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By: Leviathan, Mike Morales
Jun 14 2012 7:12am
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Recently I've started looking at my decks with an eye toward playing cards that I haven't used before.  I've created over 50 original decks for this column!  (Excluding deck doctor articles and those where I show decks that still need work, the actual total is 52.)  I was concerned that I had started falling into the trap of using the same cards over and over.  Sure, there are powerful cards that almost everyone uses, such as Primeval Titan and Sol Ring.  But since I create so many decks I just wanted to make sure that I didn't just recycle the same old cards.  Especially since Magic has been around for over 16 years and has thousands of cards to choose from.

chimney imp
Although I don't think I'll ever use this guy...

However when I first thought about the idea of laying out in my articles just which cards I hadn't used before I came upon an immediate problem:  I didn't know off the top of my heard whether I had actually used a lot of these cards.  52 decks are a lot of decks, and there are decks I have made that I haven't used in over 2 years.  As such I would actually have to have an accounting of what cards I have used.  I figured I could also keep track of how many times I used the cards to see what has been over used, and what cards I have under used.  

What was I going to do with all this information?  Why, show it to you guys of course!  This isn't meant to be a masturbatory exercise where I show off just how many decks I have shoved Spitting Image into (the answer is 4), but more an overview of the huge amount of cards out there that I consider powerful enough to include in my decks.  This should hopefully give you guys some ideas on different cards to use, and to think outside the box as well.  Who knows, maybe you've never thought of playing with Crib Swap before, but maybe seeing it here will give you another weapon in your repertoire to use.  At least that's the idea.

A couple quick notes before starting.  First, I didn't actually count the Commanders when creating this list.  The only Commander I have created more than one deck for was Palladia-Mors so we can get that question out of the way.  If you see a legendary creature listed, that means that they were used as a regular creature in the deck.  Second, I tried to place cards into categories based upon their color identity.  That means that I listed Memnarch as a Blue creature and I listed Ethersworn Adjudicator as a Gold card.  This just seems to make sense to me based on the new rules, and only really effected Bringer of the Red Dawn, which I used in my Brion deck.  Also, as I noted I didn't count any of the deck doctor articles or incomplete decks when making this list.  That means that articles where I updated precons, or showed unfinished decks weren't included in the card count.  I also didn't include articles where I didn't create the deck in the card count as well.   

Finally, I'm not perfect and may have miscounted some of these cards.  I'm not the best with spreadsheets but I tried my hardest to make sure that I didn't accidentally erase any cards.  But with that out of the way, let's move on and see a whole lot of cards!  I hope you guys like lists.


I've used White cards in 22 different decks.  This includes 3 mono-colored decks and a bunch of 2 colored decks where White was the focus.  There was one tribal deck that focused on soldiers, as you will see when looking through the list of creatures I have used.  I have used 103 different White creatures.

baneslayer angel

dawn elemental

karmic guide

loxodon gatekeeper

serra ascendant

weathered wayfarer

The creature that I have used the most is Archon of Justice, which I put in 9 different decks.  It's hard to ignore the Archon.  He can remove any permanent from the game when he dies.  As people who like to abuse their graveyard know, removing cards from the game is really a good way to deal with stuff.  As a matter of fact, I'm going to try and make sure I have a couple different ways to remove things from the game in all my decks now that Avacyn is running around.  This Archon is one of those cards that is just good.

I put Weathered Wayfarer in 8 different decks.  A lot of the White decks I made didn't have access to Green, so being behind in the land count was a common occurrence.  That made the Wayfarer invaluable especially since it could grab any land you wanted.  Creatures that I used 7 times were Baneslayer Angel, Karmic Guide and Sun Titan.  The Angel is just an all around good card, especially with all the dragon Commanders running around, and the Guide is a recursion machine.  I probably don't need to use the Angel as much, but the lifelink is always nice.  The Titan is another recursion engine, able to grab land and cheap cards.

I used Sunblast Angel, Serra Ascendant, Akroma and Adarkar Valkyrie 6 times.  A Wrath on a body is great, and I can't imagine ignoring Sunblast in the future.  Ascendant isn't as bad as people think.  If I dropped him on the first turn, I would have to attack only one opponent 7 turns in a row before killing that opponent.  That's 7 turns!  Plenty of time to find an answer, or have it get destroyed.  I don't feel bad about playing it at all.  I've sort of soured on the Valkyrie, I just haven't had its ability come up often enough for me to want to keep using it.  Akroma is good, but expensive, and with all the new powerful cards running around I have a feeling I won't be using her as much either.

As for cards that I want to use more of, Shattered Angel was really great at gaining life when I played with it.  Mirror-Sigil Sergeant has the color identity of a White card, but really needs Blue permanents to be any good.  I want to find another deck for that guy.  And despite its vulnerability and casting cost I want to find another deck for Admonition Angel as well.

White creatures come in a lot of varieties, and there's something in here for everyone.  Whether you want tutors, quick fast beaters, creature destruction, theft or large fliers that provide protection, White has it all.  Except card drawing I guess.

All right, let's look at the 26 White enchantments I've used.

true conviction

Interestingly the White enchantments aren't all defensive.  The card I used the most was Land Tax, pretty much for the same reason I used Weathered Wayfarer.  I can't imagine giving this card up as the closest thing available is Endless Horizons, which only deals with Plains.  It is just too good to avoid for any deck that isn't running Green.  Luminarch Ascension isn't a card I can see playing a whole lot any more unless the deck specifically revolves around flying creatures.  It is pretty efficient but can be replaced with something like Entreat the Angels.

I do like the offensive enchantments that White has.  True Conviction can be a beating, and Celestial Mantle is tons of fun.  I also think that Runed Halo is underused, since naming an opposing Commander hoses plenty of Commander-centric strategies.

I'm not so sure about Oath of Lieges.  I have played it in one deck, and sometimes it was good, sometimes it was bad.  The one unexpected benefit to the card is that if you drop it early, it really speeds a game up.  Control players aren't usually happy with that though and will blow it up quickly.

Otherwise there are a variety of other token makers, some better than others (Hoofprints of the Stag is just outclassed now).  Karmic Justice seems like it should be a real beating and good for decks that rely upon enchantments and/or artifacts, but what really usually happens with the Justice out is that someone uses an Oblivion Stone, and that person gets Armageddoned in response.  Then that person drops.  So I'm not really sure it's something that I am going to use in the future.

Finally, a card that isn't on here but should be is Martyr's Bond.  I definitely need to play with that card soon.

Looking at the 14 instants now, which definitely have a specific focus.

path to exile

Nothing all that unusual here.  Aside from Enlightened Tutor it's pretty much exclusively removal of one kind or another.  Return to Dust is amazing for its versatility and I'm surprised I didn't use it more.  I used to shove Condemn into all my White decks, as tucking a Commander is a pretty good deal.  But recently there have been a lot more hexproof legends printed and it seems like I'm always running into Lightning Greaves, making my Condemn slightly useless.  I think that I'm going to start running Path to Exile a little more, and even Crib Swap is probably worth another couple of chances.

Retaliate is definitely worth a shot again, but having to take the damage is tough to get over.   And the ability to create an army with White Sun's Zenith isn't something to sneeze at.  And I've always liked the idea of Invulnerability specifically because it doesn't target.  But taking deck space on a purely defensive card that needs continuous amounts of mana is tough to do.  Finally, no one seems to play with Wing Shards any more, which is too bad.

Sorceries are fun, here are 30 of them to look at.

decree of justice

planar cleansing

Of course, White is good at blowing things up, and the cards that I have used the most all do that.  Wrath of God has appeared 14 times, while Austere Command blows that away, showing up in 18 of the 22 decks where I used the color White!  That's a lot, but the White Command has versatility that cannot be overlooked.  Hallowed Burial has appeared in 8 of my decks, but for some reason I have gotten away from playing it.  I think I need to step that up a little bit now.  

Otherwise there are a lot of Wrath variants with stuff like Rout, Righteous Fury, Retribution of the Meek and Martial Coup.  Despite the mana cost Planar Cleansing is a card that I think should be played more often.  Blowing up everything, including planeswalkers, is sometimes necessary.  And it leaves lands out there to let people follow up and actually play the game.

Finally the planeswalker count is that I used Ajani Goldmane 4 times, Elspeth Tirel 2 times, and Elspeth, Knight-Errant 4 times.

Yes, the White planeswalkers are not bad, especially for an offensive minded deck.  Ajani Goldmane is probably the weakest of the group, but giving your entire team vigilance and making them bigger isn't a bad deal.  Elspeth Tirel is obviously meant for token decks, but the low cost to reset the board she provides means that she is generally useful.  And the original Elspeth has a great ultimate, along with the ability to make tokens or just have your Commander crash hard into the red zone.  Good stuff.

I haven't used Gideon Jura yet, but I will when I find the right deck.


I have used the color Blue in 20 different decks, but more as a support color than the true focus.  However I have made 2 mono-Blue decks, one of which was tribal wizards.  I used 76 different Blue creatures when making my decks.  That makes sense considering it is a support color and more known for spells than for creatures, which is the card type I emphasize.


kederekt leviathan

phyrexian ingester

vesuvan doppelganger

Just a quick note, I did include Memnarch in this list as his color identity is Blue.  The Blue creature I used the most was Gilded Drake, who appeared in 9 of my decks.  The Drake is great at what he does:  Steal the biggest threat at the table for a very low casting cost, while giving up only a 3/3 flier in return.  I say "only" because Commander is the land of giants and a 3/3 isn't all that scary.  The Drake is also great due to the ability to recur him though other cards and/or colors.  It's just good to be able to steal stuff permanently for only 2 mana.

I have used Sakashima in 8 different decks, and Thada Adel in 7.  Sakashima provides the ability to copy any creature on the table, even legendary ones, and stay alive.  Plus, with the ability to bounce, he is able to reset himself if something better comes along, or if you know you are going to Wrath soon.  Thada Adel is great since her Islandwalking typically means that she will be able to hit people for damage, and then steal a Sol Ring or find an answer to a threat.  Of course, if people aren't play Islands then you may be in a bit of a pickle, but she is typically worth the cost.

Blue creatures I've used 6 times are Draining Whelk and Mulldrifter.  The Whelk is a counterspell with a typically large, flying body attached to it.  Although pricey, this is exactly the type of counter that I enjoy.  And Mulldrifter is just nice card draw.

Among the creatures that I've only used once but would like to use more, Stormtide Leviathan seems like he would be good.  Unfortunately his high casting cost is definitely an impediment.  Sphinx of Uthuun pays immediate dividends, and does great with recursion.  Treasure Mage should be awesome, but I need to play with at least 3 or 4 big artifacts to make him worthwhile, and most of my decks don't carry that many.  Jushi Apprentice is a decent card drawer, and Dominating Licid is a card I thought I used more often.  I'm pretty sure I won't be playing Jin-Gitaxias any more though.

I used 17 different Blue enchantments.

rhystic study

Blue is obviously good at card draw.  I used Mystic Remora the most, and I generally like the card.  The tax is high enough that it is rare for people to pay it, but the upkeep cost is steep.  Rhystic Study is much easier to play around, but for some reason people don't like to pay the tax, despite my complaints.  And Future Sight allows digging into the deck, which is always nice.  Mind Unbound is a card that can get nuts fast if left alone, and I should try it again.

Interestingly I only played with theft a couple of times, with Control Magic and Volition Reins each only appearing once.  The other interesting choice is that Copy Enchantment has appeared 3 times, while Copy Artifact only once.  It would seem that there are many more artifacts to copy out there.

Here are the 28 Blue instants I used:

spell crumple

Obviously Mystical Tutor appears to be a personal favorite.  It can grab just about any answer or card draw spell necessary.  The other counterspells aren't that common for me, and there are a lot to choose from.  Obviously Hinder is something I like for the ability to tuck a Commander.  Mana Drain is great for moving forward in your mana situation, while Desertion has the ability to steal whatever you're countering.  Evacuation is a nice instant speed answer to tokens, and can help you set people back a turn or 2.  And Capsize is almost an auto-include in decks that don't have access to Green and White.

I think that Trickbind is a great card, but it is purely defensive, and I often cut it due to this limitation.  Spell Crumple is a card that I need to try more.  Time Stop is just good, period, as is Intuition.  As a matter of fact, you can do so much with Intuition that it's pretty nutty.  In almost any multi-colored deck, you can almost always guarantee that you get what you want, usually through the use of Volrath's Stronghold, Eternal Witness or Academy Ruins.  And Cryptic Command is another Command that is worth playing, even with the heavy Blue mana cost.

I also think that "free" spells, like Misdirection, Commandeer, Submerge, Foil, and even Force of Will are worth playing more.  Anytime that you can play something for "free" you will be happy.

Here are the 26 Blue sorceries that I have used in my decks.

recurring insight

Bribery, Recurring Insight and Rite of Replication are the cards that I have used the most, but interestingly I seem to have fallen off each of these.  Well, I actually still really like Rite of Replication, but the other 2 just don't do it for me like they used to.  There's something to be said for getting 5 Titans into play all at once.  However Bribery is probably better than ever right now, so I should probably cram that into more decks.  Recurring Insight started being hit or miss for me.  The 6 casting cost wasn't particularly helpful, and I found that there were many times when my opponents didn't have a whole lot of cards in hand.  Maybe it was just a bad run of games for me, I don't know.

Fabricate and Time Spiral are really my 2 new favorites.  Artifacts are so good, that having a tutor for them is always useful.  Just look at how often I played Enlightened Tutor.  And Time Spiral not only fills your hand, it allows you to cast the stuff you drew as well.

One thing to note is the lack of extra turn effects.  I used Time Stretch once, in my Intet deck, and it seemed appropriate there.  And I used Savor the Moment in my Chromium deck.  Savor the Moment actually worked really well for me, since the deck often won by using a big Living Death to get all my stuff back from my graveyard, but would often have to wait a turn to attack since I wasn't playing Red and didn't have access to Urabrask.  Savor the Moment actually was a cheap extra turn, and the lack of an untap step didn't really matter.  It fit perfectly in the deck, and I want to find more places where that type of extra turn effect would be useful.

Eternal Dominion is super fun.  The one time that I played it, I also had Uyo, Silent Prophet in play, along with a Gauntlet of Power.  I was able to copy it 4 or 5 times, and get some good stuff from my opponent.  I wanted to see if I got copies of the Epic spell during my next turn, but unfortunately my opponent conceded before I had a chance to see if it worked.  I'm pretty sure it doesn't, but it would have been neat to find out.

As for planeswalkers, I used Jace, Memory Adept and Jace, the Mind Sculptor once each and Tezzeret the Seeker twice.

Tezzeret the Seeker is obviously good in artifact decks, and can even tutor for artifact lands like Seat of the Synod for no cost.  I have found him to be pretty good.  Jace, Memory Adept is good at filling graveyards and I think should usually be included in decks using The Mimeoplasm or that like using Living Death.  I was always happy to see him in my Chromium deck.  However I don't think that I've ever seen anyone else use him.  The Mind Sculptor is good, but for some reason I always cut him in my decks. 

Jace Beleren is another planeswalker that I have put into initial versions of my decks, but never makes the final cut.  His card drawing ability isn't bad, but he's more vulnerable than a Phyrexian Arena.  Maybe I should shove him into a deck just to make sure.


All right, I used the color Red in 23 different decks, including 3 mono-colored ones.  However, don't let this fool you.  Most of the time Red was a secondary or tertiary color in my decks.  Even in one of my mono-colored Red decks, there are just as many artifacts in the deck as there are Red cards.  As such, the amount of different Red cards I used is even lower in number than Blue cards.  It's not that Red is one dimensional.  It's just that Red's forte is really mana disruption and destruction, using cards like Magus of the Moon, Blood Moon, and Jokulhaups.  I don't really play these types of cards because I don't really feel that they meet my "fun" criteria.  Of course, others may disagree.

Here are the 65 different Red creatures that I have used.

charmbreaker devils

hamletback goliath

inferno titan

taurean mauler

Red really specializes in large, angry fliers, which is funny because it is also really good at making goblins.  Of course, Red is also good at giving haste to your creatures.  That's part of the reason why Anger is the card that I used most, coming in on 9 different decks.  Honestly, Urabrask would probably be just as high if it weren't for the fact that the only came out recently.  But he is my second most popular Red creature coming in to 6 different decks.  I sort of feel that Urabrask is the most fair of the Praetors.  He doesn't kill your opponents' guys, all he does is slow them down.  He's basically a Loxodon Gatekeeper.  People may be annoyed, but he isn't huge and is pretty easy to deal with.

Viashino Heretic is a nice little piece of artifact destruction that can bring a little bit of pain too.  Remember, you can use his ability on indestructible artifacts to hurt their owner, even if the artifact won't get destroyed.  Godo and Hoarding Dragon are great at tutoring up cards, although the Dragon needs a sacrifice outlet to be really good.  I once considered making a deck using a bunch of phoenixes (phoenexii?) to get around Reds lack of recursion and inability to draw cards.  Unfortunately, the only one that I stuck with was Kuldotha Phoenix, who I believe should probably go into any artifact heavy deck using Red.

Red has a bunch of token makers, but the one I like the most is Rapacious One. Sure, he has to connect, but the ability to create a bunch of little dudes that can also be sacrificed for mana is pretty neat.  Siege-Gang Commander and Emrakul's Hatcher are also good at bringing a party along to play.

I really like Charmbreaker Devils.  Free recursion is always nice, and with 2 spells cast all of a sudden he has 10(?) power!  That's pretty good, and can hit an open opponent for a lot.  Even if he gets something as basic as Cultivate back into your hand it will be helpful.  For another powerful creature, look no further than Inferno Titan.  Make sure to always include Basilisk Collar if you play this guy.  As a matter of fact, you should probably also include Kumano as well.  Kumano's ability to exile creatures is underused and underappreciated.  Just include the Collar to go nuts.

Dragonmaster Outcast does something for free that generally costs at least 6 mana:  Make 5/5 fliers.  Every turn.  That's good stuff.  And my favorite dragon is probably Knollspine Dragon.  There are plenty of times where you can hit someone for a decent amount of damage, and having to discard your hand is a small price to pay for a whole lot of new cards.

Let's take a look at the 10 enchantments I've used.

rage reflection

Not a whole lot here, actually.  Vicious Shadows can really hurt people, but is usually best as a surprise or for hurting control decks.  But if given a little bit of time most players can get out from under the yoke of the Shadows.  And Goblin Bombardment is a great, free sac outlet.

Aggravated Assault is always nice with combat and attacking triggers.  Sneak Attack seems like it would be pretty good, but it isn't something that I have seen used very much.  I used it in my Bladewing the Risen deck to good success.

There just weren't many enchantments in Red that I really wanted to use.  I guess there's also stuff like Blood Moon, Tectonic Instability, Citadel of Pain, or some of those other, older enchants that hose people.   But I just never felt the need to use them.  I'd rather play with Rage Reflection or Gratuitous Violence.

13 Red instants used are here:

savage beating

Although I used Starstorm the most due to the ability to wipe out a lot of creatures at instant speed, the card I like the most is Savage Beating.  First of all, it's called Savage Beating!  That's a great card name!  Second, it is just a very good, game ending kind of card.  It makes your dudes hit harder, and hit twice.  What's not to like?

Cards like Reiterate and Wild Ricochet are very much hit or miss for me.  I find that often times these cards will just sit in my hand, waiting for an opportunity to be used, but no such opportunity will arise.  Then, when I tap out to play something instead of sitting back, that's when someone will cast Time Stretch or something.  So I tend to cut these cards when I need to find room for stuff.

With Avacyn running around, answers to indestructible cards are worth considering.  That's why Chaos Warp and Grab the Reins are even better now than they were previously.  Obviously Chaos Warp is better when Avacyn is being used as a Commander, but both do well when she is a regular creature in a deck.  If you are playing mono-Red, you should strongly consider using both of these cards, in addition to Duplicant.


So Wheel of Fortune and Insurrection are the top 2 cards that I played, and I guess that's understandable.  Both are very good at what they do.  Insurrection can be a game winning card all by itself, while the Wheel can refill your hand, and make opponents trash their carefully crafted plans. 

There are also some more Earthquake type of effects in here, plus creature theft and extra attacks.  It is funny to note that I used Warp World in 2 different decks.  One time, Warp World was the focus of the deck, while the other time it just happened to go well with it.

Otherwise, there isn't really a whole lot special here.  Blasphemous Act deserves mention for a potentially cheap way to Wrath the board, and I think I may be using it more in the future.  And Gamble is a good tutor for mono-Red, considering you don't have very many non-artifact tutors available.

Of the available Red planeswalkers, I've used Chandra, the Firebrand and Chandra Nalaar once each.

Now, admittedly part of the reason that I haven't used Koth is that he only really works in mono-Red decks, and I only picked him up recently.  However, aside from Koth, I also haven't played with Chandra Ablaze.  Ablaze isn't horrible, she just needs the right kind of deck I think.  One where you need a little extra draw, or where you can dump stuff into the graveyard to use later.  Actually, I don't really ever see her getting played.  Oh well.

The Firebrand is actually pretty good if you can get her to stick around.  Unfortunately her +1 has the same problem as the original Chandra's:  It's not very good.  I guess I could try and play with Tibalt, but I doubt it.


Ok, so Colorless basically means Artifacts, but it also catches Eldrazi and stuff like planeswalker Karn.  Artifacts are obviously pretty popular since they are played in every deck.  I've only used one Colorless deck so far, so that leads to some of the stuff on the list.  Here are the 33 Colorless creatures that I have used so far.

arcbound reclaimer


All right, Solemn Simulacrum is the card that I used the 2nd most overall, going into 30 of my 52 decks.  (Spoiler alert:  The card that I used the most was Reliquary Tower.)  Duplicant isn't far behind, coming in on 28 of my decks.  Both of these guys are pretty much utility all-stars.  The Simulacrum gives non-Green decks a way to ramp up their mana production, even if it is just a slight boost.  And the card draw ability upon death isn't horrible either.  I've seen kicked Rite of Replications targeting Simulacrums even when there are bigger creatures in play just so that people can get ahead on mana.  It is also a favorite card to stick under Mimic Vats.  Yes, the ubiquity of the Simulacrum can be a little annoying, but he is typically worth the sighs that people hear when they see another one played.

Duplicant, on the other hand, is even more necessary now than it was before specifically due to Avacyn.  There are very few ways to return creatures into the library or the graveyard once they have been removed from the game.  Recursion runs rampant in Commander, and the Duplicant does a great job of dealing with those shenanigans.  And since it is colorless everyone has access to him.  Unless you are playing White with access to stuff like Swords to Plowshares, or Black with access to Dark Impostor and Sever the Bloodline, you should consider using the Duplicant in most of your decks.

Steel Hellkite may be a little underappreciated I think.  It gives all colors access to a way to deal with destructible permanents.  So stick it in your Black or Blue deck if you're worried about artifacts and enchantment.  And Wurmcoil Engine is just a solid value for what you get.

I am proud to say that I never used Emrakul even when it was legal.  However, I am not as proud of the fact that I used Blightsteel Colossus twice!  I had no idea, actually.  The other legendary Eldrazi have seen a fair amount of play in my decks, and they aren't quite that terrible in my opinion.  Kozilek is nice for a little card draw, while Ulamog can get rid of a problem permanent.  The ability to shuffle the graveyard back into your deck is nice as well.

Two cards that really impressed me when I played them were Golem Artisan and Etched Champion.  Of course, both of them need artifact centered decks.  But the next time I'm running a ton of artifacts you can bet that both of them will see play in those decks.  Psychosis Crawler has also become very popular, but outside of specific decks based upon drawing massive amounts of cards I can't see playing it too much.

All right, everyone loves equipment.  Here are the 37 colorless pieces that I have used in the past.


nim deathmantle

All right, there are obviously some favorites here that see a lot of play.  The big ones are Skullclamp, Loxodon Warhammer and Lightning Greaves.  I want to say that I think that the Warhammer is pretty underrated.  There are lots of times when you need to push damage through and make someone hurt, and the Warhammer does the trick.  The life gain is also pretty important as well.  I know there are plenty of times where I just need an extra 10 life or so to live long enough to finish a game.  As it is a piece of equipment, it can stick around after Wrath's also.  It is just a solid card and should get more love.

Skullclamp works well in just about any creature based deck, but works especially well with tokens and/or Bloodghast.  Drawing 2 cards whenever one of your dudes gets killed is pretty nuts.  And Greaves is pretty much a staple and doesn't really need much of an explanation.  I have yet to really buy into Swiftfoot Boots though.  The equip cost is just annoying to me.

In the second tier of equipment are the two original swords, Sword of Fire and Ice and Sword of Light and Shadow.  They both do great things, but perform different functions.  If I'm looking for card draw in a deck, I go for Fire and Ice.  If I want to replay my creatures or need help with reanimation, I go for Light and Shadow.  Body and Mind is not very good, and I have yet to use War and Peace.  But Feast and Famine is pretty good and actually provides card advantage, albeit through discard.  I'll have to try out War and Peace sometime soon and see how it does.

The living weapon equipment like Batterskull and Bonehoard are actually better than I've given them credit, and should probably be played more often.  Bonehoard especially works well in a deck based around Commander damage, since I haven't seen Relic of Progenitus used very much recently.  Another card I need to use more is Darksteel Plate.  Avacyn has shown how important indestructibility can be.  On top of that, I know how much it annoys me to play against the card.  So I figure I might as well try it out and see how it does.

Finally, despite the exorbitant equip cost, Argentum Armor is always out there to help deal with problem permanents.  Just something to keep in mind.

Now for the basic, good old fashioned mono-artifacts, I used 107 different specimens.

armillary sphere

druidic satchel

font of mythos

memory jar

phyrexian processor

venser's journal

The first thing I should point out is that Signets and Diamonds are not listed here.  That's not because they are technically colored per the color identity rules, it's more because I just chose not to count them.  Looking back I think that may have been a mistake, but oh well.

Looking at what we have here, the cards I used the most are Sol Ring, Mind's Eye, Darksteel Ingot and Journeyer's KiteSol Ring probably would have been used a lot more often but it didn't come out online until I was already about 25 decks into writing.  It is just so good that it deserves consideration for almost every deck, and if you aren't playing it there should be a pretty good reason for it.   Darksteel Ingot is great in that it gives every deck a bit of acceleration in a way similar to Solemn Simulacrum, and doesn't die horribly to board wipe effects like Signets do.  On top of that, it provides any colored mana.  So I really like it.

I really have a love affair with Journeyer's Kite.  Being able to consistently hit land drops is important to me, and I'm sure the little bit of deck thinning doesn't hurt either.  I have actually increased the amount of basic lands in some decks just to make sure that I have more targets for the Kite.  Admittedly it costs 5 mana before you even get your first land, and it doesn't even put the lands into play like Rampant Growth.  But having some spare mana at the end of a turn means an additional land in your hand, and that's never bad.

Mind's Eye was a card that I used to put into all my decks, but I have cut back on it.  It costs 6 mana before you get your first card, and a lot of colors have more efficient ways of drawing cards.  I have recently been trying to think harder about how I want to spend my mana in my decks.  But for White and Red decks, it definitely serves its purpose well. 

The second tier artifacts appear to be Coalition Relic, Mana Crypt and Oblivion Stone.  Obviously Mana Crypt is for fast mana, but hopefully the deck includes some life gain as well.  Coalition Relic helps with mana fixing and can give you a mana boost.  And Oblivion Stone gives every deck a reset button.  The ability to save things from being blown up is one that I don't get to use very often, but can come in very handy.

For artifacts that I may use more of in the future, Venser's Journal has always been a good card every time I've used it.  If my deck is really dependent on hand size, it seems like it would be a good fit.  Tawnos's Coffin is another card that can work as pseudo-removal, or just protect one of your creatures from a Wrath.  Tower of Fortunes is a good card draw option for mono-White and Red decks and I'm surprised I've only used it once.   Quicksilver Amulet is a great way to get large creatures onto the battlefield at instant speed, and Damping Matrix shuts down a lot of cards.  Honestly, there are a lot of cards that I really need to give more chances to.  Hopefully I can do that.

I had no real place to put these, so I decided to make a list of my colored artifacts.


Some of these belong in the Gold card section, but I stuck them in here because they didn't really fit anywhere else.  There isn't really a whole lot to see.  Proteus Staff should probably get more love.  It's like a repeatable Chaos Warp!  Who doesn't like that?  Sunforger is a "build around me" card, and I just haven't made the effort to really go that route.

All right, here are the remaining colorless cards:  Eldrazi Conscription, All is Dust and Karn Liberated

Now, 2 of these cards I only used once.  The other I used 12 times.  I'm pretty sure you can figure out which one I used the most.  Yes, All is Dust is really an all star.  It is able to get around indestructible, non-artifact creatures and usually clear the board.  I really like the card.  Eldrazi Conscription isn't something that I really plan on using, but Karn definitely deserves another shot.  He is pretty much a better Spine of Ish Sah.  Unfortunately I think that people really freak out around him due to his ultimate.  I think that I would generally use him as removal though.

So that has been a lot of cards so far, and I think I'll stop there for right now.  I still have Green, Black, Gold and lands to cover, which is actually a lot.  I will finish up in the next week or two.

So are there any cards that I should use that I haven't yet?  Do you guys think that I overuse anything listed here?  Is any of the stuff underused?  I'd love to hear your thoughts.  Doing this exercise has really made me look at some of the choices that I make in my decks, and try and think outside the box a little bit.

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed the lists.  Until next time!

Leviathan, aka Tarasco on MTGO
mrmorale32 at yahoo dot com



The article is really really by LOurs at Thu, 06/14/2012 - 11:45
LOurs's picture

The article is really really good. Great job and very interesting (it incites me to do the same exercice, but i should be too lazy).

The almost only point I disagree with is that I really dislike epic spell in commander. To me it is very boring to play with or to deal with. But that's a detail on the huge amount of opinion / details provided here. Waiting the next article of the serie.

Nice Job by Stu Benedict at Thu, 06/14/2012 - 13:07
Stu Benedict's picture

really enjoyed the lists ... there is an artifact card I didn't see on your list that I have just discovered to be an apparent all-star in Commander. You should give Null Rod a try. In the 3 games I have played it; it has really killed many shennanigans. It shut down a Sharuum deck. It is also great at shutting down fast artifact mana, Sen. Div. Top, and equipment. What a gem!

Thanks guys. Eternal by Leviathan at Thu, 06/14/2012 - 19:10
Leviathan's picture

Thanks guys. Eternal Dominion is the only Epic spell that I have tried. I only cast it once and that time I had great success with it. Now, obviously how I feel about the spell is colored by how that game went. It's entirely possible that if I played it 5 more times each time I would be hamstrung by the limitations of being an Epic spell. Is it the best? No, of course not. But can it be fun? The one time I used it it was!

Null Rod is a great suggestion, I will definitely give it a shot soon! Thanks again for the comments guys, it took a while longer than I thought it would to assemble these lists.

Null rod can certainly be a by bogtrog at Fri, 06/15/2012 - 07:35
bogtrog's picture

Null rod can certainly be a powerful tool. Its biggest downside is the price. Unless you already happen to have one, I doubt most people are willing to shell out that much for such a narrow, all be it powerful card.

Anyway it is interesting to see all the cards you have used laid out like this. It is half "why hasn't he ever used X, it is one of my favorites", and half "Oh that is a cool card, I should try that".

It also struck me just how much I fiddle around with red decks. In all the other colors you have used way more cards then me. On the red stuff though, I have tried twice the things you have.

Please, let me know about by Leviathan at Fri, 06/15/2012 - 15:34
Leviathan's picture

Please, let me know about stuff that you like that isn't on here! I really wanted to know about that kind of info.

You're right, though, my usage of Red is pretty limited. You will see that I used Black and Green even more than White.

Ok I can point out a by bogtrog at Mon, 06/18/2012 - 09:58
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Ok I can point out a few.

Blinding Angel- Great little way to shut down an aggressive opponent, and force them to have an answer her if they ever want to attack again.

Puresteel Paladin- I guess you haven't really done a white equipment deck, but this guy is amazing in one.

Soltari Visionary- Good answer and prevention of enchants, and shadow also makes him especially nice in the white equipment decks.

Goblin Welder- he isn't amazing in EDH but he can provide some value in grabbing back power artifacts you lost, or forcing an opponent to toss out their good artifact for the armilary sphere they cracked earlier etc.

Goblin Sharpshooter- Maybe it is just me but a sharpshooter equipped with a basilisk collar puts a big grin on my face.

Imperial Recruiter- I see you have used him once, but that is just not enough. Almost any deck running any red should be running this guy. The tutor ability attached to him rocks on toast.

War Elemental- Ok I admit, I haven't found this to be that great, but I still love the card. He can get huge, and is very interesting in the right aggressive deck.

Dawn Charm- The ultimate versatility instant. All three modes on this card are good and all three have saved my bacon. I love this card.

Acidic Soil- Very few cards can pump out this much damage for such a low casting cost. If you are trying to be aggressive this card is great. It has been the finisher on some of my most epic Commander wins.

Heat Shimmer- This might be my all time favorite commander card. I am never unhappy to see this in my hand. It can be super powerful and super versatile. Copy an opponent early drop for incremental value, copy a Titan for Huge value, copy that big guy to give you the one more attacker you need to finish an opponent off, copy an enemy commander to kill them. This card can do so much.

Aura of Silence- I am a bit surprised you haven't used this, it seems a staple to me. Keeps a lid on all artifact and enchants, and if a problem one does appear, bam you kill it. Super handy.

Nevermore- There will always be that guy that brings the super nasty commander. This can shut them down, or at least make for a pretty good speed bump. It can be especially nasty in a 1v1 duel.

Reconnaissance- We have discussed this one before, but it is amazing. Lets you attack with impunity, and then stand everybody back up with pseudo vigilance.

Aether Flash- Not every deck wants this, but if you can make it work Aether flash can be a house. It will affect most decks pretty heavily, and shut some right down.

Repercussions- IMO reds most interesting "I win" card. It can finish people from nowhere, but I imagine not everybody is going to like it.

Arena of Ancients- If your commander doesn't need to untap to do it's thing this card is great. A must answer card for most decks.

Torpor Orb- IMO the is the ultimate hoser in Commander. So many decks lean very heavily on ETB critters to be effective. If you have a deck that doesn't then playing this card can put you in the drivers seat. Also it is tough to get rid of because so many people are counting on ETBs to be the answers for them. It can be tricky to use, but can pay off in spades.

Mask of Memory- Last but not least, the most criminally underplayed card in commander (IMO). I have mentioned it before, and I am sure I will mention it again. MoM provides amazing card advantage. Draw 2 discard the worst card in your hand? Sounds good to me. It cost very little mana to boot. Any deck planing to turn dudes sideways should at least consider the card, red and white decks especially.

I Forgot Blue. Like you I am by bogtrog at Mon, 06/18/2012 - 10:18
bogtrog's picture

I Forgot Blue. Like you I am not overly enamored with blue, and tend to not use it a ton, still I have a few cards to mention.

Kukemmsa Pirates- Not great, but to me they have a cool factor. Still stealing artifacts can be pretty handy if you can get them to connect.

Riptide Shapeshifter- Interesting way to cheat Eldrazi into play.

Envelop- In commander Sorceries just plain win games. Envelop stops sorceries, all at the bargain price of one blue. Nothing feels quite as good tapping that lone untapped island and stopping a giant Genesis Wave cold.

Infinite Reflection- It is a new card, but it can do some silly things. It is just fun.

Thanks, this is great info! by Leviathan at Mon, 06/18/2012 - 12:29
Leviathan's picture

Thanks, this is great info! Some of these are cards that I've wanted to play but couldn't find the room, while others I just hadn't considered at all. A buddy of mine loves Envelop and I've seen it blow people out and rage quit. Good stuff. I'll see what i can do about giving these a shot.

I had stored away my by dimitri19 at Tue, 03/04/2014 - 15:17
dimitri19's picture

I had stored away my collection back in 1996 and just found it. I ended up selling a bunch of cards on ebay and a few MTG sites. I'm in my quickbooks account looking at what I made from them and pretty shocked at the totals. Our long island cpa is blown away by how much they sell for.