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.

Have you heard this song? It’s cool to hate.

The Rad – Torpor Orb

This isn’t the first time I’ve written about #teamtorpororb and I’ll probably accidently feature it again. But basically “who you gonna call when boring value creatures run rampant and Deadeye Navigator got you down?” Seriously. Just play Torpor Orb.

I see it a lot because Ryan, a homie that I play with on the regular, runs it in Erebos. But I loved it even before that. Here’s what happens. 1. Someone plays the orb. 2. All the rest of us have to get creative to deal with this enforced “state of physical or mental inactivity.” And it hoses blink goodstuff.

Verdict: Creativity enforcer and a goodstuff slayer – What’s not to love?

The Bad – Winter Orb

Do you like casting spells? Do you prefer the subtle pressure of “I could wait for a while to untap enough and maybe by then we’ll draw an answer” or would you rather scoop to a ‘Geddon? Seriously. I get that it has strategic value – I used to run the heck out of 10 land Stompy with orbs out of the board.

But let me tell you, the one time a GAAIV player resolved this (and the other time the random Captain Sisay lockdown guy drew it) I was just bummed. It seems like it could be super cool to build a synergistic deck around non-land mana sources, but then you realize that preventing everyone from doing anything doesn’t make for a good time at most tables.

Verdict: Why not just play Stasis for better art?

The Sad – Exquisite Blood
(Honorable mention to Witchbane Orb for being weak and being an orb. Too bad it doesn’t see enough play to qualify.)

I’m not 100% committed to this verdict, but it’s worth feeling out. Here’s why I think it’s sad. Once people have played against this a few times, they realize the effect is not small or subtle. It’s a big deal. So instead of letting the Exquisite player gain life on every attack, they just gang up and attack until s/he reaches single digits land or death. I don’t generally include cards that put a target on your head by being good, but this is almost like cursing yourself. “Curse of if you attack anyone else I gain life” It is neat if you don’t care and just want to change the pace of the game, but not great if you are bad at blocking and can’t otherwise recoup the life points.

Verdict: Curse of “attacking me makes the most sense” seems bad.

Weekly Lesson: Don’t be a jerk who thinks he’s Mr. King of Knowing EDH Stuff. When a new player is generally having fun but losing, maybe don’t run the “Let’s look at your deck” move when they’re eliminated. Then you won’t have to hear your friend say “Maybe he thinks his deck is fine” and then hear your inner voice go “Yeah <expletive removed>stain. Unsolicited advice is the worst.”

The precons have new players entering the format. There is a fine line you must walk between helpfully explaining why Hysterical Blindness is really a wasted slot and flipping their deck over saying “Cut this, this, this, this, this, and this, aahahah aoh and definitely this.”