Hindsight Is 20/20 (With Corrective Lenses, At Least)

A few months ago, I compiled my list of what I thought the top ten cards were for Constructed environments, meaning Mercadian block, Standard and Extended. I promised a look back in a few months to see how good my guessing was. Well, guess what, it’s been a few months, so let’s look into Dave’s…

A few months ago, I compiled my list of what I thought the top ten Prophecy cards were for Constructed environments, meaning Mercadian block, Standard and Extended. I promised a look back in a few months to see how good my guessing was.

Well, guess what, it’s been a few months, so let’s look into Dave’s Crystal Ball (no, not my well-polished skull) and see how highly skilled my prognosticating skills are.

10: Sheltering Prayers
If Ponza indeed makes a move to Tier 1 rather than the Tier 1a it’s sitting at these days, this card will see a lot of sideboard action.

Chris Benafel showed that Ponza is still a force to be reckoned with at Nationals and Worlds if tuned properly to the metagame. The deck is capable of beating anything out there. Anything.

That being said, Sheltering Prayers is in no way an answer. It won’t even stop Tectonic Break. Maybe Replenish might run it in the sideboard. But it’s in no way a Top Ten card.

9: Living Terrain
A house in both the literal and figurative sense, but vulnerable to land destruction.

Bah. I missed the boat on this one. It’s a house in Sealed, that’s for sure, but I doubt it will ever see play in a Constructed environment. Green is already filled with fatties that do nothing besides being big.

Speaking of which…

8: Mungha Wurm
Like a mono-green Elf-heavy deck is going to care about not untapping lands…

Someday, I’m going to learn this lesson: just because it’s big, green and cheap does not mean it’s good. Let’s compare Blastoderm (widely seen as a very very good card) against the Wurm. Both have the same casting cost. The Mungha Wurm is not only more powerful at 6/5, but has more staying power than the fading-costed Blastoderm. And the downside of the Wurm is minor compared to the innate mana acceleration available to green.

The Blastoderm would be unplayable but for one thing: it’s untargetable. It can’t be Snuffed, can’t be bounced, can’t be burned; it can only be chump-blocked.

The Wurm, unfortunately, is fairly easy for any deck packing black removal, blue bounce and counters and even a healthy dose of red burn.

If the Mungha Wurm had trample, or an evasion ability, or maybe even regeneration, it would be far more playable. As it stands, it’s just another vanilla green fatty that goes in the back pages of the trade binder.

7: Rethink
A very nice splashable counterspell.

I’m still thinking about this one. Once Urza’s block rotates out, it may be more playable, being the first three casting cost counterspell in Type II since Forbid. It’s not always a guaranteed counter, and late game it might be about as worthless as a Force Spike.

Having seen a few sneak peeks at Invasion, however, methinks this card will not be as good.

6: Excise
More excellent removal for a defensive white deck and highly splashable.

Another card I missed the boat on. With all the other white spot removal spells currently in the environment (Exile, Last Breath, Reprisal, Afterlife, etc., etc.), Excise is the most limited of the lot. I’ll pack it in Sealed, otherwise, not.

5: Wild Might
Tapping out against the green mage just became very very bad.

Stompy has been packing this card with some success as of late, but once Rancor and the undercosted echo creatures leave the environment, I’m not sure how well Stompy will fare. It might be the end of Stompy, and with it would go the power of this card.

4: Abolish
Will see a lot of use in any weenie white deck and Extended decks like Jank and Iron Phoenix. Great synergy with Tithe and Cursed Scroll.

This has seen very little play in MBC, what with the plethora of other enchantment and artifact removal spells already in the environment, but I still believe it’s going to see a lot of play in Extended WW decks. Honest I do.

3: Foil
Force of Will is back, sorta, but it’s balanced, I’ll give it that.

Definitely the best of the new counterspells and will get played a lot in all Constructed formats, of that I’m pretty certain.

2. Mercenary Spy
A great sideboard card in the Rebel vs. Rebel matchups. Can’t be Last Breathed, can’t be Waved, the Lightbringer can’t touch him and it keeps Lin Sivvi out of the game. But this is the only real card that Rebel decks got in this expansion. It’s evil twin, the Rebel Informer, might be a good card if anyone ever played a Mercenary deck in Constructed.

It would obviously help if could name the damn cards correctly, as I was thinking of the Rebel Informer for this slot and got my names confused. As it stands now, the Rebel Informer is a borderline base card for Rebel decks in MBC and a frequent sideboard addition. The Mercenary Informer is never played, as Merc decks never took off and got beyond being a Tier II deck.

1. Rhystic Tutor
This is the chase card from the set. Powerful, but not quite broken. Like many other rhystic cards, it may slow aggressive decks down a little. Not much, but a little.

This card is very good, but it’s not seeing any play outside of a few Merc decks in MBC. Why? Because after the first few turns, it’s worthless as you wait for your opponent to tap out, and decks that splash black in MBC, like B/G Beatstick, really don’t have the room to put in a potentially suboptimal card.

In Type II, what would you rather have? An instant at costs only B (and two life) that puts any card of your choice on top of your library, or a sorcery that costs 2B (and can be countered for only 2) and puts a card directly in your hand. Vampiric Tutor costs you a draw step, but is guaranteed to work. Vampiric Tutor is FedEx; Rhystic Tutor is your cousin Bob’s attempt to start a delivery service.

If Vampiric Tutor is rotated out in 7th Edition, then Rhystic Tutor is the obvious replacement. Otherwise, I’m going to have to reduce my rating on the MBC tutor.

With this knowledge in hand, this is my revamped and redone Prophecy Top Ten, direct from the Home Office in Wahoo, Nebraska (still subject to change):

10: Rhystic Lightning

Burn is good. Four damage burn is also very good. Ergo, Rhystic Lightning is very good.

9: Rhystic Tutor

It may be weaker than Vampiric, but Tutors in and of themselves are powerful.

8: Abolish

This card will be good. I’d put money on it, if I was a gambling man.

7: Jolrael, Empress of the Beats, uh, I mean Beasts

Will probably be the primary power to make Stompy run after "echo kitties" and their ilk are gone.

6: Wild Might

Will also see play in whatever form Stompy takes in post-Urza Standard.

5: Withdraw

The versatility of this card is amazing. Double bounce an opponent’s creatures, or bounce one of his and protect your own. Great in sealed and getting a lot of MBC play.

4: Avatar of Woe

Best of the Avatars, probably best in an Extended format.

3: Spur Grappler/Veteran Brawlers

I lumped these two together, as they’re the meat of the engine that makes the new TangleSligh deck run. Watch out for the new Sligh decks; they’re just as nasty as they ever were.

2: Mageta, the Lion

Wrath of God good. Wrath of God that leaves you a 3/3 creature is also very good. Will see a lot of play in Type II white control decks.

1: Foil

What else needs to be said about this card? It’s just that damn good. Expensive in the early game, but it’s an essential part of many Rising Waters decks, synergies well with Thwart and let’s face it, as local TV and appliance pitchman Tom Peterson likes to say, "Free is a very good price."

I’ll have to do this again with Invasion, so I don’t end up being stuck with all those Mungha Wurms that I think will become the next big thing.

Dave Meddish