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

Check out politics, part three, in which we dig into good cards that may actually be political, as in subtle.

The political cards that I find the most fun and interesting aren’t obviously, explicitly, in-your-face political. Rather, they work within your deck to give you political decisions (OK, even where to send your Return to Dust is somewhat political) that help you craft a meta strategy within the context of the attitudes of the other players at the table. In other words, REAL politics.

So here are three cards that fall into that category:

  • 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.

Rad – Terastodon

OK Hold on. Hear me out. I know Mr. P Hates this card (notice the capital “H”.) But in 2014, it’s just another utility ETB beater, and it’s got some balm to sooth the post-blowup injuries. This makes it actually political. Slotting in ]nasty terasty is inherently political (unless you plan to do Deadeye things and remove all the lands or something). And that’s why I love it.

See, things need to get blown up. Most of them need it so bad you can’t get mad when someone does it. But that doesn’t mean I won’t make a sad face when you pop my Necropotence. However, it will be a smaller sad face thanks to that handsome elephant token waiting to soak up a few damage or ride an Ajani Jump to make a name for himself.

Verdict: Whip and balm for the wound in one package: amazing politics.

Bad – Ruhan of the Fumori

I actually love Ruhan as an idea, and he’s a nice alternative for a cool color combo that doesn’t offer a wide range of generals. However, for lots of people he represents this subtle breed of politics, and as a political maneuver, he is the worst. Groans all around when the Ruhan player bashes in for 11 and is like “Don’t look at me. It was the dice that did it.”

Honestly, if that were it, big papa Fomori wouldn’t be that bad. Just don’t play with annoying people and you’ll never have to deal with someone not owning up to it. But the other side to that coin is that it kinda promotes anti-politics (a political decision in itself), because you can’t negotiate your way out of getting attacked. After all, “It was the dice that did it.” So your decision is basically keep back a blocker or take Ruhan’s power/# of players – 1 damage.

Verdict: That lack of predictability… ugh.

Sad – Mystic Barrier

Overall, this card is at least “meh,” perhaps even better than that. However, it feels like you want to use it politically, and in that sense, it’s a huge miss. The person attacking the barrier-maker often seems to appreciate the protection, and thus holds off despite the opportunity. However, that doesn’t last, and pretty soon everyone gets annoyed that they can’t strategically smash where they want. So then we all take the on the barrier-holder. It ends up anti-political in that it’s political good-will-capital runs out pretty quickly.

I also think it’s sad in that it paves over a lot of the normal politicing about when to attack or not attack whom. Instead, “where can I swing again? OK sure.” That’s find if that’s your goal, but it is decidedly un-political.

Verdict: Nothing that leads to “OK… fine that,” feels positively political to me.

Conclusion: That’s all for my look at politics. Did I miss anything egregious these past three weeks? Rabble rouse it up in the comments. Next week we move on to hate.