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

Week two of le hatred and we’re kicking it up a notch with cards that hate on specific game mechanics.

Color hate was fun, but it’s more corner-case funny than anything. This week’s hate cards all kick you where it counts (the forehead). However, not all are created equal.

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.

PS//Fair Warning: Some of these may be/are repeats from old episodes. Yep.

Rad – Torpor Orb

One of the coolest of the orbs, as well as its newer, squishier M15 cousin, always makes my list of “hate” effects I love. Don’t get me wrong. I abuse ETBs as much as the next guy. But they often get out of hand in EDH, and I really like keepin’ em honest. By honest, of course, I mean unable to do the primary thing they probably wanted to do involving more value-per-card and then creatury things after extracting said value.

The best thing about this orb is when it shuts down a creature toolbox deck, such as a conventional Karametra, God of Harvests, Momir Vig, Simic Visionary, or Ruric Thar, the Unbowed. They can’t do stuff, and even with all the tutoring in the world, they often can’t do anything about the orb. I fondly remember being on the receiving end of Torpor Orb out of what I think was Ryan’s Group Slug, many times being left with no way to get Radha moving again.

Verdict: Creatures were meant to get cast, sit there, and then attack. Thanks, Torpor Orb.

Bad – Humility

On the other hand, this expensive old number hates all creatures. Since creatures are the primary axis of los magicales, this turns everything expectedly topsy turvey. I’m actually cool with that, but the layers. Oh, the layers.

I’ve only played against the humble-izer twice or so, and it led to headaches pretty quick, which is the reason it makes it on the list. It also has the small added bonus of turning off your Indrik Stomphowlers and such, similar to the Torpor Orb. So plusses and then some bad-er minuses. Especially the complex-enough-to-be-annoying kind.

Verdict: Do something else if you want to create an environment hostile to the baddest of creatures.

Sad – Stranglehold

I want it to be sweet. I jammed it into the “you can’t do your stuff” deck alongside Grafdigger’s Cage and a few other not so noteworthy options. And it made me say “huh, that’s a neato thing that isn’t worth a card by itself.” For completeness, it shuts down:

  • Conventional tutors. Demonic Tutor and Mystical Teachings alike can’t do their thing.
  • The vast majority of typical ramp: does nada. Good job packing 17 Explosive Vegetation varieties.
  • Bluey-mc-superturns rejoins us mere mortals. No more infinite turns.

That’s a good list of mechanics to hate on.

Sounds pretty sweet. But you’re spending a card now to protect everyone at the table from the fact that people might do this. And if they happen to have already ramped or warped time, sweet Jundy-dud. Sadly, narrow, very-tempo-based hate cards don’t perform.

Verdict: It’s like Howling Mine in that it costs you a card to help everyone out, except it won’t replace itself.

Conclusion: Surprisingly, I don’t hate most hate cards. I’m all about making stuff be different. Gotta shake EDHical things up. What are your favorite mechanic specific hate cards?