- THE COMMANDER'S AUTHORITY: M13 REVIEW [PART 2] - by Jack Amy (Views: 512)Friday 3rd August 2012
WRITER PROFILE: JACK AMY
Lifetime Pro Tour Points: 0Magic Achievements:2nd PTQ Return to Ravnica - CardiffFavourite Format: CommanderFavourite Colour: WhiteFavourite Card: Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite or Goblin Guide
Wecome to the 2nd part of my M13 review for Commander. If you missed part 1, then you can read it here.
*Chandra, the Firebrand: Interesting card for Commander. Her (+1) is too low impact for a format like this, which is what prevents her from being good, and her (-2) is only as good as spells it can copy. That being said, there are some awesome spells to copy, like taking 4 extra turns off of a Time Stretch, stealing 2 artifacts/creatures with an Acquire/Bribery, or getting two shots at a Fact or Fiction.
Recommended General: Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind. Being able to double up on any of the draw and extra turn spells in a deck built around Niv-Mizzet will allow you to deal a lot more damage and pull you further ahead than normal.
*Fervor: If you play a general that wants to act as soon as it comes into play, and also run enough creatures that want to do the same, you could make an argument for Fervor. I just don't think it impacts the game enough to use up one of your valuable card slots.
Recommended General: Krenko, Mob Boss. A fine example of a general that wants to act when it comes into play, Fervor also allows his goblin minions to attack the turn they are created.
Firewing Phoenix: Just doesn't impact the board enough to consider running.
Recommended General: Any Mono-Red
*Hamletback Goliath: This guy can get pretty big, pretty fast in a multiplayer game, but apart from sheer bulk, this guy has no way of protecting itself and cannot trample over weenies.
Recommended General: Norin the Wary. This guy enters the battlefield, a lot.
Magmaquake: The fact that this deals with planeswalkers has me sold, but also works as a pseudo-wrath. Naturally, it's quite poor in decks that run a lot of non-flyers (like my Krenko, Mob Boss decklist from last month) and planeswalkers, but other than that, go nuts.
Recommended General: Gisela, Blade of Goldnight. Protects your ground based creatures from your Magmaquake while devastating every other players board.
*Reverberate: A fun card that is simply outclassed by spells like Increasing Vengeance, Reiterate and Wild Ricochet.
Recommended General: Jhoira of the Ghitu. Allowing you to copy any instant or sorcery from suspend can be quite good, double Time Stretch anyone?
Slumbering Dragon: I adore the flavour of this card so much that I feel it's such a shame that it's just not good. But do not fear, for Commander is the realm of big creatures, and if dragons are your thing, then there are many to choose from.
Recommended General: Vaevictis Asmadi. If you're playing this guy, then I assume its for a love of dragons if nothing else. The Jund colours have the best dragons, and who better to lead them than one of the original elder dragons this format was named after.
Thundermaw Hellkite: Dealing 1 damage is very ‘meh' and getting in for a cheeky 5 damage just isn't that great, and after its initial hurrah you're left with an unexciting 5/5 flyer.
Recommended General: Vaevictis Asmadi. See Slumbering Dragon above.
Worldfire: I spoke about this card last month, and the speculation that it may receive a ban. After seeing the card in action I can say this is a fair assessment. The main problem lies in this with Jhoira of the Ghitu, and being able to suspend it with a game-winning creature, or cast a spell that deals 1 damage to each opponent like Comet Storm, and with it still on the stack, use Clockspinning to remove the last time counter from Worldfire, causing Comet Storm to resolve after Worldfire, removing each opponents last point of life.
Recommended General: Jhoira of the Ghitu. Worldfire doesn't really work the same in any other deck, and that may make it fair, but in the hands of Jhoira, it is outright broken.
Rating: 10/10, but it won't make you any friends.
*Acidic Slime: A fine example of exactly what you want from a card in Commander. A strong enters the battlefield trigger that is rarely useless, attached to an adorable little 2/2 deathtouch guy. Great to abuse with creatures like Deadeye Navigator or Roaring Primadox, this card is a Commander staple.
Recommended General: Anywhere you can fit it.
Boundless Realms: This feels like it'd be pretty good in mono-green decks that are trying to ramp into a big endgame, and is quite obscene with creatures like Avenger of Zendikar and Rampaging Baloths in play. Outside of mono-green decks, Boundless Realms loses a lot of its power due to it only finding basic land, and multicoloured decks usually run very little basic.
Recommended General: Azusa, Lost but Seeking. Boundless Realms just helps this kind of ramp deck to do the things it was trying to do in the first place, but even quicker.
Elderscale Wurm: This card doesn't excite me the way I think it's supposed to. Essentially a mean, green Platinum Angel, this guy suffers the same weaknesses. It's a problem everyone has to deal with, and has no built in defences. Platinum Angel has decent interactions with Darksteel Forge and Leonin Abunas, something the Elderscale Wurm lacks.
Recommended General: Any mono-green. Just me being lazy I guess, but I can't think of a specific place that Elderscale Wurm fits.
*Elvish Archdruid: Do you like elves? Do you like mana? Does the idea of making elves with mana from elves that make mana to make elves that make mana sound good to you? If the answer to all of these is yes, then golly, do I have the card for you!
Recommended General: Ezuri, Renegade Leader. With a couple buckets of mana and small army of elves, Ezuri wins games. Elvish Archdruid does everything you want, making your guys bigger and rapidly accelerating you.
Rating: 9/10 (Elf tribal), 1/10 (Anywhere else)
*Garruk, Primal Hunter: Aside from the awkward mana, Garruk, Primal Hunter is a strong Planeswalker. His (+1) allows you to comfortably develop a board, while providing you with a 3 power guy for his (-3), and that is where I'd leave him. His (-6) ultimate, as awe inspiring as an army of 6/6 wurms may be, requires you to wait a full round before it becomes relevant, and I'd much rather make 3/3 beasts and draw cards.
Recommended General: Rhys the Redeemed. So, I hear you like creature tokens.
Rating: 8/10 Note: Reduce this rating by 1 for each colour in your Commanders colour identity that is not green.
*Ground Seal: A free card that hates reanimate decks and Snapcaster Mage. Well, I'm sold. Feel free to run this card in any green deck with no graveyard interactions. Sometimes it will do nothing but sit there, but it will never put you behind.
Recommended General: Not really a question of general, but more a question of build. Common sense will tell you if you should play this card or not.
Predatory Rampage: Only good in decks that make lots of creatures, and even then it feels like a bad Overrun, or if you're on the elf plan, a bad Ezuri, Renegade Leader. Kills a player if 10 1/1 creatures go unblocked, making it a situational endgame card, which just isn't as effective in a multiplayer format.
Recommended General: Rhys the Redeemed. Makes enough guys that playing Predatory Rampage may just be worth it.
*Primordial Hydra: I'm finding that I'm really not keen on creatures that are big, but that's all they are. This guy can get stupidly large, and at least has the decency to trample unlike Hamletback Goliath, but has no way of protecting itself making it a mediocre threat at best.
Recommended General 1: Omnath, Locus of Mana. Will allow you to make a huge hydra that can win you the game if left unanswered.
Recommended General 2: Stonebrow, Krosan Hero. Big trampler is always appreciated.
*Quirion Dryad: Not built for Commander and not good in Commander.
Recommended General: Ghave, Guru of Spores. My previous comment and rating may have been a little harsh as she does fuel this guy's Saporling engine.
*Silklash Spider: Doesn't quite make the grade, but you could do worse than a reusable Corrosive Gale. If your game plan is to go big on the creature front, Silklash Spider will help you deal with flyers that your other creature just can't handle. Also of note, it kills Consecrated Sphinx, and of this, I approve.
Recommended General: Any mono-green.
Thragtusk: Bad on its own, but a fantastic combo piece with Deadeye Navigator. Probably doesn't make enough impact on the game to merit running unless you have a reliable way of tutoring both creatures.
Recommended General: Momir Vig, Simic Visionary. Allows you to run and helps to find the Thragtusk/Deadeye Navigator combo.
Artifacts & Multicoloured
*Akroma's Memorial: This is a card that calls for a deck that runs enough creatures to support it, and in a wrath heavy format, this may not be the best thing. On the other hand, Akroma is something of a powerhouse and I for one would not want to be staring down a small army of them.
Recommended General: Rune-Tail, Kitsune Ascendant / Rune-Tail's Essence. If your already heading down the creature deck path, Akroma's Memorial will give you a bit of extra punch.
*Door to Nothingness: Coalition Victory is banned in Commander for a reason, and while this doesn't even come close to the “oh, by the way, I've just won the game” power level of Coalition Victory, it does allow you to deal with the most threatening player in the game. With Academy Ruins, you get to try again. The major downside, it comes into play tapped giving players a chance to deal with it, and will most likely paint a giant bullseye on you.
Recommended General: Child of Alara. Any of the 5-colour legends can probably find room for the Door, but Child of Alara is possibly the strongest it calls for more a control build, and Door to Nothingness works as a potential endgame.
Gem of Becoming: If you happen to have original or Ravnica dual lands then this card provides you with perfect mana fixing, not to mention card advantage. I'd say an auto include for all Grixis and 5-colour decks.
Recommended General: Nicol Bolas. Flavour reasons again I'm unashamed to say.
*Gilded Lotus: Mana acceleration and fixing for all colours, it's had to find a reason not to play a card like this.
Recommended General: Heck, you could run this in a Kataki, War's Wage deck and still be happy with it.
Sands of Delirium: As I mentioned with Jace, Memory Adept, mill strategies are quite week in Commander. Possibly okay in decks that can produce infinite mana to mill out an entire players library in one shot, but then you'd just be better off running cards like Oona, Queen of the Fae that also deals with pesky Eldrazi.
Recommended General: The Mimeoplasm. Like Jace, Memory Adept, Sands of Delirium will help you find targets.
Staff of Nin: Drawing an extra card every turn is always nice, but tapping for one point of damage is seldom relevant. If your deck is lacking in draw power and you're already running a Mind's Eye, then Staff of Nin makes a fine addition.
Recommended General: Any non-blue, non-black. Blue and black already have much better options for drawing cards, but the other colours can be quite lacking.
*Stuffy Doll: Good in some situations where you cannot get damage through to an opponent in the traditional way, and you can even forge a temporary alliance (is there ever any other kind of alliance in Commander?) to take down a seemingly unbeatable foe by having them slam their biggest creature into your Stuffy Doll. Aside for that, the one damage is irrelevant, and any truly threatening creatures will most likely be flying over or trampling through your Stuffy Doll. Kinda cute when holding a Pariah's Shield (thank you Adam for spotting this).
Recommended General: Nin, the Pain Artist. It just so happens that Stuffy Doll is really good in a Nin deck. Drawing X cards while dealing X damage to an opponent is very strong. I'd say an auto-include for this general, but leave at home anywhere else.
Trading Post: This card is a lot of fun and has a lot of flavour. Tricky to abuse, but Unwinding Clock makes it much better, and you can gain extra value from it with a Springjack Pasture, but ultimately you should probably only run it in artifact heavy decks.
Recommended General: Arcum Dagsson. Gives easy access to the artefacts in your graveyard, and with a Mycosynth Lattice in play it churns out artifact creatures for you to tinker (not actually Tinker) with.
*Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker: When you play a Nicol Bolas two things will happen. You will make some quick friends, and you will make some quick enemies. Between his (+3) and (-2), he'll deal with almost any threat that Magic can throw at you, while his (-9) practically removes a player from the game.
Recommended General: Nicol Bolas. Good in any Grixis or 5-colour deck, but when presented with the opportunity to create a game state flavour paradox, I say go for it. Also look at Karn, Silver Golem plus Karn Liberated and Venser, Shaper Savant plus Venser, the Sojourner.
Cathedral of War: A decent land if your strategy is to deal 21 Commander damage, providing bonus the turn it comes into play. If you have a different way of winning in mind, then look elsewhere, Cathedral of War is slow, and hurts yours mana-base.
Recommended General: Rafiq of the Many. A land that allows Rafiq to swing for 10 instead of 8 for 0 mana the turn it comes into play is a land I want in that deck.
*Dragonskull Summit, Drowned Catacomb, Glacial Fortress, Rootbound Crag, Sunpetal Grove: If it's in your colours, play it. That is all.
Recommended General: Any/all multi-allied-colour generals.
Hellion Crucible: Lands that do other things are usually good in Commander, but Hellion Crucible just misses the mark. Manlands like Creeping Tar Pit give you something to do with excess mana (not to mention help fix it) and don't cost you a land in process. It takes three turns before you can get your Hellion into play, you lose the land, and Hellion Crucible only generates colourless mana. You're able to reuse this ability with Crucible of Worlds, but Gargoyle Castle is far more efficient.
Recommended General: Any mono-red general. It's not worth harming your mana base to run this card in a multicolour deck.
*Reliquary Tower: Most blue decks want one due to the amount of card draw open to them, and people often run cards like Temple Bell. This card is a fine addition to almost any deck.
Recommended General: Any
That's all for this months column, and as I've waffled on for far too long I thought that I'd post my personal Commander deck for all to bask in awe of. I'll save originality for next month.
- No Comments