Hello and welcome back! I love “hidden gems,” and people have been asking me to share some of mine quite a while. These are cards I play regularly and am surprised not to see much across the table. Most of these cards are very cheap as well, more than likely because they haven’t caught on. My advice is that you might as well get in while the gettin is good!
A 2/4 for five mana
is hardly a steal of a deal in any format, but the utility of Blinding Angel is where it’s at. It has flying, which helps, but this text is what really sets it apart. “Whenever Blinding Angel deals combat damage to a player, that player skips his or her next combat phase.” In EDH, people often don’t have a flying blocker, and those that do won’t often risk you having a combat trick just to stop a two-power creature, even one that has a trigger ability.
But, wow can this ability change the game, and it is reasonably priced under $2.50. This is the 2/4 flyer that can. She has held back swarms of plant tokens in multiple games for me. With another gem I’ll mention shortly, it can stop any attack no matter how many defenders that player has. If you like not letting an opponent attack you, why would you not use Blinding Angel?
Sphinx of Magosi was reprinted in Commander 2014 and now in Conspiracy Take the Crown. Not only is it under $.50, but it is very easy to get a hold of. Six mana for a 6/6 flyer isn’t bad, although the three blue pips do take some consideration if you aren’t playing a heavy blue deck.
Sphinx plays several roles in a deck. First, it is a big beater that can get bigger throughout the game. Second, it’s an instant speed mana sink, you can hold your mana up and use it before your turn. Most importantly, it’s a card draw outlet. While three is a lot of mana for one card, don’t forget it puts a counter on Sphinx and can be used at instant speed. In a blue stratagem of “play a land pass the turn”, this is everything you could want.
Until recently, Night Soil was a bit harder to get as it is from a very early set, Fallen Empires. The reprint in Commander 2013 made it much more accessible and dirt cheap, under $.25. But even with a reprint this is a card that I don’t see across the table much. If you have ever read my articles, I constantly bring up the value of cards with multiple functions, and this card is great at that.
In EDH, graveyard control is very important, and although this card won’t remove everything in their graveyard, it can remove troublesome creatures. Not only do you get rid of their creatures (or yours if needed), but you get a chump blocker as well. Eating your creatures is handy if someone is trying to appropriate one for their nefarious plans. Let’s be honest there’s nothing worse than being beat down by your own creatures. And all for the low cost of one mana per activation!
EDH is the format of crazy sweet lands, but all the cool lands you can play that lead to players not playing many basics if any at all. There’s no reason not to punish them for being too greedy. Burning Earth is another card that can play dual roles, as it will tax your opponents from casting too many spells and it will attack their life points very aggressively.
Just make sure you aren’t running too many non-basics yourself or you will slow the game down to a snail’s pace. You will be surprised and how much work this card does. People will freely use their life at first, but it’s interesting how many people can’t do math end up being on the wrong side of the race after their cavalier starts. This card clocks in at a staggering $.20 so don’t let it break the bank!
There is nothing funnier in my opinion than saying counterspell when you aren’t playing blue, except maybe meaning it. Anytime the color pie gets stretched or, in this case, broken, there is a real opportunity for gain.
Withering Boon may only hit creatures, but sometimes that is all you need to turn the tide. At about $.40, this card is a steal and a great way to surprise your group and add a good laugh. Really want to throw someone off? If you are playing Blue/Black, tap all your blue mana and they will play right into this counter.
For a card that came out in a recent set I am surprised Crackling Doom doesn’t see more play. It is three colors, so it can’t fit into just any deck. However, with the four-color decks coming out I would think this should find a home. For three mana, each opponent sacs their biggest creature, which means it gets around indestructible and you’re hitting three to four creatures. This is a really efficient spell, but add a little life loss for your opponents and suddenly this spell is totally worth a slot. Having answers is key, and this is a very good answer to big bad creatures. At around $.40, this card is a no-brainer.
Here is a card that I see a little bit, but honestly, when you start talking staples I’m not sure why Rogue’s Passage doesn’t make the list. You are always searching for evasion, and this gives any creature evasion, not to mention how much easier it makes general damage. Sometimes you just need that last bit of damage to win the game, and this gives it to you. I love telling an opponent they are dead only to have them respond with, “I have blockers.”
Me: “Yes yes you do”
Me: “I make my creature unblockable and swing for the win”
Some might see this as a cheap shot. But if an opponent is running removal, either for lands or creatures, they can stop you, so I see no issue with it. It pairs perfectly with a card like Blinding Angel, as you can eliminate the threat of combat (at least from one opponent). I make sure to run cards like Strip Mine specifically for problems like Rogue’s Passage. With all the recent reprints of it, it’s now down to about $.10 and should be a serious consideration for a land slot.
Put a bow on it.
This game is very expensive, and you can drop a lot of money into a single deck, but there are a lot of cheaper options out there that can really add flexibility and power to an EDH deck. All but one of the cards I outlined today were under $.50, with the most expensive being under $2.50.
Hopefully you enjoyed this look into under-utilized cards. Please feel free to comment below if you disagree with any suggestions. Better yet, feel free to share your hidden gems, and brownie points if they are under $.50!
Until next time this is edh.ghost out!