Gavin Verhey used today’s episode of Good Morning Magic to talk about the new mechanic that almost made the cut for Commander Legends.
Many mechanics were pitched and even made it to playtest cards, like dethrone, but a new mechanic called advocate almost made the set. Similar to landfall, it was an ability word on cards when your commander entered the battlefield something happened.
The first issue was that players wanted their commander to die as soon as possible, so they could play them again and get more advocate triggers. They changed the mechanic to be whenever your commander entered the battlefield or attacked, so it rewarded keeping the commander in play instead of trying to get it killed. It also worked well with partner, which was one of the big mechanics of the set.
Verhey handed off the set to the design team with advocate still in it, but it got killed in final design. The main issue was that it incentivized playing really cheap commanders, which are already very powerful, to get as many advocate triggers as possible. They didn’t want to reward playing cheap commanders or partners more than they already do. Verhey concluded the video stating that no matter how good a mechanic is, you have to look at how it impacts games from start to finish. Of course, the mechanic could still be tweaked at some point and show up in a later set.