Tag: commander

Mike Carrozza - August 8, 2023

A Seat at the Table FIRST LOOKS – Doctor Who Commander!

In the last few weeks we’ve gotten Commander Masters… but that’s not all! We got a sneak peek at the new  set and the Doctor Who Commander decks.

With the Doctor Who cards being specifically for Commander, I figured I’d begin with them. I want to say before anything that the Tardis treatment, while cool, look like blue cards. They don’t look different enough to demonstrate their colours, which is such a bummer. That said, some of these cards scratch a fun itch in my brain. I have never watched nor cared for Doctor Who, so I’ll be evaluating things based on card abilities only.

There are four Commander precon decks for the Doctor Who release:

  • Blast from the Past – White-Blue-Green deck that seems to care bout Historic cards (not the format).
  • Timey-Wimey – White-Blue-Red deck that makes use of the suspend mechanic and introducing a new mechanic that interacts with time counters.
  • Masters of Evil – Blue-Black-Red deck that is all about the villains of Doctor Who, introducing villainous choices for your opponents like a group slug archetype.
  • Paradox Power – Blue-Red-Green deck all about casting from anywhere but your hand.

All but one of the decks’ face commander is a two-colour Doctor with another legendary creature with “Doctor’s Companion” which means You can have two commanders if the other is the Doctor. Hello, Morophon, the Boundless and Moritte of the Frost, you now have very specific Partner! (Don’t quote me on this.) The other deck is the Villains deck headed by Davros, Dalek Creator.

For this article, we’re just going to look at the face commanders, since a review is coming down the line when we have everything previewed.

The Fourth Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith.

The Fourth Doctor is a 4/4 Time Lord Doctor for 2GU with “You may look at the top card of your library any time.” And “Once each turn, you may play a historic land or cast a historic spell from the top of your library. When you do, create a Food token.”

This is kind of like a Mystic Forge limited to once a turn. I love that you can play historic lands as well. Creating a Food token feels like a flavour move, but I am not sure.

Sarah Jane Smith works with The Fourth Doctor well. A 2/1 Human Detective for 1W, she has “Whenever you cast a historic spell, investigate. This ability triggers only once each turn.”

So with both of your commanders out, you get a Clue and a Food for casting artifacts, legendaries, and Sagas once a turn. You’ll want some flash enablers for critical mass, but I’m more curious about how they’ll capitalize on the token creation.

The Tenth Doctor and Rose Tyler

The Tenth Doctor is a 3/5 Time Lord Doctor for 3UR with “Whenever you attack, exile cards from the top of your library until you exile a nonland card. Put three time counters on it. If it doesn’t have suspend, it gains suspend.” And “7: Time travel three times. Activate only as a sorcery. (For each suspended card you own and each permanent you control with a time counter on it, you may add or remove a time counter. Then do it two more times.)  

Oh, weird! Pack the extra combat cards and maybe a Reconnaissance if you keep the Companion white and you’ll get to Timey Wimey some huge threats. That’s tight.

Rose Tyler is a 2/2 Human for 1W and is The Tenth Doctor’s Companion. She has “Rose Tyler gets +1/+1 for each time counter on it. Whenever Rose Tyler attacks, put a time counter on it for each suspended card you own and each other permanent you control with a time counter on it.”

Damn, so she’s clearly a brawler. Send her in for attacks while you’ve got the Doctor pumping her when he joins the fray.

The Thirteenth Doctor and Yasmin Khan

The Thirteenth Doctor and Yasmin Khan are the heads of the Paradox Power Temur deck.

For 1GU, The Thirteenth Doctor is a 2/2 Time Lord Doctor with “Whenever you cast a spell from anywhere other than your hand, put a +1/+1 counter on target creature.” And “At the beginning of your end step, untap each creature you control with a counter on it.”

This is one that I’m not very high on, but I can admit that the +1/+1 counters can get way out of hand with the amount of ways to play cards not from your hand. The untap feels good to have and might be used on dorks, but what about some cards with powerful tap abilities? Looks strong!

Yasmin Khan is a 3/3 Human Detective for 3R and she’s The Thirteenth Doctor’s Companion. She reads real simple: “Tap: Exile the top card of your library. Until your next end step, you may play it.”

Clearly she works great with her Doctor, but as a Prosper, Tome-Bound player, I’ll tell you I know what’s getting replaced for this. I think Yasmin can hold her own and will bring some utility to a flex slot.

Davros, Dalek Creator

Finally, the head of the Masters of Evil deck, Davros, Dalek Creator is a 3/4 Legendary Artifact Creature – Alien Scientist for 1UBR with Menace and “At the beginning of your end step, create a 3/3 black Dalek artifact creature token with menace if an opponent lost 3 or more life this turn. Then each opponent who lost 3 or more life this turn faces a villainous choice – you draw a card or that player discards a card.”

Holy hell. Grixis has lots of ways to have players lose three life on your turn. Look at Rakdos, Lord of Riots or Sygg, River Cutthroat’s pages on EDHREC for some inspiration. No matter the choice, letting you draw a card or discarding a card is a swing on each end step. Love this!

That does it for our first look at Doctor Who Commander! So far, these are really cool cards and I’m looking forward to seeing what else they do with this set!

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Mike Carrozza - August 7, 2023

A Seat at the Table FIRST LOOKS – Wilds of Eldraine!

In the last few weeks we’ve gotten Commander Masters… but that’s not all! We got a sneak peek at the new Wilds of Eldraine set and the Doctor Who Commander decks.

Wilds of Eldraine is looking crazy so far and I’ve got a few cards I NEED to talk about.

Before we get into the new cards, Wilds of Eldraine is also bringing back the bonus sheet like the Strixhaven Mythical Archives and MOM Multiversal Legends. WOE brings us Enchanting Tales, which has me SCREAMING! I love enchantments so much but check this list out. These aren’t all of them, but the list is stacked!

What bonkers inclusions!

Time to discuss a few things from Wilds of Eldraine.

Restless Fortress

This is a creature land or a “manland” and this is a good sign for standard. An Orzhov land that becomes a 1/4 for four mana and drains two life on attack means that we’ve got some late game control being seeded in standard. Fingers crossed the game slows  down a little. I love seeing stuff like this!

Tough Cookie

A 1G 2/2 Artifact Creature – Food Golem that ETBs to make a Food token? Grizzly Bears have come a long way. Because Tough Cookie is a Food, it can be sacrificed for life as well, but the interesting big is the 2G ability to turn target noncreature artifact you control into a 4/4 artifact creature. There are lots of ways to take advantage of creatures and sometimes an artifact isn’t a creature and you think man if only this were a creature. I could twiddle stuff or what if I could block with my Mycosynth Wellspring. I think this card is sneakier than it looks.

Cruel Somnophage

Our first two colour adventure card. A blue sorcery and a black creature on one card. Cruel Somnophage is also a real tank. It’s no Lord of Extinction, but let’s say it does a two mana impression of the Lord. Most importantly, this card is a mill card. Fingers  crossed for standard mill! That’d get me to play standard again.

Ashiok, Wicked Manipulator

WotC mentioned that planeswalkers were going to be coming only one per set so Ashiok has all the space to be strange. A five loyalty Ashiok for 3BB with very interesting abilities. Their static ability is “If you would pay life while your library has at least that many cards in it, exile that many cards from the top of your library instead.” A glass cannon if I’ve ever seen one.

+1 – Look at the top two cards of your library. Exile one of them and put the other into your hand.

-2 – Create two 1/1 black Nightmare creature tokens with “At the beginning of combat on your turn, if a card was put into exile this turn, put a +1/+1 counter on this creature.”

-7 – Target player exiles the top X cards of their library, where X is the total mana value of cards you own in exile.

The +1 is excellent utility to smooth out your turn, feed the -2 Nightmares, and ultimately wreck an opponent for the -7. You’ll really need to protect Ashiok and feed them at the right time.

Exile means it’s gone, so be careful when you “pay life”. You could also go hard on Plague of Vermin.

Moonshaker Cavalry

This card was called White Craterhoof in play testing as confirmed by the set designers. For 5WWW, this 6/6 Spirit Knight has flying and enters the battlefield with “creatures you control gain flying and get +X/+X until end of turn where X is the number of  creatures you control.”

WHITE CRATERHOOF! Another finisher that can finally go in decks I play! Thalisse, Reverent Medium, we’ve got a buff Spirit!!!

Talion, the Kindly Lord

We just had White Craterhoof, how can we top that?

Great question. How about another mythic from the set. A 3/4 flying Faerie Noble for 2UB with “As Talion, the Kindly Lord enters the battlefield, choose a number between 1 and 10. Whenever an opponent casts a spell with mana value, power, or toughness equal to the chosen number, that player loses 2 life and you draw a card.”

There are so many cards that have two power and toughness that see so much play. If you play Sakashima of a Thousand Faces picking Talion, you can pick another number. You’ll have so many cards, you’ll be discarding at each end step.

Remember it only triggers when your opponents cast spells with the criteria. Talion doesn’t care about enters the battlefield triggers. Talion is going to be real popular.

That’s it for a first look at Wilds of Eldraine! I can’t wait to see what else this set holds.

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Mike Carrozza - August 4, 2023

Commander Masters Precon Review – Sliver Swarm!

Hello! Welcome to my set review of Commander Masters commander preconstructed decks!

I’ll be going through each of the Commander decks and talking about the new cards chiefly while highlighting worthwhile reprints.

Finally, we’ve got the Sliver Swarm deck, a five colour Slivers deck. The worthwhile reprints aren’t all Slivers, but there will be a few. A notable omission though for some reason is Sliver Hive! Why wouldn’t they print Sliver Hive in the Sliver deck? It was a few bucks! For a $100+ precon deck! Now it’s shot up to $50. Good luck!

  1. Sliver Gravemother

Joining the ranks of Sliver Hivelord, Sliver Legion, Sliver Overlord, Sliver Queen, and The First Sliver as the sixth legendary five colour Sliver, Sliver Gravemother makes use of two things I  absolutely love to see on a card.

Encore is a mechanic I think is way underrated. Araumi of the Dead Tide is a near perfect commander in my opinion and I think more people should check her out. Giving all your Slivers encore from the graveyard is a fantastic way to get your value. The legend rule note applying to slivers really only matters with stuff like Sliver Legion and The First Sliver, I guess? But what if you play Sliver Gravemother in an Arcane Adaptation / Ashes of the Fallen encore deck filled with legends? I smell a brew coming!

I think Sliver Gravemother is very cool, but it remains a Sliver commander which means that players will look at it and think “that’s the archenemy”. Slivers are tough to fight with because of their mechanical nature, but they snowball and are very fun to pilot.

  1. Rukarumel, Biologist

When this was spoiled, the fandom was quick to spot the potential Emrakul anagram, but I think that’s highly unlikely. Instead, Rukarumel is a character from Sliver flavour text! Which freaking rule! What a pull! A biologist who’s been documenting Slivers and putting together a codex gets a Sliver typal card and I couldn’t be happier with this choice.

Now, it is important to read over this card. Lots of folks pointed to her as the new perfect Changeling/Typal Typal deck leader replacing Morophon or The Ur-Dragon.

I say she’s a welcome addition, but really only gets to pick one creature type for nontoken creatures. The only tokens affected by this are Sliver tokens. So if you’re looking at Ru as a new five colour Zombie commander, you can make it work. But if you’re hoping to go with a bunch of different Lords and benefiting from their effects on one creature, this is not going to do that. This is not Maskwood Nexus in the command zone per se.

That said, people who are looking at this and going FINALLY, A HOMARID COMMANDER! are 100% correct.

  1. Capricious Sliver

Capricious Sliver is very sweet for decks that love bottling effects (aka impulse draw) but you’ve got to be careful with how many Slivers you swing with. You’re exiling cards from your library so if you swing 40 tokens at someone to kill them, make sure you’ve got enough to stay in the game to fight your other opponents.

Prosper, Tome-Bound remains the exile matters GOAT and Faldorn could make use of this with a small Sliver package, but as for most cards in this deck, Slivers are a parasitic mechanic and they require more Sliver support. As it stands, a 3/3 for four mana that draws you a card that goes away at the end of your turn when it deals combat damage isn’t a rate I’m happy with, so you do need Slivers. I’d sooner play Grenzo, Havoc Raiser.

  1. Descendants’ Fury

This is probably the best new card in this precon. I’m all for trading a token for a creature card. Slam this in your Goblin decks, in your Human decks, in your Boros Soldier or Angel decks, hell just go hard with Taurean Mauler and death cascade.

Descendants’ Fury is a standout that typal decks should consider as long as they’re going in for combat.

  1. For the Ancestors

Three mana for potentially draw six if you’ve got a high enough density or you just Scroll Racked a bunch of creatures of the same type to the top of your library, that’s insane. Being able to try again for another four is sweet too. I think this card is probably going to find a home in Elf decks and this Sliver deck if I had to guess. It’s powerful but it’s also not a creature spell and can whiff which feels pretty bad. Not to mention, you have no say about what to keep on top of your deck in case you reveal a noncreature of that type combo piece.

  1. Hatchery Sliver

I love this card. The idea of slapping any keywords onto Slivers is exactly what the type is for, but this one is great. It’s great while Replicate was an Izzet mechanic and it opens up a whole world of possibilities. You’ll want to replicate only the Slivers whose abilities stack like Capricious Sliver mentioned above or Synapse Sliver. I think it was smart to use this ability since making more Hatchery Slivers is just making Grizzly Bears and Replicate doesn’t stack. Excellent use of power and also restraint.

  1. Lazotep Sliver

When I saw this art spoiled, I thought we were getting Eternalize on Slivers which is a nightmare, then I realized Sliver Gravemother grants Encore, so it’s close enough.

Afflict is a mechanic that basically tells your opponents that blocking is pointless. It’s a mechanic a ton of people hated and I’m surprised it’s back. Pleasantly surprised, because, you see, I loved this mechanic. The problem with it here is making it so widespread. Essentially what this does is that before damage, your opponent loses 2 life if they block your Slivers and that means there’s a chance if you hit for exactly enough Afflict, they can block all they want, the combat step will just end before damage.

That said, getting to amass Slivers 2 is the smart way to go on a death trigger. One big Sliver versus many little Slivers is always safest. Just make sure there’s no free sacrifice outlet.

  1. Regal Sliver

Regal Sliver feels like an insane thing to put on a Sliver. Create a Sliver token and if you’re not the monarch, become the monarch, then every subsequent Sliver that ETBs under your control pumps your Sliver board by 1? That sounds insane with mass Sliver token creation or tokens. Imagine an Avenger of Zendikar into Rukarumel making all your creatures Slivers and Regal Sliver? That’s a haste enabler away from being a huge haymaker.

It’s very cool and can slot into any deck looking for the monarch on ETB with a little more oomph.

  1. Taunting Sliver

While Regal Sliver is nuts, Taunting Sliver is a mistake. A must kill card for any creature based deck hoping to do its thing. Goading, as mentioned on EDHRECast multiple times, is way more powerful than anybody gives it credit. Partner with Bothersome Quasit and you’ve got open reign on the table and you’ll always have someone you can attack into. You don’t even need to goad a creature the opponent you just damaged controls. Any opponent! Jeez!

  1. Titan of Littjara

A new Titan! This means and ETB and attack effect. Titan of Littjara should have been a changeling, but instead it makes you commit to a creature type and becomes that meaning upon ETB or attack, you at the very least will loot.

This is going to be in so many Wilhelt, the Rotcleaver decks. Any of the Simic Elf decks of late, Sea Monster tribal decks want this, and of course, any reanimator shell with a pretty common creature type might be able to squeeze the Titan in. Remember Araumi of the Dead Tide? This is going in there for sure. Three ETBs, at minimum even just choosing Araumi’s creature type for each, you get to draw four and discard one. Then the same on attack. This card is sick!

Here are notable reprints!

That does it for Sliver Swarm and Commander Masters in general! Thank you for joining us on this wild journey! If you want to see more, check out @mikecarrozza on Instagram and Twitter!

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Mike Carrozza - August 3, 2023

Commander Masters Precon Review – Planeswalker Party!

Hello! Welcome to my set review of Commander Masters commander preconstructed decks!

I’ll be going through each of the Commander decks and talking about the new cards chiefly while highlighting worthwhile reprints.

Next up is the Planeswalker Party deck. I’ve already covered Commodore Guff in an A Seat at the Table article, but the new cards have been quite impressive. Let’s see what’s cookin’.

  1. Commodore Guff

Guff is interesting in that he’s a support character in his own deck. The passive ability to put another loyalty on another planeswalker at your end step while also creating dorks to cast other planeswalkers is pretty neat. Then when you’ve got a ton of of planeswalkers, Guff hits your opponents for each one while drawing you cards to cast more planeswalkers. The Guff decks definitely need protection and even more planeswalkers. Pack your Strionic Resonator, Peregrine Dynamo, and Rings of Brighthearth, it’s time for Guff.

  1. Leori, Sparktouched Hunter

Leori in interesting in that it’s a well statted and aggressive creature that lets you double up on a planeswalker’s abilities it activated for the turn when it hits an opponent. But the fun part is that it’s for each planeswalker of that type, so if you have three different Chandra’s, each one can activate and copy an ability. If you’ve got Oath of Teferi that allows you to activate an additional ability for planeswalkers you control which also will allow those to be copied. It’s really cool, but personally, Liliana is the planeswalker type I keep coming back to. With the game’s pool of cards ever expanding, I’d be shocked to find out there aren’t more interesting planeswalkers for Leori to set up with.

  1. Chandra, Legacy of Fire

This Chandra is absolutely nuts. This feels like an inclusion in all planeswalker decks with red for as long as it remains legal. It gives you mana, it domes your opponents for just having planeswalkers. Getting to also bottle cards of a 0 ability is pretty sweet. If there are any Prosper, Tome-Bound decks with a planeswalker lean out there, congratulations on your new favourite card.

  1. Gatewatch Beacon

This is a mana rock that’s kind of like an Oath of Gideon. It’s fine and will likely see play mostly in Aminatou, The Fateshifter decks, honestly. It’s not hyper impressive but it does get Doubling Seasoned or Lae’zel’ed. It’s fine!

  1. Guff Rewrites History

Each player gets hit with a fixed Chaos Warp that can’t miss. This is for the chaos themed decks out there who love to embrace a nightmare scenario but get rewarded with the best case some of the time.

  1. Jaya’s Phoenix

Much like Leori, Jay’s Phoenix lets you copy the planeswalker’s ability once it gets in for some combat damage. Though this one requires a little bit or in terms of sequencing, it’s pretty sweet to be able to bring it back by casting a planeswalker and then getting to double an activation post combat.

  1. Onakke Oathkeeper

This is what I’m talking about! Get some protection! Sphere of Safety without enchantments is basically what this guy offers for two mana and then from the graveyard, you can cash in the second ability to bring back a key planeswalker (I’m thinking Chandra, Legacy of Fire).

  1. Sparkshaper Visionary

Speaking of protection this card protects your planeswalkers by making them more vulnerable to board wipes since they become creatures, but at least they can’t be attacked outright anymore. Also, you can still activate loyalty abilities and they slap for 3 in the air, scrying one per combat damage.

This card is one of the strangest ones I’ve ever seen and it means that we now have Luxior, Giada’s Gift and Sparkshaper Visionary that can make it so your planeswalker commanders can hit for commander damage.

  1. Teyo, Geometric Tactician

I want to love Teyo. I think he’s a cool character and there’s interesting stuff to be done. Having a Loran of the Third Path ability on the +1 makes it pretty likely that you can make some deals, but that -2 is where it’s at, controlling players and making sure your key planeswalkers can’t be hit at pivotal moments. It’s not particularly impressive, but I’m seeing this for Aminatou pretty easily.

  1. Vronos, Masked Inquisitor

What a completely off the rails crazy character inclusion. Vronos was entirely unexpected. I think the +1 ability to phase out planeswalkers speaks to the theme of protection I’ve hammered home as an important piece, although this does cut into Guff or Chandra’s end step abilities. That said, the -2 removal is exquisite and Vronos gives you an ultimate ability that turns on a clock for the game to end. Activate it with some of the ability doublers and you’ve got yourself a board of beater artifacts that aren’t going anywhere.

Here are notable reprints!

That does it for Planeswalker Party! Tune in next time for another commander precon deck review!

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Mike Carrozza - August 2, 2023

Commander Masters Precon Review – Enduring Enchantments!

Hello! Welcome to my set review of Commander Masters commander preconstructed decks!

I’ll be going through each of the commander decks and talking about the new cards chiefly, while highlighting worthwhile reprints.

Next up is the Enduring Enchantments deck. This deck is far and away my favourite of the precons. It’s cohesive and interesting, there’s some value in the reprints that doesn’t feel like being screwed over by the high price tag, and the new cards are fun and add a breath of fresh air to a beloved archetype.

Let’s get into the new cards!

  1. Anikthea, Hand of Erebos

Anikthea is oddly reminiscent of Myrkul, Lord of Bones in that it exiles a card type from your graveyard and makes it the other one. In Myrkul’s case, creatures become enchantments and in Anikthea, non-Aura enchantments become creatures.

This card is flexible and cool. You’ll want to protect Anikthea. At five mana, having to cast her a second time for seven mana, even in green feels bad. You’ll want to pack your deck with enchantments you want to make token Zombies of like Oblivion Ring and Parallel Lives.

This card is open-ended enough that it’s hard to talk about without boxing it in! Enjoy brewing. This is going to be a standout commander! I’ve already written about her for The Bag of Loot!

  1. Narci, Fable Singer

The deck’s backup commander is also getting a lot of attention, potentially calling back to Femeref Enchantress. A lifelinking 3/3 for 1WBG with text that supports a newly beloved card type – Sagas.

If you draw a card when you sacrifice an enchantment, how are you going to sacrifice an enchantment? You could rely on Infernal Tribute, Auratog, Braids, Arisen Nightmare, and Faith Healer, but why not just play Sagas? On their final chapter, they sacrifice themselves! Plus when a final chapter of a Saga goes off, Narci drains your opponents equal to its mana value.

We just got five colour Sagas with Tom Bombadil, but just checking Scryfall for Abzan Sagas, and Narci is going to be well supported. Not all Sagas sacrifice themselves it turns out – I forgot about the Kamigawa Sagas like Azusa’s Many Journeys, but they still trigger Narci’s final ability.

  1. Battle at the Helvault

Speaking of Sagas, Battle at the Helvault is the new Saga printed for this deck and it’s pretty fun! It’s a Grasp of Fate for six mana with a clock on it. Then as it ends, you get an 8/8 flying, vigilant, indestructible Avacyn token. Really cool finale and definitely worth keeping around for Narci.

Are there better options out there? There’s literally Grasp of Fate in the deck and that keeps the cards locked up until it goes away without the timer. That said, flavour fans like this because apparently there’s a lore contradiction, hinting at some Innistraditi, believing the events that didn’t happen. It’s an interesting lore flag!

  1. Boon of the Spirit Realm

Boon of the Spirit Realm is a Cathars’ Crusade that doesn’t give me a headache. I don’t love the rate of five mana for a single +1/+1 anthem, but definitely can see this being wild in a Daxos, the Returned deck. Any deck that runs a Niko Aris might consider this to surprise boost!

It’s not crazy, but it’s simple and can be effective.

  1. Cacophony Unleashed

Why doesn’t the second ability have Constellation? Cacophony Unleashed is a seven mana creature board wipe which is just not the rate that we’re at in this format. Can you flicker your boardwipe? Nope, only on cast. The second ability turns it into a 6/6 deathtouching menace. Unless you’re really into Ashiok’s messed up demon, I’d skip this.

  1. Composer of Spring

For two mana, we got one of the wildest freaking enchantress cards I’ve seen in a hot minute. Composer of Spring says whenever an enchantment enters the battlefield under your control, put a land into play from your hand tapped, or if you’ve got six or more enchantments – an EASY bar to clear in a dedicated enchantments list – you get to put a creature or a land into play instead. Wow. This is just nuts enough that just reading the card is good enough to review it. It’s so good. Consider this a recommendation to pick it up when it’s cheap enough for you to feel good about it.

  1. Demon of Fate’s Design

This feels like one of Erebos’ Demons and when it comes to playing Narci, it feels like Demon of Fate’s Design might be her best friend. Being able to cast an enchantment for life instead of mana makes any blue/black deck playing this a little scarier with the possibility of threatening an Omniscience for ten life. Of course with Anikthea, you can sacrifice an enchantment with DFD and then bring it back with Anikthea’s attack trigger while the Demon fuels its strength.

I like it but definitely need it to work in the deck and it feels pretty narrow.

8. Ghoulish Impetus

This card is awesome in a Constellation deck. Doomwake Giant would need another enchantment to enter with this since the Impetus offsets the debuff, but maybe there’s a chain that can happen. It would feel really good to have the creature enchanted die each turn while you’ve got Setessan Champion or Eidolon of Blossoms in play. Yowza!

I think this card is ready to be slotted into Killian, Ink Duelist or in Thantis, the Warweaver.

  1. Nyxborn Behemoth

Another enchantment sacrifice outlet to enable Narci and send enchantments to the yard for Anikthea to animate. This is a big beater and serves as the precon’s finisher, but I don’t know where else I’d want play this. Is there an enchantment fling deck? Is there a way to make this a Saga for Narci? Shrug!

  1. Ondu Spiritdancer

This card has some of the most beautiful text I’ve ever read. Enchantments are my favourite permanent type. When you have an enchantment enter, token or not, you can make a copy once a turn. Beautiful. Gorgeous. Inspiring.

Copy Ondu Spiritdancer themselves then play an Anointed Procession. Oh wow, I love this card!

Here are notable reprints!

That does it for Enduring Enchantments! Tune in next time for another commander precon deck review!

Get all your board game news from The Bag of Loot! www.thebagofloot.com
Get all your board game needs from Three Kings Loot! www.threekingsloot.com

Mike Carrozza - August 1, 2023

Commander Masters Precon Review – Eldrazi Unbound!

Hello! Welcome to my set review of Commander Masters Commander preconstructed decks!

I’ll be going through each of the Commander decks and talking about the new cards chiefly, while highlighting worthwhile reprints.

I’ll be starting the series with the colourless Eldrazi Unbound deck. This deck is first because it feels like the most complicated to evaluate. Let’s look at the new cards from the deck, starting with the new legends.

  1. Zhulodok, Void Gorger

Beginning with Zhulodok, the deck’s face commander, we have a card with banger art. A new Eldrazi 7/4 for 5C, Zhulodok gives colourless spells of seven or greater mana value double cascade. It’s a great payoff for the hoops you need to jump though.

Luckily when X is on the stack, it counts toward the mana value, so your Astral Cornucopia can cost you 9 mana, tap for three and you’ll get two cascades under 9 for it. What if you hit a Meteor Golem as you cascade? Well, you do that two more times!

This deck can be a lot of fun, but it’s going to be a little scary. That said, you need to enable the strategy as much as possible. I’d recommend a copy of The Immortal Sun or even Cloud Key if you’ve got a particular type tipping the scales. I don’t foresee Zhulodok being particularly popular outside of the precon, but it’s really cool.

  1. Omarthis, Ghostfire Initiate

We have gotten a few pretty cool colourless legends lately with The Peregrine Dynamo and Liberator, Urza’s Battlethopter. Omarthis joins the ranks of colourless legends that folks are excited to figure out.

I’ll be absolutely honest: I am not into this card so much. Because of the requirement for colourless creatures to be the ones getting the +1/+1 counters for Omar to grow, I don’t see it in many other decks and straight up will likely just be in the command zone and nowhere else.

From the looks of it, Arcbound creatures with Modular seem to be all over Omarthis’ EDHREC page and stuff like Liberator, Walking Ballista, and Hangarback Walker are highly synergistic.

I feel like I’d have to see this in action to really get it, but I don’t know that the juice is worth the squeeze, personally. Enjoy, all those who love it!

  1. Abstruse Archaic

I love the Archaics as a concept and hope we see a ton more. I love the art. Wandering Archaic is very fun and I think these cards are cool as hell.

Abstruse Archaic is true to its name only allowing the targeting of colourless sources but not mana abilities until you realize how many great colourless abilities there are.

Artifacts like Sword of the Animist, Strionic Resonator, Meteor Golem, even stuff like Lifecrafter’s Bestiary whose colour identity is green is still colourless. There are lots of great artifact abilities that aren’t mana abilities.

What else is colourless? Lands! Bojuka Bog in hand and don’t know which opponent to target? Luckily, the land is colourless and for one mana, you can copy the grave hate with the Archaic’s ability. While you can’t copy Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx’s ability, you can absolutely copy a Blighted Woodland ability or… Strip Mine’s abilitiy! Spicy!

Let’s not forget that Devoid is a silly mechanic that exists and there might be something good to do with those, but frankly nothing stands out to me just yet.

  1. Calamity of the Titans

A colourless board wipe that exiles feels like it’d be automatically slotting into every deck, but this requires you to reveal a colourless creature from your hand, not only giving away information, but also requiring more than just playing a card to do what Farewell does. Does this keep your creatures in play with mana value less than the revealed card? Yes, it does. But does that matter when most of what you’ll be playing in decks with this will be massive? Nah.

I don’t like this one, but have fun, colourless decks!

  1. Darksteel Monolith

This card feels like a trap, but it’s undoubtably very powerful. Imagine having a Shimmer Myr in an artifact deck and just dropping stuff like Spine of Ish Sah at instant speed because the Monolith lets you cast on each turn. I foresee this getting more shine in decks with Goblin Welder and the like but they’ll have to leave their Sharding Sphinxes at home.

  1. Desecrate Reality

Desecrate Reality is in a sweet spot of just enough value to be good but also cool enough to want to see it. Having even targets isn’t a problem when you can hit 0 mana cards like lands, so your seven mana spell isn’t just dead in hand. That said, having a Thran Dynamo or Sol Ring plus Scavenger Grounds for the three colourless Adamant ability means that you’ll be getting  something crazy from your graveyard easier than you’d think. I like this a lot.

  1. Flayer of Loyalties

This card is, in a word, hilarious. You can’t flicker it out reanimate it for its trigger, but if you do, you’ve still basically got Eldrazi Conscription on a 0/0 which is sick.

Casting this means you can Threaten an opponent’s creature but don’t forget that you can “gain control” of your own creatures. So yeah, why not target your own Cold-Eyed Selkie? Draw cards, force some sacrifice, hit like a truck. This card is cool and very silly.

  1. Rise of the Eldrazi

This card is going to get cast from so many graveyards with Mizzix’s Mastery or Surge to Victory, that’s my prediction.

I love the flavour of this card. I love that it’s named after a set, much to the chagrin of those selling cards at shops. Sorting these in the online databases isn’t easy!

This card is 12 mana for all of the Eldrazi Titan’s cast abilities. I am in love with the flavour of this and will try it in my Zaffai, Thunder Conductor deck for sure, but this is the most win-more card I’ve seen in a long time.

  1. Skittering Cicada

We’ve got a new Shimmer Myr for colourless cards specifically. Ultimately, it gets bigger if you play more colourless spells but I think this most likely will see play just in colourless decks or artifact decks that need the redundancy of a partial Shimmer Myr.

  1. Ugin’s Mastery

A colourless enchantment is very fun to see. There aren’t many out there that have a colourless colour identity. Eldrazi Conscription, Urza’s Saga, and technically Faceless One are the others in this very exclusive club. Greatest Show in the Multiverse counts too if you have a fun playgroup.

Ugin’s Mastery is a fun card that makes me feel like it’ll be relevant again when we revisit a Morph commander like Kadena, Slinking Sorcerer. When you cast a Morph creature on its Morph side, you are indeed casting a colourless creature, so you get two for the cost of one. Then if you manifested a creature, you can pop it back up. I really like Ugin’s Mastery, it’s just about triggering it and having stuff worth flipping.

Here are notable reprints!

That does it for Eldrazi Unbound! Tune in next time for another Commander precon deck review!

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Mike Carrozza - July 31, 2023

Best of Commander Masters – Multicoloured!

Hello! Welcome to my set review of Commander Masters, where I will pick five cards of each colour and discuss my favourite cards from them.

Given that the set also comes out with a set of preconstructed Commander decks, I’ll also be covering my favourite new cards from there in another article.

This is also a reprint set which means that this is mostly going to be picking cards for what they’ve already shown they can do. The monetary value of the cards is nice, but will not likely be the biggest factor in my selections. Because they’re reprints, we know that the cost might course correct and some cards will only be lower for a little bit, so be sure to snap up singles at  threekingsloot.com.

Without further ado, here are my favourite multicoloured (aka Gold) cards!

      1. The Scarab God

Trust me when I say this: if you have any desire to play Dimir colours in your decks whatsoever and you’ve got a flex slot, pop in The Scarab God there and you will be pleased.

The ability to Eternalize a creature in any graveyard for four mana at instant speed is so powerful and flexible and if you don’t NEED to do it, you can do it at the end step before your turn. You snag a creature for value, then you get a scry from it and ding your opponents. It’s also difficult to kill. You can sacrifice it or let it eat removal spells, The Scarab God just keeps coming back.

As a commander, I think this might be a better Zombie commander than Wilhelt, the Rotcleaver, but flavourfully, Big Willy is the right choice.

  1. The Ur-Dragon

Eminence can be very cool, but on The Ur-Dragon, it’s busted. Starting your game with part of a Herald’s Horn active from the command zone broadcasts to the table that you’re about to play six drops way early.

What’s more is when you get this big guy into play, you likely get a ton of cards and a free permanent to play on attack. With a massive creature like this and Dragons being some of Magic‘s most powerful creatures, this commander is one that you can play but people will come at you for – and with good reason.

I had this deck put together years ago and it was so fun to play. A total blast. I recommend it highly if you’re even a little on the fence.

  1. Zacama, Primal Calamity

When people talk about Timmy Magic, I think this qualifies as a huge peak. A 9/9 for nine that untaps all your lands and gives you versatile abilities is a gorgeous sight to behold.

Zacama, Primal Calamity is often paired with Temur Sabertooth and a way to be mana positive (maybe one of your lands is a Gaea’s Cradle or Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx), bouncing the Calamity to hand and recasting for infinite. But what do you do with all that mana? You use your Mycosynth Lattice and start sniping every permanent your opponents control, including their lands. You deal enough damage to Brash Taunter to end the game. You bank on your Warstorm Surge or – for paper cut wins – Impact Tremors.

Zacama also just gets in for lots of damage and blocks like a champ. You’ve got to love seeing this downshifted to rare. With Ixalan around the corner, Dinosaur decks are going to want this and it’ll be nice that the Big Z isn’t $20 anymore.

  1. Yuriko, the Tiger’s Shadow

If Eminence is a dicey mechanic, Commander ninjutsu is downright criminal. Bypassing the commander tax much like Derevi, Empyrial Tactician but with a way better payoff, Yuriko is cemented in the top tier of cEDH commanders.

Using a bevy of unblockable one drops to get in so she can swap out, Yuriko is best known for coming with a Sensei’s Divining Top to make sure her Temporal Trespass is the card revealed to hit your opponents for lots of life loss. Not to mention Yuriko triggers off of each Ninja dealing combat damage, and did I mention each of your opponents loses life equal to mana value? It’s one of the most busted commanders and elicits groans at tables worldwide.

  1. Morophon, the Boundless

Morophon is one of the coolest cards and the new alt art version is nuts. There’s a new commander in the Slivers deck that lets you have a creature type matters deck of any kind but make no mistake, Morophon is the original one meant to be that guy. Being a changeling, all typal effects and bonus affect it, and the creature type cost reduction is a blast to work with in deck building, asking you to favour cards with more pips so that you can get as much value as you can. Do you want to build a Zombie deck that can play Varina, Lich Queen and Deadapult? Morophon’s ready for the command zone.

Honourable Mentions

That does it for multicolour! Tune in next time for Commander deck reviews!

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Mike Carrozza - July 27, 2023

Best of Commander Masters – Artifacts, Lands, and Colourless!

Hello! Welcome to my set review of Commander Masters, where I will pick five cards of each colour and discuss my favourite cards from them. Yes, there will be and artifact and lands review as well as a multicoloured review.

This is also a reprint set which means that this is mostly going to be picking cards for what they’ve already shown they can do. The monetary value of the cards is nice, but will not likely be the biggest factor in my selections. Because they’re reprints, we know that the cost might course correct and some cards will only be lower for a little bit, so be sure to snap up singles at threekingsloot.com.

Without further ado, here are my favourite Artifact, Colourless, and Land cards! Much like red, there were a lot of cards I’d love to include in the top five, but I wanted some variety, and maybe talk about some cards you may not see so often.

  1. The Medallions (Pearl, Sapphire, Jet, Ruby, and Emerald Medallion)


These cards are a long time coming. Medallions belong in mono coloured decks, two coloured decks, hell even three coloured decks that favour a particular colour. They trim down on initial cost and commander tax and that’s the floor. I run a Ruby Medallion in Prosper, Tome-Bound and with it out, I get so much more value out of my commander. Wrenn’s Resolve and Reckless Impulse effectively cost zero mana with Prosper and Medallion out. Add Birgi, God of Storytelling to the mix and it’s a roller coaster.

  1. Enemy Bond Lands (Spectator Seating, Undergrowth Stadium, Training Center, Vault of Champions, and Rejuvenating Springs)

The Battlebond lands were a game changer when they were first printed, and when the cycle was completed in Commander Legends, players all over celebrated. Then they lamented their continued climb over $15 USD – $25 USD for some. Now we’re looking at them printed again and it’s beautiful. Get your copies for all your decks. As a matter of fact, I highly recommend  getting one of each!

  1. Jeweled Lotus

You ever wanted to speed run your commander out?

Nothing feels more like cheating than when I drop a turn one Prosper, Tome-Bound. There are so many commanders that get enabled by this card whether more on the fair side in making a really expensive commander cost less for the first time or the more broken side by making your powerful commander come out three turns early.

Jeweled Lotus is expensive and will continue to be expensive. It is a Dockside Extortionist level of power on a card that goes in every deck.

  1. Sword of the Animist

For some players, Sword of the Animist is their reason for playing any basic lands at all.

If you’ve got a deck where creatures swing at all, you’ll want to put this legendary blade in their hands to makes sure you snowball into your resources. Not much to say, it’s strong!

  1. Ashnod’s Altar

Ashnod’s Altar is one of my favourite cards of all time. My favourite is Phyrexian Altar, a card inspired by this one. An instant speed, free sacrifice ability that is a mana ability and therefore cannot be responded to – I’m in heaven.

I’m an aristocrats player through and through. This card is an absolute must have for any player looking to dance with the graveyard.

Honourable Mentions

  • Kozilek, the Great Distortion – Very strong, very cool, very annoying. Turning every spell in your hand into a pitch Counterspell is brutal.
  • Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger – Throw this into your extra combat decks.
  • Arcane Signet – Gavin admitted this was a mistake but it is a staple and while they are now cheap, they also used to be $10. If they ever stop printing these, you’ll need to know you’ve got a stockpile.
  • Boompile – Speaking of piles, this is the most fun board wipe. If you want to add a little suspense and whimsy to your destruction, give this a whirl.
  • Champion’s Helm – Voltron decks and decks that need to protect their commander at all costs will be happy to see this more affordable.
  • Chromatic Lantern – Smooth out your mana with this. Any deck with three or more colours should run this, no matter how many people online say otherwise.
  • Extraplanar Lens – Snow-covered lands in mono coloured decks are the way to take the most advantage of this without your opponents getting a piece of the value pie.
  • Fellwar Stone – Another great rock that gets above $2 that you need for your collection.
  • Hammer of Nazahn – One of the absolute best pieces of Equipment ever printed in the history of Magic.
  • Idol of Oblivion – Got a token deck? Here’s your extra card per cycle!
  • The Immortal Sun – The Immortal Sun is just the most gravy card as long as you don’t play planeswalkers. All your spells get discounted by one, you get an extra draw per turn, you get an anthem, and then on top of it you stall out planeswalkers? GG, what’s the next game.
  • Inspiring Statuary – Turn your Clues and Foods into mana rocks for nonartifact spells. Very powerful and frankly, underrated.
  • Sol Ring – THE Commander staple. Period.
  • Thran Dynamo – Four mana for three extra mana a turn is a great rate.
  • Command Tower – Okay also THE Commander staple.
  • Reliquary Tower – No max hand size is overrated but sometimes you just wanna play Soramaro, First to Dream type creatures.

That does it for Colourless, Artifacts, and Lands! Tune in next time for Allied colours and Shards (or Wedges, I never remember which are which).

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