Ob Nixilis of the Awesome Power

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On Friday, I was again blessed with the opportunity to spend the evening with my old school friends, playing the game we all know and love, and we did most of it with the new Commander 2014 product. One of us didn’t make it, but that meant we were five, and the one who couldn’t make it was also the one who happened to be the one who owned the same deck as myself, the black one. It’s as if Ob Nixilis himself had taken care of that little issue.

obnixilisoftheblackoath.fullWe started off with playing a five-man pentagram game. I wrote about that variety in my post “Differentways to command“,  but the short version is “sit down in a pentagon, the ones opposite of you are your enemies, the ones next to you are your allies”. We were playing in classic WUBRG fashion, meaning I (black) was up against white and green, and my friends were red and blue. Everyone chose to play with the planeswalker commanders.

We played more games that evening, until very late, so I won’t be able to recall many specific details from the games, unfortunately. In the first game, however, Freyalise was the quickest one out of the gate, followed closely by Nahiri, who got ready to bring the beats with Strata Scythe and a double striker. Meanwhile, Teferi was doing a good job defending himself with Fog Bank, putting me in a pretty awkward position. I banded together with Daretti, however, and the two of us took down Nahiri to a more manageable size. The goblin pope even destroyed the Strata Scythe at one point, but Nahiri just brought it back with her -2. It was a bit of a tempo play, in any case.

garyash

Indeed.

The game progressed quite slowly after the white menace had been taken care of and soon enough Freyalise ran out of cards to cast and started topdecking useless lands. The extra time allowed me to both recur Gray Merchant of Asphodel (“Gary”) to gain pretty insane amounts of life, and get Ob Nixilis’ emblem online, meaning I also drew a disgusting amount of cards. Nahiri was the first one to fall, after blows from both me and Daretti took her down a notch, and even if Teferi did his best to defend his enemy Freyalise while also trying to attack Daretti, I killed Freyalise through a combination of Ob Nixilis’ +2, some beats and Gary.

After a quick break for a food run, we played a free-for-all game with the same decks. This time, I was counting on getting eliminated quite quickly, and Nahiri was actually presenting lethal on the board at one point, but didn’t attack, for fear of being counter-attacked by the other players at the table. Teferi was doing mostly nothing but defending himself and I turned it around at 10 life, and started recurring Gary again. I ended up on 101 life, but we then scooped them up to Teferi, since we had played for way longer than expected, and we wanted to get a few regular EDH games in as well, and the hour was late.

xenagos,godofrevels.full

Pretty good even in EDH

We played a pentagram game where I was on Grand Arbiter Augustin IV and I was allied with Sigarda, Host of Herons (voltron) and Lazav, Dimir Mastermind (control). My enemies were Surrak Dragonclaw (aggro), Marath, Will of the Wild (aggro). Though I managed to tuck both of my enemies’ respective generals through Spell Crumple and Terminus, I got stuck on six mana with just a bunch of very expensive spells in hand. Meanwhile, both Surrak and Marath resolved a Xenagos, God of Revels each and brought the beats my way. Though my allies did some work to keep my head above the water, I died without much of a chance. What a bummer.

While the others finished the game, I didn’t pay much attention, I sleeved up Erebos for a final spin before we had to leave. The second game saw me allied with Surrak and Marath, against Lazav and Thraximundar (goodstuff-control). This game went a lot better, and after All is Dust (how I hate that card) removed my general twice, I drew about a million cards and started draining people. I set up Thraximundar for a kill from Surrak, and he spiked it without hesitating too much, dealing the final few points of damage with a Price of Progress for two (hah!) and the general himself swung in for exactly lethal. Lazav proved to be a formidable opponent as well, however, and it was in the end Lazav who won the game through a kicked Rite of Replication on my Gary, with a total of 16 devotion with the five copies, and five triggers for a grand total of 80 damage on each opponent. What a fun card!

I traded away my foil Polluted Delta for a whole stack of neat cards by the end of the evening, Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth and Vesuva for Erebos, Blind Obedience and Serra Ascendant for Augustin!

Daretti-Scrap-Salvant

Daretti, pope of the church of synergies

I have to say that even though the game with Erebos was very enjoyable, I had the most fun playing the Commander 2014 decks that evening. They feel pretty even, before we started most of us agreed that the red deck seemed to be full of just awesome synergies, and that the blue one had a pretty amazing planeswalker, but in the end I feel that the black one is the strongest one in the bunch, as long as one can play diplomatically and count on a temporary alliance or two to get Ob Nixilis into the mid game or take care of the odd problematic enchantment. The green and white decks feel like the fastest one, and especially the green one can deal huge amounts of damage in just a few short turns, so it’s important to save some of the solution cards like Sudden Spoiling until the right moment. All in all, the decks do feel quite balanced, though the red one never got the whole Wurmcoil Engine recursion engine online.

Have you played with the Commander 2014 decks yet? What are your experiences? Leave a comment below!

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3 Comments

  1. psykopatmullvad

     /  November 17, 2014

    Im sad i could not be there. But good that you had fun 😀

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  2. Grim Lavamancer

     /  November 17, 2014

    A fun couple of games indeed. That Xenagos is a real pimp!

    The red commander 2014 deck seemed like the most powerful one on paper, and while it had synergies like there was no tomorrow I actually found it a bit lacking in power (then again, I never really got to play with Wurmcoil engine). It was fun toying around with Goblin Catholicism, but what is religion without an armoured fist to strike down the faithless with?

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