Tuesday 13 September 2022

Preliminary Review: Dominaria United Commander Decks Part II


Baru Wurmspeaker 1

Stranger things have happened than a card like this becoming playable. With wurms being so highly costed this is more of a changeling lord potential than anything else but who knows, perhaps a pile of cheap wurms see print at which point this is a very strong card indeed! Obviously a hill giant that buffs the two most expensive dorks in your deck to be a little bit still the biggest dorks is rubbish which is all the card can really be currently in cube.

Unite the Coalition 6

For seven mana this is a very dull spell indeed and mostly unimpressive. Draw five is pretty weak. The disruptive capacity is limp for a card so costly. Really we are only talking about this as it can do 10 damage. That will close a lot of games or keep the board fairly real. It is like a big silly mix of the good Confluence cards. Just 10ing people in the face is a legit strategy and sadly is the kind of thing that makes this somewhat playable. Big gold decks are very much a thing in cube at present. Golos into this is very easy to do in a number of ways. A little narrow still but despite looking limp it is sneakily good. Seven is not a lot to just flop out ten damage. If the jump from Lava Spike to Lava Axe is 4 mana for 2 damage Unite is looking very efficient!

Two-Headed Hellkite 6

Powerful but not devastating enough to jump through the hoops of how narrow it is in cube. I want a game ender not a card that is just good tempo and value simultaneously. This card is rather a midrange affair and it is sitting in a spot where you should be playing a card tasked solely with ending the game. When this is no effort to include such as a deck that has ways of easing out dragons or is already five colours I like it a lot. It is more powerful than the Kami War due to being so immediate, but it is less what you want from a top end card than Kami War and the saga is hardly a bomb. 

Tiller Engine 7

This is cute, a kind of super Lotus Cobra tapper. While a no mana tapper sounds good it is offensive use only as getting landfall on the opponents turn is not a thing to rely on. I am not wholly sure where I play this but the power seems too much to ignore. Two mana ramp is slow and the thing of bigger controlly decks however on a dork that has an aggressive tap aspect you are looking in the other direction for something a bit more pressuring. Perhaps this has no actual home although I doubt it. Lotus Cobra is still amazing and it is restricted to green. The biggest issue with Cobra was the single toughness which this gets well past. I suspect this is designed to be a tool to make Amulet of Vigor things in EDH more consistent but I think it is over tuned to the point of being a powerful tool in several places for several things. 

Primeval Spawn 0

No ways to cheat value out of this and as such no way to assure the on death trigger which is needed to make this anything other than a big fat waste of mana. 

Mana Cannons 2

Too narrow for most builds and cubes but in the right deck this is an obscene card. Adding a Shock onto most of the things you play rather increases their tempo and value and efficiency. This pays for itself in at most two triggers, one if it is a hit of five damage! 

Iridian Maelstrom 0

Lol, this is backwards. You should play a 4 mana Wrath then lay your all the colours dork and win with it. Not play your all the colours dork and follow it up with a Wrath that allows it to live. No, it and you are already long dead while you piss around with your silly five mana Wrath of awkwardness and overkill. 

Fallaji Wayfarer 2

A very cool enabler for the likes of Coalition Victory, all be it not for commander... Wayfarer is too narrow for general use, who cares about all the colours there? The convoke is nice but not enough to make up for the vanilla body, and mostly a build around tool as well. 

The Reaver Cleaver 1

I like this but it is very hard to justify putting it anywhere, even a build around list. Six mana is just so much, I need so many treasure back before this can be said to have done much of anything of good value.

Verrak, Warped Sengir 5

While this is rather narrow it does turn out that this works rather well with sac lands and for that sad reason alone it probably needs testing. The body is fine and the ability can be great. Hopefully this fails testing however as it is a kind of messy and polar card. Beyond sac lands there are not a tonne of things that work with Verrak in cubes and those that there are mostly draw cards making the doubling of them rather redundant. 

The Peregrine Dynamo 2

Too narrow despite the reasonable costings. Yes, I want to fork planeswalker abilities. No, I don't ever want this when I can't, be that lack of walker to activate or lack of mana to use on this. 

Moira, Urborg Haunt 1

Looks good but it is conditional and vulnerable making it just weak overall. 

Gerrard's Hourglass Pendant 2

Useful little tool but too narrow and/or situational to be a rounded cube draft card. This will crop up here and there but very rarely in cube things. Probably a really cool thing to keep commander games from getting tedious. 

Cadric, Soul Kindler 1

Fun, but the kind of fun you need to have in commander. 

Zeriam, Golden Wind 2

I think we are some way off a tribal griffin deck! This is OK as a stand along but quite a way off cube level, you need to have some good expectation of a trigger on the turn you make this before it moves into the realms of good and we have far too few other viable griffin for that. 

Hazezon, Shaper of Sands 1 (for now!)

I like this card a lot and it makes me want to play deserts. As it stand however you struggle to play more than 10 deserts in a singleton deck and it hurts you a lot to do, especially with a key card that has no colourless in the cost. Either way, lovely flavour, and a nice thing to keep an eye on  going forwards. Gates was a joke archetype at first and they have become good. Lets see if deserts are in for the same journey. 

Rohgahh, Kher Keep Overlord 2

Yup, I would play this in a kobold deck and it makes me want to build and play kobold decks. Are they good yet? No. Are they good enough to get a game? Yeah, just about now it seems like they might be! Impressive number of cards that make me want to play and build tribal decks from this set and lovely to see some of the lesser tribes getting interesting pushes. 

Stangg, Echo Warrior 0

Cute, good flavour and modernizing but not good enough. Not threatening, too vulnerable, and too hard to maximise. On average this is a 6/4 with a trample like ability. No deal. 

General Marhault Elsdragon 4

This might be obscene. I don't think it is but I am going to give it a little test just to be sure. A +3/+3 buff is huge and cannot be ignored. Sure, worst case this is a 4 mana 4/4 but best case it effectively prevents all but chump blocks and even those are not viable on trample dorks. This is a boring card but if you are in the market to arrack in Gruul (which is kind of their thing, as well as cubes thing these days) then Marhault might be your boy. I especially like this with Toski as they are almost certainly letting it and all your mana dorks connect! Rather overkill at that point but a lot of fun.    


  1. Hey man, i love your work.
    Wath you think about includ Digital cards proxyes (mtg arena crads) in cube?

    1. Thanks :)
      From what I have seen of the digital cards they are interesting however I have avoided reading too many or getting that involved with them as they will just confuse my old addled brain! They fall into the same category as "un" set cards for me in that they are a bit too much effort to test and appraise for cube when there is already more than enough other new product coming out. Further to this some of the most interesting looking ones would need special treatment in order to work properly, or just add to the tax on short term memory for what is going on! I probably would find a way to make as many of the best ones work if I were short of MtG stuff to do but as it stands it is not something I feel I need presently. The lesson/learn cards played really well in cube but the extra hassle of having the lessons to hand was rather a turn off so I ended up cutting them all. I imagine ultimately I would find much the same with the coolest of the arena cards.

    2. hanks for the reply.
      In the coming weeks I will test some digital cards that do not present major inconveniences to be played.
      some mechanics, like "seek" can be easily adjustable in a few cases. I'm going to test the performance of those cards and give you the results of my experience.
      If my English wasn't so bad, I would love to contribute to your blog. Greetings from Argentina

    3. Your English is better than you think, certainly better than most of those born on this fair isle! I am certainly most interested to hear the results of your testing. It will probably just make me want to play with them too...