Folks, you can't do better than Pernicious Deed.
I could write more, I guess, but instead I'll quote my predecessor, one Mister Anthony Alongi, who summed it all up so well that I can't top him:
Usually, utility is boring. But when it comes in a cheap, permanent, sackable, adjustable, and incredibly effective package, it gets a lot more exciting. What do you want to do, exactly? Do you want to:
• slow the game down by wiping the board clean of everything but lands?
• speed the game up by wiping the board of everything but big regenerators?
• threaten to wipe the board if anyone comes near you?
• hurt a certain set of players, without touching another set?
• combine with a series of goes-to-graveyard effects?
• play at instant speed with Vernal Equinox?
• recur with Replenish (or several different green cards like Regrowth)?
The Deed cannot answer sorceries or instants. It cannot answer lands. But it answers virtually every other card in Magic (including Platinum Angel and all the other #1s listed above-not even Glory can protect creatures against it), and it sits in the two colors that may be the most powerful in the game today.
After all that, it leaves lands intact-which, for me, is critical to keeping players engaged. It's not fun to lose your mana base. Players understand mass creature kill, and they tend to favor clearing the woods of all the crazy artifacts and enchantments. But lands? Leave 'em alone. Let the players play.
Flexibility, power, and fun: great tools in multiplayer. Deed does the best of balancing all three.
Now, Pernicious Deed's power has gone down a slight amount thanks to split second cards, but you'd be surprised at how few people are packing Krosan Grips. Pernicious Deed is a severe Rattlesnake card once you get it out; it says, "If you annoy me, I will kill everything you love." This means that the Deed is both finely tuned mass removal and protection from weaker players all at once, making it perhaps one of the best multiplayer cards ever.
But you know, that's a boring article. So I spent a few hours looking at every enchantment ever printed, and I picked out the best other fifty multiplayer enchantments-cards that could, and should, see play in one of your decks soon. Some of them are tournament staples (and, admittedly, a little boring 'cause we've seen them all before), some of them are multiplayer-only extravaganzas, and some of them are just plain forgotten cards that maybe you should dig up. After all, there's no greater satisfaction than laying down a card and watching people squint as they ask, "What does that do?" and then seeing their eyes pop open as they go, "Holy crap."
These cards are listed in no particular order, mainly because it would take me forever to decide what ranking goes where. (The last time I came up with a list of ten cards, I spent the better part of two days deciding whether Krosan Cloudscraper was #10 or #8; it's difficult, being retentive.)
Before we start, let's list a couple of cards that are not on here-no, I didn't overlook 'em, I left them off. I'm just argumentative that way.
Runner Up: Stasis / Karma and Frozen Aether
Oh, I know, it's the classic lockdown combo; you put down Stasis and freeze the entire board at once! Then you play free counterspells like Daze and Force of Will to stop your opponents from casting anything new, and slowly but surely you choke them to death!
I'm not opposed to Stasis. I don't mind strategies that win. The problem is that most Stasis locks don't work particularly well-it's hard enough to control one player, let alone four or five, and most Stasis decks are shoddily built. So Multiplayer Dude busts out his Stasis deck to annoy everyone for about twenty turns until we finally gang up on him and kill him, then we return to actual play.
Thus, Stasis is one of those cards that seems like it should work, but doesn't fire as consistent as you'd like in multiplayer…. And when it doesn't work, it's just a pain in the butt. So it's out.
(Cue infinite posts of My Amazing Stasis Deck in the forums.)
Runner Up: Megrim
Another fine favorite of vexing players everywhere, Megrim is a hard card to play because it all but screams, "KILL ME BEFORE I DO SOMETHING MEAN!" I've seen Shocker / Megrim decks, and Memory Jar / Megrim decks, and Megrim decks-a-go-go.
But they rarely win, in my experience. Mainly because it is such a threat that someone inevitably goes, "Hmm. I should wipe this man from the face of the planet." And someone else agrees with him. And then there's a dogpile, a frantic race, and whoops Megrim guy is gone. It's the very definition of the backlash factor.
The trick is, of course, to not play the Megrim until the turn you're going to go off… But that's not always possible. Megrim is, as far as I'm concerned, one of those cards that seems like it should be devastatingly awesome in multiplayer but doesn't quite cut the mustard in real life.
(Cue infinite posts of My Amazing Megrim Deck in the forums.)
Runner Up: Pestilence / Pyrohemia
If you're not playing a combo deck, doing twenty damage in one shot is difficult. And if you can't do twenty in one shot, then again, the backlash factor will ensure you're dead.
It's not that I don't like the PP team; heck, a Pestilence / Circle of Protection: Black deck was the first true multiplayer deck I created! (It worked a lot better before each activation of Pestilence was a separate ability and required a separate activation of Circle of Protection: Black. Too much mana for me, man…. But then again, Sphere of Grace hadn't been printed yet.)
There are combos that work quite well with it. (For a while, I had a Scent of Jasmine / Necropotence / Pestilence / Skirge Familiar deck that was quite the hoot, let me assure you.) But in general, you spend a lot of time for little gain.
(Cue infinite…. Oh, you get the picture.)
Runner Up: Pandemonium and Sneak Attack
Again, great cards…. in combo decks. But too many players throw these into their decks for fun, and discover that other people burning cards to Pandemonium their face isn't nearly as much fun as they thought it would be. (Though hint: Saproling Burst and Pandemonium is a classic combo that can yoink a single player out of the game in one shot.) Likewise, Sneak Attack Timmies your cards out for free at a cut-rate cost, but unless you have a bunch of cards to ensure that you can do it again (like, say, Erratic Portal), you wind up burning your hand.
They're decent, don't get me wrong. But I'm leaving them off the list out of pure experience, because most of the time they don't work nearly as well as you'd think. It could be argued that these cards are better than some of the others on the list, and on some of 'em I might concur…. But they're like nitroglycerin. Deadly if you use them properly, deadly to you if you don't.
So what do we have? (Again, remember, these are in alphabetical order; I'll leave it up to the forums to rate them.)
What's that, Johnny? You want an infinite Storm count at instant-speed? Oh, so playing, say, Whitemane Lion for free a million times and then Grapeshotting the table for a million is pretty cool? All right.
Aluren is one of those classic tournament cards that Wizards doesn't dare reprint because, well, it's just too crazy an effect for what it does. Back in the day there were a bunch of combos with, say, Cavern Harpy / Soul Warden / Maggot Carrier to burn the opponent out. It's cheesy, but it's also one of the more effective combo enablers ever printed.
For its price, you're not going to find a better creature enhancer. Trample and "gain life" are two of the best multiplayer creature abilities to have, and both of them in one now-beefier package can turn middling Grizzly Bears into a valid threat that buys you time. (Hey, I'll attack, um…. Mister Guy With No Defense! And gain four life! Whee!)
If you can stick it on a Dragon? Boy, that's a Timmy shot right there. Flying 8/8s that gain you life? Awesome.
The best, however, is slapping it on an Essence Sliver when you already have an Essence Sliver in play. See, if you have a creature that gives you life already, and you put an Armadillo Cloak on it, it triggers twice. And I had two Essence Slivers out, so suddenly I was attacking with a 5/5 trampling guy that gave me 15 life every time it attacked.
Another irking tournament classic that has a lot of power in multiplayer, you have to build a deck around this one to make it work-but then again, who doesn't want to flip up Exalted Angels and cycle arbitrarily large Decrees of Justice? Keeping the mana open can be a pain (though if your group and/or format allows Fluctuator, your deck goes nuts).
Josh has a black-white Astral Slide deck that does quite the number with flashing Angel of Despair in and out. He's got Damnations and a bunch of other critter destruction, making it hard to win via the attack phase when his Slide is out.
What turns this from an old Weatherlight curiosity into a backbreaking enchantment is a slight change in the Oracle wording. Time was, this read, "Artifact and enchantment spells cost target opponent an additional to play." Now it says, "Artifact and enchantment spells your opponents play cost more to play."
So now you have a card that acts like a mini-Squeeze on enchantments and artifacts on all of your opponents, slowing them down… and if someone does manage to muscle his way past your Aura, well, you pop it and kill his. That's really flexible, and well worth the price.
Of the two, I give the Glade more strength in multiplayer for a couple of reasons:
1) It costs less to play and use.
2) It's in the color that's all about crazy mana acceleration.
3) 3/3s on the ground cause less panic than 5/5s in the air.
Still, either is nice. Get these out successfully and, assuming they last a turn, you can start churning out as many threats as you have the mana to burn, creating huge armies at someone else's end of turn. Someone Wraths? Who cares! Just make more.
The great thing about either of these is that it frees up your hand. You can create threats without using cards, so after your opponent successfully kills the Glade and then deals with the horde of angry bariaurs facing him down, you have not cast a single spell. Hopefully, you'll have been stocking your hand with nice, solid, other threats-meaning that while he's been depleting his resources, you've been growing yours. Very sweet indeed.
I know, I know-it's Unglued. But you can sometimes win by casting just one of these. Choose these words in the proper order, assuming that you get more than one out:
You'd be surprised, if you're paying attention, how often someone says "Uh." Table talk becomes horrific without the terms "I" and "You," and people forget because they're so instinctive.
And yes, I have dealt 8 damage to someone for being so silly as to say, "Uh, I attack you"-why do you ask?
It's not quite a full lockdown, because it's likely that someone else will be playing black-but heck, you don't care about them. You care about the white and blue and red players who can ruin your fun! (Green players, damn their hearts, will most likely have an Elves or a Birds on the table… Though they could be in for an ugly surprise if they've been relying on Kodama's Reaches and Sakura-Tribe Elders for their mana-producing needs.)
If your opponents don't have some other colored mana source, quite often this will be a body blow to them out of nowhere (particularly in this day and age, long after the card's been forgotten by most), leaving them unable to do bupkiss for the rest of the game… Or until a black player decides to destroy your enchantment.
Ha ha ha. Oh, it is to laugh! Black destroying enchantments? …Oh, never mind.
All right, I admit it: this probably shouldn't be on here. It's expensive, and really hard to pull off properly, and it's fragile as all heck. If I'm chastising Pandemonium for being hard to make use of, I probably should leave this off.
It is, however, fun as all hell whenever you manage to yoink a Saproling army off the ground and turn them into FLYING DRAGON DOOM. And hey, multiplayer's not always about winning, y'know.
A card that turns every creature, no matter how potent, into a glass-jawed freak. Akroma crumples like Emo Philips at a biker rally when this sucker hits the table, assuming that someone can ping her just once.
I once had a deck that abused this and Caltrops to create a killing field where no one could attack. (Combine with Searing Touch for fun.) It worked surprisingly well; you'd think everyone would hate it, but as it turned out, for every person who was screwed over by the new "Nobody attacks" rule, there was someone who was benefiting and would work to protect the combo. I didn't expect it to fire, but it became a mainstay of my deck arsenal for a while.
That said, it's not for every metagame. But if your local multiplayer table has been filled with gigantic creatures that no one can handle, this will bring 'em all down to size.
For seven mana, you'd better get something damn good, because everyone's going to be out to kill you when they realize the threats they spent so much effort to get rid of are coming back to help you out.
But there's a trick to this: you don't play this the moment you hit seven mana. You hold it back a while, stalling with Damnations and such, waiting until the worst battles are over and everyone's down to one or two cards. Then play it when everyone's exhausted, having thrown themselves as much as possible into the fray, and you can mop up quite easily. Even if you get back just one massive threat once the board's been wiped a couple of times, you're doing okay.
I have this in my multiplayer Rock deck, which features many unfeasibly large creatures. And you can tell who's seen this in action before, because there are two reactions when I lay this down:
a) "Meh. Two creatures? Who cares?"
b) "KILL THAT THING NOW."
I've had other players actively working with each other to kill their own creatures, lest they trigger the Defense. Because it is ugly; you can fetch two Kokushos to catapult yourself into triple-digit life totals, or you can get a Spirit of the Night to slam past Mister Mono-Black's defense, or you can fetch Verdant Force to stall. It's really flexible, and generally not too hard to trigger, and most first-time players won't think much of it.
But it is, I assure you, that good.
This is one of those cards that, as they say, plays big or goes home. Either you get it out with your Simic and/or Selesnya deck and batter the heck out of everyone, or it gets Naturalized, and well, you're just left with a Simic and/or Selesnya deck.
Oh wait. That's not a bad thing.
That said, when it lasts, it manages to create tremendous power. Particularly in combination with another card that I'll be mentioning in just a bit, but it also works quite nicely with, say, Forgotten Ancient. Or Spike Feeder. Or anything grafty.
Although this will probably be the most-debated inclusion on this list, I have a feeling that the Fetters is underrated. Yes, it's four mana, and yes, it's fragile-but it's also flexible, able to shut down about anything that doesn't produce mana, and it gets you four life in the process. There are better options for many players, but if you're just starting out with a recent card collection, Faith's Fetters (or, as I repeatedly insist on typing it, Faith's Ferretts), is a solid card choice.
Red-green decks are at a disadvantage in multiplayer, because red-green aggro relies on speed and power to get the job done before the opponent can find his footing and stabilize…. And when you have to deal 60 damage to three opponents before any of them can stabilize, it's a tough trick.
But Fires gives all of your creatures haste for a reasonable price, allowing you to start pounding down with large guys as early as turn three (assuming you started off with a Birds of Paradise or Llanowar Elves). In small (three- to four-player) games, that can be a devastating advantage. And it sacrifices itself to deal the final few damage, or to protect your guy from some death in combat. It's not great for all games, but for smaller crowd it does the job.
This is one of those cards that's still a little too new to tell, but I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt. The problem is that the Footsteps has a lot of backlash built-in, because everyone can see the problem with having multiple Spiritmongers out. It's also slow, meaning that there's a lot of time to disrupt the combo. It could well be that this turns out to be the Megrim of Ravnica-a card that would be so awesome if everyone just stopped the hatin'.
I should have more to say about this, but, well…. The card text says it all. Double the damage done, guys-that's a boon that speeds up the game considerably, making it a fine choice for slower, control-oriented metagames.
You can, of course, be hoist by your own petard with this one. Do your best to avoid that, will you?
I chose this card over Opposition because it's in the color that makes stupidly large numbers of token creatures. Yes, it's a hell of a lot harder to achieve full-board lockdowns with it-don't expect to tap all of your opponents down during their upkeep unless you get obscenely lucky-but more often than not, you'll be able to tap everyone's big guys before the attack phase, putting you out of harms' way.
Oh. And remember when I said Doubling Season? With this? And, say, Call of the Herd and Vitu-Ghazi, the City-Tree? Yeah, I came within a hair's breadth of losing to that combo last night after he wiped the rest of the board. If you're playing in a group that has mostly newer cards, you might wanna take a look at this.
I list these two together because they're dreamy together. Like peanut butter and chocolate, they're two great tastes that go great together… as several readers pointed out to me after last week's column.
"My group always holds everything back!"
"Not any more."
Note that you, of course, may be the person that everyone chooses to attack. But you will shake them out of their slumber. That's nice.
The problem with dealing with a classic card like Grave Pact is that people have been building decks with it for years. If you're playing with folks who've been around for a while, someone's found a way to abuse it.
That's because Grave Pact is one of those über-annoying cards that completely shuts down a lot of creature-based decks. And it's flexible; come on, you're playing Black, sacrificing creatures for your gain is what you do. So you pop a guy to get ahead, everyone else pops one of theirs and doesn't get ahead, and as likely as not you're on top of the game.
There are a ton of things to combine this with. The classic fun is Lord of the Pit, but that's a little pricey and not at all efficient. Combining it with Contamination takes some doing, but it's a real toughie. Lord of Tresserhorn, Death Pit Offering, Greater Good, Worthy Cause…. Heck, even just comboing this with Sakura-Tribe Elder works.
Grave Pact: Just Do It.
Many, many local metagames have been overrun by Saproling infestations as of late. This is a serious problem. Between all the Sprout Swarms and Thallids and Selesnya Guildmages and whatnot, it's hard to stave off the Onslaught of seventy billion highly annoying 1/1s coming to eat your face.
Hissing Miasma, on the other hand, neatly staves off large armies. It does next to nothing about that lone Darksteel Colossus striding across the plains, but it will make someone think twice about trying to swarm you with weenies. Which makes it a narrow, but well-costed, answer to certain issues.
Every good multiplayer deckbuilder knows that card efficiency is the name of the game. You need to get multiple effects out of what you do, so the standard answer is to put your effects on the backs of critters, using cards like Firemaw Kavu and Battlemages and so forth to get both a sorcery-like effect and a creature out of it.
Humility, on the other hand, ensures that they get a 1/1. That's it. Nothing else. And if their enchantment removal all comes in the form of Harmonic Slivers and Indrik Stomphowlers, they're going to find that they're in for a long game.
Oh, and if you want some old-school fun, combine with Orim's Prayer to shut down their attack phase. (Mostly. Keep in mind that a 1/1 with a +1/+1 counter on it is a 2/2, so the Simic guild might not be as affected.)
I'm not saying this is necessarily good. I don't have the experience to say. I will say, however, that the one time I played against a guy playing creatureless mono-blue control and this card, he wrecked everyone.
G'wan. Click the link. You know you want to.
This is one of those cards that's in here not because it's powerful, but because it does something that so few other cards do that it's worth mentioning.
It's not the best card. It doesn't stop creature attacks, it doesn't prevent global damage like Molten Disaster, it doesn't stop non-targeted discard. But it does stop targeted burn and discard, and it's usually pretty much the only card that does it consistently. Thus, if you have a need, here's where ya go. 'Nuff said.
New players look at this and go, "Why is that good?" Then they watch in horror as, for the price of a single mana, this player fetches all of the lands out of his deck and ensures that a) he has enough mana to play whatever the heck he likes, and b) because he's thinned all of the lands out of his deck, he's now drawing nothing but pure power while they're drawing, well, lands.
But. There is a slight problem with it, and that's caused by recent sets. Yes, it's insanely powerful, but in this age of Ravnica bouncelands, it's actually a lot harder nowadays to ensure that your opponents have more land than you do. When they're returning lands and keeping their effective mana production the same, sometimes this is difficult to fire. Keep it in mind.
There was once a time when I had Avatar of Fury in every red deck I had. Those days are over. Alas! But Avatar of Fury does nada until my opponents hit seven land; this will be worth the cost even if it just fires once, so it's an auto-include if you can run it in your formats.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO PLAY A GAME?
a) GLOBAL THERMONUCLEAR WAR
G'wan. Blink. One of you dies, and everyone goes! I dare you, block!
A tournament staple back in the day, this is a must-have for mono-blue decks because it costs two mana-and in multiplayer, you rarely need to counter anything on turn two-and it just grows. Every upkeep, put a counter on it. Then, when you find something you like, steal it. It's that simple.
Or, rather, it's not. If you're a bad player, you forget your upkeeps. This is an optional effect, so remember to always chant the mantra as you play: "Untap, UPKEEP, draw."
Like Legacy's Allure, except it stays on the table until you want to counter something. Sure, everyone sees it coming, but they never know if you're going to use it on them. So be political! Encourage people to ask whether you're going to pop the enchantment if they play Spell X! Because sometimes, weaker players will realize you're going to counter their spell… and they won't play it! Which is even better, because you now have it to counter something else, and you don't have to deal with your opponent's ugly nasty threat!
The phrase, I believe, is "win/win."
Not so good in three-player. In eight-man multiplayer, this is one of those shadowed enchantments of ancient yore that gets talked about in fear. You can shut down a large table by turn 1 with a good draw, and if they're not playing some alternate casting-cost thing like Abolish there's scarcely anything they can do about it.
I haven't updated the deck in years, but here's an old deck I used at a ten-man table:
Mentioned only because it gets very ugly with Sliver Queen and other creatures that do not tap to make other creatures. It's not difficult to set up an infinite loop for an infinite army, as long as you a) have a way of making creatures that does not rely on colored mana, or b) have some way of washing mana to turn it into the appropriate color.
Another old tournament classic, this one churned up the stiflingly stuffy metagame of Odyssey by powering a new combo. You probably can't combo quite as effectively with it in multiplayer, where you'll need to deal more damage, but having larger creatures and more mana is always a nice effect.
Stopping guys from attacking you is always good. It's not quite as good as duel-play Moats, because the air space in multiplayer is always a little more crowded, but anything that takes the heat off of your back is good.
Again, a tourney classic in reanimator-style decks. You almost never want to cast it at instant-speed unless you'sa gonna die soon, but as one of many options to haul a big, recently-discarded-or-killed creature out of someone's graveyard, you can't do better.
(…Okay, you can. Exhume's cheaper and works better in Reanimator decks, and Patriarch's Bidding and/or Living Death are clearly superior in many ways, because none of them can be Naturalized. But dammit, Jim, this is Enchantment week! What do you want me to do?)
If you don't know why being able to pay life for cards is a good thing, you should try playing against these sometime…. particularly if they have some life gain. These were some of the most feared cards in their day, and, particularly when they can come out early thanks to either a Dark Ritual or an Academy Rector, they can wreak havoc.
They are, of course, a little harder to use in multiplayer, where life is at more of a premium and threats come in waves. That does not stop them from being ludicrously good.
I've discussed my love of Night Soil before. It's still a fine answer to any sort of Reanimator deck. I didn't rank them, but if I put Night Soil up against Necromancy in a Mortal Kombat-style fight to the finish, well..
NIGHT SOIL WINS.
If I were ranking these, this would be near the bottom, because the creatures actually have to hurt you before No Mercy can kill them. That's awfully troublesome, because you don't want to be hurt, and quite often you're facing down a thunderous horde of angry guys who will all die…. But that doesn't matter, because it's the final turn, and he's going to win.
That said, it does discourage attacks in a very critical way. Given that novice players often will go way far out of their way to not lose creatures, this can sometimes hold off what would otherwise be fatal attacks from newer players who don't know that losing their army doesn't matter if they win.
I almost didn't include this on the list, because-at least according to my email-the answer to any problem that involves people targeting your guys is "Privileged Position!"
"They could Naturalize the key card in your five-card combo!"
I like Privileged Position, but as a five-mana enchantment that can, yes, be destroyed, it's not a catch-all. That said, it does certainly protect a lot, so it's in. It's just not all that and the bag of chips.
For a slim investment, you too can have people looking other ways to attack you! This puts people in an ugly situation: either stunt their development to attack you with what they have, or leave you alone while you build up power. Neither is good, which is why these cards are good.
They will not, however, stave off all attacks. Bad players rely exclusively on a Propaganda or two for protection-but someone is eventually going to play a big ugly dragon and pay the to smash face. Have a wall or two, or some bounce, or some creature kill. Don't count on this for everything.
In other news, I couldn't remember the name of the Kamigawa version of Propaganda, so I Googled "White Propaganda" to find the name. Boy, was I surprised.
If you play green and like creatures, get four of this card. It will go into every green deck you own. It makes any creature a viable threat, and-assuming they don't kill your guy in response to you playing it-it comes back to be a threat on the next creature.
There are those who say this is the best creature enchantment ever printed. I would be one of them. It's little, but it works so well that it's hard not to use it. Run it now.
This got widely abused back when it was first printed, and it's not hard to see why: all I have to do is sacrifice a creature and return this to my hand to haul the biggest, ugliest guy out of my graveyard and into play? Yeepers.
In other words, it's a spell that reuses itself. And, because the "return to hand" is a cost of playing the ability and not an effect of the ability itself, you can do this:
"I play Recurring Nightmare, but when it comes into play, I do not pass priority to give you time to do anything. Before any of you can do anything, including Naturalize, I'll sacrifice this elf to bring Verdant Force out. It's back in my hand and out of your way, oh, sorry."
Now, your opponents can do other things in response to the targeting. They can Night Soil your Verdant Force out of your graveyard. But because you can't play spells or use abilities while someone's paying for an ability (otherwise, you could tap someone's lands down in response to them tapping their first Forest to play a spell, which would get nasty), they can do precisely bupkiss about the Recurring Nightmareitself, aside from countering it on the way down.
It's ugly. I, personally, love it.
"How silly," you think. "Everyone will just pay the mana. Why would you bother?"
But Rhystic Study is one of those "death by a thousand cuts" effects. Nobody wants to pay the extra mana, particularly on turn three, so if someone's low on lands or needs something out this turn, you get a card. It sounds crazy, but this card works a hell of a lot better in multiplayer than you'd ever think, often getting you five or six extra cards for a three-mana investment.
I wouldn't have put this on the list before last night. Then someone played one of them on turn three, wiping out every 1/1 or 0/1 on the board before finally settling it down on a Jhoira's Timebug. Then he played another one, killing the Timebug and several other 2/2s before plopping both down on a Wall of Roots. The third one ensured a certain death for every 3/3 on the board and then I finally killed my own Spiritmonger in order to get the damn things off the board.
Way better than I thought. Heh.
Privileged Position is expensive. This is spot protection for a much cheaper price… And if you're playing Tribal, it is thoroughly awesome at keeping your Elves or Beasts or even your Samurai or Birds safe (if you have the right mana base).
This card is low on the list alphabetically, and it would be low if I ranked 'em numerically, because it's a severe "draw fire" card. Doing 2 damage to every player every upkeep is something few people want to deal with, so you'd better have one helluva defense or an offense planned when you play this sucker.
I feel almost ashamed to put this here, since this was such a tournament classic that I think everyone should know how good it is. But suffice it to say that for a mere two mana, this:
a) Can turn any creature in your hand into any creature in your deck.
b) Can stock your graveyard for a backbreaking Living Death.
Either of those effects would be quite nice on their own. Both together make this one of the top fifty cards ever printed, let alone the top fifty enchantments.
Oh, and if you're playing with this and you're in black-green and you have, say, madness spells, this can also get quite kicky. Just sayin'.
What fortuitous timing! These two are together alphabetically, and they're together in power. They are also both awesome, for different needs.
Treachery, obviously, is in the running for the Best Blue Steal-A-Creature Card Ever Printed (with its only serious rival being Bribery, which can fetch anything in the deck). The nice thing about Treachery is that as a blue mage, half the problem with stealing stuff is keeping it afterwards; sure, you can take that big Angel, but someone's going to just Terminate or Putrefy it anyway.
Treachery, however, untaps your lands, allowing you to leave mana back up for protection. So nice. So evil. So lousy if someone counters the Treachery or destroys the creature in response, in which case you're out a spell and don't get to untap.
You will not have that problem with Take Possession-though it's hideously expensive and does not untap your lands, it's superior to Treachery in that you can take anything, and nobody can stop you. If it's a legal target when you announce priority, only a Willbender will help. That's awfully nice, and makes life easier for us hard-working blue mages.
But if you really wanna have fun, use Take Possession to grab someone else's The Best Multiplayer Enchantment Of All Time. They can't do anything about that. Really. They love it.
If you're going to pay five mana for a creature enhancer in multiplayer, this is what you'd like to get: something gigantic that churns out tokens by the bucketful. It's as vulnerable as any other creature enchantment, of course, and unlike Rancor it doesn't return to your hand, but if this sticks for just one go-round your investment will be well repaid.
I chose this as the Most Powerful Planar Chaos Card. How could I leave it off? But I've written a lot, so I'll just tell you that it's still good, assuming it sticks.
"You can't kill me" is still a pretty strong phrase in multiplayer. Admittedly, this relies on you having creatures in play, but between Darksteel Colossus and Stuffy Doll, there's probably a way to ensure that it's difficult to take all of your guys out.