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

This past week I had the Magical fortune of playing a few EDH games with the homies, rounding out the night in a four-person pod with two(Two TWO 22222222) mono-red players. And thus, BASIC Mountain.

Here’s how it goes for new readers. Using Mountain as EDH context, I present three cards.

  • One is Rad: It’s awesome, perhaps even surprisingly so, a 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: The let down you realize you usually don’t want to cast.

Let’s start off with some full disclosure. 1. I was one of the two Mountainous fellows. 2. We were playing decidedly “fair” and unbusted decks. 3. IT WAS SO SILLY AND AMAZING. (The other two decks were a fairly typical but unpushed Kaalia of the Vast and a controlly, thing-stealing Rubinia Soulsinger.


It was a tossup between Atog and Torpor Orb for pure mono red awesomeness, but talking about TorpOrb is pretty overdone, plus, Atog attacks for one allll day son. Free sac outlets are amazing. Duh. Attacking is also pretty great. Combining the two in a guy who lands early, stays alive pretty easily in the face of regular amounts of damage (once you get concurrent draw and/or recursion engines going), and has glowing, orange eyes is almost too much goodness.

He may lack evasion, but he’s also got soft protection against Bribery and Control Magic because nobody who isn’t running an artifact-heavy deck wants him.

Verdict: Omm Nom Nom has never looked better next to a pile of montañas.

BadPurphoros, God of the Forge

Yeah. I was playing Purphy, a pretty banal list with lots of mana, damage doublers, and token makers. Everyone was in single digits by a fairly tame turn 10 or so. The thing about Purphoros lists like this is they’re kinda fun to pilot as pseudo-combo puzzles, but every time the namesake enchantment lands, it’s everyone scrambling for an answer, because the odds of untap, spell, “responses,” “None? OK. I win.” are rather high.

I don’t mind being the archenemy in a mediumly casual game as long as everyone knows what’s going on, and to be honest I was only in that position for a few turns because the deck and I aren’t good enough to stay top dog. But I did recognize that Purphoros draws a lot of sighs because it’s predictable, linear, and pretty efficient.

Verdict: This is not the regal red droid you are looking for unless your table is pretty competitive.

SadSpine of Ish Sah

Red needs an answer to enchantments. Enter Spine. But Ish Sah’s posterior bone column ain’t that great unless you either have an engine to recur it or have lots of supporting creature and artifact removal. Granted, mono red should have those in spades. But sometimes your deck Junds you, you draw the wrong half, and end up spending seven to keep some specific, offensive creature off the board for a turn so you can do anything.

It’s a reasonable “necessary evil” when Oblivion Stone isn’t gonna work, but a sad one nonetheless.

Verdict: P.S. Atog does make spine a LOT better.

Conclusion: I’m thinking about two more episodes before an overhaul for “season three,” and I’m looking at “Things That Ping,” Green tutor chain stuff like Birthing Pod and Hibernation’s End, and something about aggro/attacking decks. Hit me up with ideas and look forward to the new season. Pappa GDC has fed me a great muse of an idea so I think it’s gonna be fun.