Gatecrash is the most recently released product from Wizards of the Coast © in their long line of Magic: the Gathering playing cards. Gatecrash features five new guilds to choose from in the Return to Ravnica block, those five guilds being: Boros (R/W), Dimir (B/U), Simic (G/U), Gruul (G/R), and Orzhov (B/W). Boros and Gruul are best suited for players that prefer an aggressive, fast-paced style of play (aggro), whereas Dimir provides new options for mill style decks, Simic introduces a new concept of “evolving” creatures, and Orzhov allows players to dump all of their excess mana into unblockable, uncounterable healing and damage.
Without further adieu, let’s talk about the ten best cards in Gatecrash.
10. Firemane Avenger – this card offers a 3/3 flyer with arguably the best Battalion bonus within the playset. The Firemane Avenger provides 3 damage to target player or creature while healing it’s controller for 3 as well, allowing it to remove some of the most potent creature cards in this current block (Thragtusk, Vampire Nighthawks, etc.)
9. Burning-Tree Emissary – this card will become the newest staple for virtually all aggro style decks as long as it remains standard legal. With a full playset of this card, players can potentially put out 4 Burning-Tree Emissary and another 2 drop creature OR a nifty enchant/instant spell (Madcap Skills anyone?). There is simply no better way to get your creatures out on turn 2 than by playing Burning-Tree Emissary.
8. Boros Charm – simply being able to smack an opponent for 4 damage with a 2 mana cost card is huge in aggro style decks, but this charm is simply without flaw. Not only can you utilize the 4 damage to target player ability, but you can also make ALL of your permanents indestructible for the turn or give a target creature double-strike until end of turn. All three of these uses are simply huge in practically any format.
7. Aurelia’s Fury – as soon as Bonfire of the Damned leaves play Aurelia’s Fury will be the new mass-creature removal spell of choice against token and exalted decks. Aurelia’s Fury also provides additional perks, tapping all creatures dealt damage until the end of the turn. This can prove to be a powerful card against aggro style decks and haste creatures, while also providing players the ability to end the game on a turn by tapping all the opponents’ blockers.
6. Mind Grind – this is simply one of the best mill cards available, combined with Crypt Ghast, Consuming Abberation, and Jace, Memory Adept, your opponents can merely weep as you send all of their precious little cards to the graveyard.
5. Aurelia, the Warleader – most Boros decks will already have done a fair amount of damage to opponents by turn 6, and then playing Aurelia, the Warleader can very possibly finish off the game. Being able to attack twice per turn is huge regardless of the format.
4. Obzedat, Ghost Council – statistics already show that most draft tournaments are won by players who draft Obzedat, Ghost Council, but the possibilities with this card are almost endless. Being able to exile Obzedat, Ghost Council at the end of each turn protects him from dangerous sorcery spells and enchants that could take him out of play, forcing players to sideboard instant spells for removal. In addition to being a tough card to eliminate, the healing and free damage provided by Obzedat over the course of a few turns can be an absolute game-changer.
3. Master Biomancer – by providing huge buffs to all new creatures entering the game, Master Biomancer can be utilized in a Bant midrange deck to turn already disgusting creatures (Armada Wurm, Gyre Sage) into absolute powerhouses that can end a game quickly. Having two of these on the field turns your one-drop Avacyn Pilgrims into 5/5’s, that can be huge.
2. Frontline Medic – this card will allow players to not only attack with huge amounts of indestructible creatures thanks to its Battalion bonus, but it also provides an answer to several key cards within the current standard block (Sphinx’s Revelation, Aurelia’s Fury, Bonfire of the Damned, Clan Defiance, Mind Grind, etc.) providing two different ways to completely cripple your opponents.
1. Boros Reckoner – no surprises here, Boros Reckoner is quite obviously the best card out of this set. Being able to tap 1 mana to give Boros Reckoner first strike helps eliminate threats such as Dreg Manglers, Thragtusks, and Geralf’s Messengers while also working amazingly well in combination with spells such as Blasphemous Act (4x Boros Reckoner on the battlefield + 1 Blasphemous Act = 52 damage to target player) to provide players with very viable instant-win situations.
Overall, Gatecrash has provided Magic: the Gathering players with some very interesting new cards to build sets around. With Dragon Maze being released in May and featuring all ten of the Return to Ravnica block guilds, each of these cards will likely only improve.