Three Cards Deep: The Good, The Bad, and the EDH Ugly

Three Cards Deep has a point. Whether they’re auto-includes, easy staples, or sadly hanging out in the land of reject toys, tons of cards deserve another look. Every week you get three cards I’ve seen or played in Commander, one for each of the following categories:

  • Rad: This is a surprisingly awesome card you’d be just as happy to see an opponent slam down as you would to rip it off the top.

  • Bad: Take a trip to frown town with these fun suckers, apologizing on casting and getting heated when you see someone sling it.

  • Sad: Often popular inclusions, these unexpectedly lame cards aren’t worth a slot.

Let’s talk about combos!

The Rad – Lobber Crew

A red defender, the crew dances on the line between super synergy and awkward combo piece. It’s freaking great. In a Rakdos 2.0 deck, it starts riots and ramps hard. In a gold-focused (mono walls?) deck, you get tons of activations. And if you find a way to burn through a nearly infinite (why isn’t there a gold spell with Buyback yet?), this guy ponies up the damages.

While not a combo piece itself, it can be the final component to turn a Rube Goldberg Machine of durdle in to a spicy route to victory.

Verdict: Punches people in the face just enough so they keep smiling.

(Funny story: I first started emailing Cassidy and getting involved with GDC when he ran a series to community-build an Aggro Sharuum deck without any combos. True love.)

The worst combo pieces – those that put you to sleep with their unoriginality – are boring, easy to assemble repeatedly, and mean you win for sure, whether now or later. The difference between say Earthcraft or Future Sight and all these generals, which are obviously so bad that you have to defend their use and explain your combo before people pick their decks in most circles, is that the former two don’t fit that definition.

Combos are fine, whether they outright win the game or just generate absurd value, are fine. But a super linear general that can you can easily turn into the leader of a combo deck by mistake just sucks in every way.

Verdict: Sure you can build them as non-combo, but be honest. You probably didn’t.

The Sad – Verdant Force

Maybe I just never got the memo, but I hate that this beater punches so far below his weight class despite fitting flavor and mechanical theme. I have repeatedly slotted him in thinking “With four free saps per round I’ll have so much fodder for ramp and damages… It practically goes infinite by itself!”

But it’s just a 7/7 for 8 with a minor upside. Most games it gives you 11 power when you untap, but if you want saprolings or little tokens you could do so much better. Like cast, pants up, and activate Rhys the Redeemed, for example.

Verdict: Unless you want to run a “combo piece” that you’ll never enjoy casting, don’t invite him.

Go go team GDC. Although I tend to stay away from generals because they are already talked about a lot, I think doing cycles every once in a while is cool, so I’m testing the water this week with an all-general focused TCD on the docket. What about other cycles of cards that are playable, like the core set Mages? Any that you wanna see?

Also did you see those GDC tokens??? If you play in Manhattan, find me to make your Price of Progresses strictly better.

As always, I’m available @MdaveCs on Twitter and I try to comment. Let me know what you’re thinking.