VIDEO: Top 5 Cards New Players Think Are Amazing but Aren't


Every Magic the Gathering player was new to the game at some point. Whether that be 2021, or when the game first started in 1993. But no matter when someone was first introduced to the game, they always thought that certain cards were broken, only to go on to figure out that actually those cards were terrible.

Time StampTranscript
0:00 Do you remember Fog Bank? The 0/2 wall with defender, and whatever combat damage was dealt to it, prevent all of that damage. For me and my friends, when we first started playing seven or eight years ago that was the most broken card in the history of Magic. You cannot get past this thing. Everybody's deck had four of them. You could never deal combat damage as you swamped the board. Of course, skipping for just a very short period of time, we learned about removal spells to get that Fog Bank out of the way so your 9-mana green creature could still get through for damage, but it is still really funny to look back at all the colors I thought were really broken in Magic. In reality, all of those cards I thought were broken were just extremely bad. I am sure it was the same for your era as well. Boom! What is up guys? My name is Dan, normally known as MTG Tavern back today for Cardmarket, and in today's video on the channel, we are going to be having a top-five cards that new players think are absolutely broken, but in reality, are just absolute crap.
01:06 Of course, the problem is this is going to be from my perspective. In preparation for this video, I went away and asked Reddit, Facebook, and Twitter what cards do you think were amazing when you first started playing, and they turned out to be crap? A big issue arose. I did not think about and that is the fact that people started playing Magic at different times. Maybe you only started playing last year, maybe – like me –started six or seven years ago, maybe you started in the 90s. Depending on which time a Magic player started playing they are going to have different cards that they thought were broken at that particular time. Rather than looking at the top five cards that people thought were broken, but actually, turned out not to be, instead, I am going to change it to the top five types of cards that players thought were amazing and turned out not to be. Although not a rule, but kind of a comment to anybody who might be new to the game and may see this anytime soon, do not worry, we were all new to the game we are not mocking you because you are new. We were probably worse than you when we first started because there was less information out there. Trust me, we are not mocking you whatsoever; we have done the exact same thing. We are just laughing at ourselves and you will come to laugh at yourself as well.
02:07 Just one more small piece of housekeeping, before we get into that top five, a reminder: if you are not subscribed to the channel, go down below, hit that subscribe button, leave a thumbs up. Let's go and talk: top five cards we thought were awesome, and it turns out they were crap. Let's warm up with a couple of honorable mentions. Honorable mention number one is an effect named after just a one-mana card because the one-mana card was the best way of doing it. New players love fog effects, or actual Fog. Your opponent has 50 power split among 90 billion creatures on the board, they have seven cards in hand, you are empty-handed you have got eight or nine mana untapped, you go to your top deck, look at that! It is a Fog. Your opponent cannot kill you next turn. You go to their turn, you cast your fog. Hahaha, opponents! We are still alive! Oh, yeah. We are still dead the very next turn, we did not really achieve anything. Eventually, new players go on to realize that better than Fog is to kill all the creatures. That way it is a permanent Fog. Honorable mention number two is going to be massively over-costed burn spells.
03:08 We are talking about Lava Axe for example. Because why would you want to deal three damage to your opponent's face for one-mana when you can deal five damage for five mana to your opponent's face instead? My one card gets me two extra damage. You are sitting there with your Lightning Bolt, that is cute. Eventually, we go on to realize that mana cost is a thing. Even though five damage for five mana gets you more damage, on mana to damage ratio it is rather worse. Do not let me see any comments down there saying that you never cast the Lava Axe when you first got your deck builders kit with those really crappy commons and uncommons, and the occasional decent rare you got out of a pack. You pulled out the Lava Axe, oh, my God! Hello, five damage. You did it, we all did it. You know you did it. Honorable mentions out of the way, we are all warmed up. Let's move on to number five. At number five, I have got those huge creatures that are surprisingly cheap in the mana curve, or just big creatures around six, seven, eight, nine, mana at that kind of area.
04:05 The classic example is, of course, Force of Nature. That is a six-mana 8/8, but you have to pay four mana every upkeep or Voice deals 8 damage to you. But it is a 6 mana 8/8, how big is that thing? Force of Nature was before my time in Magic, but for me, when I was first opening my packs it was Stormtide Leviathan. Everybody had one in their deck builder's toolkit. This thing was a massive 8/8 for eight mana, and that is right on curve for a new player. On top of that, it stops all these opponents' creatures from attacking unless they have flying as well. We did not realize when we first started playing, but we loved prison strategies just for Stormtide Leviathan. Of course, we went on to realize that these massive dumb creatures, when you play competitively, they need to be much lower in the mana curve. Even if you do cast them, Murder. At number four, I have got every counterspell ever printed no matter the mana cost. If it counters a spell, it is better than removal. You can stop anything your opponent is doing.
05:00 I am talking Fall of the Gavel, Overwhelming Intellect, it does not matter the mana cost. If it counters a spell, it has to be golden. Those massive creatures we were just talking about? Counter them on the way down. Amazing, easy strategy. Just counter everything until you realize that you have got these massive six, seven, eight-mana counterspells in your hand, and your opponent is playing Goblin Guide, and Monastery Swiftspear. My cards now do nothing, and even if they did, I am going to pay six mana to counter your Lightning Bolt. It is nonsense when you think about it, isn't it? We were not that bright back then. I do not know why, but when I was at university with my friends, we did not seem to understand the concept of removal. It had to be counterspells; I do not know why. Maybe it was different for you and your playgroup, maybe you guys did not play with counterspells, but you played really expensive pieces of removal. For you guys, for number four, let's change it to every expensive piece of removal ever printed rather than every piece of expensive counter Magic. Let's move on to number three.
05:57 At number three, we have got awfully bad mill cards. Everybody loves mill when they first start playing the game. They will play the worst mill cards ever. I am not talking about Archive Trap, or any of the crabs you will see in actual mill in Modern. I am talking about extremely bad mill cards. Curse of the Bloody Tome, my opponent mills two cards every turn?! Traumatize, five mana mill half my opponent's library. Tome Scour one-mana and mill my opponent for five, that is basically Lava Axe, but for one-mana. I will say for newer players when they first start playing with mill there are not exactly a huge amount of mill cards available, much less good ones. You will take any mill card, throw it into your deck. It has mill on it, it must be amazing. Just like with Lava Axe, you have tried it, you know you have. I have tried it; we have all tried it with really bad mill cars. We suddenly realize it is way too slow, way too rubbish and we moved on to something different. Moving on to the top two, and at number two, I have got every enchantment-aura ever printed. I am talking one-mana enchantment, nine-mana enchantments, new players love to put a small creature on the battlefield – not even a boggle, by the way, we are not talking about boggles – we are talking about an Elvish Mystic, that can even tap for mana, to equip your enchantment to that Elvish Mystic, that is amazing. Give it first strike, lifelink, it is going to be unbeatable.
07:19 Thankfully it does not take newer players long to realize that overloading a two-mana creature with a whole bunch of enchantments when your opponent has {Fatal Push} is bad value. Number one. You played these types of cards because you thought they were amazing, I did as well, everybody before or since me has played with these cards when they first start playing the game. You thought lifegain cards are absolute top. You thought they were amazing, but in reality, unless you are against burn or Soul Sisters strategy, it is not that important. I am talking about any amount of life gain. A one-mana spell that gave you a little bit of life? That means my opponent's 4/4 has to attack one more turn. We have blanked it for an entire turn. Vampire Nighthawk lifelink, and deathtouch. My opponent cannot even attack anyone, even if they do, we trade creatures and I gain life. This card is amazing.
08:11 I kid you not when I was in university one of my friends opened up an Ajani, Mentor of Heroes, and all we all thought straight away was: my god, with that -8, how are we going to win? 100 life! Do you know what I would absolutely love to happen? Wizards of the Coast throw a Pro Tour, but for brand-new players only. That will be the most amazing coverage ever, it would go something like this: we have got Dave McDermott on the right here, and Steve McQueen on the left. Dave is going to start with a Blossoming Sands already one point of life up, that is an amazing turn one play. It looks like Steve is just going to start with a really bad Elvish Mystic. Dave McDermott is going to have an elf of his own. This turn it is going to be a Llanowar Elves, and it is going to be a Selesnya Sanctuary. That will bring the Blossoming Sands back to his hand to be able to gain another life the very next turn. He is going to be up to 22. Steve McQueen is under immense pressure, just an Elvish Visionary. That does not gain you life, Steve.
09:02 Dave McDermott replays that Blossoming Sands, gains that one life back and that is Huatli, the Sun's Heart, every single time it minus is Dave McDermott is going to gain life equal to the highest toughness of any creature. It looks like Steve McQueen is finally getting on the board here. It is a Primal Command. He is going to gain seven life and tutor up a creature. Let's see what big threat he is going to search for. Good Lord! That is a Lone Missionary, it is going to come down again in another four life the very next turn. Steve McQueen has really blown this game wide open. We, then, start to realize that life gain is not the most important thing ever. Whilst you do need to be wary of your life total, it is more important to build up a board presence, or you might just go down a completely different strategy. You might start playing infect for example, or those really crappy mill cards which might be the reason that most people do start playing mill, because everybody else is playing life gain. Anyway, guys. That was me, Dan, MTG Tavern, back today with Cardmarket, and doing my top five types of cards we thought were amazing when we first started playing the game, and it turns out, they were absolute crap. I hope you enjoyed the video; I really enjoyed this one. I will see you next time.

Opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily Cardmarket.


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tailsfromvienna(15.03.2021 14:38)

While I like the idea to show how players improve over time by learning to evaluate numbers and mechanics better, I think it has been done wrong here.
Basically the article makes fun of one's former self and the bad judgement about the power of certain cards and mechanics. However, there are lots of paper/stone/scissor-trinagles in Magic, so making fun of scissors because it fails against stone and at the same time forgetting it's power against paper is polemic. An obvious example is lifegain/lifelink, which is useless against control but very valuable against aggro and burn strategies. Fog was also called a noob card, but has it's uses against infect and even Splinter Twin, provided you can use the additional turn that Fog bought you to either win on your turn by Performing your own elf combo, or by destroying what you opponent has put on the board.
Game developers are pushing popular strategies, so while auras, lifegain and mill strategies have all been poor in the 90ies, nowadays there are lots of newer cards that make those strategies better than they were in the past.
When most of your games come down to creature stalls, they often end with a big firebal-like card, so answers that help you in these situations (counterspell, redirection effects, etc) suddenly look better than they are. In late games without card drawing (another common newbie Scenario), mana is abundant, so a card that lets you draw cards in expense of lands also looks better than it is.
Most players do not grow by experience, but by learning from web sources. They do not find out that card x is good and card y is bad by trial and error, but by reading MtG articles.
Standing on the shoulders of giants is no reason for being overly proud.

magicmorpheus(11.03.2021 19:44)

Sooo true!!!!