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Top Ten Cards #3 from Warhammer 40K Commander


Hello awesome folks! Today is my third and final Top Ten for the pushed-for-kitchen-table-formats Warhammer 40K Commander decks. This set printed out way more new cards than normal for a Commander slate of decks, and since these are only legal for Legacy, Vintage and then kitchen table formats like Commander, Type Four, Five Color, multiplayer, and more they were pushed in power level. It's those formats that we'll be looking at today. To get to a nice round number of my Top Forty Cards overall, we'll have four in my Honorable Mention section.

Honorable Mention #1 (#40 Overall) - Lokhust Heavy Destroyer

Lokhust Heavy Destroyer

Hitting at a nice even 40 is this flying 3/2 that costs triple black so it's back here at 40, but its very strong enter the battlefield trigger forces everyone to sacrifice a dork. This is heavily played at the kitchen table in multiplayer formats since you can get three or four creatures in one ability in a four-player game. This adds flying, but it is harder to cast. It's commonly played in several types of brews that enjoyed the mass destruction: Sacrifice Matters; Blink that wants to retrigger it over and over again; Midrange seeking key card values like this to control the board with card advantage dorks like this over time; Aristocrats seeking to win with win-cons like Zulaport Cutthroat; Reanimation that can sacrifice dorks to bring them back again; Mono-Black Control that can easily pay the triple Black and looking to clear the board of stuff, and you get the idea. This also has unearth so you can do that once more, which fits into self-mill decks where you can get it even if milled or into the above shells and get it twice. Nice right?

Honorable Mention #2 (#39 Overall) - Malanthrope


This three-drop 2/2 with flying also has a fun ETB ability, this time to exile the graveyard of a foe, and then put +1/+1 counters on this for each creature exiled this way. Getting graveyard removal on a stick that can swing and block and grab some equipment with flying is pretty strong as graveyard (ab)use is rampant in kitchen table formats especially Commander where many Commanders that are heavily played are built around abusing the graveyard. Answer them with an ETB dork that also grows in size the more abuse you answer. It's a brilliant tool to have in your box alongside Bojuka Bog that doesn't remove a card from your library to hurt a foe. This is a powerful on curve answer to in any deck that features this color combo, from Simic Ramp to Bant Blink.

Honorable Mention #3 (#38 Overall) - Szarekh, the Silent King

Szarekh, the Silent King

This four-drop with the same casting cost as the Heavy Destroyer above is bigger with a 3/4 flying body and is legendary for Command Zone purposes. When this King attacks, you can mill three cards then put an artifact dork or vehicle form among them into your hand. That gives you a fun Vehicle-Matters Commander in mono-Black that gives you strong card flow, and might I suggest cards that will enable it to attack unblockably and get in attacks without worrying about blocks like Rogue's Passage, Access Tunnel, and Whispersilk Cloak? It also has flying naturally to get in attack over grounded dorks left by. I also love it with Maze of Ith since it doesn't remove it from combat, just untaps it and prevents damage to and from it. This card is also strong in the 99 of vehicle and artifact dork brews. It's very strong, and also note that it's an artifact for those that care.

Honorable Mention #4 (#37 Overall) - Keeper of Secrets

Keeper of Secrets

Check out this splashable 6-mana 6/4 with first strike and haste. When you cast a spell from anywhere other than your hand you deal damage equal to its mana value to target opponent. Wow, that's a clock! Also note that haste means you can swing at someone first after a mass sweeper (very common in multiplayer) and then be the first one to smash. I really like this in a two main shells. First, Aristocrats that sacrifices a dork from their graveyard and then recasts it until their mana is used up like Gravecrawler. This will kill just like Blood Artist. Then I like it in Exile-Matters shells where you are exiling cards from the top of your library and casting them like Act on Impulse, et all. In these shells, this will really punch away at people's faces like Gruul and Rakdos. It's also good in cascade matters, casting from your graveyard in a flashback and jump-start brew, casting from exile in a foretell brew, and even in a Commander that exiles to cast and has red. Pretty strong, but it's six mana cost and power limit it to being on my third overall list. But hey, it made it!

#10. (#36 Overall) - Tyranid Invasion

Tyranid Invasion

This is a simple uncommon sorcery that costs Hill Giant mana for a Hill Giant-sized token with trample in a duel. With three foes in a four-player game, this is 9 power and 9 toughness and all of it with trample, on the fourth turn, third turn with ramp. That's mad value. It's like the powerhouse of a later game post-threshold Grizzly Fate meets the early game power of this fun thing. This is obviously very strong in any multiplayer format or kitchen table, like Commander, and it's a playable early win-con in any four-person games no matter your deck. It has enhanced value in token decks where this makes beefy Warriors for populate and three dorks for Doubling Season effects. Add this to your Commander deck, and even if you draw it late after it's just you and one other, or you shuffle up in a single player game, this is still an on-curve token maker that could still serve. It's just nasty good out there!

#9. (#35 Overall) - Psychomancer


Hitting at an even 35 is this fun two-drop 1/1 artifact dork with flying. When this or a nontoken artifact you control dies or is exiled, drain a life from a foe like a Blood Artist. This is very strong as a better Disciple of the Vault for draining but worse since it cannot work on Treasures, Clues, Foods, and Bloods. But it's an artifact Aristocrat win trigger and will slide right into those brews quite humbly.

#8. (#34 Overall) - The Swarmlord

The Swarmlord

Check out this six-mana 5/5 Commander eligible dork with two abilities. It enters with a pair of +1/+1 counters for each time you've cast your Commander this game, so that's a 7/7 the first time of it's your Commander. Then you draw a card each time a dork of yours with a counter dies, which suggest a counters matter theme that weds Aristocrats with sacrifices like Goblin Bombardment with counters-matter like Doubling Season. It's pretty strong as a leader, and it has the color of counters and card draw married to ramp and removal and burn. Simic already has a +1/+1 counters matter theme with red adding in sacrifice engines. I really like this with dorks like Triskelion and Spike Feeder that arrive with +1/+1 counters that you can pull all but one off of, sacrifice it for the value with a Bombardment and then draw away.

#7. (#33 Overall) - Convergence of Dominion

Convergence of Dominion

The first is to drop the cost of activated abilities in cards in your graveyard by 2 each if you control your Commander (minimum of one). Then this can tap for three mana to mill yourself of three cards. I like the first ability with several different style of decks. Imagine this in Aristocrats where you sacrifice Reassembling Skeleton to Phyrexian Altar and then can recur it for two, triggering thigs like Syr Konrad for wins, but you cannot make enough mana to keep recurring it since it costs two. Well, now you can with this since it only costs one, so now it is as many triggers as you like to kill everyone. And you'll go infinite with mana Ashnod's option, if you can bleed the two colorless you make into black. Nice. I also like that first ability in decks with a flashback and jump start theme. I also enjoy the latter ability in self-mill decks like Sultai's milling creature triggers or winning in mono-Blue with Laboratory Maniac. Wowzer Bowzer!

#6. (#32 Overall) - Shadow in the Warp

Shadow in the Warp

This three-mana Gruul enchantment hits at #32 on our countdown. It's really strong in a creature-dense brew and with a Commander that costs 6 mana. Then when a foe casts their first noncreature spell each turn they are Shocked for two damage. Since most people are pulling their Ravenous Chupacabra for Murder and Eternal Witness for Regrowth, that means this is more likely to get triggered, and it does so each turn, so if Foe A casts a non-creature spell on their turn, they take two, and then on Foe Bs turn if they cast Sun Titan and Foe A casts Counterspell, they take another 2 damage. Nasty over time against many decks that look to play a card or two on their foes' turns. And then this can deal up to 8 damage to someone in a four-player game where someone casts counters or instant speed answers on three opposing turns and a key draw spell on their turn. This a powerful tool in metagames where people are playing control and Draw-Go brews where they pass and then play all their stuff at instant speed. I love this in creature heavy brews like midrange, aggro, blink, a flash granting Commander, or with 6 or more cost Commanders, where you can combine the power of hosing your foes with dropping the cost of your things.

Ready for my last Top Five Overall?

#5. (#31 Overall) - The Golden Throne

The Golden Throne

This four-drop has two abilities, and counts as legendary for those decks that build around it. If you would lose the game at all, from poison counters to life loss to your foe's Laboratory Maniac to drawing on an empty library, you do not lose the game, and instead you exile the Throne and drop to 1 life. But you might lose again pretty quickly.

Then you can tap this to sacrifice a dork and make three mana of any color combo. That's really strong in decks with a Sacrifice theme (10th-highest on EDHREC.com), where you can benefit from sacrifice-matters things like Mayhem Devil. It will usually make mana, and you can untap it with Dross Scorpion by sacrificing an artifact creature like Myr Retriever to bring back Junk Diver to play for three mana you just made to cast and sacrifice for three mana to bring back a dying Retriever for two mana so you spent 5 mana in the loop but made 6, so you net a mana each loop making infinite mana.

You can also combine with Disciple of the Vault or Psychomancer for wining triggers. Nice right? I think so too, and this is very strong in multiple shells, and I love that you can make up to three different colors of mana if you want to cast your 3, 4, or 5 cost Commander in that format, and this is awesome with the artifact-loving of Breya to make sure you can cast her no matter the colors your drew, and she makes tokens to sacrifice. Love her power loads there!

#4. (#30 Overall) - Exterminatus


Hitting on my third list is this mass sweeper that costs seven mana and destroys all nonlands. Why is it on my third list? Well, it removes indestructible from your opponents' stuff prior to sweeping, so it will clean out their Stuffy Doll just as ably as an exile removal would. But note that it doesn't exile, so you can bring back your stuff with your reanimate spells. Therefore, it plays nicer with you. This is worth the extra mana and color to play nice with your recursion like Karmic Guide and Dread Return, already in your colors. This is also very strong in Type Four where you have infinite mana but can only cast one spell per turn so you can end any mass shenanigans with this spell and end the big indestructible threats here as well like Impervious Greatwurm. It's very strong at kitchen table play since it's better than standard exiling mass removal like Farewell. Nice right?

#3. (#29 Overall) - Lord of Change

Lord of Change

Hitting Number 3 on List Number 3 is this fun Demon. Seven mana, 6/6 flyer with ward 3, and draw three cards on arrival? That's pretty nice, and even a seven-mana Ancestral Recall is still a Recall. This leaves behind an on curve 6/6 flying warded Demon, whereas Mulldrifter only leaves behind a 2/2 flyer. This is awesome in decks for looking for card flow from their dorks that also can afford 7 mana like Dimir Control with Cabal Coffers or Azorius or Bant Blink with green's ramp. And it's fine in other places as well, since it's useful in many places, and midrange will love a three card ETB card flow that leaves behind a game winner, and planeswalker brews will love card draw and a blocker of the flying persuasion that will really play keep away with its 6/6 body. It's also very strong in Type Four.

#2. (#28 Overall) - Be'lakor, the Dark Master

Be'lakor, the Dark Master

Our penultimate card on my third Top Ten list is this Grixis 6/5 with flying and two abilities and it is legendary for Command Zone fun times. When this ETBs, you draw X cards and lose X life where that is your Demon count. Then when another Demon ETBs, you shoot it's power in damage to any target, like a foe or a planeswalker. Previously, we had a Demon tribe enabler in Rakdos, but now we've opened up blue that combines counters and card draw with their discard, removal, and Demon loving and cards. This already leads 548 decks over at EDHREC.com, and seems pretty build around able, but the six cost and just playing into an archetype that already existed drops it to my third list. According to EDHREC.com there are just 3321 decks that run a Demon theme, so this isn't exactly a beloved tribe, but there are still thousands of adherents out there. This is our highest scoring card with a color, but not a color identity...

#1. (#27 Overall) - Tomb Fortress

Tomb Fortress

This land is my top land in the set and made my third list overall. It taps for Black, so it has a black color identity for Commander which restricts the decks that can play it. It enters tapped so you have to wait a turn to use it. Then it costs mana, at sorcery speed, to return something. That's a lot of brakes, hence it hits my third list, although note that it's not a legendary land.

Getting a free Zombify in your mana base makes this very powerful and triple Black is likely with the heavily played Urborg. This works in most decks since it's a free land slot. It has enhanced value in self-mil and recursion brews, but any deck with dorks that runs this color should run it, and I love it in midrange getting back a Ravenous Chupacabra or Flametongue Kavu or even a Karmic Guide to get another dork like your Grave Titan or what about that Sun Titan to get back your Reclamation Sage.

And there we go! Next week we'll leave behind this set and move on to another Top Ten. What did you think of my final look at this set? Anything that is missing? Just let me know and have an awesome day!

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