Be sure to read Part 1 of “Coming Soon To Dominaria” and how those cards will affect your semi-competitive or competitive Commander circle!
Now, kiddies, we get into the good stuff. The heart and soul of what makes Commander go boom-boom. The multicolored legendary creatures! Yes, there are plenty of awesome monocolored commanders and creatures out there, but the multicolored ones that usually fuel the biggest and grandest deck construction ideas.
Am I going to go over almost all of them?
You know it.
On Dominaria, Dragons like Rith, the Awakener or Crosis, the Purger spawned thousands of different ideas in the infant days of Commander, and we’re proud to say that tradition carries into the newest Dominaria set. So let’s dive into it and start churning out the ideas!
Legendary Creature – Elf Warrior
Whenever you cast a spell, if that spell was kicked, put a +1/+1 counter on Hallar, the Firefletcher, then Hallar deals damage equal to the number of +1/+1 counters on it to each opponent.
This card makes me want to wash someone’s mouth out with soap, it’s so dirty. Hallar, the Firefletcher is in the right colors when it comes to being an Elf as well as capitalizing on haste effects from cards like Fervor and Fires of Yavimaya, which play well with massive creatures. Where Hallar gets very interesting, however, is when you kick a spell it’s going to trigger a global effect of Hallar lobbing damage at your opponents as he gets bigger. This is very aggressive, and there are a ton of powerful cards with Kicker that lend themselves to Hallar:
And that’s just normal cards with kicker! What about cards that put tons of +1/+1 counters on Hallar and let you one-shot the table with a single spell that has kicker? The fact that Hallar is in Gruul colors gives him a great deal of reach to play land destruction, hatebears, Null Rod-type effects, and big monsters. I don’t expect Hallar to be hyper-competitive, but it’s the kind of commander that begs to be built around.
Legendary Creature – Human Knight
2W, T: Create a 2/2 white Knight creature token with vigilance.
B, T, Tap X untapped Knights you control: Destroy target creature with power X or less.
Aryel is an incredibly cool design that has a lot of interesting upside if you can get her going. Knights, as a whole, feel like a fairly underrepresented tribe despite having a lot of creatures that have seen play in Standard or other formats over the years. Aryel will reward tribal synergies with an impressive secondary ability that can destroy a multitude of creatures over the course of a game, especially if you pair her with something like Swiftfoot Boots or Umbra Mantle. Or both.
Churning out 2/2s may seem pretty boring, but over the course of a long game, Aryel could gain you significant advantages. Black and white have plenty of ways to abuse tokens through cards like Attrition or white’s various Anthems.
Aryel is dripping with flavor and could be a very fun deck. Competitive? No, but you will see her leading the charge at tables.
Legendary Creature – Angel Artificer
Flying, first strike
Whenever an Aura or Equipment you control is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, you may return that card to its owner’s hand at the beginning of the next end step.
My love for Tiana’s triggered ability is super-high. It gives you a lot of value in a color that struggles with it and has never really found its footing in semi-competitive or competitive Commander. Unfortunately, Tiana won’t be helping that cause. A 3/3 flying creature with first strike is nice, but she’s competing against Aurelia, the Warleader; Archangel Avacyn; Depala, Pilot Exemplar; or Brion Stoutarm. All of these offer better value, bodies, effects, and potential. I see her as more of a role-player in a deck, but as a commander, I feel like she’s better left on the sideline.
Legendary Creature – Vampire Knight
Other legendary creatures you control get +2/+2.
Oh, wow…hey Avard. How did you…get into my life of playable legendary creatures? Did you pay someone? Cedric? Did this guy slip you a $20 and ask you to write about him? He did? Okay…
So for five mana you can get Day of Destiny on a creature, which is like…wow, everyone. Super effective. It’s also a 3/3 with deathtouch and lifelink, and that will usually give you lots of mileage when you tap out to cast him. And then, boom, Day of Destiny on a stick that you can replay a few times.
Really hope you spend that money on a LeBron James Lakers jersey, Ced… [CEDitor’s Note: Easy, Nestico…]
Legendary Creature – Elf Warrior
Whenever one or more creature you control attack, add that much mana in any combination of R and/or G. Until end of turn, you don’t lose this mana as steps and phases end.
It’s pretty wild how we can go from a barely playable legendary creature to one that will almost certainly see play at top tables. Grand Warlord Radha has the potential to blow games wide open with a single attack step. Your tokens, mana-producing creatures, and more that the Gruul combination usually provides mean you’re going to be able to power out freakishly loud minions or play gigantic Genesis Waves as early as Turn 4 or 5. Radha also counts herself and will probably pay for herself in a single attack that will let you continue pumping out threats the same turn you cast her.
There aren’t a lot of cards that fudge me up the way that Radha does, but it’s only because I know I’m going to lose to it on more than one occasion. From huge ramp or heavily minion-based decks, Radha has something from everyone. I’ll be doing a deck with her soon, too, so stay tuned for that one!
Legendary Creature – Dragon
Flying, trample, haste
If Darigaaz Reincarnated would die, instead exile it with three egg counters on it.
At the beginning of your upkeep, if Darigaaz Reincarnated is exiled with an egg counter on it, remove an egg counter from it. Then if Darigaaz has no egg counters on it, return it to the battlefield.
Darigaaz, the Igniter was a strong creature when it was printed, but this new-and-improved Dragon makes the old one look like a Grizzly Bear. Its death only serves to trigger its rebirth for no mana, so only cards like Path to Exile or Swords to Plowshare are going to be effective against it, and even then, putting it in the command zone and paying the commander tax isn’t a big deal when Darigaaz Reincarnated can kill a player in three swings.
It becomes especially troubling when you look at the Jund shard, which is one of the best in all of Commander. Darigaaz will have ways to protect itself, possible double strike implications, disruption, ramp, card draw, burn, and more. This isn’t just a big, dumb creature, and the decks that smash your face in will get a lot more frightening when they have a commander as huge as this one. Dragons make for popular commanders, and while it won’t be mauling Tier 1 decks, it’ll certainly be smashing your local tables.
Legendary Creature – Fungus
Whenever a Saproling you control dies, Slimefoot, the Stowaway deals 1 damage to each opponent and you gain 1 life.
4: Create a 1/1 green Saproling creature token.
Your first inclination is to look at Slimefoot and laugh. This seems terrible! It’ll only see play in garbage Saproling decks! “Hahaha,” you chuckle to yourself, until someone does something trivial to do in Competitive Commander: establish arbitrarily large mana and a sacrifice outlet. All of a sudden, Slimefoot is a combo piece that sits in the command zone or waits to be tutored up in three-colored decks. You’ll create a token, sacrifice it to something like Ashnod’s Altar or Phyrexian Altar, and from there you’ll go nova.
At this point, you’ll deal arbitrarily large amounts of damage or gain arbitrarily large life.
If that doesn’t scare you, Slimefoot is cheap and slots in to plenty of decks already. It’s also a cute win condition for The Gitrog Monster’s arbitrarily large mana loop. Food for thought.
Legendary Creature – Human Artificer
Whenever you cast a historic spell, draw a card. (Artifacts, legendaries, and Sagas are historic.)
Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain has the potential to be freaking terrifying. In Commander, competitive decks play a lot of artifacts, and it’s not unlikely that Jhoria could draw you a lot of cards while furthering your battlefield and helping you to build up a critical mass of counterspells to protect her.
Thankfully, she is vulnerable to all sorts of removal and doesn’t have any built-in protection. This a good thing, because she has the potential to run away with a game very easily. Commander is a card advantage-driven format, but drawing a dozen cards at once doesn’t always ensure victory like it does in other formats. Jhoria is a great role-player and, in the right Commander deck, it could be very good. She doesn’t scare the hell out of me like Jhoria of the Ghitu does and is fairly balanced.
Legendary Creature – Human Warrior
Shanna, Sisay’s Legacy can’t be the target of abilities your opponents control.
Shanna gets +1/+1 for each creature you control.
Shanna might be one of the best-designed commanders that I’ve ever seen. She begs to be built around, and that’s never a bad thing. In Selesnya, we have a bevy of token-producing, pumping, and creature-creating cards. Shanna, who has a spin on hexproof, is cheap enough that recasting her won’t be an issue the first few times she dies, and in the right deck she’ll always be huge.
This is the quintessential Timmy commander and I absolutely love it. Lock and load your Nest Invaders and Cloudgoat Rangers, because Shanna is going to need all of them to bash your opponent for silly amounts of damage.
Legendary Creature – Elemental Avatar
During each of your turns, you may play up to one permanent card of each permanent type from your graveyard. (If a card has multiple permanent types, choose one as you play it.)
So I saved the best for last, because Muldrotha, the Gravetide is wildly powerful. The best thing about a creature like Muldrotha is that you can customize your level of competitiveness based solely on how hardcore you want to go.
Upon reading Muldrotha, the Gravetide, you know there are a lot of obscene things you can do, depending on what you want out of it. Filling your graveyard and then using it as resource later is strong, but when you realize that your turns may include playing a land, creature, planeswalker, and enchantment from your graveyard over and over again, looping something “mild” means looping a Fleshbag Marauder or replaying and sacrificing a Symbiotic Wurm.
Because Muldrotha falls in the Sultai shard, the world is your oyster. You can play reanimation, control, combo, or anything your heart desires because Muldrotha is going to give you every option out there. Never mind that it costs six, because that’s entirely immaterial. It is the most powerful legendary creature printed in this set for Commander and will see a great deal of play as both a commander and a piece of the puzzle in Sultai decks.
I wouldn’t sleep on this card or act like it’s not a big deal. Muldrotha has meta-warping potential, but in a good way. Yes, you’ll play against a permanent-based combo deck that can continuously threaten the game every turn because it’ll let them play the pieces out of their graveyard, but there will also be people who construct wacky and ridiculous plays that Muldrotha enables, and I think that’s the essence of great card design and a commander worth considering at all levels of competitiveness.
That wraps things up for now. There were a few I missed or chose not to go over because I don’t think they’re very good or will see much play, but that’s up to you to prove me wrong.
I’m already thinking about next week, though. I feel like I’m too chill lately.
I feel like we need to get back to our roots.
What do you say, kiddies? Should we get mean next week?