Friday, August 11, 2017

Commander 2017 Review: Multicolored

These are the commanders of the four decks, and other support multicolored cards.
MTGGoldfish has values here:

Once enough of these decks are sold, I expect the valuations for the new cards to go down by a lot. It's cool that they all price over $100 in "value" out of the gate, though.

The decks:
WG Cats "Feline Ferocity": Arahbo, Roar of the World
WBR Vampires "Vampiric Bloodlust": Edgar Markov
5-color Dragons "Draconic Domination": The Ur-Dragon
Grixis Wizards "Arcane Wizardry": Inalia, Archmage Ritualist

Arabho, Roar of the World [Cat Commander]: Eminence will buff one of your cats, and that's great. It's only at the beginning of your combat. It's definitely better than nothing. You can double power and toughness at 1WG a pop, and that is huge. In Green, you can have nine mana and three cats end of game. I love Green, and that means that this deck is my favorite without even looking at the cards. I want to have a bucket load of extra mana every turn, and I want to protect my cats.
Mairsil, the Pretender [Wizard]: A four drop creature in commander is a mid-range creature. I would make it a flyer and give it haste, maybe even double strike.

Edgar Markov [Vampire commander]: Return two of your small vampires to the hand and cast them again to trigger more tokens. Use Intangible Virtue in a home brew to buff up the tokens. It doesn't fly. It's going to attack for the first time when you have six mana... that's six to seven turns without access to Green.
Mathas, Fiend Seeker [Vampire]: Another non-flyer. This could be a really fun card in a stalled board. If you get to put bounty counters on six or seven creatures, that can be close to a Windfall effect. It's a great multiplayer card because even though many players will get additional life out of it in a board wipe, the extra cards will speed up the game, something that is very important in commander.

Fractured Identity [Dragon deck]: This could really backfire. It could be the creature that turns the game around for one of your opponents. It's a great card because you need to think very carefully before you play it.
Licia, Sanguine Tribune [Vampire]: Gain five life in a turn, cast it for WBR...nice! You really need to be gaining a lot of life for this card to yield a high payoff. I like it a lot. Gain 5 life, cast it for WBR. Spend the five life, put three +1/+1 counters on it... this is a fun card.

Inalla, Archmage Ritualist [Wizard commander]: Now all we need is an unblockable wizard to generate a token for once it comes in and use it to ping someone for a small life loss. It can single-handedly take a player with low life out if you have five wizards on the board late game... that's pretty sweet, but it will also make you the table's target whenever you put this commander in play.
Kess, Dissident Mage [Wizard]: Has flying. Single time Falshback every turn? I will take it.

Mirri, Weatherlight Duelist [Cat]: The first clause is limiting, but not that limiting. Most of the time, blocking is done with a single creature. The second clause I think is the better one because as long as this is tapped, no one can swing at you with an army.
O-Kagachi, Venegful Kami [Dragon]: Someone at Wizards proposed a Return to Kamigawa block, lost the fight, and here is one of those creatures. It would have even been the box design for one of the sets. It's a great way to get back at whoever attacked you last turn, and that's a cool effect in commander.

Nazahn, Revered Blacksmith [Cat]: Tutor effect, that's great. And if you haven't played Hammer of Nazahn, which is a four drop, you get to play it for free. The tapping when attacking clause can be very useful. It would have been way more useful on a smaller creature, still, it's useful enough.
Taigam, Ojutai Master [Dragon deck]: That's one pair of awesome clauses. So you can cast any and all instants, sorceries and dragons, and they can't be countered? That's pretty sick. It's not the best attacker, especially in commander. I see the second clause not getting used as much.

Taigam, Sidisi's Hand [Wizard]: The filer-to-graveyard effect is really good in reanimator even though this is not a reanimator deck. You are the one choosing what goes where unlike a card like Gifts Ungiven. The second ability is also very good. With the latter, you can exile lands to take out your opponents' critters.
Behemoth Sledge [Cat deck]: The cat deck is built for equipment. I would take this card out and put in some busted sword, for example, Sword of Fire and Ice.

The Ur-Dragon [Dragon commander]: That is one gigantic Timmy card. The Emminence clause is not nearly as imposing as all the other stats. A 10/10 flyer heading an army and drawing you a bunch of cards... well, that should take care of many stalled board states. Oh, and you can free cast some other big critter from your hand.... as if you were not causing enough havoc. It will happen late game, all right, and one fun late game it will be. Yeah.... this deck is the Timmy deck.
Bladewing the Risen [Dragon]: It's a shame you can't use cards from the Wizard deck to drop some dragons in your graveyard and then reanimate them with this. The BR buff is really good.

Wasitora, Nekoru Queen [Dragon]: Another fun and useful dragon. You can pick off one of the laggards at the table (with no creatures left) and get yourself one more member for your army.
Broodmate Dragon [Dragon]: Wait a minute, it's a six drop 4/4 flyer in commander, and I get another one for free when it enters the battlefield? Sign me up!

Atarka, World Render [Dragon]: One of the better dragons from Dragons of Tarkir. Solid dragon is solid.
Blood Baron of Vizkopa [Vampire]: A strong creature when it was in Standard. An even better creature in commander and what you can use to pick off your weakest opponent.

Cauldron Dance [Wizard deck]: From Invasion. I would love to pull this off late game. It's in a deck in which I can drop something big in my graveyard, recover it to play and my hand with this, and then drop something big from my hand. It's a shame I can only play this card more than once, because it is the type of card I could see myself using a playset of to build a constructed deck with.
Crosis, the Purger [Dragon]: A lot better against a mono-colored deck. In multi-color commander, the discard yield could be small or zero even if your opponent has many cards in hand. Still, a solid square flyer.

Crackling Doom [Vampire deck]: One of the better cards when it was in Standard. The more opponents, the bigger the effect. You could even take out the weakest player with this.
Crosis's Charm [Wizard deck]: Versatile thanks to three great choices. I can think of situations when all three choices will be of little use, though. Luckily, in commander it will be easy to at least one opponent give you the opportunity to use at least one of these clauses.

Dromoka, the Eternal [Dragon]: Bolster 2 can be triggered by any one of your dragons. This was a decent dragon when it was in Standard.
Kolaghan, the Storm's Fury [Dargon]: Dash could be really useful to pick off a weak opponent. This was a decent dragon when it was in Standard.

Etherium-Horn Sorcerer [Wizard]: If you leave the mana open, you can rescue it from getting destroyed. Cascade on such a large critter can mean a free cast of something relatively big, even for commander.
Marchesa, the Black Rose [Wizard]: It's not as big as it would need to be for you to use dethrone on whoever has the best board position, but if one of your opponents has a lot of life and your creatures are stronger, you can swing and all of your creatures have dethrone. The last clause is great because that means all the creatures that attacked while you could use dethrone can come back to the board, including Marchesa.

Fleecemane Lion [Cat deck]: A great creature when it was in standard. In commander, if it does not get removed once it lands, you should give it indestructible immediately.
Merciless Eviction [Vampire deck]: This is a fantastic card in commander. Just make sure that you get hit the least from removing all of something.

Havengul Lich[Vampire]: You still have to pay that casting cost. Still, if you have seeded your graveyard with creatures you  can cast, once this lands, you can turn your graveyard into your hand, at least for creatures.
Izzet Chronarch [Wizard]: A bit too heavy, but maybe not for commander. You only get to do it once.

Intet, the Dreamer [Dragon]: Square flyer. You need to have opponents you can deal damage to directly, and then you need some splashy card that hits all of your opponents. The bigger the free cast the better, of course!
Mirari's Wake [Cat deck]: Turbocharger that should let you do a lot more late game.

Mortify [Vampire deck]: Not as good as Vindicate, yet solid in creature and enchantment-heavy commander.
Memory Plunder [Wizard deck]: Can be really good, and can be useless.

Mercurial Chemister [Wizard]: I would love to play it in a commander deck, and not neccessarily this one. I can discard a big critter to take out a creature, and then reanimate the discarded critter. A versatile card.
Phantom Nishoba [Cat]: Square and hard to take out, but Path to Exile and Swords to Plowshares can do it.

Nin, the Pain Artist [Wizard]: I would take the damage myself... of course, and be the only player at the table drawing off this. Was printed in one of the first commander precons.
Qasali Pridemate [Cat]: Versatile. I am not sure why an Exalted creature would be good in a feck with a bunch of cats... I am not sure about that, except that this is a very popular and versatile critter. I would want to attack with more than one cat, though.

Niv-Mizzet Dracogenius [Dragon deck (it is also a Wizard)]: Casual favorite. The players at the table with the smaller non-flying creatures will have to worry every time Mr./Mrs. Timmy/Tammy drops another big flyer.
Nivix Guildmge [Wizard]: Did not use it much when it was in standard because there were better creatures in its format. In the mid game of a commander deck, I can see copying an instant or sorcery being a lot more useful than in standard. You get to draw first, and then you can discard something that you want more in your graveyard than in your hand.

Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind [Wizard deck (also a Dragon)]: Was not useful when it was in standard. I hope it fares better in commander. Drawing a card versus attacking with a 4/4 flyer... I would attack.
Ojutai, Soul of Winter [Dragon]: Was occasionally useful when it was in standard. Vigilance is great, though, and tapping for a turn can be very disruptive.

Rakdos Charm [Wizard deck]: The exile clause can stop an opponent who depends on their graveyard. The other clauses are good too.
Shadowmage Infiltrator [Wizard]: If you are able to attack with Fear, great! Otherwise, not too useful.

Savage Ventmaw [Dragon]: Solid casual dragon. The mana gain is awesome, only in a five-color deck, you will likely have to use that extra mana as colorless mana and will still need mana in other colors.
Scion of the Ur-Dragon [Dragon]: The effect is cool, but it's always better to just play a better dragon. The reanimator effect is good to abuse with other cards in the deck. I have played with this card in Modern, and the reanimation benefit later in the game is always a better play than this becoming a copy of that card until end of turn.

Silumgar, the Drifting Death [Dragon]: One of the better dragons. Hexproof is great. Attack with three dragons, and defending player's creatures are getting -3/-3.
Tithe Drinker [Vampire]: It was lackluster when it was in standard, and it should be much better in commander since you will likely be able to benefit from Extort more with more mana laying around.

Silumgar's Command [Wizard deck]: Not terribly useful here. The planeswalker clause is useless if you and your friends only play these decks.... I would switch this card out for something better, and maybe something that didn't cost five mana.
Vela the Night-Clad [Wizard]: A commander/planechase reprint. It can't fly. If you can use Intimidate, though, you have a great creature. Reads lopsided. It will either be great, or be close to useless.

Spellbound Dragon [Dragon]: Timmy/Tammy fun, for sure. Discard a six CMC card, hit with a 9/5 flyer... that could be fun.
Teneb, the Harvester [Dragon]: The effect can be awesome, pure Timmy/Tammy. Maybe it's a big critter your opponent removed. Even better then.

Stromkirk Captain [Vampire]: Every tribal deck needs a lord. I loved playing this casual card when it was in standard.
Terminate [Wizard deck]: A classic inclusion. Great when playing these decks against each other.

Based on this limited set, if I was 14, I would definitely rank the Dragon deck No.1. As an old fart, I think I like the Cat deck best, followed by the Vampire deck. I would rank the Wizard deck last, yet it could grow on me after I go through all the cards. The Wizard deck has some fun cards too, you know?