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Thursday, July 27, 2017

One Card Too Many Part 1 – One Card Many Spells

April 30, 2013 by  
Filed under Deck Ideas, FAQ, In-Depth FAQ, Strategy

For today article, we would like you all to have a look at the following cards.

Bant Charm

Cryptic Command

Tooth and Nail

Duskmantle Guildmage

Rakavolver

 

Similarity in the Mix?

What do you see in all of them? Are there any similarities in all of them? The answer to that is all of them are Creatures or spells which have more than one effect(s) which you can choose from. EDH has restriction in deck building, therefore it becomes uneconomical to use cards that only do one thing or target a single target or kind of target, unless that card alone takes care of a lot of thing or things at the same time. Unlike normal variant, you will need to find cards with the similar effect to draw into that card for that effect, of course that is excluding tutors to help. Cards which play multiple roles in a deck are a big plus to any decks. This is even more true in EDH decks. The more one card does, the more choices you have to counter a situation. 99 cards is not a small deck, and drawing into the wrong cards can and will always happens. Thus these cards help to reduce the number of cards in your EDH decks so you could have slots for other cards. Mix and match a couple of them and you will be able to counter most situations you are in. Now with the introduction done, let’s have a deeper look at them and maybe find one or two of them which may help you deck out.

 

One Card Many Spells

First let us look at the spells with multiple choices on them to choose from. These spells usually have two or more effects on them for the caster to choose from. As versatility is highly recommended in EDH, these spells provide more card slots in your deck. Due to their multiple effects, they do not appear as dead cards in your hand when you draw them.

 

Mirage Block: Where It All Begins

Mirage Charms

The Charms which starts it all.

It all started back in Mirage, then followed by Vision. Wizards came up with these “charm” cycles in both set respectively. There is one for each color in both sets and all of them have three effects you could choose from. Although these are the pioneers of the Charm spells, they really are very minor effects and I personally feel that they are not a fantastic add to decks. A plus point to them though is that they are mono color and could be splash in if you happened to have them and looking for card to fill a slot. Also due to their low casting cost, they can also be imprinted on Isochron Scepter for repeated casting. Otherwise they are not really some cards you would go all out to get for your deck since they are after all pretty old out of print cards and hard to come by.

Charm

Color

Effects

Ivory Charm

W

All Creatures -2/-0 till end of turn; Tap target Creature; Prevent next 1 damage to target Creature or player this turn.

Hope Charm

W

Target Creature gains First Strike till end of turn; Target player gains 2 life; Destroy target Aura.

Sapphire Charm

U

Target player draws a card at the next turn’s upkeep; Target Creature gains Flying till end of turn; Target Creature an opponent controls phases out.

Vision Charm

U

Mill target player for four cards; Choose a Land type and a basic Land type, each Land of the first chosen type becomes the second chosen type till end of turn; Target Artifact phases out.

Ebony Charm

B

Target opponent loses 1 life and you gain 1 life; Exile up to three target card from a single graveyard; Target Creature gains Fear till end of turn.

Funeral Charm

B

Target player discards a card; Target Creature gets +2/-1 till end of turn; Target Creature gains Swampwalk till end of turn.

Chaos Charm

R

Destroy target Wall; Deals 1 damage to target Creature; Target Creature gains Haste till end of turn.

Hearth Charm

R

Destroy target Artifact Creature; Attacking Creatures get +1/+0 till end of turn; Target Creature with power 2 or less is unblockable till end of turn.

Seedling Charm

G

Bounce target Aura attached to a Creature; Regenerate target Green Creature; Target Creature gains Trample till end of turn.

Emerald Charm

G

Untap target permanent; Destroy target non-Aura Enchantment; Target Creature loses Flying till end of turn.

 

Invasion Block: Dragon Charms

Dragon Charm

More Colors More Power

The first among the Charm cycles to be multi-color are the “Dragon” Charms. Due to their colors identity, it makes them rather hard to use if you do not have the right colors. But like as if to compensate that fact, they all have better effects as compare to the Mirage block charms. All of them have pretty decent effects for consideration if your deck has the right color identity.

Charm

Color

Effects

Treva’s Charm

GWU

Destroy target Enchantment; Exile target attacking Creature; Draw a card, and then discard a card.

Dromar’s Charm

WUB

You gain 5 life; Counter target spell; Target Creature gets -2/-2 till end of turn.

Crosis’s Charm

UBR

Bounce target permanent; Destroy target nonblack Creature, it can’t be regenerated; Destroy target Artifact.

Darigaaz’s Charm

BRG

Return target Creature from your graveyard to your hand; Deals 3 damage to a target; Target Creature gets +3/+3 till end of turn.

Rith’s Charm

RGW

Destroy target nonbasic Land; Put three 1/1 Green Saproling Creature tokens onto the battlefield; Prevent all damage a source of your choice would deal this turn.

 

Onslaught Block: Tribal Charms

Onslaught Charms

Going Tribal

Taking a new direction along with the Onslaught block as the full Tribal matters block, the charms cycle here also liaise themselves with Tribal themes. Like a downgrade from the previous block to have Charms, these Tribal Charms are not really recommended in my opinion to add to a deck even for Tribal EDH decks. There are much better spells out there available for use. Of all of them, only Misery Charm has some use as retrieval for Cleric Tribal decks and occasional removal if your opponents have Clerics too. Other than that, it is really a hard squeeze to get the rest of the Tribal Charms to be of use. As with the Mirage block charms, the Tribal Charms can also be used with Isochron Scepter for repeated use.

Charm

Color

Effects

Piety Charm

W

Destroy target Aura attached to a Creature; Target Soldier gets +2/+2 till end of turn; Creatures you control gain Vigilance till end of turn.

Trickery Charm

U

Target Creature gains Flying till end of turn; Target Creature becomes the Creature type of your choice till end of turn; Look at top four cards of your library, then put them back in any order.

Misery Charm

B

Destroy target Cleric; Return target Cleric from your graveyard to your hand; Target player loses 2 life.

Fever Charm

R

Target Creature gains Haste till end of turn; Target Creature gets +2/+0 till end of turn; Deals 3 damage to target Wizard.

Vitality Charm

G

Put a 1/1 Green Insect Creature token onto the battlefield; Target Creature gets +1/+1 and gains Trample till end of turn; Regenerate target Beast.

 

Time Spiral Block: Updated Charms

Planar Chaos Charms

The New Age

The Charm cycle here is considered to be an update to the old mono-color charms. Except for Piracy Charm, which is actually a timeshift recolor Funeral Charm, all are new charms with some new effects. Of them all, Dawn Charm and Evolution Charm are especially useful for their effects. Dawn Charm can act as both a life saver for your Creatures and you while also function as sort of like a counterspell. Evolution Charm on the other hand serves as mana ramp and retrieval. Both are definitely better targets to use with Isochron Scepter.

Charm

Color

Effects

Dawn Charm

W

Prevent all combat damage this turn; Regenerate target Creature; Counter target spell that targets you.

Midnight Charm

U

Target Creature gains Islandwalk till end of turn; Target Creature gets +2/-1 till end of turn; Target player discards a card.

Midnight Charm

B

Deals 1 damage to target Creature and you gain 1 life; Target Creature gains First Strike till end of turn; Tap target Creature.

Fury Charm

R

Destroy target Artifact; Target Creature gets +1/+1 and gains Trample till end of turn; Remove two time counters from target permanent or suspended card .

Evolution Charm

G

Search your library for a basic Land, reveal it, put it in your hand, then shuffle your library; Return target Creature from your graveyard to your hand; Target Creature gains Flying till end of turn.

 

Alara Block: Shard Charms

Shards Charms

Power of Three

The next in line of multicolor charms from the multicolor block, these charms like their Dragon Charms counterpart, are all very decent spells to include into your deck if it is of the right colors. Combine use with the Dragon Charms provides you with the flexibility with your deck. It is to be noted though that the Dragon Charms and the Shard Charms are more accustomed to 1v1 games. Since most of their targets are single target, if you will to use them it would be advisable to aim them at the strongest opponent to render him or her weaker for everyone. Better to be everyone’s hero than the public enemy.

Charm

Color

Effects

Bant Charm

GWU

Destroy target Artifact; Put target attacking Creature on the bottom of its owner’s library; Counter target Instant.

Esper Charm

WUB

Destroy target Enchantment; Draw two cards; Target player discard two cards.

Grixis Charm

UBR

Bounce target permanent; target Creature gets -4/-4 till end of turn; Creatures you control get +2/+0 till end of turn.

Jund Charm

BRG

Exile target player’s graveyard; Deals 2 damage to each Creature; Put two +1/+1 counters on target Creature.

Naya Charm

RGW

Deals 3 damage to target Creature; Return target card from a graveyard to its owner’s hand; Tap all Creatures target player controls.

 

Return to Ravnica Block: Guild Charms

Guild Charms

A Glimpse of the Power of Two

Ravnica is all about the ten guilds that dominate the way of life there. Each guild is a pair of colors, both allied and enemy colors. As a way to give the guilds more identity to their colors, the guild charms are designed to cost 1 mana from each of the guild color to cast them. Staying to the basic design of charms, the guild charms also have three effects each. Compared to the mono-colored charms, the guild charms are much better and worthwhile to imprint on Isochron Scepter, though that would definitely put your scepter on the “must get rid of” list of each opponent. Also due to their duo-color, they are also easier to fit into multi-color EDH decks. In my opinion, all of them are very good add to any EDH decks which can play them. Not that it is a must to play them, but if there is a card slot to be fill, they are pretty decent choices.

Charm

Color

Effects

Azorius Charm

WU

Creatures you control gain Lifelink till end of turn; Draw a card; Put target attacking or blocking Creature on top of owner’s library.

Dimir Charm

UB

Counter target Sorcery; Destroy target Creature with power 2 or less; Look at top three cards of target player’s library, then put one back and mill the rest.

Rakdos Charm

BR

Exile target player’s graveyard; Destroy target Artifact; Each Creature deals 1 damage to its controller.

Gruul Charm

RG

Creatures without Flying can’t block this turn; Gain control of all permanents you own; Deals 3 damage to each Creature with Flying.

Selesnya Charm

GW

Target Creature gets +2/+2 and gains Trample till end of turn; Exile target Creature with power 5 or greater; Put a 2/2 White Knight Creature token with Vigilance onto the battlefield.

Boros Charm

WR

Deals 4 damage to target player; Permanents you control are Indestructible this turn; Target Creature gains Double Strike till end of turn.

Izzet Charm

UR

Counter target nonCreature spell unless its controller pays 2; Deals 2 damage to target Creature; Draw two cards, then discard two cards.

Orzhov Charm

BW

Return target Creature you control and all Auras you control attached to it to their owner’s hand; Destroy target Creature and you lose life equal to its toughness; Return target Creature with converted mana cost 1 or less from your graveyard to the battlefield.

Golgari Charm

BG

All Creatures get -1/-1 till end of turn; Destroy target Enchantment; Regenerate each Creature you control.

Simic Charm

UG

Target Creature gets +3/+3 till end of turn; Permanents you control gain Hexproof till end of turn; Bounce target Creature.

 

Lorwyn/Shadowmoor Block: Commands, Next Level of Power

Cryptic Command

More Choices, More Solutions

Moving away from the charm cycles, the command cycle is an upgrade of the charm cycles appearing mainly in Lorwyn set. Instead of choosing one effect out of three, you are given the choice to choose two out of four. They are highly versatile as you can mix and match the effects according to the situation when you cast them. Due to that fact, all of them are very much recommended for decks that can play them.

Command

Color

Effects

Austere Command

W

Destroy all Artifacts; Destroy all Enchantments; Destroy all Creatures with converted mana cost 3 or less; Destroy all Creatures with converted mana cost 4 or greater.

Cryptic Command

U

Counter target spell; Bounce target permanent; Tap all Creatures your opponents control; Draw a card.

Profane Command

B

Target player loses X life; Return target Creature with converted mana cost X or less from your graveyard to the battlefield; Target Creature gets -X/-X till end of turn; Up to X target Creatures gain Fear till end of turn.

Incendiary Command

R

Deals 4 damage to target player; Deals 2 damage to each Creature; Destroy target nonbasic Land; Each player discard their hand, then draws that many cards.

Primal Command

G

Target player gains 7 life; Put target nonCreature permanent on top of its owner’s library; Target player shuffles his or her graveyard into his or her library; Search your library for a Creature card, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle your library.

 

Lorwyn/Shadowmoor Block: Hybrid Modal Spells

Torrent of Souls

What you Get is How Much you Paid.

Another set of spells from the Lorwyn/Shadowmorr block is the Hybrid modal spells, a cycle of spells appearing over the two sets of Shadowmoor and Eventide. This cycle of spells is a bit special in that their effects are dependent on the color of the mana used to cast them instead of choosing from modes like the charms and commands. The cycle of spells has the benefit that their hybrid casting cost gives the caster versatility to cast them avoiding color screwed situation, though that would limit their modal modes. For that reason these spells are not largely used in EDH as you cannot get the desired effect from the spell should you ever be in a colored screw situation. However that is a rare case in EDH, unless you have Land-D opponents who would deny you of the right colors, these spells if ever used, are usually casted with their maximum effect using both colors of the spell.

Repel Intruders

W/U

(W) Get two 1/1 Kithkin Soldier token; (U) Counter up to one target Creature spell.

River’s Grasp

U/B

(U) Bounce up to one target Creature ; (B) Reveal target player’s hand, choose and discard a nonLand card from it.

Torrent of Souls

B/R

(B) Reanimate up to one target Creature from your graveyard; (R) Creatures target player controls get +2/+0 and gain haste till end of turn.

Firespout

R/G

(R) Deals 3 damage to each Creature without Flying; (G) Deals 3 damage to each Creature with Flying.

Dawnglow Infusion

G/W

(G) (W) Gain X life.

Batwing Brume

W/B

(W) Prevent all combat damage this turn; (B) Each player loses 1 life for each attacking Creature he or she controls.

Unnerving Assault

U/R

(U) Creatures your opponents control get -1/-0 till end of turn; (R) Creatures you control get +1/+0 till end of turn.

Cankerous Thirst

B/G

(B) Target Creature gets -3/-3 till end of turn; (G) Target Creature gets +3/+3 till end of turn.

Moonhold

R/W

(R) Target player can’t play Lands this turn; (W) Target player can’t play Creature cards this turn.

Invert the Skies

G/U

(G) Creatures your opponents control lose Flying till end of turn; (U) Creatures you control gain Flying till end of turn.

 

Entwine: Either This or That; Or Both

Promise of Power

All the Power in the World, but do you have the Life to wield it?

The last group we are going to discuss for this article is not really a cycle but rather a mechanic. The Entwine mechanic was introduced during Mirrodin block. The basic of the mechanic is that the spell has two effects you can choose from if you just cast it normally. But if you cast the spell with its Entwine cost, you can have both the effects on the spell. It is very similar to Kicker but much better as you not only get a bigger effect out of the spell. The only down side to this group is that they usually cost a lot more when you entwined them. Luckily due to the slow games in EDH, that is not really a problem, unless your opponents are all Land-D players…

Below are all the Entwine spells:

White

Blue

Black

Red

Green

Abuna’s Chant

Dream’s Grip

Betrayal of Flesh

Barbed Lightning

Journey of Discovery

Blinding Beam

Second Sight

Plunge into Darkness

Grab the Reins

One Dozen Eyes

Roar of the Kha

Spectral Shift

Promise of Power

Incite War

Reap and Sow

Solar Tide

Temporal Cascade

Shriveling Rot

Rain of Rust

Rude Awakening

Stir the Pride

Wail of the Nim

Savage Beating

Tooth and Nail

 

Of all the above spells, the following are couple of the best of the lot worth mentioning for play.

Betrayal of Flesh

Outright Creature removal is always the best. Usually Creatures are protected with Shroud (Lightning Greaves) or Hexproof (Swiftfoot Boots), thus unless the Creature has either ability on itself, Betrayal of Flesh as an instant, could kill the Creature before they are protected. And since board sweep is common in EDH, it can also help you to get back a lost Creature too. The Entwine cost though is a bit too high price even for EDH. Unless you have a strategy for losing Lands, it is rather high risk to do so.

Grab the Reins

One thing my good friend, Manferd always said, “Why spend money to buy the expensive Creatures when you can “steal” them from your opponents.” Grab the Reins does just that, and when entwined, add insult to injury. Nothing is worse than having your best Creature stolen, beat the crap out of you, and then thrown back at you.

Manferd

“Why you want to pay so much to buy that Creature? Just Borrow it from your opponent lah.”

Journey of Discovery

Either of the effects for this spell is a ramp and huge boost to your mana. Though having a high Entwine cost (total of 4GG), there is no complain to have more mana due to the long games in EDH multiplayer. Recommended for Ramp decks.

One Dozen Eyes

Like Journey of Discovery, this is the Creature version of it. All those tokens could be your life saving blockers, if not they would be board sweep bait. A very good recovery spell after board sweep for Token decks.

Plunge into Darkness

This can be use as a counter measure against board sweep. Since the Creatures will die anyway when the board sweep goes through, you could sacrifice them all for more life. And if the situation is dire enough, Entwine it to dig deeper into your library, though this is not recommended.

Promise of Power

As players start off with a high life points of 40, losing 5 life for 5 cards advantage is not a high price to pay. And if you could Entwine it, you also get a beater in the process. Very suitable for Black Big Mana decks.

Rain of Rust

This is quite good as both Artifacts and Lands are the most common problems in EDH. Yes the entwined spell would cost a lot but it is justified cost to take out a Sol Ring and a Temple of the False God at the same time.

Reap and Sow

This is used a lot even in normal variant. You could use it as your Land tutor. The Entwine cost is also relatively low.

Rude Awakening

Ramp and finisher in one.

Solar Tide

Selective board sweep helps you to gain the board advantage. Rare occasion and an expensive cost too, to hit Entwine though.

Stir the Pride

This can be used in Token decks as a finisher or to stay alive in the game.

Temporal Cascade

Your political tool in the game as everyone likes freebies. Regardless it is graveyard retrieval or draw a new hand, either is a usual welcome by all (unless your opponent deck works on the graveyard or depends on having no hand). Having both is like early Christmas.

Tooth and Nail

The game winning card which had its own deck in normal variant. Toolbox decks favorite. This spell maybe even more powerful since cards are restricted to one per deck in EDH, allowing you to put more combination of Creatures than normal variant.

 

The More the Better

Cards versatility is something which we all look into when choosing cards for EDH decks. The more a card can do the lesser of the chance that the card would end up being a dead card in your hand. Charms, Commands and Entwine spells all give their casters multiple choices to choose from for their overall effect(s). Charms, being the basic ones, are not as powerful in their mono-color, while their multi-color counterparts although more powerful, are not available to mono-color EDH decks. Those decks may then rely on the Commands and Entwine spells. It is not a hard and fast rule to include them but having versatility in your cards is always good as you would not end up having dead cards in your hand. Cards in your hand could sometimes be in a dangerous situation; it is a waste to cast them too early, a big waste when you waited and it got discarded by opponents. We shall end the One Card Too Many article for now. Please leave a comment in regard to what you think of cards with multiple choices attached them for their casters.

Do join us in the next article for part 2 of this article.

 

This is yours truly, Edward “Reaper King” Leong, signing off.

:D~

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