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Monday, July 24, 2017

Commander Review: Theros – Heroes United! Anax and Cymede

September 3, 2013 by  
Filed under Commander/General Ideas, Review

Today we are going to talk about teamwork. In EDH, some opponents are just too strong to take out alone. It is not uncommon for two to three guys ganging up against one player in the game, especially when that player has too strong of a board. Today review on the previewed Legendary Creature from Theros is also all about teamwork too, showcasing the ability from Theros: Heroic.

Anax and Cymede

Welcome to the land of Heroes.

 

Heroes United! Anax and Cymede

Let’s have a look at the heroes:-

Anax and Cymede

Card Name: Anax and Cymede

CMC: 1RW

Types: Legendary Creature – Human Soldier

Card Text: First strike, vigilance

Heroic – Whenever you cast a spell that targets Anax and Cymede, creatures you control get +1/+1 and gain trample until end of turn.

P/T: 3/2

 

Previewed in the Duel Deck: Heroes vs Monsters to feature the mechanic Heroic, Anax and Cymede are the King and Queen of Akros, a city on the Theros. As can be seen from their artwork they are a husband and wife duo. They remind me of Tibor and Lumia another husband and wife combination from Ravnica, though their abilities are not as good as Anax and Cymede. Anax and Cymede can be seen as a very normal Creature with some decent stats (3cc 3/2 with First strike and Vigilance). The stand out point here is that they have a trigger ability called Heroic. As can be seen above, Heroic is a trigger ability which will trigger whenever you cast a spell targeting the Creature with Heroic. The trigger varies among the Creatures with Heroic. In Anax and Cymede case, they pump up your army as you cast spells on them. That means to say, every spell you cast that targets them will be a mini overrun on your whole army. This is good if your deck is focus on being Aggro. You could simply takes out an opponent with an alpha strike with just spells to pump up Anax and Cymede.

 

Commander Potential

Due to their army pumping Heroic trigger, Anax and Cymede makes a very Commander for a token deck since tokens attack en mass to win. With the recent new sets, the number of token producers in Red and White had increased. Some of them are pretty decent and also permanent ways to produce huge army of tokens. White can provide the board control too if needed. Although only few in numbers, you could also use cards like Boros Charm or Rootborn Defenses to protect your tokens from board sweep.

Assemble the Legion

“Legion assemble! We go to war!!!”

 

Below are some of the ways to produce tokens:

Assemble the Legion

Slowly build up to a big army. Also recovers the fastest after a Wrath of God.

Elemental Mastery

Convert enchanted Creautre’s power into 1/1 Red Elemental tokens with Haste.

Firecat Blitz / Goblin Offensive / Rise of the Hobgoblins

Convert all those mana built up over a long game into 1/1 Red Elemental Cat tokens with haste; 1/1 Red Goblin tokens; 1/1 Red and White Goblin Soldier tokens. Good for a surprise alpha strike.

Goblin Trenches

Permanent way to make 1/1 Red and White Goblin tokens with extra Lands in late game. Also a good way to counteract to Lands being destroyed by the opponents.

Goblin Warrens

Permanent way to make 1/1 Red Goblin tokens with all those mana built up over a long game.

Hostility

Transform damage dealt to your opponents from your spells into 3/1 Red Elemental tokens with Haste.

Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs

Tax your opponent for attacking you; either they pay or you get a 3/3 Red Orge token.

Rakka Mar

Slow way to get 3/1 Red Elemental tokens with Haste.

Rapacious One

Gets 0/1 colorless Eldrazi Spawn tokens whenever it connects with your opponents.

 

Can the Heroes save the Day?

Can the husband and wife duo be a Commander? It is definitely not the kind of Commander you would cast any time or as soon as you can unless you have ways to protect them. Given their army pumping ability, they can win you the game the moment they enter the battlefield. This requires a bit of fore planning first though, which is not surprising for them as they are in the colors of the Boros Legion, the military-minded guild of Ravnica. If you go with the token army alpha strike strategy I had mentioned above, it is possible that you could perform an alpha strike and kill off the whole table. How you may ask? The answer is by attacking over and over again of course. Since the printing of Relentless Assault, Red had been associated with spells and abilities which give extra combat phases. By utilizing these spells and abilities, you could take out multiple opponents all at once. Since you have not end your turn, those bonus you got from Anax and Cymede still stays on to the additional combat phase. Since it’s a build up to a massive army, those additional combat phases could easily allow you to kill off one, two, or everyone at the table.

Relentless Assault

It’s all peaceful till someone said something about giving out free boosters.

 

Below are some of the spells and abilities which give additional combat phase:

Aggravated Assault

Although not a lot but combine with mana Creatures, you could get an endless amount of combat phases.

Aurelia, the Warleader

She alone could sometimes be enough to end games. Could be combine with blink effects to get more combat phases.

Breath of Fury

This Aura could end the game if opponents have no blockers to block your attackers or ways to take out the Creature enchanted with the Aura. You could just keep attaching the Aura starting with the smallest Creature till the biggest while you keep on attacking them with those additional combat phases.

Fury of the Horde

Free spells are always good.

Hellkite Charger

A costly attack trigger to get additional combat phase.

Relentless Assault

The pioneer of additional combat phase.

Savage Beating

A serious savage beating to your opponents regardless of it being entwine or not.

Waves of Aggression

Relentless Assault with Retrace.

World at War

Relentless Assault with Rebound.

 

Now that we have gone through with their pros, let’s look at their cons. The obvious weakness of Anax and Cymede is that they can be easily killed for their low toughness and have no in-built protection. Yes if you look at the above ways to get additional combat phase, you will notice that all of them are very mana-intensive; Anax and Cymede with tokens serve as another good alternate way to win. One way to counter this weakness is to use Auras to pump them. Auras are considered spells when they are being cast while waiting on the stack to target a Creature. Using those, you could pump your whole army up as you enchant the couple. Each Aura you placed on them would be enhancement to them plus +1/+1 and Trample to your whole army until end of turn.

 

Below are just some of such Auras:

Armored Ascension / Claws of Valakut

Potential huge amount of pumping on the power but require basic Lands.

Blessing of the Nephilim / Call to Serve / Dust Corona / Madcap Skills / Nimbus Wings / Scourge of the Nobilis / Taste for Mayhem / Volcanic Strength

Cheap pumps.

Bonds of Faith / Vow of Duty / Vow of Lightning

Double as pumps and pacifism if needed.

Crown of Flames

Bounces itself should the enchanted be killed.

Commander’s Authority / Griffin Guide / Knightly Valor / Murder Investigation

Auras that help to build up the army.

Daily Regimen

Permanent pumps the enchanted.

Ethereal Armor / Daybreak Coronet

Reap the rewards for casting all those Auras.

Flickerform

Protects the enchanted and also re-trigger any ETB effects of the Auras.

Indestructibility

Protects enchanted with Indestructible.

Pentarch Ward

Could be good or bad depending on the color chosen. It may not remove itself if you choose White, but any White Auras on the enchanted Creature will drop off and you can’t target the enchanted Creature after that.

Squee’s Embrace / Eland Umbra / Felidar Umbra / Hyena Umbra / Mammoth Umbra

Pumps and protects the enchanted.

ethereal armor

Hero worthy protection

Conclusion

If you could offset the cons of Anax and Cymede, they could form the base of a powerful deck using their army pumping power. Personally I feel that they are like a Voltron Commander which pumps up the entire army. Combining both the tactics above, my conclusion is that they could make a competitive deck. Attacking multiple times a turn doesn’t seem very casual to me when pulled off. That shall be all I have for this couple. If you have other ways to build a deck with the husband and wife duo, please do share it in the comment box below. We shall see you next review on Theros.

 

This is yours truly, Edward “Reaper King” Leong, signing off.

:D~

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