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card review Sensei's Divining Top: All aspects of 'Top' Included!

Card Review
Sensei`s Divining Top: click to enlarge
Sensei's Divining Top

Card text:

{1}: Look at the top three cards of your library, then put them back in any order.
{T}: Draw a card, then put Sensei's Divining Top on top of its owner's library.

  • Number: 268
  • Rarity: U
  • Type: Artifact
  • Mana cost: 1
  • Color: Artifact
Sensei's Divining Top
All aspects of "Top" Included!

written by andreh
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General description:
Sensei's Divining Top was rated as a good card since the day it came out. First, on the Release of Champions of Kamigawa. Then, on controls & decks which used land-searching resources. Nowadays, the Divining Top has made its space on most of Tier 1 decks. Its "topdeck" manipulation is a great advantage over your opponent, with the advantage of playing with an extra card, since you can bow your Top to get the top card of your deck. Both its mana and ability costs are cheap, making this card going from playable to excellent.

Well, the Divining Top is good in most of decks. Usually, you would maximize its abilities by having ways of shuffling your deck (With cards like "Sakura-Tribe Elder", "Kodama's Reach" and "Gifts Ungiven").

Strategies and game play:
With a good combination of deck-shuffling cards, the Top allows you almost to "search" your deck for answers for your opponent's plays. Its ability only require one colorless mana, which you usually have before your opponent's end of turn. By manipulating your draws, you can maximize the use of cards like "Dark Confidant", and cards with the brand new ability "Dredge" (like "Moldervine Cloak", "Life from the Loam", and "Grave-Shell Scarab").

Combos with other cards:
1- Cards with the Dredge ability
2- Deck Searchers
3- Dark Confidant
4- Any card which uses the top of your library

Ways to counteract it:
Pithing Needle has had sucessful uses against the Top. Since it stops from working, makes the needle more like a Nemesis of the top.
Burning-Tree Shaman takes your opponent closer to losing every time he uses the top. Since the Shaman is used in Beatdown / Direct damage decks, it's a perfect card to be used.

1- Low Casting Cost
2- Low ability Cost
3- Good Library manipulation
4- Has the ability of "saving itself", by using the ability to draw a card and go to it's owner's library in answer to an artifact destruction

1- It's an artifact and, therefore, is susceptible to any card which can harm this type (which are many; "Putrefy" is one of my favorite)
2- Both it's abilities are activated, making them susceptible to Pithing Needle.
3- Quality over quantity. In most of cases, you would rather see in the top of your library any card but a second top.

Sensei's Divining Top comes in all languages in which "Magic: The Gathering" was printed, in both normal and foil versions.

Artwork and aesthetics:
People popularly like to call it "Beyblade", for its shape looks like the ones from the Anime.

Overall rating:


Modified on November 6, 2010 12:35 am

Current score for this Card Review, based on 4 votes:
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Discussion about this Card Review
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Author Message
United States

Avatar for benstiebel
Subject: Good explanation   Posted: April 21, 2006 07:42 am Reply with quote Report content icon

Some of the newer cards have abilities that are hard to understand, let alone use. Reading this review made Sensei's Divining Top go from "What would I use this for?" to "I really need one of these."

It is always nice to have the use of a card clarified like that.
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United States

Avatar for sindbad7cs
Subject: Other nickname   Posted: April 22, 2006 05:27 pm Reply with quote Report content icon

I don't recall where or who, but I also recall this card being nicknamed the "Cheat" because it was so good.
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United States

Avatar for konda
Subject:    Posted: December 15, 2009 01:08 pm Reply with quote Report content icon

This card is now a mythic rare, isn't it?
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