Tag Archive: Commander

While the normal formats of magic have their own archetypes, when you have a format like Commander/EDH, there’s a lot of variance. Now, I do tend to refer to these archetypes in my Commanding Opinion Articles – but what do they really mean? Well, that’s what this article is going to talk about. I’ll go into each of them more in-depth later, but this article is to just give you a list of them – I’ll link to their own articles when they’re written as well. This is more of a hub than a real article.

For most of these, I’ll be quoting the mtgsalvation wiki, here.

  • Voltron

Voltron is a deck archetype with the goal of casting one creature, then using other cards such as Auras and Equipment to enhance that creature and making it a true threat to the opponent. The archetype’s name derives from the Japanese animated series Voltron which features several small robots that combine into one large robot. It’s fairly straightforward.

You can find the article about Voltron Commanders here.

  • Combo

Not much different than it is in regular 60-card magic – your deck is built towards the goal of assembling several cards together to win the game, whether it be through an infinite combo or just enough to make everyone draw out their decks, exile everything ever, or whatever else. These decks also rely on denial of resources, to prevent opponents from beating you before you have the opportunity to combo-out and win.

  • Control/Stax

Control and Stax are actually two different kinds of decks, so I’ll break it down a little further. Control specifically is a deck that simply stays in control of the game as much as possible, denying resources while moving towards a better game state than the other players. Stax on the other hand specifically focuses on denying your opponent resources completely – denying resources, destroying lands, increasing the mana they have to invest in cards, and cause them to have to pay to keep things.

  • Aggro

Short for Aggressive, these decks focus on just dealing out a ton of combat damage as fast as possible to beat opponents before they can do a whole lot.

  • Mill

Named after Millstone, Mill decks focus on sending cards from the top (or bottom in rare cases) of the deck to the graveyard. Some of these decks can also exile things, like Oona, Queen of the Fae.

  • Goodstuff

This is less of an archetype and more of a playstyle. Some commanders don’t have a specific strategy to play along with them. These decks just play the best possible cards in their colors, and just have a fun time with those. A lot of the time, even without synergy, “goodstuff” can win matches out of nowhere by just having good stuff in the deck.

  • Tokens

Tokens are a very common archetype to see, due to the range of cards that make tokens in all colors. Similar to aggro decks, they rely on getting a game-winning amount of power on board and just swinging out to wipe-out players.

  • Counters

Counters on the other hand rely on single creatures with +1/+1 counters. Some decks like Ghave, Guru of Spores do both tokens and counters, making their tokens more and more threatening.

  • Graveplay/Reanimator

These are mostly the same thing, but they are a tiny bit different.

Graveplay is less reanimate and more relying on the graveyard. Mechanics like Flashback, Scavenge, and Dredge are entirely reliant on the graveyard.

Reanimate on the other hand relies on cheating large creatures into play with reanimation spells combined with self-mill or discard to get them into the graveyard.

  • Grouphug

Grouphug is a kind of deck you never see outside of Multiplayer formats. These decks purposely help out your opponents to either dissuade them from attacking you while you combo off, or to simply help people instead of trying to win.

  • Griefer

Griefer is the exact opposite of Grouphug – even if you aren’t trying to win, you just make the game miserable for all of your opponents.

  • Gimmick/Build-around-me

These decks aren’t as much of an archetype as much as just following the gimmick that your commander has and building around it. These decks are entirely reliant on their commander, and without them crumble rather quickly.

As I said before, this page is not really for information’s sake, as much as it is a list of the archetypes, where I’ll add the links to as the articles are posted. Along with this one, I’m already going to post the Voltron article.

Until next time,



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.

52 13

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.



Reddit’s Opinion – Nissa, Worldwaker

Whenever I see a card spoiled, the first thing I do is check Reddit – /r/magictcg, /r/edh and /r/competitiveedh in particular.

In this new section, I’ll be talking about how Reddit is reacting to particular cards, and whether or not I agree with them, as well as adding my own opinion. One card that sparked my interest is Nissa, Worldwaker.

Now, this card has ranged from being called terrible, to being the Green Koth, to being a fantastic card. So what’s the actual verdict?

So, without further ado:


Nissa, Worldwaker is a 5 drop planeswalker, at 3GG, and starts at 3 loyalty. While this is somewhat low for a 5-drop planewalker, it’s fairly reasonable with her own abilities. And, as one user on reddit mentions (/u/ChaosOS), she passes several of the common tests done to planeswalkers. She’s out of burn range (3 damage or less). Due to the way priority works, she’ll be at 4 loyalty before a player can target her with a burn spell. She also protects herself. She creates a 4/4 elemental to defend her, with her +1. To recap:

+1: Target land you control becomes a 4/4 Elemental creature with trample. It’s still a land

While this doesn’t untap lands like Koth of the Hammer +1 does, it also isn’t until end of turn like Koth’s ability. That land is now permanently a 4/4 elemental creature with trample that is also a land. Now, this also puts a land at risk of getting killed as easily as a creature. One good thing to note is that she can animate any land, not just Forests. Again, this is different from Koth – Koth could only untap and animate mountains. Luckily, we have one lucky little land in the set that just got reprinted:


Darksteel Citadel is in fact back in M15, though without its other affinity-loving friends in the cycle (notably, it was also moved from common to uncommon in this set). As the card itself is indestructible, it stays indestructible even after Nissa turns it into a 4/4 elemental with trample. Sadly, this does open it up to removal like revoke existence. The upside is that most control players switched to Deicide, but if this becomes prevalent it isn’t unlikely they’ll make the switch back. The citadel is a fairly good option with Nissa’s first +1, and a mono-green deck doesn’t mind using a few land slots for 4 of these and 1 or 2 Nykthos.

And yes, I said first +1. She has two of them, but we’ll get to that in a sec. This +1 is also what I think may make her see play outside of just standard.


While not in Standard, Inkmoth Nexus is alive and well in Modern, and is a force to be reckoned with – well, once at least. One redditor (/u/ReNoLuK) explains it fairly well.

It always loses Flying and Infect at end of turn, because the Inkmoth’s activation ability only lasts until then. However, its size is determined by the order of abilities. If you activate it, then Nissa it, it’s a 4/4. If you Nissa it, then activate it, it’s a 1/1 until end of turn, at which point it becomes a 4/4.

Due to the way layering works, you can first activate the nexus, creating a 1/1 with flying and infect. Then, you can use Nissa’s ability to make it a 4/4 with trample. As Nissa’s ability doesn’t remove any of the previous abilities, it is a 4/4 with flying, trample, and infect until end of turn. After that, it ceases to fly or have infect and becomes just a 4/4 land. Each activate after that, unless her ability is reapplied to that particular land, will be a 1/1 flying with infect again as it overwrites the power and toughness.



Most of the infect decks that I’ve seen in modern are mono-green or green/blue, using Pendelhaven with creatures like Ichorclaw Myr and Blighted Agent to quickly build up 10 infect counters, but I feel that a mono-green build with Nissa may be viable. Now, on to her second +1, that makes her truly green.

+1: Uptap up to four target Forests.

This particular ability is very reminiscent of another planeswalker we used to have in the core set: Garruk Wildspeaker (who, as of this set, is going around murdering people), whose +1 read like this:

+1: Untap two target lands.

Which is an extent is better – any two lands rather than four specific lands? This leads me to my next point about Nissa: her usability in Commander/EDH.


Omnath, Locus of Mana is a strong Mono-green Commander, that gets +1/+1 for each green mana in your mana pool – which never empties as long as you control Omnath. Untapping 4 forests for an additional 4 green mana is fantastic, and brings Omnath one step closer to wrecking face with another +4/+4. Namely, Omnath is the one commander I see most people talking about when it comes to Nissa. There’s also the plus that it simply says forests – Nissa is able to untap non-basic forests, such as Shocklands. But finally, is her ultimate.

-7: Search your library for any number of basic land cards ,put them onto the battlefield, then shuffle your library. Those lands become 4/4 Elemental creatures with trample. They’re still lands.

Sadly, as she starts at 3 loyalty, she does not combo very well with Doubling Season, still taking several turns to ultimate. The upside is that she searches every basic land in your deck out. Now, this gets a little less effective in Commander, as people tend to play less basic lands and more duals and utility lands. That being said, mono-green is once again a fantastic option. At worst, the fetched basic lands are destroyed and the rest of your deck is actual cards instead of dead land draws. This ability also bypasses the brand new Aggressive Mining, which you can find here, letting you pull out a ton of lands to sacrifice.

Other minor mentions:


One of the funnier things you can do with Nissa is fetch up all of those lands and quickly make them indestructible with Terra Eternal. It does require you to play white, but at a single white it’s fairly manageable.


While not particularly relevant, Master of Waves does give your lands +1/+1 after they become elementals. Maybe some sort of blue/green deck could make use of the two cards together. 3U for 2 2/1s plus buffing all of your elemental lands is fairly decent.



Also, the art by Pete Mohrbacher is fantastic, especially with the hedrons in the background.

Overall, the new Nissa has gotten a decent reception so far, and I’m excited to see what she can do in Standard, Modern, and Commander.

Tell us what you think Nissa is going to do in the comments below. Until next time,



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

With myself greatly anticipating this set, waking up and seeing these other reprints make me love Wizards of the Coast a little bit more.


Edric, Spymaster of Trest ended up not being a fantastic investment, He topped out at $27 in April, and is now back down to around $13.50, which is still three times as much as his all time low of $4. He is seeing Legacy play at the moment in Bant Aggro and a number of different rogue decks. Appropriate, seeing as he is an Elf Rogue.

That being said, Edric getting reprinted is fantastic, as he definitely belongs in a multiplayer set like Conspiracy. At the moment, he’s pre-ordering for 10 dollars on Star City Games, and will probably stay around that price.

hydraomnivore hydraomnivore1

This one is more of an update than a spoiler, but I mentioned Hydra Omnivore yesterday, and today we see that Hydra Omnivore has been moved up to mythic rare. It’s a fairly reasonable change as Hydra Omnviore will be a very strong card in Limited.


Mirari’s Wake is one of my favorite reprints. It’s simultaneously a green Mana Flare that effects all of your lands, and an Anthem that gives all of your creatures +1/+1. Mana Reflection is a little less restrictive based on color limitations, but is also more expensive, both based on mana and price.


Phage the Untouchable is a Legendary Creature that a lot of people have a soft spot for, as she kills everything she touches – including players that she deals damage to. But of course her most fun part is that if you cast her somewhere other than your hand, you lose. She’s a little gimmicky, and is something I’ll talk about on Commanding Opinion when I start that series up again.


Pernicious Deed is a very powerful card that is still seeing consistent Legacy play in decks like Nic Fit and BUG/Jund decks. Originally from Apocalypse, Pernicious Deed is a very strong delayed removal spell, destroying all artifacts, creatures, and enchantments with converted mana cost X or less. Sitting around $15, it’s nice to see this getting a reprint and giving people better access to Legacy playable cards.


Stifle, however, is my favorite thing to see being reprinted. Being able to say no to the abilities of cards is extremely empowering to blue players that can usually only counter spells. Original ones are sitting at $35, and Judge foil promos with this artwork are sitting at about $100 – definitely a card that needs a reprint.


I was surprised to see Vedalken Orrery getting reprinted. I recently picked up a few of them for my Commander decks, and I’ll be happy enough to pick up a few more of them. They aren’t showing up on very many Legacy deck lists, but it is a very powerful card in Commander and other multi-player formats due to having a lot of turns that aren’t yours – and you want the chance to do stuff on turns other than your own.


Lastly, is Victimize, which is a fantastic reanimate spell. It is the least impressive on this list, though, as it is also an uncommon. Essentially, you sacrifice one creature to get two others from your graveyard.

Overall, these spoilers just make me even more excited to draft this set. I’ll also be talking about the rest of the draft exclusive cards very soon.

Until next time,




Hydra Omnivore is another exciting reprint for Conspiracy. Originally a Commander Deck exclusive, Hydra Omnivore is a card designed for multiplayer – whenever this 8/8 for 4GG deals combat damage to a player, it deals that much damage to each other opponent as well.

At 6 mana, this 8/8 is a monster in a limited format like Conspiracy. At worst, it gets hit by a Swords to Plowshares and you gain 8 or more life as far as Conspiracy is concerned. Without Trample, however, it isn’t a gigantic threat and is on par with the power level of the set.

Personally, I’m just a huge fan of this hydra, and with its original Commander printing sitting at 12 dollars, it’s nice to see a reprint.

We should have the rest of the spoilers for Conspiracy by the end of the day tomorrow (Monday, 6/2/14), and I’ll be covering as much as the set as I can when we have everything.

Until next article,

– SolemnParty


Grenzo, Dungeon Warden is an interesting legend to come out of this set. While he starts as a 2/2 Legendary Goblin Rogue for RB, there’s a little X at the end of his casting cost – allowing him to come in to play with X +1/+1 counters.

While this is a unusual trait for a Goblin, his ability puts this ability in perspective.

2: Put the bottom card of your library into your graveyard. If it’s a creature card with power less than or equal to Grenzo’s power, put it onto the battlefield.

Grenzo is an interesting card that I’m interested to see more of. Cellar Door is one of my favorite cards from Innistrad (and is apparently the most beautiful phrase in the English language) as it uses a “bottom-deck” mechanic, that is very rarely seen.


With Reito Lantern in Conspiracy, it’s actually a fairly decent pick in Limited. While milling yourself in limited (with a 40 card deck at least, not counting you Worldknit players) is usually a bad idea, Reito Lantern lets you cycle cards back into your deck, or keep your opponent’s Reanimate targets out of their graveyards.

On top of this effect, there’s the fact that Grenzo can just get plain huge – enough mana being poured into him makes him a force to be reckoned with, and the larger he is the larger your targets are.

Aside from Reito Lantern, there isn’t very much in Grenzo’s colors that allow him to put creatures on the bottom to drop into play with Grenzo – you may just have to hope for the best. Red does have access to Magma Jet and Portent of Betrayal, and black has access to Read the Bones and Viscera Seer. Temple of Malice can also provide an option for putting cards on the bottom with its Scry ability.

While I”m not exactly sure how I”ll use Grenzo yet, he’s definitely a very interesting card. With this interesting mechanic and some limitations to breed creativity in Commander, I’ll be happy to see Grenzo when I draft Conspiracy.

– SolemnParty


An Introduction – SolemnParty

Hey there. For those of you who have been around since the old website, I’m SolemnParty.

I did a lot of writing on the original Win Target Game website, but took a hiatus from the game and from writing in general.

For a little bit of background… I’m almost entirely an EDH player – aside from limited formats like Draft and Sealed, I stick to EDH/Commander.  I’m a casual gamer, and I think that’s the problem when I started writing in the first place. I was still very new to the game. I started playing Standard during New Phyrexia, and started playing EDH after the release of the official Commander Product. My brother (ElspethFTW) bought all of the decks and we messed around with them. Soon after, my local card shop started doing an EDH league that I went to with my brother occasionally, and usually my girlfriend after that. At the moment I’ve got 8 EDH decks, all of which are fairly decent in my opinion.

Anyway, I’ll be writing mostly articles about Commander/EDH (I tend to lean towards EDH as the name as it’s what I’m used to calling it) and I’ll be doing spoilers for Conspiracy and M15 most likely, if I get to them before ElspethFTW does. While I’m still in school (I’m a freshman at Drexel University) until June 14th or so, I probably won’t be writing a whole lot until aftewards unless I happen to be around during some big news week. The first thing I’ll be doing is rewriting my articles from the old site and making them decent again. New and Improved with my accumulated knowledge since I started playing back then. Until then, signing off. – SolemnParty

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

Innistrad Spoilers and Recap

Since I haven’t written the spoilers the last couple of days, I decided I’m going to go over both the most recent spoilers and the ones that Elspethftw wrote recently; so here we go! Cackling Counterpart is the most promising of them, which for 1UU puts a token onto the battlefield that’s a copy of a creature you control; essentially, it’s rites of replication, except only your creatures and there’s no kicker. However, it does have a flashback for 5UU; a little over-costed like all the flashbacks we’ve seen, but Snapcaster Mage can, of course, fix that.

Out of the tribal lands, Gavony Township is my favorite so far. For 2GW d a tap, you put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control; it’s a great card, and properly costed. Only if it provided Green and White mana instead of colorless, which reminds me…

They’ve confirmed that Shimmering Grotto from Lorwynn is being reprinted. As it’s staying a common, I have no complaints, it’s actually decent with the tribal lands, turning that into actual colored mana.

Thraben Sentry doesn’t look great; a 2/2 with Vigilance for 3W. But when another creature dies he becomes Thraben Militia, a 5/4 with Trample. He’s not great, but he’s only a common, and decent in limited.

Now, I’m going to go back over the other cards;

3RR for a 2/2 is bad. Even if it’s a flyer with haste. But, he’s not all bad; when he deals combat damage, he gets 2 +1/+1 counter. He really isn’t that bad; he’s over-costed, yes. But he’s not horrific. The format is going to be flyer-light in competitive play with no squadron hawk, so he won’t necessarily get consistently blocked, but he’s still not great. He’d be decent in Limited, but he does not need to be a rare.

Moorland Haunt is our Spirit Tribal land; for UW, you exile a creature card from your graveyard to get a 1/1 white spirit token with flying. Honestly? This is a great card; Squadron Hawk was criticized for being a cheap 1/1 flyer that got other flyers; this land produces them for 2 mana per turn. This could see some significant play as it’s already in blue and white, the favorite control colors.

Tormented Pariah // Rampaging Werewolf

Creature – Human Warrior Werewolf // Creatue – Werewolf Common
At the beginning of each upkeep, if no spells were cast last turn, transform Tormented Pariah.
At the beginning of each upkeep, if a player cast two or more spells last turn, transform Rampaging Werewolf.
Illus. Bud Cook #165/264 3/2 // 6/4

There isn’t much to say about Tormented Pariah and Rampaging Werewolf; it’s a 3/2 for 3R that turns into a 6/4 when it transforms. A decent common, it’ll see play in limited.

Ulvenwald Mystics // Ulvenwald Primordials

Creature – Human Shaman Werewolf // Creature – Werewolf Uncommon
At the beginning of each upkeep, if no spells were cast last turn, transform Ulvenwald Mystics.
{G}: Regenerate Ulvenwald Primordials.
At the beginning of each upkeep, if a player cast two or more spells last turn, transform Ulvenwald Primordials.
Illus. Dan Scott #208/264 3/3 // 5/5

Another translation and another werewolf; Ulvenwald Mystics/Ulvenwald Primordials. A vanilla 3/3 for 2GG that turns into a 5/5 with G: Regenerate? Not bad for an uncommon.


This just shouldn’t be a mythic rare. It’s a perfectly fine card, but it does not need to be a mythic rare. A 5/3 with flying, hexproof and indestructible is pretty decent for 5 mana. Decent in Commander with Kaaila of the Vast, it really isn’t a bad card, but doesn’t need to be a mythic rare.

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