Hello Happy Commander and other kitchen table MTG fans! Wow, do I have a fun thing for you to review! Let's turn to our next Top Ten from the recently released Lost Caverns of Ixalan that was just released for another Top Ten plus three Honorable Mentions! You can check out last week's Top Ten list here.
Ready for another deep dive into kitchen table formats like Commander specifically and multiplayer and Highlander generally as well as Five Color, Peasant and Type Four!
I got ya!
Honorable Mention #1 (#26. Overall) - Bloodletter of Aclazotz
Check out this four-drop hard to cast 2/4 flyer to start off our list! If a foe would lose life in your turn, they lose twice that life instead! Sure, there's a brake here of just on your turn, but that's not much of one since it's when you attacking or casting sorceries like Exsanguinate that cause a loss of life! Then you toss this into decks like alongside life loss or damage stuff like Syr Konrad, the Grim in your color already or next door in Rakdos with Vial Smasher the Fierce. Love this thing loads! Now let's hit up another fat costed powerhouse!
Honorable Mention #2 (#25. Overall) - Hit the Mother Lode
Check out this seven-cost mono-Red sorcery! As you can see this will discover 10 when you cast it, more than the mana you spent to cast it by a few! That's very strong, and again, discover is way better than cascade as we mentioned last week since you can draw what you flipped if you don't like it. Turn seven mana into a free spell is fun if you know what's on top of your library with scry or Sensei's Divining Top since you can get more than you spent for this! Nasty and even if you just don't know what's on top and want to take a gamble, why not? You might cast an Insurrection or you might draw a Lightning Bolt. It's great either way because it will be a fun event!
Honorable Menton #3 (#24. Overall) - Resplendent Angel
This three-drop 3/3 flyer is our next card on today's list! She offers you two other abilities. The middle one will give you an EOT trigger each step, not just yours. Did you gain at least five life? Great, make a 4/4 Angel with flying and vigilance! Nasty! Then you can activate her for six mana to pump her by +2/+2 and give her lifelink for the turn, so you can deal five damage in combat and gain five life for her trigger. Life gain is a beloved archetype in Commander and it's the third most played archetype with more than 96k decks registered over at EDHREC. That makes this life gain trigger lover beloved at the default kitchen table format. And that's why she has to make my list somewhere!
#10. (#23. Overall) - The Skullspore Nexus
Everyone say "Hello!" to our first Green card, artifact and legendary permanent on today's countdown! As you can see, this Nexus costs a massive eight, but then you have a built in cost reduction equal to your biggest dork's power so it'll never be less than two. Just like The Great Henge. Then it has two abilities. The first is that when your nontoken stuff dies, you make a free Green Fungus/Dinosaur with power and toughness equal to the power total of what died. Nasty free token making, and you make a beater after a mass removal spell like Blasphemous Act or Wrath of God. Then the final ability will tap this with two mana to double a dork's power to kill twice as fast with Commander Damage or to play havoc with combat damage math! For example, if you control a two mana 2/2 Grizzly Bear and your foe controls a four-toughness attacker, they may not swing at you with this untapped and a pair of mana. And if they do, you can just trade and then make a free 4/4 Fungus Dinosaur since its power was doubled.
#9. (#22 Overall) - Scytheclaw Raptor
Let's turn to this 4/3 next! This has one ability - when someone casts a spell in a foe's turn this Lightning Blasts their face in. This is you too by the by. Why do I like this so much? Great question! Let's look! As you can see, this has a fast beater with four power for three cost, so you can drop lives in the red zone. Then you can force people to hold off casting things on other turns unless they have to. You are forcing them into a rough choice! For example, let's assume that you are casting your Commander. Let's say that they have a Terminate in their hand to kill it. They'll wait until their turn. But let's say that their only answer is a counter like Counterspell. Do they want to take four to answer that? Like all of these symmetrical effects that hurt you, you can just build around it by running few instants. Just lean into sorcery speed interaction or things like Flametongue Kavu on a stick or planeswalker removals like Ob Nixilis, Reignited's Murder loyalty ability.
Next is our first Commander Eligible dork!
#8. (#21. Overall) - The Mycotyrant
This three-drop Golgari colored X/X has power and toughness equal to your Fungus/Saproling count and trample to by the by, don't sleep on that. Then you your end step (just yours) you make X tokens of the Fungus variety that cannot block equal to your descend count which will grow this leader by that amount in size for a fast Commander Damage kill! Now, you can see that we are running a lot of that beloved type heading back all the way to Fallen Empires with the Thallids. Love this thing loads. Our own Steven Johnson just built around this here. Let's stay in color for the next!
#7. (#20. Overall) - Spelunking
Hitting an even 20th is this fun Green enchantment! For three mana you draw a card on arrival, and then you can drop a land for free from your hand untapped and able to be used, like an Explore. We all know how beloved Explore effects are in kitchen table formats and getting one for one more mana on an abusable ETB ability for this enchantment will help landfall, Simic Ramp and enchantment decks all out loads.
Then you net another ability to really push this thing! Your lands ETB untapped, so something like Simic Growth Chamber will ETB untapped so you'll make mana from it, and this will let all of your lands like this are nasty and it's a combo for decks to build around just like Amulet of Vigor was. That was all permanents, but in combo decks in Modern and such it was paired with lands with Primeval Titan. Nasty three-drop that combines the beloved Explore with Amulet of Vigor. And it's not even a rare, so it's cheap and Peasant eligible.
#6. Vito, Fanatic of Aclazotz
Hello Orzhov fans! I got your next four-drop legendary dork! With flying and 4/4 size!
Vito has three sacrifice triggers. The first time? Gain two life! The second time? Your foes lose two life! The third time? You make a 4/3 flying Demon Vampire token! This is like a Sacrifice version of Omnath, Locas of Creation. We know how powerful Omnath is. Orzhov is the color for multiple self-sacrifices a turn with its very popular Aristocrats brew, where you sacrifice a bunch of triggers to things like Zulaport Cutthroat to win, mana-free sacrifice engines like Viscera Seer for free scrying, and then sacrifice recursive dorks like Bloodghast to bring back a few times.
#5. (#18. Overall) Huatli, Poet of Unity
Everyone's favorite former planeswalker is here! This three-drop Naya identity for Commander has two abilities. The first is to ETB and Tutor up a basic to your hand and shuffle. Then you can spend five mana with some hybrid there to blink out her at sorcery speed to get another ETB trigger. She's an okay size 2/3, fine toughness for that cost, but I'd prefer a higher power to three. She can lead a Blink deck, lands matter deck, or a midrange deck that abuses ETB abilities like her and Eternal Witness and Karmic Guide and Flametongue Kavu with copies like Panharmonicon. Or Naya Blink makes sense too. That's not normally Red and you know how much casual players love their ETB triggers! Getting a strong and abusable Command Zone one is great in three colors!
#4. (#17. Overall) - Greedy Freebooter
In our top spot last week we had a Black common, my first top common in a while (check it out in the previous link). Now we have another Black common here for Peasant and Pauper and other things too! This one drop common has a 1/1 size and then a death trigger to scry 1 and then make a Treasure token. See why it's here? No? Let's look!
Let's turn back to Vito's Aristocrats brew. There are usually two types of creatures sacrificed in this brew. The first are self-recursive like Nether Traitor that can be brought back, or Reassembling Skeleton that needs mana or Gravecrawler that costs one if you control a Zombie. This is the second type. The one that either when it ETBs or dies makes resources to cast again for free, like Priest of Gix.
Here you have a death trigger to make a Treasure on a one-drop, so when you kill it, you can recast it from your hand if you recur it with things like Enduring Renewal. And then you'll net a free scry too, so you are up. And if you have a death trigger that makes another Treasure, like Pitiless Plunderer you'll make mana and if your sacrifice engine made mana like Ashnod's Altar you'll be up mana as well plus a free scry. This is a combo engine in sacrifice brews. And the fact that this is just one color means it'll slide into way more decks that Vito.
#3. (#16. Overall) - Sovereign Okinec Ahau
This is our final legendary dork and creature. Welcome to Selesnya! This four-drop 3/4 has ward 2 to protect and you can layer on an attack trigger. When you swing, each dork you control with a power greater than its written power gets +1/+1 tokens equal to the difference! That is so nasty and I basically like this in this color leading a new deck archetype.
What is it? Overrun.dec! Just cast an Overrun effect and now your dorks will get double the size, half of it permanently, and you'll ramp up with another Overrun on the next turn with another double and keep half permanently, and you'll win fast. No matter even if you started with 0/1 Birds of Paradise that become 3/4 trampler with an Overrun and now a 6/7 for the turn with this as your Commander! See why it hits so highly here? Welcome to the club!
#2. (#15 Overall) - The Millennium Calendar
This one-drop legendary artifact has been getting play a lot in Standard and kitchen table too. It's an alternate winning condition like decking or poison counters. When you untap stuff as normal in your untap step, you toss that many Time counters here, and then when there are at least 1000 or more time counters here you sacrifice this and each opponent loses 1000 life. Nasty! Then you can tap it with two mana to double your Time counters here. Very synergetic. Note that unlike other commonly played alternate win-cons this one can be easily stopped. How? An infinite life combo that sets your life to the millions will save you. This a lot of fun, and it rewards you for tapping a lot for things like ramp for lands, tokens, aggro, things that tap a lot like tapping Commanders and loads more. Alternate win-cons are always cool to play around with even if not the most powerful to work like this might be, since you'll broadcast it way in advance and it's answered by instant speed removal in three colors and bounced by a fourth at instant speed.
#1. (#14. Overall) Allied Restless Cycle
I know that choosing a land cycle getting finished is pretty minor since many players skip past good lands and mana in their card evaluations and then this is just finishing a cycle. But this is worth the spot, and these cards are pretty cheap here at CoolStuffInc.com, so you can pick them up now in bunches. For example, the Anchorage is just $1.49 for a near mint non-foil version, unlike the normal tax of Standard legal playable non-basic rares, so pick them up now. This cycle ETBs tapped so you take a turn off, and then they tap for allied colors Then you spend that color combo they tap for and some more to turn into dorks with an attack trigger, all of which are pretty strong. You can use this mana land cycle to finish off the other players, attack after a mass removal spell, block a lethal attack on you that would otherwise kill you, and avoid ETB dorks that would die like Aether Flash. Lands that smooth your mana base are no joke! They are worth your attention, don't sleep on them!
And there we go! So, what did you think of my middle Top Ten from this set? I hope you enjoyed it!