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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Apr 06 2015 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: Outstanding First Striker. Along with flying and trample, first strike is one of those abilities that every Magic player learns about when the basic game mechanics are first explained to them. One of the original keywords from Limited Edition Alpha, in 2003 it gained a derived companion in double strike, first seen in Legions: a double striker is essentially a first striker that also gets to inflict damage in the normal combat damage step. Historically, both the first strike variants have been dominion of white and red, with black getting a decent amount. In the following lists, only creatures with natural first strike or double strike have been considered (so not the ones that can acquire the ability via activation, like Order of Leitbur and Soul of Theros, or only under certain circumstances, like Silverblade Paladin), and the multicolored ones are assigned to the category of one of their featured color other than white, red, or black. In addition, an attempt has been made to single out first strikers where the first strike ability felt relevant to their whole role on the battlefield, as opposed to those that feature first strike or double strike among a long list of other abilities (for instance, Akroma, Angel of Wrath, Baneslayer Angel, or Sphinx of the Steel Wind). The nominations are 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.

> GO DIRECTLY TO THE BALLOTS <

> PREVIOUS CATEGORIES <


 Category A: Outstanding Mono-White First Striker

 The nominees are: 

1. 

  • Name: Archetype of Courage
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthplace: Born of the Gods
  • Reason for Nomination: Because first strike is his exclusive property.

 

2. 

  • Name: Fabled Hero
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Theros
  • Reason for Nomination: Because he double strikes heroically.

 

3. 

  • Name: Jazal Goldmane
  • Rarity: Mythic Rare
  • Birthplace: Commander 2014
  • Reason for Nomination: Because he's Ajani's big brother! And also a devastating army leader.

 

4. 

  • Name: Knight of Meadowgrain
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthplace: Lorwyn
  • Reason for Nomination: Because she raised the bar for white weenie 2-drops.

 

5. 

  • Name: Knight of the White Orchid
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Shards of Alara
  • Reason for Nomination: Because he's a fetching spell that leaves a first striking body behind.

 

6. 

  • Name: Mirran Crusader
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Mirrodin Besieged
  • Reason for Nomination: Because he's the bane of Golgari decks.

 

7. 

  • Name: Odric, Master Tactician
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Magic 2013
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it isn't easy to achieve his full potential, but it's damn awesome when it happens.

 

8. 

  • Name: Porcelain Legionnaire
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthplace: New Phyrexia
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it strikes first AND hard AND fast.

 

9. 

  • Name: Precinct Captain
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Return to Ravnica
  • Reason for Nomination: Because blocking him is problematic, not blocking him is more so.

 

10. 

  • Name: Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Dark Ascension
  • Reason for Nomination:  Because she's the queen of the second turn.

> GO TO THE BALLOTS <


 Category B: Outstanding Mono-Red First Striker

 The nominees are: 

1. 

  • Name: Alesha, Who Smiles at Death
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Fate Reforged
  • Reason for Nomination: Because she doesn't first strike alone.

 

2. 

  • Name: Ash Zealot
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Return to Ravnica
  • Reason for Nomination: Because she first strikes before any other first striker.

 

3. 

  • Name: Avatar of Slaughter
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Commander
  • Reason for Nomination: Because universal first strike is nice, but universal double strike is a slaughter.

 

4. 

  • Name: Blood Knight
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthplace: Planar Chaos
  • Reason for Nomination: Because he's more relevant than White Knight in his niche.

 

5. 

  • Name: Dragon Tyrant
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Scourge
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's a Sneak Attack waiting to happen.

 

6. 

  • Name: Jeska, Warrior Adept
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Judgment
  • Reason for Nomination: Because she can stop and kill 4-powered guys without breaking a sweat.

 

7. 

  • Name: Mindsparker
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Magic 2014
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's "first strike 3 for 3", plus bonus hosing.

 

8. 

  • Name: Plated Geopede
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthplace: Zendikar
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it can become a big strike more often than you'd expect.

 

9. 

  • Name: Prophetic Flamespeaker
  • Rarity: Mythic Rare
  • Birthplace: Journey into Nyx
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's like a riddle that you have to solve.

 

10. 

> GO TO THE BALLOTS <


 Category C: Outstanding Mono-Black First Striker 

 The nominees are: 

1. 

  • Name: Black Knight
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthplace: Limited Edition Alpha
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's a damn classic.

 

2. 

  • Name: Crypt Champion
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthplace: Dissension
  • Reason for Nomination: Because should he fail to combo off, you would still have a double striker on your hands.

 

3. 

  • Name: Ebon Praetor
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Fallen Empires
  • Reason for Nomination: Because I'm pretty sure the first striking component is the giant rabbit.

 

4. 

  • Name: Mirri the Cursed
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Planar Chaos
  • Reason for Nomination: Because even in vampire form, Mirri still strikes first.

 

5. 

  • Name: Nekrataal
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthplace: Visions
  • Reason for Nomination: Because the first striking, double-powered body left behind by this Terror is often a crucial board presence.

 

6. 

  • Name: Phyrexian Crusader
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Mirrodin Besieged
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's probably black's best answer to RDW.

 

7. 

  • Name: Vampire Hexmage
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthplace: Zendikar
  • Reason for Nomination: Because people tend to forget that when she doesn't kill walkers or summon Marit Lage, she's a good first striker, too.

> GO TO THE BALLOTS <


 Category D: Outstanding Blue First Striker

 The nominees are: 

1. 

  • Name: Deft Duelist
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthplace: Shards of Alara
  • Reason for Nomination: Because her mojo can't be messed with.

 

2. 

  • Name: Drogskol Reaver
  • Rarity: Mythic Rare
  • Birthplace: Dark Ascension
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's the ghost that keeps on giving.

 

3. 

  • Name: Narset, Enlightened Master
  • Rarity: Mythic Rare
  • Birthplace: Khans of Tarkir
  • Reason for Nomination: Because even in the old timeline, she was already planeswalker-worthy.

 

4. 

  • Name: Rafiq of the Many
  • Rarity: Mythic Rare
  • Birthplace: Shards of Alara
  • Reason for Nomination: Because he's a one-man-Commander-army.

 

5. 

  • Name: Sky Spirit
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthplace: Tempest
  • Reason for Nomination: Because she first strikes from the air.

> GO TO THE BALLOTS <


 Category E: Outstanding Green First Striker

 The nominees are: 

1. 

  • Name: Ancient Spider
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Planeshift
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it stops all those pesky flyers dead in their tracks.

 

2. 

  • Name: Glissa Sunseeker
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Mirrodin
  • Reason for Nomination: Because when she doesn't kill artifacts, she kills (slower) dudes.

 

3. 

  • Name: Glissa, the Traitor
  • Rarity: Mythic Rare
  • Birthplace: Mirrodin Besieged
  • Reason for Nomination: Because first strike and deathtouch are a marriage made in (opponent's) hell.

 

4. 

  • Name: Mirri, Cat Warrior
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Exodus
  • Reason for Nomination: Because she strikes first both when she plays attack and defense.

 

5. 

  • Name: Savageborn Hydra
  • Rarity: Mythic Rare
  • Birthplace: Dragon's Maze
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's double striking at its most overwhelming.

Time to cast your vote!

 You can first review specific profiles here: White, Red, Black, Blue, Green


And the winners are...!

 Outstanding White Trampler: Akroma, Angel of Wrath!

 Runner-up: Phantom Nishoba

 

 Outstanding Blue Trampler: Simic Sky Swallower!

 Runner-up: Sagu Mauler

 

 Outstanding Black Trampler: Lotleth Troll!

 Runner-up: Scion of Darkness

 

 Outstanding Red Trampler: Ball Lightning!

 Runner-up: Ghor-Clan Rampager

 

 Outstanding Mono-Green Trampler: Woodfall Primus!

 Runner-up: Terravore

 

 Outstanding Colorless Trampler: Darksteel Colossus!

 Runner-up: Bosh, Iron Golem

 

 Most Voted Card: Akroma, Angel of Wrath!

 Runner-up: Simic Sky Swallower 

 

CONGRATULATIONS!

Check the complete statistics