Coda: Let’s be honest—Scars wasn’t exactly the most inspiring of sets, EDH-wise, especially compared to some of the great staples and over-the-top ridiculosity that got printed in Zendikar block. Genesis Wave is one of my all-time favorites, sure, and there were some decent legends, but aside from that what have you got? Steel Hellkite and Wurmcoil Engine are solid, if boring beaters, and Nihil Spellbomb is a better Tormod’s Crypt for black decks. That’s about it.
Candy: Oh man, I disagree about Scars being an uninspiring set for EDH. Scars gave us a respectable amount of EDH fodder, some of which have become artifact bombs that need to be dealt with as soon as they hit the table. Mimic Vat immediately comes to mind. Prototype Portal, too, for certain decks. My Kaervek the Merciless wither deck about peed itself in excitement when it saw Contagion Engine. And personally, I think Nim Deathmantle is one of the best recursion mechanics on a stick to have come about in a long, long time. 4 colorless to return your recently-toasted critter—ANY one, not just the one equipped to it—from the graveyard to the battlefield? Yes please, and thank you, and oh, are there a hojillion silly mana tricks I can pull with that? Why yes. Yes there are. And Grafted Exoskeleton in conjunction with creatures like Brion Stoutarm has provided a beautiful illustration of why poison counters need to be set to 20 for EDH.
In terms of creatures, those who love Elvish tribal got Ezuri, Renegade Leader, who’s fantastic either as an enabler or a General. Skithiryx the Blight Dragon is just sick in most black decks, but especially in dragon tribal. Sunblast Angel is fantastic for most white decks, because hey, who loves Vigilance the most? Geth, Lord of the Vault, like Ezuri, is fabulous as either an enabler/utility card or as a General himself for a mill deck; and speaking of mill, all sorts of decks that mill or screw with libraries (Oona, Queen of the Fae, Szadek, Lord of Secrets, Wrexial, the Risen Deep, and, well, Geth, among others) frigging love Sword of Body and Mind. And that’s not counting all of the utility green players have gotten out of less bomb-y threats like Engulfing Slagwurm (throw on a Nemesis Mask on that bastard and watch him go!) and Asceticism, or black players from Necropede and Skinrender.
As for Planeswalkers, Elspeth Tirel is crazy good for token decks; I schemed and plotted and traded for one to put into my Rhys the Redeemed deck as soon as I found out about her existence. A more thorough Hour of Reckoning on legs? YES PLZ. And hey, you have merrily used and abused Venser, the Sojourner in your Jenara, Asura of War deck. Koth of the Hammer is decent, too—his mana doubling ability makes Ashling the Pilgrim decks very, very happy.
Coda: Okay, I’ll give you Mimic Vat. That card is pretty disgusting. And Venser has made my Jenara deck very, very happy. As for the rest, though? Maybe this just speaks to my own biases, but I could take them or leave them.
Candy: But enough about Scars. On to Mirrodin Besieged!
Candy: This card could really shine in the right kind of deck—a blue/white artifact-heavy build or an Esper deck could have some fun with this, methinks. If nothing else, it’s a way to salvage the graveyard if somebody tries to hate on it (which, let’s face it, people try to do with Sharuum the Hegemon decks as often as they can—and rightly so).
Coda: Instant speed to respond to a Relic of Progenitus or Tormod’s Crypt activation is pretty nice. It should be a solid role player in white artifact decks.
Coda: Battle cry is a really cool mechanic – kind of an anti-exalted – but it’s very narrow in application within the context of EDH. White token decks will want this card, but I think its real home is in RW and Naya token builds with access to cards like Aggravated Assault. The only thing better than pooping out a couple guys and pumping your team is doing it twice in one turn!
Candy: My Rhys deck is about to get more ridiculous. The Battlecry mechanic in general and Hero of Bladehold in particular is going to be a lot of fun in mono-white weenie decks—especially in conjunction with True Conviction (which, by the way, is ANOTHER FUN EDH CARD FROM SCARS CODA SO THERE)—but I think it’ll really, really shine in green/white token decks. Trample and either first strike or double strike are going to be Battlecry’s best buds. And yeah, extra combat steps make the whole enterprise extra delicious, so red is going to love the crap out of this card, especially Agrus Kos, Wojek Veteran decks.
Candy: This is underwhelming in most decks, but it could be a lot of fun in a deck with a bunch of equipment and equipment tutors (a Kemba, Kha Regent deck is the obvious choice here, but other builds are possible–my boyfriend runs a pretty vicious Brion Stoutarm deck that’s all about the equipments). Slap on a Basilisk Collar, a Strata Scythe and a Bladed Pinions on this guy, and you’re pretty well set in terms of defense.
Coda: Um, this is a Limited card, and a mediocre one at that. Next!
Candy: As if white didn’t love board wipe enough. We’ve had board wipe that gives you life (Righteous Fury), board wipe that leaves behind tokens (Martial Coup), board wipe on legs (Sunblast Angel, Mageta the Lion, Myojin of Cleansing Fire). This one’s kind of new for white: board wipe that leaves behind a bomb. My verdict: awesome. It reminds me in some ways of Phyrexian Processor. Black/white EDH decks can be more ridiculous than ever, especially if you have Filth and/or Valor in your graveyard, or if you can pull combat tricks with Spirit en-Dal‘s forecast ability.
Coda: A nice sweeper that leaves you a little something behind when it’s done, but let’s not be too generous: it makes a vanilla dude. A vanilla artifact token dude. I don’t care if it’s a 40/40 – a stiff breeze it it’s direction will be enough to get it off the table. There’s a long list of sweepers I’ll run before this one.
Candy: And just in case you didn’t think Windbrisk Raptor was ridiculous enough: howzabout giving all your attacking creatures evasion on top of piling on the tasty lifepoints for you? Yes? I thought so. The only downside is the fact that she has to attack, too, but this is why General’s Kabuto and Whispersilk Cloak exist. Token decks in particular will eat this card up, I think.
Coda: Yawn. Six mana for a mediocre body and a couple buffs when you attack? Let’s see, wasn’t there a six mana enchantment in the last set that did more or less the same thing, only didn’t have an attack trigger? Oh yeah, that’s right, True Conviction. Flying is nice, but double strike is much, much better.
Candy: I still think 84 1/1 flying saprolings (or 5/5 if you cast Overwhelming Stampede) with lifelink hitting someone is pretty damn awesome. And hey, why not run both?
Coda: I think if you have 84 saprolings, you’re pretty much set, no matter what kind of buffs you give them.
Coda: Ridiculous amounts of tokens is always nice, but what sets this apart is its instant speed. Think of it as Decree of Justice #2. White token decks will want this card badly.
Candy: Yup. It’s not quite as ridiculous a token producer as, say, Gelatinous Genesis, but man, instant speed, and you’re getting 2/2s instead of the 1/1s token-producing sorceries tend to poop out. That’s pretty efficient.
Coda: Like Stroke of Genius, but it shuffles itself back into your library. Instant speed card draw is always welcome, and it doubles as a win condition if you’re one of those people that runs infinite mana combos.
Candy: I don’t know that there’s anything insightful I can say about this card. It’s pretty damn good. Blue mages everywhere just jizzed themselves a little.
Coda: The ultimate anti-Group Hug card! Exactly what I’ve been looking for to make that pesky hippo think twice before handing cards to my opponents! Group Hug hate aside, this card is seriously nuts. The only real issue I see is games just degenerating into card-drawing madness when more than one player gets one on the battlefield. I can easily see “Sphinx Chicken” becoming its own little metagame within the EDH community.
Candy: And then blue mages everywhere just jizzed themselves. A LOT. I’m pretty sure the faint shrieking sound I heard when I looked at this card came from the collective screams of glee of everyone running a Soramaro, First to Dream deck in the Pacific Northwest. This is going to hit almost every EDH deck that contains a little island somewhere in the General’s mana cost.
I like the idea of Sphinx Chicken. It does, in fact, taste just like chicken.
Coda: Blue mages certainly aren’t going to be jizzing themselves over this. There are plenty of better alternatives for Mind Control effects out there, and most blue mages aren’t planning on poisoning their opponents anyway.
Candy: Mind Control. With infect. Not super spectacular by itself for EDH, but you can pull some shenanigans with Surestrike Trident and the like. I think it can be a really fun inclusion in proliferate or blue/black poison decks, or, if you’re running That Blue Deck That Steals Everything Ever, well, here’s one more weapon in your arsenal. Personally, I think an Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre enchanted with this would be pretty sweet. I totally want this for my Oona deck.
Coda: Probably the most efficient entry ever in a long line of shapeshifters. While it won’t let you get away with multiple-creature-per-turn shenanigans (unless you have a Paradox Haze out), not having to pay to copy a creature gives you a lot of breathing room to get up to other kinds of mischief.
Candy: The good: you don’t need to pay anything for it to copy something tasty. The bad: it won’t get any enters-the-battlefield triggers; it takes a full turn before it does anything interesting, during which time its tender, tender flesh is incredibly vulnerable; and unlike other Clone-type cards, it’s actually targeted. Honestly, I see this as having more potential to be a General hoser than anything else, the way Shapesharer‘s activated ability has oftentimes become “Pay 2U: kill an unshrouded General.” Except you can’t to this one any time you like, at instant speed. Overall, not too bad, but I need convincing that this is a great entry—or even a really fun entry, the way Quicksilver Gargantuan is—in the way of Shapeshifters.
Coda: Kind of a mashup of Intuition and Covenant of Minds. Most of the time you’ll end up exiling your combo piece and drawing three cards, though. There are better options out there, but it’s not terrible.
Candy: I don’t know. This just screams jank combo. I’m not really a Johnny, but I’m willing to bet someone out there is right now figuring out ways to abuse this in unspeakable ways. Making it work does require quite a bit of effort, but I think it can pay off if you have, say, a Descendant of Soramaro out and the rest of the table doesn’t know whether they need to exile that one game-winning card you’re giving them an option to exile or give you access to three other game-winning cards that they don’t know about.
Candy: Arcum Dagsson decks just got another enabler. I am facepalming so hard. This is the artifact version of Fierce Empath, and personally, I’d run it in a blue-green creature deck, use it to look for something silly like Darksteel Colossus with Wild Pair out, cast the Darksteel Colossus, and then slap down something even sillier like Blightsteel Colossus into play.
What? A girl can dream.
And as if the card needed to be even more ridonk, just look at the artwork. It’s the essence of hilariousness. Oh, Wizards of the Coast. You are such shameless panderers. It’s a motherfucking WIZARD. Surrounded by motherfucking BLUE FUMES OF MAGICAL MAGIC. And he’s riding a motherfucking DRAGON.
Coda: A dragon that looks like it was drawn by a 12-year old. Thankfully, I hear there’s going to be a full art gameday promo. Snag ‘em while you can.
Coda: A neat card with a long-lasting effect, but I doubt it will displace Damnation, Mutilate, or Decree of Pain as the go-to black sweeper. After all, when the average toughness in the format is between 4 and 5, you’re looking at spending almost twice what Damnation costs for the same effect. If it was instant speed, then we could maybe talk, but sadly, no.
Candy: This card is pretty sweet. I don’t think its sole purpose is to sweep the board in one big shot, either—proliferate decks will love this, and I’m personally excited to throw it into my Kaervek the Merciless deck, which plays a lot with wither mechanics. Not an auto-include, but it definitely has a place in black control.
Candy: I’ve seen some truly silly things being done with cards that get pumped with sacrifice effects, like Fallen Angel and Nantuko Husk. And this one has infect. It could be a lot of fun in a black/green token deck—sac a bunch of saprolings, give him trample, and voila, poisoned opponent. Also, I’m now contemplating building a truly silly poison-centered Thraximundar deck. It’s not the greatest card ever, but I think it’ll be a fun inclusion in certain decks and deck archetypes.
Coda: This card is going to kill a lot of people in Limited. In EDH, it’s a threat, but not a huge one. Poison decks will run it.
Coda: Doom Blade’s replacement, as far as I’m concerned. Or, well, another one you can run alongside it, if you’re feeling bloodthirsty.
Candy: Not much to say, really. It’s a solid bit of spot removal. If you’re playing black, you should probably include this in your deck.
Candy: EDH decks that specialize in discard will probably try to find a slot for this one, because it’s a pretty sweet deal for how much it costs (Geth, in particular, wants to take this card out on a date and feel it up a little) but it’s a pretty niche card.
Coda: Um…I think calling it “niche” might be a tad generous. Discard is not particularly strong in EDH unless it’s extensive, repeatable, or spread around the table. This is none of the above. If it was instant speed, I could see using it when someone uses Vampiric Tutor or somesuch, but sadly no.
Coda: Hoo boy, this one’s a doozy. Wipe out all your opponents’ utility dudes and tokens, burn them for a ton of damage, and then stick around to beat face while continuing to punish them when their creatures die? This guy is going to be a house in decks that like to abuse Grave Pact-style effects, and should be a solid inclusion in just about any deck that can run it.
Candy: I can’t think of a single black deck that runs creatures that wouldn’t be somehow improved by including this card in it. Seriously. It’s gross. And if you can somehow sac it, make everybody else sac a creature, and then resurrect it? Oh, the recursion shenanigans you can have with this puppy.
Coda: Incidentally, it’s also a house against Group Hug. How do you like those hippos now?
Candy: See my comment about Horrifying Revelation. Except Geth doesn’t just want to feel this one up. Geth wants to do unspeakable things with it. Things that probably involve that five-gallon drum of lube he keeps in his bedroom.
Coda: I think the desire to do unspeakable things has more to do with the artwork than its usefulness in EDH.
Candy: By itself, it’s not that spectacular for EDH. But in conjunction with Sanguine Bond, Bloodchief Ascension, Painful Quandary, Words of Waste, Liliana Vess, Dire Undercurrents, Megrim or any other discard mechanic, not to mention the dozens of different black let’s-kill-dudes-for-fun-and-profit cards, I think Sangromancer is going to be a lot of fun in the right deck, though it’s not by any means an auto-include. Like I said: a lot of Geth decks are going to love having this card. It ain’t too shabby with Vampire tribal, either.
Catch the rest of our set review in Part II!