Ranking Every Equipment with EDHREC – Part 13: Hot Soup, Coming Through!

(Shuko | Art by Tim Hildebrandt)

Can I Come Out Now?

Welcome back to this series where we rank every Equipment based on the number of decks they have on EDHREC. I don't know about you all, but I've really been enjoying the Forgotten Realms spoilers! They named a card freaking +2 Mace! You can't beat that. I can't wait to see what else they have for us this week!

Wait, what do you mean this is the last day of spoiler season? I expect at least two weeks of new cards to make me excited! What else am I supposed to do with my time? Actually evaluate and consider the new cards' practical place in the format? What do I look like, an EDHREC set reviewer? That's ridiculous!

Oh, well. Guess I'll just go sleep under a rock until the set actually comes out. Being a Magic player is so hard.

120: Mask of Riddles: 1,122 Decks

Fear is just Intimidate except always for black creatures, so Mask of Riddles is basically an Executioner’s Hood for Dimir that also draws cards.

You ever just stare at a sentence and wonder why you talk in gobbledygook and how people can possibly understand you?

The thing about Mask of Riddles is that it's a great rate for this effect, but the card is in a very awkward place. I really enjoy Executioner's Hood as a form of cheap evasion in certain decks, and this one also draws cards. What's not to like?

Well, for starters, you're vastly more likely to see a black creature in play than a white or red one. That tends to make Fear even more awkward than Intimidate, and Intimidate is already pretty awkward. Even disregarding the efficacy of Fear, though, does Dimir even need an evasion Equipment? It's not like Dimir is known for smashing faces, and they certainly don't need help with card draw either. If you want this type of thing, you'd probably rather play something like Vela, the Night-Clad

All of that is not to say the card is unplayable. It still does a lot for the two-mana Equip. I can imagine putting it in decks helmed by commanders like Wrexial, the Risen Deep that don’t have great inherent evasion. It just doesn't have as big a home here for reasons that have nothing to do with the power of the card

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: I'd consider it for Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow if she wasn't so mean.

119: Crystal Slipper: 1,156 Decks

Okay, I'm gonna spoil the rest of the series now, so throw your computer into a bog if you don't wanna see!!!!

Done with that? Good, let's talk about Lightning Greaves. Much like Command Tower and Sol Ring, it’s probably pretty clear that this whole series is eventually building towards these shiny boots. Lots of decks want protection, and lots of decks wanna smack hard. Some want both. Thus, Greaves not only becomes one of the most ubiquitous pieces of Equipment, but also one that is expensive despite its many printings.

I outline that because it’s easy to look at cards like Crystal Slipper and just let them slip out of your memory, especially if you've been playing a while and have a stack of Lightning Greaves sitting in your collection. However, these are the type of cards I’m always happy to have exist. A card like Lightning Greaves is difficult for Wizards to reprint. They don't use Shroud anymore (they don't even like hexproof), so they can't print Greaves often enough in random sets to make the card pennies for the hundreds of thousands of people that want it. Even if Wizards could do that, they wouldn’t really want to. It's a good reprint, which means that it generates a small amount of buzz when it gets reprinted, and even if they went nuts and printed Greaves into the ground, they would have to keep doing that forever. The moment they stopped doing that, it would shoot back up again.

So if we can't have 25-cent cargo boots, stuff like Crystal Slipper are decent replacements. It's not nearly as good as Lightning Greaves, but it still does exactly what decks that like the haste part of Greaves wants, and most importantly, it will never be as expensive as Greaves. Not giving protection is a big deal, and yeah, it means that you play Boots over Heels every time, but that’s secretly a good thing! Slipper will be cheap for a very long time, if not forever. I would love if everyone could just play Lightning Greaves, but as long as that’s not the case, I’m really happy cards like Crystal Slipper exist to fill in the gaps.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: No longer will budget players who want haste be stuck without a shoe, in the stew…. in the goo.

118: Blazing Sunsteel: 1,177 Decks

Um, I own this card. I’ve played it several times, and I just saw it says “when this creature is dealt damage”, not “when this creature deals damage.” I apparently have gotten terrible at reading cards while in quarantine.

Guess now I need to figure out what to do with a build-your-own Stuffy Doll. I suppose you could do some sort of Stuffy Doll tribal deck. Now that's sounds like an interesting Boros deck. You run Chain Reaction, Blasphemous Act, and Star of Extinction, then play dorks like Coalhauler Swine, Brash Taunter, and Truefire Paladin to just eat peoples' faces. There’s even Firesong and Sunspeaker as a somewhat synergistic commander! Okay, super into this now!

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: It's even got an infinite combo! If you put Sunsteel on a Brash Taunter, you can keep targeting the Taunter with the Sunsteel ability and then burn all your opponents out!

117: Cliffhaven Kitesail: 1,203 Decks

Oh my goodness, you don't know how relieved I am to see Cliffhaven Kitesail. After seeing Cobbled Wings, I was afraid we were gonna see regular, boring flying Equipment for the rest of the list, but thank goodness that's not the case. Now we're just getting regular boring flying Equipment with tiny upside!

This is very important to me.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: Hey, sometimes you need ways to get your dorks into the red zone, and flying is always gonna be a solid way to do that. This one even saves you an Equip!

116: Shuko: 1,331 Decks

So, when I talked about Cultist's Staff (here's your reminder that that card exists), I mentioned that even if Staff cost 0 to cast and 0 to Equip, it still probably wasn’t gonna see play as a way to boost power and toughness. That small boost is not gonna matter in most cases. Well, Shuko shows you where that card would actually see play. Shuko basically has no text except Equip 0. It’s a Short Sword on steroids. The card exists to be Equipped, with all the weird scenarios where that matters.

The most famous example is probably with Cephalid Illusionist. It's a bit odd, but you can Equip Shuko to Illusionist even while Shuko is already Equipped. So you do that infinite times, which targets Illusionist infinite times, and mills your entire deck. Then you win with anything, really; probably fish. Mmmm, breakfast.

That’s the classic one. If you want to not live in the modern age, where we don't randomly name decks after morning meals (no seriously, why were we doing that?), it shouldn't surprise you to know that you can do similar combos with Koll, the Forgemaster, or, if you don't want to go full Infinite ComboTM, you can do silly things with Leonin Shikari and Akiri, Fearless Voyager.

You get the idea. Free is always busted, even if the card does nothing else.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: 'Tis the other side of the combat question on Equipment. At some point, make the card cheap enough, and the text stops mattering entirely.

115: Pariah's Shield: 1,338 Decks

When did Pariah’s Shield become so relevant? Like, I look away for two seconds, and suddenly they print Jared Carthalion, True Heir, Sevinne the Chronoclasm, a bunch of indestructible Gods, and creatures like Toski, Bearer of Secrets. There's so much good stuff all of a sudden! I mean, creatures like these existed in the before times, like Sekki, Seasons' Guide, but it feels like the past couple years have really supercharged this card. It's downright scary now.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Underplayed: That doesn’t necessarily mean that the card is a slam-dunk in all those decks (it does cost five to cast and three to Equip), but it does mean that the card has a lot more options than the Cho-Manno, Revolutionaries of yore.

114: Spidersilk Net: 1,387 Decks

Hey, I have a fun game! Let's pretend that we actually care about the text on these zero-mana Equipment.

Spidersilk Net is one less power than Kite Shield, but it makes up for that by being cheaper to Equip, and also giving reach if you need to chump block a Vaevictis Asmadi, the Dire. Thus, I think Net is probably better than Kite Shield, but not better than Sigil of Distinction, since that one scales better in the late-game.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: Wasn't that novel? None of that matters, obviously. This only sees play to do broken things with Sram, Senior Edificer, but it's fun to play pretend sometimes!

113: Magebane Armor: 1,395 Decks

“Noncombat damage.” That’s a spicy meatball there. This ain't no toothless trinket text, like on General’s Kabuto. Magebane Armor is way more applicable for doing silly things. This card makes Hans Eriksson have basically no downside. It makes big burly bois like Gargos, Vicious Watcher fight all they want with no issue. It helps set up the epic action sequence of Jaya Ballard, Task Mage walking away from her own Inferno. Armor needs a specific deck, but when it gets that deck, it’s one of the best cards.

Having said that, you might ask if Armor is actually worth it when indestructible exists on cards like Darksteel Plate, and the answer is... "kind of". Yeah, indestructible does basically everything Armor can do and more. If you can play one of the ways to give it indestructible, you’ll probably be better off doing that, but none of these cards completely eliminate Armor’s niche. They’re either expensive, or an Aura, or white, or Consecrate Land (okay, that last one might have been just my Scryfall search). Magebane Armor exists to catch enough of the decks that fall through the gaps created by all these other cards. That's good enough for me

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: Dralnu, Lich Lord, too, huh? Well, whatever you have to play to make your jank work.

112: Hot Soup: 1,405 Decks

First off, you need to acknowledge that this card’s very existence is amazing. It’s literally super flavorful! It’s Hot Soup, y'all! Hot! Soup! It’s the type of Magic silliness that I always embrace. If you Equip this to Gyome, Master Chef, you should just win the game, the night, and the divine right to rule your playgroup. I don’t know what that means. That’s your playgroup's job to figure out.

Once we get that sorted, I do think we can also acknowledge that, unlike most joke cards, Hot Soup isn’t bad. It’s actually quite good. We’ll see some other unblockable Equipment later on, but the rate on Hot Soup is pretty fair. It’s gonna taste very bitter when you spend three mana to Equip and then your opponent kills your creature, but I think that’s a risk you're willing to take here. It’s not an incredible card, but it gets the job done.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: Plus, how many cards are called Hot Soup? None! Erm, one! One card that’s Hot Soup. It's this one. I win the argument!

111: Empyrial Plate: 1,429 Decks

I have a soft spot for Empyrial Plate, because it’s certainly a Voltron-style Equipment, but it's much more specialized than a boring Equipment like Sword of Vengeance. It’s also not a control card, because while those deck usually have 6-7 cards in hand, they don’t have the creature potential to rumble on a moment's notice like this card demands.

No, when you find the perfect intersection between card draw and punchy punchy, that's when Plate really shines. I'm talking Nezahal, Primal Tide, Wyleth, Soul of Steel, Alrund, God of the Cosmos, and, of course, Masumaro, First to Live. Everybody's gotta have a Masumaro, First to Live deck. Why wouldn't you?

Over, Under, or Just Right? Underplayed: I joke, but I've also been fairly impressed with this card when it works. Maybe you can find it some more homes. 

0/10, Terrible Method for Delivering Meatloaf

Well, I'll be sitting here till the set actually releases, so you might as well entertain me by letting me know what you think about all these Equipment. Are you a fan of Empyrial Plate? You got any cool combos with Blazing Sunsteel or Shuko? Post your thoughts somewhere on the internet for me to peruse. 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.

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