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
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Vqj4CENFnY&t=297s

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
Reanimator

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.

Sluuuuurp

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.





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