October 4, 2015

Image Credit:

Robert’s Top 15 Underrated EDH Cards

Practically everyone I know who plays Magic enjoys EDH/Commander to some degree. Either you’re a hardcore combo player like everyone in my playgroup, or you’re someone who built a silly tribal Treefolk deck. Regardless of which kind of player you are, I believe that in every colour there’s a handful of great cards that should be staples and that also don’t break the bank. Today I’m going to list 15 of those cards for you, three in each colour.

White

White is a strange colour in EDH as it usually fills a support role and is rarely the main focus of the deck. Due to this, most good or even playable White spells are well known by EDH fanatics. However, I was able to scrape a few cards off the bottom of my brain that usually go unnoticed.

Rout is a card that is often considered to be “filler” in white EDH decks. Most people I know who run it are running it because they can’t afford or find a different board wipe. However, considering white’s general lack of “surprise factor” spells, I find Rout to be very efficient, and if you need a top deck when in a corner, five mana isn’t super overcosted.

Even I forgot Abolish existed while I was brainstorming for this article. I run Abolish in any deck that runs more than six Plains. It’s free removal, it stops artifact and enchantment based combos when you have no mana open. What’s not to like?

White likes to destroy things. It is generally bad at getting things back. Behold Twilight Shepherd in all of its angelic glory. It’s an angel, it is a massive value stick, and it has Persist. I’m pretty sure it needs no further explanation, but here’s one anyway. Basically it allows you to cast Wrath of God with a massive board state, ¬ then it returns to the battlefield due to its Persist ability, then you get all of your things back while all of your opponents sob uncontrollably.

Blue

Blue is much more commonly played than White, but still suffers a similar issue of cards that are good being commonly used, or being a combo piece. However, picking three blue cards that I consider to be underplayed was relatively simple.

Outside of my own play group here in Ottawa, I rarely see this card played except in mono-Blue decks. I often get asked why I bother running it. The answer is pretty simple: massive versatility. In a 1 on 1 environment Capsize works wonders by acting as early game removal, or a stall button in a long game. Simply bounce all of your opponent’s threats while you wait to top-deck something useful. In multiplayer it can be used to political advantage as you need it. Capsize is all around one of my favourite cards and as a result I never play a Blue deck without it.

I know this entry is kind of cheaty since it cannot be played in mono-Blue, but this card is insane. I didn’t know this card existed three months ago, now I think I’ll put it in every creature-based Simic deck. Every time I’ve cast it people ask what it is, then scramble to figure out how to make cuts in their decks that can play it. I think even if you could play it without Green and let it die every time the card would still be insane.

Oh look, it’s Jace the Unplayable. I couldn’t disagree more, and I’ve loved the card since he was spoiled. People dislike him mostly because other Jace cards are better, I don’t think that makes this iteration terrible by any standards. There are many decks in EDH that use the graveyard practically as a second hand, and with the Jace’s ability to filter what you toss in there and what you don’t is very helpful. While he’s not broken by any means, I do like him as a solid card to put in when Jace, the Mind Sculptor is a little pricey.

Black

Black is sort of my specialty colour in EDH. I’ve built every colour combination that uses Black at least once, so I’ve had my fair share of experimental cards played. Here’s a few that I feel I should see more of.

A lot of people I know gripe about this card because it costs five mana and not four like Grave Pact but for one extra mana you’re paying for an easier casting cost and this nice little thing called FLASH. I’ve cast this card in response to a removal spell so many times I can’t even count. Dictate of Erebos is one of my favourite cards to have and I almost never play a black deck without it anymore.

This card is a little hard to place sometimes, but I believe that ANY deck that relies on Skullclamp should be running this little toy as well. In Black, loss of life is almost always negligible. See Necropotence and Phyrexian Arena for other examples, and drawing three cards from “clamping” a Faerie token or a Bloodghast is just incredible value.

Removal that can’t be responded to in any way is just straight up good. Admittedly I spent a long time not knowing that this card existed, but now I have a play set so that I never have to worry about building a deck without it.

Red

Red falls into a similar category as white, albeit with an even smaller selection of playable cards. My two EDH decks at the time of writing are Omnath, Locus of Rage and Lyzolda, The Blood Witch. In both decks the Red is a mere splash. However, the cards I splash for tend to be different than ones other people play.

This card is included in two preconstructed EDH decks, the Built from Scratch deck from 2014, and the Mind Seize deck from 2013. Most people I’ve seen build out of those decks cut Starstorm almost immediately and it still confuses me. It’s an instant and is one of the only Red board wipes that can deal damage to creatures with Flying while still hitting guys on the ground. Starstorm is an auto-include in all of my Red decks.

Blowing up an Artifact then having a chump blocker is always nice. Manic Vandal is very handy in any Red deck that’s creature based like Lyzolda, The Blood Witch or Riku of Two Reflections.

People play all sorts of Haste-enablers in Commander, why Urabrask is rarely one of them is beyond my understanding. He’s a beatstick that slows down your opponents’ ability to block while making your board extremely aggressive. I’ve been running him in a combo deck that revolves around Living Death. It’s much easier to ensure my opponents simply can’t block than it is to try and exile EVERYONE’S graveyards. All in all, one of the most “red” cards in flavour that I’ve ever seen.

Green

Green always seems to be the most popular colour in EDH, likely because everyone loves ramping into big expensive creatures. Due to the popularity and wide variance of Green decks, it was fairly simple to pick three cards I think should be played more.

For a single extra mana, Soul’s Majesty usually draws a LOT more cards than Harmonize. Even in a token deck you’ll eventually make 5/5 Wurm tokens and draw five cards if there is nothing buffing them. This card is one of the few ways to draw cards in Green that does not require a massive board state that is required for cards like Shamanic Revelation.

Green loves to untap lands, and hates dealing with pesky Blue players countering their things. Nature’s Will effectively solves both problems and is just fantastic with combat-based commanders like Derevi, Empyrial Tactician.

The amount of people I’ve killed during Upkeeps and End Steps with this card is just silly, instant speed Hurricane is loads of fun, and a great way to spend the excess mana produced in Green decks.
And there you have it

EDH is a great and diverse format, there’s always going to be cards that catch people by surprise. I hope this article provides insight for the next time you build a deck. Is there a card you think is underrated? Feel free to post it in the comments below.