Last updated on January 25, 2023

Angrath's Rampage - Illustration by Victor Adame Minguez

Angrath’s Rampage | Illustration by Victor Adame Minguez

The number of creatures that can’t be killed with regular removal in Pauper has recently increased. Players previously only had to worry about Guardian of the Guildpact as a pesky threat.

Now Tolarian Terror has joined the meta, and boggles strategies have risen in popularity. Players have thus turned to unconventional removal spells to eliminate these seemingly unkillable creatures: edicts!

What’s an edict, you may be wondering? How can you take advantage of it? Let this be your official authority on all things edicts!

What Are Edict Effects in MTG?

Wing Shards (Scourge) - Illustration by Daren Bader

Wing Shards (Scourge) | Illustration by Daren Bader

The mechanic’s name is slang that comes from cards with an “edict” on them, which is wording that makes target players sacrifice a permanent. Diabolic Edict, for example, was first printed in 1997’s Tempest.

I’m not looking at effects that are worded as “each player sacrifices” for these rankings because that’s not what the most famous edict effects are known for.

Best White Edict Effects

#7. Abzan Advantage

Abzan Advantage

Believe it or not, white has a few different edict effects. They’re narrowed to specific card types, like Abzan Advantage, which hates enchantments.

The bolster ability is a plus and perfect for aggressive decks against ones that run the likes of Static Net or Oblivion Ring.

#6. Celestial Flare

Celestial Flare

This is the most popular white edict effect. Celestial Flare is somewhat the standard bearer for them.

#5. Blessed Alliance

Blessed Alliance

Blessed Alliance’s versatility is good to have, and it’s one of the many effects that punish aggressive decks. It’s a perfect fit against decks like boggles that run creatures that can’t be targeted.

#4. Dispense Justice

Dispense Justice

Dispense Justice is very similar to Celestial Flare without the double white mana restriction, but it costs one extra to cast. The catch is that you can get two creatures for the price of one if you meet the metalcraft requirements.

#3. Entrapment Maneuver

Entrapment Maneuver

Entrapment Maneuver may look like an overpriced white edict effect. It seems more than an acceptable trade if you get rid of your opponent’s creature and create some of your own, though.

#2. Gideon’s Triumph

Gideon's Triumph

Gideon’s Triumph is like Dispense Justice because you can get rid of two of your opponents’ creatures instead of one. Still, the requirement is that you need to control a Gideon planeswalker.

#1. Wing Shards

Wing Shards

You can pair Wing Shards with cheap instant spells like Brainstorm or Opt to kill multiple of your opponent’s creatures. The value increases even more if your opponents play spells pre-combat.

Best Black Edict Effects

#27. Choice of Damnations

Choice of Damnations

I don’t like Choice of Damnations. Six mana to make your opponent lose one life or sacrifice one permanent seems like a lot.

#26. Exile into Darkness

Exile into Darkness

I kind of like Exile into Darkness in some narrow scenarios, but it’s a bit too mana pricey to see play.

#25. Incriminate

Incriminate

You need two targets, and your opponents get to choose the one that’s less relevant to their game. Incriminate has to be one of the worst edict effects ever printed.

#24. Grave Exchange

Grave Exchange

Grave Exchange is part expensive reanimation spell and part expensive edict effect. It’s probably one you should look to try if your deck can support it.

#23. Foul-Tongue Invocation

Foul-Tongue Invocation

Foul-Tongue Invocation is your average edict effect with the upside that you gain life if you have a dragon.

#22. Gatekeeper of Malakir

Gatekeeper of Malakir

Gatekeeper of Malakir saw a bit of play back in the day when Zendikar was in Standard. Back then some archetypes like vampires were consistently supported.

Outside of that there’s not much to say about this other version of Fleshbag Marauder.

#21. Remorseless Punishment

Remorseless Punishment

I like that your opponent can pick their pain and that it’s repeated with Remorseless Punishment.

#20. Self-Inflicted Wound

Self-Inflicted Wound

Self-Inflicted Wound is a specific hate card for decks that run green or white creatures, like boggles.

#19. Tergrid, God of Fright / Tergrid’s Lantern

The edict effect here is on Tergrid, God of Fright’s backside. It’s a repeatable effect that can be used multiple times in a turn with the right amount of mana.

It’s weird to see god creatures that aren’t indestructible.

#18. Extract the Truth

Extract the Truth

I like versatile cards, and Extract the Truth is a fine choice if you want to stay open on an unknown field.

#17. To the Slaughter

To the Slaughter

Delirium has been one of the best mechanics ever printed since you get discounted effects.

#16. Umbral Juke

Umbral Juke

3-mana edict effects like Umbral Juke that can also be used to create a flying creature at instant speed is something I’d be interested in running in some decks.

#15. Undercity Plague

Undercity Plague

I like Undercity Plague attached to a creature that has hexproof and is unblockable. It’s a bit overpriced and hard to sustain if it’s just a one-time effect.

#14. Vindictive Lich

Vindictive Lich

Vindictive Lich is a creature that lets you choose two other effects on top of the edict when it dies. This is perfect for the multiplayer environment.

#13. Warren Weirding

Warren Weirding

As its name states, Warren Weirding is a weird edict effect because it’s good against most the decks, except those that run goblins. On the other hand you can always run it in your goblin deck and sacrifice one to get another for the price of two mana.

Not the best of interactions, but it’s something that can come up once in a blue moon.

#12. Consuming Vapors

Consuming Vapors

Unlike Choice of Damnations I like Consuming Vapors because you can get rid of two of your opponent’s creatures and get some life back in the process.

#11. Sheoldred, Whispering One

Sheoldred, Whispering One

The first Sheoldred printed is an excellent commander for reanimation shell decks. Sheoldred, Whispering One also punishes your opponents by being an edict enabler with legs.

#10. Curse of the Cabal

Curse of the Cabal

In a nutshell, Curse of the Cabal is Liliana of the Veil‘s ultimate. Ideally you’d cast it for its total price, but I can see scenarios when you suspend it instead.

#9. Custodi Lich

Custodi Lich

Monarch has proven to be a bit too much for some formats like Pauper, and it’s starting to see play in Legacy. Custodi Lich is a fine creature that acts like a one-sided Fleshbag Marauder most of the time.

#8. Dead Drop

Dead Drop

Dead Drop can get rid of two creatures for just one mana in a dedicated deck.

#7. Geth’s Verdict

Geth's Verdict

Geth’s Verdict is one of the best edict effects I’ve seen. Even though it’s minimal, making your opponent lose life is huge in grindy games.

#6. Devour Flesh

Devour Flesh

One thing that you may have noticed is that edict effects are mostly at sorcery speed. Devour Flesh is the exception because it can be cast at instant speed. The only drawback is that your opponent gains life, but you’re probably good unless they sacrifice an Eldrazi.

#5. Liliana of the Veil

Liliana of the Veil

Liliana of the Veil has historically been one of the best planeswalkers. For our purposes it doesn’t pack just one edict effect, but two. Its main ability is a Chainer’s Edict, and its ultimate a Curse of the Cabal.

#4. Diabolic Edict

Diabolic Edict

Diabolic Edict is another example of an edict effect that can be cast at instant speed, but this one has no drawback. It’s hard to pinpoint which one is better between this and Chainer’s Edict.

#3. Chainer’s Edict

Chainer's Edict

Black is well-known for edict effects, and it shows in Chainer’s Edict’s name. The card itself is sorcery-speed removal that’s great against creatures with shroud, hexproof, or ward.

You also get to cast it again for its flashback cost later on.

#2. Sudden Edict

Sudden Edict

Sudden Edict is by far the best instant edict. Your opponents can’t interact with it once it’s on the stack.

#1. Archon of Cruelty

Archon of Cruelty

The number one spot belongs to Archon of Cruelty. It’s taken over Legacy, but it’s also quickly become prominent in Modern.

Best Red Edict Effects

#5. Misguided Rage

Misguided Rage

Misguided Rage is a simple and clean way to get rid of your opponent’s permanents… one by one.

#4. Structural Collapse

Structural Collapse

Six mana to get rid of two permanents is a bad deal if you don’t have control over what’s sacrificed. On the other hand, Structural Collapse‘s life damage is a plus.

#3. Epicenter

Epicenter

Some players don’t like to play against Armageddon effects. Epicenter is a fine choice if you want to play them.

#2. Demanding Dragon

Demanding Dragon

Demanding Dragon requires your opponents to pay the price of a creature unless they want to give up a chunk of their life.

#1. Balor

Balor

Like white, red has some narrow edict effects. In Balor’s case it can get rid of an artifact on a good day.

Best Multicolored Edict Effects

#11. Far // Away

Far // Away

Far // Away can be a bounce or an edict effect depending on your board state.

#10. Twisted Justice

Twisted Justice

I like Twisted Justice more than regular edict effects. You draw cards based on the creature’s power, but six mana is a bit too much.

#9. Dromoka’s Command

Dromoka's Command

Dromoka’s Command is the only card with green on it that has an edict effect attached. It’s surprisingly good against some decks too.

One time I pulled this card’s edict effect to surprise Yuuki Ichikawa in Pioneer when he was running a Jeskai Ascendancy deck.

#8. Consecrate // Consume

Consecrate // Consume

Consecrate // Consume is a bit pricier than Riveteers Charm for its edict effect, but it also has a better upside because you gain life in the process.

#7. Silverquill Command

Silverquill Command

Like other Commands, Silverquill Command has multiple options including is an edict effect.

#6. Lord Xander, the Collector

Lord Xander, the Collector

Lord Xander, the Collector could be played to sacrifice and reanimate multiple times. Its edict effect only triggers when it dies, which is ideal for decks with that theme in mind.

#5. Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker

Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker

Cruel Ultimatum is basically what Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker’s ultimate ability is. Deadly as ever.

#4. Nicol Bolas, the Deceiver

Nicol Bolas, the Deceiver

Eight mana may seem like a lot, but you’ll rarely use Nicol Bolas, the Deceiver edict effect initially.

#3. Riveteers Charm

Riveteers Charm

Riveteers Charm is one of the best Charms ever printed. Its edict effect and the way it’s worded make it one of the best edicts, too.

#2. Hit // Run + Odds // Ends

Three mana is the standard for new edict effects that have an upside attached, and Hit // Run is valuable to deal damage to your opponents. I like both sides of Odds // Ends because it’s strictly a counter against other counterspells or removal when needed.

#1. Angrath’s Rampage

Angrath's Rampage

I like that Angrath’s Rampage has multiple edict effects on one card for only two(!!) mana.

Best Colorless Edict Effect

#1. Rakdos Riteknife

Rakdos Riteknife

Rakdos Riteknife is the only colorless card with an edict effect on it, which makes it #1. As far as how easy it is to pull it off, it’s not.

Best Edict Effect Payoffs

Tergrid, God of Fright

There aren’t many payoffs dedicated to triggering when a player sacrifices a permanent type. Tergrid, God of Fright is the only one that met that requirement to its whole word extent. It’s a base build around if you want a deck full of discard spells and edicts.

Death triggers are the closest that pay off when an opponent sacrifices a creature. It triggers on the creature’s death rather than its controller’s sacrificing action, but it works, right? Deathbringer Thoctar gets bigger whenever a creature dies, and there are other cards like Ob Nixilis, Unshackled and Malakir Cullblade with a similar effect.

Gisa, Glorious Resurrector

You can benefit from making your opponents sacrifice creatures with Gisa, Glorious Resurrector. You’ll get them on your side eventually.

Massacre Wurm

Massacre Wurm has a very powerful ETB and a solid global effect that punishes your opponents when their creatures die.

Wrap Up

Lord Xander, the Collector (Streets of New Capenna) - Illustration by Martina Fackova

Lord Xander, the Collector | Illustration by Martina Fackova

Edict effects aren’t all that impressive on bigger fields. The key to running them is to identify the decks that they’re better suited against. An edict is probably the best answer if you run into a deck whose main condition is an enchantment or a single creature.

On the other hand you can also benefit from running some of the edicts presented if you build your deck around sacrifice effects. Bottom line, it’s all about context.

How do you like to use your edicts? Want to know more about any other particular subset of cards? Let me know in the comments below or over on the Draftsim Twitter.

As always, it’s been a delight researching cards and delivering my findings to you. Take care, and see you next time!

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