This entry is part 17 of 23 in the series (Social) Contract form Below

By Nole Clauson AKA MtGNole

90x90 noleHello and welcome to yet another week of (Social) Contract from Below, your weekly does of social contract commentary and overuse of parenthesis. This week I want to revisit one of the most responded to articles I had last season.

Last season I wrote an article called “5 cards you should not be playing.” You can read the article here. I called out 5 specific cards that I had seen that bugged me. Little did I know at the time, that this would open the floodgates to many more people sharing their pet hated cards with me. I used some of those cards last season (and will be next season) as the end segment to my articles. However, I’ve found that the number of cards I’ve found to complain about vastly outnumber the time I have to complain about them. So instead, I present to you the five types of cards (one for each color) that you shouldn’t be playing.

5. White cards that slow the game to a crawl.

In my mind, White is the “good guy” color of commander. Other than its two mass land destruction spells, it is normally the least likely to leave me angry at the end of a game. (Note to my friends who read these articles: this is not a challenge to see who can make a mono white deck that makes me seethe first.) However, there are a number of cards that in commander are unlikely to win you the game, however will cause the game to slow way down. Cards like Hokori, Dust Drinker, Magus of the Tabernacle, or suppression field make games go forever without putting them away. I would rather be killed off quickly by some stupid combo player than have to wait an hour so the prison lock player can kill me by inches.

4. Red cards that make the game state indecipherable.

Personal confession: I love these kind of cards. I have a deck (my five color Karona, the False God deck) that jams as many of these into a deck as it can and tries to make the game as complicated as possible. (I once played it with another deck called “judge breaker”, we eventually stopped playing it once we hit the 6th hour mark of play.) However, these cards are like cooking with wasabi. A little wasabi will season your food and add good flavor, too much wasabi and you’ll find yourself on the toilet, making deals with whichever bearded man in the sky you choose to believe in to take the pain away. Use these cards sparingly or you’ll find yourself looking at a board state that will never end.

3. Black cards that make the game miserable.

I have a lot of respect for bleeder and “group slug” decks. However if your sole plan is to play Bottomless Pit, Necrogen Mists and Braids, Cabal Minion then you are not wanting to actually play commander. There is a great reason why Braids is banned as a commander, and building a deck around her flies in the face of the social contract as well as is miserable to play against.

2. Blue cards that stop the game.

There are some times when I disagree with the EDH rules committee. However, one of best decisions they ever made was banning Eyaro as a general. Blue commonly gets a (somewhat misplaced) reputation of being a scumbag color that stops other people from playing rather than winning the game itself. While I have already talked about blue here and won’t waste everyone’s time by repeating myself, it is cards like Eyaro, Decree of Silence, and Arcane Laboratory that give credence to blues bad image.

1. Green cards that actually say “I win the game.”

These have been my new pet peeve. From the classic Tooth and Nail to more recent cards like primal surge, there is this never ending stream of cards that generate so much advantage that if you resolve it and do not win it is your own fault. My biggest complaint about these cards is not so much that they exist or that people play them, but that people try to act like they are not casting this with flat out winning in mind. For example, the other day I played against a Riku deck that copied an entwined tooth and nail and grabbed Eternal Witness, Craterhoof Behemoth, [/card] Progenitor Mimic[/card] and something else. His words were that “at least I didn’t grab Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker and Pestermite.” However, since he killed everyone at the table with the overwhelming damage, he might as well have. I’m real tired of people who play these cards and try to claim that they are not combos.

So there you have my five types of cards that annoying me. Do you think I’m wrong? If so, sound off in the comments, let me know via email at or on twitter @MtGNole. I’ll be back next week for my last article of the season with a final look at the Ruric Thar decklist that we built.

One final thing before we go. As you undoubtedly know, puts out content every weekday. However, this Saturday there will be something special on the site, regarding the future of this series. If you are a fan of this article (or of (Vexing) Devil’s Advocate, for that matter *hint, hint*) then you should check the website on Saturday.

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