Commander 2015 follow-up: losers!

city of shakar

A couple of days ago, I elaborated on the first months of the new world of Commanders with experience counters, what cards tend to hold up these days, and what the break-out performances of the set were. So we know who the cool kids are, but who gets to sit alone in the cafeteria? Who is left shuffling in the dark corner of homecoming? Keep reading to find out!

The losers:daxosthereturned
Daxos the Returned is the box commander that got shafted hardest by his own people. While all the commanders on the box covers face competition from their second-in-command, save maybe Mizzix, only Daxos is actually overshadowed by Karlov, in pure numbers at least. Daxos supports an entirely different strategy than Karlov, however, meaning that one of the first cards to go if one looks to improve the Daxos preconstructed deck is likely ghost granddad himself.

Daxos’ issue isn’t that he is that bad – I’d argue he is quite good, but that he is linear like many of the other commanders, and he’s an enchantment-themed general who isn’t green, which means he misses out on many of the enchantress effects.

kalemnediscipleofiroasKalemne, Disciple of Iroas was probably the least hyped of the commanders from Commander 2015. Boros is well-known for struggling in the format, since neither of the colours do either ramp or card-draw very well, two very important aspects of EDH. That said, Kalemne hits very hard for a four-mana commander. Her problem is that decks built around her easily get schizophrenic. While Kalemne seems to support a Voltron strategy, one thing most people don’t do in Voltron is play a bunch of big creatures, a necessity to generate experience counter from her. A mixed strategy, perhaps going for a Giant tribal type deck, is probably the best way to go, but as far as Boros commanders go, Kalemne is likely not even a front runner. It’s a shame, but she is really cool, which is the most important aspect.

To Kalemne’s credit, she did what Daxos couldn’t and outpaced her second-in-command in both schizophrenia and playability (yes, really). While Kalemne is at least powerful once she hits the board, Anya is powerful when more opponents are at below half life, but will shrink again once players are eliminated. I’d rather she gets a bonus either for each eliminated opponent or under the condition that at least one opponent is eliminated – which means she’d get more powerful as the game goes along. There is some design space here that can’t be explored in normal non-multiplayer formats, and Anya is a missed opportunity.

One might be forgiven to think that Wade into Battle, the Boros deck bladeofselvesof Commander 2015, is the “worst” one of the bunch, but let’s not forget about Blade of Selves, arguably the most powerful of the new cards in the set. The ability to abuse any enters-the-battlefield-effect to such a degree is well worth the high mana cost. Mystic Confluence is up there as well, but I’d say the sword is better overall.

Despite the good things in the deck, the Boros colour pair wasn’t helped much by Commander 2015, which is a shame considering it’s in quite dire need of some assistance. Orzhov is already a pretty powerful colour pair, but wasn’t helped much by the box commander either. As such, these are the losers of the set, in my opinion.

What do you think? Leave a comment!

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3 Comments

  1. I think that is totally true. How do you think Wizards can power up Boros commanders? What neat things can they do while still staying in the color pie?

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    • Very interesting question, thank you! I think it’s a question that needs to be elaborated upon in an entirely different blog post, actually.

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  2. Grim Lavamancer

     /  March 9, 2016

    Well, it’s pretty grim when the best card in the Boros deck isn’t even in the Boros colors but an artifact that’s pretty much good in any creature-based deck.

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