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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Dec 31 2013 1:21pm
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 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 Midrange Creature, CMC 5. The nominations are given by color and accompanied by a brief profile of the nominees, which are listed alphabetically. Winners will be published with the announcement of the next category. And the voting duty, ladies and gentlemen, is all yours.

> GO DIRECTLY TO THE BALLOTS <


 Category A: Outstanding Mono-White Midrange Creature, CMC 5

 Candidates (Un-Sets not included): 147

 The nominees are:

1. 

  • Name: Archangel of Thune
  • Rarity: Mythic Rare
  • Birthdate: July 2013
  • Birthplace: Magic 2014 Core Set
  • Reason for Nomination: For her explosive combo with Spike Feeder.

 

2. 

  • Name: Archon of Justice
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: July 2008
  • Birthplace: Eventide
  • Reason for Nomination: For one of the best death triggers in the game, that makes him likely to give pause to the opponent during the combat phase, and his general utility as a high-profile sacrifice target.

 

3. 

  • Name: Baneslayer Angel
  • Rarity: Mythic Rare
  • Birthdate: July 2009
  • Birthplace: Magic 2010
  • Reason for Nomination: Because she was the one and only Walletslayer, and we'll never forget what that meant.

 

4. 

  • Name: Blinding Angel
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: February 2000
  • Birthplace: Nemesis
  • Reason for Nomination: Because she was at one point the scariest thing you could connect with.

 

5. 

  • Name: Cloudgoat Ranger
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthdate: October 2007
  • Birthplace: Lorwyn
  • Reason for Nomination: For his ability to populate your board with little hobbits, then exploit them to become a finisher, and his natural synergy with Windbrisk Heights.

 

6. 

  • Name: Geist-Honored Monk
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: September 2011
  • Birthplace: Innistrad
  • Reason for Nomination: Because her true potential and versatility were never really tapped into.

 

7. 

  • Name: Karmic Guide
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: February 1999
  • Birthplace: Urza's Legacy
  • Reason for Nomination: Because now that she has a new, cool look, she's still the queen of reanimation effects.

 

8. 

  • Name: Reveillark
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: February 2008
  • Birthplace: Morningtide
  • Reason for Nomination: Because that trigger has always been bah-roken.

 

9. 

  • Name: Serra Angel
  • Rarity: Uncommon, then Rare
  • Birthdate: August 1993
  • Birthplace: Limited Edition Alpha
  • Reason for Nomination: Because she's a retired heroine, but you better don't call her grandma. She's History.

 

10. 

  • Name: Stonehewer Giant
  • Rarity: Rare 
  • Birthdate: February 2008
  • Birthplace: Morningtide
  • Reason for Nomination: For his ability to fetch increasingly crazy stuff over the years.

 

 Honorable mentions: Gerrard Capashen, because if he was printed 10 years later, they would have made a true bomb out of him; Pentarch Paladin, because he comes so close to be the ultimate hater.

> GO TO THE BALLOTS <


 Category B: Outstanding Mono-Blue Midrange Creature, CMC 5

 Candidates (Un-Sets not included): 144

 The nominees are:

1. 

  • Name: Beguiler of Wills
  • Rarity: Mythic Rare
  • Birthdate: February 2012
  • Birthplace: Dark Ascension
  • Reason for Nomination: Because Eric Deschamps' apparent homage to Megan Fox is also one of the most powerful stealing effects in the game.

 

2. 

  • Name: Body Double
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: February 2007
  • Birthplace: Planar Chaos
  • Reason for Nomination: Because its clone effect is the most Johnnilicious ever devised. Ask Reveillark.

 

3. 

  • Name: Meloku the Clouded Mirror
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: October 2004
  • Birthplace: Champions of Kamigawa
  • Reason for Nomination: For all the alpha strikes you never knew those Island could enable.

 

4. 

  • Name: Mnemonic Wall
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthdate: April 2010
  • Birthplace: Rise of the Eldrazi
  • Reason for Nomination: For being the Wall every control player loves the most.

 

5. 

  • Name: Morphling
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: October 1998
  • Birthplace: Urza's Saga
  • Reason for Nomination: Because don't be fooled by the imitations, this is the one and only, the original.

 

6. 

  • Name: Mulldrifter
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthdate: October 2007
  • Birthplace: Lorwyn
  • Reason for Nomination: Because most of the times you don't even cast it as a midrange creature, that's how versatile our flying carp is, across pretty much every possible format.

 

7. 

  • Name: Riptide Shapeshifter
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthdate: October 2002
  • Birthplace: Onslaught
  • Reason for Nomination: Because this thing fetches Emrakul and Progenitus directly into play, and you probably didn't even know (neither did it when it was first printed).

 

8. 

  • Name: Sphinx of Lost Truths
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: October 2009
  • Birthplace: Zendikar
  • Reason for Nomination: Because amazing reanimation enabler is amazing.

 

9. 

  • Name: Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: October 2006
  • Birthplace: Time Spiral
  • Reason for Nomination: For giving you the advantage every blue mage dreams of, while inflicting to the opponent the punishment every blue mage has nightmares about.

 

10. 

  • Name: Vesuvan Doppelganger
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: 
  • Birthplace: Limited Edition Alpha
  • Reason for Nomination: Because she's still relevant after all these years.

 

 Honorable mentions: Azami, Lady of Scrolls, because she can draw you cards right away, and potentially a lot of them; Magus of the Future, because it's one of the few Magi that doesn't entirely suck when compared to the original noncreature permanent they mimic.

> GO TO THE BALLOTS <


 Category C: Outstanding Mono-Black Midrange Creature, CMC 5

 Candidates (Un-Sets not included): 170

 The nominees are: 

1. 

  • Name: Bloodgift Demon
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: September 2011
  • Birthplace: Innistrad
  • Reason for Nomination: Because free card draws on your finisher? Yes, please.

 

2. 

  • Name: Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: April 2010
  • Birthplace: Rise of the Eldrazi
  • Reason for Nomination: Because that thing she does, that's lethal, baby.

 

3. 

  • Name: Fallen Angel
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthdate: June 1994
  • Birthplace: Legends
  • Reason for Nomination: For having been the first to show how you make a good sacrifice outlet.

 

4. 

  • Name: Gray Merchant of Asphodel
  • Rarity: Common
  • Birthdate: September 2013
  • Birthplace: Theros
  • Reason for Nomination: Because he single-handedly heralded its signature mechanic giving birth to an entire archetype.

 

5. 

  • Name: Kagemaro, First to Suffer
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: June 2005
  • Birthplace: Saviors of Kamigawa
  • Reason for Nomination: For being a walking sweeper.

 

6. 

  • Name: Ob Nixilis, the Fallen
  • Rarity: Mythic Rare
  • Birthdate: October 2009
  • Birthplace: Zendikar
  • Reason for Nomination: Because he usually doesn't even care to attack.

 

7. 

  • Name: Phyrexian Plaguelord
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: February 1999
  • Birthplace: Urza's Legacy
  • Reason for Nomination: Because he was the original The Rock in The Rock archetype.

 

8. 

  • Name: Shadowborn Demon
  • Rarity: Mythic Rare
  • Birthdate: July 2013
  • Birthplace: Magic 2014 Core Set
  • Reason for Nomination: Because he fights like a Mahamoti Djinn, kills like a Doom Blade, and it's less demanding than a Lord of the Pit.

 

9. 

  • Name: Shriekmaw
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthdate: October 2007
  • Birthplace: Lorwyn
  • Reason for Nomination: For being the best black removal spell that's not actually a removal spell.

 

10. 

  • Name: Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon
  • Rarity: Mythic Rare
  • Birthdate: October 2010
  • Birthplace: Scars of Mirrodin
  • Reason for Nomination: Because before you even figure out how to spell his name, you're already dead.

 

 Honorable mentions: Gallowbraid and Morinfen, because there was a time when they were seriously strong; Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder and Shirei, Shizo's Caretaker, because nobody else really does what they do. Note: Desolation Angel is not eligible because, really, you don't want to cast her at CMC 5.

> GO TO THE BALLOTS <


 Category D: Outstanding Mono-Red Midrange Creature, CMC 5

 Candidates (Un-Sets not included): 167

 The nominees are: 

1. 

  • Name: Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
  • Rarity: Rare, then Mythic Rare
  • Birthdate: October 2004
  • Birthplace: Champions of Kamigawa
  • Reason for Nomination:  Because Kiki-Jiki isn't just a Johnny tool, Kiki-Jiki is the Johnny Avatar.

 

2. 

  • Name: Kuldotha Phoenix
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: October 2010
  • Birthplace: Scars of Mirrodin
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's the only Phoenix that's reborn directly onto the battlefield consistently and without excessive shenanigans.

 

3. 

  • Name: Kumano, Master Yamabushi
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: October 2004 
  • Birthplace: Champions of Kamigawa
  • Reason for Nomination: For being a reliable mana dump.

 

4. 

  • Name: Siege-Gang Commander
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: May 2003
  • Birthplace: Scourge
  • Reason for Nomination: Because easy come, easy go, and you will let them go.

 

5. 

  • Name: Stormbreath Dragon
  • Rarity: Mythic Rare
  • Birthdate: September 2013
  • Birthplace: Theros
  • Reason for Nomination: Because he's the only one who could challenge a certain other Dragon from this list.

 

6. 

  • Name: Tahngarth, Talruum Hero
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: February 2001
  • Birthplace: Planeshift
  • Reason for Nomination: Because he really knows how to fight.

 

7. 

  • Name: Thundermaw Hellkite
  • Rarity: Mythic Rare
  • Birthdate: July 2012
  • Birthplace: Magic 2013
  • Reason for Nomination: For being the true midrange hero of all dragonkin.

 

8. 

  • Name: Urabrask the Hidden
  • Rarity: Mythic Rare
  • Birthdate: May 2011
  • Birthplace: New Phyrexia
  • Reason for Nomination: Because he may be the cheapest and least splashy of the Praetors, but he's also the easiest to exploit.

 

9. 

  • Name: Zealous Conscripts
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: May 2012
  • Birthplace: Avacyn Restored
  • Reason for Nomination: Because they're strong on their own, inescapable when paired with a certain Goblin.

 

10. 

  • Name: Zirilan of the Claw
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: October 1996
  • Birthplace: Mirage
  • Reason for Nomination: For being one of the first, powerful approaches to build-around-me strategies.

 

 Honorable mentions: Chandler, Joven and Eron the Relentless, because these guys look like they came out of a movie from the '80s starring Sting (and they were all after the Ebony Rhino, so the movie was probably a comedy).

> GO TO THE BALLOTS <


 Category E: Outstanding Mono-Green Midrange Creature, CMC 5

 Candidates (Un-Sets not included): 190

 The nominees are:

1. 

  • Name: Acidic Slime
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthdate: July 2009
  • Birthplace: Magic 2010
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's really the solution to almost any problem.

 

2. 

  • Name: Ant Queen
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: July 2009
  • Birthplace: Magic 2010
  • Reason for Nomination: Because nothing produces offspring so fast, except a certain other queen that requires more than just green mana to be cast.

 

3. 

  • Name: Deranged Hermit
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: February 1999
  • Birthplace: Urza's Legacy 
  • Reason for Nomination: Because he creates a tonload of SQUIRRELS! 

 

4. 

  • Name: Genesis
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: May 2002
  • Birthplace: Judgment
  • Reason for Nomination: Because there's no green build in Commander without this guy giving you access to half your deck from the graveyard (with a little help from Survival of the Fittest and the like).

 

5. 

  • Name: Kalonian Hydra
  • Rarity: Mythic Rare
  • Birthdate: July 2013
  • Birthplace: Magic 2014 Core Set
  • Reason for Nomination: For being the Hydra that made everybody take the Hydras very seriously.

 

6. 

  • Name: Seedborn Muse
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: February 2003
  • Birthplace: Legions
  • Reason for Nomination: Because 10 years before Prophet of Kruphix, she was doing all the out-of-sequence untapping you could wish for.

 

7. 

  • Name: Silklash Spider
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: October 2002
  • Birthplace: Onslaught
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's the ultimate anti-flyer technology.

 

8. 

  • Name: Thragtusk
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: July 2012
  • Birthplace: Magic 2013
  • Reason for Nomination: For being the most amazing collection of enter/exit triggers ever printed.

 

9. 

  • Name: Vorapede
  • Rarity: Mythic Rare
  • Birthdate: February 2012
  • Birthplace: Dark Ascension
  • Reason for Nomination: Because as a midrange finisher, the only thing it lacks is flying.

 

10. 

  • Name: Wolfir Silverheart
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: May 2012
  • Birthplace: Avacyn Restored
  • Reason for Nomination: Because +4/+4 is not a negligible boost.

 

 Honorable mentions: Baru, Fist of Krosa, because his use of grandeur is as good as it gets; Scragnoth, because it was the first that dared to challenge blue to its face; Timber Protector, because that's how you do a tribal lord. Note: Golgari Grave-Troll is not eligible because you don't actually cast it as a midrange creature – if at all.

> GO TO THE BALLOTS <


 Category F: Outstanding Colorless Midrange Creature, CMC 5

 Candidates (Un-Sets not included): 61

 The nominees are: 

1. 

  • Name: Golem Artisan
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthdate: October 2010
  • Birthplace: Scars of Mirrodin
  • Reason for Nomination: Because he's the artifacts' little helper.

 

2. 

  • Name: Karn, Silver Golem
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: October 1998
  • Birthplace: Urza's Saga
  • Reason for Nomination: Because he was a powerful Mox-killer even before turning into a planeswalker.

 

3. 

  • Name: Kuldotha Forgemaster
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: October 2010
  • Birthplace:  Scars of Mirrodin
  • Reason for Nomination: Because he's just an activation away from summoning a Colossus for you.

 

4. 

  • Name: Leveler
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: October 2003
  • Birthplace: Mirrodin
  • Reason for Nomination: Because that crazy downside has always sounded like a fascinating challenge to every Johnny.

 

5. 

  • Name: Precursor Golem
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: October 2010
  • Birthplace: Scars of Mirrodin
  • Reason for Nomination: Because "pay one, get three" is never a bad deal.

 

6. 

  • Name: Psychosis Crawler
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: February 2011
  • Birthplace: Mirrodin Besieged
  • Reason for Nomination: Because your opponents have never been this afraid of you drawing a lot of cards.

 

7. 

  • Name: Stuffy Doll
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: October 2006
  • Birthplace: Time Spiral
  • Reason for Nomination: For being a reliable combo machine since day 1.

 

 Honorable mentions: Etched Monstrosity, because there's at least one build out there where it's playable; Razormane Masticore, because the upkeep cost isn't usually worth a single free Lightning Bolt, but it might.

> GO TO THE BALLOTS <


 Category G: Outstanding Multicolored Midrange Creature, CMC 5

 Candidates (Un-Sets not included): 136

 The nominees are:

1. 

  • Name: Blood Baron of Vizkopa
  • Rarity: Mythic Rare
  • Birthdate: May 2013
  • Birthplace: Dragon's Maze
  • Reason for Nomination: Because resilience is the name of his game.

 

2. 

  • Name: Child of Alara
  • Rarity: Mythic Rare
  • Birthdate: February 2009
  • Birthplace: Conflux
  • Reason for Nomination: Because he's the ultimate sweeper on a stick.

 

3. 

  • Name: Demigod of Revenge
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: May 2008
  • Birthplace: Shadowmoor
  • Reason for Nomination: Because discarding a few of them into your graveyard is almost as fun as casting one of them afterwards.

 

4. 

  • Name: Havengul Lich
  • Rarity: Mythic Rare
  • Birthdate: February 2012
  • Birthplace: Dark Ascension
  • Reason for Nomination: Because the combos you can do with him are too many to count.

 

5. 

  • Name: Lord of Extinction
  • Rarity: Mythic Rare
  • Birthdate: April 2009
  • Birthplace: Alara Reborn
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's amazing when it interacts with Murderous Redcap and The Mimeoplasm, but still solid when played as just a huge beater.

 

6. 

  • Name: Maelstrom Archangel
  • Rarity: Mythic Rare
  • Birthdate: February 2009
  • Birthplace: Conflux
  • Reason for Nomination: Because she's as hard for you to put on the battlefield as she is for the opponent to face if you do.

 

7. 

  • Name: Momir Vig, Simic Visionary
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: 
  • Birthplace: Dissension
  • Reason for Nomination: For being an incredible creature-tutoring engine – and one of the most powerful commanders in existence.

 

8. 

  • Name: Obzedat, Ghost Council
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: February 2013
  • Birthplace: Gatecrash
  • Reason for Nomination: For being as frightening and elusive as an actual group of ghosts.

 

9. 

  • Name: Prophet of Kruphix
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: September 2013
  • Birthplace: Theros
  • Reason for Nomination: For giving both blue and green the perfect board state.

 

10. 

  • Name: Sen Triplets
  • Rarity: Mythic Rare
  • Birthdate: April 2009
  • Birthplace: Alara Reborn
  • Reason for Nomination: Because taking control of the opponent's stuff is always fun.

 

11. 

  • Name: Sigarda, Host of Herons
  • Rarity: Mythic Rare
  • Birthdate: May 2012
  • Birthplace: Avacyn Restored
  • Reason for Nomination: Because she so fiercely kicks ass and take names, making Emrakul looks like "just some big guy".

 

12.   

  • Name: Sliver Queen, Sliver Overlord, Sliver Legion
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdates: March 1998, May 2003, May 2007
  • Birthplaces: Stronghold, Scourge, Future Sight
  • Reason for Nomination: Because her children are ever part of her.

 

13. 

  • Name: Spiritmonger
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthdate: June 2001
  • Birthplace: Apocalypse
  • Reason for Nomination: Because that terrible art never did justice to its true midrange awesomeness.

 

14. 

  • Name: The Mimeoplasm
  • Rarity: Mythic Rare
  • Birthdate: June 2011
  • Birthplace: Commander
  • Reason for Nomination: For having "combo enabler" written all over its Ooze body.

 

15. 

  • Name: Uril, the Miststalker
  • Rarity: Mythic Rare
  • Birthdate: April 2009
  • Birthplace: Alara Reborn
  • Reason for Nomination: For being the epitome of the Voltron decks.

 

 Honorable mentions: Balefire Liege and Deathbringer Liege, because they're the best Lieges; Glassdust Hulk, because it had its fifteen minutes of fame at some point; Juniper Order Ranger, because he never did, but should have; Oversoul of Dusk, because she's the half-Progenitus, Riku of Two Reflections, because he's a star in Commander; Sky Hussar, because he's a prime infinite-combo enabler; Underworld Cerberus, because it's not just unbelievably flavorful.


Time to cast your vote!

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


 

4 Comments

Vesuvan Doppelganger was the by Rerepete at Tue, 12/31/2013 - 17:35
Rerepete's picture

Vesuvan Doppelganger was the first creature I really wanted to own....I still have 2 NM 3rd edition copies of her.

I wish she was in cube, she by CottonRhetoric at Tue, 12/31/2013 - 21:39
CottonRhetoric's picture

I wish she was in cube, she would wreck. Still enjoying her morph cousin though.

I like that we all refer to by Kumagoro42 at Wed, 01/01/2014 - 08:08
Kumagoro42's picture

I like that we all refer to the Doppelganger as a "she" (myself included) only because of the female figure that Quinton Hoover used for the art, when that's just the Elf Wizard (apparently holding the Icy Manipulator) that the doppelganger is copying. While a shapeshifter might have an original gender, the traditional lore considers them gender-neutral because they jump back and forth all the time.

My votes for this year were by Paul Leicht at Tue, 12/31/2013 - 23:12
Paul Leicht's picture
5

My votes for this year were Reveillark (timeless beauty), Mulldrifter (for supporting the lark so well), Black was tough but I had to go with Gary because of his impactful entrance into all formats he is played in, Kiki Jiki (because) and deranged hermit as the best green midranged creature ever (squirrels!). Psychosis Crawler was a squeaker in an unimpressive field for colorless 5cmc creatures, and Blood Baron who seems like a broken multicolor creature if I ever saw one.