Thursday 22 September 2022

Warhammer 40K Commander


Given how much I have complained about too much product of late this is quite a nice easy opt out for me. I have no problem with the idea of the 40K cards or even the implementation of them in this commander release. I just have less time and enthusiasm for new cards. More product contributes towards burn out and so skipping some will help stave that off. As such I will be skipping this release much like I did for The Walking Dead Secret Lair and other unique cards in Secret Lairs. This skipping is simply a pragmatic one rather than a dislike of the way the product is presented and marketed. The 40K cards are just different enough for me to to be able to not bother and ease the tension on rates of new cards. I will likely do the same with the black bordered un-set cards too. Certainly I could include the cards I like in the cube and one day I might well do that but for now I am going to pretend like these new cards don't exist. That obviously means I will not be doing reviews for them in the short term but perhaps more relevantly it means I will not be taking them into account going forwards which will certainly mean my meta is different to those wishing to use the cards.

That is the main reservation I have about skipping this release - that my cube will start to be less relevant. If I play and test every card I can be somewhat informed and comprehensive in my writing and opinions about cube. As soon as I start leaving stuff out the value of my opinion decreases. This has been happening in a subtle way for years. In 2005 there was only really one way to build a cube as there were only a cubes worth of good cards to put in one! Now we have so many cards to chose from we can build a cube however we like. Cubes can be as diverse as decks in constructed! Over the last couple of years I have built and played with a powered cube, a budget cube, two synergy cubes, a combo cube, a pre-modern cube, a down powered cube, a colour pie informing cube, and all alongside my main cube which still got more play than the rest combined. There is no right or wrong way to build a cube and it is very much dealers choice. I would like to be able to remain comprehensive in my ability to dole out advice on cards and formats but in practice that ship has likely already sailed. So, rather than try and keep up and expedite burn out I am instead going to be skipping some releases I feel like I can get away with, and this is one such set. 

In hindsight I somewhat wish I had opted out of all the commander product and the Modern Horizons sets. Basically everything that doesn't go through being standard legal. I think the cube would be a healthier calmer place if I had. Almost all the most egregious cards are to be found in sets that didn't need to pass the bar for standard power levels. As I have already acquired and tested these cards, as well as really liking some of those that came in these releases I am unwilling to retrospectively make that change but it does at least make me more willing to do it going forwards as I am with the 40K and un-finity. 

I didn't bother reading the cards on the Secret Lair product I boycotted. I didn't want to be gutted about cool cards I couldn't play. It was a protest not a pragmatic call. This 40K commander set is the latter and I have been reading the cards. They interest me. There are a bunch of interesting things I would like to play with in the 40K commander sets and for the most part I don't think the art is all that different to a wide selection of recent sets and cards. Anything I wished to include would not seem at all out of place in the already highly varied worlds of MtG, certainly more so than the un-finity product (which seems like the black bordering of is a cynical marketing demand ploy). I will just have to settle for banking these releases for a time when I am suddenly desiring of more MtG content than is being released! I hope you all have fun with your 40K cards. I will just have to be sad about and overly ignorant of them, but for now it certainly seems like the right choice. 


  1. I feel your pain.... love cubing and cube design but the endless flow of new cards is too much..... thanks for the reviews you do manage to do though, I enjoy them greatly :)

  2. There are some *great* new cards in this release though..I'd recommend trying them out even if you don't review any. :)

    1. Care to share your thoughts on which are the standouts as far as cube goes? On a cursory read through of the set I rather liked a couple of black five drop dorks and the little Chariot vehicle.

    2. M3I beat me to it! (Thanks...) :)))

  3. Hey, long time fan of the blog. In a different comment you asked about standouts and I figured I'd drop my two cents.

    Triarch Praetorian - Worth trying but the unearth is probably at least 1 mana overcosted.

    Noise Marine - Looks like bloodbraid elf and FTK but is likely neither, still I'm gonna test it just cause it looks so potentially fun.

    Assault Intercessor - Super good at forcing damage through tokens, I really like how this messes with combat math and if you want more aggro over the utility of tymna or kambal this is a sweet one.

    Sicarian Infiltrator - This guy is kinda bonkers in my opinion. Even without Squad this isn't the worst thing ever. But with it it has some sweet modular value and imo is better than even Cloudkin Seer unless you're full into blue tempo.

    Poxwalker - This question isn't whether you can get him back, the question is more which decks want this sort of effect. There are so mechanics and one off cards that trigger this. Unfortunately its a little understatted for aggro so probably just a card for weird midrange shells, dredge if you're into that sort of thing, and most excitingly Pox style decks. This guy is best buds with Gravecrawler.

    Chaos Defiler - This is some seriously nuts power. It's maybe even fractured identity levels of balanced in multiplayer but utterly oppressive in singleplayer. If it immediately gets answered thats a 3 for 1, and its big enough to force an answer most of the time. My favorite thing about this card is the artifact tag, Goblin Welder here I come.

    Space Marine Devastator - I think this is worth trying, like a lot of the squad cards, just cause it's decent at both rates and I love some good modular value. The main issue is I doubt it'll have two good targets at any given point so you mainly just get more stats. Probably not gonna last but a cool card nonetheless.

    Arco-Flaggelant - The stats just aren't there for this guy for me. Black Aggro needs three drops that end games or force answers and this is not that. If he could block the squad ability would make him cool for midrange but as is no aggro deck wants to pay five mana to get Forked Bolted.

    The Miracle Angels are really cool but probably none of them are good enough. My eyes sorta glaze over when cards are more than two colors or five mana too, most of this set you can ignore without missing any real power.

  4. Awesome, thanks for the comments, much appreciated. I actually caved and picked up a couple of the cheaper cards from the set as I was picking up some basic lands anyway and such things reduce the % of p&p and make it feel like a better deal! Given that I didn't do a preliminary review I will try and do one with some actual play testing behind me. I do fully agree that Chaos Defiler is pretty oppressive as far as cube cards go and Fractured Identity was exactly the card I was scared of it being too like! I also really like the look of the Sicarian Infiltrator. Some cards I picked up that oyu didn't mention include some green X costing dorks, some vehicles, and some very impressive black 5 mana EtB dorks.

  5. ...I also really like:

    Mawloc / Great scalable Gruul and on-flavor removal

    Necron Deathmark is quite pushed but also probably twice as easy to recur w/his artifact type. I killed 5 different creatures with one in a game last night. Terminator. Very scary card.

    Bone Sabres is a must-kill threat. Completely stupid clock that sticks around after you kill the wielder. It grows so fast.

    Assault Intercessor will definitely kill some people over the course of normal Magic games but a couple of Wraths might just do it alone.

    This is to say nothing of what Necron does for black/artifact strategies of all kinds. Very big deal.