Three Cards Deep: The Good, The Bad, and the EDH Ugly – Friday, July 5th 

It’s week two! For the second installment of Rad/Bad/Sad, we’re going to get right down to it and throw a punch at an industry standard. I’m presenting three EDH cards I’ve played or seen played in the last week: one that was awesome and way more fun and effective than expected; one that was expectedly awful to play or play against, and one that flopped with a whump (or is it womp?) of unfulfilled expectations. It’s EDH, so let’s argue about cards.

The Rad – Exquisite Blood

This one requires a bit of context, because everyone’s snap reaction is “Watch out for tutors…Sanguine Bond can’t be far behind.”  In other words, this is a card that would typically fall into the “Bad” category because it is usually part of a two-card, “I win right now” combo. But someone at my table ran it in a “group thug” Seizan, Perverter of Truth deck without the option for infinite wins. And it was great. He went down as low as six life more than once. But he kept creeping back to the twenties on the back of said Exquisite Blood, thanks to everyone attacking and doing stuff and Seizan triggers.

It’s a great card if you embrace the strategy of hiding in second place at the table. Once someone killed the threat, the Seizan player was way ahead at about forty-five life due. Yeah, we should have killed it.

Verdict: Awesome role-player with insidious build-around power even sans infinitum.

The Bad – Serra Ascendant

Arguably the most busted one-drop in EDH, when you play this Serra within the first three turns people throw rotting tomatoes at you…and you accept them without complaint. This is the kind of card I write about instead of Time Stretch or Sylvan Primordial – or the turn-two Kaalia of the Vast that wakes me in a cold, disdainful sweat – because flappy ear hat Serra is terribad and predictable.

Cape-head monk is lame because only one thing can happen. Whether you spread the love to gain some life and rumble (me), or focus on attacking the scariest player (usually not me) and knocking them down to about twenty-two before it dies, the next three to five turns will still be about everyone else digging to an answer. This could just be an issue of people in my meta overreacting, but I’ve seen it many times. And that kind of disruptive element is not particularly fun, especially in the early game. It’s boredom-inducing.

Verdict: Groans and frustration: but at least its value falls precipitously after turn six

The Sad – Mindslaver

When you aren’t taking every turn, this should be a great way to slow down the threat player. But when they don’t have a sac outlet for you to wreck their board, it’s just a very expensive Moment of Silence.

Everyone gets a draw step to dig unmolested, and controlling the archenemy in Archenemy should hypothetically help, but most of the time developing your board or just wrathing is probably better. As in you’d rather you ran Crib Swap in many situations.

Verdict: Needs attention and building around to make it better than Divine Reckoning (which is bad). In other words, womp…..

Finishing Up

Thoughts? Do you want more context from the games that I use to derive these evaluations, or more theorizing about the reasons/environments that do and don’t support my verdict?

Shoot me some vinegar in the comments or @MdaveCs