a spell. Well, Common Courtesy is a Seal of Countermagic, plus it can counter a bunch of other spells as well. This is a very powerful spell.
14. Double Play
The other card with the”Double” mechanic to make our list, Double Play is better in the best in my book Gaining extra life, who cares? Dealing extra damage or getting a free Duress? Minor. But starting with a land of your choice, which happens after you mulligan to let you know what color you need, is priceless. Most of the other cards have an important effect on the current game situation with a minor effect on the next game. This is the one card that is the reverse. It’s a minor effect currently, but a major effect for the next game.
13. Mirror Mirror
Mirror Mirror is possibly one of the most powerful effects ever printed. However, with an investment of fourteen mana, plus it cannot be used immediately, Mirror Mirror is reduced in power enough to miss our top ten Unglued cards. If there is a player who keeps hammering your playgroup, then this is the perfect foil. In fact, there may be no card in Magic that prompts you to play a bad deck as much as this card does. Build a sixty card deck with thirty lands, including artifact lands, four Tinkers, Mirror Mirror, and a few defensive spells. Play Turbo-Mirror. Another way to abuse the Mirror Mirror is to note that the card does not take effect until the end of the turn, giving you time to discard cards, kill creatures, and lose life before making the swap. In multiplayer, I’d argue that you should switch chairs as well, since it would make all of the other switching easier.
This number is one of the most annoying creatures in multiplayer. Sooner or later, you will get your 3/3’s back as somebody sets down their hand. Luckily, the Deadheads have no other special abilities and are just generic 3/3’s. However, no creature has as many lives as Deadheads, and they have got to rank up there with the most powerful recurring creatures of all time.
11. Timmy, Power Gamer
Although Timmy is a bit expensive for a 1/1 creature, he pulls the largest creatures from your hand for just four generic mana each. You do not need to tap Timmy, nor do you need to use any colored mana to use him. The sheer abusability of Timmy is amazing. He fits a large numbers of decks very well, from Five Color highlander to little kid decks with the big, stampeding creatures.
10. Blacker Lotus
Although on our restricted list due to its potential for major abuse, the fact is it that a rare that tears itself up cannot be as powerful as some other cards in most other environments. The fact that it is one of the most expensive cards in the set on the secondary market is proof that the Blacker Lotus is still desired. I wonder, though, in Unhinged will include a Blackest Lotus?
Because it is a bit clunky to play, the Big Furry Monster only reaches number nine on our countdown, although it is the second highest charting creature. It’s a player killer, but an easy one to handle. Bounce one side, the other is sacrificed. Clone it to make your own. Fifth Dawn adds a bit of fun to the B.F.M. with Fist of Suns. Now, your Furry Monster can cost just RUBWG.
8. Look at Me, I’m the DCI
Ever wanted to Lobotomize cards from more than just one deck around a multiplayer table? Look at Me has got to earn a spot as the uber-Desert Twister of all time. This White Desert Twister for one more mana can destroy any permanent without having to target it. It takes out any duplicates. And it Eradicates all of them from every deck. It can even single-handedly take out a combo deck. Good stuff.
7. Urza’s Contact Lenses
Urza’s Contact Lenses are potentially dangerous card in Magic because they essentially read,”0: Tap or untap the Lenses.” Johnnies across the world can think of impressive things to do with the Contact Lenses. Take a look at Clock of Omens, for starters.
6. Jalum Grifter
Why would a simple 3/5 trick creature be the highest charting creature in the set? Jalum Grifter has a 2/3 chance of destroying any card in play. Red can tap to destroy lands and artifacts without problems. Destroying creatures outright has been done before, but not often. It could destroy Blue or White enchantments with a few hosers. Having the ability to destroy any enchantment? Jalum Grifter is pretty powerful, as a result. Destroy any creature for 1R and tapping the Grifter with a 2/3’s chance? That’s a powerful effect.
5. The Cheese Stands Alone
The first alternate win condition after poison counters were printed, The Cheese has always been an intriguing card because of its potential. On the other hand, The Cheese is a bit more awkward than some other winning enchantments like, say, Darksteel Reactor, where all you have to do is wait. As such, The Cheese just doesn’t rank as highly as it might’ve if it were less clunky.
4. Giant Fan
With the explosion of counters in Mirrodin block, Giant Fan becomes an uber-Power Conduit. Your playgroup will need to decide if Giant Fan can add a counter to a permanent of a type that permanent already has, but which is not in the rules text on that card. For example, Musician, Essence Flare, and Corrosion add counters to permanents. Could Giant Fan blow a +1/+1 counter off a Mindwarper and put a Musician’s music counter on a creature that already had one? It is listed as an”Optional Rule” for Unglued cards. I’ll let your group decide, but it seems like fun…
Although powerful, the Jack-in-the-Mox has a sting that can hurt a lot. You cannot rely on getting the color you want, so I look at Jack-in-the-Mox as a Mox Crystal five out of six times. What is a Mox Crystal, you ask? The Five Color community held a 5c Invitational, and, much like the Magic Invitational, the winner got a chance to make a card that is legal in 5c. That card is the Mox Crystal, which is like a standard Mox in every way, except that it taps for colorless mana. This is a poor man’s Mox Crystal, although it can occasionally tap for a useful color. Might be useful for Sunburst cards in decks with less colors, so that it has a greater chance of making a useful color.
2. Once More With Feeling
Once More is one of the three most powerful effects in Unglued (along with Mirror Mirror and the number one card below). It just costs four mana, but it is so heavily White that its use is typically restricted to mono-White decks. Therefore Once More is the perfect reset button. It is also a perfect tool for a mono-White deck. In last week’s forum, a question was asked about this card. Why isn’t it listed on my Unglued B&R list? Because it is automatically restricted, as per the card’s text. When published deckbuilding restrictions, the DCI hasn’t created a new infinity category for Relentless Rats, because that rule is on the card itself. The same is true of Once More. Since it is auto-restricted, why clutter up a list. However, if it makes things simpler, then make sure that everybody knows that OMWF is restricted.
1. Chaos Confetti
At a decently large multiplayer game, you can launch the Confetti Bomb from an area where your own cards will remain safe. You can literally blanket two or three players’ playing areas with the Confetti. The beauty of this card is that it is cheap compared to, say, Blacker Lotus. The Confetti was printed in larger numbers than other commons in the set because it was a promo card given away in a magazine. As such, the Confetti remains a cheap card, despite many having already been destroyed. Peasant Magic allows the Confetti, and there, you see it occasionally at best.
With such a cheap financial cost, the Confetti fits into just about any type of casual decks – except for duels. There it ceases to be as good. Rules note – the Confetti only destroys cards. As such, tokens are invulnerable to the Confetti of Chaos.
You’ve just read the top 27 cards in Unglued along with a bit of information about each. I hope that these cards help inspire some decks and wackiness on your part. Unglued cards can be a part of a healthy casual game. Here’s hoping that Unhinged will be even better.