Category: Card Reviews


Alexi, Zephyr Mage is a 3/3 Legendary Human Spellshaper from Prophecy for 3UU. Not fantastic stats, but modest for a creature with a tap ability. Being a Spellshaper instead of a Wizard is a big downside, though. Being a Wizard is the main reason to play a lot of the mono-blue Commanders. Synergy with Azami, Lady of Scrolls for example is one of the main reasons Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir is now more than 20 dollars a piece for From the Vault: Legends copies.

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Anyway, onto the actual card.

For XU discard two cards, and tap, you return X target creatures to their owners’ hands. This ability is pretty powerful – the cost of the ability gets more and more worth it, depending on the number of creatures you’re bouncing – better if they’re gone permanently, with a card like Dismiss into Dream.


Dismiss Into Dream makes your opponents sacrifice their creatures whenever they becoming the target of any spell or ability, whether it he yours or theirs. It’s actually a fairly solid card in Commander already. It shuts down Voltron decks aside from Bruna, Light of Alabaster and Zur the Enchanter due to them getting around targeting with their respective abilities. It also turns off all equipment, as activated ability to equip a piece of equipment is a targeted ability and would destroy the creature – making staples like Lightning Greaves completely useless.

Being able to easily bounce things makes it a huge bonus as long as you can offset the discard easily. Cards like Emrakul, the Aeons TornUlamog, the Infinite Gyre, and Kozilek, Butcher of Truth, while all expensive, work well this this ability. Due to the fact that whenever any of them are put into the graveyard from anywhere, you shuffle your graveyard into your library, with those cards included. This essentially lets you recycle everything you discarded to his ability before back into the library. Other not-as-great options include Blightsteel Colossus and Darksteel ColossusBoth of those at least shuffle themselves back in, guaranteeing that you’ll always have at least one card in your deck to discard to him.

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It does not, however, see a whole lot of play for the time being. As far as metamox is concerned, it’s seen play in all of 4 decks and didn’t commander any of them.

I personally like Alexi, and there’s a lot of cool stuff you can do with him. Another idea is to return your own creatures to your hand at the same time as your opponents to get their ETB effects again.

Cards to play in Alexi, Zephyr Mage:

  • Blightseel Colossus
  • Caged Sun
  • Dismiss into Dream
  • Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
  • Extraplanar Lens
  • Gauntlet of Power
  • Jin-Gitaxis, Core Augur
  • Kosilek, Butcher of Truth
  • Palinchron
  • Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre

To explain a few of the choices, Caged Sun, Extraplanar Lens, and Gauntlet of Power are all artifact based mana doublers. I especially recommend them because of the fact you wants as much mana as possible to be able to cast your commander and use his ability repeatedly. As you’re also playing Eldrazi, you’ll need the mana regardless. Palinchron is an automatic inclusion as with that many mana doublers in the deck, you’ll likely end up with infinite mana when you finally find him.



Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur is another legendary creature that causes you to draw 7 cards during your end step and causes your opponents to have a maximum hand size of zero. While this effect is cancelled out by the ever-present Commander staple-land Reliquary Tower, it’s still very much worth a slot in the deck on the chance they don’t have it in play yet – and it gives you 7 cards a turn to help balance out the discard from Alexi.



Things to play alongside Alexi, Zephyr Mage in other decks:

I think that Alexi could see some decent play in Nekusar, the Mindrazer.


The play-style of Alexi works well with Nekusar, as he fills up your opponent’s hand with their creatures, and then you make them discard their hands for new hands to deal damage. Other cards I included are simple hand removal – doing the best to remove what you bounced.

I think Alexi, Zephyr Mage deserves to see more Commander play. Hopefully in the future we’ll see it appear more on sites like metamox and on simulators like Cockatrice.

Until next time.



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Chord of Calling is getting a reprint in M15!

For those of you who don’t know, Chord of Calling is one of the centerpieces of Birthing Pod decks in Modern, after the banning of Green Sun’s Zenith, and is another very expensive reprint.


Original Ravnica ones are sitting at 36 dollars as of this moment, but they’ll be going down any moment now due to the reprint.

This reprint was very needed, and due to our returning mechanic for the set being Convoke, this is probably the only opportunity they’d be able to put this card back into standard.

To actually explain what the card does, it searches for a creature converted mana cost X or less and puts it into play – clean, simple, and effective. In fact, it’s actually better than Green Sun’s Zenith due to the fact it doesn’t have the limitation on what it can search, but at the disadvantage of being 2 green more. However, that’s easily solved with the magical ability of Convoke! With enough on board, you can tap out to search out combo pieces, or just to search whatever you need to pod into, instead of podding into it.

This set is just cranking out surprise after surprise! I’m excited to see what else lies in the last 80-so cards of the set.

Until next time,




The Vampire Onslaught Event Deck from the Magic 2012 Core Set may be one of the best event decks Wizards has ever released! Its Magic 2012 Core Set counter-part, Illusionary Might, was not a bad buy for newer players, as it formed the basis of a fun Illusion-based deck that with some tweaks was a playable FNM deck. But Vampire Onslaught was, and still is, easily the best money deck of the two. In fact, it may be the best money deck ever put together as a pre-constructed release by Wizards of the Coast.

Why is this? It has a Verdant Catacombs/strong> in it. As of June 2014, it’s still a $45 card.

Let’s take a look at the list, which is actually pretty solid even beyond the fetch-land.

Lands (24)
23 Swamp
1 Verdant Catacombs

If you could get this deck back in the day at its MSRP, you already had made an incredible investment. Alas, I sold my four Verdant Catacombs back when they were worth about $15-20 (so I technically still profited from the deck.) That was back in 2011. There was no Modern yet. Oops.

But wait, there’s a lot more in here that is pure value.

Creatures (29)
2 Bloodghast

Bloodghast is a very, very good card that was long a Vampire deck staple. A card that can come back from the graveyard any time you play a land is pretty ridiculous. In Modern Dredge, he’s a fantastic card. Back then he was about $7 a copy, and still sells for roughly that same price today. Two copies of this in a single deck is fantastic.

4 Bloodthrone Vampire

Not a bad common, but it was in Magic 2011, and not in the 2012 Core Set. It combos very well with other cards in the deck, as it gains +2/+2 each time you sacrifice a creature. It’s not bad when you see how many cards work off of sacrificing creatures in the deck. (Interestingly enough, for those that actually looked to play this deck, Bloodthrone Vampire was in fact reprinted in Magic 2013.)

4 Gatekeeper of Malakir – One of the best uncommons out of Zendikar, second only to Vampire Nighthawk, he’s a 2/2 for 2 black, but it’s his kicker effect of one extra black that he’s played for. It makes your opponent sacrifice a creature. On turn three, when this guy was ordinarily played, that is a major setback, especially against a quick swarming deck like Vampires. Basically, you only ever play him as a three-drop. Then he becomes expendable for your Bloodthrone or Viscera Seers, which we’ll get to.

As of August 2011, a playset of these could cost as much as $10 USD on the secondary market. Unfortunately, they are no longer nearly near that value, partly due to a reprint in the Sorin Vs Tibalt Duel Deck, but also because he doesn’t see much Modern play. Still a good card.

1 Kalastria Highborn – The Highborn has long been one of my personal favorite Vampire cards, and she’s quite deadly. Whenever one of your creatures goes to the graveyard, you may deal 2 damage to target player or creature and gain 2 life. It’s that deal 2 damage to a creature that is most deadly. With how many expendable creatures you have in this sort of deck, the Highborn can get ridiculous. Securing a second copy of her for this deck was a pretty darn good idea at the time. She used to sell on the secondary market for about $5 USD, although now in 2014, she’s about a $2-3 card – sStill well above a bulk rare.

4 Pawn of Ulamog – Not a card you see very often, but this uncommon from Rise of the Eldrazi certainly isn’t bad. Any time a non-token creature of yours goes to the graveyard, you may get a 0/1 Eldrazi Spawn token, which can be sacrificed to give you 1 colorless mana. Probably not the best card choice for competitive Vampire decks, but with this particular build, there are advantages to having these tokens.

1 Vampire Hexmage – It seems a bit silly to only run one Hexmage. She’s pretty darn good, as she can one-shot kill planeswalkers and remove all the counters from any card. Plus, she’s a 2/1 with first strike, and that’s always good, especially for 2 mana. There are 3 side-boarded, but 2 main-board is a better move.

4 Vampire Lacerator – A solid little one-drop that used to see tons of Standard play. He’s a 2/2 for one mana, but if your opponent has more than 10 life, you have to pay 2 life during each of your upkeeps. The sad part about this is that it’s not an upkeep cost, you can’t choose not to pay it. This isn’t really that bad, though. Most of the time, you’ll be ahead in life anyway. Vampire decks could gain life back in a hurry and deal a lot of damage before many other decks can get set up, so running 4 is perfectly fine.

2 Vampire Nighthawk – There’s probably no excuse not to run full play-set of Nighthawks in a Vampire deck. 3 mana (1BB) for a 2/3 Flyer with lifelink and deathtouch makes for a very strong creature. The Nighthawk helps you both gain back lost life,hold the air, and hold off opponent’s larger creatures. It’s just an all-around spectacular card playable in any format.

3 Vampire Outcasts – The only of TWO Magic 2012 Core Set cards in the entire deck and the only card in the maindeck that will be legal in Standard come October (barring any reprints in Innistrad, and it isn’t out of the question we could see a few of these other cards reprinted). Vampire Outcasts is for four mana, two of which are black, a 2/2 with Lifelink and Bloodthirst 2. Now, a 4/4 with Lifelink is certainly not too bad. The truth is that you could easily swap these out for 2 Nighthawk and 1 Hexmage and have a far better deck, not to mention a lighter mana curve. Just not really too good a card outside of Limited, and not worth being in this deck.

4 Viscera Seer – A 1-drop 1/1 with the ability: Sacrifice a creature. Scry 1. Now, scrying 1 doesn’t sound that great. It seems far too high a cost to just see what your next card is and possibly put it to the bottom of the deck. But with Kalastria Highborn and Pawn of Ulamog in the deck, sacrificing a post-kicked Gatekeeper or a Vampire Lacerator that’s already swung for damage or outlived its usefulness certainly isn’t too bad. Most good Vampire decks only run a copy or two, which is probably good enough. (Also an excellent card for those Modern Pod decks!)

Non-Creature Spells (7)
2 Blade of the Bloodchief – Not a bad rare from Zendikar. Very playable in a Vampire deck. It’s a good equipment, but equipment in Vampires probably isn’t the greatest play. Still, gaining a +1/+1 counter every time a creature hits the graveyard (this includes even token creatures), and gaining a +2/+2 counter if it’s a Vampire, is certainly a lot of fun. It’s perhaps the crux of this deck’s strategy, hit for a ton early on…

4 Dismember – One of the best removal spells, ever. While they no longer sell for about $5 USD a copy, a play-set of Dismember is still quite valuable.

1 Mimic Vat – This card is a bit of a head-scratcher. It’s not that it’s bad. It’s a fun rare in Scars of Mirrodin block Limited, no doubt about that. Whenever a creature would go to the graveyard, you exile it instead and imprint it to Mimic Vat. You can do this any time you want, but each time you do, the card that was imprinted before goes to its owners graveyard. You can then pay 3 and tap Mimic Vat to create a token copy of that creature, that gains haste and is exiled at the end step. Honestly, why would you use mana in this way for Vampires? It just seems to be a waste. It’s not a bad card, but it shouldn’t be in a Vampire deck. Sure, it can copy a really good creature of your opponents, but it’s still quite an investment of mana. Granted you could use the spawn tokens from the Pawn of Ulamog and combo with your Viscera Seers and Kalastria Highborn for some cheap damage, lifegain, and deck manipulation, but this isn’t really the best tactic. It’s a silly card that really doesn’t belong in this deck.

Sideboard (15)
4 Distress – The SECOND of two Magic 2012 Core Set cards in the deck. Double black sounds like a bit much for a discard card, but it can discard any of your opponent’s non-land cards. There are situations you may want to board these in, perhaps against combo decks, but ordinarily you won’t. Still, not a bad card, but I still prefer the original Kamigawa/Tenth Edition artwork. The new one’s too creepy for me. Still, with no Duress or Inquisition of Kozilek in sight past October, it’s not a terrible option.

2 Go for the Throat – Very solid removal card against any deck that doesn’t run artifacts. It’s not out of the question to main board at least one of these over the Mimic Vat, and another over a Seer. It helps you kill a lot of whatever Dismember can’t.

4 Skinrender – Far from being a bad card, it’s some decent removal with its ability to put 3 -1/-1 counters on target creature. It is mandatory, however. Still, 4 mana is certainly worth it, and he’s a 3/3 creature. But he is a Zombie, and not a Vampire. He’s not a bad card. Certainly hold onto your playset, but he’s far better in a Zombie deck (Call of the Grave, anyone?)

3 Vampire Hexmage – At least one of these belong in the main board. Two should be in the side to make cards like Shrine of Burning Rage and Koth of the Hammer/Chandra the Firebrand sad.

2 Vampire Nighthawk – These should be in the mainboard. ‘Nuff said.

In the “How to Play the Deck” pamphlet that Wizards always include in these sorts of product, it was suggested to add Bloodlord of Vaasgoth to the deck. As a one of, that card was never too bad, but it rarely saw play. The trick with Vampires has always been to keep a low mana curve and swarm the board. Malakir Bloodwitch is another suggestion, and she was never a bad option for the sideboard as far as her protection from White is concerned. (She could stop Gideon Jura, for example, who was a massively played card in those days.)

Overall, this was a fantastic value for the money. As far as “Bang for Your Buck” was concerned, you would have probably get about $60 market value per deck, at a typical cost of $25-$35 a deck, even back in 2011. It was a no-brainer buy. They’re obviously very rare now. If you happen to find any hanging around for less than $50, they’re easily worth the buy. But you’d be lucky to find them for under $100.

This has been another Throwback Thursday Deck Review. If there’s any pre-constructed deck or even a Top deck from the past you’d us like to review, let us know!

– Elspeth for the Win


Agrus Kos, Wojek Veteran

Agrus Kos, Wojek Veteran, is a Boros Legendary Creature from the original Ravnica: City of Guilds.

At 3RW for a 3/3, he initially sounds fairly underwhelming. That is, until you read his ability:

Whenever Agrus Kos, Wojek Veteran attacks, attacking red creatures +2/+0 and attacking white creatures get +0/+2 until end of turn.

This more or less balances out his casting cost, giving you a 5/5 for 5 mana.

As far as actual Commander implications, he isn’t terrible, but I’d rather play Tajic, Blade of the Legion or Gisela, Blade of Goldnight over him most of the time. However, if you are playing entirely Boros creatures, he effectively makes every creature in your deck +2/+2 bigger each time you go on the offensive, making him a fantastic aggro commander.

The best example of this sort of deck is one that I found on MetaMox, which is becoming a go-to site for our Commander research here at Win Target Game. Besides being a fairly budget deck, this Agros Kos EDH list uses exclusivelycards that are both red and white with the sole exception of Rally the Peasants, which has a Red flashback cost. This allows Agrus Kos the ability to always have his troops at full strength and the various buffs pump more effectively for all creatures.

Things to play in an Agrus Kos Deck:

Outside of using him as a Commander, he is definitely a good play within other Boros decks lead by the other aggressive commanders like Aurelia and Tajic.

How would you build an Agrus Kos deck?

– SolemnParty & Elspeth for the Win


Adun Oakenshield Legends


Adun Oakenshield is a Jund commander from Legends.

For GRB, you get a 1/2 Legendary Human Knight. Nothing particularly good for 3 mana.

However, his ability is what makes him shine. for another GRB and tap, you can put a creature in your graveyard into your hand.

While this makes him look more like a utility card, it makes him a very powerful combo Commander, being another user of the Hermit Druid Combo in some cases.

The Combo Route:

  • Devoted Druid
  • Dread Return
  • Hermit Druid
  • Morselhoarder
  • Necrotic Ooze
  • Spikeshot Elder

The combo is to use Hermit Druid to mill your entire library by not playing basic lands in the deck at all.

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Then, you use Dread Return to get Necrotic Ooze into play, which gets the activated abilities of all creatures in all graveyards: in this case, we’re focusing on Devoted Druid + Morselhoarder + Spikeshot Elder combo.

You can add and remove the -1/-1 counters from necrotic ooze by adding the counters with Devoted Druid and removing them with Morselhoarder to get infinite mana of any colors. Then, using this infinite mana, you repeatedly use the Spikeshot Elder ability to kill every other player at the table.

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Aside from that, Adun is just good at getting creatures back, letting you reuse your best creatures over and over again.

Things to play in an Adun Oakenshield deck:

  • Fauna Shaman
  • Fulminator Mage
  • Life from the Loam
  • Riftsweeper
  • Sakura-Tribe Elder
  • Skullclamp
  • Survival of the Fittest

Until next time,

– SolemnParty


Aboshan Cephalid Emperor

Aboshan, Cephalid Emperor is the first Legendary Creature in alphabetical order in all of Magic (as of June of 2014).

He is a Legendary Cephalid – a creature type exclusive to Odyssey block, where they temporally replaced Merfolk as the usual blue creatures of the set. There are only two legendary Cephalids – Aboshan and Llawan, Cephalid Empress. At 4UU for a 3/3, he isn’t particularly impressive.

Aboshan is a straight forward Cephalid ruler – he taps his subjects (other cephalids) to tap permanents, and you can pay UUU to tap all creatures without flying – which includes Cephalids, interestingly enough.

I don’t know if I can particularly recommend him as a Commander, but he does combo very well with Archetype of Imagination.


Archetype of Imagination causes all of your creature to gain flying, and all of your opponent’s creatures to lose flying. Therefore, only you are benefiting from Aboshan, and you’re completely unblockable regardless of their creatures being tapped or untapped (unless they have reach, of course).

Notable cards that work with Aboshan:

  • Archetype of Imagination
  • Borrowing 100,000 Arrows
  • Levitation
  • Tamiyo, the Moon Sage

– SolemnParty


As someone who is a huge fan of the Heroic mechanic, especially with Herald of Torment and Hero of Iroas being released in Born of the Gods, I’m happy to see Tormented Hero getting the promo foil treatment. It has pretty decent artwork, too. If white/black Heroic becomes a deck, Tormented Hero is a staple in that deck. Essentially, he’s a Diregraf Ghoul with a Heroic ability.

For those of you that don’t know, Diregraf Ghoul was a 2/2 Zombie that came into play tapped, and only cost one black mana. Tormented Hero, from Theros originally, has an additional ability. Whenever you cast a spell that targets it, each opponent loses 1 life, and you gain life equal to the life lost this way. That little Extort ability doesn’t sound like much, but in a deck based around the Heroic mechanic, every little bit of life-swing helps. It’s already a good card in the Xathrid Necromancer Humans deck, simply because it’s a Human. But I think in a post-M14 format it will maintain its value fairly well. It’s definitely a decent promo to print.

~ Elspeth for the Win

Scry Lands – Yea or Nay?


As far as dual lands go, the Temple scry lands of Theros (and Born of the Gods) are not the most exciting. But being able to look at the top card of your deck is definitely a useful ability. But is it worth that land always coming in tapped? Looking forward to a post-Return to Ravnica block Standard, shock lands will be no more and the scry lands could well be the only duals that players will have access to.

Right now, many of the scry lands are between $2-4, with Temple of Silence (white/black) and Temple of Deceit (blue/black) being the most expensive. Esper Control doesn’t mind its lands coming in tapped so much and the scry element is even more useful in those decks that need to make sure they constantly are drawing answers while also fixing for mana. Even an aggressive deck like Big Red Devotion needs the Temple of Triumph (red/white) to make sure the deck is fixing for the red and white while also making sure you can continue to draw gas. Guildgates simply are not good enough.

Born of the Gods will bring three new Scry lands to the table: Temple of Enlightenment (blue/white), Temple of Malice (red/black), and Temple of Plenty (white/green). Temple of Enlightenment will also definitely see play in Esper Control. Temple of Plenty should definitely see play in Selesyna Aggro which is relying on Selesyna Guildgate right now for its mana fixing. It’s hard to say if Temple of Malice will see a bunch of play unless Rakdos or Jund gets stronger with Born of the Gods. But they’re all three very playable lands.

If you can pick up any scry lands for $2 a piece, you definitely should. At the very least, they will always be sought after by Commander players looking to mana fix at a discount. Also, they will definitely see lots of play after October 2014 when there are no more shock lands in Standard (even if buddy lands become reprinted). While scry lands aren’t exciting, they’re definitely playable and you should pick them up cheaply and often.

This card was spoiled yesterday:


A very far-away picture of a card from our new set, Return to Ravnica! Here’s the card itself:

Deadbridge Goliath 

Creature – Insect Rare
Scavenge 4{G}{G} (4{G}{G}, Exile this card from your graveyard: Put X +1/+1 counters on target creature, where X is this card’s power. Scavenge only as a Sorcery.)

Credits goes to mtgsalvation for posting this on their site. You can find their spoiler page for Return to Ravnica here.

Now, Deadbrdige Goliath is a 5/5 for 2GG; a pretty solid card in my opinion. With Rampant Growth he’s an easy turn 3 drop. On top of his 5/5 for 2GG, he introduces the new mechanic for the Golgari, Scavenge. Unlike Selesnya’s Populate (which appears to be confirmed) Scavenger exiles the creature from the graveyard to make the ones you control bigger; in that they give +1/+1 counters equal to his power. In this case, it’s 4GG to put 5 +1/+1 counters on a creature you control.

Sadly, it does have to be all to one creature, but this could be interesting if Birds is reprinted in Return to Ravnica, as our mana-bird didn’t get printed in the core set like usual. I like Deadbridge Goliath, and it appears to be the first FNM promo for the set. I like the card, and I hope the rest of the set will be even better.

Generally Speakin – Asmira, Holy Avenger


Asmira, Holy Avenger is a Legendary Human Cleric from Mirage, and not a bad card at that. For whatever reason, this human cleric has flying, and is a 2/3 flyer for 2GW; not a bad deal in my opinion. However, it gets better; at the end of each of your turns, Asmira gets a +1/+1 counter for each creature you lost this turn.

Personally, I believe that she goes best with tokens and Skullclamp, as tokens are treated as having gone to the graveyard. I don’t know if I’d build my deck around her, but she’s a fairly decent card in Ghave or other Green/White token decks.

Due to the Innistrad block, Asmira also gains a lot of support in the form of Human tribal mechanics.

Cards to play in an Asmira, Holy Avenger deck:

  • Gather the Townsfolk
  • Fungal Sprouting
  • Doubling Season
  • Parallel Lives
  • Increasing Devotion
  • Gavony Township
  • Skullclamp

Cards to play Asmira with:

  • Ghave, Guru of Spores
  • All of the Above
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