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Glaring Spotlight Volume 3 – Riptide Shapeshifter

Glaring Spotlight EDH Commander Column

Putting a “Glaring Spotlight” on Magic Cards for EDH/Commander

GLARING SPOTLIGHT is a Magic the Gathering™ column featuring a card that may have gone over-looked during the the building of your EDH Commander deck. Today we discuss Riptide Shapeshifter.

CARD: Riptide Shapeshifter
TYPE: Creature – Shapeshifter
EXPANSION: Onslaught – Uncommon
Card Text:
, Sacrifice Riptide Shapeshifter: Choose a creature type. Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a creature card of that type. Put that card onto the battlefield and shuffle the rest into your library.

Riptide Shapeshifter

Riptide Shapeshifter for EDH Commander

More Than Meets the Eye

Creature Type Shapeshifter? More like Transformer. I assume that the first time you play Riptide Shapeshifter in your playgroup very little consideration will be given to his relevance on the current game-state. When you activate his ability the upward shift of your buddies’ left eyebrow will tell the tale of how they underestimated him.

Now that you have their attention, call out “Colossus”, “Leviathan” or “Eldrazi” and relish in the enjoyment brought about by your “Decepticon”. Flip, flip, flip the top card of your library until your shapeshifter successfully transforms into Blightsteel Colossus, Stormtide Leviathan, or Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre.

Do you feel that momentum shift? Do you feel the full undivided attention and concentration on your side of the board? Yes, Riptide Shapeshifter did that.

Opportunity Knocks

While Riptide’s ability can be played at instant speed, transforming our new friend at the most opportune times can bring the best overall satisfaction. The most fun could occur during the declare blockers stage. Are you attacking me? Well then, activate Riptide Shapeshifter’s ability and bring out my Eldrazi to block. Another moment of strategic trickery is at the end of opponent’s turn, especially if their creatures are all tapped. Sacrifice Riptide and dig down to Blightsteel Colossus. My turn, attack for 11 Infect; Good Game.

Of course we could also shapeshift into our utility creatures naming “Ninja” to get a clone effect from Sakashima’s Student, “Beast” to exile a creature with Phyrexian Ingester, or “Illusion” to counter a spell with Draining Whelk.

Practice What I Preach

Riptide Shapeshifter is a piece of tech currently found in my Wrexial, the Risen Deep Copy/Steal deck. Favorite targets for Riptide in this deck include Stormtide Leviathan(Leviathan), Glen Elendra Archmage(Faerie) and Consecrated Sphinx(Sphinx). I also have future plans to include a copy of Riptide in my Lavinia of the Tenth Flicker deck where I can take full advantage of ETB effects from cards such as Angel of Serenity or Chancellor of the Spires.


Riptide Shapeshifter is a piece of EDH tech that can pull your best creature from your library and put it directly onto the battlefield. Since this trick relies on the creature “type” we need to plan ahead when deck building to ensure that we receive the expected results when the ability resolves. Obviously, Riptide Shapeshifter is not intended for use in tribal EDH decks.

Thank you for Reading, If you have any experiences with Riptide Shapeshifter, feel free to leave them in the area below!

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