Thanks for reading my list of Ikoria notable cards. Just to get it out of the way, for those who haven’t been here before, this is not a list of the biggest and best cards in the set. Like I said to Chris the other day, nobody’s ever accused me of being a Spike. I’m more of a Johnny, but when it comes to these articles, I’m definitely a Timmy.
When looking at a set or opening packs, I always gravitate to the shiny cards. I mean that figuratively and literally. So, whenever a new set comes out, I pick the cards that I find interesting and I write an article about them. I did this again for the first time in a while for Hearthstone last week. It’s pretty exciting that both Hearthstone and Magic the Gathering had a new set release in back to back weeks. I mean, due to Covid-19, the MtG release is only online, but that means I get to play with the cards.
Honorable Mention (Cubwarden): This is one of the few cards that I’ve gotten to play so far in the set. I put together a terrible GW vigilance deck to complete a quest, which was a mistake. Because, I found a Jeskai deck that I’d rather build and I don’t have the proper wild cards. Oh well, Mutate is a fun keyword that I haven’t completely figured out yet.
Mythos of Snapdex: When Chris and I were first looking at the spoilers, we both said something about pushing 3 colors again. While that might not have been entirely accurate, this Mythos cycle is certainly that. I like the stipulation of using different colored mana to augment the card. Very cool design.
Honorable Mention (Thieving Otter with Phase Dolphin): Hey, look, it’s a Johnny combo after all! Activate unblockable on that otter, draw your entire deck, play Jace, Wielder of Mysteries, and win the game! If anyone actually gets that combo to work, please tell me. Actually, someone will probably get it to work against me in MTGA because that’s just how things go.
Escape Protocol: There’s not really any new or unique counters in this set like there was in the last set. So, I was looking for a different kind of card. I played against an interesting cycle deck a few days ago and thought that building a cycle deck could be fun.
Honorable Mention (Corpse Churn): For some reason, I was quite intrigued by this card in the one full player draft that I did on MtGA. I locked into Junk at the beginning of the draft and couldn’t get off of it, but it was wide open. I haven’t actually played the deck, but it has some human and graveyard synergies. Hoping that it’s not as terrible as it felt while I was drafting it.
Blood Curdle: More terribly costed removal for black in this set. I mostly picked this one because I noticed that the cards now say “lifelink counter” or “menace counter”. I assume that they are going to put these various counters in card packs now or have them otherwise available. They’re taking a page from their sister game of Pokemon in this regard.
Honorable Mention (Reptilian Reflection): I could put this in my cycle deck that I mentioned earlier and make it an Izzet deck. I could further expand it by putting some of the “draw your second card of the turn” cards and I might actually have something. Probably not. My Johnny side is coming through in this article.
Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast: I think that Chris mentioned something about this being a bomb when he first saw it spoiled. I mean, he’s not wrong. It’s sort of a worse Fires of Invention and sort of a Garruk all at once. It’s not broken, but definitely one that could be fun to play.
Honorable Mention (Colossification): Here’s that big, dumb card that you’ve been waiting to see. Plus, I just like the art. It makes me chuckle every single time I see it.
Vivien, Monster’s Advocate: Speaking of Garruk, it looks like our friend Vivien is picking up the slack that he left off when he went and died. Did he ever come back and is he dead again? Who knows? I liked the Vivien planeswalker from a couple of sets ago and this one is pretty neat, too.
I chose four for multicolored, since I didn’t find any (other than the triomes) coloreless cards that I wanted to include.
Honorable Mention (Inspired Ultimatum): Here’s another cycle for the set. Stupidly costed 3 color “Ultimatums” that look more like Hearthstone cards than Magic the Gathering cards. This one is almost exactly like Ultimate Infestation for those of you who play Heartstone.
Honorable Mention (Lutri, the Spellchaser): I have no idea what the hell companion even is, to be perfectly honest. But, some Vintage guys were discussing it on Twitch and they seem to think that the mechanic can break the game in fundamental ways. I just chose this one because look at that cute (but deadly!) otter.
Song of Creation: I was talking to Chris about this the other day because I’m thinking of making a deck for us to play Skype (or Zoom or Google Meets now?) games. I said that when you add another color to a deck, it dilutes that deck quite a bit. However, this card seems like it could be completely busted in a storm deck. Maybe Legacy or commander?
Narset of the Ancient Way: My girl Narset is back to Jeskai colors. This one isn’t as dumb or unfun to play against as her most recent mono blue card. However, it has some potential as spot removal or slight ramp. I’m just happy that she’s back to her roots.
Triomes: There weren’t really any colorless cards that jumped out at me. But, these lands are pretty neat. What’s better than a biome? A triome! And they’re typed with basic lands, so they are fetchable. Chris and I were trying to figure out if that made them too broken for Modern. Initially I thought they might be, but I haven’t heard any rumblings about it, so maybe the fact that they enter tapped is enough to slow them.
The Verdict (My choices for Ikoria notable cards are fun at least)
Those are my choices for Ikoria notable cards. When the set was first spoiled, it looked like it was going to be broken beyond belief. Others agreed that some of the companions were going to be troublesome in eternal formats. I think we set a new record by having a card banned in a format (Commander) before it was even released. I’ve played a few games on MTGA with the set and the cards are fun, but the games have been sort of imbalanced. In any case, if you can’t get online, I hope the next month goes by quickly and you get to play these cards!
Note: All images for cards taken from Scryfall without permission. It’s a great searchable MtG database. Check them out!