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Untuckable

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Things change. This week, we experienced what we in the MTG finance community call an “event.” Usually, an event is a card’s printing, announced reprinting, banning, unbanning, or the like. This event has an effect on prices, either of a specific card that was affected or of cards related to it—a kind of financial ripple effect.

Food Chain
With the new set Dragons of Tarkir about to officially drop in stores, we were ready for an event. Lately, all sorts of things are scheduled to happen when a new set drops. They finagled the dates of the banned-and-restricted list changes to coincide with the Monday after the prerelease, and it’s hard to know which announcement is the most important. This time around, there were no changes to Standard, Modern, Legacy, or other formats people really play in paper.

Duel Commander had a lot of shakeups, including the banning of Food Chain and the unbanning of Sensei's Divining Top, but even those events didn’t seem to mean much. Duel Commander is a drop in the bucket in terms of overall Commander play, and those few changes don’t really have any financial upside or downside. I was starting to think we had escaped another day unscathed. But there was one problem: We were still awaiting the update by the Commander rules committee.

I didn’t know what to expect. I see a lot of complaints online about cards like Deadeye Navigator, Prophet of Kruphix, and Consecrated Sphinx, but the rules committee doesn’t seem to consider those cards the real problem. Commander doesn’t have to be a fun experience; that’s up to the social contract and players’ own sensibilities. The rules committee isn’t the police. Prophet of Kruphix was spared this week, as was Deadeye Navigator. In fact, nothing was banned. Instead of banning cards, they decided to go further than anyone had anticipated they would and ban the actual concept of tucking.

I’ll explain. Tucking is the shorthand slang that refers to taking someone’s commander and either shuffling it into the deck or putting it on the bottom of the deck. The player is deprived of his or her commander unless the player can tutor for it since a creature in the deck can’t be cast from the command zone.

Until now! With the announcement that a commander could be returned to the command zone no matter to which zone it had been assigned—graveyard, hand, exile, or even the library—the rules had changed forever . . . or, you know, until they change it back or people ignore the ruling.

Spin into Myth
People are mad. People said some very nasty things to Sheldon Menery, which I wouldn’t recommend doing under any circumstances because he doesn’t deserve it, and I can’t verify that it’s not within the purview of a Judge Emeritus in the DCI to “disappear people.” I’m not saying Sheldon can expunge players’ DCI numbers and possibly the players themselves from existence, I’m saying that I have no way to verify that he does not have the power to do that. Bear that in mind if you’re considering aiming a tirade at him on Twitter. If you’re that mad, go find a group of people who are also that mad, and you can play a game with the old tuck rules, and you can high five each other because you totally got one over on the volunteer rules committee and their ruling that governs a casual format. If you’re feeling super-rebellious, sneak one of your dad’s beers and stay up past bedtime. Commander is the format with the largest number of house rules, and if you never plan to play a sanctioned match, use whichever rules you can all agree on. I plan to use the new rule, but I won’t stick to those guns to the detriment of a group who all want to use the old ones. This is a goofy, fun format. Let’s try to keep it fun, and let’s try to be civil to Sheldon and the other members of the committee.

What will a world with the new tuck rules look like? Oblation is a good card still, but it’s a worse card than it was last week. I feel the same way about Chaos Warp and Hinder and Terminus. But some cards became better. Removal like Darksteel Mutation and Song of the Dryads are looking mighty tasty. And some troublesome commanders, specifically ones who really suffered from a-tuckin’, became better. Can we build one of those without taking too much advantage of how people are going to scramble to deal with them by building 75%?

Maybe a card pool restriction will get the creative juices flowing. Can we run a deck in which we have only enchantments plus our commander but not suffer from the typical scenarios in which we only have one creature. We were vulnerable to tuck before and couldn’t go all-in on only having one creature, but now we can stretch out a bit. I may even cheat a little bit—Courser of Kruphix is an enchantment after all! But why even cheat? Why not include a few creatures that support the Enchantress theme? What would it look like?

Uril, the MistStalker ? Commander | Jason Alt

  • Commander (0)

Heliod, God of the Sun
Is this a pile? I don’t know! It’s a big pile of enchantments; that’s for sure. I’ll be tucked if it doesn’t look like one of the most fun decks I’ve ever concocted. I’d sure like access to blue as I’d have with Bruna, Light of Alabaster, but Runes of the Deus and Madcap Skills make the blow softer. We have more creatures than just our commander in case the unthinkable happens and he ends up outside of the command zone but still unable to beat face. I have been a huge fan of Luminarch Ascension forever, and this is a great deck to try it out, especially with other ways to make creature tokens. Speaking of which, how good is Heliod, God of the Sun in an Enchantress deck? Very, that’s how. Tutors that find creatures or enchantments or both would ensure we assemble that combo, but add those if you really can’t win without them. It’s better to make the deck stronger later than weaken it.

There are a lot of combos here. What’s just as important is what’s missing. I excluded a lot of board wipes such as Cleansing Meditation. I am playing creatures, lands, and enchantments. We had to use some durdly enchantments to help with mana, which feels good to me as a 75% builder. They get the job done and constrict our card pool so we can build with powerful cards. I excluded a lot of the mass land destruction that is characteristic of Uril decks as well. But ultimately, the deck needs to be beatable. Before, when commanders could be tucked, decks with Uril ran cards like Sigarda, Host of Herons and Tajuru Preserver to make sure Edicts didn’t pants you. I excluded those cards to give other decks a fighting chance. Feel free to slot them in if your group adapts.

There is real power and real synergy here. I think this is a ton of fun, and I think, despite you being able to return Uril to the command zone nearly no matter what happens to him, this is a fair, fun, powerful 75% Uril deck, and I think you can get there 1 × X games without adding anything, although feel free.




Will we miss the old tuck rules? Will your group ignore the new decree? Has it been a really long time since anything was tucked in your group? Let’s get a dialogue going below. Thanks for reading, and I’ll be back next week, and I’ll try not to talk about Dragons and Hydras as I seem to everywhere else!


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