Thursday, March 16, 2017

My top ten lands in commander

Hey, guys, we're back and today I'm giving you my personal top ten lands in commander.
These lands are my personal go to lands and in my opinion the best of the best in competitive commander. If you're interested in seeing the community based best lands in commander that information is here:

Or you can just look at this pretty pic based on how often they came up in someone's top ten

So with that in mind here's my own personal top ten. Feel free to give me your own personal top ten.

10: Tarnished Citadel

This is a land that I personally think didn't get enough love in the community-based votes. Not because it's not good, but I don't think many people know about it.
City of Brass and Mana Confluence are often referred to as staples in the format and Citadel isn't too much different.
Yes, the 3 damage part hurts a load more but unlike the other two, you can tap this land without hurting yourself. I find that when you need the colored mana it's a great land to have on board and the colorless source helps as well. Give it a try yourself, I don't think you'll be disappointed.

9: Gaea's Cradle
Based on pure power I think Cradle can easily top the list but the problem is you can't place it in as many decks as the other cards on this list. In the decks where it's played it is often the best land in the deck but like I said, it isn't placed in as many decks as the other cards on the list.
There is nothing quite like tapping a land for 10 plus mana and if you've ever played this card you can see why it would be placed on a list of the best of the best. I wish I can put it up higher and I can see why others would but the color restriction makes it not as much of a staple.

8: Shock lands
Now we're getting more into universal staples for nearly every deck. Now when a land goes into pretty much every deck why would it be lower on the list? Well, let's say you're playing a 3 or 4 color deck that mainly focuses on blue. You'll throw in all the duals and fetches you can in it but some of the time shocks can be cut. An example of this would be in Zur Doomsday where you have the duals, fetches, but don't run Godless Shrine (I'm not saying this is the routine for every deck).
With it being mandatory in 2 colors but less so as you go up I think number eight is a decent slot. There really are few situations where you don't want all the shock lands but they do exist.

7: City of Brass
6: Mana Confluence

I didn't see much reason in talking about how good City of Brass was and then saying the same thing about Confluence. Both of them are pretty much mandatory in anything with two or more colors.
The life loss doesn't really matter when the best decks are combo or lock down so having access to the colors you need when you need them is far more important and both of these give you exactly what you need, when you need it, at minimal cost.

5: Ancient Tomb

Much like City and Confluence I think that Tomb goes into nearly every single deck. I can see it being cut from 4 or 5 color decks that are very hungry for colors but other than that it's something I always add to decks.
The turn one Tomb into a talisman or signet often means you can play the higher CMC cards in your hand turn two and have the mana advantage early so you can press on and lock down or combo out shortly after. And it's specifically Tomb over something like Temple of the false god or Crystal vein because of how it can do this turn one and repeatedly. Remember like I said for City and Confluence, Life is a resource.

4: Command tower
Of course, this had to be on here, but just where? I'm sure you can guess the next three slots based on Command Tower's placement.
Command tower goes in pretty much everything. The only reason is if you're playing 1 or 0 colors but other than that you stick it in your deck and have a good time. I don't need to tell people why this card is good because we all know well and good how good it is. In our poll it came in at third and that totally makes sense.

3: Strip Mine
What does every land we've mentioned so far have in common? They all die to Strip Mine.
If you're having an issue with a land then strip mine can handle it. If your opponent missed a land drop then strip mine can seal them out of a game.
If you have a crucible then you can lock an opponent out for the game. This card is so damn good that unless you just really need the colors you should be running it.
Granted if you're playing pure combo and don't care about taking out resources I can see this being removed but the uncounterable resource denial undoubtedly puts Strip Mine as something anyone should consider.

2: The dual lands
 Well...duh. If you're playing a deck with two or more colors you often want to maximize the duals you run. The dual typing that works very well with our totally not obvious number one make it so you have the color you need and then some. Plus they add serious style points to your deck. Like shock lands, you want to add as many as you can to your deck but unlike shock lands, there isn't much reason to cut them because there will be situations where you need your less used colors and then you'll have the dual because you used....

1: The Fetch Lands
I really tried to put something else as number one but there is no way to justify it. Fetch lands are clearly the best lands in commander. The ability to get the colors you need, when you need them and the synergy they have with staples like Sensei's top, Sylvan Library, Brainstorm, and Crucible made this an easy choice. There are very few situations in which you don't want to have every single fetch land in your deck.

Honorable Mentions:
The Tabernacle at Pendrells Vale
Bazaar of Baghdad
Horizon Canopy
Mishra's Workshop
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Inventor's Fair

Dishonorable mentions
Karoo lands
Temple of the false god
Lands that enter tapped.

Well, that's my personal top ten. What about your own? Let me know what you think and let's get this discussion going.

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

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Top ten Modern Masters 2017 cards for commander

Hey guys, we're back with another top ten and holy shit. Did you look at the Modern Masters spoilers? They're pretty sweet but we don't care about Modern here. We're looking at singleton vintage and the top ten cards that were reprinted in Modern Masters 3. Now that the set is mere days away from being ripped open by rabid nerds across the land I feel like it's the best time to discuss which cards to look for in commander decks.

The idea came to me from my friend Brian who made this video on his top ten

I guess this is my own response and view from someone who pretty much only plays competitive.
Also all of this is just the opinion and viewings of a single player. Nothing is set in stone anywhere but this is all just personal preference

Honorable mentions.

Ancient grudge- Fairly solid if nothing else. Killing two artifacts with one spell whenever you want is fairly helpful. It's no Nature's Claim or Beast within but if you want more artifact removal this would be a solid addition.

If any other mana dorks were being
reprinted they also would be here.
Avacyn's Pilgrim- This was actually very close to the top ten. Consider it an honorary 11th slot I guess. But why is it so high up there? Well because mana dorks allow you to play more busted spells early on. A lot of competitive decks have curves that end at 4 or 5 with the occasional spell or two above and being able to play your finisher spells a turn early helps a lot. Pilgrim is currently the only one mana dork that gives you white mana the following turn so adding him in green/white decks is pretty great in competitive tables.

Cavern of Souls- Also very close to the top ten for me. But outside of dedicated tribe decks or super focused on general I don't see much reason to include it. It's very strong but the downside of it being colorless for everything else doesn't quite make it as much of an include as the rest of the top ten.

Coiling Oracle- Another solid card but doesn't always make the cut. Randomly ramping or drawing a card is fairly good but the issue is I think Three Visits and Nature's Lore are better since they guarantee a land drop and you can always find two colored sources with them. While oracle is still decent I don't think it needs to be added to every green/blue deck.

Craterhoof Behemoth- Often a finisher of choice in elves decks and big mana decks but him being eight massive mana means that unless you're powering out tons of creatures early and consistently he wouldn't be super useful early on. Of course, he has his slots in decks but I don't think it's enough for him to enter the top ten

Damnation- Before Toxic Deluge was introduced into the world I may have put Damnation on the top ten but since Deluge is better I don't see much reason. It kills indestructible creatures, can leave your creatures alone, gets around Gaddock Teeg, and cost less mana. Overall I don't see much reason to include Damnation in lists anymore since Deluge came out but the reprint is still fairly exciting.

Deadeye Navigator- My god a lot of people hate this card. I kinda get why but I have to bring up that he's a six drop that's useless outside of having other utility creatures on board. The ability to make infinite mana is great for decks that win with that (Oona, Thrasios, Tasigur, etc) but that's more of a finisher job and I don't think that's enough for him to get on the list. Sure you can Tooth and Nail for him and Palinchron for wins but the combo is still fairly fragile and without combo he's often a dead card.  (Yes, I'm aware that I use him as a finisher in my Tasigur deck)
Nothing quite like a turn one cage against

Grafdiggers Cage- Is just an overall solid hate card. I was very close to adding it to my own list but honestly, I haven't had enough experience with it myself. Being able to hose reanimator decks and stop powerful cards like Green Sun's Zenith or Chord of calling means that unless they have an answer already they're not going to be able to cheat in cards. For one generic mana this is fairly powerful and I'd consider it over things like Tormods Crypt or Nihil Spellbomb for decks.

Izzet Charm- Not mandatory in decks but having three relevant modes for early and late game make me think this card is solid. Granted I haven't played it too often but in the decks where it fits in I think it's a decent addition.

Path to Exile- 2nd best white removal spell in the game. While giving your opponents and land is a big deal sometimes you just need to do it. I highly recommend swords to plowshares over Path but if you need another answer in white this is where to go.

Putrefy- Like Damnation this may have made the list if a certain 2 mana uncounterable instant from Return to Ravnica wasn't printed. Since then I don't see too much reason to include it in lists, especially when Nature's Claim and Beast within already exist. But if you need even more removal I can see running it.


Scavenging Ooze- I remember when this card was nearly 50 dollars. How the days have changed. Having a constant threat on board that eats away people's cards from the graveyard and hurts powerful cards like Snapcaster, Yawgmoth's will, Past in flames, reanimate make this card great. Not only that but you can always just eat a few creatures from opponents yards to make him bigger and gain some life. Not quite as powerful in super competitive groups since it's a tad bit slow but overall a very solid card.

Unburial Rites- Our final honorable mention. A double reanimate helps a lot but the mana cost is a bit high to be used conventionally. Comboing this with an end of turn Intuition means that you have a next turn Jin-Gixtais or Iona to really ruin opponents plans. While very strong the high mana cost is a bit prohibitive to I bumped it down to an honorable mention.

That was probably too many cards for honorable mentions.
Oh well, let's get into the good stuff.

10: Past in Flames
Worse Yawgmoth's Will has gotten a lot of reprints lately. And I don't say worse as in it's a bad thing. If Yawg Will was reprinted then it would likely top the list so Past in Flames is also quite insane. Often used in combo decks to play an extra 5-6 spells and then kill players with Tendrils of Agony or Aetherflux Reservoir. Doesn't hurt that it also has flashback so if your plans fail the first time you can just try again next turn.
My personal favorite interaction is playing this in Mizzix. You intuition for it plus Mizzix Mastery and Enter the Infinite. They give you Infinite and then you flashback Past in flames to play Intuition to get Frantic search and two wheels. You discard the infinite and flashback mastery to draw your deck. Great card with great new art to boot.

9: Zur the Enchanter
If this was top ten generals Zur would likely be very high on the list and he's the only general I've put on this list since he's been consistently tier one since the format has been made. Having a Necropotence in the command zone means that you can easily draw 30ish cards and then combo off the following turn consistently. Not only that but he can tutor up other answers like Rest in Peace, Power Artifact, or Grasp of Fate as answers or combo pieces.
Zur has been a boogeyman of the format for as long as I can remember and is often treated like when he attacks the game is over. And there is good reason because that is often true.

Also, he's fun in reanimator....

8: The signets
 While I think this is a fairly boring choice there is no doubt in my mind that signets are powerful cards in commander.
Like I mentioned for Avacyn's Pilgrim, curves in competitive decks are often low so dropping one of these turn one or two often means you can play any card in your hand the following turn. Not to mention they're a fantastic way to ramp yourself in non-green decks. Sure you could argue that sol ring, mana crypt, and mox diamond are better and yeah they are but these give you more chances to excel your mana early and play your powerful spells.
Signets and the Talisman cycle are very underappericated and I think could really make good work in more commander decks.

7: Abrupt Decay
Hey look a card in Modern and Legacy is actually super good in commander, what a suprise.

Like I mentioned for other removal cards before Abrupt decay is a powerhouse. You take out either early mana rocks, deathrite shamans, birds of paradise, necropotence, and plenty of other powerful cards with this without worry of counters.
I've already said 2315 times that most competitive decks have low mana cost so this is often uncounterable removal for nearly any threat. I highly reccomend adding this to nearly any green/black deck.

6: Liliana of the Veil
Easily the best planeswalker from this set, I know that's not saying more.

"Eh, but Doom Blade, didn't you put here outside of your top ten planeswalkers"
Shut up

Lili is great for stax and attrition decks. She comes down early and takes out resources right away. Even if it's late game she can start whittiling away people's cards and creatures over and over.  At worst she's an edict effect and then someone has to take her out but at best she can lock players out from playing spells if you pair her with some land destruction or stax effects.

5: Blood Moon
Speaking of stax effects.

Well not really a stax effect but something that two color or less decks would love to drop against opponents. In competitive edh it's not super likely that players have too many basic lands in the deck so dropping this often means that they have resources removed and can't do anything for a good amount of turns. This is also why I value signets and mana rocks that produce color very highly since they don't care about these effects.
But back to Blood Moon, this card is great and if your opponents aren't ready for it you can get some free wins with it.

4: Cyclonic Rift
 So we get to number four and honestly any of the top four cards I can picture as number one for someone else. I went with Cyclonic rift as the bottom of my top since while it's absurdly powerful it is quite a bit of mana to pull off.

An end of turn cyclonic rift for seven mana can easily be countered by two mana spells but if it's not you can often blow out opponents with wheels or land destruction effects. The risk isn't high either since you can just use it as two mana removal. I don't think I need to tell people why this card is great, everyone who plays should already know.

3: Snapcaster Mage

Like I mentioned before, Snappy can easily top the list as well but I have him at number three. The two mana to replay instants whenever you want or being able to replay a sorcery is very powerful. This means that you can get a double tutor, or a double counter, or a double entomb. Whatever you need Snapcaster can likely do it. There's also always combos with lab man and Tainted Pact. Cast Pact to get lab man and then flash it back with Snappy to combo off. Paired with any draw spell you can win the same turn.
Snapcaster is one of the few cards I consider mandatory for any blue deck because there will always be a situation where you would want to play something out of the yard.

2: Linvala, Keeper of Silence
Linvala is an absolute beating against certain decks and a fantastic finisher. She isn't mandatory like Snapcaster is but the ability to cripple decks is extremely strong.
Breya, Selvala, Thrasios, Arcum, Sisay, Scion, Yisan, Tasigur, and many many more cards aren't able to use their abilities while she's on board.
Pair her with any land animate spell like Living Plane and now your opponents lands can't tap for mana. This is one of my favorite combos in my Ghave Enchantress deck and has won me plenty of games in the past.
Not only that but she stops mana dorks from producing mana so unless she's answered first your opponents will always have a hard time dealing with her.

1: The Fetch Lands

I know, I know what a typically and boring answer. But I wanted the list to be as accurate as possible and there is literally no reason to not have them at number one. There are very very very few decks that aren't improved by adding fetch lands. They help with Sensei's top, Sylvan library, crucible, life from the loam, or brainstorm effects and shuffle your deck whenever you're not interested in the next few cards. Not only that you can find two mana color sources with them to make sure you can play pretty much any spell in hand early with then. Play these beautiful lands, you'll be happy you did.

Anyway, that's my top ten. What do you have for your own? Anything you disagree with? What about things you agree with? Let me know and let's start a discussion.

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


Friday, March 10, 2017

Top ten lands in commander, voted by you

Hey guys, it's time to look over manabases once again but this time I'm not rating them; you are.
Because I'm super lazy and community-based top tens seem all the rage here's the top ten lands in commander (As voted by you)

We got nearly 300 replies in which people ranked their own top ten and I took the results from them and got some numbers for you all, because we all need numbers in our top tens.
With over 500 lands to vote on there are so many options and when we get to the results I think it will surprise you.

10: The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale  (14.1% of votes)
 The most expensive land on the list comes in at number ten and it's easily an All-Star in the stax and control decks. Denying resources and forcing people to pay to keep creatures alive and brutalize decks. Some of my favorite experiences include dropping this after a land wipe and forcing my opponents to start over on board states.
I love that this made the list and enjoy seeing it whenever I can. Which considering it's price tag means pretty much only seeing it online.

9: Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth (17.6% of votes)

What can we really say about Urborg? It's pretty much mandatory in decks with black and the fact that it can be played in decks without black makes it all the better. Turning lands like Tabernacle into mana sources also helps a ton. Fixing your mana and making things like Kormus bell hurt your opponents too gave this a ton of votes.
The synergy with Cabal Coffers certainly doesn't hurt.

8: Mishra's Workshop (18.2% of votes)
 The only land that can produce three mana but only for artifacts. However landing this on turn one or two and getting yourself a turn one coalition relic or even Gilded lotus with more cards means that you're all set for the rest of the game. Not other land ramps you quite like this one does and in the artifact decks it's played it's one of the best cards you can get. Even in decks with 3 or 4 colors you'd want to play the Workshop since it allows you to abuse early mana super early. Not surprised to see this on the list at all.

7: Ancient Tomb (27.9% of votes)
Getting fifty percent more votes than Workshop. Yes, it's not as powerful as workshop can be however Tomb ramps you two mana for any spell. Dropping turn one signets or talismans mean that the next turn you can play your bigger spells. Out of all the lands on the list I think Ancient tomb makes the cut in nearly 100 percent of decks. Zero to four color likely want it easily and even some five color decks. Try it out and see how abusable it is.

6: Shock lands (32.8% of votes)
I don't know what to really say about this. If your deck is two or more colors you often want to throw in every single shock land you can in the deck. In four or five color decks I can see cutting one or two of them for more powerful lands or ones that tap for more colors.
You guys clearly agree as it made it this high over powerhouses like Ancient Tomb and there were plenty of results that had shock lands but just below the other lands that are higher up.

5: Strip Mine (36.9% of votes)
This is the land on here that kills all the lands on this list. Being able to take out lands like Ancient tomb, tabernacle, shocks, and the remaining lands on the list make this a clear star in nearly every deck in commander. It is fairly rare that you have a commander deck without strip mine in it. There's a reason it's restricted in vintage and commander. Super powerful and if you're not playing it you're wrong. I'm honestly surprised it's not higher on the list

4: Gaea's Cradle (45.9%)
Remember how Workshop taps for 3 for artifacts only?
Well, cradle can tap for far far far more.
Decks that run green and are creature based will often run this or really wish they could. Like the rest of the lands on the list I don't need to justify why it's super good because the fact that almost half the votes had a cradle in it and high on their own list shows just how insane it is. A perfect target for Strip mine.

3: Command tower (53.1%)
Honestly, the top three shouldn't come to a shock to anyone with working brain cells but I thought for sure Command tower was going to win first. I suppose it's not used in every deck since mono-colored decks don't want it but it's still the first land I think of when I make a commander deck and unless I'm making a mono or no color deck makes the cut 100 percent of the time.
I must admit there were some pretty stupid votes but hey, this was voted by you all.
Don't shoot the messenger.

2: The dual lands (58.6%)
Now I can see cutting certain shock lands if your manabase focuses on other colors more but cutting dual lands (Assuming you have the budget) is just insane. I did think Command tower would beat them but just the same as command tower I think any deck with two or more colors wants as many of these guys as possible. Also surprised that it didn't hit 60 percent of the votes

1. The fetch lands (61.3%)
I don't disagree with this placement at all. If you're making a deck you often want to throw in as many fetches for color fixing as possible. Decks with three duals will often have 8-9 fetches. If they run the one dual and shock they should be running 6-7 fetches. Even in mono colored the fetch lands are just good in there too. They're not super mandatory but when optimizing they're the first step.

Here are the rest of the results:
 Things to note:
Plenty of lands got 0 votes. Even with nearly 300 people voting there were plenty of lands that were not mentioned even once. Not saying that they're all bad but I guess they're not quite good enough for it.

Basic lands beat out plenty of other cards (Mostly thanks to Island). I don't disagree as I think the fact that basics are fetchable and don't enter tapped they actually are fairly viable.

There were a few votes with Mana confluence on the list but no City of Brass. I agree that it's better but they're both pretty much staples in commander. I found it odd that they're not right next to another.

The best cycle after the top ten comes to pain lands. I actually like them quite a bit as a more budget option since they don't come into play tapped and they don't always have to hurt you. Consider them for your decks if you can't finish up the high-value cards.

Tarnished Citadel barely made the list which surprised me. I feel like it's not very well known which hurts it a ton but another Mana Confluence/City of brass effect is fantastic in commander.

Shizo, Death's Storehouse was the only card in it's cycle to make the cut. Not a surprise there.

Despite Tabernacle, Cradle, and Workshop making the list Bazaar of Baghdad didn't get as much votes. It seems like the price wasn't an issue for most people when voting so I don't quite understand why it didn't make the cut.

Bounce lands are trash.
I don't have much else to say about it other than they're bad.

And that's the end of that. I'd like to thank everyone who took part in the voting and hope you guys enjoy the results.
Do you agree or disagree with the results? Let me know and let's start a discussion.

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