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

Still on my trip to brown town, talkin’ bout unsung hero Clock of Omens.

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 – Mana Vault

You know what’s sweet? When all your artifacts tap for at least 1.5 mana. All of them. That includes your Darksteel Citadel and your Howling Mine (which not incidentally doesn’t draw anyone else cards when it’s tapped. Huzzah!).

Know what’s even sweeter? When they tap for 1.5 mana and half a life point. OK maybe that’s a pretty lackluster upgrade. I just love dumping all my static-effect artifacts into the Vault for extra manas and then leaving it uptapped for free, thus not taking a damage, all thanks to the clock.

Verdict: A sweeter mud-match made in heaven has never existed.

The Bad – Unwinding Clock

This is pretty powerful. See, eg Seedborn Muse and Teferiborn Muse (Prophet of Kruphix). But that’s fine. Strong is why we’re here. It’s the long-as-all-get-out turns of durdling that grind my fun to dust.

Unlike the title subject for the week, this clock just makes things more repetitive. Did you just use all your artifacts to generate a ton of mana and the rest to untap and tutor seven times with Planar Portal? Cool I totally wanna sit through you doing that again on each turn. By itself, this guy isn’t so bad. But when all those trinkets that normally don’t care about being tapped now benefit from untapping, things get…extensive.

Verdict: It’s really only unwinding one thing: my desire to have it on the table.

The Sad – Dimir Signet (and all its brethren)

Don’t get me wrong. I love me a non-green signet. Whereas Rampant Growth smells like wasted garbage, fixing and ramping in other colors feels great. However, “spending” two artifacts to untap a signet is pretty the-opposite-of-the-kind-of-bonkers-that-I-like. Remember when I said tapping for 1.5 is sweet? Tapping for 0.5 is wayyyy less so.

Obviously it can work out for you in a pinch. But when I have both out, I usually find myself tapping the signet to half-untap something else. That’s the peak performance it offers paired with the clock.

Verdict: This is so far from a Gilded Lotus.

This Week’s Lesson: Goldfishing is good. It’s decidedly less fun (for me) with EDH decks than a regular 60-card concoction because variance is the nature of EDH. It makes goldfish testing your plan much slower. Do it anyway. I don’t want to remove the mystery of discovering cool interactions mid-game, but I do want to identify duds to keep tabs on. Goldfishing lets you do that before you’re in the thick of the highlandery fun.