FABLES FROM KITCHEN TABLES – THE TOP SOLDIERS OF – DIMIR

Greetings, readers! Today I continue the segment started last week, where I go over what I feel are the top 10 cards and top 3 legends in every color combination. Like I said last week, this will be off and on, as I’ll still be doing the monthly Let’s Build segment, as well as the monthly series of articles relating to Born of the Gods content, but for now, we’re going to focus on this series, and its second combination according to the color wheel – Dimir.

Dimir’s game plan tends to lend itself to spell-heavy lists that focus on mass discard, tutoring, destroying creatures and attacking both life totals and libraries. These ten cards are the cards that I feel are the most powerful at evoking the flavor of what blue and black both do, so without further ado, let’s jump right into it:

#10 – Bane Alley Broker

I know the inclusion of this card may seem strange at first, but I’m a little biased – I really enjoy what the Broker does. It’s a slow way of drawing cards, sure, but it has merits against heavy discard decks, and can draw you out of land clumps pretty handily. 3 toughness for 3 mana is also pretty great at walling bears, making it a creature I feel is really great for its cost.

#9 – Soul Manipulation

Soul Manipulation is without a doubt one of the best value counterspells out there. Tacking Raise Dead onto Remove Soul, while not solving how narrow Remove Soul can be at times, can make a huge difference lategame when your graveyard is chock full of goodies to return.

The card also tends to lend itself to strategies that involve either key important creatures or value creatures that opponents tend to want to remove quickly (Sheoldred, Whispering One, for example), making Soul Manipulation just that much more valuable.

#8 – Baleful Strix

I admit, I haven’t exactly been the biggest proponent of Baleful Strix since its printing. The card reached an absurd peak at some point that I forget (I think it was around $16 or something?), and while I understand this was largely due to eternal formats, I still disagree that the Strix is entirely necessary for EDH.

What it brings to the table is very powerful; it’s a blocker that has both flying and deathtouch, it draws a card, and it’s very, very easy to abuse. The biggest offenders of abuse with the Strix are Sun Titan and Goblin Welder, both of which create rather disgusting shenanigans involving a ton of card draw and an impossible rattlesnake setup. At the same time, is that sort of effect worth $9? Probably not.

#7 – Lim-Dul’s Vault

While it may not be the most fun card to play with or against, nobody can deny that Lim-Dul’s Vault is immensely powerful. It favors the lucky, and for the right price, can get you to the card you need no matter how deep into the vault you have to go. It’s practically a tutor, but it’s subtle and time-consuming in doing so. In addition, it beats many top-of-library tutors by rearranging your top 5, so much like Brainstorm, rewards well-placed shuffles to reap the rewards of the spoils of this vault.

#6 – Mind Grind

Undeniably a lategame powerhouse, Mind Grind is both a game-ender, a virtual mulligan early, and an insane mill spell. There’s a bit of a bitterness when you size it up alongside Mind Funeral, but honestly, it’s easy to get over when you realize you’re milling out all of your opponents. It’s supremely powerful lategame, and punishes the player who ramps themselves stupid incredibly hard.

Another merit Mind Grind has is how powerful it is alongside Cabal Coffers and Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, which goes without saying–the two lands go hand in hand with giant bombs and X spells–but if you’re looking for a good blue X spell to cast in this color combination, Mind Grind is definitely up there as one of the most powerful.

#5 – Evil Twin

I just talked about Evil Twin not even a month ago, so I’ll keep it brief; Evil Twin is fantastic against Clone mirrors, compliments disgustingly powerful creatures in the combination of colors such as Sepulchral Primordial, Grave Titan and Consecrated Sphinx extremely well, and plays well with both blink effects and bounce effects.

#4 – Memory Plunder

First of all, Memory Plunder is a beautiful card to look at – the orange in the art complimented with the black and blue border are just a gorgeous sight. A foil, I’d imagine, would be absolutely stunning.

Second of all, despite its simplicity, Memory Plunder is absurdly powerful. If you’ve ever cast Diluvian Primordial, Chancellor of the Spires or resolved a Wrexial, the Risen Deep trigger, you know what I’m talking about. There are certain strategies that lend themselves to only a few key powerful spells, and then there are decks that frontload a bunch of value spells. Whether it’s spot removal, a sweeper, or Bribery/Tooth and Nail, there are a wealth of incredible potential targets for this. Add to that the fact that it lets you cast their sorcery at instant speed is just absurd. It’s a trick few players will see coming and can completely destroy unsuspecting opponents.

#3 – Consuming Aberration

Arguably one of the best Lhurgoyf variants of the format, Consuming Aberration is just an insane win condition for a number of reasons. Firstly, it doesn’t restrict its check with card types; it’s just massive when your opponent has a fat yard. Secondly, that yard gets fatter when you cast any spell, and that spell doesn’t have to resolve for you to resolve the Aberration’s trigger.

Granted, there are ways to make this card even more insane than it already is (stacking your deck full of draw spells or just having Cabal Coffers with Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth is good enough), but on its own, it can single-handedly carry you to victory.

#2 – Notion Thief

Arguably a pet card of mine, I’ve spoken many times about how much of a fan of Notion Thief I am. Maybe it’s the fact that the CG Realm’s metagame used to have every pod dropping a turn 3 Rhystic Study without fail. Maybe it’s the fact that it exploits what I believe is the format’s strongest creature in Consecrated Sphinx. Maybe it’s the fact that I just really like to draw cards, especially when I can draw opponents’ cards for them.

Notion Thief has a wide range of applications, from stealing Sphinx’s Revelations like he was meant to, to 1-upping Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur, to playing hilariously well with cards such as Font of Mythos or Nekusar, the Mindrazer. Overall, the raw power Notion Thief brings to the table earns it the silver medal; but despite my bias towards the card, it doesn’t hold a candle to the winner.

#1 – Havengul Lich

GET IT BECAUSE THE LICH’S ART CONTAINS CANDLES HAHAHA I’M SO FUNNY

Jokes aside, Havengul Lich isn’t even a real card. It usurps another one of the format’s most powerful cards–Sheoldred, Whispering One–by not giving your opponents a round to deal with the card, instead instantly bringing back whatever it is in your graveyard you want back. Mind you, gaining its activated abilities isn’t the most relevant ability, but it has its merits in some cases. (I guess Arcanis, the Omnipotent plays well alongside it)

The fact that you can get more than one creature a turn is also pretty busted, letting you take advantage of setting up your mana engine of Cabal Coffers and Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth. It lends itself to all of the other creatures on this list, letting you setup Consuming Aberration extremely well, also. Overall, it’s an insanely powerful creature if you’ve got the right deck to support it, and it’s my pick for the top Dimir card of the format.

So those were my picks for the non-legends, and while Dimir has a wealth of powerful generals at its disposal, I feel the three I’ve selected are without a doubt the most innocuous and strategic of the bunch.

#3 – Sygg, River Cutthroat

Sygg is a political powerhouse in EDH. Like his politically-inclined cousins Edric, Spymaster of Trest and Gahiji, Honored One, there are a lot of benefits you reap for your opponents’ suffering. Mind you, the incentive to throw aggro your way is without a doubt a thing, but irregardless, the power of Sygg is impossible to ignore. 3 damage is extremely easy to make happen, especially if you tailor the deck to make it so your opponent will naturally lose the life.

Even without strict enabling, drawing a card each turn because your opponents are killing each other is an effect that is undeniably powerful, especially given the fact that Sygg himself only costs 2 mana. 1 power is a fair tradeoff, especially given the fact that he has 3 toughness, which is a good spot to be in in a format where Sword of Fire and Ice runs rampant.

#2 – Lazav, Dimir Mastermind

Like Azorius before it, Dimir’s representative of the Hexproof Five plays second fiddle to a more powerful general. In spite of it all, Lazav has a number of interesting options at his disposal. When I was playing Lazav, it was at a time where winning through Laboratory Maniac was the name of the game, and I built the deck specifically to one-up those decks. Having your general be able to Clone their Maniac and retain hexproof was pretty insane.

Regardless, despite being an interesting Voltron general and having decent value at the helm of a mill deck, Lazav is in a very awkward spot. Being color-intensive limits how you can build a manabase around him, and having hexproof along with a Clone effect that encourages milling in a format that frowns on that strategy all in all makes Lazav an oddball. Regardless, at the end of the day, he is still one of the Hexproof Five, and loading him up with tutors, Swords and Auras makes him a strong general just because of that, not to mention his ability to become anything that dies or is milled. Play with Sword of Body and Mind for great success!

#1 – Oona, Queen of the Fae

I don’t think it comes as a surprise to anyone that Oona is the most powerful Dimir legend. She’s equal parts reputable and intimidating, and is easily enabled through the color combination’s wealth of tutors, removal and discard. Drawing a bunch of cards and casting Damnation into Myojin of Night’s Reach is a common gateway to a Pili-Pala/Grand Architect combo, but the more competitive Oona lists can work with Dark Ritual/Ad Nauseam combos, supported by things like Ponder, Preordain and Brainstorm.

Even just as a value creature or at the helm of a Faerie tribal list, Oona should be reviled if only because she exiles your library, which in general is a very unfun thing to play against. Trust me when I say this – if you sit down at a table with me and you’re playing Oona, don’t be surprised when I kill you dead. I don’t trust certain generals, and Oona is definitely one of the worst of the bunch.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

And there you have it, my picks for the most powerful Dimir cards! I hope you guys are enjoying my input on the color combinations so far – I’ve already come up with all of the lists, though ordering them hasn’t quite happened yet. I’m curious as to what you guys think are powerful multicolor cards you’d like to see in future segments of this list, or perhaps cards I’ve overlooked in the Dimir color combination. Please comment if you have any feedback; I’d love to hear what you have to say on the matter.

Next week, I’ll either settle on a Let’s Build segment, or I’ll move onto Rakdos. Until then!
~L

Check out my previous articles here:

Adapting to EDH Metagames:
Part 1 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1177
Part 2 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1252
Part 3 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1317
Part 4 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1370
Part 5 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1454

Building on a Budget:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1522

Choose Your Champion:
Part 1 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1594
Part 2 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1868
Part 3 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2539

Dragon’s Maze Prerelease Weekend:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1810

Guidance:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2548

Hits & Misses of:
Dragon’s Maze -http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1870
Innistrad - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2586

M14 –  http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2295
Theros - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2508

Legen-Wait for It-Dary:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2264

Let’s Build:
Part 1 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1606
Part 2 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1595
Part 3 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2214
Part 4 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2278
Part 5 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2303
Part 6 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2310
Part 7 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2323
Part 8 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2336
Part 9 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2341
Part 10 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2525
Part 11 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2617

Let’s Talk M14:

http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2228

Let’s Talk Theros:
Part 1 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2362
Part 2 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2378

Painting a Target:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2631

Planeswalking and You:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2184 

Resource Management:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2200

Stacking Up Commander 2013:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2561

The Slippery Slope:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2440

The Top Soldiers Of:
Azorius - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2640

Trial & Error:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2089

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