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

This week I’m Rad/Bad/Sading in relation to Deadeye Navigator.

Here’s how it goes (for new readers). I talk about three cards in terms of everyone’s favorite punching bag, Deadshot:

  • 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.

The Rad – Anathemancer

I not so secretly used to love pairing up with my best friend Primevil Titan before banhammer. I love value. I also love Fireballs. And in Grixis, you have plenty. But if you also want to punish people for their lands, you want this spicey little 3/2.

Why is it rad? Because it’s the “second best” of creatures. People don’t fear it enough to wrath or point a well-timed removal spell at it until you’ve already charged Mr. all-bb-duals-jap-foil-fetches-and-shocks roughly 15 life for your six mana. At that point. I’m grin city.

Verdict: It also pairs well with a nice can of Coke and some Pop Rocks, especially if you also spill those on the table while playing with the afore-mentioned moneybags lands guy.

Bonus point sadness for runner up Oracle of Mul Daya, which was so fun to bounce after a shuffle to play tons of lands until they changed how the rule works.

The Bad – Sylvan Primodial

This one doesn’t need a ton of explanation. Pairing these two is both over-done and lets you take down other people’s lands at will. Throw in an untap thing like Seedborn Muse for maximum obnoxiousness.

In an effort to provide context: the first time this happened to me, I was the culprit. I tried to resist the urge to just barf out exploded lands (the real draw of course being the free forests), but once I got rid of all the value artifacts and enchantments, it was a race: my dwindling Jiminy Cricket versus the opponents’ efforts to find an answer.

Verdict: It’s totally within reason as a win-con if you have a way to capitalize on crippling your opponents’ resources, but waiting for flies to invade their snoring mouths is not an acceptable option.

The Sad – Mystic Snake

So one time I had a [Card]Momir Vig, Simic Visionary[/Card] deck and honestly I thought I was a genius. I hadn’t seen a lot of other Vig builds yet, so when I jammed a few Flash enablers to give myself “several” copies of [Card]Mystic Snake[/Card], I thought I had discovered the New World. Naturally, when [Card]Deadeye Navigator[/Card] was spoiled I was pumped.

“Rebuys on my counters? Yeeeaaah.”


Here’s what happens. You run out the [Card]Mystic Snake[/Card] to keep an [Card]Avacyn, Angel of Hope[/Card] off the table and then follow it up the next turn with ol-Deadeye, paired. You smugly look around at all the spells you’re supressing. One guy passes, the next attempts to cast something that reeks of bait – like perhaps a [Card]Dust to Dust[/Card] – but you can’t resist.

“Tap two islands to Flicker Mystic Snake.”

“Soulbound trigger on the stack? Response. Path.” Or even, you know, [Card]Terror[/Card]. Putting the threat of a response out there is great, but it’s not nearly as great as having it in your hand. The weakness of pairing the snake and Deadeye comes from this loss of hidden information.

Verdict: Seriously. Even [Card]Terror[/Card] ruins your fun.

This Week’s Lesson: MTGFinance is a thing and if you care about your individual dollar bills, you should spend 15 minutes a week checking in. (Google is your friend, but QuietSpeculation, Brainstorm Brewery, Reddit, and the Twitter hash are a good place to start.) Case in point, I need a Norin the Wary for my mundane Purphoros, God of the Forge tokens deck, but I wasn’t willing to pay $1 shipping on a .30 card from TCGPlayer two weeks ago. And now it’s like $6 because of a few Soul Sister lists performing OK on MTGO and resultant speculation. /fail