[Top 25] MTG Arena Best Zendikar Rising Cards

[Top 25] MTG Arena
The return of Nahiri to the Standard expansion drew a lot of attention to Zendikar Rising


With the return to Zendikar, the power has once again shifted in MTG Arena. A lot of older cards still see a lot of play but there are newer ones that are taking the spotlight. From Nahiri to a new and arguably more powerful Nissa, Zendikar Rising presents a new perspective especially to the meta decks in both Standard and Historic. Delve deeper into the world of Zendikar Rising with the best and most powerful cards of the set. 

25. Akoum Hellhound

What’s great about this card?

  • A powerful creature that can fit in most aggro archetypes

    • Akoum Hellhound is a great one-drop since it can start dealing at least 2 damage on your next turns
    • The only thing that you have to worry about is having land drops since Akoum Hellhound is highly dependent on those
    • Drawing Akoum Hellhound in the later stages of the game won’t have much of an effect as it can only be used to chump block

Value (TCG Median): $0.21

24. Brushfire Elemental

What’s great about this card?

  • Being able to dish out early damage is the reason why Brushfire Elemental made it to the list

    • Its Landfall ability can trigger almost every turn in the early game, allowing you to potentially dish out at least 3 damage per turn
    • This damage is also often unpreventable since chump blocking won’t work on Brushfire Elemental because of its ability

Value (TCG Median): $0.25

23. Nahiri, Heir of the Ancients

What’s great about this card?

  • A niche card, Nahiri can still give powerful plays with consistency

    • Mardu Equipments is the perfect, possibly the only, deck that can use Nahiri because of her very specific abilities
    • Nahiri can steal wins when allowed to have a lot of Warriors or Equipments on the board

Value (TCG Median): $1.40

22. Felidar Retreat

What’s great about this card?

  • If you’re looking for a token-generating machine, then Felidar Retreat is the card for you

    • Playing this in Naya colors gives you more lands to play with and more Landfall triggers to utilize
    • Its Landfall ability can also be a win condition since it gives counters to your creatures for more damage

Value (TCG Median): $1.57

21. Relic Robber

What’s great about this card?

  • Free swings with Relic Robber can completely obliterate an opponent with no ability to gain life
  • Hitting our opponent for 2 and creating more tokens on his side of the board can easily deplete your opponent’s life total

Value (TCG Median): $0.31

20. Phylath, World Sculptor

What’s great about this card?

  • Assembling an army of plants can be easily done with Phylath on the board

    • You can quickly turn the board state around with a single Landfall trigger
    • Absorbing a few hits instead of chump blocking with the 0/1 tokens can greatly pay off as they will become 4/5 creatures later on

Value (TCG Median): $0.55

19. Kargan Intimidator

What’s great about this card?

  • Another great addition to red aggro decks, Kargan Intimidator adds a different layer to your attack with its unique abilities

    • This card can negate your opponent’s strong board presence by turning their blockers into Cowards to prevent KarganIntimidator from being blocked
    • You can also activate its trample to deliver the finishing blow to your opponent
    • Whatever situation you find yourself in, Kargan Intimidator will surely give you an advantage

Value (TCG Median): $0.36

18. Kazandu Mammoth

What’s great about this card?

  • Who said that only red decks can have all the aggro fun?

    • Kazandu Mammoth is a great card to have as it gives you the chance to deal 5 or more damage in your early turns
    • This is also not a dead card no matter what situation you find yourself in because you can always drop the opposite face to give you a land if that is what’s more needed in the situation

Value (TCG Median): $0.52

17. Soaring Thought-Thief

What’s great about this card?

  • A key piece in Rogues deck, Soaring Thought-Thief is a good card to have at whatever stage in the game

    • You can start chipping away at your opponent’s life total and library in the early game or you can deliver punishing blows with this card in the later stages
    • Getting Soaring Thought-Thief with any other Rogue on the battlefield means big value for you

Value (TCG Median): $0.25

16. Shatterskull Smashing

What’s great about this card?

  • Shatterskull Smashing is a good removal tool for bigger threats on the board

    • This card is pretty versatile in terms of its ability to take out threats. You can cast it to take out smaller creatures or you can cast one big Shatterskull Smashing to remove the opponent’s big threats
    • Aside from that, you can always cast this as a land if you are against a deck that does not have many creatures

Value (TCG Median): $5.03

15. Ruin Crab

What’s great about this card?

  • This card is powerful since mill is still a relevant strategy with the presence of Rogues
  • Ruin Crab enables many other mill opportunities and it can completely disrupt your opponent’s gameplan before they even get the relevant cards from their library

Value (TCG Median): $1.07

14. Luminarch Aspirant

What’s great about this card?

  • Lumionarch Aspirant is a ticking timebomb

    • By itself, this card can be dealt with easily. However, if your opponent allows you to build a huge army of creatures, then it is just a matter of time before you get to swing for lethal
    • This is a great card to have in White Weenies decks since it can give your deck the boost it needs to close out the game

Value (TCG Median): $1.09

13. Moraug, Fury of Akoum

What’s great about this card?

  • Getting an extra combat phase every land drop is a huge advantage that you can get when you have Moraug on the board

    • Moraug can be a great win condition especially if your opponent gets too complacent and does not leave enough blockers
    • Aside from the extra combat phase, Moraug also gives your creatures a boost for the succeeding combat phase

Value (TCG Median): $4.45

12. Glaspool Mimic

What’s great about this card?

  • Its ability gives it the versatility it needs to be able to function well in many different decks

    • You can use Glasspool Mimic in combo decks to copy your combo pieces for more dynamic turns
    • You can also use this card on tribal decks such as Rogues to add more of the creature type on your battlefield

Value (TCG Median): $3.33

11. Turntimber Symbiosis

What’s great about this card?

  • Turntimber Symbiosis is a very powerful card to help you look for your finisher

    • The 7 cards that it reveals is always likely to hit a gem, which means that you are almost guaranteed to have a very powerful piece on the battlefield
    • Aside from that, getting a smaller creature is still good because it can enter the battlefield with three additional +1/+1 counters

Value (TCG Median): $4.45

10. Crawling Barrens

What’s great about this card?

  • You will rarely see land cards in this type of list but Crawling Barrens is probably one of the strongest cards in the game right now

    • You can address issues on both mana and board state as it is a land that can become a creature
    • You can also grow this creature in terms of power since the +1/+1 counters can stack even if it turns back into a land

Value (TCG Median): $0.50

9. Nissa of Shadowed Boughs

What’s great about this card?

  • Past iterations of Nissa have been really powerful and Nissa of Shadowed Boughs is no exception

    • With pretty much the same first ability as that of Nissa, Who Shakes the World, you can easily turn a mana-flooded board to a winning army
    • It is also easier to trigger Nissa’s [-5] ability since she can gain loyalty points from Landfall triggers

Value (TCG Median): $2.25

8. Lotus Cobra

What’s great about this card?

  • Early game mana shenanigans can get you really far

    • In a meta where midrange decks reign supreme, having a powerful tool to accelerate your early game is always welcome
    • Lotus Cobra allows you to cast cards with higher mana cost as it can double the amount of mana that you have especially if you get a bunch of Landfall triggers

Value (TCG Median): $2.57

7. Forsaken Monument

What’s great about this card?

  • Colorless decks are no longer strangers to the meta and Forsaken Monument cements that spot

    • This artifact not only gives your creatures an additional buff, it also lets you shell out more mana and of course, the additional life can help you move out of the danger zone
    • Casting this can help you set up your combos with Mystic Forge and Paradox Engine, giving you the chance for a one-turn kill

Value (TCG Median): $5.70

6. Drana, the Last Bloodchief

What’s great about this card?

  • Drana, the Last Bloodchief is the definition of ‘bang for the buck’

    • If you get to keep Drana on board to swing at least once, then you already gained a huge advantage in board presence
    • Drana can also get you in tough situations since it can bring back potential blockers or attackers for you to utilize in your next turns

Value (TCG Median): $2.00

5. Ashaya, Soul of the Wild

What’s great about this card?

  • Ramping for an early Ashaya can help you win a lot of games as its power can only grow exponentially every turn it stays on the board

    • This is a common target of removals since it can snowball hard. However, if the opponent does not remove it from play immediately, you are almost guaranteed the win
    • Ashaya is also really powerful in Landfall decks as its ability can trigger Landfall effects multiple times

Value (TCG Median): $7.00

4. Agadeem’s Awakening

What’s great about this card?

  • Agadeem’s Awakening is a good card to have especially in losing positions where you have nothing on the board

    • With its ability to bring back any number of creatures from your graveyard, you are almost guaranteed to hit more than one creature
    • Having this card in a mono-black deck will give you a huge boost in closing out the game, or coming back from a deficit

Value (TCG Median): $14.00

3. Skyclave Apparition

What’s great about this card?

  • This gives you a good board advantage as it takes out your opponent’s threat while also giving you a body to attack or block with
  • It may give your opponent a token when Skyclave Apparition gets removed but the tradeoff for removing a relevant piece is worth it

Value (TCG Median): $7.99

2. Scute Swarm

What’s great about this card?

  • This token-generating machine can easily sustain your board state or completely overwhelm the opposition

    • It does not only create tokens but it also creates copies of the token-generator itself, allowing you to accelerate your win easily
    • You can comfortably chump block with your tokens and still have enough bodies to swing hard at the opponent during your next turn

Value (TCG Median): $3.75

1. Lithoform Engine

What’s great about this card?

  • Lithoform Engine is a decent card on its own but when combined with the right combo pieces, it can be completely devastating

    • Having the ability to copy almost anything can give you an unfair advantage as it lets you double your threats in the blink of an eye
    • In the right board state, you can easily set up a one-turn kill or at the very least, a highly dynamic turn with Lithoform Engine

Value (TCG Median): $12.03

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Born and raised in the cold City of Pines, Erik is a master of rhymes. Songs and sagas of games untold, Erik will discover and unfold.
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