Saturday 18 February 2023

Phyrexia All Will Be One Commander Preliminary Review


I normally do these command reviews before I get the conclusion and additions article done for each corresponding set but got a bit behind this time. As such, based on the grading you can assume this is what I will be doing with the cards in regards my cube. 

>7 adding

5-7 testing

<5 constructed uses only

Synthesis Pod 0

Lots of fun to be had here. Potentially some abuses with affinity cards and other cost reducing effects that let you cheat on CMC. Even so, this can't really be a good cube card. You are essentially paying to turn your spell into a random spell. Paying more to get less is a losing strategy. Unless you know the makeup of your opponents deck this is near impossible to abuse reliably. I can't see this in a competitive 1v1 deck. Commander however, weeeeeeeeeee!

Monumental Corruption 2

Powerful card draw or finisher as required. Very easy to get out a massive number of artifacts in a constructed deck built to do so. Less easy to have five mana spare while doing such things however. Mostly this is just a clunky card. The power in the artifact synergies is just so high that you rarely ever see a non-artifact card this expensive in those kinds of builds. Why pay five to hit them for one for each artifact when you can likely have just the same effect with a one mana Disciple of the Vault. 

Chiss-Goria, Forge Tyrant 2

Immense power here but again a little problematic. This is a big artifact payoff card that is high up the curve and non-artifact. Also very heavy on the coloured mana making it a bit harder to include. Even so, if you are paying RRR for a 5/4 haste and then getting a free artifact cast from your deck with decent selection then you are getting a lot of card! It does exile five at a time so this is not a great midrange grindy tool but then what card with affinity for artifacts is? Narrow but with great power.

Vulshock Factory 0

Neat idea but you need to want a mana rock bad enough to play a three drop one to want this, and not only do you not want that in cube, this isn't even high up the que for three drop mana rocks meaning you would need a lot of them. I am doubtful this is even getting that much love in commander.

Roar of Resistance 6

Bit of a do nothing sort of card sometimes but very cheap and scary. Bone Splitters all round is scaling powerfully and still useful with just a single dork. Tokens getting haste is a little conditional but probably not that far off giving non-token dorks haste! Many of the good red dorks already have haste and there are quite a lot of tokens kicking about. I fear this card is a little bit win more. Like, when you have several dorks and can just batter your opponent a couple of times with big chump attacks. Power wise this is absolutely worth a test but I am not sure if it will get enough play being neither a direct threat or removal. I am not sure that it will play all that well either. Sure, sometimes it will give some really interesting options and a long ongoing grindy game but mostly I suspect it will end people in short order or do nothing. 

Hexplate Wallbreaker 6

So this is a 5 mana 4/4 that gets to double combat if it swings. If the dork part is answered then for a mere four mana it can buff any other dork into a double combat dude as well as a +2/+2 boost. Is this better than Dragon Wing Glider? Power wise I would say yes but in practical terns I am going with no. Wallbreaker seems like overkill and that extra power comes with a speed reduction. By themselves they both attack for 8 over the turn you make them and the following but Glider does so with evasion and does four of it right away. I don't see the cube wanting both of these cards and Glider just seems like it is getting it done more reliably. Wallbreaker is a bit more different so if they are close enough I may play it instead for a bit. 

Goldwarden's Gambit 1

Quite the combo kill potential card. You can fire this off very quickly if you want to pack a list full of cheap equips. You can one shot people with this and the previous Hexplate Wallbreaker. This is a lot of card and a unique one at that but it is beyond narrow. Build around constructed only and likely not even viable to do so in singleton in any sort of competitive guise, not as the main plan at any rate. 

Staff of the Storey Teller 8

This is great. It is somewhere between a Thraben Inspector and an Inspiring Overseer (one of the most played one drops in cube and one of the best booster draft cards of all time so off to a good start). You get a useful 1/1 flying body for a nice bargain two mana. Then, or at a later you date you get to draw a card for just a single mana. Amazing. That alone is enough for cube. It might not work with flicker effects for dorks but I am not so bothered by that. Absolutely I will take that minor hit for all the other perks this toy comes with. What tips this over the edge is being able to draw a card there after each time you make creature tokens. Making token dorks in white is run of the mill. Everything does it. Drawing cards is not. And doing so for one mana, and not even having to spend that mana at the time of token generation, is a total bargain. If you make this on turn two of a game that you don't just utterly overrun I can easily see it drawing an average of three cards. This will win a lot of games. It will do so in a very slow and subtle way but make no mistake at the raw power of this little stick. 

Glimmer Lens 7

Here we have another white means to draw cards. This is fairly poor by itself but offers a proactive play that doesn't harm your tempo, which at least keeps the floor of the card higher than some. Then, all you need to pair with it is another attacker to become good, which is fairly easy to achieve in white and lines up with the strategy of any deck looking to play this card. One drop dork, Glimmer Lens, turn three attack and draw is a reasonable and powerful line that sets you up nicely. You also get to happily chump attack thanks to keeping the equipment. This is fairly cheap ongoing value when you are ahead, and can usually let you cash in low value dorks for card draw even when you are behind. This is a card with a lot of options. It has a high ceiling and a high floor without acting quickly enough to be broken or abused. All round fairly nice clean card. Really helping Stoneforge Mystic to have a wealth of targets too. 

Clever Concealment 2

A riff on Teferi's Protection. Likely better against most mass removal but the inability to protect the player (or your lands) as well makes this worse overall. Not that it matters all that much to me is this is an EDH card not a cube one. This isn't unplayable by any means, just not the sort of card I look to include, more of a solution sideboard sort of card. It is cute protection in an aggressive deck rife with vigilance! 

Otharri, Suns' Glory 8

Well this is absolutely one of those insane power cards. This kind of ticks all the boxes you want from a top end threat, most of them in more than one way which is remarkably impressive. That box ticking exercise is more important for cube than actual power and so I expect that Otharri and it's bucket loads of both power and suitability to be a bit of a bomb. So what are these boxes that Otharri ticks? Otharri acts immediately thanks to the haste and does some work to stabilize thanks to the production of tokens and lifelink. Otharri productes value in the form of the tokens but also in the threat of then recurring from the bin. The card offers a whole lot of reach as well being an evasive dork and a recursive dork. The card offers some "having access to a threat" security in the recursion as well. I can see a nice safe Mutavault getting this back often and feeling utterly unreasonable in doing so! As far as closing the game out Otharri is brutally fast as well, smacking for five on hit one, nine on the second, and seventeen on the third assuming all the rebels survive and connect. Super Rabblemaster! Even when the rebels are getting slaughtered in blocking there is no real racing this card over more than a couple of turns, it needs a proper answer. While I have no bad words to say about this it still a reasonably fair cube card thanks to being not just gold but Boros gold - one of the less played combinations. It is also a card you can answer with most things. All you have to do is take out the first rebel which can be done in combat pretty easily, and then find a way to handle a three toughness dork before it can attack again. You need a good blocker and a removal spell, two removal spells, or a mass removal spell. Equally a good exile spot removal spell will answer it as well. Even so I generally think the Otharri player is going to be feeling ahead most of the times it is properly answered. It will generally be a Lightning Helix to the face or a planewalker as well as a 2/2, for no card cost and probably only a couple of mana at worst. Even if the 2/2 is a chump attacker it ties down a blocker. This is probably about as good and rounded as you can make a card before it gets oppressive. With a Mutavault this does however start to feel pretty oppressive! 

Neyali, Sun's Vanguard 3

Lovely top end threat attacking on the board and with card value if you have tokens to attack with. Too narrow for drafting cube being all of a Hill Giant without support but something I would absolutely look at for an Intangible Virtue deck. Even as far as a splash. 


Glistening Sphere 1

Proliferate on a mana rock with some scaling. Obviously a constructed card only for several reasons but I am not sure this is even quite there for that. It is just too slow for either proliferate or poison decks. The cool Dice Factory decks are those that seem best suited to this what with wanting both proliferate and mana rocks but it is a long way less impressive than another Astral Cornucopia or Everflowing Challice would be! Mostly this just seems like a great EDH card for a selection of different strategies that this supports. 

The rest of the poison cards are just not getting a look in for cube, poison decks are low to the ground so even though there is plenty of power in the cards there is not the suitability to go with it. It is all the Boros colours that are gaining from this set of commander decks, the white half of the Boros most. Some very strong cards in their own right but also some very interesting new toys to play with in both tokens and equipment decks. 

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