SCG Daily – The Seven-Mana Men

Chris continues his Top 10 lists with a look at the Top 10 Seven-Mana Creatures in Magic. Seven mana? Well, there’s Simic Sky Swallower, and… erm… Crowd Favorites? What will Chris pick? Read on to find out…

In the history of Magic, there are a ton of great creatures at the six-mana slot. In fact, it seems to be the magic number (sorry) over the past few years as R&D tries to slow the game down. The Dragon Legends from both Invasion and Champions of Kamigawa cost six-mana, for example.

Seven is significantly tougher. There is a big drop off between six and seven, not unlike the jump made by Butch and Sundance, or the leap Britney Spears made from “singing” to “acting.” Not only are there simply fewer creatures that cost seven mana, many, if not most, of the ones that do exist just aren’t that good. I mean, come on. Pus Kami? Crowd Favorites? Seven may be a lucky number, just not for most Magic creatures.

The Seven-Mana Critters – The Honorable Mentions

Darksteel Gargoyle – How expensive is too expensive for a 3/3 flier? Five mana seems to be the new norm, or at least five mana with some extra ability. Blue and White get some 3/3 fliers for four mana, but they have drawbacks. Seven mana, though? “Too much,” screamed the masses. Except that it’s indestructible. (Interestingly, if this card were legal in today’s Standard environment, it wouldn’t be nearly as good simply because of Last Gasp.)

Penumbra Wurm – Seven mana for a 6/6 Green Trampler is pretty good. Not awesomely fantabulous, but pretty good. What makes this guy great is that he leaves a 6/6 Black Trampler behind when he dies.

Delraich – Granted, most folks found a way to use this guy’s alternate casting cost, but that’s just being nitpicky. Even without a different way to get him into play, this guy was great. A 6/6 Trampler in Black is a fine investment of seven mana.

Hundroog – Who doesn’t love saying this guy’s name with about thirteen o’s in there. Say it with me: HUNDROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOG! [Hundroog! … Nah, it’s not the same. – Craig.]

Tsabo Tavoc – What a stupid idea, making a creature that kills only other Legendary creatures. Besides, what good is that Protection from Legends thing? When would that ever be relevant?

The Seven-Mana Critters – The Top Ten

10) Iridescent Angel – I never understood why this little lady didn’t see more play. She’s in control’s favorite colors. And she has Protection from All Colors! She doesn’t have Protection from Artifacts like Pristine Angel does (when she’s untapped), but this Angel doesn’t need to be untapped to have protection. It’s unconditional.

9) Memnarch – Sometimes, I imagine the designers sitting around trying to figure out at what cost something is just good enough given the abilities it has. Look at Memnarch, for example. He costs seven to cast. To use both of his abilities on the same turn also takes seven mana. Of course, it’s Blue mana. Yes, one of my pet peeves. An artifact, a colorless permanent, that only one color can use. Oh, and it’s Blue, the color of sitting around with lotsa land up and doing nothing until the end of an opponent’s turn. This guy was so annoying, and all it would have taken to make it less so was one of a couple of things. First, his ability might have been used only when a Sorcery could be played. The Blue mage would have had to tap out, or at least risk something. Second, the abilities could have ended at the end of the turn. Third, they could have made it so that any color could use it. Other than that, nothing about Memnarch bugs me.

8) Simic Sky Swallower – I’m probably jumping the gun on this one… but maybe not. I see a flier that beats Keiga in combat but can’t be stolen by Keiga’s ability. I see a flier that beats Yosei in combat but can’t be tapped down by Yosei’s ability. In other words, I see dead people.

7) Phantom Nishoba – If you played either with or against this guy when Judgment was Standard legal, you know how hard he is to deal with. With Glorious Anthem on board, he’s nearly invulnerable. Please to be packing spells that simply destroy creatures, thank you very much.

6) Krosan Tusker – This is another one of those guys who didn’t attack all that much, although, as a 6/5 for seven mana, he did that job well, too. No, the Tusker was used to thin the deck of lands and draw a card. Though, truth be told, didn’t he almost always draw you another land, too?

5) Sutured Ghoul – It’s true that, unlike many other great creatures, this guy had to have a deck designed specifically to abuse that ability. Oh, but what silly decks they were. A player could go from “I lose on your next turn” to “I win” all in the course of a single combat. Just load the ‘yard with lotsa fatties. Drop this guy. Give him haste. Win.

4) Angel of Despair – Again, I wasn’t sure if any Ravnica block creatures should be on here, especially ones that had been so hyped when we first learned about them. Regionals results tell us that this li’l lady is the real deal, though. Yeah, she’s no Desolation Angel. Then again, Desolation Angel never offed a Form of the Dragon.

3) Platinum Angel – As annoying as this one got thanks to the Leonin Abunas, it always tickled me. I can’t lose the game. How cool is that? No matter how badly I play – and I push the envelope in that area – if she’s on my side, I can’t lose the game. What’s not to love about that?

2) Palinchron – Free creatures are st00pid. Big, flying free creatures that can save themselves are TSFW.

1) Eternal Dragon – Grab a Plains early. Come back from the dead. Grab another Plains. Come back from the dead. Fly over the defense. Die. Come back from the dead. Fly over the defense for the win.

Tomorrow . . . Is Eight Really Enough?

Chris Romeo