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

Three cards:

  • One is Rad: Surprisingly awesome card you’d be just as happy to see an opponent slam down as you would to rip it off the top.
  • One is Bad: It’s a bogeyman. Take a trip to frown town with these fun suckers, whether you’re casting or being tortured by them.
  • One is Sad: Often popular inclusions, these cards tend to let you down.

@GUDoug often disagrees with my “Sad” rulings: “Objects in Mirror may be Sadder or Less Sad than they appear,” he Tweeted. So here’s the relevant (boring) YMMV caveat. Niche applications exist, my priorities are mine whether you share them or not, and my meta isn’t the same as yours. So feel free to grain of salt me when I say “Rampant Growth isn’t worth a slot.” But I’m not just clacking away to read my own scratches in the dirt; if TCD has gotten you to reconsider even one card you considered an always-run or one you had never batted an eyelash at (ugh…prepositions are tough), then I’ve accomplished my goal.

Now: Let’s Rate Things! Spot remooooooooval!

The RadUnmake

It slices, it dices, its higher mana cost is nearly irrelevant in EDH, and that cost is the only drawback. OK, to be fair, you can only run it in four color combos so the hybrid thing is a bit restrictive, but that’s it. Exiling with no targeting or timing restrictions and no drawbacks is awesome. You might like [Card]Swords to Plowshares[/card] for the 67% savings and being playable in any white deck, but first of all, do something cool. And second, maybe you care about the life points, maybe.

Verdict: Such a reliable workhorse, it can unmake your busted dude any day.

The BadSpin into Myth (I guess….)

I wanted to talk about spot removal because it’s interesting to see what people will run, but in reality, I don’t think there is a single spot removal spell that I find overbearing or too brutal. Go ahead, tuck my general, commandeer it and then give all your dudes hexproof and regenerate and turn off sacrifice effects. I won’t get mad.

That being said, Spin is among the strongest (and the new WWx option, Unexpectedly Absent, is nearly as good) and some people just crumble into a weepy mess when you tuck their Toshiro. If you are choosing between this blue option and say Far/Away, you know what I prefer. Because I did really hate it when I was testing Joira time counters matter for the first time and someone tucked her before I untapped.

Verdict: Tuck is fine, but sometimes you don’t want all your removal spells to hose general-centric builds.

The SadDoom Blade

You know this card isn’t great, I know it’s lame, but with all the new players who will be flooding into the format for the next year thanks to C13 (this is not going to be a TCD/GDC Social Contract mantra, I promise), especially from Standard, it bears repeating. One-for-one removal is only playable if it gets around a lot of types of protection, not so much if it introduces protection from itself, unless that’s part of your mechanical theme or something (see what I did there with Toshiro Umezawa???)

Here’s what Doom Blade does: be instant speed and relatively mana efficient in black. That’s it. Does it deal with Thrun, the Last Troll or Kaalia or Avacyn? Nope? And why not? Because it’s a destroy spell that can’t hit black. I routinely see new guys play this and when (if) I can find a good moment to bring it up casually(I can’t, I’m a big goof), I discuss the complicated card economics of EDH and why you’re one-for-ones have to be chosen very judiciously.

Verdict: There is no try, only do or do not. In EDH we do not.


Weekly Lesson: I haven’t played much Magic lately so I don’t have a lot of lessons to share. Probably the coolest EDH-related thing that I experienced this week was ripping apart a bunch of decks to rebuild the ones I really like and cannibalize the rest. Square one is a really good square for innovation and mental growth.