You Lika The Juice? EDH Starter Kits, Part 2

Friday, September 3rd – The reception to last week’s allied-colored EDH Starter Kits last week was very positive – so this time, I’m presenting cheap starter kits for enemy-colored generals!

The reception to the allied-colored EDH Starter Kits last week was very positive (at least according to feedback from the forums, email, and Twitter), so I figured I’d go ahead and present five more — this time featuring enemy-colored generals.

Before I get to that though, I wanted to take a moment to welcome Thea Steele and Lauren Lee to the StarCityGames.com family! While Star City has had a few female writers on their site over the years, it has been too few and far between and I think it’s awesome that these two women are on board for weekly columns. Make sure to check them out and see what they’ve got to say.

I also want to address the land mix in my EDH starter kits last week. A lot of people chimed in to say that they felt 35 lands were way too few. My personal experience has been that, between good land fixing, plenty of good early artifact mana, and the generous mulligan rules of EDH (and often someone playing a turn 2 Howling Mine or turn 3 Rites of Flourishing) that 35 lands has generally been workable as a baseline. Obviously, if your mana curve is low, or you have base Green with some Green mana fixing as well, 35 is going to be plenty, and you might even be able to shave a land or two. On the other hand, if you’re playing lots of mana-hungry spells and you’re not playing base Green, you’ll want to increase your land accordingly. I’ve also found it wise to up the land count if you’re playing more than two-color decks to try and avoid color-screw.

My own experiences aside, there was feedback from enough of you regarding this that I’m issuing “errata” for my article last week. Where its printed text said “Add 27 basic lands and that’ll get you to 35 lands…,” it’s now been revised to “Add 30 basic lands and that’ll get you to 38 lands.” I will use the 38 land base for the starter decks below.

Again, I’ll start with some cards that go into any starter kit, just all-around handy EDH cards.

Mana-fixing artifacts: Armillary Sphere, Darksteel Ingot, Fellwar Stone, Journeyer’s Kite, Mind Stone, Dreamstone Hedron, Everflowing Chalice, Pilgrim’s Eye

Utility artifacts: Sun Droplet, Illuminated Folio, Urza’s Blueprints, Whispersilk Cloak, Loxodon Warhammer, Power Matrix, Crystal Ball

Lands: Evolving Wilds, Rupture Spire, Terramorphic Expanse, Unstable Frontier, Dread Statuary, Tectonic Edge

EDH is all about having fun, and you can’t have fun if you can’t play your cards. So you need mana fixing, mana acceleration, and card drawing to keep the gas coming. While there are tons of really good — and relatively expensive — mana fixers out there, you don’t have to break the bank to do it, especially in EDH where the pace is a little more laid back. When you’re just getting started, these cards will be perfectly fine… But as your collection grows, you’ll find that many of these cards will still make the cut. Just because they’re cheap doesn’t mean they aren’t still really good multiplayer cards.

On the utility artifacts — I chose these cards to cover a variety of bases. Crystal Ball is nearly as great as Sensei’s Divining Top for a fraction of the cost, and I’ve got one in every single one of my EDH decks. Sun Droplet is a great deterrent to wave away people who are attacking you with random dorks — and the more opponents you have the better it is. It’s not strictly life gaining, but it helps keep your life totals from plummeting too fast.

Illuminated Folio and Urza’s Blueprints have a relatively hefty initial mana investment, but the activation cost is dirt-cheap which is what you want in your reusable card drawing. Power Matrix and your equipment can help your creatures power up to fight even the biggest, baddest rares and mythics your opponents might be fielding.

Now let’s give some enemy two-color packages to round out the kits — which, together with the universal package, shouldn’t run you more than $25 or so. Two colors gives you a nice broad swath of cards to work with without straining your mana base too much, though it’s not quite as cheap and easy to fix enemy color mana.

BLACK/WHITE PACKAGE (22 cards, roughly $14)
Black and White offers up a whole host of useful EDH cards, and there are also a ton of potent gold or hybrid cards to draw upon from Guildpact and Shadowmoor.

General: Teysa, Orzhov Scion
Selenia is probably a better offensive Orzhov general, but she’s a little bit pricey. Besides, Teysa just offers up more removal and fun tricks, especially if you really want to go nuts with token creatures.

Captain of the Watch, Fallen Angel, Ghost Council of Orzhova, Knight-Captain of Eos, Necrotic Sliver, Phyrexian Plaguelord, Stonecloaker, Twilight Drover, World Queller

Teysa likes tokens, so we pick some creatures to help her out. Ghost Council and Plaguelord also love tokens, but for different reasons. The Sliver, Stonecloaker and World Queller round out a nice utility package.

Other spells:
Coldsteel Heart, Faith’s Fetters, Kirtar’s Wrath, Oblivion Ring, Orzhov Signet, Promise of Power, Return to Dust, Storm Herd, Syphon Mind, Unmake

Kirtar’s Wrath is not only just a cheap Wrath of God effect… but with threshold, you even get Teysa synergy! Most of these cards are solid utility spells, but check out Storm Herd and think about the Teysa shenanigans there.

I’ll also mention Darkest Hour, a card that is eminently affordable. Combined with Teysa, it means all your creatures will be turned into 1/1 Black flying Spirits when they die, and then those 1/1 Black flying Spirits will replace themselves when they die, basically giving you unlimited sacrificial fodder for, say, Phyrexian Plaguelord.

Unfortunately, Darkest Hour also turns off Teysa’s activated ability — an ability I find pretty useful so I’m not including it in the “basic” package here.

Lands: Orzhov Basilica, Tainted Field
Add 30 basic lands and that’ll get you to 38 lands, and then all you’ll only need are 27 more cards to round out your 100 card token-mania deck.

BLACK/GREEN PACKAGE (27 cards, roughly $13)
This is by far my favorite color combination of all time for both casual and competitive play, due to all the cool synergies between the creature color and the color that brings creatures back from the dead.

General: Vhati il-Dal
Vhati doesn’t get enough love, so he’s my budget general of choice for this color combination. This unassuming Hill Giant can either be a pseudo-Maze of Ith, or a potent killing machine with the right support. Don’t forget that Scars of Mirrodin’s new mechanic Infect deals with -1/-1 counters… Which will likely offer some lots of good stuff when Vhati decks start reducing toughnesses!

Acidic Slime, Corrosive Mentor; Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief; Grim Poppet, Juvenile Gloomwidow, Midnight Banshee, Pestilence Demon, Rendclaw Trow, Shambling Swarm, Silklash Spider

Vhati’s toughness-reducing ability means that the Wither ability is at a premium, so I’ve picked plenty of good ones here. I’ve also picked a couple other creatures that can easily deliver death-blows to creatures with just one toughness.

Other spells:
Blight Sickle, Caltrops, Coldsteel Heart, Darkblast, Desert Twister, Golgari Signet, Incremental Blight, Night of Souls’ Betrayal, Pestilence, Puppet Strings, Sudden Spoiling, Thornbite Staff, Thousand-Year Elixir, Viridian Longbow

Tons and tons of toys for Vhati here! How do you like Caltrops, which does a pretty nice job of scaring away any attackers your opponent may value too highly?

Golgari Rot Farm, Tainted Wood

Vhati bears a strong resemblance to the Skeleton Ship starter kit I presented last week — and like that deck, this one would love the inexplicably expensive Necroskitter if you can trade for one.

Add 30 basic lands and that’ll get you to 38 lands, and then all you’ll only need are 22 more cards to round out your 100 card power/toughness-sapping deck.

GREEN/BLUE PACKAGE (30 cards, roughly $14)
This color combination offers quite a potent mix of strong Green utility and Blue’s back-breaking spells.

General: Experiment Kraj
If you’re just starting out, I’d steer clear Momir Vig, since he’s quite a potent general and tend to set off warning bells for experienced EDH players. Experiment Kraj is actually much more fun to build around, does wacky stuff that other players will likely get a kick out of, and is actually quite powerful once you get going.

Anthroplasm, Draining Whelk, Fertilid, Forgotten Ancient, Gilder Bairn, Horseshoe Crab, Indrik Stomphowler, Jodah’s Avenger, Krosan Restorer, Krosan Tusker, Leech Bonder, Novijen Sages, Sage of Fables, Sakura-Tribe Elder, Sphinx of Magosi, Spike Feeder, Spike Tiller, Sporeback Troll, Strength of the Tajuru, Triskelion, Yavimaya Elder

The name of the game is +1/+1 counters for Kraj, and there are a ton of creatures that support that plan. There’s an infinite mana combo in here: Horseshoe Crab and Krosan Restorer, each with a +1/+1 counter grafted on, and Threshold achieved. This lets Kraj tap to untap two lands, and if one of them provides blue mana, you can tap them to untap Kraj with the blue mana and do it again. Most players will see this combo coming a mile away, but it doesn’t hurt to give it a try.

Other spells:
Cauldron of Souls, Clockspinning, Dragon Blood, Simic Signet, Thousand-Year Elixir

More support for Kraj — and since you’re tossing +1/+1 counters, you should definitely play Cauldron of Souls to make your team nigh-immortal… and maybe save a few key creatures your opponents control too…

Llanowar Reborn, Bant Panorama, Simic Growth Chamber

Add 29 basic lands and that’ll get you to 38 lands, and then all you’ll only need are 20 more cards to round out your 100 card +1/+1 counter deck.

BLUE/RED PACKAGE (25 cards, roughly $13)
I rarely play this color combination because it lends itself more towards spells than creatures, but there is still plenty of fun EDH cards to be had.

General: Tibor and Lumia
I used Tibor and Lumia for my general when I built a “Copy everything” EDH deck a while back. It is a much less threatening general than your other options—Jhoira or Niv-Mizzet—but Tibor and Lumia can also be surprisingly handy.

Crackleburr, Djinn Illuminatus, Goblin Flectomancer, Izzet Chronarch, Mindwrack Liege, Mulldrifter, Nucklavee

For this deck, I’m pretty much just playing a bunch of Red and Blue “good stuff” creatures and spells designed to have fun and do tricky things.

Other spells:
Acquire, Cerebral Vortex, Coldsteel Heart, Commandeer, Compulsive Research, Double Negative, Gather Specimens, Heat Shimmer, Izzet Signet, Oona’s Grace, Smash to Smithereens, Swerve, Take Possession, Wild Ricochet, Word of Seizing

Lots and lots of tricky fun stuff. Gather Specimens is a card I keep forgetting to put into my decks… And then someone generates a ton of creature tokens while I’m playing blue, and I slap my forehead. If people are doing the same at your table—or doing Living Death/Patriarch’s Bidding shenanigans—make sure to give them an ugly surprise!

Izzet Boilerworks, Grixis Panorama

Add 30 basic lands and that’ll get you to 38 lands, and then all you’ll only need are 22 more cards to round out your 100 card token-mania deck.

RED/WHITE PACKAGE (24 cards, roughly $14)
This color combination offers a ton of awesome White EDH cards with the fun side of Red, with a dash of good Red/White creatures.

General: Razia, Boros Archangel
The go-to general for this color combination tends to be Brion Stoutarm, but I think Razia needs some attention too. Sure, her 3 toughness is pretty tiny, but she hits hard and she hits hard right away. This will be a Red/White “good stuff” kit.

Abu Ja’far, Angel of Salvation, Archon of Justice, Devout Witness, Duergar Hedge-mage, Firemane Angel, Guardian Seraph, Knight-Captain of Eos, Mageta the Lion, Stonecloaker

Lots of good utility creatures here, and why not add a couple of good Angels to keep Razia company in the sky?

Other spells:
Boros Signet, Coldsteel Heart, Faith’s Fetters, Kirtar’s Wrath, Oblivion Ring, Orim’s Thunder, Reiterate, Sunforger, Wild Ricochet, Word of Seizing

Good stuff, fun stuff… and spice! Sunforger has the ability to do some real spicy things in addition to just being a potent power-booster, just make sure you round out your deck with plenty of useful target spells that cost four or less.

Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion; Boros Garrison, Naya Panorama

Add 29 basic lands and that’ll get you to 38 lands, and then all you’ll only need are 26 more cards to round out your 100 card +1/+1 counter deck.

Hope you enjoyed the ten two-color EDH starter kits and that some of you found them useful. For copy/paste ease, I’ll include each full package below as a list.

Take care,
starcitygeezer AT gmail DOT com
Make sure to friend/follow me at:

New to EDH?  Be sure to check out my EDH Primer, part 1, part 2, and part 3.

My current EDH decks:
Bone-Gnawer (RATS!)
Phelddagrif (carrots and sticks)
Tsabo Tavoc (Red and Black nastiness)
Reki, the History of Kamigawa (more legends than you can shake a stick at)
Korlash, Heir to Blackblade (brain-eating zombies, Commander)

Armillary Sphere
Darksteel Ingot
Fellwar Stone
Journeyer’s Kite
Mind Stone
Dreamstone Hedron
Everflowing Chalice
Pilgrim’s Eye
Sun Droplet
Illuminated Folio
Urza’s Blueprints
Whispersilk Cloak
Loxodon Warhammer
Power Matrix
Crystal Ball
Evolving Wilds
Rupture Spire
Terramorphic Expanse
Unstable Frontier
Dread Statuary
Tectonic Edge

Teysa, Orzhov Scion
Captain of the Watch
Fallen Angel
Ghost Council of Orzhova
Knight-Captain of Eos
Necrotic Sliver
Phyrexian Plaguelord
Twilight Drover
World Queller
Coldsteel Heart
Faith’s Fetters
Kirtar’s Wrath
Oblivion Ring
Orzhov Signet
Promise of Power
Return to Dust
Storm Herd
Syphon Mind
Orzhov Basilica
Tainted Field

Vhati il-Dal
Acidic Slime
Corrosive Mentor
Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief
Grim Poppet
Juvenile Gloomwidow
Midnight Banshee
Pestilence Demon
Rendclaw Trow
Shambling Swarm
Silklash Spider
Blight Sickle
Coldsteel Heart
Desert Twister
Golgari Signet
Incremental Blight
Night of Souls’ Betrayal
Puppet Strings
Sudden Spoiling
Thornbite Staff
Thousand-Year Elixir
Viridian Longbow
Golgari Rot Farm
Tainted Wood

Experiment Kraj
Draining Whelk
Forgotten Ancient
Gilder Bairn
Horseshoe Crab
Indrik Stomphowler
Jodah’s Avenger
Krosan Restorer
Krosan Tusker
Leech Bonder
Novijen Sages
Sage of Fables
Sakura-Tribe Elder
Sphinx of Magosi
Spike Feeder
Spike Tiller
Sporeback Troll
Strength of the Tajuru
Yavimaya Elder
Cauldron of Souls
Dragon Blood
Simic Signet
Thousand-Year Elixir
Llanowar Reborn
Bant Panorama
Simic Growth Chamber

Tibor and Lumia
Djinn Illuminatus
Goblin Flectomancer
Izzet Chronarch
Mindwrack Liege
Cerebral Vortex
Coldsteel Heart
Compulsive Research
Double Negative
Gather Specimens
Heat Shimmer
Izzet Signet
Oona’s Grace
Smash to Smithereens
Take Possession
Wild Ricochet
Word of Seizing
Izzet Boilerworks
Grixis Panorama

Razia, Boros Archangel
Abu Ja’far
Angel of Salvation
Archon of Justice
Devout Witness
Duergar Hedge-mage
Firemane Angel
Guardian Seraph
Knight-Captain of Eos
Mageta the Lion
Boros Signet
Coldsteel Heart
Faith’s Fetters
Kirtar’s Wrath
Oblivion Ring
Orim’s Thunder
Wild Ricochet
Word of Seizing
Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion
Boros Garrison
Naya Panorama