Welcome back to the Epic Experiment! The time has come for us to leave Adventures in the Forgotten Realms behind and to get ready for our return to Innistrad. It is time for us to head out for Innistrad: Midnight Hunt!

Today, I will be going through the top 13 cards (because we are on Innistrad and Triskadeccaphobia is a thing!) and see what is worth looking at for Commander. We got a long one, so let’s get down to business.

Honorable Mention: Rare Land Cycle

This land cycle is nothing flashy, but is really good. The real perk is that this cycle rare lands will come in untapped if you control 2 or more lands. This makes them very reasonable and viable budget options for Commander players.

13: Jerren, Corrupted Bishop // Ormendahl, The Corrupter

We brewed this one on our podcast this week and have to say, this guy looks fun! Mono black human tribal sounds like fun, and once you see the deck list start to emerge on EDHrec.com, you see can see that this is a very powerful Commander. This could go in a sort of Aristocrat style deck, or more of an aggressive bent, or a deck that looks to leverage your life total to flip to Ormendahl. There are plenty of fun options for fun cards that people like to play. Ormendahl is also interesting because of the free sacrifice outlet that is provided, but I am skeptical of the ease with which we will be able to transform Jerren into Ormendahl.

12: Lier, Disciple of the Drowned

I am personally of the opinion that this card is going to be a serious problem. We have already seen that Past in Flames is a powerful combo enabler and now those decks get a second option as well. Now, more importantly, decks of other colours will get access to a Past in Flames effect as well. Can you imagine a Sultai deck now able to replay spells from their graveyard? Dimir spell slinger style decks? There is a drawback in that you can’t expect to play a robust permission package, but that feels like a fair trade. I can’t wait to see all the broken, degenerate stuff that this permits with Catalyst Stone and watch the pod burn thanks to Lier.

11: Moonveil Regent

This card is terrific! Let’s start with the mana value. As a 4 mana dragon, this affords excellent early game on field presence in a big deck. The single red mana symbol in the mana cost is also a big selling feature, affording flexibility to go in any deck running red.

Now let’s have a look at the abilities! The first ability that lets you discard your hand and draw equal to the number of colours of the spell cast. The interesting tension here is that usually dragons like this go in very heavy Red decks, but Moonveil Regent rewards you for playing multi-colour spells. Really, any multi-color deck will do, but Tiamat seems like an absurd option to pair up with Moonveil Regent. The second ability, when it dies, gets powered up by multi-color decks too, making this a very fun and potentially very potent addition for 4 and 5 color decks.

10: Wrenn and Seven

Much has been said about this Planeswalker already, but this looks like a prime culprit to eat a removal spell. 5 mana for 5 loyalty Planeswalker is already pretty good on rate because this will typically tick up to 6 right away. 6 loyalty is a lot of loyalty and if you have any token blockers, this can stick around and start generating value for you. The 4 abilities puts this in amidst only a handful of Planeswalkers, including Jace, the Mindsculptor, Garruk, Apex Predator, and Chandra, Torch of Defiance. This is some pretty elite company.

However, what do the abilities tell us? The +1 digs you lands out of your deck, but also feeds your graveyard. The 0 ability is useful, particularly if you draw a swath of cards off of something like Return of the Wildspeaker, but probably less helpful than the other abilities. The -3 that makes a token is outstanding because it means you will have a big, beefy blocker than can fight off a flier and really start to swing the battlefield. The -8 is undoubtedly going to be excellent if you have well stocked your graveyard. On the whole, I think this card is outstanding and something that many green decks are going to be looking for to find a spot.

9: Champion of the Perished

Cheap Zombie payoffs are always exciting and here is yet one more. Whether this goes with Sidisi, Brood Tyrant, Gisa and Geralf, or one of the other many Zombie related Commanders that are running around, Champion of the Perished will slide in nicely.  It is not a flashy card, but one that I expect will see plenty of use.

8: Dennick, Pious Apprentice // Dennick, Pious Apparition

I think Dennick is neat because of the fact that he helps shut down some graveyard strategies. At a mere 2 mana, I am also intrigued because he will be able to come down early and reliably to help get your deck online. The Disturb cost is an interesting piece of tension you need to manage because he doesn’t automatically have to be returned to your Command zone, and that has appeal. The transformed version could be very valuable in a mill strategy of sorts to help you generate a wealth of Clue tokens.  The appeal of turning the milled cards of your opponents into cards in your hand is almost too good to be true. I’m not sure if this is a high priority target, but it certainly feels new and innovative and that stands out.

7: Gisa, Glorious Resurrector

This feels like the ultimate in thieving decks. The simple fact that you kill their thing, exile it, and then return to the battlefield is just music to my ears. Now, add in the fact that the cards you are taking from your opponents may have Enter the Battlefield triggers and now we are really cooking.  I won’t say too much further on this card apart from this: Panharmonicon.  That is all.

6: Liesa, Forgotten Archangel

Liesa is a near carbon copy of Athreos, God of Passage, and that is a good thing. You get a very similar recursion ability, a beefy 4/5 flier with lifelink, and some graveyard hate stapled to her for good measure. All of these are positives and will ensure she gets lots of interest from Orzhov players all over the community.

5: Katilda, Dawnhart Prime

Here is another interesting prospect for a Commander. The fact that Katilda turns your humans into mana producing creatures opens up the potential for a massive ramp deck. Just the thought of slamming massive eldrazi, devastating Praetors, or other huge spells is too good to pass up.

However, there is another option – going wide and pouring the mana into Katilda’s secondary ability and to put counters on your team. Coupled with a new Midnight Hunt Commander card Kyler, Sigardian Emissary, your human deck could pack a mean 1-2 punch. Slide in a few of the available Sigardas and we are looking at a very viable and very fun G/W humans deck that I can hardly wait to build.

4: Unnatural Growth

In recent sets, we have seen Red get a number of effects that increase damage. Torbran, Thane of Red Fell, Fiery Emancipation, and Jaya, Venerated Fire Mage have all given red decks the ability to punch through extra damage. Unnatural Growth is a similar effect for Green in that it doubles the power and toughness of your creatures. The nicest part here is that in Green there are plenty of effects that will allow you to grant your now very beefy creatures Trample, ensuring you get to clobber your opponents. Again, this is not a fancy card, but it will certainly help you get the job done and for that it has made my list.

3: Memory Deluge

So, let’s play a game. What if Glimmer of Genius and Dig Through Time had a baby? This would be the result. When you cast this the first time, you get a similar effect to casting Glimmer of Genius, and that’s ok.  Glimmer is a perfectly fine card draw option in most scenarios.

However, if you flash this back you are now casting a Dig Through Time and experienced magic players know that now you are playing in the big leagues. Looking at 7 cards and selecting 2 of them is a big game and this will be a great addition. It helps set-up combos, find answers, or just let you look for value. I’m very excited to slide this into all sorts of decks!

2: Old Stickfingers

I learned a lesson long ago when playing Magic that putting things into your graveyard is not actually a cost we should be afraid of. In fact, it is often something that can be exploited. Essentially, self milling cards into your own graveyard is a powerful tool because now you have access to those cards, you just only need to pull them back from your graveyard in order to utilize them. Old Stickfingers is a very powerful graveyard enabler and could be used to power out Dredge cards, cards with Scavenge, or heaven forbid Overgrowth. The fact that Old Stickfingers can then potentially become a large attacker in the mid-late stages of the game if your graveyard is well stocked also has appeal.  Now if only we could find a way to prevent having Bojuka Bog see too much play in the format…

1: Tovolar, Dire Overlord // Tovolar, The Midnight Scourge

This card is at my #1 spot because we have been asking for a viable R/G werewolf Commander since our first visit to Innistrad.  We got Ulrich of the Krallenhorde in Eldritch Moon and he was NOT the Commander we wanted. He hardly gave a hoot about your werewolves at all!

With Tovolar they are trying once again and he’s MUCH better. Tovolar grants you card draw on both his Daybound and Nightbound faces, which is always much appreciated. Tovolar can give you control over whether you are Daybound or Nightbound if you have enough wolves and werewolves, which is much needed in order to get a handle of the game. He even has a Kessig Wolf Run effect, ensuring you can punch through for heaps of damage. What is not to like?

My only complaint is these new werewolves function slightly differently on account of the nuances of how Daybound and Nightbound work compared to the old mechanic and that is a slight problem. They just don’t quite work as seamlessly as they probably should because they are all werewolves, but there are certainly work-arounds in order to make this deck fun and interesting to play. I can hardly wait to get a Tovolar for my werewolf deck and to set the pack loose on my opponents!

Well, there we are folks. Thanks for stopping by and reading my thoughts on our newest set Innistrad: Midnight Hunt. The set looks fun and plenty of cool, flavorful cards meaning that we have lots of options to explore in the months ahead.

If you want to hear more about my thoughts on Midnight Hunt or any other Commander related topic, please check out our weekly podcast on iTunes, Google Podcast, Spotify, Amazon, and anywhere else you find better podcasts. Just look for the name The Epic Experiment Podcast! We’d love to have you join us!

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