Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dark Ascension EDH Set Review: Blue

This time we're looking at Blue, typically considered the most broken color in EDH. Will that hold up in Dark Ascension? Read on, and we'll find out...

I wouldn't have even bothered commenting on this card, except that Distortion Strike has become a key roleplayer in various specific decks, and this is similar enough to warrant comparison. Frankly, Flashback isn't quite as good as Rebound, in general, but with the Flashback cost on this being a single Blue, it's a negligable difference. Here, you're getting to pay a single U to control when the second usage happens, where as with Distortion Strike you simply have to use it up the next turn. However, the real difference is the lack of +1/+0. Seems like a small detail, but it's a big factor in Distortion Strike's playability. Somehow I think this will fail to catch on in EDH due to this fact.
I'd almost always play Mulldrifter or something over this, but in something like Mimeoplasm, this might make the cut. The Innistrad set is all about stocking up graveyards, but this one gives you a little more control over what goes into the 'yard, so it's got a slightly higher appeal than stuff like the Skaabs that just mill you for X cards. Probably still a bit underpowered, but could be useful.
I don't even play Glimpse the Unthinkable in EDH. Cards like Increasing Confusion are meant for decks where milling a players library is the primary win condition. As in, you win by decking them. But in EDH, mill decks don't usually try to win by decking opponents - they just use mill cards to stock graveyards, which they then exploit as a resource. So, in a Wrexial deck, Glimps the Unthinkable is sorta like "UB: Draw 10 Cards"... yet I still feel it's too weak to play. Again, it's because cards like that are better off used in decks that seek to actually win via decking, and in EDH that's a very bad strategy. If WotC keeps printing cards of this caliber, though, it may turn out to be a viable strategy in the near future.
Funny way to shut down a Darksteel or Blightsteel Colossus. Other than that, it's pretty "meh". Most of the time, if I'm going to look at this as an option, I'd probably rather just use the Vow from the Commander decks, or a Control Magic effect.
Very funny take on Hive Mind, and less likely to completely destroy players' brains with insanely complicated Stack resolutions. I really want to put this on the guy playing Riku or some other Red/Blue varient with huge spells.

Seems like it might be a viable tool for aggro-Dredge style decks, but most people aren't going to want to mill themselves for 10. That's pretty unappealing to most EDH players. Mimeoplasm decks might be a good exception.

EDIT: Oh, wow, this says "target player"... it's still a pretty vanilla beater, but a 5/5 Undying for six, in Blue, is not terrible. This still borders on being not quite good enough for most decks, but it has more potential than I initially thought.
This will likely be a pretty hot card for the format, but I'm resoundingly unimpressed. This pretty much forces you to overextend into a Wrath effect. But, if you're playing a token deck with Blue in it, you might as well try this out.

Another one of those cards where the self-mill will turn most players off, but folks who have no such aversion and like to play Dredge will probably be okay with this. Still, seems like if your going to go down that road, you might want more bang for your buck. The cantrip is what might make this worthwhile. Cantrips are, usually, pretty awesome.
If I ever get that U/R Flashback themed deck off the ground, this will likely find a spot. I would never play this over River Kelpie, mind you, but if I found room for both... Anyway, this is likely way too narrow to see much play in EDH, but in decks that are extremely focused on their own Graveyards, this could be a real boon.
Somnophore as an ETBF effect. And it's +1/+1 over Somnophore. The problem is, Somnophore can keep tapping more and more stuff. The other problem is, this needs to not die to be useful, and shit dies in EDH. All the time. I'll pass on this, but it might see a bit of play here and there. Definitely not going to make a big impression though.
Cool art. Too bad I can't think of a use for this. Wrexial seems like the most obvious place to put this, but frankly I think it's a little too weaksauce for Wrexial. I'll probably give it a try though, just to give it a fair chance.
This is odd. WotC actually printed a counterspell that has a cool and sorta fun effect. Counter one spell, and get a free spell of your own. I think stuff like Intet, the Dreamer will best make use of this, because they're already looking to cheat out giant spells for free. This will probably be very tricky to use, possibly to the point where it's not entirely worth it... but when it does work it should be hilarious.
A bit expensive for the effect, but it's pretty much a lock for U/R/x decks that play more spells than creatures. Very good card, should see medium to heavy play in the format, as recursion is always golden in EDH.
Exile my own guys for a 2/2 Zombie? No thanks. I expect a lot of folks will want to try this out, as he is pretty good card advantage, but I still think he's too weak to be worth it. In a zombie-tribal deck, I'd rather just run a Zombie over this.

Ha ha oh wow. I don't think I'd ever flashback this thing, but milling a total of 20 cards for 2U does have SOME appeal. I still think that Wrexial and Mimeoplasm decks that are really aggresive with the milling might want this, but I don't think it'll ultimately be worth it. This is another one I'm considering trying out in Wrex anyway, just to be sure. I'll let you know it ends up being way more awesome than I think.

A weird sort of Tribal enabler, this obviously has the inherent disadvantages of being an Aura, however you don't exactly have to put it on a creature you control! If another player happens to drop a random dude that conicides with your tribe of choice (or is a Changeling!), you can pop this onto their dude and profit from their guy. Then, if the Enchanted creature eats a removal spell from someone else, then you've basically negated a creature and a removal spell for your one bad Enchantment.

Up next: Black. Enjoy!

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