Thursday, April 25, 2013

Dragon's Maze EDH Set Review, Part 3: Enemy Color Guilds

We've got another long one today, with another 5 guilds. This time, we're looking at the enemy color pairs, such as Orzhov and the like. With over 30 cards to discuss, I'll just skip to the review, cool?


Divinity of Pride and Serra Ascendant were made before EDH hit a critical mass of popularity and WotC started printed cards aimed squarely at our format. This, apparently, is what DoP looks like with an EDH-minded "fix" in place to account for the 40 life start we get. In some ways, I appreciate they've given us a bit more of a hoop to jump through to power this guy up, but at the same time, it makes me feel like DoP is just "better", despite the fact that this guy has two great protection colors.

Either way, he's definitely going to see some play.
Bad. Ass.

Zombify target Enchantment? Target Planeswalker? Sure, we'll take that! This will likely be a staple of the format for years to come.
I like that they don't get the card back if they kill this guy. That's what makes stuff like Tidehollow Sculler pratically useless in the format. I'm still not sure this is worth playing in EDH, though. I can definitely see it in Karador or something similarly able to recur it ad nauseum, but beyond that it seems too weak.

Usually I'd rather just have Sadistic Hypnotist and some tokens.
Nope. If this guy didn't cost 5, he might be semi-playable in WB Tokens, but you're better off jamming Cathar's Crusade.
Ugh. I hate this card with a passion, but it's so rediculously on-them for my Vish Kal deck that I know it's going to end up in that deck. But do we really need another way to make Cabal Coffers the most-abused Land in EDH?

Quick mathematical comparison to Exsanguinate:Debt is worse than Exsanguinate at 5 mana, the lowest CMC you can cast it for (and not have it do nothing), but it achieves parity with Exsanquinate at X=2, which gives you a 4-point life drain for 6 mana with either spell. Debt becomes more cost efficient than Exsanguinate at the 7 mana CMC, or X=3. Once you have 10 mana, Debt is worth a 12 point life drain, compared to Exsanguinate's 8 point drain.
Uh, do I want to pay 6 mana for a Zealous Persecution, or two mana? Derp. That this card exists is almost insulting.


Our planeswalker for the set is the long-awaited and much-anticipated Ral Zarek. I have to think there were a lot of EDH players crestfallen the day he was spoiled. He's a good planeswalker, no doubt about it, but he's not very EDH-friendly. His +1 is terrible in a non-duel environment, and the Lightning Bolts he slings aren't nearly as reliable in EDH as they are in 60-card formats. Worst of all, his Ultimate is down right anathema to a large portion of the format's fan's as being a Turn Hog is one of the most antisocial things one can do.

Expeect to see him paired with Doubling Season for maximum funwreckery.
Ha ha, cute. If this made 5/5 Dragons instead of 4/4's I'd be happy to give this a shot, but it's just shy of being playable in my book.  That said, if there are any U/R decks out there just wishing they could play Overrun, here's your chance.
I'd love this as a 5 mana Instant, but that's probably unrealistic. As printed, I think this is worthy of niche play at most, but not much more than that.
LOL, no thanks. It's a cute design, and very flavorful, but power-level-wise, this is pretty abyssmal.


5 mana to kill virtually any creature than can be targetted? Even Ulamog or Darksteel Collosus? In some color schemes this would be laughably bad, but in U/R, 5 mana for a Murder that can murder even Indestructable guys is actually a deal well worth taking.


Seems like an auto-include in Karador and Mimeoplasm for sure, as well as any other deck in these colors that seeks to exploit the graveyard as a resource.
If you've never played with Pernicious Deed, grab one of these, and you'll start to understand why Deed is so good. That said, I do like Deed better, because of the "rattlesnake" effect it has - the ability to just sit on the board and look menacing, quietly urging your opponents to attack each other instead of you. This doesn't have that effect. But it does have the (also highly desirable) effect of just flat out murdering every stinking thing on the battlefield.

VERY playable.
Turrible. Even decks that actively want to self-mill have dozens of more efficient options.
As much as I like a good Deathtouch blocker, this isn't all that compelling. Like, at all.
Well, it is strictly better than Recollect, if you're in the colors, but I haven't even seen Recollect played in a few years. I don't think this is "better" enough.

If "Down" cost BB, it'd be pretty good, but 7 mana is just too much to ask to get both of these effects. Not worth it.


What is there to say? If you're playing R/W aggro, and fear Wrath effects, then you'll absolutely want this card in your deck. Now, I do prefer Boros Charm, because it is A) an Instant, so they won't see it coming and play around it, B) a great Sunforger target, and C) protection for all your permanents, not just creatures.

That said, this is still a boon to Boros aggro decks and will definitely get plenty of play.

Bad Master Warcraft effect on an overpriced stick? Nope.
Seems great in a Gisela burn deck, but not very good outside that niche archetype.
This is so much worse than Lightning Helix it isn't even funny. Yet, if you ask me which of the two I'd rather have as part of my Sunforger package, I'd pick this one all day long.

Need a foil of this, by the way. Beautiful.
Blech! Give me Glory of Warfare or Cathar's Crusade any day. This is jank.
Surprisingly good (if a bit boring) utility spell. Hull Breach as an Instant for 1WR  is pretty fantastic, actually. Also, yet again, Sunfoger-able. This is probably the most playable of the uncommon split cards in the set, even if it isn't the most exciting.


A Clone with built-in Followed Footsteps is absolutely playble. Don't expect the 6 mana price tag to be much of a deterrent. This would be playable at 7 mana; at 6 it's great. I can't wait to jam this into everything I can.
As much as I dislike countermagic, this is certainly an impressive and exciting specimen. As a Mana Drain for the budget/casual player, this is definitely going to be a format staple, but the multi-color CI means (thankfully) it won't be jammed into every Blue deck in the format.
Neat, I guess. Most decks would probably rather pay 1 extra for Costal Piracy, as it does the same thing, but without the extra hoops to jump through. But I'm sure there are Edric and Experiment Kraj decks out there that'll make use of this.
Meh. Reprint this with Trample later, and we'll talk.
Seems  overcosted and bad at first, but as a Simic-ified variant of Faith's Fetters that can dodge removal (for an admittedly steep cost), it might get a bit of play here and there. U/G does actually have more removal options than you'd think, though, if you look hard enough.
U/G has about a million ways to pump guys or draw cards better than this. Maybe not on the same card, mind you, but the sheer wonky-ness and inefficiency of this card makes it look like utter garbage to me.

Okay, so we're down to the wire. We just have the 10 Guild Champions to look at, then a quick look at the Artifacts and Lands, and we're done!

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