Last updated on September 22, 2023
Mishra's Bauble | Illustration by Chippy
When you sit down for a game of Commander, do you like to durdle? Do you want to always be able to take actions, and a bunch of them at that?
Then eggs are for you, as are eggs decks. They may have storied histories across 60-card formats, but eggs and their decks aren’t common or well respected in EDH. You can get that hipster vibe from playing Stronghold cards and stuff.
You’re either hooked or repelled by that, right?
Even if a full breakfast of an eggs deck isn’t for you, the printing of Skullbombs might have piqued your interest in cantrippy artifacts as utility pieces. At the very least this look into the best “eggs” in MTG might be just what you need to get your durdle on, in big or small ways.
Origin Spellbomb | Illustration by Franz Vohwinkel
“Eggs” are cheap artifacts that you can sacrifice to draw a card. It’s named after the Odyssey cycle of eggs, artifacts like this with the name “egg” like Darkwater Egg. This “egg” moniker became standard in the MTG community after a successful eggs deck was built with those Odyssey cards and versions of that strategy kept popping up over the next set of years. Stanisalv Cifka’s version even won a Pro Tour.
It’s confusing because there are cards that have “egg” in their name but aren’t considered this kind of egg, like Chimeric Egg, and the same is true for cards with the “egg” creature type, like Smoldering Egg. Many of both of those types of cards use a more narratively clear idea of how an egg works. It hatches a creature, like with the classic card Rukh Egg. Plus, there are lots of cards we consider eggs which you’d have no context for calling an egg without knowledge of this deckbuilding tradition, including Wizard's Rockets from Lord of the Rings.
Let’s crack into a ranking of 36 eggs in MTG. There are actually 47, but I’ve collapsed some of those entries. You’ll see why in a sec.
White gives a decent spread of the eggs updated for the original Mirrodin block, the implements from Kaladesh block and the newer Skullbombs from Phyrexia: All Will Be One. None are super great, but eggs in Commander requires attention to color. Given the needs of affinity commanders like Urza, Chief Artificer, perhaps these can find an unexpected home?
Never really played in competitive eggs decks, Origin Spellbomb costs two mana to sac for a card and a token is just too much.
Sunbeam Spellbomb gives you five life or a card. Rookie numbers.
Not a rookie anymore, but mos def a little weak. Basilica Skullbomb was almost playable in Limited. Almost.
Life plus a card for one mana is a fine enough trade for Implement of Improvement, which improves on the white spellbombs that preceded it.
Blue is arguably the most consistently useful color for eggs in EDH.
Flight Spellbomb is the basic rate. Fine.
Into the Roil at sorcery speed, with a basic egg crack for one card option as well as being an artifact object? I don’t see why Surgical Spellbomb isn’t in more EDH decks. Awesome to copy with Mishra, Eminent One in certain matchups.
A walking egg! Combat Courier is sneaky awesome. Would you pay one more for a 1/1 egg that you can unearth for the tradeoff of cracking it costs two? Of course you would!
The scry 2 ETB on Witching Well is gas, given how much topdeck manipulation an eggs build likes. Cracking this egg is more expensive, but it gives better value.
One good one! Check it out.
A discard option on a basic egg was never great for Necrogen Spellbomb, and that’s even less good in Commander.
Eating a graveyard was a decent option on Nihil Spellbomb back in the day, but that’s absolutely premium in EDH.
These have not aged well, but one was the key card in the archetype back in the day!
There’s just not enough oil counter synergies for Furnace Skullbomb to matter.
There have been times when Panic Spellbomb was in my Shu Yun, the Silent Tempest Voltron Commander deck. Not anymore, but prowess + artifacts looks more and more viable in a world of Narset, Enlightened Exile.
Pyrite Spellbomb was the wincon for the Cifka version of eggs, comboing off with mana enablers, Second Sunrise, and Conjurer's Bauble to cast it forever. It’s still valuable for its utility in artifacts matter EDH decks.
You’d expect the green ones to be the worst. You’d be right.
Not relevant or efficient. No to Lifespark Spellbomb.
I’m not sure the inefficient ramp plus inefficient egg combo on Horizon Spellbomb works out.
I’m not sure the inefficient combat trick plus inefficient egg combo on Maze Skullbomb works out.
Sorcery speed for a basic egg crack plus a counter. Implement of Ferocity is kinda meh.
These are all the OG eggs from Odyssey. Have they still got it?
Sorta. Unless you’re doing a full eggs buildaround, these don’t really work. Back in the day, Alan Comer’s Odyssey block deck used four of each with Moment's Peace to stay alive while spewing squirrels with Nantuko Shrine. It was a bit durdly even then. In Commander, the filtering might be helpful for some kind of 5-color egg build? I can’t really compare these except for the colors of your Commander.
There are a few EDH staples in here.
Silent Gravestone is graveyard hate the hard way. Effective in a pinch, but ouch.
A riff on the OG eggs. I can’t see Terrarion outside of Draft.
The constant tick of lifegain is just what those decks want, so the three mana to crack Fountain of Renewal is fine.
A good egg for targeting graveyards. But Lantern of the Lost exiles itself, which makes it lesser than some of the cards to come.
The constant drip of tap to ruin a reanimator deck’s life at instant speed is super mean, but that’s why we love Scrabbling Claws. It’s hard to motivate myself to ever sac it.
Arguably the best egg. Chromatic Sphere is flexible and fits where you want it while fixing your mana. No notes.
Okay, one note. Chromatic Star is strictly better because it draws a card when someone else kills it, not just with a sac.
Being able to put Second Sunrise back into an otherwise empty deck is what made the old eggs decks work, and you gotta have Conjurer's Bauble for that. Outside of such combos, this is still a reasonable egg.
Arcum's Astrolabe is not quite a “real” egg, but it’s banned in multiple formats for the easy multicolor fixing. Of course good in EDH snow decks.
Not totally an egg, but Ichor Wellspring gets it done. Like a yolk without a shell?
What we’re talking about here are the pieces that made the classic eggs decks work as well as the pieces you need to build an eggs deck in Commander today.
Eggs decks from 10 years ago that rocked their meta tended to supplement the eggy cantrip rocks with additional card draw and card filtering to get to the pieces they needed faster. Do we need that today? Likely, as there just aren’t enough eggs to make it all work smoothly. Tutors like Reshape and card draw matter, as do some bits of interaction, especially removal and counterspells.
The classic eggs decks added cheap mana rocks into their combos, which were built on recurring cheap or free artifacts from the graveyard. That got your eggs back in the basket, but along the way these cards powered the combo with at times infinite mana to toss into keeping the combo going and eventually a wincon. The classics here are:
You need to start looping things back from the graveyard, and here are some of the classics that still work:
- Brilliant Restoration
- Second Sunrise
- Myr Retriever
- Scrap Trawler
- Nantuko Shrine
- Second Sunrise
- Faith's Reward
- Open the Vaults
- Noxious Revival
- Roar of Reclamation
- Emry, Lurker in the Loch
Classic wincons like Nantuko Shrine or Krark-Clan Ironworks might still work, but you can add your levels of grit to these decks depending on how you see this up the chain of power level. If you get a combo rolling, you get infinite cast triggers and infinite mana while potentially blowing through your deck. Take your pick of Aetherflux Reservoir builds, various kinds of Fireball or even Thassa's Oracle for your finishing touches. And you can always go with Reckless Fireweaver types of cards.
Academy Ruins | Illustration by Zoltan Boros & Gabor Szikszai
Emry, Lurker in the Loch
Disciple of the Vault
Hanna, Ship's Navigator
Jan Jansen, Chaos Crafter
Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain
Losheel, Clockwork Scholar
Osgir, the Reconstructor
Sai, Master Thopterist
Urza, Lord High Artificer
Tameshi, Reality Architect
Helm of Awakening
Relic of Progenitus
Sea of Clouds
Spire of Industry
The Mycosynth Gardens
Vault of Champions
In case you really want to give it a go, here’s a sample deck you can explore commanded by Breya, Etherium Shaper. It has a variety of wincons, but it isn’t easy to play and isn’t really super high powered. I’ve left off cards that would work great in the deck but are really expensive like Lion's Eye Diamond, although there are fetch lands in here.
It’s difficult to manage the balance of creatures to eggs, so consider this list a first draft. Or food for thought with a sample of different structures of wincons. You could go all in on the Aetherflux Reservoir stuff or the Disciple of the Vault stuff if you want to develop the list further.
There’s also very little interaction in the deck. I’m not suggesting that is the correct build, but this shows off the best eggs and supporting cast. As you focus the deck, swapping out maybe ten things for interaction of your choice would be a good thing.
Nihil Spellbomb | Ilustration by Franz Vohwinkel
I love eggs and eggs decks. I love the idea of turning something that seems so silly and innocent into a winning deck. But I also think, in a world of artifact heavy EDH decks, that a lot more of these cards should see utility play in the format.
How about you? A favorite egg left out of the deck? Let me know in the comments below, or over in the Draftsim Discord.
That was over, easy!
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