23, Jul, 23

New Commander Masters Card is Incredibly Underrated!

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Article at a Glance

Commander Masters, while primarily focused on reprints, gave us a handful of new cards in each Commander deck. As expected, most of the cards, new and old, from the Eldrazi Unbound Commander deck are focused on enormous colorless haymakers. The primary Commander, Zhulodok, Void Gorger, benefits from casting these enormous colorless spells.

What’s interesting, though, is that the secondary Commander is very different. Omarthis, Ghostfire Initiate does cost double x and is colorless, so it still works reasonably well with Zhulodok and the big colorless Creature theme. It even has the ability to Manifest a bunch of cards, and some enormous Eldrazi can then be turned face-up later if you are lucky.

The thing is, there’s a lot more synergy that can be had with Omarthis. This is especially true with its second clause that dictates that Omarthis gets additional counters every time another one of your colorless Creatures does. There’s a lot of ways to abuse this ability beyond what the Eldrazi Unbound deck has to offer.

Lots of Triggers for Omarthis

Omarthis, Ghostfire Initiate

Luckily, the ability of Omarthis to gain additional plus-one plus-one counters is not capped to trigger only once each turn. This means that colorless Creatures you control that can gain additional plus-one plus-one counters each turn cycle can continue to grow Omarthis. Cards like Hangarback Walker and Walking Ballista are excellent additions to an Omarthis Commander deck. Not only does Omarthis get counters when Hangarback or Ballista are cast, but it also gets counters whenever you activate Hangarback’s or Ballista’s abilities. Ballista in particular doesn’t need to tap to activate, meaning if you have enough mana, you can generate multiple counters for Ballista, and therefore multiple counters for Omarthis.

Omarthis can really go crazy when you have ways to get a bunch of counters on other colorless Creatures you control that don’t require tapping them or investing lots of mana. Think of a card like Arcbound Ravager. Every time you sacrifice an Artifact, both Arcbound Ravager and Omarthis grow. It’s important to note that you can’t use Modular to put additional counters on Omarthis, since it’s not an Artifact Creature. Still, if you have a lot of expendable Artifacts available, using Arcbound Ravager’s ability to keep growing Omarthis can be very powerful.

Similarly, if you have Patchwork Automaton in play, every time you play an Artifact to trigger Patchwork Automaton, Omarthis will get a counter too. Omarthis does say that you get one counter on Omarthis if one or more counters are put on another colorless Creature, so putting multiple counters at once on another colorless Creature won’t benefit Omarthis quite as heavily. However, individual triggers from Patchwork Automaton work perfectly.

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Going Above and Beyond

The Ozolith

To maximize Omarthis and make sure it doesn’t get exiled, which would prevent you from getting to Manifest a ton of cards from your library, it might be worth utilizing a beneficial Sacrifice outlet to guarantee you get your value. Cards like Ashnod’s Altar can generate a ton of mana in a deck like this, considering all of the potential Artifact tokens from Hangarback Walker and Manifest Creatures from Omarthis. Sacrifice outlets can also be important when utilizing cards like the Ozolith.

The Ozolith helps gaurantee that other Creatures you control with counters on them that die don’t go to waste. With a sacrifice outlet, however, you can decide to put a bunch of counters from another Creature like Hangarback Walker onto the Ozolith, then move all of those counters onto Omarthis. From there, you can convert Omarthis into a ton of Manifest Creatures at any point. The choice is yours.

Beyond the Ozolith, there are still lots of ways to put lots of counters on Omarthis at once. Assuming you have a bunch of Artifact Creatures in play, Steel Overseer can give multiple Creatures boosts, which would in turn boost Omarthis a bunch too. If you Equip Omarthis with Blade of the Bloodchief, you can use a sacrifice outlet to convert any of your other Creatures into counters on Omarthis. Given how much Creatures with Modular synergize with Omarthis, using ways to turn Omarthis into an Artifact, such as Ashnod’s Transmogrant, can really get things out of control.

Going Even Further

Spark Double

If Omarthis is not your Commander, that opens the door for you to go even bigger. If you pair Omarthis with Spark Double, you can copy Omarthis, and Spark Double won’t die because it enters with an additional counter on it. Not only that, but much like with Botanical Brawler, Spark Double entering with the counter should cause the other copy of Omarthis to trigger (of course, triggering Omarthis is relatively trivial anyway if built around correctly).

When the counter is added to the original copy of Omarthis, this will trigger the Spark Double copy. This causes a chain reaction, where both copies can grow “infinitely” large. Luckily, putting a counter on Omarthis is not required, so the game will not end in a draw. Be careful though, if one of your Omarthis copies dies, you will end up Manifesting a lot of cards, so make sure not to lose via decking! Given that the main payoff being for Omarthis is that you get a ton of Manifest Creatures, it’s important to maximize these Creatures that Omarthis generates when it dies.

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Maximizing Manifest

Forsaken Monument

Omarthis pays you off for growing it by allowing you to Manifest a number of cards from the top of your library equal to the number of counters on it. Not only does this ability benefit from Omarthis having lots of counters, but it also benefits from ways to abuse Manifest Creatures. Manifest Creatures don’t have specific Creature types, so using a card like Coat of Arms won’t help unfortunately. However, using a card like Eldrazi Monument can be incredibly useful at both protecting your army against board wipes and giving your squad a buff and evasion. With hopefully tons of Creatures in play, sacrificing one at the beginning of your upkeep shouldn’t be a big cost.

Another excellent addition is Forsaken Monument. Forsaken Monument not only provides a buff to all your Colorless Creatures, which includes Manifest Creatures, but it also allows your colorless mana sources to give you additional mana. With Omarthis as a Commander, you can never have too much mana. In addition to buffing your Manifest team, there are other ways to benefit from your freshly made army.

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Beyond a Buff

Conjurer's Closet

Manifest Creatures naturally have the ability to be turned face up for their mana value, so long as they are Creatures. The downside is that this often requires a lot of mana investment, and cards like Hangarback Walker that are face-down don’t really benefit from being turned face-up, since they won’t have counters on them. You also don’t get to turn non-Creature spells face up, meaning important cards like the Monuments may be lost forever. Well, this is assuming you can’t find a loophole. Luckily, cards like Conjurer’s Closet that can exile a Manifest Creature and return it to the battlefield under its traditional form can get around this interaction.

Omarthis has a lot more going for it than may appear at first glance in the Zhulodok Commander deck. It’s totally fine at face value but can be heavily abused as a Commander itself. If you are looking for a unique colorless Commander option, Omarthis might be perfect for you.

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