Tag Archive: EDH


28

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.

50

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.

4 99

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.

38

 

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.

37

 

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

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

201

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.

-SolemnParty

 

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

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:

darksteelcitadel

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.

145

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.

Essentially:

p1hwHgD

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.

7

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:

22

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.

53

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.

qubrwwxfcy_cardart_

 

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,

-SolemnParty

//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ss&ref=ss_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=wintargam-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B00LADQ7VC&asins=B00LADQ7VC&linkId=KM6Q44IVQ465GZL4&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ss&ref=ss_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=wintargam-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B00LADQ8XY&asins=B00LADQ8XY&linkId=MBYX2JSN5AVXWFST&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true

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.

32

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

10371593_659341644148702_4914217476180226873_n

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.

mgs339enn0_enreitolantern

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

Game and Mechanics – Horsemanship

Horsemanship is a mechanic that exists on only 36 cards, all of which came from the Portal Three Kingdoms set.

 

I originally went over Horsemanship in my review of From the Vault: Legends, and he’s still an amazing card now due to his ability to give all of your creatures Horsemanship. Like Flying, Horsemanship can only be blocked by creatures that also have Horsemanship. Due to the fact this ability only exists on 36 cards in all of Magic, this would make your entire army unblockable.

You can find more information on Horsemanship here.

Olivia Voldaren wasn’t what we expected when we thought there would be a Red and Black Legendary Vampire; we assumed it would be a high costed but decent General for Commander. Instead, we got a very good mythic rare that may see Standard play. As the picture is rather low quality, I’ll post what she does here:
Olivia Voldaren
2BR
Legendary Creature – Vampire
Mythic Rare
Flying
1R: Olivia Voldaren deals 1 damage to another target creature. That creature becomes a Vampire in addition to its other types. Put a +1/+1 counter on Olivia Voldaren.
3BB: Gain control of target Vampire for as long as you control Olivia  Voldaren.
3/3

She’s a very good card, namely for her first ability, giving you a consistent way to kill opponent’s creatures and boosting herself in the process. If you really want to, you can always hit a creature and then take it over with her second ability, or just take control of opponent’s vampires in the mirror match. Being a flyer is always a plus here.

So, all in all, it’s a great card, and I hope the rest of Innistrad is as good as they’ve shown us so far.

For those of you who’ve read the previous parts of this review, if you look back to them, they’ve been updated to have the pictures. I just prefer that format to the format I tried for the first three parts, which is why this one is coming up a bit later than I’d like.

In the final part of my review of the Commander/EDH ban list, I look at everything else I haven’t quite yet looked at; creatures, artifacts, and lands. So, without further waiting, let’s start off with…

Karakas is a Legendary Land that either taps for white mana, or you tap and return any Legendary creature to it’s owner’s hand. As it can either bounce an opponents commander or bounce your own to prevent it from being killed, it’ll let you let have to pay your generals additional costs, which is why it’s banned. I can understand it, but it seems like being limited to white would balance it out a bit, or maybe it’s banned because of the advantage playing white would give you on top of having access to Day of Judgment and Wrath of God alongside this.

This card is, unsurprisingly, banned in Commander, seeing as it’s also on the Legacy Ban List and on the restricted list in Vintage. It’s just too broken a card to have in even this format.

Lion’s Eye Diamond isn’t as broken as Black Lotus, but it also provides 3 mana for no mana, for discarding your hand when you use it. It’s also very good for getting some mana to cast your commander, and Jin-Gitaxis eliminates the downside to getting the mana as he’ll draw you 7 at the end step.

Metalworker is ridiculous. 2 mana for each artifact in your hand? It wasn’t as good then due to mana burn, but with the new rules in place Metalworker needed to be banned, easily making up the difference in an adjusted commander’s cost or just making any X cost ridiculous.

Painter’s Servant is banned because of Grindstone, as seen here. Due to the fact that everything shares a color, Grindstone grinds through an entire deck for 2 mana. Deserves to be banned for that reason, milling out a player for 3 mana, and then using voltaic key to untap the grindstone and mill out another player, using a total of 11 mana to kill 2 players.

Panoptic Mirror is banned due to the fact that during each of your upkeeps you could simply copy any card that lets you take an additional turn, therefore having infinite turns because of an imprint card. Also deserving to be banned.

Protean Hulk is mostly banned because you could search tons of 0 drop creatures and one creature with converted mana cost 6 if you wanted to; as it’s a mix-and-match ability, it can search out creature combo pieces, as long as they add up to converted mana cost 6. I agree it should be banned, as I hate running into infinite combos.

Staff of Domination is a very versatile card, being able to do one of 5 things, the first being untapping itself for 1 mana, which is the main reason it’s banned. Having infinite mana with this card gets you infinite life and infinite cards, as well as tapping down every opponent’s creature, all packed into a 3 drop artifact.

Time Vault with Voltaic Key gives you infinite turns, as it allows you to untap it without skipping a turn and untap it every turn. The ban list is basically there to kill every really, really simply combo, especially simple and cheap combos, like this one, or the Painter’s Servant + Grindstone combo.

This, with Rofellos and Channel, was part of Wizard’s effort to kill big mana sources that come from single cards. Adding 1 blue for each artifact is very good, and I understand it being banned, but I’m not sure how necessary it was for it to be banned.

Uh. This card… isn’t really good. There’s an infinite mana combo with him, but there’s far more efficiant ways to do it, and as he’s banned it’s not even worth going into, but look at any of these, they’re better. The combo was Worldgorger Dragon + Reanimate dead, but it’s not really good, and the Worldgorger has to be discarded before the combo can even go off.

However, that’s the last card on the ban list! I’m not sure when, with this influx of Innistrad spoilers showing up, but I’ll actually be taking a look at infinite combos that work in Commander at some point soon. But until then, peace.

Plague Boiler is a thing that is going to blow up everything you hold dear if you don’t keep removing counters from it. However, I think this card is a perfectly valid card in Commander decks that play out of the graveyard, like Dredge decks in Commander, that use Karador, Ghost Chieftain, which likes blowing the board up every turn (seeing as black/green/white gets access to damnation, life’s finale, day of judgment, wrath of god, etc), and then dredging and playing their entire board again with Karador, who will rarely cost more than 3 due to him costing 1 less for each creature in your graveyard. Plague Boiler isn’t great, but it has a place in Commander.

%d bloggers like this: