Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Commander 2016 Instead

"I have this deck I want to test so I can write about it for the blog," I told Jason.

"Oh. I thought we were just going to play the new Commander decks, so I didn't bring any sixties."


But on the other hand, we got multiple plays of each new Commander deck and I can tell you what we thought of those.

Atraxa, Praetors' Voice: had some really great synergies going on with it and we both could see the deck being an absolute wrecking ball. I don't know who decided Cathars' Crusade in there, but that card is just mean with Atraxa. Counters are difficult to eradicate and this deck plays that angle well.

Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder: emphasized the more chaotic nature of its Commander. Jason played against it and thought it was interesting-as did I-but as the pilot, I felt like it's potential power was a little too rooted in Yidris. Cascade is a very powerful ability but getting the trigger isn't reliable. This deck is possibly the one that, with savvy refinement, would be the most likely to come out of nowhere to win the game. Certainly, I cast some haymakers to mess with the board when I played.

Breya, Etherium Shaper: we believed had some of the greatest potential. The commander is incredibly flexible and if you play with the partners instead, the deck still has some real stopping power. The "broadest" of the decks, meaning that there was a lot of different avenues of attack here: combo was possible, aggro was possible, control could be manifested too and you could make those decisions right out of the box.

Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis: this deck suffered from being played 1v1. We both felt that the deck really wanted a 3-5 player game to shine. When confronted with a singular opponent, there were just too many resources available to that opponent and not enough diversion away from Kynaios and Tiro. This deck might also be the one that requires the most refinement to be a proper 'group hug' deck. We didn't get a chance to try it with the partner commanders though so the question of how well it might perform with different leadership (if you will) remains unanswered.

Saskia the Unyielding: was a surprise to both of us. The commander's ability is brutal in 1v1 games and the potential to play a real aggro deck in multiplayer is genuine, in our humble opinions. There's enough creatures in those colors that are difficult to block (our first thought was shadow creatures) that the chance to end one player's game while having a massive impact on a second one-especially one hiding behind cards like Propaganda- should not be underestimated. This is the real deal.

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