April 16, 2018

Image Credit:

Likely Overlooked Dominaria Commanders

Are you as excited as I am to brew around the new Dominaria Legendaries?

Dominaria brings us many new Legendary creatures to brew around, and I sure intend to brew around them!

Last week, my co-host Andy went over some of the more flashy commanders from the new set. This week, I'm going to look at some of the Legendaries that might not look obviously powerful, but seem to be hiding some fun build-around potential.

Garna, the Bloodflame

I'm an Izzet player at heart, but this Rakdos Commander has inspired me. There's just something about the flash ability to bring back all of the creature cards that died this turn to your hand. Of course, if we have something to sacrifice our creatures with, like an Ashnod's Altar, we can get around their Commander tax and the sacrificed creatures will end up back in our hand anyway.

Garna seems to make for a decent aggro strategy, since we'll be able to send our creatures into combat without fear. Garna is definitely the kind of commander that shows up after a skirmish.

Hallar, the Firefletcher

If you're like me, upon first reading of this one, you thought to yourself, "there aren't enough kicker cards to make this great". I hear you. If we could run multiple Everflowing Chalices, that'd be great, but we're still in a singleton format.

Fortunately, with a Gruul commander, we have access to Hardened Scales and Forgotten Ancient to keep those counters growing in other ways. Then, we can kick our Mold Shambler for big damage. Plus, I'm sure we can find ways of bouncing those kicker creatures back to our hands to have it all happen again. It seems like a bit of a glass cannon strategy, but a fun one none the less!

Kazarov, Sengir Pureblood

Wow. This Commander doesn't look too special on first glance, but the red in it's activation cost means we're in Rakdos. This means Pyrohemia goes bananas with Kazarov. A single red mana could push the new and improved Sengir Vampire into the one-swing kill range. Any of the Earthquake-type effects should do the same. I'm going to assume our commander here will be too big for any of that damage to matter for it's health. I'd be inclined to run a few cards that let me take extra combat steps as well, just to clear out all of my opponents in one combat step.

Multani, Yavimaya's Avatar

Here's another Commander that I think will demand serious attention from its opponents. Multani has an activated ability that lets us bring it back from the graveyard to our hand. Another way to get around Commander tax, which is always something to take note of.

Green, as we all know, has no trouble pushing lands out onto the battlefield at great speed. Heck, they don't even have to be in play. They can be in the graveyard too. This, coupled with the fact that it's got native trample means Multani's going to do some serious commander damage. I'm looking to equip a Strata Scythe naming forests while I'm at it. And that new legendary piece of equipment from Dominaria, Blackblade Reforged. That's an imposing Commander.

Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle

The fact that artifacts now count as historic spells for Teshar's ability means we can break this. There are plenty of zero CMC artifacts, aka historic spells we can bring back our Aviary Mechanic or Emancipation Angel, just to name a couple. With a sac outlet, we can do this an infinite number of times. The next part of the equation is to figure out what to do with all these triggers.

A Blade of the Bloodchief equipped on our Commander seems nice. This part of the equation isn't my specialty, but we could get a Jar of eyeballs so full that we can arrange our entire library however we want. The rest is a bit beyond my pay grade! I'm a bit of a filthy casual, so I'm not up on my complex combos!

Torgaar, Famine Incarnate

Here's another example of a Commander with a way around the tax. This avatar is very pricey to begin with, but in Black, we have ways of making token creatures. Army of the Damned, anyone? We only need to sacrifice three creatures to cast this Commander the first time for BB, which is pretty cheap. With a few ways of recurring creatuers, generating tokens and a sac outlet, we can bring each opponent to twenty.

I must point out that it doesn't actually half their life total, it sets it at half their starting total. In our case, twenty. Throw in a Dire Fleet Ravager and we're having some fun!

There are a few ideas I had for some of the new Commanders coming out after thinking a little outside the box. Hopefully you're inspired by a few of these and have ideas to share in the comments below.