Saturday, August 11, 2012

Irrationally loved cards #1

So far, I've shied away from explicitly telling you cards you should or should not play.

I think that EDH is a format where we are rewarded for playing the cards that we have an irrational love for, instead of focusing on the 'power' of a card.

Certainly, some cards are 'strictly better' than other cards, and that's always something to take into consideration, but really, this is a format that lets us play with the cards we like.

Without further ado, here is one of my irrational favorites per color. (There's a lot, but I'm going to give it out in parts, for brevity's sake)

Green: Hibernation's End
I could write an ode to this card, I really could.  I can have decks without Wild Pair, or Lurking Predators, or Birthing Pod...this one is my favorite.  It's slow, and if you play it turn 5 you're finding low-drops while your opponents are dropping Titans onto the table, but this always gets there.  For me, I use the one, two, three, and sometimes fou drops to fix up my mana (Sample from my Adun Oakenshield deck: Ulvenwald Tracker, Sakura-Tribe Elder, Wood Elves, Solemn Simulacrum) and then drop value all over the place.

If you're into card advantage, this is right up your alley.  I've never had this get farther than 5 without someone getting mad and killing it.  Or me.  Same thing. 

Red: Gratutitous Violence
We all enjoy unfair effects far more than we care to admit to.  This is the quintessential unfair effect, doubling your most common damage sources (creatures) while leaving others' alone.  Furnace of Rath is the most direct comparison, and if you don't mind giving up non-creature damage, then this card is absolutely golden.

This plays very well with first strike, not so much with trample (you still have to assign lethal damage to the blocking creature before the doubling effect), GLORIOUSLY with double strike, and is outstanding with pingers...even more so with bigger pingers like Kamahl, Pit Fighter and Lightning Crafter.

Blue: Willbender
If I'm playing a deck...any deck...with blue and I lay down a morph, people start flinching because they know that I love this card.  Some people try to say that Redirect is strictly better, but it's very hard to interact with the Willbender's ability.  It's a triggered ability, so you can even respond to Split Second spells.  Even better, there are spells that say 'Can't be Countered' but you can turn that Banefire for 30 back at its owner!

You can do it for small bonuses, like stealing an Aura.  You can change the Rite of Replication target.  When you lay this face down with 1U can't wait for someone to try something!  It's the anticipation of this card that makes it so fun for me.

Double bonus if you can then return it to your hand with Riptide Laboratory...then play it again face down!

Black: Patriarch's Bidding
While most people run this in tribal decks, I tend to cram it into anything.  When I cast it in a non-tribal deck is tricky, but if it's in my hand, I'll be careful about what I play and the creature types running around.  It feels like I always get good value from this card, even though it's supposed to be a 'fair' effect.

In my tribal decks, this is a total house.  My Zombie decks especially, because Noxious Ghoul will ensure that the Bidding is a totally unfair effect.  Yes, you're reading that card right--if the Ghoul and 3 other Zombies come back at the same time, everything else gets -4/-4!  There has not yet been a card that says "This card is immune to -1/-1 effects."  Probably will eventually, though.

White: Marshal's Anthem
This is a reanimation spell as well as an anthem effect.  In white, we have a lot of options for bringing creatures back, but this Anthem does something unique and worth paying for: it can bring back one, two, or more creatures at once.  It's hard to pay six and get one creature back...but 2 for 8 mana is more reasonable, and the sky is the limit if you topdeck this after a long attrition-grind of a game.

I can see why the mana cost scares people off of this card.  If you have 11 mana but only three white, then it will really sting to recur a single creature.  Don't be scared.  Holding this enchantment in your hand means you commit to the board with far less hesitation, you fear no Wrath.  And if you never needed to cast it, then you won!  Congratulations!

Artifact: Thousand-Year Elixir
In EDH, creatures with abilities are king.  There's enters-the-battlefield abilities, when-it-dies abilities, but generally, the tap abilities are among the strongest, because you have to wait a turn to use those abilities.

Not anymore!

On top of the sort-of-haste clause, we get to use that tap ability a second time for one measly mana!  Or give a creature vigilance, if that's needed!  With this out, it's natural and acceptable to wait one more turn to play your sweet creature in order to get a second use of its ability.

Important to note that this is not a way to abuse Willow Satyr or other creatures that say "as long as this card is tapped" because if the creature becomes untapped, even before the ability resolves, then the duration of the effect has ended.

There you go, six of my irrationally loved cards.  Hope you enjoyed!

P.S.  My lady and I are off on a vacation to Maui for a couple of weeks, so you'll be update-less for a while.  Browse the archives, join a message board, follow me on Twitter (@WordOfCommander) for your fix.  See you later!

1 comment:

  1. I too am a big fan of Patriarch's Bidding, and your combo with it is just nasty! And the thousand-year elixir is a really cool card. If you don't mind, I think I'm going to be checking this blog often :)