Ahh, you smell that? That’s the new set smell.
It’s the time again where every Magic blog in the world does a new set review. Since you guys voted in such overwhelming numbers, I’m going to be doing a Set review of EDH here on 99EDH. A whopping 69% of you wanted an EDHtastic review (75 votes) and only one person voted no (sorry, but I guess you’re going to have to skip this post then). Luckily you didn’t want me to do every single card which is good; but you know what surprised me when I went through the list: about half of the cards can fit into an EDH deck.
Please note: pretty much every card in this set can be used in this format, though some of them aren’t really all that exciting (Twitch?). If you want to try out some of the other cards that I didn’t mention here, feel free.
At the end of this post, you’ll get my Top 10 list for EDH from Worldwalke. On to the reviews!
White – 8 Cards
A 6/6 flying Angel for 6 is going to be pretty good powerwise, but of course that’s not the reason that it’s here on this list. The Oblivion Ringing landfall ability is just nuts. It’s a target when it comes into play (and they’ll get their cards back) so protect it. This creature can and will take over a game. The downside: even if you remove a General, they can still replay it without waiting for the Angel to get killed (something I’m not a fan of). The ability is a “May” trigger, so pay attention.
For one less mana, you get this guy. His big thing he gains you life? Really, that’s EDH relevant? Suddenly a mono-white Angel/bird deck can get you pretty high on life becoming “that guy” at your table. With the high life total for you to abuse, I’m sure you might be able to draw some cards, pump some dudes, or just sit back and laugh as everyone’s trying to keep up with you.
Some people might say that this is a little expensive to see serious play (in limited it seems ok), and for 5, you more likely want to be playing something more global. But, it does exile any creature (wished Generals stayed exiled for a while) or enchantment and eliminate any re-animation issues. Not the best option, but does give you that choice.
Great against mono-red decks (obviously), but the interesting part is the second ability. “Whenever a player…” that’s the meal ticket. You pay a Red spell, Firewalker triggers, and Searing Meditation then can do 2 damage. Great in multiplayer keeping those Red decks manageable, just wish Painter’s Servant was still legal.
You don’t want to play this without kicking it. Yes, it’s an awesome pump spell that effects all of your creatures (not just White ones), but to multikick it you return any creature (not just White ones) to the battlefield is the key. Not to your hand, but back into play. Paying 6 for this is equal to a Honor of the Pure and Resurrection. All this on one card.
Sure, he triggers landfall anytime you want which means he’s an auto inclusion in any deck that can support it, but there’s some fun stuff that you can do with him. The new Blue land (Halimar Depths) will get you great card advantage, but this is a trick I learned during the prerelease. This guy and the new White land (Sejiri Steppe) means that you can protect any creature you have, which can turn tides.
Jitte, Sword of Fire and Ice, Skullclamp. Get these all in your hand and then onto the battlefield at instant speed? Nice. There are plenty of cards that put equipment into your hand and she throws them into play for you. Repeatedly. Goes in any deck that Stonehewer Giant goes in, along side it.
Finally, a great way to combat the Strip Mine/Crucible of the Worlds lock that the guy in your playgroup plays. Obliterate doesn’t kill all the lands (nor this enchantment), your man lands don’t die, and suddenly that Red mage jerk can’t make you mad anymore. This one won’t fit in all metas, but you might be seeing this around sometime soon if you’re the one blowing up all the lands. Remember, this effects all lands, not just yours.
Blue – 7 Cards
You’ve read countless things about this Planeswalker (either good, or expensive). If you have a Future Sight in play (or just want to Brainstorm) he’s pure advantage. Listen, he will take over a game: bouncing creatures, throwing cards on the bottom of the library, reworking the top of yours after a fetchland. You have to get rid of this as soon as possible if he’s on the side of a good player. If you can get one, do.
While this will only fit in certain decks (and he CAN’T put a General from the command zone into play), but there is something this can do: put a Grozoth into play. Why is that exciting? Oh, I don’t know: maybe ’cause he can get big things. He does love the fatties.
This card is not for ever EDH deck, only those who want to do a combo EDH deck. This cuts through all the clutter and gets down to business. Most likely you won’t see this card all that often, but when you do, watch out. Note: you can’t target another player with it, Selective Memory only hits your own library.
The negative is that this counterspell doesn’t really counter anything late game. The positive? Well you get to draw a bunch of cards. While not the best instant card draw you’ve got in EDH (5 to draw 1 card, 7 for 2, etc), but if you’re starting out in this format, it’s not bad. It’s not Dismiss, but that’s ok.
One of the Generals that I didn’t preview (it wasn’t officially released before the Prerelease) so I’ll only touch on it here. The best part of this General is the fact that he can exile your opponent’s win condition early. Darksteel, Inkwell, Memory Jar, even Sol Ring can all be gone in the beginning of the game. You don’t have to pay for them if you don’t want. If you can, you might as well.
Yes it can draw you multiple cards, if you keep drawing lands. Mix this with Jace (the new one) and you can draw a lot of cards. On the surface, it seems like a good card to test with your EDH decks (especially if you have a good number of shuffle effects). It’s not going to work great all the time (it will at least cycle itself), but give it a couple shuffles to try.
You steal a creature. As long as you return a land to your hand every upkeep, you keep it. Helps landfall effects (Roil Elemental), you don’t have to sacrifice a land or even discard a card so there’s no big drawback to this situation (besides the loss of a mana producer). Of course, if you return the new Blue land to your hand every upkeep, then it’s a Top.
Black – 9 Cards
Yes, he’s a beatstick that’s going to get around most things in the air. Everyone’s been talking about this guy and saying that his drawback isn’t all that bad because you’re in Black and have a lot of removal. What I would love to see is a Tooth and Nail getting entwined to get him and Platinum Angel onto the battlefield; no one could win now. A little Privileged Position mixed in and suddenly do people attack you? Just a thought experiment.
Remember that Changelings can be allies as well. He does blatantly steal creatures from your opponent’s ‘yard instead of your own as to not be completely abused. This is the type of creature that you have a subtheme to play with instead of just a random card thrown in as well. Most of the time, won’t get the fatties, but could get good utility creatures (See: Eternal Witness).
I already talked about him here. He does come in the Intro pack which is a nice bonus (and another guy further down the list as well). Too bad he’s not the foil rare, which would be a good idea to maybe get more of those sold (just a hint, Wizards).
Discard is always relevant, especially in the late game where the Blue mage has just redrawn his hand. With enough mana he can empty an entire full hand becoming a cheaper Mind Warp on legs.
He’s expensive, but oh so worth it. A flying Grave Pact, suddenly hitting your guys become a little more dangerous to send to the graveyard. If you mix this with Anowon (which they both come in the intro pack) with non-Vampires like I suggested, then suddenly everyone else is emptying two creatures a turn. The classic way is to find ways to sacrifice your own creatures for your benefit and suddenly you can get the creature board control. Oh, did I mention he also flies, ’cause that’s a pretty cool thing for a Vampire to do.
HI BILLY MAYS HERE! AN ARMY OF TOKEN CREATURES GOT YOU DOWN? HOW ABOUT YOUR FRIEND’S SQUIRREL DECK? DO YOU REGULARLY PLAY AGAINST ELVES ONLY TO GET RUN DOWN BY ONE-ONES? NOT ANYMORE. WITH CAUSTIC CRAWLER, EVERY TIME YOU DO SOMETHING THAT YOU NORMALLY DO A TURN YOU GET RID OF ALL THOSE PESTS. ONLY 3BB. GET YOURS NOW!
(Editor’s Note: Even Billy Mays gets it wrong sometime. As been pointed out, can only hit one creature. Therefore, maybe not the best in EDH. I apologize for the confusion – MtGCP)
As a sorcery, it doesn’t allow for funky combat tricks, but we get a new Raise Dead variant. If you’re discarding big creatures to something, this is one of the best ways to bring it back and deal with a troublesome creature. Of course, you’d prefer to hit a player, so I’m sure this would be a great target for a Stuffy Doll. With Furnace of Rath.
A quick PSA: Do NOT use this guy in EDH. Please. Even with Dead Reckoning. You start out at 40 life, and if you really want a cheap creature when you’re low at life, this won’t help you. Thanks – MtGCP.
Yea! Howltooth Hollow has a new friend to play with! You know that walking Mind Twist I talked about earlier? Seems like it would go great with this. Repeating 5 damage a turn with a combo of Mind’s Eye and Words of Waste seems like a fun one to annoy people. use responsibility.
Reprint, but one worth mentioning. Kills Gaddock Teeg, Refollos, Both Syggs (some of the time), Doran, Jaya Ballard, Jhoira, Mayael, Merieke Ri Berit, Omnath, Teysa, Thada Adel, Vendilion Clique, Zo-Zu. Oh, I guess regular creatures as well.
Red – 11 Cards
Yes, this the guy I was referring too in my Kazuul review. Another Red political card? Go on, tell me more. Well, what’s great about this guy is messing with opponent’s minds. Sure, I’ll Donate you my Wall of Stone so you can block that fatty coming your way. And because it’s instant speed, it’s great for combat tricks. This is going to be one of those sneakily most fun cards in the set.
Now here’s Red’s Wrath. You can put your own tokens down to keep pumping this up, but if you’re playing in a group game, this suddenly gets better and better. Because it does damage, it won’t get rid of those “Protection from Red” creatures, but unlike Earthquake, it can and will hit flyers. It’s not a finisher by any means, but it’s a great way to keep the board clear of creatures.
If you’ve got infinite (I’m sorry, really large amounts of mana), this could be your finisher. An instant speed X damage spell that you don’t have to hit other targets with. Yes, please keep in mind that the multikicker is an option; go ahead and aim it at an opponent’s dome. Or two if you have 1 extra mana to spare. If your opponent’s tapping for a ton of mana, be prepared to face this down.
No one will pay attention to this guy, I guarantee it. They’ll look at the burning horse and go “That’s only 1 damage a turn, I’ll leave it.” Most of the time, they’d be right. All it does is trigger Bloodthirst, Elder Mastery, Sigil of Sleep, Talon of Pain, and the like. Heaven forbid I even bring up Scapeshift. All this guy does is drip, drip, drip. No one will pay attention to him at all.
Players like Dragons. Players like free Dragons every turn. It’s really easy to get to six lands in EDH. All you have to do is protect that guy and suddenly, Free 5/5 flyers! This is another one of those “Game-Changers” that once he hits the Battlefield, you’re the target. You’re not playing him on turn 1, so you can hold him back until you have enough land to play him and the best bet would be after someone Wraths. Aether Vial him into play at the end of an opponent’s turn, get 5/5 dragon.
I did my review on him. I like him. I pre-ordered a foil version for my General. Expect a decklist sometime.
He doesn’t firebreathe as well as some of the other Dragons, and he doesn’t have Haste. Why play him? Sometimes when people play with creatures, they don’t attack with them. This guy, after dealing damage to the player, will hit those guys who never attack. Yeah, that will show them to have abilities that don’t require to attack.
This is another one of those cards that all depends on your meta and playgroup. You might not play the Trap cost all the time, but when you do play it against a Blue mage, oh, it could be devastating. Suddenly, they’re bouncing their own lands and countering their own spells. Note: It doesn’t have to be a Blue spell that you change targets with, sometimes that Fireball is just too big.
You want to be a jerk in EDH? Blow up everyone’s lands, then blow up another and deal them a ton of damage of having their lands in the graveyard in the first place. That will teach them to mess with you! And play with fetches. Finally, a use for Mudhole? (Just kidding, there is never a use for Mudhole).
White Lightning returns! Now, this time it can block pretty much anything on the ground. Have fun. What, you think I want going to make some comment about American Idol?
Enters the battlefield, smashes artifact, and if you’re playing Allies (Yeah?) you can keep smashing them. The damage is meh, but you can kill any artifact, not just ones with c0nverted mana cost less or equal to the number of Allies you control. It’s also a Goblin, so if you’ve got one of those decks, I could see him go in there.
Green – 10 Cards
Almost the same as a Llanowar Elf (they both produce G when tapped), this can be abused for a little more. This can untap any forest (yes, including duels), but if you enchant a Forest with a Wild Growth, or an Elvish Guidance you can create even more mana. Of course, if you play Prismatic Omen, you can untap any land you want.
For 7 mana, you get a 5/5 fatty and an o/1 plat token for each land you control. Keep playing lands, keep pumping up your pants (Feed me!). Then if you have Garruk or Overrun in play, you smash face. Also plants: Wall of Roots (keep adding mana), Photohyrda, Vigean Hydropon, Vinelasher Kudzu, Vulturous Zombie, and Urza’s Power Plant (no, wait, it’s not). I just want to point out the art on Wall of Pine Needles; Christmas 2, this time, the trees fight back!
No, it doesn’t fix your mana, but it does let you play another land and draw a card (basically cycling that card for a new one). If you play a land heavy deck or play one where you keep returning lands to your hand, this is going to be a great card. What am I talking about, it is a great card, just play it in your Green decks already.
Yes you can kick it, but there are plenty of way to keep adding +1/+1 counters to it afterward. That’s what’s so great about this card, it’s not just how many times you kick it, but how many +1/+1 counters that are on it. Say if you were to play Quest for the Gemblades, then suddenly all your Elves get +4/+4. Just little things like that.
Four life in EDH isn’t all that much (it’s like 2 life in “regular” formats). This is going to be a better Naturalize. It’s not sexy, not exciting, but one mana is one mana.
Another General I talked about. Not a whole lot to add to that, except to add the next enchantment into that deck.
Raise your hand if you like Seedborn Muse, or Awakening, or Murkfiend Liege? Good, you’ll like this card too. It’s an enchantment (harder to remove) and it’s very easy to trigger (I’ll tap my elf to add G to my mana pool). Really? This is the perfect card for Omnath ’cause you can keep tapping your creatures at the end of everyone’s turn. I have heard absolutely nothing about this Gem, why not?
X +1/+1 counters for you Joraga Warcaller, or a way to make sure that all creatures can be used by Experimental Kraj. It’s an instant (nice), so it can be cute for some combat tricks. I would find it funny if someone used this in response to Comet Storm.
This could be my new favorite reanimator target. Sure, it can’t hit creatures, but it does hit everything else (yes, including Dovescape!). If you’re playing Green, you don’t care about your opponent getting 3/3s, those are small creatures anyway. Of course, you could hit each of your opponent’s permanents and give them each a 3/3, or do it to yourself and have 18 worth of damage. If you play him with Equilibrium, you can keep bouncing Terastodon and another creature to your hand to nuke all nonland permanents overtime. While some of the other cards in this set effect while in play, if you see him coming into play (seems good with Astral Slide), run!
Six power for 5 mana, 8 for 6, 10 for 7. You see where I’m going with this? You can run out Wolves and keep ’em out there ready to pounce on anything. This can get pretty ridiculous with more mana, something you can do in EDH rather well.
Special Note: All five of the Zendikons are cute, and besides from the Power/Toughness and abilities, the all have the same function: returning a land that went to the graveyard to your hand. This is the main function of these enchantments that players will use them for so I lumped them all together.
Multicolor – 2 Cards
Hey, do you want to play that sweeper in your Gaddock Teeg deck but you can’t due to him being so restricting? Well, not you can. Swing with this guy and Boom!, everything’s dead. ‘Course if you play with Loxodon Hierarch and Dauntless Escort and Elspeth, well, all your guys can survive too. Remember, it’s when it attacks, so you have to deal with it before the attack step.
The only multicolored General in this set (sad). I was told this is basically a Ken Nagle design for Ken Nagle. If you’ve never played Memory Plunder, you don’t realize how sick it is. If you have, realize that now it’s on a islandwalking, swampwalking stick. It’s completely backbreaking to continue to keep doing it over and over again. If I was going to do one more review of a General, it would be him.
Artifacts – 7 Cards
It can be tutored up by Trinket Mage, and it could change the way we play EDH… or a complete dud. Right now you have about 200 cards that enter the battlefield tapped; see if you can break it.
Oh, look, it’s Vampire Nighthawk on an equipment. It’s great to prevent attacks and allow others through. It doesn’t give haste, nor the important shroud. If you’ve got a dedicated equipment deck, I’d expect it to be there. It’s a nice idea, but nothing to write home about.
Some are calling this the new Sol Ring. Not quite, but it still is pretty good. Again, if you have ways to put charge counters on this, then abuse it since it doesn’t matter how the Chalice gets them. Flores already did a preview article on this, and there’s not a whole lot more I can add. If you don’t have a Sol Ring, this is most likely going to be your next best bet.
Great for Karn decks. Should replace all Juggernauts in all your decks. If you’ve got a Sharuum EDH deck, he’d fit in nicely. Dropping this on turn 3 or 4 (obviosuly under idea conditions) will slow everyone down. Except for that guy running the Grand Arbiter Augustin IV deck, he’s most likely got one too.
Again, not sexy, but it does allow any color to go get a basic land and put it in your hand. Sill worse than Solemn Simulacrum, but at least this guy flies. Something good got to come out of that, right? And it goes in your Thopter themed EDH deck.
I’m calling this the new Mind’s Eye. It’s a little worse than Horn of Greed, but a little better too. Your opponent doesn’t draw, but you do have to pay 2 to draw a card. Also, if you fetch lands at the end of an opponent’s turn, you can pay 2 to draw a card (Horn of Greed said you had to play it). Mix this with Ruin Ghost and the new Blue land, and suddenly, you can control your desnity (note: destiny control doesn’t work outside of EDH game).
Ah, the error card. Yes, it is an artifact. Like Explore, it doesn’t fix your mana, but helps you accelerate it. With all of the Landfall triggered cards, I’m sure there would be stuff you would like to do at instant speed (draw a card, exile a non-land permanent, give all your opponents creatures -1/-1). It will certainly be a role player, not a star in EDH games.
Land – 10 Cards
You will play the Man Lands in all the decks that can support it. It’s another win condition, and if you have any tap lands, these will replace them. With all seriousness, these cards are going to be EDH staples for years.
Great against reanimator decks/artifact decks. Again, won’t see play in every Black deck, but if your friend has a deck that abuses the graveyard, this will go right in there. Careful, if someone Mindslavers you, they can exile your graveyard (or redirect it with Willbender).
Just pointing this out as another land Karn EDH players can use. I know there’s a couple of you out there, I’ve got your back.
While I hate the design, currently it should be seen as an artifact that takes a land drop. You can search out any colorless creature (at the moment, there are only artifacts) and put it in your hand. If you like your Sundering Titan, Darksteel Colossus, or Masticore, they can be yours.
I’ve talked about this land several times, but it’s just a good land. It’s in Blue (naturally) and it’s something that can work amazingly well in any Blue oriented deck. I’ve always love Trade Routes with landfall, and now Halimar Depths makes that can so much better. Should be in every deck that can play it.
The new Wasteland. It’s more balanced (it takes four lands to sacrifice and a mana), but it’s still really really good. It will take out everything that will cause you trouble. Some people don’t like playing with land destruction, but in some cases (like this) it’s not a bad thing to pack one of these. It’s only an uncommon, get it now.
Now, my Top 10 for the set. This list doesn’t have Generals, just the non-legendary cards. Yes, the $60 card is not the number one for EDH. Why? Yes, he does effect a game once he’s in play, but there are ways to deal with him once he’s on the Battlefield (sure, might not be as easy with a Blue mage, but it can be done). The number 1 card on the list card deal with it, but there is much fewer ways to deal with the number 1 card.
As for the other ones, they can fit different style of decks (not a dedicated strategy). They’ll give you options to make different style of decks, which is always a good thing.
- Butcher of Malakir
- Chain Reaction
- Jace, the Mind Sculptor
- Tectonic Edge
- Seer’s Sundial
- Admonition Angel
- Everflowing Chalice
- Dragonmaster Outcast
- Quest for Renewal
You guys agree? Disagree? Anything I missed? Voice your opinions below or on Twitter (@mtgcolorpie).