Set review time is here and this set was a little harder to evaluate with respect to 75% than a normal set. There are a lot of powerful cards that worry me a bit, and the most 75% card ever printed, Tergrid, God of Fright, seems so toxic and potentially boring to play both with and against that it got its own cautionary article. Maybe I'm wrong about Tergrid, and I hope I am, but I think that's bound to be a pretty bad time in Commander and I wish they hadn't printed the card. Now, do I think Tergrid could potentially find its way into the 99 of some of my decks? I guess you'll have to read the set review to find out. Or, you know, scroll down, the Tergrid section will have a picture of Tergrid. Or control f to find the name "Tergrid" and after the 40 times it's in this paragraph, the first time it's used will be the heading for the section where I write about Tergrid in the 99. Or I could tell you now - Tergrid probably makes the 99 of some of my decks. Maybe. Look, let's focus on what I'll definitely play, shall we?
Glorious Protector is going to do some real work in blink decks. With the ability to save your team in the event of a board sweeper then bring them all back when it dies to the sweeper, you are getting some additional utility you don't find on every blink card. You could set up a loop with this and a card like Fiend Hunter to kill them with Impact Tremors or just get a ton of value by being able to blink your whole team back with just a Thassa trigger. I think this card is very cool and I am going to look at the blink subtheme I had in mind when I first brewed Inniaz. Inniaz is very frustrating to get going if your creatures die and being able to save them, or just add one more to your flier count, can matter. I think this card is fun. Speaking of that Inniaz deck...
This has to make the cut in that deck, right? The only way to make sure you have 3 flying creatures and the ability to swing with all of them is to take an extra turn sometimes. It's sad that you exile this so you can't do any real shenanigans with it without getting really complicated, but being able to Foretell this when you don't need it and play it from exile later is great. I don't think this is the best Time Warp effect but I do like getting a few beaters out of it and being able to put part of the cost on layaway, protecting you from getting it stripped out of your hand by the Tergrid player.
Cosima, God of the Voyage// The Omenkeel
This is a very 75% card. Is it a GOOD card? I don't know. But playing your opponents' lands is very appealing to me. I talk about how taking a creature from them is a 2-point swing in your favor in the zero-sum game of "creature having" because they're down a creature and you're up a creature, but the same can be said of lands. It's difficult and expensive to take their lands because it should be - players hate it. The Omenkeel can't take lands from the battlefield, but getting to play their lands is plenty useful. Blue has a tough time letting you play extra lands, but never missing a land drop seems cool, depriving them of lands seems cool, using their cards seems cool - I think a 75% vehicles deck that steals their creatures, plays their lands and exiles a bunch of their stuff is great - bonus points if you put cards on top of their library before you exile them. I think this could be fun and 75% decks are supposed to be fun. If you'll excuse me, I'm going to find the box where I left all of my copies of Annex and Dream Leash.
This is a clunky, yet powerful card. It would be more fun if it were on a body, but the fact that you can get a boatload of ETB triggers with a big token dump feels like it could be really fun. Making a bunch of Mycoloth saprolings all enter as copies of Acidic Slime or Sower of Temptation seems amazing. This has a lot of potential and being able to steal their triggers for your own is a very 75% ability. The only limit to the power of this card is your imagination and I love it.
Orvar, the All-Form
While we're on the subject, let's talk about a deck where we'll potentially be causing a bunch of creature tokens to come into play. I think this is a little clunky because you have to find spells that target your permanents and you can only get your own triggers, but making a bunch of copies of Man-o'-War or Sower of Temptation seems pretty good if you can find spells that target your creatures. Whim of Volrath is going up in price right now because people want to break Orvar. I'm interested to see what people come up with, but I know that I'll want to try and break this card.
This is one of the better pay-offs for playing Snow. This is going to feature heavily in Jorn, God of Winter decks, but I think more decks should play this. First of all, graveyard decks can't access creatures that die with Necromancer out because he exiles them. Being able to cast their creatures is very 75% and this is one of the best cards we've seen that does it. I hope you can see why I like this and don't love Tergrid despite Tergrid being much, much better. This isn't legendary, this requires you to pay mana for the cards and most of all, this doesn't reward you for playing cards that people didn't play much before because they were so damaging to everyone, like Mindslicer. This rewards you for having this out when creatures die, and that's good enough for me. This is worse than Tergrid, for sure, but it's cool and it's 75% and I think with a few modifications, your decks can have enough snow mana to be able to cast spells of any color. If you just want to jam a bunch of cards like Chromatic Lantern and City of Brass in your Mono-Black deck, that's probably a thing, also.
Tergrid, God of Fright
Now that my "eww, gross" reaction article is on the books, it's time to talk about why I am fine with Tergrid in the 99. Basically, all of the problems I have with this card are mitigated by it not be in the command zone. You don't build around it, per se, if it's a card you won't always have access to, so just piling a ton of discard and Edict effects into a deck isn't any more advisable now than it was before Tergrid was printed. Tergrid becomes upside in Dictate of Erebos decks, rather than the focal point of a really toxic and boring deck. I think this card does a reasonable impression of a 75% card when you don't build around it but rather include it in decks where you're winning a different way, and if they had made this non-Legendary and instead conferred the Legendary status to Draugr Necromancer, that would have made me the happiest from a 75% perspective. My Teysa Karlov, Korvold, Fae-Cursed King, and Prossh, Skyraider of Kher decks all likely want this to pair with their Grave Pact effects, something that's pretty fair, reasonable and not that annoying. While I'm not thrilled with Tergrid as a commander, I think it's a fine card for the 99.
Valki, God of Lies// Tibalt, Cosmic Impostor
Oh yeah, this is the stuff. Black-Red has been getting a ton of interesting stuff lately and having just finished a brand new Blim, Comedic Genius and Ghen, Arcanum Weaver deck, I'm ready for a new Rak-dose of new hotness. Hook this card into my veins. Tibalt spent a few years as a meme card but the meme here is that Rakdos and Mardu decks with no Blue are quickly replacing Blue decks as the embodiment of 75% philosophy. Playing with their cards is rad, and being able to do it on both faces is even more rad. Tibalt's ultimate ability is its worst ability on either side and that's hilarious, also. Everything about this card is cool and fun and any time they make a card that I can use to steal their cards that plays as well on webcam as it does in person, I'm happy. I'm brewing with this next week because I'm very excited by this card and I can't wait to show you all what I come up with. Sorry to gush, but this card is great.
While we're on the subject of Rakdos cards I like, Kardur is another one. One way I like to disrupt the game is by forcing my opponents to attack, and when they're attacking someone who isn't me, reward them. Kardur doesn't have Green like I like to have in those decks, but I think this card is powerful enough that I should wrap the game up quickly regardless. Your opponents will have to hit each other, and when they're weak from duking it out, you swoop in and finish them off. Kardur is a little clunky in that you have to re-buy the effect, but there are plenty of ways to do that with artifacts. I don't know that this is the best example of a goad card, but considering this can go in the Thantis or Zurgo deck, this will likely see some play in some capacity. Forcing attacks keeps games from going to long board stalls where everyone builds a massive pile of creatures, and when they smash into each other, finish them off with Skullstorm or something then laugh. The cards from the last year have really made me like Rakdos a lot.
King Narfi's Betrayal
This isn't flashy, but it's the kind of card I love to have access to in Anowon or Lazav. Playing with their cards in very 75% and this lets you do that. I might want to find a Esper deck for this so I can keep bringing it back.
The Trickster-God's Heist
Everything I said about King Narfi's Betrayal applies to this card, too. I'm less hype about it, but it likely gets at least tried in the same decks.
I feel like this is a card I am going to struggle to break; I hope I crack it. I tried with Spy Kit in the past and failed, so hopefully this gives me a better payoff than the time I sunk into trying to break that card. This has potential, I can feel it, I just don't have a good plan.
That does it for me this set. I think Kaldheim has some real potential and more importantly, Wizards is printing a lot more cards that feel like they were made to go in 75% decks. 75% is so much more than simply casting Treachery - it's a system that is designed to end up with a deck that can work at any table and while some problematic cards like Tergrid are beginning to emerge, we're also seeing a whole raft of very satisfying cards. I'm going to get to work on my
Loki, Trickster God Tibalt deck now, so I'll let you get back to what you were doing before you decided to procrastinate by reading this. Hit me in the comments with whatever you're brewing currently and we'll meet back here in a week. Until next time!