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


Let’s get deep on three cards I’ve seen or played in Commander, one for each of the following categories:

 -Rad: This is a surprisingly awesome card you’d be just as happy to see an opponent slam down as you would to rip it off the top.
-Bad: Take a trip to frown town with these fun suckers, apologizing on casting and getting heated when you see someone sling it.
-Sad: Often popular inclusions, these unexpectedly lame cards aren’t worth a slot.

This week:

Cards people like to talk about on Reddit that I agree with or vehemently think are mis-evaluated! Booooosh!

 .     .     .     .     .

The Rad – The Dragon X cycle (Dragon Breath, Dragon Fangs, Dragon Scales, Dragon Shadow, Dragon Wings)

OK, honestly not the white one because Vigilance is bleh. Scales suck obviously. (Use every part of the buffalo except the scales I guess.)

But I love me some haste and I love casting fatties. So Dragon Breath especially makes me happy. They’re obviously better if you have a self mill-strategy, but two mana isn’t much of an outlay. So the real, technical reason these are good is they are less card disadvantageous because they recur on all your fat, and recursion that isn’t abusive is fun.

Verdict: Surprise Flying KABOOM is totally awesome.



The Bad – Linvala, Keeper of Silence

So I’m not the first person so say this griefer card is unpleasantly hateful in EDH, but people suggest it A LOT. She’s clearly not as bad as Iona, Shield of Emeria, and I appreciate that she shuts down the specific card Splinter Twin if you’re worried about that. But mainly what she does is turn off new player Joe’s Rube Goldberg machine so he can’t even do anything when he’s trying to do nothing. It’s worse cuz she shows up in Kaalia of the Vast  frequently, combining with other hateful and crushing dudes.

I also recognize that this opinion comes from my perspective that crippling other people’s ability to use their cards is poor form. Some people like to play that way, and if it flies in your group, cool. But Linvala is certainly on the same spectrum as Armageddon, albeit WAY to the left.  [Editor’s Note: Were you actually at GenCon and spying on my last round?  Stay tuned for that story…]

Verdict: Silence isn’t golden. Keep it to yourself.



The Sad – Fires of Yavimaya

On another personal note, I love haste and wanted this to be good. It’s like Fervor but harder to cast with a small upside if people screw up blocking math. But nope. It is always collateral damage to Oblivion Stones and the like, the upside isn’t worth a card, and you rarely get a chance to use the +2/+2. Unless you’re playing with enchantments or really need this after Super Haste, Ogre Battledriver, and Anger, save the slot for something else.

Verdict: Adding this would be a little hasty. (C-)

Do you agree that the Dragon X cycles is awesome or hate them? What’s up with Linvala? Have you made Fires work? Twitter me @MdaveCs or comment here and I’ll respond for sure. I want to debate, so tell me your thoughts!