Editor’s Note: This piece was originally published on June 28, 2013. We’re flashing back to some of our best from the past several years every Friday, because what’s old is new again. I (Dave) don’t post much these days either, but I play, read, and argue with team GDC about EDH A LOT. So this is the very first in a series I used to do, in which I pick three random cards and evaluated them, trying to draw a thread between them. It was fun, but be nice; this was the first one.
(OLD Editor’s Note – Welcome aboard, Dave!)
Check it out-
Three Cards Deep: The Good, The Bad, and the EDH Ugly
This is going to be roughly a weekly (and sometimes more often) Magical evaluation party; rating cards in the context of EDH (or Commander.) You may already know how you feel about most cardboard in this fluctuating social format, but I want you to re-evaluate them.
In every installment, I will introduce three cards that I’ve seen played or played in the last week – one for each of three categories:
-Rad: A card that was surprisingly awesome
-Bad: A card that sucked, usually of the fun-sucking variety
-(The Oh-So-Lackluster Just) Sad: A card that fell flat on its face, usually contrary to expectations.
The criteria for these categories are obviously my own and based on games in which I see and experience them, but the point is to think about a context where the goal is fun, some success, and (most importantly) more fun for the whole table. I’ll make meaningful deductions about what works, what doesn’t, and why.
The jury is still out on how much specific game context I want to present for each specific evaluation. More details make for a more convincing evaluation, but the more context I rely on for my explanations, the more context-specific the final conclusion – and I want deductions that are relevant for the format in general.
Should be fun!
. . .
This week’s triad comes only from my own decks, but that won’t always be the case.
Everyone knew this card could be a solid role player, but it can be way more. It came down early, impacted game pacing, gave me a mana dump, and got stolen a lot – particularly with Memnarch, and then Sakashima-Memnarch. An inoffensive but strategically relevant card that changes everyone’s fortunes is my kind of cardboard. And everyone found it amusing…even as it helped me win.
Extort is obviously some kinda great mana efficiency, and in the form of an inobtrusive enchantment, it gets even better.
Verdict: Surprisingly and totally 100% awesome
Perhaps “Duh!”…but this guy is bad. Everyone scrambles to kill it on the cheap no matter what. Big Daddy V is just too hateful. If you want to ruin the untap step, Hokori, Dust Drinker and Yosei, the Morning Star would like to have a word with you.
His net fun impact is a minus-five.
We play him for the second Mana Reflection that isn’t Wake.
Justifications, schmustifications. He’s donkey balls. You feel a little sad and dirty running this out, partly because of the other players’ vigorous yawns. (“You’re still running Vorinclex? I’ll be over here trading until I can untap.”)
If being “powerful” were the only metric in EDH I’d be…ZZZzzz…
orry…even that sentence was too boring to finish.
Verdict: Even good can be bad.
The Sad – Umezawa’s JitteI love me some Jitte action. I also have an unreasonable fondness for getting value by off-ing utility creatures. But Jitte always dies, not with a shout but a whimper. I run it out, ready to make plays and decisions, and then someone goes to great lengths to blow it up ASAP.
(Maybe it’s PTED – Post Traumatic Extended Disorder?)
And when it sticks? I hit for seven instead of five, gain two life, and pass the turn.
Despite my hopes, this ninja-turtle looking equipment is not worth a slot.
Verdict: Herp de derp – it’d be better as a land.
. . .
Thoughts? Hateful trolling? Shoot me some vinegar in the comments or Twitter.