Holiday Presents and Packages

One great piece of knowledge that I received from my family is: whenever you are invited to someone’s house for the first time, it is a good idea to be courteous and if you can, bring a small housewarming gift. Seeing as how this is my first post on this blog, which I could see loosely as being invited to someone’s internet-esque-house, and since banana bread is out of the question, I think a post on presents and packages would do nicely. Furthermore, with the holiday season on us, I believe that some sort of package that involved various fun trinkets would be quite topical.

Today ladies and gentlemen, I will be sharing perspectives on one of the strongest cards in EDH for card advantage and utility (in my opinion):

Reasoning:

On the onset, one can view this as a measly little 2/2 creature for 3 mana with a neat little Enter-the-Battlefield trigger. But in reality, that ETB trigger is so much more than just “neat”, and is the focus of this post, as we compile some of my favorite packages it fits into. Trinket Mage’s ability is ALWAYS useful, no matter what stage of the game you are in, and nets card advantage +2 (a +1 because it replaces itself while still being a dude, and another +1 because it is a positive direction, whether that direction is acceleration, disruption, or more utility).  Also, it is so easy to recur and reuse this creature. For example:

So if you blue deck is running artifacts, or any of these types of effects mentioned above, I would strongly consider adding Trinket Mage to your list. Furthermore there are probably already some 1 cost artifacts in your EDH deck already, which takes us to present 1, our

 

CORE PACKAGE:

   

 

Sol Ring -

There is a reason why they printed this card in every Commander precon. The 2 extra colorless mana  goes such a long way, and is always helpful. I have even seen decks go infinite with this and some silly artifact untappers and mana doublers. This card used to be kinda spendy, but since all of the commander precons were printed this card is easy to get for $5.  If you don’t have one in every EDH deck at this point, you are pretty dang silly.

Tormod’s Crypt

I can see myself getting the most flack for this card in my core set, but I stand firmly behind it. EDH  players simply don’t play enough graveyard hate. I feel that every good EDH deck has some sort of graveyard trick, whether it is in the form of straight recursion like Sun Titan /Academy Ruins,  or persist like Glen-Elendra Archmage, to flashback likePast in Flames. As the power level of my EDH group has gone up, one of the big things that people are realizing is that their graveyard is like their second hand. By playing at least a little graveyard hate you make players play more fair, so they can’t beacon of unrest that stupid twilight shepherd that you had to kill multiple times. I chose the crypt over other graveyard disruption for the core, because it easily fits in any deck (whereas scrabbling claws has a drawback of not hitting exactly what you want all the time, and relic of progenitus exiles your graveyard as well). The crypt is elegantly simple, but you can recur the crypt with the right recursion of your own. Depending on your deck, and your playgroup I might suggest switching this card out or adding another card found in the disruption package area below. But please put at least one piece of  graveyard removal in every EDH deck.

Sensei’s Divining Top-

This card is SO MUCH CARD ADVANTAGE. It smooths out your draws, and lets you keep shaky hands. It   is pretty impervious to board wipes and removal (outside of a Krosan Grip). With a little bit of library shuffling (like ramping with cultivate or tutoring like demonic tutor or hey look trinket mage) you can get the cards that you want and shuffle away ones you don’t. And I’ve also seen this card do silly things with Future Sight or maybe even Rings of Brighthearth. These suckers a bit more spendy than Sol Ring, but if you have them, you should be running them in every one of your EDH decks. Period.

So from here on out I will offer some suggestions for completing your Trinket Mage package. These cards are some of my favorites that I’ve had a lot of success with, and I’ve organized them in various groups because it helps me keep them straight in my brain, and also fits nicely with the theme of the post. You can either copy these packages exactly, or simply cherry pick some good ideas and customize them for a unique present for your unique deck.

Mana Package:

 

Seat of the Synod/Ancient Den/Tree of Tales/Great Furnace/Vault of Whispers

These cards are often forgot about, but Trinket Mage can help find you that colored mana that you need. I like these cards the most in this mana package suite, and always include these cards when I play my trinket mage. Just remember that things like austere command and Nevinyrral’s Disk also kill these guys too.

Mana Vault

While this card can theoretically go in every deck, I feel that it is strongest when you have an untap theme going on. Something along the line of Voltaic Key or Tezzeret the Seeker or Seedborn Muse I feel are nice with this. I also have seen this card used as a way to keep odd life totals in decks like Heartless Hidetsugu.

Mana crypt

If you have one of these, you probably are already running them. Sure, there is the downside of loosing some life, but the real deterrence to playing this card is its very steep real money cost. Since it sits around $70, I wouldn’t break the bank to play this card, but if you got it, for sure play it.

Lotus Petal/Lotus Bloom

I realize these cards are different, and in formats like extended and legacy these two cards are very different. However, in EDH I feel that they pretty much fill the same roll. They are a one time fixer/burst of mana. If you are playing something like salvaging station these cards are totally worth it, otherwise I would pass on them.

Expedition Map

This is my favorite land searching card that trinket mage finds, because it finds ANY card. Almost every time I will find Academy Ruins off of this card, so I can recur my map, and from there I will search out my other crazy lands or go for some colored mana or whatever I need.

Wanderer’s Twig/ Wayfarer’s Bauble

If you aren’t running green, these cards can be pretty helpful. However, I feel that their power level just isn’t that strong. If you were running the stations and things like auriok salvagers I could make a case for running these guys. Otherwise, I think Armillary sphere might be a better choice (even though it isn’t trinket mageable).

Horizon Spellbomb

I don’t think this card is really worth it, because you need to be running green with it in EDH, and green has better ramp. That being said, if you want even more excessive ramp, then you can add this card in as well.

Explorer’s Scope

Not a bad ramp-ish spell. I think it goes nicely with top, and you can make an equipment package out it and basilisk collar.

 

Disruption Package:

 

Scrabbling claws

Like I ranted about earlier, graveyard hate is very important. This card shines against annoying persisters. It also can keep opponents graveyards at manageable levels, and even cantrips when you need it to. The few problems with this card are late game, it can’t keep all of the threats removed from the game to stop a very heavy recursive deck. Also, it has a bit of problems with steal effects that dig through opponents graveyards. That being said, this card is still super awesome, and for one mana it is totally worth it.

Relic of progenitus

While this card on the onset seems very similar to scrabbling claws, in the finer details, it is actually the opposite of scrabbling claws. It isn’t very strong against persisters, but has a really good answer to when people try to steal creatures from not their own graveyard. Are you going rise from the grave that primeval titan that isn’t yours? I don’t think so.  Relic also has a pretty sweet remove ALL graveyard clause, and also cantrips.

Nihil spellbomb

If you are running black, I highly suggest this be included in your graveyard hate. This is just so cheap and efficient, and cantrips. It doesn’t have the every turn clause of the previous 2 mentioned though which is its biggest downside.

Pithing Needle

This is one of my favorite disruption cards. You get to turn off annoying lands (Kor haven anyone?), planeswalkers (screw you Jace, The Mindsculptor) and annoying generals (Jhoira of the ghitu just hates this card), just to name a few things that are awesome about this card. I remember a time when this card was a solid $20, but reprintings and better ways to handle planeswalkers and powercreep in general has made players forget about this little gem, so it is very affordable. Its always useful,if you have some sort of bounce or recursion, this card can continually ruin people.

Executioner’s capsule

This is a really nice rattlesnake card. You simply lay it on the field, and people are less inclined to attack you because you have a very visible doom blade on the battlefield.  Also, having some easily tutorable spot removal for that Seedborn muse or Inferno Titan is always nice.

Dispeller’s Capsule

I concede that this is a mana intensive than disenchant even on activation. However, the fact that it is easier to tutor and recur make it better in the slower more drawn out format that is EDH.  Also, in EDH artifacts and enchantments can be just as threatening or even more threatening than creatures can (here’s looking at you Mirari’s wake), and having some spot removal for those baddies can be a true godsend. I actually tutor up this capsule more than executioner’s most of the time.

 

Utility Package:

 

Basilisk Collar

A very solid Equipment. I run this when I’m also running a Stoneforge Mystic package, and double up on my tutors. However, deathtouch is very relevant, and having the passive life gain through lifelink is very strong in EDH.

Feldon’s Cane/Elixir of Immortality

These cards are kinda meh in my opinion. If you have a dedicated miller in your playgroup I’d add them. But I feel there are better ways to recur and reuse things than shuffle them into your huge deck.

Avarice Totem

Good in Zedruu, the Greathearted decks, and you can cheat two permanents if you have Rings of Brighthearth otherwise this card is a pass.

Aether Vial

If you have a deck with lots of creatures around the same CMC, then this card is worth it, but you generally have to build your deck with the vial in mind. It can be very good in EDH, but its true home I feel is in legacy.

Grindstone

This card is still an awesome card even without Painter’s Servant. If you are going to go a mill route, then this is probably already in your deck.

Hex parasite

I think this is an underappreciated card in EDH. It nukes planeswalkers, slowly takes things off of dark depths, and keeps your persisters going on and on and on. All that for only 1 mana. Sign me up!

Library of Leng

This card is really Spellbook+1. I play this card in my group hug decks, and love it. I especially like it because I play silly cards like Wild Research which Library of Leng just negates the negative part of.

Phyrexian Dreadnought

That cute niche that it fills in legacy and vintage doesn’t hold up so well in EDH, where you start off at 40 life with multiple opponents I feel.

Skullclamp

There is a reason why this is banned in legacy and modern and block. The power level of this card is so strong. If you have little dudes it can munch on, if you have sac outlets, if you like drawing cards…this is all of that and a bag of delicious spine-tapped chips.

Voltaic Key

If you are running a heavy artifact suite, and doing things like the aforementioned mana vault or something like grim monolith, then voltaic key is your best friend.

Voyager Staff

I have a soft spot for this card. I really like the flavor of this card, and love mistmeadow witch and blink effects. This is probably one of the weakest blink effects created, but if you have an ETB themed deck, I could see running this card.

To conclude, I hope that I presented this holiday post to you well, and that all of these little trinkets helped cheer up your day. While I didn’t cover every single 1 CMC artifact (for example, flight spellbomb didn’t even get talked about, I believe I got the important ones for our little wizard. I’ll see you on the other side of the new year.

Keep smiling

Lion Rum

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