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Best Commander Cards: Innistrad Midnight Hunt – White and Blue

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

 

Welcome to my round-up of the best Commander cards in Innistrad: Midnight Hunt! It’s been a whole two months since my last set review – a veritable pleasure cruise! The good news is, I’m a fan of what I’m seeing in Innistrad: Midnight Hunt, so as long as my joy comes through in text format, it should be a fun ride. 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 - White

Adeline, Resplendent Cathar

Rating: Commander
I think the most important part of Adeline is that she doesn’t have to attack for her trigger to go off. Any way you have to keep your attackers live, such as Dolmen Gate, will translate into greater numbers of creatures for counting effects like Visions of Glory or Slate of Ancestry. You’ll also get plenty of triggers for your Soul Sisters or cards like Blasting Station, Mace of the Valiant and of course, arithmetical terror Cathars’ Crusade. That said, Adeline could also show up in any Selesnya go-wide token deck to support cards like Rhys the Redeemed and new contender Rite of Harmony.

Bereaved Survivor

Rating: Niche Inclusion
While I love this card from an overall flavor perspective, I think this will shine in Alesha decks and not too many other places. While Dauntless Avenger focuses on mana value rather than power and will therefore be able to pick up fewer cards overall, the general idea is there. 

Brutal Cathar

Rating: Role Player
If you’re building around what I like to think of as the “lightswitch rave” concept where you flip back between day and night as much as possible, Brutal Cathar is a passable source of temporary removal. It’s fragile enough that you can’t rely on it though and Moonrage Brute will be outsized quickly on a Commander battlefield.

Enduring Angel

Rating: Niche Inclusion
White-heavy Angel decks might find room for this one – life gain decks probably won’t, since the sweet part of this card is locked behind a literal near-death experience. That said, if you’re excited about spending all of your life on some kind of Necropotence (and spending your time balancing your BBBs against your WWWs) you can flip to the Angelic Enforcer side and go to a precarious six life when you attack. Yeah, I’m not sold either.

Fateful Absence

Rating: Tech Card
The “or planeswalker” clause adds a lot to this card – without it, it’s just a replacement-level removal spell. If you’re playing in a lot of games with a lot of walkers, give this a shot – otherwise, I’d pass.

Gavony Dawnguard

Rating: Role Player
The mana value restriction keeps this out of Build-Around territory, but still, if you’re throwing that lightswitch rave (and not getting grounded by Strong Bad) then you should be able to dig up some incremental value on this one. That said, you don’t get anything when this enters the battlefield beyond possibly making it daytime, and since you probably cast this normally, that means it won’t become night this turn. You’ll just have to deal with the delayed gratification.

Intrepid Adversary

Rating: Role Player
If you’re going really wide and looking for a mana sink that makes your team a lot taller, or if your friends are just tired of Cathars’ Crusade (and who isn’t?) you might want to take a look at Intrepid Adversary. It has Bizarro multikicker tied to an enters the battlefield ability, so you don’t have to risk a huge counterspell, but point removal will sour your investment all the same. Note that, while the counters are “valor” rather than +1/+1s, they do pump Intrepid Adversary as well as the rest of your team.

 

Lunarch Veteran

Rating: Niche Inclusion
While I like the symmetry of this design, it’s hard to get excited about this one when compared to the existing options for this slot.

Odric’s Outrider

Rating: Build-Around
In a Silverquill-style Orzhov counters deck with some black sacrifice synergies, I think this could shine quite nicely. With Felisa, Fang of Silverquill at the helm, you can turn creatures with counters into an army of Inklings, and when those Inklings die, you can turn them back into counters with this card (just don’t put the counters on the other Inklings if you want more Felisa triggers). That kind of cyclical value is absolutely poetic – and isn’t that what Silverquill is all about?

Sigarda’s Splendor

Rating: Niche Inclusion
In an age where Phyrexian Arena is getting sidelined in favor of frontloaded draw, it’s really hard to imagine casting a version of that card that gains life but fails to consistently draw cards. Please spend your four mana elsewhere.

Sigardian Savior

Rating: Niche Inclusion
“If you cast it.” Lessons were learned from cards like Reveillark, I suppose. With all of the restrictions on this card plus the less-than-inspiring stat line, I’m not holding out a lot of hope for this one.

Vanquish the Horde

Rating: Powerhouse
Red has had the most mana-efficient wrath for a while in Blasphemous Act. While the floor on Vanquish the Horde, cost-wise, is still higher (WW vs. R), I’m really happy to see this angle on wrath costing make its way into white. The difference between “13 damage to everything” and “destroy it all” is negligible unless you’re giving your spells lifelink or blowing people up with Repercussion, so in most situations, there won’t be much of a difference. Great card, though.

 

 

Header - Blue

Consider

Rating: Role Player
Some decks just need more Opts. Many would rather dump cards in the graveyard than send them to the bottom. Either way, I think everyone can collectively clench their teeth in fear of yet another playable blue cantrip at instant speed – those are the bread and butter of every Niv-Mizzet, Parun deck featuring every spellslinger payoff under the sun, after all.

Curse of Surveillance

Rating: Role Player
If you’re going hard on Curses thematically, you’ll want to play this – it’s a solid card advantage engine, and if you’re playing some kind of fun Nekusar Curses list (as I’ve suggested previously) you can give away a lot of damaging draws. I think this set might finally push a Curse build out of “fun but pretty low-power” into “fun but at worst slightly underpowered”, but I’ve never been much for hard categorizations. I’m also not much for looking at this art, and I mean that in the most positive way – Igor Kieryluk did a great job of making something truly horrifying. I think of pieces in this category of Innistrad art in the same way I think of heels in wrestling – the less you like it when they show up, the better they are.

Firmament Sage

Rating: Role Player
Once again, we find a card that encourages you to flip that light switch on and off while also not being quite powerful enough to deserve the franchise tag… I mean, build-around tag. I’m also not sure blue is the color for this deck, so that’s a bit of a wild card for me.

Lier, Disciple of the Drowned

Rating: Commander
This card is pure fun. I love that this discourages you from filling your deck with cheap countermagic to flash back, though it doesn’t mean you can’t interact on the stack – you can still play stack-bouncing effects like Narset’s Reversal and Memory Lapse, redirection spells like Misdirection and Divert and cards that take control of spells like Aethersnatch and Commandeer. Secrets of the Dead gets really powerful with Lier, and you’ll want newcomers Ominous Roost and Patrician Geist as well. Just make sure you find clever ways to protect Lier, whether that’s with bounce spells, blink effects or even a little bit of phasing. And yes, there’s some scary self-mill potential here with Tome Scour, Mind Sculpt and similar. Finally, you’ve probably already heard about Catalyst Stone if you’ve been on Twitter, but just in case you haven’t, it’s a lot more expensive now because of Lier, so that’s fun.

Malevolent Hermit

Rating: Role Player
I like this as an early drop in a Wizards list that is trying to resolve some powerful noncreature spells. Don’t be afraid to just hurl the Hermit at whatever spell you want early in the game, even if you think it’s bait – onboard tricks like this only last so long in multiplayer, after all. As with all disturb cards, bonus points if you’re self-milling.

Memory Deluge

Rating: Niche Inclusion
I like that this is an instant, but with so many promo copies of Dig Through Time flying around after the recent LGS promotion, I imagine people will be pretty keen to just cast that instead. That’s especially true now that there’s more focus on self-mill.

Ominous Roost

Rating: Role Player
While this doesn’t reach the heights of something like Murmuring Mystic, especially since the Birds are worse (which is a good way to avoid horrible Limited board stalls, I think,) if you’re planning to play out of the graveyard, you’ll want to include this. That said, this is not a good enough reason to do that on its own. 

Patrician Geist

Rating: Role Player
I think the cost reduction half of this card is the most important half, which should not really come as a surprise given my love for double-spelling and cards that help me cheat on mana. That said, in a Spirit deck that’s doing some work with disturb and flashback (as this set definitely encourages you to do) I think it’ll feel great to draw this.

Poppet Stitcher

Rating: Build-Around
I’m always looking for low-cost spellslinger payoffs, and this is one of the best. Sure, the initial Zombies you get are decayed, but if you’re willing to save up for a little bit, or if you just have other tokens from something like Talrand or Rise from the Tides, it’s easy to flip this and turn those one-shot undead fools into 3/3s that stick around. Do be aware that Poppet Factory will strip flying away from some of your other creatures, so you might want to flip back sometimes.

Secrets of the Key

Rating: Niche Inclusion
If you’re all in on Clues or just weird artifact tokens, this is a decent way to get some more, but outside of that niche you’re not getting quite enough value for all this spend.

Sludge Monster

Rating: Role Player
Blinking and cloning this is obviously a great way to wreck up opposing creature bases. When you’re all out of Sludge Monsters, the slime counters don’t really do anything, so while this is a really solid playable at 5/5 for 5 with a pseudo-removal ability attached, it’s not a full-on powerhouse by my metrics.

Triskaidekaphile

Rating: Niche Inclusion
If you’re already working toward an alt-win like Atemsis, why not add Triskaidekaphile to the mix? You’re already getting weird, so get even weirder. 

 

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