The card of the week is Aetherplasm, a creature that will leave your opponents guessing if they should attack or not?
Aetherplasm is a creature for 2UU that when it blocks a creature you can return it to your hand and place another creature from your hand on to the battlefield blocking the attacking creature. This offers you a repeatable way to trade up your creatures, swapping a 1/1 for a 12/12 with trample, swapping a 4 MV creature for a 12 MV creature. Aetherplasm can also defend itself as it can return itself to your hand not put another creature into play and the attacking creature will still be considered to be blocked.
When you put a creature into play with Aetherplam if it has an Enter the Battle Field effect (ETB) the effect will trigger but any cast effects will not trigger. The only downside to Aetherplasm is that it has to block to activate its effect.
Aetherplasm is a flexible card that would work best in Blink or ETB decks such as Yarok, the Desecrated or Roon of the Hidden Realm. It would also work well in decks such as Kinnan, Bonder Prodigy as it offers a way to get the big creatures out of your hand.
Approaching slowly with your head bowed to avoid looking her directly in the eye you sink to your knees, imploring her for just a sliver of her power.
Magic is a game of variance and nowhere is this more true than in the 100 card singleton format Commander, and tutors are one of the best ways to make your deck more consistent. Beseech the Queen is a tutor that allows you to search your library for any card and put it into your hand. The only downside is that the card you tutor for has to have a mana value of less than or equal to the number of lands you control.
The hybrid mana cost makes this card easier to cast as it removes the need for triple black mana, but the main advantage of Beseech the Queen is that the card going to hand also allows you to use the card immediately and prevents it from being milled away.
Beseech the Queen is a highly flexible card that could go in the majority of decks that run black, especially Queen Marchesa.
This week’s card of the week is bumper edition, with a card of the week for each of the pre-con commander decks from Strixhaven.
Lorehold Legacies – Osgir, the Reconstructor
Stuffy Doll is one of the best blockers in the game as it is not only indestructible but a powerful political tool. In Osgir you can use Stuffy Doll to target the biggest threat at the table and let your other opponents to use Stuffy Doll to deal damage to them. Afterwards you can use Osgir’s abilities to create two copies of Stuffy Doll allowing you to simply outlast your opponents.
Prismari Performance – Zaffai, Thunder Conductor
Zaffai wants to cast instants and sorceries and the higher the MV the better, so why not cast them for free? When Wildfire Eternal attacks and isn’t blocked you can play an instant or sorcery from your hand for free. The Afflict cost is less effective in commander than it would be in standard or modern but you can combine with with an unblockable effect such as Aqueous Form to get some incredible value.
Quantum Quandrix – Adrix and Nev, Twincasters
Adrix and Nev want to flood the board with tokens and go wide, Biowaste Blob is a creature that if left alone for a few turns can create an army of tokens all by itself at an increasing rate. It synergies greatly with Adrix as instead of getting 1 token you will get 2, and the more copies of Biowaste Blob you have on the field the power powerful they get.
Siverquill Statement – Breena, the Demagogue
Oracle en-Vec forces an opponent to declare what creatures they will be attacking with during your turn, this gives both you an your other opponents an opportunity to prepare and forces the targeted opponent to almost sign post their attacks. It also means that the targeted opponent cannot attack you out of nowhere with hasty creatures. Breena wants to play a political game and this card is sure to create an interesting dynamic.
Witherbloom Witchcraft – Willowdusk, Essence Seer
As Liam highlighted in his article Lowering the Curve low MV spells allow you to generate a lot of value in the early game and play multiple spells a turn in the mid or late game. Vendetta offers you a lot of flexibility it can be used in the early game to stop an opponent going off quickly or later in the game and offers you late game synergy. The downside of Vendetta is that you loose life equal to the toughness of the creature however, with Willowdusk on the field you can play this in your turn and turn that life loss into +1/+1 counters.
This weeks card of the week comes from my fellow librarian Coatsy.
Your opponents want to remove your commander or key combo piece just as much as you want to keep it on the field, which is why you need to be able to protect them. Gift of Immortality is an Enchantment for 2W that enchants a creature, and when that creature dies return it to the battlefield. Not only does it provide protection for a creature but it is also difficult for opponents to interact with because they would need to use multiple removal spells, or exile the creature.
The major upside of Gift of Immortality is that it returns itself to the battlefield and the beginning of the next end step attached to the same creature, this extends the amount of protection that it offers the creature. It also provides additional functionality as it can also be used to repeatedly trigger ETB or death triggers from creatures.
Gift of Immortality would be good in a wide variety of decks including: Ruhan of the Fomori; Elenda, the Dusk Rose; Roon of the Hidden Real; Zur The Enchanter; Tuvasa the Sunlit; Alela, Artful Provocateur; Brago, King Eternal
I chose Oakhame Adversary as my card of the week as I am increasingly including it in decks.
Oakhame Adversary fails the vanilla creature test due to its Mana Value of 4 (3G) and it’s stat line of 2/3 but it makes up for this with multiple lines of rules text. The first one is what makes Oakhame Adversary such a good card because it comes with it’s own cost reducer. If an opponent controls a green permanent it costs 2 generic mana less to cast, meaning that you can cast it for 1G. In a four player game of commander it is likely that an opponent will have a green permanent.
The next two abilities are very synergistic as it has the keyword Deathtouch and when it deals combat damage to an opponent draw a card, if you give it double strike you would draw 2 cards. Creatures with Deathtouch are always problematic as it will require your opponent to throw a creature in the way or use a piece of interaction and you can always use it a deterrent to stop attacks.
It’s creature types being Elf and Warrior are also advantageous as Elves are the representative race for Green and have many tribal commanders, and there are multiple warrior payoffs and tribal commanders.
Add in the fact that it draws you cards and can do so consistently over a number of turns and you have an absolute gem of a card.
Some of the decks Oakhame Adversary could go in include: Fynn, the Fangbearer; Najeela, the Blade-Blossom; Lathril, Blade of Elves; Ezuri, Renegade Leader; Marwyn, the Nurturer; Rhys the Redeemed; Freyalise, Llanowar’s Fury; Prossh, Skyraider of Kher… Basically any deck that has Green.
This weeks card of the week is Druid’s Repository an Enchantment that allows you to generate mana at instant speed.
Druids’ Repository is an Enchantment for 1GG, whenever you attack with a creature you put a charge counter on the Enchantment. This effect triggers once for each creature you control attacks, so it is best used in go wide decks that look to overwhelm your opponents with numbers. The second ability allows you to remove a counter and add one mana of any colour to your pool, this can be done multiple times and at instant speed.
The main advantage of Druid’s Repository is that it can create mana of any colour allowing you to both ramp and fix your colours. It also offers a large degree of flexibility as you can either store up the counters on Druids’ Repository to have an explosive turn or play a large spell or you can gradually use them to play spells ahead of curve. It also combines well the keyword proliferate allowing you an alternative method of increasing the counters and of course Doubling Season.
I think that it would work really well with the following commanders; Najeela, the Blade-Blosson, Rith, the Awakener, Hapatra, Vizier of Poisions and Atraxa, Praetors’ Voice
Addendum, my fellow librarian Liam recommends Druids’ Repository for Phylath, World Sculptor.
After having the Keeper of the Tomes play this against me multiple times to great effect, this week’s card of the week is Scout’s Warning.
Scout’s Warning is an Instant for one white mana that allows you to play a creature spell as though it has flash and draws you a card. Card draw is something that White struggles with in Commander and using cantrips can be a great way to make your deck more consistent.
Playing creatures at instant speed allows you a much greater degree of flexibility when choosing what to cast. You can cast a chump blocker to protect your life, your opponent might have attacked with a combo piece because you have no blockers, or cast your creature on the End Step before your turn giving your opponents less time to deal with them.
Because of the way that Scout’s Warning is worded you can draw the card before you cast the creature allowing you to dig for an answer.
This weeks card of the week Dragon Mask forms a combo with Sneak Attack, Purphoros, Bronze-Blooded or similar effects.
Dragon Masks activated ability currently reads “Target creature you control gets +2/+2 until end of turn. Return it to its owner’s hand at the beginning of the next end step. (Return it only if it’s on the battlefield.)“.
Sneak Attack allows you to cheat a creature from your hand into play with haste for a single red mana, the downside to this is that the creature is sacrificed at the end of turn. Dragon Mask not only provides a +2/+2 buff to the creature but also returns it to hand at the beginning of the next End Step. Allowing you to play Drakuseth, Ilharg, or Dragon mage repeatedly.
As both Dragon Mask and Sneak Attack’s triggers will happen at the begging of the next end step you can stack the triggers to return the creature to hand as opposed to sacrificing it.
It also combos well with decks that steal your opponents creatures, cast Act of Treason on your opponents commander or threat, pump it up swing it back at them and then return it to their hand at the end of turn.
The card of the week is Glare of Subdual, a repeatable way to tap down your opponents creatures and artifacts.
For 2 generic a Green and a White you get an enchantment that allows you to tap one of your own creatures and tap down an artifact or creature. This means that you can stop your opponent from attacking you by tapping down your creature that you would have had to chump block with and this provides creatures with static abilities additional functionality.
You can also use this card to determine at what speed your opponents play at because you can activate this ability at instant speed. During your opponents upkeep you can tap down their mana rocks or mana dorks , forcing them to use the mana in their upkeep or loose it.
Combined with a Seedborn Muse or a similar effect this will allow you to control the board, and as Glare of Subdual is tapping the creatures it can be used on creatures with summoning sickness.
This weeks card is Broken Fall, a 2 generic and one green enchantment first released in Tempest.
Many commander decks are built around the commander and require them to be on the field to function effectively, Broken Fall is an enchantment that allows you to return it to your hand and regenerate target creature. This means that it can also be used to protect your commander or another important creature on your board and then be replayed on your next turn.
Broken Fall has inbuilt protection from being destroyed, in response to it being targeted you can return it to your hand and regenerate target creature.
One of Broken Fall’s biggest advantages is that you do not need to name a creature as this enters the battlefield and it can be used on any target creature. This means that it can be used to regenerate your opponents creatures allowing it to be used as a political tool or keeping creatures on the battlefield that are troublesome for some opponents but not you.