Greetings, Commander lovers! In case you missed it, Sheldon Menery wrote a terrific article final month titled “Commander Playing cards You Shouldn’t Play.” In it, Sheldon particulars playing cards he avoids enjoying in Commander, every with their very own nuanced cause(s). However his listing is jam full of high-powered EDH goodies like Seedborn Muse, Grand Arbiter Augustin IV, and Paradox Engine. To cite:
“The apparent widespread thread is that these are playing cards that for probably the most half rob gamers of the chance to play the sport. The remaining are playing cards which might be so awkward that they deflate a recreation’s power fairly shortly.”
However to play satan’s advocate, many EDH gamers (myself included) take pleasure in this format exactly as a result of we will play with a few of the strongest and distinctive results in Magic. For Spikes who take pleasure in EDH, it’s troublesome to swallow the thought of deliberately neutering a deck to chase some balanced preferrred that’s unlikely to materialize. The thought of what’s “damaged” shifts with each single play group. And whereas we will all agree that this listing does embrace probably the most egregious offenders, for each one card identified right here there are two extra that may be included.
It also needs to be famous that one can discover a sort of stability within the brokenness. When everyone seems to be enjoying these “taboo” playing cards, the enjoying subject is comparatively even. Finely-tuned EDH decks with powerhouses like these are like educated MMA fighters–prepared, clean, and lethal. Solely different MMA fighters stand an opportunity, however once they get within the ring, it’s a sight to behold. That’s to not say you possibly can throw The Unimaginable Hulk within the ring (your Griselbrands, Emrakuls, and Commerce Secrets and techniques) and anticipate it to pan out.
So, with this in thoughts, I’m detailing the place you must play the pesky playing cards they stated you shouldn’t to maximise their worth. The article is in good enjoyable as I loved Sheldon’s thorough thought course of. Simply ensure that your desk is aware of what’s coming for them.
It’s true—mass land destruction is evil. There, I stated it, I admit it, and I embrace it. However you realize what? Even in EDH, enjoyable comes from profitable and lots of highly effective issues in Magic will not be enjoyable for others. So if profitable is the target, typically the enjoyable of others have to be sacrificed.
Armageddon, Ravages of Struggle, Impending Catastrophe, Growth //Bust, and Disaster are a number of the strongest common land destruction spells that may typically result in lengthy, drawn-out video games. Mass land destruction is at its greatest when you could have methods to interrupt parity.
Listed here are some choices:
- Have methods to recur your destroyed lands. Playing cards like Ramunap Excavator and Crucible of Worlds work completely that will help you climb out of the opening.
- Lean closely on artifact-based or creature-based ramp. This manner, you possibly can proceed enjoying your playing cards whereas everybody else is within the stone ages.
- Have a approach to shut the door on the sport earlier than anybody else can stabilize. This could embrace combo finishes or just having a bigger board presence and with the ability to kill the desk by means of fight injury quick sufficient.
Decks that sometimes make use of playing cards like Armageddon embrace Avacyn, Angel of Hope (granting immunity to your lands), Grand Arbiter Augustin IV (additional taxing opponents’ spells and aiding yours), and Zurgo, Helmsmasher (smash face and kill ’em fast).
There’s one other camp of mass land destruction that I classify as “complete annihilation.” Playing cards like Obliterate, Jokulhaups, and Decree of Annihilation are a bit costlier to forged than your typical Armageddons however they’ve a extra sweeping impact. These spells destroy artifacts, lands, and creatures, nearly nullifying the above methods to interrupt parity. So how do you reap the benefits of these dastardly spells?
- Indestructible. Make it so your permanents are straight-up unaffected by these spells someway.
- Discover a option to cheese these spells out in an unorthodox method. Assume Maelstrom Wanderer coming into play after you cascade into one, or Jhoira of the Ghitu unsuspending one earlier than an enormous Eldrazi takes the sector subsequent.
Decks that use complete annihilation playing cards like this embrace the above two, in addition to Keranos, God of Storms and Zurgo Helmsmasher.
I’ll admit that I completely hate Again to Fundamentals and results prefer it. However as mentioned, enjoyable is usually a zero-sum recreation and typically I’m the zero.
So how do you guarantee you’ll get mileage out of this spell?
Nicely, that’s all people! Till subsequent time, make sure that to stay to the fundamentals and I’ll see you quickly.
For actual although, there are a number of archetypes that use playing cards like this to lock down a board. I might stick to only 1- or 2-color decks since something extra makes it a bit dicey. Stax decks like Grand Arbiter Augustin IV and Derevi, Empyrial Tactician supply bonuses solely for you, so you possibly can throw Again to Fundamentals out to your coronary heart’s content material.
Moreover, mono-blue combo decks like Teferi, Temporal Archmage and Azami, Woman of Scrolls can throw this into their deck even when it isn’t the first recreation plan. Making certain your deck has as clean a time combo’ing off ought to be in your greatest curiosity and shutting off the remainder of the desk’s mana is a good way to do that. Don’t really feel too dangerous. They’ll all be scooping ‘em up actual quickly.
With each Armageddon and Again to Fundamentals I’ve talked about how Grand Arbiter decks can make the most of these playing cards. It shouldn’t come as a shock that Sheldon lists GAAIV on his playing cards you shouldn’t play.
I simply love my little Grand Arbiter. I’ve been recognized to attract the ire of many an EDH desk slamming one down on flip three. Costing solely four mana ensures you could play him early sufficient within the recreation to get nice worth from his taxing impact and you may redeploy him comparatively shortly after his eventual demise. (Whenever you replay Grand Arbiter IV does he turn out to be the V and VI consecutively?)
Grand Arbiter is greatest when utilized in your command zone, so relatively than point out which decks use him, let’s talk about what sort of playing cards to make use of in his decks.
- Low cost counterspells. Nothing feels higher than forcing your opponent to pay additional for his or her spells simply to have them fizzle anyway. Playing cards like Mana Leak, Reminiscence Lapse, and Arcane Denial are higher in Grand Arbiter decks due to the price discount and counterspells like Daze, Drive Spike, and Censor are higher as a result of your opponents are much less more likely to have leftover mana.
- Stax items. Playing cards like Kismet, Frozen Aether, Winter Orb, and Thalia, Guardian of Thraben work excellently with Grand Arbiter as a result of taxing results work nice in multiples. Who knew?
- Quick mana. Placing Grand Arbiter out as early as attainable is vital, one thing Sheldon can understandably discover challenge with. It’s okay, although. If profitable is the aim, that is tips on how to do it.
“I’m on the document saying that one Mindslaver activation might be okay, however people who find themselves enjoying it are going to discover a approach to recur it.”
Oh boy, how did he guess?! In fact we’re going to be sure to recur it.
Academy Ruins, Sharuum the Hegemon, Prototype Portal, Goblin Welder, Daretti, the listing goes on! I might give attention to together with Mindslaver solely in decks that may reliably recur it, since only one activation is usually a bit clunky and low influence (therefore why it’s OKed).
Mindslaver nonetheless suffers from the difficulty of solely concentrating on one opponent. Which means it would be best to pack sufficient methods to fight a difficult board since sabotaging the desk one by one goes to be actual robust enterprise. Oddly, you’ll be able to depart the Mindslaver in play as a political software, noting that whoever goals to destroy it, (Krosan Grip apart) will find yourself with their flip taken. This will permit you the time wanted to probably arrange extra difficult loops utilizing Mindslaver, however it’s nonetheless unlikely. Although this candy artifact might rank excessive in distress to play towards, I feel its influence is comparatively benign on the format in comparison with different playing cards…
A Reserved Listing staple for Commander, Palinchron is understood for with the ability to create infinite mana (and storm if that issues). Palinchron combos with dozens of playing cards–every part from Sneak Assault, Phantasmal Picture, Deadeye Navigator, and naturally, mana doublers.
Palinchron may be obnoxious however it isn’t as constant or deadly as different playing cards on the listing, so many could also be unbothered going up towards it. This highlights the ever-shifting nature of what’s “too good”. Palinchron isn’t an auto-include by any means and it’s often a tad too sluggish even for Excessive Tide decks.
I would come with Palinchron in decks that may put it to use for loopy issues, if not outright win on the spot. Such decks can embrace Maelstrom Wanderer, Animar, Soul of Parts, and Tasigur, the Golden Fang.
By far probably the most egregious card on this listing (not even shut to shut), Paradox Engine takes over by storm (actually) and ends issues fairly abruptly. It requires much less setup than one might imagine to go off with—a lot in order that in case you have a Paradox Engine in hand it’s typically right to not run it out onto the board till you’re able to go off or can fairly shield it.
The variety of decks that Paradox Engine can match into is way too huge to say right here, however the card is so constant in executing recreation wins that there are whole decks constructed round it.
Paradox Engine tears up tables from probably the most informal to probably the most aggressive, and having a number of opponents is of no consequence for this legendary beast. Simply be certain that your deck is chalk filled with mana rocks (correctly already) and also you’re good to go. This even works with mana dorks. What have been they considering? It’s simply the cardboard on this record that I might ban myself if I had the facility and I doubt many would miss it. Whereas it’s authorized, I’ll play it, however that is undoubtedly the Unimaginable Hulk towards the MMA fighter right here.
Seedborn Muse might eternally reside in Prophet of Kruphix’s shadow however look who’s laughing now. Seedborn Muse is a card that I really feel is on the cusp between actually good and damaged. It isn’t one thing I get annoyed enjoying towards, however I definitely respect its energy.
Seedborn Muse works nice in decks that may reap the benefits of prompt velocity spells. Even mono-green decks have choices like Yeva, Nature’s Herald and Yisan, the Wanderer Bard to do issues on every opponent’s flip. However I take pleasure in utilizing Seedborn Muse in decks with blue in them. Blue lets you simply refill your hand and the Muse single-handedly provides you quasi Time Walks relating to effectively deploying issues onto the board. Beware—everybody on the desk will attempt to copy her with clone results in the event that they don’t outright attempt to kill her. Shield her from removing with Lightning Greaves and pack some removing in case she will get copied.
Seedborn Muse is a wonderful addition to decks like Kruphix, God of Horizons, Mayael the Anima, and even Captain Sisay.
Yikes, Sorin Markov is the way you make an enemy actual fast. Sorin falls fairly near the underside of my listing of offensive playing cards on this listing. 40 life is rather a lot and I respect somebody who’s prepared to attempt to beat me the old style approach. If placing you to 10 is a matter, it’s as a result of somebody goes to beat your face in shortly after—an unusual solution to die, in my expertise. Perhaps it’s simply the Spike in me, however I feel Sorin Markov, Magister Sphinx, and even Infect injury are completely fantastic methods to “go”. If somebody can cobble this stuff collectively, allow them to as a result of they’ve earned it.
As for which decks to incorporate Sorin in, I might (on the very least) ensure you have sufficient black mana sources since he prices a whopping three black. Perhaps somebody higher at math than me within the feedback needs to take a swing at it, however the actual variety of black sources in a 99-card deck to reliably forged Sorin Markov on curve on flip 6 have to be astronomical. Ring ring Frank Karsten. Come assist the EDH gamers. Mix Sorin with Erebos, God of the Lifeless so no one can save themselves as soon as sniped or Rings of Brighthearth to shoot a number of gamers right down to 10 directly. He additionally offers wonderful devotion for God generals like Athreos and Mogis.
Oof, Stasis is one hell of a Magic card. Stasis places your objectives in Commander to the check. In case you are all about profitable the sport however pay no heed to the distress which will entail, then you could take pleasure in Stasis. Just like Armageddon results, it would be best to be sure to’re packing a approach to break the parity that this card creates. Forsaken Metropolis is a superb, dependable approach to make sure that your Stasis may be paid for and can depart the desk believing God has forsaken them too. Ral Zarek additionally matches the invoice, since he can ultimately final in case you are ever so inclined to not pay for Stasis anymore.
Stasis is particularly unholy as a result of there are so few methods to interrupt out of it. In case your opponent drops Stasis adopted up by Frozen Aether or Kismet, simply pack it in. Do your self a favor and shuffle up for an additional recreation. Stasis is a basic inclusion in decks like Derevi, Empyrial Tactician—whose triggered capacity reliably pays for Stasis and Teferi, Temporal Archmage—whose minus potential can reset your lands to pay the maintenance for eternity.
Principally, Stasis is admittedly, actually crappy to play towards. It does really feel terrible and there’s no denying that. However should you pack low cost interplay (Nature’s Declare, Pure State, Ray of Revelation), you’ll be able to reply a resolved Stasis and prevent and your fellow teammates. Be a hero. They are saying heroes by no means give up, but when the Stasis lock in is inevitable, do the heroic factor and simply go to the subsequent recreation.
What’s that? I can’t hear you, you’re breaking apart. There’s a lot of… static.
Static Orb is a card that slows video games right down to a completely glacial tempo alongside his huge brother Winter Orb. In Winter Orb’s case, it’s a lot simpler on your opponent to interrupt the symmetrical lockdown impact as a result of it solely hits lands. At first look, Static Orb seems weaker than Winter Orb, however affecting all everlasting varieties is vital. This implies going-wide fight is a complete mess. Mana ramp is a multitude. All the things’s only a mess.
Static Orb rewards gamers who aren’t making an attempt to go quick or get forward, however quite decks which are making an attempt to sluggish issues down. It’s exhausting for everybody to function effectively with this card in play, so it is sensible that you’ll have the benefit since you recognize it’s coming and have ready appropriately for it.
Static Orb works nice with Brago, King Everlasting, who lets you untap some permanents (sadly not lands) and break freed from the Static Orb curse. Stax decks like Teferi and Grand Arbiter additionally recognize this impact.
There’s one further bonus for additional enjoyable and distress. Static Orb solely works whereas untapped. Because of this in case you faucet it down on the finish of your final opponent’s flip with a card like Relic Barrier, you get to untap all the things. Oooh, delightfully evil.
Nicely, right here we go—a card that each Sheldon and I can agree doesn’t belong on the EDH desk. I couldn’t care much less if Thieves’ Public sale, Scrambleverse, Warp World, Confusion within the Ranks, and Risk Storm all fell off the face of the Earth (multiverse?). I’ve no clue who, when, the place, or why so as to add these to your deck, so in case you are feeling loopy, go proper forward—you don’t want my assist!
Ah, the dreaded Winter Orb. It doesn’t take many video games staring this artifact right down to study of its icy grasp. Winter Orb constrains mana within the worst method and regardless of being symmetrical, the caster typically produces extra methods to interrupt this stalemate, both with their common or with mana rocks. As mentioned in Static Orb, Winter Orb slows down the sport to a snail’s tempo and lots of gamers don’t recognize that. There are nice methods to lock out your opponents with Winter Orb, so I recommend including Kismet, Frozen Aether, and Root Maze to your deck, in addition to methods to untap your lands, like Sword of Feast and Famine or Bear Umbra.
Winter Orb can also be an amazing software at combating quick combo decks. These decks gained’t be capable of tutor or spend their mana to arrange/shield their combo effectively, so you could have time to arrange extra stax parts. Like in 60-card codecs, stax items get higher in multiples, so there isn’t a cause to not simply jam Winter Orb into virtually any deck packing these results. Don’t overlook to search for playing cards like Goblin Welder, Clock of Omens, or the basic Relic Barrier to faucet down this dangerous boy.
My pricey brother, you wound me. This black enchantment is probably probably the most casual-oriented card on this record. I perceive that this card actually lights a fireplace underneath the desk and doubtless ends the sport briefly order, however a minimum of that’s the other of playing cards like Winter Orb and Static Orb.
Wound Reflection is oddly political, like Edric, as a result of it encourages gamers to assault one another, relatively than you. Why ought to they assault you for five injury once they can assault another person for 10? There are another black enchantments like Painful Quandary, Polluted Bonds, and Worth of Information which have a feel-bad emotion hooked up to them. I can’t actually advocate playing cards like this if the objective is to be aggressive, however they’re enjoyable and harm your opponents huge time and suddenly. They don’t decide favorites. So this makes my “shouldn’t play” record as a result of it’s merely not ok.
Quite, I do recommend some extra highly effective black enchantments like The Abyss, Chains of Mephistopheles, and Nether Void in case your pockets can afford it. These spells have a monitor report for offering immense worth to your board and can make everybody groan in agony. No matter your most popular black enchantment griefer playing cards, it would be best to embrace them in a deck that greatest makes use of their angle of assault. Wound Reflection works wonders with Nekusar, the Mindrazer, Kaervek the Cruel, and Saskia the Unyielding.
Sheldon all the time is aware of greatest. Derevi is an insane basic and able to competing at even the very best ranges of aggressive EDH. On prime of the quite a few playing cards Devevi breaks on this very listing, it additionally goes infinite with an entire suite of spells. It was one of many first generals to be banned in Duel Commander and for excellent purpose. With the ability to circumvent the Commander tax and are available into play at prompt velocity with out with the ability to be countered is simply far too good.
However by now you understand that a card merely being “too good” isn’t one thing to make me draw back. Oh no, we’re completely going to attempt to exploit Derevi for all he’s value and make the battlefield an absolute hell for the others. It’s not a lot about discovering which playing cards work properly with Derevi (the listing is way too huge) however discovering the shell you’d wish to play.
So, in conclusion, if it’s not on the Commander banned record, it’s within the A-okay zone? Properly, not precisely. All the time be sure that your playgroup is ok with such highly effective and “not enjoyable” playing cards being current in your deck. I don’t personally advocate home bans, however no matter permits you to hold enjoying with your folks is what it is best to adhere to. However I feel there’s room for these playing cards on the EDH desk, particularly those that worth the facility degree of EDH. I need to give an enormous shout-out and due to Sheldon Menery for the article—it’s definitely meals for thought! I do marvel how Cyclonic Rift didn’t make the record. Overload that card and it’s nothing however groans from the desk.
What playing cards do you discover particularly terrible to play towards? Some too highly effective, too boring, too complicated, too sluggish—regardless of the cause I need to know. Assume any of those playing cards ought to get axed altogether? Thanks a lot for studying, and till subsequent time, watch your salt consumption.
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