The Red, White, and Blue: Making Sacrifices pt. 2

Continuing from the last article, Black and Green aren’t the only colors that can turn their creatures, artifacts, enchantments, and lands into additional resources. Sacrificing one thing to achieve another is a fundamental aspect of the game, present in all colors. While Red isn’t much of a stretch when looking for good sacrifice outlets, White and Blue are a challenge, generally being colors that prefer to preserve their permanents. However, strong sacrifice outlets are not absent in White and Blue. So what do they have to offer? What sort of tools can you utilize?

BIG RED:

  • Bloodshot Cyclops

 

Fling is a fantastic card. I’ve always loved its flavor, its artwork, and its function, but unfortunately Fling just doesn’t make the cut in most lists. It’s a single use card, good for some easy damage and potentially game winning if used in the correct situation, but overall, Fling can only get you so far. Bloodshot Cyclops, however, is a different story. Bloodshot Cyclops gives you that repeatable fling effect you’ve been looking for in your mono-red deck. The ability to repeatedly throw your large creatures into your opponents’ faces when they’re no longer of use to you is an awesome way to dish out some serious damage over time. But what’s the best part about him? In tight situations, he can even Fling HIMSELF, avoiding exile and tuck effects or even punishing your opponent for playing that board wipe.

 

  • Greater Gargadon

Everybody likes big creatures. More specifically, everybody likes to cast big creatures early on in the game. It’s always a good feeling to have that 10/10 hit the field on turn five or six. Well, Greater Gargadon is no Progenitus or Emrakul, but he’s still a 9/7 that you technically play for only ONE RED MANA. Sure he doesn’t hit the field immediately, but who cares? Greater Gargadon is a great way to trigger death effects in your deck while slowly working your way to a 9/7 beater in the early game. Greater Gargadon is a great card, more than capable of putting you ahead of your opponents after a board wipe and even giving you an outlet to avoid unwanted exile and tuck effects. He’s a fun “little” creature and worth giving a shot in any red deck.

 

  • Goblin Bombardment

 

There are a few key things people look for when trying to find sacrifice outlets for a deck. Is the effect caused by sacrificing worth it? Is the effect mana intensive? Is the effect repeatable? Goblin Bombardment passes all of the tests. Its initial mana cost is low, and once it sticks, it’s effect is mana-free. By simply sacrificing a creature, preferably tokens or recurrable creatures, you gain the benefit of being able to pick off creatures and even your opponents. As long as you have creatures on board, you have instant speed damage. And while the damage might come one at a time, it adds up fast. Don’t underestimate those goblins. They might be dumb but they’re deadly in numbers.

 

QUITE WHITE:

 

  • Knight-Captain of Eos

Though he’s obviously best in a tribal Soldiers deck, this guy still makes my list. A repeatable fog effect is both strong and frustrating for opponents. When paired with creatures like Darien, King of Kjeldor–a potential general in fact–you can minimize the amount of damage you take in the course of a game. You may take damage once, but Knight-Captain of Eos can make your next few turns damage-free. This gentleman pairs well with a number of cards, including every version of Elspeth, Hero of Bladehold, Benalish Commander, Captain of the Watch, Brimaz, King of Oreskos and many others. Even if you don’t play Soldiers exclusively, many of the best white cards in Commander can provide Knight-Captain with the fuel he needs to keep you in a comfortable little pillow fort. Though, if he makes your list, you may want to include things like Sun Titan, Marshal's Anthem, or Gift of Immortality for reanimation, all of which should fit comfortably in your list.

 

  • Worthy Cause

If cards like Capsize, Reiterate and Sprout Swarm are any indication, cards with Buyback are generally powerful considering the typically slow pace of the Commander format. On an unrelated note, Miren, the Moaning Well is a good card, right? Wait…that’s not unrelated at all. We’re talking about Worthy Cause here! If Miren was an instant, this would be it. Essentially the same activation cost, though you can choose to cast it for one in tight situations to save your skin, Worthy Cause can give you that extra bump you need to jump back into a game you once thought to be lost. Whether or not a deck plays life gaining effects can often be a defining factor when determining their endurance. Being able to raise your life total at instant speed is a big deal, especially with people playing cards like Sorin Markov and Master of Cruelties. If you want that extra little bit of utility, this card is for you. Unassuming at first, but not easily forgotten.

 

  • Martyr's Cause

Similar to Knight-Captain of Eos, mentioned above, Martyr’s Cause is a solid little fog effect. Slightly restricted by the fact that it allows you to prevent only the damage caused by a single creature, it find’s its advantage in the fact that, unlike Knight-Captain, you can sacrifice  any creature. This card allows for a quick way to save your more valuable creatures by sacrificing tokens or creatures who have done their job already, turning unprofitable blocking situations into something a lot more bearable, as well as a quick way to save yourself from those pesky Voltron EDH decks ( Uril, the Miststalker, Rafiq of the Many, Khemba, Kha Reagent, etc.) that attempt to win with a single creature.

 

STONE COLD BLUES:

 

  • Barrin, Master Wizard

Barrin’s title fits him very well, in my opinion, as this card, when used correctly, is amazing. Blue is a color known for its ability to control the game, the ability to sculpt a game in it’s favor through the use of counter magic, bounce effects, and gaining control of it’s opponent’s spells and permanents. Barrin, Master Wizard, fit’s blue’s description perfectly. When paired with Control Magic Barrin excels, actively sacrificing his opponents’ permanents to force others back to their hands. Because who needs to sacrifice their own permanents when they can sacrifice someone else’s permanents? An efficient sacrifice outlet for control decks looking for an extra kick.

 

  • Stitcher's Apprentice

Stitcher’s Apprentice, this guy isn’t all that fantastic, honestly, but I felt obligated to give at least two entries to each of the colors. However, this is not to say that Stitcher’s Apprentice is without his uses. His ability reads that you make the token first and then you sacrifice a creature, allowing you to create and sacrifice the same creature. This may seem pointless at first, but when paired with cards like Grave Pact or other death effects, this guy can be an unexpected little badass. Not the best card in the world, but he’s a fun little common that no one will expect.

 

In my next article, I’ll be discussing some of the best colorless sacrifice outlets (hint: a number of them have the word “Altar” in their name), a handful of multicolored outlets, as well as listing some of the Commanders you may want to play if you decide to build a sacrifice-centered deck. As always, thank you for reading. Leave a comment below and feel free to share this article with your friends.

 


Evan Erickson

Author: Evan Erickson

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