SCG Daily – The Ten-Mana Men

Chris rounds out the week of lists with a look at the Ten Mana Monsters of Magic. A Top Ten List of Ten Mana Guys… when there aren’t even ten such creatures on the Magic team-sheet? What trickery is this?! Chris reveals all…

This day is the toughest of the week’s dailies. I thought it would be hard to pick the six-mana creatures, what with all of the Dragon Legends, but I’d rather have too many choices than not enough. In the entire ten-plus-year history of Magic: The Gathering, Wizards of the Coast has only printed seven creatures whose converted mana cost was exactly ten, and one of those is an Unhinged creature. Another one of them was Krosan Cloudscraper. Sorry, buddy.

So, when you don’t have enough to make a top ten list, what do you do? You cheat. Technically, since I’m making the rules, it’s not cheating. I’ve just changed the rules. In the vein of “an ace is worth eleven or one, whichever you want,” I’ve decided to add the zero-mana creatures, too.

Except there’s a slight problem there. There have only been six zero-mana creatures in Magic’s history, and three of those are Kobolds. Apologies to them, too. They don’t make the cut, either. So, how did I get to ten? Check it out, Holmes.

Ten-Mana and Zero-Mana Critters — The Only Ten — In No Particular Order

Stratadon – Sure, it says he costs ten mana, but, with a full domain, he only costs five. That’s what everyone strived for with this guy, because five mana for a 5/5 Trampler is sweet.

Broodstar – Hey, look! A huge, flying… thing. That costs ten mana. So, why is it attacking me on turn 3?

Myojin of Seeing Winds – How would you like to draw fourteen cards in one turn? Fifteen? Eight? Eleventy? Just rip the Divinity counter off of this guy. Of course, he’ll probably get whacked right after that, but who cares? You have a fist full of gold, Sammy.

Myojin of Infinite Rage – I hate to admit it, but even I find this guy to be ridiculous. I know that he never made a splash on the tourney scene, which I still can’t fathom, but he should have. He’s instant-timed Armageddon. With all of the mana acceleration around now, getting him into play isn’t that tough, either. I had a nice casual deck that used Sakura-Tribe Elder, Rampant Growth, and Kodama’s Reach to make sure this guy hit (absent countermagic, of course). Now, with Farseek and Civic Wayfinder, it’s even easier. And you’ll probably have lands in your hand, too.

Ornithopter – This guy has never been very good as a creature, per se. Sure, he flies and has a back end of two. That just tempted people to enchant him and stuff. It wasn’t until my friend Charles used him in his Ravager Affinity deck that I saw this guy’s true power. Ornithopter is an enabler. I remember when Charles first beat me about six games in a row with Ravager Affinity. I couldn’t believe what Ornithopter was doing to me. The next week, former State Champ Karl Allen joined us. I made him play against the Affinity deck. Charles’ first play was Ornithopter, and I still remember Karl almost immediately trying to convince Charles that the deck wasn’t going to work. Charles looked at me slyly without saying anything, and I told Karl to just wait. About five minutes later, after Karl has lost three games in a row, he said, “I could be wrong about Ornithopter.” It continues to be a great enabler, but now it enables Ninjas. If I get hit by Ninja of the Deep Hours or Ink-Eyes one more time because I can’t deal with a 0/2 flier, I’m gonna have to pee on something.

Phyrexian Walker – I think some deck used this guy to win on turn 1, or something.

Shield Sphere – I think some deck used this guy to win on turn 1, or something.

Frogmite – I tricked you! I know that the printed mana cost on this says “4,” but let’s be honest with each other. This guy was free. You’d play a Seat of the Synod, Ornithopter, Welding Jar, tap the Seat (“Oh, yeah, baby! Tap that Seat!”) for Blue, cast Arcbound Worker or Aether Vial, and get a 2/2 Frogmite for free on turn 1. Of course, it was such a rare occurrence to get a Frogmite on the first turn that you probably never saw it. Right?

Myr Enforcer – Ha ha ha! I did it again! It says it costs “7,” but you always got this into play without tapping anything for mana, didn’t you? As a guy that I’ve known for twenty-five years (his name is Ziggy) says, “the mana curve in my Affinity deck goes one, two, free.” That Ziggy is a card.

Scion of Darkness – Now, I was kinda kidding with the Frogmite and Myr Enforcer. I have actually seen people pay mana to cast those things. Not much mana, mind you, but I’ve seen it done once or twice. Maybe one mana needed to be used to get that Frogmite out on turn 1, or a couple for an Enforcer. The Scion, though, in all of the times that I played with this guy and all of the times that I’ve watched other people use it, I have never – not once – seen this guy cast. As hard as Ink-Eyes is to stop in the current environment, this guy was worse. He tramples, so he was probably going to hit you for at least one point of damage. Just to rub salt in the wound, he also cycled. That doesn’t seem very important, but Dark Suplicant’s activated ability allowed you to bring the Scion into play from anywhere, including the ‘yard. So, why not Cycle him and draw a card? Nasty, nasty stuff.

Well, that’s it for me this week. Join me in a few months for my next SCG Daily stink, when I’ll look over the eleven- through fifteen-mana creatures. TTFN!

Chris Romeo