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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Aug 22 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. The SUNCOM Chronicles
  3. What about some math now?
  4. Commander Resources

COMMANDING NEWS

 We're soon going to get assaulted by new releases from every direction: in the next few months we'll get a grand total of 4 new sets: From the Vault: Annihilation, Duel Decks: Speed vs. Cunning, the start of the new block, Khans of Tarkir, then a bit later, and most notably, Commander 2014. Reprints aside, we're going to see several new legendary guys joining the field, especially with Khans being a tri-colored wedge block featuring a variety of clans and clan leaders. One of which has been spoiled since a while, so everybody knows him already, but it's worth repeating here with one specific question: is he going to be a strong or interesting commander?

 Verdict: Zurgo is aggressively costed, due to his 3-colored requirement. He's capable of going on the offensive right away by swinging for 7 while indestructible. Killing him in another player's turn isn't going to slow him down too much, especially if you have a black ramp in the deck. The Sengir ability is more relevant than expected, considering he's not evasive and invites chump blocking, which would only make it more lethal down the line. Still, for a guy who should be a beatdown commander, he doesn't do too much on his own, precisely because it's very easy to stop him even without killing him. Plus, he essentially can't block. Contenders for his position in the wedge white colors are Tariel, Reckoner of Souls and Oros, the Avenger, who are more expensive but infinitely more tactical; and of course Kaalia of the Vast, who's a vastly superior choice, even if she calls for being built around. Overall Rating: 6.

 Then we have a trio of spoilers from the next Commander set. The first of which is also widely known at this point.

 Verdict: I'm still not sure if Teferi's new planeswalker/commander form is going to just be revolutionary as a concept, or actually strong on his own merits. It's certainly thrilling to have a planeswalker as a commander for the first time (of course, if you tried to conceive a Commander variant where every planeswalker can be at the helm of a deck, you're going to find out that most of the current planeswalker cards are just too strong on that role, therefore unplayable. Can you imagine having Jace, the Mind Sculptor always available?). What Teferi, Temporal Archmage seems to do, though, is suggesting a Superfriends-style Commander deck. Or not, because that emblem isn't that easy or fast to obtain, and best case scenario, you would exploit it with himself, one of the Jaces, and Tamiyo, which isn't bad for sure, but it isn't overwhelming either (or maybe it is: four big Jace's activations per turn? Four of Tamiyo freezing stuff?). Teferi's regular abilities are strong enough, though, a good balance of card drawing/selecting and ramp, with the chance of turning that untap option into something wilder, because it also allows for duplicating 4 activated abilities of your choice (or, in a pinch, giving vigilance to some of your team). It's very versatile, and justifies the 6-mana cost in a Commander setting; not sure about his potential in formats where that last line of text means nothing. Overall Rating: 8.

 Verdict: Gisa is a character from the Innistrad lore (as much as her brother Geralf below). I'm finding exciting how the background of the game is being given more stability these days, with the various planes we visited still existing and being given attention even when their block has been concluded and rotated out of Standard (and before returning to them, even). It's also a good thing that the pantheon of characters from the story is more and more translated into actual cards. Now, what about this lovely, amusingly crazy necromancer lady? She's supposed to represent the classic gravedigging approach to necromancy, whereas her blue brother is more of a Frankenstein figure (which lead to a tongue-in-cheek yet lethal rivalry between the two of them, causing armies of revived creatures battling each other in the name of their mistress and master). As such, she might feel as a one-trick-pony commander: she's a sacrifice outlet that gives you tokens, that's what she does. But she does it very well at least, for a decent cost and with a result that doubles the previous power (you sacrifice a 6/6, you'll get 12 power worth of zombies, which is sometimes preferable). Plus she's not that easy to kill. I can see her leading a Grave Pact style of deck devoted to getting value out of sacrifices. Sure, Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord is probably better at this, and adds a very relevant color to your arsenal. But how can you resist that delightful shovel-and-black-lace ensemble? Overall Rating: 7

 Verdict: As expected, we also get the other half of the Innistrad's mad necromancy team. Geralf is a more widely known name, due to cards like Geralf's Messenger. He's MTG's take on Doctor Frankenstein, and he's blue, because the blue Zombies have been established since a while as being the ones created through science, therefore needing resources from the graveyard rather than the battlefield: Geralf literally stiches corpses together to create new creatures. And to make the process easier, he's given a universal milling ability. That's probably the reason you might want to use him as a commander to begin with, to pair him up with other blue effects that care about what's in everyone's graveyard, like Diluvian Primordial, or just to win through milling. If you're lucky, you'll get one big dude out of the deal, but you don't really have much control on the outcome, and 3 mana just to try and get a decent vanilla critter aren't ideal. That's why if all you want is to create Zombies you'd better stick with his sister's ways. Sorry, Gerry. Overall Rating: 6.


THE SUNCOM CHRONICLES

 SUNCOM 81 and SUNCOM 82 winner: mikey k159 with Azami, Lady of Scrolls.

 

 Two in a row for mikey with a nasty monoblue deck that's been one of the reasons why Mind Over Matter is almost surely going to be added to the ban list come SUNCOM 100. It's really a one-card doom engine.

 SUNCOM 83 winner: justcanceled with Child of Alara.

by justcanceled - 1st place in SUNCOM 83
Creatures
1 Acidic Slime
1 Ashen Rider
1 Body Double
1 Consecrated Sphinx
1 Diluvian Primordial
1 Eternal Witness
1 Harmonic Sliver
1 Lotus Cobra
1 Palinchron
1 Phantasmal Image
1 Phyrexian Metamorph
1 Prophet of Kruphix
1 Snapcaster Mage
1 Stoneforge Mystic
1 Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir
1 Terastodon
16 cards

Other Spells
1 All Suns' Dawn
1 Austere Command
1 Blatant Thievery
1 Blue Sun's Zenith
1 Chandra, the Firebrand
1 Coalition Relic
1 Crucible of Worlds
1 Cryptic Command
1 Cultivate
1 Cyclonic Rift
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Expedition Map
1 Fact or Fiction
1 Fracturing Gust
1 Garruk Wildspeaker
1 Gilded Lotus
1 Green Sun's Zenith
1 Grim Tutor
1 Jace Beleren
1 Kodama's Reach
1 Lightning Greaves
1 Maelstrom Pulse
1 Mirari's Wake
1 Mystical Teachings
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Nature's Lore
1 Pact of Negation
1 Personal Tutor
1 Plasm Capture
1 Praetor's Grasp
1 Primal Command
1 Remand
1 Rite of Replication
1 Rude Awakening
1 Skyshroud Claim
1 Sol Ring
1 Spelltwine
1 Supreme Verdict
1 Swan Song
1 Sword of Feast and Famine
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
1 Sylvan Tutor
1 Tooth and Nail
1 Vandalblast
1 Wargate
45 cards
Lands
2 Forest
2 Island
2 Mountain
2 Plains
2 Swamp
1 Arid Mesa
1 Blood Crypt
1 Bloodstained Mire
1 Breeding Pool
1 Celestial Colonnade
1 Command Tower
1 Creeping Tar Pit
1 Diamond Valley
1 Godless Shrine
1 Hallowed Fountain
1 Krosan Verge
1 Marsh Flats
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Mountain Valley
1 Mystic Gate
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Reflecting Pool
1 Rupture Spire
1 Sacred Foundry
1 Scalding Tarn
1 Steam Vents
1 Stomping Ground
1 Tectonic Edge
1 Temple Garden
1 Temple of the False God
1 Thespian's Stage
1 Watery Grave
1 Wooded Foothills
38 cards
 
Child of Alara

 

 After winning the third and final Table of Champions (now replaced with an annual Invitational-style tournament to be played each January between the Top 12 or 16 players – I still have to work out the details), thanks to his fearsome Jeleva deck (defeating both Robin88's infamous Zur build, and mikey's Azami concoction from above), justcanceled triumphed in the regular event from the same day, where old _BIG_BROTHERS_'s favorite Child of Alara finally achieved his 5th win, therefore getting banned from further commanding decks in SUNCOM. A portentous day!

 There's an interview in the making with justcanceled (who's now the most successful player in the history of SUNCOM, with 10 wins and 2 Table of Champions, along with retired – and sorely missed! – raf.azevedo, who had 13 regular wins). We'll get to it in the next installment. In the meantime, here's the Jeleva deck that gave him the second TOC title in a row.

by justcanceled - 1st place in TOC 3
Creatures
1 Bloodgift Demon
1 Consecrated Sphinx
1 Laboratory Maniac
1 Lightning Mauler
1 Notion Thief
1 Phyrexian Metamorph
1 Simian Spirit Guide
1 Snapcaster Mage
1 Sootstoke Kindler
1 Trinket Mage
10 cards

Other Spells
1 Brainstorm
1 Chandra, the Firebrand
1 Chrome Mox
1 Coalition Relic
1 Commandeer
1 Crimson Wisps
1 Cryptic Command
1 Cyclonic Rift
1 Dark Ritual
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Dimir Signet
1 Electrolyze
1 Enervate
1 Enter the Infinite
1 Everflowing Chalice
1 Exsanguinate
1 Fire Diamond
1 Fire/Ice
1 Gilded Lotus
1 Grim Tutor
1 Imperial Seal
1 Impulse
1 Inner Fire
1 Izzet Signet
1 Jace Beleren
1 Jeweled Amulet
1 Lightning Bolt
1 Lightning Greaves
1 Lim-Dul's Vault
1 Long-Term Plans
1 Lotus Petal
1 Mass Hysteria
1 Merchant Scroll
1 Mox Diamond
1 Mystical Teachings
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Night's Whisper
1 Pact of Negation
1 Personal Tutor
1 Ponder
1 Preordain
1 Pyretic Ritual
1 Rakdos Signet
1 Remand
1 Sensei's Divining Top
1 Serum Visions
1 Sky Diamond
1 Sol Ring
1 Swiftfoot Boots
1 Talisman of Dominance
1 Talisman of Indulgence
1 Telling Time
1 Windfall
53 cards
Lands
3 Island
2 Mountain
2 Swamp
1 Arid Mesa
1 Badlands
1 Blood Crypt
1 Bloodstained Mire
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Boseiju, Who Shelters All
1 City of Brass
1 Command Tower
1 Creeping Tar Pit
1 Crumbling Necropolis
1 Dragonskull Summit
1 Drowned Catacomb
1 Hall of the Bandit Lord
1 Marsh Flats
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Mountain Valley
1 Opal Palace
1 Reflecting Pool
1 Reliquary Tower
1 Rocky Tar Pit
1 Scalding Tarn
1 Steam Vents
1 Sulfur Falls
1 Tectonic Edge
1 Thespian's Stage
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Vivid Creek
1 Watery Grave
1 Wooded Foothills
36 cards
 
Jeleva, Nephalia's Scourge

 

 This deck is the same that gave jc access to the Table of Champions, so you can see how there's still stuff that has been banned since, like Enter the Infinite. I particularly appreciate how, among all the top-of-library manipulations, we can find a card like Long-Term Plans, taking advantage of Jeleva's deep exiling effect. Where else could you see such a card, otherwise?

 SUNCOM 84 winner: Gordani with Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder.

 

 This deck is entirely composed by budget-friendly cards (and yeah, that includes Vampiric Tutor these days!). How much budget-friendly does it end up being? Well, you can find out below. Get ready to be amazed, especially after comparing it to the following one...

 SUNCOM 85 winner: the_arend with (Prossh, Skyrider of Kher).

by the_arend - 1st place in SUNCOM 85
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 Huntmaster of the Fells
1 Imperial Recruiter
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 Chord of Calling
1 Crucible of Worlds
1 Damnation
1 Demonic Tutor
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 Karn Liberated
1 Liliana of the Veil
1 Maelstrom Pulse
1 Mana Crypt
1 Nissa, Worldwaker
1 Phyrexian Arena
1 Praetor's Counsel
1 Rakdos Signet
1 Regrowth
1 Sarkhan Vol
1 Scroll Rack
1 Skullclamp
1 Sol Ring
1 Survival of the Fittest
1 Sylvan Library
1 Talisman of Impulse
1 Talisman of Indulgence
1 Three Visits
1 Tooth and Nail
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Xenagos, the Reveler
39 cards
Lands
4 Forest
3 Swamp
2 Mountain
1 Ancient Tomb
1 Arid Mesa
1 Badlands
1 Bayou
1 Blood Crypt
1 Bloodstained Mire
1 Boseiju, Who Shelters All
1 Cavern of Souls
1 City of Brass
1 Command Tower
1 Dragonskull Summit
1 Dryad Arbor
1 Mana Confluence
1 Marsh Flats
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Rootbound Crag
1 Scalding Tarn
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

 

 Yeah, this one is a deluxe set of wonders. Nothing's too much for the great Kobold god!


WHAT ABOUT SOME MATH NOW?

 You ever wonder how much does a Commander deck cost? Now we can easily establish it, thanks to the amazing Deck Pricer from mtgGoldfish! Here's the math for all the decks featured in this installment (MTGO Traders prices as of August 22, 2014).

 You wouldn't believe there might be such a super-budget deck among the winners, would you? Kudos, Gordani! Do you want to know the ratio between the Endrek deck and the Prossh deck? Almost 40:1! That's what Liliana of the Veil does to your build, I guess. 


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 every Sunday at 16:00 GMT (next one: September 7!),  and with the Commander Chronicles here next month! Commander ho!

9 Comments

Not a fan of the by Leviathan at Fri, 08/22/2014 - 14:22
Leviathan's picture

Not a fan of the "planeswalker as Commander" but maybe that's just me. Seems unnecessary, was there really that big an outcry to have this? Just seems like they are sort of running out of ideas, but I'm fine with that. There's no reason to come up with something crazy each time a new product comes out.

It's not just you. To my mind by Paul Leicht at Fri, 08/22/2014 - 21:40
Paul Leicht's picture

It's not just you. To my mind it breaks the whole paradigm of the format. The general/leader/commander as a creature is highly dealable with. Even if it is as broken as Uril, or Animar or Zur. Planeswalkers are more killable than they were 2-3 years ago but that isn't saying a lot. They still duck much of the removal that is common in commander. Having a very hard to kill non-creature as a commander is just ugly.

A mono blue planeswalker commander seems most readily abused. I don't know what they were thinking.

Mm. by Elbinac at Fri, 08/22/2014 - 22:34
Elbinac's picture

I've already thought of a few builds that could take advantage of the new Teferi as a commander.
But those would all likely run smoother off of The scry God anyway.

Most likely he'll only be used as a random card in the deck for multi-color "super friends" builds.

You sure a pw is that hard to by Kumagoro42 at Sat, 08/23/2014 - 11:56
Kumagoro42's picture

You sure a pw is that hard to kill? It seems to me like, you drop Teferi, then everybody at the table attacks Teferi, because why not, pws always get attacked regardless, so you'll either have a pretty good defense for him or he'll just get wiped out before he can do much. As I wrote, that ultimate doesn't look like easy to get to.
Whereas you can't get rid of Uril or Momir by attacking them with your zombie tokens.

Mono blue seems pretty well by Paul Leicht at Sat, 08/23/2014 - 19:12
Paul Leicht's picture

Mono blue seems pretty well suited for defensive play. It isn't an unbeatable commander, nothing is. Everything has answers. So in that sense nothing is entirely broken.

Yeah, but what I'm saying is, by Kumagoro42 at Sun, 08/24/2014 - 08:03
Kumagoro42's picture

Yeah, but what I'm saying is, why should Teferi feel more broken than, say, Arcanis the Omnipotent, who for the same cost gives you 3 cards per turn (or many more if you have something like Mind Over Matter), and whom you don't have to defend against the entirety of the opponents' armies?

Honestly, this one's good, but I feel like the old Teferi still has more of an impact on the board.

Mono colored decks have a by Paul Leicht at Sun, 08/24/2014 - 10:03
Paul Leicht's picture

Mono colored decks have a huge advantage in commander in some ways and Blue is king of mono color with permission, bounce, destruction/exiling, and hard to target evasive creatures to boot. I am not saying it is a better commander than Arcanis. Though I suspect Arcanis would find himself tucked/killed pretty early on if no counter was forthcoming.

It is a lot harder to deal with a PW that is well protected from combat. And if your only answer is KILL the commander, it comes back eventually. True you can't attack creatures with creatures (usually though fight is a thing). But there are myriad ways to deal with creatures some of which are incidental. Oh player x has 2 creatures I don't like and then there is Y's token horde and oh over here is Arcanis...yeah don't mind if I do wrath/supreme verdict, what-not.

And creatures come into play normally with summoning sickness. That is a real thing. It is more the potential for abuse that worries me about Teferi than that he is more broken than any other mono blue commander. Mono blue commanders don't typically suck. And that's in multiplayer. 1v1 it is an even bigger advantage, considering that there are no sideboards.

I am not saying it should never have been printed. I am saying "what were they thinking by printing this particular card??" It seems like a mistake but then again maybe there will be answers in the set among the other decks.

:Mono colored decks have a by longtimegone at Sun, 08/24/2014 - 14:16
longtimegone's picture

:Mono colored decks have a huge advantage in commander in some ways

Don't you think that is offset for the most part by the huge disadvantage of being monocolored, a much more limited card pool that lacks access to cards to deal with at least some threats due to the color pie?

I do, particularly in red and by Paul Leicht at Mon, 08/25/2014 - 01:15
Paul Leicht's picture

I do, particularly in red and black. Green has a wider slice as do blue and white. Blue in particularly has a bit of everything.