TWR: Enchantress Tuvasa

I mentioned in my last post that there were two of the Commander 2018 decks that I’m interested in, and the other I plan to pick up is the Bant Enchantments set, “Adaptive Enchantment.” This is starting to feel like the sleeper deck in the series, and is easily the most versatile. Each of the four commanders in the deck are easy build arounds, though you probably will want to use cards other than what’s included here. Once again I’m not building the Planeswalker straight off the bat, but I do feel like she has potential and I’ll have a brew for her soon enough.

When I first gave the deck a once-over I was leaning towards building Kestia, but I’m not interested in a heavy aura focus because I’ve brewed two different Voltron decks and it’s such a similar idea. I am however including plenty of enchantment creatures in my build so I’ll still get card draw off of her given the chance. Estrid was disappointing to me at first, but I’ve found that I really want to find some busted combos for her, and I’m already well aware of her interactions with The Chain Veil. Arixmethes looks like a great ramp/beater (krakens and leviathans and octopi, oh my!) commander as well, which I might brew at a later time. Based on my first impressions, I’ve found that the commander I wanted to build the most is Tuvasa the Sunlit:

Tuvasa is a 1/1 for 3 CMC (bant). Not too impressive, but a cheap casting cost means an early start to the gameplan. She gets +1/+1 for each enchantment we control, which means she can be huge by the mid game. Bonus, when we cast our first enchantment each turn, we get to draw a card. So, Tuvasa is a Argothian Enchantress (draw a card for playing an enchantment) and also a Yavimaya Enchantress (+1/+1 for each enchantment you control). Two very nice effects that have synergy with the rest of the deck, and can stack when using nearly all of the other enchantresses that have been printed, and we have most of them!

Enchantresses:

As you can see, in our colors we have quite a few options when it comes to enchantresses. We even have an enchantment creature (triggers Kestia) and a global enchantment (which triggers the enchantresses) version of the effect. Lastly, the Herald of the Pantheon reduces the cost of our enchantment spells (including enchantment creatures) and gets us some life in the process. As such, the majority of the creatures in the deck are enchantment based.

Enchantment Creatures:

Kestia herself is an enchantment creature along with having the bestow ability allowing you to make another creature even bigger. She’ll always draw you a card when she attacks, but if our other enchantment creatures attack as well, you’ll draw a pile. Many of the best enchantment creatures are Gods, so I’ve included most of those that fall in our colors, and each come with their own set of boons. Ephara will draw us more cards, while Karametra ramps us and Kruphix keeps our mana pool from emptying. Gods are all indestructible and have solid bodies for their costs, but can’t attack until you have a particular devotion to their colors. This shouldn’t be an issue with the number of enchantments we plan to put out onto the board!

Enchantments:

Most of our global enchantment package is aimed at ramping us and removal for our opponents. Some light pillowfort effects like Propaganda, Ghostly Prison and Frozen Aether will slow down their attacks. Sterling Grove protects our investment, but can also be sacrificed to tutor up an enchantment, and Estrid’s Invocation can be busted if you copy the right enchantment with it. Our real aim though is to use our Enchant Land cards to create a big ass mana pool, casting enchantments to draw more cards and cast more spells more efficiently and rapidly than our opponents. This brings me to our win conditions:

Win Conditions:

With enough enchantments on the battlefield, Starfield of Nyx can win the game. Not only is it turn by turn recursion for enchantments, but it also turns all of our non-auras into creatures and help with a go-wide win. Alternatively, with Heliod and enough mana, we can pump out a ton of enchantment creature tokens, beefing up Tuvasa and use Thassa’s ability to make her unblockable taking out a player with commander damage. Do this enough times and you’ll win. Nylea’s Colossus can expedite this by giving Tuvasa double strike. You can also steal someone else’s big beater or use Corrupted Conscience on Tuvasa to give her infect and start eliminating targets. Lastly, using our ramp package above in conjuction with Krosan Restorer or Ley Weaver to tap and untap lands for a large enough amount can end a game with a high X-cost Hurricane. I’ve tried to provide options and flexibility but of course this is still just on paper at this point as the decks aren’t quite out yet.

Tutors/Recursion:

Helping things along are a suite of tutors and recursion to allow us to search for a creature or enchantment that will help us out of a bind, or pull permanents back out of the graveyard to use again. I believe this deck will be fairly competitive in casual circles and is still relatively budget. Estrid on the other hand will likely be the only high tier commander from the set, and I look forward to trying to break her. That’s all for this time, but you can see the full decklist here.

TWR: Commander 2018 Full Spoilers

I wrote about a few of the spoilers for Commander 2018 earlier this week, and now the decks have been spoiled fully. I wasn’t seeing much to be excited about then, and I’m still feeling pretty indifferent about the new set at this point. There are a couple of new cycles that seem okay, and some individual cards that I wouldn’t mind for other decks or as build arounds, but for the most part there isn’t a single one of these precons that I can’t wait to get my hands on, and that makes me sad. However, that doesn’t mean that I won’t buy the product, because each deck will come with staples and a handful of cards that I’ll want, but it’s also probably wiser to just buy singles. Some of the reprints are handy, but there isn’t anything that’s an expensive card being reprinted that makes me want to jump on that particular deck. Overall it’s a lackluster product and I’m surprised given Wizards’ track record this year. Dominaria was amazing. Battlebond was spectacular. Ever Core Set 2019 had some chase cards in it. Commander 2018 is the worst thing to release this year. But don’t let my doom and gloom bother you, perhaps there’s something there for people that I’m not seeing, and if you’re a new player in the format these are still a great way to get a bunch of cards on the cheap so you can play with your friends. First up, let’s look at the new cycles.

New Cycles:

The first new cycle is a storm cycle. The Storm keyword hasn’t been used much over the years, but it usually revolves around how many spells you cast in a turn, then you copy the storm spell for however many spells cast before it. Rather than being that keyword, this cycle functions a little bit differently. Each of these storm cards counts how many times you’ve cast your commander that game, and then you get copies of the spell equal to that. It’s the same sort of mechanic but made to work via EDH. Of these my favorites are Skull Storm and Genesis storm, the former being a finisher in the right deck, the latter being some nice tutoring.

Lieutenant isn’t a new thing, we had these in past commander products, but there are one for each color at this point, and that’s a nice feature. Each of them will give you a boon as long as you control this creature and your commander. I’d say the blue and green versions are probably the best but each could find a place in many decks. Next up, let’s look at some of the individual cards that I think are worth finding homes for in your decks.

White:

The Heavenly Blademaster is a nice creature. A 3/6 flying double striker, it gives an anthem to your other creatures equal to the number of auras and equipment attached to it. That’s powerful in a deck that’s dealing with auras and equipment, but probably not good in a voltron deck because you won’t have other creatures to benefit from the anthem. Magus of the Balance is a nice land destruction tool that isn’t as harsh as Armageddon. Lastly, seeing some of the miracles reprinted is nice, and Banishing Stroke is a good one, putting a permanent on the bottom of its owner’s library for one mana if you happen to be able to cast it for its miracle cost.

Blue:

Another miracle, a reprint of Saheeli’s Artistry (which is a really good card from Kaladesh) and a new card sharing its commander’s name: Animatou’s Augury. This one exiles 8 cards from the top of your library and ramps you by one land, then for each non land type you can cast a spell for free. It’s expensive and can whiff, but when it goes off that’s a good card.

Black:

Yet another miracle reprint, and three cards I really like. Sower of Discord is Saskia’s ability on a different creature. It’s also a demon, so it fits well in my Kaalia deck. Moonlight Bargain is some nice card draw in black, but a little on the expensive side. Night Incarnate is a nice board clear and is cheaper if you evoke it. Great for Meren and other reanimators.

Red:

Blasphemous Act is a commander staple for red. Enchanter’s Bane looks to be a new one. It’s an Enchantment that deals damage to another enchantment’s controller equal to that enchatment’s cmc. So if someone drops a propaganda on you, drop this on their propaganda, and good times will ensue.

Green:

Green feels like it got the most love this time around. Nothing here is absolutely amazing, but there are some good useful cards. Graveyard hate, commander tax reduction, recursion, enchantments matter and some big creatures. Looks good.

Multi-Colored:

Some interesting new cards and some reprints in multi-color. I really like the new Legendary Ninja, and it’s an interesting thought to build Esper Zombies. Many white zombies were introduced back in Amonkhet so it’s probably doable but probably not that effective. I’ll stick with Dimir Zombies myself. Some interesting cards here but still nothing spectacular.

Colorless and Lands:

More reprints in this category. We’re getting the slow fetch lands, a new scry land, and some others. Duplicant is a staple to a degree, and unwinding clock goes well in decks looking to combo with artifacts. Otherwise nothing amazing.

And that’s that. If I end up picking up some of these and finding some new brews I’ll be sure to share but as of now I’m not overly impressed. A shame really, as this is supposed to be the best time of year for us EDH players. Anyway, you can see the full decklists here.

TWR: Commander 2018 Spoilers

Spoiler season for the next Commander product starts today. The Commander 2018 decks were slightly spoiled last week, when we learned the themes of each deck along with the color pairings. It was rumored earlier in the year that the new generals would be Planeswalkers as they did in the 2014 product, but then it appeared that it would be something else. It turns out that the rumors were true, and each of the four decks are helmed by a new commander Planeswalker. Only one of these is making a second appearance, Saheeli Rai who was in the Kaladesh set. The others are new Planeswalkers to my knowledge. As it is the first day of spoilers we haven’t seen much from the decks, but as I have had a bit of writer’s block lately, I figured I’d use what we do know as a jump off point. So let’s start with the new faces of the decks:

I apologize for the shitty picture quality, better quality pictures don’t tend to show up until later on in the spoiler cycle. So this first new planeswalker is called Aminatou, and is a new Esper general. Esper is a great color pairing, but I’m unsure how to feel about this one. I guess it’s sort of a chaos theme, as you can mess with the top card of your library, flicker one of your permanents, but the ultimate is strange. For -6 loyalty, you get to essentially shuffle all nonland permanents to the left or right for all players. Stealing someone else’s big board is nice but what a confusing board state to resolve. I’m not sure what else will be in the deck but I don’t really care for this Planeswalker.

Estrid is our Bant general, another decent color pairing. You can untap enchanted permanents, create an aura at will to give totem armor to a permanent, and then throw 7 cards in your graveyard and get all of the auras back onto the battlefield. I like enchantress themes but this one seems kind of meh. I mean, being able to throw auras on stuff and then untap it is great, I suppose with a Chain Veil you can do some stupid stuff with this deck, so I’ll hold my opinions until we know more.

Saheeli is making her second appearance since Kaladesh, but this version of her seems a bit less busted. Making tokens is good for protection, making spells cheaper based on controlled artifacts seems okay too, and being able to make a ton of copies is alright but still underwhelming.

Representing the Jund color pairing is Lord Windgrace. If nothing else, this guy is probably the best deck just because you can use both The Gitrog Monster and Omnath, Locust of Rage in it due to the colors. This means a shit load of lands matter cards can be used together and I like that. This guy plays into the strategy by allowing you to discard a land to draw two cards, return lands from your graveyard and then destroy 6 permanents and get 6 tokens. That ultimate is a pretty good wipe and 6 2/2’s isn’t bad either. At this point this is the deck I’m most interested in, but again we’ll have to see how the rest of the deck looks.

They didn’t give us many other spoilers, but let’s take a look at what we have seen so far.

This guy is likely one of the sub-generals in the Saheeli deck. Bad colors for most token decks, but giving all tokens haste is nice. You’ll get some 2/1 tokens each turn as well, so that’s not terrible.

So draw 3 cards and get a 3 mana generating rock for 6 cmc. Not bad. But, it can be stolen from you if they don’t block. A decent political card but not really worth it in my book.

Echo Storm is interesting. It allows you to copy artifacts, which can be nice but then also basically storms off of the amount of times you’ve cast your commander. In theory it sounds like you could do some busted things with this card, but I’d prefer to see it in action before I make my mind up about it.

A commander-only land, this one is interesting. Your commander will get a +1/+1 counter or a loyalty counter on it just for tapping this land the same turn you cast your commander. It’s also a colorless mana source, so why not use it? Decent.

A 2 mana artifact that allows you to draw a card for two mana. Not really worth it in my book.

This one is kinda lame unless you’re running an artifact deck but it’s clear that with enough mana you’ll be able to tap and untap this one for some shenanigans.

Improvise is making a comeback! This spell will let you thin out your deck and potentially grab a few artifacts in the process, but nothing super special.

I’m assuming this one is also a sub-general for Saheeli. I also foresee some busted things happening with that ability, and it’s pretty versatile as well. Izzet players rejoice.

Quite possibly my favorite card that was spoiled today. The Treasure Nabber will steal you Sol Rings and other mana generating artifacts for a turn, which in turn should help you spend big mana. This guy will be joining my Krenko deck once I get my hands on him.

Last but not least, another Legendary knight but in red, which means it won’t be played in any knight decks. If you can get through with combat damage, you’ll give your enemies 1/1 tokens that can’t attack you, meaning this is a political piece. When Varchild dies, you’ll get all the 1/1 tokens. It’s okay but nothing special.

That’s all for today’s spoilers. I may revisit this again when there is another sizeable chunk or just wait for the complete spoilers. See anything you like?