Conspiracy is upon us! Wizards of the Coast™ has not only created a fun, new multi-player drafting environment but has also introduced new cards that will surely become relevant to EDH/Commander for many years to come. Conspiracy has also given us a handful of reprints such as Exploration, Reflecting Pool, Misdirection, Stifle and Pernicious Deed that were beginning to get out of hand in terms of financial value. With the reprint, these cards are now affordable and can be enjoyed at a third of the cost by Commander players of all budget levels.
For the players that enjoy the “Bling” of foiling out their Commander decks, several cards will now be more readily available in a foil version. I am guessing that the most sought after foils will be Brainstorm and Exploration.
I am trying something a little different with my Top 10 Set Review this time. I will create my top 10 list by combining my selections for what I believe is the Top 10 EDH cards of the set and the Top 10 cards for my EDH decks. Each card will begin with a general purpose reason for it’s ranking followed up with a “FOR ME…” section detailing how I would use the card.
SPOILER ALERT! Since the last Top 10 article, Lavinia of the Tenth has stepped down as Commander of my Blue/White Flicker Deck and replaced by Conspiracy’s Brago, King Eternal. Since Lavinia and Brago support two different flicker strategies, I have done a rebuild of this deck. So where does Brago fit in on my Conspiracy Top 10 list? Read on and find out!
Before we begin, and for reference, here is the list of my fourteen (14) EDH/Commander decks:
Wrexial, the Risen Deep
Uril, the Miststalker
Kaalia of the Vast
Hanna, Ship’s Navigator
Chainer, Dementia Master
Oloro, Ageless Ascetic
Purphoros, God of the Forge
Tajic, Blade of the Legion
Lazav, Dimir Mastermind
Sigarda, Host of Herons
oh… and I also maintain my nephew’s Daxos of Meletis Commander Deck and my son’s Prossh, Skyraider of Kher Commander Deck.
I hope you enjoy the article. I welcome all feedback so please comment in the section below! Be sure to check back for my Magic M15 Commander Set Review for EDH in July 2014!
Let’s Get Started!
Grenzo, Dungeon Warden: Interesting… Some potential commanders just look fun. I have already had the opportunity to play against a Grenzo deck and I was rather impressed. Will, a brewmaster from my LGS, presented Grenzo with some scry effects and was even able to “combo” off with the help of Workhorse and a few other cards that I am failing to remember. The combo allowed him to spew all creatures from his library onto the battlefield, with haste. A Grenzo deck presents unpredictability along with obscure cards that are entertaining and fun to watch.
Scourge of the Throne Decks based around multiple attacks are going to love yet another option to strike twice and strike hard. Scourge is restricted a bit in awesomeness due to the dethrone ability, but could still be rather fun in an Aurelia the Warleader, Boros, or any other deck based around abusing the Attack Phase.
Reign of the Pit: Do you like making opponents sac dudes? Do you have “Is put into the Graveyard” effects to abuse (ie: Kokusho, the Evening Star)? Then let’s take a look at Reign of the Pit. While I believe it lacks the oomph to be part of a competitive build, this is right on target for sacrifice themed Commander decks. Although it matches my Chainer, Dementia Master theme, I am not sure if I have room for it. I guess I could replace Syphon Flesh. Reign of the Pit is also a possibility for my son’s Prossh, Skyraider of Kher deck.
Realm Seekers: The Realm Seekers was all set to be included in my top 10, until I witnessed it fall flat on its face during an EDH game the other night. Still, in the right deck Realm Seekers could be a monster and the ability to get any land from your deck is definite value. Are you fascinated with Realm Seekers? Please comment below!
Treasonous Ogre: Has this been broken in EDH yet? No? Hmmm. I am sure someone will figure it out.
Custodi Squire I really dig this 3/3 flyer that will bring an artifact, enchantment or creature back to our hand. In a Roon or U/W Flicker/Blink deck the Squire could really shine. I ordered a foil one of these right away (for a whopping $0.50) with plans to include in my Blue/White Brago deck. After building Brago, however, the Squire was outside of the 99 with big sister Karmic Guide and family freind Reveillark already occupying roster spots. We will have to put Custodi Squire on standby to see if there is a need for a third recursion ETB creature.
Enough of the “honorables”. You came here for a Top 10 List, so let’s get to it!
Top 10 Conspiracy Cards for EDH Commander
#11 – Deathreap Ritual
Okay readers, I here your complaint already! #11? What? Are you kidding me? I understand that I may have “cheated” by sneaking 11 cards into my Top 10 list, but I couldn’t help it. Conspiracy has too many great cards for EDH to put that kind of restriction on myself. Breaking the Top 10 Rules a bit, I know, so let’s call it an extra-honorable mention. Shall we? Okay then, here we go!
While the use of Deathreap Ritual will be restricted to Golgari or multicolor decks that contain Black/Green/x, the power of this enchantment should not be overlooked. The Morbid ability states that at the end of ANY turn, if a creature died, we get to draw a card. In EDH, Black & Green seem to be the go to colors for not only killing opponents creatures but also sacrificing your own creatures for synergetic game plans.
FOR ME… I will be slotting this into my Vhati il-Dal EDH deck. Since Vhati is all about picking off creatures one by one, Deathreap Ritual should provide on-theme draw. I will also be obtaining a second copy of this enchantment for my son’s Prosh, Skyraider of Kher EDH deck. With this enchantment on the field, he should be able to sac a kobold on each opponents turn to maximize card draw.
#10 – Muzzio, Visionary Architect
Finding his way into my Top 10 list is Muzzio, Visionary Architect. I suppose the Human Artificer could make the cut as part of a 99 list, in a Arcum Dagsson for example, but I think he really shines as Commander of his own mono-blue artifact deck. It wouldn’t take much to get Muzzio up-and-running as I envision cards like Scroll Rack and Sensei’s Divining Top to help pad the top of our library and Tutors like Fabricate and Long-Term Plans to stack the deck in the his favor. This build would probably do well with counterspell backup, Lightning Greaves, and lots of mana rocks. Win conditions? How about Darksteel Colossus, Blightsteel Colossus and Steel Hellkite.
FOR ME… At some point I will have an EDH deck of every color and color combination. At this time, mono blue is still open, and honestly, why not Muzzio? I have a lot of the cards for him already and it just seems fun!
#9 – Coercive Portal
Board wipes. They can draw a moan & groan or a soft “hoo-ray” from your buddies around the kitchen table. You know what would be cool? If board wipes were decided by a democratic process by asking the questions: “What does everyone think? Should we destroy all non-land permanents?” Let’s vote. Coercive Portal is just that card. By having this in play, the Will of the Council will gather during your upkeep to vote for Carnage or Homage. A majority vote for carnage will clear the board. Your friends and foes should thank-you for playing this card for it is democracy at it’s best. ‘Merica. Oh, and if the decision is tied or leans toward Homage? Hey you get to draw a card. All is fair and good.
I see Coercive Portal being a strong candidate for a deck that lacks card draw. I am looking at you Boros! For 4 total mana, this is almost on par with a Phyrexian Arena or Staff of Nin every turn.
FOR ME…Tajic gets card draw! Yay! We all know that Boros has a slight problem with card draw, so the “C-Port” should net us an extra card during our upkeep. So what happens if the Will of the Council decides to “blow up the board”? Let’s take another look at my indestructible EDH deck, shall we? Blowing up the board while I get to keep a few dudes or better yet, Boros Charm in response? This is synergy my friends.
#8 – Split Decision
Classic case of “If you can’t beat them, join them”. Taking a democratic vote on whether or not an opponent’s spell should be countered for the sake of the table is a great way to recruit allies. Of course we could play the roll of double agent by choosing COPY and trying to double the effect of a removal, tutor or other awesome spell. Why vote to counter your opponent’s Demonic Tutor, Fact or Fiction or Time Walk when we can simply have a copy of our own!
FOR ME… I will be cramming this into my Wrexial the Risen Deep’s Copy deck. It will be a tight fit trying to squeeze this in there, but since I am trying to get Wrex back on theme, this spell will prove a worthwhile addition to Team Copy.
#7 – Extract from Darkness
The combination of reanimation and mill into one spell can only lead to dark goodness for the Dimir player. Although most necromancers prefer a slightly lower casting cost (ie: Reanimate/Animate Dead), Conspiracy’s Extract from Darkness should be relevent in mill strategies. Order of events on resolution of this spell are:
- All Players Mill 2 Cards
- Choose a creature card in a graveyard to reanimate
The fun part about EfD is that we can cast this without there being any viable creatures in graveyards and hope that we flip something good. A bit of a gamble yes, but an option none-the-less. Heck, we could even stack the top of our library (Scroll Rack, Sensei’s Divining Top, Brainstorm) in preparation of casting Extract from Darkness to help cheat one of our own creatures into play.
Obviously if you are playing Mill AND Reanimation, this is a golden nugget for your deck. If you are playing one or the other, I would think this card would make the cut for a Mill player. For Reanimator decks, the competition with Beacon of Unrest and cheaper necro spells may edge this card out.
FOR ME… Extract from Darkness seems to have been taylor-made specifically for my Lazav, Dimir Mastermind Mill/Reanimate strategy. I cannot wait to reanimate something awesome and morph Lazav into a knuckle-busting fatty all at the same time.
#6 – Marchesa, the Black Rose
Move over Nekusar, here comes the next EDH craze. Someone on Wizards’ multiplayer development team has an affinity for Grixis Commanders, that is for sure. Mark my words, Marchesa, the Black Rose will be the next fad in your gaming circles, and why shouldn’t she be? Her dethrone ability gives her army +1/+1 counters for attacking an opponent with the highest life total and if that wasn’t enough, any creature you control that dies with a +1/+1 counter on it, comes back onto the battlefield. Say what? Better dig for your Terminus and Cyclonic Rifts because board wipes are about to get one sided! Let’s see, what else? Oh yeah, as if we haven’t seen enough of the Mike/Trike combo, Mikaeus, the Unhallowed has been called upon to serve as the undead cleric in Marchesa’s adventuring party. Combo – it’s what’s for dinner in the land of the Black Rose.
Outside of the obvious Dark Mike shenanigans, Marchesa seems to leave the door wide open for a plethora of different deck builds. Wizards did good by not including Green in her color identity. Green would have made a deck utilizing +1/+1 counters way to easy to build. Blue/Black/Red is not well known for +1/+1 counters, so deck builds should require a little bit of ingenuity. Whether it be aggro, stax, combo or good stuff, when we sit across from a Marchesa deck we will be left wondering what type of deck we will be facing. This will be a welcome change from sitting across from a handful of Nekusar builds, knowing that wheel effects and card drawing pain is about to happen.
FOR ME… I have a Mind Seize preconstructed deck sitting by it’s lonesome, nearly untouched from its original deck list (minus the Tru-Name Nemesis that I sold for $35). I may alter this someday, somehow, but currently I have no immediate future plans for it. However, I should really consider a Grixis build in the near future. When the time comes, I will include Marchesa’s resume in the pile of Commander applicants.
#5 – Council’s Judgment
Now-a-days, Exile is the preferred choice of a removal in a game of Commander/EDH. So here is a card that gives us another group vote – Will of the Council. In a 1v1 matchup, this card is money and the vote will always end up in our favor. Move this up to #2 on my Top 10 List if you just play 1v1.
However, most of us play Multi-Player. Even with multiple opponents, the PROs outweigh the CONs:
- If I cast it, MY permanents cannot be targeted
- At least one permanent on the board (maybe more) will be exiled
- A vote can and will exile a permanent protected with Hexproof or Shroud. It does not target
- The vote may not get the card I wanted to remove. Letting the council use my card for their own needs
- Monetary. Currently this card is $8 on TCGPlayer.com. However, the rumours are that this will see Legacy play (to remove True-Name Nemesis, so it may eventually go up in price.
FOR ME… I like it and will get a copy to give it a try, but I am still not fond of allowing my oppenents to have a say in my game plan. What I really, really do not like is the fact that since it can exile Hexproof or Shrouded Creatures, this is a silver bullet against my Sigarda and Uril decks.
#4 – Plea for Power
Let’s look at win-win scenarios for blue mages. Do you like to draw three cards? How about taking an extra turn, do you like that? Would you be happy with either one of those effects at the cost of ? Plea for Power is a sorcery that allows us to vote with our peers on whether we should receive time or knowledge. The Will of the Council will give us an extra turn (Time) or allow us to draw three cards (Knowledge) depending on the final vote count. Plea for Power is splashable with a total casting cost of and is beneficial to us in any situation as a Concentrate or Time Walk.
FOR ME… Plea for Power has already been sleeved into my Oloro, Ageless Ascetic Combo deck. In my first use of the card I had just cast Felidar of Sovereign and was sitting at 50 life. Naturally, my opponents voted for knowledge allowing me to draw three cards rather than taking an extra turn. In hindsight, and after discussing with my buddy Tony, it would probably be better to play Plea for Power first and then drop a win condition on the board. But honestly, how many times would opponents choose TIME and allow us to take an extra turn? Once in a blue moon? Maybe, but it will involve some hard core politics.
#3 – Dack’s Duplicate
I won’t try to conceal the fact that one of my favorite creature types and abilities is that of a shapeshifter Clone. For some odd reason, I enjoy copying other creatures and permanents on the board. What makes Dack’s Duplicate rise to the next level in the evolution of duplication is two things. First is the keyword Haste. Easy to understand, you cast Dack’s Duplicate, cloning something big and awesome (like an Eldrazi) and swing! Second is the Dethrone ability. Again, you copy a creatue, your clone has haste, but this time you swing at the opponent with the highest life total and your copy will get it’s first injection of roids in the form of a +1/+1 Counter. If you are playing Izzet or R/U/x, consider Dack Fayden’s Doppleganger as an auto include, especially with good stuff.
FOR ME… Instead of complaining about NOT having a deck to put this in, I have started exploring ideas for a R/U/B or Izzet EDH brew. This clone is strong and I want a deck to put him in. Until I have one, it may see some play in my 5 Color Sliver Deck. By the way Wizards, we now have clones in Mono Blue, Blue/Black, Blue/Green and Blue/Red. I am assuming that you have my Blue/White clone in the works? Correct?
#2 – Brago, King Eternal
Introducing the NEW King of Blink, Brago, King Eternal. Whether you are running BANT with Roon of the Hidden Realm at the healm or AZORIUS with a commander such as Lavinia of the Tenth, this spirit will prove to be a must have in any flicker/blink strategy. Upon dealing combat damage to an opponent, Brago will help abuse the ETB (Enter the Battlefield) effects of creatures such as Mulldrifter, Karmic Guide, Duplicant and Angel of Serenity by exiling them and then returning them back onto the battlefield. However, what takes The Flicker King to the highest link of the awesome chain is that he can also blink non-land permanents such as Act of Authority, Spine of Ish Sah, and Parallax Wave. By triggering his ability during the combat phase, Brago can also flicker and reset our mana rocks and planeswalkers so we can use them again during our second main phase.
I am sure that Brago will also become a popular commander of his own Blue/White Flicker deck. Building around Brago may take a little bit of work since we need to do combat damage in order to abuse our ETB effects. “King B” has built in evasion with flying but unblockability, hexproof, or other protection, along with counterspell backup may be in order to carry through our gameplan. Most articles and discussion I have read about building Brago lean towards using equipment such as Whispersilk Cloak and Swords of X and Y to both protect and enable him..
FOR ME… When Brago was spoiled, I found myself with quite a delimma. Brago, King Eternal vs Lavinia of the Tenth as the Commander of my Blue/White Blink Deck? Honestly, I see these two generals having slightly different builds. With my Lavinia build I had a game plan revolved around finding a way to trigger Lavinia’s ETB effect every turn. Although this has worked quite well by detaining opponents planeswalkers, mana rocks, tokens, and other chess pieces, I had not been able to solidify win conditions. It had always been stall, stall, stall, lose.
Therefore, it was an easy decision to rebuild the deck and give Brago a chance to prove himself (sliding Lavinia into the other 99). Instead of going with the equipment route (ie: Whispersilk Cloak, I have settled on a handful of cantrip auras to push my game plan. Cards such as Traveler’s Cloak, Pentarch Ward, and Unquestioned Authority can not only make Brago unblockable, but can also be flickered when he deals combat damage to an opponent allowing us to draw a card.
READER QUESTION: What are your opinions of Brago? Is he a support guy for Roon, Lavinia or other Flicker Commanders or is he King of his own deck? How would you build around him? Please comment below!
UPDATE: After playing a few games with Brago I have confirmed that making him the commander was the correct decision. With Mulldrifter, Sphinx of Uthuun and the cantrips, I have been drawing cards like crazy. Brago is oodles of fun and I will be posting a separate article and deck list soon!
#1 – Dack Fayden
I still find it amazing that Wizards was able to take Dack Fayden and insert him seemlessly into the world of paper Magic. For those of you unfamiliar with Dack’s past, he was a main character in IDW Publishing’s four part comic book series Magic the Gathering™. Dack is known as the Greatest Thief in the Multiverse.
So, the planeswalker with the stickiest fingers makes his appearance in Conspiracy as a three mana Blue/Red Planeswalker with starting loyalty of 3. Staying strong to his comic book origin his rogue skills give him a -2 ability that swipes ANY artifact on the board. ANY Artifact. The turn he comes into play. Permanently. What the heck?
You know what is really nasty and draws a yellow flag from the Social Contract referees? Dack Fayden + Memnarch. As if we don’t hate Memnarch enough. If you are going to steal trinkets from your opponents, may I recommend some old school, obscure tech? Let’s use Transmogrifying Licid to start swiping creatures. Although your friends may not like the results, they have no choice but to give your mini combo some style points.
Oh yeah, Dack has a couple of other abilities that I may have glossed over. His +1 ability is a Faithless Looting for target player while Dack’s -6 ultimate gives an emblem that allows us to gain control of a permanent when we cast a spell that targets it. Although the ultimate could be game ending or scoop worthy it would take strategic planning during deck building to releash the power. A card like Mind Games would be a decent start.
Dack Fayden folks. Dack Fayden.
FOR ME… Ugh, this guy. I really, really do not want to see him on an opposing battlefield. I almost feel that his -2 ability to swipe any artifact is borderline broken. ANY Artifact. He can do this the turn he comes into play. Ay, caramba. Say goodbye to early game Sol Rings or late game finishers Blightsteel Colossus and Memnarch because Dack IS a master thief and he WILL take yo stuff! So, what will I do with this guy? As previously stated, I do not have an izzet deck. I have, however, been contemplating on building one. If I were to obtain a copy of Dack (and Dack’s Duplicate) I would be in the “Brew Room” already working on a build. Honestly, I really don’t think it matters how you play Izzet or Blue/Red/X in EDH, this guy should be considered “Goodstuff” and an auto-include right next to Mountain and Island.
So there you have it folks, the Best Conspiracy Cards for EDH-Commander. I hope you found some decent information in this article that you can apply to your own decks and strategies. What are some of your favorite EDH cards from Conspiracty? Please comment below!
Please visit again soon. I am already working on my Magic M15 set review due out in July 2014!
On to the next!
I don’t know why but I’m not impressed at all. For me, it feels like Wizards went and thought: “Let’s make some cards with ‘all players’ and ‘all opponents’ printed on them.” They then proceeded to create a few mechanics that try to force the multiplayer spirit without being successful.
Sorry, but this set is not for me.
Then again, I’m not much for drafting anyways so I might just not be the person they were targeting in the first place. However, I love multiplayer, so maybe I am.
Uh, the dilemma!
Yeah, the set is not going to be for everybody, that’s for sure. For the record, I still have not drafted Conspiracy yet. However, I have played a lot of the new Will of the Council cards in EDH/Commander and the interaction / politics are actually quite fun. Trying to convince (or bluff) opponents to vote for the effect you want adds interaction.
For Conspiracy, I am tickled that they reprinted cards such as Reflecting Pool, Exploration, and Pernicious Deed. Helps when building decks. But I am also enjoying a few of the singles they printed… namely Brago, who has been my favorite commander to play these past few weeks.
So the question for you Kuchisama… are there a couple of cards you DO like? If so, do you have a favorite that will be sliding into a deck anytime soon?
Fair enough, I can see your point. It all depends on your play group, though. In mine, “politics” are sometimes okay, sometimes they aren’t. It’s a bit tricky and hard to describe but let’s say that in general, actively trying to influence another player’s decisions is frowned upon if it’s too blatant. It’s a little similar to what Anthony Alongi told about his play group a decade ago.
The voting might actually be something to try out here, and your point that it adds interaction is a good one. Maybe I’ll give it a shot one day!
Well, yeah, the reprints are fine, especially Deed is awesome! And Rout with Elesh Norn in its art, yay! I also really like Victimize and Mirari’s Wake. And could I finally get the chance to get a copy of Edric, Spymaster of Trest? Great!
Regarding the new cards, of course there are also a few new ones I like, for example Dack’s Duplicate or Brago. The thing is that most of them are fairly unimpressive, and if I had to compile a list it would be somewhat similar to yours, meaning that there are few interesting/powerful cards in Conspiracy, with most of it being reprints of cards I already possess or do not want. Many of the reprints are cool, granted, but a lot of the new stuff just doesn’t convince me.
However, I can imagine that overall the set is cool for people who haven’t been playing for as long as I have. And I’m fairly sure it’s been a success for Wizards. So everything that keeps the game going is awesome in my books! 😉
If you have not drafted the set then you are missing out on what it is about big time. Conspiracy makes drafting fun and interactive. It also allows for drafting combos and shenanigans that have never be capable before. There are cards that let you see the pics some of your opponents takes, cards that let you switch cards in and out of packs, a card that lets you add another pack to the draft, one that lets you draft an entire pack one at a time, and creatures that get bonuses for how many cards you drafted before it. This set was not meant to be looked at in the same light as other sets and expansions, and I highly recommend you drafting the set. I have been drafting and playing for years, and those drafts were some of the most fun I have ever had with sealed product.
Realm Seekers has been amazing in my Bant “everybody draws” deck featuring howling mine and friends. The other day he ETB’d at 72/72 and he has never started out less than 18/18. Then you search up Rogue’s Passage and start picking off opponents…
Wow, that sounds amazing! Seems like I badly underestimated that guy. Time to give him a whirl!
Heck ya, great story. That sounds boss.
I may have underestimated him as well. I’ll have to include Realm Seekers in my Kruphix deck I’m building… try it out for myself.
Thanx for reading!
My God, I only just realized that the Realm Seekers can search for nonbasics! So the Rogue’s Passage is basically guaranteed. Man, that’s even cooler!
Anyways, reading the cards really helps… 😉