This is a story about the new Gatecrash Primordials. It is mostly true, although I’m sure you can correct for the usual minor(ish) embellishments I make when I get fired up about something and get a slightly-more honest tale.
It is a story about all five Primordials, even though I only saw three in action so far. This is because all three ended up providing nearly the same effect no matter when or how they were played.
There is a sub-theme to this story. It is loosely defined as “The Perils of Skimping on Sacrifice Outlets.” I’ll let you ponder that one on your own and not really discuss it further, as it isn’t too terribly difficult to grasp the talking points in context here.
There is action (for real), suspense (not so much), and (b)romance. And there is a happy ending! (Sorta.)
Let’s dive right in…
It Was A Dark And Cold-Ass Night
The story begins with our protagonist in the bathroom stall of a Barnes & Noble bookseller. Trying to kill two birds with one stone, he decided to fit in shopping for a Valentine’s Day gift for his wife before heading to his weekly EDH game at the (not at all for him) local game shop.
He had the grilled chicken sandwich for lunch five hours prior. Perhaps it was fate that the guy behind the deli line had not properly adhered to accepted hand-washing best practices; maybe it was karma for making a Memnarch deck. In any case, a mad sprint through the periodicals section to the blessed porcelain behind the men’s room door was a harbinger of things to come.
This night would end roughly how it began. This irony would not be lost on our hero.
A courtesy flush, a paperback copy of Beautiful Creatures, and a short drive later, our protagonist was walking through the door of the game store. The meter maid had been standing at a distance, waiting to see if the proper amount of money was deposited into the Park N’ Pay system to cover the next two hours until the parking was free for the rest of the night. Our hero, wanting to avoid a ticket, added an extra dime to cover the 2:47-gap; as it turns out, this was approximately the amount he was short when buying a Diet Coke in the CVS across the lot.
Things were not looking up.
Fortunately, the winds shifted, and a handful of minutes later, our hero was throwing caution to the wind in order to enjoy a meal of Drunken Chicken over white rice from J Gumbos, complements of his good friend Mr. P.
Things were certainly looking up.
Satiated (but not without a certain remembered fear of things to come in five-odd hours or so), our protagonist paid for entry into the EDH event for himself and Mr. P. He got a 7% discount on entry fees, which seems great in principle; however, the $10 threshold for credit and debit cards being undershot by less than a dollar, he had to add a pack of Gatecrash to the checkout.
The rare was Clan Defiance…wonderful in draft, not so much for EDH (especially since he no longer had a red/green deck.)
Also, it is not worth shit. So there is that.
This in itself was not terrible; however, the person in line ahead of him had pulled a foil Breeding Pool. Our hero was not one to believe in writing on the wall, but was vastly considering calling it a night, heading home via Dunkin Donuts for a nice hot coffee, and curling up on the couch to watch the episode of Archer he had TiVo-ed last week.
This would have been the correct play, for the record.
Before long, however, tables were called, and our hero was seated amongst three other familiar faces; Kendra, who was playing a Vela, the Night-Clad deck that he was excited to see in action after her description of the deck; Keenan, playing his Wrexial good-stuff deck; and Andrew, playing Ulasht.
He decided to take the wraps off of his new Karador list. Roughly designed to be a rock-style board control list that favors creature effects in order to dodge the effects of board sweepers and be able to finally play that copy of Fracturing Gust that he’s been sitting on for a few years, he was very excited to see the deck in action. Amongst other things, this would be the first time he was to experience Gatecrash cards, as his stupid day job screwed up his ability to leave on time the week before.
Our hero had slotted in copies of Sepulchral, Sylvan, and Luminate Primordial. You know, to try out.
This was not the first mistake of the evening, but it was right up there in overall scale.
Moving forward, things start happening. Kendra is doing things involving Consuming Aberration and Duskmantle Seer that are threatening. Andrew is doing something involving creature tokens, and there is a Dragonlair Spider at some point. Keenan is mostly watching what is happening and making subtle strategic plays here and there.
Our hero decides to go for act one of Karador, which is apparently board wipes. I say it like this because these types of cards are the only damn things coming off the top of the deck. This isn’t a bad thing in the face of Consuming Aberration, however, so he continues to clear the board every few turns or so, hoping that something else comes along soon to do.
Before long, he decides to cast Sylvan Primordial to ramp a bit. There are some good targets available; Andrew has a Goblin Bombardment, and Keenan has some Swiftfoot Boots that are becoming problematic, as he is able to cast Wrexial and immediately swampwalk all over our hero. This is annoying. Out comes Sylvan, and a trio of forests.
Of course, the Primordial doesn’t survive to the next turn. Before long, Keenan has reanimated it, and suddenly our protagonist is missing his Winding Canyons and his giant green guy.
More things happen. Boards develop, and are wiped out, mostly by virtue of Keenan’s swampwalking general and our hero’s graveyard, plus a healthy five-life contribution each time.
Our hero finally draws into some business that isn’t a Wrath effect or a mana accelerant. It is Sepulchral Primordial. It seems like a good time to get some value, so he casts it and gets some things that frankly don’t really even bear mentioning, because Keenan immediately plays Damnation.
And then his own Sepulchral Primordial, getting Sepulchral Primordial, getting Sylvan Primordial from our protagonist alone, on top of whatever stuff he snags from Kendra and Andrew.
And there were frowns. At least three.
Fortunately, another board wipe came down shortly thereafter. Unfortunately, it was immediately following Kendra playing out Evil Twin. This time, Keenan played Diluvian Primordial, which targeted a reanimation effect, which targeted my Sepulchral Primordial, which targeted another Sepulchral Primordial, which hit Evil Twin, which came into play as a copy of Sepulchral Primordial, getting my Sylvan Primordial.
And so it came to be that our hero and two others entered the scoop phase.
For our humble protagonist, the immediate fear that he was gripped with upon seeing the Primordial cycle was pretty much realized in the space of one game. The issue he is confronted with is that these creatures are largely following the same path that got Primeval Titan banned in the format; they hit play, and the game immediately becomes all about them and them alone.
Now, perhaps our hero is snap-overreacting here, and realistically, this is likely true. One game should not a mind make up. (Or something like that…) I suppose time will tell. If it were to ever get to a point where something like the PrimeTime banning would come to pass, it would be a fairly outrageous precedent. If not, it may be because the issue simply goes away on its own, or perhaps that EDH simply has a new set of GoodStuff cards to take into account at every step.
What our hero does know is that he’s not having it. He headed home (by way of Dunkin Donuts for a nice hot coffee) and immediately removed all Primordials from his decks.
He also knows that he just saved himself some serious cash by not having to acquire them in foil for his Momir Vig deck.
And, truth be told, he also know knows to steer clear of the chicken in the company cafeteria.