Welcome back to more from The Epic Experiment!
Today on The Epic Experiment, my intention was to highlight some gems that are in the current Standard format, but are either underplayed or under priced. With Time Spiral Remastered being the talk of the town, people are forgetting how soon Strixhaven and Commander 21 will be flooding the Commander format. So, before we forget, let’s grab a few of these other hidden gems that you may be very excited to play the next time you play webcam EDH or (fingers crossed) in person.
On a recent episode of Brainstorm Brewery, Jason Alt said, “Cosima might be a better version of Rhystic Study in landfall decks.” Now, this is a pretty extreme position to take, but he may be right. The appeal of Cosima is that on upkeep you can exile it and make it very difficult for your opponent to target it. A couple of land drops later, you bring Cosima back and draw enough cards to fill your grip back up.
Where does Cosima go? Landfall decks like Omnath, Locus of Creation, Aesi, Tyrant of Gyre Straight are all obvious homes. However, Cosima can do much more. One option is to include Cosima in self mill lists like Sidisi, Brood Tyrant where casting something like Splendid Reclamation could now be doubly impactful. Don’t forget, a deck like Nevinyrarral could also leverage Cosima because you can exile Cosima, wrath away the board, and start accruing value just by making land drops.
Not Only A God
So far I have only addressed the front portion of Cosima. But the vehicle, the Omenkeel, is equally intriguing. Early in the game it is very powerful to cast the Omenkeel, crew it for 1, and then attack an open player to steal potential resources. However, it does indeed seem like a powerful option and one that probably bears more exploring.
I didn’t have a copy in paper, but I did have a copy of Cosima on Arena and so I took my testing to Brawl. The list I’m going to share has had very positive results and Cosima has tested extremely well. That deck is far closer to a tempo build looking to leverage drawing the game out longer and wrapping the game up with Ominous Seas and Kiroa Bests the Sea God, but Cosima, in both versions, are key to the game plan.
Drafter’s know that this card is a powerhouse in Limited, but is it any good in Commander? The testing of this card has helped me to see that this card is very strong and may warrant the inclusion in token builds. I asked the question, “Is Giant Plow/Ox actually a viable deck?” From there it was a natural discussion to build the deck using whatever vehicles I could find. After Giant Plow, Esika’s Chariot was the next biggest payoff and thus four Chariots were added.
Let me tell you, more than a few opponents discovered just how rapidly the vehicles can run away with the game.
Esika’s Chariot is extremely impactful and opponents often have no idea how to effectively deal with a vehicle. They often pack artifact removal, but they may not prioritize the Chariot and seek to remove other artifacts from the board. While the vehicle deck has proven effective in Standard to populate a 1/1 or 2/2, in Commander the value from populating a more punishing token is far more noticeable.
Entreat the Angels, the spiritual predecessor of Starnheim Unleashed, appears in 2% of all decks that could play it. The drawbacks to the card are numerous. You are very disappointed if you draw Entreat the Angels in your opening 7, or even in the first 5-8 turns of the game.
Meanwhile, Starnheim Unleashed has far fewer of the drawbacks. If you draw it early, you can foretell it and then forget about it until the later stages of the game. Yes, the casting cost is a bit challenging due to the double X in the Foretell cost, but you are paying for the increased flexibility.
I expect Starnheim Unleashed to see the price continue to decline. It may dodge reprints, but it may see even less competitive demand because of the continued decline of Legacy and no real competitive paper scene in the future. I would be looking pick this up in the next few months to be played in a whole host of Commander Strategies.
This Week’s Deck!
This week’s deck sees me thoroughly captivated by the idea of Boros equipment. A couple of weeks ago I built a list using Feather and treasure makers… well this time I went further down the rabbit hole of Boros equipment. My fear is that the budget version is a trap and not very good and that I need a couple of powerful inclusions like Teferi’s Protection and Smothering Tithe to get a leg up on the competition.
The game plan is to suit up Wyleth with cheap pieces of equipment like Prying Blade, Bone Saw, or Honed Khopesh. This way, you can draw yourself some more cards, and then leverage these extra cards to get the beat down. It is a simple strategy, but Boros keeps getting strong options to the point where it is hard to ignore.
So, without further adieu, welcome to yet another Budget list!
That’s all for me this week… Thanks for stopping by, and don’t forget to check out this week’s Podcast on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or wherever you find podcasts!
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