Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
Horse Cards in Magic
Magic's horses are an interesting lot, still carving out their niche in the game. Only a few dozen exist, and they share little in common, spread throughout all colors with varying abilities, the most common being blocker-hindering traits.
Although they're still finding their place, we've seen some impressive horses both in terms of artwork and gameplay—which reign supreme? These are the ten best horse cards in Magic: The Gathering!
10. Vine Mare
CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 4
Vine has fierce 5/3 stats plus hexproof, a rare but welcome addition to green that prevents opponents from targeting Vine. He also can't be blocked by black creatures, giving a situational yet powerful aggro tool.
More than that, Vine has the useful elemental subtype, blending well with "Risen Reef" decks and the like.
9. Lightning Mare
Like Vine, Lightning enjoys the elemental subtype, though his cost of two red makes him unwieldy in multicolor decks. Still, he's a fierce 3/1 that can't be countered or blocked by blue creatures (making him a nice sideboard option against blue), and he can spend two mana to gain +1/+0 for the turn—this can become infinite damage with an infinite mana combo.
While I wish he had haste (how fitting would that have been?), Lightning's still a respectable aggro option, especially against blue.
8. Shield Mare
Shield has useful 2/3 stats, strong enough to survive a "Shock" in standard, and he can't be blocked by red creatures. Additionally, when he enters the field or becomes the target of an opposing spell or ability, you gain three life, useful in lifegain-based decks or ones that can blink Shield to reactivate the trigger.
7. Plague Mare
Plague Mare's stats are subpar at 2/2, but he can't be blocked by white, and when he enters the field, opposing creatures get -1/-1 for the turn—try casting him after combat to wipe out enemies weakened in battle and tokens.
His nightmare subtype also means he can fit in decklists using companion "Kaheera, the Orphanguard", though nightmares have a long way to go before becoming a serious tribe.
6. Lightning Colt
A Mystery Booster test card, I'm not sure Colt is good so much as he is interesting. Five mana gets you a subpar 3/3, but on entry, he hits any target for three damage. More than that, he's both an instant and a creature, the first of his kind, qualifying for supports of both card types and letting you flash him in whenever you want.
5. Diamond Mare
Diamond's a respectable option for lifegain-based decks. He's a decent blocker at 1/3, his artifact type offers some potential, and he lets you gain one life whenever you cast a spell of a color you choose.
You'll probably want him in either mono-white to empower cards like "Ajani's Pridemate", or in blue artifact decks to outlast red aggro.
4. Wavebreak Hippocamp
While 2/2 stats are below average, and the fish subtype doesn't add much, Hippocamp gives excellent long-term card advantage, letting you draw whenever you cast your first spell during each opposing turn. As long as you're not facing a timing-restricting spell like "Teferi, Time Raveler", this is easy to obtain with cards like "Opt" and "Counterspell".
Throw in the enchantment type for bonus constellation effects and you have a well-rounded card that belongs in nearly any EDH blue control deck, especially since he costs less than a single dollar!
Nightmare favors mono-black, costing several mana but having power/toughness equal to the number of swamps you control. This includes non-basic swamps, and his flying makes him difficult to block, though some form of defense against removal (like shroud or regeneration) could have really cemented his status.
Timbermare feels like a red creature thanks to his haste trait, and since he taps all other creatures on entry, this means he can score an easy five damage withb his impressive 5/5 stats. The elemental subtype also offers tribal potential.
Now, he's not perfect, as his echo effect means you have to pay six mana the turn after he arrives or you lose him, and his tap effect will also dull your other creatures, but he's still excellent in aggro green builds.
1. Crested Sunmare
Sunmare is currently the only card to actually support his subtype, giving your other horses indestructible! That's an amazing boost, and since Sunmare isn't legendary, if you clone him with a token copy, both will protect each other.
He's also a fierce 5/5, and at the beginning of each end step (including opposing ones), he creates a 5/5 horse token if you gained life. Not only are these surprisingly powerful tokens, they'll be indestructible as long as you control Sunmare.
Horse Decks in Magic
With only one real tribal support (Crested Sunmare), horses have yet to establish a true tribal theme, but with a small yet steady stream of new cards, they may one day carve their own niche.
Until then, we can enjoy the semi-official cards from the My Little Pony crossover called Ponies: The Galloping (yep, that actually happened), but for now, vote for your favorite horse and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2020 Jeremy Gill