Last week, we examined four of the top seven one drop creatures in Magic’s history, as well as touched on a few honorable mentions. Today, we’re going to focus on the cards that made it to Wizardry Foundry’s top three!
Three: Delver of Secrets
When one card single handedly enables a strategy in multiple formats, it makes this list.
Delver of Secret is the best aggressive creature in the game. It can successfully race Goblin Guide, even if it fails to flip until turn 3. It has evasion. And the fact that it’s a hard-blue spell with hard-blue enablers makes this card, frankly, frightening.
So why is it only number 3? Well, two reasons. First, it requires a critical mass of cantrips to enable. Which, while that’s exactly what blue decks want to do, sometimes the good cantrips aren't quite there. Further, Delver faces the disadvantage that besides dying to efficient removal, even bounce or flicker effects revert it to it’s unimpressive state.
But given the competition, the bronze medal is nothing to sneeze at.
Two: Mother of Runes
If you have played against this card, you know what I mean.
Mother of Runes blanks removal. She both helps you break and helps you establish board stalls by making combat a nightmare. Mother of Runes demands an answer, and if your opponent doesn’t have it, she sips her tea and makes their life a living hell.
Of all the cards on this list it is not until now at number two, that we reach a card that I can honestly say I am happy to draw in the mid-late game when my hand is otherwise empty. And while Delver can try to keep itself from getting to that point, once it does, Mother often elicits a groan. Once Mom loses summoning sickness, the other player basically has to wipe the board or spend two spells on a single creature.
Wraths are, in point of fact, the only reason she misses the first spot. Because she works so much better with a few friends, playing her on an empty board (when it’s not turn one) is the point where she loses the most value. But as someone who has played with Mom in Legacy, Commander, draft and sealed, take it from me: this card is bananas.
One: Deathrite Shaman
Let’s be honest: we knew this would happen.
Like Mom, Deathrite Shaman can absolutely take over a game. Like Delver, it can slip damage through even a board stall. Like Birds, it can accelerate and fix your manna.
But above all of these points come three important ones. Firstly, it’s castable for B, making it both the first black spell on this list and a way for base black decks to get ahead of the curve. Secondly, besides manipulating your life and gaining mana, the three abilities allow you to effectively counter any strategy that leans heavily on using the graveyard. Snapcaster Mage, Reanimator strategies, and even Tarmogoyf decks all groan when they see this elf come down on turn one, knowing the uphill battle they face.
Like Mom, Shaman is good no matter when he comes down. Unlike Mom, Shaman doesn’t require friends to be truly unstoppable.
While some of the cards on this list have flirted with bans before, Shaman is the only one to be currently banned in Modern. And as avid Legacy players, please allow us to thank Wizards for that restriction.
Written by Robert Trueblood