Hello and welcome to a roundup for the year 2022! The following are my favourite cards from this year.
Some cards are actually categories or cycles of cards. I won’t talk about them too long, nor will I rank them. It’s important to note that I am a primarily black player who loves the graveyard.
That said, here goes!
I know I said I wouldn’t rank them, but Body Launderer is my favourite card from this year. Your nontoken creatures going to the graveyard lets you connive and you can get non-Rogues back to play when Body Launderer dies. I love this card, it’s been a combo engine and a role player. I genuinely cannot overstate my excitement when I see this in my hand.
Phyrexian Arena got an upgrade! I don’t think I’ve ever paid less than three life for BMC. Draw a card and make a Treasure for three life? Give me that deal every time!
This is the best board wipe printed in a long time. It’s modal, it can hit everything except planeswalkers, and can take out graveyards. Versatile, final, incredible. Farewell is a new staple for Commander.
Grim Hireling is a great card and Professional Face-Breaker is a great red imitation, replacing the removal with card advantage. This makes you a ton of mana and when you’ve got enough of it, Treasures because impulse draw. Chef’s kiss, beautiful card.
Welcoming Vampire loves little creatures, but Tocasia’s Welcome only cares what they cost to reward you with a card. Tendershoot Dryad with Welcoming Vampire loses the draw engine after a while, but Tocasia’s Welcome keeps the party going as long as your opponents allow.
New Kamigawa Dragons
I’m a huge fan of Kamigawa dragons and giving them modal death triggers was a phenomenal idea. I think my favourite is Ao, the Dawn Sky, but an argument can be made for all of them. I will rank these ones.
7. Baldur’s Gate Ancient Dragons
Adding a little RNG to your top end can make otherwise sealed deal games still feel like there’s a chance for everybody, but no matter what, there’s power to even rolling a one. With the red dragon leading the pack for strongest, second place can go to any of them depending on the strategy. Fantastic cycle in a great set.
There isn’t much to say besides this card is busted good. Blinking any nonland permanent you control whenever you cast a noncreature is insane. Planeswalker decks, enchantment decks, artifact decks, take your pick, and add the kitten.
This is my favourite commander of 2022. One of the most satisfying decks to brew and pilot in a while for me. If you catch me at Three Kings Loot for Commander, there is an extremely good chance I’ll be running Dane.
Every creature-led Commander deck has a legendary creature to cast that becomes a mana dork with Relic of Legends. With Wizards printing so many really fun and good legendary creatures for the command zone and the 99, Relic will be a must have staple for lots of decks. Shout out to Honor-Worn Shaku.
What I wanted Gadrak, the Crown-Scourge to be. Mahadi does not care if the creatures that died were tokens, he’ll pay you for their death anyway. An absolute house in my Lyzolda, the Blood Witch deck and likely a card that will be overlooked for a while before getting its well deserved shine.
Backgrounds are a fantastic addition to the format for commander creatures to gain abilities. They don’t need to be in the command zone, but can be and they make for a cool non-partner brewing experience. I think we’ll see more of these and I’ll love them every time. Folk Hero, Haunted One, and Agent of the Iron Throne all stand out to me as ones to keep in mind.
Turn your planeswalkers into creatures so they can’t be attacked and now you can swing with them! Also, Resourceful Defense is one of the silliest cards for planeswalker decks in a long time. I run both of these in my Aminatou, the Fateshifter deck and it’s always nutty when either of these get to do their thing.
This one hasn’t taken off yet, but it will. A common refrain in commander is that it’s gotten too fast, and while this card runs at a slower pace, it is non-threatening enough to not draw ire, but also powerful enough to give you a boost no matter what option. I’ve been dabbling with this card in my Thalisse, Reverent Medium decks and some upkeeps my opponents aren’t sure which option to pick because no matter what, I come out on top.
Legends matter card Ratadrabik of Urborg gave us a fun name to announce when he hits the battlefield, a strange lord ability for Zombies, and of course, a way for your legendary creatures to stick around a little longer in some way. Very powerful, will definitely be around lots.
Very strong top end for competitive control decks. Ever-Changing Dane and Aminatou both love having Tivit in the 99. It’s always at least two Treasures and the rest is gravy. Plus with Ward 3, who really loses when he gets removed?
There haven’t been a ton of green cards on this list, but Rampant Rejuvenator is one that has impressed me. Hydra, anthems or +1/+1 counters decks all need a Rejuvenator. If this were an Elemental, it’d be a slam dunk for all those Omnath Landfall decks running around. Rejuvenator dies and gets you two basics untapped at its base. Hit it with a Berserk – Foil or with a power doubling spell or even run it in an Abzan deck with Teysa Karlov, you’ll pull ahead by a lot.
There are a lot of looting effects out there. There’s Cycling, Connive, Faithless Looting and Faithful Mending cards out there. Add Currency Converter to the mix and you get a little extra value for having to ditch a land. Get a blocker out of nowhere if you need one. Worst case, you get an activated loot for two on this already. Exiling the discarded card is also optional! Excellent card and it’s only one mana.
One of my favourite soft removal spells in a while. It doesn’t remove cards outright unless they’re tokens, it triggers on ETB and combat damage to a player, and not to mention if opponents decide they really need to recast that Sol Ring you took away, you draw a card. That’s not even taking into account that casting a commander will net you a card draw with this out. Prosper, Tome-Bound decks will just fill your hand with everything you need to win the game. Everybody should play this more!
Honorable Mention – Great Unclean One
I wish this was legendary. I’d build a monoblack deck with this at the helm like yesterday. A big fat 4/5 Demon that puts a clock on the table and says tick tock here come more little Demons. Very fun card!
That’ll do it for me this year! Until next year! Let me know what catches your eye and what you want me to cover.
Happy holidays and happy new year!