To celebrate Magic the Gathering’s 20th anniversary, Wizards printed a new premium From the Vault set showcasing the top 20 cards in history that made an impact on Magic as we know it today.
The 20 cards in From the Vault: Twenty are:
Dark Ritual: The unforgettable combo starter for black and in my opinion, the best “3 for 1 card” of the cycle. Dark Ritual is ridiculously good and later on took part in the “black summer of Magic.”
Swords to Plowshares: Wizard’s early attempt at creature removal and a Legacy worthy card. In the 20 years of this game, I don’t think they have or ever will print removal as strong as this, at least not for a long time.
Hymn to Tourach: A powerful hand control spell. Hymn was also part of the black summer during the year black decks were dominant.
Fyndhorn Elves: Moving onto the next year is the elf tribal representative. Mana elves are staple for midrange decks even today.
Wall of Blossoms: The classic green wall does one thing green rarely does which is draw. After that, green gets more opportunities for draw effects.
Thran Dynamo: We are now into the Urza block which is better known as the artifact block in 1999. Of course the card to represent that is an artifact itself. Thran Dynamo is a must have for any artifact decks to ramp the necessary mana early game.
Tangle Wire: The aftermath of the epic Urza block is the more obscure Mercadian Masques block. While a lot of the cards disappoint that year, Tangle Wire pulled its weight making it the go-to card of the set.
Fact or Fiction: A card that requires an opponent’s interaction. Fact or Fiction is best known to play mind games on both sides of the table. All that and it was an uncommon!
Chainer’s Edict: The Odyssey block metagame was heavily defined by Wild Mongrel and Psychatog. Chainer’s Edict supported the latter. While I prefer the classic Diabolic Edict, it is good to know sacrifice effects are noticed.
Gilded Lotus: In 2003, Wizards departed from the Dominaria plane and explored new planes. The first one is Mirrodin – an artifact heavy world. Many players regarded Mirrodin as Urza block part 2, which it is. Gilded Lotus is not only an artifact to represent that (very similar to Thran Dynamo) but it is also tribute to the most popular Magic card Black Lotus (which sadly cannot be reprinted).
Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni: Wizards followed up 2004 with the Japanese themed Kamigawa block. Making use of legends, ninjas and such, Ink-Eyes is the embodiment of the block.
Venser, Shaper Savant: Returning to Dominaria one last time in 2007, Wizards have no intention of holding back this time around designing some of the wildest cards in the game. Venser himself is a key character in the storyline (and will get a planeswalker card in a later expansion set).
Chameleon Colossus: Lorwyn block in 2008 focused on tribals. Playing creatures of the same type mattered at the time but what if you don’t have enough creatures to support that? Fortunately, there are Changeling creatures like Chameleon Colossus which can be fill in for any type you want.
Cruel Ultimatum: The Alara block pushed for multicolored interactions again. The best way to show it is a giant multicolored spell like Cruel Ultimatum- also another topdeck spell that contributed to a great reversal in a tournament.
Jace, the Mind Sculptor: It wasn’t the land theme nor the Eldrazi tribal that made the Zendikar block popular in the community. It is the single most powerful planeswalker to date and everyone’s favourite Jace, the Mind Sculptor.
Green Sun’s Zenith: Most players run artifacts in the new Scars of Mirrodin block. Others run the more traditional route. Green Sun’s Zenith is one of those cards that are good no matter which green deck you run and it cheats creatures out easily similar to its “predecessor” Tooth and Nail.
Kessig Wolf Run: Innistrad was supposed to be a graveyard theme and I would very much like to see a Liliana of the Veil or a Snapcaster Mage reprint. However, early Innistrad metagame reacted much more to Kessig Wolf Run- a modest rare land that is surprisingly effective.
And that’s 20 cards! From the Vault: Twenty comes out on August 23, 2013. Thanks for reading!