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Commander Review: Midnight Hunt | Part 1 | White, Blue


Midnight Hunt has just been fully previewed so now it's time for me to go over the entire set and highlight the cards that I think are most noteworthy for us Commander players! Let's get started!

WHITE


Adeline, Resplendent Cathar

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Adeline provides a staggering amount of value: in a typical 4-player FFA game, each time you attack, Adeline is creating three attacking 1/1 Human creature tokens. Three tokens per turn is an insane rate for a 3cmc creature, not to mention Adeline swings like a truck herself, dealing 4+ damage from an empty board and easily doing 10+ damage a swing with a modest army. That's an absurd amount of pressure for a three mana legendary.

The only catch is that you really need protection for your army so the tokens / Adeline aren't immediately dying to blockers. Dolmen Gate does the trick in Mono White, and Iroas, God of Victory does it even better in Boros. Some sort of evasion works too, like Wonder giving your army flying. It's an extra step but it's worth it.

I think Adeline, Resplendent Cathar can make for a powerful, consistent Commander: give Adeline haste and protection, make a bunch of tokens, kill with a beefed up army with anthems like Cathars' Crusade or just deal 21 commander damage with Adeline -- probably both. Simple but effective. However, I'm more excited for her in the 99 of multicolor decks: since her tokens are Humans, she's fantastic in Human Tribal decks like Silvar, Devourer of the Free + Trynn, Champion of Freedom, Jirina Kudro, Sigarda, Champion of Light, or any Token and/or Aristocrats style deck like Thalisse, Reverent Medium. Either way, I expect Adeline to do serious work wherever she shows up.

Bereaved Survivor // Dauntless Avenger

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This innocent-looking uncommon has a ton of potential in Aristocrat decks with low mana curves. This is somewhat comparable to Alesha, Who Smiles at Death: this version is more restrictive and requires transforming first, but you don't need to spend mana to reanimate which is significant. I know bringing the card up is a meme at this point but it must be said that Dockside Extortionist loves to be sac'd and reanimated over and over.

I expect Bereaved Survivor won't show up in most decks, but in the decks that can run her she's gonna do serious work. Aristocrat decks like Extus, Oriq Overlord should look over their lists and see if she'll fit.

Brutal Cathar // Moonrage Brute

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Banisher Priest just got a significant upgrade: unlike the Priest, Brutal Cathar can potentially exile multiple creatures under it if it can transform back and forth. Blinking it in response to its ETB doesn't permanently exile the target like you can with Fiend Hunter, and it doesn't have the flexibility or permanent removal of Skyclave Apparition, but nonetheless, it's got a lot going for it.

Being a Human makes Brutal Cathar a prime candidate for Human Tribal decks like Silvar, Devourer of the Free + Trynn, Champion of Freedom. It's also a strong candidate for Werewolf Tribal if you're willing to splash into Naya for it.

Cathar Commando

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Cathar Commando is fantastic removal in Aristocrat decks: it costs the same amount of mana to remove something as the classic Reclamation Sage, it sacrifices itself, but the big thing here is it has flash, which is a huge benefit when you must deal with threatening permanents immediately. It's also a Human and Soldier so it can be relevant in those tribes as well. Finally, it's at that sweet spot of 2 mana value, so it has a lot of extra support from Sun Titan to more recent things like Sigardian Savior.

I expect Commando to be played in decks like Trynn, Champion of Freedom & Silvar, Devourer of the Free and basically all Human decks that want some efficient removal.

Chaplain of Alms // Chapel Shieldgeist

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Ward 1 isn't a huge deterrent against targeted removal, but sometimes it's enough to keep your creatures alive for an extra turn. It's probably not enough for random Graveyard decks to run this, but dedicated Human or Cleric decks might consider it, and obviously, it's a solid choice for a Disturb deck.

Enduring Angel // Angelic Enforcer

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Enduring Angel seems tailor-made for me and the dozens of other people with Selenia, Dark Angel decks, hooray! The trick here is to find an efficient way to get your life total to zero -- could be Selenia, Wall of Blood, Ad Nauseam, whatever -- to immediately flip the Angel, then use either Tainted Sigil or Children of Korlis to regain all that lost life and voila, you now have a supercharged Serra Avatar with flying ready to 1-shot opponents! Pair it with a way to drain opponents when you gain life like Sanguine Bond and the Angel basically takes out two opponents per swing.

So yeah, very good pickup for Selenia decks! Sorry, Liesa, Shroud of Dusk players, I see you (she's very popular), and while Liesa is obviously stronger overall, Selenia is still the queen at taking your own life total to 0, so this Angel is ours.

Fateful Absence

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Fateful Absence isn't Swords to Plowshares but it's still very good. It's basically a cheaper, easier to cast Hero's Downfall that gives an opponent a card but they gotta pay 2 for it, which I think makes it better. If I was looking for instant targeted creature removal this would be high on the list: basically Swords, Path to Exile, Generous Gift, and then Absence.

Gavony Dawnguard

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

WOTC is going hard on White being "low mana value matters" and honestly I'm happy with that; I much prefer it to the barrage of "you must be behind your opponents for your cards to function" designs we've been getting recently. 

Gavony Dawnguard absolutely slaps. In a deck full of low mana value creatures, digging 4 and getting a card each time the table cycles between day/night can be wonderful. If you're getting 1 card per turn cycle it's great and anything more than that is amazing.

The card is strong, but finding the right home for it is the tricky part. You essentially want a deck full of low MV creatures but also want to avoid casting spells on your own turn to ensure you're swapping to night at least once per turn cycle. I'm sure those decks exist, but I'm currently at a loss while writing this, so let me know in the comments section where you'd try it out!

Intrepid Adversary

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Intrepid Adversary is a sweet mana sink anthem for Go Wide decks. Spending 2 mana per +1/+1 buff isn't the most mana-efficient rate but the fact that it's attached to a 2 mana creature is what makes this so memorable. Also how well it plays with blink / bounce / reanimate effects -- play it early on as a small anthem, then reanimate it with Sun Titan later in the game for a much bigger anthem. This is very sweet.

I would strongly consider Adversary in any Go Wide style deck. It's still not as busted as the most powerful anthems like Cathars' Crusade, but it's still very good. Being a Human makes it a no-brainer inclusion in Human Tribal decks like Sigarda, Champion of Light as well.

Lunarch Veteran // Luminous Phantom

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

While a significant step down from Soul's Attendant or Soul Warden, I think Lunarch Veteran might be good enough for Lifegain decks looking for a third version. Getting extra value with its Disturb ability is a nice perk.

Sigarda's Splendor

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Sigarda's Splendor is a Phyrexian Arena with Angel's Feather tacked on. Except instead of just giving you a card each upkeep, you have to be equal to or higher than the life total that you noted last upkeep. That's right, this card encourages your opponents to attack you to deny you card draw, AND it demands bookkeeping on your part just to get that single card each upkeep.

God do I hate this design so much. The card isn't unplayable -- it's okay (but not great) in Mono White Lifegain decks because the options are so bad -- but holy crap the amount of hoops WOTC wants you to jump through for White to have marginal card draw would be hilarious if it wasn't so sad. LITERAL BOOKKEEPING FOR A BAD PHYREXIAN ARENA, AN ALREADY OUTDATED AND OVERRATED CARD! Okay yeah it's still funny.

I know there's at least one commentor already tapping away at their keyboard to tell me how 1) this card is great actually 2) Phyrexian Arena is great actually 3) White doesn't need / deserve good card draw actually. And good. I promise you I won't read your comment because I'm so, so tired of it, BUT I encourage you to leave the comment because it boosts engagement and makes the algorithm happy. So tap away!

Sigardian Savior

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Funnily enough, Sigardian Savior is getting trashed online yet this is a card I'm very excited about. Again we see this push for White being "Low Mana Value Matters" and they're serious about making the payoff worth it. Sigardian Savior reanimating up to two creatures on a cast trigger is a great rate for 5 mana. You can't get extra value from blinking it, but bouncing and recasting it works just fine, making it real nice with cards like Time Wipe or Chulane, Teller of Tales.

Is it better than Sun Titan? No, but I don't actually want better versions of format staples, I want stuff like this that is still good enough to warrant inclusion and makes you think.

So the question is: where does the Savior fit? I think it fits best in Low MV Matters versions of Aristocrats, where you can make sure that you've got two creatures in the yard for it. Teysa Karlov or Extus, Oriq Overlord immediately pop into my brain. There's so much support for this archetype at this point between Ranger of Eos and the like that I'm excited to see what comes of it.

Sungold Sentinel

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

I'll keep saying this forever: pack graveyard hate. The format is full of graveyard recursion. Entire decks are built around it. Run at least one card to deal with it. 

Sungold Sentinel is a new GY hate option for Human and Soldier Tribal decks. It doesn't grow over time like Scavenging Ooze or Ravenous Slime, but it gets the job done, and tribal synergies makes the Sentinel a solid option in its specific homes.

Vanquish the Horde

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

I don't like throwing around the term "instant staple," but uhhh yeah, Vanquish the Horde is an instant staple. Or sorcery staple in this case.

Vanquish is going to be a WW Day of Judgment nearly every time you want to cast it, since 6 creatures is around the time you'd start considering casting a wipe. That's an absurdly good rate. It's a callback to the conditionally cheapest board wipe, Blasphemous Act, which is also a staple in the format due to regularly being cast for just R, and obviously, Vanquish compares favorably to it.

If we just compare Vanquish to other White wipes, it's obviously better than Day of Judgment and Wrath of God, so easy upgrades there. It doesn't blow up all nonland permanents like Hour of Revelation, nor does it have the flexibility of selection like Austere Command, so Vanquish doesn't straight-up replace those types of wipes, but I know that when deciding what wipes I want in my White deck I'm going to start with Vanquish the Horde first then choose a flexible wipe as my second slot.

Card is good. Real good. Wiping out all creatures for 2 mana is massive. It lets you wipe the board then still do other things on your turn. Great card and further cements White's role as the best removal color.

BLUE

Consider

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

I happily run Opt in a bunch of budget Spellslinger brews. Consider is a slightly better Opt since you can put stuff in your graveyard for recursion. Easy auto-include in all my future budget Spellslinger brews like Talrand, Sky Summoner, Adeliz, the Cinder Wind, and Veyran, Voice of Duality.

Curse of Surveillance

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Innistrad sets have always had a lot of love for Curses ever since the first block with stuff like Curse of Misfortunes. With Midnight Hunt we're getting the first official commander with Lynde, Cheerful Tormentor, so Curse Tribal is officially a thing now.

Curse of Surveillance is one of the most important payoffs to the archetype, being a potent way to refill your hand each turn after unloading all your curses on to one unlucky victim. You can even let mutual opponents draw cards too if you're feeling generous. The floor is okay, essentially a more expensive Phyrexian Arena, but once you start drawing 3+ cards a turn this card is awesome.

Firmament Sage

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

I need to see this day/night stuff in action first to give my final verdict, but I believe that Firmament Sage is pretty good if you can consistently draw 1 card per turn cycle off it. Anything more and it becomes great. This might be good enough for Wizard Tribal decks like Azami, Lady of Scrolls.

Geistwave

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

I rarely run Into the Roil these days -- only in Verazol, the Split Current really -- but Geistwave looks sweet enough to consider. Best case scenario you're saving something of yours from removal, 2-for-1'ing an opponent, but worst case you're just bouncing a problematic thing for two mana, which still has situational value. It's a solid card, but the question will be if it's good enough, and I think dedicated Bounce decks like Barrin, Tolarian Archmage will enjoy it.

Lier, Disciple of the Drowned

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Lier, Disciple of the Drowned is a terrific pickup for Spellslinger decks: you're denied the ability to counter spells -- something Blue is kinda good at doing -- but in return you can flashback all your instants and sorceries without any restrictions. Compare that to Kess, Dissident Mage, who can only cast one instant/sorcery on your turn, or Dralnu, Lich Lord, who has to tap to give a spell flashback -- oh and that pesky drawback of straight-up dying if someone casts a Blasphemous Act. So yeah, Lier does what she does really, really well.

Lier works both as a commander or as part of the 99. As a commander you're stuck with Mono Blue, so not being able to use Blue's best removal, countermagic, is a serious drawback, making a Control version of her a bit sketchy, but in return she's one of the best High Tide combo commanders since you have uncapped flashback potential. Casting your storm setups like High Tide, Frantic Search, twice into double Brain Freeze can lead to easy storm wins. And as a Combo deck the "drawback" of spells not being counterable works in your favor since nobody can counter you the turn you go off.

She's fantastic as part of the 99 of multicolor Spellslinger as she's just a super-efficient flashback engine. She doesn't get that huge immediate value of an overloaded Mizzix's Mastery, but the incremental value engine is sweet.

It has been said that Lier is a better version of Dralnu, Lich Lord, but here is where I'll disagree: I still like Dralnu more as a commander. Not only does Dralnu have access to Black and can counter stuff freely, but the downside of Dralnu is literally my favorite part of the card! You haven't LIVED until you donate Dralnu with a Wrong Turn in response to a Blasphemous Act so opponent sacs 13 permanents! Or Domineering Will donate and force the unlucky victim to block with Dralnu and sac a bunch of things! Team Dralnu will not go down so easily!

Malevolent Hermit // Benevolent Geist

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Another easy inclusion for the Disturb deck: Malevolent Hermit is a neat little counterspell and the backside is nice protection against opposing Blue decks. Decent and forgettable in most decks, but great in Spirit Tribal!

Memory Deluge

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Has Dig Through Time finally got some competition? Well, yes and no -- Dig is still the most mana efficient way of doing this effect, but you have to be willing to exile a bunch of cards in order to do so. Memory Deluge offers a new way to Dig without having to exile anything, which is sweet, especially in budget brews that don't have tons of fetchlands to exile.

I think this card is real good. It's not quite Fact or Fiction but it's a sweet second copy. I hope it's budget because I want to run it a bunch in Spellslinger decks!

Ominous Roost

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Ominous Roost is a solid token generator in Flashback or Disturb decks. It doesn't make an army of tokens as effortlessly as Spellslinger staples like Talrand, Sky Summoner, but that can work in Roost's advantage, perhaps letting it fly under people's threat assessment radars. It's also an enchantment so it's a bit harder to remove. 

It's solid, and more importantly for me, I just think it's neat! Plus it has perhaps my favorite artwork of the set!

Otherworldly Gaze

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Otherworldly Gaze is essentially a 1 mana cheaper Think Twice except instead of drawing a card you Surveil 3. Is that better? I think so!

I think Gaze's cheap cost makes it a tasty option as both a cheap Spellslinger trigger like Veyran, Voice of Duality, getting those cheap magecraft triggers and stuff like Talrand, Sky Summoner. Random other "cast lots of spells" decks like Jori En, Ruin Diver might like it too. I think it's good enough in budget versions of those decks, though I'd probably cut eventually if budget wasn't a concern.

Overwhelmed Archivist // Archive Haunt

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Another easy inclusion in the Disturb / Spirit Tribal deck. Loot away Disturb / Flashback cards and get their value from the grave. Clean and simple support.

Patrician Geist

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Oh hey, sweet Spirit Tribal support! This card obviously works well with both the Disturb and Flashback mechanics in the set, especially Disturb since it then pumps up your Spirits. I'm looking forward to the new commander deck that is focused around Azorius Spirits and I'm sure this Geist will be an easy upgrade to it! Also good with other WU Spirit decks like Vega, the Watcher.

Phantom Carriage

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Generally speaking, the good creatures with ETB tutors cost three mana: think Imperial Recruiter, Heliod's Pilgrim, and Spellseeker. So at six mana I think it's safe to say Phantom Carriage isn't super powerful. Nonetheless, it'll still make the cut for Disturb Tribal since you'll take what you can get there, and it's perfectly functional in lower power budget Flashback decks too.

Poppet Stitcher // Poppet Factory

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Now this is an interesting Spellslinger token producer! Poppet Stitcher sits between Young Pyromancer and Talrand, Sky Summoner in terms of mana value, though his tokens are probably being the weakest, since they're 2/2 Zombies with decayed, so they can't block and they only attack once before you have to sacrifice them. Not ideal in Spellslinger deck. However, once you've amassed a healthy amount you can transform it and suddenly your tokens are all 3/3s without decayed, which is a ton of damage potential, though you stop producing new tokens.

This is one I gotta try out in Spellslinger. It might be too clunky, but it also might be awesome especially paired with 1/1 token makers like the Pyromancer too.

It also looks awesome in Zombie Tribal decks like Wilhelt, the Rotcleaver, beefing up those Zombie tokens.

Secrets of the Key

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

I'm a sucker for Clue cards, so I'm biased towards liking Secrets of the Key even though it's objectively not a great card. It's fine. I'm a little bummed that it's not even great in the official Clue commander, Lonis, Cryptozoologist, since you're better off just casting a creature but whatever.

Side rant: I know that Clue Tribal fans are a very small minority, and I know we just got Lonis, but ... could we get another Clue Commander, WOTC? Lonis is fine and all mechanically, but the aesthetic is a total miss for me. When I think Clues and Investigate, I think of a detective! Someone pouring through the clues with a pipe in one hand, a Sherlock Holmes type, or a noir private eye, you know? Not a ... Simic Zoologist?! Who and the why, WOTC?

I'm holding up hope we get a legendary "Sherlock Holmes" in Crimson Vow or maybe a private eye in the demon mafia plane. Simic scientist ... blech.

Shipwreck Sifters

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

It's just a lowly common, but Shipwreck Sifters can quickly become a huge beater in Spirit Tribal. You can easily mill your deck in the right build and start smacking fools for 20+ damage! No evasion though.

Sludge Monster

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

It's called Sludge Monster. It hands out slime counters. BUT IT'S NOT AN OOZE! 0/10 Unplayable

Despite this horrible oversight, the Monster is kinda cute in commander. It's gonna be annoyingly powerful to slime up opposing commanders, making them useless until someone either gets rid of the commander or the Ooze Horror.

Spectral Adversary

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Spectral Adversary is another sweet pickup for Spirit Tribal! It's a flexible instant-speed way to protect your artifacts / creatures / enchantments from removal, or just temporarily remove your opponents' stuff. It's a decent chunk of mana to do this trick though, but hey, it's a Spirit and it'll be good enough there.

Suspicious Stowaway // Seafaring Werewolf

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This reminds me of a Looter il-Kor that sometimes upgrades to drawing cards instead of just looting, which is pretty nuts. I think it's worth considering in Edric, Spymaster of Trest, especially since being a Rogue means it can activate things like Notorious Throng.

It's also one of the best Werewolves, which makes it a bit awkward since Tovolar, Dire Overlord can't run it, but with Tovolar at the helm I promise you won't be hurting for card draw anyway!

Triskaidekaphile

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Triskaidekaphile may not be as easy to win the game off of as Thassa's Oracle, but it's still very doable. Blue can easily get thirteen cards into your hand to win off its trigger: either generate infinite mana with Dramatic Reversal + Isochron Scepter and turn it into card draw with the wizard, or just Blue Sun's Zenith yourself the turn before your upkeep to surprise the table with 13 cards. Easy!

What Are You Excited About?

Let me know in the comments section below which cards you're most excited about. Part 2 is coming out tomorrow!



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