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Commander Review: Commander 2020 | Part 1 | White, Blue, Black


The full card list for Commander 2020 is out, which means it's time for the Commander Review! Here are my favorite new Commander cards from the set and which decks will want them.

I'm going to cover the "Free With Commander" and Impetus cycle and then hop into the rest of the cards!

 

"Free With Commander" Cycle

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All five of these cards are some of the most powerful in the entire set. At least one is downright broken. Let me explain.

Spells having mana costs is a fundamental aspect of the game. Mana costs are a bottleneck that prevents people from simply casting all the spells whenever they feel like it. It dictates the pacing of the game. So it's no surprise that being able to cast spells for free (no mana) is incredibly powerful. Magic has a long history of free spells absolutely dominating formats, from Force of Will and Gush being staples of Vintage for decades, to Gitaxian Probe and other phyrexian mana cards eating bans more recently, or very recently with Once Upon A Time crushing it in Standard and Pioneer. That's not to say all spells that can be cast for free are broken -- Abolish has never dominated any format to my knowledge -- but it's a very powerful modifier to add to a card. You have to be very careful when letting a spell be cast for free.

I don't think WOTC was careful enough with these.

All the cards in this cycle follow a similar design pattern: take a card that already exists, make it a little worse if the card is already good, but allow it to be cast for no mana if you control a commander. This is how it plays out:

Paying the mana cost for any of these spells is subpar. There's simply better options. But when you cast them for free, they're instant winners. And when you're playing a format called Commander, chances are you'll have your commander out to make them free!

If I had to rank them, it would look like this: Fierce Guardianship >>> Flawless Maneuver > Deflecting Swat > Deadly Rollick >> Obscuring Haze.

Fierce Guardianship is absolutely the best card out of the cycle and immediately becomes one of the best countermagic in the entire format. There's always going to be a good noncreature spell to target with this. Someone about to Wrath of God when you're ahead on board? Nope. Someone trying to Swords to Plowshares your commander? Nope! Someone casting Aetherflux Reservoir? NOPE! All dealt with, for no mana. Fierce Guardianship is an auto-include in pretty much any Blue deck. It's going to make some of the best Commander decks even better. You know all those "kill on sight" Blue commanders where you NEED to have an answer to them the moment they hit the board or it's over? Thrasious, Triton Hero? Najeela, the Blade-Blossom? Niv-Mizzet, Parun? Well, basically all commander removal spells are noncreatures, so now all these decks are that much harder to stop.

Flawless Maneuver is similarly going to cause a ton of groans at the table. A lot of folks know how powerful cards like Teferi's Protection and Heroic Intervention are. Worst case they protect an important creature from a targeted removal. But best case, when cast in response to a Wrath of God or similar effect, not only is their board completely protected, but all of the opponents' stuff is still blown up, killing off any opposition! It's a complete blowout! If you know your opponents are playing these cards, you basically have to wait until they're tapped out to go for the removal. Well, with Flawless Maneuver, being tapped out means nothing. You'll still get blown out!

Deflecting Swat is currently being underrated by folks, but trust me, once you see it in action you'll be a believer. Misdirection is already a good card and I'd argue Deflecting Swat is even better. An opponent trying to Swords to Plowshares your creature? Nope, it's targeting something else now, easy 2-for-1. Opponent trying to draw a new hand with Blue Sun's Zenith? Nope, you're drawing the cards now. Someone trying to Counterspell your important spell? It's targeting Swat now, aka doing nothing. It's really, really good!

Deadly Rollick is the tipping point where I'd say we go from "busted" to just "amazing." It's basically like my (previously) favorite Black spot removal, Snuff Out. Snuff Out is an easier condition to meet, but can't target black creatures, and it doesn't exile them. Rollick exiles any creature, getting around indestructible and preventing any chance of graveyard recursion. I would consider it the new best black spot removal in the format. Still "fair" though.

Obscuring Haze is the only card in the cycle that I wouldn't auto-include in every single Green deck. Fog effects, even one-sided Fogs, are pretty situational. They can be game-winning blowouts, but in a format where the most popular win conditions are Combos, they're not the best answer to the threats you'll most likely be facing. Instead of preventing the damage from a huge threatening creature you could just kill it, for example. But hey, this is still a free one-sided Fog, and that's still good. I'm definitely going to play with it.

Overall, I think this cycle of spells were a mistake. Circumventing mana costs shouldn't be so easy. There's minimal risk, minimal build around requirements to these powerful cards, so you'll see them everywhere. Waiting for an opponent to be fully tapped out so you can finally cast Damnation and then being gotcha'd by a free Flawless Maneuver is going to be a frustrating experience. Worse is how the most oppressive Blue decks are about to get even MORE oppressive thanks to Fierce Guardianship.

I believe these cards will negatively affect people's play experiences more than they enhance it. And that's kind of the point of these cards, right? To make Commander more enjoyable? Not just be a cynical failsafe to make sure these products sell like hot cakes because, even if the rest of the cards are negatively received, everyone will buy the precons anyway if only for this cycle of ultra pushed instant format staples ... right?

I hope I'm wrong here, but that's how I'm feeling about these cards right now. Of course, it's not as doom n' gloom as I'm saying -- the format is fine and will remain fine even with some more busted cards added to the card pool -- but I wish they weren't around.

 

Impetus Cycle

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We move from a cycle full of super pushed format staples that will be in high demand for all time to a cycle full of super casual cards that most people won't care at all for except for me and dozens of people like me: the Impetus cycle!

The Impetus cycle is the spiritual successor of the Vow cycle from the original Commander set back in 2011. These are all creature auras that prevent the enchanted creature from attacking you. The basic idea with the Vow and Impetus cycle is you can either buff up your own creature with it, but more interestingly buff up an opposing creature, which is then free to beat up your mutual opponents without hurting you. It's a very subtle power: you're not removing the threat -- you're improving it -- but making yourself entirely safe from it while simultaneously enticing the creature's controller to go ahead and beat up other people. In a way, this can be far more effective than just removing the threatening creature, as it's now wreaking havoc only on your opponents!

I loved the early Vow cycle. One of the first decks I ever made, Karona, False God, was built around the Vow cycle, enchanting Karona with it before passing her around the table, letting my opponents kill each other with Karona while I sat safe and comfortable watching the carnage unfold. 

The Impetus cycle is a modern, significantly improved version of the Vows. Unlike the Vow cycle, the Impetus cycle goads the enchanted creature, forcing it to attack your opponents instead of sitting back doing nothing. On top of this, each Impetus provides extra benefits that are wonderful improvements than the Vows' vanilla keywords.

All the Impetus cards fit into the same archetype: Political Combat decks. These are decks that entice your opponents to attack each other, usually through a mix of giving your opponents creatures to attack with (Seed the Land), forcing them to attack (Grenzo, Havoc Raiser), and making it impossible to attack you (Ghostly Prison). In the end, your opponents do the dirty work of killing themselves for you, while you get to relax with a mojito.

The Impetus cycle fits Political Combat's goal perfectly: your opponents' creatures become stronger, are forced to attack each other, and you can watch in total safety. Either they dish out repeating damage to opponents, or they die to blockers, or they are killed by an opponents' removal spell. Either way, a threat has been taken care of! Since all the Impetus cards fit the same deck, I decided to just review them all together. First, the ranking! If I had to rank the cycle from best to worst, it would look like this:

Shiny Impetus > Predatory Impetus > Psychic Impetus > Parasitic Impetus > Martial Impetus

Shiny Impetus is my favorite of the bunch. The treasure tokens is a delightful source of ramp in Red, a color that traditionally struggles with good ramp. It's kinda like an Impetus version of Curse of Opulence, though not as strong.

Predatory Impetus has some scary potential. Since it doubles as a Lure, your opponents will probably be losing creatures to forced blockers. That's a lot of potential creature death in Green!

Psychic Impetus, while not card draw, is still nice card selection. It's simple but effective.

Parasitic Impetus is a nice source of life drain, potentially fueling some Lifegain strategies as well.

Martial Impetus has the lowest power floor of the bunch, pumping the least and requiring the opponent to attack with multiple creatures to get any better. However, if you enchant an opposing Go Wide deck with a huge army that wants to attack your mutual enemies, then yeah this Impetus can do work!

Overall, I'm super excited for this cycle. While not the strongest of the new cards, they're nonetheless some of my favorites from C20.

 

WHITE

 

Avenging Huntbonder

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Silverblade Paladin just got a beefed up version! The Paladin costs less mana and you can grant another creature double strike the turn you cast it, even if the Paladin itself can't attack due to summoning sickness. Meanwhile Avenging Huntbonder costs more mana, but comes with a bigger body and unconditional double strike for itself, plus the double strike it grants others is permanent and repeatable.

Like Silverblade Paladin, I'm eager to run Avenging Huntbonder in decks that are packed with combat triggers: Equipment decks running cards like Sword of Fire and Ice and Mask of Memory can get double the use out of their combat triggers thanks to double strike. Because Huntbonder's ability triggers per combat, decks that take extra combat steps, like Aurelia, the Warleader, can get maximum value here. Finally, Huntbonder's double strike comes in the form of counters, so decks that care about counters, like Tayam, Luminous Enigma, may find it useful. Alas, Skullbriar, the Walking Grave can't run Huntbonder in the 99! If only!

If you're just looking to give one big creature double strike, like a Voltron deck, then Avenging Huntbonder isn't a great choice: it costs too much and is a bit slow. Silverblade Paladin is a much better choice there. But if you're looking to repeatedly get in for combat damage, have reliable sources of haste, and attack with multiple creatures, then Avenging Huntbonder starts to shine.

Recommended For: Combat Trigger / Extra Combat decks like Aurelia, the Warleader; Counters decks like Tayam, Luminous Enigma

 

Call the Coppercoats

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Raise the Alarm just got a sweet Commander version! Creatures are super prevalent in Magic, with Commander being no exception; it's easy to imagine Call the Coppercoats consistently creating 3+ tokens each time you cast it, which is a fair bargain at instant speed. Later on in the game, however, as boards start to fill with armies, Call can be a tremendously efficient token generator: in a 4 Player FFA game with each opponent controlling 5 creatures, Call the Coppercoats can produce 15 creature tokens at instant speed for just 7 mana! These are just 1/1's, but there's a lot here to work with.

First off, any Go Wide Tokens deck is going to absolutely love this. Rhys the Redeemed, Emmara, Soul of the Accord, Trostani Discordant are going to have a field day making an instant army on the cheap and buffing them all up for lethal with cards like Cathars' Crusade and Divine Visitation. The tokens are Humans and Soldiers, so Human Tribal decks like Jirina Kudro and Soldier Tribal decks like Darien, King of Kjeldor are going to make room for this new staple.

My personal favorite archetype for Call the Coppercoats is what I call Political Combat, decks that help supply the table with creatures (Seed the Land) and then force attacking everyone except you. Gahiji, Honored One is a fantastic example of this archetype.

Recommended For: Go Wide Tokens decks like Rhys the Redeemed, Human Tribal like Jirina Kudro, Soldier Tribal like Darien, King of Kjeldor, and Political Combat like Gahiji, Honored One.

 

Cartographer's Hawk

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White has always sucked at ramp, which holds it back in Commander since ramping (along with drawing cards) is one of the most important things a deck needs. The community has been complaining about the lack of good ramp options for years now, and WOTC heard us but didn't take it seriously. It was only until late last year that frustration with White's flaws in Commander reach a boiling point and the complaints became loud and nonstop, and finally WOTC sounds like they're going to make real changes going forward.

Cartographer's Hawk is not a result of WOTC making serious changes to fix White. The turnaround time for cards is two years: this was made back when WOTC was still stubborn and either refused to "color bend" for White (while bending Green's color pie ever further) or flat-out didn't know White has issues due to sheer ignorance of the format. I expect to see amazing new staples in White to address its severe weakness in ramp and card draw ... in another year from now. Until then we get, well, Cartographer's Hawk.

Catographer's Hawk isn't terrible, but it's aggressively mediocre in a vacuum. Yes, it's 2cmc ramp, even repeatable ramp, but the amount of hoops you have to jump through is borderline insulting. You have to deal combat damage with a creature that dies to a stiff breeze, has no built-in haste, and the damage dealt has to be against an opponent that has more lands than you. At least White's poor land ramp is a "boon" in this case since basically any Green deck is going to have more lands than you at any point. But once you ramp, the Hawk goes back to your hand! Then you have to pay another 2 mana to cast it again so you can ramp some more next turn, maybe? Ugh.

Compare Cartographer's Hawk to Knight of the White Orchid. Knight ramps you a land instantly, no attacking needed. Yeah, it's not repeatable, but at least Knight's ramp is an ETB trigger, and White is good at supporting Blink subthtmes. Or compare Hawk to Sword of the Animist, repeatable ramp without the need of recasting it over and over. I'm also not a fan of how these White ramp cards actually work against each other, as land ramping makes it less likely you can ramp further.

The Hawk does get better in the right deck supporting it. Lightning Greaves or Swiftfoot Boots is the best pairing, protecting the fragile Hawk from removal while also giving it haste so you don't need to ramp. Decks that care about nontoken creatures entering the battlefield, like God-Eternal Oketra, will turn the downside of recasting it into a benefit. I wish I could recommend double strike but alas that doesn't work with it.

Cartographer's Hawk is ... it's fine. It's playable ramp in White. I'll run it in at least some of my White decks. In some decks it's actually quite good, like God-Eternal Oketra or Bird Tribal. But it's worse than, say, Mind Stone most of the time.

Recommended For: White decks that are desperate for land ramp and aren't already running Sword of the Animist and Knight of the White Orchid; Blink decks like God-Eternal Oketra, and Bird Tribal

 

Dismantling Wave

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Dismantling Wave is quite sweet. Getting to choose which artifact/enchantment gets destroyed is key in cards like these that scale with the number of opponents. In a typical 4 Player FFA game that's up to three artifacts/enchantments destroyed for three mana at sorcery speed, which ain't bad. But what really sets Dismantling Wave apart is the cycling board wipe triggered ability. Eight mana is a ton, but clearing the board of all artifacts and enchantments is huge, especially when you're doing so at instant speed and it's difficult to be countered, plus you're drawing a card. This can cripple decks, especially if they're Artifact or Enchantment decks. 

Dismantling Wave is a solid card, but for most decks I would recommend a similar card over it: Heliod's Intervention. Intervention has more flexibility how you use it, and even though it's less mana-efficient to cast Intervention to destroy ~3 artifacts/enchantments than Wave, you have more flexibility on your targets and how much mana you want to spend on it, whereas Wave only has two modes locked in at 3 mana and 8 mana. That's not to say that Wave is bad in your typical White deck, but if you have only one slot for multi-artifact/enchantment removal, I'd take Intervention.

However, there's one deck where Dismantling Wave is outright the best option for artifact/enchantment removal, and that's the Cycling archetype. No matter which Cycling commander you're going for, be it oldschool Zur the Enchanter or new champion Gavi, Nest Warden, Dismantling Wave is going to be premium removal for your deck.

Recommended For: any White deck; Cycling decks like Gavi, Nest Warden.

 

Herald of the Forgotten

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Herald of the Forgotten is a fantastic new payoff for any Cycling deck, but especially potent for Cycling decks that are focusing on cycling permanents over Spellslinger variants that focus on instants/sorceries. Considering pretty much any Cycling deck is looking to drop down either Fluctuator or New Perspectives and immediately cycle through half their deck for free, Herald of the Forgotten is often going to be bringing back an army of cycling creatures and a smattering of other cycling permanents as well, either winning you the game outright or at the very least putting you super far ahead.

The two most played Cycling commanders are currently Gavi, Nest Warden and Zur the Enchanter. Herald of the Forgotten is a new staple in both, but if I had to choose which deck can potentially get more value out of it, it's Zur: the black variant of Cycling can take better advantage of cycling creatures with other mass reanimate options like Living Death and Twilight's Call, adding redundancy to a powerful finisher option.

Recommended For: any Cycling deck.

 

Martial Impetus

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I love the new Impetus cycle. Martial Impetus is probably my least favorite of the bunch since its bonus effect -- giving each other attacking creature +1/+1 -- has a low power floor where it does absolutely nothing if other creatures aren't attacking as well, and the +1/+1 isn't much incentive to do so anyway unless your goaded opponent is playing a Go Wide deck like Rhys the Redeemed.

Still, I'd probably consider running Martial Impetus in Political Combat decks like Gahiji, Honored One, where we provide creatures for our opponents to then attack with (Seed the Land).

Recommended For: Political Combat decks like Gahiji, Honored One.

 

Verge Rangers

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

We got mediocre ramp with Cartographer's Hawk, now we've got mediocre card advantage with Verge Rangers. Rangers are just a bad Courser of Kruphix: both let you play the top card of your library if it's a land, but Rangers only lets you do this while an opponent controls more lands than you. Courser even gains you life in the process. Not only is Rangers just a worse Courser, but even if Rangers was an identical copy to Courser it would still be worse because Green is far better suited to take advantage of this effect since it's loaded with ways to play additional lands each turn (Azusa, Lost but Seeking) so you can generate way more card advantage.

Again, this is not the improvements to White that the community has been loudly complaining about -- those won't show up for at least another year. This is the result of WOTC's outdated White design philosophy from two years ago.

That said, I'll still play Verge Rangers in some Mono White decks, maaaaybe even some Boros decks. Only because White's generic card draw options are so poor that I'm willing to collect the scraps available. And yeah it's a Human so Human Tribal can justify running it too.

Recommended For: White decks desperate for more card advantage; Human Tribal like Jirina Kudro

 

Vitality Hunter

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Vitality Hunter is ... sweet, I think? It starts off with good stats, and the Monstrosity ability scales well, letting you dump your lategame mana to make a huge nightmare beater that also gives a whole bunch of creatures lifelink counters. At the same time, it's still a big mana investment overall, which prevents it from being a bomb in most deck.

Vitality Hunter obviously has a home in Lifegain decks, where it can gain a ton of life and give your Ajani Pridemates and whatnot lifelink too. Counter decks, like Tayam, Luminous Enigma, may like it too. I don't think Hunter is crazy good or anything, but it's solid.

Recommended For: Lifegain decks like Karlov of the Ghost Council; Counter decks like Tayam, Luminous Enigma

 

BLUE

 

Crystalline Resonance

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I love Mirage Mirror, a card that always seems to overperform despite me constantly forgetting to add it in my decks. Crystalline Resonance is the Mirror of the Cycling archetype, fulfilling a similar role but for no additional mana cost itself. You still need to cycle a card, but if you've got New Perspectives or even Fluctuator out the vast majority of cycling cards become absolutely free, making Resonance essentially free to activate when you want to.

Crystalline Resonance is just solid. Turn into the biggest creature so you can block or attack. Turn into a land to generate mana. Or do whatever else. There's always a good target to turn into on any given board state. It's really easy to get a ton of value out of it.

Recommended For: any Cycling deck, like Gavi, Nest Warden

 

Decoy Gambit

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I personally like Decoy Gambit, but I don't think it's a great card in most decks. In a 4-Player FFA game, it's certainly mana-efficient: bouncing three creature or drawing three cards at instant speed is a good deal for 3 mana. However, this assumes that each opponent has a creature to bounce, and the opponent gets to choose if it's bounced or if you draw a card. The opponent choosing makes this much worse, since you won't get to bounce a creature when you really need to or vice versa. 

Even if it's not the best card for what it does, there are still some decks where I'd recommend trying out Decoy Gambit, specifically Draw Go Spellslinger decks. Either effect is fine in those decks and you'll usually have the mana to cast it whenever.

Recommended For: Draw Go Spellslinger like Talrand, Sky Summoner.

 

Eon Frolicker

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There's two ways people will play Eon Frolicker: Group Hug or mitigating its drawback.

Group Hug decks will run it just to give someone else an extra turn. That's the incentive here: to help someone else win, aka playing Kingmaker. And hey, you're moderately safe thanks to the protection. Group Hug players are the worst.

The other way is to mitigate the drawback of an opponent taking an extra turn. Either you prevent the extra turn altogether with Stranglehold, for example. Alternatively, there's a janky Skip Your Turn archetype out there that I've dabbled with before, where you run a bunch of cards that are detrimental on your upkeep, like Sulfuric Vortex, then start skipping your upkeeps / turns so you don't have to deal with the fallout. Eon Frolicker is another way to do so. Skip Your Turn decks are super janky and fragile, but they're very unique and can be fun.

Recommended For: Skip Your Turn decks; Group Hug decks like Phelddagrif

 

Ethereal Forager

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Ethereal Forager is such a cool card. Using the delve mechanic to not only lower its casting cost, but to fuel its attack trigger, is so neat and so flavorful, like you're digging up these card. It's neat and I love it!

As for the card power-wise, ehhh, it's alright. It's more expensive, riskier, and less abuseable than plain ol' Archaeomancer, but you can get back multiple cards with this. Once you've got two or three cards back it's more than worth it. Forager desperately wants a Lightning Greaves or Swiftfoot Boots so you can immediately get some combat triggers and protect it from removal. Is it an auto-include in Spellslinger decks? No, but it's neat!

Recommended For: Spellslinger decks like Talrand, Sky Summoner

 

Nascent Metamorph

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Nascent Metamorph has huge variance, with a power level that is both painfully low and staggeringly high. You can attack and turn into Narset, Enlightened Master, or Iron Myr, who knows. You can up the chances of getting something good with cards like Lantern of Insight but the risk doesn't seem worth the reward.

Is Nascent Metamorph a good card? No, probably not. But if your playing a deck themed around Chaos or you're incredibly dedicated to a Clone theme, this might be up your ally.

Recommended For: casual Clone or Chaos decks.

 

Souvenir Snatcher

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Souvenir Snatcher seems a bit overcosted for what it does. Making a mutant flyer that steals a Sol Ring and may further steal more things is sweet and all, but at six mana, I dunno. 

Most decks are probably going to pass on this one, but in a Mutate deck well, you take what you can get. This is a good enough mutate ability and gets better the more you mutate, so I can't imagine a dedicated Mutate deck not playing it.

Recommended For: Mutate Tribal like Otrimi, the Ever-Playful

 

Tidal Barracuda

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Tidal Barracuda can be compared to Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir: both give your creature spells flash and bar your opponents from casting spells on your turn. Teferi hinders your opponents more, but doesn't give your noncreature spells flash and costs more. Also Teferi can lock people out with Knowledge Pool. Both are solid cards with a similar function, and while I think Teferi is a bit stronger, Tidal Barracuda is probably a more fun card overall; I really like the idea of giving my opponents flash so they can mess with each other, but not with me.

Recommended For: any Blue deck looking for additional protection against countermagic / removal.

 

BLACK

 

Boneyard Mycodrax

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Boneyard Mycodrax is a great way to add extra oomph to just about any creature-heavy Self-Mill deck. If it's in your hand you can cast it as a dumb beater, that's fine. But if you're milling yourself hard then it's essentially an extra "spell" in your graveyard, scavenging it to turn any creature on your board into a lethal threat. I'm definitely a fan.

Recommended For: Self-Mill decks like Sidisi, Brood Tyrant.

 

Daring Fiendbonder

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Like Boneyard Mycodrax, Daring Fiendbonder's true power lies in being an extra "spell" when it's sitting in your graveyard, putting an indestructible counter on any creature for just 2 mana, which is a fantastic rate. Casting it as a creature is pretty meh, a 5/1 with haste is okay for four mana but not terribly exciting; it's better if it dies and you can make a real threat indestructible. Self-Mill decks are going to get the best use out of it, as well as decks that care about counters.

Recommended For: Self-Mill decks like Sidisi, Brood Tyrant; Counters decks like Skullbriar, the Walking Grave

 

Dredge the Mire

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Like Decoy Gambit, Dredge the Mire scales with the number of opponents you've got, so a typical 4-Player FFA game means you're stealing up to three creatures from your opponents' graveyards. And like Gambit, your opponents get to choose which creature you get, but I like Mire way more than Gambit: even getting three of the worst creatures from your opponents is still well worth the four mana. And just because they're the worst creatures doesn't mean they're bad; they could (and probably are) quite good, or else why would your opponent include them in their deck?

Like most Theft cards, Dredge the Mire is going to shine brightest at tables with Stompy decks, or just Goodstuff decks filled with big, standalone bombs like Avenger of Zendikar. It's less impressive against theme-heavy decks whose creatures support a theme your deck doesn't benefit from -- getting a Lord of the Atlantis from an opponent isn't helpful when you don't run other Merfolk, for example. But in the end, the power ceiling of this card is very high, and the power floor isn't that low. Seems worth it for four mana to me!

Recommended For: any Black deck; Theft decks like Gonti, Lord of Luxury

 

Mindleecher

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

I like Mindleecher quite a bit more than the previous mutate creature I covered, Souvenir Snatcher. Mindleecher costs less to mutate and comes with a slightly bigger body. You still have to pay the mana to play the cards you've exiled, but you're getting multiple cards out of the deal and you can even play any lands that you exile which is nice mana-free card advantage.

Mindleecher is one of the best cards for the Mutate deck. It loses a lot of power outside of the Mutate deck since you really want to mutate several times to get maximum value, but a dedicated Theft deck, like Gonti, Lord of Luxury, may want it anyway just to fit the theme.

Recommended For: Mutate decks like Otrimi, the Ever-Playful; dedicated Theft decks like Gonti, Lord of Luxury

 

Netherborn Altar

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Netherborn Altar has two uses: the first use is to get around commander tax, so if you're playing a deck with a Commander that you often find yourself recasting a ton, this can save you a ton of mana and prevent you from falling too far behind. That's pretty deece.

But the more exciting use of the Altar is to put commanders that you either can't cast from your command zone, like Haakon, Stromgald Scourge, or Phage the Untouchable. Yes, Phage just got a new toy, hooray!

Recommended For: meme decks like Phage the Untouchable

 

Species Specialist

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Species Specialist is a fantastic new inclusion in basically any Tribal deck, ensuring that the death of your creatures isn't a huge setback. The Specialist itself is a Human Warrior, making it particularly good in either of those tribes, but it's just as good in other Tribal decks with Sacrifice subthemes such as Cleric Tribal under Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim.

Recommended For: Tribal decks with Sacrifice themes such as Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim, and Silvar, Devourer of the Free + Trynn, Champion of Freedom.

 

Titan Hunter

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

I think Titan Hunter has some good abilities but it's overcosted. It can dish out a solid amount of damage and comes with a decent sac outlet, but doesn't really excite me at 5cmc. It might be good enough in a dedicated Group Slug deck but I'm not sure what deck can really abuse it.

Recommended For: Group Slug like Mogis, God of Slaughter; open to suggestions on what else!

 

Part 2 Coming Soon!

We'll be wrapping up the rest of C20 with Red, Green, Multicolor, Colorless, and Lands in Part 2! What do you think of the new cards so far? How do you like the new cycles? Which cards will you be picking up? Let me know in the comments below! Thanks for reading!


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