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The Other Power 9 December 19, 2010

Posted by James in : all, random , trackback

The power 9 is still the nine most expensive Magic cards, but they aren’t necessarily the most powerful. There are affordable cards worth $15 or less and just as good as other cards in the power 9. I will discuss the 9 most powerful cards that I believe meet this criteria best. If you want powerful cards for your cube or just to see what it’s like to play with powerful cards, these are the cards you need.

9th Place: Mana Crypt

mana crypt
Mana Crypt is often worse than Dark Ritual, but (a) it’s colorless to cast, (b) can give you 3 mana the next turn at no cost, and (c) can eventually be used again. Does this seriously belong in a list that purports to equal the power 9? Well, there will be mana situations that Mana Vault is actually more useful than a Mox. It certainly isn’t strictly worse than anything in the power 9 other than Black Lotus.

8th Place: Strip Mine

strip mine

Strip Mine is by far the best land removal ever made. Almost nothing can counter it and it costs nothing more than a land drop. It can even be used for mana before it destroys a land.

7th Place: Demonic Consultation

demonic consultation

Demonic Consultation is the quickest and most powerful “tutor” except there’s a chance it will kill you — especially if you are going to look for a restricted card. If you don’t care about card restrictions, then you might as well put four of these in your deck.

6th Place: Vampiric Tutor

vampiric tutor

Vampiric Tutor isn’t quite as good as Demonic Tutor because it’s card disadvantage and it deals 2 damage to you — but it is one mana cheaper and an instant. I have no doubt that Vampiric Tutor deserves to be compared to the power 9.

5th Place: Demonic Tutor

demonic tutor

Demonic tutor is basically a wild card. It’s almost whatever you want it to be for just two additional mana.

4th Place: Balance

balance

Balance is the best white card ever made. It can be Wrath of God, Armegeddon, and Mind Twist all at once for only two mana. It’s guaranteed to be at least a Wrath of God in the right deck except it can actually kill indestructible creatures.

3rd Place: Yawgmoth’s Will

yawgmoth's will

Yawgmoth’s Will is often said to be the best Magic card ever made. If you play mana acceleration, such as Black Lotus and Dark Ritual, then you can use it to get a lot of mana and play everything in your graveyard all over again.

2nd Place: Wheel of Fortune

wheel of fortune

Wheel of Fortune is pretty much Guaranteed to be powerful enough to be part of the Power 9 because it pretty much does the same thing as Timetwister, but it works better with Yawgmoth’s Will.

1st Place

sol ring

Sol Ring is like two Moxes except it costs you a mana instead of being free. This card is usually better than a Mox, so it certainly belongs on this list.

Honorable Mention #1: Mana Crypt

mana crypt

Mana Crypt is like two moxes at once, but there is a chance that it can hurt you. It’s the most expensive card on this list and it has recently gained a lot of value. It was worth around $30 for around 8 years, but now it’s worth between $40 and $60. The only reason it’s not on the list is because it’s worth too much.

Honorable Mention #2: Contract from Below

contract from below

I usually consider Black Lotus, Time Walk, and Ancestral Recall to be the three most powerful Magic cards, but Contract from Below also belongs on that list. In fact, it is likely the most powerful card ever made. The only problem is that Contract from Below is usually banned for being an “ante card.” If you want powerful cards for your cube or you just want to play with powerful cards without worrying about banned lists, then you should go ahead and give it a try.

Of all the cards mentioned here Mana Crypt is the only card worth more than $15. If you made a deck using 4 of each card on the list there would only be 16 empty slots left for mana fixing and threats. Other great cards I would also recommend for such a deck (or a cube that uses powerful cards) would include Lotus Petal, City of Brass, Gemstone Mine, Undiscovered Paradise, Dark Ritual, Disciple of the Vault, Arcbound Ravager, and Goblin Welder. Mox Diamond, and Chrome Mox should also be worth consideration and are now worth around $30 because of promo cards that were made recently. If you are willing to make an investment I also recommend that you get your hands on four Force of Will cards. These might be made into a promo eventually, but they are pretty much “must have” cards.

Actually, the “affordable” cards mentioned above would be more than enough to make an entire deck. Such a deck could look something like the following:

The Affordable Recoculous Deck

4 City of Brass
4 Gemstone Mine
4 Lotus Petal
4 Arcbound Ravager
4 Disciple of the Vault
4 Dark Ritual
4 Mana Vault
4 Demonic Consultation
4 Vampiric Tutor
4 Demonic Tutor
4 Balance
4 Yawgmoth’s Will
4 Wheel of Fortune
4 Sol Ring
4 Contract from Below

This deck has a good chance of winning on the first turn. Just play lots of mana, Wheel of Fortune, and Contract from Below over and over again — until you can cast an Arcbound Ravager, Disciple of the Vault, and 10 other artifacts. Use Ravager to sacrifice the 10 artifacts, play Yawgmoth’s Will to get the 10 artifacts back, and sacrifice them again. Disciple will deal 20 damage to the opponent.

To raise your chances of getting a first turn win, you can replace Balance with Mana Crypt — of course a first turn Balance can also be similar to a first turn win anyway. Just play your entire hand and play Balance to make the opponent discard his or her entire hand.

You might also want to take Balance out of the deck if you want to make it into a red black deck. In that case City of Brass and Gemstone Mine can be taken out for dual lands.

Related: The Power 9 That Didn’t Make It.


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