Finding expensive spells for EDH is easy. It's not hard to pack 7-drop creatures that pack a big punch. Heck, just about any Mythic Rare that costs more than five mana will do. But good EDH decks don't just pack a whole bunch of high-cost creatures - otherwise they'll get blown over by someone running a cheap aggressive general like Doran.
Finding good EDH spells that cost 3 or less is tricky. And one of the biggest pitfalls people run into is judging a low drop by how good it is on turn 1-3. The truth is, it's more important for a low-cost spell to be good around turn 10 than it is on turn 2. That's because:1.
Unless it's a quick game, more cards are going to come from topdecking than from your original start hand.2.
You're more likely to play creature tutors like Chord of Calling
on turn 10 than on turn 2, and sometimes those tutors will have to be for low-cost cards.3.
You get more draw effects on turn 10 than you do on turn 2.4.
Creatures you play out early are usually the first that get recurred later on (they're the only thing that's dead!)
Problem is, most players evaluate spells from an early game perspective. Take Sakura-Tribe Elder
. I've heard people describe him as the best 2-drop creature in EDH. While he might be the best play on turn 2 itself, he gets far worse as the game goes on, and is effectively a dead card in the late game.
My vote is Stoneforge Mystic
. Sure, Stoneforge doesn't accelerate you. But Stoneforge Mystic is a far better drop later on in the game, fetching a relevant equipment or even a living weapon (there aren't too many times where Batterskull
is a bad card.)
But we don't even need to go into chase-rare territory to compete with Sakura. What about Heart Warden
? Or even Wall of Blossoms
, Wall of Omens
? They're all good turn 2 plays, but are far better topdecks than Tribe-Elder in the late game. And we haven't even gotten into recursion. If you've got Sun Titan
, or a binned Genesis
, which creatures are you looking to recur on turn 15? As the game goes on, I'd much rather topdeck a random card than get a Rampant Growth effect (after all, that's why people play Horizon Canopy
Plus, a lot of decks look to their lower drops for one purpose: keeping their pilot alive into the mid/late game. If that's the case, why not something like Student of Warfare
? He's a very good early defender, but late game he's a 4/4 double-striker. Not great, but pretty darned impressive for a spell you can put in the 1-drop slot.