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Crimmander : Zendikar Rising Commander Picks


First off, I'm finally doing some more Commander content for MTGGoldfish as we have a commander based channel. I highly recommend following it if you haven't already! Anywho,  Zendikar Rising has brought a ton of sweet cards for the world of Commander so I decided I'd talk about some of the cards I'm most excited to play with and not what I think will break the format (they're not excluded though). Example, I know Omnath, Locus of Creation and Ancient Greenwarden will be good but they're not exactly what I'm insanely hyped for. I'm known for constantly moving cards around just to try new cards so there's that. I'll also give you some examples of cool decks and archetypes I'd like to try them in which you'll probably see at some point on Commander Clash. Let's get into my Zendikar Rising picks. 

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Best used in: Staple in any deck woweeeee

I know Lithoform Engine is the Goldfish spoiler but it's just an insane card. By the time you're reading this, it's probably old news by how good this card is. This feels like an auto include in any deck as it can make token copies of things like mana rocks or anything we need. It quite literally is a little poop factory for clones. The biggest appeal to me is that this card can give us token copies of noncreatures so I can copy Sensei's Divining Top and Counterbalance if I wanted to really spice up the table's fun. Just know that it doesn't get around legendary rules so that means only one Teferi, Time Raveler, unfortunately.  Of course this does more than just make tokens. This card is multiple commander cards in one and is the best thing out of Zendikar Rising for Commander. Copying abilities like Gonti, Lord of Luxury to steal multiple cards from opponents will be sweet. That's right, I'm staring at you BudgetCommander. Lastly, we can copy instants and sorcery spells with new targets so this card literally does everything. It probably could walk your dog if you pay six mana.

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Best used in: Enters the Battlefield Heavy, Reanimator, and +1/+1 Counter Decks.

This card isn't a staple like Lithoform Engine but it's a fun one! I don't think I want Drana, the Last Bloodchief as my commander but definitely it's a fun inclusion in my ninety-nine because of the politics that can be sparked up at the table. The best thing about this card is that it can probably fit into any deck with black in it, Especially when paired with green, as often times enchantments and artifacts run rampant so you can strike deals with someone to let you get back something like a Bane of Progress. The card is perfect if you can fix your graveyard so your opponent has to pick something awful for them but I plan on using this mostly just to load my graveyard up with utility cards to help the table until I can put away the game. The only mark against it for me is the sheer number of good cards in the five drop slot that are powerful and are way more game winning so this is just in my deck for the politics and the numerous comic book alters I have in mind for it.

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Best used in: Hate Bears or Prison Style decks.

Both Yasharn and Archon generate the same level of excitement for me so they'll share a spot. Up first will be Yasharn. I don't know if Yasharn is a good commander but I do think this card is really good in the ninety-nine. The card is four mana so with an early mana rock or any kind of acceleration this card coming down early can really shut off some strategies. The best part is that it allows you to fetch up basic lands as you set up your future turns. Yasharn is great if your play group has Korvold, Fae-Cursed King or any deck trying to sacrifice things to stuff like Phyrexian Altar and so forth. This also shuts down fetch lands as you can't ever pay the life to go grab the land you're looking for so be mindful of that if you play fetchlands in your deck. The other card that has me excited is the Archon of Emeria as these two cards would fit perfectly into my Bant Prison deck (I really need to stop making so many prison decks). Though the Archon has less toughness than Eidolon of Rhetoric, its ability to fly and force our opponent's lands to be tapped makes it the perfect hate bear to annoy your group! 

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Best used in: Lifegain, Aristocrats, Voltron, Kaalia of The Vast, and Angels

I'm going to be 110% honest, this is a meme card and is something I want to make happen on Commander Clash. This by no means is a powerhouse but its such a fun card as white cards are unfortunately cheesy and are all based around some form of lifegain. With that in mind, white will have their own watered down Master of Cruelties. Maybe this works in a Kaalia of The Vast deck as our threats are so massive that we could gain a ton of life through combat pretty quick.The cool thing is that it has double strike so you can try to beef this card up with a ton of artifacts and auras in a Voltron deck and go to town. Aristocrats already gain life but don't excel at combat damage and probably have way better ways to win but I'd love to try this in any deck that can gain life. My goal is to assemble a board state with Tainted Remedy and Angel of Destiny; eliminating somebody out of your pod will feel amazing. If I'm the player getting eliminated, I'd be honored to lose to this as it is the ultimate meme win.

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Best used in: Rogues and Yoink Decks

This just in: Crim likes a card from the Rogue Commander precon. Shocking. But surprisingly, this card is good enough to make it's way into other decks with evasion. With rogues being tiny little critters, it's nice to pack a punch with the +2/+0 and reanimating targets from the opponent's graveyard. Rogues also have the perks of being evasive like Slither Blade so if the blade isn't dealt with, a rogue deck can definitely start picking up new friends. The dagger is also beneficial to any deck with the yoink (theft) theme. My only complaint about this card is that it doesn't make the reanimated targets a rogue. Regardless, what's more flavorful than using a dagger as a rogue deck?

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Best used in: Blue staple.

This may seem fishy that I have another rogue on here but I truly think this card is just powerful without the rogue type. Commander is dominated by so many artifacts so something that comes into play and can steal any artifact makes me happy. The fact that it can come down early and steal fast mana or auto equip stolen equipments is an absolute delight. The card is a powerhouse, plain and simple!

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Best used in: Demons, Group Slug, and Nethroi, Apex of Death

This card is a demon so I already plan on cramming it into a demon deck as it is perfect with Archfiend of Despair. Another combo that isn't too far off from the demon deck but group slug decks like Mogis, God of Slaughter play Wound Reflection so this card is just another way for us to help our pod lose their life rounded up, twice. Depending on the power level of your group, it's always nice to have a combo to win out of nowhere and this card will be a solid addition to Group Sluggers. Now, I don't have a Nethroi deck but if you haven't heard by now, there's a hilarious combo with Nethroi that includes the Scourge and the fact that it has negative power in your graveyard which means you could potentially bring back the Eldrazi titans and more depending on how negative it is on stats. Magic is weird.

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Best used in: Dragons, Neheb, the Eternal , Mono Red Staple

This card is amazing on all fronts. The art is gorgeous and slots right into Dragon decks. But wait, it does more!?! That's right! It allows us to store a ton of mana over the turns it's around for a big X spell like Earthquake or maybe you're a Decree of Annihilation person and just want to blow up all the things to reset the table for fun and need to get to mana ASAP! Regardless, untapping with this could almost be game ending for one unfortunate person at your pod as killing this will usually hurt so it must be exiled. The cherry on top is that its still a 4/4 flying threat and that's a solid rate. This is going to be a sweet card for red as a whole so I can't wait to see it take flight!

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Best used in: Commander or in the ninety-nine of any rogue deck! DID I MENTION ROGUES?!

I'd be lying to everyone if I said I didn't flip my table with joy when Anowon, the Ruin Thief was revealed. I've been playing Marchesa, the Black Rose for my rogue deck but with all of the sweet rogue support in Zendikar Rising, I might not miss the red at all. You read that right, I might not need to have another Grixis deck. Anowon is the perfect rogue commander when you look at it thematically and with the anthem, card drawing attached to him. It's so cool to see where rogues are going as the whole idea behind being aggressive while milling is just fun. More importantly, I'm happy there are more cards for rogues to win by milling opponents and can't be used by decks that are trying to self mill. There are some drawbacks as we'll have to see how it plays out after losing red as we drop some sweet cards like Vandalblast, Robber of the Rich, Shared Animosity, and Splinter Twin. Otherwise, I see Anowon, the Ruin Thief as my auto pick for a rogue commander unless we get a legendary homonculus rogue....

.....Seriously, WotC. Fblthp, the Lost needs to do the Omnath thing and pick up more colors and find a way to become a Rogue in a set down the line. PLEASE MAKE IT HAPPEN.

Conclusion

Zendikar Rising brought us more than the aforementioned cards and will definitely reshape the lay of the land for Magic as the MDFCs are powerful and versatile so there's no doubt that they'll make their way into Commander. I'll have more commander content soon so keep an eye out for that! Let me know in the comments or feel free to tweet out at me some of your favorite cards from Zendikar Rising that will be going into your decks! 

This unfortunately isn't like a comic book so reading my first Commander article isn't as valuable for you as a first printing but it sure is awesome that you're here so thanks for reading.

If you ever want a deck to be made into a video feel free to leave a like, comment, Email, and subscribe to MTGGoldfish and MTGGoldfishCommander on Youtube!

-Your Friendly Neighborhood AsianAvenger

Twitter: @TheAsianAvenger || Twitch: twitch.tv/TheAsianAvenger || Email: theasianavenger@mtggoldfish.com



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