Magic the Gathering post incoming. As always, I advise you get Autocard Anywhere.
Commander 2015 is only 2 days away. These releases often come with a specific problem. Given that Commander/EDH is such an open format (within colour restrictions), creating instant staples often narrows down the diversity inherent to the format and leads to obvious deckbuilding with dominant staples or situations that push out niche decks that can’t compete. This time, I feel like they’ve gotten a decent balance. They’re creating new stuff for the format but it doesn’t inherently shit all over the rest of it. The area where I’ve really gotta commend Wizards is the generals themselves. Last week I went over the initial 5 new generals that’d been spoiled and this week I’m gonna tackle the remaining 5:
Karlov of the Ghost Council – This guy grows very big very quickly. Yes, he’s gonna be killed a bunch of times, but I feel like he’ll get huge quickly enough to be worth his cost. Lifegain decks often have super durdly aspects to them where they’ll just sit back and pillow fort. This guy says fuck that noise and just starts taking chunks out of life totals. It’s easy to scoff at losing 6 +1/+1 counters to take care of a creature, but if you’ve got a huge guy that’s getting chump blocked and they’re playing problematic critters? There’s harm done, but it’s to them. It’s a nice way to scale Karlov and not fall over as soon as a wrath comes. Like I said, he’s gonna get killed. Leaving WB up for a parting shot though? Easily doable. He’s got a ton of support too. A simple Gatherer search gives you a ton of options that support controlling builds, but also give you aggro applications. Whip of Erebos has you away laughing (or double down with Noble Purpose. Means you can stack with lifelink). Fragile as it is, Gift of Orzhova is a blowout if the card goes unchecked. Bloodchief Ascension, Auriok Champion, Patron of the Kitsune. There’s almost too much.
Arjun, the Shifting Flame – Mindmoil on an accessible 5/5 flying body? I figure this is some kind of combo assembly piece. It’s good times with Alhammarret’s Archive or Thought Reflection. Jace’s Erasure for milling shenanigans? I don’t have a ton for this dude, but he feels like he’d be a fun fit with Nekusar, the Mindrazer.
Anya, Merciless Angel – Anya feels like a solid fit for a RW general. While she might look kind of lacklustre at the offset, one of RW’s faults is often an inability to close out games. Anya doesn’t suffer from these trifling issues. If you can get someone down to 20 (and people will often help) she becomes much harder to deal with. A 7/7 flying indestructible is nothing to sneeze and and if you do she’ll beat the mucus out of your nose in retaliation. The dream play is getting some kind of recursive attack step (think Waves of Aggression, Aggravated Assault and the like) and picking off enemies with a 7/7, then 10/10, then 13/13. Failing anything, a sweet Voltron general.
Meren of Clan Nel Toth – Okay, so I like Meren. I very much like Meren. I like that at worst you’re getting a raise dead at the end of the turn you play her, but often better than that. Simply having a Spore Frog or Viscera Seer means you’re getting a free activation and bringing it back to play that same turn. Load up on free sacrifice effects and you’re gonna be stoked. If you play her late game she’s gonna have those experience counters to call on and you can get a fatty back. If you perchance play Evolutionary Leap or Attrition you might even get some sweet incremental advantage going on. Keep Strionic Resonator in mind to double your pleasure, double your fun. Knowing me, I’m just gonna recur Fertilid a bunch, because he’s my bestie.
Ezuri, Claw of Progress – I think this guy’s a gem, primarily because he’s best buds with my main man Fertilid. He’s also a dandy with Spike Weaver, Spike Feeder and Mindless Automaton. Once you’re ready to just wreck shit, Master Biomancer makes all your little dudes very very big indeed. Inspiring Call and Sage of Hours seem obligatory. Forgotten Ancient is there as backup. Eternal Good Guy Greg Devoted Druid turns each +1+1 counter into additional mana, as do the underrated Viridian Joiner and Gyre Sage. Of course Mycoloth comes out to play. Homorid Spawning Bed can also do some fancy things and if you’re that guy who hates interactive games, Invisible Stalker turns opponents’ life totals to the negatives quickly. Champion of Lambholt does a similar thing, but lets your whole team turn sideways. Maybe play Vigor in case of blowouts. While we’re there, you’re playing Asceticism, right? Of course you are.
I wish I had more time, ’cause I could drop another 900 words on these guys. I’m gonna pick up both green decks (because I can’t wait to copy my sweet, sweet green wrath Ezuri’s Predation with Wort, the Raidmother). What can I say? I like supporting Wizards for making a good product. Nice job folks, maybe I’ll stop feeling so bitter about Oloro, Ageless Ascetic now.