Welcome my friends! Today is not the day for piddling around. We have a lot of Commander 2014 Top 10 goodness to get to, so let’s get started!
Well, wait a second. A couple of things real quick. First, the quality of cards in the Commander 2014 product was so darn good that I could have written a Top 20 article. If you only knew how many times I have added and subtracted to this list. Nonetheless, I need to be done and get this out to the world of the internet, so I have locked in my selection for our reading and discussion enjoyment. And, while scouring the internet, I am sure that you will find that no Top 10 list is the same. With that being said, I am positive that 4 out of 5 readers will shake their head at a card they felt should be top 10, or, at the very least, an honorable mention. I would love to hear your feedback, so please comment below!
As with my previous Top 10 set reviews, I will give my thoughts on which cards that I believe are the best EDH cards out of Commander 2014. For each card I will include a FOR ME… section to indicate how I would personally use the card in my existing or future decklists. As always, I will only be reviewing NEW cards, not reprints. Although, I am excited about a bunch of these reprints, especially Wurmcoil Engine!
Hold on… Here we go!
Arcane Lighthouse: A couple of years ago Glaring Spotlight attempted to answer the call for hexproof commanders. Meh. Now the ability is put on a non-basic land. If your meta runs hexproof commanders, this card must be in your deck.
Demon of Wailing Agonies: Actually, an honorable mention to each color’s “Lieutenant”. I dig the flavor and the idea that the LTs are stronger with their Commander/General on the battlefield. Of course without their leader they become quite vanilla.
Masterwork of Ingenuity: I love me some copy effects in Commander. This little trinket will be cool not only in an equipment deck but also in an equipment heavy playgroup.
Enough of the “honorables”. You came here for a Top 10 List, so let’s get to it!
Top 10 Commander 2014 Cards for EDH Commander
#10 – Scrap Mastery
If you have been playing EDH long enough chances are you have bared witness to a well timed Living Death. Being able to wreck the board state and turn the momentum of an EDH game 180 degrees is a powerful effect. Even the friendliest of black mages will cackle with delight when the existing armies are swept away into the graveyard and another rises from the grave.
So let me introduce you to the “Living Death of Artifacts”, Scrap Mastery. I am assuming that most metas are like mine and a little light on artifact destruction. Outside of the occasional Acidic Slime and Krosan Grip there never seems to be a lot of artifacts going to the graveyard. This is where the strategic red wizard will take advantage of the unsuspecting playgroup and not only clear the board of mana rocks and equipment but return those juicy, expensive artifacts (and artifact creatures) to the battlefield!
FOR ME… Don’t underestimate this card. I witnessed first hand as a mono-red Daretti deck changed the game state by sending everyone’s mana rocks to the scrap heap. If I ever build a Rakdos deck, having Living Death and Scrap Mastery in the same deck would be worth quite a few style points.
#9 – Wave of Vitriol
In my opinion, the world of Commander could use a bit more mass artifact and enchantment removal. Sure there’s “Nevy’s Disk” and “O-Stone”, but if you like the critters on your current board state you don’t want to be destroying your own army. And what about Darksteel Forge? Does someone use that in your playgroup? Hold that thought.
Similar subject. While disk and o-stone are acceptable board wipes for most friendly circles, if you try to destroy lands instead of creatures (ie: Jokulhaups) you may find yourself in violation of a social contract. But lands can be troublesome too! What does a green mage do when staring down a juiced up Cabal Coffers, an oppressive Maze of Ith, a greedy Reliquary Tower, or the sneaky new Arcane Lighthouse? Sure there’s spot removal such as Strip Mine and Acidic Slime, but heck, powerful non-basics are rampant. If only there was a good, neutral way to cleanse the board!
Welcome to the green mage’s “pet friendly” boardwipe, Wave of Vitriol. All players sacrifice all enchantments, artifacts and non-basic lands they control. However, to stay fair and neutral, for each non-basic sacrificed this way its owner may search their library for a basic land to replace it. Ah, tranquility for all. What a humble, peaceful spell. Unless you are playing against Sigarda, Host of Herons, she would rate high on the suck-meter for this spell’s effectiveness.
And for your friends that sport that five color deck with all duals and non basics. Definite frowny face on resolution of the Wave.
FOR ME… I really don’t have a deck right now that can ride the wave, but I will keep one in my collection. I will build a mono green deck someday!
Daretti becomes Magic’s first disabled planeswalker after losing his legs in an explosion ignited by one of his experiments. If you would like to read more on Daretti, here is a summary of his story: Daretti’s Story on Wizards.com. Regardless, if you haven’t seen the wheelchair bound goblin artificer at your local game shop’s playgroup yet, expect to see him soon. Daretti is a little low on my top 10 list only because he is very limited in the type of deck he can be in or lead. As commander of a mono red deck he brings with him a competitive archetype that is breaking new ground with the newest commander precons, Mono Red Artifacts. The synergy on this mono red planeswalker is amazing. His +1 ability gets high casting cost artifacts into the graveyard while his -2 helps swap them into play for something already on the battlefield (very similar to Goblin Welder‘s ability). The ultimate ability is -10 and is reminiscent of a Lifeline for artifacts.
While I think Deretti is best suited to his own heap of 99 junk, he could also serve as one of the 99 in any deck that runs a chunk of artifacts.
FOR ME… I have already sold my copy of Daretti since I do not have a deck for him and no plans of mono red artifacts in the near future. However, I have played against him already in my local playgroup and seen firsthand how well this Goblin walker’s three abilities synergize with each other. I do not see any reason to hate on Daretti yet, but definitely do not underestimate his power when surrounded with artifacts.
UPDATE: A recent game showed me that their is reason to hate on Daretti. Take him out as soon as he hits the board!
I can’t think of a better word to describe the only “Equipment” planeswalker than Neat-o! Nahiri, the Lithomancer adds to whites affinity for equimpment and joins the ranks of Stoneforge Mystic and Stonehewer Giant as auto-includes for equipment based decks. Nahiri’s +2 ability not only makes a 1/1 Kor Soldier to protect herself, but also allows a free equip of one weapon or piece of armor already on her side of the battlefield. Shenanigans with her plus ability can give us a 7/7 soldier if Argentum Armor is in play or +2, draw 2 cards if a Skullclamp is lying around.
Narihi’s -2 ability allows us to put an equipment from our hand into play (which works super-duper well with Stoneforge Mystic) or from our graveyard to the battlefield! What the? From our hand OR graveyard? Heck ya. So, in a game, if an opponent destroys your Sword of blabbity-blab and blabbity-blab with an Acidic Slime you can put it right back onto the battlefield. Sooo Good.
By the way, I know ultimates are usually far fetched in terms of having dreams come true, but take a look at Nahiri’s -10, oh my. The equipment of all equipments, the Excalibur of the Magic world… the Stoneforged Blade. Nahiri forged her blade from the vats of kick-ass and OMG. An indestructible sword granting one creature the honor of +5/+5 and Double Strike with an equip cost of . A story of having this on the battlefield is one for the ages.
Two Side Notes. Nahiri, the Lithomancer can be your commander. Second, although Nahiri and Stoneforge Mystic look strikingly similar, to my knowledge, they are not the same kor. For more history on “The Lithomancer” here is a link to Nahiri the Lithomancer’s background story.
FOR ME… While I do not have any desire to make a mono-white deck with Nahiri, I have already sleeved her into my Aurelia Angel Equipment deck. I haven’t had her in play yet, but am looking forward to great things from the Kor Planeswalker.
#6 – Dualcaster Mage
Finally, red receives its own Snapcaster Mage. Well, not quite, but one can draw some similarities between the two with regards to their namesake and flash abilities. What is neat about copy spells such as Reverberate and Fork is that they can provide a dash of cool or a stab of revenge to your EDH/Commander game. With Dualcaster Mage providing a fork on a stick, blue mages have yet another reason to second guess a red mage with mana open before casting Cyclonic Rift or Counterspell.
What Dualcaster Mage provides an EDH deck is the potential for flicker effects and/or combolicious game enders. One of those combos for “D.C.” to go infinite is in response to your own Heat Shimmer. I am sure that are plenty of other potential roles for this guy, if you have an evil plan for this “Forkin Mage” let me know in the comments below, I would be interested to hear them!
FOR ME… My Purphoros deck already has Reverberate and Wild Ricochet so sure, I’ll playtest this. Besides that, with Purphoros in play I can’t wait to end the game with the aforementioned Heat Shimmer combo. Infinite shocks for everyone!
#5 – Myriad Landscape
This will probably me my shortest review of a card I have ever done. I am a huge fan of Krosan Verge and this land is a similar version that can go into any EDH deck. Hoo-ray for mana ramp!
FOR ME… I am getting copies of this for all of my mono colored decks. Heck, if it works as good as I think it will it may become a staple in my deck building strategies.
While its obvious that Teferi’s ultimate makes him the first to be picked for teams in an interplanar dodgeball game between Planeswalkers, in EDH value is better evaluated with the first two abilities. Some of our internet peers have applied the “meh” verbage on Mr. Teferi’s +1 ability that allows us to look at the top two cards of our library and put one in our hand. I understand their point, but to me the ticking up one is reminescent of my favorite draw spells, Impulse. I dig it. Aside from the mini-Impulse is the oober goodness of a -1 activation that lands Teferi on our top 10 list. Untap up to four Target Permanents. Teferi takes a page from green P.W.’s Garruk Wildspeaker and Nissa, in returning sideways cards to their upright position. Untapping lands, rocks and what not put the cha-ching in his value.
FOR ME… Teferi might be a bit boring, but damn that -1 is good. A definite playtest in my Kruphix deck to horde as much mana as possible and possibly in my Hanna deck to increase the value of card draw like Prosperity.
#3 – Song of the Dryads
Sometimes I may put cards in my Top 10 List that will have readers scratching their heads. This may very well be the case with Song of the Dryads. Hear me out though folks and I will do my best at explaining the power of this card. We all know that removal is key in EDH/Commander. Sometimes a piece of spot removal is exactly what we need to finish our path to victory. What Song of the Dryads does, is turns any permanent into a colorless land. It turns it into a freaking Forest! How funny is that? AND, since it is a forest, it’s controller will have very few ways to use recursion, bounce, or sacrifice effects to get it back. Let’s look into this a bit further.
Let’s talk pesky commanders. If we destroy or exile a commander the option is there to put it back in the Command Zone. By enchanting the opposing commander with Song of the Dryads we force our opponent to keep it on the battlefield in the form of a clump of California redwoods. The only way to regain access to the leader of their 99 is by either disenchanting the Song or with a land destruction effect such as Strip Mine or Acidic Slime. Does someone in your meta play one of the Theros block gods as their commander? This removal is a must have to combat those indestructable deities.
Although any deck running Green can benefit from the Dryad’s Song of the Canadian Maples, I believe the biggest beneficiaries will be mono-Green, Simic (for counter backup), Enchantress and other enchantment based strategies.
FOR ME… The Song of the Dryads is an auto include (and future all-star) of my Sigarda Enchantress deck. Since my entire removal suite in Sigarda is enchantment based (ie: Lignify), the song will fit right in.
On the flip side of the coin, I would NOT want to see this if I am playing my Purphoros, God of the Forge deck. If they turn Purphy into a plot of pine cone producers I only have very few options of destroying the enchantment to get him back.
Feldon of the Third Path is an archaeologist from about the time of The Brother’s War in Magic history. Unfortunately, I am not very well versed on Magic the Gathering™ lore so if you want to know more about him you can find that here: Feldon on MTG Wiki. What I do know about Feldon is that this Human Artificer gives red mages a powerful new way to tinker with the graveyard. For , Feldon can put a token onto the battlefield that is a copy of target creature card in a graveyard. This token copy has haste, is an artifact in addition to its other types and must be sacrificed at the beginning of the next end step. Hmmm. Effects similar to this guy would normally cause the “target creature” in the graveyard to be exiled. But not in this case, it remains in the graveyard! This means that the old dude can target the same creature again and again.
This unique ability will definitely make the old man an immediate target for spot removal. The Red Commander 2014 Deck alone has so much synergy with having cards in the graveyard. Cards like Faithless Looting and Daretti, Scrap Savant help you discard creatures and turns the graveyard into Feldon’s workshop. Flametongue Kavu‘s enter the battlefield effect can be used over and over while Wurmcoil Engine‘s copy is temporary, but the two tokens it makes when it is sacrificed at end of turn will stay around for a while.
Feldon of the Third Path is a strong alternative commander for the 2014 precon deck and could be simply sick if taken the time to be built around. On the other hand, The elderly gentleman could also make a nice addition to Rakdos or Izzet colored decks designed to abuse artifacts or graveyards.
FOR ME… A buddy of mine has introduced Feldon to our playgroup and I can see a highly tuned machine in the very near future. I will probably never build him myself but he could possibly be part of the 99 in a future build.
#1 – Containment Priest
It may seem a bit ridiculous to have a hate bear as my number one card from the set. The top 10 cards from Commander 2014 are all super-duper awesome, but this one here… oh my! Let me introduce the Containment Priest .
Let’s take a look at the strategies that the Containment Priest sends back to the depths of hell. Immediate impact on shutting down Kaalia of the Vast, Roon of the Hidden Realms, Chainer, Dementia Master, Mayael the Anima, and Brago, King Eternal. Oh, and an honorable mention to the Priest completely hosing Derevi, Empyrial Tactician‘s ability.
Graveyard Shenanigans Fear Her!
A popular strategy among commander decks, especially if black is involved, is the graveyard recursion strategy. Casting Buried Alive with Reanimate soon to follow allows the necromancer to cheat baddies into play. But with a properly timed Priest flashed into play or already on the board, those strategies are shut down.
EDIT: Thank you to Notalec on Reddit for pointing out that she does not stop a Living Death.
Containing Their Win Conditions
Let’s take a look at some of the Win Conditions that Containment Priest locks away in her snow globe.
Are you on the ban Deadeye Navigator hate train? I do not think he will be banned anytime soon, so, in the meantime, splash some white and flash the Containment Priest in response. Kerplowie! Exiled! Deadeye is no more!
Are you sick and tired of losing to the Mikaeus, the Unhallowed/Triskelion combo? Well then, a perfectly timed flashy-flash of the Containment chick and those combo pieces will go bye-bye.
How about the ol’ Tooth and Nail entwined shenanigans? I fully expect a table flip when Containment Priest is flashed into play in response.
Rise of the Dark Realms for the WIN! Um, I’ll Cast Priest in response, foiling your moment of glory.
Let the Hate Flow Through Her!
Let me spill forth more love/hate interactions in the game of Commander/EDH! Is someone targeting you with Bribery? Well if I can’t have my creature – no one can! Tired of seeing Green Sun’s Zenith or Birthing Pod chains? In response, Priest. Nanana-boo-boo. Quicksilver Amulet? Haha! Not even a Dryad Arbor will stick around with our newest hate bear on the battlefield. Poof. Gone.
Checkout this list of commanders that have their strategies nullified by this judgmental lady!
- Obzedat, Ghost Council
- Ghost Council of Orzhova
- Lin Sivvi, Defiant Hero
- Sedris, the Traitor King
- Grenzo, Dungeon Warden
- Mayael the Anima
- Kaalia of the Vast
- Teneb, the Harvester
- Chainer, Dementia Master
- Reya Dawnbringer
- Braids, Conjurer Adept
- Marchesa, the Black Rose
- Mussio, Visionary Architect
- Yisan, the Wanderer Bard
FOR ME… Well, what can I say. I am hoping that no one in my meta takes my advice on how good this card is. I will NOT like to see this card when I am playing Kaalia, Brago, Chainer or Muzzio as she totally hoses all of their strategies. I also run graveyard shenanigans in Lazav, Wrexial and Vhati. I run Zenith effects in my Sliver deck, Karmic Guide in some of my white strategies and so on.
So there you have it folks, my Top 10 Commander 2014 Cards for EDH/Commander. What do you agree with? What didn’t you like? Please comment in the section below!
I’ll finish with a quick section highlighting some of the cards not previously mentioned that I am looking forward to playing in some of my EDH decks!
Commander 2014 Cards for my EDH Decks
I will be adding the following cards that did NOT make the Top 10 list to a few of my decks. Chainer, Dementia Master receives the biggest boost as I will be adding: Ghoulcaller Gisa, Flesh Carver, and Overseer of the Damned. Heck, I’m going to playtest Wake the Dead in Chainer too. Oloro will be able to abuse the +2 on Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath.
Freyalise, Llanowar’s Fury and Lifeblood Hydra will join Teferi in my new Kruphix, God of Horizons super X Mana deck. Lazav, Dimir Mastermind welcomes Stitcher Geralf to the mill shenanigans while Angelic Field Marshal finds her way to Aurelia Boros Equipment. I really like the Demon of Wailing Agonies. It is almost as if he were custom made for my low mana curve Kaalia Sunforger/Scepter deck. Necromantic Selection seems like a momentum shifter, its the mana cost that has me unsure. Meh, I will try it in one of my black decks.
Finally there is Raving Dead. Unfortunatlely for me, he will find his way into my playgroups Zombie Horde Deck!
Oh, I forgot the lands! Flamekin Village will end up in a few decks depending on the current mana base. Uril, Kaalia, Aurelia and Purphoros are all options. Finally, there is Arcane Lighthouse. This is a shoe-in for my Vhati il-Dal -1/-1 counter deck and possibly a necessity in my Kaalia or Eight-and-a-Half-Tails deck as well.
For reference, here is the list of my eighteen (18) EDH/Commander decks:
Wrexial, the Risen Deep
Uril, the Miststalker
Kaalia of the Vast
Hanna, Ship’s Navigator
Chainer, Dementia Master
Brago, King Eternal
Purphoros, God of the Forge
Tajic, Blade of the Legion
Lazav, Dimir Mastermind
Sigarda, Host of Herons
Muzzio, Visionary Architect
Jhoira of the Ghitu
*Grixis Specter Discard Tribal – Commander Unknown
Kruphix, God of Horizons
On to the next!