Welcome readers to another edition of Uncompetitive Spirit! In my previous article, which you can find by following this link here: CLICK, I described the format of Planechase EDH, or at least the way my particular group plays it. From the comments below that article, and other feedback I received, it seems we’re not alone in the “shared planes deck” kind of ruleset, that seems to be the norm, in fact. In this article, I will break down the pros and cons of this format variant, I will break down some basic strategies and how they differ from regular EDH, and then it’s finally time to throw Ezuri, Claw of Progress into the Uncompetitive Arena. Cue heavy metal riff of choice.
I covered this somewhat in my previous article, but it’s worth reiterating and expanding upon. There are a number of reasons to add these cards to your standard game of EDH:
There are not as many downsides to Planechase EDH as upsides, but they are relevant.
For the most part, Planechase EDH plays out a lot like regular EDH when it comes to tactics and politics, but there is a big exception: the planar die. This little bargaining chip can be used in tandem with any other politics you’re accustom to, and it can be worked both with and against players. In general, unless you’re definitely gaining something from the current plane, it’s often a good idea to roll the die. If there is a plane that clearly everyone benefits from, such as Minamo or Eloren Wilds, it can be a good idea to refrain from rolling the die but also to make sure that you let opponents later in the turn order know that you’re doing that to allow them a chance to benefit from the plane. Conversely, having an annoying plane, say Prahv on top of the planar deck can benefit you if you’re in a bad position. Consider phrases like “All right, I will try and get us out of here instead of using my mana to play my Damnation, but you have to promise me you won’t attack me for a turn.”, assuming your opponents don’t know if you have or have not a Damnation in hand.
There are numerous ways to use this to your advantage and gain political street cred in a game of Planechase EDH, and this I find is another neat upside – the planes themselves spark more communication.
And that’s about it. The most important factor of Planechase EDH is to not take it too seriously. This is a very casual variant of an already casual format. Get into the right mindset, break out your creature deck, and start walking some planes!
When Ezuri, Claw of Progress, Ezuri 2.0 as it were, was first spoiled I was rather unimpressed. In my eyes, he was another blue-green commander supporting a weenie strategy, and he was more expensive than the already stellar Edric, Spymaster of Trest. Since then Edric has far been surpassed by Ezuri 2.0, who is now by far the most popular blue-green commander on this site, with over 500 more decks than the runner-up. Ezuri 2.0 supports a wide variety of creature-based strategies, which is part of what makes him so popular in my opinion. If you want to go Infect, you can go Infect and people will hate you. If you want to build tokens, you can build tokens. If you want to play with counters, you can play with counters, and so on. Ezuri 2.0 also has an easier time reloading from a board wipe than Edric, who can be left in the dust if hit by a Supreme Vedrict too early.
In this case we’re looking at the average deck generated by EDHREC to see how well Ezuri 2.0 would fare in a game of Planechase EDH.
As we can see, the +1/+1 counters subtheme shines through in the EDHREC average deck. The deck looks pretty well tuned, actually, with many powerful synergies between the commander and cards like Chasm Skulker, Herald of Secret Streams, Master Biomancer, and Sage of Hours to name just a handful. It is blessed with the regular green ramp package, as well as a few select instants to interact with permanents. A single Counterspell constitutes the deck’s countermagic package, but Ezuri prefers to be proactive rather than reactive. If tuned properly, I reckon at least a couple more counterspells to deal with board wipes and other nasty surprises would be reasonable.
These strengths combined make Ezuri an excellent choice for Planechase EDH. There are a lot of planes in the list which benefits his strategies since many of them constructively interact with creatures. Just imagine flipping Goldmeadow, playing a fetchland, cracking it for another land and casting Cultivate – this would equal nine experience counters if Ezuri is in play. This does sound like Magical Christmas Land, but it is that type of silliness that happens regularly in Planechase EDH.
Planechase EDH is not for the faint of heart, but it is very fun and can bring lots of action to otherwise very straight games of EDH. If you’re feeling brave enough, put on your best Jace cloak and light that spark! Until next time, stay awesome and keep it casual!