The Ur-Dragon
5, May, 23

MTG Commander Masters Previews Reinvent Popular Archetypes!

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Article at a Glance

Players have been waiting fervently for the March of the Machine Pro Tour to kick off, but that isn’t the only thing that Magic Con Minneapolis has to offer for fans everywhere. Massive previews are coming for Magic’s upcoming sets, and what we’ve seen so far from the Con has been incredibly impressive. Here are some new cards being featured in the forthcoming Commander Masters set!

Commadore Guff

The Deus-Ex-Machina character from Magic’s biggest historical event has finally been given an identity in the TCG. Commodore Guff is so powerful in the story that there is a serious discussion regarding him being the most powerful character the lore has ever seen. How does his card match up to expectations?

Commodore Guff appears to be the Commander of the new Planeswalker Party preconstructed deck coming out alongside Commander Masters. As may be obvious looking at what Guff does, this is meant for a Jeskai Superfriends deck.

As far as his abilities go, Guff is ok. His passive ability can stack up over time but pales compared to a Commander like Atraxa, Praetors’ Voice that would add a Loyalty counter to every Planeswalker you control via Proliferate. If you plan on playing a lot of high-mana Planeswalkers, Guff’s plus one can come in handy – making it a better Commander over some other options. Finally, Guff’s minus ability gives a secondary mode that allows you to refill your hand and present a win condition once you have a ton of Planeswalkers in play. Honestly, there are much better Commanders for the Superfriends archetype, but Guff is a pretty good addition to the 99 if you can consistently draw a mittful of cards off of his minus ability.

Zhulodok, Void Gorger

Colorless Eldrazi fans, rejoice! This is an absolutely fantastic Commander for the archetype and is likely quite playable in any colorless strategy. This is the face of the Eldrazi Unbound preconstructed Commander deck releasing with Commander Masters.

Zhulodok requires colorless players to ramp up big since it gives Colorless spells you cast with a mana value of seven or greater double Cascade. For reference, Cascade demands the player to exile cards from the top of their library until they find a nonland spell smaller than the spell that triggered Cascade. You can then cast that spell for free. The other exiled cards return to the bottom of your library.

This means that each seven mana spell (or greater) you cast will be casting two more spells, which is an absolutely incredible value. This looks like a fantastic potential Commander that will likely have many brewers returning to their Colorless roots.

Any major cards that support the archetype, like Forsaken Monument, that do not see reprints in these preconstructed Commander decks or in the main Commander Masters set are likely to rise in price, so keep an eye out!

Read More: This Insane New Combo Tech Gave me Easy MTG Wins!

Sliver Gravemother

Sliver Gravemother presents yet another five-colored Legendary creature that fans of the incredible tribal type can use to pilot their Commander deck. The big question here is if Sliver Gravemother from the new Sliver Swarm Commander deck is indeed the best one to play.

Sliver Gravemother does give Slivers yet another outlet to create explosive plays and does it in a way that means a single board wipe will not end your reign of terror. Encore is a keyword ability meant for multiplayer formats that creatures can activate from the graveyard. This will create a set number of tokens equal to the number of opponents you have. All of these must attack their own opponent, and will be exiled on the end step. Additionally, the card that you Encore will also be exiled.

There’s a fair bit to break down here because Sliver Gravemother has more inevitability than the average Commander. This card turns off the Legend Rule for Slivers, which allows Legendary Slivers to Encore without worrying about losing two of their tokens, including the Gravemother itself. This is where the card gets tricky.

Generally, you’ll want to send your Commander back to the Command Zone right after it dies so you can keep using it. This is not the case for the Gravemother. You will want to let this go to your graveyard after it dies so you can Encore it. Since the Encore will exile your Gravemother, you can move it to you Command Zone instead of putting it into exile. This allows your Slivers to Encore themselves from the grave pretty reliably.

the first sliver

Personally, I still do not think that this is the best Sliver to have as your Commander, but it is a slam-dunk inclusion into the 99. The First Sliver can easily end games on resolution, so this should remain the most powerful Commander that the Sliver archetype has access to. That said, this Commander is also a terrible play experience for a casual table since it relies on infinite combos to win a lot of its games.

Sliver Gravemother does offer a much better play experience at a more casual table because it allows your Sliver deck to play past a board wipe. Encore gives the archetype a lot of inevitability, and can reward a heavy creature-based strategy without needing to go all-in on infinite combos from The First Sliver. So, while in my opinion, The First Sliver is more powerful, Sliver Gravemother may be more fun.

Anikthea, Hand of Erebos

Anikthea, Hand of Erebos, is a five-mana Demigod that is the intended Commander for the Enduring Enchantments Commander preconstructed deck.

The exciting twist brought by adding black to the traditional Selesnya Enchantress archetype is the ability to care about Enchantments in your graveyard. Anikthea, Hand of Erebos can create some incredible scenarios we haven’t seen before by reanimating your enchantments as 3/3 Zombie Token copies. This occurs when the card enters the battlefield or attacks. As an added bonus, Anikthea will give all your enchantment creatures (including the tokens) Menace.

doubling season

Anikthea is an exciting Commander that has some pretty obvious applications with powerful enchantments. Doubling Season, Mondrak, and Anointed Procession fit like gloves alongside this Commander since you will be copying Enchantment tokens created from your Commander’s ability. Imagine exiling an Anointed Procession from your graveyard and making two copies of it with Doubling Season in play. You can then double your next target three times, creating eight copies of your exiled enchantment! As you can probably tell from my excitement, I will probably be giving Anikthea a test-run.

Read More: Top 11 Most Expensive Cards in March of the Machine

Incredible Reprints

Two big-ticket reprints were also revealed alongside the new face cards for your Commander Masters preconstructed decks. Personal Tutor is a strictly worse Mystical Tutor since it can only search for sorceries instead of both instants and sorceries and can only function at sorcery speed compared to Mystical Tutor’s instant speed. Yet the card is, currently, a lot more expensive. This is because, at the time of writing, Personal Tutor only has one printing from the elusive Portal set. The card also sees a strong amount of play in Commander since it is yet another Tutor option, which has driven the price up to around an $85 average. Since this is primarily a price point created by scarcity, this reprint will cause Personal Tutor to crash, but it will make the card accessible to everyone. This is the definition of a fantastic reprint.

Our second big-ticket reprint revealed today was Selvala, Heart of the Wilds. Bound to be somewhat popular thanks to the new Eldrazi Commander deck (can it have some Eldrazi Titans in it, please?), this card generates a ton of mana alongside big creatures.

Ramping up to big creatures can cost a lot of resources, but Selvala can keep your hand fueled up by drawing a card whenever you deploy the most significant thing on the board. Interestingly, this effect also applies to your opponents, which may incentivize them to let you keep it around longer than you really should. This doesn’t have the biggest secondary market price thanks to some recent reprints in Mystery Booster product and Jumpstart, but it is a $15 Commander card nontheless.

More is to be Revealed

While Commander Masters was a big part of the reveal panel that just took place at MTG Minneapolis, it wasn’t the only thing that MTG players got to see. Some major Lord of the Rings spoilers just made their way onto the scene, but since it’s a reveal of the cryptic ‘Tempting the Ring’ mechanic, we’re waiting to get a tiny bit more context. Lots of Doctor Who stuff was also shown off, but we haven’t seen a ton of what that crossover has in-store yet. Either way, these new cards from Commander Masters are pretty exciting, and should help redefine many popular Commander archetypes!

Read More: Top 11 Most Expensive Cards in March of the Machine

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