// floating card image

Friday, January 19, 2018

They Just don’t Work that Well

October 19, 2011 by  
Filed under In-Depth FAQ, Review

Although any theme is possible in EDH, as long as it does not involve cards from the Banned List, there are still cards which could only work in normal variant but not in EDH. This is largely due to the rule of EDH deck building of restricting one card per deck except for basic-Lands. Some of these cards will not work in EDH as well as they would in normal variant. Here we shall share with you some of this kind of cards which you might want to avoid using in your deck. So without delay, here are the cards in no specific order.



A keyword mechanic introduced in the expansion set Coldsnap, it allows you to reveal the top four cards of your library whenever you cast a spell with Ripple and then cast any revealed cards with the same name as the spell without paying their mana costs, putting the rest on the bottom of your library. While playing normally, there is the chance of casting all the copy of the Ripple spell in one chance, this would never happens in EDH. This effectively makes each of the ripple cards available till date just one effect plus revealing the top four cards of your library and putting them at the bottom afterwards.

Name Remarks
Surging AEther Expensive 4cc instant to bounce a permanent.
Surging Dementia Force discard of just one card.
Surging Flame Just another 2cc instant burn spell.
Surging Might Aura to pump your Creature.
Surging Sentinels Just another First Striker.
Thrumming Stone All your spells now let you dig deeper into your library for better chance of the card you want; or dig away the card you want for the moment.



Grandeur, an ability introduced in expansion set Future Sight that only appears on Legendary Creatures, allows you to discard any extra copies of the same Legendary Creature in your hand for an effect. This ability, as explained by Wizards, was a way for players to still have a use for the same extra Legendary Creature when they already have one on the battlefield. With that being the case, the extras would not end up staying in your hand as a useless dead card, as you cannot cast it due to the Legend rule which would kill both of them. But due to the EDH deck building rules, Grandeur could never be used. Although not totally unplayable without the ability, some of them are relatively weak without it.

Name Remarks
Oriss, Samite Guardian As you can’t use her Grandeur, she would only be a Orim, Samite Healer that protects target Creature from damage, which is quite a big waste as the Grandeur is good control.
Linessa, Zephyr Mage Very good Creature control, less those with Hexproof and Shroud, especially in late games when mana is abundant. Though having Grandeur is still much better for her to truly shine as a control element.
Korlash, Heir to Blackblade Effectively a 4cc Nightmare, Korlash is one of the few with Grandeur that still could play quite well without the ability, largely due to the fact that his Grandeur serves mainly as a mana acceleration.
Tarox Bladewing Overly cost at 5cc with a low toughness which is within Lightning Bolt range makes it not recommendable for play.
Baru, Fist of Krosa Another one on this list which is still playable even without Grandeur. Being able to use Grandeur is only a win-more situation and usually not really needed.



Echoing cards are a cycle of cards which were introduced during the expansion set Darksteel. The idea of this group of cards is that you could target one target and all of its copies, both your opponents’ side and your side, will be targeted. For instance, if you cast Echoing Truth, which return target nonland permanent to its owner hand, and target a Llanowar Elves, all Llanowar Elves will be return to their owners’ hands. So in EDH, the chance of having the same card on all opponents’ side is rare enough. Also there is the chance that the card you want to target might also be on your side too. Plus if there ever was the situation that you have all those targets on your opponents’ side, you would instantly gain the same amount of enemies in the process, politically unwise move.

Name Remarks
Echoing Calm This is most of the time just a single Enchantment spot removal.
Echoing Courage This may actually be playable if your deck is able to produce a lot of tokens, winning you the game through a token rampage. Other than that, it is useless.
Echoing Decay A foil to the game plan of Echoing Courage above.
Echoing Ruin Usually a spot removal for Artifact, but great foil to everyone if you are the only guy at the table without a Sol Ring.
Echoing Truth A foil to the token overrun tactic mentioned above.
Maelstrom Pulse Just another Vindicate which does not destroy Lands. As with Echoing Decay & Echoing Truth, Maelstrom Pulse is good solution to tokens problem. Also the easiest way to become public enemy instantly.


Lobotomized Spells: –

Generated from the spell, Lobotomy, these spells or Creatures would normally have an effect, usually targeting something, and then exile its target and all copies of it from the owner’s graveyard, hand and library. This mechanic works well in normal variant as it would help you to ensure that you get rid of a threat once and for all. But in EDH, all of this group of spells will only exile one card as there is only one copy of the exiled card in the whole deck.

Name Remarks
Lobotomy The pioneer of the group, this spell targets card, except basic Land, in the hand. In EDH, it is just a single card exile from the hand for 4cc.
Counterbore A counterspell which exiles the spell it exiles. This becomes a more expensive Dissipate for EDH decks.
Scour White counterpart of the Lobotomize cycle in Urza’s Legacy, later Betrayers of Kamigawa. Exiles Enchantment.
Quash Blue counterpart of the Lobotomize cycle in Urza’s Legacy, later Betrayers of Kamigawa. Counter and exiles Instant or Sorcery spell.
Eradicate Black counterpart of the Lobotomize cycle in Urza’s Legacy, later Betrayers of Kamigawa. Exiles nonblack Creature.
Sowing Salt Red counterpart of the Lobotomize cycle in Urza’s Legacy, later Betrayers of Kamigawa. Exiles nonbasic Land.
Splinter Green counterpart of the Lobotomize cycle in Urza’s Legacy, later Betrayers of Kamigawa. Exiles Artifact.
Shimian Specter Lobotomize nonLand card from the hand when it deals combat damage to a player.

Although having said the above, it is still possible to combo some of these spells and exile all basic Lands of one type from a player’s graveyard, hand and library. The trick is to change one of the basic Land into the target and then use the spell on it, thus exiling all the basic Land and all copies of it from the graveyard, hand and library. This is achieved as follows by using the following cards in combo.

Combo Remarks
Scour + Enchanted Evening All basic Lands are now Enchantments allowing Scour to target them and all copies of the targeted basic Land in the graveyard, hand and library.
Eradicate+ Animate Land; Awakener Druid; Balduvian Conjurer; Balduvian Frostwaker; Crusher Zendikon; Genju of the Cedars; Genju of the Falls; Genju of the Fields; Genju of the Realm; Genju of the Spires; Guardian Zendikon; Kamahl, Fist of Krosa; Koth of the Hammer; Lifespark Spellbomb; Living Terrain; Mishra’s Groundbreaker; Quirion Druid; Siege of Towers; Soilshaper; Spike Tiller; Vastwood Animist; Vastwood Zendikon; Verdant Touch; Vivify; Wind Zendikon; Woodwraith Corrupter Targeted basic Land is now a Creature allowing Eradicate to target it. Unless otherwise stated, the Lands are considered colorless Creatures when they are changed. This is also why Corrupted Zendikon and Genju of the Fens cannot be used for this combo as both Auras creates Black Creatures out of the Lands they enchanted.
Splinter + Liquimetal Coating Target basic Land is now an Artifact allowing Splinter to target it.


Pack Hunt: –

Pack Hunt is an effect named after the spell with the same name in expansion set Nemesis which allows the caster to search out copies of target Creature put them in the hand. Further developed from the Llanowar Sentinel from expansion set Weatherlight, it was first introduced in expansion set Mercadian with Howling Wolf, and later in Nemesis, put on several Creatures and the namesake spell itself. Later in Onslaught block, the effect became smaller by only searching for one card each time. This effect is also further developed to trigger when the Creature dies. Since there is only one copy of the Creature in an EDH deck, what makes this group of cards good initially in normal variant by generating a small amount of card advantage, is not possible in EDH.


Triggered on


Enter the battlefield


Daru Cavalier


Search your library for it and put that card into the hand.
Embermage Goblin


Search your library for it and put that card into the hand.
Howling Wolf


Search your library for up to three copies of it and put those cards into the hand.
Llanowar Sentinel


Search your library for of it for each 1G you paid when it enters the battlefield.
Nesting Wurm


Search your library for up to three copies of it and into the hand.
Pack Hunt Search your library for up to three copies of target Creature and put those cards into the hand.


Search your library for a nontoken Creature that died and put it into the hand.
Screaming Seahawk


Search your library for it and put that card into the hand.
Skyshroud Sentinel


Search your library for up to three copies of it and put those cards into the hand.
Squadron Hawk


Search your library for up to three copies of it and put those cards into the hand.
Verdant Succession


Search your library for a Green nontoken Creature that died and put it onto the battlefield.
Welkin Hawk


Search your library for it and put that card into the hand.


Odyssey Shrine (Aven Shrine; Cephalid Shrine; Cabal Shrine; Dwarven Shrine; Nantuko Shrine): –

Not to be mistaken as the Shrines from Champions o Kamigawa (Honden of Cleansing Fire; Honden of Seeing Winds; Honden of Night’s Reach; Honden of Infinite Rage; Honden of Life’s Web), these shrines from the Odyssey block are a cycle of Enchantments which embraces the block graveyard theme, generating an effect whenever a spell with copies of it in the graveyard is casted, the effect becoming bigger with more copies of the card in all graveyards. Due to the fact that EDH decks are built with the restriction of one card per deck, a lot of times these Odyssey shrines’ effect just would not triggered. More ever, graveyard removal is very popular in EDH, which further renders these Enchantments totally useless.


Other Random Cards: –

  • Assembly HallThis Artifact lets you reveal a Creature card and then search your library for the same name card. As there is no more than one copy of the same Creature card in an EDH deck, this Artifact is just “4, T: Reveal a Creature card in your hand. Then shuffle your library.”
  • Bazaar of Wonders; Eye of Singularity; Leyline of SingularityAll three Enchantments make all decks played like EDH which is very disruptive in normal variant if an opponent deck is not prepare for it. Then you would counteract to that by making your deck accustomed to it by playing minimum copies of spells. When brought over to EDH, all of these Enchantments do not change the game much. The chances of having the same spell in two decks are less and even both your opponent and you do played the same card, it is hard to draw into (A Sol Ring might already be destroyed before these Enchantment hits the battlefield except for Leyline of Singularity). For most part, Bazaar of Wonders is just exiles all graveyards, while Eye of Singularity and Leyline of Singularity just make sure that no more than one copy of a permanent is on the battlefield, and since everyone is already playing one per deck, that is really not much they are doing to help you. They could still be used in EDH decks, like destroying everyone Sol Ring by casting your own one.
  • Bifurcate; Clarion Ultimatum; Dichotomancy; Mask of the Mimic – What all these cards does is to get you more copies of target card onto the battlefield to help you gain board advantage. Problem is in EDH, you are most of the time going to searching for nothing (one if you are so lucky that the spell target a permanent from your opponent side and you played it in your deck too).
  • Extirpate; Haunting Echoes; Surgical Extraction, – These spells which exile cards from graveyards and all other copies of it from graveyard, hand and library are a very good way to get rid of threats once and for all in normal variant. But in EDH, the threat is always single in each player’s deck. The best way to deal with it is to exile the whole graveyard as graveyard recursion is ever present in EDH. This make these cards, like Extirpate & Surgical Extraction, become single card exile from graveyard, and Haunting Echoes an over cost graveyard exile card as compared to Artifacts like Nihil Spellbomb; Relic of Progenitus; Tormod’s Crypt.
  • Cylian Sunsinger – The main ability of this Creature require copies of itself on the battlefield make it just a 1G, 2/2 Creature with the ability “RGW: Do NOTHING” most of the time. The only chance this Creature could get the bonus is to have other players at the table playing it too, which is very rarer than mythic.
  • Hint of Insanity – All nonland cards are only one per deck so this card is basically 2B “Target player reveal his or her hand”.
  • Jester’s Scepter – This card is not entirely unplayable, but would be better if you will able to use the activated ability which is uncounterable with normal counterspells. Otherwise, this is a good way to exile cards from your opponent’s library, which is five cards each time it enters the battlefield, a high chance to hit crucial or power spells.
  • Locket of Yesterdays – This Artifact has no effect in EDH. There will never be another card in your graveyard with the same name as any spells you cast.
  • Minamo’s Meddling – This is only a 2UU counterspell. There will never be another card in the countered spell’s controller hand with the same name as the countered spell.
  • Mishra, Artificer Prodigy – Very powerful Creature to use in normal variant, but as always in EDH, you will never find another card with the same name in your graveyard, hand and/or library as the Artifact spell you casted.
  • Moratorium Stone – Yet another card whose effect is limited due the deck building rule of EDH. This would just another addition to single card graveyard removal along the line of Phyrexian Furnace; Scrabbling Claws & Steamclaw.
  • Pyromancer Ascension – You can never put quest counter on this Enchantment as you will never cast a spell with the same name as another spell in your graveyard.
  • Scalpelexis – The chances of hitting two cards with the same name is already quite hard in normal variant for this Creature, it become even harder in EDH with a bigger deck size and one per deck for spells.
  • Spellweaver Helix – You could imprint two Sorceries from your opponent’s graveyard as there is still the possibility that you are playing one or both the Sorceries. Otherwise there is no other way that this Artifact could work
  • Winnow – As with most card above, this spell is depending on your opponents to also be playing the same card, making it most of the time a useless card.


As mentioned at the beginning of this article, although EDH inspires innovative and creativity, there are still cards which could not be used no matter how hard you try to make it work. As fun as it is to build a deck of 99+1 cards, there are still certain limitations and cards which just do not work at all in EDH due to the “restriction of one per deck except basic Lands” rule. With this article, we hope that you have an idea of why some cards are not EDH materials. So with that, we shall end off today article. Till next article, happy building and winning EDH games.


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


Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!