Cryptic Commander: M12 Commander Set Review by Andrew Pemberton

Cryptic Commander: Knowing Your Enemy in EDH by Andrew Pemberton


Greetings and Salutations, my fellow gamers! Apologies again for the lack of writing. Sadly, a bereavement in the family left me very vulnerable, and unfortunately, I couldn’t feel the need to write anything for a couple of weeks. That being said, I owe you one massive set review for M12!

Now, from what I can tell, the hype has been very slight this time around: While a couple of players in my playgroup are definitely excited for the applications after the various pre-releases (and props to Mark Hammond and the rest of Team Leeds for their performances this weekend!), some have seen this as a drop down from the vastly popular Magic 2011. Well, you know I’m not the kind of person to talk about Standard applications, so how about we just get to mixing it up, Commander style? As usual, I’ll be writing up all of the cards I believe will have an impact on Commander, including old favourites and new, powerful tech… and yes, there will be bad puns, I guarantee :p




…So we start off a review with something EDH is synonymous with: Big fatties and big effects. M12 has given us a new cycle of creatures: 6+ Mana Creatures with an older spell tacked on to make them really good. Now, Aegis Angel isn’t the fattest creature in the Aether (not judging by that waistline, anyway), but she gives us a card that has such an amazing amount of utility in such a tight, well-costed package. A 5/5 Flying Angel for 6 puts her on par with most other creatures in her type, so she can certainly beat down, but the interesting thing is her ability: Another target permanent becomes indestructible as long as she remains in your control. Now, this is what I’d call a 3-Dimensional effect: Sure, you can make your combo piece indestructible to stop people from getting at it, but you can also aid an opponent, keeping their guy around in the face of removal, and also screw an opponent if you can flash it in pre-damage. Unfortunately, the kicker is that the effect only remains as long as you control her, so those nasty steal effects such as [/card]Sower of Temptation[/card] will stop that trick. All in all, definitely something I’d look into if you need combo pieces protecting, or if you’re playing the political game (I’m looking at you, Zedruu the Greathearted!


Now, I’m not usually a fan of Auras unless they get me some value back, but this can be pretty sick on the right creature. If you’re playing an Enchantment heavy deck, say Uril the Miststalker for example, this card can give you some much needed evasion and power. Heck, even turning a Wood Elves into a 5/5 Flyer is pretty good value for mana, and the fact that it returns to your hand when the creature dies gives you even more reach from the card. The destiny I can see is sticking it on an Enchantress, and beating faces in while it draws you cards as well.


Now here’s a card I can sink my teeth into! A relatively inexpensive addition, Archon of Just-ice is super hot! With an array of sacrifice and recursion engines, you can go to town on anything that needs dealing with. Kor Haven Stopping you from hitting that guy? Exile it! Nasty creature in the way? Exile it! He’s a one-man stag party, and you’re invited too if you use him effectively. Well costed, powerful effect, and inexpensive to boot: definitely one card to think about.


Another one for your Aura lovers! Recursion is always a plus point, and getting clutch Enchantments back to your hand is always a good thing. Not so much a great body on her own, but paired up with those Auras, anything can quickly become a problem to deal with. Not necessarily a top card, but good utility is certainly worth noting.


I usually try and find some room to talk about the Planeswalkers in the set, and Gideon is no exception. One of my favourites of the last year, I’m very happy to see him come back for at least another year. We’ve known Gideon for his prowess in Standard for the past year, first showing up in the Super Friends and Next Level Bant archetypes, before he settled more recently into a role in the Caw-Blade decks. In Commander, his abilities are less relevant, but still powerful. A 6/6 for 5 mana is always nice, especially one that can’t die to damage-based destruction, and his 6 Loyalty to start makes him very Jura-ble (heh heh…). He’s also reusable removal, so he can see play in that regard as well. An interesting one, he may well see play if you have a few slots spare, or if you’re busy proliferating and performing other antics to abuse him. The Jur-y is still out on whether he’s a solid EDH addition, but he’s pretty good even if he’s just a beater.


Wow, since when did White start getting City of Solitude style effects?! He’s vulnerable as a 2/2, but damn is he cost-effective. A whole one mana cheaper than City and it’s successor Dosan, the Falling Leaf, this guy will Abolish your opponent’s chances of countering your good stuff, or will eat a counter himself, which is still fine. The only teeny niggle with this card is it doesn’t shut off lands, so yes, your opponents can still use Maze of Ith and Kor Haven on your turn, which is a little sucky, but overall not too bad with the amount of land destruction in the format.


Not always the first removal spell that comes to my mind, but O-ring is certainly a contender. The unfortunate downside of the card is the nature of the format it’s in: In a format where Wrath effects are at a premium, cards such as this end up being a detriment when they get their fatty or relevant Artifact back on an empty board. Probably more relevant for Standard play, but certainly an option for the budget-conscious of us.


…and yet we keep getting more Aura love for Uril and Zur, this time in the form of Spirit mantle. Not only are your opponent’s guys never blocking the creature you enchant, but you get a tiny boost as well for added value. A little cute, but if Uril is swinging for 10+ a turn, it shuts off games really fast.


Finally, we come to White’s returning veteran. We’ve had the titan cycle for a year already, and now that they’re coming back, it gives you even more chance to secure some for Commander at little cost to yourself. For those of you who haven’t met him, Sun Titan is the epitome of card advantage in White. A 6/6 for 6 is definitely on curve, and Vigilance gives you a guy that can both attack and defend for you. However, his ability is what kicks him up the curve: When he gets summoned or swings, you get a permanent back from your Graveyard to the Battlefield. Granted, it’s a 3CMC or less permanent, but there’s so much you can use to abuse him! At the lower end, getting back destroyed utility or fetch lands can allow you to ramp up faster; he can grab your destroyed Pernicious Deed or Oblivion Stone; heck, he can bring back Eternal Witness for more recursion on a grander scale. He’ll always be a 1-for-1 bare minimum if he eats a Counterspell, but if he hits the field, he’s going to give you so much card advantage. A solid staple, and with a promo and two printings, he’s cheap enough to pick up a copy for any Commander enthusiast!




Now here’s a pretty little package. Not as powerful as some of the draw available in EDH, but It is reusable, which says something for a 2 mana 2/1. It’s kinda cute, but if you have the mana at the end of an opponent’s turn, then drawing a couple of cards extra can mean the difference between finding a combo or losing. Unfortunately, she’s a terrible topdeck option, as a 2/1 will hardly defend you against an army of tokens. Worth considering, but might be worth including the powerful single-use spells over her, or the draw enchantments.


…Now, I’m going to be completely straight with you: I… *Expletive*… LOVE this guy! He’s a little bit MCL*, but god damn if he isn’t fun. I had him killed on sight with a Putrefy in a game this past weekend just for the fear of me having something to scry my library into awesome stuff, and for good reason. When I got him back later in the game, he netted me a free Erratic Portal, a free Fact or Fiction, and a free Blue Sun’s Zenith… OK, so maybe not the best array of spells and example, but come on! If you set up your library, say with Scroll Rack, you can get an unbelievable blowout. Plus, he’s still a 4/4 once you’ve used up your three wishes, so he still retains value. I’ve had so much fun with this card in Intet, and it’s such a good value card if you set it up right. Plus, blind freebies are always interesting. At less than £1 and probably found in some shops’ junk rare bin, he’s worth a shout.


Big Blue isn’t usually my first port of call for a Blue fatty, but he does the job reasonably well. Like the other Titans, he’s a 6/6 for six mana, but also has two pretty sweet abilities. The first gives him a pseudo-Shroud, making your opponents have to pay more to target him. Obviously this is more useful in the early game than the late game, but getting an opponent to pay 4 or 5 mana for spot removal is pretty sweet. His second ability also offers you a little more control, tapping down a permanent for a turn. Again, very narrow in application, but it can still be useful if your opponent has a creature that can trade with the Titan, or a pesky Artifact giving your grief. A solid inclusion, albeit not the first on my list, and could make lists if you need the extra permission or protection.


Ah, the Jace Race, such a wonderful point in history… This Jace is no exception to the other Jaces, this guy is pretty sweet. A little more costly than his two predecessors, but still offers a little versatility. Drawing a card and milling someone for 1 is often fairly cute, but Jace will always replace himself, and has the ability to get rid of Sensei’s Divining Top or any card you see with Future Sight in play on your opponent’s field. His mill 10 can be a good or a bad thing, depending on what your opponent is playing. Milling combo pieces is amazing, but milling Genesis or an Eldrazi? Not so much.  However, his good points don’t just stop there: His ultimate isn’t too shabby either, allowing you to play a political game or get seriously ahead on Card Advantage yourself. Draw 20 is insanely powerful for 5 mana, and if you keep him protected, he’s sure to be a huge asset for you should he go off. A lean, mean, draw-mill machine, and certainly worth noting if you’re Proliferating or have a good defense built up to protect him.


Wee, Windfall! Not too shabby a card, from the looks of it. He either lets you draw a new hand, or he seriously helps give the advantage back to the other players should one person run off with the game, and at a 3 mana cast and 1 mana to use, he’s fairly cheap for a fairly powerful effect. If you catch someone after using a Stroke of Genius or if someone has a Reliquary Tower out, you gain so much advantage. Be aware that your opponents gain the advantage too, so make sure to use it wisely!


A Sower of Temptation for Artifacts, eh? Probably a little more of a dead card at times than the Faerie enticer, but Artifacts aren’t uncommon by any means. Taking a mana rock at worst is significant, but taking something like a Planar Portal or, Mirrodin forbid, a Blightsteel Colossus?? It’s a little bit more tricky to use, but used correctly, he can be a very powerful ally, and at uncommon, he’s hardly going to break the bank. If you pulled him in a prize pack at your M12 pre-release, give him a go and see how well he works for you.


Now that’s a draw engine! It’s almost like a cumulative upkeep, but instead of what most times is a detriment, is always going to help you. This card reminds me most of Honden of Seeing Winds in its interaction, but instead of a straight 1 card per turn, this guy scales upwards from 0. Expect this to be a big target in multiplayer: the fact that this scales up will make it a prime target for removal, rather than your opponents letting you potentially draw 3 or 4 cards a turn, maybe more. Powerful, but needs to be protected to give you the advantage it deserves to give. 6 Mana is fairly expensive, and honestly, Honden may well be a better option, but it’s worth giving it it’s fair shot at glory.


…Yes folks, that is Fact or Fiction on a 5/6 body. I almost had an Evan Erwin-esqe fangasm when I saw this card! For 4 Mana, you got 2-3 cards that your opponent split for you, and for 3 mana more, you get a 5/6 flying body added on? Expect this to be a mainstay in some EDH decks, especially if you have ways to Blink it out, ala Venser the Sojourner or Momentary Blink. Fact is probably one of my favourite Blue cards, because it involves everyone at the table. Certainly in our group, everyone gets a say in it, and we often get very intricate or difficult decisions to make depending on the cards we see. It’s fun, it’s big and splashy, and it’s Commander to a tee. Play it, learn it, love it.




This is a nice little reprint from Scourge. Sac outlets are always fairly good, even if it’s just to keep the field clear of dudes while you get to swing in. It’s obviously at its most powerful in Mono-Black decks, where you can partner it with a multitude of Zombies to ensure you don’t get hit as hard by the effect. An interesting one of note, and if you like your sacrificial themes or just need something to keep control for a bit, this might be worth the time and effort.


Yet another return for the mainstay Tutor! Obviously Demonic Tutor is the same card for half the mana, but that card is also $10. Another nice budget option, and not too costly either if you’re in desperate need of a tutor for your decks. I always try for a few tutors, if only to make my decks more consistent, which in EDH can mean everything if you’re banking on Combo play.


Bringing an army with him, GT gives you a two turn clock in Standard. In Commander, the impact of that much damage is lessened due to the higher starting life total, but make no mistake: This guy is an absolute beast when he hits the table and from then on, you get a steadily building army to swing and block with. Not to mention he trades with any non-Indestructible threat with his Deathtouch ability, making him valuable on both offense and defense. One of the three best Titans for Commander, in my opinion, and certainly worth considering now the release of M12 is set to make prices of these guys drop a little.


Wow, this is pretty nifty. Whether you’re striking an opponent near their hand limit, or hitting someone with a Reliquary Tower out or having just cast a Praetor’s Counsel, this card is a potential blowout in 1v1 play. In multiplayer, you can essentially stop the strongest player for a few turns while he frantically rebuilds his card advantage. Note that this can be an extremely political card, so be wise in its use or risk getting three other players firing salvos back at you.


…Hot damn! Just like FoF-Sphinx, Tutor Demon is so sick! So I pay 1 more mana than a Titan, and I get a tutor for anything that I don’t have to show my opponent. Not to mention, that 6/6 body is flying, folks! This one will definitely see play in this format: Like I said earlier, Tutor effects are always welcome. Especially those attached to bodies – just look at Stoneforge Mystic… Granted, that card is 1/3 the cost, but the markup is worth it. Trust me, for the £1 or £2 you’ll spend on this, it’ll be worth it way more in value for EDH. Definitely on my radar, and should be on yours too.


Wow, we’re at the third ‘Walker already? OK, well, for anyone who has played against this guy, you’ll already know how potentially earth-shattering this guy is. Taking someone to ten life from 40 is definitely on the douchebag plays list, but nobody can complain that he isn’t absurdly powerful in this format. Like Magister Sphinx, this guy offers you the chance to put someone to ten, then find some way to beat them from there. Granted, Sphinx gives you a 5/5 to finish the guy off in two swings, which is what Sorin doesn’t offer you. However, the effect is just that powerful, that it’s probably worth running if you find yourself in a competitive environment. I wouldn’t expect a huge Mark-up either, being a reprint. If you find one, try it out, but regulate with your playgroup as well to ensure you don’t piss people off too much.


It’s time to d-d-d-d-duel… and that Yu-Gi-Oh reference was probably fail compared to how awesome this guy is. I don’t know who’d win in a fight between Pharaohs, but I know that uninhibited Destruction is certainly welcomed. Let through their big guy, then destroy it and have a 5/4 next turn… with Deathtouch. This guy is a killing machine on defense, and on attack, he’s certainly no pushover either. His mana cost is a little prohibited, like Sorin above, but if you have a large amount of Black in your deck, or plenty of filters and duals in your mana base, he could be worth a slot. Very flavourful, powerful and sweet art to boot. A good option for those running spot removal in their decks: Just be wary of graveyard hate!




I’d let Chandra brand me any day, and who wouldn’t? That art is super smexy (Which means I’ll probably need to find a foil version, then…). Anywho, Like all the walkers previous to her, Chandra has some interesting applications for the format. The first damage ability is a little bit weak, but pinging someone over multiple turns, or just small utility guys like Eternal Witness can have a decent effect. What I really like is her second ability: I can see using her in Intet: Double Rite of Replication? Double Tooth and Nail? She makes everything double in value. Unfortunately, her home will be more in multicolour decks than Mono Red, but if you’re running Red at all with massive spells, she’s worth a shot. I’m glad Time Stretch isn’t played in my playgroup, otherwise I’d have more to gripe about this card… Finally, that huge damage ability is pretty nifty too: A semi-Inferno that can target 6 things is nice, but it’s a shame you’ll have trouble getting to it with only a +1 ability. All in all, another good Planeswalker to utilise, and I for one can see it making decks straight away.


Haste has always been in Red’s remit, and this guy is no exception to Red’s love for bashing face. For an extra R, you make sure your creatures are swinging the turn they come into play. This can be nice if you’re topdecking Titans and whatnot, but even the smaller guys are nice with it. So long as it gets into the Red zone, we like it. I can forsee using this in Godo, Bandit Warlord type decks, or the legendary dragon cycles from Planar Chaos and Invasion, where you can get the most out of their abilities straight away. Heck, for the new commander decks, he seems like a decent fit in Kaalia of the Vast. One to consider if you have the space.


An oldie from Alara Block, but a goodie. Fireball-on-a-stick Dragon is another interesting fatty option. Not the greatest dragon in the world, but getting extra mileage from your mana is always nice. The damage soon stacks up, and you can easily end games with this… or get rid of pesky blockers should you have the mana. Very versatile and balanced.


Undercosted, overpowered fatties are the name of the game in Commander, and this guy is the one preaching the faith on the streets. Seriously, a 7 Mana 12/12, no matter how conditional, is something to be seriously looked at. Mythic and proud, the dragon has to contend with a lot of popular Red finishers, including Bogardan Hellkite, but there’s no mistaking this guy’s power. If you can get the damage through, he can probably end the game in three swings… or eat removal, but we all know everything dies to some removal. Expect him to roar onto some battlefields in your playgroup, especially if you have a Mono-Red player in your midst.


Probably the least or second least powerful Titan for our purposes, Infy can still get the job done if he sticks. Just a little behind Grave Titan in the damage race, but he has the advantage of splitting his damage how he likes, meaning you can get rid of those pesky blockers before breathing fire all over your opponent. Or, if there aren’t any creatures, just deal an opponent 9+ damage. Lots of versatility, as you can even burn the guys of the person you aren’t attacking, creating some interesting political situations. As with all the Titans, that 6/6 body is nothing to sneeze at either. He’ll certainly gain you value in a game if you play it out right, but in all, not a bad option for some decks needing a fatty.


Weeee, fun chaos cards! Scrambleverse is exacly what one person in my playgroup hates about chaos effects.As I remember, these discussions were quite vocal. Granted, cards like this can piss people off if they get the short end of the stick in terms of permanents, but cards like this are a double-edged sword: You could pay 8 mana, possibly tapping out, and potentially get nothing in return. It’s cards like these that I both love and hate at the same time… but mostly love. Random, splashy effects are definitely my credo, and I would love to see this resolve just to see all the crazy interactions it would bring up. Again, regulate with your playgroup first, but it certainly seems like fun to me, which is exactly what I want in a Commander game.



I’ve talked about this guy multiple times before, but he is just a beast. A very similar card to Indrik Stomphowler, Slime is just as good if not better than the Beast. For the same mana cost and the same effect, what splits them is their Power and Toughness. Now, while the Stomphowler is a well-costed 4/4 with the effect, this guy is half the size with Deathtouch, making this guy an easier 2-for-1 than Indrik, and more likely a better attack deterrent as well. If it eats removal, you’re still up, and there’ll always be a target for it since it can hit lands. Very powerful, and all decks running Green should consider this.


Looks like Azusa and Omnath both found new friends in this guy. At 3 mana, he hardly breaks the bank, but he’ll certainly break faces. If you’re running anything close to a full Forest mana base, slam this guy ito your deck. He’s efficient at his cost, and he only scales up as you play the game: You always want to drop a land, meaning you’ll near enough be pumping this guy constantly. Oh, and did I mention he can’t be removed by anything that Targets? Your opponents will watch as their Path to Exile sit in hand, with a 10/10 or more knocking down his defenses every turn. Narrow in terms of deck type, but in Mono-Green, this guy is a house. This is one Elder you should respect.


…and yet, Wizards continue to impress me with the Planeswalkers. There isn’t a single bad one in the bunch this time around! Not a one that isn’t useful in some way, and I dare say that Garruk is the most powerful of them all. Let’s analyse: He’s very Green heavy, and at 5 mana, you can put him down quickly if needed. 3 Loyalty is decent enough to keep him going, but not too much so as to get him to ultimate too quickly… Balanced, but yet, still crazy? Yes, that is a free 3/3 you get every turn. Or, if you want Card Advantage instead  of board prescence, how about drawing cards equal to the power of a creature you control. Drawing 4+ cards for 5 mana is still great, and it’s right on par with Tidings and Promise of Power in most instances. Oh, and if you get really far with it, you can even get some 6/6 Wurms a few turns away to go with your 3/3’s. It’s not like you’ll never get less than 10 guys with Green’s absurd land ramp spells anyway. I expect the hunter to become the hunted, as I’m sure he’s the #1 card on many people’s radars, including mine.


The next in the line of [Card]Future Sight[/card]-type effects, this guy lets you cast Creatures from the top of your library. Granted, he’s a little costly, but a 7/7 for 7 mana is bang on in terms of curve, and Trample gives him some pseudo-evasion to get damage through. For me, the ability to cast guys from the top is so absurd, and gets better with cards like Sensei’s Divining Top and Scroll Rack. Not the most powerful of the bunch due to its high mana cost, but if you need to rebuild  your board quickly, this is probably a good way to start off.


I’ve been so impressed with the progression of Green’s card draw over the years. Rather than give us something very basic, they’ve really tapped into Green’s synergy with creatures and adapted the draw around that, so kudos to them for that. In itself, the Insight looks very swingy until you see that it’s an instant: That adds so much versatility to a card like this, and even if they block your big guys, you can still grab a couple of cards if needs be from a smaller dude. This should never be worse than a Divination, and with the multitude of Trampling, evasive threats in Green, often amounts to more. Definitely close to auto-include levels, and certainly is in Mono Green and decks not running blue or black as their main draw source.


Token makers are always worth considering if you build around them, and this guy isn’t so bad really. A continuous producer, it reminds me a little of a cheaper but more vulnerable Sprout Swarm, building you an army fairly quickly in the face of danger. Cheap, and fairly cheap to make tokens, you can quite easily amass a defensive army, or go for the kill with Overrun. Speaking of which…


It’s big, splashy, and makes your guys pretty potent in a fight, this is a pretty nice kill card. Whether you’re piling in with Elves, Saprolings, Plants, Beasts, Germs, Insects or anything else, Overrun gives your guys a pretty nice boost, and can quite often end games that turn. Granted, I tend to prefer Kamahl, Fist of Krosa due to being able to activate multiple Overruns in a turn, but one is at least enough to cause some hurt to an unsuspecting opponent, and quite often batter two or three opponents if you have enough guys about.


My friends, I offer to you… the #1 Titan! Green decks love to cast him, Blue decks love to steal him. This guy is the stone cold nuts if he sticks. The ramp advantage he gives is so great, he allows you to play Eldrazi the turn after you cast him often enough. Even if you don’t play the big colourless beasties, he still gives you a ton of mana to do stuff with, or Utility lands like Winding Canyons or Yavimaya Hollow. Not to mention he gives you a 6/6 for 6 like the other Titans. Even if your opponents have used spot removal on him, that’s still a 3-for-1 in your favour. Hopefully these will begin to reduce in price with the recent reprinting, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they hold firm while Valakut is still a Standard deck. If you find one, hold onto it, put it into your Commander deck, and hopefully he’ll land you a few games.


Group hug! A combined Exploration and Howling Mine for everyone is pretty sweet. This is an oldie that I used to use in Azusa, though it can have applications elsewhere. Obviously the main thing to take from this is that everyone gains both benefits, so if you don’t want to help your opponent, it’s probably best to stay away from this guy.




Here’s one for all you Tribal fans out there. Very adaptable depending on the sort of deck you run, he should be an auto-include in any deck with a solid tribal theme. I know a few players in my group that like their tribes, be it Elves, Merfolk, Wizards, Elementals, Badgers, Squirrels, you name it! Being an artifact makes him a wee bit fragile, and I’d construct your thoughts with this in mind, but he’s still pretty nifty. Oh, and did I mention he gets pumped by all your other tribal lords as well?


Ah, I do love the cards that give you a lot of room to manoeuvre. Druidic Satchel in itself is very versatile: It gives you guys, lands or life depending on what your top card is. Granted, all the abilities seem fairly weak, but if you can control the top card of your library, either with popular cards such as Sensei’s Divining Top or Scroll Rack, you get what you want a lot more of the time. The best thing I can think of this doing is giving you a Rampant Growth on a stick if you keep placing lands at the top, effectively doubling your mana, not to mention that it can provide chump blockers in a pinch. Not a satchel charge by any means, but this is the kind of card that isn’t meant to be bomby, just versatile in its spread of effects while giving gradual value over time.

Recursion is a pretty solid need in a lot of EDH decks. Most colors have some form of recursion, but for those that don’t (Red springs to mind), this offers you some form of protection against Graveyard removal. Granted, it does kinda defeat the objective by shuffling your yard back in, but colours with tutors will no doubt be happy with being able to draw their humongous guys again. Plus, it’s tutorable by the ever-popular Trinket Mage, which gives you a little more versatility in it’s use.

Another reprint from formats past, this little trinket can do some amazing things. Drop a creature at the end of turn to eat a counter up, drop a huge guy to block an incoming threat, or just drop bigger guys for a highly deflated cost. I wouldn’t be so quick to judge something like this: It does eat away at your hand, but even dropping something like a Titan is value, and dropping an end-of-turn Eldrazi, while negating the cast effect, nets you a 10/10 or 12/12 Annihilator 4 to bash faces with. Not quite gold standard, but it’s playable.


JENS! An invitational card produced way back in the first Mirrodin block, I can safely say that Sad Robot is one of the four cards I’d look at using in every EDH deck (The others being Sol Ring, Scroll Rack and Sensei’s Divining Top). Solololol is always good value, netting you not only a land, but also replacing himself when he dies. Ramping into Titans early, getting out of colour screw and gaining back some card advantage is what this guy does best, and as long as you’re playing basic lands (Sorry, Karn :s), you should be considering this guy. Unfortunately, the one thing that irks me is the art: I mean, he should at least have a face to convey him being solemn, though I suppose the pose helps in that regard. Pick these guys up now, because they’re only going to get more expensive as a) they become popular in Standard, and b) they become popular in EDH. Format staple, enough said.


People are making very swift decisions about putting these into their decks, and I for one can’t blame them. The sister card to Lightning Greaves, a card you may be familiar with from the Commander decks, Das Boots #2 offers you a little bit more versatility in Hexproof for an extra 1 mana. For those of you who run Combat Generals, like the new Kaalia of the Vast and Doran, the Siege Tower may well appreciate having two ways of getting into battle quicker, but for those who are a little more picky about their footwear, the Boots seem a little bit more comfortable than the greaves to me. Sure, you can’t shift the Boots around as freely as the greaves, but the payoff is that your Voltron plays retain value since you can equip the guy and still have it be protected. If you need to get in the red zone or have protection for your general, I suggest picking up two pairs of boots for them to wear.


…and for my final card, I’m going to bury this review, though I probably just ruined a perfectly good pun while doing it… anywho, aside from the dual lands, this is the only other non-basic land in the set, and it isn’t too bad. Similar to Academy Ruins, this with a Crucible of Worlds and Mindslaver can spell doom for one opponent  if you have enough mana, plus it gives Mono-Brown decks the chance to compete by giving them a second chance at recurring combo pieces. Karn, Silver Golem players will definitely love this card and other artificer generals such as Arcum Dagsson will appreciate being able to get their vital combo pieces back into action. If you can afford to run it in your mana base, it’s a nigh-uncounterable recursion spell, though you still have to worry about Tormod’s Crypt and the like.

…and that’s another set review completed! As always, you can find me on Facebook, MSN or here, and I’d be more than happy to answer questions and listen to comments. As a final thought, I will be going to Nationals in just less than 4 weeks time, so for anyone who is thinking of going, I urge you to! I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed the experience last year, and even if you’re just coming for casual gaming, I’ll probably there playing Commander (or winning the 2HG championship with Rob Wagner :D), so come up and ask for games! I’m always in the mood to play against new decks and new people.

Well, that’s all for me. I hope this will mean a return to regular articles from me now, but we’ll just have to play it by ear. Until next time, keep Commanding!

Andy P

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