Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
The World Rule in Magic
Worlds are an older Magic card type that, like other enchantments, stay on the field indefinitely to offer ongoing effects. However, unlike regular enchantments, only one world can be in play at a time, reminiscent of the legend rule. However, this counts both your and your opponent's cards, meaning if you have a world fielded and they play a new one, you have to sacrifice yours.
Thus, worlds were eventually retired due to their risky nature, yet with few duds among their elite ranks, they remain a powerful set of spells. But with dozens of members available, which units reign supreme? These are the 10 best world enchantments in Magic: The Gathering!
10. Gravity Sphere
CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 3
Gravity Sphere offers a blessedly simple effect, making all creatures lose the flying trait. Flying units can only be blocked by creatures with flying or reach, so for decks that lack these, Sphere offers an excellent defense against aerial assaults.
For a slightly-more confusing but superior version of Gravity Sphere, look no farther than Chaosphere, which is also a red enchantment that needs three mana. It only allows flying creatures to block other flying creatures (letting your land-based units slip by unobstructed), and it provides reach to creatures without flying, allowing them to block airborne enemies.
You've not only shut down your opponent's ability to bypass you with flyers, but also hindered their ability to block, as their aerial units can't guard your ground troops. A favorite in my ground-based red EDH decks, Chaosphere thankfully avoids the ridiculous prices of many world cards (seriously, some cost more than $100); you can obtain your own copy for less than five dollars!
8. Hall of Gemstone
Hall of Gemstone works great in monocolor decks that can avoid its net. During each player's upkeep, Gemstone forces them to choose a color, and for that turn, all their lands tap for the chosen mana color rather than their regular output.
In single-color decks, no harm done, as you only need one color anyway. But foes wielding multicolored spells will soon find themselves trapped, as they'll only be able to cast monocolor or colorless cards while Gemstome remains fielded.
7. Eye of Singularity
Singularity works best in decks with unique cards. When it enters the field, players sacrifice all cards in play that share a name with another permanent (other than basic lands). Additionally, when a permanent other than a basic land arrives, players sacrifice any cards that share that permanent's name.
In formats like standard where spells tend to be repeated, Singularity can mass-wipe opposing fields and punish duplicates. Just don't play it in commander, where each player is forced to wield unique cards (and will thus avoid its blast).
6. Forsaken Wastes
One of the best life-prevention tactics in the game, Forsaken Wastes needs three mana and stops all players (including you) from gaining life. It also saps one life from each player during their upkeep.
With this in play, it's only a matter of time until someone loses, and Wastes makes a great counter against health-recovering white decks. But its coolest feature is its built-in defense; any player whose spell successfully targets Wastes suffers five damage, making it costly for opponents to remove.
5. Tombstone Stairwell
Stairwell's cumulative upkeep means you'll have to pay two mana on your next upkeep, then four, and so on; you'll probably have to sacrifice it after a few turns. However, at each player's upkeep, it has all players create a number of 2/2 zombie tokens with haste equal to the number of creatures in their graveyard. These tokens are destroyed (and can't be regenerated) at the end of each turn.
If you're using a self-milling zombie deck, you'll attain a formidable amount of undead warriors ready to overwhelm foes with sheer numbers. Additionally, since both Stairwell's effect and cumulative upkeep happen at your upkeep, you can stack them in the order you wish, letting you gain one last usage even on the turn you sacrifice it. Combo Stairwell with cards like "Noxious Ghoul" and "Blood Seeker" to punish your opponents for each token they gain.
4. In the Eye of Chaos
For decks without instants, In the Eye of Chaos skillfully ensnares other players while leaving you unscathed. It counters any instant spell unless its controller pays X mana, where X is its CMC. Essentially, this doubles the cost of playing instants, either outright negating them or draining your foes of extra resources.
3. Nether Void
Nether Void counters all spells, not just instants, unless their controller pays an extra three mana. Of course, this affects you too, but you can avoid the penalty with cards like "Cavern of Souls" or "Prowling Serpopard," which protect your spells from being countered.
Thus, in the right decks, you're attaching a "Mana Leak" to opposing spells while avoiding the drain yourself. Few opponents can break this combo, as they'll suddenly find themselves three turns behind schedule in mana production.
2. Concordant Crossroads
Crossroads simply grants all creatures haste. Sure, your opponents will benefit from it too, but their decks might not be as creature-focused as yours, and you simply won't find a cheaper way to grant haste to all your elves (and other subtypes), letting your supports tap and your beatsticks swing as soon as they arrive.
1. The Abyss
Normally I'd explain why this card is so good, but any words I could offer pale in comparison to Abyss's price tag of over 1200 dollars. If that doesn't show you how competitive this one is, I don't know what will.
But essentially, Abyss destroys a nonartifact creature at each player's upkeep (and prevents regeneration), a devastating and ongoing creature removal. You can avoid its blast by either not running creatures or targeting cards you control with indestructible, escaping scot-free while your adversaries rapidly perish.
Legacy of World Cards in Magic
Despite being discontinued, worlds have something of a spiritual successor in legendary enchantments, which operate under similar (but less risky) rules. Still, opponents who play world cards make the same gamble as you, so they're not as fickle as they seem. Plus, they remain some of the strongest spells we've ever seen, with most carrying impressive ratings on Magic's official online database.
Whether or not we ever encounter more world cards, they're a fierce set of spells that can still dominate in commander. But for now, as we eagerly await future Wizards of the Coast stadiums, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2018 Jeremy Gill