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EDH MtG Gatecrash Review: Bloodrush for Elder Dragon Highlander

January 30, 2013 by  
Filed under Review

Hello everyone, Gatecrash gives a new Giant Growth mechanic, Bloodrush. Basically you discard a creature card and the targeted creature gains quite a decent effect. But is it good? Or is it bad like Battalion and inefficient like Extort? This blog post will discuss more details about it in the point of Commander perspective.


Feel the blood-rush to ram into your enemies.

At the very first sight, Bloodrush doesn’t seems to shine. It does look like a higher cost Giant Growth. Losing 1 card to make 1 creature bigger, badder and healthier for 1 turn. This form of growing 1 creature with cost of cards doesn’t seems a preferred tactic, but it does allow players to do combat tricks. But still, at the cost of losing cards in hand.

But I do have noticed something, something a big different from the usual Giant Growth archetype of cards.

All Bloodrush cards aren’t instant nor a sorcery. They are all Creatures cards. And they function the same way as instant or sorcery. Which brings 3 distinct Advantages:

  • It cannot be countered the old fashion way.
  • It can be use a body, to attack or block, since it is a Creature itself.
  • It can be used with reanimate effects.


It can’t be COUNTERED!


“Ahhh… Wait I shall counter that.”


“Huh? You Were saying?”

Goodness! That is an Advantage after all! Wizards of the Coast said they wouldn’t carry on the uncounterable spells. But looks like they broke their promises! This is, in my book, as good as uncounterable. Only a few cards can deal with it, for example Stifle and Trickbind. As long as the creatures survives, it will carry the ball of damage and do what it can do.

Why is this an advantage? Well, it does prevent an alternative way to avoid counter magic. Counter magic is one of the best solution to threats and we all expect counter magic in one way or another. And we all know counter magic is one of the hardest way to go around with, especially if we are dealing an veteran and experienced control player, who has good foresight and see through bluffs.

And when you have a creature able to touch your opponent (especially if that guy is a playing a counter deck), you want the creature to Hulk Smash his face. Why? Because you might not have another chance to do so, he may establish some other defense to stop it next turn.



Although personally, I don’t really like creatures, fundamentally. You established a lot of mana, resources to bring in one of the most fearsome creatures in the MTG history. Someone cast Wrath of God and clear the board for 4 mana and using 1 card.


Spends tons of mana & resources to bring in one of the most fearsome creatures in the MTG history, only to have the next player cast Wrath of God.

But still, it is still a creature. You can Skullclamp it to draw 2 cards. You can still beat someone with it. And worse comes to worst! You can block a Blightsteel Colossus and prevent some damage! Of course, that sounds very desperate. But hey! It is some form of use to us!


It can be RAISE AGAIN!

Since creatures die again and again. You filling up your graveyards with more and more creatures. Cards that interact with creatures cards in graveyard are plenty. Genesis, Living Death, Living End, heck… you can even use Raise Dead if you want to use the Bloodrush again. But I do suggest using Disturbed Burial.  The recurring Raise Dead sounds like a better idea.

Living Death

You do not die or live till I say so


It can be DECENT!

Among the cards here, some of them are actually can be quite decent for Commander games. Wrecking Ogre can help your Voltron General gain +3/+3 double strike. Skarrg Goliath gives your Poison creature +9/+9 trample, possible a 1 hit KO.  Wasteland Viper can give someone death touch, killing any creatures that it touches without provide lethal damage. Ghor-Clan Rampager is far one of the best bloodrush cards, discarding for +4/+4 and trample for 2 mana.

My personal interest is Rubblehulk. Ghor-Clan Rampager may be effective for Standard, Rubblehulk looks like a late game EDH finisher.


Rubblehulk SMASH!



Rubblehulk seems to deserve a different section from the rest. Skarrg Goliath so far is the best, 9/9 creature that trample small stuff. But it requires a high capital up front. 7 mana up front and Magic: the Gathering doesn’t allow loans or mortgage! Rubblehulk, on the other hand, gives another the growth based on the lands you have, it may able to cheat the cost to size ratio.

In regardless of format, we do need to factor the cost effectiveness of our cards. Rubblehulk gains it power from the lands controller has. So I like to compare Rubblehulk with something that almost able to achieve the same results. Minus 1 card, deal X damage. Fireball archetype spells has the similar effect. So I did a comparison with it. In terms of mana to damage ratio. What I like to see is, how cost effective Rubblehulk is when it comes to deal damage based on land, compared to Fireball.

After playing with Excel sheets again, here are the 2 charts I give you:

Rubblehulk mana to damage ratio

Rubblehulk mana to damage ratio

Fireball mana to damage ratio

Fireball mana to damage ratio

Comparing cost effectiveness, Rubblehulk is indeed superior over Fireball. Simply because it just require 3 mana, flat cost, to activate, regardless the situation. The damage increment is constant. Fireball, on the other hand, can never achieve the 1:1 mana damage because of the one R in the casting cost. I am quite surprise the difference this 1 red mana can do.

Rubblehulk does have its own share of weakness. It requires creatures to attack. You need lands, at least 3 lands to make it a bargain, 9 lands to make as good as lightning bolt. Any more, you are getting a better deal. You can’t copy it via Fork, because it isn’t a spell. And most important of all, it requires time, land drops to reach the critical mass for opponents to felt the wrath. Fireball archetype spells does not have these weakness. Fireball spells are able to finish off an opponent if you are able generate infinite mana as mana is the issue here, not land.


In Summary

But is Rubblehulk an auto include card? I don’t think so. By itself, it doesn’t seems to have a lot of kinky stuff to play around. There are plenty of cards to play with that has card advantage and yet able to deal decent damage.

Bloodrush, isn’t a spell, making it avoid tons of counter spells. But even so, the effects are really that impressive, competitive or epic enough to make EDH fun.

I like the uncounterable part, but I am not impressed. But hey, this mechanic deserved a further add on.


Yours Humility



2 Responses to “EDH MtG Gatecrash Review: Bloodrush for Elder Dragon Highlander”
  1. Boss says:

    I’ve been lokinog for a post like this for an age


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  1. […] I believe I spend more digital bytes here on ranting and complaining. Therefore, I believe I should moved on, and write about the next ability in Gatecrash, BloodRush. […]