The new toys in OGW

city of shakarI had the explicit pleasure of playing against both Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim and Mina and Denn, Wildborn. I want to share some of my experiences with the games, since they were in many cases very fun. This was also the first night I’ve played paper EDH with the new mulligan rules.

Ayli:ayli
Ayli was commanding a black-white goodstuff deck with lots of removal, and lots of other answers to problematic permanents. Initially, I expected the deck to be based around the general’s abilities, and utilize lots of sacrifice good-stuff things. My other opponent in these three-player games was Dakkon Blackblade (Esper Landfall, of all things)

In the first game, I was playing Edric, and won the game quite quickly off of a bunch of small dudes and both of my extra turn effects. Ayli was off to a pretty slow start and didn’t get into the game.

I was playing Meren the second game, and had troubles playing around his incidental graveyard hate – specifically Stonecloaker. Ironically, Dakkon was reanimating a lot more things than Meren, since Meren was shut down by Ayli. I’m not quite sure who won this game, but I believe Dakkon did after a long and grindy game.

In short, I think Ayli has potential to be a very good commander, but needs a deck constructed around especially the first ability in order to function properly.

Mina and Denn:minaanddenn
We played a couple of four-player games later that evening, when another friend of ours showed up with his new Mina and Denn deck. The first game he opened with land – Exploration – land – Sol Ring. Meanwhile, I, on Edric, had kept a pretty weak opener with no cheap creatures, but lots of control elements and both colours of mana. Our two other opponents, Dakkon and Ezuri1, got better starts than I, but not great ones.

Mina and Denn rolled the table with Avenger of Zendikar into ridiculous amounts of landfall triggers followed by a Thunderfoot Baloth making all the plants 16/17 with trample!

In the second game, Mina and Denn again played a turn one Exploraiton, but I got a much better start and killed Mina and Denn with an army of flying 6/6’s the same turn as I dropped Beastmaster Ascension, hitting him for his exact life total, 36, in the air. Then the board wiped, and the game got grindy, but I got there in the end. Edric is ridiculous, even more-so than Mina and Denn.

Especially the Gruul twins impressed me that evening – it’s neat to have an aggro deck at the table to keep things from stalling too far. What are your experiences with the new Commanders from Oath of the Gatewatch? Leave a comment!

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