Sunday, January 29, 2017

Spike Me. Episode 1: Surrak Dragonclaw

Hey guys and welcome to something new I want to try out. I want to take generals that aren't really played in competitive and try to make them as viable as I can. I hope this is something that interests a lot of people as making decks better is fun but seeing the same decks over and over can be tiresome. Who knows, maybe I'll even make something viable. Today's entry is on dear old Surrak the dragonpuncher.

Khans of Tarkir block give up plenty of powerhouses in commander. Narset, Sidisi, and Tasigur are all powerhouses and in the mix, we have poor Sarruk, not really used at all in competitive groups. In a world where Animar and Maelstrom Wanderer exist there may not be much reason to use Sarruk. There are plenty of options to use but Sarruk gives us something that the others don't, your creatures can't be countered. This begs for abuse and can easily give you infinite damage with Kiki combo. So without many hatebears, lack of tutors, and little removal you definitely don't have too many options but I'm thinking there could be some use in this guy solely based on you have uncounterable turns into combo. The benefit that most of your combo is creature based so things like Thalia, Thorn of Amethyst and Vryn Wingmare don't really affect you.

The goal of this deck is simple. Assemble Kiki or Twin combo and swing for lethal. Sarruk makes your creatures uncounterable and you have plenty of interaction to stop people from hurting your combo. There is tons of ramp and a good amount of tutors to make sure you can get this combo as soon as you can. 

Tarnished Citadel
Command tower
City of brass 
Mana confluence
Exotic Orchard
I can be competitive, right?!
Tropical Island
Volcanic Island
Stomping Ground
Breeding Pool
Steam Vents
Arid Mesa
Verdant Catacombs
Misty Rainforest
Scalding Tarn
Polluted Delta
Flooded Strand
Windswept Heath
Bloodstained Mire
Wooded Foothills
Karplusan Forest
Yavimaya Coast
Shivan Reef
Ancient Tomb
Gaea's Cradle
Grove of the Burnwillows
Dryad Arbor
Kessig Wolf Run
2 Islands

Fairly self-explanatory here. Running the maximum amount of Fetches/Duals/Shocks is often the right route for three color decks. There's a good amount of five color lands and I went with the pain lands as the last cycle as they can tap for colored turn one without any restrictions and the one damage is nothing in a combo deck.
I'll save you the trouble of counting and let you know that this deck runs 32 lands. The curve is kept super low and we're going to be running a ton of draw spells
so the land count doesn't hurt us. Also, it helps that we have this:

Hey, Remember this card?
Carpet of flowers
Sol ring
Mana crypt
Mox Diamond
Chrome Mox
Nature's Lore
Three Visits
Bloom Tender
Llanowar elves
Elvish Mystic
Orcish Lumberjack
Birds of Paradise
Rattleclaw Mystic
Arbor elf
Somberwald sage
Shaman of forgotten ways
Treasonous Ogre

In total that gives us sixteen sources of ramp. If you want to think of every ramp card as half of a land that will bring us to 40 "lands". A vast majority of these cards come down turn one or two and allow us to get in an earlier Surrak and by extension earlier combo.

Speaking of combo we're going to need a few ways to find these cards. Since we're not running black we lose access to the best tutors but we still have a decent amount here

We're going to need a good amount of cards to enable the combo to go off without a hitch, let's take a good look at some protection the deck gets.

Tutor for wins or protect your wins
Magus of the moon
Blood Moon
Sylvan Safekeeper
Glen Elendra Archmage
Force of will
Pact of Negation
Mana drain
Swan Song
Red Elemental Blast
Muddle the mixture
Beast within
Ancient Grudge
Chaos Warp
Caustic Caterpillar
Reclamation Sage
Venser, Shaper Savant
Snapcaster Mage
Eternal Witness

Pretty basic answers here, Magus of the moon and Blood may punish you a bit but with so many dorks in the deck if shouldn't be much issue. Plus you can tutor up basics if you want to set it up or need more red mana for combo.
Sylvan Safekeeper, Spellskite, and Plaxmanta all help out by giving your creatures protection for the turn you combo off.
Counters are self-explanatory, but extra focus on Muddle the Mixture here which can tutor up Survival of the fittest for wins with Kiki when needed.
Beast, Chaos Warp, Vandalblast, and Ancient Grudge are to take out pesky cards that could end up stopping you
from comboing out.
If you're missing a combo piece in the yard then you have Regrowth and Eternal Witness to get it back, they're also good to get back cards to protect combo for the turn

With all this talk about combo, it's about time I mention what how it works huh? Let's get into Combo pieces.

Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
Deceiver Exarch
Sneak Attack
Splinter Twin

Yes, it's Sneak Attack in a deck with no Eldrazi
So it's pretty clear that with Kiki-Jiki/Splinter Twin and either Pestermite or Exarch you win the game. Sneak Attack plays a massive role in this as well. Sneak Attack + Imperial Recruiter can set up the entire combo.
Sneak in the recruiter and fetch Kiki.
Sneak in Kiki and copy Recruiter.
Fetch up Exarch/Pestermite and win from there.
If either is in your hand you can tutor up other creatures
Glen Elendra Archmage helps you protect your creatures from spells
Sylvan safekeeper works as well
Treasonous ogre can net you more mana so you can sneak attack in more if needed
Venser can bounce a problematic card
Reclamation Sage can take out a problematic enchantment/artifact
Magus of the Moon can make other mana bases sad as well as making sure you have red mana for sneak attack. The synergy with recruiter and sneak attack and recruiter here makes games pretty much end on the spot.

Sweet, so now you know how to win with the combo. Let's see what cards help us to get it in hand.

Survival of the fittest
Worldly Tutor
Mystical Tutor
Summoner's Pact
Green Sun's Zenith
Chord of calling

Not having black in the deck makes it difficult to search up things like Sneak attack and splinter twin so a majority of the tutors will often get you Kiki/Pestermite for easy wins. However, that's not all this deck has. Since there are multiple routes to victory we need to have plenty of ways to draw into those spells

Card selection:
Sensei's Diving top
Jace, Vryn's Prodigy
Sylvan Library
Temur Ascendancy
Treasure Cruise
Dig Through Time
Wheel of Fortune

A green deck with Library, what a twist

With these cards, we have plenty of ways to make sure we draw into the combo early and consistently. It works very well with the low CMC of the deck as it's easy to draw a hand, play all the mana sources and then wheel into a new hand and repeat until you combo out. I cannot stress how important the draw seven effects are here as they can quickly end games for us by drawing into a piece or tutor we could be missing. That brings us to 98 cards including Surrak...

And finally, that leads us to the last two cards in the deck.

Natural Order
Craterhoof Behemoth

Well, what kind of deck would it be if you couldn't win if something happened to your combo? Craterhoof is perfectly castable by itself but cheating him in is viable as well. You also will often have a good amount of creatures so unless there are consistent wraths that you can't counter for whatever reason this should be a problem.

With that, we have a solid 100 card deck to bring into the world.
This deck will not be competing with Tier one combo decks as it is typically slower and has trouble with creature hate but in the right meta it can do fairly well.
I think Surrak is overlooked since Animar and Wanderer run rampant. While he's not going to change the meta by any means he's overall decent and likely viable somewhere in tier three.

Anyway, that was my analysis on Surrak Dragonclaw, not crazy strong but can be built in an impactful way. Let me know what you think and let's start a discussion. I'm also curious if there is maybe a subpar general you'd like for me to take a look at in the future for another Spike me article.

Until then this is Doomblade, Signing out.


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Friday, January 27, 2017

The top ten planeswalkers in commander as voted by you

We're back with our final installment for the planeswalker ranking list. I've listed all 82 walkers in order from worst to best and then asked you guys to do the same. I'm presenting the top ten walkers in commander that you guys voted on. We got 382 responses for this one and even though I'm bummed that this ranking system is at it's end, I'm glad it's something I could share with you all.
Without further ado here's number ten.

10: GARRUK WILDSPEAKER  149 votes (39%)

That's right the lowest of the top ten nearly got forty percent of the votes. I expected more variation in the top ten it seems like a ton of people agree. Number eleven for example only got 105 votes so the top ten is pretty clear here.
Garruk here was the only green planeswalker in the top ten but it's reasonable since he's clearly the best. Lots of people swear by him in plenty of ramp, stax, or combo decks so it makes perfect sense why he's in your top ten.  I ranked him a little higher on my own list putting him at sixth best since he's pretty much adding 4+ mana a turn with the right lands out but this seems like a decent spot as well.

9: ELSPETH, SUN'S CHAMPION    162 votes  (42.4%)

After the only green walker, we reach our only white walker on the list. I wonder what this says about what color people think is the best in commander...

I agree very heavily with Elspeth's placement here as I put her at number eight myself. While she is a bit of mana she really does it all. You can protect yourself with an army every turn or wipe the threats off the board. That ultimate will likely win you the game and it's easy to get to. While she does nothing against combo decks pretty much none of the walkers will help with that and against most fair strategies Elspeth is very helpful.

8: JACE, VRYN'S PRODIGY    171 votes  (44.8%)

Jace barely edged out Elspeth but was clearly your choice for the best flip walker in commander. While I agree that Jace is absolutely amazing I think he deserves a higher spot since he's great in most combo and control decks and is a solid general himself. I placed him at number three on my list for all those things and how he can easily come down turn one and bring the pain. Don't underestimate how strong Jace is. He realistically could so more play than  Mind Sculptor in commander, and I wouldn't doubt for a second that he is better.

7: KARN LIBERATED  180 Votes (47.1%)

After people kept telling me that Karn deserved to be in the top ten it wasn't surprising to see him on this list. I placed him just outside at number eleven and plenty of people called me nuts. I personally don't think Karn should have as many slots as he does but the fact that he's an answer that any color could run helps him out tremendously. There are plenty of decks that have problems with certain cards and all those cards are liberated by Karn. The seven mana is quite the investment to tell one card to get out but I can see it having a home in some decks that need that answer and want those cards gone right away.
Plus it's fantastic in 1 v 1 and huge ramp decks.

6: DARETTI, SCRAP SAVANT  197 votes (51.6%)

Over half of the people who voted think Daretti should make the top ten. Totally makes sense, like Jace he can be your general, can come out turn one with the right hand and impacts the game heavy if unanswered. I placed Daretti at twelfth on my own list since he's fairly easy to hose and as a commander, you don't quite get the colors to answer those problems.

However with that said I do think Daretti is quite powerful and easily the best mono red planeswalker they have printed. The power he brings to the table and the fact that if unanswered he can end the game makes him a force to be reckoned.

5: TEFERI, TEMPORAL ARCHMAGE  212 Votes (55.5%)

But Daretti isn't the best planeswalker commander because Teferi clearly is. Teferi placed fourth on my own list and I was debating putting him higher. He is the only card on the entire list that leads a tier one deck and is an absolute terror on the board. Teferi coming out means your opponent can untap up to twelve mana and do insane plays. Not to mention he makes orb effects laughable and makes the Stasis and Chain Veil decks so much better. I'm glad you all seemed to agree that Teferi is insane because this monster clearly is.


I really expected Tezzeret to be much higher on this list. He was second on my own list and dominates as one of the only walkers consistently played in competitive tables. The ability to search up any artifact answer or threat you need with him is great but the untap ability to gain loyalty and ultimate that kills in the right deck really make me adore Tezzeret. Clearly, you guys agree since you voted him so high and I may be biased towards him but there still was some shock to seeing him with "only" 222 votes. Oh well, better luck next time Tezz.

3: JACE, THE MIND SCULPTOR 228 votes (59.7%)

Beating Tezzeret by only 6 votes we have the mind sculptor himself. For a very long time, Jace was considered the strongest walker by far. In competitive tables he often is a four mana brainstorm but if left unanswered can end the games. He still is a powerhouse in the format but often doesn't get to live long enough due to his reputation. I guess the reputation got him real far here as he still placed third for you guys in the ranking. It's not surprising to see him this high and even if it's just due to reputation, I still placed Jace as fifth on my own list. I can see him being a little lower if I revisit but there's no doubt that this mind sculptor is very powerful.

2: DADDY DACK FAYDEN  241 votes (63.1%)

The great thief in the multiverse strikes again hitting second best for you guys. While I placed him first on my own list I can see him making second for a bunch of people. The restriction in color makes him slightly harder to play (the next gold walker was 12th place) but still, Dack is clearly insane and you guys all know it. I won't go into why he's super good again since I splurged on him so much in my own ranking but I wasn't surprised to see him on this list at all.

1: UGIN, THE SPIRIT DRAGON 266 votes (69.6%)

Ugin hitting first, however, was a bit of a surprise. When I did my own ranking I placed Ugin at ninth since his mana cost may as well be infinite but there is no doubt that he's powerful. Landing Ugin and basically resetting everyone's board except your own will often win you games by itself and in the decks where he is feasible to get on the board he needs to be answered right away or you're going to have a bad time. It seems that board wipes on walkers were taken into high regard with this list with Ugin topping it easily. Also, the ability to be in any deck helps out a lot. I think that Ugin placed this high since he's likely played with more than any walker on this list since out of him and Karn he's the cheapest (and stronger) and he's one of the more recent walkers to come out.  It makes sense that Ugin tops the list in that way and I can absolutely see him winning again in the future if I revisit this series.

Attached are the results for the other walkers in the poll. Everything that scored over 10 percent or 38 votes is here. Anything not noted has been deemed pretty shit by you guys.

 Not too many surprises here. I'm glad that Sorin Markov didn't make the list but was expecting him to be in the top ten. Maybe I had some influence?

Nicol Bolas is the only walker on the top list that I think is actually fairly bad but like Ugin he does massive things so I guess it makes sense.

There were a lot fewer cards that made over ten percent according to you guys. It was pretty clear which ones you thought were superior, and like I said the top ten beat the eleventh spot by 12 percent.

Well, there you have, the lord planeswalkers in commander. Do you agree? Of course, you do, this is your list. And that finally finishes our list for ranking the planeswalkers in the commander. It's been quite a trip and I'd love to hear what you guys want to see in the future.

If you guys are interested in a Q&A I've linked to my ASK.FM account here:

Go ahead and ask a degenerate commander player whatever you feel like. I'll answer all the questions in a future article if it gets enough questions.

Until next time

DoomBlade, signing out.

If you want to support the blog please visit my Patreon for more. Every little bit helps a ton and allows me to make more content for you guys in the future

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Aboslute worst planeswalkers in commander. A community ranking

Hey guys, we're back with ranking more planeswalkers but today I'm taking it easy and letting you guys take the wheel. We had over 700 votes ranking every single planeswalker and that includes 340 for the worst of the worst.  Today we're looking at the bottom of the barrel, the cards people don't want to trade for, and the most depressing versions our characters yet. Today's list is looking, so let's get started with number ten.

10: AJANI GOLDMANE  (89 votes 26.2% of votes)  (Scored 11th worst for me)

I remember when people were giving me flack for putting this guy in my bottom ten.

You hypocrite fu---.

Sorry, anyway this Ajani is the worst of the worst according to you guys. I guess four mana life gain and situational pumps aren't quite good enough.
Who would have thought...other than me. I told you guys!

Not much to say about him that hasn't already been said. Ajani has gotten better with each iteration and as far as I can tell they're barely making the cut in decks. And when your better versions are barely getting played you know you messed up.

9: KYTHEON, HERO OF AKROS (91 votes 26.8% of votes)    (Scored 17th worst for me)

Two white walkers in the row. I wonder what that says about the rest of the list....
Suprise, Beefslab made the list and I thought that Gideon Jura or Champion of Justice would be on here but no. Just Baby Gideon, kinda surprising honestly considering for one mana he isn't terrible but I guess when you're pretty much seeing 0 play even in casual decks he deserves this slot.

Jokes on you though, he's seeing play in Hyper Captain Sisay combo decks.

8: CHANDRA, FIRE OF KALADESH (102 votes. 30% of votes) (Scored 13th worst for me)

 Here's Chandra in all her terrible do nothing effects in glory. When you have a creature that you don't want to flip because the walker side is so bad you know you have issues. The same issue that Kytheon has is even worse in Chandra though. You have a walker that barely damages opponents and then dies right after because she's terrible and if you're playing her you likely will lose.

7: JACE, THE LIVING GUILDPACT (117 votes. 34.4% of votes) (Scored 4th worst for me)

The first and only blue card on the list. I guess when you want to rank the worst of the worst blue will often not make the list. Clearly, this is the worst Jace, even being four mana you have the only Jace that can't draw cards and all he does is bounce things. Then dies, useless....

Do yourself a favor and don't play this guy and introduce yourself to capsize or even an extra land would be better in this slot. Island > Living Guildpact.

No surprise that you guys rated him so low and since his printing each Jace does so much more.

6: SARKHAN THE MAD (124 votes. 36.5% of the votes) (Scored 22nd worst for me)

This is probably the only walker on the list I can kinda defend but only up to a point. Like all the other cards here there are always better options and they're always much better. Sarkhan gives you a Dark Confidant effect but at 5 mana. Before even casting him you could land Necropotence, Phyrexian Arena, Dark Tutelage, or whatever and still have turns to abuse it, and better yet those don't kill themselves. You guys made it clear that there really isn't much reason to play this guy and I agree.

5: CHANDRA, PYROGENIUS (124 votes. 36.5% of the votes) (Scored 5th worst for me too)

I don't know how you guys did it but we have a tie. I placed Chandra lower than Sarkhan because in my own ranking I put Chandra in the bottom of the barrel while Sarkhan was slightly higher.
Oddly enough the dual decks Nissa didn't get as many votes as I expected. I figured they were too new and forgettable that people may not vote for them as much. And then I saw Chandra Pyrogenius.

Like I said in my article when I came up to her there really isn't reason to play her in your deck. At six mana you have so many better options than 2 damage to each opponent or mildly hurting a creature.
Chandra, Torch of Defiance was literally printed at the same time and has both these abilities but does it better. AND has more abilities. AND is four mana. This gets a huge pass.

4: NISSA REVANE (124 votes. 36.5% of the votes) (Scored 2nd worst for me)

Yup, a three-way tie in the top ten. I put Nissa down as my second worst walker ever made and you guys were not too far off. I think her saving grace from the top was not many people remember her and she never says play (For obvious reasons) so I think that people just forgot about her. I personally think she deserves to be a little higher on the list for the worst of the worst because she's literally a four mana tutor for a meh and gains meh life.
Pass in every regard.

3: CHANDRA ABLAZE (143 Votes. 42.1% of votes) (Scored 12th worst for me)

Poor Chandra. Here she is again in a card that people often regard as the worst walker in command. Another six mana card but at least she can wheel. It's not good by any stretch of the imagination. There really isn't much reason to play her in anything but she wheels. That's at least something. So I can defend her to be slightly higher on the list and I think her reputation has put her in a worse spot than she deserves but seeing her in the top ten worst planeswalkers isn't surprising at all.

2: CHANDRA NALAAR (177 Votes. 52.1% of votes) (Scored 3rd worst for me)

An homage to Chandra. When the slightly better of version of your card appears at number five of the worst walkers ever you know you messed up. There really isn't anything else to say about her that hasn't been said already. She won over HALF the votes for worst walker for a reason.
Think about that for a second. You guys were more likely to vote for Chandra Nalaar than to not. That's just borderline outstanding.
I didn't expect anyone to get that...except....

1. Tibbers.... (242 votes. 71.2% of votes holy shit!) (The worst of the worst)

Oh could it be anyone else but you? I knew going in that he would be number one but this massive margin surprised me. If we assumed that about 10 percent of the votes are throw aways (Trolls will be everywhere) that means that Tibalt comes to nearly EIGHTY percent of the votes.
He has a reputation, tons of people know that he's crap but I still did not expect any card to hit that high of percentage for worst of the worst. With differing opinions everywhere and people having uses for even the worst walkers somewhere this just goes to show that Tibalt is a scrub.

Attached is the results for the other walkers in the poll. Everything that scored over 10 percent or 34 votes is here. Anything not noted has been deemed pretty good to insane by you guys.

Fun Fact: Chandra, the Firebrand actually tied for 10th worst with Ajani Goldmane. I needed a spot for number ten so I gave it to Ajani since if I voted she would not have been in my poll.

Speaking of Chandra, every single iteration of Chandra got over 10 percent of votes. Except, Torch of Defiance. You finally did it Chandra.

Garruk and Elspeth didn't have a single version of them on the worst list. Not a single version of either got over ten percent of the votes. Even Elspeth Tirel, which isn't a top ten worst card by any means but far from good.

Sorin, who I kept calling bad over and over didn't make the worst list at all either.

Back to Chandra again it seems like there is an unnatural bias to here being bad. While Firebrand and PyroMaster aren't top tier cards by any stretch they're not so bad to get 25% of bad votes. I think that maybe people thought Pyromaster and Pyrogenius were swapped but that's just a theory.

Well, there you have, the scrublords planeswalkers in commander. Do you agree? Of course, you do, this is your list. Next time we tackle the best of the best accoring to you guys. Hope you're excited because the results are awesome.

Til next time

Doom Blade, Signing out.

If you want to support the blog please visit my Patreon for more. Every little bit helps a ton and allows me to make more content for you guys in the future

Sunday, January 22, 2017

My top ten planeswalker in commander

Here we are fellow magicians. The absolute best walkers in commander, according to some nerd on the internet anyway. It's been a few weeks in the making where we looked at some that were criminally terrible, some that are just ok, and others that just barely didn't make the cut. Every card on this list should be considered in decks if they fit the colors and once we get closer to number one they're cards that are fairly mandatory for decks to be optimized.
Anyway, let's get to the good stuff and start with number 10

There was a good amount of people wondering why on Earth I'd put Xenagos over Karn and Daretti but the fact of the matter is Daretti is fairly easily hosed and outside of red artifact decks (which is still fairly new) he doesn't have much room. Granted he's great in those decks but they're few and far between. Karn is 7 mana removal that often will die before your next turn. He's great when you can get him out early turn 2/3 or when ahead but often he will anguished unmaking one card and then die himself.

Xenagos doesn't have any of those problems. He can provide a blocker or attacker when needed and best of all will often add insane amounts of mana in the decks he's in. The most obvious good spot for him is Prossh in which he will often net you at least 3 mana and even more the following turns. That insane possibility seems far better than the walkers we've looked at before. Even without that, he's placed in decks with lots of creatures to abuse this. You can easily get him out turn 3 and then net 3-4 mana and even more afterward. Being able to cast finishers like Prossh, Craterhoof, Emrakul, or whatever and net loyalty is why I have him above the rest and at the number ten slot. Agree or disagree I don't think there are many people who think Xenagos isn't a fantastic card.

Score: 90/100
Played in: Everything Green/Red+

Ugin here is easily better than Karn. For one mana more (Really nothing in the decks that make huge mana) you can easily wipe the board of most threats when behind or nuke a creature or player when ahead. Excluding massive game-enders, like Omniscience, there is virtually nothing Ugin can't wipe from the board in competitive games where the average CMC is low. Afterward, it's not unlikely that he will stay on board (or someone storms out) so you can keep putting pressure with bolts until you can ultimate. If your deck is running Ugin it is likely you can either win after an ultimate by dropping more walkers or stax pieces in a Teferi build or flooding massive amounts of threats in things like Selvala. If your deck can get to 8 mana easily turn 3/4 then Ugin may be something you should consider.

Score: 91/100
Played in: Big mana decks (Teferi/Selvala)

While Ugin may fit in more decks than Elspeth I think that overall Elspeth is a better card. They both fit in similar decks with big mana and both can wipe up the board but the reason Elspeth placed a little higher is her ultimate and plus seem stronger. Her plus will prevent pretty much anything that isn't flying or unblockable from hurting Elspeth, a couple of turns of Elspeth in the right deck leads to opponents either winning right then and there or losing to her ultimate which means all those tiny 1/1's she's been making those last few turns will be taking out the board. Playing against Elspeth pretty much comes down to taking her out right away or combo out before she ultimates otherwise get ready to die to tons of flyers.

Score: 94/100
Played in: Stax, tokens, Attrition

I can't believe how few people have played this card. Granted red/black isn't a powerful color combination but we're talking about repeat kill spells for creatures or artifacts, completely unrestricted kills too. If something needs to die Daretti can take card of it. If something doesn't need to die he can make blockers and make people think twice before playing that creature or artifact. If it isn't gonna impact the game right away then it's often a waste when there is a Daretti free. Most of the best decks in commander are already running tons of low CMC rocks like Mox Diamond, Chrome Mox, Sol ring, Crypt, Mana vault, and so on so having an extra artifact isn't difficult if you don't have any tokens to sacrifice. Furthermore, this guy is only three mana which means it's not hard to land him turn one or two and have players think twice before playing artifacts or creatures. If you're in red black there is often no reason not to play Daretti.

Score: 97/100
Played in: All Red/Black Variants

And finally, we reach the best of the original Lorywn planeswalkers. The only non-mythic Garruk is the only one that fills many roles in commander. In stax decks he untaps your lands and isn't restricted to basics, you abuse cards like Gaea's Cradle very easily with him. If you need to have Garruk Survive you can put down a decent sized Beast token to protect him. Now you can easily net extra mana every turn and if you're running a creature based deck you have an ultimate that can do tons of damage to your opponents. And on top of that, you can do it the turn after Garruk lands. All these things propel Garruk past the other cards listed and make him the best non-blue walker in commander (Yes all the rest are blue, surprise).
You could argue that Xenagos is better since he can often net more mana with his ability but Garruk can fit in every deck that Xenagos can and much more on top of that.

Score: 98/100
Played in: Stax, Creature decks, often anything with green

What's there to say about Jace that hasn't already been said? He's one of the only walkers that comes down with three relevant abilities. You can brainstorm and then fetch/tutor away those two irrelevant cards. So we're talking about a constant draw three if he's kept alive. Walkers don't often stay alive long in commander so it's unreasonable to think you will get tons of activations off him but if you do you'll likely win. If your opponent lands a threat Jace can easily just bounce it back to hand. If you want to trigger an enters the battlefield from your own creature you can also just do that. If your opponent is missing land drops or you're in a good position you can start peeking at what they draw and prevent them from getting relevant cards until you ultimate and bitch slap that player out of the game. But what puts Jace behind the other cards? Well, he's good when you're ahead and when in a tied game he will put it in your favor. The problem is he often will be a four mana brainstorm and then he will die. You could get two or three brainstorms off him before he dies which is fantastic to net up to nine cards off four mana but in worst case he's a draw three for four mana. Not terrible by any means but doesn't quite do enough. But in those situations,
 there aren't many walkers that can save you.

Score: 99/100
Played in: Combo, control, stax

It's really difficult to put cards in slots when the remainder are pretty much staples in decks. Jace and Teferi could be swapped for spots but it doesn't change that both are fairly insane. Teferi is used in about the same amount of decks but the reason I placed him higher is because he is the only planeswalker that is the general of a tier one deck. Teferi as a general, combos out with Chain Veil for infinite activations and then you can generate infinite mana and infinite draw to play your deck and win via storm or other planeswalkers with infinite activations. Outside of a general, he has use untapping up to TWELVE FUCKING MANA with his second ability. No other walker generates that much mana. On average it's closer to 6 but again, it's very rare to generate that much mana. In dedicated stax decks, he can untap your cards and so cards like Static Orb, Winter Orb, Stasis, and Trinisphere aren't hurting you at all while making sure that opponents are pretty much out of the game. This isn't even mentioning his first ability that gives you the best card of your top two. While not as impactful this is essentially another planeswalker/general that can draw you cards into quicker lockdowns. There are very few cards that have insane tier one decks behind them and this is the only one that is a planeswalker.

Score: 99/100
Played in: Teferi, Stax, Combo, Control.


Take notes Tibalt, this is how you do a two mana planeswalker. Jace is the only walker that decides when he flips. So if your opponent is targeting him with removal or attacking you can block and the flip him afterward to negate the damage. Now you have a walker that can play the best spell from your graveyard again. What other two mana blue staple is in every combo deck? Hmmm...yeah this is pretty much a second snapcaster mage but this one serves as a draw outlet before becoming a walker. Now you can decide which cards you want in the grave for Jace to play and better yet you don't have to play that two mana investment you had to for snapcaster now. If you need to make sure your combo is protected for the turn target a dispel, if you need to tutor, you have demonic/vamp or whatever in the yard, if you need a rock to die pick nature's claim. It isn't difficult to flip Jace whenever you want and it's even easier to keep him alive if you toss a Toxic Deluge or whatever in the yard. After opponents rebuild with a creature you can make them weaker with his plus ability and then use his snapcaster ability again to play whatever you want from the grave. There's a reason this card has become a staple in every blue deck. Give him a try, you won't be disappointed.

Score: 100/100
Played in: Decks with blue mana symbols.

Surprise, Tezzeret isn't number one. could argue that any of the top few cards could be number one and you'd be right. They're all super powerful and fill in slots that decks need easily. Tezzeret (Like Teferi) untaps your rocks so you aren't hurt by stax effects as bad as opponents. Tons of decks already play the basic Mana crypt, sol ring, chrome mox, mana vault or whatever but with Tezzeret you have access to a whole lot more. You can land him and with his minus, you can lock down opponents lands for -2 (Winter Orb), copy the best rock on the board for -3 (Sculpting steel), copy the best creature on the board for -4 (Phyrexian Metamorph) or ramp heavy by getting mana crypt. The amount of options Tezzeret gives you makes him a threat at all times. Even without the built-in tutoring, you can untap mana to help you hard cast game-enders like Forgemaster or Mindslaver. Better yet you can lock down the board and keep opponents from untapping and then kill them all with his ultimate which he can do the turn after he lands.  With plenty of high-powered decks running a decent artifact suite, Tezzeret is often one of the few higher CMC cards that people will include.

Score: 100/100
Played in: Every deck with artifact options

I don't think it could have been anyone else. The greatest thief in the multiverse tops the list and this really shouldn't be much of a surprise. We've talked about how artifacts are powerful and Dack doesn't just kill the best artifact he takes it for you to abuse. Someone lands a turn two gilded lotus? Now it's yours. Opponent mulled to a sol ring and four mana spells? Good luck playing this game sucker. The benefit of bringing yourself to six mana the next turn while bringing your opponents down to one or two is absolutely massive. On top of that if he lives a turn he can filter your hand into better spells. Pair him with a Notion theif or Uba mask to start crippling hands and end the game there and then. Afterwards steal more artifacts and keep the pain coming. There is literally no reason to not have him in any deck that he can fit in. For three mana Dack does more than any walker could and while I think any of the top five could have been placed anywhere on the list there is no question that Daddy Dack Fayden is number one for me.

Score: 1000/100
Played in: Every deck he can

Well, that's that. We went through all 82 walkers in commander over the last few weeks and now you have what I think are the best of the best.
What's that? You don't agree with some of these?
Well let's hear what you have to say:

Please take the time to select your bottom and top planeswalkers for commander and afterwards I'll take what you guys said and write it out.

Until then, this is DoomBlade, Signing out.

If you want to support the blog please visit my Patreon for more. Every little bit helps a ton and allows me to make more content for you guys in the future

Friday, January 20, 2017

The commander ban list, as voted by you.

Over the last few day's we've gotten over 500 replies on what you think the ban list should look like. I separated it into both the casual crowd and competitive minded players and here are the results.
There were a good amount of votes to unban or ban everything and I think that will show a lot in the overall results. Troll or not the list doesn't look unlikely for people's thoughts so I went with it.

And yes I released I spelled some names wrong but if I changed them it would reset the votes so fuck it.


Keep banned forever according to you guys
Black lotus 236 votes (90.4%)
Time vault 232 votes (88.9%)
Time walk 226 votes (86.6%)
Mox Jet/Mox Sapphire 220 votes (84.3%)

If we unbanned everything with 50 percent or less these guys would be free today
Biorhythm (42.1%)
Braids, Cabal Minion (38.3%)
Coalition Victory (30.7%)
Gifts Ungiven (29.9%)
Painter's Servant (41.8%)
Primeval Titan (47.5%)
Prophet of Kruphix (47.9%)
Recurring Nightmare (43.7%)
Rofellos, Llanowar emissary (45.2%)
Sylvan Primordial (48.3%)

Some notes on what I've noticed according to these votes

- Erayo is the only card that should stay banned that is banned as commander.

- Mox Jet and Sapphire and more offensive than the other three. Interesting because the two that scored lowest are arguably the worst colors in commander

- A majority of the cards people want unbanned were the recent bannings of Prophet, Prime Time, and Sylvan


Keep banned forever according to you guys

Black lotus 204 votes (87.6%)
Time Walk/Mox Emerald/Mox Jet 193 votes (82.8%)
Mox Ruby/Mox Pearl/Mox Sapphire 192 votes (82.4%)
Time vault 191 votes (82%)
Ancestral Recall 184 votes (79%)

If we unbanned everything with 50 percent or less these guys would be free today
Biorhythm (23.6%)
Braids, Cabal Minion (16.3%)
Coalition Victory (18.9%)
Emrakul, the Aeons torn (44.2%)
Erayo, Soratami Ascendant (43.8%)
Gifts ungiven (25.8%)
Limited Resources (48.9%)
Painters Servant (24%)
Panoptic Mirror (36.1%)
Primeval Titan (26.2%)
Prophet of Kruphix (21.5%)
Recurring Nightmare (34.3%)
Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary (30.5%)
Sundering titan (29.6%)
Sway of the stars (34.8%)
Sylvan Primordial (28.3%)
Trade Secrets (45.1%)
Upheaval (42.1%)
Worldfire (33%)

As expected every card that you guys want unbanned in casual is on here as well.
In some cases (Worldfire and Sundering Titan) it seems like these cards are more ok than cards deemed ok on the casual list

The Moxes seemed odd in this case where Jet and Emerald got more votes than Sapphire some how. I think that's just imperfect results showing itself.

Anyway, thanks for all your time in filling out my survey. I got a lot of interesting information from you.

Until next time.

DoomBlade, Signing out

If you want to support the blog please visit my Patreon for more. Every little bit helps a ton and allows me to make more content for you guys in the future


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The best Planeswalkers in Commander: 20-11

Here we are, after taking a side trip to the ban list and discussing that we're back and finally talking about the top twenty now. Pretty much all these guys will see play in decks ranging from All stars in casual to good in competitive.

A ton of people expected Sorin in the top ten and a few as number one. He's for me he's fairly similar to Venser in that he's an All-Star in more casual tables but in competitive games, he's pretty subpar. Knocking a player down to ten is an absolute beating and you may as well have killed that player in games where the winner is decided by creatures turning sideways. That being said in more competitive games Sorin doesn't quite do enough. Six mana to not impact the board and just bring a player slightly closer to death in a format dominated by infinite combos or lockdown doesn't do enough. Let's say you get him out turn 4 or 5 and bring someone down to 10 life. Neat, now they can untap and just combo out since the board isn't impacted, and on top of that, you're likely tapped out. Also, Sorin is more or less useless against Necropotence and Ad Naseum. You bring them down to 10 life and then in response they may as well use necro to go to one life and get some cards. Also, you target them and then they can Ad Naseum into a ton of cards and go up to ten afterward. Not to mention the other players aren't affected at all. His other two abilities don't do enough in competitive, either as draining something for six mana isn't impactful. Sure you could mindslaver which also pretty much kills a player but it has the same problem in which the other players can just win. All in all, when playing Casual he's a definite threat but in competitive he's pretty bad.
Score: 78/100
Played in: Mono Black control and every casual deck ever

My submission for the best Nissa is right here. Granted there really isn't much competition but this Nissa needs to see more play. Let's start that she can plus, net you mana, give you a blocker, or pump up your Gaea's cradle with her first ability. It's fairly easy to keep her alive a full turn and're drawing a ton of extra cards every turn. Fetch lands are everywhere in games and drawing 3 cards a turn that can't be removed is fucking insane. That's just the beginning, let's say you have her life a little longer. First, get that emblem as soon as you can but now you have someone who makes your cradle, Nyktos, whatever tap again and gives you a solid body. On top of that, her last ability is pretty relevant too. Sure you can't return instants or sorceries but you're in Green, you absolutely have great lands, creatures, enchantments, or walkers to return.
She may not be seeing that much play quite yet but I think she's grossly underrated. Play this card and test it out. You may find another treasure.

Score: 81/100
Play in: Every not Yisan green deck. Decks that love Gaea's Cradle, decks that could use extra draw and have fetch lands

Tamiyo's main use is locking down cards in stasis decks. Being able to constantly keep something locked down with any orb effect or skipping untap effect will often be enough to end the game itself. On top of that, she can net you a bunch of cards with tapped creatures. Which if your deck is working on tapping down your opponents things shouldn't be a problem. You can effectively skip players turns when abusing her to the fullest. Finally the ultimate, I don't expect it to happen often because in games where it does you really should have won already but once it happens it may as well be over. Having one or two counters in hand plus bounce/draw or whatever makes the game pretty much impossible for your opponents to catch up.

Score: 82/100
Played in: Stax, Mono-blue control


If you have Tezzeret in your deck you really have to mean it. He's an all-star in artifact based decks but has no use elsewhere. The plus will often get you the best or second best card in your top five. His minus will both protect you or make another creature far worse, it's nice to be able to both draw the best cards in your deck and protect yourself while making your artifacts beefy. After you've kept him on board a while you can easily drain your opponents for 20-30 life. While that may not be enough to kill them it's likely that by that point they've gone down a good amount thanks to things like Necropotence, Shocks, fetches, Dark Confidant, and so on. Most decks will use life as a resource and have no problem draining themselves for 10-30 life so they can win. With Tezzeret you can both give yourself that life back and make it much harder for someone else to abuse that.
On top of that, he is still viable when he's not going for the kill with his other two abilities.

Score: 84/100
Played in: Black/Blue Artifacts and most iterations of this.


The next few walkers I had trouble really putting them in order. Much like the rest of this list they're all super solid but are different enough that the smallest things made the placements. The only problem with Lili is she has trouble on boards with presence. You can throw her down early and start having people discard cards. You're playing the Lili and likely have a deck that doesn't mind the discard so it's often not symmetrical. Against one player she's far more insane as she comes down and takes out a creature. Against a Voltron deck that often only has one creature, she's a crazy play. The ultimate also is likely to wipe a player out of the game and is very viable to get because she is taking out resources while she's on board. Personal favorite things include separating all the creatures and lands from a player and depending on what they keep cast either Armageddon or Damnation (Any version of these) game over. But like I said she has a problem in which late game she isn't likely to stay on board unless you're already ahead.

Score: 84/100
Played in: Mono Black, Stax, Control

Elspeth could have placed really anywhere between 16 and 13. The reason she placed a little higher than Lili is she comes down and protects herself or allows you to get in with big creatures. The ability to have solid defense and offense is super good. Place her in any Voltron deck to either knock out a player with the second ability or protect your own life with her first. She also works well in Stax deck as you have a token maker that nets loyalty as well. So naturally, she places a higher than other token based walkers since she also has the ability to pump up generals for alpha strikes as well. Finally the ultimate is solid but not really needed. Unless you plan on blowing up the board yourself with land destruction or wrath effects you likely won't activate it. Your deck should already have a good amount of resources so that blowing up all the lands wouldn't hurt you and win you the game already. Of course, the emblem doesn't hurt but often isn't needed.

Score: Liliana of the veil/100
Played in: Voltron, Stax, White Weenie

Yet another walker that really could have placed anywhere in the last few slots. I put Garruk up higher than Elspeth because; 1) While he is a little more mana it's easier to get to that cost in green. 2) The tokens he makes are threats by themselves. 3) Drawing cards in Green is very powerful and even when put in other decks this can net you tons of cards without much mana. 4) That ultimate will probably kill people.
All those reasons by themselves wouldn't be enough to get past Elspeth but add them all together and I think Garruk is very solid and if not answered could give his player the game.

Score: 86/100
Played in: Big creature decks and heavy ramp


Female Nick Fury is the final of the four walkers I think could have placed anywhere here but when I compare her to Garruk she just seems slightly better. She can blow up threats to the deck like Humility or Spreading Plague. The tokens she makes can net you mana and her casting cost is a little easier than Garruks. Again, not a bunch of super relevant things on their own but added together it seems enough to edge her just past our favorite green Beefslab. This isn't even mentioning that she can be your general in very powerful elf ball decks. Yeah, that's reason enough why she's better than the last few

Score: 87/100

Played in: Elves, Mono Green, Stax

I think Daretti scores the highest for walker with two or more versions. He's the only one that is only seen in the Best of walkers. His presence in artifact based decks helps a ton, whether it's abusing that Mindslaver to lock players out or netting you cards. He even throws cards in the bin that you can cheat in the following turn. On top of that great synergy his ultimate will win you the game. Players have to kill you or drown in artifacts like Possessed Portal, Nullstone Gargoyle, Smokestack, and Tangle Wire. Of course, he is best used as his own general as you can easily cast him turn one or two with rituals and rocks, discard a massive threat and then cheat it in the following turn. He also survives effects like Obliterate and Devastation so while your opponents have no resources you have the goblin pope netting loyalty for a game-ending ultimate. The reason he isn't in the top ten is he isn't too hard to hose. Most grave hate makes him cry and red has trouble answering that. But place him at an unaware table and you're on top of the world.
Score: 88/100
Played in: Everything that abuses artifacts

Karn just barely barely barely missed the top ten. A lot of people assumed he would make it in so I don't need to explain why Liberating any permanent is great,  how he gets to 10 loyalty the turn he comes down, or how he can fit in any deck. So I won't mention that.
The reason he didn't make the top ten is seven mana is a fucking ton to handle one threat. Often you land him and take out the biggest threat on the table. Well, I hope you can keep him alive now because no one else will let him live. Karn is a massive threat to the board that is super hard to get down early. If it was far more possible to get him down early it would be far more viable in competitive games (Outside of huge mana decks) but spending seven mana too often just scour from existence something isn't great.
This is assuming you aren't already winning, landing a Karn when you're in a winning position will often end the game because it's going to be that much harder for opponents to catch up. Stealing a card from hand narrows choices to kill him and going to ten mana right after makes that even harder.
Score: 89/100
Played in: Big mana decks (Kruphix, Daretti, Selvala)

And that's our entry for today. Soon we can talk about the all-stars and how absolutely insane they are. Until then I encourage you to talk this survey on which cards you think should be banned in commander.

We have a good amount of input already but I think the more we get the better the article will be.

Anyway, that's our article for today. Any you expected to see by now? How about ones you wished made the top? Are you going to try out Nissa like you should? Let me know, and let's start a discussion.

Until next time, DoomBlade, Signing out...