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By: CheshirePlaysGames, Albert Caynes
Apr 16 2020 12:00pm
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What's up ya big beautiful geeks, Ikoria is just around the corner.... sort of? And I'm here to do a nice commander set review for you all. So sit back and let Chesh do his thang.
 
NEW MECHANICS!
Oh siiiick, we got some cool new mechanics that.... Wait, what do you mean there is a lovable OTTER commander and its banned before the set even drops?? Well, I guess we should talk about Companion then.
 

COMPANION

Companion is a new mechanic that uses the sideboard, in commander/EDH obviously there isn't a sideboard, so what happens? Well, you can still have a companion (technically a 101st card) but must still adhere to the companion's deckbuilding rules, INCLUDING your commander. I believe you can also still play the companion in the 99, but seriously maybe don't do that.
 

MUTATE

A creature with mutate can be cast normally or you can cast it for mutate, target a non-human creature you control and either put it on top or underneath the creature target as it resolves. The top most creature is the defining creature with all abilities including the top most creatures name, power, toughness and casting cost. In addition to this, if a creature in the pile or multiple creatures in the pile have a mutate ability, they will ALL trigger when a new creature in mutated into the stack. But wait, what if a creature refers to itself? The creature then just refers to the top-most creature. Mutate does NOT circumnavigate commander tax.
 
SICK NEW COMMANDERS
 

 

Mutate seems like a cool ability and Illuna could be THE go-to for a Mutate style deck. Whenever it mutates, you get to exile the top card until you hit a non-land permanent. Thrassa's Oracle is a neat trick here to win the game and we can certainly run all the token generators through the deck to make sure we can mutate onto something. I can think of a few really super gross abusable ways to nut this out such as maybe you just want free spells via Omniscience. Just be aware that it will exile those cards, no going back to the bottom or anything like that.
 


Nethroi is fairly interesting because it's basically a reverse Protean Hulk and that's some interesting design space to explore, made more “fair” by the fact that it doesn't search through your deck for the cards. However, I feel this would be amazing in a walls deck running Altar of Dementia as a sick combo to sacrifice all the falls to mill people, mutate Nethroi and then do it again. But let's be totally honest, this just goes straight into Doran, the Siege Tower, amirite?
 


Winona, don't steal from my store ever again! Winota is one of the coolest and most interesting designs I have seen in this set, and though I'm not sure she is worthy yet of being a commander, the threat of being able to drop a big scary human when you attack with a big scary non-human screams Kaalia of the Vast like power, but not exactly. See, not only are we able to cheat humans into play, there is no wording that says “when one or more”, so this will trigger on ALL of your non-human attackers.
 
In the 99 Winona here likes to help you cheat into play the likes of Agent of Treachery when you have out a Thassa, Deep-Dwelling seems pretty baller to me. Or perhaps just chuck her in a Sisay, Weatherlight Captain with God-Eternal Rhonas and Craterhoof Behemoth to really stick it to your table with a bunch of hasted 1/1 human tokens.....
 

Simic never looked so good. Except when it did, and that's all the time and forever, right? Not only does Kinnan add an extra mana from your non-land mana sources, they can also put non-humans into play from your top five cards. I feel that Kinnan will be fairly popular in the 99, but also they can command their own army fairly well. I think they go straight into my Rashmi, Eternities Crafter extreme value deck. CEDH players will likely toy with this commander and some things that might go infinite like Basalt Monolith, but I feel like this commander might still be aimed squarely at Food Chain combo to power out your deck fairly fast. Also don't forget Leyline of Abundance and mana dorks is definitely a thing that will be super gross in this deck.
 
Do we have enough Storm commanders? Can you have enough of them? Well here's one more but it's a little....odd. I'm not really sure to be honest, what I would play this in and that's interesting because I usually have some good thoughts around what I might want to do with a new legendary creature. This one, however, I'm lost.
 
Maybe this is an America Jeskai control deck, though you would have to be running Leyline of Anticipation and the like to ensure you could Mutate as though it had flash. Actually, having access to Deflecting Palm, Path to Exile, Swords to Plowshares and Counterspell via Mutating to a Meddling Mage sounds super fun. I mean gross.
 

IN THE 99/100

General creepy here seems really cool, despite him sending humans to DIE just so he can keep the peace. He is an anthem, however and that's pretty juicy. Also whenever the General or another human enters the battlefield, he exiles a card from a graveyard. I can see a new breed of human hatebears being derived from this with the General likely in the 99. I can feel the want here for an Esper hatebears with General's Enforcer who can make all your legendary Humans Indestructible and also pump out some rather expensive soldier fodder tokens.
 
ELK! Look at this majestic BEAST as it stares down the impending master it will cast. I'm not going to lie, this one is going to be hard pressed into your deck due to that deck construction requirement and if you try it, you're absolutely bonkers. Other than that, this will make a rather excellent mana producer in Jodah, Archmage Eternal.
 
I'm not sold, but that doesn't mean Rielle is bad, but hear me out. We HAVE enough spell based commanders and we have enough cards that work around spells. I can't imagine any deck where I draw this card and I'm happy about my life choices EXCEPT in a Cycling deck.
 
DINO HIPPO AHOY! Okay wow, being able to draw a card for each other permanent you control with CMC 3 or greater? Sign me all the way up. Yes we have enough card draw in Simic, but we don't have enough hippos in Magic.
 
Lurrus is amazing because there is one little word a bunch of you missed when this hell kitty was spoiled. The restriction is for permanent cards, not instants and sorceries. That means you can still play all the big expensive spells while maintaining a horribly fun weenie deck. NIGHTMARE CATS!
 
I thought I wouldn't have as much to write about this set as I do, but then Wizards just kept on dropping bombs on us. This enchantment might not be an outright game winner, but its an engine that will keep you in the game, welcome to Jeskai American Airlines, do you have your boarding paCOUNTERSPELL THAT, I'll draw a card.
 
Oh you thought the above enchantment was gross? Oh I'm sorry, here, have the best enchantment ever to include blue. Except that you have to discard your hand at the end of the turn cough Bag of Holding cough. This card feels like it SHOULD have been in last year's Flashback deck. I can't wait to try this out in that deck, upgraded to make full use of my graveyard, I just need to ensure I have a few card drawing effects on the field as well so can ensure I don't have any dead turns. I mean, it shouldn't be an issue in a Flashback deck, but gotta be safe.
 
Everything has delve, good luck” is the flavour text for this enchantment. I'm thinking of any Sultai deck, because having access to Delve when you play ten “take an extra turn” cards like Nexus of Fate seems really good and almost entirely broken. I'm sad that we can't use the mana on Villainous Wealth but I feel like it would break standard if it could be used on X spells like Hydroid Krasis or even Expansion//Explosion.
 
Ultimatums are back, and this time they're mostly okay but still kinda bad. Except this one, being able to play this in a singleton format is stupid good. Yes, I'd like to get all of those permanents back that my opponent keeps board wiping thanks.
 
Riku of Two Reflections just got even better, if that's at all possible. This spell begs to be copied over and over and over so you can play big dumb bois without paying their mana cost. Yaaaaaaaaaay, I look forward to your amazing decks. I will be over here, asleep while you take your infinite turns I don't care about.
 
CYCLING IS BACK! But to be honest, I'm a bit OH MY GEEBUS IS THAT SEVERAL BROKEN COMBOS?? Attack with (Zur, the Enchanter), search for Escape Protocol, cycle that cycling card for zero with Fluctuator targeting my Sol Ring, Sol Ring enters untapped and yeah, infinite mana in cycling seems good? Especially with Shark Typhoon. Also, the cycling three colour ;ands are hereby called TRICYCLE LANDS.
 
Well, that's it from me . Did I miss anything you're excited about? Sound off below!