Hi folks, welcome to my 2nd set review for Top 10 EDH cards for MY EDH decks. Yep, that’s right, in case you were wondering, these are the cards from Dragon’s Maze that I feel are the best for my current EDH decks. Let me begin by saying that I had a hard time trying to field a top 10 list from the third installment of the Return to Ravnica block. It seemed that so much good-stuff came from Gatecrash and then we get this set and ugh, slim pickins.
Lets begin by reviewing my EDH Commanders and how many Dragon’s Maze cards will definitely be added to the other 99. Kaalia of the Vast: is once again the winner as she receives 3 new cards to her EDH build. Uril, the Miststalker gets 2 New Cards including an aura, while Eight-and-a-Half-Tails and Vhati il-Dal each get 1. However, Dragon’s Maze just didn’t have anything good enough for Hanna, Ship’s Navigator, Wrexial, the Risen Deep and new EDH builds Chainer, Dementia Master and Sliver Overlord.
Further down the list, I will also reveal which of Dragon’s Maze’s 10 Guild Champions I have decided to build a deck around. This new Legend will bring my total of EDH decks to nine.
As I did with Gatecrash, I will also include a few updates as my Top 10 list gets some play time. Oh, by the way, there will definitely be an M14 Review since the spoilers are already revealing what could be one of the most amazing core sets for EDH of all-time.
Let’s Get Started!
Mirko Vosk, Mind Drinker: I was unable to find a home for any new cards in my Wrexial, the Risen Deep EDH deck, but these are two that I am definitely giving consideration to. Should I decide to take a bit more of a mill approach, then Mirko Vosk may get the call in the bullpen.
Notion Thief: I may have undervalued Notion Thief at this point in time, but I do have his ability indexed in the back of my mind. My next few times playing Wrexial, I will be visualizing Notion Thief and if he would warrant a try-out. I really think this guy could be amazing along side Windfall and Whispering Madness, two spells that Wrex-in-Effects already utilizes.
Obzedat’s Aid: See that card in your graveyard? Cast this, and put it into play. Sounds sooo good, so why is it not going directly into Kaalia? For the same reason I removed Beacon of Unrest and that is the 5 converted mana cost. Additionally, in my Kaalia build, there are not a lot of non-creature permanents that I really need this for. So, in the meantime, I will put this in Kaalia’s virtual sideboard.
Sin Collector: If this card allowed me to have an opponent discard any non-land card, I would probably be including it in Kaalia. But just an instant or sorcery? Well, that would still be fairly good at getting removal out of their hand… so… I am undecided on this one at this time.
#10 – Render Silent
I have always wanted to put a U/W EDH deck together that circled around effects such as Orim’s Chant and Silence. As of this time, however, I just don’t see this counterspell going into my U/W Hanna EDH deck. So why does it make the top 10 list of cards for my EDH decks. Read-on and find out which NEW EDH deck this card will find a home in!
#9 – Putrefy
Usually I do not include reprints in my lists, but since Dragon’s Maze was so weak, I had to fill a spot. Putrefy is excellent spot removal for a creature or artifact and I have always had a copy of this in my Vhati il-Dal deck. In my opinion, however, the Ravnica artwork outshines the new Dragon’s Maze version.
#8 – Wear // Tear
At first, I did not think I was going to use Wear // Tear in any of my decks until playing Kaalia the other day and the 2WW mana cost of Return to Dust was too much to stop a turn 4 combo. If I would have had Wear // Tear, my Vampiric Tutor would have fetched this instant and kept me in the game. Honestly, if you have access to Boros colors, what is not to like about being able to destroy an artifact, enchantment or both for the Fuse cost of 1RW? On top of that, I thought split cards were twice the fun during Invasion block playing days, so the nostalgia for split cards tells me to give this card a chance.
#7 – Sire of Insanity
Kaalia of the Vast is holding tryouts and Sire of Insanity may just make the cut. THE GOOD: Early Game, in a 1v1 matchup, Kaalia 2nd Turn, Sire of Insanity 3rd turn could force our opponent to scoop as he faces down 1 6/4 beater with no cards in hand. THE BAD: Mid Game, in a 1v1 matchup, we plop him down and he may effectively take out our opponents hand, but at this point in the game we may need our bag of goodies too. Also, by mid-game, I am sure our opponent will be able to “handle” this demonic nemesis. THE UGLY: We need to top-deck a creature with evasion or an ETB effect and we draw…. this guy. 🙁 Our opponent has no cards in hand and playing Sire of Insanity will hurt us more than it will hurt him/her.
UPDATE: Sire of Insanity has been put into a sleeve and resides as card number 101 in my Kaalia deck. Meaning? He may get a couple of opportunities to make a case for himself, otherwise, it’s off to the trade-binder for this guy!
#6 – Lavinia of the Tenth
So… which of my EDH decks does Lavinia of the Tenth fall into? Well currently, none of them. I have wanted to build a U/W EDH deck that centered around tapping opponents creatures, detaining them or pacifying them. I tried using Gwafa Hazid, Profiteer, Grand Arbiter Augustin IV, and Hanna, Ship’s Navigator with this theme, but eventually evolved that deck into a multi-player U/W Combo deck centered around Hanna’s ability and abusing enchantments/artifacts. Lavinia gives me a chance to rekindle my deck idea, I am just not sure if I will be gearing it towards 1v1 or Multi-Player. One thing is for sure, the wacky card choices I make will definitely keep it non-competitive – just for casual play.
My current deck idea for Lavinia of the Tenth will be to include as many “flicker” type spells and creatures as I can. Card choices will also include similar creatures such as Archon of the Triumvirate and Frost Titan, wacky pacifism creatures like Sand Squid and Thalakos Dreamsower, and time-walk like effects such as Render Silent, Orim’s Chant, and Sleep.
#5 – Gaze of Granite
With Pernicious Deed demanding an Andrew Jackson now-a-days (meaning, this enchantment is running about $20), Wizards gives us a similar budget option in Gaze of Granite. “The Gaze” has found it’s way into my Vhati il-Dal deck as my main spell to combat token swarms by replacing Sever the Bloodline. I love Gaze of Granite’s versatility and the fact that with a few extra mana, I can deal with permanents such as Hexproof creatures, protection and Planeswalkers that would usually be harder to deal with.
#4 – Unflinching Courage
So Uril, the Miststalker players… will you run 2 Armadillo Cloaks in your deck? Actually, Unflinching Courage is NOT Armadillo Cloak #2! Truth is, Unflinching Courage and Armadillo Cloak may look the same at first glance, but their mechanics are slightly different. Let’s break this down:
(Excerpts from my 04/19/2013 MTGSalvation post)
Armadillo Cloak does NOT have lifelink. “Whenever enchanted creature deals damage, you gain that much life” is actually a triggered ability that goes on the stack.
Unflinching Courage gives the creature lifelink which is a static effect and reads “Damage dealt by the creature also causes its controller to gain that much life”.
I believe here are the differences:
1a) Armadillo Cloak can be put on an opponent’s creature and the OWNER of the aura will gain life when that creature does damage. But since it is a triggered effect, that owner can die to lethal before this effect happens.
1b) Unflinching Courage, on the otherhand, gives the source’s controller the life gaining ability. So if put on an opponent’s creature, the opponent will gain life.
2a) If I block with a creature that has Armadillo Cloak and receive lethal, I will lose before the life gain kicks in.
2b) If I block with a creature that has Unflinching Courage and receive lethal, I can stay alive due to the static ability of lifelink.
If Uril is enchanted with BOTH Armadillo Cloak and Unflinching Courage, we would have a 13/13 Hexproof Commander with Trample that would gain us DOUBLE LIFE. 🙂 Unflinching Courage joins Armadillo Cloak as a Top Ten Aura for Uril in my Uril, the Miststalker EDH Primer.
#3 – Master of Cruelties
For those of you that are not familiar with Master of Cruelties, if he is attacking alone and unblocked, he will reduce an opponent’s life total to 1. The reason why he is so good with Kaalia of the Vast is that she sneaks him in AFTER attacks are declared, yet his ability will still trigger if unblocked. If Master of Cruelties’ effect triggers, then the defending player’s life total is reduced to 1 and Kaalia can come in and seal the game with her 2 points of damage. Nasty, nasty combo that can catch a player off-guard in a 1v1 competitive match-up. Since we have the ability to cast Kaalia on turn 2, this could potentially be a turn 3 win.
I would probably recommend including Master of Cruelties in a 1v1 Competitive Kaalia deck only. Wrecking one person’s world in Multi-Player, to me, does not seem like a fair or fun thing to do. For this reason, I have bumped this nasty demon to #3 on the list.
UPDATE: In a 1v1 match, I snuck this guy in with Kaalia, but he was blocked. However, on the next turn I equipped him with Whispersilk Cloak allowed him to attack alone and reduce my opponent’s life total to 1.
#2 – Renounce the Guilds
Who would have thought that Dragon’s Maze would give us a strong card for our mono-colored deck. After all, this enitre block has a multi-color guild theme. Some of you may be thinking, “Renounce the Guilds, really dude?” For you doubters out there, let me give you some insight to my Eight-and-a-Half-Tails EDH Deck. Renounce the Guilds will make each player sacrifice a multi-colored permanent, but since I am playing mono-white, I should be unaffected. “What if a player has several multi-colored permanents – that isn’t as effective if they get to choose.” The secret to the power of Renounce the Guilds in this deck is that 8 1/2 Tails has the ability to turn permanents White. So if my friends at our EDH kitchen table have several multi-colored permanents I can just use Eight-and-a-Half-Tails ability to start making their multi-colored permanents WHITE until I am satisfied with what they will have to sacrifice.
With one card, we could effectively make all of our opponent’s sacrifice their generals. If anything else, Renounce the Guilds will bring a “fun-factor” to my Eight-and-a-Half-Tails EDH deck, therefore elevating it up to #2 on my list.
#1 – Legion’s Initiative
I am a huge fan of protecting my board position and Legion’s Initiative falls into my trickery category. This card will get its debut in my Uril, the Miststalker and Kaalia of the Vast. I believe in this card’s ability so much that I have already obtained a foil version for Uril. Legion’s Initiative at the very least gives our general a +1/+1 for two mana. Where the wow-factor comes in, is it’s ability to protect all of the creatures we control and own from wrath and edict effects similar to another one of my favorite cards, Ghostway. Kaalia, will benefit more from this effect along with the ETB fatty creatures that have her back such as Rune-Scarred Demon and Desolation Angel. Uril, will also benefit, but activating this in response will cause any auras attached to him to be sent to our graveyard. Possibly my favorite dose of potential for Legion’s Initiative is the fact that it can protect both Kaalia and Uril from clone effects, something that is quite prevalent in my meta.
UPDATE: I have had this enchantment in play in a match with Kaalia, and even though I never had to activate, Kaalia definitely benefitted from being a 3/3 for a good portion of the game.
Hope you enjoyed this article… Don’t miss the M14 review next month!