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

Errrybody loves Derevi, Empyrial Tactician, even the people who hate her (so much she got a spot on the French Banned List). Let’s RADBADSAD’er!

Here’s how it goes for new readers. I talk about three cards in the context of this week’s subject:

  • 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 RadTradewind Rider (Honorable Mention: Azami, Lady of Scrolls

There are lots of tappers. This one has the nostalgia factor, is cool, and becomes very effective when you can untap all the components with damage triggers. The thing that makes this rad is that it is a powerful board-control element without being the utter blowout of something like a Cyclonic Rift, and it creates a fun tension between attacking and using guys to activate the ability. I guess I like me a scalpel.

I’ve only seen him once in EDH, and to be honest, it wasn’t great. But that’s only because it was so slow and resource intensive. The last time I played against Derevi it was clear that those untap triggers spent on lands were going to waste.

Verdict: You wouldn’t think a scaling bounce-a-permanent would be great, but you’d be wrong.

The BadWinter Orb

Orb is already very mean, even when you just break the symmetry in the typical ways. When you get as many tap and untap triggers as you want, it’s SUUUUUPER busted. Saw this on MTGO the other night and man it sucked. Assuming they have enough bounce (hello Deadeye Navigator) to flicker Derevi on each opponent’s upkeep, it’s like a way gnarlier Hokori, Dust Drinker lock.

Here are the cards that break this up unassisted (as best as I can figure out.)

Good luck with that. Approximately 2.5 of these see any kind of regular play.

Verdict: Yep. Although it’s not played out yet, it is pretty busted.

The Sad – Thraben Doomsayer

You really have to really be really all in on making teeeeny little dinks that are human for this guy to cut the mustard. He’s in tons of Derevi tokens lists.

Look. I get it. I considered making a “tapper” deck with the Bird Wizard too, and there is the urge to throw in every weird thing that has the text “Tap: Do a thing.” You can do way better, for a three mana spell, a creature that taps to make tokens, or both. Wayyyyy better.

Verdict: It’s your doom he’s saying. Doomed to frown in durdle town.

This Week’s Lesson: Buy the Futuresight rares you want for EDH now. I’ve gotten burned on Norin the Wary and Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir in the past month because I wouldn’t pull the trigger, and now they have gone up by 800% and 300% respectively. Same holds for nearly any other pre-World-Wake rare or mythic with only one (excluding FTV-type stuff) printing.