Magic: the Gathering has thousands of cards available for its Standard meta, so it’s often hard to figure out what cards to pick up and why. This is not an all-encompassing list of the very best cards in the game, but a selection of some of the cards that will fit into a variety of meta decks that can lead to success.
These cards may also be more powerful in the future, depending on what sets release as 2022 goes on. This list may vary from player to player as well, but I feel these cards should be considered incredibly powerful in 2022 for Magic: The Gathering.
What will be the most powerful card in Magic: The Gathering in 2022?
There are just too many cards to consider when it comes to Magic: The Gathering. Therefore, there are staples that are worth considering but unfortunately did not make this list.
Among these cards are any of the special, dual/fetch lands that appear in Standard. Special lands are virtually always important and belong in whatever multi-colored deck a player is running. There are plenty of removal spells, counters, and other staples to pick from. Here are more specific cards that are pretty powerful in Magic: The Gathering’s current standard meta.
Top 10 Standard cards to consider
- Eiganjo, Seat of the Empire (Land, White)
- Goldhound (Artifact, Red)
- The Wandering Emperor (White)
- Esika's Chariot (Artifact, Green)
- Fight Rigging (Green)
- Giada, Font of Hope (White)
- Goldspan Dragon (Red)
- The Meathook Massacre (Black)
- Disdainful Stroke (Blue)
- Ob Nixilis, the Adversary (Black/Red)
10) Eiganjo Seat of the Empire (Land, White)
Eiganjo, Seat of the Empire is a white Legendary Land from the previous expansion, Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty. While it’s exceptional in mono-white aggro, it’s also an excellent card to use in control decks/Superfriends decks.
It taps for white mana and also has a Channel ability. Players can tap 3 mana and discard it to deal 4 damage to an attacking or blocking creature. It costs 1 colorless less for each legendary creature that the player controls.
With that in mind, it’s best used in aggressive, creature-heavy decks, although that’s not the only option. It’s a great way to save a creature or to be a useful land in the early game since it does not come into play tapped.
Average Price: $36
9) Goldhound (Artifact, Red)
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A treasure dog, Goldhound costs red mana and is a 1/1 that also has First Strike and Menace. That means it requires two creatures to be blocked and is already an incredibly powerful first-turn drop for aggressive/combo heavy decks. However, this Magic: The Gathering creature can also be tapped and sacrificed to generate one mana of any color.
This is wonderful. Why? Turn 2, this is sacrificed after a land drop to play a 3-cost card instead and have an incredible onboard presence or start setting up victory. It’s a one-drop, a common, and is incredibly useful.
Average Price: $0.13
8) The Wandering Emperor (White)
It's not a shock that this list has quite a few white cards on it. After all, mono-white is pretty much the most dominant deck in the game right now. For decks that are a mix of creatures and control spells, this could also be incredibly useful. But for mono-white, The Wandering Emperor can be dropped on an opponent’s turn (Flash) and can use its abilities anytime the player could cast an instant.
This means that the player can use its +1 ability to grant their attacker or blocker a +1/+1 counter, and give it First Strike. The +1/+1 is permanent (a counter), First Strike is temporary. That’s incredible power. It can also create 2/2 white Samurai tokens (-1), and its Ultimate (-2) exiles a tapped creature and gives the player 2 life. There’s just so much to love about The Wandering Emperor.
Average Price: $38.85
7) Esika’s Chariot (Artifact, Green)
While mono-white is massively powerful right now, mono-green stompy is also currently strong in Magic: The Gathering. This is partly due to the strength brought by Esika’s Chariot. A 4/4 Legendary Vehicle for 4, it creates 2 2/2 green Cat creature tokens upon playing.
Whenever it attacks, it also creates a token that’s a copy of the target token the player controls. That means they can spam create tokens, any tokens they own. Treasure tokens? Sure thing! Did the player make a token of Ob Nixilis? They can have another one!
Average Price: $6.88
6) Fight Rigging (Green)
I feel like Magic: The Gathering’s Streets of New Capenna expansion brought a really powerful card into the game with Fight Rigging. It is an enchantment that costs 3 mana and has Hideaway 5. When it comes into play, the player looks at their top five cards, exiles one face down, and put the others on the bottom of the deck.
For decks with huge, powerful creatures, this is going to be truly terrifying. This enchantment gives a +1/+1 counter to a creature that the player controls at the beginning of their combat. Then, if they have a creature with Power 7 or higher, they can play that exiled card without paying its mana cost. Time to drop a gigantic creature for nothing!
Average Price: $1.21
5) Giada, Font of Hope (White)
Angels are back in a huge way in Magic: The Gathering. This legendary angel is a 2/2 with Flying and Vigilance, so weak for an Angel, but it comes out for 2 mana. Each other Angel the player controls enters play with an additional +1/+1 counter on it for each Angel they already control. They can also be tapped for 1 white mana, only to cast Angels.
The longer a player can keep Giada in play, the more terrifying this is going to get. Those Angels will just show up bigger and stronger every single time. This is more speculation for the future, but Angels could very well show up on the meta as a must-pick.
Average Price: $4.24
4) Goldspan Dragon (Red)
One of the big things in Magic: The Gathering's Streets of New Capenna expansion is a lot of Treasure Token support. Goldspan Dragon is already a frightfully powerful card for red decks, and it can make that mana ramp with treasure tokens even stronger. This card creates a treasure token anytime it attacks or becomes the target of a spell, as a 4/4 with Flying/Haste.
The owner of the Goldspan Dragon can sacrifice their treasure tokens for two mana of any color, instead of just one. Suddenly, it’s far easier to put cards into play that the player doesn’t normally have the resources for. It’s an incredible standard option for Magic: The Gathering.
Average Price: $37.86
3) The Meathook Massacre (Black)
What a bonkers card for black to have access to. This is a control spell that also causes life loss for opponents and life gain for the player. A 2+X, players tap whatever extra mana they want for this card. Then, when it enters play, all creatures lose -X/-X until the end of turn. So the idea is to tap as much mana to wipe the field clean.
Whenever a creature owned by the player who owns this card dies, each opponent loses 1 life. Whenever an opponent has a creature that dies, the Meathook Massacre owner gains 1 life. Those effects persist, so it’s an excellent card to keep in play in a control deck. Suddenly, any creature the other player uses could cost them the game.
Average Price: $62.98
2) Disdainful Stroke (Blue)
Disdainful Stroke is a classic Magic: The Gathering counterspell that got a reprint in Streets of New Capenna. It also got a reprint in Kaldheim and several other sets. It’s a simple, straight-to-the-point card. A 2-cost instant, players use it to counter a target spell with a Mana Value 4 or higher.
There are so many high-cost cards to use this on too, and it isn’t expensive to cast, with 2 mana (1 blue). It’s overwhelmingly cheap to buy, and belongs in virtually any control deck that splashes even a little bit of blue. It will likely be a Magic: The Gathering Staple for control decks for this year.
Average Price: $0.05
1) Ob Nixilis, the Adversary (Black/Red)
Remember Esika’s Chariot? Ob Nixilis, the Adversary is very appreciative of that card. Ob Nixilis, the Adversary has “Casualty X”. That means it creates a copy of itself as a token, that is not a legendary. When this spell is cast, sacrifice a creature with Power X. When that token comes into play, it has X loyalty, equal to the power of the sacrificed target.
Esika’s Chariot can just copy Ob Nixilis tokens every single turn. They can stack several copies of Ob Nixilis and use him as a win condition. Why? His ultimate, the -7, makes a player draw 7 cards and lose 7 life. They can use it on themselves, or make enough Ob Nixilis copies to defeat a player in one turn with it. He’s going to see a ton of play this year, you can bank on that.
Average Price: $43.00
While there are still so many powerful new Magic: The Gathering cards in Streets of New Capenna alone, these are some of the best cards a player can invest in, depending on what kind of decks they’re going to play. Some of these will likely also increase in value, meaning players who want to sell them off later could turn a potential profit.