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Pojo's Magic The Gathering Card of the Day
Daily Since November 2001!

Image from Wizards.com

Top 10 MTG Cards of 2008

#4 - Cryptic Command

Reviewed January 13, 2009

Constructed: 4.40
Casual: 3.20
Limited: 3.50

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 being the worst.  3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating

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Card of the Day Reviews 


Cryptic Command

When Wizards set its cost at 1UUU, a cost that must've seemed prohibitive during Lorwyn block, they knew very well that Alara would bring fixing tools that would make its triple-color cost a non-issue.  Did they know that it would end up becoming one of control decks' ultimate tools?  The ability to counter a spell and tap down an army in one card effectively robs aggro of an entire turn, and a Boomerang/Counterspell hybrid sets opponents back leagues.  It's entirely possible that this card is more responsible for Faerie control than any actual Faerie.  The only thing cryptic about it is why Vexing Shusher and Guttural Response haven't found their way into sideboards, givent he prevalence of this juicy target.

Constructed- 4.75
Casual- 4.5
Limited- 4

David Fanany

Player since 1995

Cryptic Command

The next time someone claims they don't make good blue spells any more, take a copy of Cryptic Command and tape it to their face. Well, unless you need it for your deck. It's at the very top of the power curve and above the top of the versatility curve, yet it never would have been so ubiquitous this season if not for Reflecting Pool (after mono-blue control was pushed out of Standard by Elves and out of Extended by Domain Zoo). So why is this higher on the list than its enabler? A chicken and egg thing, I guess. P.S. Play four.

Constructed: 4/5
Casual: 3/5
Limited: 3/5 (Shimmering Grotto is a common!)

Tuesday 1-13-09


Cryptic Command


I play blue, but not for the counter, but mainly for the draw and bounce. I love bouncing there big fat fatty during combat. This is the best card for blue in a long time. Again the only copy I own is the special foil from the Player's Reward. I have to look it up to see what it does. Great card all around.


Constructed: 4

Casual: 3

Limited: 4




BeJose 4: Cryptic Command

One of the best counterspells in awhile. The reason this is so good and so widely used, even being used in 5cc with its UUU cost. One of the main problems that always plagues blue mages is having to deal with threats on the board while also dealing with new threats being played. Cryptic deals with both OR, and this is important for a blue mage, it replaces itself. Not so usable in limited with so a strict cost and your friends won't be thanking you in multi but definatly worthy in competitive play.

Constructed 4/5
Casual 2.5/5
Limited 2/5

Tuesday-Cryptic Command

The only command made into an instant, this one packs a punch. It's also probably the one that's used mostly in tournament decks like Faeries. Basically every mode is good. Counter+draw is always good. Counter and bounce is huge tempo and the tapout lets your guys get in for lethal. Thought this was going to be higher in the list for sure. As more of a spike kind of card it could be looked down on in casual settings. Limited it's quite color heavy.

Constructed: 4.5
Casual: 3
Limited: 3

Aethereal Tuesday - Cryptic Command

This is one of the most powerful blue control cards printed in a while. The UUU in the casting cost is hardly a drawback with all of the great color fixing we have available nowadays. For your four mana, this essentially boils down into a counterspell + pick from any of the other three effects. There are times where you'll want to use this to do something other than counter, but usually you should use this to counter something. What you'll end up getting is a stupid good tempo swing in your favor. Most decks using blue should be packing at least 3 of these.

In limited, if you can support the UUU, play it, because all of the abilities are good to have.

Constructed - 4.5
Casual - 2.5
Limited - 3

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