For everyone who learns Magic the Gathering, one of the toughest lessons is to learn which cards are good. Card evaluation is tested in all Magi format. Drafts and seals require quick decisions about which cards provide the best value, while constructed emphasizes deep synergy and the ability to read the meta-game.
In Limited, bad cards can be overly expensive sticks or narrow sticks with high setup costs. Poorly constructed cards generally have underestimated statistics or do not affect the battlefield immediately after dissolution.
Chief designer Mark Rosewater said in his blog post “When Cards Go Bad”
Traditionally, bad cards can be useful in sideboards and niche strategies in all formats. Rarely is a card really useless. The explosion of Commander as an informal eternal format opened the doors to many understated charms and tractors to become key pieces in specific decks.
That said, some cards are so bad that even Commander players struggle to find a purpose with these cards and are regularly part of Limited Cubes which is built around terrible Magi card.
Here are the top five Magi the map of the times.
- CMC: En
- Type: object
- Keywords: Cumulative maintenance a
- First Ability: When playing a card, Sacrifice Jiji Bubble.
- Second ability: Pay two mana: You get one life.
This is a good example of a card that has an ability that is not worth the disadvantages. If the Juju Bubble was simply a one-mana object that can sometimes come to life, it would see play as a cheap enabling Artifact synergy. Cumulative maintenance is what kills this card.
There are very few cumulative maintenance cards worth the price. The amount of mana that needs to be invested to keep the card around is not worth it. If you manage to pay the cumulative maintenance cost and have a little mana left over to spell, you can not. If you play a card, Juju Bubble is sacrificed. There’s really no point in ever coming up with this magic.
- CMC: 3 (G)
- Type: Creature Elemental
- Statistics: * / *
- First ability: When Wood Elemental enters the battlefield, sacrifice any number of unused forests.
- Other ability: Wood Elemental’s strength and toughness are each equal to the number of woods sacrificed when it entered the battlefield.
Wood Elemental is a classic bad spell that costs around $ 50 to pick one up. Wood Elemental is mainly a bad card because it gets on the battlefield trigger. Having to sacrifice forests on top of the four mana costs to give it strength and toughness is hard to sell.
Sacrificing even two countries puts you so far behind your opponent that Wood Elemental becomes a negative asset. Wood Elemental has a home in Commander strategies that wants to land on the graveyard like The Gitrog Monster or Lord Windgrace deck.
- Type: Country
- First ability: Press: Select two goal-blocking creatures an opponent controls. If each of these creatures can block all creatures that the other is blocking, remove them both from battle. Each of them then blocks all creatures the other blocked.
- Second ability: When the path of Sorrow is drained, it inflicts two damage on you and each creature you control.
Wizards of the Coast used to experiment with non-mana uses. Cards like the Maze of Ith and the Bazaar of Baghdad see extensive games and are good examples of countries that provide enough tools to offset the disadvantage.
The Way of Sorrow is not one of those cards. The first ability requires so many things to go right for it to work. Even if you use Sorrow’s Paths abilities, it can only end up with a one-sided board that does not end in your favor. Two injuries to you and your creatures are a significant disadvantage.
- CMC: W
- Type: Enchantment
- First ability: At the beginning of your maintenance, put a starvation counter on Fasting. Then destroy the fast if it has five or more starvation counters.
- Second ability: If you want to start your drawing step, you can skip that step instead. If you do, you get two lives.
- Third ability: When you draw a card, destroy Fasting.
In almost all situations, it is better to draw a card than to have two lives. Instead of getting your drawing step, Fasting asks you to have two lives. There is no need to run this magic in a white tire.
If you want to take advantage of Constellation, there are many one-mana spells with ups and downs. If you want to get two lives, just attack with a two-powerful creature with Lifelink.
- CMC: 1 (R)
- Type: Instant
- First ability: Turn the target with the creature down an opponent controls with the face up.
There is really no situation where Break Open is a valuable game. Red has a historical sub-theme of random effects, in which case Break Open is bad, but tasty. For two mana, you actually pay the opponent’s Morph cost for them. Instead of dealing with the 2/2 creature facing down, turn the card to a more powerful creature with a useful effect.