Honorable Mentions - Dargo the Shipwrecker and Armored Skyhunter
These are both sweet cards, but I’m not excited about them in EDH. Rather, I’m excited to see these in my other favorite format Canadian Highlander. Dargo is a potential turn one 7/5 which is just absolutely nuts! Armored Skyhunter slots perfectly into Death and Taxes, a deck super close to my heart.
10. Soul of Eternity
Lifegain has long been something passed over in EDH, cards like Soul of Eternity give me hope that one day it will become a real archetype. It’s incredibly easy in this grindy format to net a lot of life over time. I’ve played decks that can easily climb to life totals in the triple digits. Soul of Eternity provides these decks with a way to turn that life into damage, and even if it gets removed that Encore ability means you can still get one last swing in with it! I think with a few more solid cards, a green-white life build, featuring cards like Ajani Mentor of Heroes, Serra Ascendant, and the soul sisters might just manifest itself.
9. Feast of Succession
I feel like a lot of people are really passing over this card, and to be fair it doesn’t look like much. At first glance it looks like a more expensive Languish that has the Monarch tacked on, but hear me out. The Monarch is incredibly powerful and fun in EDH, it encourages interaction and table talk that you don’t normally see along with providing a massive source of card draw. Paying an additional two mana for that is well worth it in my eyes. The board wipe effect that it has helps as well, killing off a solid amount of creatures, which helps ensure that the crown stays yours.
8. Frenzied Saddlebrute
Frenzied Saddlebrute opens the doorway for a kind of Boros deck that’s been in the back of my mind for ages, politics! With cards like Agitator Ant and Orzhov Advokist I think that a really interesting new shell can finally come into existence! Specifically, Saddlebrute gives other players incentives to fight each other and not you while also giving your board haste for when you need a speedy hit. There’s not a whole lot of downside here except for that cost, but between signets, Sol Ring, and other ramps I think Saddlebrute is going to be better than most people expect.
7. Tormod, the Desecrator
Tormod represents what I think might be my favorite concept of a self mill deck in EDH. I see this as playing as many creatures as possible that interact with milling and reanimation, then some side pieces such as Tormod’s Crypt, Soul-Guide Lanter, and of course Syr Konrad. What you end up with is a super unique reanimator build with a crazy good token subtheme that would let you flood the board in an instant. Plus he gives you a solid defense against a lot of traditional graveyard hate, netting you a board instead of nuking your plans. Whether you’re running him as the commander or in the 99, I think there’s a real case for him in most graveyard decks.
6. Nadier’s Nighblade
Cards like Blood Artist and Zulaport Cutthroat are already insanely good and do trigger when tokens die, but there are other ways to get rid of tokens. Bouncing and blinking tokens is a very common way to avoid death triggers, but Nadier’s Nightblade gets around that little trick. Because the Nightblade triggers whenever a token leaves the battlefield and not just on death it can make your token/aristocrat decks a lot more resilient to board wipes such as Cyclonic Vortex or Settle the Wreckage. Personally, I think this is an absolute auto included in any token deck that can run it, whether or not they intend to sacrifice your own tokens.
5. Slash the Ranks
Board wipes are a staple in commander, but it’s always annoying when they end up hitting your commander. Now your game plan is likely disrupted and will cost a bit more to set up again. For the measly cost of one more mana than average, you get the wonderful ability to not kill commanders on your board wipe! Now to be fair, it doesn’t hit other players’ commanders either, but I think that’s a price worth paying. There are near-infinite situations in which this card outpaces most of the other wipes you could be playing and I’m really excited to see them play out.
4. Flamekin Herald
Okay so cascade is an amazing ability on its own, but I feel like most people don’t get just how good this card is. Every time you play your commander you not only get a massive piece of your game plan but also a randomized free card! Plus there’s the combo potential of only including certain cards with a CMC lower than your commanders. Doing that would allow you to assemble a combo every single time you cast them! As a side note, I don’t know if playing your commander from other zones also triggers the Herald but if it does I’m even more hype!
3. Kwain, Itinerant Meddler
Something I personally love to do is create decks with stories, one of the oldest ones I had was a deck based on the Princess Bride with Chulane at the helm (representing the grandfather reading the story to his grandchild.) Kwain is the perfect bunny to helm my new pet project, an Alice in Wonderland deck. I know that might be a dumb reason to put him this high since honestly I don’t think he’s actually all that good, but this is my list so stay mad.
2. Belbe, Corrupted Observer
Break out your all-black flannels and put on that plaid dress because we got ourselves a Hot Topic elf heading to an artifact deck near you! Ever since I got my hands on a promo Glissa, the idea of a Golgari artifact deck has fascinated me. All the pieces have been there; Priest of Yawgmoth, Marionette Master, Disciple of the Vault, and many more but we never had any commander aside from Glissa, and let’s face it she is very one-note. Belbe on the other hand lends herself to a very fun and unique variety of ramp, potentially netting us nine mana on turn three! I’ve already disassembled my old Daretti deck and will be converting it into a new home for my favorite goth elven princess. (No she literally is a princess, look it up.)
1. Obeka, Brute Chronologist
When I was younger I came across the card Chronatog Totem and ever since I’ve been trying to find a place for it. There are a bunch of cards that let you skip your own turn and after all this time, Obeka gives them a home. Now I keep seeing people wanting to use her to skip the end of your turn triggers, and that may be cool for those nerds but if you wanna be a real cool kid just skip your whole turn! You could do what I plan on doing and run mutual effects like Bottomless Pit, or you could go Cumulative Upkeep tribal and skip your upkeep to never pay the cost, hell you can even play cards like Notion Thief to maintain card advantage! There are so many different ways to build and experiment with Obeka, oh it’s going to be amazing!
That’s all for this month, I hope you’re as hype for Commander Legends as I am. What are your favorite cards from the set? Tell me about them in the comments below. You can also reach me on Twitter @East2WestMTG or at East2westmtg@gmail.com. As always I’ve been East2West and I’ll see you guys on the battlefield.