Ranking Every Equipment with EDHREC – Part 6: I Put a Spell on You.

(Spellbinder | Art by Ryan Pancoast)

How Do I Do This, Wizards?

Um… welcome back to this series where we, uh, rank every Equipment… based on their decks on EDHREC… or something. I don’t know. I’ve been in a daze since last week. I keep looking at Crackle with Power and my brain kinda stops working. You know I play Wort, the Raidmother, right? I can easily get X on Crackle up to like… 30? 40? My brain tries to imagine how to cast Crackle for the most ludicrous amount and then Conspire it with Wort, and I just… kinda black out. You go ahead, I need a minute to sort this out.

I can cast Reiterate on Crackle multiple times, too? Goodness, calculus class did not prepare me for Magic: the Gathering.

204: True-Faith Censer: 211 Decks

Starting at 204 this week because we talked about 205 last week with Viridian Claw… at least, Claw was 205 until this week when True-Faith Censer lost about 30 decks, and is now in fewer decks than Claw. I swear, these random Equipment are losing a bunch of decks each week just to make me look bad. Well, screw you True-Faith Censer. For that behavior, you’re not getting a write-up. You know what you did!

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: You’re just Vulshok Morningstar again, anyway. I don’t care about your antics. I don’t!

203 (Tie): Spellbinder: 231 Decks

Spellbinder does need a lot of help to be good. You have to be playing a lot of high-value instants that are worth the effort of trying to Imprint (no sorceries, either; sorry Cruel Ultimatum). However, the payoffs for doing so are hilarious! If you just wanna win the game, Nexus of Fate or Savage Beating can go infinite super easily. If you’re not into that, Emergency Powers is an instant-speed wheel, and that sounds lovely to do every turn. You can wrath every turn with Fated Retribution and Inferno. You can do weird things like Blinkmoth Infusion and Synthetic Destiny that always caught my eye but never seemed worth only casting once. You can do dumb things Searing Wind and Decree of Savagery that are overcosted but also very funny. With this many targets, the only challenge becomes finding the Spellbinder, which isn’t even a challenge since you can tutor it pretty easily with Open the Armory and such.

Look, I’m certainly not advocating Spellbinder as a new EDH auto-include; I’m advocating for Spellbinder as a new dumb build-around. You can easily build a deck full of dumb instants, ways to find Spellbinder, evasive creatures like Invisible Stalker, and even ways to copy Spellbinder, like Mythos of Illuna.

That’s a great level of jank, and I’d love it, but I don’t think you even have to go all the way. Imagine you’re a Neheb the Eternal or a Kalamax, the Stormsire deck and you already have 7-9 good instants. All you have to do is add Spellbinder and maybe one or two additional derpy instants, like Searing Wind, and suddenly you have this completely different avenue to win the game that no one will seem coming. If you have a spellslinger deck, see if the numbers line up for this dork. I think you won’t regret it when you see the card go off.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Underplayed: Sunforger and Kaldra is old news. Build a deck around SpellBinder!

203 (Tie): Sylvok Lifestaff: 231 Decks

I think I can just say Sylvok Lifestaff is bad, but I’m not 100% on that. Lifegain decks are not normally going to have a bunch of creatures to sacrifice, and there’s not a non-lifegain deck that wants to gain small bits of life, so I think we can just say it has no home?

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: The rate of exchange of three for every creature isn’t bad for decks that care, though, so maybe a weird Lathiel, the Bounteous Dawn aristocrats deck can do something cute with it.

201 (Tie): Civic Saber: 235 Decks

Okay, I think I spoke too soon when I said Shard of Broken Glass was the best cheap Equipment you could ask for, because Civic Saber is, like, actually good. You don’t care about the toughness on Short Sword, anyway, so as long as your commander is two colors, this is basically 1 to Equip for +2 power. Why are people messing around with freaking Veteran’s Sidearm? This one’s about as good of a rate as you could ask for.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Underplayed: And this even goes in that five-color Voltron deck with Manaforce Mace. Remember that? Yeah, me neither.

201 (Tie): Bladed Bracers: 235 Decks

You know, after looking at Civic Saber, it’s really hard to get excited about a bad Short Sword that has some random text about Angels. I mean, I can try. Ahem.

Yay, Bladed Bracers. Whooooooooo.

Nope, not happening.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: How is this tied with Civic Saber?

199: Haunted Plate Mail: 238 Decks

The problem with cards like Teferi’s Protection and Heroic Intervention in a Voltron deck is that they don’t do anything until your opponent tries to interact with you. Don’t get me wrong: when these cards do something, they’re the best cards in your deck, and I’m definitely not saying that Haunted Plate Mail is better than those cards. Just that if no one tries to wrath your board, Haunted Plate Mail still contributes to your gameplan of punching face, and when opponents do have the Toxic Deluge, you have a creature you can Equip all your Equipment too. Yeah, they all fall off when Plate Mail stops being a creature, but sometimes you only have to hit for 13 once to end a game. Plate Mail is a lot more proactive than a card like Teferi’s Protection, and that can matter when you want games to end quickly.

Honestly, the biggest obstacle is that four-mana Equip cost. That’s pretty gross, and it does remove this card from a lot of the Equipment decks, but when you can get around that, the upside makes it work it. I see a lot of appeal in Equip-cost-abusers, like Syr Gwyn, Hero of Ashvale and Ardenn, Intrepid Archaeologist. I won’t call it underplayed, but I like the card a lot, and I think it’s got some decent value. 

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: I think what I’m learning from this series is that I really like Ardenn, Intrepid Archaeologist

198: Slayer’s Plate: 252 Decks

You would be surprised how few Equipment give four or more power, because it isn’t a lot, so even though Slayer’s Plate is significantly worse than Haunted Plate Mail, and I didn’t even think Plate Mail was a card for every deck, there’s still probably decks that want the card because it’s cheap and gives a pretty big power boost. Still overplayed, but not worthless, I guess.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: Oh yeah, and there’s some text about Humans on there, but don’t bother playing this in tribal Humans.

197: Neglected Heirloom: 253 Decks

I imagine a future ten years from now when MDFCs become the normal double-sided cards, and new players see these old transform cards and get confused. “I only get to cast one side of the card at a time? Laaaaaaaaaame.”

Neglected Heirloom is just a strictly better Short Sword, but the upside on Heirloom card is almost never gonna come up. There’s not enough good flip cards that the average deck is gonna have 4-6 of them. The only place you could maybe argue for Neglected Heirloom is in Werewolves, and if we ever get a good Werewolf general (Shame, Ulrich of the Krallenhorde. Shaaaaame!), this card will probably see more play just by virtue of it being on-theme, but do Werewolf decks even want this card? Vulshok Battlegear is not a good card. “Vulshok Battlegear, but it takes a ton of extra work” is even worse!

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: I guess if you need a Short Sword, then there’s no reason not to play Heirloom, but there’s also no reason not to not play Heirloom, so it’s kinda a wash.

196: Ronin Warclub: 277 Decks

Ronin Warclub is the type of card you wanna get very, very stupid with. In all the the hype for Koll, the Forgemaster, I’m kinda surprised people weren’t mentioning this card, because it allows you to infinitely sac an Ornithopter. Also seems like a similar stupidity could be accomplished in Dalakos, Crafter of Wonders since he basically makes this Lightning Greaves. Mono-white has to go infinite with this in Teshar? Maybe with Stone Haven Outfitter? It all feels like my type of jank.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: Part of me wishes that it didn’t say “under your control” on it. Watch it fly around the table and kill opponents with annoyance.

195: Wolfrider’s Saddle: 284 Decks

Hey, remember Werewolves? The tribe that’s sleeping in the back alley looking for a leader to get them on Broadway? Take that tribe, remove about half of the payoffs and members, and you’d have Wolves! The tribe as a whole just feels super clunky. A ton of the tribe members, like Assembled Alphas, and a lot of the specific payoffs, like Immerwolf, are in red, but then the one Wolf tribal commander, Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves is in Selesnya, so you’re Naya, I guess? Naya is without have a specific general that has that creature type, so I kinda miss the point of even bothering. I’ve played against tribal Goats, Oozes and Skeletons, and I have to say Wolves might be the most neglected of them all..

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: My rambling is not to to yuck anyone’s yum, it’s just to explain the play on this card. Tribal cards are almost always just right because the demand is super organic. When people want to build tribal Wolves, they’ll find the cards for it.

194: Witches’ Eye: 286 Decks

Witches’ Eye is technically in the vein of the Short Sword-esque cards but it’s way more defensive than those decks want. No, it’s more so a companion to Leonin Bola as a budget way to tap dorks down in Kalamax or King Macar. Those decks are pretty chock-full of effects like that, and scry 1 isn’t a huge benefit, but you need some of these cards, and the less money they cost, the better.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: There’s also Eligeth that technically cares about the scry, but the scry is so little for those decks, it’s not worth it.

194 (Tie): Specter’s Shroud: 286 Decks

Anybody up for Hypnotic Specter tribal? It’s a surprisingly varied dish. You got your OG Abyssal Specter, your Hypnotic Specter, some special ones, like Stronghold Rats and Blizzard Specter, some dorks with bonuses, like Liliana’s Reaver, Scythe Specter, and Banshee of the Dread Choir, some weird ones, like Blim, Comedic Genius, and then the greatest Specter of all time: Nicol Bolas. Thrown in some noncreature options, like Larceny, maybe some Equipment with double strike, like Fireshrieker, and you basically got a deck! Oh, I guess you’ll need a way to actually win the game. You can use the new Tergrid, God of Fright or Tinybones, Trinket Thief, maybe enchantments like Megrim? It doesn’t actually matter. You’ll win by making opponents so frustrated and fed up with life that they storm away from the table. It’s probably very funny for you but a garbage time for everyone else. If you’re up for that, Specter’s Shroud is a good option for those decks.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: If you don’t wanna be completely mean, a slower commander that wants to be evasive like Sygg, River Cutthroat or Sun Quan, Lord of Wu can make some good use of the incremental value here.

192: Jousting Lance: 288 Decks

You put Jousting Lance on Yargle, Glutton of Urborg, you won’t even have to attack me with it. Something about the idea of Yargle holding this stick in his grubby hands and not eating people with his giant mouth, but instead poking them with this dainty lance would kill me from laughter far before you got to attack with him.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: Other than that, I mentioned the issues with first strike before and this is basically just that again.

191: Blight Sickle: 290 Decks

And let’s end off with another weird mechanic: Wither! Giving creatures like Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons Wither is a neat idea, but it involves getting into combat with creatures. That’s not really where Hapatra wants to be. She’d much rather play stuff like Incremental Blight that can do it without opponents getting involved. I like Wither a lot, but I don’t think the -1/-1 counters can take advantage of it, ironically.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: If you do wanna slap Wither on some things, then enjoy some Everlasting Torment! 

Come Hither, Consither, the Wither Cither!

Uh. I guess when I feel a little less groggy, you can let me know what you think about this article in the comments. Have you built a Spellbinder deck? Do you have a cool home for Wither? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll read them probably at some point. 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.