Ranking Every Equipment with EDHREC – Part 2: I'm Never Writing Another Article Again

(Strandwalker | Art by Igor Kieryluk)

Tiiiiiiiiiiime Spiiiraaaaaaaaaal

This has been a good week for me. Time Spiral Remastered spoilers have been coming out, and I'm so into it. Besides the special timeshifted cards in the original Magic frame, (something I was confident we'd never see again,) there're so many weird references in Time Spiral to Magic sets long past that it make a history nerd like me very happy. Plus, there're so many cards getting reprinted that will make them way cheaper. Pact of Negation, Venser, Shaper Savant, Pulmonic Sliver, and...


No no no no no no no no no. I have a personal vendetta against this thing. We cannot put this card into the hands of more people. Shut it down! Shut the whole set down! This cannot stand! I'm calling Wizards right now to put a stop to this!

What? Oh, welcome back to this series where we rank every Equipment based on the number of decks on EDHREC and whatever. Does somebody have Maro's phone number?

265: Riot Gear: 51 Decks

"Ah, man, guys! I’m so ready to go riot: I got a very basic set of armor, a big spiky gauntlet for one hand, and a mask that barely covers my eyes. I’m ready to go!"

“Um, Steve. Don’t you think you might want a shield to protect yourself, or some sort of special armor to protect you from magic attacks, or, at the very least, something to cover your very exposed trunk and ears?”

“What? Of course not. My gauntlet is blue-raspberry-flavored! I can handle anything!”

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: Steve tripped as he was leaving for the riot and ended up in a coma for six weeks.

264: Torch Gauntlet: 54 Decks

Can I give Torch Gauntlet an underplayed because the flavor is super cool? These are gloves that let you shoot fire out of your hands. Even the mechanics are flavorful: they only give power because that fire ain't gonna help you protect yourself! The card’s whatever, but this is the type of weapon that I want in real life that also isn’t completely impractical.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: I would absolutely burn my hands, but it would be worth it.

263: Opaline Bracers: 55 Decks

If you asked me what my least favorite Magic keywords were, I think Sunburst would be fairly high on that list. It's just so pointless because you never want to do less than max Sunburst. Casting things like Etched Oracle with three colors is so underwhelming that you'll never put it in a deck that doesn't have at least four colors of mana, so why bother with the mechanic at all? You could remove Sunburst from Opaline Bracers and make it cost WUBR, and it'd make basically no difference.

It doesn't help that they really neutered the mechanic. In theory, the more colors a card is, the more powerful they have to make that card so it's worth the risk of not finding all your colors. Most of the Sunburst cards are bad. Pentad Prism and Engineered Explosives are powerful for reasons that have nothing to do with their mechanic. The cards that do care about the mechanic, like Opaline Bracers, are never worth the amount of effort to make them work. Heck, they never were. Sword of Kaldra and Opaline Bracers were both in Fifth Dawn, and Sword grants a bigger buff than Bracers can ever give, but can go in any deck and is also really cool. All the Sunburst cards look like they were made purely for the draft format, except you had to draft Fifth Dawn with Mirrodin and Darksteel, and nothing about Sunburst synergizes with those sets at all. What is the point of this thing?

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: This is why I'll take any chance to bring up Jeremy’s colorless Sunburst deck, because it takes such a dull mechanic and makes it kinda cool!

262: Vulshok Gauntlets: 58 Decks

I don't know if Vulshok Gauntlets are good, but I do know they are very cute. You can attack and then Equip them to a different creature to get around the untap clause, so if you've got six mana to burn and two creatures, they technically have no downside!

Trying to be a bit more serious, +4/+2 is a pretty sweet buff. You get a card like Brass Squire or Kazuul’s Toll Collector out and these are a pretty sweet deal for two mana. It’s a smidge awkward in Voltron because you really only want to focus on a single creature, but in more Equipment-y and less Voltron-y decks, like Nahiri, the Lithomancer, maybe you could run it.

Wait wait wait wait wait, I got it. Traxos, Scourge of Kroog. There is no downside to these when Traxos exists, and you get weird janky card points for playing this. 100% on board!

Over, Under, or Just Right? Underplayed: All that being said, I don’t care what fancy name you put on them: if your gloves are so heavy that they incapacitate you, you made a bad pair of gloves

261: Throwing Knife: 58 Decks

If Throwing Knife returned to hand, like a fixed Razor Boomerang, I’d might consider it, but when I’m wishing for a card to be more like Razor Boomerang, I think that speaks for itself.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: Although I do like the image of Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger just chucking this knife at someone.

260: Cultist's Staff: 60 Decks

I’m trying to think about how you’d have to shift the numbers on Cultist's Staff to make giving +2/+2 and nothing else an effect I’d want to play in EDH. I think it'd have to be something ludicrous like two mana to cast, zero to Equip, or one mana to cast, one to Equip. Obviously, they could never print that in a Standard-legal set, so I'm not actually suggesting that. It's just funny to think about how much of an odd duckling combat is in EDH.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: Frankly, even if Staff was zero to cast, zero to Equip, you still probably wouldn't play it in a lot of deck.

259: Greatsword: 63 Decks

Greatsword annoys me. Not because the card is bad, which it is, but because it's worse than Tormentor's Trident, at least in Commander, and yet is seeing more play. Sure, I wouldn't play either, but if you're gonna play one, you might as well play the one with a buff dude on it.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: More like mediocresword. Hehehehehehehehe.

258: Heavy Arbalest: 63 Decks

There’s gotta be a way to go infinite with this, right? I was looking for some sort of creature that you could give this ability to that would also untap it, but I had no such luck. The best I found was that Cacophodon can deal infinite damage to itself if you give it indestructible. Hooray? Maybe you can do a cute thing with Trench Behemoth? Uhhhhhhhhh, if you get infinite mana, you can kill with Mage-Ring Responder? Yeah, at that point, you probably would rather have Thornbite Staff

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: I am still intrigued by this. I feel like I’ll stumble across a deck playing this and go, “Oh. That’s the deck for this card.”

257: Necropouncer: 64 Decks

256: Strandwalker: 66 Decks


Nope. I’m not talking about Living Weapon. You can’t make me. I guess we’re just stuck on 257 forever, because I refuse to talk about this abomination! Well, goodbye everyone!

Alright, fine!

Living Weapon was basically just a way for Scars of Mirrodin block to have a lot of creatures in the set while also increasing the Equipment count. The issue with the mechanic is that lot of the base creatures aren’t really worth the effort. Necropouncer and Strandwalker are bad creatures in Limited, let alone Commander, so you'd really only want to play these if you want the buffs they have as Equipment. At least it’s a really flavorful mechanic to reflect the Phyrexians… Infecting objects… making them slither towards you… unbendingly unreflective of human quality or thought…. Agggggggh!

Nope! I can’t do it. Everybody has their irrational fear: heights, spiders, chickens, and for me, that thing is moving intimate objects without facial features. Look at the art on Strandwalker. It's terrifying. A giant, unfeeling, unbargainable monstrosity lumbering towards you! Ooh! I hate it, I hate it, I hate it! Necropouncer and Strandwalker are overcosted creatures that also are bad Equipment. There! We’re leaving.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: No! You don’t get more thoughts on this! We’re leaving!

254 (Tie): Shield of the Righteous: 70 Decks

Equipment are kinda naturally aggressive, so it’s pretty weird to have an Equipment that only does things when the Equipped creature is blocking. You play a card like Sword of the Animist, you can do thing to make it safe to attack and gain value. If Shield of the Righteous has the potential to do anything, then opponents will just not attack, so unless you’re in a weird forced combat deck that also wants to make sure creatures can’t attack, Shield is basically a dead card.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: I see a bunch of Arcades, the Strategist decks running this, and that also seems bad. +0/+2 is barely a blip in an Arcades deck.

254 (Tie): Hammer of Ruin: 70 Decks

Here’s the secret tech card against every single card on this list. I guess if your meta is mono-"Stoneforge Mystic" decks, Hammer of Ruin is pretty cute, but otherwise, you should just run a creature like Sunder Shaman.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: Actually, tangent: why aren’t people running more Sunder Shamans and Trygon Predators? Up against an enchantress deck or an artifact deck, or even a typical control deck? Introduce them to a smashy smashy friend

253: Veteran's Sidearm: 74 Decks

Hey, we're getting closer to the legendary Short Sword! Sure, Veteran's Sidearm is still not good enough to actually be playable, but maybe the next time we see a card like this, it might be not terrible!

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: The card’s name is also just the art description, so the creativity on the card is also not great.

252: Ravager's Mace: 81 Decks

So obviously, you don't want to play this in a non-Party deck. In a Party deck, Ravager's Mace is gonna give a maximum of +4/+0 and okay evasion? That’s not the worst thing you could play. Zagras, Thief of Heartbeats might wanna take this with him as he brings the Party to your opponents' faces.

That Equip cost of 2{B}{R} is super gross, though. The auto-Equip on Mace mitigates that a bit, but if Zagrus dies, it’s almost never going to be worth the cost to re-Equip. I guess it’s fine in a Party aggro deck, but it’s also not a card I adore.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: I think if we ever get more Party payoffs, this card is one of the first ones you cut to make room.

251: Demonspine Whip: 82 Decks

Equipment Firebreathing, huh? There's gotta be something cool we can do with this, although the synergy page for Demonspine Whip is no help at all in deciphering that. Bring to Light and Worthy Knight should not exist on the same page, so we'll have to do some digging to find this card's home. I’d blame the Knights on the page mostly on Syr Gwyn, Hero of Ashvale being a Mardu Equipment general. Being only one to Equip makes Whip a pretty good card in Voltron-esque-style decks, since late game it makes any creature a threat. I would windmill slam this in Zurgo Helmsmasher or just straight Malfegor for some kind a Rakdos Voltron deck? I don’t know that's a thing, but I would like it to be one.

Frankly, though, I’m more interested in playing Whip with creatures that care about having high power. Hateflayer for millions, Hellhole Flailer to put a gun on the table, making Myriad Construct or Nadier, Agent of the Duskenel into weird Secure the Wastes. That's just in Rakdos. Momentous Fall and Lifeblood Hydra seem very funny with this card. Mycoloth for a million every turn? Bloodspore Thrinax to permanently buff everything. And maybe that’s leaning towards Magical Christmasland thinking, but you’re not bending over backwards to put this card in your deck. It’s cheap to play, cheaper to Equip, and sometime you’ll just have a million mana to put into this card. I’m kinda smitten with it.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Underplayed: This is the first card on this list that I legit think is really good.

Crack That Whip!

Well, while I send a 1,000 emails to Wizard's customer support, let me know what you think about this batch of Equipment. Do you have fond memories of Sunburst? Are you into some of the niche gems like Vulshok Gauntlets? Let me know this and more 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.

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