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By: Doctor Anime, Tomer Abramovici
Sep 19 2013 10:24am
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Theros has been fully spoiled and it's time to see what this means for Commander. Let's begin!

 

 

White

 

Chained to the Rocks

 

 

I’m loving this card for WR decks. It lacks the instant speed of Swords to Plowshares or Path to Exile and it can lead to a savage 2for1 if someone blows up the Mountain you’ve stuck the chains too, but exiling a creature for 1cmc is too sweet to ignore. I consider Swords significantly better and Path (already a 1for2) only slightly better largely due to instant speed. I’d run all three in pretty much any WR I’d make though.

 

 

Elspeth, Sun’s Champion

 

 

Wowza! Now this is a planeswalker fit for Commander (and Standard too, but this is not the article for that)! An immediate board wipe on a planeswalker is most impressive. Not to mention making three soldier tokens as a +1 is incredibly sweet as well. With these two abilities, Elspeth is surprisingly capable of protecting herself in a format where planeswalkers usually have a life expectancy of 1-2 turns.

 

Elspeth 3.0 is a new white staple. Board wipe, token generator, finisher, she does it all. You won’t regret picking her up!

 

 

Gift of Immortality

 

 

A neat way of abusing sacrifice triggers or enter-the-battlefield (ETB) triggers, but it’s slow. I’d consider this a “fair” shenanigan since it doesn’t allow any infinite combos that I can think of.

 

 

Heliod, God of the Sun

 

 

The best parallel I can think of is Mobilization, a card I’ve had experience playing in my Darien tribal soldier deck.

 

Vigilance isn’t the most exciting passive, but it does allow more chances to swing into an open enemy without worrying about leaving yourself open to counterattacks in the process.

 

The token generation is costs quite a bit of mana and doesn’t increase your devotion in the process. White has better ways of making tokens. I do find cleric tokens mildly interesting, however. I’ve never seen cleric tribal before, but if such a deck exists then Heliod would serve as a mighty patron.

 

This part applies to all the gods so I won’t repeat myself in other god reviews

Then we have the part that all the gods have in common: they’re 5/5+ indestructible creatures if you have devotion 5+. A 5/5 indestructible is amazing but how often it will actually be a creature depends on how you built your deck, how your opponents built their decks, and luck of the draw. The inconsistency of this ability puts it in the “pretty good” category and, coupled with the rest of the card's effects, determines whether it moves into the "awesome" category.

 

I don't think Heliod's passive or active are very exciting, so he's merely "pretty good" to me. I won't be quick to make room in my white decks for him.

 

 

Soldier of the Pantheon

 

 

“Lifegain Matters” decks looking for more Soul Wardens might want to try out this card. It could gain a substantial amount of life and be an impressive chump blocker. Or it could be crummy vanilla 2/1. It might be worth testing.

 

 

Spear of Heliod

 

 

An anthem and rattlesnake wrapped together is a strange and seemingly conflicting package. Aggressive swarmy/weenie decks want the anthem effect and usually the imposing army itself serves as the rattlesnake. On the other hand, pillowfort/control decks could use the rattlesnake effect usually because they don’t have a scary army to deter attacks.

 

I can see this played in swarmy decks that really need another anthem and can use the spear’s activation to deal with evasive threats. More hardcore control decks have better options.

 

 

 

Blue

 

 

 

Bident of Thassa

 

 

I don’t see Coastal Piracy often, but this upgrade may be good enough to see some play. Evasive weenie decks like Edric will probably like this card. The active is deceptively powerful too, as it not just opens up an opponent to attack with your dudes and draw cards, but also can be a political play to leave the biggest threat defenseless and open to a coordinated lethal attack by the rest of the table.

 

 

Curse of the Swine

 

 

I can’t tell you how happy this card makes me. The lore, the cute lil’ piggy tokens, and the mechanics all come together so wonderfully.

 

Mass creature exile is insanely powerful. It’s essentially a one-sided board wipe that denies any possibility of reanimation shenanigans, which is one of the most popular strategies in the format. And this is a blue card! The tokens are adorable and mostly harmless. This is Commander we’re talking about, pretty much any creature you play with be able to hold off some 2/2’s.

  

 

Master of Waves

 

 

This merfolk is just begging to broken. He’s yet another way to enable infinite combos. Master + phyrexian altar+ deadeye navigator = infinite blinks or infinite mana with one more blue permanent. There are also multiple variations of this, such as swapping out the navigator for nim deathmantle. Toss in Blood Artist or any win condition of your choice and boom, infinite combo win.

 

If you want to play nice, he’s also a pretty cool elemental lord. Tribal Horde of Notions maybe?

 

 

Ordeal of Thassa

 

 

While they don’t like much on the surface, the Ordeals can be deceptively powerful due to the last line, “When you sacrifice…” This means that you don’t have to attack three times before you get the final effect. Instead, you can jump immediately to that effect if you have an enchantment sacrifice outlet.

 

Imagine this: you play Ordeal of Thassa on a creature, swing, put a +1/+1 counter on the creature, and then after combat you sacrifice it for value and draw 2 cards. A +1/+1 counter, 2 cards, and whatever benefit from your sac outlet, for 2 mana. That’s pretty good!

 

Finding good enchantment sacrifice outlets will be the real trick, however!

 

 

Swan Song

 

 

And the sweet blue cards keep rolling in!

 

It’s a ridiculously powerful counterspell for 1mana! A 2/2 flyer is nothing in Commander, as powerful cards like Beast Within, (Sylvan Primordial) and Terastodon have already shown us. This is an easy pickup for most blue decks. I’ll be looking forward to making some swans with my Talrand deck.

 

 

Thassa, God of the Sea

 

 

I find it interesting that Thassa is only 3cmc while the rest of the gods are 4cmc.

 

Her passive is sweet, though I have no clue of its actual power level. I’m incredibly biased here since I absolutely love scry and probably overvalue scry 1, but gosh darnit the mechanic feels so good! It’s no Phyrexian Arena but we’re not done with the card yet.

 

Her active a sweet one. It plays nice with creatures that do sweet things when they connect with opponents, like Thada Adel, Acquisitor and friends. It’s also good for when the biggest threat on the board that you want to focus on also has a big army to defend himself that you need to get around, which usually goes hand in hand.

 

Definitely a worthy inclusion in aggressive ninja types of decks.

 

 

 

Black

 

 

Abhorrent Overlord

 

 

Everything I said about Master of Waves applies here. Infinite combos galore. Even without combo’ing out, this is a solid creature ripe of fair synergies. The casting cost is a bit harsh, however.

 

 

Agent of the Fates

 

 

This card would be absolutely brutal if you could trigger its ability. Just one trigger and it’s better than Fleshbag Marauder, which sees some play. Triggering him without playing subpar cards to do so will be the real challenge.

 

 

Erebos, God of the Dead

 

 

Erebos’ passive is the most situational of the gods, which makes sense since it’s pretty much a lifegain deck hoser. How relevant/powerful that is depends on your meta, though overall I don’t think it’ll do much.

 

The active is the real draw to this god. In decks that don’t have access to card draw, Erebos is a solid way to refill your hand, though that lifeloss will stack up fast if you don’t have some lifegain to even it out.

 

I can see Erebos being solid in RG decks like Kaervek the Merciless, where you don’t have a ton of card draw and you want to deny your opponents an easy way out of your group pain. Even better, though, is WB decks. WB is probably the worst combination for card draw (white has the least of any color) and the best combination for efficient lifegain to even out Erebos’ lifeloss. White also offers additional ways to fetch him when he’s needed, such as Idyllic Tutor.

 

 

Gray Merchant of Asphodel

 

 

This innocent looking common has some potential in mono-black, where the lifedrain can be pretty significant and the creature body is ripe for ETB abuse, either with blinking or reanimation. Personally, I’ll be testing him out in my tribal zombie deck. Looks like fun!

 

 

Hero’s Downfall

 

 

Does your meta have pesky planeswalkers? Need another spot removal? Hero’s Downfall fills this gap admirably. For the record, I like this card more than Dreadbore due to its instant speed able to disrupt the notorious “oops I win” creatures that Commander houses.

 

 

Hythonia the Cruel

 

 

Sisters of Stone Death will happily another gorgon to the fold! Tribal Gorgon EDH is happening!

 

Hythonia is at best a very risky Plague Wind unless you have 10BBBB available on the turn you decide to cast her. Sure, she’s not the best option, but TRIBAL GORGON EDH WHEEEE!!!!

 

 

Nighthowler

 

 

Now this is a bestow creature that I like! Mill decks can add this bad boy as a surprise finisher. Mortivore approves!

 

 

Read the Bones

 

 

A really sweet card draw at common! Is it better than (Night’s Whisper)? Depends if Scry 2 is worth 1 more mana. I have a feeling that it’s just as good, making it probably playable in black decks that need more draw.

 

 

Whip of Erebos

 

 

Lifelink is pretty decent. The active, however, seems a little overpriced. It’s essentially a “fixed” Unearth mechanic as it denies even more tricks to keep the creature around -- though Sundial of the Infinite still works I think?

 

Reanimation decks will probably avoid this, but lifegain decks might want to try it out.

 

 

 

Red

 

 

Ember Swallower

 

 

Could be pretty sweet in Green/Red ramp decks that want to do something with their excess mana. Sacrificing 3 out of your 10+ lands doesn't bother you, but you can bet that non-green decks at the table will really feel that sting. Borborygmos Enraged decks might want to try it out.

 

 

Hammer of Purphoros

 

 

Well, it's better than Fervor, but not quite Fires of Yavimaya. Being able to generate an artifact enchantment token is pretty interesting, however. With so many card types, this card and the tokens it creates is begging the builder to find synergies.

 

Being both an artifact and enchantment means it's even more likely to be destroyed. If you want the haste in red, I'd still go for Anger first, but this is a fine second choice if you want more redundancy.

 

 

Purphoros, God of the Forge

 

 

Of all the gods, the red one impresses me the most. Purphoros' passive alone is worth a card, as it's comparable to cards like Pandemonium and Warstorm Surge just by itself. The god of the forge clearly wants to play with swarms of weenies, and red token decks will absolutely love him. Dropping down a Siege-Gang Commander and dealing 8 damage to all opponents in the process is no joke. The active is just gravy, offering you the opportunity to attack more often or close out games entirely.

 

In creature form, Purphoros plays incredibly well with lifegain equipments such as (Basilisk's Collar) or Loxodon Warhammer, gaining you 6 or so free life each time you play a creature.

 

Expect to see Purphoros at the helm of future mono-red decks, and possibly showing up in other multicolor swarm strategies!

 

 

Rageblood Shaman

 

 

No, we're not quite there yet with the minotaur tribal deck, but we're getting there! Hold onto your (Digeridoo) and pick this guy up, because by the time Theros block is fully released we should have enough to make that dream come into fruition.

 

 

Stormbreath Dragon

 

 

That's a lot of damage potential! I'm usually not a fan of strict beaters in commander, though this one is quite good at doing that. Most likely it will be killed before your next untap phase by the guy holding 7 cards in hand and doesn't want to give you a chance to activate its monstrosity. Or maybe he can't and this creature does explosive amounts of damage in two turns, who knows?

 

 

 

Green

 

 

Bow of Nylea

 

 

In decks that can abuse +1/+1 counters, this versatile bow could be quite good. I'm looking at you, Skullbriar, the Walking Grave and Vorel of the Hull Clade! In these types of decks, the bow has one very strong ability but has the other more “meh” abilities as additional options.

 

 

Nylea, God of the Hunt

 

 

Mass trample is okay. Most played green fatties already have some form of evasion though. The pump active is pretty sweet as just the threat of pump will make it more difficult for opponents to attack or block you. All in all, however, I'm not too impressed.

 

 

Ordeal of Nylea

 

 

The same thing I said about other Ordeals applies here: if you have a sacrifice outlet for this enchantment, it becomes a half-priced Explosive Vegetation, which is absurdly good, if not the best priced Ordeal of them all.

 


Polukranos, World Eater

 

 

Polukranos is an undercosted fattie in a color full of them. The cool part is his monstrous ability acting as removal, something mono-green could have more of. In your typical rampy monogreen deck, this hydra could devour 2-3 problem creatures regularly. If you're splashing another color, however, you probably have more efficient answers to problem creatures.

 

In mono-green? You've got another anti-creature dude. Multicolor? You have better options. Unless you're going tribal Hydra. Then yes, use him. Actually, if you're the first person to make a tribal hydra deck and send me a video of it, I'll give you 3 event tickets! Because that'd be awesome.

 

 

Sylvan Caryatid

 

 

This is a fine source of ramp and fixing, but I think green has better options available. It's protected from targeted removal and sort of blocks. However, it's a turn slower than Birds of Paradise and still remains a casualty of board wipes, which are frequent in this format. I prefer my ramp in land form, such as Rampant Growth, Farseek, or Nature's Lore.

 

 

 

Multicolor

 

 

Anax and Cymede

 

 

For the spot of general in Boros swarm decks, I still prefer Jor Kadeen, the Prevailer, since Boros decks almost always fulfill the metalcraft requirement indirectly anyway to make up for the color combination's weaknesses (primarily ramp, but also card draw and a few other things). There's also the trick of activating the dynamic duo with good cards, the common issue with the heroic mechanic.

 

 

Ashen Rider

 

 

For one more mana, this Angel of Despair will Vindicate an additional target when it dies. Actually, scratch that, it exiles the target! Woot! The death trigger allows for some more combos, such as with Nim Deathmantle. Or could you imagine it with (Kiki-Jiki, the Mirror Breaker)? Yikes!

 

Kaalia of the Vast will still prefer the angelic version, otherwise this archon is a fine upgrade.

 

 

Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver

 

 

I don't see the appeal at all. Turn one, she does nothing. Turn two, she might do something if you exiled a creature, which you could very well have blanked on. Keep trying until you exile a creature you want, and then wait another turn to cast it. All in a format where planeswalkers have an incredibly short life expectancy. Um.. no. Maybe in Standard the mill 3 will be more relevant.

 

 

Daxos of Meletis

 

 

Lifegain decks or ninja-y decks in UW colors, however few there may be, shall happily receive this card into the fold. Daxos functions similarly to Augury Adept but is easier to connect with, kinda like Nightveil Specter. One annoyance, and something I'm not sure if it was intentional or not, is that Daxos cannot play exiled lands, as it specifically says you can cast the card instead of play it, like how Nightveil Specter is worded.

 

 

Medomai the Ageless

 

 

I think this is one of the best designed casual cards from the set. It's powerful, but cannot be easily pushed into a degenerate insta-win combo. In a format where Lightning Greaves and Swiftfoot Boots see tons of play, Medomai is going to get bang for your buck.

 

He'll be especially sweet in U/W aggro decks, which he'd fit well at the helm of, but honestly any deck that likes extra turns can at least give him some consideration. Do you have powerful upkeep effects? Do you like extra chances to draw into a Miracle card? Do like drawing an extra card, playing an extra land, and being able to cast extra spells? Yeah. Yeah, you do.

 

 

Prophet of Kruphix

 

 

… and here comes my vote for worst designed casual card. Prophet takes the best parts of an easily broken card, Seedborn Muse, and slaps on flash for good measure. It's trivial to break this card into a thousand pieces.

 

UG have all the tools to warp this from a great card into something you'll dread seeing each time it lands on the board. Sorta like Consecrated Sphinx. All they need to do is draw cards, preferably with creatures, and then use their every person's turn casting spells and possibly drawing more cards if needed. Gee, if only UG was good at drawing cards.. Essentially this is card reads, “during each opponent's turn, take an extra turn.” But the Prophet is vulnerable to removal! Gee, if only UG had access to amazing countermagic or something.. Sigh.

 

The thing that really grinds my gears is something so obviously broken is given to UG, the strongest color combination in the entire format. How often do you run across any of these commanders: The Mimeoplasm, Maelstrom Wanderer, Prime Speaker Zegana, Animar, Soul of Elements, Edric, Spymaster of Trest? I'm guessing the answer is, “pretty often!” There's a reason for that. Not to mention Momir Vig, Simic Visionary, which will be the most abusive of this new card.

 

Did UG really need this? Wizards, if you must print broken commander cards, how about throwing that lovin' to less powerful colors? Howzaboot that sobbing lil' color in the corner, Red? Maybe give Boros a hug, huh?

 

Okay, rant over. This card is one of the strongest in the set, and the strongest card in the set in decks can really take advantage of her (coughMomircoughwheeze).

 

 

Triad of Fates

 

 

I like all the things these ladies do, but they do it so slowly! You need to wait 3 turns until you get any value out of this card. That's simply too long. If you can grant them haste, or have multiple ways of untapping them, then they can get better.

 

 

Underworld Cerberus

 

 

Graveyard denial is always potent in commander. Every single time I sit down at a table, there's at least someone running a graveyard abuse deck. Almost everyone runs at least some amounts of graveyard recursion. So hating on graveyards is a safe and powerful bet.

 

Cerberus does this on a big evasive stick. That's tasty. If the hound hurts your opponent's tactics more than your own, I'd run this. Bonus points if you have Leyline of the Void out when it kicks the bucket!

 

 

Xenagos, the Reveler

 

 

Swarmy token decks have a new friend. Xenagos is easily comparable to Garruk Wildspeaker. Most often he'll probably not ramp as much as Garruk on turn 4, but lategame he has the potential to power out some huge mana ramp if you have a large army already out.

 

 

 

Artifacts

 

 

Akroan Horse

 

 

Zedruu the Greathearted players have a new toy. A free donate and group hug effect. If you like Zedruu and like group hug, this is the card for you!

 

 

Burnished Hart

 

 

Doesn't look like much, huh? Probably didn't even notice this lil' guy, but he's good! This elk is to Explosive Vegetation as Wayfarer's Bauble is to Rampant Growth for non-green decks.

 

Where he truly shines is mono-black decks. Why? Cabal Coffers. Well, Coffers, and Magus of the Coffers, Crypt Ghast, Nirkana Revenant, Caged Sun.. you get the idea. Mono-black ramp wants swamps, and lots of them. Thran Dynamo is sweet ramp but it ain't no swamp to get more value with your Coffer effects. The Hart brings you the good stuffs. The Hart might do some damage before you pop it, too, maybe pull off a Sharpshooter on an unsuspecting opponent. Good times.

 

 

Colossus of Akros

 

 

Not the most optimized choice, but sweet Jeebus 20/20 trample indestructible! Yowza! To me, this is what Commander is about, and seeing this printed makes me very happy.

 

 

Pyrix of Pandemonium

 

 

Group Chaos players also get a new toy. If you just want to watch the world burn and laugh at the insanity it creates, Pyrix is the card for you!

 

 

 

Lands

 

 

Nykthos, Shrine to Nix

 

 

Mono-colored decks just got another sweet ramp card to play with to put beside Caged Sun and friends. Nykthos doesn't ramp early, and is horribly inconsistent, subject to being awesome and then suddenly crummy after a board wipe, but that's alright when the risk's cost is playing an untapped colorless land.

 

 

The Temple Cycle

 

 

No, they're not the best available lands in the format. And you know what? That's more than fine. We already have the best mana-fixing dual lands that Wizards will ever print. You can bet there won't be more powerful dual lands available than original duals, ravnica shocks, and zendikar/onslaught fetches. So I welcome worse lands that will be far more reasonably priced. That means budget players like me just got slightly better guildgates for their decks. When they rotate they'll be at the dollar range. Excellent!

 

 

 

Whew, that's a lot of cards! Join me next time when I do something pretty special -- a pauper and peasant cube review for Theros! Don't know what the heck pauper cube is? I'll enlighten in you in that article!

14 Comments

Curse of the Swine is the by Leviathan at Thu, 09/19/2013 - 11:42
Leviathan's picture

Curse of the Swine is the first card to ever actually make me angry when I saw a spoiler. I have a very long rant about it that I'm putting in my overview.

Yeah, I agree with criticisms by Doctor Anime at Thu, 09/19/2013 - 17:13
Doctor Anime's picture

Yeah, I agree with criticisms that it's too powerful and not in the right color. Blue has Pongify effects but mass exiling is a bit extreme. It sounds like White's territory. Still love the flavor :P

I agree with you that Prophet by Tromni at Thu, 09/19/2013 - 12:46
Tromni's picture
5

I agree with you that Prophet of Kruphix is lame and overpowered, but the people who will choose to play were already the lame people playing Teferi and Seedborn Muse so why stress too much.

I'm much more disappointed to see unconditional mass removal in Blue from Curse of the Swine. I mean, if they'd wanted to make Double-Pongify with boars instead of apes that would have been fine. It just breaks the color pie so hard and I'm really not looking forward to seeing the Talrand decks of the world bust it out.

Purphoros is by far the most busted card for Commander in the set though, so it's hard to complain that they gave blue too much love in this set. We're going to have entire matches ending with a single a Rise of the Hobgoblins or a tap of Krenko. It'll be pretty fun the first couple times but it will be super boring before long.

Incidentally, I'm not sure that I'd ever play Read the Bones when I can add a mana and draw a third card with Ambition's Cost instead.

I'm annoyed because the by Doctor Anime at Thu, 09/19/2013 - 17:20
Doctor Anime's picture

I'm annoyed because the majority of decks I come across already are UG and this card is going to increase simic's popularity even higher and make them even more difficult to stop. But yeah, tryhard players are going to be doing this sort of stuff anyway.

Agreed on Curse. I think mass exiling is more White's domain.

I'm okay with Purphoros because it's a Red card. Red doesn't have enough nice things.

I like Read the Bones not because it's better but it's comparable to your other options and in a different mana cost slot. I think it's definitely in line with Ambition's Cost and Sign In Blood. Scry 2 is very good.

Simic is the weakest color by Kumagoro42 at Thu, 09/19/2013 - 21:33
Kumagoro42's picture

Simic is the weakest color combination in any format BUT Commander. I think it's only fair that at least Commander vindicates the guild a little bit.

Plus, you gave me the idea of doing a bit of statistics (I'll elaborate on it in one of the next SUNCOM articles). In the first 40 events of the tournament — which is 2-round competitive multiplayer Commander — the winners have been:

Mono-White: 1
Mono-Blue: 5
Mono-Black: 1
Mono-Red: 1
Mono-Green: 1
Azorius: 3
Selesnya: 4
Simic: 6
Esper: 3
Grixis: 1
Jund: 2
Naya: 1
Wedge White (WBR): 2
Wedge Blue (RUG): 4
Wedge Black (WBG): 1
Penta-color: 4

So, yeah, Simic is slightly ahead, but can't say it's dominating or anything (and most of those wins were by an Elfball deck that ran Momir as general but wasn't really a proper Momir deck). And I firmly reject any attempt of characterizing 3-color combinations including blue and green as Simic decks - unless the case is of a deck that's proved to run very little of the third color. A Simic deck is a deck lead by a Simic commander, not a deck lead by, say, Animar or Maelstrom Wanderer, that do things a Simic deck could never do, and are as much Simic as they are Gruul and Izzet.

RUG is Simic splashing red, by Doctor Anime at Fri, 09/20/2013 - 15:11
Doctor Anime's picture

RUG is Simic splashing red, that is, UGr. I've never seen an Animar or Wanderer list where red isn't the least used color in the deck. Correct me if I'm wrong, but if you look at those 4 RUG decks that you've posted, this will be the case with all of them. So yes, I count Animar and Wanderer as Simic, because the red is just a splash. I will admit that The Mimeoplasm decks can be more varied, and black usually plays as much a role as the other two colors.

I know that in my personal experience, casual or competitive, UG is the most played color combination at the virtual tables that I sit in, bar none. Seeing the same cards over and over is annoying. Making one of, if not THE best Theros commander card UG is only going to worsen things.

And yes, the hydra challenge is real! I was going to offer the same challenge for gorgon tribal but decided that I want a crack at it myself :)

How is playing Seedborn Muse by Kumagoro42 at Thu, 09/19/2013 - 20:56
Kumagoro42's picture

@Tromni
How is playing Seedborn Muse in a green deck lame? It's just a strong card in your arsenal. Then I suppose it's also lame for a white deck to play Hallowed Burial and for a black deck to play Demonic Tutor?
So great when people slap general labels to something that's just their opinion. Can I say people that think this way are... lame?

And by the way, Curse of the Swine is perfectly in color pie. I'm not crazy about blue getting what essentially boils down to mass removal, but this was the only way it could be accomplished because blue transforms things, and it always did. (If anything, the frequently addressed mistake was with previous cards like Rapid Hybridization and even Polymorph NOT exiling the creature, since that's being transformed, not killed, so there shouldn't be nothing left in the graveyard to reanimate, the creature being still on the battlefield in its new form.)

Seedborn Muse only does by Tromni at Fri, 09/20/2013 - 06:46
Tromni's picture

Seedborn Muse only does broken things. Nobody is using it to get an extra 1/1 token out of Vitu-Ghazi the city tree or whatever. And the people that combine it with Teferi in their Momir-Vig deck to play and tutor all the creatures in their deck in one trip around the board are especially lame.

A 1UU Curse of the Swine that transformed 2 dudes into boars and exiled them would be a perfectly fine way to do the Pongify thing. Doing it with an X in a world of Caged Suns is just giving Blue an unconditional mass exiling board wipe which far far more white. They players that use this and then untap into a Cyclonic Rift that removes all the tokens will drive me bonkers

Well, you see to know how the by Kumagoro42 at Fri, 09/20/2013 - 09:31
Kumagoro42's picture

Well, you see to know how the world goes pretty well. Good for you.
I live in a different world, for better or for worse. In my world, I use Seedborn Muse every time I run green, and the average result is to untap the creatures I just attacked with. Nobody even said anything about it. The broken cards in my world are others. Your world is probably more sheltered.

And the blue decks that really drive me bonkers don't even have a real use for something like Curse of the Swine. They do infinite turns already, so it doesn't really matter if you have 5 Dragons or 5 Boars on your battlefield.

Kuma, Blue does "transform" by Leviathan at Fri, 09/20/2013 - 12:19
Leviathan's picture

Kuma, Blue does "transform" things, but not in the way you're thinking. Blue has NEVER exiled opponents creatures. EVER. The only times it has exiled creatures is when it does it to your own creatures, usually for a random effect. Blue's previous answers were either tapping down or bounce, or Turn to Frog temporary cards.

Now, not only is Blue being given the ability to exile opponents' creatures (wha???), but it has the ability to do so with pinpoint accuracy (WTF??!!?!!). This isn't a card like Evacuation, where EVERYONE gets their stuff bounced. This isn't even destroying just one creature. This is massivley powerful, out of flavor, and out of color pie. Even White, who's main ability is to EXILE CREATURES doesn't have the ability to exile a bunch of targeted creatures at once. White gets Final Judgment, and even Merciless Eviction, hitting everything.

I hate this card so much.

I understand where you're by Kumagoro42 at Fri, 09/20/2013 - 13:45
Kumagoro42's picture

I understand where you're coming from, I had the same reaction when I saw the card. But the Melvin in me also understands (and in fact complained in the past) that mechanically if you want to convey a transformation, you NEED to exile the card. Otherwise it's a destruction effect, and that's something blue can't do and should never do. If this card said "destroy X creatures", it would be even MORE wrong, despite being (arguably) less powerful. (Blue also shouldn't exile a creature without giving you another creature in exchange. I'm sure MaRo will discuss the card next week in these terms.)

Re: the flavor. What's wrong with it? That's just perfect, because Circe didn't transform just one sailor or two. She transformed all of them. And she was very clearly blue.

So, power level = wrong. Flavor = great. Color pie = correct. At least mechanically. Or better, it's what the blue side of the color pie should have done with Pongify and Rapid Hybridization as well, while those are the mechanical failures (and there were complains about it), because you can't design a card that's supposed to represent a transformation and then allow for the transformed creature to be reanimated. That's not how you do it.

Now, the problem is: should have they done it? No, they probably shouldn't have. THIS is the real issue, about which we can agree. It takes away one of the major weaknesses of blue, and that's wrong. At the very least, it's wrongly costed, it should be more something like XXUUU (or even better, XUB).

Then again, Doctor Anime is right: look at those pig tokens! Just look at them! They're adorable! How can you be mad at blue for giving you those? :)

Should flavor outweigh by Leviathan at Fri, 09/20/2013 - 14:09
Leviathan's picture

Should flavor outweigh mechanics? No. Sure you can make cards top down, but this is horrible. I'm gald we can agree the card shouldn't have been printed. And flavor wise, the sailors were still there! They didn't disappear, or get replaced. It was them, but just in pig form!

You want something flavorful? Morph each creature targeted. They're still 2/2s, they still die, you get the same effect. Basically, it's a permanent Turn to Frog, but really a Turn to Pig. If they think people are too dumb to figure this out, then DON'T PRINT IT!

Weird how little you talk by Kumagoro42 at Thu, 09/19/2013 - 21:13
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Weird how little you talk about the new legends used as commanders. For instance, Medomai as commander will be more annoying than you account her for, and it won't be long before the Medomai players will become the instant first target at any table.
And the Gods as commanders is also an interesting topic. You can have Thassa as commander and essentially never turn her into a creature, turning your deck into something that awfully looks like Vanguard.

Re: the Prophet rant. Well, I guess it hasn't been designed with Commander in mind, you know? It happens most of the times. :)
In other formats it's not going to call for banning, and even in Commander, not being eligible as your general, it's just a strong card that will see a lot of play, but if a 4-man table lets a 3-toughness creature decide the outcome of the battle, then something it's really wrong with the other 3 players' decks.

Are you serious with the Hydra tribal thing? Because I'm going to do that. :)
And as much as I'd love a tribal Gorgon in 100-card singleton decks, there's still just 11 of them (plus another one offline). That's far from tribal-worthy, alas.

The perfect Hydra general is by Tromni at Fri, 09/20/2013 - 06:47
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The perfect Hydra general is Rosheen Meanderer. The right colors and she ramps all the X-spell Hydras extra hard!