Commander Masters is out soon. With it comes four Commander decks. Each deck features various reprints, and more importantly new cards! Today let’s answer the question, are any of these new cards any good? Are there new staples hidden in these decks, or are these new cards destined for the bulk bin?
The first deck features Slivers. While it has a big scary sliver at the help. I find the alternative commander much more exciting! Rukarumel, Biologist lets you choose a creature type when it enters. Slivers, and non-token creatures you control, and that aren’t on the battlefield are the chosen type. In short, Rukarumel turns all your creatures into the chosen type. While this card references slivers it has much more in common with Morphoron. This card acts like a Maskwood Nexus in the Command Zone. You can play a deck full of Knights, but turn them into Sphinxes! This is an awesome commander for any tribe!
Most tribal decks do exclusively run their tribe. For example, Dragon tribal decks often run Dragonlord’s Servant. However, this card is awful in the late game. With Rukarumel you can turn that little Goblin, into a Dragon. This will allow it to count towards your “whenever a dragon attacks” abilities. One of the most interesting tribes for Rukarumel is Rebels!
A classic tribe from Magic’s history. Rebels can search your library for another rebel card and put it into play. With Rukarumel, Lin Sivvi, Defiant Hero to search for any creature in your library and put it into play! This can be a powerful toolbox or lead you into combo lines. This feels like a deck concept with some great possibilities! Share some ideas in the comments! I have already started brewing this one. Let me know what you think!
The Sliver precon also came with some new pointy friends! Of all of them, Hatchery Sliver has the most potential. It has Replicate and gives all your slivers Replicate. This allows you to copy a sliver when you cast it by paying its replicate cost. Additionally, you can pay the cost multiple times for copies. This can be a great way to double up on powerful effects.
On the other hand with lots of mana, you can use Replicate to build an army with only one sliver. Regal Sliver is a nice addition too. It offers a buff and continuous stealing back of the monarchy! Plain and simple. Meanwhile, Lazotep Sliver turns dead slivers into an army! Additionally afflict makes blocking painful for the opponent no matter what.
In the Commodore Guff deck, we have several new planeswalkers. Guff creates tokens, draws cards, deals damage, and puts loyalty on planeswalkers. He is a strong header for the deck. Within the deck, we see Teyo’s return. Teyo, Geometric Tactician creates a token when he enters. He is a great way to protect your planeswalkers with his minus-two loyalty ability. You choose left or right, players can only attack the nearest opponent in that direction! This is a great way to protect your board while goading.
Vronos, Masked Inquisitor fulfills a similar goal. Their plus-one phases out two planeswalkers. This provides a fantastic way of protecting your valuable planeswalkers. The minus two can clear the scariest permanent off of each opponent’s board. Vronos seems like a fantastic choice as a utility planeswalker. The planeswalkers themselves are not game-enders. This deck has brought some much-needed protection to the archetype.
CMM also brought us a white, green, and black enchantments deck. Anikthea, Hand of Erebos is a great option for an aggressive enchantment strategy. A focus on enchantment creatures and copying makes this a powerful midrange option. Pairing this with Starfield of Nyx can produce a board of enchantments that is hard to deal with. She would also pair well with Sythis, Harvest’s hand. Now armed with creatures, evasion, and card draw nothing can stop you!
The alternate commander for this deck is Narci, Fable Singer. She sits in a funny place for me. This commander is awesome! She offers a sacrifice angle to enchantments. Something we don’t see that often. This is good in a deck based around enchantment creatures. It also plays well with sagas and her second ability. Burning out the opponent when sagas are complete is awesome!
While Narci is a great commander in her own right she is somewhat overshadowed by Tom Bombadil. She is no doubt a slam dunk with Tom. I do not think we will see many standalone Narci decks because of this. And for completeness’ sake. The highest mana value enchantment Narci cares about is The World Spell.
Finally, we come to Eldrazi Unbound. Despite the name, this deck doesn’t have a lot of Eldrazi. On the positive side, it has a lot of great options for colorless decks in general. Rise of the Eldrazi is my favorite. For nine mana, and three colorless you get an uncounterable spell. It destroys a permanent. You draw four cards. You take an extra turn. This is big, splashy, and a little bit silly. While some people may write this off as a colorless-only card give it some consideration.
Many utility lands and mana rocks produce colorless mana. Give your deck a look, and see how much colorless you can generate. This might be the top end you’re looking for! Pair this with effects that change mana costs. Fist of Suns, or Mizzix’s Mastery are some cute build-arounds.
Calamity of the Titans is an auto-include for any colorless deck. We rarely see colorless board wipes. It calls back to Titan’s Presence from Battle for Zendikar. Revealing a card from your hand is fitting. It shows off your opponent’s impending doom! Unfortunately, while Ulamog is depicted in both Calamity and Presence it is absent from the precon. I suppose it got lost in the blind eternities.
Continuing with the removal theme. Desecrate Reality is a huge removal spell at worst, and a reanimate at best! Outside colorless, Obosh, the Pyrepiercer, and Yennett, Cryptic Sovereign could consider this. I like that this spell works even without the Adamant trigger.
Darksteel Monolith is another great include. Of note is “Once each turn”. This opens the door to casting spells for free on your opponent’s turn. Desecrate Reality is a natural include. Pair it with the new Skittering Cicada to give everything flash. Suddenly all your threats are free, and flashy once per turn. While big Eldrazi are an option classic big artifacts work too. It That Betrays is the biggest creature in the deck! A great option to flash in unexpectedly!
Commander Masters has brought a handful of precons with some new and exciting cards. We are yet to see if any of these will become instant staples. Keep your eyes open for singles once the set releases. There are some awesome designs here waiting to be broken!
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