Thursday, October 31, 2013

Commander 2013

Allllright, the new commander set is out tomorrow! so here are some brief thoughts on the new cards, which you can find a list of here. The older cards I'm not going to concern myself with, because WotC seems to be very good at picking solid cards with this format in mind and making good decks for it. They are providing some cool reprints and taking advantage of this practice, I hope, to bring down some prices in the secondary market.

In White:
Cards that interest me: Serene Master, Unexpectedly Absent and Darksteel Mutation. Serene Master especially is a magnificent execution on flavor and function.

Cards that the Spikes will go for: Angel of Finality. A 3/4 flyer that eliminates graveyards is good. It's that simple. There is also possibility of Act of Authority being included as a sideboard card, as I can imagine many scenarios where I exile two difficult permanents and then hand it over to my opponent, leaving them with nothing of mine to target. That's a pretty good deal for three mana.

Card that is interesting: Mystic Barrier. I like the move towards political choices like this, even if the card isn't as cool as others.

Cards that are likely bad: Tempt with Glory, because opponents will never agree to double your support. Let's just say that about every Tempt card and move on. Also, Curse of the Forsaken, which also falls under the 'interesting' category. The lifegain process is minimal in many situations but the potential dynamic of reward could be cool. I just don't think enough players evaluate board states properly enough for this to be good.

In Blue:
Cards that interest me: Diviner Spirit, Djinn of Infinite Deceits, Tidal Force.

Cards the Spikes will go for: True-Name Nemesis is already causing the deck it's in to be sold for over $40 in places. Honorable Mention might go to Order of Succession, since it doesn't target and can force opponents to give up the one huge creature they have invested in.

Card that is interesting: Illusionist's Gambit. This is a bad Fog in 1v1 but a cool trick in Multiplayer.

Weaksauce: Curse of Intertia, Tempt with Reflections.
I have to admit that I hadn't thought about the Curses in aggregate. In Commander they may not mean much but in 60 card decks when I can run 4 of them, they could be outstanding, especially the Blue one, as you can tap your opponent's creatures to get through, while untapping yours for defense.

In Black:
I'm raising my eyebrow to: Fell Shepherd, Hooded Horror

Card the Spikes will go for: Toxic Deluge (which I also like quite a bit.)

Cards that are interesting: Baleful Force, Price of Knowledge (which is very weird but definitely interesting) Ophiomancer

Cards that are likely bad: Curse of Shallow Graves (if the zombie didn't ETB tapped...) Tempt with Immortality.

In Red:
Card that I like: Widespread Panic. It's weird.

Possible Probait: From the Ashes, Sudden Demise

Cards that are interesting:...

Cards that are likely bad: Curse of Chaos (except in multiples, then it moves up to interesting and something I like,) Tempt with Vengeance, Terra Ravager, and Witch Hunt. Witch Hunt is an especially grievous card, because it forces control away from players and has a downside.

In Green:
Cards I like: Bane of Progress, Curse of Predation in multiples, downgrade if singleton. I know Bane is expensive but this is a Jason-deck answer and win condition all in one. I'll take that.

Cards the Spikes will go for: Restore.

Cards that are interesting: Primal Vigor isn't as good as it's older sister but it's at least worth considering.

Signs point to No: Naya Souldbeast, Spawning Grounds, Tempt with Discovery. Two of those are just too damn expensive. Yeah, yeah, 'but my Magical Christmasland combo'--I don't care. I want to know what works that doesn't a) degenerate the game or b) rely on insane luck.

Artifacts & Land:
These are OK. Nothing brilliant, nothing awful.

Neat: Jeleva, Roon, Shattergang Bros, Syrdi

Spikes: Syrdi: artifacts are huge in most Eternal formats and this card plays too well with them for it to be ignored.

Hmmm...: Nekusar, Marath, Prossh. Marath and Prossh have potential because they can interact with other facets of Magic but I'm not entirely convinced about them yet. Marath has the most potential to me, while Nekusar feels more like a hoser card. 

Why?: Deveri, Oloro, Gahiji. Deveri avoids the Commander Tax and can do it at instant speed. That is a rule I understand they had to break but really shouldn't be. Oloro is ONLY useful as a commander and I really don't like that kind of restriction. Gahiji is flat out boring, despite doing what it does well, because in Multiplayer you've just painted a target on your head and it's quite expensive for 1v1. Other cards could do accomplish these tasks without those drawbacks.

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