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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Jul 04 2014 12:00pm
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I love this game. I love writing about it. Compiling lists about it. Evaluating it. Sometimes, I even play it. I'm an Accidental Player.

 The Tolarian Academy of Arcane Arts and Pictures presents: THE TOPDECK AWARDS!
 The best way to celebrate 20 long years of this silly game, by rewarding all those beloved cards that, at one point or another, starred in our personal tragicomedies and psychodramas.

  Today's category is: Outstanding Card Drawing. A card drawing spell is any nonpermanent spell whose main purpose is to provide you with card advantage by drawing cards from the top of the library. This means that, in order to qualify for this category, right after the spell resolves, you have to at least potentially end with more cards in hand than you had before. Spells that just replace themselves by drawing you one card are considered Cycling or Cantripping, while spells that make you draw and discard the same amount of cards are considered Looting. Spells that make you look at cards from the top and choose one, like Ponder or Preordain, are considered Card Selection. As far as this specific award is concerned, none of these types of spells belongs to the Card Drawing category. Also, spells that would draw you cards as a corollary of their other effects, like Cruel Ultimatum or Decree of Pain, were not eligible. The nominations are divided into sub-categories and accompanied by a brief profile of the nominees, which are listed alphabetically. Winners will be published with the announcement of the next category. Last month's winners are here.

 And the voting duty, ladies and gentlemen, is all yours.

 But first, here's the Card Drawing Hall of Fame. All the Hall of Famers aren't eligible for Awards. (NOTE: Brainstorm doesn't technically provide card advantage if used as written, but it's really easy to exploit it in a way that does.)

  

  

  

> GO DIRECTLY TO THE BALLOTS <

> PREVIOUS CATEGORIES <


 Category A: Outstanding Blue Fast Drawing

 The nominees are: 

1. 

  • Name: Compulsive Research
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthdate: October 2005
  • Birthplace: Ravnica: City of Guilds
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's almost (Thirst to Knowledge).

 

2. 

  • Name: Divination
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthdate: July 2009
  • Birthplace: Magic 2010
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's so basic it feels like it's been around forever.

 

3. 

  • Name: Dream Cache
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthdate: October 1996
  • Birthplace: Mirage
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's Brainstorm's slower cousin, but doesn't even need shuffling to put those dead draws away.

 

4. 

  • Name: Gush
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthdate: October 1999
  • Birthplace: Mercadian Masques
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it doesn't really cost 5.

 

5. 

  • Name: Ideas Unbound
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthdate: June 2005
  • Birthplace: Saviors of Kamigawa
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it gives you one full turn to storm your hand away.

 

6. 

  • Name: Meditate
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: October 1997
  • Birthplace: Tempest
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's a huge temptation.

 

7. 

  • Name: Think Twice
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthdate: October 2006
  • Birthplace: Time Spiral
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's half now, half when the job's done.

> GO TO THE BALLOTS <


 Category B: Outstanding Blue Midrange Drawing

 The nominees are: 

1. 

  • Name: Amass the Components
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthdate: May 2012
  • Birthplace: Avacyn Restored
  • Reason for Nomination: Because sometimes that one card needs to go back into the deck, See Beyond-style.

 

2. 

  • Name: Careful Consideration
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthdate: October 2006
  • Birthplace: Time Spiral
  • Reason for Nomination: Because you can carefully fit the discard component to your needs.

 

3. 

  • Name: Concentrate
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthdate: October 2001
  • Birthplace: Odyssey
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's pure, unadulterated card drawing, plain and simple.

 

4. 

  • Name: Deep Analysis
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthdate: February 2002
  • Birthplace: Torment
  • Reason for Nomination: Because its flashback option is sometimes the best deal.

 

5. 

  • Name: Foresee
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthdate: May 2007
  • Birthplace: Future Sight
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it digs really deep.

 

6. 

  • Name: Inspiration
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthdate: February 1997
  • Birthplace: Visions
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's exactly Braingeyser instant for 2.

 

7. 

  • Name: Tezzeret's Gambit
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthdate: May 2011
  • Birthplace: New Phyrexia
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's actually a Divination that comes with a free proliferate.

> GO TO THE BALLOTS <


 Category C: Outstanding Blue Big Drawing

 The nominees are: 

1. 

  • Name: Blue Sun's Zenith
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: February 2011
  • Birthplace: Mirrodin Besieged
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's a Stroke of Genius that comes back.

 

2. 

  • Name: Enter the Infinite
  • Rarity: Mythic Rare
  • Birthdate: February 2013
  • Birthplace: Gatecrash
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's larger than larger-than-life.

 

3. 

  • Name: Jace's Ingenuity
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthdate: July 2010
  • Birthplace: Magic 2011
  • Reason for Nomination: Because that's what you get when you fix Ancestral Recall's mana cost.

 

4. 

  • Name: Opportunity
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthdate: February 1999
  • Birthplace: Urza's Legacy
  • Reason for Nomination: Because this time we have a Braingeyser instant for 4.

 

5. 

  • Name: Stroke of Genius
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: October 1998
  • Birthplace: Urza's Saga
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's still the most splashable way to deck your opponent at instant speed.

 

6. 

  • Name: Tidings
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthdate: July 1999
  • Birthplace: Starter 1999
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's the best deal if you just want 4 straight-up cards.

 

7. 

  • Name: Time Reversal
  • Rarity: Mythic Rare
  • Birthdate: July 2010
  • Birthplace: Magic 2011
  • Reason for Nomination:  Because it's Modern era Timetwister.

> GO TO THE BALLOTS <


 Category D: Outstanding Blue Conditional Drawing

 The nominees are: 

1. 

 

2. 

  • Name: Distant Melody
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthdate: February 2008
  • Birthplace: Morningtide
  • Reason for Nomination: Because Elves splash blue for it.

 

3. 

  • Name: Flow of Ideas
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthdate: October 2005
  • Birthplace: Ravnica: City of Guilds
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's monoblue in its purest form.

 

4. 

  • Name: Overwhelming Intellect
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthdate: June 2005
  • Birthplace: Saviors of Kamigawa
  • Reason for Nomination: Because in Commander it has juicy targets.

 

5. 

  • Name: Recurring Insight
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: April 2010
  • Birthplace: Rise of the Eldrazi
  • Reason for Nomination: Because if timed right it's a lot of cards, and then another lot.

 

6. 

  • Name: Rush of Knowledge
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthdate: May 2003
  • Birthplace: Scourge
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's potentially the largest amount of cards you can draw for 5 mana.

 

7. 

  • Name: Visions of Beyond
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: July 2011
  • Birthplace: Magic 2012
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's the Ancestral Recall of self-mill decks.

> GO TO THE BALLOTS <


 Category E: Outstanding Black Drawing

 The nominees are: 

1. 

  • Name: Altar's Reap
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthdate: September 2011
  • Birthplace: Innistrad
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's a festive answer to removal.

 

2.  

  • Name: Cruel Bargain/Infernal Contract
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdates: June 1997 and October 1996
  • Birthplaces: Portal and Mirage
  • Reason for Nomination: Because if you're black, you just love hurt yourself for power.

 

3. 

  • Name: Promise of Power
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: October 2003
  • Birthplace: Mirrodin
  • Reason for Nomination: Because 5 cards for 5 mana and 5 life is an excellent deal in black. And you might get a free Demon, too!

 

4. 

  • Name: Sign in Blood
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthdate: July 2009
  • Birthplace: Magic 2010
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's become an instant classic, a more versatile Night's Whisper.

 

5. 

  • Name: Read the Bones
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthdate: September 2013
  • Birthplace: Theros
  • Reason for Nomination: Because you might well pay one mana more on Night's Whisper to be sure you draw the right cards.

 

6. 

  • Name: Syphon Mind
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthdate: October 2002
  • Birthplace: Onslaught
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's a multiplayer staple.

 

7. 

  • Name: Ancient Craving
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: June 1998
  • Birthplace: Portal Second Age
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's black's Concentrate, in black's style. (NOTE: It's been functionally reprinted as Ambition's Cost in Portal Three Kingdoms).

> GO TO THE BALLOTS <


 Category F: Outstanding Green Drawing

 The nominees are: 

1. 

  • Name: Collective Unconscious
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: October 1999
  • Birthplace: Mercadian Masques
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it rewards green for being green.

 

2. 

  • Name: Harmonize
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthdate: February 2007
  • Birthplace: Planar Chaos
  • Reason for Nomination: Because getting a color-shifted Concentrate is the proof that green is the second best color for card drawing.

 

3. 

  • Name: Hunter's Insight
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthdate: July 2011
  • Birthplace: Magic 2012
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's situational, but in the situation that happens most often in green.

 

4. 

  • Name: Hunter's Prowess
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: February 2014
  • Birthplace: Born of the Gods
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it loses Hunter's Insight's element of surprise, but it gains a personal Overrun.

 

5. 

  • Name: Life's Legacy
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: July 2014
  • Birthplace: Magic 2014
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's not instant speed, but it's still a Momentous Fall for half the cost, as far as card drawing is concerned.

 

6. 

  • Name: Momentous Fall
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: April 2010
  • Birthplace: Rise of the Eldrazi
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's the best way to recycle a creature.

 

7. 

> GO TO THE BALLOTS <


 Category G: Outstanding Multicolored Drawing

 The nominees are: 

1. 

 

2. 

  • Name: Blast of Genius
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthdate: May 2013
  • Birthplace: Dragon's Maze
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's hard to tell if it's more of a way to draw cards, or more of a way to smash faces.

 

3. 

  • Name: Cerebral Vortex
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: February 2006
  • Birthplace: Guildpact
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's the Izzet's signature spell.

 

4. 

  • Name: Give/Take
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthdate: May 2013
  • Birthplace: Dragon's Maze
  • Reason for Nomination: Because playing around with counters is very Simic, and always awesome.

 

5. 

  • Name: Invoke the Firemind
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: February 2006
  • Birthplace: Guildpact
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's the works of Niv-Mizzet.

 

6. 

  • Name: Urban Evolution
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthdate: February 2013
  • Birthplace: it. Sometimes, I even play it. IGatecrash
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's the Simic's fusion of Concentrate/Harmonize and Explore.

 

7. 

  • Name: Vanish into Memory
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthdate: July 2006
  • Birthplace: Coldsnap
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's the only white card in this entire installment! (And if you use it on the right creature, you do get card advantage).

Time to cast your vote!

 You can first review specific profiles here: Blue Fast, Blue Midrange, Blue Big, Blue Conditional, Black, Green, Multicolored


And the winners are...!

 Outstanding Lotus: Lion's Eye Diamond!

 Runner-up: Lotus Bloom

 

 Outstanding Mox: Mox Opal!

 Runner-up: Mox Diamond

 

 Outstanding Monolith: Mana Vault!

 Runner-up: Grim Monolith

 

 Outstanding Early Rock: Mind Stone!

 Runner-up: Fellwar Stone

 

 Outstanding Midrange Rock: Coalition Relic!

 Runner-up: Chromatic Lantern

 

 Outstanding Midrange Rock Cycle: Keyrune cycle!

 Runner-up: Totem cycle

 

 Outstanding Counter-Based Rock: Everflowing Chalice

 Runner-up: Pentad Prism

 

 Outstanding Larger Rock: Gilded Lotus

 Runner-up: Thran Dynamo

 

 Most Voted Rock: Everflowing Chalice

 Runner-up: Gilded Lotus

CONGRATULATIONS!

Check the complete statistics

11 Comments

Can I write in Land Tax and by GainsBanding at Fri, 07/04/2014 - 16:56
GainsBanding's picture

Can I write in Land Tax and Sylvan Library?

As stated in the opening by Kumagoro42 at Fri, 07/04/2014 - 19:22
Kumagoro42's picture

As stated in the opening speech, this category was nonpermanent only. Too big otherwise. Card-drawing permanents will be covered in another entry.

My wtite-ins: 1. Contract by TheKidsArentAlright at Sun, 07/06/2014 - 16:03
TheKidsArentAlright's picture

My wtite-ins:

1. Contract from Below - Who doesn't want a card that makes Ancestral Recall look weak :D

OK... maybe not, but on a more serious note...

1: Accumulated Knowledge - Combined with Intuition this was a mainstay in old Type 1/1.5, though it isn't played anymore due to incidental graveyard hate, taking up too much room, and Jace TMS.

2: Fact or Fiction - An absolute powerhouse when it was legal in Standard and Extended and restricted for years in Vintage. It has since been unrestricted and still sees play.

3: Life from the Loam - The backbone of the "Landcestral Recall" engine, it's absurdly powerful when combined with ONS cycling lands.

4: Skeletal Scrying - The Black "Draw X", it's more mana efficient than any of the Blue options at the cost of paying life instead.

Just to let you know, you by Paul Leicht at Fri, 07/04/2014 - 19:31
Paul Leicht's picture
5

Just to let you know, you used checkboxes instead of radio buttons on your voting form so it is possible for someone to vote for more than one card which might confuse things a bit.

Deliberate. It even specifies by AJ_Impy at Sat, 07/05/2014 - 03:53
AJ_Impy's picture

Deliberate. It even specifies up to three per section.

Yep, it's 3 votes for by Kumagoro42 at Sat, 07/05/2014 - 13:57
Kumagoro42's picture

Yep, it's 3 votes for categories with 7 nominees or more, 2 for categories with 5 nominees, 1 for categories with 3 nominees. I figured one can have a dark horse favorite while wanting to give a vote to a more renowned card as well.

That makes little sense to me by Paul Leicht at Sun, 07/06/2014 - 17:44
Paul Leicht's picture

That makes little sense to me without a means to weight your vote (1st choice, 2nd choice, etc).

Just think of yourself as by Kumagoro42 at Wed, 07/09/2014 - 05:27
Kumagoro42's picture

Just think of yourself as multiple people. :)
It's not mandatory to express multiple votes (you can also express 0 votes in a category), it's just to widen the pool, and don't create huge gaps with cards ending with zero votes – you can vote for what you think it's the obvious best and at the same time give some love to your personal favorite.

Some very tough choices with by grapplingfarang at Mon, 07/07/2014 - 13:01
grapplingfarang's picture
5

Some very tough choices with Gush being the exception (and it is better than all but a few cards in card draw hall of fame IMO.)

Yeah Gush could very easily by RexDart at Mon, 07/07/2014 - 14:39
RexDart's picture

Yeah Gush could very easily have been in the Hall of Fame, by virtue of still being banned in Legacy, being so powerful in Vintage that it's the subject of a 400 page e-book by Stephen Menendian, and being the fuel for one of the most important historical decks Miracle Gro.

I thought about Gush, but I by Kumagoro42 at Wed, 07/09/2014 - 05:29
Kumagoro42's picture

I thought about Gush, but I didn't want to fill the Hall of Fame too much, and in the end the other hall of famers (including Thoughtcast) would just be more widely voted out of sheer popularity.