Top 10 Best Sagas in MTG – Riley Ranks

Sagas are back! Since their first printing in Dominaria, Sagas have become a somewhat regular feature in recent sets, and they return in Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty. Even with the limited number of Sagas that have been printed so far, there have been some absolutely terrific ones that have influenced and even shaped various formats, from Standard to Modern to Vintage, and today we’re going to look at some of the best Sagas. 



10. Phyrexian Scriptures

Phyrexian Scriptures

Four-mana sweepers don’t come along every day, and while this does give opponents a turn’s warning before actually clearing the board, it leaves your best creature behind when it does. That’s not a bad deal – especially if you include this in a deck filled with artifact creatures who also don’t go down to the second chapter. The little bit of graveyard hate at the end is a nice little bonus, as well.


9. The Eldest Reborn

The Eldest Reborn

The Eldest Reborn never really shone in its Standard, not ever being much more than a role-player in some slower, controlling decks. These days, however, it’s a popular inclusion in many EDH decks, where it provides extremely sweet synergies in decks led by Muldrotha, the Gravetide and Tergrid, God of Fright. It also provides sweet flavor synergies in decks led by Nicol Bolas, the Ravager – we all know Grixis mages love to pay homage to their Dragon overlord. 


8. Elspeth Conquers Death

Elspeth Conquers Death

You’d think that a clunky, five-mana removal spell wouldn’t ever come close to being a key aspect of a format, but Elspeth Conquers Death was a big part of Standard before it rotated out. As a clean, brutally effective answer to any expensive threat your opponent played, it was very useful indeed – and the third chapter would rebuy your threats that had already been dealt with. And, perhaps most surprisingly of all, the second chapter had a huge amount of utility – particularly in control mirrors – in delaying some of the battlecruiser spells that were so popular in the format, like Emergent Ultimatum


7. Battle of Frost and Fire

Battle of Frost and Fire

Battle of Frost and Fire has played a small role in Standard as a sweeper in Izzet decks (that are doubtless bound to suffer with the recent Alrund’s Epiphany ban). Obviously the first chapter is the one you’re the most interested in when playing this card, but the second and third chapters are welcome additions to an already reasonably-costed sweeper in colors that don’t always get to deal with clogged boards. Who knows – maybe enough good Giants will be printed before it rotates out for the non-Giant rider to turn this into Plague Wind


6. Song of Freyalise

Song of Freyalise

A commander favorite, Song of Freyalise is a great inclusion in any deck that’s looking to go wide. Token decks led by commanders such as Rhys the Redeemed or Chatterfang, Squirrel General can make excellent use of this Saga to flood the board before launching an unstoppable alpha strike thanks to the Saga’s third chapter. The third chapter is kind of obnoxious, really, taking all decision-making out of combat as it gives creatures both vigilance and indestructible, meaning there’s not ever really a reason not to attack. 


5. History of Benalia

History of Benalia

The knight tribe got a huge card with History of Benalia – even on its own it’s a great aggressive card, churning out two 2/2s and enabling a big attack with them thanks to the third chapter. Combine this with a curve-out of Knights on turns one, two and four and you’re going to unleash a ridiculous amount of damage – especially if you can chuck something like an Inspiring Veteran and a Valiant Knight in there to grow your team to even larger proportions!


4. Binding the Old Gods

Binding the Old Gods

This card does it all – removes your opponent’s best threat, ramps you, and then… well, not much, to be honest, although sometimes your opponent will forget about the deathtouch and make a bad block so your 1/1 trades with their 4/4. Since Izzet decks have taken over Standard, Binding has fallen off a bit, but with the recent bannings, this card is in a prime position to reclaim its position as one of the most powerful and flexible removal spells in the format – even if there aren’t Triomes to fetch with it any more. 


3. Showdown of the Skalds

Showdown of the Skalds

Recently, there have been concerted efforts to add sources of card advantage to non-blue colors, and Showdown of the Skalds is a great example of what these efforts have led to. This card is very powerful and had already proven itself in decks like Naya Adventures – while aggressive decks have, recently, typically been monocolored, the removal of Faceless Haven might be enough for the white decks to look for a second color, and a four-drop that provides both card advantage and a way to buff your team is a great option for any creature-focused strategy. 


2. Kiora Bests the Sea God

Kiora Bests the Sea God

Kiora Bests the Sea God is one of the most powerful Sagas ever printed. Initially dismissed as a generic big blue clunker, this card was included as an option to fetch up with Emergent Ultimatum, and was often an unstoppable way to close out games – especially when blinked with Yorion, Sky Nomad. It has already begun the transition to Commander, too, being played in decks led by Runo Stromkirk and Arixmethes, Slumbering Isle – unsurprisingly, too as decks like these tend to want to play huge spells. 


1. Urza's Saga

Urza's Saga

From the moment it was printed, Urza’s Saga became the most powerful Saga in existence and it still hasn’t been eclipsed. This card does so much work, it’s unbelievable, and is played as a four-of in decks from Hammer Time to Amulet Titan to Jund. A four-off colorless land, in Jund! From making Construct tokens to fetching up Spellbombs and Amulets and Colossus Hammers, Urza’s Saga plays a wide range of roles in a wide range of decks – and that’s not even touching upon its popularity in Vintage, where it can fetch the most famous Magic card of all time: Black Lotus.


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