The Mirrodin Block Limited Review – Fifth Dawn Green and Artifacts

Green is one of the more powerful colors in Fifth Dawn. Its commons may not be that exciting, but its rares and uncommons are quite powerful. The artifacts, on the other hand, are much tougher to rate, since many of them use sunburst, which is alternately amazing and awful.

All good things must come to an end. This series was a lot of fun. I learned a lot from writing it and I hope you learned half as much from reading it. Limited articles seem to have dropped off of late, so I am glad I was here to enlighten you in whatever way I could.

Green is one of the more powerful colors in Fifth Dawn. Its commons may not be that exciting, but its rares and uncommons are quite powerful.


Group 1:

Bringer of the Green Dawn

Not only is this the best of the Bringers in Limited, but it is the best aligned to its color. I have heard arguments for the Blue Bringer, but lets be honest, what two cards are you going to draw in this format that are better than a 3/3 for zero? This card should always be first-picked in the last pack if you are Green, even if you haven’t picked up mana fixers yet.

Fangren Pathcutter

I don’t get, I just don’t get it, but I like it. This card… I get this card around tenth or eleventh pick regularly. People are more than willing to first pick a Fangren Hunter, but this laps like Mario Andretti. This card is nothing less than awesome. If you are Green, there is only really one card you should be drafting over it.

Eternal Witness

There isn’t much tech to this card, it’s awesome, everyone knows it’s awesome, and everyone knows why it’s awesome.

Tel-Jilad Justice

Believe it or not Shatter actually is slightly underpowered. It was actually obsoleted for a while by a strictly better card (Shattering Pulse). Naturalize and Disenchant have always laughed at their half-cousin. This card is actually about the right cost for its power. The reason it is so high on the list however, is the block and color it is in. Destroying Artifacts is obviously way more powerful in this block, and Scry is at its best in Green, since you are often playing Sunburst.

Viridian Lorebearers

In a world of 3/3’s for five, a Hill Giant is something special. When that Hill Giant comes with a great ability, you have yourselves a first pick.

Joiner Adept

A 2/1 for two is pretty good in this format, but what really impresses me about this guy is the smoothing of the mana. I am not sure there is a card you take over this if your plan is Sunburst.

Dawn’s Reflection

Are you disappointed that this is the best Green common? Don’t be. This card is good in any Green deck, and off the charts in a Sunburst deck. I have splashed Green for this card in the past. It is truly great.

Sylvok Explorer

This is a Myr that will almost always help your Sunburst. He is also harder to remove, which is good if you are short on land. Additionally he accelerates you early, which can be important in Green.

Rude Awakening

I know this is an eight-mana spell, but unlike all the seven-mana spells I malign, this one actually wins the game when it is cast. This spell won’t be cast without Entwine often enough to even discuss the uses.

Tornado Elemental

This format may not be overloaded with fliers, but Green can always use another way to deal with them. This card is pretty single minded, but odds are it won’t hurt you too much. I wouldn’t be ashamed to first pick it.

Ouphe Vandals

The nice thing about these guys is that there are no free activations before you kill the Artifact in question (assuming the Vandals are in play when the Artifact in question is unusable or not in play). The not so nice thing is that your opponent knows it is coming. It also doesn’t deal with large artifact creatures. All in all though, you really want this guy working for you.

Beacon of Creation

The second time you draw this it will be a lot better, but the first time generally won’t be something to sneeze at. 1/1’s aren’t nearly as bad as they have been in the past, so putting several into play at once will almost always be good.

Group 2:

Ferocious Charge

+4/4 is a lot to pump. Scry will help you in your Sunburst deck. This card is an easy pick no matter what you are drafting.


This card isn’t very exciting, but you will want one or two in your deck. He survives most combat and is really hard to kill. Just be careful with your high drops; don’t overdose.

Tangle Asp

This guy doesn’t look like much on paper, but whether he is a 1/2 unblockable for two or a wall they can’t attack into, he is a presence on the board.

All Suns’ Dawn

When I first saw this card my eyes bugged out of my head. After playing the format more, I realized that the 5-color decks weren’t traditional. They often only had spells from two different colors and the 5-color component was mostly Sunburst Artifacts. That is not to say this card isn’t good. It is quite good, just not the bomb I thought it was.

Group 3:

Horned Helm

This deck will more often see play as a bad Leonin Scimitar than anything else. Sometimes Artifact decks or Equipment decks will need to play this. It is fine in a Green deck, because it makes combat math difficult. You don’t have to play it, but you don’t have to cut it either.

Tel-Jilad Lifebreather

This card is unimpressive at best. Five-mana spells that are so weak the turn they come in don’t do it for me. Is he unplayable? No, but that doesn’t mean he should make the cut all the time, or even often.

Channel the Suns

This card is playable if you have a lot of cards that work with it, but you need at least five, maybe six. Even with that many Sunburst cards, I’d be looking for reasons not to play this.

Group 4:

Viridian Scout

Too much mana for too little blah, blah, blah…

Rite of Passage

I can’t even come up with a situation in which I would want to use this card. Maybe I am missing something, but it seems plain bad.

Artifacts in this set are tricky to rate. There are powerful Sunburst cards that are nigh unplayable outside of a Sunburst deck. I decided to remedy this dilemma by rating cards using their highest power level.


Razormane Masticore

While not the powerhouse I initially expected him to be, I do feel he is the best Artifact in this set. A 5/5 first strike for five that can kill a creature a turn is well worth a measly card each upkeep.

Grafted Wargear

This is one of the best Equipment cards in existence. The zero equip cost is incredibly powerful, though yes, there is a downside. You can easily get two-for-one’d and some cards that normally wouldn’t, can give your opponent a one-for-one. Even with all that considered, this card is extremely powerful.

Etched Oracle

This card is without a doubt the most powerful Sunburst card. They took Juzam Djinn and Ancestral Recall, put them in one card, and upped the color requirement slightly. I’m in.

Infused Arrows

This card can dominate games all by itself making attacking and blocking nearly impossible. When it isn’t doing that, it is killing multiple creatures. This card is better than Serrated Arrows in a lot of ways. The situations where it is worse haven’t come up for me yet.

Skyreach Manta

The good Sunburst cards are unbelievably good, and Manta is no exception. Even if this card is only a 3/3, it is still rather amazing in this format. Most times it is larger than that. There is no common artifact you should be drafting over this in any deck.

Energy Chamber

There will nearly always be a place to put the +1/+1 counters, but this thing can really get insane if you have a target for the charge counters. This card may not look like much, but with the right cards it can end the game.

Clearwater Goblet

Life gain every turn that I don’t have to pay for? Sounds great to me. R&D has really been pushing life gain lately and I think it is paying off. There are several life gain cards in this set that are quite playable and even early picks.

Wayfarer’s Bauble

This card is similar to a Myr. The differences being that it isn’t a creature once the mana is useless, it thins your deck, it is harder to kill and it requires an extra mana to use, but that can be amortized over two turns.

Pentad Prism

This is the card Channel the Suns wishes it were. The Prism gives temporary acceleration and it also aides Sunburst like no other card. I have seen this card produce third-turn Bringers several times. This card is a boon to any Sunburst deck and should be drafted very high.

Guardian Idol

While colorless mana isn’t very appealing, this card is quite powerful. It is a lot like a Myr, but it is a much better creature later on in the game.

Synod Centurion

Ah, Dude Duderson. I am not sure how or why he got this nickname, but I fell in love with it the first time I heard it. This card is what Myr Enforcer wants to be. There aren’t enough powerful Artifacts to make the Enforcer as good as this guy. This guy needs only one.

Relic Barrier

This card is a powered up Auriok Transfixer. I like that you can use this the turn it comes out, and I like that there is no mana in the activation. I was waiting for this card to come back. I think they wanted to test the waters with the Transfixer to be sure this card wouldn’t be over powered.

Engineered Explosives

I’ll confess. I haven’t played with this card yet. I can’t bring myself to take it very early, but it seems so good. You can search for it with Trinket Mage, you can get it back with Leonin Squire, and I think the card is just good. The problem is, I can’t be sure. I am leaving it in group 1 for now, but think this is a good topic for forum discussion.

Suntouched Myr

In most decks this will be a Cathodion without the drawback (bonus?). You are getting a 3/3 for three in a format of 3/3’s for five? Wow. Maybe I overrate the creatures in this format, but I really like this guy a whole lot.

Baton of Courage

This card is awesome. Giving pump to every color is an interesting choice. Technically they had it in the form of Scale and Tooth of Chiss-Goria, but they were nothing fantastic. This card can drastically alter a game for only three mana. If anything I have it too low on here.

Ensouled Scimitar

I thought this card was clunky at first, but I learned my lesson. This card is very powerful, very versatile, and very tricky. This card allows you to attack very effectively while maintaining a defense.

Group 2:

Staff of Domination

Wow, this was close to making it. I suppose the number one in group 2 will always be close. If you have the mana, this card can do just what its name says. If you don’t, you will be looking at a dead card. I am just hesitant to put cards like that in group 1.

Lunar Avenger

As seven-mana spells go, you could do a lot worse. This is a pretty powerful creature. He is difficult to block effectively and that is always good for a creature of this size.

Sawtooth Thresher

The reason I put the Avenger ahead of this is the capability of flight. I am not entirely sure this is right, but time and again I am faced with that choice and I always choose Avenger.

Summoning Station

I know this costs seven, but it can get out of hand really fast. I was skeptical at first, but this card can really change a game. 2/2’s are just fine in the format, and the ability to make them all the time is too much to pass up.

Conjurer’s Bauble

This card is elegant in its simplicity. Some decks can even benefit from the ability. The decks that don’t are generally going to be fin with merely drawing a card. If all else fails just turn your Trinket Mage into a Striped Bear.

Blasting Station

It is always nice to have something to do with your creatures after combat. If that something can yield you card advantage, so much the better. This card is also useful in getting through attacks with smaller creatures.

Arcbound Wanderer

While he doesn’t bowl me over with power, I do like cards with Sunburst. His price tag is a bit much for what you get, especially considering the power of his Sunburst friends.


I actually have a secret burning love for this card. The reason it is so low is that no one seems to agree with me. One thing most people do agree on is that it is playable. Just don’t do what I did a few nights ago, and throw it at a man with Circle of Protection: Artifacts in play.

Silent Arbiter

I am not the biggest fan of this card, but he is situationally awesome and rarely bad. Group 2 seems like a perfect fit for him. He can usually serves as your one blocker, you just want a big body out there as your attacker.

Goblin Cannon

This card is almost like a Sunburst card, in that I don’t think it is all that great outside of 5-color Green. In that deck, however, there always seems to be plenty of mana hanging around.

Battered Golem

In the right deck, this guy is pretty good. In the wrong deck, he is pretty useless. It all depends on your draft whether this guy is here or at the top of group 4.


I bet you are surprised to see this little guy up here. Frankly, with Equipment this guy isn’t half bad. He is also not bad against decks that have a lot of counters (shocking, I know). When he is at his absolute worst, he is a 1/1 unblockable. Seems just fine to me.

Grinding Station

See Blasting Station. This effect is worse, so it is lower on the list.

Group 3:


Seven, blah blah blah. He’s big; he can do what big cards do. If you have a Predator’s Strike or a Fangren Pathcutter, he can end the game.

Myr Quadropod

Adam Chambers and I were discussing this card, calling it the best 24th card in the block. I think that about sums up where this guy lies.

Opaline Bracers

This is one of the worst Sunburst cards there is, but it isn’t that terrible. I am never excited about playing this card, but it is certainly playable.


Well 5-color Green can almost support this. If it finds its way into your deck it isn’t the end of the world, but the card is overcosted.

Anodet Lurker

Yet another in a long line of mediocre 3/3s for five.


This card is a nice warm body. Don’t scramble to play this, but if you are short on creatures and/or flying defense, you’ll be glad he is on your team.

Avarice Totem

I was born a skeptic. I have seen this card in action a few times and it doesn’t impress me that much. I will say that in an aggressive deck it can get pretty abusive. If they have only one card holding the fort, then this card can ruin their day.

Salvaging Station

In a cog deck I suppose this card can work, but it doesn’t really impress me. For six mana I want something that affects the game more.

Myr Servitor

By himself he is a 1/1 for one, which I think any aggressive deck should have. In multiples, he becomes an admirable blocker.

Paradise Mantle

I could see this card being effective in an Affinity/Sunburst hybrid or even in a Sunburst deck with a low curve. The problem is that these decks don’t come around very often.

Spinal Parasite

Finally we come to the end of the line for Sunburst cards. If someone told you you’d play a card who’s power and toughness were -1/-1, you’d have called them crazy. Well you’d be right. With a ton of Sunburst enablers this card is playable, otherwise, no.

Thermal Navigator

This is just a Gray Ogre with a moderately useful ability. It’s nothing special, but certainly playable.

Summoner’s Egg

I tend to like four-toughness creatures in this format. I have never played with this card, but I imagine it has a niche.

Composite Golem

A 4/4 for six isn’t that bad, and if you have a Bringer or two, his ability can certainly come into play.

Group 4:


Alright, listen up this’ll only take a second!

Chimeric Coils

You take the big end and you stick it in the little end and I’ll tell you what if you can’t figure out how to use a seatbelt I’ll have Tommy over here come and hit you in the head with a tack hammer because you’re a retard.

Clock of Omens

You’re a huge embarrassing failure.

Crucible of Worlds

Hey by finesse ’em a little do you mean sputtering out sentence fragments and lighting things on fire?

Door to Nothingness

New guy’s in the corner pukin’ his guts out…

Doubling Cube

No wait, it’s gotta be your bull.

Eon Hub

Lotsa people go to school for seven years.

Fist of Suns

Because they know all they sold ya was a guaranteed piece of sh**.

Gemstone Array

That was from Star Wars…

Helm of Kaldra

I know…

Krark-Clan Ironworks

But that’s when people like you and me have gotta forge ahead Helen, am I right?

Lantern of Insight

Look at ’em, pretty maids all in a row.

Mycosynth Golem

I used to down bear claws two at a time as a kid, and I’d get ’em lodged right in this region here.

Possessed Portal

That sure is a pretty girl down there. I wonder if she goes out with one of the Yankees.

Vedalken Orrery

I’ve got cat-like speed and reflexes.

Razorgrass Screen

You see it’s quite simple really: stop the trucks, stop Tommy Boy.

And thus concludes the Canterbury Tales. You’ll get another one of these in a little less than a year. In the mean time, I will be writing about some more fundamental strategy and theory and how it pertains to MD5. [And Flores says you’ll be writing about mulligans again real soon now, Kenny Boy. – Knut] And coming soon to a StarCityGames.com site near you, the Champions of Kamigawa Dilemma series. I haven’t chosen my nemesis for this go around, but I’ll keep my eyes open.


[email protected]