Ranking Every Equipment with EDHREC – Part 10: The Dumbest Thing Ever Accomplished
(Oathkeeper, Takeno's Daisho | Art by Arnie Swekel)
How Do I Do My Job?
Uhhhhhhhh.... Hi! I think I start with hi?
I forgot how to do... this. My schedule for this series has been a bit wonky recently, and then I took last week off so Modern Horizons 2 set reviews could happen, so it's been a while since I've done this specifically.
What do we do here again? Ranking every pair of shoes based off... something? I think it was a website... where they play with large friends in the cool zone? EDH! Right. It was a website for EDH. Uhhhhhhhhh?
Ah! I remember now! Commander's Herald! Right right. Now I got it.
152: Sigil of Distinction: 600 Decks
Do you know what a Magic card is? Mhmm, good start. Okay, you know how there's usually words on them? Not the fancy slanted words on the bottom; the stuff further up. It's called "rules text." You know what I mean? Okay, so that text on Sigil of Distinction, just grab a Sharpie and draw all over it, because it does not matter.
Whenever you see an Equipment that can cost 0 to cast, you can assume it's only seeing play for that reason. It's a free way to trigger Sram, Senior Edificer, or it's free sacrifice fodder for Dargo, the Shipwrecker, or it's part of some Retraction Helix combo. Did you notice how none of those actually care about the text on Sigil, like, at all? You don't have to cast Sigil for zero, but you almost always will, and then it will sit on the battlefield and do nothing. Exactly as it should be.
Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: I guess compared to other zero-mana Equipment that do nothing, like Kite Shield, this one does slightly more nothing, but it's all nothing in the end.
151: Steelclaw Lance: 608 Decks
It’s a little bit ironic that the incentive on this card only works in a Knight tribal deck, but the best Knight tribal deck is Syr Gwyn, Hero of Ashvale, and she negates Equip costs anyway. The main draw on Steelclaw Lance is kinda pointless.
That said, it's not... baaaaaaaaaaad? I suppose even without Gwyn, the reduced Equip cost is actually decent. Plus, when you have Gwyn, Lance still does something, so it's not awful? Maybe?
Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: I guess. I don’t know.
150: Oathkeeper, Takeno's Daisho: 616 Decks
Oathkeeper, Takeno's Daisho is my favorite Equipment of all time. Let me explain.
It’s the winter of 2016. I had only started playing EDH last year, and even then, only occasionally, so I was very much still a newbie in the EDH format. I stumbled upon some list online that highlighted the least played commanders on some website called "EDHREC", and it included top-tier jank, like Gosta Dirk, or cards that just didn't work in EDH like, Oriss, Samite Guardian. Then there were a ton, I mean a ton, of bad Kamigawa Samurai tribal commanders. Seriously, if you've never strolled through the Kamigawa Samurai before, stop what you're doing, and look through them. It's this weird conglomerate of Limited fodder, a bunch of really bizarre "Samurai lords" and some of the worst creatures ever printed. It's amazing!
Anyway, I had far too much time on my hands, so I decided that I was going to try and theory build decks around all of these unplayable commanders! I did not finish this, but I did get through a pretty large chunk of them, and when I starting building decks for the bad Samurai, I stumbled across this Oathkeeper Equipment card and instantly fell in love.
Oathkeeper, Takeno's Daisho screams "broken combo potential." It brings any Samurai back into play whenever it dies, so with a free Equip and a way to sacrifice your dork, you have an infinite sacrifice loop. It's a busted combo piece, but only if you’re playing Samurai, and as I said above, Samurai were mostly terrible. Oathkeeper could end games and be a threat, but only if you played it with really terrible cards. Thus, this monstrosity came to be. A Kentaro, the Smiling Cat mono-white combo deck. The deck had one goal: to assemble an infinite combo with Kentaro, the Smiling Cat.
Let me repeat that: I was gonna kill people with Kentaro, the Smiling Cat. That sentence and the ludicrous sentiment behind it has basically kept me tethered to Commander ever since.
Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: Not only was this deck incredibly fun to build, but it introduced me to EDHREC and deck websites like Scryfall. Were it not for Oathkeeper, I probably wouldn't be writing these silly articles.
149: Amorphous Axe: 626 Decks
"Oh, look at me, I'm Amorphous Axe. Joseph basically talked about me during the last installment, but I decided to be barely high enough to sneak my way into the next part, and now he has nothing to say about me. Nyeh nyeh nyeh nyeh nyeh."
Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: I think Runed Stalactite is probably better than Axe from the cheaper Equip cost, but they both basically serve the same role.
148: Avarice Amulet: 640 Decks
In the deep search for colorless card draw options, I'm a bit surprised I've never heard Avarice Amulet brought up. Equipment decks don’t get a lot of personal Howling Mines, and even token decks could probably make good use of it.
You know, you may as well pretend that that second ability doesn’t exist, because you will never get this card back. Anyone who's played with Humble Defector knows that, unless your name is Zedruu, your opponents will toss the Defector to anyone except you out of spite. It’s even worse here because it’s way more effort to get the Amulet back. If you spend a kill spell on the creature wearing the Amulet, do you really think that person is going to be inclined to give it to you? Basically the card text is super good, but the minigame on this card is incredibly bad for you.
Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: I guess this is maybe okay in weird card homeless shelters, like Blim, but the political stuff on this card doesn't even seen that fun.
147: Pennon Blade: 688 Decks
Okay, how on earth is this seeing play over Veteran’s Armaments? It costs four to Equip! Sure, it’s gonna make creatures massive, and it works for more than just attacking creatures, but it costs way more mana to do so. Even if you don't have Soldiers, Armaments is probably going to be soooooo much better.
Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: It’s still cute in all the places Armaments is cute, like Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin, but that Equip cost is so gross.
146: Captain's Hook: 691 Decks
I’ve made kinda a big booboo a few times on this series with Ardenn, Intrepid Archaeologist, and certain Equipment like Stitcher’s Graft. I thought you could kill creatures with these two cards but you cannot actually sacrifice things you do not control. If you unattach Equipment like Graft from opponents' creatures, nothing happens.
I bring this up because Captain’s Hook does work. If you attach this with Ardenn, and then unattach this from an opponent's creature, it will destroy the creature. Hooray!
Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: Oooh. Uhhhh, don’t play this in Pirates. Just play better Pirates. Let me have my jank.
145: Surestrike Trident: 696 Decks
The way you have to look at Surestrike Trident is as a colorless repeatable Fling. You don’t want to play Fling fairly. It’s just too situational and not worth sacrificing the creature. You play Fling in a deck when it's throwing a 35/35 at someone and murdering them.
Surestrike Trident is the same way. You want to play this when you have a big dumb creature that will never be getting through. Commanders like Evra, Halcyon Witness or Omnath, Locus of Mana are on this card's page for a reason. They can easily kill an opponent in one shot, so combat is basically never going to happen for these commanders. That's the type of deck you wanna think about. It’s a total cheese fest when this card goes off, but a good cheese fest nonetheless.
Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: I think red decks like Thromok the Insatiable probably don't need this card, as they could just run Kazuul's Fury, but if you aren't red, this is a fine alternative.
144: Wings of Hubris: 706 Decks
Is Wings of Hubris finally the flying Equipment that does enough to be worth playing? Eh, sure. Why not?
I don't think the activated ability is gonna come up that much, but being one to Equip and only two to cast is fine. It's better than Auras, like Leap... That's not a high bar, but that bar doesn't need to be that high.
Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: Sometimes you need to get your dorks into the red zone, and flying is always gonna be a solid way to do that.
143: General's Kabuto: 711 Decks
Why is this card $6? At first, I thought this might be okay as an budget alternative to stuff like Lightning Greaves or Whispersilk Cloak, but when the card is $6, there’s basically no reason to even compete with it on that front. It's worse than stuff like even Cloak and Dagger at that point, (Uh spoilers, I guess? Are they spoilers if this card has existed for 15 years?)
Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: I got lost in my parentheses, where was I? Oh right, this helmet. Even if you wanted the "Prevent all combat damage line", you can run Dolmen Gate if you're that worried about it, or just make the damage useless with Darksteel Plate.
142: Sorcerer's Wand: 735 Decks
Ummm. Hello? Can I get your attention please? Hello?
Ah, thank you. Look, I appreciate all you legendary creatures showing up to Sorcerer's Wand's page, but I think you all got a bit confused. I don’t think a lot of you commanders should be playing Sorcerer’s Wand
Like, Adeliz, I know Wand has the word "Wizard" on it, but you do know that those Wizards could attack, right? Even if they couldn’t, two damage is never gonna be worth it. And Chevill, I think you're looking for Viridian Longbow's party. Wand only hits players or planeswalkers, dude. Are you only playing it to snipe ‘walkers? That's gonna take forever with this. Oh, for goodness sake, Heliod? Are you trying to go off with Famished Paladin and deal infinite damage? That's not even cute, it's just annoying. Just use Walking Ballista like the rest of the world does.
Look, the only one of you that should really be here is Atemsis. She needs to deal damage to players, and though the Equip cost is garbage, she needs all the help she can get. I think the rest of you just got a little in over your head. Exit is right over there, please take a complementary spanakopita on your way out.
Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: Wait a minute, there's someone still here. Nicol Bolas? Erm... You can stay for the after party.
141: Strider Harness: 736 Decks
Speaking of leaving, bye!
No, you can leave. Article's basically over. I was originally gonna end it on Sorcerer's Wand, but then I saw that we were one Equipment away from leaving on a nice, soothing, even 140, and look at that, the next Equipment in line was Strider Harness. I can get away with not really talking about this card. Right? Right. Right? Right.
Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: I wouldn’t say Strider Harness is bad, per se, but even budget-wise there’re cheaper/better/more synergystic options than this.
Ah, the Anti-Climax. My Fave.
Gosh, I love writing about Canadian Highlander. Or... Modern? Vintage? Which format am I supposed to write about again? I'll get back into the swing of things one of these days.
Let me know what you think about this format in the comments! You into the bad Samurai as much as I am? Do you have any defense for Pennon Blade or General's Kabuto? Give me all them facts! Until next week!
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