Sunday, October 30, 2016

Commander 2016 Reviews

In summary, these are the cards that make me want to buy these decks. They are cards I either like or are iconic. Everyone will have a different list of these.

Entropic Uprising
Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder [No White]
Bloodbraid Elf, Windfall, Past in Flames, Treasure Cruise

Open Hostility
Saskia the Unyielding [No Blue]
Den Protector, Taurean Mauler, Terminate, Skullclamp, Lightning Greaves

Stalwart Unity
Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis [No Black]
Swords to Plowshares, Oath of Druids, Ghostly Prison, Propaganda

Breed Lethality
Atraxa, Praetor's Voice [No Red]
Scavenging Ooze, Reveillark, Languish, Treasure Cruise, Hardened Scales

Invent Superiority
Breya, Etherium Shaper [No Green]
Baleful Strix, Etched Oracle, Solemn Simulacrum, Sharuum the Hegemon, Skullclamp, Cranial Plating







Multicolor 1 of 2

Multicolor 2 of 2

Commander 2016: Multicolor Part 2 of 2

Here is batch 2 of 2 of the multicolor cards, including the Commanders. I will highlight the Commanders that have [Partner] and the ones headlining a deck [Deck Commander]

Duneblast: You keep your one best creature and all of your opponents lose theirs-well, at least the ones that are not indestructible.
Edric, Spymaster of Trest: Very interesting card. You are rewarding opponents for weakening other opponents. I like it a lot.
Enduring Scalelord: a surprising inclusion from all those casual Dragons in Dragons of Tarkir. Will be good with Hardened Scales on the board.

Etherium-Horn Sorcerer: Cascade is a really good ability. It's a free cast for the next non-land card in your deck. If you have cards that shuffle your library, you can redistribute all the lands that ended at the bottom of your library.
Fathom Mage: Nice card draw in Commander, and the counters are a nice bonus.
Filigree Angel: That can be a lot of life gain. It's a late game cast. You will likely really need that life to get you to be ahead of all of your opponents-at least the ones still left standing, and if you are casting this, you are one of them.

Ghave, Guru of Spores: Another Saproling token generator. That's great. It comes in srtong on its own as well.
Glint-Eye Nephilim: There is a reason why the Nephilim didn't get much play, and here it is. I am glad only one got included in a 'well, here it is' sort of way. It comes in as a 2/2; you need to discard a card to boost it, and it took you four different colors to case. Enough said.
Gwafa Hazid, Profiteer: a very interesting creature that I have not played. I would put the counters on my own creatures that I didn't need to attack with or on some big threat for which I would rather give my opponent a card than lose the game.

Hanna, Ship's Navigator: it's somewhat of a heavy cost, but if you have a really good artifact (Wurmcoil Engine) or enchantment (Doubling Season) in your graveyard, the cost is certainly worth it.
Horizon Chimera: it would be bonkers with the opposite clause ('you draw a card every time you gain 1 life') but that's just broken. As it is, the most important feature is Flash to chump block in a desperate situation or to take something out by blocking it. You need to have four mana available, though.
Iroas, God of Victory: Devotion is not easy in these four color decks in the early to mid game. The Menace clause is the one that is really awesome, and, to a lesser extent, the prevention of damage.

Jor Kadeem, the Prevailer: a better creature in Commander than in Constructed. It's not great by itself. You will need to set it up with a bunch of artifacts.
Juniper Order Ranger: a mid to late ame nice play that boosts creatures entering the battlefield and itself. Nothing super threatening here.
Korozda Guildmage: this was not a great play when it was in Standard. In Commander, you will have a lot more mana to trigger those mana abilities.

Lavalanche: I would want to play this to finish up a player more than to take out a bunch of creatures, but it does both anyways.
Master Biomancer: a great play. Every creature that comes in after this gets buffed up a lot. Sweet reprint.
Merciless Eviction: it exiles. That's very strong. A great reprint in a product that will be printed to oblivion.

Mortify: needed target removal.
Nath of the Gilt-Leaf: it comes in mid to late game. You can pick an opponent that only has one card in hand. That's going to hurt.
Naya Charm: the tapping ability can be really crippling, and it's an instant.

Necrogenesis: it's any graveyard, not just yours. Great play. I need to build a Saproling deck.
Progenitor Mimic: unless someone board wipes you, after you cast this, you can go on quite the rampage.
Putrefy: needed target removal.

Rakdos Charm: a great tool against all those threatening graveyards, a nasty artifact, or a bunch of Saproling tokens. I think this card is really good in a table playing one of each of these decks only.
Rubblehulk: it was too heavy for Standard. It seems fairly costed for the mid game in Commander.
Selvala, Explorer Returned: a nice 'group hug' effect to get the game unstuck or to go faster.

Sharuum the Hegemon: one of the best Commanders, period. A heavy cast that you can use to reanimate something even bigger.
Spellheart Chimera: this is one of those cards that can be good in Standard and not incredible in Commander. It's only your graveyard that boosts it. It must be in here to fit into the deck's mana curve.
Sphinx Summoner: it's a tutor effect, and those are always great, even if you have to pay to cast whatever you tutored.

Sydri, Galvanic Genius: Incredible artwork by my favorite Magic artist, Therese Nielsen. Those are some great abilities. I can see some wild plays with this card late game, when you can make a 7 drop artifact a 7/7 artifact creature. You can give that same creature deathtouch and lifelink.
Terminate: a classic reprint from Planeshift.
Utter End: it exiles. That's powerful.

Vorel of the Hull Clade: I so wanted this card to be good in Standard. I tried real hard with no success. Maybe it will shine in Commander. Doubling counters is great, and it's even better in a format where something can have a large number of counters.
Vulturous Zombie: reasonable gain of counters to destruction against your opponents. Once it passes into 5/5 and above, you can cast Languish against an opponent and boost this up a lot.
Whispering Madness: another card for the 'discard your hand and draw seven cards' theme founf on several red cards in this product.

Wilderness Elemental: that can be a lot of power if you keep to these four color decks and they necessarily greedy manabases.
Zedruu the Gratehearted: a very interesting Commander. I should try to build a deck around it. I would have to find permanents that really suck for my opponents. There is use for terrible cards, and here is a good one!
Zhur-Taa Druid: I played this a lot when it was in Standard. It's a solid mana dork that pings for 1 damage. No complaints for this inclusion.

Everlasting Torment: interesting card. I want to see it in play to understand how good it can be. Wither and Persist are great abilities.
Mirrorweave: another interesting card I need to see in play to understand better. You make all creatures, yours and your opponents', the same non-legendary creature. It's an instant. You can play it after blockers have been assigned. If your creatures were really weak and you are just chump blocking, you will be able to take out all of your opponent's creatures along with yours. If you choose something indestructible, no damage is dealt, and nothing dies.
Selesnya Guildmage: the mana abilities are too expensive for Constructed, maybe not as much in Commander.

Spitting Image: a late game play in Commander that will enable you to copy any creature. That can be the biggest creature on the board, and it may not be your creature.
Thopter Foundry: if you can recover the artifact and do this again, you will have yourself some cheap Thopters.
Worm Harvest: a great reprint. It can drop many tokens.

Trial/Error: the counterspell half seems stronger.
Order/Chaos: both halfs are great in many situations.

Commander 2016: Multicolor Part 1 of 2

Here is batch 1 of 2 of the multicolor cards, including the Commanders. I will highlight the Commanders that have [Partner] and the ones headlining a deck [Deck Commander].

Akiri, Line-Slinger [Partner]: This is quite the beater if you control a lot of artifacts.
Ancient Excavation: feeds your graveyard in one big move.
Atraxa, Praetor's Voice [Deck Commander]: This is my favorite deck (Breed Lethality). It had me at 'Proliferate.' It has all those counters cards AND Proliferate. No.1 in my list. I want all of the other decks equally. They are all No.2 to this one.

Breya, Etherium Shaper [Deck Commander]: Thopter tokens. That's awesome. If all you are sacrificing is Thopter tokens, the sacrifice effect is worth it.
Bruse Tarl, Boorish Herder [Partner]: Solid, especially on account of the Double Strike ability you can give one of your creatures.
Grave Upheaval: It's a creature in any graveyard. That's really good, and 6 mana in Commander is mid to late game.

Ikra Shidiqi, the Usurper [Partner]: An interesting twist on Lifelink, which is gained from a creature's power.
Ishai, Ojutai Dragonspeaker [Partner]: That's a lot of counters if you have many opponents.
Kraum, Ludevic's Opus [Partner]: There can be a lot of second spells in multiplayer mid to late game. Oh, and it has Haste. Strong card.

Kydele, Chosen of Kruphyx [Partner]: You only need to tap it. If you have drawn four or five cards, that's mana you can use to cast some of those cards. It's a great effect.
Kylanos and Tiro of Meletis [Deck Commander]: A 'group hug' Commander, that's a new one. It will speed up the game. I love 'group hug' effects. Why can't everyone draw a bunch of cards in an amiable multiplayer game? It's a big wall too at 2/8.
Ludevic, Necro-Alchemist [Partner]: More card draw. That's great.

Migratory Route: a good move when you are behind. If it was an enchantment and it created fewer tokens, but you got them each turn, I would like this card more. I am thinking of an enchantment like Assemble the Legion.
Ravos, Soultender [Partner]: You can get a creature out of your graveyard every single turn and it lords all of your creatures. To me, this is a very strong commander even if it's a heavy cast.
Reyhan, Last of the Abzan [Partner]: A reassigner of counters? And you may have Hardened Scales on the board? That is just great.

Saskia the Unyielding [Deck Commander]: Very nice effect. You are sitting there looking at a very strong opponent and a second strong opponent. You can attack one of them directly, and attack the other with the 'I choose you' clause. Haste is great, by the way.
Sidar-Kondo of Jamuraa [Partner]: For a moment I thought it was Banding, the ability Wizards will never ever print on a creature again. It's Flanking. Seems allright.
Silas Renn, Seeker Adept [Partner]: A reanimator outlet? I like that a lot. You are not paying the mana cost. Go wild and reanimate something ridiculous.

Sylvan Reclamation: two exiles for five mana is a fair cost in Commander.
Tana, the Bloodsower [Partner]: Trample on a 2/2 in Commander isn't great. You would have to boost this somehow to pump tokens out of it.
Thrasios, Triton Hero [Partner]: It's not about getting more lands if you are paying 4 mana to scry 1. This is a much more useful effect to find a land for a color you are missing.

Treacherous Terrain: It's a late game cast, and it is a clean way to take out one or more opponents. I like it a lot. You can't take yourself out with it, and that is what makes it such a great play. Also, it's in Green. That means you will have the mana to cast something this big earlier than players not on Green.
Tymna the Weaver [Partner]: That is one awesome effect in a table with say, four opponents. If three of them got hit, you draw three cards. You have to pay life for the card draw, and that means you need the Lifelink, and not just from this card, and you also need additional life gain in some of your other cards.
Vial Smasher the Fierce [Partner]: It does not hit you, and that's all you need to know. The weakness here is that your opponents know you are most likely to cast your biggest spell first, and that knowledge will make them want to counter your first spell.

Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder [Deck Commander]: You need to hit very early with this to make sure the Trample can put you over into direct damage. Multiple Cascades is just awesome, really awesome. I would buy this deck and put some fetch lands in it, though. After you Cascade a couple of times, the bottom of your deck will have lots of lands you need. Of course, by the time you cast this, you will have your four colors.
Abzan Charm: solid reprint. All three choices are very good choices and you are playing it in a deck with a lot of mana fixing.
Ankle Shanker: it will be much better in Commander than it was in Constructed.

Artifact Mutation: hold it until the mid game to take out a bigger artifact and maximize how many tokens you generate.
Aura Mutation: hold it until the mid game to take out a bigger enchantment and maximize how many tokens you generate.
Baleful Strix: Great reprint. In the early game, that extra card can make a big difference.

Bituminous Blast: The Cascade may be more important than the 4 damage when you are casting a 4 drop. You could cast a 4 drop that is really good with this, maybe even a Bloodbraid Elf.
Blood Tyrant: wow! that's a seven drop creature that does not end the game... oh, wait a minute, we are in Commander, we are good. This is the card you play when there are three players left, and you need to take out one of them. The other one will make sure they remove this.
Bloodbraid Elf: Iconic. Does not need an introduction. Cascade.

Boros Charm: the best charm in Return to Ravnica block. A great reprint. The 4 damage is better in Constructed than in Commander, but it is still 4 damage, and it's to a player.
Bred for the Hunt: 'you may draw a card' is a great clause on any card. I should have played this when it was in Standard.
Clan Defiance: this is really good with a bunch of mana laying around. You can do all three!

Coiling Oracle: a classic reprint. You get to draw the card no matter what and it can even help you cast an additional land, maybe in a color you need.
Consuming Aberration: in multiplayer, this must be removed as soon as possible or else. It's 'number of cards' and not 'number of creatures.'
Corpsejack Menace: solid is solid, especially in Commander.

Crackling Doom: a strong card. Forcing your opponents to sacrifice their biggest critter is no joke.
Dauntless Escort: A solid way to avoid a board wipe, and there are some great board wipers in these decks.
Decimate: aggressively costed way to get rid of several permanents. Can you use it on multiple opponents? I think you can.

Commander 2016: Artifacts

So far I have liked White and Green the most, and that is probably just my Johnny casual deck builder bias.

Armory Automaton: this is pretty sick if you have already played a bunch of Equipment.
Boompile: There are cards, mostly in Green, to speed up the game. This card will do the opposite. It will stall gameplay if the coin flip triggers destruction. Makes a multiplayer more interesting. Someone is creating a board of destruction, you drop this, and they go back to nothing. I like it a lot.
Conqueror's Flail: Very good in a four-color deck. Even better in a five-color deck.

Crystalline Crawler: color rock.
Prismatic Geoscope: another color rock.
Akroan Horse: Needed to make Oath of Druids work.

Assault Suit: Confusing. I will have to see it in play to get what it does. Once it shifts control to an opponent, the 'you' in this card is no longer you....
Astral Cornucopia: I had so much with this card when it was in Standard. A casual all-star. Use Proliferate on it, and it can be a huge mana source.
Blinkmoth Urn: mana rock for colorless mana. Another 'group hug' card, but with a twist. You can be the only one who benefits from it if you are the only one playing a lot of artifacts.

Bonehoard: this can get really big in Commander.
Cauldron of Souls: Persist is fairly broken. This is a solid artifact from Shadowmoor.
Chromatic Lantern: one of the best mana rocks for mana fixing, and a key reprint in this product.

Commander's Sphere: solid mana fixing.
Cranial Plating: Awesome reprint. It goes bonkers quickly when you are playing lots of artifact.
solid mana fixing.

Empyrial Plate: I am so not a fan of these 'card in hand' cards. I want to play my cards. I don't want them stuck in my hand because I want to make an Equipment more powerful.
Etched Oracle: Awesome reprint. 'draws three cards' is awesome.
Everflowing Chalice: solid mana rock.

Fellwar Stone: great in multiplayer if you have many opponents. It would be awesome if five people can sit down and play each one of these five decks.
Golgari Signet: mana rock.
Gruul Signet: mana rock.

Howling Mine: classic 'group hug' card. Used in a milling deck. In Commander, it can speed up the game.
Ichor Wellspring: casual card draw.
Keening Stone: milling outlet that can be used against an opponent or for you to place needed cards in your own graveyard.

Lightning Greaves: classic Equipment and a Modern staple.
Loxodon Warhammer: classic Equipment.
Mycosynth Wellspring: another color helper.

Myr Battlesphere: A great beater, especially in Commander, and even better if you are having problems gathering up four colors for other plays.
Myr Retriever: a deterrent if someone wants to block it, and it they do and it dies, you can get one of your much better artifacts out of the graveyard.
Nevinyrral's Disk: Legacy's Oblivion Stone. A great reprint.

Orzhov Signet: mana rock.
Psychosis Crawler: Another 'cards in hand' card. It makes me want to have an artifact or land that allows me to have a hand of any size.
Rakdos Signet: mana rock.

Shimmer Myr: Enables really surprising game plays.
Simic Signet: mana rock.
Skullclamp: another broken artifact from Mirrodin block. A great reprint.

Sol Ring: If you buy X Commander decks, you will have X Sol Rings.
Solemn Simulacrum: Great reprint. It helps you smooth out your mana and when it dies, you draw a card.
Soul of Phyrexia: If you have five mana at the ready, it can save you from a board wipe.

Sunforger: very interesting tutor effect.
Swiftfoot Boots: solid Equipment, a classic.
Temple Bell: another 'group hug' card. I love these. They speed up game play, and who doesn't love to share the fun of drawing more cards? Especially true in casual where you want everyone to have fun.

Trading Post: easily one of the most versatile artifacts in all of Magic. Great reprint. Great stall with that Goat token.
Venser's Journal: Here it is. This is the artifact that makes all those 'group hug' and 'cards in hand' cards work better for you than for your opponents.
Wispersilk Cloak: solid Equipment, a classic.

I am not planning to review the lands. The money land in this product is Forbidden Orchard, another trigger for Oath of Druids and great for mana fixing in four and five color decks.

Commander 2016: Green

I am still excited about all those White 'counters matter' cards. I liked the other ranges so far, but White has me hooked.

Benefactor's Draught: It lets opponents decide if they want to give you card draw for blocking your attack or they would rather take the damage. The moment to play this card, of course, is when you are ready for a blowout attack. Only then will you place your opponent in a difficult position.
Evolutionary Escalation: Best friends with Hardened Scales. I like the difficult choice of which opponent gets the counters, especially if you have a way to remove the opposing creature after you put the counters on it. It's an early drop. That's nice.
Primeval Protector: That's quite the beater as long as the table has not been board wiped.

Seeds of Renewal: Can cost very little, yet you still have to hard cast those creatures. I am not a fan of this type of effect because you still need the mana to cast them, but it can help a lot after a board wipe. This is a good recovery card. The better card is the one that prevents you from needing to recover.
Stonehoof Chieftain: It's a very expensive card in any format, even Commander. Compare with Griselbrand. It only gives the protection to one other creature you control. It is indestructible itself, and that is solid.
Beast Within: Solid reprint. You can take out something awesome and then only have to face a 3/3 vanilla token. That can be a great save.

Beastmaster Ascension: That is quite the clock to rush to destroy this in a Commander game. It will probably work best with a bunch of red Haste creatures hitting early are fast, and also with White weenies.
Burgeoning: Very strong card from Stronghold. An awesome reprint.
Champion of Lambholt: A strong creature if you can play a lot of creatures after you cast this.

Collective Voyage: This will clear all basic lands out of all player's decks. One great way to speed up the game for everyone.
Cultivate: Needed by Green.
Den Protector: A great reprint. One of the recently-rotated Standard stars. It's 'target card,' and that means any card you need out of your graveyard.

Far Wanderings: Torment reprint. Another mana card for Green.
Farseek: Needed by Green to help other colors in the deck.
Forgotten Ancient: Scourge reprint. Moving the counters is great if you have Hardened Scales on the board.

Gamekeeper: Urza's Destiny reprint. So many broken cards in that block. This is not one of those cards, yet it is still very good. You don't have to pay the casting cost of the revealed creature and that's very important. Reads like an Ura card, allright.
Hardened Scales: there it is, the most fun reprint in this entire product. I played the daylights out of this card when it was in Standard, and I still play it in every format just because it is so awesome. Those extra counters sure add up in a deck full of 'counters matter' creatures.
Inspiring Call: one of my favorite cards when it was in Standard. So much card draw out of this card!

Kalonian Hydra: Kill it or else. This thing gets big fast. A key card in any deck.
Kodama's Reach: Mana for Green. A classic reprint from Kamigawa block.
Lurking Predators: A mid to late game play, even in Commander. You can free cast the creature, and that's awesome.

Managorger Hydra: I played this card so much when it was in Standard! It gets big really fast in any format, and biggest in Commander. So awesome!
Mycoloth: Play it with Hardened Scales on the board, and generate a bunch of tokens. I will take it!
Oath of Druid: One of the most iconic cards in all of Magic, and the centerpiece of a deck, the 'Oath Deck.' Give your opponent a small creature, and then you can cast Griselbrand. Part of a cycle in Exodus.

Quirion Explorer: A great card to help you with mana fixing. From Planeshift.
Rampant Growth: Needed by Green, especially to help other colors in the deck.
Realm Seekers: An awesome mid to late game play in Commander. True, hands will likely not be that full mid to late game, but still, with many opponents, this thing can come in really big. And then you get to tutor for the colors you are missing or low on. That's great.

Rites of Flourishing: A 'group hug' card. Another card that is needed to speed up multiplayer.
Sakura-Tribe Elder: a classic reprint from Kamigawa block. Even today, a Modern staple.
Satyr Wayfinder: a great way to add a color you are missing.

Scavenging Ooze: One of the key reprints of any reprint product. An awesome card in all format.
Shamanic Revelation: I played this card a lot when it was in Standard. Card draw never gets old and becomes unwanted.
Solidarity of Heroes: Awesome card in Commander, and even better if Hardened Scales is on the board.

Sylvok Explorer: great way to help with colors you need more of.
Tempt with Discovery: another 'speed up' card to get the game to conclude faster.
Thelonite Hermit: goes with anything dropping Saproling tokens, and then goes with anything that helps with counters on your creatures or gives you benefit because you have counters on your creatures. Nice.

Thunderfoot Baloth: Helps with finishing opponents off if you still have a bunch of creatures on the board.
Tuskguard Captain: Solid helper to deal combat damage to player.
Veteran Explorer: Weatherlight reprint. Another 'speed up' card. Everyone gets to play more lands and get unstuck.

Wall of Blossoms: Stronghold reprint. 'Draw a card': enough said.
Wild Beastmaster: Boost this up and then you get to boost everything else up.