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August 8, 2016

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Don’t Wrath Me, Bro!

You know what feels pretty bad in a game of multiplayer commander? Getting your stuff destroyed all at once. The dreaded wrath, named after the OG card that the whole effect is named after: Wrath of God.

We’ve all been there: You’ve got your board all set up, engine gears working together in maximum efficiency, just gotta untap and… someone wraths the board. Back to square one. And maybe you build it up again only to be wrathed all over again. It just keeps happening! Every meta has one player who doesn’t really do much except for wrathing everybody else’s stuff. A real Roger Wrather. You think your meta doesn’t have a Roger? It might be you.

This week’s article is all about protecting yourself from inevitable wrath effects. They’re in every deck, right? Right? Even your mono-blue deck should have something! Knowing this, here’s some cards that give back when someone does wipe everyone out. Consider them a little bit of insurance against a potential disaster.

   

Flesh Carver will give you one creature back from a wrath. And quite possibly a very big one, if you can sacrifice a few of your team destined for the graveyard in the exchange anyway. How much mana do you have up? Six? That means you’re getting an 8/8 to tangle with whoever pulled the trigger.

Seed Guardian is yet another creature that gives back after death in any deck that wants lots of cards in the graveyard. Sure, it won’t do much early in a game, but who’s wrathing early? Relax, Roger.

Reef Worm just keeps giving through wrath after wrath! Maybe that 3/3 fish isn’t so scary, but next wrath and you’ve got a 6/6 whale. And it even gets bigger over one more wrath!

If a 9/9 Kraken isn’t enough to deter your opponents from wrathing every chance they get, here are a few cards that might make them think twice.

   

Nobody will be casting wraths before dealing with Twilight Shepherd on the battlefield. It’s got persist, which means you’ll get it back one time after a wrath, along with everything else that went to the graveyard with it. Sure, you’ll have to recast things, but you should be able to build back up way faster than anyone else with your hand full of good stuff!

No Rest for the Wicked, or more aptly named,  No Wrath for the Wicked. This works an awful lot like the previous angel. Who’s going to wrath you knowing you’ll just recast everything? They will anyway to stop you, but that’s one less wrath for later use. Looking at you, Roger.

The best deterrent to a wrath in my opinion? Jolrael, Empress of Beasts. There’s no way anyone is going to wrath if you can make them lose their lands while it happens. Just keep that three mana up!

Preventing your opponents from even wanting to cast a wrath effect is all good, but isn’t it even better to get them to wrath everybody’s stuff except for yours? If you haven’t experienced this, I highly recommend it! Now let’s look at some ways to protect your whole team using regeneration so that your army untaps to no blockers anywhere in sight!

Loxodon Hierarch is ready to make the ultimate sacrifice for the team, as well as brand-new standard star Selfless Spirit. And the spirit does so for cheaper, and works in a mono-white brew. Golgari Charm will regenerate the team as one of it’s more useful modes. Dark Dabbling is a great three-mana instant in black that will do the trick. I would assume that you’ll have Spell Mastery online by the time someone wants to wrath the board. Looking at you again, Roger!

But, as some of us have been unfortunate to learn the hard way, many insurance policies do not cover acts of god. Like Wrath Of God. Nobody’s regenerating after one of those. So, let’s not die in the first place. Let’s make the whole team indestructible!

With a mere three mana open, we’ve got Rootborn Defenses and Make a Stand to guard the whole team. We only need two mana if we’ve got red and white in our commander’s identity for Boros Charm. Also for three mana is the Ready half of Ready // Willing. Which, may I say, is a pretty good card in any Abzan deck that wants to tussle anyway!

If Roger ups his wrath game even more and starts exiling all creatures, for that same three mana we can cast Eerie Interlude or Ghostway to once again make that wrath turn into “everybody, but me.” There’s no better feeling, let me tell you!

I think every deck should run a couple wrath-haters. It’s going to happen, and it sucks to have to start over without a head start over everyone else. I’m sorry to say that red commanders have to rely on colourless cards or other colours in their commanders’ identity. They don’t get much beyond Tuktuk the Explorer. Blue isn’t fantastic, but they have limitless Counterspells to stop wraths. (But only when in the lead, right?) So the star colour is white! If you’re able to, you should consider a few of these, depending on how many Rogers are in your meta.

Remember earlier when I said there’s no better feeling than turning your opponents’ wrath into a one-sided wrath in your favour? I lied. There’s one better feeling, and that’s letting them think they’ve succeeded until their end step, when you surprise them with this:

No surprise it’s in white.