Hello and welcome back to the Single Card Discussion series! After my pieces on The Dark’s Ashes to Ashes and Theros’s Bow of Nylea, it’s time to take a look at yet another multiplayer gem that I feel has been sadly overlooked.
Today’s card is one that I’ve thought was highly useful since it was first spoiled, and though it does see some play, I’m shocked that more players don’t play in EDH. Today’s card is the Commander 2017 Equipment card, Bloodforged Battle-Axe!
Let’s take a deeper look at this strange but cool Equipment!
Thus far in my Single Card series, I’ve looked at some great multiplayer gems.
• I started the series with Utter End, my favorite spot removal spell from Khans, here.
• I looked at a red card, Outpost Siege, my overall favorite card from Fate Reforged, here.
• Another red card, Greater Gargadon, a fantastic sacrifice outlet, here.
• I looked at the first monowhite card, the tricksy Seht’s Tiger here.
• The first blue card of the series, Gilded Drake, a potent thievery effect, here.
• I went over white control card World Queller and how to use its powerful effect here.
• I looked at the once-restricted blue recursion card Recall, the only blue card that can recur dead planeswalkers (plus any other type of card), here.
• I went over the first black card of this series, Commander 2014’s Flesh Carver, an excellent sacrifice outlet here.
• As part of my week-long look at Modern Masters 2015 cards, I looked at Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder, and his token-making prowess here.
• We went over the red sweeper Magmaquake, which hits all planeswalkers at once, here.
• I looked at Shrouded Lore, a strange black recursion spell, here.
• We discussed the power of tapping down opposing creatures with a trio of white cards: Glare of Subdual, Sandsower, and Diversionary Tactics, here.
• I took a look at two green recursion creatures, Hua Tuo, Honored Physician, and Loaming Shaman from Ravnica, here.
• I looked at an Innistrad favourite, Reaper from the Abyss, an excellent card for killing off opposing creatures, here.
• I looked at the powerful Magic Origins card Chandra’s Ignition, a mighty Wrath effect/player killer, here.
• I spotlighted Vorinclex’s potent new win condition and mana-ramp spell, From Beyond, and the possibilities of an Eldrazi sideboard here.
• I looked at my favourite modal spell from Commander 2014, the deceptively useful Wretched Confluence here.
• I looked at new Ally tribal leader General Tazri and how she would interact with the Allies here.
• I looked at the Mana Reflection/Soul of the Harvest love child, Zendikar Resurgent here.
• I looked at the super Purify slash big dude, Kalemne’s Captain, here.
• I went over one of my favorite lands from Shadows Over Innistrad block, Westvale Abbey (and its flip side, Ormendahl) here.
• I took a look at Amonkhet’s new powerhouse card drawing spell, Pull from Tomorrow, which is deceptively good, here.
• I went over the aftermath all-star, Commit // Memory, a powerful and flexible bounce spell and draw 7, here.
• I looked at a third Amonkhet card, as I looked at a second aftermath card, Dusk // Dawn here.
• I took a look at a fourth Amonkhet card, Mouth // Feed, which was the third aftermath card that I really liked, here.
• I shared my thoughts on the simple-but-powerful Commander 2013 land, Opal Palace here.
• I looked at Hour of Devastation’s graveyard-hosing Scavenger Grounds here.
• I delved into Commander’s Verdant Confluence here.
• I looked at Theros’s Bow of Nylea here.
• Finally, I took a look at a removal spell that has aged very well, The Dark’s Ashes to Ashes here.
Today’s card is a very recent one. Bloodforged Battle-Axe was printed in the Commander 2017 set of preconstructed decks, in the Cat tribal deck, which had an “Equipment matters” subtheme. I thought when this card was first spoiled that it was a super unique and cool effect, and I still think so today.
On its surface, the Battle-Axe is a Bonesplitter that just so happens to make more copies of itself if you manage to hit other players with the equipped creature. Now, in a format with 40 life, a measly +2/+0 power boost is not a lot to write home about. But when you couple that with an Equipment that makes more copies of itself? That is a strong effect, and can quickly get out of hand in a hurry.
There are many different ways to work with this card, or build around it.
Any general that has built-in evasion of some sort (flying, horsemanship, shadow, or just straight up “is unblockable”) would love this Equipment. It makes them hit harder and harder turn after turn, and if you can guarantee that you’ll hit other players, you’ll constantly make more and more token copies of the Battle-Axe (potentially leading to a general kill all by itself).
Any deck that cares about the number of permanents you have in play (or more specifically, the number of artifacts you have in play) will love this card. Recent general Akri, Line-Slinger counts the number of artifacts you have in play, getting bigger for each one, so she loves this card. Older Equipment Cranial Plating and Golem-Skin Gauntlets also like this card, since their boost gets bigger every time you get another Battle-Axe. Two Tezzerets, Tezzeret, Master of Metal and Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas, key off the number of artifacts you have in play as well, making the Battle-Axe an excellent card to pair with them.
Any card that says “Sacrifice an artifact” on it will love this Equipment, since it gives you a token to sacrifice every time you hit someone (ie. something like Trading Post goes really well with the Battle-Axe).
And of course, any card that has “When an artifact enters the battlefield” on it cares about this card and gets more powerful because of it. Cards as innocuous as Serum Tank, or Arcbound Crusher, all love to see copies of the Battle-Axe come into play.
So there you have it, that’s a quick look at Bloodforged Battle-Axe! Though it may just look like a slightly more powerful Bonesplitter at first, in reality, this is an excellent card for a variety of strategies (and definitely my favorite new card from the Cat theme deck). Thanks for reading!