We're excited to continue Coast to Coast Casual (CCC), a blog series written by East2West, published on MTG Cardsmith.
As of July 14th Coast to Coast Casual turns a whole year old. It's been an amazing year and I'm excited to keep writing for more to come. Since it's a special month I figured I'd like to do a sequel to my personal favorite article I've written so far. Back in December CCC: True Legends was posted running down some MTG characters who are often overlooked for those more popular. And now, in honor of our first year, please enjoy five more characters I think deserve a little bit more than they're getting, specifically highlighting their viability as future Commanders.
Before we get to the main list I want to give an honorary mention to Fblthp. This funky homunculos has been a fan favorite ever since we first saw him in Gatecrash. The fact that he just got a card printed is mainly why he doesn't make the main list but I wanted to mention him because not many know that he actually has a bit of story to him. Fblthp actually works for the Azorius Senate as a sort of custodian. An Azorius arrester named Parisha once used Fblthp as bait to capture a deviant Rakdos criminal named Vadax Gor. Vadax actually stole Fblthp for a short time (thus causing him to become Totally Lost) but Parisha saved him pretty quickly. For his efforts Fblthp was given the prize of the possibility for his descendants to petition to get him a plaque.
Now, without further ado, let me introduce you to...
5: Agnate and Thaddeus
Agnate and Thaddeus are twin brothers hailing from Dominarai. They were created as part of Urza's Bloodline Project (the same one that birthed Gerard, Sisay, Crovax, etc) to be generals to the Metathran (who were created as the perfect race of warriors to fight the phyrexians). The brothers share a mental connection so strong that they could not function without each other. Their story is long and sad with no happy ending for either brother. Thaddeus was vivisected by Tsabo Tavoc after being captured during an early siege of Koilos. Agnate would find Thaddeus during the taking of Koilos but Thaddeus had learned just how similar the Metathran were to the Phyrexians and wished to fight for Urza no longer. His final wish was death, which Agnate gave him. Agnate too would find a horrific end. In his grief Agnate trusted Dralnu, a lich who bore a striking resemblance to his dead brother. Dralnu secretly poisoned Agnate, hoping to turn him into a powerful zombie for his horde. Agnate discovered this however and asked his fellow commander Grizzlegom to kill him and take control over his portion of Urza's forces. Grizzlegom did so before taking the troops he now controlled into Dralnu's home of Vhelnish and slaying his entire horde. Agnate and Thaddeus represent a darker age side of Magic's story, one that we don't see much of now. Given their brotherly bond and positions as commanders, I'd love to see the two featured as partner Commanders in a future Commander product.
4: Nibb and Gyik
Speaking of partner Commanders lemme tell you about two idiot goblins who don't know nothing about tool safety. Nibb and Gyik has literally two references in all of Magic and both are just three or four lines of flavor text. On Lorwyn these two gobbos were originally black aligned delinquents who had been given axes and sent into the forest to do what goblins do. They are implied to have died there in a not so epic battle with a Treefolk (or possibly just a tree.) After The Great Aurora they became red aligned arsonists with a penchant for burning scarecrows, in this world they are implied to have burned themselves to death by accident. I love these two screw ups and it'd be cool to get a new black/red Goblin commander. I'd love to see these two partnered up in a sort of Goblin aristocrats deck (similar to The Shattergang Brothers)
Guff is a total goof and a member of The Nine Titans. This wild haired wizard lived in a secret library hidden somewhere on Dominaria. This library contained every book that ever was or ever will be written within the entirety of the multiverse. This gave him a massive amount of knowledge to the point where he went mad, luckily it was the fun kind of mad. During his time with The Nine Titans Guff would continuously break the fourth wall and crack jokes at the most inappropriate times. During the fight against Phyrexia Bo Levar, a fellow titan, discovered that Guff knew Phyrexia would win the war and attempted to convince Guff to change that. Going against his own code Guff erased part of his archives and rewrote the worst bits. Guff was killed by Yawgmoth's death cloud form. All in all this crazy guy deserves a better shake in the lore than just a few good jokes and snippets of flavor text. I'd love to see him head a sort of fate manipulation/chaos deck. Only Guff truly knows if that will ever happen though.
Krark would be number one if not for the simple fact that he's too well known. You've definitely heard of Krark-Clan Ironworks, Krark's Thumb, or even Krark's Other Thumb. Krark was a goblin adventurer from the plane of Mirrodin. He traveled the whole of the plane and cataloged his adventures and thoughts in a journal, this book would eventually become known as The Book of Krark. This book rallied a cult around it, The Cult of Krark, whose belief that Mirrodin is hollow was eventually proved true. Little is known about the goblin himself but given the flavor of Krark's Thumb I think a coin flip matters deck would be path for Krark. Let's get this lad back in the spotlight!
1: The Unluckiest
The Unluckiest is the name used for a character whose canon name is unknown. If you're a commander player you might've guessed who this person is. Featured on a cycle of Curses from Commander 2017 is a sharply dressed and very unfortunate man. According to the artist prompt and Rosewater himself this man is in fact a planeswalker known as The Unluckiest. This guy has a knack for planeswalking into situations that leave his life on the line yet always making it out alive. He has also been confirmed (sorta) by Rosewater to have been one of the planeswalkers present on Ravnica during War of the Spark. I'd live to see The Unluckiest finally get a canon name and a card, maybe something that makes opponents target you in exchange for high value? I dunno but I think there's some real potential here.
Now that I've got you thinking about legendaries, let's talk Commander for a minute. Lately I've been thinking about an endless war that's waged in the minds of all Magic players, Flavor v.s Function. When playing Commander I believe you should feel as if you are your commander, that's why I tend to build decks around commanders I can relate too. This has been on my mind because I've spent some time looking at the deck lists for past Commander products and I noticed a total lack of cohesion or story. Sure, along with each product WotC will release some small snippets telling us about the legends in the deck, but that's hardly enough. I want to know more about what Zedruu's doing right now. I want to read a small story about Damia and her unknown plane. WHAT EVEN IS THE MIMEOPLASM? The printing of Kaalia into the new Core Set is a step in the right direction but y'know what would be even better? A reason why the precons are fighting in the first place.
Bear with me.
Imagine, for a moment, that instead of four or five random generals fighting for who knows why we got an actual story along with the precons. This could even allow WotC to flesh out plots they had previously left hanging. Imagine one years precons are new versions of the Praetors from New Phyrexia fighting for dominance! Maybe a set of new political players bribing and bashing their way to the top of Paliano. We could even see the return of the Khans or maybe the Dragonlords dueling for supremacy over Tarkir. This is the direction the decks should take, not just to give players new cards and experiences but to enrich the lore. Seriously Wizards, hit me up, I've got a lot more in the chamber.
That's it for this week folks, since it's our anniversary I'd love to answer any questions you might have for me in the comments below. If you want to talk more about obscure lore, cool card ideas, or really anything find me on twitter @East2Westmtg or email me at [email protected] As always this has been East2west with CCC, I'll see you guys on the battlefield.
East2West is an aspiring writer from NJ currently seeking fame and fortune on the internet. She's been playing Magic since Zendikar block (the original one) and is a commander player with one deck for each two color pair and one for each single color. The only non EDH deck she plays is her own personal Pauper brew, Pauper Eggs. Follow her on her newly created and probably soon to be underused twitter @East2WestMTG.