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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Jan 09 2014 12:00pm
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 Welcome back to the wonderful world of Commander multiplayer, featuring decks and games from Sunday Commander, the PRE that 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

 The first piece of news is: this series changes name and becomes monthly! Yay? Well, there's a lot of stuff going on here now, so it'll be more organized this way. It's a new beginning! You can see from the table of contents above how the various sections are structured.

 In this news section, I'll talk about something that's been happening in the world of commander as of late. And what's happening right now is that the (somehow misnamed) Commander 2013 line of products is still getting sold at the store, and we're starting to see the new ones among those cards being played in Commander decks online. Which are the hottest, though? While I write, this is the ranking of the most expensive C13 cards (MTGO Traders prices, $3.00 or more):

Rank Card Name Comment Deck Price
1. True-Name Nemesis Our list topper is actually not so much about Commander, since, as Leviathan also noted, protection from one player isn't going to solve any multiplayer table. But every Legacy Fish deck in existence wants 4 of this now. Hence the price (and it can even go worse when C13 will leave the store). Mind Seize (Jeleva) $28.61
2.   Toxic Deluge A 3-mana sweeper is great in any format. And life is a cheaper resource in Commander than it is in other formats. Eternal Bargain (Oloro) $15.72
3.   Marath, Will of the Wild Somehow surprisingly, Marath wins the title of most sought-after commander of this batch. And it's definitely all about the Commander format here, because his ability clearly implies a Command Zone, and isn't that impressive if you play him just once (he'd be a 3/3 for 3 who does 3 damage for another 3, or split into 3 1/1s, or does a very bad modular impression). Nature of the Beast (Marath) $11.75
4.   Unexpectedly Absent This is the Chaos Warp of this edition, the alternative removal that's going to branch out of Commander. At the very least, it's an instant Temporal Spring for 2. Which is something strange to see in white, isn't it? Evasive Maneuvers (Derevi) $10.42
5.   Oloro, Ageless Ascetic The other double-digit commander is possibly the most unassuming one on paper. But Commander players know better. And love life-gaining. Eternal Bargain (Oloro) $10.00
6.   Primal Vigor  This is weird to me. Sure, another instance of Doubling Season (albeit purged of any interaction with planeswalkers) is great for redundancy in the right kind of deck. But you're giving the same power to everyone. In a time and age where any decks of any color can have crucial token- and counter-related effects (who doesn't use Avenger of Zendikar or Rite of Replication?). You would still use it, but is that price really justified? Power Hungry (Prossh) $9.50
7.   Derevi, Empyrial Tactician Derevi is the leader of a deck filled with goodies. And she's an interesting commander herself (yeah, it's a "she", as confirmed by her backstory). She never costs more than 4 to cast, has a nice set of abilities, and is a natural equipment-carrier for fast-hitting decks in a popular color identity. Evasive Maneuvers (Derevi) $9.00
8.   Prossh, Skyraider of Kher Prossh is arguably the most powerful of the new commanders, and people are already warming up to him (pun intended). Massive token generator and sacrifice outlet: he requires a dedicated build (although he can do well in a generic Jund deck, too), but is certainly going to reward his pilot. Power Hungry (Prossh) $9.00
9.   Shattergang Brothers I'm convinced these guys are being popular (and they are, considering some of the new commanders are below 2 tix) only in virtue of their fascinating, Melvin-esque design. Plus people always love Goblins that do crazy things, especially since when they stopped doing crazy silly things. Power Hungry (Prossh) $6.50
10.   Sydri, Galvanic Genius I believe Sydri is less combo-prone than she looks, but she's an Esper commander that deals with artifacts, so that's not going to go overlooked. She comes fast and is the basis for a specialty deck that requires less effort and commitment than, say, Arcum Dagsson. Plus, she kills Moxen and Mana Crypts. Eternal Bargain (Oloro) $6.29
11.   Roon of the Hidden Realm Roon is my favorite build-around-me commander of this lot. What he does is pretty simple, and is essentially what the planeswalking Venser does. You just can't wait to have Roon on the same board with Acidic Slime, fellow tribesman Stonehorn Dignitary, or even non-planeswalking Venser. Evasive Maneuvers (Derevi) $6.00
12.   Bane of Progress I'm on the fence about this thing. On one side, extreme artifact/enchantment hosing is always welcome in green, it's something you like to do there. But in how many occasions the vanilla body left behind will be worth 6 mana? Granted, Creeping Corrosion for 4 mana – and most of the other cheaper solutions in green, really – only concerns artifacts. So maybe the effect is worth in general, although you need to go light on artifacts and enchantments yourself. Evasive Maneuvers (Derevi) $5.50
13.   Gahiji, Honored One So, with Gahiji, every critter gets +2/+0, except against you. I can see the advantage here, and ensuing confusion on the battlefield, but I'm not entirely sold on spending 5 tix for such a straightforward, "let's bash!" effect. Nature of the Beast (Marath) $5.00
14.   Ophiomancer This, I like. It's "each upkeep", mind you. A black deck with some nasty, repeatable sacrifice effect like Attrition is going to go nuts with this thing. Plus, they're deathtouch, meaning they're the perfect chump-blockers. Do those snakes realize that they're essentially being raised to be fodder? Power Hungry (Prossh) $5.00
15.   Sudden Demise Along with Toxic Deluge, it's the mass removal of the set. It can be situational, but it surely makes for a great sideboard card in Legacy against Fish and Gobbos and other such mono-colored pests.  Power Hungry (Prossh) $5.00
16.   Tempt with Discovery The only card of the "temptation" cycle (or any cycle) to make this list. I guess the key it's that you'll get Gaea's Cradle and Strip Mine (although, won't they all get Strip Mine for both your Gaea's Cradle and everything else you got?) Nature of the Beast (Marath) $5.00
17.   Angel of Finality Graveyard hate is important, I suppose. Not having flash, Angel of Finality can't really make a reanimation effect fizzle, but she can  work preemptively. For the rest, her stats are decent, if not something you would put in your deck regardless to get the graveyard hate as a bonus. Evasive Maneuvers (Derevi) $4.82
18.   Naya Soulbeast Is this thing actually good? I don't get it. Maybe I'm not seeing it, but I played my fair share of green fatties, and I'm surely not into spending 8 mana (eight mana!) to get what at best is a big French vanilla trampler (like we don't have others), at worst is... dead on arrival! You can't even cheat it on the battlefield, because the ability only triggers if you cast it. I will literally never play with this dork unless someone explains to me the amazing combo I'm missing. Nature of the Beast (Marath) $4.00

So, as far as these top cards go, the count for each deck is as follows (the actual total value is of course different, considering there are a few reprints that so far retained solid prices, like Homeward Path and the Karmic Guide with the new, sweet art):

  • Evasive Maneuvers (Derevi): $35.74 (5 cards)
  • Power Hungry (Prossh): $35.00 (5 cards)
  • Eternal Bargain (Oloro): $32.01 (3 cards)
  • Mind Seize (Jeleva): $28.61 (1 card)
  • Nature of the Beast (Marath): $25.75 (4 cards)

TRY THIS AT HOME

 So you want to sweep the board with black cards? I surely do, as I've just rebuilt enough of a card pool (after my Collection Selling Event from late last year) to put together a decent good-stuff, mono-black deck (more on that below). Which brought me to consider, among other things, all the available Black Sweepers. Just in time for this new section where in each installment I'll compile a list of cards covering one specific tech as much exhaustively as possible.

 So here they come the swampy sweepers, in increasing order of CMC (NOTE: I didn't include limited/situational sweepers, like Infest, Perish or Extinction, only the ones that could be reasonably expected to remove every creature at once on at least one opponent's side of the table. Also, the evaluation is given with Commander in mind):

Card Name Rating Comment
  Black Sun's Zenith 10 Depending on the board state, it might not always be cheap to cast, but it kills protected, regenerating and indestructible guys, cripples everyone, and comes back later. Instant classic.
  Crypt Rats 7 For mono-black builds only. It attacks life totals too, so it may become a possible win-con. 
  Toxic Deluge 9 Extremely cheap life-based sweeper in a format where life is aplenty. Trumps protection, regeneration and indestructibility. Seems bound to become quite popular.
  Death Cloud 7 Not easy to use, self-harming, and requires some mana (and a heavy black base). But if timed right, the effect can be devastating. Plus, its sweeper side is an edict effect, so it plays around protection and such
  Forced March 5 Useful to keep a few fatties of your own while sweeping all the rest, but it may cost a lot if you want to remove everything, and it doesn't come with any bonus. More so, it spares regenerating and indestructible dudes.
  Bane of the Living 6 Good for redundancy on -X/-X effect, but it's not fast to use right away, and too dangerous to keep hanging around on a Commander table. 
  Damnation 10 The black Wrath of God. Timeless classic. 
  Mutilate 8 It requires a mono-black or heavy black build, but then nothing really survives in late game, when it most counts.
  Living End 5 Like for its big brother Living Death, its sweeping effect is paired with an universal recursion that might not be that easy to properly handle. Plus you have to announce it 3 turns in advance, as you can't really cascade into it reliably like you do in regular formats. Not a card for Commander.
  Pestilence 8 Compared to Crypt Rats, it's easier to keep it in play with some indestructible critter. An old-timer (we miss the Alpha art online), still relevant enough.
  Hellfire 4 All that damage isn't worth a sweeper with all the possible downsides you get in black, and no positive effects, for 1 mana more than Damnation.
  Kagemaro, First to Suffer 8  It's situational, but not hard to exploit in Commander. Unlike Crypt Rats (that are a 1/1) and Bane of the Living (that you have to play as a 2/2), you can safely keep Kagemaro on the battlefield and use him as a sizeable beater, while threatening his activation.
  Living Death 8 Living Death is a great card that generates an amazing effect. It's also, incidentally, a fairly inescapable sweeper. How to better use it without ending up with a crazy board state that's actually worse than the original one, that's entirely up to you.
  Dregs of Sorrow 6 In order to effectively  make it work as a proper sweeper, you probably need quite a lot of mana. And on top of protected, regenerating and indestructible creatures, it also can't touch the black ones. Still, the drawing effect is sweet, even if at that point you're better off playing the more expensive spells you'll find below.
  Hex 6 All right, 6 creatures don't really qualifiy as "the entire battlefield". But for 6 mana, it's a lot of creatures, and you get to choose which ones live or die. The real issue is that if there are only 5 creatures on the battlefield, this card becomes useless.
  Hythonia the Cruel 7 The monstrosity effect is 8 mana, on top of a 6-mana creature, so this definitely isn't a quick way to sweep the board. It leaves you with a 7/10 deathtoucher on the board, though, which isn't bad (plus, your deck might well include some other Gorgon, like Visara or the Sisters of Stone Death).
  Life's Finale 6 It's good for redundancy if you want more sweeping effects that doesn't require a ton of mana or other kind of resources. But watch out for the mandatory Entomb, as in Commander coud easily come back to bite you.
  Rain of Daggers 8 The price of a one-sided sweeper (the Oracle wording has that you choose only one opponent) is a bunch of life, but in Commander, it might be worth it.
  Ichor Explosion 4 Very situational, plus to achieve a worthy result you have to sacrifice a big creature – which, granted, might even combo with something, but then those 7 mana really  become too many.
  Decree of Pain 10  I'd say, this is the number one black sweeper in Commander. Its main cost is expensive, but you'll get there eventually, and you'll be rewarded with a massive card advantage, which is the kind of thing all splashy spells should do to justify their high CMC. On top of that, you get the reduced option of an instant, cantripping Infest for 5 mana. Versatile card is versatile.
  Overwhelming Forces 8 One-sided Decree of Pain? Even if it just  works against an opponent (and the creatures can regenerate), it's still amazing in many occasions.
  Pestilence Demon 8 The splashy version of the Pestilence mechanic. This guy just stays around, swings for 7 flying damage, then sweeps and punishes as you please. Of course, it's a 8-mana insanity, but it's more than worth the effort in a black build that ramps (as most do). The greatest thing is that it's de facto a repeatable sweeper, at least for creatures with toughness 5 or less (barring a way to increase his own toughness beyond 6).
  Reiver Demon 7 Reiver Demon does his job of being a flamboyant fattie, but he comes with some drawbacks that make me like Pestilence Demon better. For one, you can't reanimate him, or he would just be a glorified  beater. And he leaves too many things around for my taste. Plus, Pestilence Demon's effect, although doesn't kill regenerators, does kill players! Sure, Reiver Demon is better if you have to kill all those fifty 6/6 tokens right away, which would take 14 mana for Pestilence Demon to do in the same turn he hit the battlefield. But I think there are more occasions where he disappoints you, even just by being just a 6/6 flyer in the graveyard.
  Plague Wind  9 Oh yes, it's 9 whopping mana. But aren't these the kinds of larger-than-life spells you're playing Commander for?
  Dread Cacodemon This is so meh. You (mandatorily) pay one mana more than Plague Wind, you leave regenerators around, and you can't even attack in the same turn. All to get one vanilla dude? Thanks but no, thanks.

 So, the Best in Show are: Black Sun's Zenith, Damnation, Decree of PainPlague Wind, Toxic Deluge, Living DeathMutilate, Overwhelming Forces, Pestilence, Rain of Daggers, Kagemaro, First to Suffer, Pestilence Demon.


THE SUNCOM CHRONICLES

 Over the course of the last few Sunday Commander events, justcanceled, he of the punny deck names, has definitely emerged as the new player to fear (and probably hate. But, you know, in a sportsmanlike way). He took by storm both SUNCOM 55 and SUNCOM 56, the former with this very aggressive Rakdos, Lord of Riots list:

by justcanceled – 1st place on SUNCOM 55
Creatures
1 Anger
1 Avatar of Woe
1 Blightsteel Colossus
1 Bloodgift Demon
1 Disciple of Bolas
1 Duplicant
1 Dusk Urchins
1 Gatekeeper of Malakir
1 Goblin Ruinblaster
1 Godo, Bandit Warlord
1 Graveborn Muse
1 Hypnotic Specter
1 Inferno Titan
1 Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni
1 Kaervek the Merciless
1 Knollspine Dragon
1 Maga, Traitor to Mortals
1 Magus of the Moon
1 Myojin of Night's Reach
1 Rune-Scarred Demon
1 Sheoldred, Whispering One
1 Shepherd of Rot
1 Shriekmaw
1 Solemn Simulacrum
1 Steel Hellkite
1 Twisted Abomination
1 Ulamog's Crusher
1 Urabrask the Hidden
1 Wurmcoil Engine
29 cards

Other Spells
1 Animate Dead
1 Chain Reaction
1 Chandra, the Firebrand
1 Coalition Relic
1 Crucible of Worlds
1 Entomb
1 Gilded Lotus
1 Honden of Infinite Rage
1 Incendiary Command
1 Jeweled Amulet
1 Koth of the Hammer
1 Lightning Greaves
1 Molten Disaster
1 Necropotence
1 Night's Whisper
1 Promise of Power
1 Pyrokinesis
1 Rakdos Signet
1 Read the Bones
1 Reanimate
1 Shattering Spree
1 Sign in Blood
1 Skullclamp
1 Sol Ring
1 Staff of Nin
1 Star Compass
1 Sword of Feast and Famine
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
1 Talisman of Indulgence
1 Temporal Extortion
1 Terminate
1 Underworld Connections
1 Vandalblast
33 cards
Lands
3 Mountain
3 Swamp
1 Akoum Refuge
1 Arid Mesa
1 Badlands
1 Barbarian Ring
1 Blood Crypt
1 Bloodstained Mire
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Command Tower
1 Dragonskull Summit
1 Ghitu Encampment
1 Graven Cairns
1 Hall of the Bandit Lord
1 Lavaclaw Reaches
1 Leechridden Swamp
1 Marsh Flats
1 Mountain Valley
1 Rakdos Carnarium
1 Rakdos Guildgate
1 Reflecting Pool
1 Rocky Tar Pit
1 Scalding Tarn
1 Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep
1 Sulfurous Springs
1 Tainted Peak
1 Tectonic Edge
1 Terramorphic Expanse
1 Thespian's Stage
1 Tresserhorn Sinks
1 Urborg Volcano
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Wooded Foothills
37 cards

 
Rakdos, Lord of Riots

 

 It's a deck that focuses on doing damage and doing it fast and furiously, by using red to both kill things and engage life totals (Molten Disaster, Incendiary Command, Chain Reaction) and black to ensure itself some card advantage, both through usual (Necropotence, Sign in Blood, Night's Whisper, Promise of Power) and unusual ways (how often do you see Dusk Urchins played?).

 One week later, the kind of aggression slightly shifted but remained overwhelmingly brutal (is justcanceled going through some stuff lately?), thanks to the always dismissed, always regretted to have dismissed Ruhan of the Fomori, which mostly means white and red, which translates into massive land destruction galore.

by justcanceled – 1st place on SUNCOM 56
Creatures
1 Consecrated Sphinx
1 Draining Whelk
1 Duplicant
1 Frost Titan
1 Godo, Bandit Warlord
1 Hokori, Dust Drinker
1 Inferno Titan
1 Keldon Firebombers
1 Magus of the Moon
1 Phantasmal Image
1 Phyrexian Metamorph
1 Serra Ascendant
1 Snapcaster Mage
1 Solemn Simulacrum
1 Stoneforge Mystic
1 Stonehewer Giant
1 Sun Titan
1 Thada Adel, Acquisitor
1 Weathered Wayfarer
1 Windborn Muse
20 cards

Other Spells
1 Ajani Vengeant
1 Armageddon
1 Azorius Signet
1 Blatant Thievery
1 Boros Signet
1 Catastrophe
1 Chandra, the Firebrand
1 Coalition Relic
1 Crucible of Worlds
1 Cryptic Command
1 Cyclonic Rift
1 Decree of Annihilation
1 Fire Diamond
1 Ghostly Prison
1 Gideon Jura
1 Gilded Lotus
1 Global Ruin
1 Impending Disaster
1 Izzet Signet
1 Jace Beleren
1 Koth of the Hammer
1 Land Equilibrium
1 Lightning Greaves
1 Luminarch Ascension
1 Mystic Remora
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Path to Exile
1 Personal Tutor
1 Ravages of War
1 Rhystic Study
1 Sky Diamond
1 Sol Ring
1 Star Compass
1 Sunder
1 Sword of Feast and Famine
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
1 Swords to Plowshares
1 Talisman of Progress
1 Tamiyo, the Moon Sage
1 Vandalblast
1 Wildfire
41 cards
Lands
3 Snow-Covered Island
3 Snow-Covered Mountain
3 Snow-Covered Plains
1 Arid Mesa
1 Azorius Chancery
1 Azorius Guildgate
1 Battlefield Forge
1 Bloodstained Mire
1 Boros Garrison
1 Celestial Colonnade
1 Clifftop Retreat
1 Command Tower
1 Evolving Wilds
1 Flagstones of Trokair
1 Glacial Fortress
1 Hallowed Fountain
1 Marsh Flats
1 Mistveil Plains
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Mystic Gate
1 Plateau
1 Reflecting Pool
1 Sacred Foundry
1 Scalding Tarn
1 Steam Vents
1 Sulfur Falls
1 Tectonic Edge
1 Temple of the False God
1 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
1 Thespian's Stage
1 Tolaria West
1 Wooded Foothills
38 cards

 
Ruhan of the Fomori

 

 In the same event we saw our first Prossh, Skyraider of Kher list, courtesy of the_arend.

by the_arend – Finalist on SUNCOM 56
Creatures
1 Acidic Slime
1 Avenger of Zendikar
1 Birds of Paradise
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 Inferno Titan
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 Sylvan Primordial
1 Wood Elves
1 Yavimaya Dryad
1 Yavimaya Elder
1 Dryad Arbor
24 cards

Other Spells
1 Awakening Zone
1 Beastmaster Ascension
1 Bitterblossom
1 Chromatic Lantern
1 Crop Rotation
1 Crucible of Worlds
1 Dark Tutelage
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Doubling Season
1 Dreadbore
1 Farseek
1 Garruk Relentless
1 Garruk Wildspeaker
1 Goblin Bombardment
1 Golgari Signet
1 Green Sun's Zenith
1 Gruul Signet
1 Hero's Downfall
1 Howling Mine
1 Imperial Seal
1 Liliana of the Veil
1 Maelstrom Pulse
1 Phyrexian Arena
1 Putrefy
1 Rakdos Signet
1 Regrowth
1 Rites of Flourishing
1 Skullclamp
1 Sol Ring
1 Sylvan Library
1 Syphon Mind
1 Talisman of Impulse
1 Talisman of Indulgence
1 Three Visits
1 Tooth and Nail
1 Umezawa's Jitte
1 Wheel of Fortune
1 Worldly Tutor
1 Xenagos, the Reveler
39 cards
Lands
5 Forest
3 Swamp
2 Mountain
1 Bad River
1 Badlands
1 Bayou
alt= 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 Grasslands
1 Inkmoth Nexus
1 Kessig Wolf Run
1 Mishra's Factory
1 Mountain Valley
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Rocky Tar Pit
1 Rootbound Crag
1 Stomping Ground
1 Strip Mine
1 Taiga
1 Tectonic Edge
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Windswept Heath
1 Wooded Foothills
1 Woodland Cemetery
37 cards

 
Prossh, Skyraider of Kher

 

 It's a list with some room for improvement, but it's already impressive. And scary. Prossh is one scary fella.

 At a preliminary table where justcanceled's Ruhan ended up performing a ritual massacre, I was playing my newly rebuilt Visara the Dreadful deck, and had actually managed a great start, annihilating both my opponent's hands with a well-timed, early Myojin of Night's Reach, fueled by Liliana's Shade into Caged Sun. Right before justcanceled draw into the decisive one-two of Sun Titan (with a Sword of Feast and Famine on the board) plus Ravages of War. Moan.

by _Kumagoro_
Creatures
1 Bloodgift Demon
1 Butcher of Malakir
1 Cemetery Reaper
1 Crypt Ghast
1 Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief
1 Duplicant
1 Erebos, God of the Dead
1 Fleshbag Marauder
1 Geth, Lord of the Vault
1 Graveborn Muse
1 Hell's Caretaker
1 Helldozer
1 Kokusho, the Evening Star
1 Liliana's Shade
1 Magus of the Coffers
1 Midnight Banshee
1 Myojin of Night's Reach
1 Necropolis Regent
1 Nirkana Revenant
1 Pestilence Demon
1 Phyrexian Obliterator
1 Rune-Scarred Demon
1 Sangromancer
1 Sheoldred, Whispering One
1 Solemn Simulacrum
1 Withered Wretch
26 cards

Other Spells
1 Armillary Sphere
1 Army of the Damned
1 Beacon of Unrest
1 Beseech the Queen
1 Bitterblossom
1 Black Sun's Zenith
1 Caged Sun
1 Coalition Relic
1 Damnation
1 Decree of Pain
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Expedition Map
1 Exsanguinate
1 Gate to Phyrexia
1 Gilded Lotus
1 Grave Pact
1 Increasing Ambition
1 Jet Medallion
1 Journeyer's Kite
1 Lightning Greaves
1 Liliana of the Dark Realms
1 Liliana Vess
1 Malevolent Awakening
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mana Vault
1 Nim Deathmantle
1 Overwhelming Forces
1 Phyrexian Arena
1 Phyrexian Reclamation
1 Plague Wind
1 Promise of Power
1 Rise of the Dark Realms
1 Skullclamp
1 Sol Ring
1 Swiftfoot Boots
1 Syphon Mind
1 Thousand-Year Elixir
1 Whip of Erebos
38 cards
Lands
20 Swamp
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Cabal Coffers
1 Homeward Path
1 Marsh Flats
1 Miren, the Moaning Well
1 Mystifying Maze
1 Opal Palace
1 Phyrexian Tower
1 Strip Mine
1 Tectonic Edge
1 Thespian's Stage
1 Unholy Grotto
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Verdant Catacombs
1 Vesuva
35 cards

 
Visara the Dreadful

 

 This Visara is definitely nothing more than a "good stuff" build, but to play these kinds of decks as mono-colored builds is interesting to me, because they help me evaluate the state of the color in question. For instance, this list pushed me to consider all the most generically useful high-end mono-black fatties. I ended up with these 11 (on top of Visara herself, of course, who's just the greatest targeted creature removal on a stick):

    

   

  

 Geth, Lord of the Vault: In a deck whose commander embodies repeatable removal, Geth's recursion is just too invaluable to miss out.

 Helldozer: Visara kills dudes, Helldozer kills lands. Both are important things to do.

 Kokusho, the Evening Star: There's a reason the black Kamigawa Dragon is still banned as a commander. The reason is that "each opponent" clause. On its own it only generates a one-time unbalance of everyone's life total. But a mono-black deck like this one comes with enough sacrifice outlets and recursion effects to make Kokusho extremely worth its while.

 Midnight Banshee: She's not so popular, but she does kill stuff. Slowly, but assuredly, and most importantly, one-sidedly. Plus a 5/5 wither isn't a bad thing to have on your side.

 Necropolis Regent: This is in the realm of pure beating, but tactically so. Plus, let's talk about inevitability.

 Nirkana Revenant: She's mostly there as a high-profile mana ramper. As such, she's a staple. But she can also deal a nice ton of damage, in a pinch.

 Butcher of Malakir: Granted, he's more at home in sacrifice intensive builds like Savra or Jarad. But the Grave Pact effect is never not welcome, and even if he's a bit on the expensive side, he gives you a 5-powered flyer as a bonus.

 Rune-Scarred Demon: This is probably one the five cards every deck with black has to include. As much of a staple for the color as Consecrated Sphinx is for blue.

 Sheoldred, Whispering One: She could have been the head of the deck, but all in all , I live Visara better: the Gorgon comes faster, and is more direct and versatile. Still, what Sheoldred does is something you want to spend 7 mana for.

 Myojin of Night's Reach: The most unfair card of the lot. But hey, I have to pay big mana for that! (And when I do, as mentioned earlier, it doesn't even mean I'm going to win or anything).

 Pestilence Demon: He costs a lot, but you either deal with it, or he'll kill you all along with your unprotected creatures (hopefully not me, too).

 Most notably left out: Grave Titan, as I felt like he was just an expensive token generator in a build that doesn't particularly care for those; Mikaeus, the Unhallowed, who didn't seem especially useful here; and Avatar of Woe, who does the same thing Visara already does, but costs more to cast in most cases.


WHAT ABOUT SOME ACTION NOW?

 Why is the saved games server hating on Commander? I wanted to propose my Visara vs. Ruhan game (with Gq1rf7's Sen Triplets as mostly a watcher), but it's gone from the server. Bummer.

 Anyway, this is the section where I'll put a juicy Commander game replay from now on. I will, I promise!


COMMANDER RESOURCES


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!