Slickshot-Show Off
4, Jul, 24

Top Five MTG Best Bird Cards

Article at a Glance

MTG Bloomburrow is coming soon, and there’s a lot to look forward to. One of the coolest aspects of the set is the emphasis on different animal creature types. Based on Mark Rosewater’s teaser and the spoiling of the Village land cycle, it looks like 10 specific animals are going to be the focal point of the creatures in the set.

Most of these creature types, such as Mouse and Rabbit, are not super well supported thus far. Birds, on the other hand, are rather abundant in MTG and appear to be a big part of Bloomburrow. There have been nearly 400 Birds printed throughout Magic’s history, some of which are quite strong. If you’re looking to build or improve a Bird-themed Commander deck, you may be in luck.

With this in mind, we thought it would be a neat idea to go over the best Birds throughout MTG’s history. Even since Alpha, Birds have been represented in some capacity, and the creature type has been expanding as of late. So, without further ado, here are the top five MTG best Bird cards.

#5 | Derevi, Empyrial Tactician

Derevi, Empyrial Tactician

Kicking things off, we have a card that is specifically good in EDH. Derevi is an elite Commander choice for a number of reasons. First of all, it’s very efficient, and provides a mana advantage by letting you untap lands whenever Derevi enters or a creature you control connects in combat. Second, it’s immune to the Commander tax thanks to its four-mana activated ability. This even allows you to sneak Derevi into play through counter magic.

On top of that, there are a multitude of combos that can be executed once Derevi is in play. For instance, if you control Derevi, Emiel the Blessed, Gaea’s Cradle, and at least two other creatures, you can generate infinite mana! Simply use three mana from Gaea’s Cradle to blink Derevi with Emiel (floating the rest), untap Gaea’s Cradle when Derevi enters, and repeat this process over and over.

Derevi has been strong in both traditional Commander and cEDH for quite a while now. The legend has stood the test of time well enough and deserves a spot on this list even if it doesn’t see play in Constructed formats.

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#4 | Ledger Shredder

Ledger Shredder

Up next, we have Ledger Shredder. Ledger Shredder is an excellent two-drop creature. The fact that its ability triggers off any player makes it incredibly threatening. In multiplayer formats like Commander, Ledger Shredder provides a lot of excellent card selection over time. Currently, the format where it shines the most, though, is Pioneer.

It took a lot for Izzet Phoenix decks in Pioneer to move off of Thing in the Ice, but Ledger Shredder did the trick. The deck plays tons of cheap spells to trigger it, and Conniving lets you discard copies of Arclight Phoenix and fuel Treasure Cruise. It quickly outpaces most damage-based removal, which is a huge boon.

The card even saw some play in Modern alongside free spells like Mishra’s Bauble, but unfortunately, the printing of Orcish Bowmasters weakened the card’s stock considerably. As such, it’s tough to put Ledger Shredder much higher, but it definitely earns a spot on the list, regardless.

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#3 | Birds of Paradise

Birds of Paradise

Birds of Paradise is one of MTG’s most iconic cards. Printed all the way back in Alpha, and the card still sees plenty of Commander and Constructed play. Almost any multi-color ramp Commander deck will want access to Birds of Paradise. Being able to tap for any color of mana gives it a big edge over most other mana dorks that have been printed over the years.

Unfortunately, once again, the release of Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth did result in the card seeing way less Modern and Legacy play. Not only is Birds of Paradise vulnerable to Orcish Bowmasters, but it also saw its popularity dwindle with the printing of Delighted Halfling.

Nonetheless, decks with strict color requirements, like Legacy Maverick, utilize the card to this day. Birds is an awesome card and a Commander staple, and even if nostalgia played a bit of a role in the card being this high up, we feel the card needs to be included.

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#2 | Slickshot Show-Off

Slickshot Show-Off | Outlaws of Thunder Junction

Coming in at number two, we have Slickshot Show-Off. Slickshot Show-Off is a new card printed this year, and it has already taken Standard, Pioneer, and Modern by storm. The card simply does everything an aggressive, spell-based deck could want.

It has evasion and Haste. It gets a huge buff every time you cast a noncreature spell. In some games, you have the luxury of Plotting it, then playing it and a flurry of spells on the same turn. This can help you play around Sorcery-speed removal, and in some strategies, leave up protection spells.

The card’s printing singlehandedly gave red aggressive decks in Pioneer and Modern a new lease on life. In fact, a sweet Gruul Prowess deck maximizing Slickshot Showoff’s power in Modern made top 16 of Pro Tour MH3 this past weekend. The card is just excellent, and if it weren’t for MH3, it would have earned the number one spot in our raznkings.

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#1 | Nadu, Winged Wisdom

Nadu, Winged Wisdom

But alas, the top slot unquestionably belongs to Nadu, Winged Wisdom. Nadu completely dominated Pro Tour MH3. Its metagame representation rivaled that of some of Modern’s most infamous cards, such as Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis. Furthermore, the deck had an incredible win percentage, with 10 of the top 16 decks at the event abusing Nadu.

Obviously, the combo between Nadu and Shuko has proven to be absolutely incredible in Modern and could very well result in a ban in the coming months. However, Nadu has proven itself as a force to be reckoned with in cEDH, and even contributed to the resurgence of Elves shells in Legacy.

Nadu is easily one of the most impactful cards to be printed in years. As such, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to see it claim the title of the best MTG Bird ever printed.

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