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

Swords to Plowshares
Image from Wizards.com

Swords to Plowshares
Duel Decks: Elspeth vs. Tezzeret

Reviewed September 15, 2010

Constructed: 4.67
Casual: 4.67
Limited: 4.67
Multiplayer: 4.67

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 of our 
Card of the Day Reviews 

BMoor

Swords to Plowshares

The removal spell that defined an era of Magic play, and still defines Vintage and Legacy today. Exile any creature for a single mana, and its controller gains some life. Like Path to Exile, most players are more than happy to give the opponent that marginal advantage in exchange for getting rid of a threat. In addition, the land that Path to Exile gives you is more likely to improve your ability to recover from losing the creature than the life points you gain from the Swords, so really, unless your opponent can pay life for cards at will with Necropotence or whatnot, this card has little if any drawback. Removal will never be stronger than this. Personally, I don't think it ever should be.

Constructed- 5
Casual- 5
Limited- 5
Multiplayer- 5

David Fanany

Player since 1995

Swords to Plowshares
 
For a card based on the concept of renouncing war and pursuing a new path, Swords to Plowshares has seen a great deal of aggressive use down the years. Wizards of the Coast, in fact, considered it almost too effective, and it has been discontinued and out of Standard since about 1995. Sure, the life bonus to the opponent can be annoying if you're trying to attack for the win, but there's a lot less they can do with, say, five extra life points than with the extra land from Path to Exile, and they have almost no chance of ever seeing the creature again, unlike the effect from Oust or Condemn. Swords to Plowshares may be "too powerful" to be the baseline for Standard constructed, but it will always be the first, the most iconic, and probably the most powerful of this line of white cards.
 
Constructed: 4/5
Casual: 4/5
Limited: 4/5
Multiplayer: 4/5
Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

Today's card of the day is Swords to Plowshares from Elspeth Vs.
Tezzeret which is another classic not legal in Standard or Extended since the days of Fourth Edition and Ice Age.  Very similar to the newer Path to Exile in giving the controller a benefit, in this case life instead of a land, which is better can ultimately depend on the situation though life gain is easier to overcome than mana acceleration.  When removing a low power creature Swords has a much smaller impact where Path grants the same land each time which is a nice benefit earlier on or against support creatures.  Late in the game the life gain may be more problematic if the opponent has a large mana supply and low life, but again removing their one big creature should allow for as much if not more damage dealt to them in combat.  The option of removing your own creature in response to removal or burn to gain added life is a nice bonus as well.  Overall one of the best removal spells ever printed and not likely to see Standard rotation again in the near future with Path to Exile around, but that's what was said about Lightning Bolt as well.
 
For Limited this would be an incredibly destructive card much like Path to Exile is now and possibly a first pick depending on the weakness of the rare.  A White deck fielding one or two of these can handle most threats and a deck would easily be able to splash them and support in depending on available resources.
 
Constructed: 5.0
Casual: 5.0
Limited: 5.0
Multiplayer: 5.0


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