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By: iceage4life, Timothy Pskowski
Jun 15 2008 3:17pm
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Shadowmoor in EDH Part 1 - Generals, Artifacts, and Land

Introduction to EDH: Elder Dragon Highlander also known as Commander online is a mutiplayer focused format.  Decks must be build of 100 cards with at least one legendary creature, the general (commander).  All the spells in the deck must match the generals colors and lands will not produce mana of a color other than those of the general.  The general begins the game removed from the game and may be played as though he were in your hand.  When he would be placed in the graveyard you may RFG him instead.  For each time he is played from the RFG zone after the first two colorless mana is added to his casting cost.  So he costs his mana cost the first time, then two extra, then four extra.

With the addition of Shadowmoor to Magic Online Commander returned as a supported format.  From playing paper EDH with the new cards I can say that a TON of great EDH cards are in the newest set.  I'm going to review the new cards in two parts.  Today are the new legendary creatures and colorless cards.  Next week check back to see how the non-legendary colored cards stack up.


Legendary Creatures, the New Generals

Shadowmoor only gives six new general options but I think all have some good possibilities for decks.  All of the new legends are hybrid thought they can be used in mono color decks just fine as the general.


Oona is probably the general with the most raw power.  She is in two very strong colors.  I built a paper deck with her and let me say people will see her as a threat.  Any deck running Oona as its general will want lots of mana, try and hit your land drops every turn.  It is possible you would want to run Painter's Servant to maximize your milling but personally I don't think that is worth it unless you have other things to do with the Servant also.  One card you will want to run with her that is normally not great in EDH is Notorious Throng.  Casting her on turn ten or so and making two or so tokens off her ability can lead to a Throng the next turn for seven 1/1s and an extra turn.

Rating: A-
Pros: Powerful, great ability
Cons: Will make you somewhat of a target

The Reaper King, magic's second five color artifact.  He is a heck of a lot better than his forefather Transguild Courier and in a very relevant move for EDH is Legendary.  Reaper King is decent addition to the ranks of five color generals but that is not what I find interesting.  He allows several things never before possible.  First you can now make a true four color EDH deck, just cut one color and pay six mana to cast your general.  You can also now run an artifact general and colored mana and cards.  I'm not sure what to do with that fact but I'm sure some Johny will figure something cool out.

As far as what works well with him he is obliviously the poster child for running lots of changelings.  Keep in mind that you don't have to play the spell so cards like Riptide Replicator and Soul Foundry become very powerful.  Don't forget to pack Bribery if you can guess who has changelings in their deck.

Rating: B
Pros: Very flexible
Cons: Weak if not built around

Token decks welcome your new overlord.  Rhys the Redeemed joins the very thin ranks of one mana generals but unlike the other two (Isamaru, Hound of Konda and Norin the Wary) he is powerful in the late game.  It is very easy to see the deck Rhys would go into, lots of global pump spells and token generators.  Rhys is however very narrow and I can't see a use for him outside of a dedicated token deck.

Rating: B-
Pros: Great in a dedicated deck, adds to low CMC general ranks
Cons: Very narrow uses

Roshen Meanderer is another Legend that seems good to build around but weak otherwise.  His ablity means you want lots of X spells.  Most X spells are going to be burn.  While Demonfire is a great card it is not so great in mutiplayer formats where everyone starts on 40 life.  This means you want to look for other ways to abuse X.  First there are global X spells such as Earthquake, Hurricane, Squall Line, and Molten Disaster.  Next up we have X spells that are not one shot.  These will include artifacts like Orochi Hatchery and Riptide Replicator.  Also there are creatures with Ivy Elemental and Verdeloth the Ancient being standouts.  Creatures also give you Arashi, the Sky Asunder, Jiwari, the Earth Aflame, and Silklash Spider for repeatable removal.  DetritivoreFungal Behemoth can be suspended for many turns.  Last but not least is Wurmcalling for an endless stream of large green monsters. and

Rating: C
Pros: Good for deck build around it
Cons: Unsure on strength of dedicated deck, useless out of it

Sygg, River Cutthroat is my favorite of the new general options.  Part of this is personal prefrence with my love of blue and black not to mention drawing cards.  But I think that even without that he is great.  He is another entry into the ranks of low cost generals which I think is good for the format.  Like Rhys he is fine early game and gets more powerful as it goes on.  His ability scales well in mutiplayer and turns any attacks towards an opponent in your favor.

With Sygg your deck should have two goals.  First, you want to have opponents loose three life as often as possible.  To this effect cards like Underworld Dreams and Ankh of Mishra are worth considering.  Equipment is also good to let Sygg deal three damage by himself.  The other goal is to not be attacked.  When your opponents attack each other you can draw a card, when they attack you you can not.  Cards like (Haunting Miasma) and Seal of Doom can help discourage attacks on yourself.

Rating: A
Pros: Powerful in mutiplayer, low cost
Cons: Might make you a target?

Wort, the Raidmother bears many similarities to Roshen Meanderer.  Both are in the same colors and encourage large red and green spells.  Of the two I prefer Wort.  I think she has a more flexible ability as you are not limited to X spells.  She also seems fine in a token producing deck as she can double a Hunting Triad for even greater conspire options the next turn.  Mana acceleration is good and is a fine draw after Wort is in play because you can double it.

Some of red's stronger mutiplayer spells like Wild Ricochet and Radiate become even more absurd with her.  I know Kenneth Nagel of Wizards R&D (and maintainer of MTGO's vanguard format) has already made a Wort deck for paper EDH.

Rating: A-
Pros: Powerful, seems fun
Cons: Limits the flexibility of you deck.



Elsewhere Flask - 2
When Elsewhere Flask comes into play, draw a card. Sacrifice Elsewhere Flask: Choose a basic land type. Each land you control becomes that type until end of turn.

Elsewhere Flask seems like decent mana fixing and for powering up land type matter cards.  A decent option for budget decks but I would take a pass in fully equipped decks.
Rating: C

Gnarled Effigy - 4
4, T Put a -1/-1 counter on target creature.

Repeatable effects are good in EDH and as this is an artifact any deck can run it.  This deck also provides a disincentive to attack you.  It does cost a lot of mana to use each turn and the effect is fairly small.  I don't think this is worth running but it might be better than I expect.
Rating: C-

Grim Poppet - 7
Artifact Creature - Scarecrow 4/4
Grim Poppet comes into play with three -1/-1 counters on it. Remove a -1/-1 counter from Grim Poppet: Put a -1/-1 counter on another target creature.

Besides being an auto-include in Reaper King decks Grim Poppet is a fine man in his own right.  Being able to shoot multiple creatures while growing larger is a strong ability.  I wouldn't run him over Duplicant but he would be a good second choice for removal on an artifact creature.
Rating: B-

Illuminated Folio - 5
1, T, Reveal two cards from your hand that share a color: Draw a card.

Artifact card draw is always welcome and the Folio is not bad at what it does.  I already run this in my paper Captain Sisay deck and can see using it online.  It is probably my third choice after Mind's Eye and Candles of Leng but in non blue decks I'm sure there will often be room for all three.
Rating: B

Lurebound Scarecrow - 3
Artifact Creature - Scarecrow 4/4
As Lurebound Scarecrow comes into play, choose a color. When you control no permanents of the chosen color, sacrifice Lurebound Scarecrow.

A very aggressively costed creature this seems fine in most aggressive decks.  That said it will expose you to possible two for ones.  I could see this as being best in aggressive red, blue, or black decks as green and white already have aggressively costed creatures.
Rating: C

Painter's Servant - 2
Artifact Creature - Scarecrow 1/3
As Painter's Servant comes into play, choose a color. All cards that aren't in play, spells, and permanents are the chosen color in addition to their other colors.

This card has already won a Vintage tournament so its powerlevel is clearly fairly high.  We lack access to Grindstone online limiting the combo potential of the card but I'm sure that it will have uses before we get Tempest.  After Tempest is released online he will be good in combo decks as part of a colorless two card combo that takes out a player.  Even before then I expect to see him in some wacky decks doing some wacky things.
Rating: B-

Umbral Mantle - 3
Artifact - Equipment
Equipped creature has "3, Q: This creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn." (Q is the untap symbol.)
Equip 0

This equipment provides the ability to untap, powerful in mtuiplayer.  It also can pump the creature on offense or defense.  I don't think it will see tons of play but I'm sure it will see some.  This is another card that will improve as more older sets are released online with several infinite mana combos using it.
Rating: B-


The Graven Cairns cycle:

These lands are auto-includes in two color decks with the right colors.  They are also fine in three color decks.  I would hesitate to use them in five color decks wanting to stick to Ravnica's shock lands and sac lands from Mirage and Onslaught to fix my mana.  Being able to get two mana of ether color off a single land is nice when you need to cast something like Wrath of God when you've drawn mostly islands.  All-in-all this is a very solid cycle of dual lands that I expect to see played for a long time.
Rating: A-

Leechridden Swamp
Land: Swamp
(T Add B to your mana pool.) Leechridden Swamp comes into play tapped. B, T Each opponent loses 1 life. Play this ability only if you control two or more black permanents.

Any deck with three or fewer colors and playing black will probably want to run this card.  It can be fetched with cards like Polluted Delta and Twisted Abomination and in EDH the comes into play tapped drawback is not too bad.  The fact that it hits every opponent is very relevant as you can get four damage a turn off a land.  To say a Sygg, River Cutthroat deck wants this is an understatement.  I think this is the best of the cycle and expect to see plenty of them.
Rating: A

Madblind Mountain
Land: Mountain
(T Add R to your mana pool.) Madblind Mountain comes into play tapped. R, T Shuffle your library. Play this ability only if you control two or more red permanents.

If your deck is running plenty of red and Sensei's Diving Top I can see running this card.  Otherwise I'd pass.
Rating: D+

Mistveil Plains
Land - Plains
(T Add W to your mana pool.) Mistveil Plains comes into play tapped. W, T Put target card in your graveyard on the bottom of your library. Play this ability only if you control two or more white permanents.

This is more useful than the mountain but not by much.  Putting cards on the bottom of your deck can serve two purposes: #1 drawing them again and #2 not decking yourself.  The fact they goto the bottom makes drawing them hard unless you can tutor for them.  As far as not decking yourself it will help in a very long game versus a normal deck but is too slow versus a mill deck.  This is fine in mono white decks but I'd not want to run it outside of them.
Rating: C

Moonring Island
Land - Island
(T Add U to your mana pool.) Moonring Island comes into play tapped. U, T Look at the top card of target player's library. Play this ability only if you control two or more blue permanents.

As expected of an Island this is a pretty good card.  You need ways to make the ablity relevant but there are plenty of shuffle effects to abuse this with.  This can also help you set up a winning clash by finding an opponent with a land on top.  I would run this in every mono blue and two color deck but I doubt I would have room at three plus colors.
Rating: B-

Reflecting Pool
T Add to your mana pool one mana of any type that a land you control could produce.

Reflecting Pool like Grand Coliseum can be run in any deck as mana fixing.  It however requires your mana to already be fixed to work.  I think it still makes the cut in any three plus color deck and in some two color decks.  It would have a better chance of being played in a two color deck with enemy color pairings due to the smalled number of dual lands that can be used.
Rating: B+

Sapseep Forest
(T Add G to your mana pool.) Sapseep Forest comes into play tapped. G, T You gain 1 life. Play this ability only if you control two or more green permanents.

This effect is less powerful than Leachridden Swamp because it does not scale.  It is still an effect that can be played off an otherwise unused land.  The fact it is a forest makes it the easiest to find of the cycle.  In addition to sac lands you can find it with any number of spells like Hunting Wilds or Nature's Lore.  I see this being the most played of these lands because it is a forest.
Rating: B+

Bonus Decklist!

That wraps up part one of this set review.  Next week I will cover all the colored cards in the set that I think are worth it in EDH.  Before I go let me leave you with a decklist to show off a new general from Shadowmoor.


Rhys the Redeemed EDH
Lands - 38
Eiganjo Castle
8 Forest
Sapseep Forest
Wooded Bastion
(Kjeldoran Outpost
Kodama's Reach
Krosan Verge
Nantuko Monastery
Okina, Temple to the Grandfathers
5 Plains
Secluded Steppe
Selesnya Sanctuary
Sungrass Prairie
Temple Garden
Tranquil Thicket
Vitu-Ghazi, the City-Tree
Windswept Heath
Flagstones of Trokair
Horizon Canopy
Llanowar Reborn
Mosswort Bridge
Saltcrusted Steppe
Urza's Factory
Windbrisk Heights
Rustic Clachan
Creatures - 22
Rhys the Redeemed
Stonehewer Giant
Yavimaya Dryad
Gilt-Leaf Leige
Weathered Wayfarer
Taj-Nar Swordsmith
Thelonite Hermit
Nacatl War-Pride
Tolsimir Wolfblood
Verdeloth the Ancient
Twilight Drover
Verdant Force
Imperious Perfect
Jedit Ojanen of Efrava
Selesnya Evangel
Solemn Simulacrum
Selesnya Guildmage
Cloudgoat Ranger
Sakura-Tribe Elder
Other Spells - 40
One Dozen Eyes
Orochi Hatchery
Parallel Evolution
Gaea's Anthem
Sacred Mesa
Mana Reflection
Mirari's Wake
Spawning Pit
Steelshaper's Gift
Storm Herd
Mind's Eye
Seed Spark
Battle Screech
Sword of Fire and Ice
Leyline of the Meek
Natural Order
Nature's Lore
Glorious Anthem
Loxodon Warhammer
Chord of Calling
Grizzly Fate
Hour of Reckoning
Congregation at Dawn
Decree of Justice
Doubling Season
Sword of Light and Shadow
Sylvan Scrying
Eladamri's Call
Austere Command
Primal Command
Ajani Goldmane
Garruk Wildspeaker
Sarpadian Empires, Vol. VII
Sprout Swarm
Verdant Embrace
Hunting Triad
Reach of Branches



by iceage4life at Wed, 06/18/2008 - 05:58
iceage4life's picture

Yeah I could see Cauldron working out, don't like it much in limited but seems nice in EDH.  As far as Wort:

Rating: A-
Pros: Powerful, seems fun

Unless she is one of the best generals ever I don't think I'm underrating her.

by tempesteye at Tue, 06/17/2008 - 11:37
tempesteye's picture

You forgot to mention a pretty decent card, especially for MP: Cauldron of Souls

The ability to recur in a format filled with Wrath effects is powerful, and the fact that Cauldron is active as soon as it hits play is a big bonus.
I've already seen it used to advantage in several games. 


Additionally, I think you're undervaluing Wort. Conspire is a powerful mechanic, especially considering the big spells played in EDH. 

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jakemiller70's picture

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Oona Queen of the Fae by david82pittman at Mon, 10/28/2013 - 20:39
david82pittman's picture

Oona Queen of the Fae, i like her as my General. Downside is I need lots of Mana. If you have a problem writing your essay, worry no more because write my essay can help you solve your problem. Check it out to know how.

Best docor near me by JohannaHaas at Fri, 03/04/2022 - 16:46
JohannaHaas's picture

you forgot to mention a pretty decent card, especially for MP: Cauldron of Souls physicians eye care ellicott city