Commanding the Favor of the Gods

As we all get ready to head into prerelease weekend for the newest Magic: The Gathering set, Theros, it’s important to keep our minds from focusing too hard on the fleeting moments we will first spend with the set. Last time I talked about Theros I looked at some powerful commons to get our minds churning on limited play for this set (sealed this weekend if you attend a prerelease), but today I want to scry a little into the future and look at some cards that I’m excited about for constructed play. Specifically, I am going to look at the five cards I’m most excited about for the Commander format (that I haven’t talked about already). I love the Commander format, and if you do too you’ll have no trouble seeing why I’m pumped for the following cards.

Meletis Charlatan: One of my favorite Commander decks is Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius. I don’t like just comboing out with Curiosity; I stick to Izzet’s ideals and try to cast as many instants and sorceries as possible. Surprise surprise, a creature that copies instants and sorceries is a perfect fit for that theme. I’ve had a lot of fun with Echo Mage, and Meletis Charlatan has the benefit of being able to play politics and copy a (temporary) ally’s spell as well. Take it from personal experience: there is nothing more glorious than copying your Epic Experiment.

Karametra’s Acolyte: Green always has a billion and one ways to accelerate your mana, but rarely does it come as powerful as this. It’s not uncommon for Commander battlefields to get stuffed up with creatures and enchantments, and Karametra’s Acolyte takes perfect advantage of this. Even just tapped for three mana is a healthy boon (on par with Gilded Lotus), and the potential when combined with Mana Reflection just doesn’t seem fair. Look for this Druid to usher in some massive Omnaths and Hurricanes.

Prophet of Kruphix: The element of surprise is a powerful tactic in any game, and allowing you to flash in creatures whenever you want is always a good way to utilize such strategies. There’s a reason why cards like Vedalken Orrery and Leyline of Anticipation are Commander staples. Of course, that’s not all for Prophet of Kruphix, who also untaps your creatures and lands during each opponent’s turn. The first obvious use for this is to give your creatures pseudo-vigilance, allowing you to attack with impunity. In addition, this allows you to re-use creatures with useful tap effects. Lastly, it ensures that you will always have the mana open to flash in cards like Artisan of Kozilek or Simic Sky Swallower.

Burnished Hart: While Commander is largely about large creatures, the small utility creatures are also important. Sakura-Tribe Elder is notable in its ability to carry equipment, chump block a fatty, and tutor up a basic land. Burnished Hart is just like that, but on steroids and with the ability to be played in every Commander deck (though I would not recommend it in Kozilek, Ulamog, or Karn decks). Ripping two basic lands out of your library for six colorless mana is right on par with the power of Explosive Vegetation, one of my favorite ramp spells. This Elk will be a Commander staple for years to come.

Colossus of Akros: Of course, Theros brings us a much flashier artifact creature in Colossus of Akros. Let’s start with the basics: it’s a 10/10 with indestructible for eight mana. There aren’t many creatures that can trample over such a blocker. There also aren’t a whole lot of spells that can get rid of such a monster (most of them are White.) Finally, once you hit ten mana (a piece of cake in Commander), Colossus of Akros comes alive as a 20/20 trampler that will end the game. Quickly. It’s difficult to find a Commander deck that wouldn’t be glad to utilize such a powerful card.

Those interested in using Erebos, God of the Death as a commander should check out Adam Styborski’s article today on the Wizards main site. As usual, yours truly gets included again (about 2/3 of the way down, mentioning Seizan, Perverter of Truth). Whatever format you like to play, rejoice knowing that Theros is finally here this weekend and will be bringing all its exciting new cards to your kitchen table top. Good luck to all you folks attended prerelease events this weekend and may your pulls be the stuff of legends!