Sunday, October 3, 2010

Scars of Mirrodin EDH Set Review, Part 2c: Black

Howdy. It's time to take a look at what Black has to offer us EDH players this time around.


Nice to see an efficiently-costed, playable demon that wasn’t a Mythic. He’s not an uber powerful one, but he’s better than most Rare demons. And while he doesn’t exactly have to be built around to be good, he does get better with some support. Start with Doubling Season. Yeah, it makes him a 2/2 upon entering the Battlefield, but he get’s 4 Counters to spread around, and for each 1 counter you remove, each other creature gets 2 Counters! He can pretty much wipe the board while climbing back up to a respectable 6/6. Use some Shadowmoor stuff with the -1/-1 theme, and some Proliferate stuff, and he can pretty much endlessly wipe the board clear. Okay, so he’ll probably just eat a Terminate first, but the potential is there.

 Most EDH games I play are Duels, but I understand that EDH is primarily meant to be Multiplayer and for most people it is. They will want this card. It is very good, and the more opponents you have, the better. But. If you do not kill the whole table, it will make you everyone’s worst enemy. Survivors will band together to take you down. Fortunately you’ll probably have gained enough life to weather the storm, hopefully. This will definitely be going into my multiplayer Vampire deck, but I don’t know that my EDH decks will want it. I don’t usually like to finish EDH games with X spells anyway.

I don’t understand this card. I mean, I get what it does, but it just seems like you really have to jump through hoops to get anything out of it. I’d rather just play Barter in Blood 9 times out of 10. Still, if you build around it, it could be pretty potent. Sac a bunch of tokens to pump a Fallen Angel up real big, cast this to remove a blocker, and if the life loss doesn’t kill them the angel just might.

A decent removal spell, but I’d still usually prefer Terminate or Doom Blade. 4/4 is still pretty small by EDH standards, so you usually won’t be able to kill the biggest threat on the board with this.

For now, this is probably unplayable in EDH, as this is a card that really wants to be a 4x, and there aren’t really enough cards to support Poison as a deck theme. Maybe by the end up the block B/G Poison could be a viable strategy in EDH, but for now, this is too narrow and lacks support.

This obviously does very little in EDH. There are pleny of better options. Extract will do basically the same effect for a single U, Sadistic Sacrement will hit three cards for BBB, both are more efficient that getting 1 card for 4 mana. Basically, this is worthless in EDH.

This Ooze’s playability is going to depend entirely on what you have in your deck to support it. If your deck is based on filling up your Graveyard with dudes to reanimate, and several of those dudes have activated abilities, it might find a spot in your deck. Seems really good with things like Arcanis, the Omnipotent.  
This is a really neat effect, and I like the potential here, but at 5 mana, I’m not sure this will be worth a slot in very many decks. It does help you with card advantage from a reverse angle. At 5 mana, it’s possible they already have a stronger board position than you. This enchantment has no effect on the game state at that point, and thus is does very little to help you turn around a situation in which you aren’t already ahead. It’s going to be fantastic when you have even a slight lead, but if you're behind in development, casting this Enchantment will rarely help you come back.
Possibly playable, but I doubt it. Can help an Artifact deck alpha-strike suddenly, but that’s usually not what Artifact decks do. It seems like Wizards is encouraging us to play artifact decks that attack with creatures, rather than Tinkering out broken combos. It remains to be seen if players will bite, but I like this direction.

Weather this is playable or not depends on your meta. Most creatures you would want to kill in EDH are much bigger than 3/3. Rafiq is the only 3/3 powerhouse that comes to my mind. Still, there are just too many other option like Nekrataal, Boneshredder and Shriekmaw. The few advantages Skinrender does have is that it can kill Black creatures, and small Indestructible creatures. That’s probably not enough to make it worthwhile, though.

Black really doesn’t get much other than the Legends. Exsanguinate is perhaps the best overall EDH card in Black, and while I may be overselling it I think the Carnifex Demon is certainly playable. The removal spells only kill creatures in the 3/3 to 4/4 range, which is just not up to par in EDH. Fortunately both of the Legends are highly playable, and have fun, compelling abilities.

Next post: Red

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