Ranking Every Equipment with EDHREC – Part 9: Everything is Shocks
(Ghostfire Blade| Art by Cyril Van Der Haegen)
Putting Some Old Shoes Back On
Hey y'all! I'm back. What'd I miss?
What's that? I didn't catch that. I guess I'm just too caught in the calmness of the moment. Ahhhh. Going back to the comfortable series of ranking every Equipment based on their deck count on EDHREC is so relaxing. I certainly enjoyed doing the 2020 lists, but here, I don't have to evaluate any new cards! I can just sit back and dig into toys from ye olden days of the early 2000s. No new products to evaluate with no prior experience. It's nice.
I'm sorry, I really cannot hear you.
Mildew Horaisans, too? I can't make out what you're saying from the noise of me covering my ears and going "Lalalalalalalalala." I guess I'll just have to start the list.
163: Neurok Hoversail: 458 Decks
You know what you should be playing instead of Neurok Hoversail? Zephyr Boots! It came out too late to be included in this series, but I do kinda dig it over a lot of these other vanilla flying Equipment. If it's gonna cost 2 to Equip, might as well give me a treat, too! Otherwise, you can dunk it straight in the garbage.
Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: And yes, I know I just said I wasn't gonna talk about new cards, and then just spent the whole write-up talking about a new card but... look, shut up!
162: Executioner's Hood: 489 Decks
Luckily, Trent has already gone and done my work for me on Intimidate, so I just get to summarize. It's definitely not unblockable against everything, especially if your creatures are multiple colors. When your deck is really suited for it, though, Intimidate is super efficient. You finally get some upside for being mono-color, or, better yet, Boros!
Very, very rarely, you run into, like, a four-player mono-black emporium where Intimidate just does nothing, but usually, it's gonna be super annoying to at least one player, and those're the moments I live for. Chulane, Teller of Tales might have a Trygon Predator or two for flyers, but what's he gonna do against a Volrath the Fallen wearing this spooky hood? Look stupid and die, that's what.
Over, Under, or Just Right? Underplayed: Plus, it's really funny in colorless decks. Imagine for a moment that you take your Kozilek, the Great Distortion and make them even more scary by putting a creepy hood on their head. It’s amazing.
161: Pirate's Cutlass: 524 Decks
159: Shining Armor: 538 Decks
Neither Pirate's Cutlass nor Shining Armor are what their respective tribes are really looking for. I mean, if you just want to play them just because they say Pirate or Knight on them, then go for it! I’m not gonna tell you to constrain what you find funny or on-brand. That's a whole different ball game, but if you're looking for just the best cards to play in those tribes, these definitely ain't them.
Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: Although we can add Pirate's Cutlass to the list of "excellent card arts on random common Equipment." The slight reflection on the water-coated sand? Good stuff
160: Livewire Lash: 531 Decks
Ooookaaaaaaaaay. Uh, what are we supposed to do with this? Are we supposed to be seeing Livewire Lash as protection? I don’t think opponents are going to be too upset at taking two damage when they kill your Consecrated Sphinx.
So are we playing this to target dorks with our own spells and Shock things? Why do we wanna turn our spells into Shocks? Like, Feather, the Redeemed shows up on the page, but Feather would probably rather just attack with their creatures than randomly Shock things. I guess you could put it on creatures that do care about dealing damage, like Atemsis, All-Seeing, but those decks probably don’t have a bunch of spells to target those creatures with. Livewire Lash just needs a very particular home. What decks are there that have a lot of cheap spells to target creatures with and also have creatures that are impactful when they damage-
Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. That's what we're doing with this. Infect again. Okay, you can have this one
Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: Them and no one else, unfortunately. If you see anything else cute with this, let me know. Till then, just let them have this one.
158: Ghostfire Blade: 542 Decks
I have recently become a ravenous fan of the janky colorless Voltron deck, so you bet your buttered biscuits I am absolutely digging Ghostfire Blade. For those curious, there are two options for colorless Voltron commanders: Traxos, Scourge of Kroog and Hope of Ghirapur. Neither is very good, but I love my children and I will not hear you disrespect them. You want a good deck, go build Rafiq of the Many. This is the realm of putting Surestrike Trident and Colossus Hammer on a Armory Automaton, and yes, it's amazing.
Sure, if you want to run boring cards, like Sword of Feast and Famine, in this type of deck, you can if it makes you feel better. It won't actually help you, though. You'll eventually still have to run some of the bad ones. Ghostfire Blade is an absolute staple in this deck, and I will not ever apologize for the fact that you have to play it
Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: Although, please don’t play this in regular, boring, giant Eldrazi decks. “Aw, look, that 12/12 has a spooky sword. Good for him. I hope he can get a job with that fancy sword and build a nice life for himself in New York with a wife and a dog and spend every Wednesday getting bagels with just the right amount of sesame seeds.” Like, no one says that.
157: Runed Stalactite: 545 Decks
I'll go ahead and pull the pseudo double write-up here, since Amorphous Axe is a very similar card and has all the same applications, but is ranked too high to be featured in this article. My life is so hard, y'all!
Anyway, quick question: who wants to play Avian Changeling? In a logical world? No one; it's basically a bad vanilla creature for Limited. In the jank world that we live in, Evvvvvvvvvvvvverbody! Even ignoring the bounty of tribal decks that exist for every creature type under the sun, Changeling, itself, is now its own tribal deck led by stuff like Morophon the Boundless. If you were to ask me why I love Commander, it would be because Mana Crypt is one of the most played cards in the format, and yet somehow Irregular Cohort is still a solid Commander role-player! What a world!
That said, Runed Stalactite and Amorphous Axe are a bit more awkward than even Mothdust Changeling. Neither is very good in the Changeling tribal decks. The Changelings are a lot more consistent than having to get this random Equipment on a non-Changeling, and probably a lot less effort to make work.
Can we just play this in Breeches, Brazen Plunderer? Breeches triggers off damage, so Havoc Jester and Stalactite is infinite damage? Ehhhh. Every Equipment seems to goes infinite. I want more jank! What about a weird Yisan Voltron brew? You can tutor out a bunch of random niche lords, and then Stalactite makes Yisan super powerful!
I mean, let’s not forget that Maskwood Nexus exists, but that's only one card, and not every deck has access to Conspiracy and Arcane Adaptation. Even if it's not a game-ending combo, it feels like Stalactite has to do something. Maybe in dual tribal decks, like Rin and Seri, Inseparable? Maybe Magda, Brazen Outlaw? Much like Changelings, themselves, these Equipment are a unique puzzle to solve
Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: Okay, wait, one more: Elfless Elves. You run all the noncreature lords, like Prowess of the Fair, but no real tribal members, and you just try and find these two cards. (Maybe you can have, like, five real Elves for the nut draw.) It's the most fair Elf deck you could possibly run.
156: Neko-Te: 548 Decks
Don’t even try and get into combat with this thing, you don’t wanna do that. Neko-Te doesn’t specify combat damage, so what you wanna do is play this with Tibor and Lumia or Ashling, the Pilgrim and lock out creatures until this Equipment leaves play! Everybody talks about Charisma combos, but nobody ever mentions this card, and it actually seems really sweet. Give it a shot! Catch everybody off-guard.
Over, Under, or Just Right? Underplayed: Brownie points if you can spot the typo on Neko-Te. Its horrendous.
155: Demonmail Hauberk: 569 Decks
Similar to Murderer’s Axe, Demonmail Hauberk is a colorless free combo piece. Just for sacrificing creatures, though, as opposed to discarding cards, so we should at least pay attention to it. However, unlike with Axe, there are a lot of free sacrifice outlets to choose from, so Hauberk isn’t exactly providing a unique effect.
The upside of Hauberk over a card like Spawning Pit is that it actually provides a dang scary buff. Four power is a lot, but this is also a weird market for it to live in. The Venn diagram of "decks that care about buffing creatures" and "decks that sacrifice creatures" is not large. In fact, that part of the diagram might just be Yasova Dragonclaw. If there’s a deck for this card, it’s absolutely that one. This thing is even super cheap, so any Yasova deck can pretty easily slam this in there.
Beyond that one commander, you're gonna need something super niche. I saw this super dumb Nazahn deck having this as a tutor target (which I am so sad I didn't see when I was talking about Spy Kit), and that's about the level of weird you'd need for Hauberk specifically. I like this thing. It’s the type of card that I’ll remember when I’m brewing around some niche commander from 2003, but it’s not the type of sac outlet most decks want. The ones that do? Go nuts.
Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: Hauberk-Hauberk-Hauberk-Hauberk-Hauberk-Hauberk-Hauberk. Dizzy yet?
154: Meteoric Mace: 583 Decks
If you were to ask me what card type I wanted Cascade on, Equipment is probably at the bottom of that list. Your Maelstrom Wanderer and your Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder Cascade deck are not going to win through random combat damage. They’re usually gonna win from either incremental value or finishers of death and destruction.. Mace isn't gonna do much in either case.
On the flip side, decks that do want Equipment aren’t gonna wanna spend six mana and then four to Equip. Thus, a card like Meteoric Mace is gonna be way too expensive for the Voltron decks and do basically nothing of value anywhere else. Ahhh. Mediocre.
Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: I guess you could just play a deck with every Cascade card. Live of the dream of casting Annoyed Altisaur into Meteoric Mace into Bituminous Blast into Bloodbraid Elf into Demonic Dread into, like, Peek. Look at the value.
153: Adventuring Gear: 596 Decks
Hey, Skyclave Pick-Axe, but colorless! I honestly had no idea this existed until now, but I'm super into it! Adventuring Gear can be in my janky Landfall Aggro deck that I want to play with Steppe Lynx and Undergrowth Champion, and it can also go in all the non-green Landfall decks since you need the synergy if you aren't in green, and it’s even a better Short Sword for Sram! It’s all the things of this series at once!
Over, Under, or Just Right? Underplayed: It could only be checking more boxes for me if it was somehow a Manalith.
It's a Satchel!
Well, that was fun! I think I'm gonna go look at Malfegor Heretics Deux now, if that's alright with you. While I'm scrolling through spoilers, let me know what you think about this article. You got a cute use for Runed Stalactite? Have you tasted the delicious fruit of Colorless Voltron? Let me know somewhere on the internet! Until next week!