Pre-order War of the Spark Now!


October 3, 2017

Image Credit:

Standard Rotation Commander Shopping Spree!

When’s the last time you updated your Commander decks? It’s rotation time, so this is when we strike.

With the release of Ixalan, the Standard format lost two blocks worth of cards, which means us Commander players are now ready to jump on some of them! Historically, this is when card prices are at their lowest, and the cards that we want for our 100-card decks will slowly climb forever until they (maybe) get reprinted. The time to buy is now!

There are a few cards rotating that I think ought to be format staples. You’re probably going to want all of these in any deck that can cast them, and since two of them are colourless, that’s every deck! Hedron Archive is the middle sibling between Mind Stone and Dreamstone Hedron. I think it’s right in the sweet spot. It’s not too pricey for the mana it returns, and cashes itself in for two cards when games go longer.

Tamiyo’s Journal is maybe my favourite card from the block. Sure, it does nothing the turn you cast it, but the rewards just pile up. Either a tutor every third turn, or some extra cards if you’d rather. Not to mention if you have any artifact synergy. And it’s so cheap right now. I recommend getting as many as you have decks. Then there’s Anguished Unmaking. Cheap, unrestricted exile at instant speed. Paying the three extra life isn’t a huge deal for us Commander players. Staple for sure.

We’re getting a few legendaries as well. At some point in everybody’s Commander lifetime, they brew up some kind of zombie tribal deck. Gisa and Geralf are a must-have in that deck. I think the Gitrog Monster is a very powerful commander as well. If you’ve been thinking about putting that deck together, there’s no better time to buy the chief for it. Then there’s Ishkanah. This legendary spider got really pricey right out of the gate, so for those of you who’ve always wanted a spider tribal deck, here’s your chance.

I think Ulvenwald Hydra is underrated in our format. Being able to tutor up any land, not just a basic, is a massive ability. Not only that, the Hydra will likely outclass anything else on the battlefield, as you keep playing lands. But the Ulvenwald icing is the reach. It’s an incredible threat-stopper at only six mana. Better to grab a few now before everybody catches on.

Then there’s Behold the Beyond. It’s got a pricey mana cost, but not a pricey dollar cost! Sometimes discarding your whole hand isn’t even a drawback. Plus, if nobody does anything about it, you’re guaranteed to have your combo for next turn. Or this turn, if you’ve ramped enough. Eldritch Evolution is still played in a few other formats, so it’ll never hit the single gumball pricerange, but in a format with tons of toolbox creatures, mostly with ETB abilities, this card’s an easy add to most green decks.

I’d like to point out a few more cards that just rotated that I’d put in the “bananas” power category. Mind’s Dilation is one of the craziest cards from recent sets. Figures it’s in blue, too. It’s just so oppressive that it makes opponents cast less spells until they can deal with it, and even when they cast spells to deal with it, you have a small chance to counter that very spell with their own Counterspell off the top. It feels so good when that happens!

Speaking of oppressive, Void Winnower is what happens when a hate bear and a stacks deck have a baby, and feed it nothing but steroids. If preventing fun is your fun, this is your card. I suppose compared to those other cards Greenwarden of Murasa isn’t nearly as broken, but getting two cards back from your graveyard as well as a decent body for combat is very strong indeed. I’m sorry if it feels bad being the runt in this section. It’s really good, I swear!

There are two blocks rotating, so naturally, we have more cards coming our way, but despite that, I think the power level is way above average here. If you haven’t tuned up your decks in a little while, I’d suggest doing so in the next little while. And apparently, if you’re a green player, you’ve got all the best new toys! Have fun!