Monday, October 21, 2013

Commander 2013 Review: B/R

This is part three of our review of the new cards in Commander 2013. Tonight we're covering Black and Red. Let's get started.

This is probably the best of the Force cycle and yet I still can't even summon up any interest in playing this, despite card-drawing being my favorite thing ever. You know what isn't my favorite thing? Spending 8 mana, and likely my whole turn, casting this, only to have it completely negated by a 1-mana white instant. For eight mana, I need to be guaranteed to get some value out of it before it eats removal.
Zombies will always be popular.
Seems kind of good. I'd play this in Savra for sure. I really wish this were smaller and more cost-efficient though. As-is it kinda feels pointless - if you actually get him working, the returning creatures portion seems almost worthless, because once this guy is online, he should finish the game in a few turns by himself.
This is another awkward design. It wants to punish the guy who's got the most creatures but swinging for 4 is not likely to really make much of a dent if the player is that far ahead. I don't like it, and I don't expect to see it much out in the wild.
If you can only have one at a time, what's the point? I really don't understand this card at all. For one thing it seems 100% printable in a regular expansion, and for another it's just terrible for EDH in particular. 
That mana cost sure makes me wince, but as much as Vicious Shadows gets played despite costing seven mana, this should see a similar amount of play. It certainly punishes the greedy drawer (me!), especially Consecrated Sphinx. But really, this is actually a much weaker card than Vicious Shadows, for a variety of reasons.
Easily my favorite of the Tempting Offer cycle, even if it is highly likely to just be a 5-mana Zombify most of the time. But again, if even ONE player is desperate or foolish enough to take the offer, you're probably coming out ahead anyway.
Holy cow! Now this is a sweeper. Sure it's likely to be a worse card than Damnation most of the time, but the scalability and the incredibly cheap casting cost seem likely to make this a format staple.

Seems playable. Gives Red a convenient way to dig for gas, even if it doesn't actually provide card advantage. Like the rest of this cycle, it's not going to be good everywhere, but it'll have it's uses.
I can't believe they managed to make a Ruination that was a completely fun-wrecking jerk of a card. 
This seems like a real boon to mono-Red players. Sure it gets less and less impressive the more colors your opponents are playing, but generally, there's always enough overlap that this should always easily net you a 4-for-1 at worst. Also REALLY good against tokens.
Seems pretty mediocre. You'd probably go ahead and play it in a Purphoros deck, but when it matters most you won't see any opponents willing to take the offer. 
Needs Trample badly. 
How annoying is this, huh? A ramp spell here, a tutor there... suddenly no more cards. Combine with Painful Quandary to be the dickiest dick.

Really this is probably just too obnoxious to play outside of obnoxious punisher decks. Also, it's a terrible late-game draw.

Kinda hard to tell with this one, but it seems like it SHOULD be a fairly common staple.
LOL, hot potato. The can't gain life clause makes it somewhat more applicable beyond the obvious Zedruu and Chaos decks. It's random in a way that's more fun than most random effects, mostly cause it's easy to resolve. And it's impact is significant enough to actually matter, but not so powerful as to cause undue stress. The only thing I don't like is that it hoses Oloro, my favorite of the new Legends.


  1. I quite like Ophiomancer, it only makes one token at a time, but you can't really expect much more for a three mana creature. As is, it's a good rattlesnake card that'll stop a lot of ground creatures from attacking you. It also works well with various sack outlets like Attrition, Perilous Forays or Shivan Harvest.

    Totally agree on Sudden Demise, that card seems really cool.

    1. I've occasionally used Vampire Nighthawk in this fashion, but I like it MUCH better as a cheap rattlesnake because having Flying as well is extremely relevant.

  2. The Ophiomancer essentially wards off any number of big ground creatures while the Nighthawk wards off any one creature, flying or not. Combined with the sac outlet utility, I think I'm much more likely to play Ophiomancer.

    1. Fair enough assessment, but I tend to only get attacked by Flyers for some reason...