Take a first look at six cards from the new ‘Magic The Gathering’ set, Commander Legends
When it comes to Magic of the Gathering, no format is as popular as Commander. The idea is simple: you have double your life points as in a normal match (40 instead of 20), and your entire 100-card deck is built around a single legendary creature, your commander. It’s a more complex, more open, and more sociable way to play than any other MTG format, and with the next set of the game, Commander Legends, Wizards of the Coast seeks to shake it up considerably.
Commander Legends is being marketed as the first set that focuses on both Commander and is designed for copywriting. You and the other players each collect a few boosters, and from those cards alone, you must all build a Commander deck. To make each writing session unique, Commander Legends is going to be a bigger set than most of the previous ones, like the recently released Zendikar rising, and contain 361 cards, 165 of which are brand new.
Here is an exclusive reveal of six maps, both old favorites and brand new, that will be playable in Commander Legends. These are all blues, which focus on controlling the flow of the game through spells and hints rather than direct aggression.
Brinelin, the Lunar Kraken
One of Commander Legends’ Legendary new creatures, Brinelin has appeared a few times in the story, being a creature of the Zendikar Plane, though this is the first time she’s gotten her own card.
Brinelin, the Moon Kraken costs two blue mana and six generic mana (any color or colorless mana) and is a nice, meaty 6/8. When it comes into play, or when a spell that costs six or more mana is played, any other permanent card on the battlefield may be returned to its owner’s hand. Sounds expensive, but could be incredibly useful for slowing down an enemy by temporarily eliminating threats like creatures with a lot of counters on them, or doing it on your own permanents to re-initiate entry effects.
Best of all, Brinelin has a partner, which means you’re not limited to having a mono-blue deck when playing with him as a commander. Pair him up with another Legendary to have them both as commanders and dramatically open up your writing possibilities.
Returning from Theros and the 2019 Core Set, Horizon Scholar is a Sphinx 4/4 blue, five generics.
When Horizon Scholar comes into play, you can look at two cards (which means you can look at the top two cards in your deck, then decide to put one or both at the top or bottom of your deck). It also has stealing, which aside from its robust 4/4 stats makes it a good option.
Horizon Scholar is not a Legendary, which means he cannot be chosen as a Commander.
Interpret the signs
Interpret the Signs is a blue and five generic witchcraft card that sees its first reprint since its debut in Journey into Nyx.
When you play Interpret Signs, you first examine the top three cards in your deck. Then you reveal the top card and draw the number of cards equal to its combined mana cost (for example, Horizon Scholar above has a combined mana cost of six, which means you would then draw it and five more. maps).
There are other cheaper cards that get big card draws like this, but it’s the combo possibilities that are worth it. Pull an expensive card like Horizon Scholar or Mnemonic Deluge and you can easily get the cards you need very quickly, all the while triggering Brinelin’s ability due to its cost, giving you some much-needed breathing space. He could also have great combo opportunities with cards whose effects are triggered with each card drawn.
(Correction – October 26, 2020 13:07 GMT: I totally missed that Mnemonic Deluge would allow you to use instants and rituals from any graveyard, not just your own. I have updated this section to reflect this.)
Another start for Commander Legends, Mnemonic Deluge costs three huge blues and six generics. The effect is absolutely wild, however, which more than justifies the cost.
Mnemonic Deluge is a witchcraft that when played allows you to research any graveyard for a moment or witchcraft. This card is exiled from that graveyard, but in return you get three copies that you can play immediately without paying any mana, regardless of the usual cost.
So, for example, if you use it on a sign interpretation, you’ll go through this whole process three times and potentially draw an absurd number of cards. This will also trigger Brinelin four times in total (one for the Mnemonic Flood, then the three prying eyes, which still have a combined mana cost of six even if you don’t have to pay it), which could severely slow your opponents. .
Importantly, since Commander Legends relaxes the rules of singleton to make drafting possible, you can run multiple Mnemonic Floods in your deck if you have the chance to pull them off. Get one in your graveyard somehow (the prying eyes below would work), then use one on the other, get three free copies, then use them on some other instants or witchcraft cards in a graveyard for a total of, unless my math is horrible, Fourteen spell triggers. Having nine free instants or rituals can be bad enough, but with Brinelin out, it could easily be devastating.
Mnemonic Deluge will be printed in standard and extended art styles.
A classic comeback in 7e Edition, Confiscate is a two blue and four multicolored enchantment with a simple effect: you take control of an enchanted permanent.
What’s interesting about Confiscate is that there is no warning about permanents that can be controlled. Take a land to slow them down, take an enchantment to punish them, or just sweep away a powerful creature. Combine it with a black card’s sacrifice mechanic and you can casually throw an enemy aside for your own gain.
Story-wise, the art of Confiscate is neat as it gives us a glimpse of Teferi, a mighty Planeswalker, when he was still in school. Considering Teferi’s huge role in the recent Core Set 2020 and in the metagame (Teferi, Time Raveller was banned from Historic due to his potency), it’s nice to see an early part of his life being brought back for Commander Legends.
Finally, we have Prying Eyes, originally printed in Ravnica Allegiance. It’s an instant that, for two blue mana and four generic mana, lets you draw four cards and then discard two.
For one thing, its card draw effect is lower than Interpret Signs, which has the same combined mana cost. Why would I want to draw four and then lose two cards, when I could instead draw a lot more with Interpret Signs?
Well, Prying Eyes has three advantages over that. First, it’s an instant, which not only means it can happen at any time, but it can trigger Brinelin’s ability at any time as well. If the enemy is mounting a heavy assault, a prying eye at the right time could really throw a wrench into the works and send a beefy creature back to their hand before they have time to use it.
This could also set up Mnemonic Deluge very well, as you don’t necessarily need to discard two of the four cards you just drew. Got an expensive snapshot or witchcraft in your hand? Throw it with that, then use Mnemonic Deluge to get three for free. It would even create a mnemonic double deluge, as that would be a way to get him into your graveyard rather than exile him!
All of these cards combine very well with Brinelin, which is the main strength of any good Commander deck. While you may have a hard time gathering the mana to take them out, Brinelin’s partner ability means you can easily pair him with a green commander and use that color’s many mana boosting abilities.
I am really excited for Commander Legends, and I’m normally a die-hard build who stays away from written formats. The combination of new and old cards from any point in the game’s history is exciting, and seeing exactly what types of decks you can muster in a draft session just might be the boost j. need to get more in limited formats.
Commander Legends launches on November 20 and will be available anywhere you normally buy Magic the Gathering cards.