Monday, 4 February 2013

Gatecrash Commander Review - Review of Mythic cards in Commander

Welcome to my review of the Gatecrash Mythics  in Commander! I will be writing a short review of every mythic from Gatecrash. Please note this review contains my opinions on the cards, and some of the cards have been untested. When talking about cards, unless otherwise stated, I am talking about the cards use in a multiplayer setting, with evenly matched fair decks.

First, the Commanders

Aurelia, the Warleader
Aurelia  is a flying  3/4 angel with haste, vigilance and  flying.  Whenever she attacks for the first time, you untap all creatures you control and get another attack phase after this one. Unlike most other extra attack phase cards, you don’t get another main phase in between. Aurelia is a very aggressive creature and can end games the turn she is played bringing an extra attack step.
Use as a commander? Aurelia could  lead an army of Boros aggro creatures to victory quickly, especially if you add ways to blink her and abuse her extra attack steps.
Other decks it could be useful in? Boros aggro decks with Jor Kadeen or Gisela, Kaalia and friends.
Overall Opinion - Extra attack steps in an aggro deck are always nice, especially when attached to a 3/4 body, and when they happen every turn. Aurelia will probably end a lot of games, though I expect to see her more often as one of the 99 rather than as her own commander.

Borborygmos Enraged
A huge 7/6 body with trample, whenever it deals combat damage you reveal the top 3 cards of you library put any lands into your hand and the rest into your graveyard. You can also discard a land to deal 3 damage to target creature or player. This guy is a monster, and you can throw the lands you draw late game and don’t need to deal direct damage.While he probably has to be built around to be useful, he could be an absolute beating.
Use as a commander? When built around, Borborygmos can be the kind of aggro loam, discarding lands for direct damage. Combined with Snake Umbra or Keen Sense and aggro loam, you can deal some serious damage.
Other decks it could be useful in? R/G aggro decks that want to curve at 8, so not many. I can imagine a r/g/u deck with moonfolk and Borborygmos could work out well too.
Overall Opinion - Really strong when built around, but as one in the 99, he’s quite expensive for a big beater.

Lazav, Dimir Mastermind
Lazav has the ability to become a copy of any creature card that is put into your opponents graveyard and gain that ability and hexproof. Its a pretty powerful ability on its own, though it relies on decnet creatures going to your opponents graveyards. Luckily, that is something that happens fairly often in EDH! the card can go to the graveyard from anywhere, so you can mill your opponent, or make him discard a creature card and have Lazav become a copy of it.
Use as a commander? While I don’t advise mill as a strategy in EDH due to your opponents abusing their graveyard (not that it can’t be done) Lazav would love to be at the helm of a mill deck. Alternatively a discard or control deck could make good use of him.
Other decks it could be useful in? U/B control decks, or U/B reanimate
Overall Opinion - Hexproof is powerful in EDH, and when you can make him become a copy of powerful creatures, he will probably be quite scary. He depends on the creatures in your opponents decks though, which are often there because they synergies with their decks, not necessarily yours.

Obzedat, Ghost Council
Obzedat is a 5/5 Spirit Advisor. Whenever he enters the battlefield he drains an opponent for 2 life and you gain 2 life, and in your end step you can choose to exile him. He returns with haste in your upkeep. His ability means he can dodge any form or sorcery speed removal, and draining two life can quickly add up. While it does drain more life than Ghost Dad does, its inability to exile itself at instant speed leaves me thinking this just isn’t as good as the old one.
Use as a commander? It could replace Ghost Dad at the helm of the same deck if you prefer this one, and being a 5/5 mean it can make short work of opponents with even just a little help from equipment in a voltron style deck.
Other decks it could be useful in? As one of the 99 in a Ghost Council deck, B/W control.
Overall Opinion - I don’t imagine it will be played nearly as much as the old Ghost Council, but I’m sure people will try it.

Prime Speaker Zegana
Card draw is always nice, especially when attached to a creature. Prime Speaker Zegana enters the battlefield with a number of +1/+1 counters on here equal to your biggest creatures power, then you draw cards equal to Zegana’s power. With any reasonably large creature, you will be drawing a lot of cards when she enters, and if you can blink her (Dead-eye Navigator comes to mind) you will be drawing a LOT of cards. Shes useful in any G/U deck, and also very abusable as a commander.
Use as a commander? U/G control or U/G blink will both love having Prime Speaker Zenaga as their commander, card draw attached to a body is always useful.
Other decks it could be useful in? Eric, Momir Vig, Animar, any U/G creature deck.
Overall Opinion - An excellent creature that can be both a huge beater and a great source of card draw, especially if you can re-use her enters the battlefield effect. A deck built around blinking her could end up drawing a whole lot of cards.

Non-legendary Mythic Rares

Aurelia's Fury
A great X cost burn spell, it deals X damage divided between any number of creatures and players. Each creature dealt damage this way becomes tapped, and any player damaged cannot cast non-creature spells this turn. It is quite versatile allowing you to kill a number of your opponents creatures, or just damage them to tap them allowing for an alpha strike. Stopping your opponents from casting non-creature spells could help you cast an important spell without fear of it being countered, or you can just target an opponent to finish them off. While it is quite mana intensive if you need to use it as a wrath, its versatility makes it useful in lots of situations.
Decks it could be useful in? Boros Aggro, American Tempo/Control, Gisela
Overall Opinion - A versatile card, and one of the better X-burn spells, Aurelia’s Fury will come in handy fairly often. While I don’t expect it to make a huge impact every game, there will be many times where this card helps out.

Deathpact Angel
A 5/5 Flying Angel that is pretty hard to kill! When Deathpact Angel dies, you put a 1/1 white and black cleric with 3WBB tap, Sacrifice this creature, return Deathpact Angel from your graveyard to the battlefield. Its expensive to cast and to reanimate from the token it leaves behind, but the biggest problem is the token needs to be tapped, ad doesn’t have haste, leaving it vulnerable to further removal.

Decks it could be useful in? W/B sacrifice decks
Overall Opinion - While being able to reanimate itself is nice, for this high cost and vulnerability, this card probably won’t see much play.

Domri Rade
Domri Rade, one of the two new planewalkers, lends itself well to creature decks. His +1 Ability (+1: Look at the top card of your library. If it's a creature card, you may reveal it and put it into your hand.) is card advantage, but it needs a lot of creatures in your deck, or a way of fixing the top of your deck (Sensia’s Divining Top comes to mind) to work to its full extent. His -2 (Target creature you control fights another creature)is removal and protection for himself, but it does require you to have another creature, and hopefully one that will survive the fight. If you manage to ultimate him at -7, you get an emblem with "Creatures you control have double strike, trample, hexproof, and haste." which is nothing to laugh at. I don’t imagine games will last long once you have that emblem.
Decks it could be useful in? R/G creature decks
Overall Opinion -  Domri Rade needs a lot of creatures to work, but any R/G deck heavy on creatures could use Domri very well. Card Advantage, Removal, and an nice emblem for a low casting cost.

Duskmantle Seer
Duskmantle Seer is an evasive 4/4 for 4 that gives everyone extra cards. At the beginning of your upkeep, everyone reveals the top card of their library, loses life equal to its CMC, then puts it in their hands. Duskmantle Seer can be used to punish your opponents for playing high CMC spells, while you draw you own lower cmc spells if you build with this card in mind, or if you have a way of controlling the top of your deck.
Decks it could be useful in? U/B punisher deck U/B control alongside Bob and Dark Tutelage
Overall Opinion - A great card if your deck generally has lower CMC than your opponents, especially if you can control the top of your or your opponents decks.

Enter the Infinite
Blue’s newest combo piece, Enter the Infinite, weighing in at a massive 12 mana to cast, literally draws you your deck, then you put a card from hand back into your library. You also have no hand size until your next turn. When combined with infinite mana, Dream Halls, or Omniscience, this will literally end the game if it resolves, allowing a deck built around it to combo off in any number of ways. Its not like its hard to combo off with one of those three anyway however, so while it may end games, you are rarely going to be casting it at a time when any number of other cards could end them game themselves.
Decks it could be useful in? U/x Combo, Intet, the Dreamer
Overall Opinion - Another huge splashy spell designed for EDH, Enter the Infinite doesn’t excite me. It’s just another combo piece for blue decks, but most didn’t need any extra help to combo off already.

Giant Adephage
Spawnwrithe’s older cousin Giant Adephage is a huge 7/7 insect that copies itself whenever it deals combat damage. Oh, and it has trample, making it very difficult to chump block. While it may be seen to many as cute, rather than effective, if this survives to attack a couple times and copy itself, it could get ugly quickly. A way of copying this (populate) or giving this haste could turn it into a pretty scary beast, but there are probably scarier options at 7 mana.
Decks it could be useful in? Thromak, G/x aggro, G/x tokens
Overall Opinion - Its a scary beast that can copy itself when it deals combat damage, but without haste it will probably eat removal or a wrath before it gets out of hand. Scarier that Spawnwrithe, and with a way of giving it haste or copying it further, it could be used pretty efficiently.

Gideon, Champion of Justice
Gatecrashes second planeswalker, Gideon Champion of Justice is a nice lightning rod too keep people attacking him instead of you. While his +1 has no rea impact other than making him grow larger, his 0 ability could turn him into a big beater, especially post wrath. He depends on your opponents having creatures to grow big, and those creature will probably be coming right at him so you need a way of defending him. If you can ultimate him and still leave him with some counters, it could be incredibly powerful, exiling everything but itself, allowing you to animate him and beat face.

Decks it could be useful in? Mono-white, W/x control,
Overall Opinion - A nice planeswalker if you can protect him, but he will often just be a distraction from attacking your or other planeswalkers. If you can get his loyalty up and then wrath, animating him could be quite scary, and if he ever ultimates and retains some loyalty, you will probably be in a good position, especially if you float mana first.

Hellkite Tyrant
A new alternate win condition attached to a 6/5 dragon, Hellkite Dragon steals all artifacts an opponent controls when he deals damage to them, and at the beginning of your upkeep, if you have 20+ artifacts, you win the game. With both flying and trample, its easy enough for this guy to connect, and you don’t even get your artifacts back if it dies! In a heavy artifact build it could be a nice win condition, but more likely it will just punish your opponents for playing swords and mana rocks and let you gain control of them.
Decks it could be useful in? R/x aggro, Aurelia, Kaalia, Slobad
Overall Opinion - A nice way to punish your opponents for playing artifacts, I imagine this card will be hated by many, especially if used alongside Mycosynth Lattice.

Lord of the Void
A 7/7 demon with a nice on hit ability, Lord of the Void is a powerful creature that can bring your opponents creature to the fight. Whenever you deal combat damage, you can exile the top 7 cards of your opponents library and put a creature from among them onto the battlefield. While his cost is a bit high, its not too overcosted, and with any way of cheating this out, or giving it haste to get value out of it straight away, it could be a heavy hitter.
Decks it could be useful in?  Kaalia, B reanimator
Overall Opinion - A powerful creature, bringing your opponents creatures to fight for you. Just watch out for homeward path or you may be doing them a favour.

Master Biomancer
Master Biomancer turns all your creatures into mutants. Isn’t that enough? They also enter the battelfield with +1/+1 counters equal to Master Biomancer's power. Any boost to the Biomancer's power and this could get scary quickly but even without it, every creature entering with +2/+2 is already pretty strong. Being a mutant could be relevant, especially if you are playing cards like Coat of Arms
Decks it could be useful in? Edric, U/G creature decks
Overall Opinion - Every creature entering with a power and toughness boost is nice,especially in decks like Edric which typically play small creatures, or decks where +1/+1 counters matter. And the flavour of making everything a mutant is just amazing.

If you missed it, my review of the Gatecrash rares is available here.


  1. I think that Borborygmos Enraged is good with one card: Life from the Loam.

    I would rather have more mana than have the damage, unless I had a handful of mana and an opponent at 15 life. I'm pretty disappointed in the big guy.

    1. Yeah, he doesn't look like much to begin with. I've built an EDH deck around him though, and its pretty decent. Its not my most competitive deck as its often reliant on getting Borborygmos to stick, but it runs pretty well. You can use cards like Creeping Renaissance to get a load of cards back, wheel effects + Knollspine dragon to refill you hand, crucible to play the lands you throw. Life from the Loam and cycle lands or keen sense sets up an agro loam style deck too. I'll probably write up a short article on it, explaining the deck and choices. He's definitely not as straightforward as the other commanders and has to be built around however.

      Thanks for reading!