Kumagoro42's picture
By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Jul 22 2014 11:00am
0
Login to post comments
3412 views


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. The SUNCOM Chronicles
  3. What about some action now?
  4. Commander Resources

COMMANDING NEWS

 Since the last time I updated this series, one new set came online, Vintage Masters, and another one will be here this very week, Magic 2015. All this means 11 new potential commanders joining the field. Let's see exactly who they are, and how good they are.

Commander Name Evaluation Set Rarity
Avacyn, Guardian Angel The new Avacyn isn't really impressive, but she can lead to a late game where your creatures don't easily get damage. The activation cost of that ability remains hard to handle, though, especially in a color that doesn't ramp too well. And until that point, what kind of deck would Avacyn command? Midrange beating? Doesn't feel like a great choice. Magic 2015 Rare
  Brago, King Eternal  Probably the best commander that Conspiracy (via VMA) gave us. Brago decks are already a thing all over the client, and they are a lot of fun, creating sick interactions with all the ETB permanents (not just creatures!) that white and blue can offer. And they're certainly many, starting with things like Exclusion Ritual and Aether Adept, but also stuff like Day of the Dragons and Decree of Silence. Vintage Masters Rare
  Grenzo, Dungeon Warden  Grenzo is another fun one, with a less definite build-around-me feel (you just need a bunch of creatures for his ability to work) but inherent issues due to his colors not being excellent at scry, which is the main ability that lets you manipulate what's at the bottom of your library. Still, he's entertaining and powerful enough to try. Vintage Masters Rare
  Jalira, Master Polymorphist Is a repeatable Polymorph a good thing to have in Commander? It certainly calls for a very specific build where you try to cheat Eldrazi and Colossi into play while all the other creatures in your deck are blue legends. Might be nasty. Magic 2015 Rare
  Kurkesh, Onakke Ancient In spite of monored's inherent limitations, I'm pretty sure we'll see decks that tries to crack this Ogre Spirit and his knack for multiplying artifact activations. Which are mostly on colorless cards, so Kurkesh will have access to a lot of them. Magic 2015 Rare
  Marchesa, the Black Rose Dethrone is one of those political abilities that help you only if you're not ahead. A universal instance of it can be useful to punish the leader of the table (oftentimes life isn't the real measure of who's ahead, though), but Marchesa's true mythic-worthy ability is giving immortality to essentially all your creatures (most of which you made sure already came with natural counters). And powerful combos involving counters and returning creatures certainly abound (Triskelion, anyone?). Vintage Masters Mythic Rare
  Muzzio, Visionary Architect Conspiracy's setting of Paliano, the High City on the plane of Fiora essentially is, like those names suggest, Renaissance Italy. So I guess this guy is their version of Leonardo Da Vinci, or maybe Filippo Brunelleschi, Andrea Palladio or Leon Battista Alberti? (We've had a lot to offer back then). Regardless, Muzzio is a commander for artifact decks, but his ability feels a bit clunky, as you need to already have big artifacts on the battlefield to justify the effort. He's not going to be as popular as Arcum Dagsson, but he's still able to generate an exponential advantage in late game. Vintage Masters Mythic Rare
  Ob Nixilis, Unshackled Ob 2.0 is definitely going to become a powerhouse in Commander, even if he's clearly going to lead either GoodStuffBlack.dec, or something with a master plan that needs time to be achieved. His disruption to other players' own plans is almost unrivaled, and he's especially great at stopping combo builds. Magic 2015 Rare
  Selvala, Explorer Returned Selvala makes for a commander for decks that want to fly under the radar, something that Selesnya builds are known to do. Every activation of her ability gives everybody one card, while subtly helping her player, both with potential mana acceleration and lifegaining, and with knowing what's in everybody's hand. Paired with a very solid body and a fast casting cost, she's not exactly strong, but she's interesting. Vintage Masters Rare
  Sliver Hivelord Sliver tribal has another option, and I gotta say, while Sliver Overlord is still the best choice, indestructibility is not negligible on your team of beaters. Not that Sliver tribal is actually seen that much in competitive Commander.  Magic 2015 Mythic Rare
Yisan, the Wanderer Bard This new monogreen commander is intriguing. In the format, he's more straightforward than elsewhere, because you'll just drop him and start fetching stuff, turn after turn. If left unattended, he might grow out of control fast. Magic 2015 Rare

THE SUNCOM CHRONICLES

 SUNCOM 76 winner: RoccoCiccio with Karador, Ghost Chieftain.

by RoccoCiccio - 1st place in SUNCOM 76
Creatures
1 Academy Rector
1 Aegis of the Gods
1 Apprentice Necromancer
1 Azusa, Lost but Seeking
1 Bloodghast
1 Braids, Cabal Minion
1 Dimir House Guard
1 Duplicant
1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
1 Eternal Witness
1 Fauna Shaman
1 Grand Abolisher
1 Hermit Druid
1 Karmic Guide
1 Knight of the Reliquary
1 Loaming Shaman
1 Loyal Retainers
1 Oracle of Mul Daya
1 Qasali Pridemage
1 Reveillark
1 Rotting Rats
1 Rune-Scarred Demon
1 Sun Titan
1 Vampire Hexmage
1 Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger
1 Wall of Roots
1 Wood Elves
1 Yosei, the Morning Star
28 cards

Other Spells
1 Abundance
1 Aura Shards
1 Beseech the Queen
1 Cabal Therapy
1 City of Solitude
1 Death Cloud
1 Decree of Pain
1 Defense of the Heart
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Diabolic Intent
1 Dread Return
1 Entomb
1 Green Sun's Zenith
1 Krosan Reclamation
1 Life from the Loam
1 Living Plane
1 Mirari's Wake
1 Necromancy
1 Necropotence
1 Pattern of Rebirth
1 Phyrexian Altar
1 Phyrexian Arena
1 Reanimate
1 Stony Silence
1 Survival of the Fittest
1 Sylvan Library
1 Sylvan Scrying
1 Sylvan Tutor
1 Tooth and Nail
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Worldly Tutor
31 cards
Lands
1 Archaeological Dig
1 Arid Mesa
1 Barren Moor
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Caves of Koilos
1 Command Tower
1 Crystal Vein
1 Diamond Valley
1 Dryad Arbor
1 Exotic Orchard
1 Flagstones of Trokair
1 Gilt-Leaf Palace
1 Glacial Chasm
1 Godless Shrine
1 Golgari Rot Farm
1 Grasslands
1 Isolated Chapel
1 Khalni Garden
1 Krosan Verge
1 Llanowar Wastes
1 Marsh Flats
1 Mistveil Plains
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Mountain Valley
1 Murmuring Bosk
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Riftstone Portal
1 Savannah
1 Selesnya Sanctuary
1 Strip Mine
1 Sunpetal Grove
1 Tainted Field
1 Tainted Wood
1 Temple Garden
1 Temple of the False God
1 Tranquil Thicket
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Verdant Catacombs
1 Wooded Bastion
1 Woodland Cemetery
40 cards

 
Karador, Ghost Chieftain

 

 Karador has been popular in SUNCOM lately (see below!), and this build by Rocco in particular proved nasty, thanks to the deadly interaction between the always scary Elesh Norn and the way-too-easy-to-fetch Living Plane.

 

I don't have to tell you what happens next, right?

 It's definitely a 2-card, too-easy combo that will be properly evaluated come SUNCOM 100, when then ban list will be updated. There's also two other cards for redundancy (Nature's Revolt, that costs 1 mana more but gives you additional firepower, and Natural Affinity, that only works once but that's all you need), plus targeted effects like good ol' Kamahl, but this build doesn't even bother to include any spare one. And of course, it's still a Karador build, perfectly able to go the beatdown route as plan B, with card advantage via graveyard enabled by cards like Hermit Druid.

 SUNCOM 77 winner: Robin88 with Karador, Ghost Chieftain.

by Robin88 - 1st place in SUNCOM 77
Creatures
1 Academy Rector
1 Bloodghast
1 Carrion Feeder
1 Duplicant
1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
1 Eternal Witness
1 Fauna Shaman
1 Fiend Hunter
1 Gaddock Teeg
1 Grand Abolisher
1 Harmonic Sliver
1 Hermit Druid
1 Iona, Shield of Emeria
1 Karmic Guide
1 Knight of the Reliquary
1 Linvala, Keeper of Silence
1 Loaming Shaman
1 Loyal Retainers
1 Mother of Runes
1 Oracle of Mul Daya
1 Qasali Pridemage
1 Reveillark
1 Rotting Rats
1 Sun Titan
1 Wall of Roots
1 Weathered Wayfarer
1 Wild Mongrel
1 Wood Elves
1 Yosei, the Morning Star
29 cards

Other Spells
1 Animate Dead
1 Aura Shards
1 Beseech the Queen
1 Birthing Pod
1 Blasting Station
1 Cabal Therapy
1 City of Solitude
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Dread Return
1 Enlightened Tutor
1 Green Sun's Zenith
1 Krosan Reclamation
1 Land Tax
1 Life from the Loam
1 Lightning Greaves
1 Living Plane
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mulch
1 Pattern of Rebirth
1 Phyrexian Altar
1 Phyrexian Arena
1 Reanimate
1 Sensei's Divining Top
1 Skullclamp
1 Sol Ring
1 Survival of the Fittest
1 Sylvan Library
1 Sylvan Scrying
1 Sylvan Tutor
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Worldly Tutor
31 cards
Lands
1 Arid Mesa
1 Barren Moor
1 Bayou
1 Bazaar of Baghdad
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Caves of Koilos
1 Command Tower
1 Dryad Arbor
1 Flagstones of Trokair
1 Forest
1 Godless Shrine
1 Golgari Guildgate
1 Grasslands
1 Graypelt Refuge
1 Isolated Chapel
1 Khalni Garden
1 Marsh Flats
1 Mistveil Plains
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Murmuring Bosk
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Phyrexian Tower
1 Riftstone Portal
1 Savannah
1 Scrubland
1 Selesnya Sanctuary
1 Stirring Wildwood
1 Strip Mine
1 Sunpetal Grove
1 Temple Garden
1 Temple of Silence
1 Temple of the False God
1 Tranquil Thicket
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Verdant Catacombs
1 Windswept Heath
1 Wooded Bastion
1 Wooded Foothills
1 Woodland Cemetery
39 cards

 
Karador, Ghost Chieftain

 

 And here's Karador winning twice in a row, albeit from different players (this time it's Robin88's turn, who was so impressed the week before when Rocco beat him with this build, that he decided to pay him back in his own coin). Karador didn't show up since, but these two wins are enough to raise all kinds of alarm for that combo, which has the unpleasant side effect of not allowing to be undone.

 SUNCOM 78 winner: Mikey k159 with Azami, Lady of Scrolls.

 

 Monoblue builds are typically strong in Commander, and we saw many triumph in these 80 events: Arcanis, Teferi, Arcum Dagsson, Thada Adel. All commanders that provide you with mad card drawing, thus allowing to easily dig for endgames, and the countermagic to protect them (or, in case of Teferi, directly enabling that protection). Azami, here piloted by Mikey k159, is another great one, maybe less explosive than Arcanis, but cheaper and faster, and with the potential to go even deeper in the right deck. Admittedly, this deck doesn't take the tribal route, since it features only 5 Wizards other than the Lady of Scrolls. But the card advantage is enough, and coupled with blue's knack for recursion and nearly infinite loop (the well-known engine of High Tide + Turnabout + Time Spiral), it fuels the giant Stroke of Genius that ends the game. The signature, most dangerous card has to be this one, though:

See you for reckoning in SUNCOM 100, Mind Over Matter.

 SUNCOM 79 winner: SilencerPL with Sliver Queen.

Storm Queen
by SilencerPL - 1st place in SUNCOM 79
Creatures
1 Bloodbraid Elf
1 Bloom Tender
1 Consuming Aberration
1 Enigma Sphinx
1 Guttersnipe
1 Maelstrom Wanderer
1 Manaplasm
1 Phyrexian Metamorph
1 Sakura-Tribe Elder
1 Shardless Agent
1 Solemn Simulacrum
1 Surrakar Spellblade
1 Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir
1 Witch-Maw Nephilim
14 cards

Other Spells
1 Ancestral Vision
1 Archangel's Light
1 Bituminous Blast
1 Blasphemous Act
1 Captured Sunlight
1 Chaos Warp
1 Chromatic Lantern
1 Coalition Relic
1 Collective Restraint
1 Cultivate
1 Decree of Pain
1 Demonic Dread
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Deny Reality
1 Enduring Renewal
1 Explosive Vegetation
1 Eye of the Storm
1 Fact or Fiction
1 Farseek
1 Fellwar Stone
1 Flesh/Blood
1 Frantic Search
1 Gaea's Blessing
1 Gilded Lotus
1 Impulse
1 Kodama's Reach
1 Maelstrom Nexus
1 Maelstrom Pulse
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mind's Desire
1 Night's Whisper
1 Null Profusion
1 Phyrexian Arena
1 Possibility Storm
1 Recross the Paths
1 Recycle
1 Regrowth
1 Rhystic Study
1 Skullclamp
1 Sol Ring
1 Sphinx-Bone Wand
1 Stormcaller's Boon
1 Syphon Mind
1 Tainted Pact
1 Three Visits
1 Unexpected Results
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Violent Outburst
1 Worldly Counsel
49 cards
Lands
1 Badlands
1 Bayou
1 Blood Crypt
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Breeding Pool
1 Cephalid Coliseum
1 Command Tower
1 Desolate Lighthouse
1 Exotic Orchard
1 Forest
1 Godless Shrine
1 Hallowed Fountain
1 Island
1 Mountain
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Plains
1 Reflecting Pool
1 Savannah
1 Scrubland
1 Snow-Covered Forest
1 Snow-Covered Island
1 Snow-Covered Mountain
1 Snow-Covered Plains
1 Snow-Covered Swamp
1 Steam Vents
1 Stomping Ground
1 Swamp
1 Taiga
1 Temple Garden
1 Tropical Island
1 Vivid Crag
1 Vivid Creek
1 Vivid Grove
1 Vivid Marsh
1 Vivid Meadow
1 Watery Grave
36 cards

 
Sliver Queen

 

 From just one color to all of them. Pentacolored builds are usually considered to belong to the GoodStuff.dec category, what with the ability to include all the best cards in the pool at once. But that's not exactly what happens with many penta-decks we've seen win in SUNCOM. Polish player SilencerPL plays this build with a specific endgame: winning through these "storm" spells:

   

Yeah, that's what "storm" means in Commander.

 A plan assisted by other big enchantments like Maelstrom Nexus, Mana Reflection, Recycle/Null Profusion, and Primeval Bounty, plus all kinds of cascade stuff, and Collective Restraint for defense. So why Sliver Queen? She seems to be one of only two go-to 5-color commanders for this kind of build. The thing is: there aren't many options. In fact, there are just 12 legendary creatures with 5 colors in their cost:

 Now, Child of Alara is indeed the Queen's main rival for the role of general in 5-color builds. It might even be the first choice most of the times, but it all boils down to: do you want to have something that you might use as a reset button, or do you want to have a quick defensive body that generates chump blockers or sacrifice fodder? In this sense, Sliver Queen will still beat Sliver Hivelord, despite the latter's indestructibility (which isn't as relevant an ability for a commander).

 SUNCOM 80 winner: Robin88 with Mikaeus, the Unhallowed.

 

 So, Robin won again (his 7th victory, which gives him the 2nd place overall after the 13 wins of SUNCOM legend raf.azevedo, who recently retired from MGTO, and I salute), and we're back to a monocolored build, this time based on Mikaeus combos, the first of which is the one with Triskelion. By the way, you can read a fun interview with Robin here.


WHAT ABOUT SOME ACTION NOW?

 Here's RoccoCiccio's debut with Karador, back in SUNCOM 76, in a preliminary table populated by DownByTheRiverside with Daxos, Edison_88luckyplayer with Augustin, and ScionOfJustice with Thada Adel.


COMMANDER RESOURCES

THE COMMANDER ESSENTIALS
80 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, All Is Dust, Spine of Ish Sah, Predator, Flagship.

 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!

1 Comments

Awesome article Kuma! Thanks by Mikey K159 at Tue, 07/22/2014 - 14:45
Mikey K159's picture

Awesome article Kuma! Thanks for the shout out on my decklist as well!