Tuesday, July 3, 2012

M13 EDH Set Review, Part 6: Other

This final section will cover Artifacts, Lands, and the cycle of mono-colored Legends in M13. After that, the review is technically finished, though I hinted at the possibility of a review of the reprints. I still may do that, but I haven't commited one way or the other. We'll see...


Amusing, but terrible.
 Uh, yeah. Okay, it's a bit on the expensive side, but pretty much every Grixis deck should be playing this. That's just really, really good mana fixing. I wouldn't play this over Darksteel Ingot, but I'd definitely play it with the Ingot.
I like this cycle, but this entry is less thrilling. You have to pay for the Keyword ability, rather than just getting it. And Blue usually will get less out of the growth ability than other colors. But, it does have potential, in the right decks.
 Probably the best of the cycle. Green definitely cares about creature-growth, and Tramble is always a relevant ability where large creatures are involved. Will it beat out bombs like Swords of Stuff and Junk and similar Equipment? Probably not. Should still be playable though, especially in Skullbriar or Animar decks.
 Down there with the Blue member of the cycle for unexciting-ness. Vigilance is somewhat underrated, but it's also somewhat underpowered. White's creatures tend to be small-ish, so the growth effect will be welcome - but probably a bit too slow to really matter. This will probably see even less play than the Ring of Evos Isle.
This one is up there with the Green ring for potential playability. Haste is easily as relevant as Trample, occasionally even moreso. That said, almost any deck I can think of would proably play Swiftfoot Boots over this - Hexproof is just better than a slow growth ability. Would easily be the most playable of the cycle, if it weren't competing with Greaves and Boots already.
Regenration is pretty underwhelming. I take it back: this might actually be worse than the white and blue ones. Not too sure, really. But it hardly matters, as the green and red variations are the only ones likely to see any real play.
Mill just keeps getting pushed, but still hasn't hit the threshhold of viability in EDH. Yeah, self-milling to set up Living Death is a thing. And milling opponents to Wrexial their shit is also a thing. But actually winning by completely decking your opponents? Not a thing... yet.

Oh, this is ignoring infinite-combos involving mill, which is a thing. But that's not really the point, now is it?
This card is getting a lot of hype from the EDH crowd, but I don't really see it. I definitely think it's playable in some decks, but not every-deck-ever status. It's cool and flavorful, while being a colorless card-drawing option for decks that sorely need it. But in colors that can draw cards, it seems too slow and weak to be worth the slot.
This card is hilariously weird. I can't tell if it's a swiss army knife of utility, or if it's just unplayable jank. I can think of numerous decks I'd like to try it in, but none in which all four abilities are likely to be relevant. Is this just a bizarre infinite combo peice? Or can it be used fairly and still be good enough to play? I'm eager to find out.


I'm definitely digging this card. Of course, I love the Exalted mechanic and this is a lock for every Rafiq deck ever. It seems potentially worth it in almost any General Damage-oriented deck, but you kinda have to do the math to be sure. For instance, if my general typically attacks as a 6/6, then having the Cathedral out shaves a full turn off the GD clock, allowing you to kill in 3 hits instead of 4. This is a significant gain, and definitely worth it. If your general is already a 7/7, though, he's still going to take 3 hits to kill someone, so that +1/+1 is, in some respects, fairly irrelevant.

I could be wrong here, but this seems decidedly unplayable to me. Maybe, just maybe, if you could get Doubling Season out and Crucible of Worlds, you can start shitting out Hellions fast enough that it actually matters, but unaided, this is just plain mediocre.

The Legends

I really like this guy on paper. As much as I dislike mono-colored decks in EDH, I could almost get behind this guy as a general. Almost. But, I think I'd rather just have Odric as one of my 99 in a Darien deck than as the general. Also, he kinda encourages you to overextend, which can be fatal in EDH, due to the extremely high number of sweepers.

But he does have cool ability, if you can get it to work. And he looks like Sean Connery.
Talrand is pretty cool. I have vague dreams of playing him in a U/G deck along with Fable of Wolf and Owl and similar effects. I do think that he can potentially make a more interesting mono-Blue general than most Blue Legends. He actually encourages a proactive game plan, and attacking for the win, rather than comboing out. Though that's probably still possible...
Probably best as a sort of Thraximundar #2 in a Thrax deck, but overall, I think this guy is playable - he just has a lot of very stiff competition at the six-mana slot in Black. He probably beats out Grave Titan in most decks, but against Geth, Lord of the Vault or Mikaeus the Unhallowed? Tough call, but the mythics probably have him beat.
As a general, he's probably quite good, but super boring. If I'm going mono-Red Goblins (and I'm not), I'd go with Ib Halfheart any day. This guy is powerful and efficient, but just not clever or interesting at all. I'd play him IN a Goblin deck, but never as the general.

Oddly, he's the most interesting one of the cycle for 60-card Magic, though. Weird, huh?
Sort of a mono-Green Teferi. Not bad at all. I've had enough experience with Leyline of Anticipation and now Alchemist's Refuge to know that Flash is a very powerful ability in EDH, and is very tricky to play against. Yeva has too much competition to stand out as a Mono-Green general, I think, but she will definitely be a roleplayer in creature-heavy decks.

Closing Thoughts

Overall my impression of M13 so far is that it is one of the most interesting and well-designed Core Sets to come along, and it definitely gives the impression that WotC is on the right track with their vision for the Core Set, even if they aren't quite there yet.

Another notable facet is how strongly the set pushes the Grixis shard. I mean it. I really, REALLY want to rebuild my Thraxi deck now. I'll definitely start working on a new list soon.

The cycle of Legends was a cool innovation and a step in the right direction, even if the inital effor was a bit underwhelming. All of them look playable, but none really seem like compelling generals, except mabye Talrand.

Hopefully, M14 will build on and improve upon the groundwork laid by M13 and the previous core sets, but in the mean time, M13 looks to be pretty successful itself.


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