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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!

Sensei's Divining Top
Image from Wizards.com

Sensei's Diving Top
- Eternal Masters

Reviewed June 30, 2016

Constructed: 4.25
Casual: 3.50
Limited: 4.50
Multiplayer: 4.00
Commander [EDH]: 4.00

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale:
1 - Horrible  3 - Average.  5 - Awesome

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Card of the Day Reviews 

David Fanany

Player since 1995

Sensei's Divining Top
I've long maintained that if Sensei's Divining Top was banned for time-wasting concerns, the same scrutiny should be applied to fetchlands. I mean, everybody wants Steppe Lynx to be good, but have you ever timed just how long it takes for a deck with ten fetchlands (that's one-sixth of its cards) to be sufficiently randomized each time? Even if somehow the time issue wasn't significant, Sensei's Divining Top would have been problematic. One of the things that makes Brainstorm insane is the ability to legally stack the top of your deck. Now do so every turn. On an artifact. That isn't susceptible to targeted artifact removal. Unlike yesterday's card, it's hard to think of a way to use the Top "fairly", although I admit my memories of the Winterbalance deck from Kamigawa-Ravnica Standard might be getting in the way!
Constructed: 4/5
Casual: 2/5
Limited: 4/5
Multiplayer: 3/5
EDH/Commander: 3/5
Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno Sensei's Divining Top
The Kamigawa block has a reputation for being bad, but I don't think it's an entirely fair reputation, particularly with Champions of Kamigawa. The first set of the block had some especially nasty cards that would go on to be the linchpin of several decks, and Sensei’s Divining Top is definitely one of those cards.
The effect seems innocuous enough, but it's anything but innocuous. In conjunction with fetchlands, the Top lets you maximize the efficacy of your fetches. And paired with Counterbalance (from Coldsnap), the little artifact can make it almost impossible for your opponents to resolve a spell ever again. It's a staple of Legacy in decks such as Miracles (thanks to how it interacts with the Miracle spells from Avacyn Restored), and it's rightly an EDH staple because of its splashability, its potent effect, and its ability to drive your opponents up a wall with repeated uses.
Also, in conjunction with untap effects, the Top lets you draw a lot of cards from the top of your library with minimal cost to you. For a 1-mana artifact, Sensei's Divining Top is an excellent card, and all but the most aggressive decks will find its effects at least usable.
Constructed: 4.5
Casual: 5
Limited: 5
Multiplayer: 5
Commander [EDH]: 5

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