Bant Commander Review: Part 2
Hey gang, I’m back this week with the continuation of my review of every Bant card in Magic. This review takes into account the card’s playability in Commander, and all cards must be ALL THREE colours. Bant is my favourite of the three colour combos, and it’s easy to see why. There are a lot of great cards here for EDH, so let’s get to it!
A quick reminder of how this will work:
We’re looking at each card’s multiplayer effect, its power level, and whether or not it’s playable in a multitude of decks or just one. For legendary creatures I’ll still assign one letter grade, but also talk about the card’s viability as a commander or in the 99.
The grading looks like this:
A: Bombs/broken cards and excellent commanders. A lot of fun with unique design and interaction. Will effect the board in a big way in just about any deck or will allow for a very strong deck to be built around it if it’s a commander.
B: Very good cards in most decks or total bombs in only one particular deck. Solid commanders, but perhaps not the best in the colours.
C: A playable commander card, not great, maybe you’re running it because of budget reasons. This card may be perfectly good in a specific deck yet not playable in others. An average commander, the abilities make for a mildly interesting/fun commander.
D: Not really a playable card in EDH except in some corner cases and specific builds. Generally not good. A commander that has no relevant abilities or is just not very fun.
F: Unplayable in a commander deck or as the commander itself.
Phelddagrif – A-
This magic purple hippo isn’t a commander many fear on the surface, but you should always be aware of what the player sporting a Phelddagrif is doing. Group hug is a lot of fun for everyone until it turns into group thug. Phelddagrif may or may not be super powerful, but at least it’s a super original commander who basically gave birth to an entirely different deck style in the format. All hail King Hippo!
Yeah sure, talk to me when you’re legendary, ya goof. Put it in your hug decks, I suppose. Other than that it’s like, what were they thinking just remaking Phelddagrif as a non-legendary card?
Rafiq is responsible for ruining the leisurely pace of so many playgroups around the globe. I feel like those of us affected should make a PSA about how to play Blue in Commander. (hint: slow, controlling, relaxing…)
But seriously, Rafiq is a tremendous commander. He triggers exalted for himself and others AND his double strike ability affects himself and others too. As a commander, this guy can deliver one-attack kills faster than most so always kill Rafiq on sight, no matter what the Rafiq player says.
Ragnar – B
Nine times out of ten, the Legends multicoloured commander you’re talking about is some hilariously related theme commander for an equally hilarious theme deck, like Travolta tribal for example. But Ragnar means business. Regenerating is a good ability in Commander and, while a bit overcosted here, it’s nice to have around. Still, Ragnar is probably better suited for the 99.
Rhox War Monk – F
It’s hard out here for a 3/4 french vanilla lifelinker. A great bit of Dan Don Santos art, but unfortunately RWM doesn’t really do enough for the crazy battlefield that is EDH.
Unlike his rhino cousin, Roon of the Hidden Realm does a lot of work – and good work at that. Vigilance is the most underrated evergreen keyword in multiplayer, and it’s especially great when it comes on a creature with a tap ability. (You can still attack!) Roon is not only the obvious choice for an ETB-style Bant deck, but he also does a great job of dealing with Merit Lage tokens, and when teamed up with a Sundial of the Infinite he deals with just about anything. He’s tough to break because of his fair costed and tap ability, but Roon is one of the best Bant commanders whether you’re talking about power level or just plan fun.
Rubinia Soulsinger – A-
Rubinia has the unfortunate stigma of being a slightly worse version of her sister card, Merieke Ri Berit. But don’t count Ruby out just because she doesn’t kill the thing she steals. Sac outlets and Illusionist’s Bracers are this girl’s best friend. Again, a fair design that’s tough to totally abuse makes Rubinia a really fun commander to play with.
Skyward Eye Prophets – C+
These blind doofuses are actually pretty decent (vigilance!) what with their better-than-draw-a-card tap ability. They’re a bit pricey in terms of mana cost, but in the right deck these guys can do a lot of work. Derevi really likes this crew of weirdos.
Stoic Angel – C
Speaking of Derevi, Stoic Angel and her are great friends. Who needs untapping creatures when you play with a bunch of vigilance and untapping unblockable creatures? Stoic Angel is definitely a way more fair and fun version of cards like Stasis or Winter Orb that only hit creatures. She can be great if you build in the support for her ability, which sort of leaves me wishing she was a legendary.
Storm Spirit – D
So again we have a great card for the Derevi untapping deck, but unfortunately unlike the others, Storm Spirit doesn’t really pull it’s own weight outside of that deck. Two damage per tap is decent, but only hitting creatures is a drawback that’s tough to ignore. Mostly skippable.
Supply // Demand – B
I somehow have never seen or heard of this card prior to this review, but Supply and Demand both look like great cards for just about any Bant list. Obviously the 1/1 tokens deck would play this in a second, but the real value comes in the Demand side where you can tutor for any multicolour card. That just isn’t an ability these colours get very often, so snap it up and play this card!
Planeswalkers in EDH are generally tough to work with because of the multiplayer aspect of our game. As a result, the best Planeswalkers need to protect themselves, or have an immediate impact on the board. Tamiyo isn’t the greatest at these two things despite being able to put two creatures to sleep. Obvious Doubling Season synergy aside, her ultimate will take a while to get to, so like almost any other walker in EDH only play her after you have a good board state if you want her to make it to your next untap. At least she may draw you some cards?
Treva’s Charm – C-
Treva’s Charm is a decent version of the modal charm cards we’ve seen so far, but it still feels a little narrow to me. Destroying enchantments is good, but only being able to exile an attacking creature is sort of rough and a single loot just doesn’t feel worth it, but can be valuable in a pinch. Overall I think this card is fine, but I’m not excited to run it.
Treva, the Renewer – C+
Like her charm, Treva is a card that has enough to keep you interested, albeit not very excited. Treva can be a great pillowfort commander or just the head of a general lifegain deck. She of course suffers from the same plight as the rest of her cycle in that it’s all dependent on whether or not she can get in with an attack. Early game she’s probably free and clear, but as the game goes on flying blockers start to show up. I like Treva but she seems like the definitely of “Mildly fun”.
Wargate – B
Chord of Calling for any permanent? Bant players have access to this amazing card which would be a complete staple of the format if it were mono-coloured. Wargate lets you get your Birthing Pod, your Sol Ring, your Ashnod’s Altar, anything! The only minor downside is that it’s not an instant but hey, I’m not gonna look this Wargate-horse in the mouth.
Waveskimmer Aven – D-
Maybe you can play a 2/4 flyer with Exalted in a Rafiq deck? If you were tight on your budget? Probably not even then, right?
Thanks for reading this week’s article! Don’t forget the Commander’s Brew podcast is available on iTunes, YouTube or over at commandersbrew.com. Let me know if you think I got some of these ratings way wrong in the comments below. Otherwise I’ll see you guys next time!