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By: Doctor Anime, Tomer Abramovici
Nov 03 2014 12:00pm
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Commander addicts, rejoice! It’s been a long wait since Ghoulcaller Gisa was spoiled back in July, but we’ve finally been given our blissful fix with full deck lists of the Commander 2014 set! Check the deck lists and the full image gallery out for yourselves.

Wizards lived up to this year’s hype in my eyes. Back during Theros block, I wrote about the design direction that I wanted the format to move towards: basically, less overpowering auto-includes and more cards that counter strategies that are have little/no counters, along with more cards that give strength to niche archetypes that could use a boost in viability.

It seems like some of the people designing CMD14 are on the same wavelength as me because a lot of the stuff I hoped for has been reflected in this product. We only get a few “put this in every deck that can cast it” cards this time around, and they’re all lands that aren’t terribly broken. Instead, the focus is on a whole bunch of niche stuff that hits all the right spots.

A special mention goes to the Red deck, Built From Scratch. This is the clear winner of the bunch in terms of adding some serious artillery to a fun but somewhat underpowered archetype, Mono Red Artifacts. The push for Red Artifacts started in M15 with Kurkesh, Onakke Ancient and now the floodgates are opened in CMD14. We’ve got some new staples to this specific deck, including a planeswalker!

Plus, in terms of money, this one’s got the most: reprints of Goblin Welder, Solemn Simulacrum, Wurmcoil Engine, Chaos Warp! Talk about a stacked deck! It’s a little unfortunate that the other decks are not as crazy good as Red, but honestly, with Mono Red and Mono White being the two weakest mono colors in EDH, I’m totally fine with these colors being spoiled for once.

By the way, for all you folk excited to try out Mono Red Artifacts, I wrote a sweet deck tech for Slobad a year ago. It’s a little outdated but can provide a strong baseline for how Mono Red Artifacts should function.

 

WHITE

 

Angel of the Dire Hour

 

I love everything about this angel except for its casting cost. It costs too much for what it does, considering its sweet exile trigger is already situational. If its triggered ability happened when cheated into play this would be a sweet inclusion in decks that deal with reanimation and Sneak Attack effects, but alas, you gotta pay the seven mana. Because of the restrictive cost, I wouldn’t recommend this card except for the most hardcore tribal angel decks.

 

Angelic Field Marshal

 

All the lieutenant cards are too weak unless their mechanic is active, and then they become sweet. No surprise there. Is the risk of sometimes being sucky worth it? For the most part, no. But there are a few generals that can reliably stay on the field, which make the risk negligible. A prime example of these are the Gods, such as Iroas, God of Victory. Only a handful of played cards can deal with indestructible enchantments, stuff like Return to Dust or Chaos Warp, which means your lieutenants are consistently going to be active in the games that you cast them.

Angelic Field Marshal will be amazing in the aforementioned Iroas deck. A +2/+2 vigilance anthem for your token army while itself being a 5/5 flying vigilance creature is amazing for 4 mana. But I would avoid putting the angel in any deck where there’s a real risk of it being a crummy 3/3 flyer.

 

Benevolent Offering

 

Get three 1/1 flyers and 6+ life for 4 mana. Yawn. Not worth it.

 

Comeuppance

 

This is the type of card I will happily run in my casual Zedruu deck. It makes for fun memories when you completely turn the game around, stopping a lethal swing against you and obliterating your opponent at the same time. Fun when it works, but it’s far too situational to be an actual good card. If you want to kill creatures, run a creature board wipe instead. White has tons of those.

 

Containment Priest

 

Hello, eternal format sideboard card! Containment Priest is in the same boat as Hushwing Gryff: it’s a cheap situational “counterspell” to cheating creatures into play, from Animate Dead to Tooth and Nail, which are a dime a dozen in this format. Afterwards, any extra time that Containment Priest spends on the field is bonus gravy, as you’re severely delaying opponents from pulling off shenanigans.

I like it because it provides an answer to strong tactics in the format in a way we haven’t seen before, does so efficiently, but isn’t oppressive since a 2/2 creature is easily answered. Of course, the Priest would’ve been even better as an artifact or enchantment but I guess that’s the point. A worthy inclusion if you want to be hateful.

 

Deploy to the Front

 

Yikes, how did they come up with this mana cost? Too expensive and too situational to see real play. Compare that to Army of the Damned, which is guaranteed to produce thirteen 2/2 zombies and even has flashback. You'd think Deploy to the Front was at least an instant or did something that made it stand out for seven mana. If you really want a big flashy way of producing a ton of tokens in white, go for Storm Herd.

 

Fell the Mighty

 

A fantastic board wipe for many decks that focuses on smaller creatures, be it token strategies or wimpy commanders like Zedruu the Greathearted that want to stick around but would rather everything with 3+ power didn’t.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Fell the Mighty sees a good amount of play in weenie decks.

 

Hallowed Spiritkeeper

 

Of the new white cards, this one screams, “break me!” the most. You can potentially make a ton of tokens very efficiently with this fellow. Being a creature means lots of sacrifice and reanimation shenanigans. Hallowed Spiritkeeper is 1 power too big for Reveillark but can still combo just fine with (Ashnod’s Altar) + Nim Deathmantle and other silliness.

I expect to see Hallowed Spiritkeeper show up as a new combo piece for decks such as Teysa, Orzhov Scion.

 

Jazal Goldmane

 

Alright but not inspiring. Situational buff ability that costs a ton of mana. 4/4 first strike is nice but will be outclassed. Meh. I wouldn’t recommend this as a commander or as part of the 99.

 

Nahiri, the Lithomancer

A solid new planeswalker here. Makes tokens, situationally accelerates you if there was an equipment you wanted to play or equip, and can act as card advantage by bringing back destroyed equipment. Good options that rely on you running an equipment deck, nothing too powerful but everything useful. The ultimate is cool, kinda was hoping for a bit more, but it’s still powerful.

Nahiri looks solid enough as a commander. I probably would still prefer Kemba, Kha Regent over Nahiri as the commander, but you’ll end up running both in the same deck anyway.

 

 

BLUE

 

Aether Gale

The sorcery speed is what ruins this card in my eyes. Bouncing six things is great, but not without instant speed.

 

Breaching Leviathan

 

Again with the “if you cast it from hand” restriction. Look, if I’m forced to cast something the old fashioned way, and it costs NINE MANA, the effect better blow me away. This leviathan is good, but probably not 9 mana worth of goodness. Compare to Scourge of Fleets. Not a perfect comparison because one cares about nonblue creatures and another cares about your Island count, but still, the effect is enormous, it costs less mana, and it’s far more abusable.

Maybe I’m being too harsh but I was hoping for a bit more, like at least trample. If a card has a very narrow use and can't be abused, it better be really good at what it does.

 

Domineering Will

 

A very creative way of giving blue access to more creature kill spells. Snatch up to three creatures that need to die, give them to whomever is being attacked, and watch them get run over as speedbumps. It’s incredibly situational but leads to fun blowout situations every once in a while. Not a great power card, but a great casual card.

 

Dulcet Sirens

 

Another blue way of killing pesky utility creatures like Oracle of Mul Daya. Force them to attack into a big blocker, all done. The Morph ability seems strange but makes sense since the Sirens lack haste, so this lets you secretly set up your trap.

In the end, you’re probably better off running a straight up removal spell instead, but Sirens looks like casual / political fun.

 

Intellectual Offering

 

I bet you that this will be the “hidden tech” card that nobody else will be mentioning. By itself, Intellectual Offering is pretty good. Compared to (Jace’s Ingenuity), you draw the same amount of cards at instant speed for the same cost, but a selected opponent draws three cards as well. Generally, this is a good thing, as there’ll be someone at the table in a poor position that you can help out and form a temporary alliance with. “I’ll draw you cards if you do X for me” is very powerful in practice and is criminally underrated in most Commander reviews.

Then you untap all nonland permanents. That’s where the value comes in. Let’s say you’re playing an artifact deck, such as Muzzio, Visionary Architect. You barfed out a ton of mana rocks, from Mana Vault to Gilded Lotus, out on the table. You activate Muzzio, tap out all your mana rocks, and cast Intellectual Offering with mana floating. The offering resolves, you untap all your nonlands. Boom, you just generated mana. You can active Muzzio again or cast the cards you just drew. Things can get even more silly if you add things like Chief Engineer, so you can REALLY abuse that free untap!

Basically, Intellectual Offering is badass, and you probably didn’t even notice it!

 

Reef Worm

 

Holy mana efficiency, Batman! Reef Worm makes me happy for so many reasons. First, that flavor! “There’s always a bigger fish” is this card’s unofficial flavor text. The worm gets eaten by the fish, which gets eaten by the whale, which gets eaten by the kraken. Perfect!

I bet you Reef Worm will be heavily played in blue sacrifice decks. For four mana, you get to sacrifice this creature four times! I hear this guy loves Skullclamp and Greater Good! Plus a 6/6 and 9/9 is a legitimate threat on the board, and the built-in resiliency to board wipes is a huge plus. A solid plan would be to sacrifice the Worm until you’ve got a 6/6, then if someone wipes the board you’ve still got a 9/9 on the table.

One of the best new cards to come out of this set, that’s for sure.

 

Stitcher Geralf

 

I like milling people, exiling threats, and making big zombies. Unfortunately, you need to spend 8 mana just to get the ball rolling, and Stitcher Geralf doesn’t come with any defense against removal or haste. That’s too much of a risky investment to be playable. What a shame.

 

Stormsurge Kraken

 

Best case scenario, you’ve got a 7/7 hexproof for five mana that draws you two cards if it gets chumped. Blue has ways of forcing things to block, so combined with that you have a card draw engine, but that’s too much work to be worth it. If nothing else, I love the artwork of this card.

 

Teferi, Temporal Archmage

 

Finally, a blue walker that isn’t crappy Jace! Teferi has two excellent abilities that are always relevant. He’s either drawing you a card or doing some combination of ramping you and allowing you to re-use other tap abilities. That’s solid and worth the 6 mana to cast.

The ultimate is a love letter to the Superfriends archetype. Slam Teferi down after casting Doubling Season and suddenly all your planeswalkers got a lot more interesting. It’s by no means a broken ultimate, it’s actually one of the weaker ones even if you run Superfriends, but it’s really cool.

I think Teferi will be a solid inclusion in the 99 of a blue deck. The ramp potential is real, and that's only beginning of his potential. He’s also a solid blue commander. He doesn’t scream “build around me,” and the competition of mono-blue commanders is high (Azami, Talrand), but he is refreshing in that you can go anywhere with him and he’ll compliment any kind of deck.

 

Well of Ideas

 

You like Howling Mine? This is Howling Mine on blue steroids. While there are other, better ways of drawing yourself cards at 6 mana – coughcough Consecrated Sphinx coughwheeze – Group Hug/Pain decks will love this inclusion.

 

BLACK

 

Demon of Wailing Agonies

 

Like all lieutenants, you need an incredibly difficult to kill commander for this card to be even considered playable. That said, any of the black gods would be a perfect fit, such as Erebos, God of the Dead.

When turned on, he’s kind of like a mini-Thraximundar! This demon needs to actually connect with a player to trigger the sacrifice, but considering he’s a 6/6 flyer that should be fine. I think this is one of the better lieutenants, definitely playable in the right deck.

 

Flesh Carver

 

From my personal experiences, sacrifice outlets that require mana to activate are generally much weaker than “free” sacrifice outlets, like (Ashnod’s Altar) or Viscera Seer. Having to pay mana severely restricts what you can do each turn, so the effect better be worth it.

Flesh Carver doesn’t seem worth it. Yeah, you’re pumping up a dude with evasion, and yeah, you’ll get an equally big token out of it when he dies… but I still want more.

 

Ghoulcaller Gisa

 

Gisa suffers from the same problem as her brother: too much mana to get started and too slow! If you can’t give her haste, there’s a good chance she gets killed before you can even activate her once, which means you wasted a card and 5 mana for nothing. Even if she has haste, that’s 6 mana and a sacrificed creature to start making your zombies. Meh.

 

Infernal Offering

 

Good value! Draw 2 cards and reanimate a creature for 5 mana, definitely worth it. Either help out a person in need or help no one by choosing opponents that would get have no creatures they want to sacrifice and/or have no good creature to return. I’d play this.

 

Malicious Affliction

 

It’s a harder to cast Doom Blade that sometimes is a double Doom Blade. That’s fantastic for 2 mana! I would highly recommend black-heavy decks try this out.

 

Necromantic Selection

 

Decree of Pain is still the best of black’s expensive creature board wipes, but this is another solid option if you’re looking for more. Wipe the board, get the best creature that died this way. Nice.

 

Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath

 

I feel like the +2 is on the weak side. It would’ve been fine if each opponent lost 2 life instead. But I guess that sweet -2 makes up for it – make a 5/5 flyer?? That’s some serious meat on the table! Plus, if you ever get to the ultimate, you can quickly run away with the game by burying your opponents in card advantage.

Obby wouldn’t be my personal choice for a Mono Black commander, as I’d much prefer his more demony form of Ob Nixilis, Unshackled, Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief, or Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder. Still, he makes for a solid part of the 99.

 

Overseer of the Damned

 

A 5/5 flyer, comes into play killing a creature and making a 2/2 zombie. Will sometimes make even more zombies as a bonus. That’s worth seven mana. This is an excellent reanimation target, something black is great at, or a bounce/blink target to repeat its removal trigger. Overseer of the Damned gets my vote as the best new black card from the set.

 

Raving Dead

 

Sigh. I was hoping for at least one good zombie from this deck. Instead we get this sad, neutered version of Master of Cruelties, which itself only sees play in Kaalia of the Vast decks because it can be cheated into play attacking. Raving Dead has no such luck. No haste, no evasion, attacks a random opponent, will sometimes halve a person’s life total maybe? Not worth 5 mana.

 

Spoils of Blood

 

Being a mere one mana means that you can reliably have this card ready to cast in response to a board wipe and boom, you’ve got a 10/10 creature for one mana! Not bad. Vanilla creatures aren’t great in this format, but getting such a big one so efficiently may be worth it. I’ll have to see how it works out in testing.

 

Wake the Dead

 

How good this card is depends on how much you can abuse the creatures you’re returning to play. If you run a bunch of creatures with “enter the battlefield” and death triggers, casting this for six and getting four of them back for their triggers can be really sweet. Note that you can use this even if you aren’t being attacked. It’s still situational since you need the abusable creatures in your graveyard, but overall this looks like it has some potential.

 

RED

 

Bitter Ordeal

 

This looks like an inferior Curse of Bloodletting. I never run Curse, and I don’t think I’d run Bitter Feud either.

 

Daretti, Scrap Savant

WOWEEE! +2 is cycle up to two cards! Dig for gas, while filling your graveyard for shenanigans! -2 is like a Goblin Welder activation! Sacrifice a myr token, get back the Wurmcoil Engine! Synergy with his +2! And the ultimate, more synergy! And he only costs 4 mana!!!

Fantastic, absolutely fantastic. This is the stuff that takes Mono Red Artifacts to the next level. Daretti makes for an excellent commander but is a fantastic addition under Kurkesh, Feldon, or Slobad. Either way, he’s a new staple for this archetype.

 

Dualcaster Mage

 

This is a sweet new spin on good ol’ Fork. This new version is generally inferior in EDH since a 2/2 body is not worth the extra mana, but some decks will be able to re-use the body to get extra value to make Dualcaster Mage a better option than Fork. For example, a UR deck running Riptide Laboratory can bounce him back to be replayed, Marchesa, the Black Rose and a sacrifice outlet like Viscera Seer can reanimate him at the most opportune moment, and a bunch of other stuff can keep the Forks coming.

To those that can replay him, Dualcaster Mage will be an excellent new addition to red decks.

 

Feldon of the Third Path

 

The Red love keeps coming! Feldon isn’t specifically for an artifact deck, but the fact that the tokens he produces are artifacts, which makes him a great inclusion there as well. Feldon will have a grand ol’ time reanimating things like Solemn Simulacrum, (Baleful Dragon), Myr Battlesphere – pretty much anything and everything, really. He screams value, like a Red’s take on Mimic Vat or something.

Run him as your commander, or as part of pretty much any red deck's 99. He's amazing. Red's amazing. Everything is amazing!

Impact Resonance

 

Sometimes, stuff needs to die now, and that's why you run cheap 2-mana instant removal spells. This isn't an on-demand removal spell. If you need that for your deck, look elsewhere. This is a situational removal spell with the upside of killing 2+ things for a mere two mana. The trick is finding a deck where you can set up those opportunities regularly.

Impact Resonance will do tons of work in decks that regularly swing with giant fatties, such as Xenagos, God of Revels. Swing in with a 10/10, kill 3+ targets for 2 mana and a single card. Best of all, run it in Group Pain decks that guarantee damage every turn, making Impact Resonance consistent removal instead of situational. Nekusar, the Mindrazer will love this after a Windfall, as would Kaervek the Merciless, and none more so than Heartless Hidetsugu!

 

Incite Rebellion

 

There are better ways to deal with token swarm decks. Chain Reaction and Blasphemous Act. Incite Rebellion is just… bad. I guess this card was put here to be “fair” to the other decks, considering all of Red’s other cards have been complete blowouts? “Hey, we’re not heavily favoring Red this time! Look! We made a bad card for it! See?”

 

Scrap Mastery

 

Whaaaaat? Give the artifact deck Living Death? Amazing! I’d say it’s even better than Living Death because it requires less setting up. With Living Death, you have to be careful of your opponents having sweet creatures in their graveyard, maybe exile their graves before you cast it. But how often are you worried about your opponents having sweet artifacts to return? Way less often. And even if you need to clear their graveyard first, just use (Tormod’s Crypt) first, then get it back with Scrap Mastery!

Another auto-include for the artifact deck.

 

Tyrant’s Familiar

 

Another solid lieutenant. Flying, haste, and the kill trigger happens easily on the attack, not if blocked or if it connects with a player. A great inclusion for decks such as Xenagos, God of Revels.

 

Volcanic Offering

 

The best Offering of them all, in my opinion. Take out two pesky nonbasics like Maze of Ith and Academy Ruins, and take out two creature threats. None of them are yours, of course! I’d certainly play this in red.

 

Warmonger Hellkite

 

Forcing creatures to attack is a niche thing, and nobody does it better than Fumiko the Lowblood. Still, if you want more of this effect, having it tacked on to a 5/5 flyer that can buff isn’t bad at all. My Karona deck is all about pillowforting and forcing attacks, so this niche card will find a happy home with her.

 

GREEN

 

Creeperhulk

 

It’s efficient at what it does, but it’s no Craterhoof Behemoth. I’m not a fan.

 

Freyalise, Llanowar’s Fury

 

Freyalise looks like a mashup of the mono-green decks that came before her. She’s kind of like a worse Garruk, Primal Hunter in that her dudes are smaller and she her ultimate is like a weak version of his -3 and doesn’t hold a candle to his ultimate, but yay for tribal synergy? Her ramp is way weaker than Nissa, Worldwaker or even Garruk Wildspeaker, but they can chump and hurrah again for tribal synergy? At least she can Naturalize things, which is always good in Commander.

Overall, I’m not too impressed. I think she’s a great addition for Superfriends: making tokens is especially good in that archetype, plus her -2 brings something unique to the table, and most importantly her name is NOT Garruk so you aren’t being punished by the legendary rule. And she’ll be alright in Elf tribal decks.

 

Grave Sifter

 

A pseudo-(Patriarch’s Bidding) on a big stick. More abusable because it’s on a creature, so blink / reanimation shenanigans can squeeze out more value from this elemental. Great for tribal decks!

 

Lifeblood Hydra

 

An interesting and very green way of drawing cards. I dig it from a design perspective. I also like that it can’t be abused by graveyard shenanigans, but instead supports more offbeat strategies, namely counter manipulation. Doubling Season? Kalonian Hydra? Vorel of the Hull Clade? With a little work, you’re drawing 10+ cards when this fattie takes a dirt nap. Not bad!

 

Siege Behemoth

 

I expect more of an immediate effect for 7 mana. Hexproof is nice, its attacking trigger is alright (better or worse than Trample?), but there’s no haste and that 4 toughness is a liability when attacking. Maybe if it had Rhox’s regeneration? Not a fan.

 

Song of the Dryads

 

Song of the Dryads is sort of like Oblivion Ring, except it can also hit lands, and it’s brutal against commanders. Like Lignify and Darksteel Mutation before it, Song is a fate worse than death if put on a commander, because death allows them to go back to the command zone, while this aura keeps them around in a neutered state until either the forest or aura is removed.

The fact that Song of the Dryads crushes commanders AND can deal with any permanent makes it a new premium removal spell for green, one of the best.

 

Sylvan Offering

 

A very efficient way of making tokens while forging temporary alliances. A worthy inclusion if you're playing elf tribal and/or tokens, such as Rhys the Redeemed.

 

Thunderfoot Baloth

 

The first thing I thought of when looking at this beast was Xenagos, God of Revels. It comes into play, swings immediately as a 14/14 trampler, and all your other fatties have +2/+2 and trample. Sweet! Again, don’t put this Baloth in a deck without a super resilient commander… but do put it in Xenagos. Seriously, ouch.

 

Titania, Protector of Argoth

 

This is my favorite new green card from the set! Titania moves into a new design space by encouraging sacrificing lands, something we’ve really never seen before. One word: fetchlands!

Titania comes out, returns you a fetchland. Crack fetchlands, make a 5/3 token. That’s insanely powerful. There’s tons of ways to abuse this. Suddenly Strip Mine, Wasteland, and Tectonic Edge got a lot better. Or how about Buried Ruin and Haunted Fengraf? Scapeshift into ten 5/3 tokens? Yikes!

I can’t wait to see some Titania decks show up. She and Rampaging Baloths will frolic in the forests together, making tons of fatties to crush their enemies with. Sounds fun!

 

Wave of Vitriol

 

From the Ashes is excellent from a design perspective. It counters powerful nonbasics such as (Gaea’s Cradle) without being severely punishing like Ruination is to people who just want to play a casual 3-5 color deck and need mana fixing lands to function.

Wave of Vitriol follows that design. This is a bigger, splashier version that also hits artifacts and enchantments. That’s both good and bad. It does more things, which is good, but it makes the card’s use more narrow because now you have to not be playing a lot of nonbasics, artifacts, or enchantments, which is a criteria that few decks fall into.

I don’t think this card will see much play, especially at that mana cost, but for those few decks that don’t run artifacts / enchantments / nonbasics, this will be an epic inclusion. I’m thinking Ruric Thar, the Unbowed.

 

Wolfcaller’s Howl

 

Too situational for me to get excited about. It really needs to be making at least two wolves a turn consistently for me to want it. I don’t see that happening.

 

ARTIFACTS

 

Assault Suit

 

A cool twist on the Vow cycle. Send your creature around the table to keep doing its thing. Any further damage your creature does only benefits you, because you can’t be attacked by it. The “can’t be sacrificed” clause really sells it for me. Nothing sucks more than handing your creature over only for it to be sacrificed by a Disciple of Bolas. Ugh.

Again, the “I’ll give you this creature to attack our common enemy” politics going on with this card is incredibly strong and always underrated. Personally, Assault Suit is going straight into my Karona deck!

 

Commander’s Sphere

 

Chromatic Lantern and Coalition Relic offer better mana. Darksteel Ingot is harder to destroy. But Commander’s Sphere lets you cash it in for a card when you don’t need the mana or if it’s about to be destroyed, making it a viable alternative to the former cards. I think it’s in line with the others and a solid new option for non-green players.

 

Crown of Doom

 

A new take on Jinxed Idol, this crown can potentially be deadly if somebody has a giant swarm at the table. Since it’s so easy to pass around, you basically hand it off to whomever you want to attack on your turn for the attack buff. Seem alright. I guess some Zedruu the Greathearted decks will like this.

 

Loreseeker’s Stone

 

Amazing card draw for decks that like to vomit out their hands fast and need refueling. The best example is, you guessed it, Mono Red Artifacts! Play with 15+ mana rocks, drop them all down, play Loreseeker’s Stone with a hand full of nada, and draw 3 for three! Great stuff in the right deck.

 

Masterwork of Ingenuity

 

You have to be really deep in equipment for this to be a solid inclusion. That said, if you are running the Equipment deck, this is a great way to get a second copy of your favorite equipment at a discounted price.

 

Unstable Obelisk

 

Half mana rock, half Spine of Ish Sah? I dig it. Again, another fine inclusion in Mono Red Artifacts.

 

 

LANDS

 

Arcane Lighthouse

 

Screw you, Uril, the Miststalker! That sums up this card nicely. I guess we should also add Narset, Enlightened Master to the hexproof list now as well.

Wizards tried once to give us a decent answer to annoying hexproof generals with Glaring Spotlight. The problem is that the card is too narrow to be worth a card. Wizards fixed the issue by giving us a way to counter hexproof and only take up a land slot. That’s perfect.

If you play in a meta with hexproof/shroud annoyances, this land is a no-brainer. I expect to see this land a ton in more competitive decks.

 

Flamekin Village

 

I thought there would be no more amazing red cards once we got to the lands, but I guess I was wrong. Haste is an enormous boon for any deck, and the fact that we get a haste enabler on a land is ridiculously good. We have Hall of the Bandit Lord, which is also good in certain decks, but you must pay 3 life any time you want to tap it for mana. Flamekin Village taps for R separately.

This is a new staple for red. Run it, love it.

 

Myriad Landscape

 

Rampant Growth on a land. Insane! This feels like a new staple for all non-green decks, though honestly I think even green decks can make good use of this.

That said, Mono Black undoubtedly loves this new land the most, as not only is it land ramp in a color that doesn’t usually get it, Myriad Landscape is also ramps into swamps, which fuels Cabal Coffers and friends.

I’m going to try jamming this card in every deck. I doubt I’ll be disappointed.

 

 

TOP NEW PLAYABLE CARDS:

WHITE: Angelic Field Marshal, Containment Priest, Fell the Mighty, Hallowed Spiritkeeper, Nahiri, the Lithomancer

BLUE: Intellectual Offering, Reef Worm, Teferi, Temporal Archmage

BLACK: Demon of Wailing Agonies, Infernal Offering, Malicious Affliction, Overseer of the Damned

RED: Daretti, Scrap Savant, Dualcaster Mage, Feldon of the Third Path, Impact Resonance, Scrap Mastery, Tyrant’s Familiar, Volcanic Offering

GREEN: Lifeblood Hydra, Song of the Dryads, Thunderfoot Baloth, Titania, Protector of Argoth

ARTIFACTS: Assault Suit, Commander’s Sphere, Loreseeker’s Stone, Masterwork of Ingenuity

LANDS: Arcane Lighthouse, Flamekin Village, Myriad Landscape

 

CONCLUSION

Red is clearly the winner here, and it’s been a long time coming. Blue got the least for a change, and honestly it looks like a weak Green deck instead of a Blue one, with a focus on big fatties and nothing else. Not sure what's going on there.

The new format staples are the lands: arcane lighthouse, flamekin village, and myriad landscape. Arcane Lighthouse should go into every deck that can afford running one more colorless land, which should be 90% of them. Myriad Landscape is ramp in a land slot, which my prediction is that it’s worth putting into 99% of all decks. Finally, Flamekin Village is without a doubt a staple in any red deck, it’s just that good.

Overall, I’m very happy with this product. The preconstructed decks are more streamlined and powerful than ever before, and they look fun to play right out of the box. We’ve got some sweet reprints, especially in the Red deck, to hopefully lower the prices on some Commander staples. And there are far more playable new cards than unplayables! It’s an exciting time and I can’t wait to try out the new cards.

While I’m excited by the direction the design team is taking Commander, I’m still holding out for some specific answers to still be printed:

Keldon Firebombers

1) Good answers to green ramp strategies. There are answers to every other type of ramp out there. Mana rocks can and will be destroyed by a plethora of artifact destruction spells. Nonbasics such as Cabal Coffers or Gaea's Cradle are handled by Strip Mine, Ruination, or newcomers like Wave of Vitriol. You can't overextend with those strategies or you'll get burned But there's almost nothing to keep excessive basic land ramp in check. There's, um, Keldon Firebombers, and Land Equilibrium, I guess? But we need much more. Green ramp is already the best ramp in the format, and that makes sense, because that's part of Green's schtick. But the problem is it's also too safe, and it's warping the format because of that.

Jester's Cap

2) More efficient ways to stop combo. Infinite combos are part of the format, but they're sometimes way too hard to do anything about. Either you have a counterspell in hand or the person casts something and just goes off. Krosan Grip and a few other split second cards are good, but we need more.

Exiling combo pieces before they're played is the best method. I'm talking about Jester's Cap and similar abilities, but Cap is outdated and bad, especially in a multiplayer format. We need a new Jester's Cap made for Commander. Have the new Cap hit each player upon activation. Have it draw you a card when you sacrifice it. Make it playable!

Here's hoping R&D agrees with me and addresses these concerns in the future.

 

DOC'S COMMANDER ARCHIVE

2 Comments

This looks like a pretty fun by Leviathan at Mon, 11/03/2014 - 19:14
Leviathan's picture
5

This looks like a pretty fun set. Just looking at the average CMC's of the decks they put out, it's obvious that they are trying to push the big, battle cruiser type games rather than quick efficiency. The good thing is that a lot of the high CMC cards will appeal to the inner Timmie of most players.

The Lieutenant mechanic is obviously something that should surprise no one, and you hit the nail on the head about how you need your Commander in play to make them worthwhile. Unfortunately most peoples' Commanders usually have a large target on them, and are subject to removal rather quickly.

Still not a fan of the "planeswalker as Commander" but that's just me being crotchety and old. Having Blue get the best one is par for the course. Although the Red one is pretty fun.

Not a fan of the Offerings, unless your strategy is dependent on "helping" your opponents (group slug, etc.).

At first Titania was my favorite. She had a cool nostalgic flavor and worked with something that we hadn't really seen before. Unfortunately, after thinking about it, she's pretty linear. Most of her decks will look really similar. The things you didn't include in your write up were Crucible of Worlds and Life from the Loam, along with all the Azusa style cards you can get a hold of (Oracle of Mul Daya, Burgeoning, etc.). Still, I might get around to putting this together.

The lands are really good. Reef Wurm is nuts with Doubling Season and a sac outlet. Feldon is really sweet. Black gets some fun removal. Living Death for Red is exciting. You pretty much hit everything on the head. Nice job.

Yeah, that's what EDH is all by Doctor Anime at Mon, 11/03/2014 - 20:18
Doctor Anime's picture

Yeah, that's what EDH is all about. I like casting giant flashy effects, especially because other formats don't let us go wild like we do here.

The green leiutenant in particular has me excited. I can't wait to try it out in Xenagos, God of Revels. It looks so good there.

I really dig the Blue and Red Offerings. I like playing politics. It's invisible power.

Yeah, Titania could get too linear. Maybe a neat inclusion in 5-color land deck. I dunno. I still think she's neat.

Reef Wurm with Doubling Season?? How didn't I think of that? Nasty!