Countdown til Christmas: Top 10 Magic Cards of 2018 (#1)
Cardmarket's top 10 most sold Magic: The Gathering cards of 2018 - with a Christmas twist! These cards topped our charts from 1 January to 30 November 2018 and we can't wait to share them. Here's our #1 most popular card!
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Field of Ruin destroys your non-basic lands
The ones showing flowers too
Destroying Lands Since 1994
Strip Mine was released in Antiquities early 1994 and ever since then, lands that can be sacrificed to destroy your opponents' lands have been part of Magic: The Gathering. Everyone quickly realized, however, that Strip Mine was far too good and created non-interactive games of Magic, as you can take advantage of a mana-screwed opponent. This experience didn't stop Wizards from experimenting with land destruction though, and they tried out numerous iterations of this card over the years.
It became very clear after Wasteland that you can't allow land destruction abilities during the early game and that these cards need some sort of balancing act that circumvents cutting players from their mana sources as soon as the game starts. WotC even tried balancing early land destruction by giving your opponents basic lands in exchange, making you pay extra mana, or even restricting the conditions under which you can destroy opposing lands. But all of these cards still saw considerable play, due to the sheer power of cheap, efficient land destruction. At its core, Magic: The Gathering is all about lands!
I played tournaments where I was up against all those cards and they usually created miserable gameplay experiences as you would expect: In Legacy, my opponent destroyed my first dual land with Wasteland and countered my Polluted Delta activation with his Stifle. I sat there without any mana sources left, pretty much just watching my opponent beat me down. In Commander, my opponent used Dust Bowl in every turn, alongside his Crucible of Worlds to cut me off my lands for the rest of the game. In Modern, I was always frustrated that I needed to run Ghost Quarter to prevent my opponent from casting Karn Liberated on their third turn.
In the 25 years of designing land destruction effects, Wizards of the Coast learned a lot.
Field of Ruin Is Just Awesome!
I played the card in a lot of my Modern and Standard decks this year, so it's no surprise to me that Field of Ruin is the best uncommon in Ixalan and the #1 sought-after item for Magic players in all kinds of formats. WotC was finally able to print a land that can be traded for your opponent's non-basic lands but, at the same time, doesn't screw one player out of the early game. It also helps avoid a turn 3 Karn Liberated and often allows for meaningful late-game decisions for both players. It doesn't even have much of a deckbuilding cost, as it finds you a basic land!
I had so much fun using this card in tournaments this year. I'm also very happy that I picked up my playset early this year when control decks became good again in Modern just before the price of the card went crazy, considering it's an in-print uncommon.
My favorite memory containing Field of Ruin is probably when I played a Control Mirror on the first day of Grand Prix Copenhagen this summer. My opponent and I were empty-handed with a lot of lands, but I was looking at a Search for Azcanta / Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin on my opponent's side of the battlefield. He looked at the top card in his library, smiled, and transformed his enchantment then cast Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, the card at the top of his library. I was right about ready to concede. Then I realized that if I drew Commit // Memory, I would be able to put his planeswalker onto the top cards of his library, destroy his Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin with my Field of Ruin, and the game state would be a tie again since Teferi would be shuffled back into the depths of his deck. I was lucky enough to top-deck the right card and won the game 20 turns after!
I must admit that the card is better in draw-go strategies that play at instant speed. But I'm still very happy that Wizard's design team was able to solve the problem of unfair land destruction cards and still printed a fun, interactive way to deal with pesky non-basic lands!
Field of Ruin is a well-deserving champion of the most sold cards on Cardmarket – especially in the year of Magic's 25th anniversary.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily Cardmarket.
Check out Field of Ruin and help it top the charts next year too, if you'd like!
COUNTDOWN TIL CHRISTMAS
Top 10 Magic Cards of 2018