Thursday, May 11, 2017

InQuest Gamer's Top 100 Magic Creatures of All Time - 90 to 81

Welcome back for the next 10 spots in our countdown of InQuest Gamer's countdown of the top 100 Creatures in Magic: The Gathering as published in April of 2006.

Last time we had some surprising inclusions (Nicol Bolas!), stupid inclusions (Jungle Lion!) and some awesome, meta-defining monsters (Worldgorger Dragon!). The following ten creatures are actually some of my favorites including what is, in my opinion, the best Elf ever printed.

On with the countdown of another countdown!

#90 Cloud of Faeries - Common, Urza's Legacy - February 1999 

Please note that this is common. Common. A flying 1U, with Cycling, that also untaps two lands when it comes into play!? ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME!? If this got printed today the Internet would explode in rage. How many degenerate combos did you just think of right now? I had just started playing Standard around the time this hit, and let me tell you, coming out in the set after Tolarian Academy and Gaea's Cradle were printed made abusing the Cloud of Faeries disturbingly easy.

I'm moving on before the vein in my head starts throbbing.

#89 Wall of Blossoms - Uncommon, Stronghold - March 1998 

My favorite Magic block of all time? The Tempest block. It was the first one designed as a solid block and had excellent, solid cards in every color for every playstyle. Wall of Blossoms is, even according to InQuest Gamer's entry for it, the "best wall ever". 0/4 for 1G that draws a card? That's solid. Not spectacular, but solid. I like seeing a card like this in the high 80's of the list, as you never really regret having a Wall of Blossoms in your deck, if you're Green of course. 

Hit the jump for the rest of today's ten! 

#88 Soul Warden - Common, Exodus - June 1998

Remember what I just said about the Tempest block being my favorite? Here's another example! Soul Warden was originally a common from Exodus, the third set in the Tempest block and very quickly a staple of kitchen table multiplayer Magic decks ever since. There have been degenerate combos involving infinite life gain that abused Soul Warden, and many, many a draft won by having just one copy. Soul Warden is one of those cards you don't really think about too much until someone manages to gain 100+ life in the span of one turn. 

Also, Commander. 

#87 Sundering Titan - Rare, Darksteel - February 2004

As InQuest Gamer pointed out in their own entry for the Sundering Titan, "Whether Urza lands or Goblin Welder speed him into play, the mega-landkill ability is just sick". The Titan destroys up to 5 lands on the way in, and up to 5 lands on the way out. That's a potential for 10 lands destroyed by one card. It also happens to be a 7/10 beatstick. 

One of the 100 Most Powerful Creatures in Magic? In 2006, without a doubt. Today? Still one of the 100 Most Powerful Creatures. I really love the new artwork for the Kaladesh Masterpiece version: 

I'm getting a little annoyed at InQuest Gamer having some great picks for powerful creatures. 

#86 - Uktabi Orangutan - Uncommon, Visions - February 1997 

Alright, this furry poo-flinger may not look like much, but popping artifacts and leaving behind a 2/2 body is a pretty good ability. It's just good as the original model was at the time...generally, a card's power level depends on the set it's released in right? Visions and the surrounding blocks didn't have too many really powerful artifacts (Scroll Rack and Jester's Cap come across the two most powerful in the blocks surrounding Visions). Here's what should have really taken this spot: 

Viridian Shaman does everything the Uktabi Orangutan does, but better. Elf is a much more relevant creature-type and being printed in a very, very Artifact focused block made the ability incredibly relevant. The Shaman was a main-deck staple during the time of Mirrodin block. 

#85 Ophidian - Common, Weatherlight - June 1997 

Oh Magic templates, how you've changed in the past 20 years. 

Wait. 20 years!? Holy shit. 20 years ago I hated having to deal with control decks that ran this little guy as a card-drawing engine each turn before slowly drowning me in snakes and Kjelderon Outpost tokens. A toughness of 3 meant that the snake had a bigger butt then most cheap removal and could easily block early creatures as well. Control decks have had bigger and better creatures since the years of the Ophidian, but all of them are judged with this snake as the bar. 

#84 Rogue Elephant - Common, Weatherlight - June 1997


InQuest Gamer summed up this one with "Stompy decks couldn't care less if a 3/3 for G tears up the lawn when it comes into play". Very true. Stompy decks were birthed with this guy. The mono-green beatdown decks focused on creatures bigger then yours, faster then yours and with efficiency levels that were off the charts. 

Print this guy today and it gets played in a top deck. If anything, being only the 84th Most Powerful is an understatement for the sheer damage of a turn 1 3/3 creature with minimal drawbacks. 

#83 Platinum Angel - Rare, Mirrodin - October 2003

A big, splashy effect and always made an impact, but as a creature, just too many ways to handle it for the Angel to rate higher I guess. Now let's say, hypothetically, this effect was attached to a Planeswalker. That would be really annoying to deal with and even moreso if the Planeswalker had ways to keep itself alive. That would be really annoying. 

I hate you Gideon. 

#82 Ramosian Sergeant - Common, Mercadian Masques - October 1999

This entry requires some context. Mercadian Masques was the set released just AFTER the Urza's block warped Magic forever with the stupidly high power spike. The entire Masques block (Mercadian Masques, Nemesis, and Prophecy) were designed to scale the powerlevel back down to something reasonable. For the most part, that is what happened. The exception and anyone that played during this time period knows what it is already, is the Rebel deck. 

The Ramosian Sergeant was an engine that made an entire deck type hum. Searching for a creature is always powerful and putting it directly into play is even more powerful. Turn 1 Sergeant, another white weenie on turn 2, followed by using the Sergeant to dig up say...oh I don't know...

Oh! Look at that! Deck thinning bodies put into play ON CURVE. Good thing Rebels were a White creature type, not like White had any good ways to pump them up for cheap or anything. 

# 81 Quirion Ranger - Common, Visions February 1997 

Quick! How would you break this ability to do something so horribly degenerate it should get an entry in UrbanDictionary!? You would do something so bad with this Elf, something so dirty, so abusive, a teenage kid would immortalize it on DeviantArt with a drawing of a snake slowly eating Princess Zelda. 

That has nothing to do with the Quirion Ranger but I saw that yesterday when searching "Medusa leg hair" with my adult content filter off. Never do that. Always use protection. 

Anyways, the Quirion Ranger is in my opinion, the best Elf ever to see print. Sure, Rofellos can generate more mana, but the Ranger lets Rofellos generate even MORE in one turn. Miss a land drop? Float mana, bounce a land, replay it, and tap it again. 

Oh, and one more thing, notice how the ability doesn't require the Ranger to tap? Let's say your turn 1 is a Forest and you play a Llanowar Elf. Turn 2, play a land and tap out for 3 mana, drop the ranger, return a land, untap the Llanowar, and you are right back at 3 mana on turn 2 with 2 1/1 bodies of a relevant creature type already in play. 

It's simple, it's effective and it can create backbreaking plays from the word go. 

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