Unsung Heroes, Part I

There’s a whole long list of cards that tend to get bandied about in EDH circles…the ones you’re supposed to include no matter what.  This is not that list.  These are the unsung heroes of EDH, the cards that never seem to get the love they richly deserve.  Or, well, five of them.  This is the first part in a series, after all.

Admonition Angel

Primeval Titan is a pretty gregarious dude.  He supports and enables a ton of different strategies, and is without a doubt the single most important green creature in the game.  But this is not about Primeval Titan.  This is about his BFF on the white side of the color pie – the incredible Admonition Angel.  Not only is she a very respectable beater with evasion, she’s a repeatable Oblivion Ring on a stick.  Combined with 2-4 landfall triggers a turn enabled by an active titan, this angel can make the board a very lonely place in a very, very short time.  Tutor up the pair with Tooth and Nail if you want to be straightforward about it, or use Wild Pair if you’re feeling tricksy to get both for the price of just one.  Granted, Admonition Angel instantly becomes the most hated target on the board as soon as she drops, but the fact that everything returns to the battlefield when she leaves can also be used for some fun politicking.  Exile a problem enchantment like Mana Reflection or Sneak Attack, and all of a sudden your other opponents will be less inclined to remove her.  If you’re feeling particularly nasty, Tooth and Nail into a Realm Razer and Admonition Angel, then use a land drop to exile the Razer.  Not only do you get to exile a permanent for each land that comes back into play, killing the angel would just bring the Realm Razer right back!

Stonecloaker

Nobody runs enough graveyard hate.  It mystifies me, sometimes.  I mean, this is a format where lands like Volrath’s Stronghold and Academy Ruins are only the beginning of what you can do with a graveyard.  Running a Relic of Progenitus or Tormod’s Crypt is a good start, but unless you’ve got a couple different ways to get one of the aforementioned artifacts, that’s probably not going to be good enough.  Enter Stonecloaker – it’s instant speed, targeted, and reuseable.  It also can save important creatures like a titan or general from getting exiled or tucked in a pinch.  And hey, on the off chance that you get Venser, the Sojourner’s ultimate off it lets you repeatedly exile permanents for the low, low price of 2W.

Vendilion Clique

Don’t play Vendilion Clique as your general.  No, seriously.  Don’t.  Everyone and their kid brother knows how to make an unbeatable 1v1 deck with Clique as their general.  It’s not fun to play against, it’s really not that fun to play with…just don’t.

That said, Vendilion Clique can be awesome in a multiplayer game.  Sure it targets only one player, but the odds are there’s going to be someone at the table who really, really needs a good Cliquing.  You know, the one with a full grip, plenty of mana, and a big smile on their face?  See what they’re up to and throw a huge wrench in their plans for the low, low cost of 3 mana.  You can even get tricky and start bouncing and flickering the Clique to share the love with everyone else.  It gets even better if you manage to bounce a person’s general to their hand.  Clique them right afterwards, and you can tuck their general safely away at the bottom of their library.

Oh, and yes, there is an instant win combo with Vendilion Clique and Tunnel Vision.  Don’t run it.  Instant win combos are for the infirm and weak at heart.

Sylvan Library

Like a Sensei’s Divining Top, only better.  Ish.  If you just use it to move around the top three cards of your deck, sure, it’s a bad two-mana Top.  But remember – you have 40 whole life to play around with.  4 life to draw that sweet card second from the top or even to just dig deeper into your deck to make all your land drops is a sweet, sweet bargain.  Especially in green.  I once did 32 damage to myself in the course of a game with my Sylvan Library, and I don’t regret it one bit.  It was like having a free Divination every turn – it didn’t matter how much my opponents killed my creatures, I was able to just keep the flood coming long enough that they ran out of answers and were overcome.  Remember – the only life point that counts is your last one – make good use of the rest of them!

Genesis Wave

Genesis Wave is easily the most ridiculous EDH card ever printed.  Why don’t more people play this card?  Just about any deck can cast it with X equal to 8 without too much trouble, and a really dedicated ramp deck (or a deck with access to mana doublers) can get up into the twenties and thirties without breaking a sweat.  The end result is a respectable fraction of your deck vomited forth onto the table.  Fatties, enchantments, artifacts, lands, they all get put right into play, no questions asked.  Bonus points if you end up putting an Eternal Witness or Mnemonic Wall into play to return Genesis Wave to your hand.  Make sure you’ve got Boseiju, Who Shelters All or countermagic handy if blue mages are around – there’s really no better target for a counterspell than this.

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