Ranking Every Equipment with EDHREC – Part 3: The Gate Industry: EXPOSED!

(Slab Hammer | Art by Joseph Meehan)

Herald, Buddy, Got a Sec?

Hi, average person reading this article. You can move on from the intro, this is not for any of you. This intro is for the people at Commander's Herald, the new MTG website based on proving top Commander content. You already got some people from EDHREC, like Ben and Dana, as well as some other weirdos, but I've got an article idea for you that would bring swarms of screaming fans to your website. You're gonna wanna sit down so you can throw yourself up in gleeful cheering when you hear it. You prepped, Herald? Okay. Here we go:

The Majestic Brushwagg: A 42 retrospective into the stunning history of the thorny cushmaster in all of our hearts

This is the article series that EDHREC has constantly missed out on, but you can finally get it, Herald! With Almighty Brushwagg coming out last year and being only the second Brusswagg in the entire history of Magic, the series has never been more relevant. This is a story that has to be told, and I'm giving you the opportunity to host it. Contact my agent, Herald, we can talk about selling the rights to the movie adaptation.

Anyway, while I want for the plethora of email, let's get back to ranking every Equipment based on their number of decks on EDHREC.

250: Vulshok Battlegear: 84 Decks

Commander’s Plate makes Vulshok Battlegear look very sad, but it’s pretty unfair to compare a Commander Legends mythic to a Mirrodin uncommon, and +3/+3 for Equip 3 isn’t a terrible deal. It’s not the worst Equipment you could play in aggro decks, like Akiri, Line-Slinger, but I also would replace it as soon as possible.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: Do I reference the power armor from Ratchet Deadlocked or the knight enemies from Gauntlet Dark Legacy? Eh, nobody’s gonna recognize it either way.

249: Shuriken: 84 Decks

I was going to say that this card would be cute with Yuriko, the Tiger’s Shadow, but then Yuriko only cares about combat damage, and Shuriken only targets creatures, so all around they did an incredible job of making sure a card from 2004 was worthless in EDH. Good job, Wizards!

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: What else is there to really do with this? All the Ninjas care about combat damage to players. You might as well run the Heavy Arbalest if you wanna deal damage to creatures.

248: Hankyu: 88 Decks

Bless you.

I did not play Kamigawa Limited, so it's possible Hankyu was a bomb in its time, but I am trying to imagine playing this card in Commander, and that seems so terrible that I love it.

Like, let’s assume the best case scenario where you slam this turn one, play a Grizzly Bears and equip this to the Bear on turn four. It’s gonna take till turn five for you to deal one damage. It's gonna take till turn seven to deal three damage, and when you do that, you have to start all over again! Meanwhile, while you're sitting there doing the worst Robin Hood impression, your opponents are casting Avenger of Zendikar, or Secure the Wastes for 25, but don't worry! You'll get through all those tokens eventually with your pretty bow!

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: This card is a special type of garbage and I love it.

247: Sparring Collar: 92 Decks

Moving up the cycle of Healer's Headdress, we have Sparring Collar! First strike can be very powerful... provided your opponents have creatures on the board, which isn’t guaranteed. If they do have creatures on the board, they might be so big that they basically won’t care about whatever gets in combat with it. Just first strike isn’t worth much, so it’s really only off being a very cheap Equipment that it sees any play at all.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: It doesn’t actually seem terrible in budget Valduk, but that's about it.

246: Peregrine Mask: 93 Decks

There’s two cute things with this card. One is Ardenn, Intrepid Archaeologist putting this on opponents' creatures. Honestly, between this, Thirsting Axe, and Vulshok Gauntlets, you could probably build an entire deck around putting bad Equipment on opponents' creatures .

The other "use" for this is in Arcades, the Strategist. A lot of people tend to forget that Arcades doesn’t actually have defender, himself, so with this card, it makes Arcades get buffed by stuff like Tower Defense that wouldn’t normally help him. Neat.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: Do either of those uses make this card good? Not at all, but it does makes it interesting. This early on in the list, I will happily take that.

245 (Tie): Gate Smasher: 94 Decks

A Gate Smasher, huh? Well, considering half the cards with Gate in the name are lands, another 1/3 are noncreature artifacts, and a lot of the remaining cards are either destroying or protecting these gates that don't actually seem to exist, I think the only gates that can be smashed by this is Cemetery Gate and Consulate Skygate. I can’t tell if this card is just terrible at its job, or if there’s some conspiracy where everyone pretends there’s a gate industry where no such industry exists. I’ll get back to you on this one.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: If you want an actual review of this card, just look at Loxodon Warhammer.

245 (Tie): Vulshok Morningstar: 94 Decks

I did say that you would have to make Cultist’s Staff some absurd rate to make it playable, and Vulshok Morningstar is not that rate. Better? Certainly, but still mediocre.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: Although, if they keep improving, maybe we will see two mana to cast, equip for zero soon?

243: Copper Carapace: 95 Decks

They kinda got the numbers switched around on this card. I’d probably play this if it costs three and equipped for one, but do it the other way around, and it’s just gonna cost you a million mana to ever equip it more than once.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: Sram, maybe?

242: Dead-Iron Sledge: 97 Decks

MEGA DEATHTOUCH! Obviously, the dream here is to put Dead-Iron Sledge on a Lure creature, like Taunting Elf, and eat an opponent’s entire board. Doesn’t even matter if the creature dies afterwards, although if you are worried about the, just slam a Shielded by Faith on your Elf, too! I wouldn’t play Sledge outside of a Lure deck, but in that deck, it’s hilariously effective.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Underplayed: Plus, it’s a super metal card name.

241: Stitcher's Graft: 98 Decks

I seem to be finding a bunch of weird Equipment for Traxos, Scourge of Kroog. Here's another deck idea for my short list, Traxos, but with bad Equipment no one has ever heard of.

Anyway, unlike Vulshok Gauntlets, no moving the Equipment around to get around the uptap clause. Even with that method gone, though, there're still ways to avoid paying the toll of waiting a turn for your dork to untap. You put Stitcher’s Graft on a creature with vigilance, this basically just gives +3/+3 for two mana. That’s a pretty good buff for a creature like Danitha Capashen, Paragon, or heck, a creature wearing any Equipment that grants Vigilance! For a budget deck containing a lot of those types of cards, this seems like a sneakily good choice.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Underplayed: And here's another janky Equipment for Ardenn, Intrepid Archaeologist.

240: Rakdos Riteknife: 100 Decks

I want to like Rakdos Riteknife. It seems like it could be a cute payoff for sacrificing creatures. People play High Market just to get creatures to die, and Riteknife can do a lot more than High Market.

It just takes so long to get to that point. How many counters on this thing is a good use of it? Three? Four? Even at six or seven, I could think of a lot of board states where even that leaves naught but a minor dent. You can move the knife around to sac multiple creatures a turn, but that’s a lot more work than just playing even Nantuko Husk.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: Although, could you imagine if this didn't require you to tap the creature, so you could just equip Riteknife to something and then eat your entire board? That'd be ludicrous! Why couldn't we have gotten that?

239: Slab Hammer: 104 Decks

If you hop in your DeLorean and go back to 2010, Slab Hammer is probably playable in whatever Landfall deck you steal from the native time period. With the extra land cards you had at that time like Exploration or Walking Atlas, you really need ways to always have lands to play. Back then, Hammer would probably have been nice as budget, secret tech.

Unfortunately, Hammer came out in 2016. By that point, Landfall had already gotten a lot faster, a lot less clunky, and found a lot of better toys to play with. That's not even touching on monsters that came out later, like Lord Windgrace and Omnath, Locus of Creation. Landfall can barely fit in cards like Zendikar’s Roil anymore, let alone a derpy land card like Slab Hammer.

No, you wanna play Hammer now, you gotta restrict yourself. Mono-red Moraug, Fury of Akoum, mono-blue Patron of the Moon, mono-black Korlash, Heir to Blackblade, Uh… mono-white Eight and a Half Tails? Mono-colorless Karn, Silver Golem? Whatever, you see the theme here. Introduce green and you can throw Hammer in the garbage.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: It'd prolly be the type of card you'd see me play in a derpy Breya, Etherium Shaper Landfall deck, and then lose to Lord Windgrace.

238: Mind Carver: 107 Decks

Mind Carver actually did pique my interest for a moment. You only need one opponent to have eight cards in the 'yard to get the pump, so when the stars align, it's +3/+1 for one mana. For an Equipment deck, that seems pretty good, but then the question ends up being how a deck like Zurgo Helmsmasher is going to mill an opponent for eight. It's an interesting puzzle, but I was intrigued to see if any Voltron decks have figured that puzzle out.

Nope. Basically none of the decks playing this are Voltron-esque. Instead Anowan, the Ruin Sage is the card to blame for the play this card is getting. Now, on the one hand, should Anowan actually be running this? Not really. Rogues go wide better than tall, and paying three to equip this and attack for six damage a turn isn’t going to help Rogues very much.

On the other hand, it was in Zendikar Rising, which was the set that the Anowan precon came out with. Most likely, people opened Mind Carver in a random pack and wanted to slot it into the new Commander deck they bought, and you know what? That’s totally fine. It’s always kinda cool when you see a new card and realize the cool things it could do in your deck. It makes the whole thing more personal, and Carver isn’t anti-synergy with Anowan. A lot of his crew does have evasion, so even though it's not the best, I’ll give the freaky skull a pass.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: I still would like to see it in like Malfegor or something. That seems cute.

237: Dagger of the Worthy: 108 Decks

I bet most of you read Dagger of the Worthy and went “Oh, right. Afflict exits!” That kinda says more about Afflict's playablity in Commander than I ever could.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: There’s some tribal Bolas cards on Dagger's page since Afflict represented the Eternals of his army, but there has to be better, more flavorful cards to play.

236: Utility Knife: 118 Decks

In some ways, switching the Equip cost and the cast numbers on Grifter's Blade to make Utility Knife is a lot better. If all you care about is that an Equipment is attached, you’d rather just have it attached as soon as possible. The cheaper cost is a boon at first, but if it gets removed, giving a creature +1/+1 is never going to be worth three mana. Neither card is that amazing, but I think I’d rather have Grifter’s Blade in most decks, just because if Utility Knife falls off, you’ll never want to re-equip it.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: Look at that art and tell me which part is the knife part.

I'll Stab You with Some Part of This Knife

Still waiting on that email, but I'm sure Commander's Herald was just stunned into silence. While I wait for them to recover, let me know what you think about this batch of Equipment. Do you have a cute use for Mind Carver? Do you find Hankyu as funny as it clearly is? 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.