Three Cards Deep: The Good, The Bad, and the EDH Ugly
Whether it was me or someone else who ran it out, if it was worth mentioning it’s getting evaluated in the context of EDH. Once a week, 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 who will wreck everyone’s day.
- Sad: Often popular inclusions, these cards fail to live up to expectations and aren’t worth a slot.
A note: Whatever your opinions of Reddit, there’s an interesting series on /r/edh called “Cool Card a Day.” Our streams have crossed more than once and I love when he likes a card that I call out for sucking or being evil, most recently, Fires of Yavimaya. So check that out too and lets discuss.
The Rad – Suture Priest (and for completeness, Blood Seeker and Poisonbelly Ogre; and the “dies” triggerers, Blood Artists and Falkenrath Noble)
I’m a big fan of incremental advantage that can snowball. It’s why I like extort in EDH. These guys all offer that while also neutering a range of infinite combos, which is basically everyone’s goal. Last week, the Karador, Ghost Chieftain player wanted to go infinite with Mikaeus, the Unhallowed and Woodfall Primus (plus Phyrexian Altar) to eat all the things and have all the manas. But he couldn’t until he found an answer to the Suture Priest. It was sweet. Note that the dies-trigger dudes work for this too, and are fun with a sacrifice matters deck. Add flash for even more value.
Verdict: Spicy technology with collateral value? Sign me up!
The Bad – Mikaeus, the Unhallowed
So this week really drove home that dark Mike is A Bad Guy. The card is perfect from a flavor perspective. But as much as I always want to break it in half because “look I can use persist guys or taking off counters to do all this fun stuff A LOT OF TIMES,” being the villain in the story means he’s probably a villain on the table too. I really want to build a fair deck with Mikeus at the helm, but that may be impossible. Unless you explicitly try not to break him, you probably did. He’s not in the same ball park as the immediate game enders (Ender’s Game???), but also worse on the scale than just a good, must-answer threat.
Verdict: Kinda like a Deadeye Navigator for black, and thus even more nefarious.
The Sad – Vampiric Dragon
Olivia Voldaren this is not. It can work really hard to kill dudes and grow, but in black and red, you’ve got better kill options. The problem is that the random Sengir vampirism upside doesn’t come up that often and it’s super mana intensive, although to be fair I saw it come out of a dialed down Kaalia of the Vast. You can get lucky and eat an Oracle of Mul Daya, but low-toughness creatures aren’t that common. It does combo well with other kill spells, but still at eight mana, I never want to include him even with the incredibly creepy hands in the art. Also, Deathbringer Thoctar is like 75% of the same effect, just better and more fun.
Verdict: Red-black Vampires Tribal Only (that’s not a thing right? OK. So never.)
So far this column has been a little more like “Three Cards Shallow.” I want to add a one-off lesson about in-game or deck-building decisions from the previous week’s evaluations for some extra profundity.
Last week I apologized for my Toothing and Nailing in my Radha deck, so I moved it to a deck that wants to entwine for Wood Elves and Scryb Ranger. I played two games with the less toothy Radha this week and enjoyed them more. But I also realized that as the average power level falls, I need to pay more attention and not just jam my biggest threat if I want to stay competitive. Learning!
There you have it. Hit me up @MdaveCs or comment here and I’ll respond for sure!