Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
Magic's Core 2020 Cavaliers
Magic's Core 2020 set introduced five powerful Cavalier creatures, one for each faction. Each requires five mana and can only accept two off-color mana but rewards you with powerful stats plus both entrance and exit effects.
Today's units share the elemental and knight subtypes, and they're all pretty good—but which reign supreme? These are the five best (and only) Elemental Cavalier cards in Magic: The Gathering!
5. Cavalier of Dawn
CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 5
Dawn is a 4/6 with vigilance (letting him attack without tapping), far from weak but slightly less devastating than his peers. When he enters the field, you can destroy a non-land permanent, but you give its controller a 3/3 golem token. And when Cavalier dies, you can return an artifact or enchantment card from your graveyard to your hand.
His first effect offers a versatile removal despite handing your opponent a 3/3 token, and few cards can recover destroyed artifact/enchantments. Still, we've got bigger fish to fry...
4. Cavalier of Gales
Gales offers a fierce 5/5 with flying, especially tempting in blue (which generally lacks big creatures). When Gales enters the field, you get to draw three cards, then put any two from your hand on top of your deck. Not only does this increase your overall hand size, but it also lets you reset the immediate-draw abilities of cards with miracle. Unfortunately, his exit effect isn't as potent, shuffling Gales into your library and scrying two when he dies, but he's still a frequent member of my own blue decks.
Considering they're competitive mythic rares, none of the Cavaliers are cheap, but you can obtain Gales for a comparatively-low price, costing less than five dollars!
3. Cavalier of Night
Night has the overall lowest stats of any Cavalier, though 4/5 certainly isn't bad. Plus, his lifelink trait recovers health whenever he inflicts damage, and when Night enters the field, you can sacrifice another creature to destroy an opposing creature.
This stacks well with Night's death trigger; when he perishes, you can return a creature with cost three or less from your graveyard to the field, potentially reviving the minion you previously sacrificed.
2. Cavalier of Flame
Flame has the highest power among Cavaliers, wielding impressive 5/6 stats. While he doesn't have a static ability, he lets you spend two mana to grant your creatures (including himself) +1/+0 and haste for the turn. And when he enters the field, Flame lets you discard any number of cards to draw as many from your deck.
Not only does this cycle out unneeded spells, but it also preps for Flame's exit ability, which inflicts damage to all opposing players and planeswalkers equal to the number of lands in your graveyard.
1. Cavalier of Thorns
Thorns has formidable 5/6 stats plus reach, letting him block flyers (especially helpful for the generally ground-based green faction). He's also got a nice arrival effect, placing a land from your deck's top five cards onto the field and the rest of them into your graveyard.
This basically grants a bonus draw/land play plus graveyard stocking. And when Thorns dies, you can exile him to place a card from your graveyard on top of your deck, putting your milled cards to good use.
Using Elemental Decks in Magic
In addition to their individual capabilities, remember that the Cavaliers have the elemental subtype, which has been gaining more and more tribal support. This makes Gales, Flame, and Thorns especially tempting for commanders like "Omnath, Locus of the Roil," though keep in mind the Cavaliers' specific color needs.
Whether paired with their brethren or used individually, the Cavaliers offer a competitive and diverse beatstick to each faction. But for now, as we await Wizards of the Coast's next batch of powerful elementals, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2019 Jeremy Gill