Wizards of the Coast has been releasing a ton of promos as of late. Coming up in 2024, there have already been multiple groups of promos announced for players to get their hands on. From promos specific to the APAC League to cards given to players at local Murders at Karlov Manor drafts, there are plenty of opportunities for players to get their hands on some sweet promos.
Interestingly, Wizards of the Coast has created some custom cards so that their employees can get in the action as well. Known as Heroes of the Realm cards, these cards are given distinctly to select groups of employees and are not designed for public use. As such, they are generally not legal in any formats. That being said, the employees themselves could technically utilize them in casual Commander.
These cards are very cool and certainly slanted towards Commander. Today, we are going to take a look at a couple newly revealed Heroes of the Realm cards and their funky Commander applications. One of them in particular would be insanely strong if actually made legal in the format, which makes it quite intriguing for a custom card.
Wizard from Beyond
Wizard from Beyond is a very strange card but is incredibly powerful even at first glance. This is thanks to the “Create a Character” ability. This ability essentially allows you to pair Wizard from Beyond with any non-legendary Creature to enable that Creature to be your Commander. The fact that Wizard from Beyond is a five-color Background means that the world really is your oyster. From there, the rest of the text on the card is just gravy. The question then becomes, what cards would you most want to put in your Command Zone?
One option that immediately jumps to mind is Thassa’s Oracle. There are multiple two-card combos that immediately win you the game once you cast Thassa’s Oracle. For instance, if you cast Demonic Consultation or Tainted Pact and name a card that is not in your library, you will end up removing your library from the game. This means you can simply follow up with Oracle and win via its enters-the-battlefield effect.
If you wanted to be a little less combo focused, there are plenty of absurdly efficient Creatures you could make your Commander as well. Cards like Dockside Extortionist or Esper Sentinel can provide immense value quite early in the game. Having the ability to build around any Creature by itself is super powerful, but remember, the Background itself does have a relevant effect if you choose to build around it.
Doubling Triggered Abilities
As a five-mana card that costs all five colors to play, Wizard from Beyond is a little tricky to get into play in short order. Unfortunately, it also doesn’t have the biggest effect on the game unless you have a full Party. Wizard from Beyond does help get you started on your path to a full Party at least, allowing your Commander to function as a Wizard, Cleric, Rogue, and Warrior.
Notably, though, your Commander will only count towards your Party once. This means that, while it has the requisite Creature types, you still need three other Creatures with three of the four types between them alongside your Commander to get double triggers. The easiest way to do this is likely with cards like Maskwood Nexus or to put a bunch of Changelings in your deck. Otherwise, getting the right combination of Creature types may be difficult.
Once you assemble three Creatures in play with three of the four requisite Creature types, you can now play your Commander to obtain a full party. This opens the door for Commanders with awesome enters-the-battlefield effects to trigger an additional time. In some cases, this may be used for value. Getting to copy the ability of Spellseeker, for example, can let you find multiple elite Instants and Sorceries, from Demonic Tutor to Mana Drain.
There are some Commander options, though, where copying them can help you assemble a two-card combo. Let’s say you use Imperial Recruiter as your Commander, for example. By copying its triggered ability, you can search for both Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker and Deceiver Exarch and prepare to win the game that way. There really are a ton of different options for how to build a deck around Wizard from Beyond, making it a nice gift to the employees that receive it.
Svega, the Unconventional
Our second Heroes of the Realm card, while not necessarily quite as exciting as Wizard from Beyond, is still an awesome Commander option with some awesome abilities. Svega, the Unconventional is a Planeswalker that can grow in Loyalty whenever a Land enters the battlefield under your control. What’s neat about this, though, is that you can put Loyalty counters on other Planeswalkers you control instead, making it a perfect Superfriends Commander.
Obviously, the static ability works well with Fetchlands, but cards like Scapeshift can let you add a ton of Loyalty counters to your Planeswalker army. If you have a lot of Planeswalkers in play, you can use Svega’s -2 ability to help protect them. If not, you can conjure up copies of some different Planeswalkers to cast. While this may seem like the type of effect you might see in a set focused around Alchemy, it does make for some pretty amusing gameplay and a wide range of options.
It may seem strange to include only the five Planeswalker characters listed, but there seems to be a flavorful explanation. Svega, the Unconventional appears to be directly referencing the Las Vegas 30th anniversary celebration. The letters in Svega rearranged spell Vegas, and the five Planeswalkers chosen supposedly reference the five areas within the convention that players could take pictures with cosplayers.
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Abusing Svega’s Abilities
One of the things Svega does really well is help other Planeswalkers reach their ultimates rather quickly. The ultimates of Teferi, Hero of Dominaria and Garruk, Caller of Beasts are particularly devastating. In conjunction with cards like Scapeshift, if you can generate a copy of one of these Planeswalkers and immediately get a bunch of Lands in play, you can use the Planeswalker’s ultimate right away.
This is also easily achievable with Doubling Season. If you have Doubling Season in play, when you cast Svega, it will enter with six Loyalty counters instead of three. You can then immediately -5 to make a copy of Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, which will enter with eight Loyalty counters instead of four. Now, simply ultimate Teferi and reap the rewards.
These Commanders are extremely awesome awards for Wizards of the Coast employees. It’s nice to them receive these special items for their hard work.