Robert Chesley

Commander Previews Start

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We’re just a few weeks away from Wizards releasing the new “Commander” decks out onto the unabashed public. We are starting to see some of the cards trickle out into the wild.

The biggest announcement is that there will be 51 new cards, and we’ve only figured out a choice few of them. Most notably there will be more “wedge” colored legends. The most important of the “reprints” is that Sol Ring will be available in all the precons. Also, Lightning Greaves, another Commander auto-include will also be auto-included in all the decks as well. These are cards that players are reluctant to trade away and are a little bit harder to acquire and can be considered a barrier of entry for the format. We should be commending Wizards for including higher “marquee” cards in sets like this. I think this is the best way to get new product into casual and new players hands.

Of the new cards that have been spoiled so far, we are seeing our first few cards of a new multiplayer mechanic called “Join Forces”. Join Forces means that other players at the table can benefit from another player’s spells. We’ve seen a single mana green spell that lets all players get an obscene amount of basic lands out of there deck and a card that puts an equal number of 1/1 soldiers into play for each player. This will make multiplayer politics a lot more interesting. You’ll hear a lot more of “hey remember when I let everyone get a small army? Why are you attacking me?”. I love playing these kinds of games in multiplayer.

My favorite new mechanic is the “vow” enchantments. Each of these enchantments can be used to either boost your creature or boost an opponents but with the stipulation that it cannot attack you. This card is not only good in multiplayer but in single player Magic as well. It seems that the creatures get a good boost to power and toughness as well as an “on color” ability. The green one gives Trample and the white one gives Vigilance. I’m assuming the black one gives “Fear or Intimidate” , the red one probably grants Haste, and I’m assuming the blue one gives Flying. These are relevant in that colors will be getting spells that stop creatures from attacking you. Not all colors get this ability so seeing a hopefully full cycle of cards that grant this. Blue doesn’t get good aggressive cards often so I’m happy to see that.

Finally, my favorite card to come out in previews so far is the Command Tower. This card lets you play it as any kind of multicolored land as long as you have a Commander. This card is completely worthless outside of the Commander format. It is really cool to see cards like this. People who play Commander always have a hard time building multicolored decks because most of the good multicolored lands are rare and expensive, even though it is printed as a common it might as well be a rare in the deck (as each deck will only have 1 of any non-basic land card).

As for financial value of these, if you’re looking for stuff to just throw into your trade binder these will be a good investment. Sol Rings, Command Towers, and Lightning Greaves are always in demand. You can probably make your money back on these by trading the choice cards out of it.

We’re seeing cards trickling out all this week and hopefully the full deck lists by the end of the week. If you want to keep track of all the latest card updates This Link is where it’s at.

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