Top 5: 2020 Rotation Edition

ccm0007’s Top 5 Cards I Will Miss From Modern

This was a challenging list, but I focused on cards that allowed for some variety. I run different builds every week, and it’s always a challenge to find my way out of the same old same old. So cards that allow for me to think outside of the box, or enable strategies that would otherwise be useless, will be in a special place for me.

5.  Jubilee

Overpowered? Arguably. Versatile? Absolutely. Hard to ignore? Definitely. Jubilee gave sidekick builds some great removal and direct damage. And she fits into an inexpensive purchase slot, making her a great fit for sidekick teams that often struggle to afford larger (4+) purchase costs.

She was a bit too strong back when she came out (remember, this was in the R Cosmic Cube days), but the second Cube got banned from Modern, she shone as a fun, strong card that serves as a logical tool to allow sidekick builds to squeeze free of oppressive control strategies. 

Thanks for the fun times, Jubilee. You will be missed.

4.  Wong

Arguably long overdue to rotate (remember: that team pack came out in September 2016!), this guy will still be missed. Wizkids gave us so many awesome tools for sidekick builds (including Jubilee), and he is just the perfect complement to these shenanigans.

He’s the best Ally Wizkids has ever printed, bar none. Good stats, useful ability (especially to stop Overcrush!), relevant energy type (miss the character? Pay those fists for Haymaker/Too Big To Fly andd add some damage), and even a fun affiliation (he’s a must with Zatanna from the Mystics team pack).

You’ve had a good run, Wong. Hopefully Wizkids prints a good Ally soon to fit that aggro slot.

3.  Mimic

Now, let’s start with the obvious: No, that’s not the common. Sure, it’s a cool ramp engine, but it’s not a card I’ll hugely miss. The SR, on the other hand, is unique: it is the only card that can double any “While active” effect, while not being restricted by affiliations. And once per turn, you can even switch what you copy to whatever you want.

This type of shenanigans really gets the brain going. Do I double Collector and do a double punch of Nobby? Do I copy my opponent’s win condition and run roughshod over them? Do I copy Asuka’s discount and make mask characters dirt-cheap? Do I copy Hulk: Power of Attorney and deal obscene damage? Do I copy an unblockable character, then switch to copying a big bruiser after blockers are declared?

There’s just so much that this card can do, and I love it. It’s a card I could spend months building around and not exhaust all of the possibilities. Man, I’ll miss that in Modern.

2.  Team Up

So if you didn’t know, I love cards that make other cards better. And there’s no better example of that than Team Up. In the right build, use this and everything gets huge. Real huge. This became especially crazy when Wizkids started including double-affiliation characters much more liberally (Warhammer in particular was insane). Heck, even blank cards become playable when used with this.

Sadly, this card was stifled by a card I really, really hate (spoiler alert: it’s #1 of my cards that can f right off), and thus never got to make a major competitive impact. But this card is so hilarious and overwhelming in the right build. I’ll miss dealing excessive amounts of damage in one turn.

Cheers, Team Up. You will be missed.

1.  Absorbing Man

And finally, the card I really wish didn’t go, the enabler of Doop, Wolverine, Grell (oh, that ramp is something else), and so many other shenanigans.

This is strictly personal taste, but I love “When KO’d” effects. They’re always the underdog, there’s no card that outright shuts down this type of ability, and Wizkids has so far managed to keep these abilities well-balanced enough that doubling them didn’t feel like I was punching a kitten (as opposite to the “When fielded” effects done by his rare counterpart).

While I wish there had been an exact ruling on what constitutes a “When KO’d” effect (e.g. because of R Chwinga and other such effects), this card gave me way too many fun times not to be on here. It never won a major tournament, but it won me over on shenanigans alone.

*Honorable mention to Danger Room: Flame-Throwers and Rotating Knives. I love “villain hate” builds, and this card makes villain hate reliable and hilarious (UC Ronin the Destroyer, anyone?). Oh, and the global’s awesome at getting rid of villains, e.g. Shriek. You shall be missed.

ccm0007’s Top 5 Cards That Can F**k Off From Modern

This list was actually pretty easy. It’s cards that are too easy to include, that shut down too much at once, and thus end up limiting creativity. Yes, control is fun. But if control makes it so that I can’t play, it’s not a feeling I enjoy. I’m glad these enablers of oppressive gameplay will be out of our way soon.

5.  Shriek

Yeah, yeah, I know, why isn’t this higher. And the answer is: I honestly don’t mind Shriek that much. She was necessary as a counter to some nasty aggressive win conditions. When she came out, I was glad to see a blanking effect that could target something that wasn’t fielded. And since you could buy her T1, she made for a potential counter against some nasty T4 builds we saw at the time.

What I wasn’t happy to see was how often she was used. All the time. As in, pretty much all competitive builds use 7 cards plus Shriek. I just got bored of seeing her across the table every game. “I buy my Shriek”. “Fine, I buy my Shriek”. Sure, the way she is used is a key strategic part of the game. But I’m looking forward to being unable to rely on that crutch.

Bye bye, Shriek. Most people here hate you, but I just mildly dislike you.

4.  Splinter’s Teachings

Alright. I know I’m going to get flak for this one. But I really, really don’t like that global. Why? Because it does too much. It’s an offensive powerhouse when used with unblockable characters, and it’s a defensive all-star when going up against Fixit and the like. And in both cases, it’s very easy to make one-sided when used alongside a card like Wonder Woman: Child of Clay.

It does so much, all for one energy. And while it’s nowhere as egregious as some other stuff on this list, it was just too…easy an include sometimes. I’m looking forward to seeing a meta where you can’t make 10A into 1 damage with one energy.

Goodbye, Splinter’s Teachings. You’ll be missed when I stare down Becky or God Catcher, but overall, glad to see another crutch leave.

3.  Blob

So let’s see. Pay 4, get a character that stops your opponent from purchasing or fielding a character. So even if I use something to remove this guy, I must time it so that I can do removal to purchase and to field. Oh, and to get him off the field, I have to content with D that goes as high as 8. And he’s easily purchased on T2 (or T1 going second).

I’m sorry, but that’s a bit much. Name a key part of the win con, and use him alongside other control, and you can just make it so that your opponent can’t play. I can appreciate that competitively, he has a place. But he’s un-fun when you’re on the receiving end. Mind you, recent fantastic removal (e.g. cheap Intimidate, Mimic) have made him easier to deal with…but not much.

Goodbye, Blob. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

2.  Wonder Woman

This might be a surprising pick; after all, this card saw substantially less play in the last year or so. This card isn’t included for its impact on the game today; it’s for what it did to the game when it came out.

Back when the Superman/Wonder Woman starter came out, Lantern Ring was a big meta dog. And Dwarf Wizard was huge, with Shriek also about to come out (among many, many other things). So she became a must-have from a competitive standpoint for a time. And back then, in Modern, there were substantially less removal tools compared to what we have now, and most removal or blanking relied on…you guessed it…when fielded effects.

Of course, players would build teams with her, include no “when fielded” or “when attacks” effect (or would add some form of self-removal, e.g. the True Believer global), and reap one-sided benefits out of this game-stopping ability. This led to a style of play that, for a time, was excessively frustrating to deal with. She was a serious, serious pain in the rear, and led to limited team-building variety in my local scene for a time. And I have never forgotten. To see her banished from Modern will be sweet indeed.

I will not miss this card. Not. One. Bit.

1.  Green Devil Mask

This card can rot in hell next to Imprisoned (incidentally, now banned from everything. Huzzah!). Now, full disclaimer: I see what they were aiming for. They didn’t want control teams running roughshod and leading to unfun gameplay. I see that. But putting this level of removal on a continuous action (the type of card that has the LEAST amount of counters in the game) just led to a ton of unfun situations. Especially when the only counters to this are characters…that can trigger GDM’s ability.

Also, since I tend to like convoluted combos and strategies that go “wide”, so to speak, this card single-handedly stifled most of my creative ideas, or led to me playing around this overpowered and annoying removal tool.

Now, to be clear: yes, I have used it, in competitive builds. I have won Canadian Nats with it and took it to a top 2 Worlds finish. I am not (anymore) above using cards that I hate from a design standpoint in competitions. But I will not miss this card in Modern. This card illustrates exactly why we need action hate on an action. As in, yesterday. Please, Wizkids.

Good f’ing riddance, GDM. Good f’ing riddance.

Read onto the next page to see what Son of L will (and will not) miss with the 2020 Rotation.

3 Replies to “Top 5: 2020 Rotation Edition

    1. Sorry for the late reply. You best bet is to honestly photoshop the whole card and put in the dice images that you want. We have an older tutorial on the site for that and I will be making something new for the D&D cards shortly.

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