Friday, September 23, 2011

Innistrad EDH Set Review, Part 6: Other Stuff

This part will cover Multicolor cards, Artifact cards and finally Lands. One more section after this will cover the Double-faced cards.

Multicolor Cards

 Such an awesome card, very flavorful, highly amusing. It’s also quite good. It can be just a regular old Clone if you need it to be, but cloning an opponent’s guy and then offing the original is a nice bonus ability. Definitely going into Wrexial, but I can easily see this being squeezed into almost any UB deck. It’s not going to replace Phyrexian Metamorph for sheer versatility, but it’s ten times more exciting because of the awesome flavor. Just one question: Where’s the evil twin’s goatee?
This guy is good. Really good. I think he could easily helm a Blue/White control strategy without being just a Grand Arbiter Agustin deck with the wrong General. I also kinda want to put him in Rafiq, just cause. Finest Hour + This guy seems like a fun combo. Traft is almost definitely the strongest potential General in the set, though probably not the most fun.
Interesting. This guy is a puzzle, in that he requires solving to be worthwhile. You can’t just throw him into any old deck. I have little interest in him as a General, but he might be cool in a Thraximundar deck, just so long as you have enough token-producers or some other way to enable this guy. I would not have expected the Zombie Legend to be the Johnny-est of the batch, but this guy is definitely made for puzzle-solvers. I'm definitely a fan of this guy - I just don't know if I'll be able to make effective use of him.
Likely to be a fairly popular commander, Olivia is one of the highlights of the set for me, though I like her better as one of my 99 in Garza. I just think that almost any deck Olivia could enable, would be made even better simply by adding Blue. Regardless, she’s highly playable either way. She's not likely to be nearly as strong as Geist of Saint Traft, mostly because W/U is just an overall better combination than B/R... but somehow I think more people will be more excited and interested by Olivia than the musty old ghost.

Artifact Cards

Such an odd, interesting design, and it does something we've never seen before - "milling" a library from the bottom rather than the top. Weird. I don't have much to say - it's not likely to see much play, but it's quirky and unique enough that someone is bound to find a use for it.
 Kinda disappointing. This was one of the earliest illustrations from the set to be shown, and I really was intrigued by the artwork. Oddly, the card does make a lot of sense. The moment I read it, I was immediately surprised that I hadn't actually predicted the card would do just this... it seems so obvious in retrospect. But there are very few cards in Magic that say "flip a coin", and don't immediately lose my interest. This isn't one of those rare exceptions... my interest has withered.
Slow-rolling graveyard hate seems to be a theme here. Makes sense, of course - something like Relic of Progenitus or Bojuka Bog in a set that was all about the graveyard would just be stupid. Some EDH players need to be hit on the head with a shovel until they learn the importance of graveyard hate in the format. Personally, I hope they never catch on - I like reanimating things.
Speaking of reanimating things...

It’s kind of ironic that this mythic Artifact is cooler, more interesting, and arguably BETTER than most of the mythic Artifacts we saw in the block about artifacts. Given the “tap, put counters on it, do stuff” design I have to wonder if this wasn’t originally designed for Scars block, but shipped to Innistrad due to the flavor fitting better with this block. Anyway, something that does Liliana Vess’s ultimate is bound to make EDH players take notice and it’s virtually guaranteed that people will try to make this work. If they do, it’s clearly going to be a game winner. The only question is: Can we make this work?
Well, huh... this is definitely worse than giving your general Doublestrike. But, some decks excel at marching their generals through the red-zone unimpeded by blockers. Rafiq and Thraximundar come to mind.

This is actually quite interesting, though, in Rafiq - the Flail's effect STACKS with Doublestrike... So, I can definitely see this being a role-player in dedicated general-damage decks. It obviously has some potential drawbacks, though.
Clever design! Not particularly exciting as an EDH card, though. Could see very limited play in some of the wonkier Sharuum decks, and could be a metagame choice for players who feel their meta is just oversaturated with Wrath effects. Mostly, I think this will be an uber-casual card, fine for players with smaller card pools and a low-powered metagame. If you and your friends are just breaking into the format and have a limited pool of rares, this one isn't strictly bad...
An unusual card like this is kinda hard to evaluate. It should be pretty good in nearly-creatureless decks, where you might be able to one-shot people by sticking this on your General… I'm thinking a Red/Blue deck with a strong Instant/Sorcery theme. Maybe Nin, the Pain Artist... this could be a nasty little tool in the right deck.
Definitely want to try this out in Wrexial. I can see this being frustrating for an opponent to play against. It’s pretty hard to control or predict the effect, but it should always shave at least one swing, probably two, off of Wrexial’s general-damage clock, while also filling up their ‘yard with goodies for Wrexial to pilfer. Nicely done! I don’t see it being much use outside that deck, though. I'm guessing Ken Nagle just wanted a new toy for his Wrexial deck...
The whole Curse-destroying thing is basically “added-value”: an incidental effect tacked on to the real effect, which is giving you hexproof. So do you want a four-mana artifact that grants you hexproof? If so, this is your lucky day. Maybe later, if some really nasty Curses get printed in the next two sets, the first ability will be a little more relevant, but mostly the correct way to look at this is as a colorless Ivory Mask with a couple of very, very small upsides.
Hardly playable, unless your group is just absolutely overdoing it on the Vampires… But this is, quite simply, one of the most awesome examples of top-down design I’ve ever seen. It’s just absolutely perfect. So many of the equipment cards in this set tried to capture the everyday-object-used-as-weapon flavor, but none of them come close to pulling it off this well. Flawless Victory, Wizards!

Well, that's nearly it. Next we just have to cover the double-faced cards. It might take me just a bit of time to get that one ready - I have to do some photoshoping to get the images formatted... or, maybe, I'll skip the images? I don't know yet... be patient and I'll figure something out. Spoilers for the impatient: The only two I give a fuck about are Garruk and Bloodline Keeper. I'll try to do justice to the others, though.


  1. Cellar Door is anti-Tuck tech.

  2. Oh, yeah, good call!

    It is good against bottom-of-the-library tuck like Hinder and Spell Crumple... not so great against shuffle-in tuck like Chaos Warp, etc. But thanks for the tip! We discourage tuck in my group so I never would have thought of that use!

  3. Rerun beat me to it. I like playing Condemn and Hallowed Burial. I feel slightly less dirty knowing there is some added tech against my shenanigans.

  4. Yeah, remind me not to play EDH with you, Trey. I've heard enough about your Linvala deck... I don't need to experience that misery firsthand. LOL.