The Good, The Bad, and the EDH Ugly

New year, new season, what! You better believe that in this year of the wooden horse, Three Cards Deep is going to be more headstrong, unleadable, and full of unbridled soapboxing.

I’m calling it “Season Two” because I ran out of gas with the old format. I found myself really struggling to identify “Bad” or “Sad” cards worth writing (and reading) about. I’m too fond of the upside, not complaining. I know right – How did I ever get a gig with GDC?

The problem is that most cards aren’t really anything while in a vacuum. In EDH, it’s how players pair cards, play them, and seek to recreate (or not) those engines that situates cards. So I’m going to work in pairs. Sort of. Each week I’ll pick a card and then evaluate three other cards in the context of that initial pillar/engine/thingypeoplelike, still on the Rad/Bad/Sad axis.

It’s a work in progress. Let me know what you think.

We’re gonna kick it off with low hanging fruit: The Mimeoplasm.

So here are three cards to exile with the Mime:

  • 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 – Baleful Strix

This is not an intuitive choice. It doesn’t bash for a ton or protect itself from removal or even have haste. But Strix is nonetheless a creature I like to have in my toolbox of options for the Mime, even aside from how well it plays as an early game control element to stall until I can “do something™.”

I can’t count the number of times I’ve been like “man I really need to just do seven more commander damage to that guy to knock him out. Oh look strix in the yard and he doesn’t have flyers. Boom.” Yes, other flyers are bigger, and cycling isn’t a huge deal, but add in the unnecessary deathtouch on a 6/6 flyer and you’ve got a Mimeoplasm exile that I love.

Verdict: Sometimes you just need a small flying robot. Sometimes you need Strix.

The Bad – Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon

This is pretty obvious. We’ve all died to a super quick 10/10 Skithiryx-oplasm at one point or another. Yeah yeah  – someone should have had a counter or instant-speed removal. It’s true. But The Mimeoplasm players who run skittles tend to build decks that can create that scenario very reliably and protect it, and it makes me groan.

Verdict: Poison at 10 might be the only thing about EDH that really gets me.

The Sad – Simic Sky Swallower

This is an old standard for big finishers. It’s tough to kill and evasive and big enough. And I’ve run it in Mimeoplasm because I was lame and uninventive and needed at least one more evasive big tough-to-kill dude.

But the thing is, you never want to cast it. Nearly any deck with blue and black will be drawing enough cards to have something better to do with the mana. I’d always rather have the Swallower show up in the yard on about turn 10 than anywhere else at any other time. That’s a dud in my book.

Verdict: How can he be sad? Look at that spiky Goti.

No lesson this week. Just let me know what you think about the format. The restriction should be helpful to keep this thing focused and relevant.