Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Be the Commander of Your Tower

They call me Admiral Fridge Unicorn because I'm fresh and magical

So the Commander product came out some weeks ago and I'm super late to party on this, but let's talk about the commanders as they might fit into Wizard's Tower. We could talk about how cool the new four color commanders are because they are four colors and they are cool, but I'm so under-qualified to talk about Commander. "Don't you mean unqualified?" Well probably that too, but I feel like I'm right on the verge of qualifications. I just need to pass my Commander test which consists of building a non-shit Commander deck. It's going to be a long time before I pass though because I just built Book Tribal which you can check out here. But let's get back to the format that matters: Wizard's Tower! If you're wondering why you would put one of the five Commanders in your Tower rather than actually play it as a Commander well let me answer your question with another question: Why do they think they give you and oversized Commander in addition to a regular size one? So the regular one can go in your Tower. I know this because Wizard's is my dad.

It's been some time so just in case you forgot what Wizard's Tower is or wondered over here and have never heard of this format, check out our introduction article

The biggest issue with four color cards is that they have better effects at a 4 CMC with the downside being you might struggle to get all four colors. In other games you also may miss land drops potentially making these cards more difficult to play. That is not the case in Wizard's tower. You have all colors you ever need, and you will only miss a land drop if you choose to do so. This means that 4 color cards (as few as there may be) can be a difficult fit in this format.

We'll start with the best and most fitting commander for Wizard's Tower. This one is an obvious yes and should be put in your Wizard's Tower yesterday.

"I thought you said the statues were big. I don't see them" "You're not even looking in the right place."
 So even before effects, this card is a 2/8 for 4 with no keywords which makes this card annoying but not broken at 4 cost. You probably won't be able to swing at anybody who has this on the field, but this also probably won't do a whole lot of damage to you. Now once you add the group hug effect that this has, it still doesn't make this card broken. Everyone benefits from it's ability so people may not even want this off the board. Whoever controls it gets a bonus because they get the card draw and extra land but even opponents at least get one. It will be difficult to get damage through with this on board but most removal will get rid of this easily and it won't give you any advantages that are too out of control. So does this go in? Verdict: Yes.

"Are you eating enough? You're all skin and etherium!" - Breya's Grandma...probably
Whether this card is okay or not to put in your Tower is a little dependent on what else is in your tower. If you have a normal Tower with just a combination of cards that seem fun then this card will be an okay addition. If you decided to theme out your Tower and did an artifact theme, this card is too good. A 4/4 for 4 with two 1/1 fliers is pretty good, but again is manageable for your opponents. Add in the pay 2 sacrifice 2 effect and that makes her better but if all you have is the two thopters then you're just trading two creatures for some other benefit. Whoever controls this may also control more artifacts at some point that they can use as fuel to get the etherium fire burning, but unless you have an artifact heavy tower you should be fine. This is a card you can put in and if more times than not it's broken because you just happen to have a lot of artifacts, then you can either pull artifacts out or pull this out. Verdict: Probably yes.

If this hits the board you best praetor the gods
Let's start off the same way with this card as we did the others. At it's base it is a 4/4 with flying, vigilance, deathtouch, and lifelink for 4. That's not a great start because dropping this on turn four puts you at a significant advantage for a long time. No one can attack you because you have a giant death touch machine and when this finally loses summoning sickness, you can swing in to gain life which doesn't even tap it down so you still have a terrifying four armed spooky wall. It also just flies over everything because fuck you, why not? It is indeed an angel horror. Oh what's that? There is more to this card? Ah yes, at your end step proliferate. This effect again could be very hit or miss depending on how your tower is built but I know in mine, even without a lot of counter synergy I have a lot of cards that do use counters. Things like Otherworld Atlas, Nature's Panoply, Zombie Butcher, Experiment Kraj, Orochi Hatchery, anything with evolve, and so on. I feel there is just too much possibility for things to get out of control for one person and this is coming from someone who once lit a firecracker while unsupervised. I was 24 at the time but you can see what I mean about me getting out of control. All of this is brought to you by the letter "H" for verdict: Hell no.

Great in combat, but a terrible driver
In Commander and Wizard's Tower both, I don't really try to win as fast as I can. I save that for other formats. It doesn't work in other formats, but I sure try to win fast...or at all really. I like Saskia but my issue with her for Commander and Wizard's tower both, is that as soon as she hits the field, you make an enemy. I like to stay neutral until the very end when I know I can just kill everyone in one final swoop. Let's backtrack though. At it's base it is a 3/4 vigilance and haste for 4. I would still say that is manageable to fight against. With no trample you can chump it forever and with no first strike you can just throw multiple creatures in front of it to get rid of it. It's good but killable. The effect of the card also seems manageable. It might be a little too good but would need some play testing to see for sure. The effect can either give you double damage on a single player or give damage to two players, one of which can't block it. This effect will put you in the lead, but also turns you into the biggest threat on the board. Since that's the case, all hate will be turned on you and anyone who can kill this will try to do so. Verdict: Probably yes.

Turns out he just named his stone axe "Maelstrom"
Cascade is probably my favorite keyword in all of Magic. The keyword is also great for Wizard's Tower assuming it's not on some broken card. Ardent Plea and Captured Sunlight are perfect examples of cards with cascade that are a perfect fit in a Tower. Yidris is not. Again, at it's base it is a 5/4 trample for 4. Other than Atraxa, that is probably the best base stats out of the 5 of these. Or it's not. I'm really just guessing. Either way, they are solid base stats. Now whenever he does damage everything you cast has cascade. That is the broken-est effect of the 5 in Wizard's Tower. How about I play this and then next turn I swing in and you block but still take damage because trample? Great! Now how about I cascade Terastadon? I get to cast the first thing under 8 CMC off the top of the library? That's probably everything. I realize this is one of the worse scenarious, but what if I just casting three 3 CMC cards in main phase two and cascade three times? That also seems really good. I love cascade and want more of it but this is too much too fast for a Tower. He can scream all he wants in his art, he won't make the cut. Verdict: No thank you.

I know it's been a while since we've talked about Wizard's Tower and I've missed it too. We still won't have anything every Wednesday but this will keep popping up from time to time. There are still 15 partner commanders to talk about so I will probably do that at some point. I might do one next Wednesday. I might not. Let's find out together. In the meantime go out and play some Magic. It's fun...usually. Until next time friends.

Did you buy one of the Commander sets? Do you have no self control like me and bought four of each Commander set? Do you want to have a gab sesh about the who's who of the Magic world? Send us a message or leave a comment!

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