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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
May 16 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

 So, Vintage Masters is coming online June 13 (in pre-release; release 3 days later). With less than one month left before that date, the spoiler season is currently in full bloom, both from the mothership and several spoiler sites. The whole endeavor has been complicated, and a bit hijacked, by the fact that exactly one week before that, June 6, the paper world will get another new set, Conspiracy (info here). Due to the nature of the product, that involves some mechanics not easily transferred into MTGO, we won't get Conspiracy online. But there are 65 new cards in there, some of which are indeed playable in the good ol' digital way. Heck, there's even a new, long-awaited planeswalker in the mix. They couldn't expect the MTGO players to just ignore the existence of these cards. So they thought the easiest way to solve this issue was to include the most suitable and interesting Conspiracy cards into Vintage Masters (turning the set into a 325-card behemoth in the process). Which is fine, but the result is that we get this kind of juxtaposition:

 

 But you know what, from a Commander perspective, the card on the right is more interesting than the card on the left (that won't even be playable in Commander, so it's, like, zero interesting). Conspiracy is a multiplayer set, so we're getting new cards designed with multiplayer in mind, and a bunch of legendary guys to boot (plus Kongming, Sleeping Dragon... again. Do people really like Kongming that much?). Let's see what has been spoiled so far, which we already know will be in Vintage Masters.

 Dack Fayden: Dack is a character in the Magic ongoing narrative since a few sets now, and was expected to be in Return to Ravnica (because he's "the greatest thief in the Multiverse", which might have been a good fit in an urban setting), then in Theros. His debut in Conspiracy is a bit out of the spotlight, but the card delivers well enough, and is indeed well-suited for Commander: for 3 Izzet-colored mana (shouldn't a thief be at least a bit black?) you get a double looting that builds towards a pretty awesome universal stealing. And while his minus ability might not always be relevant in most formats (it's probably meant to steal all those great mana rocks in Vintage Masters limited, though), it's certainly appealing in Commander, where at least one of your opponents is bound to have an interesting artifact in play at almost any given time. And that's a stealing effect with no expiration! Dack is indeed a good thief.

 Brago, King Eternal: This new ghastly ghost makes for a great shenanigan commander, in direct rivalry to Roon of the Hidden Realm. On one side, Roon doesn't require to risk his life in an attack to do his trick. On the other side, Brago is an evasive creature with toughness 4, so he should be fine most of the times, and his trigger affects all your team at once (and then some: most of your other permanents, too), and doesn't wait for the end of the turn, which can lead to bonkers results. Plus, it doesn't even require mana.

 Marchesa, the Black Rose: First of all, "Marchesa" is not a name. It's the Italian translation of "marchioness". So this lady's name is pretty awkward. The dethrone mechanics has also kind of a clumsy wording, and at the end of the day, it's just meant to push players into attacking the player who's ahead and not the player who's behind in a multiplayer setting. Which results in more awkwardness when you're the player who's ahead, so your Marchesa actually hates you. Not to mention what happens in 1v1, where dethrone works as a way not to win too much or something. But the strength of this card is actually buried under the last ability, which de facto gives immortality to all the creatures that come into play with P/T in the form of counters, like Phantom Nishoba and Kalonian Hydra, or especially Triskelion and Spike Weaver, even if it doesn't work if the creature dies when you take away its last counter. But she's still pretty neat as a build-around-me commander in a deck filled with that kind of creatures. And on top of that, dethrone is bound to provide at least some counters to the other ones you might want to include.

 Selvala, Explorer Returned: From this card alone, it's not clear what the "parley" keyword is actually about: revealing cards from the top of each player's library? Seems likely. In this case, you possibly get some mana and then everyone draws the revealed card, so you have a slight advantage on your adversaries, but at first sight, this pirate lady doesn't look like a very appealing commander – or Commander card in general – even if a 2/4 for 3 is decent enough (it's Courser of Kruphix's same deal, but Courser of Kruphix does more than this).

 Magister of Worth: A new Angel (with a strange but cool look: she's like a nun who dresses inappropriately), highlighting the "will of the council" keyword, which is about voting between two possible effects. In multiplayer, it can lead to fun, deeply strategic times (and probably a lot of arguing). In 1v1, it essentially becomes a punisher mechanic, because your opponent always gets to choice the effect that takes place. In this Angel's case, if timed right, and in the right deck, both the effects can be damning, and both are powerful enough to be considered. Vorthos note: The actual art from Conspiracy is different. I like our crazy nun better.

 Tyrant's Choice: Another "will of the council" card, that in 1v1 just translates into a punisher choice: lose a creature or lose 4 life? Not too exciting, as it'll always be what the opponent likes better in that moment. In multiplayer, I don't know, it's a way to kill that problematic creature (that happens to sit alone on a side of the battlefield) by having all the other players sacrifice a creature of their own? Seems belabored. Just use Diabolic Edict, for God's sake. Or, you know, Doom Blade.

 We'll also get cards from the Portal sets that have never been online before (because they didn't find room in any of the four Masters Editions, I guess).

  

 Nature's Ruin was probably long due, even if, as a green player, I don't look forward to see it played against me anytime soon. Predatory Nightstalker is one of many Nightstalkers that we don't have online (we only had 5 out of 12 before Vintage Masters), and is a nice one, a one-sided Fleshbag Marauder. Norwood Priestess is the most powerful effect of these Portal spoilers, a variation on Elvish Piper that doesn't require mana, but is sorcery-speed and limited to green creatures. It'll still be played.

 We'll also get new art from several cards that were already online, like these new versions of Bazaar of Baghdad (spoiled yesterday here on PureMTGO), Mishra's Workshop, Living Death and Elephant Guide.

   

 Pretty cool, uh?


TRY THIS AT HOME

 Intermission between the installments of this feature, with a quick recap. We discussed so far:

 Coming next: How to cheat creatures into play from the top of your library. Stay tuned!


THE SUNCOM CHRONICLES

SUNCOM 68 winner: mihahitlor with Krenko, Mob Boss.

 

 Who would have thunk a fast aggro Goblin deck would take the 1st place in a Commander multiplayer game, right? Leave it to mihahitlor (one of the most formidable players down in Tribal Apocalypse) to find the way to do it, thanks to Krenko's mad token generations.

SUNCOM 69 winner: Gordani with Nath of the Gilt-Leaf.

 

 Another unusual and unexpected win, this time by a discard-happy commander. A well-designed, thematic deck by longtime SUNCOM aficionado Gordani.

SUNCOM 70 winner: Tibsy with Cromat.

by Tibsy - 1st place in SUNCOM 70
Creatures
1 Argothian Enchantress
1 Consecrated Sphinx
1 Fog Bank
1 Kozilek, Butcher of Truth
1 Wall of Denial
1 Zur the Enchanter
6 cards

Other Spells
1 Aura of Silence
1 Barren Glory
1 Burgeoning
1 Collective Restraint
1 Copy Enchantment
1 Cyclonic Rift
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Detention Sphere
1 Dissipation Field
1 Dovescape
1 Enchanted Evening
1 Enchantress's Presence
1 Enduring Ideal
1 Energy Field
1 Enlightened Tutor
1 Feldon's Cane
1 Form of the Dragon
1 Furnace of Rath
1 Ghostly Prison
1 Gilded Lotus
1 Greater Auramancy
1 Grim Tutor
1 Howling Mine
1 Humility
1 Idyllic Tutor
1 Imperial Seal
1 Karmic Justice
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mana Drain
1 Mind Over Matter
1 Mirari's Wake
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Night of Souls' Betrayal
1 No Mercy
1 Oblivion Ring
1 Paradox Haze
1 Phyrexian Arena
1 Prismatic Omen
1 Privileged Position
1 Propaganda
1 Replenish
1 Reverberate
1 Rhystic Study
1 Second Chance
1 Serenity
1 Sol Ring
1 Solitary Confinement
1 Sphere of Safety
1 Sterling Grove
1 Sylvan Library
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Wheel of Sun and Moon
1 Wild Research
1 Wound Reflection
54 cards
Lands
1 Arid Mesa
1 Badlands
1 Bayou
1 Blood Crypt
1 Bloodstained Mire
1 Boseiju, Who Shelters All
1 Breeding Pool
1 Command Tower
1 Drowned Catacomb
1 Flooded Strand
1 Godless Shrine
1 Hallowed Fountain
1 Hinterland Harbor
1 Marsh Flats
1 Mistveil Plains
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Plateau
1 Polluted Delta
1 Reflecting Pool
1 Reliquary Tower
1 Sacred Foundry
1 Savannah
1 Scalding Tarn
1 Scrubland
1 Serra's Sanctum
1 Steam Vents
1 Stomping Ground
1 Sunpetal Grove
1 Taiga
1 Temple Garden
1 Tropical Island
1 Tundra
1 Underground Sea
1 Verdant Catacombs
1 Volcanic Island
1 Watery Grave
1 Windswept Heath
1 Wooded Foothills
39 cards

 
Cromat

 

 And this makes three: third week in a row where a debuting commander takes the 1st place, even if in this case Cromat is mostly just a way to be more original in a 5-color deck than going Sliver Queen. Kudos to new SUNCOM player Tibsy.

SUNCOM 71 winner: Robin88 with Zur the Enchanter.

by Robin88 - 1st place in SUNCOM 71
Creatures
1 Aven Mindcensor
1 Consecrated Sphinx
1 Linvala, Keeper of Silence
1 Notion Thief
1 Phyrexian Metamorph
1 Serra Ascendant
1 Snapcaster Mage
1 Solemn Simulacrum
1 Spellskite
1 Stoneforge Mystic
1 Stuffy Doll
1 Sun Titan
12 cards

Other Spells
1 Alexi's Cloak
1 Animate Dead
1 Arcane Denial
1 Aura of Silence
1 Azorius Signet
1 Bitterblossom
1 Bribery
1 Coalition Relic
1 Contamination
1 Counterspell
1 Cyclonic Rift
1 Daybreak Coronet
1 Detention Sphere
1 Dimir Signet
1 Empyrial Armor
1 Enlightened Tutor
1 Ghostly Prison
1 Guilty Conscience
1 Helm of Obedience
1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
1 Land Tax
1 Lightning Greaves
1 Mana Drain
1 Muddle the Mixture
1 Mystical Teachings
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Necromancy
1 Necropotence
1 Negate
1 Orzhov Signet
1 Pact of Negation
1 Ponder
1 Prison Term
1 Recurring Insight
1 Replenish
1 Rest in Peace
1 Seal of Cleansing
1 Sensei's Divining Top
1 Sol Ring
1 Solitary Confinement
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 Tezzeret the Seeker
1 Whispering Madness
1 Windfall
49 cards
Lands
3 Plains
3 Snow-Covered Island
3 Swamp
2 Island
1 Academy Ruins
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 Exotic Orchard
1 Glacial Fortress
1 Hallowed Fountain
1 Homeward Path
1 Marsh Flats
1 Mistveil Plains
1 Phyrexian Tower
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

 

 Finally, 5-time winner Robin88 breaks the spell by returning to his trusty, and deadly, Zur. Powerful fetchers are powerful.


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!