Monday, 09 November 2020 10:38

Commander Legends: The cards we're most excited for

Written by
Commander Legends: The cards we're most excited for WOTC

Now that the full Commander Legends set has been revealed, we here at Magic Untapped found a number that (for one reason or another) really stood out to us -- even if the reason is for something other than the format for which the set is designed, EDH.

So, which are the Commander Legends cards for which we are most excited?  Check out our dirty dozen the list below (in no particular order)!

 

The Card: Jeweled Lotus
The Reason:
Hype, hype, and more hype.

Okay, so we're addressing the elephant in the room right off the bat.  Jeweled Lotus is a commander-only Black Lotus and we're okay with that.  Say what you will about cards on the Reserved List (or even the Reserved List itself), we love seeing new twists on old favorites.

The Card: Vampiric Tutor
The Reason:
 Originally part of the tutor megacycle from Mirage that was, itself, a spin on the O.G. Demonic Tutor, Vampiric Tutor is a great inclusion in Commander Legends as it gets more copies of the card out into the wild and, thusly, will likely make the card a tad more wallet friendly (most printings are in the high $90s and up as of the writing of this article).

While restricted in Vintage and pretty much banned everywhere other than EDH, it's a staple in formats in which it's allowed.

The Card: Mana Drain
The Reason:
 A shocking inclusion into the set, Mana Drain made us very happy.

The card's second reprint after making its debut in Legends all the way back in June of 1994 (Iconic Masters was the first reprinting), what really matters here is availability.  The card is extremely powerful and, despite only really being legal in Vintage and EDH, is also extremely sought after.  This is a great reprint on WotC's part.

The Card: Hans Eriksson
The Reason:
 Ach! Hans, run!  You're finally appearing on a Magic: The Gathering card!

First appearing in the iconic favor text on the Ice Age card Lhurgoyf along with Saffi Eriksdotter (who got her own card years ago in Time Spiral), it's not only a flavor win for Hans to finally see print, it just warms the soul.  Just look at him.  He's enjoying nature and having a fine day with his friend, Saffi.  Just in time for him to... ACH! HANS RUN! IT'S THE LHURGOYF!

 

The Card: Rings of Brighthearth
The Reason:
 Another much needed reprint for availability purposes, Rings of Brighthearth has only seen its original printing in Lorwyn ($60) and as a masterpiece card in Kaladesh ($127).  Needless to say, this EDH staple not only sees Commander play, it's also a key card in some Legacy decks such as Mystic Forge and MUD.

Being reprinted in Commander Legends is sure to help keep secondary market prices in check for a while and get more copies into players' hands.

The Card: Scroll Rack
The Reason:
 We're hyped for Scroll Rack not just for the card becoming more widely available, but also for the old school type of MTG that it represents.

First printed in Tempest, the card was a key inclusion in the top-tier decks that warped the game during the time of the Urza Block and the era known as "Combo Winter."  These days, in addition to being quite handy in EDH, the card is seen in Legacy decks such as Nic Fit and Miracles, as well as Vintage Oath deck variants.

 

The Card: Opposition Agent
The Reason:
 Could Opposition Agent be a new black staple?

It's a card that seems (on the surface) to be able to fit into nearly any deck that runs black, making it quite flexible.  Plus, thanks to it having flash, it can turn into quite the surprise for your opponent as it allows you to search your opponent's libraries for cards for yourself.  Not only is this handy in EDH with all of the library searching some decks tend to do in abundance, but also in Legacy and Vintage where tutors, fetchlands, and other library searching options are not only available, but widely used.

The Card: Three Visits
The Reason:
 It's about time this Portal: Three Kingdoms card received a reprint.

P3K was not a widely-opened set due in part to it (A) being a Portal introductory product, and (B) it having a limited English-language release.  While it's surprising that WotC hadn't found a time or place to reprint the card in any set since in the 21-some-odd years since its debut.

Something else we like about this card is in its art as, if you notice, there are three faeries fluttering about.  Each of those faeries look extremely similar to three other faeries from different planes in the MTG multiverse: one from the plane of Eldraine as seen on the card Faerie Formation, Pestermite from the plane of Lorwyn, and one that is extremely familiar to the faerie seen on the Mirage card Cycle of Life.

The Card: Nevinyrral, Urborg Tyrant
The Reason:
This card is so flavorful, you can taste it (but please don't actually taste it -- it's still just cardstock).

While we were a bit mixed at first on Nevinyrral (which actually the name of science fiction author Larry Nevin, best known for the Ringworld books, spelled backwards) getting an actual card, in the end we rather like what WotC did with it.  Not only is he hard for opponent to remove thanks to his hexproof abilitiy, he also can provide you with a post-board wipe instant zombie army.  Furthermore, when he dies, you can set off his iconic disk (which, if you look at the artwork, he wears like a necklace).

The Card: Staff of Domination
The Reason:
 Getting back to cards that need reprints that are actually getting a reprint, Staff of Domination is one that sorely needed one as since its debut in Fifth Dawn ($49), the only other printing was as a Kaladesh masterpiece ($155).  This Commander Legends printing should help a lot -- especially considering it's being reprinted at its original rarity (rare).

The card has amazing synergy and is seen in decks across multiple formats including Legacy (MUD, 12-Post, and Stax), Modern (Grand Architect and Walls), and, of course, Commander where it often gets paired with Yisan, the Wandering Bard and Teferi, Temporal Archmage.

The Card: Flamekin Herald
The Reason:
 As if bringing out your commander isn't a big enough deal in EDH, how about you add a cascade trigger to it?  Well, that's exactly what will happen when you have Flamekin Herald on the board, providing you with a nice, free spell that (possibly) would have otherwise cost you a cool four or five mana to fire off (commander CMC dependent, of course).

It's just too bad that commander tax doesn't factor into the math.

The Card: Wheel of Misfortune
The Reason:
 Do you remember when, at the top of this list, we were poking a little fun at the Reserved List?  Yeah... about that darned list.

Wheel of Misfortune kind of throws that list out of the window.  Kind of.

Costing the same (mana-wise) as the original Wheel of Fortune, Wheel of Misfortune does a neat little spin on the O.G. card.  Boasting a big risk/reward sort of element, the card has players choosing a secret number with the highest said number being dealt out in damage to all players who didn't choose that number AND each player who didn't choose the lowest number getting to discard their hand and draw seven new cards a-la Wheel of Fortune.  It's hilarious and we can't wait to see it in action.

Overall -- even for the cards that didn't quite wow us -- Gavin Verhey and crew did a very fine job in putting Magic: The Gathering's first ever draftable set designed specifically for EDH. Kudos where kudos are due.

Commander Legends is due for release Nov. 20 with a sealed pre-releases scheduled for this weekend and all who participate get a special Sengir, the Dark Baron promo card featuring special artwork from original Baron Sengir artist Pete Venters. Check with your local gaming store for details.