Much like General Damage Control, (who coincidentally have just made a very similar post to this one…) there’s nothing I like more than to complain how Wizards has dropped the ball on one thing or another, or how certain decks/cards/players are unfun or whatever.
So, here goes my list of complaints about the upcoming Commander 2013 product:
- Oversized Generals. A complete waste of cardboard.
- It’s not out yet. Why is it not out yet?
I think this one is going to fit firmly in the “credit where credit’s due” camp. This product looks FANTASTIC. I cannot wait to get my hands on these things (and at MSRP too, thanks to my very FLGS*!)
So, for each deck I’m going to highlight my favourite new card, favourite reprinted card and (because I like to complain) my “what the hell is that in there for?”. And because I have not much of the self control, there’ll no doubt be a few honourable mentions too…
Let’s get to it!
Eternal Bargain (aka Esper, WUB)
New Card Hotness: Act of Authority
Oblivion Ring on steroids, it took me a couple of reads of this before I figured out it doesn’t have the “when Act of Authority leaves the battlefield” or “for as long as Act of Authority is on the battlefield” clause. At worst, this is a 3 mana exile spell. More than likely you’ll get to exile two things and the new owner will (possibly) exile Act of Authority, or they will continue the chain and exile something else for you. I’m very keen on this for my Zedruu deck (since it gives itself away) and also for my Kitsune Mystic enchantment deck (although it’s quite good against my Kitsune Mystic enchantment deck, so maybe not…). A very, very cool multiplayer effect, and (in my humble opinion) EDH Politics Done Right.
Hands down. Every time I read that card I’m like “no way can it do all that for only 2 mana, and at instant speed!” Yet, here we are. I’ve often thought of picking one of these up and throwing it in a deck just for the sheer awesomeness of it. To be honest I’m not sure where it will go (my only U/B decks at the moment are Garza Zol/soon-to-be-Jeleva, and Damia) but I’m certain it’ll find a home.
Honourable Mention: Spinal Embrace. Creepiest. Art. Ever. And a hell of a combat trick.
I really want to complain about Transguild Promenade in here. It’s a land that will never see play, ever… it puts you back two land on the turn you play it, even if it’s all things to all people after that. However, the fact that that’s pretty much the only card in here that is outright bad (Wall of Reverence? Marrow Bats? Not so bad in this deck) says a lot about how good this one is. Well played WotC, well played.
Nature of the Beast (aka Naya, RGW)
That New Card Smell: Tempt With Discovery
To be honest I struggled with this one – all the new cards in this deck are pretty good (and I know a lot of people are going ga-ga over Marath) but I’m just not excited about any of them. I like this (and the rest of the “Tempt with” cycle) as a MUCH MUCH MUCH better idea than Join Forces, and this one in particular; at worst it’s the non land-destruction version of Reap and Sow and at best you get 3 or 4 lands out (any land, and untapped!) while other people search out their Urborg or Cradle or Strip Mine or whatever. I like.
That Old Card Nostalgia: Eternal Dragon (NOW WITH NEW ART)
And ain’t it sexy? I only have one Eternal Dragon and it’s in my Mayael deck; somehow I managed to get a Japanese one and it’ll be nice to get my hands on an English version. Plus I love that art!
Honourable Mention: Wrath of God. The one, the only, when everything must die at bargain basement prices. Accept no substitutes.
I get that this deck is (reasonably..) low on card draw, but this seems out of place. The only mana acceleration I can spot is Cultivate and the Tempter, above – there’s lots of landcycling and Sprouting Vines, but they don’t actually accelerate you any. The Tower is ridiculously expensive and comes right at the time when you’d want to be landing Big Huge Creatures, not something that you have to sink 12 mana into to get four cards. A real head scratcher, for me.
Power Hungry (aka Jund, BRG)
Hot New Thing: Prossh, Skyraider of Kher
Prossh has the honour of being the only General on the front of the box to make this list (although it’s very close in UBR’s case, see below). Having said that, he’s not going to be at the head of any of my decks; he is however going straight into my Sek’Kuar deck as a source of multiple creatures and a free sac outlet. He will (in all likelihood) only ever make 6 Kobolds, but a 5/5 flyer with six little sacrificial buddies isn’t exactly a bad deal. I like me some Dragons and this guy is pretty cool, even if he’s not exactly the most powerful Angry Red Flier ever printed.
Honourable Mention: Fell Shepherd. This guy is going to be reasonably insane in my Savra deck.
Old Flame(s): Waaaay too many to choose from
But I’m going to go with Goblin Sharpshooter. I’ve been after one of these for a really long time and getting him in a modern border is just icing to go on the pew-pew-pew cake. He’ll be going into my BR Wort deck when I build it but for now he can also go into Sek’Kuar, a deck where the untap potential of this guy is just this side of (does the math) lots and lots.
Honourable Mentions: Hoo boy. Endless Cockroaches, Hua Tuo, Foster, Goblin Bombardment, Night Soil in a new border, Reincarnation (in a new border and with fixed wording) and Tooth and Claw. This one’s a doozy! Also a big shout out to Silklash Spider who may be my favourite green creature ever.
Sure I get the appeal of an undercosted beater and in multiplayer you can give the Faeries to a friend, but compared to the rest of this deck he seems to be in here for no really good reason. I guess the same could be said for Jund Charm too – none of it’s modes are particularly relevant to the game plan, and it seems like it’s in here because it’s the right colours. These are, however, small concerns.
Mind Seize (aka Grixis, UBR)
This deck is weird. It doesn’t seem to have a plan. All the rest clearly do but this one seems to be a strange, clunky combination of stall, card draw and creature kill. Does it want to win with Jeleva exiling everyone’s libraries? Is it a mill deck? Does it want the opponents to die of old age? I have no idea.
New and Improved: Nekusar, the Mindrazer
The star of my last post, and the reason I started posting again. This guy is going to vastly improve my Nin, the Pain Artist deck by taking over as General. Perfect fit for what I want that deck to do, which is make my opponents draw cards and punish them for it (what some people call “Group Slug” as opposed to “Group Hug”). Windmill slam, get-out-of-my-thoughts, perfect strike.
Looking at this decklist, it’s by far the one I’m the least excited about. The only other card I’m really excited to see in here is Decree of Pain in modern border for the first time (no, I do not count Commander’s so-called Arsenal). Seeing the Portal Reprint in here is pretty cool, and seeing three cards while stocking your graveyard (even in blue) is pretty good.
Dazed and Confused: Most of the rest of the deck…
But especially Vampire Nighthawk. Not sure what this guy is supposed to achieve…. also I get why Arcane Melee is in there, but Arcane Melee and Cruel Ultimatum are not BFF’s. Or Grixis Charm. Or Crosis’s Charm.
Evasive Maneuvers (aka Bant GWU)
New!: Djinn of Infinite Deceits
This is pretty much exactly the kind of creature I’m looking for for my Zedruu deck. A big flying wall that not only gives stuff away, but takes yours at the same time. This deck has a lot of very good cards, but I’m not that interested in good cards… Angel of Finality, Restore, and Unexpectedly Absent will all see actual play, but it’s the big janky flyer that intrigues me.
Another portal card that I would never be able to get my hands on (and I live in one of the few parts of the world that Portal Three Kingdoms was actually available, albeit before I was playing), this guy is going straight into my Edric deck.
Honourable Mentions: Karmic Guide, Mirror Entity, Rubinia Soulsinger (in a new frame with very nice new art), and Thousand-Year Elixir, which for some reason is still a $5 card. Oh, and Borrowing 100,000 Arrows, even if only for the name.
The number of times this is going to be relevant is on the conservative side of 1. Bad, bad card.
Well, that’s more than enough from me. What are you looking forward to? What don’t you like? Hit me up in the comments!
*That’s Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price, and Friendly Local Game Store, in case you were wondering