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Friday, June 10, 2011

More Commander Previews! New Commander, New "Mechanic"

(NOTE: All images from MTGSalvation.com Commander spoiler)

Today's a BIIIIIG spoiler day for the Commander decks!

Not only do we have a lot of Commanders and new cards being spoiled left and right, we now also have the deck lists for each deck! So starting today, I'll preview one new Commander and the Decklist they go with.

But first, let's start off with a preview of the new "mechanic" in the Commander theme decks. While its roots are in multiplayer, I wouldn't be surprised to see this mechanic used in duels to give the person casting these an advantage.

Let me introduce you to the new mechanic by previewing one of the new spells. Introducing the new ability word JOIN FORCES!

Join Forces is an ability word, which means that not all Join Forces work EXACTLY the same every time but they do share a common theme. Any card with "Join Forces" basically allows all players to pay any amount of mana, then all players get some effect for every time the mana was paid.

For example, we see Collective Voyage. Let's say in a 5-player game, I cast it and pay 3 mana. The next player pays 2 mana, the next 4, and the final 2 players pay 0 mana. ALL players will get 3 + 2 + 4 = 9 basic lands into play straight form the library!

That's one advantage to Join Forces: If you're the last player to decide to pay in, you don't have to spend a dime (so to speak) to reap the rewards. If you think 9 basics is enough for you, go get 'em without paying anything else in!

That's also a disadvantage to Join Forces: If you pay in, you're allowing everyone to get the same effect effectively that many times.

Be wise in how you use it and you should get some good mileage out of what would seem like a fair ability word. :)

Our next preview is one of the new "wedge" Commanders. And in my opinion, it's one of the strongest. We know how bad 4-mana fliers can be on opponents. So how about one that dumps more fliers onto the battlefield? Announcing...Kaalia of the Vast!

I've gotta say, I don't mind paying 4 mana for this. A 2/2 Flier may not be as good on the cost-to-mana curve, but I'm looking at that second ability. Do you know what kinds of Angels, Demons, and Dragons there are that you COULD drop just by attacking? Let's look at just what's in the deck!

Serra Angel
Angel of Despair
Akorma, Angel of Fury

Need I go on? How about one more preview card today that combines with the 2 shown here: It's a Dragon and has Join Forces on it! Give a big round of applause for Mana-Charged Dragon!

I know, the text can be hard to read. So I'll short-hand what it does.

For 4RR, you get a 5/5 Flier with Trample that has a Join forces ability. When it attacks or blocks, any players may pay any amount of mana. Then, the total amount gives Mana-Charged Dragon +X/+0 until end of turn.


Did I read that right? Okay, if you think in the normal context it's pretty nice that you can be the hero by taking out an opponent and everyone else contributing to their downfall.

But I'm looking more at this being a splashable dragon, similar to Moltensteel Dragon in New Phyrexia.

You see, ANY amount of players may pay ANY amount of life, starting with you. One of the problems with Firebreathing-like abilities has been "But I've gotta pay Red to get the +1/+0!" Well, Mana-Charged Dragon changes that. If you're Red/Green, for example, guess what? You can now use those otherwise useless Llanowar Elves to help pump your dragon. I've gotta say, that's pretty darn nice. :)

That's all I have for today. There are a TON of spoilers, so feel free to check out MTGSalvation.com's Commander spoilers. M12 is starting to spoil at a pretty nice rate, so I'll probably do one more Commander preview update and call it a wrap and get ready for M12.

I hope you've all enjoyed some of these previews. Please leave comments and E-mails with feedback and I'll see what I can do to switch things up in the near future.

Thanks again for reading!

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