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Commander Review: Midnight Hunt | Part 2 | Black, Red


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! Part 1 covered White and Blue, and now in Part 2 we move on to Black and Red!

BLACK

Blood Pact

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Blood Pact is just an instant speed Divination in Black, which isn't new (Succumb to Temptation) nor particularly exciting for most decks ... except for one! Toshiro Umezawa is all about those instants, and not having access to Blue means stuff like Pact is our premium card draw! This is a fantastic pickup for Toshiro fans!

If you want to see Toshiro in action you can check out my Abridged Gameplay on it or a tour of my personal deck.

Bloodline Culling

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Bloodline Culling is an interesting new conditional removal spell. Its first mode will be used most often, able to kill most creatures, but not the biggest ones, which makes it a bit unreliable in a battlecruiser format like Commander. The second mode is more rare, but it'll absolutely wreck opposing Token decks when the opportunity arises. 

I think if the first mode straight-up killed the creature then I would say Culling is a fantastic card, but since it doesn't always get the job done I'm more hesitant to recommend it in a vacuum. If your meta is dominated by Token decks though, this is a great way to cull their armies. Being an instant makes it always worth considering in Toshiro Umezawa.

Champion of the Perished

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

While I don't often care for big dumb beaters, I gotta respect how effective Champion of the Perished will be in Zombie Tribal: it's a 1-drop Zombie that can immediately become a 14/14 off casting Army of the Damned or whatever. It's super easy to flood the board with Zombie tokens so this Champion will get huge fast and start threatening to knock out opponents with minimal effort. That's a ton of value for a 1-drop!

Any Zombie Tribal deck should seriously consider the Champion, but commanders that are particularly good at making tokens, like Ghoulcaller Gisa or Wilhelt, the Rotcleaver, will get even more value out of it.

Curse of Leeches // Leeching Lurker

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Curse of Leeches is pretty bleh on both sides, but it's a Curse, so it's good enough for Curse Tribal.

Dreadhound

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Syr Konrad, the Grim just got a puppy! While Dreadhound costs a ton of mana and doesn't trigger as much as Konrad, it's still a good boy that does a heckin' good job. If your deck really wants a second Konrad then this will do the trick.

Eaten Alive

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Spark Harvest never saw much love. But what if the card exiled instead of just destroyed with Eaten Alive? It's a nice upgrade but probably not enough to get people to notice. Still, it's a fine budget removal spell in an Aristocrats deck, or just a Tokens deck like Zombie Tribal.

Ghoulish Procession

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Ghoulish Procession is a super high variance card: it's either terrible (0 zombie tokens) or terrific (4 zombies) each turn cycle. I would consider it in Zombie Tribal decks that can consistently sac a nontoken to trigger this, but just 1 decayed token per turn cycle is not enough to excite me. You really want 2+ tokens per turn for this to be worth the effort.

Do decks exist that can consistently make 2+ tokens per turn cycle with this? Is it worth the effort? I dunno. It's an interesting card but not something I'm sold on yet.

Gisa, Glorious Resurrector

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

As a Commander boomer, I remember back when Grave Betrayal saw a good chunk of play. How times change!

Gisa, Glorious Resurrector puts the ol' enchantment to shame, costing a mere 4 mana instead of 7 for a similar effect. Sure, the creatures have decayed and no +1/+1 counter, but the value is much the same and you're even denying opposing death triggers to boot. For a Zombie Tribal deck, having more sources of Zombies that sacrifice themselves is a win-win situation!

I expect Gisa to be a strong inclusion in the 99 of Zombie Tribal decks. She's also a fine commander, and you can do cute things like hand off your zombies with Assault Suit to get around decayed (bonus if the creature then dies and you get it back again!) but I like her more in the 99 personally.

Graveyard Trespasser

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This is super efficient graveyard hate, which is nice, but it's slow and predictable, and you probably need to give it evasion so you can reliably attack with it. Still, it's a Werewolf, so if you are one of the few people out there playing more than just Gruul colors for Werewolf Tribal then this will make the cut.

Infernal Grasp

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Two mana, unconditional, instant speed targeted creature removal is perfect. Infernal Grasp is one of the best options Black has to take out a creature at instant speed, right under Snuff Out in my opinion. It beats out similar options like Go for the Throat. This makes it a great option in any Black deck looking for removal, but it shines brightest with my boy Toshiro Umezawa!

If you want to see Toshiro in action you can check out my Abridged Gameplay on it or a tour of my personal deck.

Jadar, Ghoulcaller of Nephalia

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Jadar is an efficient, reliable source of decayed zombie tokens -- provided you're getting rid of them by your next end step, which decks who want Jadar would be doing. It's a solid token engine, nothing crazy, which is what you'd want from a 2-drop. 

I think Jadar shines brightest in the 99 of Zombie Tribal decks like Varina, Lich Queen, or any Aristocrat deck looking for more reliable sacrifice fodder, where Jadar is basically a worse version of Ophiomancer providing a steady stream of decayed bodies to sacrifice.

Jerren, Corrupted Bishop // Ormendahl, the Corrupter

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

I've seen tons of people trashing poor Jerren online. And I get it: everyone's eyeing that sweet demon backside, Ormendahl, the Corrupter, but transforming into it is a real pain. It's hard to get excited about some silly Human when there's this badass Demon we're all simping for but is out of our league. In reality we are Jerren, while Ormendahl is the crush that breaks our heart.

But fear not, fellow simps, because I'm here to tell you that Jerren is packing a lot of value all by himself. He's a super efficient Human creature token producers that will make any Human Aristocrats deck extremely happy. And it's not that hard for a Black deck to get to exactly 13 life -- Necropotence is a good card I hear -- though yes, it does cost an extra six mana and yes, it does leave you at a low life total. It's worth it though, since the Ormendahl side is insane card draw that can pull you ahead in the lategame and a 6/6 flying trample lifelink is a great way to get back that lost life total.

I can see Jerren as a decent and interesting commander leading Mono Black Humans, but I think he's even more potent in the 99 of Human Aristocrat decks like Silvar, Devourer of the Free + Trynn, Champion of Freedom, and since so many of the best Clerics are Humans I think he makes a lot of sense in a Human-focused Cleric deck like Orah, Skyclave Hierophant. Don't sleep on the Human side!

Lord of the Forsaken

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Lord of the Forsaken is a card that begs to be broken. Demons with activated abilities that cost life have a habit of doing this, like the classic Griselbrand. This one's a bit trickier to break though: it can make infinite mana, but only colorless, and only to cast spells from your graveyard. Ramping out flashback spells like Sevinne's Reclamation is sweet but not broken. 

However, there are sweeter things we can do with this: Yawgmoth's Will and Underworld Breach are two of the most powerful cards in the format and Lord pairs wonderfully with them, ramping out any spells in our graveyard. It's harder to get around the colorless restriction -- you'd need stuff like Chromatic Orrery -- but probably don't even need it to pop off.

I expect Lord of the Forsaken to make a big splash in any Graveyard deck that can play stuff from the graveyard, like Karador, Ghost Chieftain, Chainer, Nightmare Adept, Gisa and Geralf, or any deck looking to pop off with Will or Breach.

Mask of Griselbrand

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Mask of Griselbrand is an interesting mix of evasion, lifelink, and card draw. People are calling it a poor version of Greater Good and they're not wrong, since Good is way more mana-efficient, sacs the creature for you, and even helps fill your graveyard, but honestly do we want a card more powerful than Greater Good, one of the best draw engines in the format? I think Mask is still very strong in its own right and worth the cost and hoops you gotta jump through. Equipping a 5/5 beater for 3 mana, smacking someone in the air, then sac'ing it to draw 5 cards seems good to me. It would've been better if the Mask could sacrifice the equipped creature itself, but I still think it has potential.

I am happy to try out Mask in Voltron decks and/or any deck where Good would be good in, like Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis or Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord. If it's budget-friendly then even better!

The Meathook Massacre

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

A board wipe in the form of a legendary enchantment?? This is incredibly rare and very cool! And it's got a drain effect to boot! There's a lot of decks out there that would love a legendary enchantment board wipe with death triggers: Teysa Karlov gets more drain triggers, Tayam, Luminous Enigma and Muldrotha, the Gravetide both love that it's a permanent, and Daxos the Returned loves that it's an enchantment.

Morbid Opportunist

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This card is one of the best budget pickups in the entire set. I've happily run Deathreap Ritual in basically all of my budget Golgari Aritocrat brews, and Morbid Opportunist is better in basically every way possible: it costs less, it's not restricted to Golgari, and it's a cheap creature which is easier to tutor up, recur, and synergize with the rest of an Aristocrat deck. I'm jamming this in every Aristocrat deck going forward. I hope the price stays low since it's an uncommon!

Necrosynthesis

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

The combination of a Blade of the Bloodchief effect and a dig effect is intriguing to me. I don't think it's good enough to see much play, but I'm definitely going to make room for it in my Killian, Ink Duelist Aura Voltron deck, which takes full advantage of everything this Aura has to offer. You can see me playing my budget Killian Auras brew over here.

Slaughter Specialist

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Slaughter Specialist is essentially a smaller version of Grismold, the Dreadsower: give tokens to your opponents, grow with +1/+1 counters as opposing creatures die. It's not as good or efficient as Grismold, but it's a 2-drop that isn't restricted to Golgari decks. Is that good enough? Not sure. Are there other decks that want this? No clue. But it's fairly unique and interesting, hence I'm pointing it out here.

Tainted Adversary

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Tainted Adversary is an interesting mana sink in Zombie Tribal decks. It's certainly not the best Zombie token generator -- compared to a classic Army of the Damned, you'd need to spend 20 mana to get 13 zombies off this, whereas Army is only 8 or 10 mana -- but being stapled on to a Zombie creature is tantalizing. It means you can cast it early for whatever value, then reanimate it later with Gisa and Geralf or similar and dump all that lategame mana into way more zombies.

The rate is pretty rough though. It's A LOT of mana for what you get. But it's still a cool card, and if your deck doesn't care about mana efficiency -- either because the deck makes truckloads of mana or generates infinite mana -- then this is an uncapped method of making zombie tokens, which is sweet.

RED

Bloodthirsty Adversary

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Bloodthirsty Adversary requires the biggest setup of all the Adversary cycle but gives you the best mana efficiency in terms of its effect: for every extra three mana you spend, you get to cast an instant/sorcery of mana value 3 or less from your graveyard. You'll need those instants/sorceries already in your graveyard, of course, but it's still a sweet payoff, essentially a Past in Flames or Mizzix's Mastery on a stick. 

That said, I'm not sure I like this in a Spellslinger deck. It's fine, but if you're going deep on instants and sorceries, Mizzix's Mastery and similar effects do the recursion better.

Where I think Adversary sparks the most joy is in Vampire Tribal decks, actually. Its baseline is a 2 mana 2/2 haste vampire which is totally acceptable in Edgar Markov. By midgame you can start casting it for 5+ mana to beef it up while also recasting a Swords to Plowshares or Demonic Tutor from your graveyard, sweet value! Solid in Vamp decks.

Burn Down the House

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Burn Down the House is an alright Red board wipe on a budget, but even on the strictest of budgets we probably have better options: if Blasphemous Act at $2 is too much there's always Chain Reaction, Starstorm, and Hour of Devastation, which even gets around indestructible.

The second mode isn't super efficient BUT there's at least one home where it's super welcome, and that's Zurzoth, Chaos Rider. A Zurzoth deck will still cast the board wipe side often, but the option to make 3 Devil tokens, one per each opponent, is the perfect way to maximize Zurzoth's abilities. Instant staple!

Cathartic Pyre

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

"Dies to Lightning Bolt" is a bit of a meme in Commander but the truth is there's plenty of powerful utility creatures you can snipe with it these days. It's just not super consistent, hence why you don't see it. But a Bolt that rummage when not needed is interesting. It can fuel graveyard strategies or Madness decks. Probably still not good enough in most metas but it's worth considering.

Curse of Shaken Faith

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

"Curse of Anti-Storm" is a cool design similar to (but not as oppressive as) Curse of Exhaustion. It's too niche for me to recommend for most decks, but thankfully we now have a Curse Tribal home for it with Lynde, Cheerful Tormentor.

Electric Revelation

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Is a Think Twice that sees an extra card worth the extra mana? Probably not. Would I recommend it for most decks? Probably not. It's an okay filler in the most budget of Spellslinger or Madness decks, but the relatively high mana cost holds it back from being exciting.

Falkenrath Pit Fighter

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This is probably the best pickup for Vampire Tribal decks in the entire set. Falkenrath Pit Fighter is a 1-drop with incredible utility, rummaging and sac'ing to draw cards, aka Edgar Markov's wet dream. It's super exciting for me too because I'm a ride-or-die Olivia, Mobilized for War Vampire Madness deck and this is perfect there too! Insane value in this 1-drop!

Fangblade Brigand // Fangblade Eviscerator

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

While not the craziest Werewolf, the flip side has an okay mana sink to pump your creatures. It's often going to be good enough for most Tovolar, Dire Overlord decks.

Geistflame Reservoir

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Spellslinger "burn storage" cards like Firemind's Research or Relic Amulet always felt super clunky to use because of how terrible they are if you cast them mid/lategame; they reeeeally want to be cast early on before you start emptying your hand of instants/sorceries.

Geistflame Reservoir fixes that problem by offering an alternate mode, letting you impulse draw for 2 mana! This solves its mid/lategame clunkiness, making it always a fine spell to cast. I really like this design and can see myself jamming it into a lot of budget Spellslinger brews. It's not busted or anything, but it's a solid engine.

Moonveil Regent

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Moonveil Regent has such insane potential in 5C decks and all kinds of Graveyard decks. Obviously casting a 5C spell and drawing 5 cards is insane, making it tantalizing in decks like The Ur-Dragon, but drawing less cards and discarding reanimation targets makes it neat in basically any Graveyard decks like Chainer, Nightmare Adept. It's solid in Madness decks too like Anje Falkenrath. If you don't want the cards going into the graveyard for some reason, pair it with Bag of Holding for even more value!

Obsessive Astronomer

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

A high variance rummager is still pretty sweet in budget decks. If you trigger its rummage just once per turn cycle it's really good, anything extra is amazing. In Madness decks, Graveyard-focused decks, or decks built around cards like Bag of Holding, Obsessive Astronomer can be a serious workhorse that shouldn't be overlooked. 

Reckless Stormseeker // Storm-Charged Slasher

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

One of the best Werewolves for the tribe. Haste is great, Haste + Trample is even better. Great in Tovolar, Dire Overlord.

Smoldering Egg // Ashmouth Dragon

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This is a sweet callback to Thing in the Ice. This is a solid payoff in Spellslinger decks, granting you a decent sized creature that can start adding Shock to every spell you cast. It's a bit slow but it'll get there.

Spellrune Painter // Spellrune Howler

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Not the strongest addition to Werewolf Tribal, but it's a 3-drop that sometimes hits a bit harder. It's fine.

Sunstreak Phoenix

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

A new staple in Phoenix Tribal! One of the best Phoenixes ever printed, requiring a mere 2 mana to reanimate, though it is unreliable. This one's for you, Niuttuc!

Village Watch // Village Reavers

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This is one of the best new additions to Werewolf Tribal. Giving your army haste is huge: do more damage, draw more cards with Tovolar, Dire Overlord. Love it.

Voldaren Ambusher

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Another solid inclusion in Vampire Tribal. Three mana Vampire with ETB removal is good, even if it requires some setup. Enjoy, Edgar Markov players!

What Cards Are You Hyped For?

Let me know in the comments section below! The review wraps up with Part 3 coming soon. Thanks for reading!



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