Wizards’ Zendikar preview article gives props to EDH

On the mothership, in his zendikar sneak preview article today, Kelly Digges reveals a new mythic rare legendary octopus creature called Lorthos, the Tidemaker.  Behold:

Before I even see the casting cost or textbox or typline or anything, the name of this guy makes me wonder whether the psychographic profile / player type “Vorthos” is the intended audience for this card, simply because the names are a single consonant apart.  This suspicion is bolstered in my mind by the fact that Digges then goes on to post an EDH deck as his example deck.  At first glance, EDH as a format does seem to me to be vorthos-esque, though perhaps this is a contentious claim?

This constitutes some major props for the format which seldom sees the light of main-page articles, much less the headliner.  Aside from this piss poor deck, searching EDH and/or “Elder Dragon Highlander” doesn’t turn up many recent results outside of the forums.

At any rate, what good is this creature?  Is he worth consideration as an EDH general?

Well, Vorthos comes to mind immediately as I glance at the 8cc and type line.  Octopus?  Really?  Have there been any other octopi in Magic, I wonder?  Just Giant Octopus, it turns out.  He’s also a non-evasive 8/8, which makes spike throw up in his mouth a little.  Okay, so let’s see if this ability can save him…

When he attacks you can pay 8 (!!!)… if you do, you tap eight permanents.  They essentially “sleep” for a turn. Again, this is all vorthos-central.  It’s crazy eights!  It’s Octo-card!  Eight cc, eight power, eight toughness, eight mana to activate, eight permanents get tapped.

So this lazy octopus requires a mana input for each tentacle it uses, and won’t budge any of them unless you jolt each and every one… it’s all or nothing.  Then he tentacle-slaps eight permanents?  Weak sauce.

By the time you cast this guy in EDH, you’re going to be in big trouble, and the payoff seems like a far cry from “I win.”  It seems to me that Digges deck would instantly become better, for example, if he ditched the octopus and went with kira great glass spinner, teferi mage of zhalfir, or arcanis the omnipotent as general, all of which are in his deck.

However, in the spirit of Vorthos, I think we can all agree that he does indeed have a certain flavor appeal.  He’s very similar to darksteel colossus in his whole numerological repetitiveness, with darksteel using 11 rather than 8.  This was the impetus for my very first joke magic card, btw:


Anyway, I’m glad to see wizards supporting EDH, as well as Vorthoses everywhere.  I wonder, though, how the EDH community takes the tacit association of their format with this particular player type.  I know about 15 EDH players, and of them all, there’s only one or two who come close to being a Vorthos.  Most are actually spikes who play EDH in their “down time.”  Holler in the comments section if you have an opinion about this crazy eights guy or the edh / vorthos connection.

3 thoughts on “Wizards’ Zendikar preview article gives props to EDH”

  1. As a Timmy/Spike, I can say that I truly like the fact that WotC actually tries to reach out to the vorthos, and that I still appreciate the concept of Lorthos. However, I think that EDH is much more a Johnny/Timmy format than a vorthos one, but that’s just my 2 cents.

  2. I dig, Zak. The (main) reason I think EDH = Vorthos is that one of the defining characteristics of Vorthos was (paraphrased) “Vorthos is the guy who never plays more than one copy of a legend in a deck ‘because it wouldn’t be right’”… this seems very EDH-like, no? EDH has some kind of flavor element… you’ve got a General… it’s not just “winning in a cool way” or “expressing yourself with your deck / card choices” the way timmy / johnny like things… Or?

  3. That’s true, and the whole format does have it’s origins in flavour. However, I think that EDH (like most formats) can be interpreted and played differently by different types of people. For myself, I see the singleton and general rules as great ways to foster creativity when deckbuilding, and the format as one of the most fun ways to play Magic. However it is great to know that such a popular format was created with flavour in mind.

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