Welcome to the horde, my brethren!
Now, if you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks, then you’re either a filthy Mirran renegade, or you may be generally unaware that the might of Phyrexia has purged the plane of Mirrodin. Wizards announced quite recently that New Phyrexia would be the name of the new set coming out in just a few weeks. I personally was looking forward to an in-depth spoiler season, waiting to see what goodies would await me. However, two things kind of spoiled that for me… One, a collective of Japanese players somehow got a hold of some of the NPH cards, including one highly-speculated character appearing. To add on to that, the Godbook was leaked on MTGSalvation. For those who don’t know, the Godbook is a collective of information given to Wizards’ employees that has all of the set information, and most notably, all of the cards for the new set.
Now, this article is certainly one I was planning on writing, but I must admit, I didn’t expect it so soon. So, I warn you in advance, readers, that if you have not read the spoilers posted on MTGSalvation, Channel Fireball or Star City Games, then please do not read this article if you do not wish to have this information presented to you.
…OK then. For all of you who read my first Commander review on Mirrodin Besieged, this article will follow a similar layout. I will be taking a look at every card on the spoiler, and presenting you with some of the cards I think may have an impact on your own Commander decks. I will be taking factors such as utility, cost, colour and range of effect into account, and presenting you with a few ideas to use in your own Commander decks.
So, without further adieu, I present to you… the cards of New Phyrexia!
…and what better way to start than with a Control card (My favourite!). This is the first of a new cycle of cards, whose main selling point is that they have an effect from the start of the game, much like the Leyline cycles. By revealing this from your hand at the start of a game, for example, you force your opponents into a tricky spot. By countering the first spell of the game, you force each opponent to have to play around her. The turn 1 Sol Ring start is pretty solid, but having this in your opener is a solid way of delaying your opponent for a turn, or perhaps more – they have to tap out to play a Sol Ring on turn 2, leaving them very little in the way of coloured mana to do anything else with! For those in Green, it means their important ramp spells happen a turn later, giving you more of a chance to set up as well: A turn 3 Nature’s Lore is obviously worse than one cast on turn 2, if only for tempo reasons. Her effect doesn’t stop there, either: Once she’s sitting on the battlefield, ALL spells have an extra cost of 1 mana. While I feel this isn’t as gamebreaking as her first ability, it does offer a blanket effect for the duration of her time on the battlefield, and if your opponents don’t deal with her, they’ll have to ramp pretty hard to stay ahead of the game.
Not really my first choice in spot removal in this colour, but certainly something worth noting for Artifact-based strategies in these colours. I’d certainly rate it behind Swords to Plowshares, Path to Exile and Condemn, but it does give us another option, and a pretty powerful one: If you control the 3 Artifacts needed for Metalcraft, you Exile the creature without your opponent gaining a bonus. I’d certainly look at this as an option for decks such as Sharuum the Hegemon or Khemba, Kha Regent with a higher Artifact denisity in their builds.
Elesh Norn is Crovax’s elder, more gory sister. Doubling Crovax’s effect for a mere 1 mana more, Elesh Norn is the bane of all weenie swarm strategies. Most token-based builds will fall at being unable to generate enough powerful tokens to set off their combos or Overruns, while a 4/7 Body gives her enough fat to both steamroll a defensive line, and protect her charges as well with added Vigilance. One other major upgrade is the fact that she hits everything, regardless of colour, so she’s even playable in token builds, pumping your Saprolings to 3/3’s in the process of whittling down opposing Titans. People have also been discussing her use as a commander, but at 7 mana, I’m not so sure she fits that role well enough – she takes 6 swings to finish a player, and costs a fair amount of mana at 7. In a deck with a cheaper general, however, she might just be what you’re looking for.
A sort-of Moat effect. White has always been very powerful against swarm strategies, and this card is another shining example. For players not playing with White mana, this generally whittles away at their life total, forcing them to only attack with their larger threats, making it more costly to try and hit home with weenies. For those players that do play White, it still adds a bit of an awkward stance – though they can pay mana or life, often times most players playing white in a multicolor deck will only have a small amount to play with, unless they switch off their White spells for a bit. Still very fragile to Naturalize effects and board sweeps, but gives you some added protection.
…and now we showcase one of White’s other major abilities: Its interaction with Equipment. Whether you’re playing Khemba, Rhaksha, Isamaru or any other Mono-White General, this card is a solid inclusion. To go along with your equipment, Puresteel Paladin actually allows your Euipment to Cantrip, and in the case of Metalcraft, makes your expensive equipment free to equip! Casting Argentum Armor, drawing a card and then equipping for free to swing and destroy a permanent with is such a beating. Heck, he’s even a body to strap some Swords to. If Equipment is your main strategy, consider this guy, as I think he’ll be an MVP along with Stonehewer Giant and Stoneforge Mystic. It’s just a shame he’s not red, or my Godo, Bandit Warlord deck would eat him up!
White Regrowth effect, solid 2-for-1 in most cases, and fairly cheap as well. I’m loving a lot of White’s Graveyard recursion lately, and this is no exception. Does anyone else want to see a foil of this, just to see Elspeth’s armor shimmer? Just me? OK then… It’s straught-up Card Advantage, helps you to recur those important Combo pieces, and fairly costed to boot. I think I may just prefer Argivian Find and Mine Excavation over it, but it’s hard to argue with decent CA.
The second Chancellor, this time Blue’s variant. The first ability is fair – You have a chance at milling them for important combo pieces, lands they need, or solid creatures, but obviously the ability is better suited against colours with little graveyard recursion (ala Red). It’s not an ability I would count on a lot of the time since it’s fairly random, but it’s worth denying your opponents resources, I suppose. The second ability is one that grabs me. Now, for those that know me in my EDH group, I’m a massive proponent of free stuff. Intet, the Dreamer; Galvanoth; and Djinn of Wishes are all massive marks in my EDH games, and this one certainly tugs at my strings with what it provides. Bare minimum, this card provides you with the odd Ramp or Removal spell, but at best, you can be netting Time Stretches, Briberies, Tooth and Nails, ANYTHING! (It could even be a boat!). 7 Mana is pretty high, but in a format like this, you can usually afford a few big guys. You’ll always gain value out of this guy, even if you whiff on the free spell, as a 5/7 body generally provides you with some decent defense as well.
…and speaking of Creatures who have a huge impact, check out this guy! At 10 mana, he competes with Time Stretch as your premiere Blue spell, but look at what he provides: Cast on your turn, you net 7 new cards, well worth the replacement for 10 mana, though Recurring Insight and Overwhelming Intellect also seem like solid picks if you want the card draw that badly. However, It’s the second ability that catches most EDH’ers: You have the ability to strip your Opponent’s hands to 0. This can be huge in multiplayer – Your opponents have one round to bounce, wrath or exile him before he wrecks havok on your cards. Now, granted, cards like Praetor’s Council and Reliquary Tower do put a stop to this guy in a bad way, which is a shame, but he’ll never be useless. Yep, that’s right, you can Flash the guy in. Blocking, or just netting the Cards at your end step are both viable reasons to cast this guy, though time will tell if he can usurp Time Stretch as the top 10-mana spell in the format.
Duplicant 2.0, this time with a few subtle changes. First, it’s 1 mana more expensive, and color-shifted to Blue, which isn’t a huge deal. Second, and probably the biggest change, is that the P/T of the creature you exile is added on to the Power and Toughness of the Ingester, making him a slightly bigger threat at the same time. Certainly a worthy inclusion, but he does lose a little bit of consistency over Duplicant, who has multiple interactions to ensure he gets the most out of being played, mainly with cards such as Goblin Welder who lets him have multiple shots at hitting play.
I will go out here as openly saying this right now: This card, is without doubt, one of my MVP’s for this set in terms of Commander usage. So, he’s a Clone-Sculpting Steel hybrid that you can pay 3 mana and 2 life for in order to copy a General, or an Artifact that you want? This has such amazing synergy, and the Phyrexian Mana just makes him better! I can see him once more in Sharuum, the Hegemon decks as a way to infinite combo someone if their Sculpting Steel gets removed. It’s a beater when you need a beater, and a combo piece when you need to combo, and at a paltry 2 life, ends up an even cheaper deal. Definitely a solid inclusion into any Blue-based decks playing Clone, and certainly an auto-include into those playing an artifact strategy as well.
Aww, poor little bodyless Myr :( Anyway, I can see this in a fair few tribal decks. I’m sure Azami could use it, but probably doesn’t need it, but I can see its main use in a Reaper King build – turning every creature into a Vindicate seems fine to me, as does turning every creature into T: Draw 1. Heck, even Slivers could use it to an extent…
Another Black draw spell, and this time, one with a slightly higher cost than before, depending on your meta. Now, my playgroup have exactly 0 Poison options in terms of a general theme, though my Godo, bandit Warlord does play Grafted Exoskeleton to grant a quick win. In most cases, I’d rather just lose the 2 extra life with Promise of Power and then gain 2 extra cards, but this is by no means a poor card. I think it sits behind Promise, Ambition’s Cost and Ancient Craving in terms of power level, but I am actually considering it as a replacement for Necropotence in some of my decks, due to it’s slightly higher speed. A lot more risky if there’s poison in your meta, but if not, the cost is fairly low. You can even do the same trick with this that you can with Sign in Blood, since you may target your opponent with it. Finish off an opponent on 7 Poison counters or 3 life, or just group hug an opponent in order to battle a larger threat. An interesting option for decks, to say the least.
…Sure, I’ll start on 49! Obviously this scales up in tune with the amount of players within the game, but still, it gives you an extra resource to gain advantage from. Probably not the best Chancellor in terms of abilities, but undoubtedly one of the best beatsticks we have available. Evasion plus Lifelink is a 12 Point swing every turn, plus who wouldn’t want a hug from those big, outstretched arms? :D
I love the art on this one, but that’s not why we’re here. Sure, the obvious thing to do is put this into a dedicated Infect deck and start beating down. However, has anyone thought of the possibilities with cards like [card]Wickerbough Elder[/card]? Repeatable effects are pretty sick in Commander, and albeit this usually costs you a card, the fact that it recurs itself makes it a hell of a lot better. Plus, it’s funny to shut off opponent’s Persist creatures with it.
Is anyone else thinking [card]Geth, Lord of the Vault[/card] when they see this card? Sure, Wraths are powerful, but this one even denies your opponent a vital strategy, or at least some powerful beatsticks or utility creatures. The best use I can think for this is using Geth to reanimate the creatures in later turns. Seems good, and at 6 mana, it’s no more expensive than many Wrath effects in the format.
Well… that is just… Awesome. Sure, you have to be in a heavy Black commitment to even consider this card, but look at the payoff: a P/T ratio that jumps the curve of his mana cost, Trample, and an ability that proves to be a massive detriment to your opponents. Damage-based sweepers become very costly against him, and even blocking can result in massive losses over a period of turns. If I ever see this across the table from me, I think I’d rather take the 5 than lose my vital permanents. Brutally powerful, and rightly so from a successor to [card]Phyrexian Negator[/card]
“Why, yes, I would like your stuff!” There’s almost guaranteed to be something you can take with this, as the vast majority of players will play some Artifacts, and stealing a [card]Sol Ring[/card] from an unsuspecting player in the early game is pretty good tech. It gets you what you need at every point in the game – Ramp at the start, utility near the middle, and win conditions near the end… provided your opponent is at least partially in your colours so you can cast the card you take, though it’s not a terrible play to just exile a combo piece from an Opponent’s deck.
I’m loving the mirrored effects of the Praetors, it’s one of the flavourful aspects I really love about the game: It’s the fact that cycles of cards are generally very well done. Sheoldred (Yeah, she does look pretty ancient…) is a STandard-bearer for what Black is – Reincarnating your own creatures while making your opponents sacrifice creatures to your evil deeds. It’s kind of like a [card]Debtor’s Knell[/card] mixed with [card]The Abyss[/card], and those are both incredibly powerful effects, not to mention you get a 6/6 which battles with Black’s Chancellor for #1 Black beatstick for the set. Though I’d stay away from those torso teeth… They can cause issues :s (Yes, I have seen the movie ‘Teeth’. No, I will not watch it again, and neither should you >.<)
Red [card]Threaten[/card] effects are generally incredibly good, especially those at Instant speed. heck, this one is even half price if you want to pay 4 life instead! Stealing something like a Titan at least gives you something back before you give back the creature, or you can sacrifice it to [card]Goblin Bombardment[/card] or a similar effect to make sure they don’t get it back.
…and for those guys who really wanted to pummel their opponents with [card]Darksteel Forge[/card], now’s your chance! Turn any heavy, bulky artifact into a weapon of mass insanity. Seriously, can you imagine Godo swinging around a [card]Tower of Fortunes[/card] or some other insane Artifact? For flavour reasons alone, this should be considered for a slot, but it even gives you extra life out of your “dead” Artifacts (Ones that have lost all of their charge counters, for example). I will personally give a high five to anyone who can come up with the funniest thing to equip to a creature :D
I wouldn’t try to forge a relationship with this guy… I’ve heard he’s really hasty in his decision making, before ‘goblin’ up an opponent’s creatures… and that’s enough puns for one card :D. He makes a hasty dude if he’s in your opener, which is OK, but I’m more looking at the army he generates when he enters the battlefield. He’d do better to have a little more in terms of haste, but having a scaled-up army of Goblins is OK. Not my first choice for Chancellor #1, but sometimes he just gets the job done.
7 Mana return for 4 Investment, but you can only spend it on Artifacts or Creatures… which are probably the most prevalent card types in the format… it seems good in theory, but the fact that I can’t power out a [card]Dragonstorm[/card] with this is a wee bit limiting. Though assuming you ramp up on turn 2 (Ala [card]Coldsteel Heart[/card]), then you can potentially make a Chancellor turn 3, which is pretty monstrous. I’d keep it under consideration if you have a major share in Creatures and Artifacts, but don’t expect it to do much if you just throw it into any deck.
Half of a [card]Master Warcraft[/card] can be pretty solid, and the card itself can be pretty ruthless, but if you’re mono Red, you usually burn the creatures out of the way anyway. Play the Warcraft if you are able, but this is a solid substitute for budget players, or those building Pauper/Peasant EDH decks.
Time for the 4th Praetor, and I think this one will ‘prae’ on opponents especially easily. A [card]Fervor[/card] Mixed with a little [card]Kismet[/card] makes this card a potent mix of Aggro and Control. Haste is such an important ability for red players, especially in a format where Control and Combo strategies rule. This guy ensures your guys swing twice before their guys even UNTAP. Solid inclusion, and though Mythic, it feels like a definite card to look out for.
So… Green gets [card]Vindicate[/card] now, and I could not be more happy. Having played with Desert Twister, I can definitely attest to the power of it, so surely at half the cost it gets even better! The 3/3 is irrelevant most of the time so long as you knock out something of sufficient power level, and being an Instant means you can even kill those pesky [card]Sensei’s Divining Top[/card]s! It’s an uncommon, you should have no reason not to pick these up in spades for any deck using Green.
A [card]Worldly Tutor[/card] mixed with a little [card]Primal Command[/card]… I don’t know whether this card is worth the inclusiion, to be honest, but I figured I should flag it up. Tutoring is always a powerful ability, and this is certainly a cost-effective inclusion if you cannot afford cards like [card]Sylvan Tutor[/card] and [card]Green Sun’s Zenith[/card], plus the extra advantage of being a creature means it can be reanimated or bounced in order to gain more effect, but for the 5 less mana, I’d much rather play Worldly Tutor. A worthy inclusion for budget players, but WT is still only £1-2 on ebay. It’s your call.
Hmm, now this guy is interesting. The best use I can find for it is a turn 1 [card]Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary[/card] or [card]Azusa, Lost but Seeking[/card] for the ramp decks. Getting that far ahead is so brutal in the early game, it’s hard to combat it unless you have spot removal for their guy before they get too broken. However, once this guy gets into play, he gives us an ability that Green seldom sees, Vigilance. Combined with Reach, he gives you a solid body on Defense and Attack. Though he competes with [card]Avenger of Zendikar[/card] in most cases, I’d still give this guy a chance-llor to tangle with an opponent… :D
Soooooooooooooooo sick! Such good anti-Wrath tech, like [card]Ghostway[/card] is, but often better, because you get guys for EVERY creature. Sure, you don’t get 187’s abilities again, but you do get a 3/3 for ever creature destroyed by the effect. [card]Overrun[/card] and I win next turn? This can turn the tide quickly, but I kinda wish my beasts didn’t look like oversized, mutated molerats :s.
Shuts off both Infect and Persist, huh… I’d probably cast her out onto the Battlefield, but then I am a sucker for a cute redhead ;). Again, only play with her if you have a lot of Infect in your playgroup.
Well, this guy can add up to a fair bit of advantage over a few turns, until you eventually just swing with a bunch of 1/1’s to kill off an opponent. Granted, it only works should your opponent already be poisoned, but it’s so easy to do in this format now, that you shouldn’t have any trouble getting at least a couple of dudes out of it every turn. Of course, the tokens work well on defence too, withering your Opponent’s guys into nothing. a BG Rock style deck seems to be the best fit for this, obviously with all of the Infect trimmings.
…and if the Swarmlord doesn’t win you the game, then this should definitely do it. Infect [card]Overrun[/card] is pretty insane if you have enough guys – even weedy little Saprolings become 4 power guys with this out, making it an added boon for Token-based strategies, plus at 1 mana cheaper, you get almost the same effect. Definitely a card to consider if you like turning creatures sideways and sticking them right in the face of your opponents.
…and now we get to Green’s Praetor, who you may know as the guy whispering to Karn on [card]Praetor’s Counsel[/card], and yet again, we see the mirrored abilities that make the Praetors so brutal and powerful as characters. A proponent of natiral order, Vorinclex effectively doubles your mana output, while simultaneously helping to shut down your opponent by keeping his lands tapped for a turn. Definitely a good option for green as both a control and ramp option in the same card, albeit a little fragile as a creature. I’d have liked his body to have been a wee bit bigger for 8 mana, but hey, I won’t complain with a 7-Power Trampling monstrocity. Expect to see this in a few Green decks to start with, depending on their strategy.
You must be ‘Kadeen’ if you think this guy won’t make an impact on Commander (Yes, that was a terrible pun, but sue me!). We don’t really have a lot of choice in this area of Commanders (Only [card]Brion Stoutarm[/card], [card]Agrus Kos, Wojek Veteran[/card] and [card]Razia, Boros Archangel[/card] share the same colours), but Jor Kadeen does open us up to a new strategy: metalcraft. The fact that he’s a 5/4 First Striker for 5 is pretty decent, but the fact that he can be boosted up to 8 (Not to mention if you have other equipment to boost him), and you can be swinging for lethal General damage in just a couple of turns. Not to mention, he gives the +3 bonus to his allies as well, so even your weenies become intimidating monsters that need to be taken down. Obviously his biggest flaw is trying to keep Metalcraft, but cards that stick around through board wipes such as [card]Darksteel Ingot[/card] will help you to at least maintain a board of massive creatures. Plus, I do have a soft spot for [card]Ajani Vengeant[/card] in this combination.
Well… that imagery leaves nothing to the imagination at all, does it? Aside from the nature of the art, Batterskull is in fact quite the beatstick, offering two very defensive abilities (Vigilance and Lifelink) in a small package. Being able to attack and defend with the same card is such an advantage in Commander, and this is sure to find a home in equipment-natured generals such as [card]Godo, Bandit Warlord[/card] or [card]Khemba, Kha Regent[/card], because seriously, who doesn’t love big beatsticks? Besides which, he can even bounce himself to save himself from removal… sure, he leaves his germs behind to stain the Battlefield, but he’ll bring more with him the second he returns to play. Definitely a high-roller for the set, and certainly a solid pick if you value your equipment highly.
…and they really did push the boat out with Artifacts in this set: Check out this sweet [card]Mirari’s Wake[/card]! Without the colour commitment, everyone can play it for just a single mana more, giving us a decent curve of mana doublers in EDH – [card]Extraplanar Lens[/card]; [card]Gauntlet of Might[/card]; [card]Gauntlet of Power[/card]; and now Caged Sun adds a whole new way to get your resources increased. I’d expect to see this in decks with very few ways of ramping outside of Artifacts (Black, Blue, Red), or decks that just want to let rip with a lethal [card]Comet Storm[/card] to the table.
The Planeswalker hunter of the set, Hex Parasite looks fairly small at first, but it can be the key to opening up a strategy. By destroying opposing Planeswalkers, or even just taking the -1/-1 Counters off a Persist creature, this guy can help regain some utility within your deck. The only problem lies with it’s colour identity: This card is essentially a Black creature due to the Phyrexian Black mana required to activate it, but if you’re Black and you don’t wanna go back, hex Parasite is a solid utility option for decks that need a little help against Planeswalkers.
I do love prison effects in this format, and this one is pretty solid, albeit not as great as the classic white options. Not so great in a format where life starts at 40, but can still add a little pain to your opponent should they choose to play creatures normally, or a loss of tempo if they’re nearer the end game and need to preserve their resources. An interesting one if you can keep denying them mana and creatures, but probably best left alone unless you have a strategy for abusing it.
Land ramp is always good, and like its predecessor [card]Ichor Wellspring[/card], this provides a significant advantage. Being able to be played in any deck is huge, and it gives any deck the chance to ramp easily, alongside cards such as [card]Wayfarer’s Bauble[/card]. The true style points come when you start recurring it, maybe via [card]Goblin Welder[/card] in order to create a significant ramp package. Even if you can’t normally recur it from the graveyard, you’re paying for [card]Rampant Growth[/card] for any deck, which is solid, powerful ramp. Definitely a call for those who want a less fragile way of ramping, it’s certainly a card I’m thinking of at the moment.
Now, I’ll make this abundantly clear: I love most of the shrines, but some of them I just can’t see in Commander decks. The Green one ramps when your main strategy is ramp; The Red one deals damage when it already can do that via it’s abundant amount of X-Spells; and the Blue one draws you one card out of X? Please… I think the Black and White Shrines offer you the best value for your mana.
The White one acts as a pseudo Itteh Bitteh Kitteh Committeh (Or [card]White Sun’s Zenith[/card] for those who didn’t read my Mirrodin Besieged review), and it gives you a lot of board prescence over just a couple of turns, whereas the Black one is solid Card Advantage by lowering your opponent’s options. Both of their powers rely on how many spells you cast on the specific colour, but in mono decks, you should have no problem charging them up immensely before unleashing them on an opponent.
The only thing I wish they had was the ‘Shrine’ subtype, like on the Honden series of cards from Champions of Kamigawa, just to give that block some love… but alas, it’s probably for the best…
…It’s a minuature [card]Reverse the Sands[/card]… combo potential, yes. Solid playable, probably not. In some cases you can really go to town on players and wipe the table using cards like [card]Necropotence[/card] to wipe out your life before stealing somebody else’s, but then why not just use [card]Repay in Kind[/card] which does a much better job for 1 more mana? I can see potential, but some combination plays just do alot more than this for a lot less mana.
…The kind of card I love. Like it’s Blue alighnment, Spellskite is hella tricksy for people to get around. The fact that you can stop a [card]Swords to Plowshares[/card] or other spot removal from hitting your beatstick is pretty sick, and trading 2 Mana and a Life for it, you’re essentially just paying for a future counterspell. However, that’s not all you get: Having some big trousers, this 0/4 stops pretty much anything in the starting turns of a game, and it’ll even soak up some damage later on if needed. For 2 mana, he’s interesting, and certainly does look like a fun addition should there be a lot of spot removal in your meta. If your meta revolve around board wipes however, then he’s probably best left in binders.
…and now the cycle truly is ‘compleat’. SoWP is the final sword in the cycle, and I for one couldn’t be happier to have this at my disposal. With as many [card]Praetor’s Counsel[/card] and Reliquary Tower shenannigans in my meta, this can often be the difference between life and death, dealing a shed load of damage to an unsuspecting opponent, or just giving you the vital protection needed to get in for those last few points and buffer your life total a bit.
Probably not as broken as its closest cousin, [card]Seedborn Muse[/card], but still interesting. If you’re reliant on your artifacts, running cards like [card]Thran Dynamo[/card] to generate some mana during your opponent’s turns, then this can be useful. Not a card for every deck, but decks like [card]Arcum Dagsson[/card] might like it to get multiple activations out of [card]Master Transmuter[/card] or other shenannigans.
…and now, we come to the card everyone wanted to see… may I present to you… Your liberation!
…he may be liberated, but Karn sure does pack a wallop! At a very affordable 7 mana, Karn can fit into any EDH deck with ease, and with good reason: He’s awesome! For starters, he begins the game on 6 loyalty, a very amicable amount, and certainly enough to warrant protection, but it is his abilities that make this both one of the most powerful planeswalkers for the format… and also one of the most dangerous to play. Karn’s first two abilities revolve around Exiling cards, the first around exiling from a player’s hand, the second exiling permanents. Both abilities offer you an awesome way of gaining advantage. However, his most dangerous aspect is that of his Ultimate ability. Basically, the game restarts, and you start the game with any non-Aura permanents you exiled with Karn.
Now, here’s the big problem with Karn from a Commander standpoint: if the game has gone on long enough, most people would rather just start a new game without Karn than restart the same game with you having a significant advantage over every other player if you tag something like a [card]Primeval Titan[/card] or [Card]Consecrated Sphinx[/card], a card that will gain you a significant amount of advantage. I think this falls into the same category as Blightsteel Colossus from my set review on Mirrodin Besieged: Sure, he’s damn powerful, and he will win you games, but is it actually worth putting at risk your playgroup for winning? Honestly, my heart says no on this account, but I would not begrudge someone from wanting to win this way, and you certainly have to protect him fully for three turns to even restart anyway, but people who have played against it know why having [card]Shahrazad[/card] is such a bad move in EDH.
Well, that concludes it for me folks! I hope you enjoyed reading this monster of an article more than I enjoyed writing it. Also, for anyone going to GP London this weekend, feel free to hit me up with a message! I’d love to meet some of you guys in person, and it’s be great to play some EDH with players outside of my playgroup. Most likely, I’ll be wearing my Team Leeds shirt, or my new mtgUK shirt. I’ll be there both Saturday and Sunday, so if you see me, feel free to come over for a chat and some games.
As always, if you have questions, you know where to reach me. Otherwise, I’ll hope to see you on the other side of the Battlefield this weekend at GP: London! Take care, and keep Commanding those armies!
A slight amendment from my previous article – the Combo play of Teysa, Orzhov Scion and Darkest Hour does NOT work. Unfortunately, my understanding of the interactions was flawed, and for that, I apologise for feeding you false information. Darkest Hour has now been replaced with Bitter Ordeal, to keep up the combo ideals of the deck.