I need to start this week’s Cryptic Commander with a question. How do you feel about tutor effects in Commander? Tutors are powerful cards in that they dramatically increase the consistency of a deck by acting as second, third, fourth . . . (how many tutors are you running?) copies of a card. Tutors make combo decks deadly efficient and reduce a lot of the variance inherent in a 100 card singleton format. Depending on how you view Commander, that may or may not be a good thing. I stand firmly in the middle when it comes to tutors in that I think narrower tutors that can only get certain types of cards are acceptable in the right deck so long as you don’t go overboard. If you’re not using your tutors to do the same thing every time, then where’s the harm in having greater access to the cards in your deck? With that in mind, let me introduce you to today’s spotlight.
Situational Tutor is the name of the game today as we look at this marvelous piece of equipment right here. The equip cost may be high, but the ability to pay to unequip and search your deck for a Red or White Instant with CMC 4 or less and cast it for free is a nice kicker. The +4/+0 isn’t too shabby either. So, let’s break this down a little bit. Sunforger does two very specific things for you when you play it.
Red and White have historically had issues with card advantage in Commander. It’s been getting a little better recently, but they still fall behind the other colors in terms of card draw. What Sunforger presents is an opportunity for you to make up for the lack of card draw in those colors by giving you access to a carefully curated suite of spells at instant speed. When you can’t draw cards, the next best thing is tutoring for the exact card you need. Sunforger is no Demonic Tutor, but I’d argue that’s what makes it more appealing to me. Situational tutors require you to build your deck in more specific ways and are more limited in their ability to make games play out in the same way over and over again. I’m sure there are some combos Sunforger enables. How could there not be? However, the amount of flexibility Sunforger represents is too compelling to dismiss. Let’s take a look at some of the options, shall we?
Hmmm . . . what’s that? You want a comprehensive list of every Red or White instant that could be cast off of Sunforger? All right, since you asked so nicely.
Yeah . . . that’s too many to cover in one article. You get the idea. You have so many options to choose from. And you aren’t limited to purely White or Red spells. As long an instant has a White or Red mana symbol in its CMC, you’re golden (as long as you’re conforming to the color identity of your Commander that is). Let your imagination run wild!
With Sunforger in play, you’re never out of cards! You have an entire list of instants to cast from your deck without having to use a card from your hand. That kind of flexibility and value is something a deck should strongly consider if it wants to overcome the card advantage gap. So, I’ll leave you with some of my personal favorite targets for Sunforger before closing out.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. So, does Sunforger get your gears turning? What do you want to cast off it?
Thank you for joining me for another entry of Cryptic Commander! As always, I hope this have been informative for some of you, and that the conversation will continue after it leaves my hands. Sunforger has a lot of potential in Commander, and I’m sure you’re all more than capable of unleashing it.
— Robert Burrows