23, Jul, 23

Commander Masters Cards To Create Massive Innovation in Popular Format!

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Article at a Glance

Every time a set comes out that is largely focused on reprints, many cards see a shift in rarity from their previous editions. In some cases, like with Smothering Tithe, the rarity of the card will be shifted up. This often happens with cards that were printed at rare that are powerful and expensive enough to warrant being reprinted as a mythic rare. More often than not, though, cards are downshifted in rarity. Sometimes we will even see cards that were once rares be downshifted all the way to common! This has happened with cards like Mortician Beetle as well as Goliath Sphinx from Commander Masters itself.

While rarity shifts primarily affect the overall supply and price of the cards in question, when cards become downshifted to common for the first time, they also become legal in Pauper. Pauper, despite being focused around commons, is a strong format with lots of powerful cards. As such, many downshifted cards don’t make a ton of impact. Commander Masters in particular, though, has so many cards seeing their first common printings, and some of these cards seem like slam dunks in the format. Let’s start by looking at the best of the best additions to Pauper and where they best fit.

Top Tier Additions

All That Glitters

All That Glitters is perhaps the most obvious potential inclusion in multiple different Pauper decks. Right off the bat, this card works super well in a deck like Bogles that is focused on loading up powerful Auras on small Creatures with Hexproof. The deck already plays four copies of both Ethereal Armor and Ancestral Mask, so it would make sense that All That Glitters would find a spot in the deck as well. This deck does not have a ton of flex slots and given that All That Glitters is ultimately a worse version of Ethereal Armor for this deck, it may not be an immediate four-of. Still, redundancy is super important for a deck like this, so All that Glitters is definitely worth consideration.

Notably, All That Glitters doesn’t only count Enchantments. Given the prevalence of Artifact Lands in Pauper, this card definitely has potential in Affinity and beyond. The opportunity cost of putting Artifact Lands in your deck isn’t super high, and this is especially true of the Indestructible Artifact Lands from Modern Horizons Two that aren’t vulnerable to cards like Gorilla Shaman. With this in mind, All That Glitters can provide an enormous buff to one of your Creatures. Pair that with a card like Wedding Invitation and you’ve got a gameplan.

Another card that could shine in Affinity is Filigree Attendant, which becomes an enormous Flier very quickly. One small weakness of Affinity is its ability to close the game quickly without Myr Enforcer, and both Filigree Attendant and All that Glitters help solve this issue. Beyond Affinity, another card that could add redundancy to a top tier deck is Cryptic Serpent. Again, this card is definitely worse than Tolarian Terror, but for decks like Dimir Control or even mono-blue Terror that are built around casting lots of cheap Instants and Sorceries, playing both is certainly on the table.

Read More: Commander Masters List Additions Highlight Powerful Multiformat Staples!

Cards that Take Some Work

Dread Return

The next group of cards all have very high upside, but require some effort in deckbuilding to make work. One of the cards that fits this bill is absolutely Dread Return. This card is outrageously powerful, but without Narcomoeba or the modal double-faced cards that could be played as lands (to pair with Balustrade Spy and mill your entire deck), maximizing this card may be tricky. Importantly, Lotleth Giant has also been downshifted.

As a result, if there is a good way to mill yourself for a ton, using Dread Return to bring back Lotleth Giant can end the game. Even still, this requires filling your deck with Creatures. We’ve seen decks like Cycle Storm succeed, however, with lots of Creatures alongside Songs of the Damned, so there could definitely be a home for Dread Return and Lotleth Giant somewhere.

Another card that could be quite strong is Murmuring Mystic, but it does have a lot of competition. As a five-toughness Creature, it’s not easy to kill, and it’s ability to create tons of Fliers can run away with the game. Four mana is a lot, however, and if you are filling your deck with cheap Instants and Sorceries already, it may be better to just focus on Tolarian Terror and Gurmag Angler. One nice thing about the card, though, is that you can pair it with Snuff Out to immediately get value out of the card and not fall too far behind.

Read More: New Commander Spoilers Reveal Enormous Extra-Turn Spell!

Unique Options

Vizier of Tumbling Sands

There are a few more cards that are worth mentioning, especially for those that like to brew or play wacky decks. The first card is Vizier of Tumbling Sands. Vizier is well known in Pioneer for its ability to untap Lotus Field and generate mana. While Lotus Field is not in Pauper, there may be some funny things you can do with Vizier alongside Market Festival and other effects that cause your Lands to generate additional mana when they become tapped.

Another interesting addition to Pauper is Blood Aspirant. This card functions similar to Gixian Infiltrator in that it grows each time you sacrifice a permanent. The combination of Infiltrator and cards like Makeshift Munitions and Krark-Clan Shaman popped up here and there when the Brother’s War first came out. Blood Aspirant has similar upside to Infiltrator, except it also has the ability to act as a sacrifice outlet itself and ping opposing Creatures, which might make it more appealing.

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Sideboard Cards

Drown in Sorrow

Finally, we have a couple sideboard options that are quite strong in certain circumstances. Drown in Sorrow is a great addition to decks that don’t have lots of Creatures to deal with decks that go wide with small Creatures. While cards like End the Festivities and Suffocating Fumes are decent one-sided effects, Drown in Sorrow helps get around Prismatic Strands and ways your opponents can buff their team, such as Ramosian Rally. Sulfurous Blast is another card that’s great against wide boardstates, and the ability to deal three damage to everything can be a big deal.

Pauper is getting tons of new additions, and while these seem like the highlights, over 40 cards have been downshifted to common! Keep your eyes open for any cool, new deckbuilding ideas and unique interactions that come up.

Read More: New Commander Masters Cards Introduce Powerful Typal Payoffs!

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