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Commander Review: Core Set 2020 | Part 2 | Red, Green, Multicolor, Colorless, Lands


Core Set 2020 has been fully revealed, which means it's time again for a Commander Review! We pick up right where we left off from Part 1:

 

RED

 

Cavalier of Flame

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Cavalier of Flame has a lot going on. Its activated ability promotes aggressive creature strategies, its ETB trigger is a decent enough loot, and its death trigger is also a nice aggressive burn. I think if you combine all these things -- creature smash, looting, burning based on lands in graveyard, and being an Elemental -- Cavalier of Flame ends up being an excellent all-around inclusion in Omnath, Locus of Rage decks, and quite possibly versions of Lord Windgrace as well. The new Omnath, Locus of the Roil may like this as well.

 

Chandra, Acolyte of Flame

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Chandra, Acolyte of Flame is my favorite new Chandra of the bunch. Her first ability promotes Red Superfriends, which is unexplored territory that I'm excited they're branching out towards; perhaps a Red Superfriend Spellslinger would be sweet. Her next ability makes some weenie Elementals, honestly perfect for Omnath, Locus of Rage but could be interesting for any Elemental deck using death triggers like Horde of Notions. Her -2 is sweet value, basically, a Red Snapcaster Mage, and I'm all for it. All and all this is an excellent planeswalker for 3cmc. 

I think Chandra, Acolyte of Flame is a nice inclusion in Omnath, Locus of Rage. Possibly versions of Horde of Notions focused on death triggers. Definitely great news for Red Spellslinger Superfriends too.

 

Chandra, Awakened Inferno

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

While I'm drooling at the thought of casting Chandra, Awakened Inferno in Standard, I'm not really sure how useful she will be in Commander. All of her abilities are pretty decent, but nothing in particular stands out to me, which isn't a great thing for a 6cmc planeswalker. Her +2 provides inevitability and ticks up her loyalty counters quickly, but it loses some of its bite when everyone's starting at 40 life instead of 20. Her other two abilities are definitely useful but not exceptional. Overall it's a solid card but not an exceptional one.

 

Chandra, Novice Pyromancer

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Chandra, Novice Pyromancer can be quite a nice anthem for a Go Wide Elemental deck. Cards like Firecat Blitz and Tempt with Vengeance can fully take advantage of her +1. And her -1 is a nice steady ramp source for quite a few turns, like a less explosive Koth of the Hammer. Definitely worth considering.

 

Chandra's Regulator

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Well, we've currently got 14 Chandra cards. You could legitimately go Chandra Tribal at this point. If you do, Chandra's Regulator is your MVP. Heck, if you're a Red-heavy deck with at least, say, 5 Chandras, this is still a very powerful inclusion. If you only run one or two Chandras, or none, then pass on this.

 

Drakuseth, Maw of Flames

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Friendship ended with Inferno Titan. Drakuseth, Maw of Flames is my new best friend.

Drakuseth costs a ton, but picks off utility creatures like nobody's business. Also it hits hard and has evasion. I like all of this. Definitely a strong inclusion in any Dragon Tribal deck -- The Ur-Dragon, Scion of the Ur-Dragon, or if you're a person of culture then Zirilan of the Claw -- it's all good. Personally, I'm sleeving this into my Xenagos, God of Revels deck! Cast, blow up small utility creatures, swing for 14 in the air! Yeeeep!

 

Glint-Horn Buccaneer

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Glint-Horn Buccaneer manages to be interesting for a whole bunch of very different decks. First is the pinging discard trigger, making it a powerful cheap new threat in Wheel decks like Nekusar, the Mindrazer or Neheb, Dreadhorde Champion, like an inverse Psychosis Crawler for two less mana. It's also a Minotaur so it's an easy include in Neheb, the Worthy, and it's a Pirate that deals good damage + haste so it's an easy include in Admiral Beckett Brass as well. As a bonus, it's also an okay looter. Very nice overall for 3cmc!

 

Marauding Raptor

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

I didn't expect to see more Dinosaur Tribal support until we went back to Ixalan, so I was pleasantly surprised to see Marauding Raptor show up here. This is an instant staple in Dinosaur Tribal, one of the best cards that the tribe could possibly hope for. Solid ramp, but most importantly it's a super efficient enrage trigger for all your dinos. Also goes infinite with Polyraptor, which I think causes an immediate draw unless you have ways to stop it, or (even better) win the game with Warstorm Surge in play or similar. But yeah, find a spot for it in Gishath, Sun's Avatar immediately.

 

Repeated Reverberation

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Repeated Reverberation is double Reverberate, except you can only copy your own spells, and it can also copy planeswalker abilities. Surely there are combos with it, or will be, but even without those, it seems like a good value card. Seems solid in Chandra Superfriends. Could be nutty with Ral, Storm Conduit.

 

Scampering Scorcher

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Scampering Scorcher is the Elemental version of Beetleback Chief, which is a great spot to be in. Putting three tribal-relevant creatures on the battlefield for four mana is exactly what you're looking for. It's definitely a powerful inclusion in Go Wide Elemental decks, pairing nicely with anthems like Chandra, Novice Pyromancer and payoffs like Omnath, Locus of Rage. It's also probably good enough for Red Token decks, most notably Purphoros, God of the Forge

 

Thunderkin Awakener

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Thunderkin Awakener is a powerful new inclusion in Elemental Tribal. It benefits greatly from tribal anthems that can boost its toughness, synergizing particularly well with Omnath, Locus of the Roil to boost its toughness and Incandescent Soulstroke which not only boosts the toughness but also puts elementals into the grave to recur after! Perfection! Thunderkin Awakener is just amazing with all the ETB/LTB trigger elementals out there, like Mulldrifter. Any Elemental Tribal deck will love this new auto-include!

 

GREEN

 

Cavalier of Thorns

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Cavalier of Thorns seems oddly tone down compared to the rest of the cycle. It starts off great: 5cmc for a 5/6 with reach, a good ol' Satyr Wayfinder ETB, but then its death trigger only puts the card on top of your library? Not to your hand? And you have to exile it for some reason? Is there something I'm missing here?

Either way, Cavalier of Thorns is still a good inclusion in a bunch of decks. It's a bad Satyr Wayfinder in Self-Mill / Graveyard decks like The Gitrog Monster or Meren of Clan Nel Toth but it still gets the job done. The death trigger, while not as good as I'd like, is still good. It's an Elemental so it's not bad in Tribal decks like Omnath, Locus of the Roil

 

Elvish Reclaimer

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Holy crap, Crop Rotation on a stick?? This is big! Tutoring up any land is a huge deal in Commander; use it to mana fix, find a Strip Mine / Maze of Ith / Glacial Chasm / Gaea's Cradle, all while filling your graveyard with lands to appease Titania, Protector of Argoth / The Gitrog Monster / Lord Windgrace, and triggering landfall (Omnath, Locus of Rage). Goodness. All those decks are immediately making room for Elvish Reclaimer. None of them can run Knight of the Reliquary, but this Elf more than makes up for that!

 

Gargos, Vicious Watcher

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Hydras never really had tribal support before, so it's great to see Gargos, Vicious Watcher showing up and doing some heavy lifting. Huge body, huge ramp, and a ridiculously good triggered ability for just 6cmc? Yeah, this is insane. Heck, that triggered ability is so good that you don't even need to run other Hydras in your deck for it to be worth including; any deck with lots of spells that target your creatures -- auras (Unquestioned Authority), instants (Invigorate), sorceries (Prey Upon) -- turn Gargos into a repeatable removal engine, which is fantastic in Green decks that are traditionally lacking in creature removal. Things only get more insane if you pair Gargos with Vigor or Foe-Razer Regent!

Gargos' full potential is unlocked if you go full Hydra Tribal though. I think it's a fantastic commander for the tribe, limited only by your rather small card pool of Hydra choices. Alternatively, you can run Gargos in the 99 of Rosheen Meanderer Hydra Tribal for a bigger card pool and just tutor up Gargos instead.

 

Leyline of Abundance

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

WOW! Leyline of Abundance is one of my top favorite Leylines in Commander! It's going to do serious work in any deck filled with mana dorks like Llanowar Elves, effectively doubling their mana output. Superb in any Elfball deck like Ezuri, Renegade Leader, or Druidball like Seton, Krosan Protector. Token decks often run Cryptolith Rite / Song of Freyalise and if you have enough of those effects then this is amazing when paired with them as well.

 

Nightpack Ambusher

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Nightpack Ambusher is a new staple in Wolf / Werewolf Tribal decks. I appreciate the continued support for these two small tribes. Arlinn, Voice of the Pack was a nice gesture but I found myself cutting her due to the overpriced mana cost, but Ambusher is the perfect fit. If you're interested in reading up about Wolf/Werewolf Tribal, check out my budget article on them!

 

Season of Growth

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

If Season of Growth was in Red it would be an easy staple for Zada, Hedron Grinder / Shu Yun, the Silent Tempest / Feather, the Redeemed, but alas, we'll have to be more creative with this Green card. This card may see some potential play in a Heroic deck, perhaps led by Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis. Or it might fit in Bant Enchantress led by Kestia,the Cultivator, pumping out tokens with Sigil of the Empty Throne and drawing cards off auras. Or focus on instant/sorcery pump spells alongside Wild Defiance? I dunno. This card is very, very strong, but the question is finding the best home for it.

Well, this question was answered when the rest of the cards were previewed: Season of Growth is an instant staple for the new commander, Gargos, Vicious Watcher. All your Giant Growths or whatever fight a creature and draw you a card. Kinda bonkers good there!

 

Shared Summons

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Is a mono green double Eladamri's Call worth five mana? Yeah. Definitely yeah. Shared Summons is always going to be a decent card in any creature-heavy deck, but as soon as you add it to a deck with 2-card creature combos it becomes insane: on the end step before you turn, cast Shared Summons tutoring Palinchron + Deadeye Navigator, infinite mana on your turn? Tutor Yawgmoth, Thran Physician + Blood Artist in your Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons deck, win the game? Yeah. Seems kinda good.

 

Veil of Summer

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Veil of Summer is a meta-specific "sideboard" card that is so good I'd be happy running it blind in most of my Green decks. Odds are fairly high that any given game will have a Blue and/or Black deck, and they will try to counter or blow up your stuff at some point. This stops countermagic and targeted removal dead, for just one mana. Worst case you can just "cycle" this card whenever an opponent casts a blue/black spell. Yeah, it's a dead card if you're not up against any blue/black decks, but the upside is so high that I'm happy to run that risk.

 

Vivien, Arkbow Ranger

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Pretty much the only thing that Mono Green decks are lacking these days is top-tier creature removal. Vivien, Arkbow Ranger isn't the game-changer green players were hoping for, but she's definitely a welcome inclusion. She support's green's fight theme, which pairs nicely with Vigor and Foe-Razer Regent. Her other ability supports +1/+1 counter so it's an easy inclusion in Rishkar, Peema Renegade decks and possibly others as well. Her ultimate ability unfortunately doesn't work in this format unless your Commander playgroup runs sideboards, but if they do then it's a nice toolbox ability.

Vivien, Arkbow Ranger isn't fantastic, but she's solid enough that I may run her in some Mono Green decks.

 

Voracious Hydra

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This is basically expensive removal in Green. It's a Hydra so it might make the cut in that tribal deck, probably under Rosheen Meanderer. Maybe a Fight Club deck with Vigor and Foe-Razer Regent. The artwork is neat. That is all.

 

Wakeroot Elemental

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

I was quick to dismiss Wakeroot Elemental as overpriced for what it does until it was pointed out to me that this generates infinite mana pretty easily. Elemental + five other creatures is infinite mana with Gaea's Cradle or a flipped Growing Rites of Itlimoc, or if with Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx if you have a devotion to green eight or higher. That's ... neat, I guess. I still don't really like it, but it's better than I initially gave it credit for.

 

 

MULTICOLOR

 

Empyrean Eagle

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Empyrean Eagle isn't great in Commander, but it might find a home in Bird Tribal, which isn't a great tribe. Casual fun.

 

Tomebound Lich

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Tomebound Lich is a decent inclusion in Zombie Tribal decks. It's a repeatable looter which helps set up mass reanimation like Zombie Apocalypse. It's also a good blocker thanks to deathtouch. Nothing fancy here, just a decent 3cmc option.

 

Creeping Trailblazer

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Creeping Trailblazer is another card that makes me think of Elemental Tribal Aggro. Tempt with Vengeance pairs nicely with this. It's not an insane anthem or beater, but it's a pretty decent one at 2cmc.

 

Corpse Knight

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Wayward Servant is back and it's been knighted! Like the servant, Corpse Knight has the most potential in Varina, Lich Queen Zombie Tribal, enabling infinite combos with Gravecrawler + Phyrexian Altar and similar shenanigans. It's worse than Wayward Servant since it doesn't gain you life, but that doesn't really matter. Run it.

 

Moldervine Reclamation

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Moldervine Reclamation is Fecundity just for you. For slow, grindy decks, Reclamation is definitely worth the extra mana and the superior option. For speedy decks using Fecundity for combos and whatnot, Reclamation is too slow. For most Golgari Sacrifice decks, however, you'll probably want to run both! Meren of Clan Nel Toth, Karador, Ghost Chieftain, and similar BG Sacrifice decks will love this.

 

Risen Reef

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Coiling Oracle that triggers each time you put an Elemental on to the battlefield is very, very sweet! This is an amazing card advantage engine for 3cmc. Silly with Tempt with Vengeance and definitely leads to come goofy turns with Omnath, Locus of Rage. One of the best payoffs for being in Elemental Tribal for sure. Definitely going to be played to great effect in Omnath, Locus of the Roil and Horde of Notions.

 

Rienne, Angel of Rebirth

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Every time I read the name "Rienne" my mouth immediately wants to say "Brienne of Tarth."

Rienne, Angel of Rebirth is exploring a sweet new design space for Commander and I'm happy for that. Naya Multicolor Matters is something I'm excited to brew around. The majority of her power lies in her ability to save your other creatures from the graveyard. This makes it harder for your opponents to clear your board with wipes, but it also makes your own Wrath of Gods more potent as well, especially if you can save Rienne with stuff like Ajani's Presence. Even more interesting is if you can sacrifice your creatures for value; this would be much easier to do if we were in Black, but also more boring, so it'll be cool to see if Naya can support some oddball Sacrifice archetype. The only card that immediately springs to mind is Saffi Eriksdotter, which has high synergy potential with Rienne, but there may be other sweet stuff out there too. Let me know what you can think of!

 

 

Skynight Vanguard

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Skyknight Vanguard looks like a better Precinct Captain thanks to that evasion. It's a nice, mana-efficient token generator each turn, made better with extra combat steps. Combos with Breath of Fury. A solid inclusion in Aurelia, the Warleader Token decks.

 

Kaalia, Zenith Seeker

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

When Kaalia, Zenith Seeker came out, the Commander community ripped her apart. So many people calling her terrible and weak. It boggles my mind. New Kaalia is fantastic and is definitely powerful. She is meant to appeal to people who want to jam Dragons / Demons / Angels in the same deck but don't want to automatically be the archenemy every game.

Lots of people are comparing her directly to the original Kaalia of the Vast. Those people are completely missing the point. New Kaalia is a very different playstyle than old. Kaalia of the Vast is an archenemy deck. You must go all-in Aggro and try to close out the game in the first few turns, or scoop it up once the table shuts you down and hates you out. There's no middle ground. You win fast, or you lose fast.

Kaalia, Zenith Seeker is the complete opposite. She doesn't lend herself to immediately win the game. Instead she's a safe, reliable value engine. At just 3cmc she digs through the top six cards of your library and gives you up to three(!) cards. There's no setup required and there's very little your opponents can do to stop it. At 3cmc! And this is an ETB trigger, so all the usual Blink shenanigans work with her, like doubling up the trigger with Panharmonicon or Cloudshift. You can also maximize your hits with the trigger via topdeck manipulation like Scroll Rack, Sensei's Divining Top, and scrying.

Kaalia, Zenith Seeker is definitely powerful, but a vastly different playstyle than Kaalia of the Vast. If your only measurement of power is how fast you can win the game playing solitaire, then yeah, Kaalia of the Vast is more powerful. But once you consider the Archenemy Factor, where all your opponents will be using their resources to stop you, Kaalia of the Vast loses some of that power. Kaalia, Zenith Seeker is far less likely to be archenemy than her OG version. You can use that breathing space to develop your game plan over more turns.

Personally, I'm much more excited to play Kaalia, Zenith Seeker than Kaalia of the Vast. It suits my playstyle more, and I bet you a lot of people looking to jam Dragons / Angels / Demons will agree with me. I'd love to brew a Kaalia Blink deck, since we have 93 creatures that fit that archetype. Blinking a board full of Angel of Despair and similar with Eerie Interlude is great value. Of course, Kaalia of the Vast will part of the 99!

 

Omnath, Locus of the Roil

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Just like Kaalia, Zenith Seeker, people are pooping on Omnath, Locus of the Roil for being a weaker version of Omnath, Locus of Rage, completely missing the point of this commander. Yes, new Omnath is less explosive than Angry Omnath, but just like with the Kaalias, they have a completely different playstyle. Angry Omnath was another archenemy commander where either you untapped with it and won the game, or it got shut down and your deck did nothing. Omnath, Locus of the Roil is a far more chill version that trades insane explosive potential for insane long-term value potential. You also get to add Blue to the deck, meaning you can run all the sweet cards available to Omnath, Locus of Rage and combine them with staples from Tatyova, Benthic Druid. It's like a Maelstrom Wanderer that is focused on Lands and Elementals.

Omnath, Locus of the Roil is very strong, and even if it's not as quick to win games as Omnath, Locus of Rage, it's definitely more suited to my playstyle. And yes, I'll be running Angry Omnath in my 99!

 

Kethis, the Hidden Hand

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

I love Kethis, the Hidden Hand. "Legendary Matters" is the perfect archetype for Commander since the format revolves around legendary creatures so I'm glad to see WOTC continue to explore this concept. Kethis does this in an Abzan twist, not just ramping your legendary spells, but also letting you play them all from your graveyard if you exile two of them. Because the activated ability is so strong and the cost is fairly restrictive, your deck should be comprised almost entirely of legendaries, which honestly isn't hard to do these days.

You can run Kethis as Hatebears, using cards like Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Anafenza, the Foremost, and Gaddock Teeg to lock out your opponents and recurring them if they are ever dealt with. You could go Superfriends and just jam a bunch of planeswalkers backed up by Doubling Season. Some people (me) might go Legendary Spirit Tribal and fill the graveyard with tasty options thanks to Iname, Death Aspect. Or you can go for general Goodstuff Legendaries, playing Azusa, Lost but Seeking for ramp, maybe recurring an Urza's Ruinous Blast to wipe the board.

Exiling cards to pay for Kethis' ability doesn't mean they have to be gone forever. Pull from Eternity, Riftsweeper, and Mirror of Fate can get them back!

Kethis, the Hidden Hand looks like awesome fun and I expect to see a bunch of variants. There's going to be a lot of overlap between lists of course, but Legendary Tribal is such a big archetype that I expect people to come up with sub-archetypes like Spirits or Elves or Humans to focus on, and the variety excites me.

 

Kykar, Wind's Fury

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Kykar, Wind's Fury looks like an offering for competitive Commander players. It's just begging to be used in infinite combos thanks to the spirits / mana it efficiently produces. With Kykar out, Future Sight + Sensei's Divining Top lets you draw infinite cards: use Top to draw a card and put itself on top of your library, cast the Top with Sight, producing a spirit, sacrifice the spirit for R, activate Top again, cast Top with the R mana, rinse repeat. Win with Laboratory Maniac / Jace, Wielder of Mysteries. You can also replace Future Sight with Experimental Frenzy or Magus of the Future to do the same thing.

You can also just win with the good ol' Dramatic Reversal + Isochron Scepter combo. With some mana rocks in play, you can cast Reversal, untap your Scepter + rocks, and recast infinite times. With Kykar out that's infinite spirits. Win with Impact Tremors / Gobin Bombardment / Fervor, whatever. Or go Storm and win with Grapeshot!

If you're all-in on the Future Sight + Sensei's Divining Top plan, consider building your deck to only have two creatures: Magus of the Future and Trinket Mage. This allows you to win the game just by casting Divergent Transformations. With Kykar, Wind's Fury on the battlefield, casting Transformations sacrificing two spirits lets you grab Magus and Mage, with the Mage finding the Top, and the spirit produced by casting Transformations letting you immediately cast Top and draw your deck to win with whatever.

For me though, I just want to use Kykar to abuse Jeskai Ascendancy. I have an unhealthy obsession with that card and this is the perfect opportunity to use it.

Yarok, the Desecrated

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

WOTC has finally done it! We now have Panharmonicon in our command zone! Yarok, the Desecrated is actually even better, since it works with all permanents, not just creatures and artifacts. Stuff like landfall triggers twice (Rampaging Baloths) and there's weird interactions like Necromancy being able to get back two creatures (one of them immediately dies again though). And of course, all the usual ETB creatures work here too, so have fun with those Mulldrifter / Wood Elves / Shriekmaw double value plays.

Yarok, the Desecrated is gonna see a TON of play. There's a ton of directions you can take it, so many cards to choose from. It will finally give Brago, King Eternal real competition for best Blink commander. Yarok is also an Elemental, and Elementals are all about ETB triggers (Mulldrifter), so it also fits perfectly in the 99 of Horde of Notions.

 

 

COLORLESS

 

Golos, Tireless Pilgrim

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

We've got a ton of Land commander options -- Lord Windgrace, The Gitrog Monster, Omnath, Locus of Rage, Tatyova, Benthic Druid, the list goes on -- but we don't have an official 5C commander! Enter Golos, Tireless Pilgrim. Now you have all the options! Golos seems like a great choice for the Maze's End deck if you want to focus on that (though I still prefer Child of Alara). You could even go 5C Blink with this, though Niv-Mizzet Reborn is probably better. You also can win the game with Golos' activated ability if you've got infinite mana!

Golos, Tireless Pilgrim is neat. I don't think it does anything better than other commanders, but it's 5C and gives you options, which is exactly what I want from a 5C commander.

 

Bag of Holding

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

D&D and Magic are crossing the streams and I'm all for it! Bag of Holding is a huge flavor win, a perfect representation of its D&D counterpart, and also a very interesting card to boot! It looks incredibly powerful in decks either Wheel (Wheel of Fortune) or Loot (Faithless Looting) a whole bunch. Imagine wheeling a couple times, filling up the bag, then popping it to get 10+ cards back into your hand! For just 5 mana investment! Looks really sweet to me! Definitely looking to toss this bag into any Wheel deck and Loot deck.

 

Colossus Hammer

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Colossus Hammer is a fine budget-friendly equipment for the Equipment deck. It's nigh-unplayable on its own, but when paired with Puresteel Paladin and/or Sigarda's Aid you've got a very mana-efficient way to turn any creature into a lethal threat. Suit up a commander with it, or just any creature really, and your opponents basically must respond.

 

Diviner's Lockbox

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

With ways to peek at the top of your library, like Future Sight and Sensei's Divining Top, Diviner's Lockbox is basically "draw 3 cards for 5 mana." That's ... not great. It's an artifact and you can get it back via Goblin Welder and stuff, but I can't think of any deck where it's worth the effort. It's neat though.

 

Icon of Ancestry

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

I can see Icon of Ancestry played in Tribal decks that Go Wide to take advantage of the anthem, and aren't in colors with good card draw, so, uh, just White and/or Red. If you're in Green / Blue / Black you simply have better options for card advantage and the anthem alone isn't worth it. It's neat, not terrible, but not exciting.

 

Manifold Key

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

A better Voltaic Key is pretty interesting. Decks loaded with mana rocks that tap for 2+ mana like Sol Ring / Thran Dynamo often run Voltaic Key as an extra cheap mana rock. Do those decks want a second Key? Maybe. Any Artifact deck loaded with those rocks and attack with creatures will be really excited about this though. First thought that came to mind is Silas Renn, Seeker Adept.

 

Mystic Forge

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Just like Precognitive Field is a Spellslinger riff on Future Sight, Mystic Reforge is an Artifact/Colorless riff. Unlike Precognitive Field, which I've never been impressed with, I am definitely jamming Mystic Forge into a bunch of my Artifact decks. There's a few big reasons for this:

  • Artifact decks often run a ridiculously high number of artifacts, easily 40+, because artifacts take care of just about anything your deck would want. So your hit rate with Mystic Forge will naturally be very high.
  • Artifact decks are explosive. Most of the broken ramp, like Sol Ring and Mana Crypt, are artifacts, and paired with broken stuff like Paradox Engine your mana potential is nigh-unlimited. Often you're not limited by mana, but by spells to cast. Mystic Forge matches your limitless mana with limitless cards to cast.
  • If you whiff, paying 1 life to exile the top card and potentially hit an artifact/colorless card is a trivial cost, compared to Precognitive Field which is 3 frickin' mana.

So yeah, Mystic Forge is the real deal. It basically wins the game outright if you have a bunch of mana rocks and Paradox Engine in play since you can tap it to exile the top card of your library to find artifacts, then it untaps when you cast a spell and you can use it again if you whiff. But then again "wins the game with Paradox Engine" is probably the most tired comment in all of Commander. Even if you aren't breaking the Forge, it's still always a great value engine. 

 

Retributive Wand

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Retributive Wand can be quite interesting in Red Artifact lists. Paired with Goblin Welder / Goblin Engineer / Daretti, Scrap Savant, you can sacrifice / return the Wand for value, killing a creature each loop. That's pretty awesome! Daretti decks, perhaps even Breya, Etherium Shaper decks, will love this.

 

 

LANDS

 

Cryptic Caves

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Cryptic Caves seems like an easy auto-include in most Lands decks. Sacrifice it for value, triggering The Gitrog Monster / Omnath, Locus of Rage and then get it back numerous ways like Splendid Reclamation. Enjoy, Land decks!

 

Field of the Dead

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Field of the Dead looks like another fantastic inclusion for Lands decks. It comes into play tapped and doesn't tap for colored mana, but once you meet its criteria, you're pumping out a ton of 2/2's to chump block and perhaps even win the game with. Imagine playing + cracking a Windswept Heath and making two zombies in the process! I also like this card for Zombie Tribal; even though it'll be harder to meet the criteria, the payoff is all the sweeter since its a relvant tribe.

 

Lotus Field

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Wow, alright! Lotus Vale comes back to us in the form of Lotus Field, and just like the card it references, Lotus Field is a fantastic auto-include in Land deck, providing both a sac outlet for your lands to trigger The Gitrog Monster and friends but also tapping for a whole bunch of mana which can be abused with stuff like Magus of the Candelabra. It also plays nice with Stifle or any other way to skirt the sacrifice (Sundial of the Infinite). Also neat with Amulet of Vigor. But yeah, any Lands deck with recursion (aka all of them) will love this.

 

That's All, Folks!

Past Core sets weren't noteworthy for us Commander players, but it's clear with M20 that WOTC is devoting a lot of slots specifically for us, and I'm all for it! I hope you enjoyed my take on the set and please let me know what you're most excited to play with! Thanks for reading!


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