18, Jun, 24

Assassin's Creed Kickoff Unveils Uniquely Powerful Commanders!

Article at a Glance

Assassin’s Creed spoiler season has officially begun! Magic’s newest Universes Beyond crossover impacts the Modern and the Commander format, and could even have some effects on Legacy and beyond. We’ve already seen some powerful reprints receiving fan-favorite art in a panorama setting. Here are some of the best cards revealed during the weekly MTG kickoff to this two-day spoiler season!

Edward Kenway

Complete with a full game and a Webtoon series, Edward Kenway is a very popular Assassin. On top of this popularity, Edward Kenway is also a fantastic fit for the Outlaw Batch from Outlaws of Thunder Junction. Supporting both Assassins and Pirates, Edward Kenway can explosively ramp your board in the form of Treasure tokens. Don’t underestimate a card that can create multiple Treasure Tokens from just one trigger.

An interesting twist for Kenway is the encouragement for Kenway to use Vehicles. This creates an intriguing Commander theme for players who want to use Kenway, while also being decently strong outright. Kenway both ramps your mana and offers card advantage. What more could you want?

As far as Modern goes, Edward Kenway is likely forgettable. Five mana is simply far too much for what this card does. He cannot create value without other moving parts, and that value may not impact the board quickly enough to keep up.


Bizarre name aside, this Assassin is a lot more interesting for multiple formats than Edward Kenway is. Having Hexproof and unblockable until dealing combat damage helps ensure that Ratonknhake:ton gets to create some value even in competitive formats. Offering powerful equipment support, any equipment Commander decks that can run Esper probably want this card. You’ll get both a body and an equipment on it, as long as there is one in your graveyard.

Is Ratonhnhake:ton good enough for Modern? If something like Hammertime does happen to be a viable strategy, this could be a sideboardable threat for slower matchups. This is guaranteed to make an impact as long as it doesn’t get countered, and Ratonhnhake:ton can continue to create a ton of value until it gets dealt with.

Bayek of Siwa

Bayek of Siwa is a very exciting card for Historic Commander decks that have Boros in their color identity. Thanks to the Disguise mechanic, Bayek can truly surprise opponents at a speed that can even get around Split Second. There are a lot of Commanders out there who want to deal combat damage, and granting those Commanders Double Strike is absolutely terrifying. This makes Bayek of Siwa a very real consideration in a wide range of different Commander decks.

Don’t let the mana value of five scare you. Bayek of Siwa’s Disguise ability lets you split your mana between turns. You can Disguise Bayek for three mana, turning it into a face-down 2/2 with Ward Two, just like Murders at Karlov Manor. You only need to spend three mana to flip Bayek, so you can get this down on-curve and flip it in a future turn for an explosive combat step. I don’t think Modern players will be interested in this card, but Commander players should love this.

Lydia Frye

Lydia Frye is a Dimir Assassin that wants to support your other Assassin decks. Surveiling a ton of cards, aside from helping graveyard synergies, can help make sure you’re drawing exactly what you need to. Outside of Assassin Typal decks, however, Lydia Frye is not that interesting.

Ezio, Brash Novice

Ezio, Brash Novice is not really a card players will be interested in unless you have some deeper synergies with it. Counters matter decks or Assassin Typal decks could want Ezio, but this really does just feel like a powerful Limited uncommon. Sadly, there is no Limited format with this set, so they just end up feeling a bit meh.

Sigurd, Jarl of Ravensthrope

Tom Bombadil fans are getting a huge treat! Synergizing very well with Eivor, Wolf-Kissed, who we’ll be talking about later, Sigurd cares about your Sagas. As long as Sigurd gets to attack, you get to speed up the rate at which your Sagas trigger their abilities. This, in turn, allows you to buff your creatures to maximize the value you receive.

Sokrates, Athenian Teacher

Sokrates really doesn’t want to hurt anyone. In fact, Sokrates encourages your other creatures to pursue knowledge over violence, allowing you to turn your combat damage into card draw. We don’t expect this card to do much in Modern, but this could create a rather interesting Azorius option for Commander.

When creating Sokrates, politics and the idea of a philosophical discussion are encouraged. Making deals in multiplayer games instead of causing damage is a big idea behind this design of Sokrates.

Haytham Kenway

Haytham Kenway is an interesting lord for Knight Typal decks. The card is actually quite powerful in Commander, essentially removing three threats from the board at once! Of course, all your opponents need to do to get them back is kill Haythem, but with a few ways to protect him, you have a very powerful tool on your hands. If you can use the Knight buff and the removal option of Haytham, this is a fantastic addition to your Commander deck. Sadly, this card is, once again, too expensive for Modern.

Templar Knight

We have yet another card that breaks the card typical deck constructed rules of Magic. You can have any number of Templar Knights in your deck. This means Templar Knight is bound to be a popular new Commander strategy.

The payoff to running a ton of Templar Knights is unlocking a powerful tutor effect that can search for Legendary artifacts from your deck and put them into play. While you do need a few Templar Knights in play to make this happen, the cheap ability cost is nonetheless versatile. For better or worse, this card is likely to case some serious secondary market spikes to legendary artifacts!

Abstergo Entertainment

This is a rather interesting land that should show up in a lot of Commander decks. Abstergo Entertainment is a great utility land for Commander decks that can recur Historic permanents and control graveyard strategies with an exile effect. This could even see some Modern play in strategies that either ramp early or go late. Sadly, the activated ability cost is a lot for the format.

Despite potentially not being exceptionally useful in Modern, this card is still great in Commander. At worst, this card can let you avoid larger Commander Tax values, but it boasts a lot more utility than that.

Shaun & Rebecca, Agents

Shaun & Rebecca tutors up The Animus, ramps your mana, and mills your deck. That’s a lot of different things that your new Bant Commander can do. While each of these abilities is nice, The Animus is at the center of this strategy.

Using The Animus you can exile legendary creatures from your graveyard to create copies of them. Since Shawn & Rebecca, Agents provides a mill effect, you should have no shortage of suitable targets. Ultimately, this card feels like quite a unique and powerful Commander that could be quite popular post-release.

Layla Hassan

Layla Hassan feels like a Historian. In a deck that utilizes Assassins, Layla can represent a lot of graveyard recursion. She can trigger herself in both instances, which is quite interesting. As long as you have a lot of Historic targets, Layla essentially functions as an over costed Eternal Witness that can keep creating value even after it enters.

Caduceus, Staff of Hermes

To put it lightly, this equipment seems quite powerful in Commander. 30 life is not really a requirement in the format, and Caduceus, Staff of Hermes makes any equipped creature very difficult to deal with. While Modern decks will likely never play this card, it’s bound to be an auto-include in many Commander decks. Thanks to the format’s starting life totals, you’ll almost always get an immense threat for surprisingly cheap!

Eagle Vision

Eagle Vision shows off the power of the Freerunning alternate casting cost present in the Assassin’s Creed expansion. For reference, you get to use a Freerunning casting cost when you deal combat damage with an Assassin or a Commander this turn.

If you get to use this Freerunning casting cost, you get to draw three cards for two mana, which is fantastic! In a dedicated shell, this could even see Modern play. In Commander, if you can reliably trigger Freerunning, Eagle Vision is definitely a card you’ll want to consider running. Five mana to draw three cards is somewhat acceptable, but two mana is just bonkers.

Become Anonymous

Become Anonymous really feels like the Magic version of Magical Hats. If you want to protect one of your key creatures, maybe your Commander, for example, Become Anonymous can Cloak your creature with your top two cards, creating three bodies in the process.

Origin of the Hidden Ones

If you’re playing an Outlaw or Assassin Typal deck that can run red, you probably want to include this Saga. Functioning as both removal and a doubling effect, you can create a ton of Assassins with the last trigger of this card.

Reprints and Secret Lairs Galore!

While this covers most of what happened at the Weekly MTG Debut, it doesn’t quite cover everything. There are a few reprints we skipped over like Murder and Royal Assassins, the Bundle promo, and a few new cards. Two new Secret Lairs have also been previewed in the Weekly MTG, and we’ll be sure to take a closer look soon. Until then, it will be interesting to see just what kinds of cards are coming to Magic in this newest crossover.

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