In today's article, I bring you a top 15 Swords from the entire history of Magic: the Gathering. In it, I present the functionalities and characteristics of each of the swords so that in the near future, you will be more familiar with them and can finally assemble the much desired deck using the most appropriate weapons!
Sword of the Realms
Released in 2021 in Kaldheim, Sword of the Realms came as a dual card option. On the one hand, we have Halvar, God of Battle, a great option for decks that use and abuse equipment like the example below:
With the option to cast it as a creature, the Double Strike ability gives equipped creatures a very high power to finish matches.
The sword, on the other hand, serves as a protection to the creature equipped by it. The ability to return the equipped creature to the board as soon as it dies makes it indispensable to the deck, because, unlike auras attached to the creature, when it dies, its attached equipment stays in play and can be reattached later.
Sword of Hours
Released in 2021 on the Forgotten Realms Commander set, the Sword of Hours brings a much-loved ability to many players: the +1/+1 counter. It is legal only in Legacy and Commander, and in the latter it shines the most.
Used in many Voltron strategy decks, it is a great option to grow your commander and finish the game with 21 commander damage. In this article, written by César, we can better understand the Voltron archetype.
In this example deck, our Commander is Galea, Kindler of Hope, being able to look at the top of the library at any time, and consequently, allowing to cast Auras and Equipment from the top - and the Sword of Hours, when cast, enters the battlefield already attached to the commander.
With the ability triggered when the equipped creature attacks, a counter is added to the creature. As the main strategy of Voltrons is often to increase the creature's power, for lovers of swords, it is a great request for the strategy to be strengthened - even more so when the creature deals combat damage to a player, as the chance to double the number of counters is 1 in 12, due to a d12 roll, as per its ability.
Umezawa's Jitte isn't a sword, but a specialized weapon used during the Edo period in Japan to parry swords, so it doesn't really fit this Top 15, since we're covering only swords.
Top 15 Swords from Magic: the Gathering
15 - Sword of the Paruns
Released in 2006, in the Guildpact set, the Sword of the Paruns is a good choice for lovers of armies of creatures, whether tokens or not.
And when we talk about armies, goblins come to mind. Krenko, Mob Boss plays the role this sword wants very well. With a good number of creatures, the sword gives +2/+0 to tapped creatures (even better when they're attacking) while the equipped creature (preferably Krenko) is tapped. It does not stop there.
As a good combat trick, the ability to be able to untap the equipped creature and grant +0/+2 to the untapped creatures can be a good form of defense - even more so when you've already untapped Krenko, and tapped again to fill the board with more creatures, and so in the opponent's attack you provide your creatures with good defense.
Of course, this all comes at a high cost to do, but with Skirk Prospector, mana is guaranteed while the rain of goblins lingers over the battlefield.
14 - Sword of Kaldra
Released in 2003 on Mirrodin, the Sword of Kaldra bears the name of Kaldra - a gigantic Mirran avatar composed of blue-white plasma that was summoned by Glissa Sunseeker, after she collected the three Kaldra artifacts: a Helm of Kaldra, a Shield of Kaldra, and a Sword of Kaldra.
Given a very brief lore about Kaldra, the sword enters the top 14 when we can, with several cards, bring along with it all the artifacts of Kaldra, thus forming a powerful creature on the battlefield. Cards like Steelshaper's Gift, Stoneforge Mystic, in white, can tutor any part of the equipment set. With the help of Puresteel Paladin and Danitha Capashen, Paragon lowering the costs of equipping and casting respectively.
Finally, we have Kaldra Compleat, which when entering the battlefield creates a 0/0 germ already equipped, receiving all the abilities of Kaldra's equipment set.
13 - Sword of the Meek
Launched in 2007, in Future Sight, the Sword of the Meek gained a great partner for combo lovers, in 2009, with Thopter Foundry. With the infamous combo where you could sacrifice the Sword to create a 1/1 thopter, which would return it to the battlefield attached to the token, and was preemptively banned in Modern for years due to how that specific combo took over Extended.
In this deck, we see the presence of the two-card combo. With Urza, Lord High Artificer and Whir of Invention, finding the Sword and Foundry is even more optimized. I would add a copy of Time Sieve to guarantee infinite turns and thus end the game with flying Thopters.
12 - Sword of the Animist
Released in 2015, in the Origins set, the Sword of the Animist can be considered one of the best ways to ramp up with a properly developed deck to take advantage of the ability.
With its low cost to cast and equip, the Sword of the Animist triggers its main ability with no combat damage – just attack with the equipped creature. With that in mind, you can guarantee at least one land per turn. And when you have possibilities to take lands from your library to the battlefield, the chances of "improved" draws increase.
In the deck above, with the commander Kosei, Penitent Warlord, the sword's ability added to the commander's ability to deal damage boosts the deck's future draws.
11 - Vorpal Sword
Released in 2021, in the Adventures in the Forgotten Realms set, Vorpal Sword brings power even in the name. The word Vorpal was initially inserted in a poem written by Lewis Carrol that narrates the adventure of a boy, armed with his vorpal sword, who goes after a beast and, after a long battle, he defeats his tormentor and returns with the beast's head at hand.
Then, the term Vorpal is inserted in the Dungeons & Dragons RPG, which was the theme of the set in which the Vorpal Sword was launched, when a character achieves a critical hit, causing the victim to be immediately decapitated and defeated. With the theme already inserted, the Vorpal Sword in Magic does something similar.
In the deck above, we saw that with the first deathtouch ability, the Sword defeats any creature that is being damaged by the equipped one. In the second ability, the Vorpal force enters, being able to end the game immediately when inflicting combat damage on the defending player with Chromium, the Mutable.
The Swords Cycle
From our top 10 to the top 4, there are seven swords from the cycle that started at Darksteel. The first two swords of this cycle, where each of the swords brings protection against two combinations of colors, were the Sword of Fire and Ice and the Sword of Light and Shadow.
With the same casting costs, equipping cost, and the way the triggered ability is triggered, the 7 swords out of the top 3 are here in this same dissertation, as they are all based on the same strategies: being tutored, set them onto the battlefield, and equip them to creatures that deal combat damage to trigger their abilities. The two-color protection each of them grants is of great value as well.
One note: these swords are usually found in Commander decks, being mostly outside other formats, such as Modern or Pioneer (for those who are Pioneer-legal).
That said, our top 10 to 4 would look like this:
10 - Sword of War and Peace
9 - Sword of Forge and Frontier
8 - Sword of Hearth and Home
7 - Sword of Once and Future
6 - Sword of Truth and Justice
5 - Sword of Sinew and Steel
4 - Sword of Light and Shadow
3 - Sword of Body and Mind
Launched in 2010, on Scars of Mirrodin, the Sword of Body and Mind started to show up in Standard at the time and showed what it came for. Below is the decklist of the Caw-Blade deck, piloted by scaryroro17 at MTGO's PTQ Philadelphia in April 2011.
The main idea of the deck was to control the beginning of the game and, meanwhile, abuse Stoneforge Mystic's ability to search for the sword and equip it on smaller creatures, but with a powerful evasion - like Squadron Hawk, which in addition to evasion, could bring up to 3 more copies of it from the deck to the hand.
In any other deck, Sword should be equipped on creatures with good evasion for its triggered ability to have maximum value. When facing decks with Green or Blue creatures, evasion is guaranteed on the attack.
2 - Sword of Feast and Famine
Released in 2011 on Mirrodin Besieged, the Sword of Feast and Famine takes third place. Its ability to deplete your opponent's resources by discarding a card and untap your lands to cast more spells and activate abilities makes it one of Magic's premier swords.
In this deck, the commander Nahiri, Forged in Fury provides a great strategy to play the equipment without paying its costs, thus having mana left over to equip, activate abilities, and even cast from hand – with the Sword of Feast and Famine and can further enhance this effect.
1 - Sword of Fire and Ice
Launched in 2004, in Darksteel, the Sword of Fire and Ice is one of Magic's best equipments in the competitive scene, it has a track record befitting its strength.
As seen in the list above, the combination of Stoneforge Mystic to bring the sword to hand, and later putting it down to the field, with the ability to equip 0 of Puresteel Paladin is already a great shortcut towards victory. Again, the need for an evasion to be able to trigger the sword's ability to deal combat damage to the player, and thus potentiate its effect, is not a disadvantage, as the reward is strong. Dealing 2 damage to any target is of great value to remove that creature that bothers you on the battlefield, or even facilitate the defeat of an opponent with the damage.
Also, drawing a card brings a recurring advantage like extra resources in your hand. You can check in this article by Vinícius Sorin the importance and uses of Draw spells in a game, and you will understand that, among all the swords, the Sword of Fire and Ice is in the first place in this article.
All swords present here are Equipments - and speaking of them, you can check here a top 20 best equipment in Magic history!
We have reached the end of another article! Any questions or comments, I'm available in the comments.