Top 8 MTG Cards for the Thinking Person

Ryan Normandin
October 22, 2018

8. Ponder


Starting off nice and easy, you don’t even need to consider yourself a Thinking PersonTM to have pondered something before. In fact, I’ve witnessed people pondering which of two equally stupid actions they should take, as though the fact they’re thinking about it beforehand somehow absolves them of any stupidity that is about to ensue. “Sure, I lit my pants on fire, but the alternative was my shirt. And if my arms were on fire, how would I even go about putting it out?” As such, Ponder is a lower form of thinking, but just barely scrapes it onto the list.

 7.Careful Consideration

Careful Consideration is where things begin to get a tad more serious. Rather than pondering whether you’d rather fight one hundred duck-sized horses or one horse-sized duck, probably while under the influence of a substance or two, you’re actually considering a topic carefully. As the flavor text of the card says, by the time you’re at this stage, you’re competent enough to check your sources. On the other hand, the flavor text seems to imply that Teferi needed to be reminded to check his sources. As someone who has embraced Teferi since his most recent printing, I do hope that he’s learned from his mistake. Trusting Teferi to help me find Azcanta to access the Nexus of Fate would be completely idiotic if Teferi is getting his maps from Infowars.

6. Think Twice


Thinking Twice before taking action is always the right thing to do. When you’re standing outside your ex’s apartment at 2am with a megaphone, a stolen car stereo, and a tiki torch that you carved your face into, it’s time to stop, take a step back, and #thinktwice. Do you really want to use a megaphone to amplify your slurred words? Is a car stereo ever as cool as a boom box? Is the face carved into the tiki torch really your best work? Wouldn’t it look better if your ex’s face was alongside your own? Don’t rush into things – Think Twice.

When your boss has chewed you out for the sixth day in a row over something stupid like selling customer’s Social Security numbers on the dark web, and the only thing you want to do is blackmail your boss using his private information (along with some raunchy pics from the company vacation last year), stop, take a step back, and, you guessed it, #thinktwice. Why are Social Security numbers worth so little on the dark web? Are you getting ripped off? Would you be better served just working your boss’s raunchy pics into your upcoming Powerpoint presentation to the Deputy Executive Vice President of Informationally Sensitive Affairs, Security, and Long Titles? Don’t rush into things – Think Twice.

Perhaps you’re about to run into a burning building to save your next-door neighbors. Hold on, there, don’t rush into things! Stop, take a step back, and #thinktwice. Remember that time your neighbor returned your pie plate to you unwashed? Or the time that they dumped their leaves just over the property line into your yard? Is the neighborhood really a better place with them in it? Perhaps the neighborhood could use a little bit of char to spice things up. Don’t rush into things – Think Twice.

 5. Ideas Unbound


Magic: the Gathering is supposed to be a family-friendly game. And yet, if you look back at some of the older cards, you can tell that it wasn’t always this way. Ideas Unbound chronicles what happens if you take just a little bit too much – ahem – “blue mana.” While you’re on this “blue mana,” you can expect to see, feel, hear, smell, and taste things like vividly colored fish spirits floating within some swirly bubbles while licking your brain. As the card mechanically depicts, the ideas come fast. For an investment of only two “blue mana,” you get a huge store of ideas. Of course, once the mana wears off, the ideas are gone. And that, my friends, is how you get addicted to “drawing cards.”


Spirit of the Labyrinth: my anti-drug.

 4Flow of Ideas


Of course, as a Thinking PersonTM, it’s difficult to resist the allure of Blue Mana, known to enhance the capabilities of the brain. Once you embrace it, you risk traversing a dangerous road. After the ideas are unbound, they begin to flow. This leads to behaviors such as being really good at math, but really bad at tracking your negative signs, purchasing a whiteboard to hang on your wall for calculations, and purchasing a set of your own private Islands from which you can conduct research. This last step is the most substantial, and is what really helps to get the ideas flowing. Without a small investment of a couple million dollars to purchase beautiful, seafront property, how can you be expected to perform optimally?

 3. Radical Idea


Anytime you assemble a set of private Islands through which you can channel your multitude of ideas, you need to Sift through and find the real winners. Each and every time, you’ll find that the best ideas are the most radical. Trying to prevent Forest fires? Just burn down the forest, and there’ll be no more fires. Trying to lose 10 lbs? Chop off a limb or two. Tired of walking to the refrigerator? Make the refrigerator walk to you. Ideas of the radical variety can make you a pariah, but this shouldn’t bother you; just flee to one of your several private Islands and lose yourself in blue mana.

 2. Overwhelming Intellect


Overwhelming Intellect: The Final Expanding Brain


Eventually, upon immersing yourself thoroughly enough in blue mana and ideas, you shall shed the irritating meat that inhibits your ability and time to think. No more will you need to eat, sleep, or shower. You can spend your time in a nice jar of brain juice, the physical embodiment of pure thought. You might be ugly now, but optimizing your computational power and creativity has been all that has ever mattered anyways.

 1. Kozilek, the Great Distortion


After spending enough time as a Brain in a Jar, you will recognize that reality is more a set of suggestions than hard rules. You will transcend the blue mana that fueled and created you and become something more. Alien and godlike, reality shall become your plaything. You will learn, as you always have, but you will also create truths, your own truths. Alternative facts become regular facts, and regular facts become alternative. While you might have thought there could be no greater thinker than a literal brain, it turns out you were wrong; becoming Neo in the Matrix, but with tentacles, is way more powerful.


Ryan Normandin is a grinder from Boston who has lost at the Pro Tour, in GP & SCG Top 8's, and to 7-year-olds at FNM. Despite being described as "not funny" by his best friend and "the worst Magic player ever" by Twitch chat, he cheerfully decided to blend his lack of talents together to write funny articles about Magic.