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EDH MtG Gatecrash Review: Decipher Gatecrash’s Cipher for Elder Dragon Highlander

February 15, 2013 by  
Filed under Review

Stolen Identity

First get through the defense……

Gatecrash is a set that encourages aggression and attacking. Battalion and Bloodrush have hinted this trend in the set. Colors that use battalion and bloodrush are Red, Green and White. To carry on this trend, Blue and Black has their style of encourage aggression, Cipher.

Battalion encourages to attack with 3 or more creatures to gain additional benefits. Bloodrush encourage combat tricks and make your creatures bigger for 1 turn. Cipher encourages aggression in a more subtly manner. Cipher encourages your creatures to touch your opponent and gives you what all players naturally preferred material, Card advantage.

However, not all Cipher cards give card advantage. Only a few gives tempo or milling effects. Hands of Binding tapped lock 1 creature, may be a great card in a Standard or casual. It doesn’t cost a lot, just 2mana. I say Hands of Binding is a decent card for Tempo related deck and can be considered. Paranoid Delusions is the miller Cipher. 3 of 60 cards deck, that’s only 5%. In edh, that’s only 3%. Enough said…


Analyzing Cipher

Cipher cards that provide Card advantage are plenty but with higher cost. The major of the Cipher card pool exists at 4 casting cost. However, providing the card advantage isn’t the issue. Making the first combat touchdown gives the controller the profit. Keep doing the touchdown, no matter how small damage it can be, will not only you profitable in terms of cards, but increase your chances of winning games 1 card at a time.Cipher Cards


Decks that uses it

Does Cipher help? I have mix feelings for it. A creature has to be able to attack and touch the other player then the Cipher cards will be profitable for the caster. As blue and black has cipher cards, these colors also have a lot of evasive creatures. Naturally the deck will have high amount of evasive creatures. The deck may involve other damage triggered benefits cards like Curiosity or Mask of Memory.

Cipher allows you to choose a shroud creature you control. This is one of the plus of this mechanic. Creatures with shroud or hexproof can survived a bit longer. But will the creature survive long enough; hit your opponents a few times to gain the card advantage?

invisible stalker fanart

Will the Invisible Stalker stay long enough to strike again? Tune in Next to find out~!!


Weakness Cipher has

One bad thing about cipher cards they have they have to be exiled after successfully casted. This stops cards that interact with graveyard. Black and Blue has a lot of graveyard interaction cards. Archaeomancer is one fine example.

Another weakness cipher has is that most of their cards are too highly cost. Let’s take Last Thoughts as an example. It required 4 mana and 1 attack successful to draw 2 cards. That is a quite a number of requirements or steps to achieve 1 more card profit.

The last weakness I personally don’t really like is it relies on creatures. The fundamental fact that creatures usually does not last long in EDH decks means this commitment on the creature makes it a target and a reason for players to cast something to make you lost 2 cards, the creature and the cipher encoded on it.

wtf is this shit

Casted the Invisible Stalker and then cipher it with everything only to have the next opponent cast Wrath of God 



Cipher isn’t a bad card mechanic. But they are more cost effectiveness cards than these cards. Cipher provides good dividends of a good series of successful attacks if connected. However opponents are proactive to protect themselves. Cipher doesn’t provide a straight away huge advantage like Wrath of God and Harmonize. Without the graveyard interaction, Cipher doesn’t shine that well…


Yours Humility


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