Ranking Every Battlecruiser Card (8 CMC+) with EDHREC – Part 11: It's George!

(Dragon Tyrant | Art by Kev Walker)

Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening!

Hello! Welcome back to this series where we rank every card with 8CMC+ based on the number of decks they have on EDHREC. If you're in the US and reading this the day it's published, I would like to inform you that is Monday. I apologize if this news distresses or confuses you, but I thought you should know.

If you're not from the US, or reading this at a later date, I have no idea what day it is, and you should consult your local time stream middle manager for the correct day. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

200: Scourge of Kher Ridges: 710 Decks

I was a pretty big fan of Ashen Firebeast from a million parts ago, and Scourge of Kher Ridges is a strict upgrade. Not only does it deal more damage, but it also has flying itself, meaning that when you give it deathtouch, it won't kill itself with its first ability. You can even nuke the flyers if you need to. Mwah! I love it!

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: I do wonder how good Scourge is in the average Dragon deck that doesn't have a lot of synergy with it. It’s pretty low-impact for what those decks wanna do. Maybe it's okay to cheat out in Zirilan of the Claw?

199: Gigantomancer: 712 Decks

What if your Overwhelming Stampede was a creature that could also do stuff on other players' turns? And also wasn't a Goat? That’s basically Gigantomancer in a nutshell. I love the derpiness of paying eight mana for a 1/1, but it’s often going to be less effective than mass pump effects like End-Raze Forerunners.

You’d need a good reason to run this card specifically, whether that be because it has very small power for decks like Nethroi, Apex of Death, or because it's easier to cheat it into play earlier on in something like Belbe, Corrupted Observer. Cute, but niche.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: Oh, Gigantomancer gets to be an eight-mana 1/1, but when Scornful Egotist does it, that makes it a “bad card.” It’s unfair, I tell ya!

198: Symbiotic Wurm: 740 Decks

It's time for more Wurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrms! Symbiotic Wurm might not be a Pelakka Wurm, but it’s pretty close. You wanna recur a not-game-breaking but very fun creature every turn? Symbiotic Wurm is for you! 

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: Also fun in Asmira, Holy Avenger as a way to make eight creatures for sac fodder. I approve!

197: Sekki, Seasons' Guide: 779 Decks

(55 Decks as a Commander, 724 Decks in the 99)

Like a majority of Commander players, I play Commander to do crazy, weird things I wouldn't see in other Magic formats. However, I have a confession to make: sometimes I like to try and win. I actually get a lot of enjoyment out of playing a complicated board state optimally and sneaking a victory out of nowhere. When I feel that Spikey urge but still want experience something wacky, commanders like Sekki, Seasons' Guide are the perfect outlet because they let you very optimally accomplish something very silly.

The elephant in the room is that Sekki costs eight mana. Even in mono-green, it’ll take you a few turns to get there, and most Sekki decks are built entirely around it. You’re never going to pubstomp the average EDH table with a Sekki deck since you need extra time just to get your engine running. Even when you do, Sekki is a sitting duck if you don't have the eight Spirits to recur it, so you better have the rest of your engine online before you cast it.

However, if you’re willing to jump through those hoops, Sekki can absolutely reward you. The common way to build Sekki is with +1/+1 counter cards, like Visions of Dominance. Some of these spells are good, but I’d argue that focusing on those is the wrong way to build it. The cool thing about Sekki is that if it has no +1/+1 counters on it and takes damage, it will still prevent that damage, and you still get Spirits! All it takes is a way to increase Sekki’s toughness, like a Leyline of Vitality or a Dragon Fangs, and you have an invincible token-making machine that can also bring itself back from the graveyard.

From there, the world’s your oyster. You obviously want to deal damage to Sekki, so Lure effects and fighting creatures like Grothama, All-Devouring are your friend. There’s also Pariah’s Shield, which is a straight-up lock on damage. Once you get tokens, mass pump, like Gaea’s Anthem, Long-Forgotten Gohei, and Eldrazi Monument, should kill quickly over the course of a few turns. Why attack with the creatures, though? Shamanic Revelation-type effects are fantastic: you can easily draw 10-20 cards off a couple good Sekki activations. You can also sac the Spirits to Lifespinner and tutor big baddies, like Patron of the Orochi, or sac them to Bloodspore Thrinax, which then supercharges the next batch of Spirits you make. How about casting the biggest The Great Aurora the world has ever seen? Awesome! Sekki is unique, fun, has lots of cool lines of play, and can absolutely kill you if you aren’t prepared.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Underplayed: That was all just evaluating Sekki as a commander. I haven’t even touched on the things it does in the 99 with Cathars' Crusade and Worship or infinite combos with Warstorm Surge.

196: Trench Gorger: 781 Decks

This is George, (thank you Benjamin Wheeler.) George is an eight-mana creature version of one of the silliest spells ever made: Mana Severance.

Unless you're a busted combo deck, Mana Severance doesn't do enough to be worth it. Increasing the quality of your draws by 30% in the late game won't do enough for the average deck, so most decks won't touch it. You really only reach for Mana Severance when you're assembling a Kaho, Minamo Historian EDH deck with 98 lands and Thassa’s Oracle.

However, George is different! In addition to smoothing out your draw by 30%, he's also a 20/20 trampler! George is not only is a big goof that Runo Stromkirk can cheat into play, he also makes it vastly more likely you'll draw other big goofs later in the game. George is great. I love George. Y’all should play more George.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Underplayed: You don’t know how many extra words it takes to make George link to George every time.

195: Demon of Death's Gate: 784 Decks

Okay, it's got metal art, it's a big, neat flyer, but when are you ever gonna cheat this into play? Even when you do, is it gonna be worth it? After turn six or seven, you're probably better off just waiting and casting Demon of Death's Gate. Are you seriously planning to lose three creatures and six life to cheat a 9/9 into play on turn three in the hopes that no one has a removal spell for it?

Actually, I kinda have to respect that. Carry on.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: Probably not great in Kaalia of the Vast, but it’s funny when it goes off, I guess. 

194: Myojin of Infinite Rage: 792 Decks

(12 Decks as a Commander, 780 Decks in the 99)

Initially I was going to say that the Myojin were another old Magic cycle no one's ever heard of, but lo and behold, Neon Dynasty Commander gave us a brand new cycle of Myojin! Gotta be honest, I had Epic spells on the bingo card before Myojins, but hey, the Timmy side of me will always be happy to see more of this type of Magic!

Anyway, in honor of the new Myojins, let's talk about a member of the OG cycle from OG Kamigawa! Myojin of Infinite Rage is basically a ten-mana Armageddon that leaves behind a 7/4, which might make it more palatable to your average EDH table than something like Obliterate. Most people don't like having their lands blown up if all it means is that the game is stalled for a million turns, but Myojin leaves the board state alone. If you have the biggest board, this leaves that board in the best conditions, and also adds a 7/4 to it. It’s an excellent “Oops I win” card for big creature decks like Rakdos, Lord of Riots, [e]Jodah, Archmage Eternal[/el], or Nikya of the Old Ways. Any commander that can cast this early, and will also likely have the biggest board, can likely gain game-winning advantage off this Myojin. I will not say this for many Land Destruction cards, but Myojin of Infinite Rage is some pretty sweet tech.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Underplayed: I'm waffling a bit on that rating since MLD is not friendly for most, but some playgroups are into that, and this is a really excellent version of this effect.

193: Tidal Kraken: 807 Decks

Creature type is everything, and Tidal Kraken is an excellent example of that. An eight-mana 6/6 unblockable is good, but it’s certainly not the best card in a format where Chulane, Teller of Tales exists, (heck, even where Keeper of Keys exists). However, we’ve already seen big fish, from Leviathan to Benthic Behemoth, and this is the best one so far. Thus, it gets jammed in any Sea Monster deck you please!

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: It's fine.

192: Dragon Tyrant: 822 Decks

One of the only Dragons from the Dragon-themed set, Scourge, Dragon Tyrant holds a special place in my heart because it's a beast in Scion of the Ur-Dragon. Not only was this generically good to make Scion into a scary threat at a moment’s notice, but it's also a pretty easy one-player K.O. when Scion pairs it with Moltensteel Dragon and some stack shenanigans.

You’ll notice none of that involves casting Dragon Tyrant, and judging from the commanders at offer on this card’s EDHREC page, that looks like the way to go. Instead, it’s all about cheating it into play with Purphoros, Bronze-Blooded, making copies from the graveyard with Feldon of the Third Path, or whatever the heck Zirilan of the Claw does with it. I guess you could cast it fairly, but more often than not, you’re just going to cast this ten-mana dork, then wait a turn cycle, spend the four red to keep it on our upkeep, and then get sent to the shadow realm when someone casts Infernal Grasp on it. I'll stick with the cheat codes, thank you.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: I have paid the four red mana tax here before after casting a non-lethal Living Death. Still never cast it, though, so I guess that's on the bingo card for 2022.

191: Eternal Dominion: 874 Decks

Hey, did I mention that there are no Epic cards in any Kamigawa product released this year? I'm not surprised, but I was hoping for just one. An Epic card tweaked to the power level for 2021 sounds like something everyone would scramble to brew around.

Oh well! Until then, we'll have to stick with Eternal Dominion, which, unlike Endless Swarm, will absolutely win you the game on its own. Bribery used to be a casual staple, and even now, it's pretty easy to find some Maelstrom Wanderer deck with the most absurd creatures in it. Even if you’re not playing against some nonsense creature deck, almost everyone will have a Craterhoof Behemoth to snag, and that tends to win the game most of the time. You can probably even grab a Clone to do it multiple times. Point is, if you find and cast Eternal Dominion enough times, you’ll win eventually.

The issue then becomes A: finding it, and B: surviving long enough to cast it enough times, and that’s kinda why you need to go all in on Eternal Dominion to play it. The sooner you find and cast the first Dominion, the longer you'll have to go off, so Mystical Tutor, Solve the Equation, and Entomb to get it in your hand or graveyard, and then Spelltwine or Omnispell Adept to cheat the casting cost.

As for surviving when you can’t cast spells, that might be the easier part. Copying Eternal Dominion with things like Twincast speeds up your process exponentially, since you get double Epic triggers. Cycling cards like Dismantling Wave and activated abilities like Geistblast also give you things to do with your mana when not casting spells. Throw in some enchantments like Propaganda and Ice Cave, and bada-bing bada-boom, you got a board state that Eternal Dominion can win through. It's janky and unique, so it's probably worth doing once. Just don't try and resolve it over Spelltable.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: Also, if your group is chill with Bribery-style cards, Inevitable Betrayal is excellent in Cascade decks or free-cost decks.

Curse Your Sudden but Inevitable Betrayal, Etc, Etc.

Well, I will see you next week, which should be a Monday, all other exceptions taken into account. Until that time, let me know what you think of this batch in the comments. Have you stolen a game with Myojin of Infinite Rage? Anything fun to do with George? Let me know in the comments. Until the following Monday!

Joseph started playing in Theros Block but decided that the best way to play the game was to learn every single card and hope that would somehow make him good at Magic. It hasn't. He is a college student in Santa Fe, New Mexico and also enjoys reading and other games of all shapes and sizes.

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