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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Commander Review: Theros – Going into Extra Time with Medomai the Ageless

December 24, 2013 by  
Filed under Commander/General Ideas, Review

Hello and welcome back to another Commander Review of Theros. Today we will be looking at an additional member to a tribe who is constantly on their quest to acquire knowledge, the Sphinxes. This tribe of Creature had been around MtG for quite some time and had recently gained enough members that making a Tribal deck on them was made possible. Now established as one of the Blue big Creatures, as long as the setting of the set is able to, Sphinx will be consider if Blue need a big flier. For Theros, we are also given a number of them with Medomai leading them for us EDH-ers.

 

The Timeless One

Before we begin with our review, let’s have a look at Medomai’s stats.

Medomai the Ageless

Card Name: Medomai the Ageless

CMC: 4WU

Types: Legendary Creature – Sphinx

Card Text: Flying

Whenever Medomai the Ageless deals combat damage to a player, take an extra turn after this one.

Medomai the Ageless can’t attack during extra turns.

P/T: 4/4

 

When I first saw the preview of Medomai, it took me a moment and a second look to take in this mythic Sphinx. For a moment there, I thought Wizards had lost their mind with this Creature. Had they lost it and printed the ultimate walking Time Walk? Was their R&D trying to reprint Time Walk back into Standard again? Then I read carefully again and finally realized that the R&D had done their job in balancing the card. Medomai can’t attack during extra turns. That one last clause written at the end of its rule text box is what keeps Medomai power in check. Unlike a previous Commander, Aurelia, the Warleader, who could be set up into an infinite attack phases, Medomai’s clause stops infinite loops of extra turns, very much similar to the way the Land, Magosi, the Waterveil works. One simply do not attack in extra turns; the other makes you skips your next turn when you set it up and bounces itself when you activate it for the extra turn. Getting an extra turn in normal variant is a deadly effect as you can further develop your board; get a chance at drawing a solution from the draw step; attack again; etc. If the clause for Medomai doesn’t exist, its price tag would surely soar to insane range given its rarity as mythic. Dreams and fantasy aside, Medomai may not be that much use in Standard given its high casting cost but EDH is much slower and high cc spells are also common. Extra turns are a welcome bonus. Having that one extra turn to develop your board than other players is a boon, although that would mean Medomai will have a target sign on it. This is even truer since Medomai being a Sphinx has Flying which would allow it to be able to evade opponents’ defense to deal the combat damage needed to trigger its Time Walk.

 

Extra Time

Time Walk

Time is endless.

An extra turn in 1v1 is a very deadly effect as you gain more advantages over your opponent in terms of board and hand. Put that into EDH, you have double the development than your opponents. This is a reason why Time Walk and Time Vault, the first and possibly the cheapest of their genre you can get, are banned in EDH. Subsequent extra turn cards are either higher in casting cost or activation cost to use. The way I see it, Medomai is quite well-suited for 1v1 EDH. You could use it as the Time Walk much like Balthor the Defiled is a Living Death. If it is the Commander, then it is easily available as and when you need it. As a Commander, I think it is more effective in 1v1 games rather than multiplayer. Given its ability, it might not be able to survive till it attacks in multiplayer games. Lightning Greaves is the least you must have on the battlefield before you summon Medomai. This is so it could attack when it enters the battlefield or at least survive till you could clear the way for it to attack. It is to be noted that board sweep is common in EDH, so the longer you wait to attack the more vulnerable Medomai is. Below are some ways to better protect Medomai till you are ready to attack with it.

Champion’s Helm

Made for Commander. Gives equipped Creature +2/+2. Additional Hexproof if equipped Creature is a Commander.

Darksteel Plate

Has Indestructible and grants Indestructible to equipped Creature.

Diplomatic Immunity

Has Shroud and grants Shroud to enchanted Creature.

General’s Kabuto

Grants Shroud to equipped Creature and prevents combat damage to it.

Holy Mantle / Unquestioned Authority

Grants Protection from Creatures to enchanted Creature. Since combat damage is needed to be dealt for Medomai’s extra turn trigger, being blocked by a 0/6 Flying Wall is not going to good thing. These Auras will help to prevent that.

Indestructibility

Grants Indestructible to enchanted Creature.

Lightning Greaves

Grants Haste and Shroud to equipped Creature. Best combination with Medomai. Good for its zero equip cost too. No.1 Equipment for Commander-based decks.

Swiftfoot Boots

Grants Haste and Hexproof to equipped Creature. Best combination with Medomai but loses out to Greaves for requiring 1 to equip. No.2 Equipment for Commander-based decks.

 

Joining the Tribe

Sphinx Ambassador

“Yes? You got a question?”

If you do not wish to spend too much time and resource to protect Medomai, then making it a support Creature for the deck would be better choice. A sudden appearance of Medomai could really surprise everyone since it would be least expected. An interesting way to play Medomai is to put it into a Sphinx Tribal deck. With the recent sets, more Sphinxes are added to the family and Medomai could be added to the ranks too. Recommended Commander for such deck would be Isperia the Inscrutable, for its ability to tutor for almost all the Sphinx. Also all Sphinxes are in its color identity. Below are the new added Sphinxes since the last time we talked about them as a Tribal theme.

Name

Ability

Horizon Scholar

Flying 4/4 that let you Scry 2 as it enters the battlefield.

Isperia, Supreme Judge

Flying. Ver 2.0 of Isperia. Let you draw cards for each Creature attacking you or planeswalkers you control. It is to be noted that both version of Isperia can be on the battlefield at the same on the same side since both have different names.

Jelenn Sphinx

Flying, Vigilance. Pumps up your army (+1/+1 to other attacking Creatures till end of turn) when it attacks.

Prognostic Sphinx

Flying. Discard a card: Taps itself and gains Hexproof till end of turn. Lets you Scry 3 as it attacks.

Sphinx of the Chimes

Flying. Part of a card drawing engine in combo EDH deck utilizing Relentless Rats and Shadowborn Apostle since those two are the only few cards other than basic Lands allowable in EDH to have more than one per deck.

Windreader Sphinx

Flying. Card draw whenever a Flying Creature attacks. Reap the rewards for playing the Sphinx tribe since almost every one of them flies. Also to be noted that Windreader Sphinx let you draws cards too if your opponents attack with their Flying Creatures.

Joining the ranks with the above Sphinxes, the Tribal theme would be one interesting way to use Medomai as a common Creature instead of as a Commander. Since Isperia the Inscrutable can tutor out all the Sphinxes, you could fetch Medomai as and when you need it. This is in my opinion the more economic way to play Medomai. Seeing Medomai as your Commander, everyone will start to prepare for it. It is not going to be surprising that Medomai will be send to the graveyard or exile zone, or if you choose to after the before mentioned, back to the Command Zone immediately after it enters the battlefield even before attacking. The risk is no lesser with it as a common Creature but at least the cost to bring it onto the battlefield will not be too high to bear than it returning from the Command Zone with increasing Commander Tax each time. There are also many ways already mentioned in the Sphinx Tribal theme article to reduce the casting cost of the Sphinxes if you feel that they are too high. Adding to that is Warden of Evos Isle from M14, which also works outside of the Sphinx theme, reducing the casting cost of Creature spells with Flying by 1.

 

Conclusion

Medomai the Ageless

“Time is not getting lesser with me.”

The game plan for Medomai is extra turns, and extra turns are deadly when 1v1. Medomai is very good Commander if you play more 1v1 EDH than multiplayer EDH as you are only controlling against one opponent. With Medomai’s color identity, it is quite easy to do so. But things are much more different in multiplayer. First off there are more players to control and watch out for. More opponents mean more hate towards Medomai. No one is going to like the idea of you going two turns even when your two turns are not on a regular basis or will just “Lay Land, Go”. Getting rid of Medomai will be the top priority on their “Thing to Do” list. Protecting it will be tougher when facing multiple opponents. If your are playing multiplayer for most of your games, Medomai will serve much better as a common Creature than as the Commander. This is because everyone’s Commander is made known at the beginning of the game. If your opponent know that you are going to take extra turns, precautions will be taken to prevent that. On the other hand, if it is just a common Creature in your deck, they will not know it till it hit them. The most you will be thought of as a Control deck with Medomai acting as your Time Walk when you get it. Otherwise, you could set Meodmai as the Commander in a Prison style deck, but your Prison cards have to be very VERY hard lock as once your opponents break through it would be the end for you. Pretty unfun for your opponents as they sit there all night doing nothing while watching you play; or also unfun for you if they manage to break through your prison. It would then be total chaos for you if you all decide to play a rematch, with everyone aiming you right from the start. Therefore my recommendation for Medomai is more of a common Creature than a Commander. If you have other awesome idea to use Medomai, do enlighten us in the comment box below. We would like to see how others think of this Time Walk with feet.

For now we shall end it off here, thus till the next Theros review…

 

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

:D~

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