As of July 28, 2022, Magic: The Gathering's Explorer Anthology 1 was launched for MTG Arena. There are 20 cards reprinted from classic Magic expansions for the true-to-paper non-rotating format known as Explorer. While some of these cards might seem a little mediocre, there are some valuable, powerful cards for a variety of decks in Magic: The Gathering's latest anthology.
This set is available for 4,000 gems or 25,000 gold in MTG Arena, but players can craft these using the appropriate rarity of Wildcard instead of buying all the cards in the set. Which ones are worth owning, though?
What is the Explorer Anthology 1 in Magic: The Gathering?
Explorer is similar to Historic in Magic: The Gathering. Both are non-rotating sets, but Explorer only uses cards as they are printed in the physical game. Historic, as a meta, allows for digital-only cards, which creates a far different experience.
Each of the colors received a few new cards, in addition to the following:
- A few multi-colored cards
- A colorless artifact
It is a varied and interesting set of cards, though not everyone has been impressed with them. An example is Siege Rhino, which, despite being an iconic card, does not bring much to the digital experience right now.
5 cards to pick up in Explorer
- Supreme Verdict
- Ensoul Artifact
- Hangarback Walker
- Mausoleum Wanderer
- Tainted Remedy
5) Supreme Verdict (White/Blue, Rare)
Decks like Azorius Control need something that can destroy all creatures but cannot be stopped. Having a board wipe countered is infuriating, so enter Supreme Verdict. Casting it only costs four mana. Unlike some of the other more recent board wipe cards, it grants no board state advantage.
All creatures get destroyed, unless they get made indestructible, or are removed from play in other ways. It was a staple for control decks when it was originally released, and will no doubt be handy as long as Blue/White control decks remain viable.
4) Ensoul Artifact (Blue, Uncommon)
This handy Uncommon card In Magic: The Gathering turns any artifact into a 5/5 artifact creature. For only two mana, it retains its other abilities in addition to being able to attack.
There are so many ways to create artifacts or cast a 0 or 1-cost artifact. It is relatively easy to create a deck that takes advantage of or is powered by artifacts. This can also be used on a regular artifact creature that has +X/+X tokens on it, to make that card an even bigger powerhouse.
3) Hangarback Walker (Colorless, Rare)
Speaking of artifact creatures that can come into play for little to nothing, this artifact has X +1/+1 counters on it. When it dies, depending on how many +X/+X counters are on it, it creates that many 1/1 colorless Thopter artifact creature tokens with flying.
Players can also tap one colorless and tap this to put a +1/+1 counter on it, and if the deck is running methods of doubling counters (Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider), this is even more terrifying. It is a wonderful way to overrun people with tons of flying machines.
2) Mausoleum Wanderer (Blue, Rare)
Perhaps one of the biggest and strongest decks is Mono-Blue Spirits. It is an archetype with a lot of speed and power when it comes to Magic: The Gathering’s Explorer archetype. A creature with one power and one toughness for one mana, it also has flying. When another spirit enters play, this card gets +1/+1 until the end of the turn.
Flooding the board with more spirits in one turn can make it a major source of damage. On top of that, it can also be sacrificed to counter an Instant or Sorcery, unless the opponent pays X, which is the amount of power the Mausoleum Wanderer has. It is going to make Spirits a scarier deck than before.
1) Tainted Remedy (Black, Rare)
Tainted Remedy has a lot of possibilities, especially in Best of 1 games. It is not uncommon to see decks that are built around life gain, and they can be very hard to overcome. With this three-cost Enchantment, all moments of life gain are suddenly much scarier for opponents.
The way this Black Enchantment works is simple. Whenever the opponent gains life, the player loses that much life instead. It can be run in decks where players can give life to another and turn it into instant damage.
While it is not a Magic: The Gathering card that is going to be in every single deck, it could also see play in sideboards as an answer to massive life gain decks. If nothing else, it is a direct solution to a persistent problem.
There are other cards in Magic: The Gathering’s latest update, and they vary in usefulness and power. This is just the opinion of one player, and the way players approach deckbuilding and decide how great a card is will no doubt vary.