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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Apr 04 2014 11:00am
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I love this game. I love writing about it. Compiling lists about it. Evaluating it. Sometimes, I even play it. I'm an Accidental Player.

 

 Welcome back to the wonderful world of competitive Commander multiplayer, featuring decks and games from Sunday Commander, the PRE I run every Sunday at 16:00 GMT! Enjoy.

 Table of Contents

  1. Commanding News
  2. Try this at home
  3. The SUNCOM Chronicles
  4. What about some action now?
  5. Commander Resources

COMMANDING NEWS

 We're still navigating the inter-release void these days. Journey into Nyx is scheduled to go online on May 12 (no spoilers yet), while the Vintage Masters' big bang is set for June 16. Now, the Power 9 won't be Commander-legal (it's actually not that easy to confirm, considering the official ban list is still treating Commander as an online-only format, so it doesn't bother specifying that cards like Chaos Orb or Amulet of Quoz aren't legal for Commander games). But I'm sure there's bound to be plenty of useful, coveted reprints of Commander staples within a set with "Vintage" in its name. So as a Commander player, and lover of new-frame reprint to boot, I'm looking forward to know what exactly we'll be getting there.

 For the rest, here's the list of the most expensive cards from Commander 2013, as of April 4, 2014. Enjoy (and envy their owners if you're not among them).

  1. True-Name Nemesis: $29.13
  2. Toxic Deluge: $19.91
  3. Marath, Will of the Wild: $11.30
  4. Unexpectedly Absent: $9.62
  5. Oloro, Ageless Ascetic: $9.53
  6. Prossh, Skyraider of Kher: $9.25
  7. Primal Vigor: $9.06
  8. Derevi, Empyrial Tactician: $8.47
  9. Roon of the Hidden Realm: $6.98
  10. Shattergang Brothers: $6.22

 I wonder why Marath is so high in the list. In my experience with the world of competitive multiplayer Commander, I still have to see him show up at all. Whereas, Oloro, Prossh and Derevi are all already established table-busters. Maybe it's because the deck with Marath proved to be the least popular, so the number of available copies is smaller?


TRY THIS AT HOME

 Last time we made a thorough recon on the simple concept of cheating creatures into play from hand (as a permanent effect, not "until the end of the turn"). Now let's take the complementary approach, and let's see what our Commander-legal options are if we want to cheat creatures onto the battlefield from our library. There are two sub-sets of this action: we can either sneak a specific critter into play by tutoring up exactly what we want; or we can just rely on what the cheating effect will find on the top of our library (top deck manipulation is recommended in these cases), or within a certain number of top cards. We'll cover the first group now, the second group in the next installment. Note: I'm not listing hyper-specific things like the Rebel-searching or Mercenary-searching effects (e.g. Amrou Scout, Bog Glider), or other similarly narrow tribal-based card like Myr Turbine and Nissa Revane, or sacrifice pieces with one specific target like the Herald cycle from Alara.

SEARCH & DEPLOY

IN WHITE

  

 Academy Rector: It says enchantments (which is pretty powerful already). But now enchantments are also (good) creatures, aren't they? (I never understood why the rector of a wizard academy is a white cleric.)

 Enduring Ideal: Similarly, what was once a way to win via enchantments, has now become a way to win via Gods!

 Lost Auramancers: Another potential God-fetching piece, if clumsier than the Rector. The card's design is brilliant, though, and you can set a recursion engine with it, whereas the Rector won't allow it.

IN BLUE

   

   

 Acquire, Bribery: Who says we have to tutor from OUR library, right? Let's steal stuff from our opponents! Classic blue. In Acquire's case, you are limited to artifact creatures (unless you find an interesting noncreature artifact, that is), but you're bound to find at least a Wurmcoil Engine somewhere.

 Eternal Dominion: It's the Epic version of the stealing effect mentioned above. Epic cards are so cool.

 Mask of the Mimic: It's potentially strong (you can even answer a removal by sacrificing your creature), but just like with Bifurcate, the odds of finding the right target at any given time aren't that good.

 Reshape: It's for artifacts what Chord of Calling is for creatures. Except more demanding, due to the required sacrifice. More useful to fetch Sol Ring than Blightsteel Colossus, honestly, but you never know.

 Riptide Shapeshifter: Often overlooked, this amazing Shapeshifter is able to instantly fetch onto the battlefield anything you want. Provided, of course, you don't have more than one creature with that type. But it's not that hard to make it so you just have one Eldrazi or one Colossus or one Leviathan in your deck, is it?

 Sphinx Ambassador: The whole process is clunky, and if the opponent has a single big finisher in his deck, you won't be able to steal that. But it might bear fruit, occasionally.

 Tezzeret the Seeker: If you build his loyalty enough, he's actually able to sneak Colossi into play. I never saw that happen, but that doesn't mean it can't.

 Transmute Artifact: I'll spare you some headache trying to decipher that text: it's just Reshape (in fact, it's Reshape's grandfather), but you get to subtract the CMC of the artifact you sacrificed from the cost of the artifact you're fetching.

IN BLACK

 Fleshwrither: The only instance of the future-shifted mechanic Transfigure. It doesn't get you many options, and you actually paid 7 mana at sorcery speed to get there, but it's cute. You can fetch Phyrexian Obliterator after all.

IN RED

 

 Dragonstorm: It takes some work to make it worth the effort, but the result is potentially awesome.

 Moggcatcher: All right, this is tribal-based, but repeatable Goblin-fetching has way more applications than with Rebels or regular Mercenaries.

IN GREEN

   

   

   

 Bifurcate: The thing you want to tutor & cheat has to be already on the battlefield somewhere. Not that easy in Commander. Not impossible, but I won't really count on it.

 Birthing Pod: The tutoring is conditional and you need to have a "starting point" already in play, but the effect is repeatable. The Pod is just a great card, in Commander as well.

 Chord of Calling/Green Sun's Zenith: Your basic creature tutors in green. In both cases, you don't get any "sneaky" discount, as you pay the full CMC price of the tutored creature, and then some. Different upsides: the Chord is able to tutor any color of creatures, the Zenith comes back. Both are staples of any green-based deck.

 Defense of the Heart: One of the most powerful sneak effects in the game, as you can even get out both Ulamog and Blightsteel Colossus at once if you want (or any other game-breaking combination), and you only played 4 mana for them. The clause can be tougher to meet than it appears, though, which is why it's usually paired with cards like Forbidden Orchard, to force-feed some creatures to one of your opponents.

 Garruk, Caller of Beasts: His minus ability was covered in the last installment; his ultimate belongs to this category, instead, being an enhanced Wild Pair effect. You just need to reach it.

 Hibernation's End: Very fun card, distant cousin of Birthing Pod. Can do amazing things in Commander, if you ramped well.

 Natural Order: The undisputed emperor of the search & deploy category. If you have some early green dorks and some late-game green bombs in your deck (and we all know Progenitus is a green creature first and foremost), you gotta include a copy of this card, no questions asked.

 Pattern of Rebirth: It's sort of a reverse Natural Order. You need to cast this first, sacrifice the creature later. Works especially well with self-sacrificing dudes like Sakura-Tribe Elder or any Eldrazi Spawn. As a bonus for your troubles, it gets you nongreen creatures, too (i.e., it gets you  Ulamog and Blightsteel Colossus).

 Skyshroud Poacher: Same as Moggcatcher, but with Elves, which still provide a good range of targets. Despite not really having a Kiki-Jiki among their ranks.

 Tooth and Nail: Right there with Natural Order as the leader of this entire category. You need to ramp into it, but chances are you can win the game with it. The most trivial way is by fetching something like Kiki-Jiki and Restoration Angel. You can find your own, more original solution. 

 Wild Pair: Cool effect, worth tweaking your deck a little to properly accommodate. Like, think of all the things you can sneak into play with this by bouncing Wall of Junk or Shifting Wall again and again. What about Dust Elemental? Great food for brewing here.

IN COLORLESS

 

 Kuldotha Forgemaster: Sneaking Blightsteel Colossus into play since 2010.

IN MULTICOLORED

 

 Iname as One: 12 mana to get the Spirit you want, and a 8/8 semi-vanilla as a bonus. You can do better. It doesn't even work from the Command Zone.

 WargateChord of Calling without convoke, but for any permanent. Powerful, although not the first card to look for if you're looking for creatures only.


THE SUNCOM CHRONICLES

SUNCOM 65 winner: the_arend with Prossh, Skyraider of Kher.

by the_arend - 1st place in SUNCOM 65
Creatures
1 Acidic Slime
1 Avenger of Zendikar
1 Birds of Paradise
1 Craterhoof Behemoth
1 Dark Confidant
1 Deathrite Shaman
1 Elves of Deep Shadow
1 Eternal Witness
1 Fyndhorn Elves
1 Grave Titan
1 Huntmaster of the Fells
1 Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
1 Lotus Cobra
1 Oracle of Mul Daya
1 Purphoros, God of the Forge
1 Rune-Scarred Demon
1 Scavenging Ooze
1 Solemn Simulacrum
1 Squee, Goblin Nabob
1 Sylvan Caryatid
1 Wood Elves
1 Yavimaya Dryad
1 Yavimaya Elder
1 Zealous Conscripts
24 cards

Other Spells
1 Awakening Zone
1 Beastmaster Ascension
1 Bitterblossom
1 Chromatic Lantern
1 Crucible of Worlds
1 Damnation
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Doubling Season
1 Dreadbore
1 Farseek
1 Food Chain
1 Garruk Relentless
1 Garruk Wildspeaker
1 Goblin Bombardment
1 Golgari Signet
1 Green Sun's Zenith
1 Grim Tutor
1 Gruul Signet
1 Hero's Downfall
1 Imperial Seal
1 Liliana of the Veil
1 Maelstrom Pulse
1 Mana Crypt
1 Phyrexian Arena
1 Praetor's Counsel
1 Primeval Bounty
1 Putrefy
1 Rakdos Signet
1 Regrowth
1 Sarkhan Vol
1 Skullclamp
1 Sol Ring
1 Sylvan Library
1 Talisman of Impulse
1 Talisman of Indulgence
1 Three Visits
1 Tooth and Nail
1 Wheel of Fortune
1 Xenagos, the Reveler
39 cards
Lands
4 Forest
3 Swamp
2 Mountain
1 Ancient Tomb
1 Arid Mesa
1 Badlands
1 Bayou
1 Blackcleave Cliffs
1 Blood Crypt
1 Bloodstained Mire
1 Cavern of Souls
1 City of Brass
1 Command Tower
1 Dragonskull Summit
1 Dryad Arbor
1 Homeward Path
1 Kessig Wolf Run
1 Marsh Flats
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Phyrexian Tower
1 Rootbound Crag
1 Stomping Ground
1 Strip Mine
1 Taiga
1 Tectonic Edge
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Verdant Catacombs
1 Windswept Heath
1 Wooded Foothills
1 Woodland Cemetery
36 cards

 
Prossh, Skyraider of Kher

 

 You can find the recording of the final table where Prossh took the win below. Prossh is a force to be reckoned with, lately.

SUNCOM 66 winner: Gordani with Zedruu the Greathearted.

 

 This one was a "Royal Rumble" event: a 6-man table, free-for-all, last man standing wins the title. They're both exciting and ultimately backbreaking experiments, so we do them very rarely, mostly when there aren't otherwise enough players to do a proper multiple-round tournament. We've also introduced a new prize incentive in SUNCOM, rewarding the success of those commanders that never won an event before (you can find more about it and the full list of the winning commanders here).

SUNCOM 67 winner: Robin88 with Zur the Enchanter.

by Robin88 - 1st place in SUNCOM 67
Creatures
1 Aven Mindcensor
1 Consecrated Sphinx
1 Notion Thief
1 Phyrexian Metamorph
1 Snapcaster Mage
1 Solemn Simulacrum
1 Stoneforge Mystic
1 Stuffy Doll
1 Sun Titan
1 Trinket Mage
10 cards

Other Spells
1 Attunement
1 Aura of Silence
1 Azorius Charm
1 Azorius Signet
1 Bitterblossom
1 Brainstorm
1 Bribery
1 Coalition Relic
1 Contamination
1 Counterspell
1 Cyclonic Rift
1 Detention Sphere
1 Diabolic Revelation
1 Dimir Signet
1 Empyrial Armor
1 Ghostly Prison
1 Gilded Lotus
1 Grim Tutor
1 Guilty Conscience
1 Helm of Obedience
1 Hinder
1 Jace Beleren
1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
1 Land Tax
1 Lightning Greaves
1 Lim-Dul's Vault
1 Luminarch Ascension
1 Mana Drain
1 Mana Leak
1 Mystical Teachings
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Necromancy
1 Necropotence
1 Open the Vaults
1 Orzhov Signet
1 Pact of Negation
1 Phyrexian Arena
1 Ponder
1 Preordain
1 Prison Term
1 Rest in Peace
1 Seal of Cleansing
1 Sensei's Divining Top
1 Sol Ring
1 Steel of the Godhead
1 Swan Song
1 Sword of Feast and Famine
1 Swords to Plowshares
1 Talisman of Dominance
1 Talisman of Progress
1 Whispering Madness
51 cards
Lands
3 Plains
3 Snow-Covered Island
3 Swamp
2 Island
1 Arcane Sanctum
1 Azorius Chancery
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Celestial Colonnade
1 Command Tower
1 Darkslick Shores
1 Dimir Aqueduct
1 Drowned Catacomb
1 Dust Bowl
1 Exotic Orchard
1 Glacial Fortress
1 Hall of the Bandit Lord
1 Hallowed Fountain
1 Homeward Path
1 Marsh Flats
1 Mistveil Plains
1 Reliquary Tower
1 Scrubland
1 Seachrome Coast
1 Snow-Covered Plains
1 Tundra
1 Underground River
1 Underground Sea
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Volrath's Stronghold
1 Wasteland
1 Watery Grave
38 cards

 
Zur the Enchanter

 

 Zur won his 3rd event, as piloted by Zur-enthusiast Robin, confirming to be one of the top commanders in his colors for control-ish decks with some serving of combo (like, since Zur can fetch Rest in Peace and Guilty Conscience, why not to play with Helm of Obedience and Stuffy Doll in the deck?).


WHAT ABOUT SOME ACTION NOW?

 Here's the live recording of the final table of SUNCOM 65, featuring raf.azevedo with Derevi, the_arend with Prossh, and justcanceled with Nekusar.


COMMANDER RESOURCES

THE COMMANDER ESSENTIALS
77 cards with colorless identity for every Commander deck (review here, propose additions)

 LANDS: Command Tower, Opal Palace, Vesuva, Thespian's Stage, Strip Mine, Wasteland, Ghost Quarter, Tectonic Edge, Dust Bowl, Homeward Path, Reliquary Tower, Winding Canyons, Miren, the Moaning Well, Boseiju, Who Shelters All, Maze of Ith, Mystifying Maze, Thawing Glaciers, Reflecting Pool, Deserted Temple.

 MANA ACCELERATORS/MANA FIXERS: Sol Ring, Mana Crypt, Mana Vault, Everflowing Chalice, Grim Monolith, Mind Stone, Worn Powerstone, Thran Dynamo, Dreamstone Hedron, Coalition Relic, Chromatic Lantern, Gilded Lotus, Expedition Map, Armillary Sphere, Journeyer's Kite, Solemn Simulacrum, Doubling Cube, Extraplanar Lens, Gauntlet of Power, Caged Sun.

 EQUIPMENTS: Lightning Greaves, Swiftfoot Boots, Whispersilk Cloak, Darksteel Plate, General's Kabuto, Champion's Helm, Skullclamp, Umezawa's Jitte, Sword of Fire and Ice, Sword of Light and Shadow, Sword of Feast and Famine, Basilisk Collar, Loxodon Warhammer, Nim Deathmantle, Argentum Armor.

 DRAWING/TUTORING: Sensei's Divining Top, Scroll Rack, Seer's Sundial, Mind's Eye, Illuminated Folio, Staff of Nin, Citanul Flute, Planar Portal.

 ANSWERS: Ratchet Bomb, Powder Keg, Oblivion Stone, Nevinyrral's Disk, Contagion Engine, Duplicant, Steel Hellkite, Triskelion, Karn Liberated.

 MISCELLANEA: Crucible of Worlds, That Which Was Taken, Quicksilver Amulet, Trading Post, Wurmcoil Engine, Sculpting Steel.


And that's it. See you in the SUNCOM room next Sunday at 16:00 GMT, and with the Commander Chronicles here next month! Commander ho!