One the marks of a good EDH card is one that both helps you achieve a goal and is flexible enough to be used in multiple game states. Take Mother of Runes
, an EDH staple. It can be used to blank removal spells. It can be used in a clogged board as a way of forcing through attacks. It can be used as a combat trick mini-fog. Or it can be used as a defensive measure on your own blocker. There are a lot of game states where Mother of Runes is good, which is why it's such a good EDH card.
Another mark of a good EDH card is that it helps further your goal. Imagine you're making an Uril, the Miststalker
deck. Suddenly Mother of Runes is a lot less useful, because she doesn't help your goal.
This article, I'm going to build a Bant Infect deck helmed by Rafiq of the Many
. I've got about 36 slots spoken for in terms of Infect and Proliferate, which means I've got about 20 slots remaining.What's my goal?
My goal is to force through infect damage, using a little Proliferate if necessary to get the last few counters. I'm not out for a really long game - the cards I'm playing are going to be worse than the opponents in raw power level.
What makes a card flexible to me?
The main things I could need from a card are:
- Getting more infect sources on the board
- Protect existing sources of infect on the board
- Allowing an existing infect source to get through reliably
- Allowing an existing infect source to get through for more damage
Those cover most game states I'd find myself in. I'm out of gas, I need more infect. On a clogged board, I need a way through. On an empty board, I want to hit harder. And if the plan is working, being able to protect my pieces would be nice.
Now, I could compartmentalize - put 5 of each type (5 pump spells, 5 "target creature is unblockable", etc) Problem is, it's not flexible. What happens when I draw a counterspell (or other "protect existing sources" spell) when I'm out of gas and need another critter? What happens when I draw a spell to make a creature unblockable when the defender doesn't have any blockers? Ideally, the remaining 20 slots should serve as many different roles as possible, to make them good cards at any point in the game.