Magic's Power Nine

The Power Nine

With the initial Alpha edition of Magic:The Gathering wizards of the cost introduced nine cards that have forever defined the game and been the holy grail of collectors since. For a short period of time, from 1993-1994, they were available in the first three printing of Magic:The Gatheeing Alpha, Beta, and Unlimited. Due to their complete brokedness they will never be printed again and legal only in one format, vintage. Even there they are restricted to one copy of each per decklist. Despite this fact, their complete brokedness and extreme scarcity make them amongst the most coveted and expensive cards in all of Magic.

Black Lotus

The holy grail of Magic cards. The most valuable piece of cardboard crack ever printed as a part of a set. With a casting cost of 0, Black Lotus is an artifact that allows you to add 3 mana of any color to your mana pool. Making turn 4 plays on turn one is extremely devastating, especially when color is not even a limitation.

The Moxen

The five Mox cards - Mox Pearl, Mox Ruby, Mox Sapphire, Mox Jet and Mox Emerald, collectively take up five spaces in the list. These are also artifacts with a casting cost of 0 that allow you to tap them for a color of mana respective to their name. Mox Pearl produces white, Mox Ruby produces red, Mox Saphire produces blue, and Mox Jet produces black, and Mox emerals produces black.

Stricltly better than basic lands because you can play as many as you want in a single turn. Before they were restricted it was possible to run 20 of these and not even need any land. Even now many vintage decks will run all five.

Ancestral Recall

Ancestral Recall is an instant that allows you to draw three cards for one blue mana. Card advantage has always been an important tenant of Magic theory and no card has ever given you card draw so cheaply.

Time Walk

Time Walk, for one colorless and one blue mana, allows you to take an extra turn. If you were unable to win the game in turn one with all of the mana Black Lotus and the Moxes gave you, Time Walk gives you another turn to try again before your opponent even has a turn of his own.

Time Twister

The final, and also least valuable, of the power nine is Time Twister. This card, with a casting cost of two colorless and one blue mana, states that each player shuffles his or her hand or graveyard into his or her library and then draws seven cards. This card can be an even better card draw spell but also has the huge disadvantae of drawing cards for your opponent. However, it can also remove strong cards from their hands and replace them with weaker ones.This one takes some extra thought to play correctly but when used right can be absolutely devastating.

How Spot Fake Power 9 Cards

Which of the Pwer ( were most broken?

See results without voting

More by this Author


Comments 6 comments

Rylar 7 years ago

The power 9 was the begining of broken (too powerful for play) cards for magic. These were the first banned/restricted cards in magic. This list has grown over the years as more broken card interactions have come about or a simply broken card has slipped by wizard's R&D.

Also worthy of note is that the power 9 have all been reprinted in a less broken (often still broken) ways countless times over the years. The moxes were copied on countless mana artifacts but had a casting cost. Black lotus was copied with Lion's Eye Diamond with a cost of discarding your hand. Time walk became time warp at a casting cost of 5 instead of 2. Ancestral Recall spawned Brainstorm and Ponder. Time Twister inspired the perhaps even more powerful Time Spiral.

Good article here. Looking forward to more.


Christopher Dapo profile image

Christopher Dapo 7 years ago from Havelock, NC

Very nice!

I like going through the new stuff Wizards puts out and developing my own strategies with the cards. I picked MTG up just after 10th and since then I've been able to "break" cards from just about every set. I've already broken one of the new M10 cards! I often wonder if cards can be broken in the online version of the game and how that game would react to it. Too bad I'm not going to invest in virtual cards.

My brother-in-law has a bunch of those back home so I'm going to show this to him, he'll like it! Thanks!


ShadowSketched 6 years ago

What's cool about the Moxen is that you can use them for Tinker fodder to bring out an Inkwell Leviathan or Darksteel Colossus.

As far as Timetwister goes, I see it in combo decks to restock your hand. In addition, it'll go to the graveyard after it is cast, so you can bring it back with Yawgmoth's Will to do it again.


starvagrant profile image

starvagrant 6 years ago from Missouri

Some go on a variant of power nine and propose to include Library of Alexandria. (non-basic land that could be tapped to draw a card if you had seven cards in hand). A first time library means drawing two cards to your opponent's one which can finish a game just as quickly as the power nine. I've also heard Bazaar of Baghdad considered to be the tenth card. It is also a non-basic land that lets you draw two cards then discard three. With your draw step and an activation of Bazaar of Baghdad, you get three cards at the cost of three discards, meaning you can cycle to just about any card in your deck. It's also terrifying when combined with Dredge.


RichERich1175 profile image

RichERich1175 5 years ago

Loved the blog! It has been a while since I have thought about magic. You have just brought lots of memories that have been dormant from my high school and college days to the forefront of my mind. Oh, those were good days. Thanks for writing about this.


Satchell 23 months ago

This is the pecrfet post for me to find at this time

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working