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Top 10 Best MTG Kicker Cards – Riley Ranks

Kicker is returning in Dominaria United, which is something that the overwhelming majority of Magic players will be happy to learn. Kicker is one of Magic’s all-time great mechanics, offering an incredibly useful attribute to the cards on which it appears: flexibility. Flexibility is the key to competitive viability (just look at modal cards like Archmage’s Charm and Kolaghan’s Command), and any new kicker cards are going to be worth having a look at for that very reason. There have been a ton of first-rate kicker cards printed over the years – let’s remind ourselves of some of the best of ’em!

 

 

10. Skyclave Relic

Skyclave Relic

Three-drop mana rocks have to offer something special to make it in EDH. Chromatic Lantern is a great example: despite costing three, it offers no-questions-asked color fixing  and is therefore highly prized in four and five-color decks that have stringent mana requirements. Skyclave Relic isn’t quite in the same league, of course, but it does offer a different type of flexibility: an extra payoff if you draw and play it late. For six mana, you get three indestructible mana rocks (or more with something like Doubling Season). Having a mana rock that can get you from three to five is fine, but from six to 10? You’ll be churning out your Ulamogs and Kozileks in no time. 

9. Goblin Ruinblaster

Goblin Ruinblaster

Goblin Ruinblaster perhaps isn’t the most played kicker card of all time, but it certainly is my favorite. I love a bit of land destruction every now and again, and Goblin Ruinblaster offers you a Stone Rain attached to a hasty 2/1. Put to proper use, it’s a powerful and very frustrating card, but it does have its drawbacks. After all, it only destroys nonbasic lands – but who amongst us would ever be so colossally foolish enough to kick a Goblin Ruinblaster into an opponent with only basics, while controlling nonbasics themselves?

8. Sea Gate Stormcaller

Sea Gate Stormcaller

Anyone who has played Best-of-One MTGA for long enough will have come across this card, once the scourge of the Historic queue in conjunction with Neoform. For just four mana, you cast a Sea Gate Stormcaller (unkicked, obviously), and then follow it up with Neoform, sacrificing the Stormcaller. The Neoform gets copied, you fetch Dualcaster Mage, which copies it again, allowing you to fetch more Dualcaster Mages and then clones to copy them until you have a full board, and then use the last two copies to get Tuktuk Rubblefort and Combat Celebrant for the win. All enabled by this two-drop kicker card – which, now that I think about it, perhaps shouldn’t even be on this list, as its kicker ability is completely irrelevant to its playability!

7. Everflowing Chalice

Everflowing Chalice

Skyclave Relic is one thing, but if we’re talking about the kicker mechanic giving mana rocks late-game utility, Everflowing Chalice scales like crazy. For every two mana you invest into it, you can tap it for one mana straight away, meaning it has a built in 50 percent discount in addition to very useful late game utility in certain decks. Which decks? Well, as Everflowing Chalice can only produce colorless mana, it generally does its best work in EDH decks with commanders that are either colorless or have X in their casting cost, so anything from Eldrazi titans to Verazol, the Split Current – who also offers a nice bit of kicker synergy on top! 

6. Joraga Warcaller

Joraga Warcaller

First printed in Worldwake, Joraga Warcaller is a mainstay in EDH elf decks, from Lathril to Marwyn to Ezuri. There are tons of Elf lords, of course – Elvish Archdruid, Imperious Perfect, Elvish Champion – but not all of them can use the prodigious amount of mana Elf decks can generate to power up the team to untold heights. Draw this on turn 15, with a full board and a ton of spare mana? All of a sudden, the team will have +20/+20 and won’t need a Craterhoof to start attacking for hundreds and hundreds. 

5. Goblin Bushwhacker

Goblin Bushwhacker

Goblin Bushwhacker takes aggro decks to a whole new level of “low to the ground” – “8-Whack” decks, as they’re sometimes called, use this card to power up a ton of one-drops and get in for more damage than they have any right to. For just two mana, Goblin Bushwhacker routinely adds six to 10 power to the board, all of it with haste, and that’s often enough to swarm any opponent who doesn’t have a cheap sweeper or a hand full of removal. It’s a bit of a one-trick pony, to be sure, but Goblin Bushwhacker still has the potential to be a very scary card. 

4. Into the Roil

Into the Roil

It might not look like much, but Into the Roil is a powerful, flexible card that is an old favorite of blue mages everywhere. While they’re all very reluctant to cast it for two mana, the fact is this: they can, when it’s warranted. Having the option to get rid of something here and now – albeit temporarily – can be the difference between life and death for a control deck, and all slow decks really want is for their cards to replace themselves. For these reasons – extreme flexibility, utility in any situation, the fact that it replaces itself – Into the Roil is a much better card than it looks. As is its functional reprint, Blink of an Eye, of course – but with art that horrifying, it would be impossible for Blink of an Eye to be worse than it looks, wouldn’t it?

3. Tourach, Dread Cantor

Tourach, Dread Cantor

As an elegant and powerful reference to a classic discard spell, Hymn to Tourach, Tourach, Dread Cantor is very good at what he does and enjoys a decent amount of play in Modern as a result. For four mana (you rarely want to play him unkicked), you get a 4/3 that will only grow if you can snipe more cards with future Thoughtseizes and Inquisitions – already, not a bad deal. But when you consider this card doesn’t die to Solitude, March of Otherworldly Light, Prismatic Ending, Path to Exile, and any other premium white removal spells, you start to realize that Tourach usually ends up being a very threatening three-for-one.

2. Maddening Cacophony

Maddening Cacophony

Mill decks everywhere received a considerable shot in the arm with Maddening Cacophony. Its rate of two mana for eight cards isn’t the best-in-class – Glimpse the Unthinkable handily outperforms it there – but there are two key differences with Maddening Cacophony. First, Glimpse only hits one player, while Cacophony hits all your opponents in EDH, and second, it has a powerful kicker ability that shreds opposing libraries. By the time you’ve got to six mana to kick it, your opponents often still have 70 or 80 cards left, meaning this card will routinely mill a total of over a hundred cards across three libraries. That’s not bad at all, for just six mana. 

1. Rite of Replication

Rite of Replication

Rite of Replication can be truly, utterly ridiculous. Token-based clone effects are already ripe for exploitation in conjunction with cards like Doubling Season and Parallel Lives, but when a single card can create five token copies of a single card, well – add in some doubling effects and things will very quickly get out of hand. Adrix and Nev, Twincasters love to do absurd stuff with Rite of Replication, such as kick it while targeting things like Reef Worm or Hornet Queen. A kicked Rite targeting Hornet Queen with the Twincasters out will result in… 10 Hornet Queens, and 80 Insect tokens? Utterly ridiculous. 

 

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