Welcome back, readers! We’re going to finish up the Born of the Gods set review for Commander today. Just like last time, I don’t give scores to cards like LSV does, although I do make bad puns too. I just give my thoughts about cards, including what decks I think the card could go in or potentially create. After all, many cards are playable in Commander in many different environments and playgroups, so how can I really give number rankings? Besides, I just skip the stuff that I think isn’t any good. It’s not like this is Limited where you just have to play some cards, so why waste the time?
Today we’ll cover green, multicolored, artifact, and land cards, which means we get to talk about Demigods today! Let’s rock!
[ccProd]Archetype of Aggression[/ccProd]
[draft]Archetype of Aggression[/draft]
Red gets the trample archetype, which is amusing. (I would have much rather had this be haste so there would be no hexproof archetype, but I digress.) That being said, if you are running lots of creatures with power much greater than their toughness (often a hallmark of red) or if you’re simply running lots of big Giants and Dragons, this can certainly help you push through damage. The defensive application is not to be overlooked either, as being able to chump-block many more creatures can help you get back into a game with a topdecked Wrath that you might otherwise lose before that draw step.
This seems fated to live in a bulk rare box/firewood box.
This is some sort of bizarre Kiki-Jiki. (Yep, I said Kiki-Jiki.) The differences (besides not being altered into Elmo like that one on Reddit) are pretty stark, though. You have to attack with it or tap it to get it going, and you have to pay mana. Also it’s much harder to go infinite. That being said, this is a cool card. I can’t think of anywhere I want to put it, but it seems cool.
Once again, note that you choose who pays the tribute. This one is just as bad the last one, though, because I don’t think anyone will give you the recurring version of this. I don’t recommend this card.
This card reminds me of [card]Ancient Hellkite[/card], but it has the “can’t block” clause that makes it much, much stronger. Of course, the ability costs two mana instead of one, but if you want to alpha strike someone, Forgestoker Dragon provides you the tools to stop at least two creatures if you have the appropriate mana to play it. (Usually three unless you are not heavy red. If you’re not well-invested in red, this card probably isn’t worth it.)
Pew Pew! Perhaps you have lots of tokens ([card]Hazezon Tamar[/card]? [ccProd]Rith[/ccProd]? [ccProd]Gahiji[/ccProd]?) and want to blast someone without giving everything a [card]Flame Fusillade[/card]. I think this card has a place in decks that want to play [card]Furystoke Giant[/card], and I think those decks are more numerous than one might think. This could be something that gives a Goblin-heavy deck some reach.
[ccProd]Oracle of Bones[/ccProd]
[draft]Oracle of Bones[/draft]
If you think you can outsmart one of your opponents in particular, maybe you can play this. If your playgroup has the soul read on you, don’t bother.
Looking to make the game sizzle? Is your R/G deck looking to tell the story of the Hurricane? Either way, this dinner entertainment specialist has taken his poi into battle for you! This weird reverse [card]Repercussion[/card] goes well with cards like [card]Comet Storm[/card] that can hit lots of targets and can make an Earthquake a little more potent, but don’t build around it too hard, as there aren’t really ways to create redundancy with this.
[ccProd]Whims of the Fates[/ccProd]
[draft]Whims of the Fates[/draft]
This is a [card]Scrambleverse[/card]-style weirdness card. I definitely endorse the “put all your permanents in one pile and hope” maneuver here. If you enjoy this card for that reason, you might also enjoy the credit card game.
[ccProd]Archetype of Endurance[/ccProd]
[draft]Archetype of Endurance[/draft]
I’ve never had more reasons to hate a boar. I hate this card. That being said, it demands a Wrath pretty hard, and if you can make your team indestructible with something like Eldrazi Monument, you’re likely to win the game if you have any sort of board whatsoever.
[ccProd]Courser of Kruphix[/ccProd]
[draft]Courser of Kruphix[/draft]
Obviously this doesn’t compare favorably to [card]Oracle of Mul Daya[/card], but it still smooths out your draws. The life gain looks insignificant, but you don’t have to go out of your way to get it, and you’ll be putting lots of lands on the battlefield in Green anyway. Great with Karametra/Azusa/other land-related commanders.
I can stop playing this card any time I want to. Seriously, I think it’s pretty terrible for Commander.
If you’re the kind of deck that fills its graveyard (Karador, Mimeoplasm) and plays [card]Svogthos, the Restless Tomb[/card], this card is likely to be a friend of yours. I recognize this is a niche player, but it gets quite enormous. Once in a while, though, someone will get you in response, and you’ll be a little bit sad for your spider. I don’t really see how this is robbing the grave, though – all the cards stay in there! It’s really a Gravepal Spider.
[ccProd]Hero of Leina Tower[/ccProd]
[draft]Hero of Leina Tower[/draft]
I’d rather spend my mana climbing to the [card]Helix Pinnacle[/card], thanks.
This reminds me of [card]Soul’s Majesty[/card] in that it’s a sorcery and you’re going to be very sad half the time you cast this. The other half, though, is going to represent a huge swing in your favor. Green’s creatures are already big, and slamming someone for 4-6 damage off this after the trample won’t be uncommon. This card encourages your opponents to block to mitigate the damage – losing a card or two on their board might stop you from drawing many more cards, after all – so keep in mind that you’re likely to smash someone’s board when you swing in.
Even with the ability to choose someone who wants to destroy the same thing you hate to pay tribute (or not) you would be better served playing [card]Acidic Slime[/card] or [card]Mold Shambler[/card] instead.
[ccProd]Nessian Wilds Ravager[/ccProd]
[draft]Nessian Wilds Ravager[/draft]
Again, I can think of cards that you don’t have to be political with that will accomplish the same sort of thing as this. I’d rather just play a large creature and have cards like [card]Prey Upon[/card], [card]Soul’s Fire[/card], and [card]Time to Feed[/card] instead if this is really what I want to do. ([card]Magus of the Arena[/card] is also great, as is regular [card]Arena[/card]. See also [card]Triangle of War[/card] for [card]Glissa, the Traitor[/card] decks.)
[card]Taunting Elf[/card]/[card]Lure[/card] effects are better in Commander than people think (I recommend [card]Shinen of Life’s Roar[/card]) and this is no exception. Well, actually it is, because if you bestow it, you end up being able to do the luring a second time! Plus, you can slap this on a deathtouch creature for extra value. I think this card will see niche play and surprise people with its strength.
I think I will be hanging out in Peregrine Nation (band name?) quite a lot. A [card]Kodama’s Reach[/card]/[card]Cultivate[/card] that lets me scry is just another card in the list of good mana accelerants to me, and I don’t see a reason why this wouldn’t join [card]Explosive Vegetation[/card] and [card]Ranger’s Path[/card]/[card]Skyshroud Claim[/card] on the list of very good green land searchers for four.
If you want a creature that does a pseudo-[card]Mulch[/card] on ETB that you can recur, I guess this is fine? I don’t really see the need.
[ccProd]Scourge of Skola Vale[/ccProd]
[draft]Scourge of Skola Vale[/draft]
Chomp chomp. Eat your creatures to make it big. Take their creatures and eat them for even better value. Get blown out by a [card]Shock[/card] in response. Be sad. Still, if you have a [card]Doubling Season[/card]/[card]Primal Vigor[/card] or a big counter theme, this card could be quite good. You could also just be playing Tribal Hydras.
[ccProd]Unravel the Aether[/ccProd]
[draft]Unravel the Aether[/draft]
Sorry about your bridge! Here’s a [card]Deglamer[/card] reprint! I like this card (and Deglamer) in Commander because often the graveyard is more easily accessible than the library. Of course, I’d rather cast Fade into Antiquity much of the time anyway, but that’s a sorcery and I see the need for instants too.
My friend Andrew asked me about this card in the form of this question: “What’s your opinion on pretending something is legendary so you can use it as a commander?” My reply was that it’s cool if your whole playgroup is cool with it, just like any modifications to the ban list. That being said, I think this card is good enough to see play in 5-color decks that don’t go crazy combo style and have creatures. It’s got everything, and most likely you’ll bestow it on something else to get value. After all, bestow only costs 2 more! I’d rather use Cromat as the commander and put this on Cromat (yo, I heard you like chroma, so I put a Chromanticore on your Cromat so you could have a Chromanticromat) to make it even more confusing and ridiculous. I do think having a commander with Bestow would be interesting, although it would be cooler if it conveyed commanderness to the creature it was on. (That might be broken, though!)
[ccProd]Ephara, God of the Polis[/ccProd]
[draft]Ephara, God of the Polis[/draft]
You would want to play this card as your Commander if you had lots of flash creatures, instant-speed token generators, or cards like [card]Vedalken Orrery[/card]/[card]Leyline of Anticipation[/card]/[card]Winding Canyons[/card] in your deck. I think that’s doable. You also get the usual godlike bonus of having an indestructible commander alongside your massive amounts of card draw. I can’t wait to make an Ephara deck – after 5 for 50 ends I’m going to start making some lists for the demigods after a quick jaunt into theorytown for a few weeks, so keep your eyes open!
Also, stop spilling dark matter on that building, Ephara. It’s not going to make the government send you your tax refund any faster.
[ccProd]Karametra, God of Harvests[/ccProd]
[draft]Karametra, God of Harvests[/draft]
I wrote an article about this card already. It’s here. I forgot to talk about its weird Elesh Norn headpiece, though. That’s weird. #mtgconspiracy
[ccProd]Kiora, the Crashing Wave[/ccProd]
[draft]Kiora, the Crashing Wave[/draft]
I love the [card]Explore[/card] ability. I love making Krakens. I think the defensive ability is good. I also think PWs with 2 starting loyalty are going to die very quickly. We’ll see how this one works out, but I’m not too optimistic. I love the way the wave is drawn, also, except for the part where it’s trying to grab her butt. That’s just bizarre/icky.
Untapping stuff triggers Inspire abilities. Cool! I don’t know if we need a multicolor [card]Seeker of Skybreak[/card], though.
Reading is hard. This card untaps more than just creatures. Therefore, it’s probably pretty good.
[ccProd]Mogis, God of Slaughter[/ccProd]
[draft]Mogis, God of Slaughter[/draft]
I don’t know how good this will actually be in Commander – 2 damage isn’t a lot, and sacrificing a creature often isn’t that punishing – but I have a foil one, which means I have to try. I really won’t know until I try to put together a list, but I suspect mogis is not the R/B commander we’re looking for.
[ccProd]Phenax, God of Deception[/ccProd]
[draft]Phenax, God of Deception[/draft]
Mill is a little dicey in Commander because of Eldrazi and various Colossi, but that’s a problem that can be overcome with [card]Jester’s Cap[/card]-type effects. I plan to build a Phenax deck pretty quickly, because I think it’s cool and because I promised someone at Worlds Apart that I’d do a video with it. (Hi Alex!) I see a sweet deck with lots of walls and high-toughness creatures coming!
[ccProd]Xenagos, God of Revels[/ccProd]
[draft]Xenagos, God of Revels[/draft]
This is my second favorite demigod. I think this will be very powerful and enable some smashing. It’s too bad you can’t pump Xenagos itself, but it’s cool that you can give haste. I think we’ll see a pretty beastly R/G deck behind this newly ascended god very soon.
You can pay 3 mana for a [card]Darksteel Ingot[/card] or pay more for a weird, kind of bad [card]Everflowing Chalice[/card]. OR you can put this in a deck with proliferate effects and [card]Power Conduit[/card] and make more mana! Sweet. I think this card has niche applications but will usually be muscled out by cards like [card]Coalition Relic[/card] and [card]Chromatic Lantern[/card].
Sweet! This goes straight into [card]Captain Sisay[/card] and [card]Reki, the History of Kamigawa[/card] decks. (Did you know that Reki means history?) As long as your deck is packed full of cool legendary creatures, this card is good. If your deck is not dense with singular personages, this card underperforms. I was going to write a whole article about this card but there really wasn’t much more to say than this.
[ccProd]Temple of Enlightenment[/ccProd]
[ccProd]Temple of Malice[/ccProd]
[ccProd]Temple of Plenty[/ccProd]
[draft]Temple of Enlightenment
Temple of Malice
Temple of Plenty[/draft]
Temples are temples. These are great mana fixing! Keep running them! Unless you play [card]Maze’s End[/card] (kinda boring after a while, actually) they’re better than guildgates and they’re not that expensive.
Okay! That’s the thing and the whole of the thing. I’m glad we got through this together. Next time we’ll be doing the Roon 5 for 50 article! I promise!
@RagingLevine on Twitter (my Twitter is blowing up right now!)