Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Utter End Conundrum

Utter End

Although I love being able to play wraths and get much more card advantage, spot removal is important in commander. It is more often instant speed and allows you to deal with threats once they are attacking you or right before they gain hexproof or indestructible. It lets the treats stay on the board and attack other people until just the right moment (usually after Ruhan has attacked Justin 4 times in a row). My go to spot removal spells are typically STP, Pongify, and Go For The Throat, since I really value making maximum use of my mana and I hate keeping a bunch of mana open and then not using it. However, I am wondering now if it is better to play more flexible answers that allow you to remove many kinds of permanents at one time. Sometimes the most critical permanent you need to remove is not a creature and you might be better off with an utter end, mortify or puetrify instead of the creature only removal, even if they cost a little more. What do you guys think? Is it better to have lower costs or more flexibility? Is this meta-game dependent? How many fireballs do you think I can fit into my mouth at one time?


  1. EDH is slower so I say playing slightly higher costed spot removal is not a bad thing.

    I love flexible removal like Utter End or Putrefy since if your opponent doesn't have a creature but has some other crazy nonland permanent you're covered. I would lean towards choosing a spot removal spell that hits creatures as well as something else though. That way there's almost always a target and its not a dead card. If it doesn't get creatures, its gotta be really flexible in what it does target. I'd much rather have an Utter End than a Go For The Throat late game.

    Also Desert twister is good.

  2. I'd say it's probably more deck dependent than metagame. If your deck is more controlling, I think having versatile answers like Putrefy and Utter End is probably more important. If your deck is aggro and you're going to want to be tapping out on your own turn a lot, more mana efficient answers are better. But like Joey said, when possible, having at least a couple of versatile answers is probably a good idea. My personal preference might be to keep the 1 mana creature only answers as they are just so efficient. But if you're going to spend two mana (go for the throat), you might as well spend three instead and get a Putrefy or Mortify, etc. If you're in the colors for Anguished Unmaking, that's probably a good choice.

    Since I mainly just play with Veronica, I tend to build my decks with that in mind, so my ratio of spot removal to board wipes is probably off for group games.

  3. Yeah, I think I am starting to agree with what both of you said and that I still have this aggro/spike mentality of wanting to play out everything as quick as I can in commander and screw the need to be patient and not overextend. I think I am often drawn to aggro decks in commander for this reason, even if they aren't always a very good way to do well in commander. I like what you said about control versus aggro decks, Justin. It seems like most midrange or synergy decks or even voltron decks where you might not play a lot of removal, it can be important to have flexible removal since you might just be taking out only the most important threats your opponents play.