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Top 10 Best Adventure Cards in MTG – Riley Ranks

Battle for Baldur’s Gate is swiftly approaching, and I can’t wait. I’m a huge D&D fan and love seeing classic characters, items and tropes from D&D appear on Magic cards – the biggest standout so far being the Monster Manual. As a Quicksilver Amulet that also has an Adventure half, this card looks pretty good, and is the first time we’ve seen adventures on a noncreature card. Adventures are back in a big way, though, and as they contributed to one of the most powerful Standard formats in Magic’s history, I thought it was a good opportunity to count down the best adventure cards printed so far, before their ranks are swollen with the new ones from Baldur’s Gate!

 

 

10. Rosethorn Acolyte

Rosethorn Acolyte // Seasonal Ritual

Rosethorn Acolyte didn’t define Standard like some of the other Adventure cards did, but it got off to a very strong start in the early Song of Creation decks that were popular right after Throne of Eldraine was released. In conjunction with Lucky Clover, this card actually made mana, and wasn’t discarded to the Song of Creation trigger so you could cast it later on. Seasonal Ritual was never quite broken in half, but Rosethorn Acolyte nonetheless stuck around in weird, fringe combo decks as a powered-down ritual. 

9. Giant Killer

Giant Killer // Chop Down

There’s a lot of text on this one-drop, and Giant Killer ended up punching well above its weight for a good amount of time in aggressive white-based lists. Chop Down killed everything from Bonecrusher Giant to Lovestruck Beast to Questing Beast, and having a cheap tapper to follow up the removal spell made Giant Killer a very useful utility card in the decks looking to get off to quick and aggressive starts. 

8. Rimrock Knight

Rimrock Knight // Boulder Rush

Speaking of quick and aggressive, Rimrock Knight was a mainstay in mono-red aggro decks, as a high-power two-drop that also served as a pump spell on occasion. As a 3/1, Rimrock Knight’s fragility was offset by how hard it could hit you, and was a very capable wielder of Embercleave. While it was never necessarily a headline act in Eldraine’s mono-red decks, it was a popular inclusion and did a good amount of work. 

7. Murderous Rider

Murderous Rider // Swift End

Interestingly, Murderous Rider had a very quiet time in Standard when compared to some of the other powerful rare Adventure cards. You’d think a Hero’s Downfall effect stapled to a useful 2/3 lifelink body would have seen a lot of play, but it’s only really come into its own post-rotation, becoming more popular in EDH than it ever was in Standard. I had thought Murderous Rider would be in contention for the best Adventure card in Eldraine, but it ended up being a bit of a bust. 

6. Merfolk Secretkeeper

Merfolk Secretkeeper // Venture Deeper

Most of the Adventure cards fell off once rotation took them out of Standard, although there are some notable exceptions – and Merfolk Secretkeeper is one of them. It’s not widely played, but any mill deck in Historic or Explorer (particularly one that plays Drowned Secrets) is very happy to have a defensive body that mills four cards and triggers Drowned Secrets twice as it does so. Mill decks are all about defending your life total while burning through an opposing library, and this card does both those things very handily. 

5. Beanstalk Giant

Beanstalk Giant // Fertile Footsteps

One of the problems ramp decks always face is drawing the wrong half of the deck. If you draw all ramp spells and no business, you sit there with a million mana and nothing to spend it on. If you draw all business and no ramp spells, you sit there with uncastable eight-drops in hand. Beanstalk Giant neatly solves that problem by being both a ramp spell and a powerful late game card. Plus, fetching two untapped lands for three mana with Lucky Clover out always felt absolutely broken in half. 

4. Lovestruck Beast

Lovestruck Beast // Heart's Desire

Lovestruck Beast was a crucially important part of the Temur Adventures decks that dominated Standard while Eldraine was around. Its importance was closely linked to, surprisingly, its flexibility – which might make you think, hang on, it’s just a 5/5 idiot, how is it flexible? Well, it was a huge roadblock against aggro decks, who couldn’t attack into a 5/5 blocker, and it forced answers from control decks, demanding either a sweeper or two removal spells to clean up both the 1/1 and the 5/5. Not bad for a single card!

3. Fae of Wishes

Fae of Wishes // Granted

Throne of Eldraine Standard got pretty degenerate at times, and behind a lot of that degeneracy was Fae of Wishes. In Fires of Invention lists in particular, Fae of Wishes enabled powerful toolbox-style sideboards to follow up a Fires and deal with whatever problem was at hand – and in aggressive matchups, it even blocked as two-mana 1/4! No matter what you needed – a sweeper, card advantage, a planeswalker to finish things off – Fae of Wishes could fetch it for you, and then get bounced over and over again to fetch you even more business. 

2. Bonecrusher Giant

Bonecrusher Giant // Stomp

I don’t think anyone thought a two-mana Shock would be able to impact a Standard format in the way that Stomp would, but the hard-hitting three-mana 4/3 that came with it (plus the impact of support cards like Lucky Clover and Edgewall Innkeeper) meant that Bonecrusher Giant was one of the most played cards – not just Adventure cards – in Standard. It was so popular, it rendered two-toughness creatures effectively unplayable for the length of its time in Standard – again, you never really expect a two-mana Shock to have an effect!

1. Brazen Borrower

Brazen Borrower // Petty Theft

We touched upon Adventure cards that “made it”, and none “made it” more so than Brazen Borrower. Still played in all kinds of Modern decks, from Murktide Regent to Crashing Footfalls, Brazen Borrower provides a flexible answer to any permanent that’s troubling you, plus a 3/1 flying body that represents a pretty quick clock. Brazen Borrower has ended up being the most popular and powerful Adventure card – it’ll be interesting to see if it holds onto that title with the addition of new Adventures in Baldur’s Gate!

 

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