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Best Commander Cards: Innistrad Midnight Hunt – Green, Gold and More

Best Commander Cards: White & Blue / Black & Red / Green, Gold and Etc / Commander Set

 

Welcome back to the second part of my Innistrad: Midnight Hunt Commander Set Review! Last time, I covered the best Commander cards in black and red, and today I’ll be diving into green, gold and the rest of the cards in the main set. As far as ratings go, I don’t use numbers or grades – instead, I use this more subjective set of categories (though what really matters is what I write about the card, as I suspect most reviewers will tell you).

 

 

Header - Ratings Scale

  • Commander: You want this card in the command zone at the start the game. Its best use is to lead the charge as the cornerstone of your deck, but it can probably fit into your 99 as well.
  • Build-Around: This card can be a huge player in the theme of your deck. It either enables the theme by itself or is something you’re looking to take advantage of over the course of your ideal game. It’s probably worth dedicating other slots in your deck to cards that work with a build-around.
  • Powerhouse: This card’s not really about synergy, but it’s good all by itself.
  • Role Player: This card might not be the cornerstone of a deck list, but it’s an important part of the engine or strong enough on its own to merit potential inclusion. This category also covers cards that look good enough to try out but don’t seem like obvious winners.
  • Tech Card: Counterplay is important, and if a card doesn’t fit into one of the above categories but is good enough at countering other strategies, it’ll be included here.
  • Niche Inclusion: This card might make your deck if you have a deckbuilding restriction, whether it’s self-imposed based on theme or flavor, a power level consideration, or a card availability concern. 

As a reminder, my focus is on social Commander rather than competitive EDH. These days, I’ve been leaning more toward a desire to play three 40-minute games in lieu of one two-hour slog, but I’ll be talking about cards from the wider social perspective. My goal when playing Commander is for everyone to have fun but also for me to have a good shot at winning the game, so if that’s your mindset as well, these ratings will probably resonate with you. I won’t be reviewing reprints, so you can just assume I feel the same way about Thermo-Alchemist as I did before we found out it was in this set. I also don’t review every card – if I feel they’re not worth mentioning, I don’t give them a write-up, but we all know there’s a deck out there for every card. When you inevitably disagree with a rating or omitted card, please feel free to tweet at @RagingLevine with your thoughts!

Oh, and one more thing – if I don’t mention a card that has one of the set’s core mechanics, then consider my rating of that card “Niche Inclusion” for a deck that is focused on that particular mechanic.

 

Header - Green

Augur of Autumn

Rating: Role Player
I’m pretty bearish on this card compared to what everyone else on the internet seems to be feeling. Building your coven is going to be harder than you think, but if there’s a fairly stable board where everyone is established, dropping this could certainly put you over the top. I do not see the “instant staple” here that everyone else seems to see, nor do I think “instant staple” is a good thing. You have to do work to make this card perform at its best, and that’s why I’m quite happy to try this out and confident I won’t be mad it got printed.

Briarbridge Tracker

Rating: Role Player
A decently efficient creature that comes in with a token is going to be solid in the early game for decks that want to drop tons of tokens onto the battlefield without much regard for their identity. That said, this isn’t some crazy value engine – it’s just (usually) a 4/3 with a dream.

Consuming Blob

Rating: Niche Inclusion
Oozemogoyf here is a little weird – it’s a Tarmogoyf that only cares about your graveyard but does continuously spit out tokens that are almost copies of itself. If you’re self-milling with a delirium subtheme, I could see this being a useful threat, but that’s an uncommon set of circumstances.

Defend the Celestus

Rating: Niche Inclusion
I think this might show up in decks that care about creatures like Herd Baloth. If you’ve got multiple creatures that do something when counters are placed on them, getting those effects at instant speed could really turn combat around. Obviously this also synergizes well with counter-buffers like Hardened Scales if you distribute as widely as possible. 

Dryad’s Revival

Rating: Niche Inclusion
Double Regrowth is nothing to scoff at, as we’ve seen from the new Timeless Witness, but Bala Ged Recovery lives in this spot and, unless I have some very good reason, will probably lock this card out of play for a while in my decks.

Eccentric Farmer

Rating: Role Player
Golgari graveyard decks only want one thing, and it’s more of this effect. Remember the first time your most Golgari friend cast Witherbloom Command, milled themselves, pulled back their Tranquil Thicket, then cycled the Thicket to dredge Life from the Loam and grab three more lands to keep doing nasty stuff? Was The Gitrog Monster in play? Did you die? You died, didn’t you? Now put that effect on a creature, which is much easier for this color pair to recur. Yeah, I like this one. Since it’s just an enabler, it doesn’t get some wild grade in my system, but this card is a harbinger, make no mistake.

Hound Tamer

Rating: Role Player
 I like two things about this card: giving all my Wolves and Werewolves trample, and the sweet doggo on the front side that makes me happy even when I’m not tramplin’.

Outland Liberator

Rating: Role Player
 It’s always great to be able to smash stuff without much investment, and this card gives Werewolf decks a little extra breathing room in that department, letting them focus some extra card slots on different counterplay or just more Werewolves.

Primal Adversary

Rating: Niche Inclusion
I have to pay two for every land I want to make into a hasty Wolf? So unless I only want to make a very small number of Wolves, which does not sound good, then my wolflands are tapped and can be killed before they do anything? On the one hand, I’m glad this card doesn’t have flash, but on the other hand, pass.

Saryth, the Viper’s Fang

Rating: Role Player
This card is really cool and I haven’t figured it out yet. I don’t think it’s what I want as my commander, so I want to slot it into something like Fynn, but shouldn’t Fynn have plenty of deathtouchers independent of this card? Or is this mostly for token decks that want to make blocking impossible while protecting their enablers that stay home? I think its best home is in token decks, but honestly, I love cards like this that don’t just outright tell you what to do with them. But wait, it also untaps lands? That’s kind of a big deal with Gaea’s Cradle or other big mana lands. Maybe the deathtouch/trample angle is the place to take a Saryth deck… 

Storm the Festival

Rating: Niche Inclusion
This card seems fun, but it’s a pretty big gamble only looking at your top five, and I’d rather just cast something reliable that actually does what I want anyway.

Tapping at the Window

Rating: Role Player
The fact that this flashes back is huge – you can drop it into a self-mill deck and still get value if you blast past it on another mill effect. That said, it’s only hitting three cards at a time, so don’t get too excited, because Tracker’s Instincts and other similar cards do exist.

Tovolar’s Huntmaster

Rating: Build-Around
This kind of card is why you build a Werewolf deck. The front side is fine, but the Packleader? Wow. It’s Grave Titan with +1/+1 and the ability to help your other Werewolves swat down opposing creatures of all shapes and sizes. If you’re in a pinch, your 2/2 Wolves can help pick things off with the fight ability, but ideally the night brings you a lot of huge creatures.

Turn the Earth

Rating: Tech Card
I love cheap graveyard hate, and being able to neutralize some reanimation or flashback shenanigans while also keeping your own yard safe is huge. Getting to flash this back even if you just mill through it the first time around is a big bonus.

Unnatural Growth

Rating: Build-Around
If you’re heavy green and just want to trample over people, this card makes your midgame creatures look monstrous and your game-enders look glorious. That 1GGGG mana cost is going to keep a lot of decks from playing this, but if you’re in full stompy mode, I don’t think you’ll regret trying this.

Willow Geist

Rating: Niche Inclusion
You need to be doing a lot of work on your graveyard – delving, Loaming or otherwise moving cards out of it – to make this big, and if you’re already doing that work to achieve something else, playing this as a sideline payoff is likely to dilute your deck’s overall strategy.

Wrenn and Seven

Rating: Powerhouse
Can we talk about the zero ability real quick? Yikes! All my copies of Manabond just screamed in horror. Frankly, all I needed to see was the first two abilities and I was sold. Build your own Splendid Reclamation with this and Creeping Renaissance, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The Treefolk tokens get even better with populate effects. The worst part of this card is the ultimate that doesn’t immediately win the game, but who cares?

 

 

Header - Multicolor

Angelfire Ignition

Rating: Niche Inclusion
This is a lot of fun with Majestic Myriarch or Akroma, Vision of Ixidor, but otherwise, probably not quite good enough to justify a slot most of the time.

Arcane Infusion

Rating: Role Player
Let’s be real – you were looking for spells with Impulse, right? And you’re willing to pay a more prohibitive mana cost to have another copy of Impulse with flashback in some of your decks, aren’t you? I’m not saying cut Impulse, because that’s probably foolish, but this card could be played alongside it.

Arlinn, the Pack’s Hope

Rating: Role Player
Arlinn’s not wildly amazing, but she does help grease the wheels of any Werewolf deck with the instant cast ability and some extra tokens for good measure. Don’t forget that when Arlinn, the Moon’s Fury becomes a creature, she’s not a planeswalker for that duration and therefore does not lose loyalty counters when she takes damage in creature form.

Bladestitched Skaab

Rating: Role Player
It’s half a lord. Guess the other half got stitched onto some other creature. At least for token-focused decks, we got the good half.

Can’t Stay Away

Rating: Role Player
In Orzhov (or realistically Esper because it’s probably a blink theme) decks that want to recur cheap creatures with powerful ETB or self-sacrifice abilities, I can see this being fairly powerful. That said, losing the creature forever afterwards limits your potential, but if you’re doing Kami of False Hope nonsense I’m okay with that.

Corpse Cobble

Rating: Niche Inclusion
The most important part of this card is being able to sac a bunch of stuff at instant speed. The token doesn’t matter that much.

Croaking Counterpart

Rating: Role Player
This card is just absolutely perfect. In a Simic deck that wants creatures with powerful abilities, this gives you a copy of the best one on the board, even if it’s not your own. It’s not for every deck, since you need to have cards in your own deck worth casting this on for it to make any sense, but maybe it is for every deck because that art is just that good.

Dennick, Pious Apprentice

Rating: Commander
Sure, having a commander with disturb seems weird, but you can just let Dennick die, disturb him, then let him go to the command zone from exile when his Spirit dies too. The front side is a mildly annoying graveyard hate card, which I’ve noted is a bit of a downer when talking about the new Liesa previously, but I love the back side enough to want to build a value flashback/disturb/embalm/etc. deck around him.

Dire-Strain Rampage

Rating: Niche Inclusion
A weird, bad Naturalize with a back door into Harrow? Someone wants this, but it isn’t me.

Diregraf Rebirth

Rating: Role Player
In any deck that sacrifices a significant number of creatures itself, or any deck that wants to wrath without giving up too much tempo advantage, this can be a great play for just GB whether you’re casting it for the first or second time. This card is so broadly applicable that I expect to see it in quite a large number of Golgari-focused decks.

Faithful Mending

Rating: Role Player
It turns out that making Faithless Looting cost more mana does not make it better, especially if you have to pay two different colors of mana for it. Nevertheless, with blue having so many ways to play out of the graveyard, and white also being a color of mana, I think this will show up in plenty of lists that just want to filter their draws and have a great time getting incremental advantages.

Fleshtaker

Rating: Role Player
Yikes. I do not like looking at this card. With that firmly out of mind, if you’re doing a lot of work with Viscera Seer or other sacrifice engines, this card amplifies that work a lot. The life is a nice bonus, but adding scry 1 to each activation of your sac engine becomes pretty hard to beat after a while, especially if that engine is already providing significant value.

Florian, Voldaren Scion

Rating: Commander
Florian wants you to bash in hard during combat (or deal some damage otherwise before second main) and then benefit with a mega-Impulse, albeit one that only gives you a short window to play the card you “drew.” Hasty beaters, Hellrider-style cards and anything that drains opponents during your upkeep or otherwise predictably reduces their life totals each turn become powerful card selection tools, and with Florian’s initial cost running nice and low, it’s easy to imagine having the capability to cast him three or four times if a game goes long.

Galvanic Iteration

Rating: Role Player
If you’re already slotting in Doublecast and friends, the fact that this flashes back for extra value should be pretty attractive to you. So what happens if you cast this and then immediately flash it back? Well, the copy effect from the first cast applies to the one you flashed back, meaning your next instant or sorcery will be copied twice for the “low” cost of 1UURR. That might occasionally be relevant, but I’m guessing this will mostly get used twice on discrete spells.

Ghoulcaller’s Harvest

Rating: Role Player
If the Zombies didn’t have decayed, this would be absolutely ridiculous, but even as it is, you’re going to want to (and this should be a familiar refrain at this point) simply hurl all of those Zombies into the nearest woodchipper for sacrifice value. Does your woodchipper not look like Altar of Dementia? Do I need a new woodchipper?

Hallowed Respite

Rating: Role Player
Momentary Blink already exists and doesn’t lock you out of blinking legendary creatures, but it could always use a friend. The counter is a nice bonus, and sometimes you’ll get some equity out of blinking someone else’s thing and bringing it back tapped. 

Join the Dance

Rating: Niche Inclusion

Human decks will be interested – most token decks can even look elsewhere.


Katilda, Dawnhart Prime

Rating: Commander
This gets the Commander label largely for its tribal bonus of turning all of your Humans into mana non-Elves. The activation is pretty steeply costed, but if you’re just blasting out a ton of Humans and going wide, there are worse mana sinks. That said, I’d rather play the new Sigarda myself, at which point this has a 50-50 chance to make the main deck (and when you include some of the other new Humans in the mix, Katilda’s chances drastically go down).

Kessig Naturalist

Rating: Role Player
Werewolf lord doing Werewolf lord things in the nighttime. The added mana for your second main phase really can’t hurt either. As with so many tribal-focused cards, this is both solid and straightforward.

Liesa, Forgotten Archangel

Rating: Commander
I’m torn on this one. On the one hand, the recursion ability is really powerful and fun. On the other hand, the graveyard hate ability is going to be unpleasant for some players to see on the centerpiece of my deck in social games, and if their solution is to just kill Liesa even twice, I won’t be casting her again. That said, in a game where my friends aren’t making reanimation a focus, I’ll happily run Liesa out as a fun engine commander that lives close to the Lifeline line.

Ludevic, Necrogenius

Rating: Commander
This feels a lot like Lazav, the Multifarious, but probably worse overall. Even though Lazav’s ability scales its cost with the mana value of the target, Ludevic’s transformation requires at least five mana and only happens at sorcery speed. Still, I’m sure many people will enjoy this card more due to the transform mechanic, the addition of counters and the artwork. Personally, I find the art for Olag deeply troubling, but that means there are probably plenty of people who think it rules, so that’s great!

Old Stickfingers

Rating: Commander
I love any commander with X in its cost and any graveyard strategy, so naturally I am all in on Old Stickfingers. When I saw this card, I immediately wanted to do awful things with Haakon and Ashes of the Fallen, but there are so many great options ranging from straightforward reanimation to weird Goryo’s Vengeance decks and everything in between. Old Stickfingers also has the kind of Innistrad art I love most: it’s kind of creepy, but also, you know that from another angle and with different lighting it’s just a comedy prop in a weird Shakespeare production.

Rem Karolus, Stalwart Slayer

Rating: Commander
The damage amplification on this card is cool but not particularly powerful in the context of Commander. That said, I think we should really focus on the damage prevention – Rem Karolus wants us to basically play Earthquake tribal and deal some serious damage to everyone but ourselves! Rem doesn’t care whose spell it is dealing the damage – if it’s to you or your permanents, it’s prevented. Just make sure to keep some instants up to protect Rem from opposing spot removal in response to your Blasphemous Act or whatever. 

Rite of Harmony

Rating: Powerhouse
Yeah, this card’s silly. It doesn’t care if the creatures are tokens or not, so you can just go off with army-in-a-can style cards, turn Secure the Wastes into Secure the Cards, or (of course) combo off with Mind Over Matter and anything that taps to make a token. And then it has the audacity to have flashback? Please! Save me!

Rite of Oblivion

Rating: Niche Inclusion
The flashback gives it some heft, but I’d rather just have something like Utter End at instant speed in most games.

Sigarda, Champion of Light

Rating: Commander
I think this is probably the best Human-focused commander in the main set, since the coven ability is a fairly powerful way to keep your hand full and at four power, it shouldn’t be quite as hard to have two creatures that aren’t at the same power level as Sigarda. Do be aware that she buffs Humans, so you’ll want to go light on ones with three power since three is actually four with Sigarda math (there’s a 141 and 2/3 percent chance I already made a joke about this.)

Siphon Insight

Rating: Niche Inclusion
Only getting to see two cards is rough, but even if an opponent has 50 cards in their deck that are lands or otherwise misses, the chance of hitting two is only about 25 percent. Still, one in four is a lot more than it seems like, but since this card is overall very cool, I hope you play it in your decks focused on playing other peoples’ cards and I hope you have fun with it! And yes, the more Vampiric Tutors and the like your group plays, the sweeter this card gets.

Slogurk, the Overslime

Rating: Commander
I didn’t know I wanted a Simic commander for a Loam deck, but here I am, looking at exactly that. With Slogurk at the helm, you get to self-mill, get a big trampler and then bounce this in a pinch to avoid paying commander tax. You even get paid off for bouncing it in the form of three lands from your yard going back to your hand! Break out your Trade Routes, folks – it’s time to Loam it up. 

Teferi, Who Slows the Sunset

Rating: Role Player
If you’re looking for planeswalkers with sweet ults that don’t end the game but do put you overwhelmingly in the lead, Teferi has joined the chat. The other two abilities are fine for Commander, and I’m sure you can engineer a Chain Veil combo with that +1 quite easily.

Tovolar, Dire Overlord

Rating: Commander
We didn’t get a Werewolf precon, but here’s Tovolar to save the day! And the night! Mostly the night? Whatever. Tovolar has the bonus of playing nice with your old Werewolves sometimes, but if it’s already night when he shows up, he can’t really help with the transform stuff until the sun rises again. The built-in Reconnaissance Mission effect (in Gruul, no less) is a huge boon for a tribal deck, and the throwback to Kessig Wolf Run on the Midnight Scourge side is both mechanically and flavorfully satisfying.

Unnatural Moonrise

Rating: Role Player
If you’re playing a deck with a lot of daybound cards or cards that care about the day/night switch, it’s nice to be able to simply flip time on its head real quick. It’s a bit unfortunate that this is sorcery speed, but given that this restriction is also on the Celestus, I guess that wasn’t going to be good for other formats. 

Vadrik, Astral Archmage

Rating: Commander
Are there better spellslinger commanders? Sure. Mizzix and his experience counters are better at cost reduction than Vadrik most of the time. That being said, I love the idea of using cards like Blood Lust as rituals to build up to a big X spell. I guess you could flip the light switch a bunch too, but that doesn’t sound like as much fun to me.

Vampire Socialite

Rating: Role Player
She gives the rest of your Vampires bloodlust! Isn’t that cool? She also beefs up the other Vampires you have on board when you cast her as long as somebody besides you got hurt this turn, and frankly, if you’re not attacking people with your Vampires, I don’t know what your plan is. The more +1/+1 counters I see from cards like this, the more I want to build a non-Edgar Vampire deck that cares about those counters. I’ve seen Marchesa Vampires before, so maybe now is the time?

Wake to Slaughter

Rating: Niche Inclusion
It’s like a weird Cauldron Dance with flashback. The combination of the choice being given to an opponent plus the high cost probably puts this out of serious consideration for most decks, but I think this card is fun.

 

Header - Artifacts and Lands

The Celestus

Rating: Role Player
I feel like the only real build-around for day/night nonsense in the main set is Werewolf nonsense, but if you’re doing that, you absolutely want The Celestus. You need to be able to make it night when you’re ready to go on the hunt, after all! The life and the looting are nice bonuses, but really it’s about making your Tovolar’s Huntmaster into Wolf Titan.

Slow Land Cycle

Rating: Role Player
It’s hard to rate fair lands like these above Role Player on my scale, but realistically a lot of the game happens when you control two or more other lands in this format, so I think these are going to be great lands in Commander for a long, long time. We only have the allied lands here, but I’m sure we’ll see the other half someday. Based on how cycles like this have gone in Standard recently, I’d say they’ll show up soon.

Hostile Hostel

Rating: Niche Inclusion
Hey, it’s Best Card Name In The Set Elemental! The card itself is a lot of work to transform into a creature that doesn’t matter as much as you’d like, but between the name, the art and the overall theme, who could blame you for playing it?

 

That’s it for the full booster set, but there are plenty more sweet cards coming in the Commander decks. Next time you hear from me, it’ll be about those!

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