The Really Big (Long Overdue) SOM EDH Review

Editor’s Note: I asked Derfington to step in and give his impression of Scars of Mirrodin for terms of EDH.

In order to get this out (because it’s super duper late), I’ve skipped most of the formatting. Hopefully, you won’t mind. Yes, that means card links this time.

White (13 Cards)

Arrest

I’m not a fan of Arrest in EDH. Enchantment removal is fairly prevalent where I play, so it’s not a stretch to have an Arrested creature freed to run amok once again. Anything I want to Arrest I’d rather steal, destroy or exile. And Faith’s Fetters is a vastly superior version for just one more mana.

Dispense Justice

Dispense Justice is an excellent piece of removal for taking out the big bombs. Regeneration, Indestructibility and Shroud cannot stop it, and Metalcraft is just icing on the cake. I like it a bit more than Wing Shards because it has a lighter mana commitment, and because it’s easier to get value out of it. Wing Shards has greater potential for value, but you don’t want potential in a removal spell; you want reliability.

Elspeth Tirel

I’d argue that Elspeth’s newest incarnation is a bit stronger in EDH than her 4CC variant. Her first ability seems trivial compared to the others, but in a token deck, dropping Elspeth and going +2 can net you a fair chunk of life. Her second ability is also very strong because of all the ETB effects that you can abuse (Triple Aura Shards triggers? Sounds good). Her ultimate functions as a better Disk/O-Stone if you have some blockers because there are fewer targeted removal spells that can kill her. She’s not right for every white deck (unlike the Knight-Errant version, which I think is just plain strong), but the decks that want her, want her bad.

Glimmerpoint Stag

This stag may be the tricksiest of them all. There are a wide range of applications: removing a blocker or a Maze of Ith for an alpha strike, blinking your own permanent for additional ETB triggers or recharging counters, the list goes on. It can be especially brutal with double-trigger cards like Sundering Titan. But if I wanted conventional removal, I’d look for something else.

Indomitable Archangel

Four mana for a 4/4 flier is a good deal, even these days, but you’re going to want to play the angel more for its Metalcraft ability. Liquimetal Coating can turn the Archangel herself into an artifact creature, and gives you 2/3 of her Metalcraft requirements. At any rate, it beats using Ashnod’s Transmogrant. A nice, playable flier for artifact or angel-themed decks.

Kemba, Kha Regent – General

Kemba is another great general option from Scars. She (quite evidently a “she”) is both cheap and resilient, two attributes that are excellent for an aggressive general. Cats and equipment seem to go hand in hand, and mono-white is a great option for Voltron-style decks, so I’m sure some lucky person will live the dream of churning out 4/4 double-striking Cat tokens with a Raksha-Kemba whirlwind of meowing destruction.

Leonin Arbiter

I don’t think the Arbiter will have as much of an impact on EDH compared to other constructed formats. It can help slow down the decks that want to ramp or tutor in the early turns, but when the game reaches a certain point the Arbiter’s ability becomes negligible. It is also a double-edged sword in that white has some awesome search effects that you will want to employ.

Razor Hippogriff

It’s not a Phelddagrif, which makes me sad, but it’s a card that has awesome value. For five mana, you get a 3/3 flier plus a Reconstruction that gives you a life boost. For W/x artifact-themed decks (and there will be lots of them) that have ways to bounce/blink it, it’s hard to go wrong with this guy. Ka-kaw!!

Revoke Existence

Return to Dust is one of my all-time favorite removal spells for EDH, and a cheaper variant, albeit at sorcery speed with less impact, gives me a happy. Exiling is very good. A two-mana exiling spell is even better. Love it to pieces.

Salvage Scout

For those of you too young to have heard of Argivian Archaeologist, you can use Salvage Scout. Alternately, you can use Treasure Hunter, Sanctum Gargoyle or Mine Excavation, all of which are arguably better than this guy.

Sunblast Angel

A 4/5 flier with a Wrath-like ability – you all know Sunblast Angel is a really good card. To make her downright filthy, Flash her into play (Vedalken Orrery, Leyline of Anticipation, Quicksilver Amulet) during an attack for a rude surprise, or set up your own one-sided wrath with Sleep or Yosei, the Morning Star.

True Conviction

True Conviction is one of those cards that becomes the reason to play EDH. You want to live the dream of the one-shot kill, and with cards like these, it’s not too hard. If you play white, and you plan on winning by turning dudes sideways, don’t think about it – just play it.

Vigil for the Lost

In Zendikar, life gain players got Felidar Sovereign. In M11, they got Serra Ascendant. Now they have Vigil for the Lost, a card that satisfies all their obscene life gain needs. In combination with Sanguine Bond, that endearing little enchantment, you can drain your opponents almost at will. You sick freaks.

Blue (10 Cards)

Argent Sphinx

Rainbow Efreet Version 2.0 has a bigger butt and a cheaper activation cost, but I don’t find it as exciting in EDH. The upside to Rainbow Efreet is that it can abuse Phasing; if you’ve buffed the Sphinx with +1/+1 counters or equipment, they all fall off if you exile it. It has good potential for ETB triggers and it’s a fairly efficient beater, but I don’t think it’ll be astounding in EDH.

Dissipation Field

Blue’s version of No Mercy can be both good and bad. On the plus side, it affects all permanents, not just creatures. On the downside, it may end up bouncing things you don’t want bounced, like Eldrazi, Titans or Planeswalkers. It’s a very Johnny-esque card, and I imagine combo fiends will look to do something nasty with it.

Grand Architect

Huh…he’s certainly better than Sunken City, so he’s got that going for him. Just kidding – I see Grand Architect as a role player in most, if not all, mono-blue EDH decks. Pili-Pala is the oft-cited combo partner for infinite mana shenanigans, and with as large a card pool as EDH, there will be opportunities to break this card for unsavory reasons.

Inexorable Tide

There are currently only a handful of cards that proliferate, and Inexorable Tide is arguably the strongest of them. Although it doesn’t impact the board by itself, it rewards you for simply playing the game. Even if you’re just powering up planeswalkers or persist creatures, Inexorable Tide has amazing potential. I, for one, will be abusing this in my Experiment Kraj deck, and I wholeheartedly encourage you to break this card in two. Not literally, of course.

Quicksilver Gargantuan

Blue generally doesn’t have as many efficient fatties as the other colors, so a 7 for a 7/7 Clone seems like a good deal. Copying a Golem Artisan essentially gives you a blue dragon. How about a 7/7 Spikeshot Elder to shoot things for 7 damage with just 3 mana? And these examples are just from SOM. Find the right creatures to clone, and you can create some nasty monstrosities.

Riddlesmith

Ridiculous-looking hat aside, Riddlesmith is pretty sweet. Blue decks love artifacts, and “looting” for free is an awesome ability. I’m sure there are a few combo players out there salivating at the thought of comboing off with Riddlesmith-powered goodness.

Shape Anew

If Tinker and Polymorph had a love child, it would look something like this. It’s a very interesting spell in that, with a bit of work, you can cheat some nasty artifacts into play. The challenges lie in 1) Rigging your deck to make it work, and 2) building your deck to optimize your chances of hitting said artifact. Alternately, you can run some artifact token-producing cards and Shape Anew for a free artifact. I hear this set has a few artifact producers…

Trinket Mage

I’m going to assume you already know how busted Trinket Mage is, in any format in which it’s played. If you do not, I’ll just name some EDH Trinket Mage targets off the top of my head:

  • Sol Ring
  • Voltaic Key
  • Skullclamp
  • Tormod’s Crypt
  • Sensei’s Divining Top

Now go get one for your deck.

Turn Aside

Turn aside your desire to play this card, and instead play Counterspell for one more mana. If you are playing UWx, play Hindering Light for a gazillion times more reward for your mana investment.

Volition Reins

A potentially devastating spell for obvious reasons. The untap ability seems small, but its subtlety can let you shift the tide in EDH games. The most threatening player at the table will usually have at least one very powerful permanent at the table or a series of smaller ones that combo with each other – just use the Reins to take the big bad card or break apart the combo.

Black (8 Cards)

Carnifex Demon

I like this guy not only because he acts as both removal and a beatstick, but because he’s pretty flavorful, too. Whether you just want to shoot down another player’s mana dorks or utility critters, black has a good amount of recursion that will let you abuse his ability. Of course, if you want to take shenanigans a step further, you can pair him with Crumbling Ashes or Necroskitter.

Exsanguinate

As if big-mana black decks needed more drain effects, it now has an insanely efficient global drain spell to play with. It doesn’t target either, which is a huge plus. This spell will end games, so watch out for it…or play it yourself.

Flesh Allergy

For a minor additional cost, Flesh Allergy is a removal spell that offers the chance to hit one player for a lot of life. This plays nicely with or against token decks (as 110.5e in the Comp. Rules should apply to Flesh Allergy’s text) by setting one player up for an explosion of life loss. I like Flesh Allergy in B/G or mono B token decks that can abuse sac outlets.

Geth, Lord of the Vault – General

Most Benevolent Editor has already reviewed the Lord of the Vault, so I’ll just Geth to the point: Geth Geth there. All his abilities have great synergy between them, and as a local player enthused during his first game with Geth, “I get to KEEP what I steal?!” It’s never been so easy to take things from people, over and over again. Whether you just want Geth to sit there and rummage through your opponents’ graveyards, or beat face nigh-unopposed, or both, he’s another great choice for a General.

Hand of the Praetors

Talk to the Hand, because the face is poisoning you to death. There are only about 15 infect creatures right now, and given that many are a bit unspectacular in EDH, there may not be enough quality creatures to build a “tribal” infect deck just yet. You can, however, supplement infect decks with blue for proliferate and clone creatures to get the most out of the Hand. The beauty of proliferate is that once you’ve gotten the first poison counter on your opponent, it just gets easier.

Necrotic Ooze

For a four-mana creature, the Ooze is going to get ridiculous very quickly in multiplayer games. I’m not even going to list the creatures that will make this guy insane. Okay, a few in the Ooze’s own color:

  • Avatar of Woe
  • Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief
  • Geth, Lord of the Vault
  • Magus of the Coffers
  • Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon
  • Volrath, the Fallen

You can also combine it with clone creatures to make an army of omnipotent oozes – just imagine kicking a Rite of Replication on this guy late in the game. The sky’s the limit for this decrepit pile of slimy happiness.

Painful Quandary

Here’s another card for all those griefer generals out there. Keep in mind that it’ll be difficult to avoid getting a target painted on your head if you drop this, as it will cause headaches for every other player. If you really want to stymie your opponents’ progress, combine Painful Quandary with Wound Reflection and Megrim/Liliana’s Caress to offer especially painful quandaries for your opponents.

Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon – General

Most Benevolent Editor has written a review on Blighty already, so I’ll just say Skithiryx is the epitome of a beatdown general. He has evasion, haste and regeneration, will infect blockers to death, and works on half the clock of any other general. Dauthi Embrace, Howl from Beyond and Nightmare Lash are just a few examples of cards that enable Skithiryx to kill your opponent in very short order.

Red (8 Cards)

Cerebral Eruption

Red gets another “Wrath” effect in Scars, and as we know, they tend to be a bit conditional. Hitting an Eldrazi with Cerebral Eruption is the Magical Christmasland scenario, but it’s a little more realistic if you’re running blue for Spin into Myth and other fateseal effects. And the last sentence of the card gives you a break if you whiff, along with the comforting fact that your target will be topdecking a land next turn.

Furnace Celebration

I like Furnace Celebration, as repeatable burn is always a neat thing to have, although 2 damage may not make a difference sometimes. Unlike Blood Rites, its Kamigawa relative, you’ll need to find your own sacrifice effects to get it to work: fetch lands, Siege-Gang Commander, and Dust Bowl are all nice options, and if you’re playing black, you have even more great sac outlets available. Pair the enchantment with Furnace of Rath for a real party.

Hoard-Smelter Dragon

Dragons are abound in EDH games, so a Drana-esque, repeatable removal effect is a very nice thing for a dragon to have to set it apart from the pack. For fun times, use Liquimetal Coating or Mycosynth Lattice to eat up your opponent’s board while he watches helplessly. I also thought the flavor text was funny, although that might just be me.

Koth of the Hammer

My fellow mono-red players and I will be clamoring for this guy in EDH. The +1 ability will likely only be used to get to the ultimate, which is downright mind-boggling in decks that play 30 Mountains. The -2, which is perhaps the most broken ability, will probably also be the most used. Obviously, Koth will be much less impressive in decks that aren’t mono-red.

Kuldotha Phoenix

Five mana for a 4/4 hasty Air Elemental is a pretty sweet deal, and the ability to recur it for colorless mana is even cooler. The triple red in Kuldotha Phoenix’s mana cost likely means you’re probably only going to want to play it in mono or bi-colored red decks. Its body isn’t as big as some of the other creatures you’re likely to see in EDH, but I can see the Phoenix causing some headaches for opponents.

Molten Psyche

When I saw Molten Psyche, the first thing that popped into my head was Niv-Mizzet. This card is perfect for Niv’s shenanigans (as if he needed more), but in other red decks you can do some big damage for just three mana. Some combo-oriented players like to sculpt their hand before going off, and Molten Psyche is a one-two punch that can ruin their plans. Definitely a card I’d like to try.

Spikeshot Elder

For a 1/1, Spikeshot Elder should strike fear into the hearts of many. At 3 power, he’s mean. At 5, he gets ridiculous. Everyone runs equipment, especially ones that grant abilities like Infect, deathtouch or lifelink, so powering him up really isn’t that hard. And then you realize that he can be activated multiple times. I would watch out for this little guy.

Tunnel Ignus

A local player likes to play mono-green ramp decks, and I imagine this little guy would cause him some amount of grief. You may find the Ignus not doing much in some games, but if you want to hose the players that enjoy ramping – generally the ones that also enjoy playing Eldrazi – the Ignus will put some pressure on them to stay honest. I’m sure adding Furnace of Rath or Bloodchief Ascension will make them think twice as well.

Green (10 Cards)

Asceticism

I see Asceticism as a green EDH staple. If you are playing green heavily, you are playing creatures, and this enchantment will keep them alive. Turning all your creatures into Ascetic Trolls for 5 mana is a great deal, even if you only have a couple fatties on the board, because you won’t have to worry about getting them stolen. Elf decks and token decks gain even more value. I’m confident Asceticism will be an EDH favorite for some time to come.

Bellowing Tanglewurm

Think of Bellowing Tanglewurm as another Overrun effect in a mono green deck, and you will not be far off the mark. It is also a very good way to get one or two fatties through for big damage. Just remember that a canny opponent can kill the Tanglewurm after you’ve declared attackers, so play around huge combat blowouts.

Blunt the Assault

It’s no Congregate, but it provides an added effect that can save your hide and potentially swing the game in your favor. I would run this spell only in a token deck to get the most value out of it. Most other times, though, I’d pass.

Engulfing Slagwurm

Engulfing Slagwurm will generally win almost any combat it’s involved in, as its ability triggers before damage. Like a bigger, better Thicket Basilisk, it can be abused the same way. Attach a Grappling Hook or Nemesis Mask to the Slagwurm for fun times.

Ezuri, Renegade Leader – General

“…And every elf player cried out in joy.” That should have been the flavor text for Ezuri. I’m not sure there could be a better EDH general for elves. Eladamri, Lord of Leaves comes very close, but the (repeatable!) Overrun ability will singlehandedly end games. Add in a cheap mana cost and a very playable ability to keep elves alive, and you’ve got another EDH hit.

Genesis Wave

Genesis Wave has the potential to cause huge blowouts in EDH games. Congregation at Dawn and Insidious Dreams look like good ways to get the most out of the Wave. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’d love to hear other people’s experiences.

Liege of the Tangle

Green gets another Mythic fatty, which looks eerily like Gumby. An 8/8 for 8 is a bit below the curve, even if it has trample, so you’re probably not running it when there are bigger, badder fatties around. The problem with the Liege’s ability is that unless you’re casting something like World at War or Relentless Assault, you’re going to have to wait a turn to alpha strike with all your Gumby-lands, and that means one more turn a player could Wrath all your lands. A very risky card, but roflstomping your opponents with a horde of Gumbys might actually be worth it.

Tangle Angler

If you give it Nemesis Mask, Regeneration, Fireshrieker and a billion green mana, you can permanently Massacre an opponent’s board!

Viridian Revel

Green does not often get card drawing engines, so any that are printed are always worth a look. That said, I don’t see Viridian Revel providing a steady amount of card advantage unless your opponents are extremely cooperative. I’d still run Sylvan Library or Greater Good over this enchantment.

Multicolored/Artifacts (39 Cards)

Venser, the Sojourner

Venser’s perceived pros and cons have been debated at length in the Constructed arena, but if you are running Venser’s colors in EDH, you should play him. Both blue and white have a wide range of ETB creatures that can be abused, like Karmic Guide, Mulldrifter and Reveillark. Making your army unblockable is also a rude surprise for other players. Because of how powerful his second and third abilities are, he will probably make you Public Enemy #1 at the table.

Argentum Armor

Argentum Armor, from the flavor to the abilities, is one of the most badass pieces of equipment to be printed in recent sets. Aside from making any creature a threat, it grants Vindicate power to colors that are lacking in removal effects (ie. green and blue). White especially has great synergy with tutoring and recurring equipment, so the Armor is a great choice for their beatdown generals.

Chimeric Mass

After the initial mana investment, Chimeric Mass becomes an efficient creature that can dodge Wrath effects. You can proliferate to make it bigger, and you can tutor it up with Tolaria West and Trinket Mage, too. Find a way to give it trample or evasion – Golem Artisan, perhaps – and it’ll become a beast.

Clone Shell

Clone Shell will work best in decks that are heavy in large creatures, so that you can reliably hit a creature card that offsets the Shell’s steep mana cost. Clone Shell is a good way to get ahead of everyone else after a sweeper, and will make your opponents wary of attacking you. Equip the Clone Shell with something big and send it at an opponent, and now they won’t know if it’s a good or bad idea to trade with it. In many ways, it’s good at messing with people’s heads, which is part of the fun in EDH.

Contagion Clasp

Contagion Clasp’s strength is in its cheap cost. I like proliferate and -1/-1 counters because you can nullify creatures that you don’t want to leave the board, like Eldrazi, Sundering Titan or Wurmcoil Engine. Just debuff it until it’s a 1/1, and you won’t have to worry about it anymore.

Contagion Engine

Contagion Engine is for when the Clasp just isn’t doing enough. With enough time, you can single-handedly sweep one players board, and even then, you still have a double-proliferate engine. The Engine is awesome, and its shenanigans aplenty.

Culling Dias

Everyone’s always looking for sac outlets in EDH, whether you want to prevent your fatty from getting stolen or just want to abuse Grave Pact. The cool thing about the Dais is that it gives back cards, and it gives back more the longer you use it. As long as you have one mana open, you can crack it and get your cards before anyone can destroy it. The cheap mana cost is also a big plus.

Darksteel Juggernaut

I’m not overly impressed with the Juggernaut. A big juggernaut means you’ve possibly overextended your board, and no evasion means another player can chump block it all day long. If it were cheaper, or had some kind of evasion, I’d see myself using it, but I think it will just end up disappointing players.

Etched Champion

Etched Champion is quite the badass creature. It offers a lot for just three mana, as multiple protection is great for both offense and defense. It is also a Soldier, which makes it an amazing addition to a tribal deck. Rare will you find the player that won’t be at least a little frustrated by the Champion. Although it’s a smaller creature, it has some great utility.

Golem Artisan

With Golem Artisan, I don’t think I’ve seen a craftier artifact creature in some time. As an enabler of trample, flying and haste for just two mana each, you get astounding value out of this guy. If you like going for the infinite mana combos, he becomes a win condition in himself. I’d like to see the Golem work his magic in EDH games.

Grafted Exoskeleton

Regardless of color, the Exoskeleton grafted on the right creature can end a player’s game quite quickly. Trample and double strike are some brutal applications, as are pingers like Spikeshot Elder. I see infect enablers like Grafted Exoskeleton creating more than their fair share of “Oops, you lose” moments.

Infiltration Lens

Forcing your opponents to make bad blocks is always fun, and Infiltration Lens is a cheap way to make them play your game. Though obviously not as broken as Skullclamp, an artifact this cheap that lets you draw two cards repeatedly is worth consideration, whatever deck your playing. Also fetchable by Trinket Mage, too.

Kuldotha Forgemaster

So all it took to balance Tinker was to put it on a 5cc artifact creature that needs three artifacts and an untap step to activate. On the plus side, you can reuse the Forgemaster as long as you give it artifacts to eat (including itself!). On the flip side, the huge target that will be painted on the Forgemaster means you may never get to use it. Definitely worth a try, though.

Liquimetal Coating

Although it doesn’t impact the board in any direct way, there are some neat tricks you can pull off with Liquimetal Coating. Aside from enabling Metalcraft, it’s a nice way to put all your artifact removal to better use. I look forward to trying Liquimetal Coating and Viashino Heretic for repeatable Vindicates.

Livewire Lash

Two damage may not be enough to dissuade another player from targeting your equipped creature, and +2/+0 is not much of a game-changing boost compared some of the other equipment cards available to you. Perhaps there’s a Storm spell out there waiting to be abused with the Lash (Astral Steel?), but it doesn’t seem likely. I’d pass on the Lash.

Lux Cannon

How would you like the chance to Vindicate repeatedly with one card? Is that something you’d be interested in? With Lux Cannon, you’ve got it. If you play honestly, it will take a bit of time to charge up your laser, but with proliferate cards, Clockspinning, Voltaic Key and Doubling Season, you can fire your laser to your heart’s content. With as epic a weapon as Lux Cannon, you are obligated to shout “I’m-a firin’ mah lazer!”, make the Inception foghorn sound, or quote from Star Wars every time you use it (Or “No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!” – MTGCP).

Mimic Vat

Mimic Vat has gotten a good amount of hype in my area, and for good reason. It is absolutely criminal to get a Kiki-Jiki that picks from every player’s graveyard. While quite busted in Limited (Mimic a Skinrender…I win?), I think the Vat will just get crazier in EDH.

Molten-Tail Masticore

For EDH, I like the new, improved Masticore much more than the original, for the simple fact that you can now shoot players with colorless mana. The issue will be trying to fill your graveyard with enough bodies to feed to the Molten-Tail, but I think black decks, which don’t mind another discard outlet for recursion, and green decks, which have Fauna Shaman and Survival of the Fittest, will get the most out of this guy. Red decks will like it, too, to get around protection and Story Circles. A great addition to most decks.

Mox Opal

Moxes are the Rolls Royces of mana acceleration in Magic, almost a luxury brand in and of themselves. The Opal holds up the proud lineage of its forefathers, giving us a Mox with a condition that is really not as restrictive as it looks. In EDH you have access to the widest field of artifacts available, including Mirrodin artifact lands, as well as ways to tutor for them. While two and three-color decks will need to work a bit to get the Mox Opal online, mono-colored decks are the ideal candidates because of their reliance on artifacts to prop up their color’s respective weaknesses. And unlike the other “new” Moxes, Mox Opal doesn’t force you to lose a card, in a way resembling the power level of its granddaddies.

Myr Battlesphere

Wonderfully designed and implemented, the Myr Katamari ball is both hilarious and powerful, and is just screaming for Mirror Entity to let you roll your entire army into it. Being able to shoot a player with the Battlesphere’s attack trigger is its real selling point. Once players get a Myr Legend for a General, the world will be doomed.

Myr Galvanizer

Now that Myr players have a lord to use (and what a hideously powerful lord it is), all that’s left is a Legendary Myr for EDH generals, right, Wizards? Clone the Galvanizer with Sculpting Steel and other effects to add to your Myr-untapping, mass-mana-producing shenanigans.

Nim Deathmatle

Infect decks generally need a few things to push through for poison counters: pump effects, evasion and recursion. This piece of equipment offers all three. Or, you could, of course, just equip it to your general for even more vicious beats. If equipped to Rafiq of the Many, you get an Intimidating black Zombie Human Knight hitting for 12 general damage. Hilarious. (Infinate mana combo: This and Composite Golem. Only good in 5 color decks. – MTGCP)

Platinum Emperion

Platinum Angel and Platinum Emperion make a cute couple, don’t they? While the Emperion offers a more efficient body for its cost, its ability is a bit of a double-edged sword, in that your life cannot change, but at the same time, you can’t play spells that require you to pay life. Keep this in mind while building your deck, as sometimes you really want to stop that black player’s Temporal Extortion.

Precursor Golem

So if you cast a kicked Rite of Replication on a Precursor Golem, does the universe explode? No, but you do get 45 Golems (We think. – MTGCP).

Prototype Portal

Like Mimic Vat, Prototype Portal offers nothing but shenanigans. Voltaic Key lets you add another artifact every turn, and if you’re copying things like Sol Ring or Thran Dynamo, you’re going to hit critical mass very quickly.

Ratchet Bomb

I’ve never seen Powder Keg played very much in EDH, and I don’t think Ratchet Bomb is different enough to see play. A lot of the cards you want destroyed vary wildly in mana cost, especially on the upper end, so you’ll need to wait at least several turns to destroy what you want. The Bomb is nice for sweeping tokens and animated lands, but that’s a rather niche application when there are likely better sweeper options out there.

Semblance Anvil

For the cost of 3 mana and one card, you can have a Fluctuator for any one card type. Just imprinting a creature will net you some big savings over the course of a game, and doubly so if you imprint an artifact creature. Dropping an Anvil can free up your mana for some explosive turns, which, in EDH, are the best turns to win.

(My thoughts on this card and I want to express them. It’s one of those trap cards that players think are really good. Here’s the issue with the card: while it does make your stuff cheaper, it doesn’t allow you to draw cards to replace them. There comes a point in the game where you have all the mana you want to cast a card, but having this doesn’t allow to replace it and the mana is unimportant. Even if you dump your hand, you’ve still got no hand. Just be forewarned when using this card. – MTGCP)

Steel Hellkite

A flying, pumping dragon that explodes part of the opponent’s board every time it connects? I’d say the Hellkite is a winner in almost any deck. Just remember that you can only activate it once. Really, it’s good but it’s not that good.

Strata Scythe

Like Nightmare Lash, Strata Scythe works best in mono colored decks, which can easily get a +4/+4 or +5/+5 bonus or more for their homogenized basic land count, not including other players’ lands. Again, this equipment will get silly in white decks, which have easy access to critters that get bonuses for becoming equipped.

Sword of Body and Mind

Compared to the two previous Swords from Mirrodin (and this is a valid comparison), the newest Sword falls a bit short. Milling is not the most relevant of abilities in EDH, especially against decks that run Eldrazi or run heavy creature recursion, and making a Wolf token, while nice, isn’t quite on the same level as Raise Dead or drawing a card. It has potential, but it lacks focus. It breaks my heart to say it, but I wouldn’t run it in any of my decks.

Sylvok Lifestaff

(In decks where you sacrifice stuff, this can help you win the attrition war. 3 life is big enough to care about. – MTGCP)

Throne of Geth

Most times I would not take a second look at cards that don’t do anything other than sacrifice permanents for marginal gain (I’m looking at you, Carnage Altar), but because Throne of Geth is one of the only repeatable Proliferators in print, I have little other choice. The only time you could feasibly reuse the Throne is if you made a bunch of little artifact creature tokens like Myr to feed to it. Depending on your deck, this may or may not be the worth the effort.

Tower of Calamities

Tower of Calamities seems a little like overkill. Granted, it is a repeatable form of removal, but in EDH, 8 mana can get you a lot more than killing a single creature. The Tower is quite funny with Stuffy Doll, though.

Trigon of Infestation

This card will probably grow more powerful as more infectious cards are printed, but right now it’s a nice little artifact that makes you infect creatures, which is important because there aren’t very many worthwhile infect creatures right now. I imagine it’s also a bit easy to sneak in a token under the radar, equip some ginormous weapon to it and kill someone in one shot.

Trigon of Thought

The tragic thing about Trigon of Thought is that the decks that really need it can’t play it unless they’re already playing blue. And if you’re already playing blue, you probably have better draw spells available.

Tumble Magnet

The newest incarnation of Icy Manipulator is visited upon us, and considering that Icy Manipulator and its wayward brother Ring of Gix are in this format, I can’t see too much of a reason to play the Magnet. The only pertinent question that remains about the Magnet: how does it work?

Venser’s Journal

Venser’s Journal is a cute card, and a slightly better option than Spellbook for EDH decks that use “hand size matters” (does it really matter?) generals like Soramaro, First to Dream or Multani, Maro-Sorcerer, but it’s otherwise a narrow card that probably won’t see too much play.

Wurmcoil Engine

It isn’t flashy and it doesn’t seem broken, but the fact that Wurmcoil Engine can go in any deck, combined with the fact that you profit from any combat trade with it, leads me to believe that the Engine will see quite a bit of play in EDH. I’m not really sure what else to say, other than it’s awesome, and that Raymond Swanland did a beautiful job of flipping his original artwork for the prerelease promo.

Land (6 Cards)

Blackcleave Cliffs, Copperline Gorge, Darkslick Shores, Razorverge Thicket, Seachrome Coast

Although the newest cycle of “dual” lands will likely see play in Standard, I don’t think these lands will see any play in EDH. At all. EDH is a slow format, and even if you hit that 10% chance of drawing a single one of these lands in your opening hand and first three draws, you likely won’t even have anything to play that turn. After that, they are just as BAD as Invasion taplands. These lands are BAD for EDH. Run Zendikar Refuges over them. Run basic lands over them. Please.

Glimmerpost

For the five of you who play colorless generals, have fun with your one Glimmerpost and one Cloudpost. Everyone else, move along.

At the moment, there’s no Top 10. Since the set has been out for a while, what cards do you think should be in the Top 10? Any cards you thought of as duds are actually awesome or vice versa?

Thanks again to Derfington for writing this up. He did a great job.

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About Derfington

Dave "Derfington" Lee is the author of the weekly Magic: The Gathering web comic Durdling Around. He has previously written Commander articles for a number of MTG sites. View all posts by Derfington

11 responses to “The Really Big (Long Overdue) SOM EDH Review

  • Zee

    Great review! I just wanted to mention one small point on Nim Deathmantle.

    It reads Equipped creature gets +2/+2, has intimidate, and is a black Zombie.” Just like equipping to Rafiq doesn’t make it GWUB, but rather just B, Rafiq’s type would then be Zombie not Zombie Human Knight. It’s a gotcha to watch out for when using the deathmantle in tribal decks.

  • mark

    Precursor golem unfortunately isn’t that good. It triggers when the spell is cast, so once total. So rite on 1, copies to others, 5 tokens for each original token, 5 tokens of the main, each making 2 additional. Total is 25 new tokens, 5 with the CIP trigger and copy effect. Of course anything done after becomes absurd. Not sure of you get 6 or 1 spell copies on future spells though.

  • Prophet 86

    Sword of Body and Mind- You read my thoughts exactly. I was disappointed with this card. I’ve used it in Standard at FNM and it has grown on me… some (Kor Duelist, anyone?) But, compared to the original swords it is just lacking. Makes me sad.

    Great Job on the review! It was so enjoyable to read and get your insight on the new set. Helped give me ideas I hadn’t thought of yet and also helped me look at a few cards I had completely overlooked!

    Not sure I should say “it was well worth the wait”, mostly because that was a freaking long wait. But I’m definitely happy it finally got here. 😛

  • Catching up « Derfington's Pad

    […] the Fun Machine (ManaNation) The Really Big (Long Overdue) SOM EDH Review (99 EDH […]

  • Derfington

    Sweet, comments!

    @ Zee: Thanks! Yes, I believe you’re right about the characteristics ruling – I should have compared the template to Rise From the Grave. I’ll chalk that one up to giddy excitement, as four-color Zombie Human Knight Rafiq is much more impressive.

    @ mark: The first attempt to calculate the total golem count almost short-circuited my brain. I was sure I had gotten it right, but I am several years removed from high school math and I no longer have the sustained mental capacity to add and multiply repeatedly.

    @ Prophet86: Glad you enjoyed it! I’m sure SoBM has some practical applications in Standard (I’ll leave that up to Standard experts), but in EDH, it is essentially half a Sword. Or worse.

    Thanks again to MTGCP for letting me do my thang.

  • Bamf

    throne of geth + progenitus/triskelvus = proliferate for 1 : ]

  • DGent

    So far, I’ve been very very impressed with the power level of Quicksilver Gargantuan. Sword of Body and Mind has been a life saver for me, but that may simply be because of the decks being played in my local group. Geth is incredible, Steel Hellkite and Wurmcoil Engine should be considered for any deck, and there are plenty of cards that I am itching to test out. (Lux Cannon, Wing Shards 2.0, Necrotic Ooze, Mox Opal)
    Overall, an excellent EDH set. Can’t wait to see how it pans out.

  • branewalker

    “Raymond Swanland did a beautiful job of flipping his original artwork for the prerelease promo.”

    I’m detecting some sarcasm here.

    But have you LOOKED at the art for the card? It’s 100% different. (ok, compositionally, it’s pretty similar. If you have that problem, knock ALL of Swanland’s cards EVER), but it’s no hack job, and certainly not just a “flip.” You were not shortchanged because the artist didn’t do something completely different.

    Were you to look closely, you’ll notice that given the angle of the head, and the coil of the body, that the promo art is the opposite end of the beast from the regular art. Likely it was taken from a wider panorama piece, though they don’t perfectly line up, so perhaps there was a middle section that got cropped out. (NO, again, this doesn’t mean you were shortchanged. because the piece has to fit the same resolution as two cards, it would have been twice as big.)

    In any case, this art is only as “flipped” as the art on B.F.M., and in my opinion, captures the flavor of the creature perfectly. The lifelink and deathtouch ends are coiled around one another in a giant, 6/6 wurm.

    Check it out, it’s actually pretty cool.

    • Derfington

      It was a joke 🙂 How could I hate the guy who painted Banefire?

      I thought it was funny because prerelease artwork is usually done by a different artist, in an entirely different style. Neither was the case for Wurmcoil’s promo. My remark certainly wasn’t meant to be malicious.

  • Mike

    Great review, I’ve come to use these as my Edh (Sorry, don’t like Commander)
    Bible- always good advice and ideas. I’m just throwing it out there though, that
    Sword of Body and Mind isn’t that bad. No, it’s not like the originals, but Pro
    Green and Blue is nothing to scoff at. Again, not the same damage bonuses
    as Light and Shadow or Fire and Ice, but still a powerful weapon.

  • Scott

    Venser’s Journal is actually INSANE. Play it with Azami, Arcanis, Niv Mizzet, or any blue deck built around drawing cards. +20 life a turn is more than possible, and extremely useful in multiplayer games.

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