Saturday, October 19, 2013

Commander 2013 Review: W/U

Howdy folks. We're back for the second installment of my review of Commander 2013. We're still looking at individual cards. Last time we covered the new Legends. Today we'll be diving into the other new cards, covering White and Blue.

This is a bit clunky, but it's good. If you're not running a bunch of Artifact and Enchantments yourself, that is. It's also worth noting that it can exile itself, which means the first opponent you give it to after exiling something on your upkeep will likely just chose to have this exile itself out of annoyance. But by that time, you've already gotten a two-for-one out of it. However, if you have any decent targets yourself, you can definitely expect to see this turned against you rather quickly. Possible Zedruu staple, but most of those builds run lots of Artifacts and Enchantments themselves, so maybe not.

It would seem WotC is trying to tell us, "Hey! EDH players! Y'all ain't running enough graveyard hate!" At least I can't think of a better way to transmit this message and provide a solution at the same time than to put some GY hate on an Angel with gorgeous art.
Probably the weakest overall of the Curse cycle, but still has some applications. It certainly fits well enough in the Oloro deck. I definitely don't expect to see this become a staple of the format, but in the right deck it is fine.
Interesting... I'd happily play this, where White not already equipped with Swords to Plowshares and Path to Exile, and more. Simply put, White doesn't have a problem dealing with creatures already, so this seems unnecessary. I'd play it in a G/W Enchantress deck, though, for sure. I'd like it a lot more if the Enchantment itself were also indestructible.
I really feel like this could have cost 4 and been fair. That said, I like the effect enough I can totally justify playing it at 5, so maybe it is the right cost after all. In the right deck, of course is the caveat we use a LOT in this format - which speaks to this format's greatness: almost any card can be good or at least passable in the right deck. I think this is a card that potentially has quite a number of "right decks".
For those unaware many Asian martial art styles focus on using your opponent's strength and/or momentum against them. Thus you let your opponent supply all of the energy of the attack, you merely redirect that energy back at them, using a minimal amount of your own strength. This card design brilliantly captures that flavor. Whether this card is actually good or not... well, realistically, no one will be stupid enough to attack into this, so I don't know. You don't just see a Kung Fu master and think "Oh, I should just run up and attack this guy!".
This has to be the worst of the Tempting Offer cycle. See, the way to evaluate the cards in this cycle is to ask yourself "Am I okay with playing this if I assume my opponents will NEVER chose to take the tempting offer?" So, for this one, if the text box JUST read: "Put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control." would you be happy playing this? At six mana, I'm betting you wouldn't be. 
Regular readers should know by now that I am very much not a fan of "tuck" effects, at least when used on people's Generals. I acknowledge that some Generals are a bit broken and tuck effects are reasonable protection against those Legends - but in the absence of overpowered Generals, the strategy of screwing people out of their Generals should be similarly absent. All of this to say, I actually like this card. It's all-purpose removal, at Instant speed, and yes you CAN target someone's General in response to their shuffle effect (such as a ramp spell), but it's so versatile I think most players can avoid using it in that way, unless the General in question really has it coming.

Again, this Curse isn't particularly strong, but it can be good in the right deck. I could see this in certain Rafiq, Edric or Zur builds, for example.  Tap down blockers, give your attacker pseudo-Vigilance, or untap your Sol Ring or Gaea's Cradle. Lots of options! But again, it just needs the right deck for those options to translate into useful abilities.
Well, that's unique... kinda terrible though. I'm definitely not expecting to see this in play once people are out of the "play the decks unmodified" phase.
Man, for some reason I was convinced this cost 7 or 8 mana. Thankfully I'm wrong. Unfortunately that non-combat restriction kills any motivation I had for playing this at any cost. But it's goofy, chaotic and highly political, so I can see this getting played.
Holy crap, this card is amazing. Anyone who thinks this is just a crappy four-mana "Fog" is either playing too much 1v1 or just can't read. This is definitely a card I will still be playing a year from now. "Oh, I'm sorry. You wanted to kill ME with that Avenger of Zendikar + Craterhoof Behemoth play? Nope. Pick someone else to kill. And no, you can't pick 'nobody'." God I'm going to love this.
Crap. Sure if you have no creatures, it could, randomly work out to be good for you. But it's way to iffy and random and unreliable for my tastes. Another good possible udpate for Zedruu decks, though. And of course "LOLRANDOM!" chaos players will love it.
Remember what I said? Would you play this without the Tempting Offer portion of the text? Well, since Cackling Counterpart exists and is a WHOLE lot better, I'm suspecting a lot of dissenting answers. But yet, I actually think this is playable. Or at least, it's worth testing out, to see if your opponents ever take the tempting offer, because really if even ONE opponent takes the bait you've basically gotten BOTH castings of Cackling Counterpart for only 4 mana. Not terrible.
Ugh, I can't decide which is the worst of the now-completed Force cycle. It's either this or the White one. Okay, it's the White one. Even in decks where Lifegain doesn't suck, the White Force sucks. But this one sucks so bad, the fact that it sucks LESS than the White one is like saying killing puppies is slightly less evil than killing kittens. 
I was hoping that, after the Scavenging Ooze debacle of '11, WotC would be smart enough to avoid including any more Legacy plants. But here we are, and here this is. Prepare to pay more than retail for whichever deck this is in, unless you go to Walmart or your LGS is actually cool.

Oh and this goes in pretty much every Edric deck.

That's all for now. Next up is Black and Red. Until then, Enjoy!

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