Ranking Every Equipment with EDHREC – Part 4: That Eldrazi is a Spy!

(Spy Kit | Art by Aaron Miller)

Frolicking in the Snow

Alright, what've we got here? Sarulf's Packmate is always a solid pick, but you know, I've really be impressed with Svella, Ice Shaper, so I think I'm gonna grab that....

Oh, hey! Welcome back to this series where I rank every Equipment with EDHREC. This looks like a pretty easy Berg Strider.

What? Kaldheim draft has been sweet, and they're taking it away from me soon, so I figured I could squeeze in a few more drafts while I write. You know, multitasking. Ugh. Not a lot here. I guess I'll take Grizzled Outrider.

"Isn't that distracting?" Look, I've probably spent as many hours drafting this format as I have writing articles at this point, Ooh! Basalt Ravagerso I can draft this format in my sleep. I'll give you my full atten... hm, guess I'll take Immersturm Raider? Not a great spot.

Look, stop complaining. I'll be fine. Now, let's take Shepherd of the Cosmos so we can pivot into Boros aggro and hopefully get a Goldvein Pick or two on the wheel when everyone goes in on snow!

Uh. I mean, let's start ranking!

235: Sickleslicer: 116 Decks

232: Skinwing: 130 Decks

For those charting my fear reactions to these cardboard abominations, Sickleslicer is fairly tame. It’s basically just a metallic snake. I can handle that. Skinwing, on the other hand, is super atrocious. It might not look bad at a glance, but you zoom in on that art, and the “skin” in “Skinwing” becomes way more apparent in the worst way.

I know EDHREC is only making me talk about these because I hate them, but to give them a review, them being expensive derpy creatures doesn’t make up for the massive Equip costs for little benefit. Maybe you play them in a theme deck, like “only creatures that don't have the creature card type on them?” That would be funny if I didn't want to throw all of these into a bonfire.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: The eagle-eyed among you might also notice that Sickleslicer is in fewer decks than Utility Knife from last week. I don't know how this happened. Slicer was ahead of Knife when I wrote last week's article. I guess a bunch of people finally made the hard decision to cut Sickleslicer from their decks. Good for them, I guess.

234: Spy Kit: 119 Decks

On the one hand, this card is not really made for Commander, because the card is incredibly niche, so you need to build around it, but you also only get one copy of it in EDH. Not to mention a lot of the combos with Spy Kit, like Verdant Succession, do nothing in EDH without Spy Kit in play.

On the other hand, this is one of the weirdest, stupidest black-border cards that you can combo with, so I’m honestly shocked it’s this low. Just search for cards with some variation of the phrase "same name as a card in play," and Spy Kit gets downright silly. The stax cards like Cornered Market and Bazaar of Wonders are the first ones that come to mind, but you can be much dumber and less mean. Cylian Sunsinger pumps every creature in play, Evil Twin becomes Visara the Dreadful, Retraced Image becomes a one-sided Show and Tell, Mechanized Production just wins with eight artifacts in play.

That's not enough jank for you? Magnetic Theft your Spy Kit onto an opponent’s creature, then cast Eradicate, Dichotomancy, or Legion’s End. Are combos like these a lot of work for something that probably won't win you the game? Absolutely, but if EDH is not made for these types of combos, than it isn't a format that I want to be associated with.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Underplayed: Plus, you know a year or two from now, they’re gonna accidentally make a legendary creature that breaks this card in half.

233: Rosethorn Halberd: 122 Decks

Good gravy! Equip 5?!? Rosethorn Halberd is trying to make me upset. I can’t even come up with any sort of half-baked ramble here because I can't take me eyes of that ability. No amount of auto-Equip or random P/T boost is gonna make that not atrocious.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: Ugh. Gross.

231: Mantle of Tides: 134 Decks

Speaking of colored Equipment, Mantle of Tides is so incredibly easy to Equip, I feel like it has to be good. Not through the Equip cost, obviously. That part's still impressively bad, but drawing an extra card is a super easy requirement to get in blue of all colors.

Granted, the buff is bad, but the Equip cost is so easy to get around, there must be some way to abuse that. Almost all the cards that care about being Equipped are White, and most of them probably have better options. Maybe it’s decent in Dalakos, Crafter of Wonders?

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: I don't know. It's basically a Shuko you can only use once a turn. Feels like there must be some blue deck that wants that. Comments, do your magic and find the combo with this dork.

230: Manriki-Gusari: 135 Decks

Better than Hammer of Ruin, at least. Manriki-Gusari doesn’t have to deal damage and it gives some small pump. Honestly, with an Equip cost of 1, I could see an argument for playing this one in certain metas. Most decks run Lightning Greaves and Swiftfoot Boots, and a lot of decks are running things like Shadowspear, Sunforger, Sword of Feast and Famine, Sword of the Animist. (Man, the letter S is overpowered.) There're a lot of random targets for this dork on an average table. Plus, when you run into an Equipment deck like Akiri, Line Slinger, then you can make them start sobbing.

Manriki-Gusari isn't amazing. I think I would only recommend to you it in Equipment decks since it will have synergies with a lot of your other cards, and you probably need to have at least two targets every game. Without that, it might as well be Nature’s Claim, but I don't think that's a high bar to pass. For a niche hate card, Manriki-Gusari is pretty decent.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Underplayed: I don’t hate it.

229: Vanguard's Shield: 136 Decks

Look, I know it’s complicated because the Walls aren’t doing what they’re supposed to, but I think y'all are getting a little confused here. Most decks playing cards like Wall of Frost don't actually want to block with them, okay? What they want is to play High Alert and smash people in the face. No blocky blocky. Only punchy punchy. No need to play Vanguard’s Shield, unless you really are planning on going full durdle turtle. 

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: Got that? Good.

228: Hedron Blade: 144 Decks

So if you took Slayer’s Cleaver, and made it not cost a million to Equip, and gave it some more relevant upside, you’d have Hedron Blade. If any of that actually did more than make the card say “Can't be blocked by colorless creatures unless you want to,” maybe that would mean something.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: I feel like I say this with every Equipment, but if it only costs one to Equip, I think it’d actually be much better. The upside on this is actually pretty good. Two mana just totally sinks it.

227: Sharpened Pitchfork: 145 Decks

I don’t know how a pitchfork would give you first srike. Like, how does this make you faster than like a Craw Wurm? Is it the length of the pitchfork? I feel like they could just go around you or hit you from afar. Maybe I should find a pitchfork of my own and convince my friends to do an experiment.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: What? Oh, Sharpened Pitchfork is just Veteran’s Sidearm with a small bonus, so you probably just want Short Sword instead. Now, where can I find a barn in NM?

226: Warmonger's Chariot: 148 Decks

Unlike most of the random Equipment people are trying to fit into the Walls decks, there are some Walls decks that could use Warmonger’s Chariot, it’s just definitely not Arcades, and probably not Doran. I think I’ve ranted about this before, but the Walls decks need as many aggressive attackers as possible. They do not have room for worse backup Arcades, and even if they did, you’d much rather have Assault Formation, or High Alert than Warmonger's Chariot. If your commander does the Wall attack thing, you do not need this one.

If you’re on the full jank, though, like Jeskai Walls, or mono-green Walls, then Warmonger’s Chariot is pretty good.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: Well, maybe not pretty good. It's fine? Passable? Playable? It's befitting the deck, how about?

225: Screaming Shield: 152 Decks

Ah, look at the flexibility on this card. Not only does it have the ability to grant not enough toughness for the Arcades decks, but it also has the ability to be far too much mana to activate for the mill decks. Screaming Shield is bad in two different archetypes!

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: I'm aware that some strange things like stickbugs make me cringe, but an animated shield that screams eternally isn’t worth mentioning on my creepy-crawly radar. I think this series has made it clear I’m quite strange.

224: Silver-Inlaid Dagger: 162 Decks

+3 power is a big game, and certainly makes Silver Inlaid Dagger at least pique my interests. The Human subtype is actually kind awkward in Equip decks because a lot of the commanders like Sram, Senior Edificer aren’t Humans, but there’s a lot of random stuff, like Puresteel Paladin, that can get pumped by this, and even +2 power for Equip 2 isn’t the worst exchange in Voltron decks. Provided you can have this be +3 a majority of the time, I think Dagger is a decent choice.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Underplayed: At the very least, Syr Gwyn could get some good use out of it.

223: Blazing Torch: 165 Decks

Hey! After four parts, we finally found a Short Sword-esque Equipment I actually like. As I mentioned in part 1, there's a lot of Equipment that cost basically nothing to Equip, but also gives basically nothing to the Equipped creature, so you only want them if you care about Equipment, like Valduk, Keeper of the Flame or Wyleth, Soul of Steel.

Basically, the question of playing Blazing Torch over Short Sword is would you Shock at whim, or slightly minor pump? If you’ve got Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle or Tiana, Ship’s Caretaker, then the Torch probably does slightly more work. Otherwise, you probably would just rather have the power boost, but this is a historic moment! All of the other cheap Equipment that we've seen so far is like Veteran's Sidearm. I could actually see an argument for playing this bad, cheap Equipment!

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: I'm gonna enshrine this card and put it up on the fridge.

222: Echo Circlet: 171 Decks

You know with all of the Equipment that care about blocking, I wonder if you could build like “blocking matters” where you just play a bunch of cards like Engulfing Slagwurm that care about blocking and just be extra dopey to the game.

Oh wait, I kinda built that already, didn’t I? And I didn’t play any of these. Huh.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: Was this even playable in its Limited environment? Even Brave the Sands was only barely playable.

221: Bronze Sword: 179 Decks

I was very surprised to see Bronze Sword this high on list, and we're still in the 220s, so that says a lot. I think this is just a case of people playing what they happen to own. It came out in Theros Beyond Death, so it’s likely a card new players own, but you don't want it. If you wanted a cheap Equipment, you’d rather have one with a low Equip cost like Short Sword. I'm not even really sure why I'm talking about it even this much.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: This is always weird advice to give because anyone that could actually use this advice is almost certainly not into the game enough to be reading these articles, but eh. What else am I good for?

Made with Special Ingredient Tin

You can run Smashing Success to help splash, right?

Oh, uh, let me know what you what you thought about this batch of Equipment. Do you have any other uses for Spy Kit? Got a cute combo for Mantle of Tides? I'll look at them all after I 0-3 a few more times in Kaldheim. 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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