Greetings, again! It’s been a while since my last post here, and this time around I’m going to bring some (hopefully) useful, and continual insight to your EDH games. I’ve been strictly an EDH player (outside of the occasional pre-release) for many years, and I’ve seen plenty of interesting board-states develop. For my first article in this series, I’d like to talk about a card that has gone unchecked more times than anyone is comfortable admitting, Rhystic Study.
Surely, Rhystic Study has reared its head at your tables at least once, and we all dread that most heinous question: “Are you going to pay 1 for that?” A seemingly harmless enchantment at first glance, but one that allows players to run away with a game if left unchecked. This should be a priority target for any removal you can throw at it, and if an answer isn’t immediately available, then each player needs to pay the tax.
Yes, I will pay 1 for that. I will ALWAYS pay 1 for that.
Keep in mind that when an opponent’s Rhystic Study triggers, it will be you who must make a decision first. It’s a gamble. If you cast a spell (instead of paying the one), thinking that they may forget their trigger, they can choose whether to draw their card or not, before your spell resolves. These type of triggers can be easily overlooked, and should be watched by everyone (similar to Lurking Predators).
Just recently, one of my opponents dropped this little gem. I did my due diligence of paying the tax on each spell that I cast, denying the Rhystic Study player the satisfaction of drawing additional cards. Our third player, however, did not. After a couple turns of this, we faced a battlefield reset by Cyclonic Rift. My next turn consisted of playing a few things to reestablish my board, still paying the tax. Then player three proceeded to drop most of their hand, following the former trend of allowing every trigger to end up as a card drawn. At this point our nemesis had drawn all they needed to win, and promptly did so.
This is why we can’t have nice things.
Could this end have been prevented? Maybe not, but at least there would have been a better chance had player three followed suit and simply paid the piper. My point is that even though Rhystic Study can create an overwhelming advantage, it can be easily be prevented. I’ve heard players say upon its casting that they will never pay the 1. I firmly believe paying as often as you can manage is the better decision. I like to manage my play, and mana as if Rhystic Study is really a Sphere of Resistance. Yes, there can be exceptions to this, such as the Cowboys variant (or you may know it as Kingdoms), where not paying is a solid way to show who’s team you’re on, but generally giving an opponent more cards equates to a better chance for them to win.
I’m interested to hear your thoughts on this type of situation, and also your suggestions for upcoming discussions, or constructive criticism. Leave a comment here, or hit me up on PucaTrade or Discord. And until next time, I ask for all our benefit, please pay for Rhystic Study.
Chris is a Strictly EDH player and thorough Melvin from Columbus, OH. He squeezes in games whenever he isn’t on adventures with his wife and toddler daughter.