After a few weeks worth of hiatus, I was digging through a box of brand new M13 boosters for the store’s singles department and came across a few that ought to be relevant for Commanders everywhere. A new core set always gets me excited (oh the possibilities!). Let’s start with black.
Black boardwipes are few and far between in any format, usually cropping up in the white chunk of the color pie, and Commander is no exception. When you do find them, they’re either super pricey (see Damnation) or extremely mana intensive (see Black Sun Zenith or Plague Wind). Imagine my surprise – and childlike glee – upon seeing Mutilate pop up in a booster. Four mana for a black sweeper is pretty fantastic, and its rarity means it’s not going to mutilate any wallets (har har). I don’t know that I’d bother including it in my 99 in a dual or tri color deck where swamps are going to be a little sparser, but in mono black, it’s a no brainer. Otherwise, you might just have to wait for your buddy to drop his Urborg and make your day.
Everybody who has ever played Commander knows how nice it is for that one card you’re hoping for out of your 99 to crop up, and what better way to make that happen than with a tutor? Tutor effects (like Diabolic Tutor, Demonic Tutor, and Demonic Collusion) see play all the time in Commander, and the ability to go dig for multiple cards is just gravy. Is it mana intensive? Sure. But Commander IS the game of unreasonable piles of land. I’m certainly going to run one.
Heading over to white, this was the first card to really catch my eye. Boardwipes are pretty common in EDH, and the ability to bring back all the permanents you lost in a single turn (even land! Haha!) at instant speed is pretty relevant. I suspect this guy will see some play, and at four mana, even if you only end up nabbing a couple of dudes back from your graveyard, it’s a bargain.
Man, do I want this guy to become a thing. I’m going out on a bit of a limb here, but you never know. White hurts for straightforward, targeted creature killspells a lot of the time, and in EDH, when most facepunchy critters you run up against are going to be well over four power, our Intrepid Hero might actually get the job done. Three mana makes for a decent early turn drop as well.
Though she’s lacking any kind of evasion, if you manage to drop the Avatar before taking any damage, you’ve got a 40/40 beater on your hands. That’s definitely not something your opponents are going to want to ignore. If you can drop the Avatar and find some way to swing her past your opponent’s defenses, you’re golden. That’s almost always going to be lethal damage, unless you’ve already taken a beating.
Blue doesn’t have a ton of new toys in M13, but with Omniscience, how many more answers do you really need? This one is pretty self explanatory. Hit ten mana, land this enchantment, ruin lives. Pair it off with Tamiyo, The Moon Sage’s emblem and you have yourself a guaranteed win.
Spelltwine is one of those cards that has shenanigans written all over it. I can’t even think of what kind of craziness you could get up to with this one yet, but if there’s someone who can, it’s a blue player. The possibilities are endless. Time will tell if Spelltwine is going to be as awesome as I think it is, but I feel pretty comfortable betting on this one.
Red is a tricky color in Commander. A lot of red strategies revolve around dealing direct damage, so they tend to fall a bit flat when you’re playing with double your regular life totals. Thundermaw, however, is not only a respectable 5/5 body, but a pretty great utility card, which is something you don’t often see coming out of red. There’s nothing like knocking down all your opponent’s blockers with a giant hasted beater. Odds are also pretty good that Thundermaw isn’t going to be swinging alone; I could totally see the shiny new Hellkite kicking down the door for the rest of your critters to swing in for lethal damage.
Far be it from me to advocate annihilating everyone’s land, but worldfire does it with such face-melting class I can’t help but be impressed. Putting everybody on the absolute brink of death and forcing them into topdeck mode at least has an air of finality to it that other land destruction outlets don’t. Once this monstrosity goes off, the first guy to draw a speedy damage outlet wins, and odds are that’s going to be the guy who cast it.
By the time you hit seven mana in Standard Constructed, odds are the game is already drawing to a close. In Commander though, seven mana is just getting warmed up, and being able to double your mana base in one shot sounds like a great way to turn eight drop an Eldrazi. Boundless Realms likely won’t be a game changer, but I could see it cropping up as a legitimate late game ramp strategy, particularly in such a mana heavy format.
Flash is an ability you don’t see a ton of in green as a color in general, so the ability to start flashing out your gigantic creatures on your opponents turns via Yeva is a pretty awesome ability. A 4/4 body is nothing to sneeze at either (I like to think it’s the bear), so Yeva holds her own pretty well already, and at four mana, I’m sure plenty of folks will be making room in their 99.
Well, that’s it folks. I’m sure I’ve missed a few, but those were the cards that really caught my eye in the new set. I’m certainly excited to get playing with the new toys. Until next time!
– Scott out