Monday, January 18, 2016

Significant Commander Rules Change Announced!

The site is getting hit pretty hard right now, but here's a link to the post about the rules change.

Here's my summary of the changes:


Mulligans are changing to use the "Vancouver" mulligan rule. In other words, you will mulligan for a game of commander the same way you mulligan for a game of standard, except the first (multiplayer) mulligan is still free.

There are several other recommendations for mulligans in the post, but they are not official.

*Rule 4*

Rule 4 was the rule that restricted the colors of mana you could make to only the colors in your commander's color identity. It meant that you couldn't make green mana with your Darksteel Ingot to regenerate the Thrun you cloned with your mono-blue Sakashima commander.

Darksteel Ingot

The thing that was making this rule weird is the new colorless mana introduced in Oath of the Gatewatch. It would allow a player to purposefully generate mana that is not in their commander's color identity, specifically because the rules would then turn that mana into a colorless mana that could be used to pay for the more restrictive colorless spells, like Kozilek, the Great Distortion.

Both the original case of how the rules worked and the example I described are not intuitive, so they are getting rid of it.

*Prophet of Kruphix Banned*

Prophet of Kruphix is ridiculous. That is all. :)

Prophet of Kruphix

Five Color Commander: Taking the Money Out


I've been collecting Magic cards for more than 20 years. In that time, I've put together a collection of cards that includes some of the greatest hits. Because of this, it's allowed me to play a five color commander deck that is absolutely ridiculous. I bought cards I liked and I never got rid of them.

It was all luck.

Underground SeaUnderground SeaUnderground SeaUnderground Sea

I have a love/hate relationship with this five color deck: Burberry Cologne. Looking through the list of cards reminds me of years of playing Magic, all the way back to the beginning. I have the same pieces of cardboard with me that I had all those years ago, all in one place in a crazy-crazy commander deck. But, playing the deck is over-the-top and not much fun to play against.

It's the lock and kill that sucks.


The lock doesn't take that long to put together. And most players don't know they are in it until way too late. But the kill takes forever. And, like with a lot of control decks, it leaves the opponent feeling like they are one card away from getting out of the lock... forever.

I've been on the receiving end of a control deck, many, many times. I know the feeling.

There's another problem with the deck. It's a practical problem. Think of your own commander decks. For many of you reading this, you probably have at least a couple of commander decks and maybe a few decks for other formats, along with a trade binder and a collection of cards. All told, for people who like this game, we drop serious money on cards. It adds up. A draft here. A couple of cards there. A foil replacement. Some trades. Cards you've had for a while go up in value. It doesn't take long to have a commander deck that's $600 or more.

Throw some dual lands on the pile and that number really climbs. My five color deck is so damn expensive now that taking it out of the house makes me uncomfortable. Don't get me wrong. I can think of a dozen decks that are better - and more fun - for less money.

I don't want to feel like I need a bodyguard when I walk out the door.

To fix both problems, I started over. I built a new five color commander deck with a couple of key objectives.

Objective 1: I want to win with dragons.
Objective 2: I don't want to use any card that is worth more than about $5, except for my commander.

The deck list is here: 5C Dragon Toolbox.

Scion of the Ur-Dragon

I've only played one game with it so far, but it worked. I was able to cast relevant stuff. I was genuinely surprised at how well the mana worked out. Coming from playing with a manabase of 10 dual lands and 10 fetch lands, I was skeptical that a five color deck could work without all that nonsense.

As it turns out, it works fine.

For reference, the manabase looks like this:

15 basic lands, 3 of each
5 cycling lands
5 panoramas
5 tri-color lands
5 five-color lands
3 terramorphic/evolving/myriad
10 signets
4 ramp spells

That's a big chunk of the deck dedicated to making mana, but the dragons I chose generally cost 6 mana in a combination of three colors.

Intet, the DreamerCrosis, the Purger

After only playing one game, the deck certainly needs work. I already pulled out Exploration. Chris noted that it costs about $9, making it the most expensive card in the deck. Next, I swapped Thawing Glaciers for Myriad Landscape, for the same reason. Quicksilver Amulet is on my watch list, which is too bad because I really, really like that card and this is one of the few decks where I get to play it. I'd like to make room for more dragons, especially the two-color legendary dragons from Tarkir.

The cheap ones, though.

Silumgar, the Drifting DeathDromoka, the Eternal