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

Copy all the abilities. All of them! This week’s target is Rings of Brighthearth

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 Rad – Terrain Generator

Let’s get one thing straight first. Rings is fun and bordering on disgustingly powerful. Personal favorite uses include copying fetches and cycling, just because it’s weird. But on to the generator.

Ramping is awesome. Playing two extra lands at someone’s end step to ramp at instant speed for five mana is even better.

I have done this many times in non-green decks, especially those with blue or white. With all the card draw and/or searching lands to hand that the colors offer, respectively, I always have extra lands in hand. Holding up mana to do whatever is way less painful when you can EoT activate the generator and copy it with Rings.

This is kinda a “goodstuff” inclusion most of the time (except in a landfall matters Dakkon Blackblade deck!), but I feel like extra mana is one of those advantages that makes off-theme goodstuff inclusions are forgivable.

Verdict: Even when you’re playing Esper Artifacts, you’re always happy to put extra lands down early.

The Bad – Basalt Monolith

We’ve all done it, and the unbounded power of infinite mana whenever you want it certainly can feel nice. This is even more true if you had to work hard to protect it, making it a strategic victory, or if you just dump the mana into the stupidest durdles so you’re not crushing the fun.

That being said, this is pretty trite. It can go into basically any deck with artifacts, activated abilities, and things that cost colorless mana. And it isn’t exciting to see. Ever. I won’t go as far as to say I feel guilty that I sucked the fun out of the game last time I made this happen. But I did promptly remove the monolith and replace it with a different rock that didn’t combo exclusively because I was tired of the looks on everyones’ faces when I pronounced the phrase “in fin it ma na.”

Verdict: Great. I got the merit badge too. Now I can cut it and move on.

The Sad – Magosi, the Waterveil

This might be a personal issue arising from the number of times I’ve seen people incorrectly explain how to combo with Magosi, or from my general distaste for infinite turns. Whatever the reason, this “combo” lands with a soft, fleshy pffffttt, like dropping a banana into a bowl of oatmeal.

So you did the work to skip your turn and stay alive in order to put the right counter on Magosi. Cool beans. Now you untap, activate Magosi and Rings, and you get to take two more turns. Next turn, your first extra turn, you can untap and put another counter on Magosi, sacrificing the following (would have been second) extra turn. And everyone gets an uptap step to try and break up your slow-motion riot.

Hence the sadness. You have to do a lot of work to take the least offensive route to do something really powerful.

Verdict: Either take all the turns and let us shuffle up or just cast Time Warp. And keep your banana out of my oatmeal.

This Week’s Lesson: Upgrade your deckbuilding. Do it however you want, but push yourself. I am finally looking at three new, completed, tuned decks that are each the product of weeks spent on Gatherer and MTGSal and while working with a personal deck template on Excel. They do stuff. They are niche and interesting and effective. And it is awesome. Upgrade your deckbuilding.