Top 5: Commanders in Shadows

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The full set has been released, and it is high time we take a look at our coming post-Shadows over Innistrad world. Today, I want to begin by looking at the most important part for us EDH players – new available commanders!

Mark Rosewater has stated, on both his blog and on his podcast, that not all Legandary Creatures are designed with EDH in mind and even if that’s just natural, it strikes me as odd. In the “main” game, in the sanctioned formats of Standard, Legacy et al, having the supertype Legendary is nothing but a drawback. As such, every time the supertype is used, it has to be for either balance purposes, for EDH, for flavour reasons, or some mix of all of them. It has virtually no other purpose!

As such, being eligible for commanding a 100-card deck is a big deal, and this is my ranking of the new commanders, from worst-to-best.


 

avacyn15. Archangel Avacyn / Avacyn the Purifier.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with Archangel Avacyn. She’s got a decently sized P/T-to-CMC rating, she has Flash, Flying and Vigilance – all useful abilities, and she has a neat enters-the-battlefield trigger that might turn an otherwise disastrous combat step into a winning situation. Her mini-wrath when transforming could also be handy, if the trigger condition can be met, though it won’t spare your own creatures.

My issue with Avacyn is that while she does bring some new stuff to the Boros table, her most useful ability – the Flash-based surprise-Indestructible effect – is telegraphed a mile away if she’s in the command zone. That, and Boros generally isn’t awesome in EDH, which is why she takes the jumbo position. The field is tough though, Avacyn is still pretty boss.

sigarda,heronsgrace.full4. Sigarda, Heron’s Grace.
Out of the Power Puff Girls trio of Sigarda, Gisela, and Bruna, Sigarda is the only one to not go crazy and turn evil. When the new Sigarda was spoiled, I was hoping for evil variants of the other two, but no luck this time. Maybe in the next set. The story also hints at a fourth sister in the trio, supposedly the black-aligned one, which is also supposedly long dead, but I suspect we get to see all of them in the next set.

Meanwhile, Sigarda is, like Avacyn, not bad, but she is a bit underwhelming. The static ability of teamwide hexproof is very nice, and the exiling of a card to make a token is also neat, but it can only grav stuff from your own graveyard. Sigarda’s downfall is that she doesn’t really bring anything that new to the table, Selesnya is full of token-based commanders. As such, she takes the fourth place.

3. Olivia, Mobilized for War.olivia,mobilizedforwar.full
At the half-way mark, we find the new Olivia. She’s aggressively costed for a 3/3 flyer, and her ability is pretty darn neat in a vampire tribal deck. However, the question is – is she better than the old version of her? As a build-around, I’d say yes. Having a haste outlet is pretty neat for a commander, and black has all the right tools to combat the card disadvantage, either through straight card-draw, reanimation, or other shenanigans.

She gets a passing grade, though her artworks is pretty damn dull.

odric,lunarchmarshal.full2. Odric, Lunarch Marshal
On the runner-up spot we have yet another new version of a known character (notice how that’s true for all of our entries so far?), Odric, Lunarch Marshal. The previous version of Odric is pretty cool in a token spamming deck, and can even make it as a commander. His new version brings a completely other strategy to the table, which is very neat. While the old Odric might be perceived as linear, the new can do lots of things depending on his team mates and how the deck around him is constructed. Nate, from Commanderin’, is working on a list around Odric, but I have yet to play it, so I can’t say if he’s good or not. The fact that Nate speaks highly of him is usually proof enough for me.

Odric’s only downfall is that he is mono-white, which means he might struggle to recover from a board-wipe, since he won’t have the power of card-draw in blue, black, or even green around him.

1. The Gitrog Monster.thegitrogmonster.full
Of course, Magic’s first legendary frog creature, and the only one of these new legendary creatures that’s an actual new character, has to take the number one spot. Golgari is spoiled for choices when it comes to cool commanders, and The Gitrog Monster is another entry in the long line of unique Golgari-coloured legendary creatures.

I don’t want to get into too much detail, since I’m in the process of brewing a deck around him, but The Gitrog Monster is by far my favourite out of these five. Look forward to a long post about him in the near future!


 

What’s your take on my list? Am I right? Am I way off? Leave a comment!

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2 Comments

  1. Grim Lavamancer

     /  March 29, 2016

    I love The Gitrog Monster! I pretty much love all about it. The picture with the little arm hanging out of it’s mouth. That it’s actually called “Monster” in the title. That it’s abillity requires some clever tinkering to be effective. It’s a great card. If it were up to me, this blog would be called “The Daily Gitrog Monster”.

    I’m very much looking forward to reading about your future Frog Horror experiment!

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  2. Grim Lavamancer

     /  March 29, 2016

    Oh, and the other legendarys are rather nice as well. But damn! That frog!

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