Monday 30 July 2018

Thoughts and Additions from Commander 2018

I think they have done a great job on the commander set this year, design wise on the new cards at least, I have no comment on any other aspect of it. The cube has become a little dominated by over powered commander cards and it has been making the release of other sets a little less relevant. Over powered cards are not good for the game, interesting cards are, and that seems to be something Wizards are demonstrating with this latest offering. Commander 2018 is full of stuff that reinvigorates older cards and mechanics which creates more options and a deeper more interesting game. Indeed, a bomb card closes down options as you feel you have to play it. Commander should be used to print cards they don't want to print in standard but not because they are bombs and that is exactly what they have done here. Almost all the cards are ones I want to play with and build around but none got a rating above a seven. There are not many cards I expect to last in the drafting cube and yet I still want to get the product.

The only thing that would have made this better for me and from a cube perspective is more one drops. I just want the redundancy options there a bit more, they don't need to be that powerful! I would have quite liked another Wild Growth style card which would have fitted in well here. I still really want more one mana hand disruption and I feel like Commander is the most suitable place to fulfill those desires. Infinite Atlas (for white card advantage), Enchanter's Bane, Aminatou (for more top of deck setup) are just some examples from this set of good design on effects that were missing from the total card pool and now, thanks to this release we have. I am glad to see a lot of interesting and playable cards to enjoy but I think I am even more glad there are no True-Name Nemesis or Fractured Identities. From a social perspective I think you push the casual players apart from the competitive ones if all the best cards for cube and EDH are not features of standard and modern. It is nice to have some sleepers, cards that never did anything in competitive play, but having a significant portion of a cube made up from cards that are only legal in eternal formats reduces the accessability of it. Cube flourished as a format due to how familiar all the cards were. There were probably only 720 good cards when I first made my cube! Almost all of them featured in great decks and so most people could play cube easily which is pretty handy for a such a complex and deep format. I am noticing people struggling a little more to translate general magic play experience into cube quite so effectively. Likely this is just a cost of having a nice deep pool of interesting cards spanning 25 years. I would certainly take the cost of increasing barrier to entry for the influx of new juice. Either way, toning down the upper power level of the sets outside of standard and modern is a good idea, especially if you turn up the exotic, interesting and needed cards as well!

To Add

Turntimber Sower
Saheeli, the Gifted
Aminatou, the Fateshifter

To Test (in roughly the order  from top to bottom of best chances)

Emissary of Grudges
Retrofitter Foundry
Night Incarnate
Primordial Mist
Yennett, Cryptic Sovereign
Varina, Lich Queen
Ancient Stone Idol
Octopus Umbra
Blood Tracker
Infinite Atlas
Boreas Charger

Exotic Reserves

Saheeli's Diretive
Entreat the Dead
Yuiko, the Tiger's Shadow
Coveted Jewel
Enchanter's Bane
Whiptongue Hydra
Estrid the Masked
Reality Scramble
Genesis Storm
Nesting Dragon
Nylea's Colossus
Tuvasa, the Sunlit
Arixmethes, Slumbering Isle
Estrid's Invocation
Kestia, the Cultivator
Magus of the Balance

1 comment:

  1. I meant to say that I didn't use Dan to help edit these reviews as I thought they would be better put out sooner while the other articles are not so time critical. Interesting to hear peoples thoughts on expedience verses readability.