I was looking at the other thread and most people seem to have 3 sets that end up as the worst. I think it will be a lot more interesting what you think about which is the BEST set in Magic. It is YOUR personal opinion and there is no bad answer.
I think it's Lorwyn, it has so much flavour, the tribal was extremely well designed and so many good interesting cards. It was also the first one to have the planeswalkers.
I'm going to go with Time Spiral. Good power level, with a mix of fun, new mechanics and a bunch of the better older mechanics. Plus, if you include the Timeshifted cards, you had a pretty large set to play around with. I'd have to say that whole block was probably my favorite, especially with all of the throwbacks to cards from the past.
I love the books, I love the art. Pound for Pound it has a high density of Awesomeness.
Library, Bazaar, Juzam Djinn, Serendib Efreet, Ali from Cairo, Guardian Beast, City of Brass etc... even the commons like Kird Ape, Ghazaban Ogre and Flying Men and Desert were decent in some capacity.
Beta was awesome when it came out... The original!!! - #1 for me
For some reason Zendikar was a lot of fun to play - #2
Timespiral had a nice mix of different cards - #3
Legends looked awesome and was fun to collect - #4
Urza's One of the fastest and most skill intensive casual blocks ever.... (serrously make casual decks with only urza's block cards, its fun )
Invasion. MOST FUN BLOCK EVER..... That block redefined what the curve WAS. 2 mana for a 2/2 WITH A TRICK was now the norm everyone was doing it..... While at the same time we had GOOD COUNTER MAGIC and GOOD instant speed card draw, AND good burn.... great set. Great block, Great mana fixing, Great everything... Invasion was magic in its hey day...
MD5 block... One of the best Money too card ratios around and for a good reason, They had ALOT powerful and fun cards. Some of the best equipment. It was soild great fun block.
Honorable mention Ravnica block.... Now I was winding down my T2 age during this block so I wasn't as "in too it" however from what I was told... It was Invasion 2.0 and even if this block was 75% as good as invasion then its one of the best blocks in magics history..
Timespiral block for its mix of balanced power level and incredible flavor.
Timespiral was probably the best set in the block and for years I've enjoyed recognizing new references or inspirations in the set's cards. No other set comes close to providing the fun Timespiral does. Opening packs was always exciting.
I loved the entire Shards block, I liked Eventide, I love Innistrad (And probably the other two), and I also enjoyed NPH! (Maybe Besieged a bit... But only for Battle Cry (one of my favorite abilities ever!))
That's just what I can remember off the top of my head. It also had the kicker cards like Rushing River, and just plain good but not OP cards like Hull Breach.
In contrast, Masques had a horrendously bad standard, following up Urza's OP with an UP block that was dominated by Rebel tribal (ugh) and the nauseating Rishadan Port. It's noteworthy that Masques was part of a block that included Prophecy and Nemesis, which were downright horrible sets, compared to Planeshift and Apocalypse, which have tons of fun cards in them.
I would add that being part of the block that added Daze and Rishadan Port to the card pool is not a plus. Tons of just horribly bad design in Masques block, from more fiddling around with the "free" mechanic which always ends up with at least 1 awful mistake every single goddamn time they try it to boring, clunky cards for most everything else.
Power-wise, it's obviously alpha/beta/unlimited with no serious contest.
Fun-wise, I'd go for Zendikar, Ravnica and Champions of Kamigawa (last one with a bias, because it was my first). It's impossible for me to seriously think outside of said bias, but I guess my third pick would have been M10 instead if I had to pick anything other than Champions.
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"If the earth must lose that great portion of its pleasantness which it owes to things that the unlimited increase of wealth and population would extirpate from it, for the mere purpose of enabling it to support a larger, but not a happier or better population, I sincerely hope, for the sake of posterity, that they will be content to be stationary long before necessity compels them to it."
- John Stuart Mill, 1857
Wow...this is a tough one. Worst set thread was much easier. There have been so many good sets I wouldn't be able to pick a BEST.
So I'll try to pick a top 3.
Number 3 - Ursa's Block. Some of the most broken and fun to play cards in the history of this game. So many degenerate Vintage and Legacy decks wouldn't even be playable without this block.
Number 2 -Scourge. Might surprise a lot of people. One word defines this set...Storm. Arguably the most broken mechanic in all of magic. Three cards (Brain Freeze, Mind's Desire, Tendrils Of Agony) IMO defined this set. I wouldn't have 2 of my decks without these cards.
Number 1 - Unlimited...hands down. It was the last set printed with both the dual lands AND the Power 9. When revised came out all that was left were the duals. My best deck wouldn't be possible without this set. For power level, nothing even comes close.
But don't get me wrong. There were plenty of great sets with some great cards, which is part of the reason I am a lot poorer today than I would have been without them.
I'm actually kind of surprised SO many people are saying ABRU, especially citing "power" cards as the reason why they're the BEST SET EVER!
Those first sets of magic are 90% pure chaff. The cards that aren't are ridiculously broken and really unfun to play with on any large scale. Look up "The Deck". THAT was winning tournaments with the ABRU card pool. Does that look like fun magic?
Honestly, I think the best way to evaluate a set is its playability. How much could you play the set, both within itself and over time (or standard deck variety and eternal/casual relevence).
Sets like Champions block and Odyssey block had diverse standard metas, but don't really have any lasting presence over magic's history.
Sets like those from Lorwyn to Zendikar, as well as MD5, suffer entirely too much from dominant deck syndrome but produced some quality cards that will last over time.
The reason why people love Invasion and Ravnica block sets so much is that their standard environments were so much fun to play in AND they produced cards people will actually care about from now until people stop playing cards.
Time Spiral and Ravnica. I'm not sure which one gets the prize, but there was so much right about these two blocks. In my opinion the two best limited formats of all time, and constructed around this time was actually awesome (I'm usually not a fan of constructed). A lot of the cards were just very, very fun, and Ravnica's guild system was amazing - it had something for everyone.
If I had to pick a winner between these two, I would go with Ravnica, but it's very close.
Gotta go with blocks, as it's hard for me to separate each set
Tempest block--It had a lot of fast and interesting cards that made for a fun environment. cursed scroll, scroll rack, capsize, mogg fanatic, mox diamond, sliver queen, the slivers overall, and the craziness of buyback. It was the only time I can remember caring even a lot about the exact story in a magic block. It just has so many cards I still love to this day.
Urza's block--Yes there were a great many mistakes with the block as a whole. It pushed the envelope and there were consequences. Despite that the cards were dynamic and it was fun to play at the time, IF you don't count the horrendous mistakes that were made in the process. Honestly though, I'd still rather play in the broke environment that resulted from Urza's than caw-blade standard again.
Time spiral block--In all honesty, there is a lot of mediocrity in the block. However, the Rav-Tsp standard was incredibly fun and this block produced some of the most interesting cards in recent memory. There is also a fair nostalgia factor, which worked to its distinct advantage.
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