Ranking Every Equipment with EDHREC – Part 5: Reading the Card Explains the Card

(Skyclave Pick-Axe | Art by Dan Scott)

Wizards making Wizards for Wizards

Good day to you. Welcome back to this series where we rank every Equipment based on the number of decks they're in on EDHREC. I'd like to welcome the new attendees from Strixhaven to the website. They are an esteemed cast of characters, and some of you might feel a bit intimidated by the class of this class, but there is no need to feel worried. I am sure that these characters of high society will fit right in with characters like Werebear, Bubbling Beebles. and Babygodzilla, Ruin Reborn that populate your decks. Go socialize!

220: Ensouled Scimitar: 169 Decks

Okay, that stat line is so unique it must be a reference to something. 

Scryfalls 1/5 creatures

Ahah! Dancing Scimitar! That makes sense...

Wait, why the heck are there 37 1/5 creatures?Ancient Crab? Gloom Pangolin? Grizzled Leotau? Imperial Outrider? Charity Extractor? You could build 1/5 creature tribal for crying out loud! And it would be garbage!

I did all this work and it turns out that no one wants a 1/5. No, Scimitar sees play off of the toughness boost from the Equipment side. Yeah, everyone’s favorite big butts Doran and Arcades are once again to blame. I've been hinting at it, but I’m not much of a fan of these toughness-boosting Equipment in those decks. Your dumb Walls, like Wall of Frost, are already massive, and the mass pump spells like Tower Defense end up being way more potent, so overall, I think you can disregard this derpy sword.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: Although I will give this card a pass in Mannichi, the Fevered Dream because that deck needs all the help that it can get.

219: Inventor's Goggles: 177 Decks

The auto-Equip to Artificers is very good, in theory, but there’s not really going to be a lot of great payoff from having Inventor's Goggles Equipped onto something, save for Dalakos, Crafter of Wonders where it actually seems kinda underplayed. Goggles Equips to Dalakos for free every time and gives him haste and flying for free. Other than that, you can pass.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: And obviously, if you're on Artificer tribal, then you kinda have to play this.

218: Heart-Piercer Bow: 179 Decks

I was so excited when I saw this card because I thought I found a hidden gem! I was dreaming of the synergies with deathtouch this card could have in decks like Queen Marchesa, or Glissa, the Traitor. We were gonna go full Visara, the Dreadful and just mow down any creature on the board every turn while also triggering stuff like Chevill, Bane of Monsters.

And then I actually read the card in front of me, and I saw the phrase "Heart-Piercer Bow deals one damage..." This card does nothing with creatures that have deathtouch because the Bow is the source of the damage. All my dreams have been deflated. There's nothing cute with this card. It's not good in cards like Valduk, Keeper of the Flame because one damage is almost never gonna kill anything by itself. What's even left? Nothing. It's useless. Gone from a neat card I wanted to brew around to worthless draft chaft.

I need a minute.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: Hello, darkness, my old frieeeeeeeeeeeeeeend.

217: Leonin Bola: 183 Decks

See, the issue with this Short Sword is that you wanna attack with your Equipped dork in most cases, so leaving them back to tap things down seems like an odd choice. That said, I didn't hate Siren Song Lyre as a budget way to tap creatures like Kalamax, the Stormsire, and I guess this is basically better than that, soooooooooooo sure?

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: Short Sword is a Short Sword is a Leonin Bola

216: Wolfhunter's Quiver: 186 Decks

This one’s not quite as cute as I thought Heart-Piercer Bow was, but maybe we can make this work. I kinda like it more triggering on attack, since then you don’t have to choose between aggression and killing something, but on the other hand, Wolfhunter’s Quiver keeps the creature safe if attacking would kill it. The effect is probably fine in the deathtouch decks like Chevill, and maybe you’ll snipe a Geier Reach Bandit with it occasionally. Seems fine.

Wait, Equip 5?!? What the crap? Why would you make this derpy Prodigal Sorcerer Equipment cost 5 to Equip?!? Why can't I have nice things, Wizards?

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: Why is my life so unfair?

215: Horned Helm: 190 Decks

Trample is already pretty overrated (fight me), and when you can give everything trample with Primal Rage, Equipment like Horned Helm just feel pretty useless. It's cute that you can attach this after blockers to maximize the most damage, but I don't think that makes it worth doing.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: If Equipment like this is gonna grant trample, it should be a nice bonus, not the main attraction.

214: No-Dachi: 194 Decks

205: Viridian Claw: 212 Decks

Yeah, let's just get both of these out of the way because I can basically sum them up by saying "I'm sorry, first strike". It’s an excellent mechanic in other formats, making almost any trade into a chump, and turns combat tricks into removal spells. It can be a beast of a mechanic, but you wouldn’t know it in Commander. Combat in EDH just devolves into chumps or eats so often. When trades do happen, they ultimately don’t affect the board that much. I mean it. Try to remember the last time two creatures traded in combat and it actually affected the game. It's tough to place.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: So yeah. Both Viridian Claw and No-Dachi giving only first strike just isn’t worth it through not much fault of their own.

213: Relic Axe: 195 Decks

If Relic Axe had a similar mechanic as Inventor's Goggles where it Equipped to Warriors that ETBed, then I would be super into it. The Equip when it enters means it's only a good deal for the first creature you attach it to.

I still don't hate it, though. +2/+1 buff for two mana isn't a bad deal, and if you can kill them before you'll have to reattach, then you probably made this card worth playing.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: It's not the worst in something like Rograkh, Son of Rohgahh.

212: Shard of Broken Glass: 195 Decks

Another Short Sword archetypal card, but I think Shard of Broken Glass is probably the best of the bunch. The toughness is pretty incidental on Short Sword anyway, and the incidental mill does matter for everything from Sun Titan to Past in Flames to even opponents' Living Death. You certainly wouldn’t want to play it with no Equipment synergies, or even in a traditional Voltron deck, but in your Srams and Jhoiras, this seems like a solid choice.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Underplayed: If you have to play a Short Sword, then this seems like a solid option.

211 (Tie): Blinding Powder: 202 Decks

If I was in a meta full of creatures, this does seem like a fine meta call to help dorks like Alesha, Who Smiles at Death get in.

Would I run it over Auras, like Shielded by Faith? Possibly, if I wanted to get in with other creatures, too. I'll probably be glad this card exists for some janky brew I build a couple years from now, but in most decks that attack with creatures, I would hope that their creatures would be big enough to get through combat, anyway.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: It’s not terrible, but two to Equip is pretty gross.

211 (Tie): Avacyn's Collar: 202 Decks

Two mana to make everything a Doomed Traveler is super close to what I want in an Aristocrat-style deck, but I don't think it quite gets there. You want your repeatable sac outlets to be free, like Goblin Bombardment, so even though having all your sac fodder make more sac fodder is an interesting proposition, it's probably just a bit too clunky for the Aristocrats decks.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: Although there is some combo potential with stuff like Maskwood Nexus and Ashnod’s Altar for infinite sac triggers. Maybe there's other combos you can make with this? Send them to the dorks at Commander Spellbook.

209: Barbed Battlegear: 204 Decks

Hahahahaha. What is this? Ever just wanna punch something really really hard and nothing else? Well, Barbed Battlegear is for you!

I looked at the other Equipments that could give 4+ power and yeah, a lot of them are a lot better than Barbed Battlegear, but none of them can be Equipped as cheaply, and frankly, none of them delight me as much. Like imagine you slam your Zurgo Helmsmasher on five and then Equip this to on six. There is absolutely no subtlety to this gameplan, but who cares? He hits for 11 now. He’s lethal in two attacks. This card is really a signal to the whole table. "I'm not gonna beat you with a methodical gameplan of overwhelming you with value, Jerry. I'm gonna hit you really hard with some spikes."

Over, Under, or Just Right? Underplayed: Play this card, you cowards!

209 (Tie): Scavenged Blade: 204 Decks

In the best case scenarios, the auto-Equip on stuff like Scavenged Blade makes these cards ridiculous. You only need three or four Equipment on a commander like Kediss, Emberclaw Familiar to snap opponents in half pretty quickly, but you look at cards like Sword of Fire and Ice, and Blackblade Reforged, and between the casting costs and the Equip costs, you’re spending 3-5 mana per Equipment. That adds up very quickly. Scavenged Blade can speed that process up by a lot. Pay the two mana upfront, and your dork gets a buff. No muss, no fuss. Triggers whatever Equipment synergies you have in mind and starts the process of getting those life totals down. When Blade works, it leads to some nutty starts.

The problem is when someone removes the creature the Blade is attached to, because after that, you’re never going to want to Equip Scavenged Blade again. The card just does so little that paying five for it makes it infinitely worse. If you have time to Equip this, you almost assuredly have nothing else going on. I’m torn because Blade can be really good at breaking the typical artifact commanders wide open, but I don't think I can stomach the games where it does nothing.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: Although this is the type of card you will lose to occasionally, and you'll wonder how.

207: Piston Sledge: 209 Decks

This card absolutely screams unfair shenanigans. Artifact sacrifice outlets are busted cards, and sure, Piston Sledge is no Krark-Clan Ironworks, but it still is free unconditional unlimited sacrifice. Similar to Murderer's Axe. It's a bit of an oof that you can only sacrifice stuff to Sledge at sorcery speed, but even still, this gets whatever Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle loops you want started, or it can trigger your Ichor Wellspring and Myr Retriever at will, as well as also being a decent buff for random dorks like Glissa, the Traitor. It's not a flexible card. It a card for unfair artifact combos and nothing else, but how many repeatable artifact sacrifice outlets exists? How many exist that are 25 cents? Not many.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Underplayed: I really dig this one.

207 (tie): Skyclave Pick-Axe: 209 Decks

Skyclave Pick-Axe is very good, but not in the traditional Landfall archetypes. You don’t want this in Lord Windgrace or Tatyova, Benthic Druid, or even the traditional Omnath, Locus of Rage. Those decks don’t wanna attack, they wanna overwhelm you with value until you die sobbing from the abuse. Even Angry Omnath doesn't really care about the random buff this card gives, because he's too busy making 17 5/5s with Splendid Reclamation.

No, you want this in the weirder Landfall decks, like Obuun, Mul Daya Ancestor or Radha, Heart of Keld. Honestly, just seeing the card brings to mind a Landfall deck that plays a million lands to fuel these incredibly fast, almost group slug style starts with cards like Territorial Scythecat, Plated Geopede, and Fearless Fledgling. It's less combo-y than Angry Omnath, and certainly less value-oriented than Windgrace. It’s also way weaker to mass removal and anti-creature cards since it's winning primarily through beatdowns, but I would really dig a true Landfall aggro deck. It feels so different from the Omnaths, and the Omnaths, and the Omnaths of the world.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Underplayed: I’m absolutely on board.


Well, I hope you enjoy your new friends. Once you feel comfortable, you can let me know what you think about these Equipment in the comments. What do you think about the auto-Equipment like Scavenged Blade? Are you as sad about Heart-Piercer Bow as I am? 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.