We’re back with more War of the Spark cards, picking out our favorites from the latest expansion in the world’s greatest collectible card game, Magic: The Gathering.
Today, we’re picking out our favorite uncommon cards. As usual, this is my favorite rarity to cover since the cards are both powerful enough to be fun and frequent enough to ensure you’ll actually get to use them in a Draft or Sealed deck.
However, the addition of Planeswalkers at uncommon have made this set a little weird. We usually only see rare and mythic Planeswalkers in normal sets, so we’ll actually get to cover a few today! Plus, we have multicolor cards to pout over.
It’s a lot, so today’s format will look at the three or four best uncommon cards in each color. Then, we’ll pick our favorite multicolor cards and color combinations. Lastly, we’ll finish off with the best uncommon Planeswalkers.
While not overly exciting, this is the best White uncommon in the set. Strong, hard removal that takes care of both creatures and Planeswalkers. Three mana is a cheap price for this effect, and even better, you get to Scry once it comes into the battlefield.
You’ll always take cards like these. Taking down threats is too important to pass this in a Draft or cut it from your deck in Sealed.
Maybe less reliable than Prison Realm but definitely more exciting. A 1/1 flyer doesn’t add up to much in the world of Magic, especially for two mana. However, once your Planeswalkers come onto the battlefield or you start dropping +1/+1 counters on creatures, hitting an opponent with this creature just keeps the engine rolling. More loyalty counters, more +1/+1 counters, bigger amass creatures (if you somehow have an amass creature in your White deck)
It’s fragile, but if you keep this creature alive, it can get out of hand quickly.
A classic card that finally gets some new art. There are a few reasonable ways to gain life in this set at common, mostly in Black and White colors, as usual. My favorite is Battlefield Promotion, which we covered yesterday, since it effectively gives Pridemate +2/+2 and first strike on the spot.
Even if you don’t consistently make it stronger, you can play this on turn-2, gain life just once, a 3/3 for two mana is not that bad. Even further, if you don’t have lifegain in your deck, proliferate makes Pridemate stronger, as well once you get that first counter on it. Double chances to get bigger! Twice as dangerous!
We can’t live the dream every game, can we? Ajani’s Pridemate is better in Constructed, but even in Limited Magic, it’s always a hallmark.
This is one of those cards that you can’t think too much about. Don’t look at the relatively expensive price or the relatively low statistics. Just run with it… or fly with it. Whatever.
Six mana for the rule-book index on a 3/3 flyer is worth something in Limited Magic. In a set that features +1/+1 counters and proliferate, this is an easy pick for a finisher.
Whoa! Flying zombies should be an instant win, and this could be. For five mana, you’re getting 5/5 worth of stats, which is not bad. 3/3 of that is on a creature, and 2/2 of that gets put onto your Zombie Army. Oh, and that Zombie Army can now fly… great…
What makes this card stunning is that if you already have a Zombie Army on the board, it immediately becomes a flying threat that doesn’t need to wait until the next turn to attack. Your tiny 1/1 or 2/2 army is now suddenly a 3/3 or a 4/4 flyer and something your opponent will need to find an answer for immediately.
I dig this card a lot. At its base, a 3/2 flyer for four mana is not that great, but if you can consistently make it a 4/3 flyer, that’s worth the price. And while bringing something back to your hand might seem like a downside, it can be made to your advantage if your deck has “enter the battlefield” abilities.
For example, play Eternal Skylord get a 2/2 Zombie Army token with flying. Next turn, attack with your Zombie Army, then play Rescuer Sphinx to bring Eternal Skylord back to your hand. Next turn, play Eternal Skylord, your 2/2 Zombie Army becomes a 4/4 with flying and it can attack this turn!
Blue has a few powerful “enter the battlefield” abilities at common, and the other colors do as well. Use this card’s weakness as a strength and you can’t lose.
Proliferating once can be powerful. Proliferating again and again and again just means you’re getting more and more value out of your Planewalkers. Blue doesn’t have much use for it outside of that, but pairing this with Green or White, where +1/+1 counters are common, and your creatures will only get bigger.
The only problem with that tactics is that you need a creature-heavy deck, and you might not have enough noncreature spells to keep the momentum up. It’s a solid backup plan for an even better proliferate creature we’ll talk about later… in Green…
First of all, a 2/3 for two mana… those are my favorite stats! This can survive most combat early in the game and easily thwart off most aggressive decks… the turn AFTER it comes into play. That coming into the battlefield tapped is a little annoying.
But, once you start to trade creatures, your graveyard will inevitably fill up, and Eternal Taskmaster can ensure that you never run out of steam. Just keep buying back your best stuff, and hopefully, the Taskmasker sticks around until you’re forced to trade it in for something better.
Recursion is one of Black’s strengths, and this lets you do it multiple times.
Three mana that often kills a creature and leaves you behind with a 2/2? That’s a blowout. Even if you only use it after common to finish off a creature after combat, you’re getting out on top with this card. This combined with Black’s common removal spells just make it a sick color this time around.
I wouldn’t want to be staring down Swamps at prerelease this weekend.
A 1/1 menace that becomes a 3/3 menace after eating a Zombie Army? Talk about flavor fail… However, every time you amass, you’re effectively creating food for this cat, making his evasion and size all the more dangerous.
Again, utilize your Zombie Army in multiple ways, not just by making it bigger!
Again, more Blue/Red spells payoffs. I’m dying to draft this deck, I really am. With enough ammunition in the graveyard, this thing wipes the board of your opponent’s biggest threat and leaves behind an aggressive (yet fragile) 4/2 body.
If you’re looking for an “enter the battlefield” card, this is easily the best I can recommend. Play this with Rescuer Sphinx or even Teferi’s Time Twist and watch as your opponent just cries.
Chandra’s Triumph is the best in the “triumph” cycle since it’s just a Lightning Strike. While its upside is negligible and it can’t hit an opponent in the face, it’s still the best, no question.
I’m not too impressed with the other Red uncommon cards, but for a third one, I’ll take the one that pairs best with Blue. This is a four four for four across two bodies. 2/2 can be attached to an existing Zombie Army token, which means it can attack the turn it comes into play, and the other can effectively stay back and block.
It’s not the most exciting card in the world, but Blue is the most likely place you’ll find amass cards to pair this up with.
We start off Green with my dream card! An efficiently priced 3/3 vigilance, trample with its own, personal, built in Hardened Scales! Oh, somebody pinch me! I’m going to draft and build all around this good boy!
He also ramps nicely with Green’s uncommon Planeswalker, not to mention his own, Jiang Yanguu. If you play him on turn-3, and then Mowu on turn-4, you’ve got yourself a 7/7 vigilance, trample on turn-5, which I would never once say “no” to. How could you to those puppy eyes?
This is no Sylvan Caryatid, but they are pretty similar. Paradise Druid helps establish Green as the home of multicolor nonsense, and the hexproof means you’ll be able to keep her safe until you are ready to play that off-color bomb you’re holding in your hand.
Just be careful. The turn you finally tap her and use that mana, your opponent is going to light her up in flames. Break in case of emergencies!
Gah… gah… gah… this is just nuts! “Landfall: Proliferate” is just disgusting in Green. No need for Flux Channeler when you have this card in play. This supports creature-heavy decks, encourages +1/+1 counters, works exceptionally well with Planeswalkers, Green’s uncommon Planeswalkers even moreso, and it’s just a great, aggressive creature if you need to toss around 3-power here and there.
This, along with Mowu and Jiang, make up a trio of my favorite uncommons in the set, and praise be the day I draft all three in the same deck.
Well, put a single token on Mowu, and this creature assures that he will eat up just about every other creature in the set. On its own, this guy can do some damage, acting as a removal spell every turn.
Plus, 6/5 for five mana is just nuts. Overpowered nonsense… just how I love my Green!
Not quite a Cloudblazer, but pretty darn close… and that’s good enough for me! It flies, it blocks, it gains you life, it draws you a card. It does a bit of everything that Blue/White decks want, and it’s the perfect card to drop into any deck sporting at least one of those colors.
Hexproof and menace are just annoying. If you’ve amassed a 4/4 Zombie Army, your opponent won’t be able to blow it up with a removal spell, and the only way to kill it will likely be to throw two creatures in front of it.
Nevermind that 4-toughness here also evades most of Red’s removal spells. The only way a Red play can kill this is with a Heartfire, but even then, they have to sacrifice a creature to use it. Ugh, I’m going to hate seeing this card across the battlefield, I just know it!
Here’s a Boros dork that I can get behind. It has the old Theros heroic mechanic on it, which is excellent once you start using combat tricks like Defiant Strike and Battlefield Promotion, and that +1/+1 counter also comes with a scry, helping you find even more combat tricks to cast on this creature.
Haste helps get the ball rolling, and once your opponent finds an answer, they will likely have already taken a huge chunk of life away from them. Aggressive as can be, Boros to the bitter end!
Mana-dork, lifelink, and deathtouch on a reasonably sized body… for just three mana. Opponents won’t want to attack into this, so as long as you’re using it to cast instant spells at the end of their turn, this will always remain up and ready to chomp monsters and gain a few life in the process.
Again, Green wants you to do five color nonsense, and I might be happy to oblige!
I’m bored of talking about removal spells. There are plenty of multicolor, uncommon ones, so I want to talk about this guy. A 2/2 flyer for two mana is great, even if it’s hard to cast. Solid, aggressive, aerial beater, no problems with that.
What I love about this card is that it’s a mana-sink with proliferate. Now, you might not have ten mana handy, but when tagteamed with Jiang Yanguu, you might have enough creatures with +1/+1 counters primed and ready to sink their mana into this ability and gain a few more counters in the process. It’s really not that hard to set up either since both are uncommon cards!
Even without that, proliferate at the end of your opponent’s turn is just a smart way to use up extra mana… so long as you have something alive to proliferate.
We’ve got a lot to choose from, but I’m limiting myself to five… or six… or seven. Let’s see here… you saw this one coming!
I’ve mentioned him a lot, and I think he’s great! One of the best uncommon Planeswalkers in the set. Passing around counters never gets old, ramping with creatures as mana is a ton of fun, and he’s a fantastic engine to build around. Love him on all fronts…
…but, you might be surprised to learn he’s not my favorite!
Saheeli is just stupidly powerful. In Blue/Red “spells matter” decks, she creates an annoying army to face down. 1/1 servos everywhere! Ugh, you just can’t attack through them!
However, when she starts turning those servos into copies of your best creatures? Oh man, just think of the possibilities! It gives your huge creatures pseudo-haste. It gives you double proliferate if you copy a Flux Channeler or an Evolution Sage, effectively buying back your loyalty points and MANY more.
It’s this ability which is giving her hype for modern. In Limited, she’s going to be highly sought after, especially with how powerful the Blue/Red deck seems.
Equipment doesn’t matter in this Limited set because there isn’t any, but first strike on your aggressive creatures certainly does. Her ability is also crazy, making Nahiri a solid removal spell that deals five damage (or even six if you are desperate or going to win) for four mana.
Or, you can spread that damage around for two, three, or even four turns. Nahiri provides rare versatility in a Red/White aggressive deck.
Kasima is sweet. Removal spells costing more to hit your creatures is fine. This can set your opponent back a turn if they need to remove your biggest threat, giving you more time to build your resources. Not the best ability, but it’s powerful.
More importantly, she both creates Wizards AND loots your hand at the same time. With a single proliferate trigger, you can activate her three times, which gets you three card draws and three 2/2 wizards, which is stupidly good for four mana.
Can’t turn my back on my Green guys, no matter how nice some of those multicolor ones look. Arlinn might be slow, but she effectively creates at least three 3/3 wolves, which is a nice price for six mana. Once you toss in proliferate, her wolves become stronger, and she can create even more!
Let’s not forget that there is a common card called Arlinn’s Wolf, which makes an impressive common even more impressive. Add it all together, and Arlinn creates a solid army that can win the game on its own… if you can stay alive for nine or ten turns.
Black/Green has few deathtouch creatures that will benefit from Vraska’s boost ability, Leyline Prowler being the most noticeable. Opponents will be forced to trade or stare down a 3/4 lifelink, deathouch… then a 5/6 lifelink, deathtouch… then a 5/7 lifelink, deathtouch. All the while, they won’t be able to focus on killing Vraska since your stuff just keeps getting stronger.
Making 2/2 assassins that can instantly kill planeswalkers is also an awesome bargain for just four mana. Vraska is better than I originally thought she would be.
Angrath is sweet and better than he was in Ixalan. His static ability gives everything menace, meaning your creatures suddenly become that much harder to block. Solid static ability, especially for any color combination that is looking to jam with destructive creatures. I like Angrath in almost any combination except for Blue. Green/Red or Green/Black for longer games, White/Red or Black/Red for faster games,
That hybrid casting cost does wonders for his versatility.
After his static ability, Angrath gives you 2/2 worth of stats every turn. Amass is both a Red and a Black ability, so if you already have a Zombie Army by the turn it comes down, his contribution to your token can attack immediately and with menace. Ouch!
That’s enough. Dovin, Kiora, and a few others deserve a mention, but I’ve already pushed my uncommon limits. Green/Black and Blue/Red are still my favorite color combinations, and I don’t see that changing after we talk about the rares next time!
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