After having written last week's article, one of our playgroup members had a friend in from out of town who had a Kalitas, Bloodchief of Ghet deck, so it looks like that unsung hero is getting Sung/Sang? by someone. On the the potential Commanders that start with L. Most of them are either from P3K (Thanks to the Lu family being a major part of the story) or Ladies from legends/P3K who's names needed to be sure that you knew that they were in fact lades an not dudes or monsters. Lots of coincidences this week, and the more I think about them, the less they seem coincidental. Of course a lot of the underused/sub-par generals will be from Legends/P3K/Kamigawa block. That's where they were printed because the sets focused on Legends as a theme and had to have SOME cards that weren't stupid good like most legends from non-focused sets.
Really big [card]D'Avenant Archer[/card] is not the greatest card in the world, however there is not another Green and White legend I can think of that kills or deals damage to creatures so this card serves a neat niche. She is, in fact, removal, and in archer tribal deck with cards like [card]Greatbow Doyen[/card] and all the archers you can come up with to tap for damage, Ms. Caleria could be for a fun theme deck but the power level would NOT be particularly high.
One of the many P3K legends that are just bad Legendary versions of normal cards, Mrs. [card]Wizard Mentor[/card] here can save your dudes from attacks I guess, but really her ability forces you to re-cast here and [card]Barrin, Master Wizard[/card] along with many other mono-blue legends protect your other creatures much better than Lady Sun here and with a fatter body and a possibility of doing some damage as well.
Lady Zhurong, Warrior Queen
I can only surmise that a 4/3 unblockable green Legend is not played due to the fact that this card is super rare and super expensive. Were I able to get my hands on this card, I would play it all over the place.
Latulla, Keldon Overseer
Back when general damage could come from non-combat damage, I could see Latulla getting some love. These days she is mostly card disadvantage for a decent, but mediocre effect. Granted, there are some tolerable on-color madness cards and [card]Squee,[/card] but really, there are so many ways to burn face and dudes in mono-red that Latulla will never be first pick for a deck's general. She isn't horrible but isn't great either.
I actually have Lieutenant Kirtar deck. He is not a particularly build-around-me general, but repeatable exile removal on an evasive body seems good. The deck I have for him is Meekstone themes and all of the creatures in it are either power 2 or less or do something with low CMC or low powered creatures. Here is the list, although I have changed the general to [card]Pianna[/card]
Linessa, Zephyr Mage
Here is an example (in the same article even) of "Better than [card]Lady Sun[/card]." Grandeur is totally worthless in EDH, and her ability is expensive but isn't the worst. Conditional removal for a ton of mana, alongside a bit of recursion for creatures with "Enters the Battlefield" triggers seems ok, but not fantastic.
Liu Bei, Lord of Shu
Here is a general with horsemanship you won't hear me praise. Expensive, over-costed and pumped by two more expensive cards that probably make better generals than Liu Bei here (well [card]Zhang Fei, Fierce Warrior[/card] anyway), he just doesn't make the cut. Play with Zhang Fei instead.
Lu Meng, Wu General
Hmmm....Unblockable 4 power general. Seems ok. Slap a [card]Greaves[/card] on this dude and he goes to TOWN! Add in some other equipment and Lu Meng is a crazy good mono-blue Voltron general. [card]Sun Quan, Lord of Wu[/card] is better, but this card will draw a little less hate.
Lu Su, Wu Advisor
[card]Azami[/card] will always put this dude in her shadow. Bad [card]Archivist[/card] is not a good general. Then again, if you want to play Azami and not get hosed immediately, I guess Lu Su is sort of like that....I guess...
Lu Xun, Scholar General
I actually quite like Lu Xun here. Legendary [card]Thieving Magpie[/card] is a pretty cool concept. Throw in the fact that Horsemanship is more like Unblockable than flying and you have a win. Slap a [card]Loxodon Warhammer[/card] on him and he not only gives you gas, but gives you wins as well. Blue is the best color for protecting a lone creature as well so, as far as winning with general damage goes. Lu Xun is a REALLY strong candidate for such a low power.
The title of today's article has very little to do with EDH, but it was the first thing I could think of when I was stuck naming something with the letter 'K'. It's a spoof on the maind boss villain King K. Rool from Donkey Kong country, and after you beat him the first time the Kredits run with every word starting with a K.
This made me wish that there was a Legendary Creature - Crocodile. That would make such a cool general. I wish WOTC would spend a little more time making generals that are a little more quirky like the legends of yore, both flavorwise and ability set. These days it seems like they focus too much on makeing splashy, powerful legends that they don't make ones that really need a deck to be built around them. Most of the commanders from the new Commander products are all kind of obvious in thier implimentation, and it makes me wish some of them were a little more quirky. The Red-White-Blue deck is one of my favorites since the generals that are new are both quirky and try to make you do interesting things that otherwise would be considered bad deckbuilding and/or bad plays. Anyway, ON TO THE UNUSED GENERALS!
Kalitas, Bloodchief of Ghet
I'm sure SOMEONE has made a deck outta Kalitas. He is from one of the most recent blocks, however, no one admitted to building a deck out of him on MTGSalvation or on the EDH forums, so here he is. He seems pretty strong. Kills any creature just like [card]Visara[/card], he is a little smaller and without evasion, but for a little mana the creature he distroys becomes a threat on your team as well. Seems like a really strong dude.
Likely the high density of cool mono-black legends has some effect on how much Kalitas sees play.
Kasimir the Lone Wolf
Vanilla Abomination...Nothin to see here ya lookie-loo's
Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs
Kazuul is another newer legend that doesn't see a lot of love. He was heavily discussed as a general when Worlwake was new, but no one seemed to use him much. He works a lot like a red [card]Propaganda[/card] in the early game, and a token generator in the late game. With sacrifice outlets ([card]Goblin Bombardment[/card] for example) his Ogre-ie minions can take out creatures that actually see play in EDH, and will trigger a [card]Stalking Vengeance[/card] too. All in all, Kazuul suffers only from being a good control card in a color that has problems being a control deck in multiplayer. Definately a fun card with a potential for power.
Kentaro, the Smiling Cat
Kentaro here is a casualty to the EDH rules. He makes playing off color samurai easier on the mana base...only one problem, you can't even PLAY with off color samurai in an EDH deck. In the end, Kentaro only makes sure you are never color-screwed with samurai...which aren't that strong in multiplayer due to them all being 3/3-ish or smaller.
Kiyomaro, First to Stand
Kiyomaro seems pretty ok. White sucks a bit at card draw, but there are enough artifacts around that can make up for that. He has the ability to get stupid huge, but without the ability to gain any evasion he just doesn't quite make it. Looking at the picture, I was sure he got flying instead of Vigilance at 4+ cards, but alas, he is not as awesome as I had imagined. He is worth giving a shot. Gaining Life and getting a fatter general for drawing cards (something you want to do anyway) seems like it is strong enough to be a contender.
Kodama of the Center Tree
There are a few playable green spirits out there, but not enough to make this guy super fat without playing sub-par cards. That being said, he can recurr himself from the graveyard if you have 5+ spirits out. I would consider making a tribal spirits deck in mono-green if i thought I could get him to be super fat, but I just don't think the support is there. There are only 50-ish playable spirits and a lot of them are bad. I do still love the trifecta of [card]Loam Dweller[/card], [card]Elder Pine of Jukai[/card] and [card]Soilshaper[/card], which would make this dude a lot of fun.
Kodama of the South Tree
Another Spiritcraft centric green legend. With the appropreate amout of spiritcraft and token generation, I could see this mini-overrun effect be useful. Not sure how good it could be but it might be fun. Another one worth an experiment, but not something I would consider to be even "casual top tier". Threw together a deck for this guy to see how it works out.
The first thing I thought of when I opened this guy from a pack is the word that Moogles call pretty much everyone and every thing in final fantasy games. He will forever be Kupo, Pitlord in my mind and this has given me an unfounded love for the friendsl, fluffy Demon of life loss and killing dudes. It should come to no suprise that I have a decklist for Kupo here, although I have not played with it in some time. He is REALLY expensive, so you have to ramp pretty hard, but he is a super powerful beatstick AND creature control in one package. Kupo needs Magus of the Coffers or Cabal Coffers to be online almost 100% of the time to be effective, but he is GOOOD if you can get him out reliably. Here is my Kupo list, for those interested.
I did a Group Game Draft a week or so ago with 3 New Phyrexia boosters. I drafted what seemed to be a pretty strong W/B poison deck with TONS of good removal. What I did not realize about a poison strategy is this:
1. Poison creatures mostly suck in multiplayer. They are all fairly small and don't do much in the latter parts of the game. This put me in a slight disadvantage to begin with.
2. If you are playing infect, you will rarely get to invoke the rumble rule because everyone will be dead. Poison counters only take 10 damage to kill a player. In a 4 player game, there is only 30 damage that I could even DEAL to players. This means that I could rumble exactly once, and only if I killed 2 players and started dealing damage to the 3rd. This put me at a huge disadvantage because other players were smashing face and rumbling out awesome off-color cards A LOT!
The moral of the story is: Don't draft a purely infect plan for Multiplayer draft formats, exspecially not for Group Game Draft.
Until next time,
Use YOUR shoes as counters!
Jacques le Vert
Wow apparently Pendelhaven is in France. Mr. Cousteau here is an average body with an average ability that only works on 1/3 of your dudes. He isn't horrible, and is somewhat cheap for a cmc 4 tri-color general, but wouldnt you rather have Mayel, or someone who does a little more for your game plan?
Vanilla Abomination, Jedit would have better luck sticking with Efrava. He probably left because it was so hard to pronounce.
Jerrard of the Closed Fist
Wow again! It appears to be Vanilla Abomination week. For a mere "changing a mana from colorless to red," your Craw Wurm gets +0/+1 AND the drawback of being a legend. But at least Craw Wurm can be your commander!
Jeska, Warrior Adept
When someone in the creative department at WOTC asked the design team to make "Kahmal's baby sister," it appears they got lazy and simply made her "Half-of-a-Khamal, rounded down." I guess they gave her first strike to make her a LITTLE more impressive. The only time I can think of using Jeska over Khamal is if you want to make a "Tim" theme deck in red.
Jiwari, the Earth Aflame
Jiwari burns chumps and fat alike as long as they don't have protection from him so he can't be all bad. That said, a 3/3 for 5 mana is a little weak, and rarely will his second ability do anything in EDH. I'm sure you can find something better to do with your red mana. That said as a maindeck card, he almost earthquakes uncounterably....almost.
Joven seems like a quite powerful choice, even before Liquimetal Coating was printed. He smashes Gauntlet of Power, Sol Ring, Mind's Eye...the list goes on and on. I like Joven slightly more than Chandler because most of the artifact creatures of EDH that are super scary are indestructable, or replace themselves anyway. That said, I have worked on a Joven deck before, maybe I will finish it someday.
Jugan, the Rising Star
So, if you want to play mono-green, this is the best flying creature you can possibly put into your deck....well except Steel Hellkite was printed. Still, if you want a mono-green general that flies, Jugan is your man...actually he is a dragon-man...actually he is just a dragon, but he IS STILL JUGAN!
Trogdor refrences aside, Jugan's ability does not trigger unless you let him die (not go to the command zone) but green has ways to make him come back like Eternal Witness and Deadwood Treefolk, so he MIGHT be used for that. All-in-all he is OK as a general.
Today's entry into the Unsung Heroes of EDH hall of fame is filled with Homelands and Kamigawa Block, and a lot of black cards. Something I wanted to clarify that has been brought to my attention is the "generosity" of some of my ratings. I want to emphasize that my ratings are relative to the card pool being discussed. The A+'s I give could be anywhere from an actual A+ (but I doubt it) to a C+ when considering USED generals as well as the unused, but they are DEFINATELY an A+ card when compared to the other "Unsung Heroes". That aside, we will continue with an oldschool favorite that is a casualty of the "Power Creep" as the youngsters are calling it.
All of us old farts love Ishan's Shade. The art is MAJORLY awesome, but the card does very little compared to his mana cost. Protection from white isn't WORTHLESS. It saves him from some of the best spot removal spells in EDH, but then again, black has MANY MANY MANY better choices. Mad points for creativity if you use ol' Ishan here, but it will NOT be because he is a competative choice....well, unless your metagame is [card]Isamaru[/card], [card]Akroma, Angel of Wrath[/card], [card]Lieutenant Kirtar[/card] and you.
Rating: C (For the coolness factor)
Iizuka the Ruthless
Y'know, WOTC claims that Kamigawa block was NOT a tribal block, but there sure were a lot of mechanics that make me think otherwise. Samurai, Spirits, Ninja (Well sorta).
Iizuka gives a great ability to a bunch of mediocre cards by sacrificing one of those 9 mediocre cards (well, plus some changelings. I hate how they don't show up in gatherer searches for any creature subtype). Not a good general to pick, basically ever, unless you just need that sac outlet...oh, wait, can't even sac anything useful.
All that said, he can at least sac a [card]Taurean Mauler[/card] to give himself double strike...or vice versa. Vice versa is probably better, Taurean Mauler is a HOUSE!
Discard is bad.
Spiritcraft is bad.
Kamigawa is bad.
Infernal Kirin is still at least a 3/3 flying for four I guess.
Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni
HOLY JESUS, why is no one playing Ink-Eyes! This card is GOOD! Who cares that you can't be ninja from the command zone (Well, being NINJA is pretty cool so it does make me sad, but still...) A card that recurrs your opponent's dudes is always fun, and always having access to that type of ability is nice. She also regenerates, which is useful sometimes, and a 5/4 for 6 mana isn't a bad body. All this, coupled with the cool foil alternate art pictured above makes Ink-Eyes a cool general choice. Makes me want to throw together a deck!
The second member of the Sengir "family" to be on this list, Irini sucks so hard, It makes me wonder..."Which came first the Sengir or the Suck..." I suppose in all fairness, when your hometown is on Ulgothra apparently being weak is part of that plane's MO. I guess she at least makes [card]Mirari's Wake[/card] and [card]Lurking Predators[/card] cost more. Actually, having said that out loud to myself I can't give Irini the F+ I wanted, She does have her uses...no wait...use.
Iwamori of the Open Fist
Here is another Unsung Hero of EDH that actually wants to get played. A 5/5 Trample for 4 is a CHEAP beatstick, and most players don't have legendary creatures in thier hand for most of the game in EDH because...wait for it....They are in the command zone! That's right, the legend looming over your head is NOT, I REPEAT, NOT a card that Iwamori lets opponents play for free. Sometimes, you will net opponents a free card, but usually that will not be the case. The end result is a pretty cool aggro package for green. Throw in some [card]Rancor[/card], Equipment and the like and he makes green a sweet voltron general! Also, I REALLY need to get a copy of Iwamori altered as per below!