I’m at a weird period of how I play Magic: The Gathering. Right now I would be getting ready for PTQ events on MTGO, but as I stated last week I have a real issue giving Wizards of the Coast any of my money for events right now. I do enjoy the Standard format, which makes this personal boycott a bit awkward, because well, this is a really entertaining and enjoyable format.
How often can we say that about Standard?
There are so many playable decks. All of the Khans have at least one deck that is viable for tournament play. You can do stuff with the graveyard thanks to Delve and Whip of Erebos. Control is a thing thanks to Adrian Sullivan’s tireless work on UB control (which may be the best version of UB.) There are combo decks to play, token strategies, and voltron decks. To me Standard is wide open and that is very nice. It feels like less than a year ago we were looking at Mono Black Devotion, Mono Blue Devotion and a Sphinx’s Revelation deck as the end all be all of Standard.
Since I cannot leave the house to play Magic or PreTQ like a normal person (speaking of PreTQs, LegitMTG hosted their PreTQ over the weekend, Mono Black Devotion won the event.) I have to rely on MTGO in order to play Magic. That is fine for a two man queue or random games, but for competitive events it is not as fine. To make up for the lack of competitive Magic in my days I have started to play more Commander!
Commander is a lot of fun, but I go through phases with the format. Sometimes it’s great and I cannot get enough of it, other times I just want to do anything else. I’ve started to trade my Legitmtg credit for Commander decks and so far have two built, a Mono Red Daretti Deck and a Uril Voltron deck. I also have decks in the work for Hanna, Sidisi, and Animar. I put the decks up on TappedOut, so you can open them in a new tab and check them out!
Animar was the first commander I ever really built around, he’s my homeboy.
With Fate Reforged set to come out soon I wanted to take a look at it with my Commander decks in mind. I know this is a rather narrow look at the set. I really focused on the Enchantments (both Uril and Hanna care about enchantments.) self mill (Sidisi) creatures with enter the battlefield abilities (Animar) and Artifacts (Daretti). That’s a lot of the set, but even more of the set is stuff I just did not consider.
It is strangely liberating looking at a set this way though. I’m not having to look for overlooked cards that may take Standard or Modern by storm. It’s kinda nice!
With that said let’s take a look at the cards that I can’t wait to cast!
If I cast this dragon, and I will, it will be powered out quickly by Grim Monolith and Thran Dynamo. Metalworker may even make an appearance. This Planeswalker feels like a natural fit for a ramp deck, and that is what my Daretti deck does. Why ramp into a Wurmcoil Engine when you can ramp into a Ghostfire machine? This guy doubles as mass removal (I’ve had a hard time dealing with elfball style Commander decks.) and his ultimate is awfully powerful! I dream of one day using this ultimate and putting Darksteel Forge, Mycosynth Lattice, Nevinyrral’s Disk and Clock of Omens into play. Untap the disk with the forge and the lattice and blow everything up.
I do want to watch the world burn.
The Hanna deck is a controlling deck, and while the Khans mode would be okay in Uril, to me it does not do enough there. It may not do enough in Hanna either but it is a neat option to slow your opponent down. The Dragon mode taps down an attacker and while the Hanna deck has stuff like Propaganda and Ghostly Prison to slow down the opponents as well, having another option can not be bad right?
Lotus-Eye Mystics is fairly exciting to me. It’s a Gravedigger for Enchantments and has Prowess so it plays nicely with the theme of the deck. It’s a one shot half of a Hanna in a sense of the enters the battlefield ability. Being able to rebuy an early destroyed enchantment is nice, but I play Ancestral Knowledge (I know not unique!) in my list, so my plan is to let the Knowledge go away and bring it back with this card, fixing my draws even more! It also works well with Solitary Confinement, getting back a previously discarded enchantment or the Confinement itself.
So I get to a draw when it comes in to play? That is okay I guess. Considering that Uril is a deck built around creature enchantments I am willing to bet I will draw more than one. This super Ethereal Armor excites me to me no end. I see me using this card as pseudo Concentrate or Opportunity most of the time, and getting to refill my hand with cheap auras makes me pretty happy.
Both modes on this enchantment are super nice for Hanna. The first works pretty well with the Commander, discarding late game enchantments for an extra day is fine. The second works as a way to protect our permanents. A spell tax works with our controlish theme, and helps to protect our important enchantments like Opalescence.
The way I have my Sidisi deck built right now, Soulflayer will only be able to take advantage of Flying, Deathtouch, Reach and Trample. I am going to have to go deeper to give it any other ability, and I would like to be able to have the option to give it Indestructible, Double Strike, Lifelink, and Hexproof at least.
Indestructible gives us a few options. Stuff like Erebos, God of the Dead or a Darksteel creature could work out for this ability. Sapling of Colfenor may be the most interesting way to gain indestructible. Spearbreaker Behemoth could also work out.
Double Strike only gives us one option and I’m not entirely sure I can play it since it has a red mana symbol in the text box. Crypt Champion is pretty much my only hope here and it is a very very very small hope. In fact I’m so sure of this that I have to just live in a Double Strikeless world for another set.
Thankfully Lifelink gives us more options unlike Double Strike. Vampire Nighthawk would probably be the best option, but we can also run Chancellor of the Dross! We could run Sidisi’s Pet for a bit more of a theme, but I’m not really worried about that too much.
It would be nice to have the other abilities, but I fear I would be watering the deck down even further if I wanted to add Vigilance or Haste to my Soulflayer. I guess I could add Bay Falcon if I really wanted Vigilance though (that’s a joke, one would clearly add Ghost Hounds for that ability.) Vorrapede would probably be the best option.
This card makes a lot of sense. Put stuff in the graveyard, draw more stuff. It is a Wheel of Fortune, but a considerably worse Wheel of Fortune. Dark Deal works best when you have a ton of cards in hand, you’re trading your hand for graveyard resources (which works out pretty well with reanimation stuff and Delve) and getting a smaller hand to work with. I like the ability to add stuff to the graveyard, but what I really like is the mass disruption it gives to the opponent. They have to come up with a new plan based on new information.
I like the exile ability. That’s the only reason I would consider this siege in the deck. The deck does not have a lot in terms of card advantage and the outpost gives me another source of extra cards.
My dream is to bolster Animar. Giving my commander five counters makes everything in the deck that much cheaper to cast, and should make flying through the combo heavy version I play a breeze. Often times this will not actually bolster the commander, because well if I cast my commander and then this the Animar should be too big to benefit from the counters. The best use for this would be whenever Animar has been dealt with before. It resets counters whenever it dies, so Animar into Mastodon in the late game could be a fairly neat way to power the elemental up.
Deck: Animar and Sidisi
This card is silly. Both decks fill the board with dorks, and being able to draw a card for each creature in play is awfully nice. The bonus of four life for each creature with four or more power is just icing on the cake.
This the card in Khans that I am most excited about.
It’s kinda plain, but a card that can potentially get back a creature and a land is pretty neat. Everything else that I have talked about seems splashy, this card just feels like a roleplayer. It’s not fancy, it does not do anything overpowered, but it does something pretty well. It just is.
Those are the twelve cards that I cannot wait to cast when Fate Reforged comes out. Each of my Commander decks gets a new toy to play with and I think there is going to be a lot of fun involved!
What cards can you not wait to cast? Let us know in the comment section!
Thanks for stopping by and have a great Monday!
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