Author Archives: Derfington

About Derfington

Dave "Derfington" Lee is a longtime TCG player, writer, and comic artist based in Toronto, Canada.

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)


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.

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Building a 5-Color Mana Base on a Budget

This article actually has nothing to do with Cromat.

So I had a dream about Cromat one night. Its awkward, bulbous head peered out of its card’s gold frame and, with its mournful eyes and undersized fairy wings, wailed, “Why does no one play me in EDH? I’d be a great general!”

I didn’t have the heart to tell Cromat that Progenitus could knock the snot out of him any day of the week. But I like a good underdog story, so I decided to join his corner. “You’re gonna be a contender, Crome-Dome,” I assured the giant, bulb-headed, wussy-winged wurm-thing. “I’ll turn you into a champ!”

(Normally I dream about being Batman, so I consider this experience entirely grounded and ordinary.)

This ephemeral journey into the depths of my unconscious produced a spark of inspiration to create my first 5-color EDH deck. I found two main challenges in building a successful rainbow deck: forming a cohesive strategy, and building a proper, consistent mana base. This article was originally going to talk about my strategy for Cromat, but I didn’t think it would be as original or insightful as talking about building a mana base for a 5-color deck.

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Derfington’s Corner: Exalting the Hippo

Did you get that thing I sent you?

[Editor’s Note: While some of you get excited that when you see this purple hippo, you may think this is a “Group Hug” deck. It’s not. – MtGCP]

I think people are sleeping on Phelddagrif. Don’t get me wrong, it’s priceless to see people’s reactions when I plop my happy purple general on the table. Phelddagrif’s hilarious artwork and “OMG-why-would-I-ever-play-this” abilities generate a good amount of laughter for everyone. Maybe the occasional EDH vet will nod in appreciation of Phelddagrif’s well-documented political potential. But beneath that creature’s timid exterior, behind its big, blue doe’s eyes and its clumsy purple hooves, there’s something I don’t think people really know.

Phelddagrif can wreck faces.
Phelddagrif is potential for a beatdown. If you let it go, it will chew you up and swallow you like so much hippo feed. You will never touch it: not with sacrifice effects, not with targeted removal, not with stealing abilities. You’ll be happy to draw cards, gain life and get 1/1 tokens, until you realize that he’s eaten everyone else at the table, that everything you played was already wiped off the board, and that he’s still a hungry hungry hippo.
Believe me when I say this: Do not sleep on Phelddagrif.
G: Phelddagrif gains trample until end of turn. Target opponent puts a 1/1 green Hippo creature token onto the battlefield.
W: Phelddagrif gains flying until end of turn. Target opponent gains 2 life.
U: Return Phelddagrif to its owner’s hand. Target opponent may draw a card.

Derfington’s Corner: Playing with Fire – Jaya Ballard

The Lady in Red

I must confess, I’ve always had a smoldering nerd crush on Jaya Ballard. The feisty Task Mage is the hotness, hands down. With a blazing bod and a fiery personality to match, this girl is almost too hot to handle.

Okay, no more fire puns. Let’s talk about mono-Red in EDH.

Compared to the other colors, Red seems like it’s got the short end of the utility stick. The other colours are well-equipped with counters, versatile card draw and spot removal, reliable mana acceleration and tutors of all shapes and sizes. So what has Red got?

There’s no inherent enchantment removal, which is dangerous when your buddies play fun cards like Debtors’ Knell. Tutors? Gamble, while funky, is no Demonic. But Red’s got great sweepers (both damage-based and non), brutal X damage spells, respectable artifact and land removal, and some of the scariest creatures anywhere.

I don’t think many players gravitate towards Red as readily as they do towards other monochrome options because they feel it might play too narrowly. I think there is merit to this belief, but I aim to prove that mono-Red can scrap as well as the rest, while being a tremendously fun EDH archetype to play.

Here’s the text of the totally sweet Jaya:

R, T, Discard a card: Destroy target blue permanent.
1R, T, Discard a card: Jaya Ballard, Task Mage deals 3 damage to target creature or player. A creature dealt damage this way can’t be regenerated this turn.
5RR, T, Discard a a card: Jaya Ballard deals 6 damage to each creature and each player.

Now tell me that isn’t spicy. Continue reading