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

Hate cards and hosers. They tend to have a pretty small place in EDH because tuning for a meta is less common, and you have to have answers that are viable in a range of games against a wider range of cards than in other formats. But I love ’em. Let’s talk hate!

Hate cards are goofy and kinda fun and weird. And when you whip out something powerful and mana-eficient like red blast to save the table from a Cyclonic Rift, you’re a surprise hero. This week: color hosers.

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 – Mass Calcify

The reprint is just fuel for an already healthy simmer on this calcium fire. I love build around me cards. I love the opposite of a hoser that plays on color. And I love me a Plague Wind. You can sculpt your deck, hand, and board state to get maximum mileage out of this and then crush some face, which always makes for interesting tactical decisions. And I love it.

This got rolled out in a Wx deck a few weeks ago and I honestly had to read it. And then I looked at my board and took a guess at if I would be dying or not. I was. And all because I didn’t play enough white creatures.

Verdict: Powerful, narrow, and interesting to maximize.

Bad – Crackdown

Continuing with the theme of cards that are mean to the UBRG slice of the pie, we’ve got the less good, enchantment version of Meekstone. Of course, again, you can build around it. I first tried it as a second ‘stone in Sydri, then slotted it into a Wbg deck where all creatures are gold.

The interesting thing is how much worse “can’t untap” cards feel than wraths. There’s the obvious difference of wiping the board now and then letting the game continue compared with changing the nature of creatures and attacking – one of the essential axes of the game – by restricting untapping. But it’s just until someone hits a worthwhile removal spell.

And yet, nobody wants to suffer under a crackdown. I took it out of Sydri, and I don’t like seeing it from other much, especially because it’s usually in an enchantment package that protects the card pretty well.

Verdict: Nope, nope, and… nope. None of you untap. Keep that smile tapped down too.

Sad – Hydroblast

From the highs that Red Elemental Blast delivers to the bottomy lows of the hydro. To be honest, I’ve never scene anyone else sleve it up, let along cast it, but it’s in my Tromokratis deck because it has a watery name. And it ain’t that good. The best you can hope for nuking a red spell is that it’s gold, because then it probably does something. (Contrasted with Red blast, which hits everything cast by probably the second most popular color in the format.) Second, they can Redirect it anywhere, because the weird wording of “if it is red” means any target is legal, but the effect won’t happen unless it’s red, because it only checks on resolution.

So you’ve got the mana efficiency, but the color hosed isn’t super important, and it has minimum resilience to answers because of the wording.

Verdict: Why didn’t I just pack a red blast?

Conclusion: Color hate is amazing, even outside of the Magical Hack deck, because it’s weird, efficient, and unexpected. Next week we’re moving to mechanic-focused hate.