Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Scars of Mirrodin EDH Set Review, Part 1: The Legends

The time has arrived. The Scars of Mirrodin spoiler is officially complete, and that means it’s time for my traditional EDH set review. Last time I did this (which was also the first time) it was M11, the Core Set. Which meant two things: 1) Half the set was reprints, and 2) No Legends.

So, for my first big set review with only a scant few reprints and some new Legends, lemme break this down for you, so you know how it’s gonna go. First off, I’m gonna pull all the Legendary Creatures out and analyze them as a separate category. Then I’ll do color by color analysis of each card. I will not review each and every card. The vast majority of commons will be utter crap in EDH format. I will only touch on ones that seems like they might at least have a place in a specific deck (i.e. Sharuum/Arcum Dagsson decks) or even have broader application. Most won’t, though, so expect very few commons on this list. Same goes for Uncommons, but I’ll give most of them at least a brief mention. I will touch on all the Rares or Mythics.

So with that out of the way, let’s take a look at the our new potential Generals:

Nice. Not terrific in a broad sense, but she’s very efficiently costed at 3 mana for a 2/4. She’s a “build around me” general though. You definitely want plenty of equipment and equipment tutors. She could be a fine general for a fun but playable mono-w theme deck, build around a cats + equipment subtheme, maybe including the equipment-loving Kor from Zendikar Block. So yeah, not a bad general, but she requires a fairly specific deckbuilding approach. So, weather or not you use her depends on if the themes she represents appeal to you. Personally, I am intrigued by a Kembe deck, but I hate mono-color decks, so I don’t see myself building this.

I really like this guy. His activated ability is just NUTS! As a 5/5 Intimidate for 6 mana, he’s not too shabby as a beatstick, but I’ve seen better. While his stats help make him worthwhile, I really think you want this guy for his reanimation ability. Oh, he mills you too, but that aspect isn’t so much about winning via decking your opponent, but rather making sure their graveyard is fully stocked for Geth. Every time you steal something from your opponent’s GY, you’re also dumping some number of potential targets in as well. Thus, he never runs out of things to reanimate. Also, his ability doesn’t require him to tap, so you can do it multiple times per turn. Fun! Overall, I’m not sold on his viability as a General, but this is mostly because I don’t do mono-color EDH. However, he’s not as narrow as Kemba, so you have quite a bit more leeway in how you would build a Geth deck. So as a general, he’s probably fine, but not really my style. I will be putting him in every EDH deck I have that runs black. His ability is just too amazing to pass up.

This guy can kill you even quicker than general damage. Only 3 hits from him and you’re dead. Skithiryx reminds me of Rafiq in that he can kill an opponent VERY fast without help, but with help, one-hit-kills are very doable. The problem with Skithiryx, is that he’s not going to get the quality of help Rafiq got. Rafiq had Might of Oaks, Finest Hour, Shield of the Oversoul, Steel of the Godhead and Eldrazi Conscription. Skithiryx can get Conscription, but there’s no Sovereigns to cheat it out. Black does have some pump, but other than Hatred, I can’t really think of anything that’s really all that playable. The direction you probably want to go with a Skithiryx deck is to go more control, with lots of removal to clear the skies for Skithiryx, a few pump spells like Hatred, and whatever mana-ramp you can find in Black. It sounds like a boring deck to me though. I’m much more excited to just put this guy in my Thraxi and Vorosh decks.

A suitable replacement for Rofellos. For 8 mana, you can pretty much choose exactly when to win the game. Just make elves until you either have enough, or have nothing left to cast, then make this guy and attack! He requires a lot of mana, but c’mon this is Elves here, they’re experts at making mana. An excellent general for an Elf deck, but again, not my cup of tea. Too narrow, and it seams like it would play pretty much the same game every time, so that’s boring to me. But for those of you who do like tribal, mono-color EDH decks, rejoice!

That’s it for the Legends of the set, unless you want to house-rule allowing Mox Opal to be played as a General. I wouldn’t recommend it though. So, with that out of the way, we'll be tackling the bulk of the set in the next post.

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