Fan Favorite Friday #9: Horsin’ Around

Hello everyone, and happy Friday! This week’s FFF is going up a little bit later than normal because I’m up at Grand Prix Sacramento, and it’s hard to write with all of the awesome going on around me! Don’t worry though, I’m not going to let you down! (Okay, I let you down a little bit – this has become a Fan Favorite Tuesday…) We got a lot of great content up  at the GP! You can check out our “Road to #GPSAC” series on YouTube.

Per the norm during a GP Weekend for me, there was no vote this week. We’ll be focusing on something more GP related here in a second, but in the meantime let’s not forget to announce the winner of last week’s card giveaway! Robert Lee Price, congratulations! You’ve won yourself a brand new, foil, Arcades the Strategist!

This Grand Prix main event is going to be sealed (I will not be participating – just rooting on Grae and Joby), so what could we be talking about this week?

Well, horses of course(s). Yep, it’s time to talk about Core 19’s Mare Cycle.

I haven’t had much time to really dig into Core 19 and it’s limited environment, but I was captivated by these fearsome equine beasts the moment they were spoiled. I mean, how cool right? Each color gets a horse explicitly tailored to their share of the color pie.

Let’s take a look at each Mare individually!

Shield Mare:


Shield Mare is rad and definitely fits the White color pie flavor. Red creatures can’t block it, and whenever it becomes the target of a spell or ability your opponent controls you gain three life. You have to be pretty dedicated to White in order to pay for it’s double White and one of any casting cost. It’s a 2/3, so definitely not a bad body to have in the Core 19 limited format if you’re already heavy in white.






Surge Mare:

Surge Mare is Blue’s share of the Mare Cycle. It’s a Horse Fish! I love the art on this one so much, and it has some cool abilities to boot. Green creatures can’t block it and when it deals damage to an opponent you get the chance to draw and discard. You can also pay one colorless and a blue to give Surge Mare +2/-2. It costs two blue to cast and comes in as a 0/5. In the few drafts I’ve gotten to play so far, I’ve faced down a few Surge Mares, and it doesn’t seem bad for a limited card!







Plague Mare:

In my opinion, Plague Mare is pretty nifty. This Nightmare Horse earned itself the title of “Horse Whirler” (or any number of permutations that relate it to Goblin Chainwhirler) because when this bad boy hits the table, it gives all of your opponent’s creatures -1/-1 until the end of turn. It has a 2/2 body and costs two black and a colorless to play, so much like Chainwhirler you have to be pretty dedicated to a color to run it. Unlike Chainwhirler, there isn’t a ton of great stuff for mono black lists right now, so even though white creatures can’t block it this nightmare isn’t seeing a ton of play.







Lightning Mare:

As a frequent red player, Lightning Mare was the horse I was most excited about! She’s full of tasty red flavor – can’t be countered, can’t be blocked by blue creatures, and you can pay one and a red to give it +1/+0 until end of turn! The only thing it seems to be missing is haste. She costs two red to play and has a 3/1 body. Unfortunately, as cool and flavorful as she is, this lightning horse doesn’t see much play either. I’ve seen her slam some face in limited, but in constructed there is just too many better red cards.







Vine Mare:

Now, this green elemental horse is by far the breakout star of the cycle! For two colorless and two green, you get a 5/3 hexproof body that can’t be blocked by black creatures. I was initially a little underwhelmed by this one when it was spoiled, but quickly realized how wrong I was! Hexproof is no joke my friends, and there are already four copies of this leafy gal showing up in 5-0 standard lists online. Here is a list I’m pretty sure I want to try running at upcoming FNMs that features Vine Mare.







During GP Sacramento, I got a chance to talk with my ABU Teammates Grae and Joby over breakfast about which mare was their favorite in the cycle:

Vine Mare in limited because there are so many enchantments you can stick on it, and almost nothing can answer it. It’s good. – Grae

Grae is a man of few words during breakfast time.

“Vine Mare. Hexproof is just way too strong. I think the White Mare is great, the Black Mare is not bad, adds to combat tricks. The red one is playable, which is a good thing. Also, I almost always seem to play the blue mare, so that one is pretty good in limited. – Joby

In Conclusion:

So there you have it, folks! Our limited experts have spoken, and the horses have indeed been deemed good. Keep an eye out for more footage from GP Sacramento, and I’ll see you all again on Friday! Let me know if there are any cards you’d like to see face off in the coming weeks.


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Joe Davidson is the Content Production Manager at ABU Games. When he's not playing Modern, Legacy, or following around Team ABU with a camera he's pursuing a BFA in Fiction at Boise State University. He loves Goblins, casting burn spells, and writing about Magic. You can find him on Twitter @MTGJoeD.