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

Image from Wizards.com

Top 10 Cards of 2009:
#2: Path to Exile


Reviewed January 14, 2010

Constructed: 4.60
Casual: 4.60
Limited: 4.40
Multiplayer: 4.50

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

Click here to see all our 
Card of the Day Reviews 


Path to Exile

Yesterday's card could kill any creature up to three toughness for one mana. Today's card does one better. It can eliminate ANY creature, regardless of how big it is, and it even exiles it to make it effective against Unearth and reanimators. The cost? You let your opponent go get a land and put it into play. I'll admit, there have been times when I'd rather let a 2/2 hit me a few times than give them the land they need to cast the bigger guy in their hand, usually when they missed their land drop turn three. But once it's obvious they're not hurting for mana, this is a gift from the angels, eliminating everything from Baneslayer Angel (ironic) to a Marit Lage token. Really, once your opponent has enough mana to send out something worth spending a kill spell on, the extra land they get does little more for them besides thinning their deck a bit, and maybe providing an extra mana to spend on activated abilities. And, like yesterday's card, a single untapped land can suggest to your opponent that you've got this, and that's enough to put the fear in 'em. Far and away, the best white mana ever spent in 2009.

Constructed- 4.95
Casual- 4.75
Limited- 4.25
Multiplayer- 4.50

David Fanany

Player since 1995

Path to Exile

There hasn't been a spell of this versatility and power since the last printing of Swords to Plowshares, and I wonder if there will ever be another one. The drawback is big, especially early in the game, but clever tactics can mitigate it. And when the time is right, it can literally cause you to win a game. For one white mana.

Constructed: 4/5
Casual: 4/5
Limited: 4/5
Multiplayer: 3/5


Magic The Gathering Card of The Day: Path to Exile

A welcome back reader, today’s card of the day is number two on our list and is hands down the most efficient creature removal available to white except its powerful ancestor, Swords to Plowshares. The ability to remove almost any creature from the game is a powerful effect and the secondary ability that allows its opponent to search their library for a basic land card and put it into play tapped is only possibly effective in the early game as most powerful decks run a relatively low amount of basics, regardless of the format excluding limited. Therefore giving it the possibility to become a removal with no downside as opposed to a removal spell with a negligible downside.

In standard this card is a force to be reckoned with most any decks utilizing white play this card. The current strength of creatures is counteracted by the ability to remove almost any threat from the board. It dies to removal is not a valid argument concerning a creatures effectiveness but Path to Exile is such an inexpensive card that it can shut down the most expensive fatties in the blink of an eye. In extended archetypes like All in Red face the possibility of dropping an early Deus of Calamity or Demigod of Revenge and have it met with a path to exile, a risky venture in such deck types that literally expend all their resources early. In eternal formats it’s most likely not as good as Swords to Plowshare but is still a powerful removal spell where appropriate. In casual and multiplayer simply point it where you want a creature to be gone. A powerful tool to make sure no one player gets out of hand. In limited its removal, powerful removal a first pick if there ever was one. Overall Path to Exile is one of the best removal spells printed in recent memory and resides in white’s domain making it shift the competitive nature of the color pie slightly.

Constructed : 5.0
Casual : 5.0
Limited: 5.0
Multiplayer: 5.0

Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

Today's card on the countdown is Path to Exile which being a spiritual successor of Swords to Plowshares had big shoes to fill in the eyes of the Magic community.  The popularity of the card throughout 2009 show that it more than lived up to the legacy and in some ways exceeded the original.
In Constructed, Casual, and Limited a one mana option for removing a creature from the game is an effect that is almost impossible to top. 
The balancing factor is that your opponent gets a basic land instead which is a small price to pay later in the game.  Earlier on the choice of giving them mana can be a difficult one and causes this to be one of the more strategic cards printed in recent memory.  Deck destruction designs, though rarely using White, or stall builds can also use this effect as a sort of mill to remove one more card from the opponent's deck if they choose to search for a land.  This method can cause your opponent to decline taking their land and negates the penalty built into the design.
For Limited the balancing act is a little tougher as your opponents will likely be playing multiple colors and may often need a specific type of mana more than any particular creature they have in play.  If your opponent has several cards in hand and one or two types of mana available playing Path to Exile may not be beneficial in the long run. 

The reverse can also be used as using Path to Exile on your own creature can allow you to search out a much needed land to further your own mana base.  In Sealed this should be included in every deck with even a splash of White, but the timing of using it during games is critical. 

By the second or third round of a match you should have a strong enough idea of your opponent's deck to play Path more effectively.  In Booster if running White this should be drafted early and often as cheap removal, but again playing it early in games can be detrimental.  Path to Exile is not card advantage as you use one card to remove one card and potentially replace it with a land, but it does improve your field position.  If not playing White this should be drafted if nothing critically useful is available in a pack for your colors as it is too powerful to pass without a noticeable addition to your own deck.
Constructed: 4.5
Casual: 4.5
Limited: 4.5
Multiplayer: 4.5

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