Over the course of the next couple years, a bunch more Universes Beyond crossovers are being introduced to the world of MTG. Some of them, like MTG Fallout, have already given us a handful of spoilers to get us hyped about the products. It’s clear that Universes Beyond crossovers have, by in large, been very successful.
Alongside the release of The Lost Caverns of Ixalan, players will be able to get their hands on another interesting Universes Beyond product, this time emphasizing Jurassic World. Recently, we went over a handful of spoilers that were extremely flavorful, meshing the worlds of MTG and Jurassic Park together nicely.
Today, we are going to share yet another group of previews, this time featuring of Commander’s most powerful mechanics. Given that these Jurassic World cards will not be legal in Standard, Modern, or Pioneer, it makes sense that these cards would be heavily slanted towards the Commander format. After all, Commander is the perfect place to showcase enormous Dinosaur haymakers, and this group of spoilers happen to work quite nicely with big Dinosaurs.
Blue, Royal Raptor
The extremely powerful Commander-focused mechanic being reused with the Jurassic World cards is Partner. In this case, Blue, Royal Raptor can be Partnered with Owen Grady, Raptor Trainer. This allows you to utilize both cards as your Commanders, instead of simply having to choose one legendary Creature to be your general. This “Partner with” ability also allows you to search your library for Owen and put Owen into your hand, but given their differing color identities, they should generally both be used as Commanders.
Blue, Royal Raptor is an interesting card that benefits every Dinosaur you play while it’s out. That is, as long as you put in the work. As we will see, Owen Grady, Raptor Trainer can add certain types of Counters to Blue, Royal Raptor. However, you can also use other cards to put counters on Blue that Owen can’t put on normally. For example, Flying counters, one of the most powerful types of keyword counters in MTG, is not an option to add with Owen Grady. Yet, with simple cards like Avian Oddity, you can put a Flying counter on Blue, letting every subsequent Dinosaur you play enter with Flying counters, too.
There are a handful of cards that work exceptionally well in conjunction with Blue. Perhaps the coolest card to utilize alongside Blue is Scavenged Brawler. With Scavenged Brawler in your graveyard, you can spend five mana and exile Brawler from your graveyard to add a bunch of counters to Blue all at once. Blue will get four +1/+1 counters as well as Flying, Vigilance, Trample, and Lifelink. Every Dinosaur you play for the rest of the game will be even more threatening as a result.
Cards like Agent’s Toolkit can help make sure Blue and your squad end up with Shield counters, which are great at protecting your team from board wipes. As long as you have ways to put counters on Blue and have a lot of Dinosaurs in your deck, you’re in for a good time.
Owen Grady, Raptor Trainer
In a rather flavorful way, Owen Grady helps make Blue a reliable Commander. The idea is that, with Owen and Blue on the battlefield at once, you can use Owen’s ability to put one of the four types of counter listed on Blue during your turn. From there, each Dinosaur you play becomes even scarier that it might otherwise be.
Notably, you don’t have to target Blue with Owen’s ability. Sometimes it will be better to just play an enormous Dinosaur, give it a Haste counter, and bash. It’s really cool being able to use your trainer to make your other Creatures stronger on Command. The flavor text here really ties everything together as well. These cards are perfect for fans of Jurassic Park and Commander alike.
Our last card is a great new addition to decks with lots of expensive Dinosaurs. One of the biggest weaknesses with running an archetype so heavily built around Dinosaurs is that, normally, the mana curve of the deck is quite high. There are lots and lots of incredible haymakers to choose from in Commander, but not as many cheap Dinosaurs to help fill the curve. Hunting Velociraptor costs only three mana, and it helps make all of your high mana cards much easier to cast.
All you have to do is connect in combat with any Dinosaur, and you can then cast any of your Dinosaurs from hand for only three mana. Notably, this means that if you deal damage with any number of Dinosaurs, as long as you have six mana available during your second main phase, you can play Hunting Velociraptor and immediately cast a massive threat right after. This helps prevent your opponent from removing Hunting Velociraptor before you can get value out of it.
Hunting Velociraptor works nicely with Owen, since you can make sure Hunting Velociraptor has Haste, or another Dinosaur has Trample and can reliably connect in combat. Getting to cast cards like The Tarrasque for cheap can be very beneficial. With an effect like Maskwood Nexus out, you could even cast some big Eldrazi for cheap!
Hunting Velociraptor makes things easy no matter which route you go and is a solid addition to any Dinosaur-centric Commander deck. Both Partner Commanders and Hunting Velociraptor are very cool designs, and they each work well together. The MTG Jurassic World crossover is certainly delivering some goodies for Commander players.