January 2, 2020

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Illusion of Choice

As of late, I’ve been talking up a lot of cards you should consider adding to all of your decks. But what about the cards you should be considering removing? There are plenty of cards that are popular in EDH for one reason or another. But, many of them either don’t slot into every deck or just aren’t as good as people think. Let’s go over some cards that you should consider why you have it in your deck

Temple of the False God

I’ve brought this one up before, and I’ll do it again. Despite being in every prebuilt deck I can think of, the card is generally awful. It’s just a bad Ancient Tomb. It’s the kind of ramp you’ll generally want early in the game but this card specifically does nothing in the early game. The requirement to turn on this card is just too high for the payoff in the end. Even in lands matter decks I avoid including this card. There are just too many possible awkward draws with it.

Vedalken Orrery

While there are groups that will tell you this card is one of the greatest in the game, it simply isn’t. Just like a lot of pet cards, you will have a great moment or two with it but the card’s average performance will just leave a lot to be desired. That isn’t to say this card doesn’t have great effect in certain decks, but it’s average effect on a game just isn’t substantial enough to warrant its inclusion as well as its current price point.

Gamble

While this card is solid, it’s not often played in the right deck and will be treated as a Demonic Tutor. You should always be assuming that this card works more like Entomb or you’ll be met with some pretty disappointing results. This card should be primarily used in decks that can take advantage of their graveyard, whether through recursion or manipulation. 

Shalai, Voice of Plenty

While a strong card, it is pretty far from an auto include in G/W/x strategies. The mana investment of the card is relatively high in comparison to most other protection spells in the format. The stats of the card just overall leave a lot to be desired. It will likely just eat a removal spell quickly or die in combat due to that fact and while the ‘dies to removal’ argument is not really one, the lack of any form of protection for this creature is rough. 

Deathrite Shaman

While a personal favourite card of mine and an all star from legacy, the effect this card can have in EDH isn’t always a strong one. It offers slow graveyard hate and sometimes ramp. Many tables will have players that don’t have any fetch lands or are trying to take advantage of Life from the Loam and its dredging friends, and that’s something one should consider before running this card. The card just may not have text in every meta and should be considered during deck construction. 

Brainstorm

This is heresy to be on this list, but hear me out. Brainstorm is an all time powerful magic card but if your deck doesn’t run shuffle effects, deck manipulation or you just don’t know how to Brainstorm, you should probably cut this from your list. The card is powerful but only in the correct conditions. 

Smokestack

The key to this card is being able to gain some sort of advantage throughout the duration of its effect. Unfortunately, most EDH games end up with boards that are just way too wide in order for it to be powerful. While functional in several stax decks, the number of cards you need to have enabling it is a rather large group. Definitely an include with caution card.

Overwhelming Splendor

Mana cost keeps this one down. While it’s nice to disable one opponent’s creatures pretty much entirely, you’re often going to be better off using the older counterpart of this card Humility. Eight mana is a lot to ask for and this will likely be throwing off your curve in some way. Unless you have ways to consistently cheat it out, you will often wish to avoid this card.

Phyrexian Reclamation

This definitely leans on the more fair side of graveyard interaction in black. While strong, it isn’t incredible. Many lists I’ve seen go as far as relying on this over general reanamation packages which just isn’t as efficient. Being able to pay just one mana to Reanimate a creature keeps you casting multiple spells a turn while avoiding paying the mana cost of a creature plus the two to return it from your yard.

Pretty short list of cards I wanted to go over immediately today, but I want to hear from you too! Let me know what cards you think should be on this list or what card you think I shouldn’t have included. Until next time, may you all keep turn one Sol Ring!