When M10 was released, there were several cards that raised eyebrows. Silence being one of them. I would like to take a moment to talk about how completely underrated this card is in my personal opinion.
What is it about Silence that appeals so much? Is it the instant speed? The one mana casting cost? Or is it the captivating artwork by Wayne Reynolds? It's a combination of all of these and more.
The first thing that I think should be addressed is it's casting cost. Depending on the type of deck your playing with, this is a fine turn one draw. If you're playing an aggressive Elves deck, a turn one Silence during your opponents first upkeep is, in effect, taking an extra turn even though you havn't played anything. However, casting silence during any opponents upkeep will likely result in them ending their turn after their draw step or attack phase.
Also, this card has the ability to be offensive against certain decks. One of the first things that came to my mind when seeing this card was the sheer ability to render a counter deck useless. Want to protect your Ajani Goldmane? For one mana more, it is uncounterable unless your opponent wants to tap out countering the silence.
Or perhaps using it during your first main phase in an attempt to bait your opponent into casting a lightning bolt on a creature you don't want nearly as badly as your White Knight?
These are all the primary uses for Silence. I do consider this card to be one of the most versatile spells in Standard currently. Defensively, it reminds me of Stifle or even Rishadan Port. Offensively, it's protection is solid. I am surprised at the lack of love for this card.