Functional Breakdown of Vintage Cards From Dec-Jan

Phil Stanton’s articles are almost impossible to explain in short blurbs, but they always include numbers, they are always about Vintage, and they always give you crucial information about some part of the Vintage metagame. This time Phil takes a look at the different compositions of card types in Vintage Top 8s, including how many land/mana sources each deck runs, the amount of countermagic and disruption seeing play, and how much potential most Vintage decks have to damage themselves. If I haven’t explained that this article is really really cool then I have failed, but don’t let that stop you from reading this article, as it should be an enormous boon to every Vintage deckbuilder that reads it.

It’s been a long time since I processed my results beyond the archetype and card counts that are included in my monthly reports (lately, bi-monthly), and I thought it might be useful to take a look at the cards from another perspective. To this end, I broke down the cards by their in-game purpose. I think that examining what is most played in the world’s Top 8s exposes weaknesses in the metagame, which I will leave for you to take advantage of.

For all of these counts, consider that they are accumulated from the eighty decks totaled here. This fairly broad sample, as Magic data goes, is not overly skewed except by combining European and American tournaments, which increasingly converge in their archetype choices. Barring decklist-reporting irregularities*, 80 x 75 = 6000 cards. Many cards counted in two or even three categories, so if anyone actually checks, that is hopefully the sole cause of overcounting. There is a full list of multi-category cards at the bottom of the article, as well as the uncategorizables** and the complete (I hope) list of every card in each category.

* : There are always some. I actually believe that there are Gremlins throughout the world which render some lines on decklists illegible, type up decklists with impossible typos like “6 Moxen”, and cause people to play White Weenie.

** : Think about categorizing something like Memory Jar. Draw-sevens aren’t really card-gaining draw in the sense that you also give your opponent fresh cards, but in Memory Jar’s case especially, you lose them right away. But in many cases, the deck won’t care that you filled your graveyard, so you can’t class it with Bazaar of Baghdad in that sense. I couldn’t come up with a combination that portrayed the listed cards well, but I noted them so you could know what wasn’t there.

269 basic land

308 fetchland

319 dual land

287 other one-mana-generating land

Despite the immense amount of mana that Type One is based on, unfair lands have only been produced a few times in eleven-odd years, so most mana has to come from merely mortal sources. Here’s how I like to generalize these numbers: the average T1 deck packs about 3.4 basic lands, 3.9 fetchlands, 4.0 dual lands, and 3.7 other nonbasics that only tap for one. Implications? About three-quarters of the time, your opponent will have a basic or a fetch in their opening hand (a huge change from a year ago, certainly).

With just fifteen reliable lands per deck, a lot of people are cutting it close. This partially explains the success of Trinisphere in devastating opponents: people are in a deck design trap of having either enough land to escape first-turn Trinisphere ASAP – and thus cutting back on accelerants or spells – or not removing the “Lock Me” sign from their backs.

254 one-shot mana accelerants

693 permanent mana accelerants

20 mana filter

If an average T1 deck has 3.1 one-time accelerants and a stunning 8.7 permanent accelerants (multiple-mana lands like Workshop count, in case that number seems ridiculous), that brings the average mana sources up to almost 27. Clearly there are some decks that are complete outliers on these averages (such as Meandeck’s Tendrils abomination), but it should hold water as a generalization.

With so much mana, and so fast, one can see why mana denial is no longer on top of the food chain as it was when Fish was so successful around mid-2004. Disruption can and should be focused on the spells in most cases, rather than the mana. Returning to the Fish example, when Tog and 4C Control were doing exceedingly well, the averages for the accelerants and basic land were much lower, while duals and other nonbasics were very high. Wasteland and the premiere of Crucible of Worlds were at their peak while decks like these were the targets. The opportunity cost of playing colorless Wastelands is now much higher; you’d do better to play more Blue sources so that you can guarantee second-turn Mana Drain, because there are a lot of games when the opponent has too much mana to lock them out.

You can keep Crucible and a single Strip Mine in your deck for times when you need them, but cutting Wastelands has rarely been juicier from my perspective. This is one of the many things that will fluctuate over time, and which is hard to perceive without decklist aggregation, especially since manabases for 4CC and other classically polychromatic decks are in flux now more than ever. A lot of playtesting might tell you the same thing, but who does that? (Hah, I found a way to give useful information. I’m as surprised as you are.)

Mana filters are hardly worth comment, except that they are so unlikely. In the absence of roaring hordes of Wastelands, T1 decks can cover four colors with duals and fetches very easily. So the only time you’d play a filter is if you couldn’t wait for the second or third land drop. Combo! (Darkwater Egg? How unlikely was that?) All combo experimenters should keep in mind Chromatic Sphere’s growing history among the most evil and unfun creations of the past eighteen months.

446 card-gaining draw

304 card-filtering draw

425 tutors

This data marks about 14.5 cards per deck for draw and search. In most cases, that’s about thirteen parts Blue and one part Black, but tutors is a little broader than you’d think because of Oath of Druids (seriously, how else would you categorize it?) and some other cards. This presents a dilemma much like that of Null Rod versus Moxen: everyone is drawing enough cards that you might get a payoff from Chains of Mephistopheles or Balance, but those will impact the success of your own draw spells. Plagiarize is another card that only shows up occasionally, despite its ability to be game-breaking against something as simple as the ubiquitous Brainstorm. Given the incredible amount of drawing in the format, cards like Plagiarize deserve more attention.

257 land destruction

96 graveyard removal

30 library removal

LD almost exclusively consists of Strip/Wastes and Smokestack, so there’s not much subtlety to watching out for it. Yard removal is the backup plan that almost every deck has, and library removal is mostly win conditions. These categories are largely composed of well-known threats, and are uninteresting for that reason.

167 direct damage

296 single removal

(68 artifact removal*)

* : Artifact removal is counted in the single-removal category, listed separately to clarify.

Advocates of treating Trinistax with a laissez-faire DCI approach point to the low presence of artifact removal as a sign that players are just too obstinate to adapt to the metagame. This conclusion is absolutely correct even if you disagree with their issue stance. The average successful T1 decklist contains less than one spell for removing a single artifact, but has roughly 2.8 for other permanents (including creatures) and 2.1 burn spells of some kind on top of that. Small wonder that the winners are exploiting this vulnerability.

357 multiple removal

This is one category I want to dissect more carefully. Counting anything that kills artifacts here would be deceptive: Karn and Gorilla Shaman do not kill serious hardware; they are mana denial. The Abyss, Aura Fracture, Wrath of God, Karn, Triskelion, Gorilla Shaman, Goblin Sharpshooter, and Balance are all in this category to varying degrees, but have nothing to do with the central, artifact-killing goal. Artifacts are probably more important, or just as important, as instants in T1, so that’s what we’re really looking for.

Another reason I didn’t just throw up an “artifact multiple removal” subcount is that there is much greater variance in the lethality of mass removal spells than single removal spells. Oxidize prevents regeneration, but how often is that different from Disenchant? Whereas the difference between Smokestack (killing you softly) and Serenity (similar timing to Smokestack but without the options) and Pernicious Deed (BOOM) are enormous. Here’s how Type One Top 8ers smashed other players’ toys in December and January:

83 Rack and Ruin

52 Smokestack

46 Energy Flux

44 Engineered Explosives

8 Pernicious Deed

6 Nevinyrral’s Disk

5 Serenity

4 Woodripper

1 Meltdown

For a grand total of 249. Unlike the signal sent by the single removal choices, these cards indicate someone is serious about the job. The average successful T1 decklist has slightly over one Rack and Ruin (ignoring the virtual copies that tutors provide, of course). One thing that is extremely curious to me, though, is the conditionality and delay built into many of these cards. 109 (almost half) of them literally cannot effect the game on the turn that they are played. A full 63 (a quarter: Smokestack, Serenity, Disk) give the artifacts in question a full turn to do as they please before going medieval on them. Then you take a step back, ponder a moment, and realize that the Smokestacks are the artifacts in question.

When the spells are coming from decks that are competing at an unfair disadvantage with prison artifacts (a.k.a., Anything Without Workshops), they are more likely to be immediate in effect. Energy Flux’s effect goes on top of the stack after whatever prison effects are in play, and no matter how awesome it would be for them to tap down for Tangle Wire first, you do at least get an edge in them potentially losing perms to Flux and then to Smokestack as well (i.e., they can’t sac the ‘stack first). Flux turns the world upside down for Workshop decks, because the Workshops can’t pay for it, the Moxes become a net mana loss instead of gain, and Ancient Tomb sucks if you use it more than a few times. However, it also loses a lot of its potency against a Goblin Welder, which is an important possibility.

The converted mana cost-based removal kinda mystifies me in terms of artifact removal – Deed requires an enormous amount of mana, and Explosives almost as much, but all rainbowy, too. Best guess: those two cards are aimed more at creatures than artifact locks. Meltdown also struck me as ambitiously expensive, but without the excuse of creature kill, it only shows up as a one-of. Key lesson: the battle of a lock deck is fought based on whether the other guy gets a main phase with three mana, but Rack and Ruin is how you cheat the race. Because it is the fastest thing you can do after he plays Trinisphere, and the most decisive, you should play more. Maindeck. [This was written before the restriction announcement. – Knut]

31 life gain

17 permanent stealing

Yawn. Life gain gets played as an incidental effect on cards like Exalted Angel. (I also counted CoP: Red, which was as unpopular as Meltdown.) People steal permanents when Steve Menendian puts it into his Oath list that it’s a good idea. Next, please.

37 reanimation

81 graveyard-filling

Also known as Worldgorger Dragon. No relation to the Extended concept called Reanimator, because that would be playing fair, and decent people who play fair are scientifically proven to only play [your favorite deck/format], not such a dirty concept as [combo/Vintage/communism].

57 creature enhancement

Of all the cards that appeared in this category with more than a few copies, they all qualified for other categories, too. That makes this mostly incidental, like something tacked onto otherwise already good cards (like Goblin Warchief). Skullclamp is obviously an exception where the creature enhancement is what makes the other part of the card useful, but with Mishra’s Factory making up a third of this category (19/57), I’m not getting all hyped up about creatures actually mattering. Berserk isn’t even a given in Tog decks anymore, which inclines me to think that anyone playing a card enhancing other creatures is making a mistake, with rare exception.

163 bounce

A very disproportionate amount of this bounce is played by combo. The reason is that combo is the only archetype that can take advantage of the opening bounce provides. It’s also the archetype most vulnerable to any particular restraint on its actions, since such a specific course has to play out for it to win. In other decks, though, removal is better because playing additional colors has an opportunity cost of almost nothing.

220 recursion (excludes Flashback)

The category of Yawgmoth’s Will and Goblin Welder is very influential in Type One. So why is the average so low? First, it’s because T1 is so fast that starting out with nothing in the graveyard makes it inherently hard to abuse. Threshold was never a big hit for this reason, despite Meandeck Tendrils showing us a way to hit it first turn consistently. The other big factor is that most recursion mechanisms deplete the usefulness of any subsequent recursion. Goblin Welder may be the exception, and you can see how broken that is (not only the #2 Red spell after Rack and Ruin, but the #1 creature in Vintage). If you overload on things that harvest the bounty of the graveyard, some of them will be dead cards, at least for the immediate period after you played another such effect.

However, because the graveyard of a Vintage deck is so full of powerful cards after a few turns, almost everyone is obligated to abuse it in some way. In fact, every deck which is over 5% of the average Top 8 decks since June 2004 uses its graveyard at a minimum through Yawgmoth’s Will. My brand new theory is that a contributing reason no one understood Fish last summer is that it didn’t have any way to redouble the effects of its spells through recursion* – every other deck has a point where a recursion spell will enable a blowout. So to design a good deck in Vintage right now, you need a way to do this. Devote about four slots to recursion (one Yawgmoth’s Will counts as four), add in the Power Nine, and you are well on your way to an effective deck.

* : Even here, Grim Lavamancer subtly makes the yard a resource, but doesn’t outright replay it.

149 single discard

21 multiple discard

693 counterspell

What’s the difference between discard and counterspells? It’s pretty slim, when you think about it, except that counters are better because they can respond to topdecked cards, while sorcery-speed discard spells always miss that narrow window. Discard has one edge: you can’t counter more than one thing at a time, but you might be able to blow through their whole hand with a Mind Twist.* This is why combo plays discard versus control playing counterspells: one can tolerate the window of vulnerability because it is planning to win before the opponent capitalizes on it.

* : Incidentally, only Mind Twist and Balance are in the multiple discard category. I applaud WotC for not pushing discard in the last decade, because it is ridiculously unfun except in one-for-one ways like Duress and Cabal Therapy.

Fascinatingly, Force of Will is by itself just over a third of all counters. There is an average of nearly three (~2.95) FoWs in every Top 8ing deck, and over 8.6 counterspells per deck. This reinforces for me that the only way to be a good deck is to prevent opposing spells from resolving—once they’ve hit, the damage is done. This is actually, for me, the theme of Type One’s interaction: prevention is better than cure. Remember this when you’re planning how to answer other decks, and I think you’ll be in a better position.

426 restraining permanent

Speaking of prevention, why let them even cast the spell? If they cast it, you might just accidentally say something like “okay” and the spell might resolve. So save yourself the trouble and don’t let your opponent have that chance. Now far from 100% of these cards are artifact lock components like Trinisphere and Sphere of Resistance (and it’s worth noting here that Smokestack is not part of this category), but many of them are. The basic principle of these cards is that your opponent should be paying “taxes” on his spells and cards – he has to compensate for your permanents by reducing the number of slots that advance his plan so that he can shove your intervention out of the way, even if it’s as simple as playing more mana so he can have three lands under Trinisphere.

The average may be about 5.3 per deck, but the standard deviation is high, as you already know if you have looked at a Stax list at some time since the deck’s invention.

19 non-offensive creatures (Xantid Swarm, Crimson Kobolds, Crookshank Kobolds, Kobolds of Kher Keep)

613 offensive creatures*

122 likely non-attackers** (
Metalworker, Goblin Welder, Grim Lavamancer, Scrivener, Goblin Sharpshooter, Squee, Ambassador Laquatus)

* : Offensive means power greater than zero, or almost always greater than zero if variable.

** : Likely non-attackers are still included in the general offensive creature count, but are listed distinctly to make the count more practical.

So first off, I’d like to thank the Dutchies for playing funny-haha decks and putting Kobolds on the Type One map. As if I didn’t have enough to be upset about with people still playing White Weenie against Yawgmoth’s Totally-Beyond-Your-Comprehension Will. I derive my Magical joy from seeing a format arrive at its temporary and elusive equilibrium points, and these slack-jawed yokels play Erratic Explosion.

Okay, I’m calm now. The summary above shows that while by an objective measure virtually every creature in Vintage is also a “win condition”, more than a sixth of them aren’t really there for the swinging part of the job description. That leaves 491 attackers, or roughly 6.1 per deck. If you can compact your win condition more than that, you’re more likely to be playing more powerful spells, as a rule of thumb.

Take a case example of a deck that’s been falling out of style, 4C Control, against its “replacement”, Control Slaver. 4CC would often have three Exalted Angels, and a Decree in the board as well as the deck. Control Slaver has a couple of maindeck big guys like Platinum Angel and Pentavus, and zero to two more in the sideboard most of the time. With that much more space free from the aggro-control need for several threats (to make sure you draw one), CS has room to run comparable draw and counterspell support to 4CC, and still have the uber-awesome Goblin Welder recursion engine. Now I’m not saying that this is the primary explanation for CS’s progress in the metagame, but I think compacting of win conditions is a worthwhile lesson. (Psychatog was better than 4CC, at least according to JP, right?)

Hopefully that summary gave you some worthwhile insight into the overall environmental factors of the format (and now stay tuned for the special semi-related bonus section).

Philip Stanton

prstanto at gmail.com

SPECIAL BONUS: Masochism in Type One

I got the sudden urge while I was writing this (somewhere around the words “Ancient Tomb”) to figure out how much damage a T1 deck deals to itself, typically. This way people can accurately calibrate their sense of the opponent’s presumed starting life total. This is easier said than done. I started solving the loose ends of it with the assumption that your opponent doesn’t mana burn at any point, though we’ve all stung ourselves with Mana Drain occasionally. I also decided to ignore the possibility of someone Firestorming himself. The more complicated part is calculating how much cards that can affect your life multiple times (or variably) should be.

(1 life)

189 Polluted Delta

92 Flooded Strand

17 Bloodstained Mire

9 Wooded Foothills

1 Windswept Heath

233 Force of Will

(2 life)

33 Mana Vault

29 Vampiric Tutor

1 Fastbond

28 City of Brass

9 Shivan Reef

8 Lim-Dul’s Vault

5 Underground River

1 Barbarian Ring

(3 life)

49 Mana Crypt

42 Deep Analysis

16 Skeletal Scrying

(4 life)

12 Ancient Tomb

11 Snuff Out

(8 life)

4 Spoils of the Vault

I decided Yawgmoth’s Bargain doesn’t count because you either won or got kicked out of Type One after playing that (or someone cleverly Bolted you in response to your Tendrils, which is more funny than countable). Necro I left out because it’s just too variable, but you can just make a note that the number is somewhat higher for combos employing it. (Similar disclaimers apply to the exclusion of Phyrexian Colossus, Pyrostatic Pillar, and Underworld Dreams.) Spoils of the Vault, since this is an average measure, counts for eight life lost. Mana sources count for what they can do to you after two uses or after two upkeeps (Fastbond would also be higher in, say, Turboland, but for now it’s a two). The rest were somewhat arbitrary, with an intent to emulate their typical damage.

1214 / 80 = 15.175 self-damage capacity

I thought my eyes were going to pop out until I readjusted my thoughts to remember that this is the total amount of damage a deck can do to itself. Throw four fetchlands, four FoWs, and two City of Brass together and you’re already losing twelve life by this calculus, so the question transforms itself into: “What’s the appropriate multiplier?” I am not so sure that there is one, because the further into the game you try to foresee, the more variables and judgments you cannot account for. The “starting handicap” might be best summarized by how much damage a player will suffer from their opening seven alone, so multiply the 15.175 by 7/60 (psst, the answer is 1.77). So everyone starts the game at about eighteen life, but has the capacity to knock themselves down another thirteen points.



Hurkyl’s Recall, Rebuild, Chain of Vapor, Rushing River, Echoing Truth, Æther Spellbomb, Repulse

Card-Filtering Draw

Fact or Fiction, Frantic Search, Brainstorm, Impulse, Compulsion, Bazaar, Sleight of Hand, Scroll Rack, Tolarian Winds, Doomsday

Card-Gaining Draw

Ancestral Recall, Fact or Fiction, Library of Alexandria, Necropotence, Yawgmoth’s Bargain, Gush, Windfall, Accumulated Knowledge, Deep Analysis, Thirst for Knowledge, Skeletal Scrying, Standstill, Mind’s Eye, Meditate, Stroke of Genius, Night’s Whisper, Pulse of the Grid, Scrying Glass, Curiosity, Plagiarize, Goblin Ringleader, Shadowmage Infiltrator, Skullclamp, Dismantling Blow, Teferi’s Response, Staff of Domination, Sword of Fire and Ice, Mind’s Desire


FoW, Mana Drain, REB, BEB, Stifle, Mana Leak, Daze, Pyroblast, Annul, Misdirection, Counterspell, Hydroblast, Spiketail Hatchling, Voidmage Prodigy, Teferi’s Response, Willbender

Creature Enhancement

Goblin Warchief, Mishra’s Factory, Berserk, Rancor, Lightning Greaves, Welding Jar, Skullclamp, Sword of Fire and Ice, Auriok Steelshaper

Direct Damage

Lava Dart, Erratic Explosion, Lightning Bolt, Pyrite Spellbomb, Beacon of Destruction, Incinerate, Firestorm, Underworld Dreams, Tendrils of Agony, Pyrostatic Pillar, Fling, Pyroclasm, Wheel of Torture, Grim Lavamancer, Fire / Ice, Black Vise, Siege-Gang Commander, Icatian Javelineers, Gempalm Incinerator, Sword of Fire and Ice, Barbarian Ring


Entomb, Thirst for Knowledge, Bazaar of Baghdad

Graveyard Removal

Tormod’s Crypt, Coffin Purge, Planar Void, Phyrexian Furnace, Ebony Charm, Samurai of the Pale Curtain

Land Destruction

Strip Mine, Wasteland, Smokestack, Sundering Titan, Balance

Library Removal

Brain Freeze, Jester’s Cap, Cranial Extraction, Extract, Ambassador Laquatus

Life Gain

Claws of Gix, Zuran Orb, CoP Red, Exalted Angel, Ancestor’s Chosen, Phantom Nishoba, Staff of Domination

Mana Filter

Gilded Lotus, Chromatic Sphere, Darkwater Egg, Darksteel Ingot

Multiple Discard

Mind Twist, Balance

Multiple Removal

Rack and Ruin, Smokestack, Engineered Explosives, Pernicious Deed, Nevinyrral’s Disk, Meltdown, The Abyss, Serenity, Aura Fracture, Energy Flux, Wrath of God, Karn, Triskelion, Gorilla Shaman, Woodripper, Goblin Sharpshooter, Balance

Offensive Creatures

Juggernaut, Platinum Angel, Darksteel Colossus, Psychatog, Verdant Force, Akroma, Cloud of Faeries, Pristine Angel, Spirit of the Night, Rorix Bladewing, Plated Slagwurm, Quirion Dryad, Iridescent Angel, Phyrexian Negator, Morphling, River Boa, Savannah Lions, Silver Knight, Soltari Priest, Draco, Sarcatog, Su-Chi, Kird Ape, Phyrexian Colossus, Goblin Lackey, Goblin Warchief, Faerie Conclave, Pentavus, Sundering Titan, Death-Mask Duplicant, Troll Ascetic, Synod Centurion, Decree of Justice, Clockwork Dragon, Duplicant, Karn, Triskelion, Gorilla Shaman, Meddling Mage, Exalted Angel, Goblin Piledriver, Caller of the Claw, Phyrexian Dreadnought, Goblin Recruiter, Goblin Matron, Weathered Wayfarer, Academy Rector, Trinket Mage, Goblin Ringleader, Shadowmage Infiltrator, Ancestor’s Chosen, Phantom Nishoba, Eternal Witness, Auriok Salvagers, Flametongue Kavu, Razormane Masticore, Viashino Heretic, Siege-Gang Commander, Icatian Javelineers, Gempalm Incinerator, Gilded Drake, Skirk Prospector, Samurai of the Pale Curtain, Woodripper, Auriok Steelshaper, Memnarch, Willbender

One-shot Mana Accelerants

Black Lotus, Tinker, LED, Mana Drain, Dark Ritual, ESG, Cabal Ritual, Transmute Artifact, Crystal Vein, Skirk Prospector, Fastbond, Grim Monolith, Mind’s Desire

Permanent Mana Accelerants

Moxen, Sol Ring, Mana Crypt/Vault, Tolarian Academy, Mishra’s Workshop, Metalworker, Ancient Tomb, City of Traitors, Gaea’s Cradle, Goblin Lackey, Goblin Warchief, Food Chain, Auriok Steelshaper, Oath of Druids

Permanent Stealing

Gilded Drake, Memnarch, Control Magic


Animate Dead, Necromancy, Dance of the Dead, Shallow Grave


Yawgmoth’s Will, Regrowth, Crucible of Worlds, Goblin Welder, Gaea’s Blessing, Eternal Witness, Auriok Salvagers, Scrivener, Squee, Sacred Ground

Restraining Permanent

CotV, Trinisphere, Tangle Wire, Null Rod, Arcane Lab, Defense Grid, Standstill, Ground Seal, B2B, Platinum Angel, Blood Moon, Sphere of Resistance, Root Maze, Ivory Mask, Tsabo’s Web, Hanna’s Custody, Rule of Law, Chill, Choke, Energy Flux, Xantid Swarm, Meddling Mage, Mindslaver, Maze of Ith, Chains of Mephistopheles, Aura of Silence, Staff of Domination

Single Discard

Duress, Cabal Therapy, Unmask

Single Removal

REB, BEB, StP, Disenchant, Pyroblast, Naturalize, Shattering Pulse, Seal of Cleansing, Smother, Ray of Revelation, Oxidize, Abolish, Hydroblast, Overload, Snuff Out, Artifact Mutation, Echoing Decay, Diabolic Edict, Duplicant, Flametongue Kavu, Razormane Masticore, Viashino Heretic, Dismantling Blow, Aura of Silence


Demonic, Tinker, Crop Rotation, Entomb, Enlightened Tutor, Burning Wish, Demonic Consultation, Intuition, Cunning Wish, Lim-Dul’s Vault, Spoils of the Vault, Fabricate, Merchant Scroll, Gifts Ungiven, Land Grant, Diabolic Intent, Goblin Recruiter, Goblin Matron, Weathered Wayfarer, Academy Rector, Trinket Mage, Transmute Artifact, Oath of Druids

All Multi-Category Cards:

Academy Rector: tutor, offensive

Ambassador Laquatus: library removal, offensive

Ancestor’s Chosen: life gain, offensive

Aura of Silence: restraining perm, single removal

Auriok Salvagers: recursion, offensive

Auriok Steelshaper: perm accel, offensive, enhance

Balance: mult removal, mult discard, LD

Barbarian Ring: direct damage, land

Bazaar of Baghdad: filter-draw, yard-filling

Blue Elemental Blast: single removal, counterspell

Crystal Vein: land, one-shot mana

Dismantling Blow: single removal, gain-draw

Duplicant: single removal, offensive

Energy Flux: restraining perm, mult removal

Entomb: yard-filling, tutor

Eternal Witness: recursion, offensive

Exalted Angel: life gain, offensive

Fact or Fiction: gain-draw, filter

Faerie Conclave: land, offensive

Flametongue Kavu: single removal, offensive

Gempalm Incinerator: direct damage, offensive

Gilded Drake: perm stealing, offensive

Goblin Lackey: perm accel, offensive

Goblin Matron: tutor, offensive

Goblin Recruiter: tutor, offensive

Goblin Ringleader: gain-draw, offensive

Goblin Sharpshooter: mult removal, offensive (nonattacker)

Goblin Warchief: perm accel, offensive

Goblin Welder: recursion, offensive (non-attacker)

Gorilla Shaman: mult removal, offensive

Grim Lavamancer: direct damage, offensive (unlikely)

Hydroblast: single removal, counterspell

Icatian Javelineers: direct damage, offensive

Karn, Silver Golem: mult removal, offensive

Library of Alexandria: land, gain-draw

Mana Drain: one-shot accel, counterspell

Meddling Mage: restraining perm, offensive

Memnarch: perm stealing, offensive

Metalworker: perm accel, offensive (non-attacker)

Mind’s Desire: gain-draw, one-shot accel

Mishra’s Factory: land, offensive, enhance

Oath of Druids: tutor, perm accel

Phantom Nishoba: life gain, offensive

Platinum Angel: restraining perm, offensive

Pyroblast: single removal, counterspell

Razormane Masticore: single removal, offensive

Red Elemental Blast: single removal, counterspell

Samurai of the Pale Curtain: graveyard removal, offensive

Scrivener: recursion, offensive (unlikely)

Shadowmage Infiltrator: gain-draw, offensive

Siege-Gang Commander: direct damage, offensive

Skirk Prospector: one-shot mana, offensive

Skullclamp: gain-draw, enhance

Smokestack: mult removal, LD

Spiketail Hatchling: counterspell, offensive

Squee, Goblin Nabob: recursion, offensive (non-attacker)

Staff of Domination: life gain, restraining perm, gain-draw

Standstill: gain-draw, restraining perm

Strip Mine: land, LD

Sundering Titan: LD, offensive

Sword of Fire and Ice: direct damage, gain-draw, enhance

Teferi’s Response: counterspell, gain-draw

Thirst for Knowledge: gain-draw, yard-filling

Tinker: tutor, one-shot accel

Transmute Artifact: tutor, one-shot accel

Trinket Mage: tutor, offensive

Triskelion: mult removal, offensive

Viashino Heretic: single removal, offensive

Voidmage Prodigy: counterspell, offensive

Wasteland: land, LD

Weathered Wayfarer: tutor, offensive

Willbender: counterspell, offensive

Woodripper: mult removal, offensive

Xantid Swarm: restraining perm, non-offensive

Special Notes:

Cranial Extraction was counted for library removal, but not for discard, due to the relative likelihood of “swing-and-a-miss” events.

Echoing Decay was only counted under single removal, despite some instances where it rocks the caspah.

Fire/Ice is listed only as direct damage, because Ice’s main purpose is getting pitched to FoW or being cast off of Isochron Scepter, both externalities that aren’t inherent in the card.

Frantic Search was listed as a card-filtering draw spell, but not as a one-shot mana accelerant, because its ability only acts as an accelerant under exceptional circumstances.

Shattering Pulse was counted for single removal, despite its potential to remove multiple permanents, based on the guideline of what will happen most of the time.


4 Aether Vial

7 Engineered Plague

4 Eon Hub

42 Forbidden Orchard

1 Goblin Trenches

4 Illusionary Mask

1 Isochron Scepter

24 Memory Jar

1 Mind Over Matter

1 Mirari

3 Night of Souls’ Betrayal

1 Orim’s Chant

8 Spawning Pit

5 Time Spiral

60 Time Walk

21 Timetwister

1 Voltaic Key

11 Wheel of Fortune

20 Worldgorger Dragon