Monday, January 21, 2013

The Top 10 Gatecrash Cards for Commander - Part 1

10. Illusionist’s Bracers

Illusionist’s Bracers

So many commanders will love this card (hello Kiki-Jiki!). While this is less global, this card will often be better than the widely played Ring of Brightheart, since you mostly want to reuse an ability on your general and this doesn’t require the continuous mana investment. Outside of these more spikey applications, I’m sure there are all sorts of interesting Johnny interactions that can be done with this card as well.

9. Luminate Primordial

Luminate Primordial

Luminate Primordial is not the biggest or splashiest of the primordial cycle (and vigilance on this kind of body is pretty lame compared to the others), but she/he/it is a workhorse that will help you maintain control of the board without ever complaining about having to work late without overtime. Like Swords to Plowshares, the life gain is pretty inconsequential as a trade off for being able to exile each of your opponents’ best creatures. Hexproof might often make life a little harder on this guy, but Luminate is in one of the best colors for blink effects and graveyard reanimation and using it multiple times could get out of hand quickly.

8. Giant Adephage

Giant Adephage

I always thought Spawnwrithe was a ton of fun, but hard to get to work with its measly power and toughness. Giant Adephage fixes that problem while still keeping the trample. The great thing about this kind of creature in commander is that all it has to do is get through to one player and it will grow exponentially. Rarely is there a time when each of your opponents can completely block a 7/7 trampler and, given a few attack phases, which sometimes can be a lot to ask, he will overwhelm your opponents. For a good time pair him with Aurelia in a white wine sauce!

7. Crypt Ghast

Crypt Ghast

I’m not sure how powerful extort will be in commander especially on a creature that attracts as much attention as this guy, but over time it could be great in multiples and benefits from the extra mana Crypt Ghast gives you. However, the real reason anyone would play this card is its ability to double your mana in a mono-black deck. There are certainly other effects like this for artifacts (caged sun) and black (cabal coffers), but, while it might not be the most novel card on the list, another one is certainly welcome when it can help you get to a game winning exsanguinate.

6. Hellkite Tyrant

Hellkite Tyrant

I’m not so sure the alternate win condition on this card is feasible, but it would be fun to try and possibly in the right kind of quirky deck it could work with some consistency. However, if you just ignore that part of the card, this card can provide you an insane amount of extra mana and value. Imagine how many signets, darksteel ingots and sol rings you could confiscate with this guy, not even mentioning equipment, artifact creatures or other random artifacts. His biggest downsides are that he does provide your opponents a full turn to react to him and 5 toughness is hardly that impressive, but if you can get even one hit in with this guy you get to keep all those artifacts for the rest of the game. Against many decks, his first few attacks this will ramp you as much as primeval titan would. And who wouldn’t love to rip that lightning greaves or darksteel plate right off that annoying general?

Tune in for the top 5 soon . . .


  1. It didn't quite occur to me on first glance of the set but there is indeed some good EDH stuff there. "Illusionist's Bracers, meet Experiment Kraj. I can tell already you will be BFFs." Also I just realized that the Primordals work for every player. So dirty. Hopefully these guys won't be too expensive. They'd be amazing in EDH. What's Crypt Ghast's color identity? I think it may be white as well as black which makes it slightly less good.

  2. They are supposed to release a rules update by the end of the month to clarify Crypt Ghast's color identity. The white mana symbol is only in the remind text, so I'm not sure if that counts or not.

  3. Hey Phil, I'ma let you finish, but Don Ki-hote is the best card ever.