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Saturday, July 14, 2018

EDH MtG Gatecrash Review: Extort

January 27, 2013 by  
Filed under Review

Hello everyone, the purpose of this blogpost is to share my point of view about Gatecrash’s new ability Extort for EDH and maybe other formats, but focusing on EDH. My approach has often been mathematically, so this blogpost is pretty much the same.


Extort: Pay Me Money!

Treasury Thrull

It’s all about the $$$…… Pay us pay us pay us…..

This ability reminds me of Disciple of the Vault. A common 1/1 black creature causes one opponent to lose 1 life per artifact that ‘dies’. However, Extort isn’t anything better than that. In fact, it is a lot more inferior.

Here are the key points I don’t like about Extort:

  • It requires Colored mana, black or white.
  • It requires Mana.
  • It requires you to cast a spell.
  • Multiple Extort cards can’t stack up the effects for 1 mana.

Mana is the key currency to develop anything in mtg. To able to fully utilize your extort cards, you need Black or White Mana. To ramp up your mana, you do need to spend your turns and cards to gain a large pool of mana per turn. If you don’t you may find yourself casting spells but unable to pay for the Extort cost until the late game. Then Extrot may shine itself, with a single digit life total, losing and gaining 1 or 2 lives may makes a game wining difference, along with some decent amount of lands or mana resources to support your Extort ability.

What about in EDH? I have to say, this may be a late game card. Creatures die so often, and much of the Extort cards are creatures. 40 lives is a lot, but you may gain some dividends if you are playing multiplayer.

Do play around with the “Number of opponents” cell (the green one). Extort Does provide dividends, but it only provide 2.5% increment per opponent for Life Gain.

Does Extort worth the damage? You are merely dealing 2.5% damage against the total group per mana and gaining 2.5% times X life per mana (where X is the number of opponents). The true dividends of Extort lies in the life gain, but hardly worth the 1v1 play. The mana to damage isn’t worth well. Although gaining life is wonderful however players usually can do without it.

Extort divdends graph

Extort divdends graph

Extort is an ability does not worth considering. I hope I can be proven wrong. Maybe there is some other avenue that I have missed out. Do comment on the blog below and point out what I missed out.


Yours Humility



5 Responses to “EDH MtG Gatecrash Review: Extort”
  1. Danko Banko says:

    This is a very interesting point, however I think it should be noted that while it’s true that you’re not doing much damage at all with one extort activation, the whole idea behind extort isn’t so much the damage that’s dealt, but the life that’s gained. In a 4 person game, one extort activation will only do 1 damage to each player but net you 4 extra life. While not huge, having something to spend extra mana on that keeps coming back around and solidly benefits you is a good thing. For a super casual WB deck, I don’t think there’s a downside to throing in a little extort.

  2. admin says:

    Thanks Danko Banko for commenting.

    I agree with you that the real benefits of extort lies in life gaining in a multiplayer game.

    These few days, Edward and I have been discussing this life gaining effect and how we can truly abuse it.

    Black has some powerful effects that allow us not only to gain life, but also gain other advantages via using life.
    Lose life to draw cards like Necropotence, Chainer, Dementia Master required to lose life to reanimate any creatures in any graveyard.

    Even so, we are really wanted to abuse all these life gaining effects, we need something that leverages more on these life gaining establishment we created.

    Slowly, we discover these cards:
    Exquisite Blood: Whenever an opponent loses life, you gain that much life.
    Sanguine Bond: Whenever you gain life, target opponent loses that much life.

    With these 2 puppies in play, I can safely say the next spell you cast makes you win the whole game. As the above 2 cards create an infinite loop of losing and gaining life in your favor.

  3. Edward says:

    Hi there and Thanks again Danko Banko for your comment. Ideas come from discussion.

    I too see that Extort as a casual deck is worthy, as it has the effect range of “Each Opponent”. That is a very powerful range for multi-player games.

    But as powerful as it may sounds, it is also quite politically bad in EDH. In EDH sometimes politics play a big part.

    People are going get angry if you kept extorting them. So as casual as it is, you also need to prepare to win fast; if not die fast.

  4. N says:

    I think extort can be a constructed deck because for one thing it can’t be countered so those control decks will still lose life and you’ll still gain life. For two the deck is absurdly defensive and offensive when it wants to be I mean you have tons of removal, unburial rights, and my fav card in the game obzedat. And for three extort is unblockible basically, so that means that if they are at 3 life you play a spell that can extort them for 3 they just lost, not to mention you also gain 3 life so then they need 3 more damage then usual to kill you. Besides even if they can’t kill you they’re gonna have an even harder time killing you.

    • admin says:

      Hi N, thanks for commenting.
      I do agree with you that extort may have a way in constructed. Thanks for pointing out that these losses of life are uncounterable.
      I just make an excel sheet on this avenue. It turns out that every point of life is kind of worth it (5% of the 20 lives).

      In terms of clock, Extort does help, shorting your opponents and lengthening yours.
      I am not aware of the meta in constructed. But Extort still requires 2 things, you need to cast a spell, and you still need White or Black mana to activate it. Activating Extort may lead to tapped out in your turn; therefore your opponent may losses lives, but earns a peace of mind casting his stuff.
      Thanks for commenting again N. You taught something new to me today. :3