Top 5 EDH cards that makes me want to flip the table

tableflip

When the going gets tough, the tough goes Gruul. FFFFUUUUUU-

You all know how it is. You’ve taken time out of your week, gathered around your table and now your friends are your mortal enemies. The pleasantries at the beginning is soon swapped for banter, and not long after that declarations of war. That’s okay though, because war around the EDH table is often quite enjoyable. There are, however, those times when you want to throw away common courtesy and just flip the table and walk away. I’ve yet to do this in a real game, thankfully, I have once not too long ago tossed another player’s Spell Crumple across the room – a feat I’m not proud of, nor would I dream of doing it again, but at least it beats punching him in his stupid face. We’re all friends at the end of the day.

This list is dedicated to those cards that could have the most potential of turning a player into a table-flipper.

 

solring.full5: Sol Ring. Sol Ring is a huge staple of the format, and it’s easy to understand why. The little artifact that could easily ramps your early starts into ridiculousness. With just regular basic land drops, a turn 1 Sol Ring will allow you to cast a four-drop on turn two, way ahead of the curve. Zwi Mowshowitz rated the card the second best artifact of all time in 2005, second only to Black Lotus in Power, and before the Moxen, and incidentally, all the Moxen and Black Lotus happens to be banned in EDH. My issues with Sol Ring isn’t really on a personal level, I play it in all my decks, of course, and since the printings of it in Commander 2011 and Commander 2013, as well as surely in Commander 2014 as well, anyone can have a sweet black-bordered Sol Ring to play with. The issue that arises is when everybody around the table opens with it except you. You’re sitting there, going land-go for the first couple of turns while the guy on your left goes land, Sol Ring, Dimir Signet. That moment, when you realize your opponent could very well cast a five-drop on the next turn, while you at best play your own Signet or a Rampant Growth or something other silly, that moment makes me want to flip the table.

 

forbid.hq4: Forbid. It’s been established long ago that Magic players really hate getting their spells countered. In fact, studies conducted by the R&D showed that getting a creature countered makes a player feel worse than getting the exact same creature Doom Blade’d immediately, even though the end results are more or less exactly the same (assuming no enters the battlefield-effects or similar). This, frankly, excites me as a blue player, it is a testimony to the notion that I’m doing something right when people hold so much hostility towards the signature spells of the colour. However, even I loathe one of the worst counterspells ever printed – Forbid. Say you’re up against an Ux Control deck. The game has gone long, but you and your opponent are the only two players left standing. You cast a spell only to get it Forbid’d. That’s easily one of the worst feelings in the format. Pair the spell up with any consistent card-draw, like Phyrexian Arena, and you can forget resolving sorcery-speed spells for the rest of the game. If your opponent is even half-aware about what threats you’re likely to run, you’re not winning that game. The level of frustration puts Forbid at number four, easily.

 

mindslaver.hq3: Midslaver. Mindslaver is a card that is in its essence very interesting both from a flavour perspective and from a gameplay perspective. Mindslaver does something that was unique at the time, and prompted a whole bunch of rules questions in its first printing, and it still confuses people to this day. One of my favourites has to be “If my opponent Mindslavers me, can he look at my sideboard?” (the answer is “yes”) and the follow-up “Can I concede before he does so?” (“yes” to that one too). Wonky rules questions aside, the card is quite excellent in its execution, and the effect itself is very cool. That said, getting Mindslaver’d is not very cool at all. In fact, it feels like someone just stepped into your car, took the wheel and made a sharp left turn when you wanted to go on straight. The problem with the effect is that it’s often quite fine for 10 mana and as a one-shot: as is demonstrated in my post “My first modern love“, it is quite possible to resolve the effect and still lose. Issues arise, however, when it is recurred, and that can easily lock an opponent out of a game. Twelve mana, Academy Ruins and Mindslaver isn’t a very difficult feat in EDH, even considering the format’s inherent variance – blue happens to tutor quite well for artifacts, and if you construct a deck with say, Sharuum, the Hedgemon as your general, then you have all the black and white tutoring as well. As EDH is supposed to be a fun casual format, our playgroup has put a soft-ban on Mindslaver, a gentleman ban (or gentleban) so to speak.

 

riteofreplication.hq2: Rite of Replication. Rite of Replication belongs in a category of cards along with Skizzik: they are cards nobody would ever consider to cast without paying the kicker cost, because Rite of Replication is really a Socery for 7UU that says “You win the game”. That’s how powerful Rite of Replication is when combined with some of the devastating enters the battlefield-effects available in the format. It also won’t care about who controls the creature being copied. “Lemme just copy your Terastodon and make myself five of them”, or “Oh, Bogardan Hellkite! Shiny!”. I understand that some might enjoy playing with these extremely powerful effects, and it is indeed a natural part of a format with such a huge card pool, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating. Rite of Replication is a 7UU easy mode button. It wins you the game if there’s a good creature on the board, often it doesn’t even matter what else is on board, it takes over and it wins. I have a copy of my own that I opened in a box of Zendikar long ago, but I don’t play it simply because we all agree it’s not much fun to just break open a game like that. As a final example of the perversion that is Rite of Replication, I give you this – my local playgroup allowed my friend to build a deck with Ink-Treader Nephilim as a commander. “That’s strange”, you might think, “He’s not a legendary creature.” I agree, and I pointed it out to them as well, but they explained that they didn’t care. I tried reasoning using my classical training and demonstrated the slippery slope argument, stating that I would build a deck with a can of coke as commander. Or a smell (stay tuned for my build of Axe Antactica. It’s blue-white, by the way). Nobody cared. I turned salty as all hell, but hell didn’t actually break loose until my friend cast his general and then cast a kicked Rite of Replication on it. Against a board full of evil creatures. Fun times were had by all!

 

genesis and nail

1: Genesis Wave / Tooth and Nail. Much in the same vein as Rite of Replication above are these two overpowered sorceries, but they’re even worse in some respects. Both exist within the colour that also happens to have most of the best and stable ramp spells in EDH, as long as nobody is griefing and playing mass-land destruction, Rampant Growth, Cultivate, Kodama’s Reach, Far Wanderings, Skyshroud Claim, Harrow, Explosive Vegetation and about fifty other green spells will search your library for lands, a few to put them in your hand but most to put the directly into play and effectively ramp you past any opposition. Then, after a couple other players have tried to “go off” and subsequently been hated out by the rest of the table, you’re free to play an entwined Tooth and Nail for Prime Speaker Zegana and Terastodon, draw ten cards, blow up some lands and just take over and end the game. The same is true for Genesis Wave, but in a more unreliable, but often spectacular fashion.

 

What card makes you want to flip the table in an epic ragequit? Leave a comment!

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4 Comments

  1. psykopatmullvad

     /  October 5, 2014

    I have Rites of Replication on my list too.
    Other cards i dislike is Capsize (buyback for 3 counterspell).
    I cant really think of more right now, ill get back here if i figure some more out.

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    Reply
    • Capsize is the bounce spell, and I’m sure you meant to write that too (especially since I have Forbid on the list), but I see your point. It too is extremely frustrating to play against.

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  2. Grim Lavamancer

     /  October 6, 2014

    I’m right that with you on the Rites of Replication issue. Really, any card that abruptly ends the game tends to get the frowny face from me. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against combo decks per se, heck back when I was playing vintage I dabbled in combo a few times, but EDH isn’t a very good format for combos (or at least insta-win combos, I don’t mind card synergies and such).

    In the “real formats” combo is a vital part of the game, you need to be prepared for it and have a certain amount of answers to the most common combos out there. EDH is a bit different though. An EDH game can, and most likely will, drag on for more than an hour with several twist and turns, and when you’ve played for that long it becomes very anti climatic when your opponent plays a combo that suddenly ends the game.

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