Ranking Every Equipment with EDHREC – Part 1: A Really Ineffective Way to Farm

(Razor Boomerang | Art by Franz Vohwinkel)

Grab Thine Shield!

A Squirrel stands bravely atop a hill before leaping into the air with his boots, slashing a Dragon with his spear. He then lands on the ground and, before anyone can respond, he stabs a Wurm with the sword in his left hand, and a Hydra with the sword in his right while blocking the offense of a vicious Demon with his shield. He then turns to face the titan, Emrakul. With one shot, he vigilantly and effortlessly destroys the monster with an arrow straight to the eye infused with Gorgon poison. With nothing in his way, he then runs to the enemy commander and stab them with a fiery blade laced with Phyrexian oil before fleeing the battlefield disguised as the king of France.

And on that note, let's rank all 277 Equipment based on how many decks they're included in on EDHREC.

Let Us March!

Hi! I'm Joseph, the king of rambles, wielder of budget decks full of jank, and general spreadsheet fanatic. My shtick here is that I like to rank every card in some category based on the number of decks each card has on EDHREC. So far I've ranked every land, mana rock, and planeswalker, and since my stupidity knows no bounds, I've now decided to rank every single Equipment!

I say this every time I start, but I think this will be fun. At first glance, you might think that Equipment only go in Equipment-themed decks, but actually, there's a ton of unique, weird, and flexible Equipment for every strategy under the sun. I look forward to finding some new toys to play with, and I hope you find some, too.

Before we can begin, though, we gotta get the schematics out of the way.

Rules Gotta Rules Gotta Rules

  • Each card is ranked based on how many decks they are in on EDHREC. All thoughts about the cards are my own, but I have no say on where a card ends up on this list.
  • Cards from Un-sets, or other cards not legal in Commander, are excluded. Cards from Kaldheim, Strixhaven, or any future sets released after this article will also be excluded, as they haven’t had enough time to be put into decks.
  • Couple minor things. The double-faced cards with Equipment on one side, e.g., Elbrus, the Binding Blade will be counted. Lucille will not be counted, because for some reason, the card's page is bugged, and I can't see the number of decks it's in. I'm sure y'all're so broken up about that.
  • Finally, for each Equipment, I’ll give my opinion on if it’s overplayed, underplayed, or just right. If you disagree, post your own opinion in the comments!

Enough rules rambling, onto to ranking rambling. There are 277 Equipment, and we'll start from the bottom and work to the top. What's up first?

277: Healer's Headdress: 12 Decks

So I’m guessing roughly 30% of my audience just read the card, confirmed that it probably deserves to be the worst played, and are ready to move on. That is the correct answer. Let's take the windy path to get there

Another 20% of you are probably confused why that WW ability is on the card. It looks pretty pointless at first glance, but that ability lets you attach this to creatures at instant speed, which can be very powerful. It sucks to spend the mana to put an Equipment on a creature, and then your opponent just kills the creature on their turn. Since you can only Equip at sorcery speed, that Equipment is basically doing nothing now and you wasted your mana. Not anymore with Healer’s Headdress. Instant speed means you can wait and see if you want to spend the mana on Equipping this, and then if they kill your dork, you can just spend the WW and re-Equip it onto something else. Granted, your reward for doing this here to prevent one damage for each WW you spend, which is terrible, but the ability could be powerful if it was put on a good card.

And this is where the next 35% of you looked at this and said “Wait, Cranial Plating was a cycle?" The answer is yes, it was! It’s just that Plating was part of the artifact slug that ate all constructed formats in 2004, so it kinda overshadows the rest of the cycle. Nevertheless, at least Healer’s Headdress gets to be attached to some Magic history. 

In fact, maybe the other 15% picked up on the very old-school reference to Samite Healer and have some janky deck ideas, because that's where I went. I thought it might be fun to build a Samite Healer tribal deck. The issue is there’s no real payoff for doing that. Like, maybe you run things like Sulfuric Vortex and then prevent them from hurting you, but if you're gonna do that, you might as well prevent all the damage with combos like Dawn Elemental and Pariah. It’s a cute idea, but it seems not only janky but worse than other options. I guess that deck is a home for Healer’s Headdress, so the card's not completely useless, but I think the first impression on this card is still the right one, unfortunately.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: What about the last 5% of my audience? They're the people questioning how we can talk about Equipment and still have a white card be the worst one.

276: Manaforce Mace: 22 Decks

Manaforce Mace isn’t the worst when it gives +5/+5. It’s not amazing, but it’s still a decent buff. You just have to find a five-color deck that also wants Equipment that purely buffs creatures. Hmm... That's not exactly a wide market.

Maybe five-color Voltron? Is that a thing? You can't Equip Progenitus because of his protection ability, so I guess you're suiting up Cromat? Maybe Atogatog? Ooh! Then you could put Chromanticore on them and with Manaforce Mace you swing for 14? Yeah, okay, I'm in.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Underplayed: If you’re new here, you have to readjust your expectation for the early cards on this list. Anything that isn’t completely garbage? Windmill slam underplayed.

275: (Tie) Heavy Mattock: 28 Decks

That is a freaking magic mattock. Look at that art perspective. Somebody either slammed that axe into the log incredibly hard, or that stick is being held up by strings. I don't want this demon in my deck.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: If Heavy Mattock was Equip 1, it wouldn’t be the worst in Human tribal Voltron decks, but as is, hard pass.

275 (Tie): Tormentor's Trident: 28 Decks

I actually wouldn’t hate this if it didn’t cost three to Equip. Voltron decks always want to attack, anyway, so the downside is pretty small, and +3/+0 is a decent buff. At one mana to Equip, I could see it in budget Voltron decks,

But yeeesh. Three mana to Equip just totally sinks it. I'll probably be saying this a lot early on, but general rule of thumb is you don’t look at the casting cost on Equipment, you look at the Equip cost. That’s going to be the thing you’re going to be paying multiple times when your equipped creatures die.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: Solid buff guy in the art, though.

273: Wooden Stake: 29 Decks

Your meta got a ton of Edgar Markov players? Like, a lot of Edgar players? Like “people have forgotten the colors blue and green exists” amount of Edgar players? Like “I think my playgroup might actually just be real, actual, incredibly vain vampires masquerading as uncreative humans” amount of Edgar players? Well, do I have the Equipment for you!

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: It’s super flavorful at the very least. You ever wanna build a Dracula deck, you’d be wrong not to play this.

272: Siren Song Lyre: 29 Decks

Is this okay as a way to tap creatures outside of combat? I mean, there’s a million ways for decks like King Macar to do that, but Siren Song Lyre isn’t a terrible exchange, especially if you’re up against a lot of creature-based decks. For a budget option, you could do better, but you could do worse.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: Plus, I’m a sucker for a Greek mythology reference.

271: Warlord's Axe: 30 Decks

270: Slayer's Cleaver: 36 Decks

Hey! Equip 3 for three power wasn’t enough for you on Tormentor's Trident? How about we do the same thing but make it Equip 4? Oh, but we will give you one toughness to balance it out. Woohoo!

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: Warlord's Axe is whatever, but I have many questions about the flavor on Slayer's Cleaver. Why are earth would you look at freaking Emrakul, the Promised End, then look at your dinky little kitchen knife, then go "I'm gonna get in a fight with that"? Honestly, you deserve to die at that point.

269: Grifter's Blade: 38 Decks

We’re gonna see a lot of Short Sword-esque cards, i.e., Equipment that do very little but also cost almost nothing to Equip. They basically exist to help trigger your Valduk, Keeper of the Flame cards as many times as possible.

Grifter's Blade is a decent option if your deck want that. It has flash, but if you ever take someone out by giving a creature +1/+1 in Commander at instant speed, then I think you just retire from the format forever. No, mainly it’s just the free Equip that seems pretty decent. If you're already running Short Sword, spending two extra mana up front to Equip straight away doesn't seem like a bad deal

Over, Under, or Just Right? Underplayed: Not the flash decks, though. Seriously, Notion Thief shouldn’t be in the same deck as this thing.

268: Thirsting Axe: 39 Decks

Wizards! Why would you restrict Thirsting Axe to damaging creatures and not players? That would have been a super cool card. Giving a massive buff to Voltron commanders, but with the heavy cost that they have to keep getting through would have been the perfect secret tech for Voltron deck. This, though? There's nothing cute to do with this. I guess it kinda makes all your dorks into Ball Lightning, but it's never going to be worth spending two mana to Equip this every turn.

Wizards! I want to jank people out.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: You can’t even get around this by putting it on a indestructible creature, because you have to sacrifice it. It's like they wanted it to be worthless.

267: Razor Boomerang: 47 Decks

I’m sure some people look at the synergy page for Razor Boomerang, full of nonsense like Viashino Skeleton and Wood Elemental, and have no idea what's going on. Allow me to illuminate it: Razor Boomerang is considered by many to be not only the worst Equipment of all time, but one of the worst Magic cards ever made. Look up any list of top ten worst Magic cards, and Razor Boomerang is probably pretty close to the top. This card isn't just bad, it is so obviously terrible, it's downright legendary. It’s five mana to deal one damage, you need a creature without summoning sickness to do it, and opponents see it coming a mile away. You don't need to play with this to understand the joke here.

My favorite thing about this card, though, is when it came out. A lot of the other cards that live in infamy for how terrible they are (Scornful Egotist, Deep Water, Wood Elemental, etc), they all came out during Magic's early years. Early Magic sets before Mirrodin were weird. Wizards was still figuring out what Magic was and so they didn't have a clear idea what a consistent power level for Magic looked like. It makes sense that really terrible cards would exist during that time. Razor Boomerang has no such excuse. It came out in Worldwake. Worldwake came out in 2010! They knew exactly what they were doing when they made this

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: I'm convinced they made this card as a challenge to see how terrible a modern-day Magic card could be, and boy, did they deliver!

266: Murderer's Axe: 50 Decks

So, in terms of free ways to discard your hand, Murderer's Axe is actually a decent choice. There’s not a ton of free ways to discard cards repeatedly, and a lot of them are either green, like Noose Constrictor, or black, like Skirge Familiar. Murderer's Axe being colorless gives it a lot more flexibility. The biggest downside is that you can only discard at sorcery speed, so you can’t dump your hand in response to a Windfall or something. However, it's free to activate, and you can do it as many times as you want. Seems like a good way to trigger any Bone Miser things, or do some stupid stuff with Anje Falkenrath. I approve.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Underplayed: I hope you don’t play against Tergrid

As Opposed to All Those Axes That Are Unable to Murder People

Well, the worst is past us. We can only go up from here! What do you think about the dregs of Equipment society? What deserves to be the "worst" Equipment? Do you love Razor Boomerang as much as I do? Let me know in the comments! Until next week!

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.