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 Post subject: Overrated Cards in EDH
AgePosted: 2019-Jun-07 4:33 pm 

Joined: 2019-Jun-05 11:49 pm
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(Disclaimer: This isn’t meant to make anyone who runs these cards feel bad. At the end of the day this is just my personal opinion and is not meant to offend anyone)

What are some cards that you think are overrated? Maybe cards that look really good or are considered "staples" but always tend to underperform when you actually wind up using them. I'll start off with this one: Sunforger

Sunforger is a card that is often touted as an auto include for Boros decks. I don't want to speak for anyone else, but I have personally never seen this card pull its weight in any deck my friends or myself have run it in. Now, that could be because we just haven't figured out how to use it to its full potential, but there are a few reasons why I don't think this card deserves all of the hype it gets.

For one, there's the mana cost. For a total of 6RW you get to tutor out a 4 CMC or less instant and cast it for free. Now I'll be the first to admit that for Boros, this is definitely a cool and unique effect, but eight mana is still eight mana. Even in the rare instance that you have an absurdly large amount of mana available (hard to pull off in Boros), you can still only activate it once during a singular opponent’s turn, after which you’ll have to wait through the rest of the turn cycle until you can re-equip it at sorcery speed on your next turn. Sure, you could spend absurd amounts of mana to use it multiple times on your own turn, but at that point the purpose of the ability (instant speed interaction) seems wasted. Either way, the resources set aside to maintain Sunforger's usefulness are almost always better served elsewhere, especially in Boros decks where speed is of the essence when trying to beat three other opponents with a color combination that relies mostly on combat damage to win.

Secondly, in my opinion, the risks and trade offs of running Sunforger outweigh the benefits it offers to most Boros strategies. As I said before, there is the glaring issue of mana cost, but there are other factors that play into this as well. Equipment cards in general are vulnerable to all sorts of removal, whether it's targeted towards the artifact itself or the creature it's equipped to. Sunforger in particular paints a pretty big target for removal because of its potential (although rarely achieved in my experience) versatility. This can lead to a lot of "blowout" situations where you spend a lot of Mana to cast and equip Sunforger, only to have it or the creature it's trying to equip get removed. It’s also worth mentioning that Sunforger’s ability is anything but subtle, and gives your opponents a pretty big heads up that they ought to play around it. Additionally, if you look at the list of potential targets for Sunforger’s ability, a vast majority of them appear to be singular removal spells and burn spells. So in the best case scenario, you spend a total of EIGHT mana to cast Sunforger, equip it, resolve its ability, and, assuming there no disruption from your opponents, you get what usually amounts to a free singular removal spell. Compare this to the worst case (and far more common) scenario, where your opponents have removal, counterspells, or other disruption for the ability and you have to pass the turn because you tapped out to make use of Sunforger.

Okay I’m done rambling haha. Sorry for the long post, I just wanted to provide some context to my argument. I’d love to hear about any other cards people think are overrated, since I think this is a topic we can all relate to.


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 Post subject: Re: Overrated Cards in EDH
AgePosted: 2019-Jun-08 12:49 am 
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I think Sunforger is great. Yes, you invest 8 total mana for the first spell you cast with it (and 5 per thereafter), but so what? Firstly, it's not like it has to be all at once. You can spread that cost over multiple turns, and it's not like you have to spend all your mana every turn - frequently you CAN'T spend all your mana every turn. Secondly, as you point out, this effect is very good in Boros, which otherwise lacks the ability to tutor answers like this. You need to have a good package for it in your deck, which means devoting slots to things it can fetch - ideally things that are good on their own if you draw them. Most decks should be running such cards anyways - StP, PtE, Into the Core, Return to Dust, Boros Charm, Master Warcraft, Teferi's Protection, Intimidation Bolt, Angel's Grace, Brave the Elements, Enlightened Tutor, Orim's Chant, Silence, Wild Ricochet, Fury Storm, Faith's Reward... I can go on and on with this. And that's just in Boros. If you're in R/W/U you can also grab counterspells like Absorb and Double Negative.

Basically, Sunforger is a swiss army knife of all the good instants in your deck, and yes you pay more total mana for that versatility, but it's really incredible versatility. Also, any deck with Sunforger should have Mistveil Plains to recur the spell you fetch.

All that said, it's not an auto-include in every deck with red and white, so if that's the standard we're measuring against, then yes, it's overrated. But I can say from personal experience that when it's good, it's REALLY good.

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 Post subject: Re: Overrated Cards in EDH
AgePosted: 2019-Jun-08 1:12 am 

Joined: 2019-Jun-05 11:49 pm
Age: Drake
Sid the Chicken wrote:
All that said, it's not an auto-include in every deck with red and white, so if that's the standard we're measuring against, then yes, it's overrated. But I can say from personal experience that when it's good, it's REALLY good.


Yeah this is the point I'm trying to get at. Not saying it's an inherently bad card, but that it just doesn't live up to it's own hype.

Do you have any cards that you think fit this criteria?


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 Post subject: Re: Overrated Cards in EDH
AgePosted: 2019-Jun-08 3:17 am 
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Sunforger is awesome in decks built around it. Sunforger is only okay or worse in decks not built around it. On a related note, Feather, the Redeemed + Sunforger + Magnetic Theft is kinda bonkers. Pay RRW every turn to search your library, play virtually any instant in your deck, and then likely return that searched instant back to your hand.

I think it's possible Solemn Simulacrum might have become overrated from what it used to be. It's not a bad card, but it's much better when you can take advantage of ETB/LTB effects rather than just using it as a single ramp card. There's so many solid mana rocks now and other artifacts which interact with lands.

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 Post subject: Re: Overrated Cards in EDH
AgePosted: 2019-Jun-08 3:38 am 
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If we're talking overrated, I've got two pretty big ones.

The first is Chromatic Lantern. Simply put, I think it's a $10 Manalith. There is the occasional deck where it will have some special purpose, like helping out non-mana lands like Maze of Ith, but aside from that I think any deck that wants the effect already has the tools to achieve it anyway, even with a budget manabase. And in the deck where your color requirements are so greedy that you "need" such an effect, it's one card in the 99 and not easy to rely on.

The other effect that I think is heavily overrated is every single Spellbook variant. Reliquary Tower is the biggest culprit, although Thought Vessel's $12 price tag is also a head scratcher for me. First off, I think there are only two deck types where the effect even makes the standard of "actually does something useful". Those decks being mana decks like mono green Omnath or new Jhoira, and control decks led by a card advantage engine commander. And yet I see those cards being touted as complete and total staples, on the level of Sol Ring or Lightning Greaves.

I'm also not even sure that the effect is that good even in the decks where it does anything. Is having a grip of 8 cards really that much better than a grip of 7? Each card has an opportunity cost to be played over the other ones in your hand, and you only have so much mana and viable situations.

The one actual benefit I think comes from both cards is that they reduce the need to think about the logistics of the game and just focus on the strategy. Who cares if I accidentally tap my Nomad's Outpost when I meant to tap my Blood Crypt when I have Lantern in play? And same deal with discarding at the end of the turn; rather than deciding between Counterflux and Render Silent I can just have both of them and not have to think about it.

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 Post subject: Re: Overrated Cards in EDH
AgePosted: 2019-Jun-08 4:47 am 
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Uktabi_Kong wrote:
I'm also not even sure that the effect is that good even in the decks where it does anything.

I agree they aren't auto-include staple level cards, but for the decks that really want that effect, it is that good. A control deck sitting there with 30 cards in hand and all their mana untapped is a pretty big issue, when they can just hold all the answers to everything in hand and still hold onto their threats as well. And let's not discuss what happens when you can combine that with Scroll Rack... *shudder*

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 Post subject: Re: Overrated Cards in EDH
AgePosted: 2019-Jun-08 4:52 am 
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Sid the Chicken wrote:
Uktabi_Kong wrote:
I'm also not even sure that the effect is that good even in the decks where it does anything.

I agree they aren't auto-include staple level cards, but for the decks that really want that effect, it is that good. A control deck sitting there with 30 cards in hand and all their mana untapped is a pretty big issue, when they can just hold all the answers to everything in hand and still hold onto their threats as well. And let's not discuss what happens when you can combine that with Scroll Rack... *shudder*

I guess I'm just not seeing how having access to 15 removal spells in hand is really that much better than 5, in practice at least. Maybe in the very late game, when everyone has 15+ mana and you can expect every other spell to be a potential game winner and you'll want the resources to fight a 5+ card counter war, but past that it just seems like smart play and saving the removal spells for the important targets will get you as far.

EDIT: A simpler way to describe what I mean. 7 cards in hand means you will always have what you need to kill your opponents' Craw Wurms, while 10+ cards means you'll always have what you need to kill your opponents' Craw Wurms and Grizzly Bears.

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 Post subject: Re: Overrated Cards in EDH
AgePosted: 2019-Jun-08 5:38 am 
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Segrus wrote:
Sunforger is awesome in decks built around it.


^This^. Sunforger is a niche card, and I didn't even realize there were people who considered it a Boros staple. Other aspects of a "Sunforger Deck" are ways to tutor/cast and/or equip sunforger (e.g. Sigarda's Aid, Stoneforge Mystic, Leonin Shikari, etc.).

Uktabi_Kong wrote:
The first is Chromatic Lantern. ...I think any deck that wants the effect already has the tools to achieve it anyway, even with a budget manabase. And in the deck where your color requirements are so greedy that you "need" such an effect, it's one card in the 99 and not easy to rely on.


How did this get so expensive? Granted, I have a few decks running it (along with Prismatic Omen) but only those 5C decks that really need back-ups for color generation (Karona - Avatar tribal; Progenitus - Hydra Tribal; Cromat - Domain theme). Avatar tribal is really color hungry especially thanks to all of he LOR/SHM hybrid 5CMC avatars

Uktabi_Kong wrote:
The other effect that I think is heavily overrated is every single Spellbook variant. ... First off, I think there are only two deck types where the effect even makes the standard of "actually does something useful". Those decks being mana decks like mono green Omnath or new Jhoira, and control decks led by a card advantage engine commander.


The decks I have with these effects fit neither of those types. For example, Beast Tribal runs these effects simply because it curves high and if it gets rolling it draws faster than I can play the fatties; and RGW doesn't have enough recursion for me to be comfortable discarding each turn.

But I agree that I see a lot of decks spending a slot on these effects when they aren't really needed.

As for overrated cards, I think Sol Ring and Duplicant fit the bill.

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 Post subject: Re: Overrated Cards in EDH
AgePosted: 2019-Jun-08 9:29 am 

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Uktabi_Kong wrote:
The first is Chromatic Lantern. Simply put, I think it's a $10 Manalith.
The biggest one for me is tapping utility lands for colored mana is just so good, especially in 3+ color. Colorless lands have serious downside in them, and this negates a lot of that, and its not more than most mana rocks : 3. Add in making all my fetches tap without paying the life late game, and its a solid B+.

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 Post subject: Re: Overrated Cards in EDH
AgePosted: 2019-Jun-08 10:15 am 
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Uktabi_Kong wrote:
EDIT: A simpler way to describe what I mean. 7 cards in hand means you will always have what you need to kill your opponents' Craw Wurms, while 10+ cards means you'll always have what you need to kill your opponents' Craw Wurms and Grizzly Bears.

Having a huge grip means you probably have enough control to shut down several haymakers for the turn cycle, and if someone answers your threats, you probably have more in hand ready to go. Cards in hand are a resource, just like life total, lands in play, etc., and EDH is, at its core, a game of resource management.

The reason Reliquary Tower isn't an auto-include in every deck is that not all decks can sustain a large hand size and still be impacting the game, but the decks that CAN do this will love the effect.

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 Post subject: Re: Overrated Cards in EDH
AgePosted: 2019-Jun-08 3:10 pm 
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Sensei's Divining Top - This card has lots of busted interactions, like Future Sight/Bolas's Citadel/Intet, the Dreamer, and lots of very strong interactions like Rampant Growth/fetchlands to clear away currently unwanted cards at no extra cost. If your deck can do any of these things consistently, SDT is great. But I see it going into a lot of decks that CAN'T do those things at all, let alone consistently, and it's just not good.

Think of it in comparison to Night's Whisper in the early game; let's say you are trying to avoid mana-screw or mana-flood. You play Top on turn 1, peek on turn 2. You've paid 2 mana spaced out over two turns to look 3 cards deep for the land/nonland you need. That's a slightly better deal than simply playing Night's Whisper on turn 2, both in terms of mana efficiency and card selection (you have now seen 12 cards using Top, only 11 using Whisper). However, every turn after that if you are still trying to hit lands / nonlands, in order to keep ahead of the Whisper player's depth of cards seen, you need to keep paying. Having simply drawn the cards is way more efficient in the long term, even if you didn't want either of them but are just trying to find cards deeper into your library.

In addition to that, Top slows down the game for the rest of the table. So it comes at a cost to the fun of the table in addition to the costs of your own deck's efficiency.

Brainstorm
- Basically everything I said about Top, except it doesn't slow the game down as much because you only cast it once.

While I'm on the subject of "cost to game pace" . . .
Sid the Chicken wrote:
The reason Reliquary Tower isn't an auto-include in every deck is that not all decks can sustain a large hand size and still be impacting the game, but the decks that CAN do this will love the effect.
Something to note, Reliquary Tower can either speed up or slow down gameplay, usually inversely proportional to how good it is in the deck. That is, if it doesn't do much in your deck other than let you skip deciding what to discard when you're at 8 cards, that's good for the pace of the game. But if you have 12 cards and each of them might be relevant to the situation and you're trying to see the optimal line of play at each moment, that's actually going to slow it down for everybody else. So while I agree with Uktabi_Kong that it's an overrated effect (especially in groups that run lots of Wheel/Twister effects), I'm actually kind of glad that's the case.

Wrath of God/Damnation - These cards are perfectly solid, but it always feels bad to have one of these in my hand while staring at an enemy indestructible creature, or Obzedat, Ghost Council, Rekindling Phoenix, or even just a heavy hitter with flash and/or haste sitting in my opponent's Command Zone (Chromium, the Mutable, Samut, Voice of Dissent). With these resilient creatures being so popular in my experience, and WotC printing more types of Wrath effects that are either better at answering indestructible (exile, -x/-x, tuck), or being instant-speed (Fated Retribution, Consume the Meek), or both (Settle the Wreckage, Aetherspouts), it gets harder to justify good old WoG. There are even a few which get around indestructible AND are cheaper than 4 mana, like Toxic Deluge and Slaughter the Strong. Even if I had all the above alternatives in my colors and were looking for MORE wrath effects for my deck, I would still prioritize ones with high flexibility, like Cleansing Nova/Austere Command/Merciless Eviction, or ones that give extra benefits or are one-sided like Plague Wind/Decree of Pain/Martial Coup.


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 Post subject: Re: Overrated Cards in EDH
AgePosted: 2019-Jun-10 10:08 am 
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Just thought of one - Luminarch Ascension.

My experience with this card falls into 2 main groups;
1. It drops turn 2, goes active turn 3, and we wasted more time shuffling up than playing that game.
2. It drops later on, it's controller get's thoroughly pummeled for having the audacity to cast it, and the rest of the table continues without them.

There's very little in-between space with it.

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 Post subject: Re: Overrated Cards in EDH
AgePosted: 2019-Jun-13 3:09 pm 

Joined: 2019-Jun-05 11:49 pm
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I'm glad people are using this thread and a lot of interesting ideas have been brought up. I thought of another card that I think fits this category: Dragonmaster Outcast

The design of this card is definitely awesome and I've put it in many, many decks over the years. But lately I've come to realize that it's not nearly as good of a card as I've given it credit for. First off, it's a dead card for the first six turns of the game, maybe a little less if you have some land ramp in your deck. Second, when it does eventually come down, it does nothing until your next upkeep, and is extremely vulnerable until then. With one toughness, it dies to a light breeze, and with one power it barely qualifies as a chump blocker. It becomes an immediate target for removal, and I have played very few games where it sticks around long enough to even get a single dragon out of it. Even if it miraculously survives a complete turn cycle and you get that first dragon, the card's extremely vulnerability means it will likely be killed before it can generate a meaningful amount of value.


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 Post subject: Re: Overrated Cards in EDH
AgePosted: 2019-Jun-14 12:22 am 
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CowsCowsCows wrote:
with one power it barely qualifies as a chump blocker.
... isn't that kind of the definition of a chump blocker? Someone who technically blocks but doesn't accomplish anything else?

(I'm in agreement with everything else of your post -- just that bit seemed embellished in an incorrect manner)


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 Post subject: Re: Overrated Cards in EDH
AgePosted: 2019-Jun-14 12:55 am 
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If it's not a 2/2 it bearly qualifies as a chump blocker.

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