When Craig told me I had to do another SCG Daily series or else approached me and asked me sweetly to do this week’s SCG Daily, I was again stumped for ideas. Okay, not stumped so much as pressed for time. You see, I wanted to continue interviewing folks, but that takes more than a day. Then, I started following Rizzo’s daily series a few weeks back. As everyone knows, I am very jealous of John and want to be him in that scary, stalker Single White Female way I admire Rizzo greatly. What better way to rip him off pay tribute to him than to continue his series? In other words, where Rizzo looked at his favorite/the best one- through five-mana creatures, I will look at the six- through ten-mana creatures. Of course, there aren’t many tens. I have a plan for that, though. For today, men and woman and animals costing six mana.
Six-Mana Critters – The Honorable Mentions
Duplicant – How ridiculous was this guy? Nekrataal is pretty bad, but the (non-Black) guy killed by the Necktie hits the ‘yard, possibly to be resurrected. Duplicant makes sure that it never comes back. Ever. Plus, it doesn’t care what color mana is used to cast it. Ugh.
Dakmor Sorceress – ‘Cause she’s hot.
Gempalm Polluter – As with a lot of creatures on the list this week, this one’s on here not so much because it could swing into the Red Zone. Heck, I can’t remember the last time I saw that. This guy won games because his triggered ability (triggered from cycling) combined with Unholy Grotto to suck massive amounts of life. Kinda like Maga in a Heartbeat deck, but quicker and with less smugness.
Nightmare – Why don’t mono-Black decks run this as a finisher anymore? (“Because there aren’t any mono-Black decks anymore?”)
Bloodshot Cyclops – I’m sure I have him on here just because I once died to a 138/138 Terravore that was thrown at me in a multi-player game. The worst part, though, was that I’d bought the Cyclopses as a birthday present for the guy because it seemed to be a card that would work really well in his G/B/r thousand-card, multi-player deck. It was.
Ryusei, the Falling Star – What a catch-22, huh? Kill him, and lose your whole team. Let him live, and die to a 5/5 flier.
Mahamoti Djinn – Fat Djinn makes the list if for no other reason than nostalgia.
Ascendant Evincar – I’m probably over-estimating this guy because I lost to him so much during Masques Block. I’d be playing my cheap Rebels deck with my special Glider tech (Nightwind and Thermal). Then, the Evincar would hit and pretty much wipe out my side of the board.
Sabertooth Nishoba – Protection from both Blue and Red was a huge deal back in Invasion block. Come to think of it, those would be pretty good right now, too.
Skeletal Vampire – I wasn’t sure where any Ravnica block critters would be on this list, or even if I should have any, seeing as they were pretty new. Having played with this guy, though, I think he’s going to be huge. Like Evan said, when Kokusho rotates out of Standard, you’d better have four of this guy ready to go.
Crater Hellion – If you’re saying “huh?” then you never played this guy in a Sneak Attack deck.
Shivan Phoenix – If you’re saying “huh?” then you never played this guy in a Sneak Attack deck.
Shivan Dragon – Classic. A big flier who can get bigger. Scary.
Rhox – All that damage, coming through, no matter what you do with your blockers, and he regenerates. Nasty. Like the commercial said, “Pick me! I’m unblockable!”
Firemane Angel – I got to do the official preview on her, and she kicked me in the lovelies at Regionals. I don’t care what you think; she’s one of the best six-mana creatures ever.
Rorix Bladewing – “So, you thought I was playing with nothing but Goblins, huh? Take six.”
Child of Gaea – My friend Jason simply fell in love with this thing. We had just started learning Magic when he found Child of Gaea. It wasn’t long before we figured a way for him to get this thing out on turn 3 while still leaving regeneration mana up. (That’s turn 1, drop a Forest and Llanowar Elves. Turn 2, Forest, Llanowar Elves, and Priest of Titania. Turn 3, Child of Gaea with regen mana. Ouch.) This thing is what made me start finding ways to put Black mana in every deck. You can’t regenerate from a Dark Banishing.
Gleancrawler – A few weeks ago, I pointed out how this guy with Yosei could lock an opponent down forever. Jesse Mason wrote about his 18th-place finish at Regionals with a deck running Gleancrawler and Yosei. Yeah!
Six-Mana Critters – The Top Ten
10) Silvos, Rogue Elemental – About this time, R&D decided that being a Legend really needed to mean something. If only one could be in play at a time, if these things were truly Legends with a capital “L,” then they should be over the top. You know, like an 8/5 Trampler with regeneration for six mana. Ridiculous.
9) Twisted Abomination – Any creature that does double duty is usually going to be looked at pretty hard. This one gave you a 5/3 body that regenerated for B. Right there, that’s pretty good. What put him over the top was that he cycled to grab a Swamp which made it more likely that you could cast a different one later. If a creature is good both early and late, it’s really good.
8) Triskelion; Mephidross Vampire – Nothing wrong with a combination that can kill every single thing on the board while leaving themselves, is there? I hated these guys. Ridiculous.
7) Pristine Angel – Who comes up with an idea for a creature with Protection from Magic: The Gathering?!
6) Laquatus’s Champion – I hate cards that are so good that they win in the hands of trolls and troglodytes. Perfect example right here. I watched a guy who really had no idea what his deck did win his first match during a Standard tournament. Apparently, his friend had loaned him the deck, and the guy playing it – we’ll call him Mr. Troll – had no idea what the cards did. He had all four Champions in his ‘yard when he cast Patriarch’s Bidding. At that point, his opponent just scooped. Mr. Troll kinda looked at him. At this point, his opponent realized that Mr. Troll had no idea why he’d done that. So, the scooper pointed out to the scoopee that all four Champions would come into play, each sucking six life from the scooper. It still took a few seconds for the light to go on. I just hate cards like that.
5) Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni – Please, take my stuff, and use it against me. ‘Cause that’s not demoralizing or anything. B*tch.
4) Dromar, the Banisher; Treva, the Renewer; Crosis, the Purger; Rith, the Awakener; Darigaaz, the Igniter – At least one person will verbally slap me for lumping these together. “Only Dromar had a deck named for it.” Big whoop. Ask Brian Kibler about Rith. Ask Hank Frost about Darigaaz. Ask Barry Schmidt about Crosis and Treva. Five big, fat fliers with huge abilities. They’re all good.
3) Exalted Angel – I ribbed Rizzo that she should have been in the four-mana slot. No one ever cast her for six mana. (“Let the unnecessary forum stories being on how, yes, I did actually one time at band camp cast this face-up for six-mana!”) She was flipped over on turn 4. Or Astral Slide did its thing on her. Whatever. The casting cost on this is indeed actually a total of six mana, and, oh, how we hated to see her hit the table. “Yeah! I’m winning!” Morph. “Boo! I’m losing!”
2) Keiga, the Tide Star; Kokusho, the Evening Star; Yosei, the Morning Star – I grouped these three together because, well, geez, I don’t want to insult your intelligence, but I really have to explain myself in any column. Anyway, these three are together because, of the Kamigawa block Dragon Legends, they’ve had the biggest impact on the tournament scene. No matter how a game is going, the game shifts when one of these guys hit. You deal with it quickly and well, badly, or not at all.
1) Force of Nature – I hear this guy won a few tournaments for some people a while ago.
Tomorrow, critters that cost seven mana… to cast. [For “Tomorrow,” read “Today.” – Craig.]