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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Set Review: Commander 2013 – Blue

August 25, 2014 by  
Filed under Review

Syncopate

The color who had been saying “NO” the most since the beginning.

Hi and welcome back to Commander 2013 set review. For this article we will look at the new Blue cards added in this set. As per the previous we shall look at each card in regard to their political, self value and also we would also talk a little about how each might fare or impact in normal variant. So without further ado, let us begin.

 

Blue:

There are 8 mono Blue cards in the set as follows:-

Curse of Inertia

Curse of Inertia

  • The Blue part of the Curse cycle of Commander 2013. This Curse presents some interesting options for other opponents. As we all may already know that mana is abundant in EDH. Many players use Basalt Monolith; Gilded Lotus; Sol Ring (available in all Commander sets nowadays); Thran Dynamo; Temple of the False God. Now with the Curse, every Creature is equal to an untap to all those mentioned mana ramps; every Creature except those controlled by the cursed player that is. Political wise this is a very good bargaining chip to stay out of the radar for a while. Even without the mana ramp, the Curse could also be use to neutralize blocker of the cursed player by tapping them while you attack; or give Vigilance to your Creature by untapping your it to prepare it to block other players trying to attack you. Although there are already other cards which grant Vigilance to your Creatures, the Curse does stand out since it is tapping and untapping permanent instead of just granting Vigilance. Also due to EDH deck building rules, having the Curse is a good addition if you want more Vigilance granting cards to your deck.

  • Most of the methods of using the Curse in EDH also apply in normal variant. You could use it to untap your mana source; neutralize blocker; or just simply untap your attacker giving it “Vigilance”. It has some amount of versatility which is something I think is very good in Legacy.

Diviner Spirit

Diviner Spirit

  • The Diviner Spirit provides a very political way to attack your opponents as it provides card draw to you and the player it is attacking according to its power. Card draw is a valuable resource in MtG, the more cards you have in hand the more options you have. Even when you have no counterspells in your hand, leaving Islands untapped with cards in your hand could still put opponents on the guard leaving them thinking you actually have a Counterspell in your hand. This could really put the player in a situation; shall he or she allow you to attack with the Spirit and draw two cards; or to pump it up and draw more. There are many cards which punish your opponents when they draw cards. In fact one of the Commnader 2013 decks which have the Spirit has a Commander which damages your opponents when they draw extra cards. Either way, it does pose some weird choices and political reasons to stay alive on the battlefield. Not exactly over powerful or too weak.

  • The cc is a bit too high even for the card gain. Plus the double edge card advantage could backfire really hard especially in Legacy.

Djinn of Infinite Deceits

Djinn of Infinite Deceits

  • This Djinn, in my opinion, is one of the most political creature. You could be the ultimate controller of others fate here as you switch control of Creatures. Alas its ability being cannot be use during combat would lessen some combat tricks; or to some lesser confusion to the game. Now before going into each combat, you could play the peacekeeper and neutralize the biggest attacker by switching its control with something smaller. Quite often though, the Djinn become everyone’s removal target when I played it. Balanced Creature, especially with it not being able to target legendary Creatures, sparing the exchange of Commanders which can really lead to some complicated and unbalance game plays.

  • Makes a good reanimation target. The cc is too high to cast normally. But its ability maybe too minor to make a difference in Legacy. Since most deck that ever plays a Creature would not want to trade it away, you will have to dedicate cards to provide Creatures to trade away if you want to use the Djinn. Or else you will be trading your best Creature away.

Illusionist’s Gambit

Illusionist's Gambit

  • A very good life saver when you are facing a horde tactic since it diverts all the attackers to another player. Not really a must put as EDH horde tactics are not really common nowadays with the board sweepers becoming more common. At least in my play group, it is mostly one or two Creatures attacking in Voltron style.

  • Not much of an impact on Legacy. The cc is too high to be of any effect and the Creatures are still on the battlefield and will still be able to attack you when the player’s next available turn comes by.

Order of Succession

Order of Succession

  • Another one of the new cards with the “Left or Right” mechanic which let players switch control of Creatures starting with you following by the order you chosen. This I feel is quite a weak card actually as the last player has a chance of getting the best Creature from you. Take for example in a four way game. Either direction you choose, if you took control of the most powerful Creature from the next player A; follow by player A doing the same on player B; then player B on player C; finally player C has the choice to grab the most powerful Creature you got from player A, leaving you with no powerful Creature from the exchange. Note that this card doesn’t targets, so not even Hexproof or Shroud will help you. This card seems to fall into the Group Hug category as it gives other more benefit than yourself.

  • Quite a useless card in normal variant. If you will look at my above mentioned scenario, you are effectively just taking control of the Creature and then the opponent has a choice of taking back his Creature.

Tempt with Reflections

Tempt with Reflections

  • The Blue part of the Tempting Offer cycle. With all the powerful Creatures out there, tempting your opponents with especially the ones whose effects would stack with more of them on the battlefield is bound to let you have more of the copies in the end. Bargaining on the aforementioned point, this card is a very good political tool to use.

  • The offer is still not too appealing even for normal variant. Most Creatures really used in Legacy are really powerful to have in multiples. I could see that most of time this is just a Clone in Sorcery form as it is not too tempting to let you have two extra copies of the Creature.

Tidal Force

Tidal Force

  • The Blue part of the mega cycle of “Forces”. The first Commander set brought in White Celestial Force and Red Magmatic Force, both the ally colors of Green, to join with the Green Verdant Force. Now the Blue Tidal Force, as one of the enemy colors of Green, joins in the family allowing you to tap or untap a target permanent during each upkeep. This is rather weak if you do not have good permanent to untap each upkeep. Although tapping down dangerous permanents during each upkeep sounds good, eventually everyone will be sick of you tapping down their threats and Tidal Force will be force to leave. Also some threats may still be a threat even when you tapped it, thus it would be benefits you more if you have permanent to untap with to fully utilize Tidal Force. Otherwise, it would just be a 7/7 beatstick if all else fail.

  • As per most of the previous three Forces, it makes a good reanimation target, but has very minimum impact on normal variant to warrant a slot in decks.

True-Name Nemesis

True-Name Nemesis

  • Not too much use in multi-player games. The nemesis is protected against one player but open to the rest; and render useless if the chosen player is gone. It could only truly shine in 1v1 functioning like a mini-Progenitus.

  • Surprisingly, this card really shines in normal variant. In fact it is the most talked about card for Commander 2013 for its Progenitus like ability. As mentioned before, its real potential lies in 1v1. Since there is only one opponent, anything less than a board sweep is not going to get rid of it. Board sweep is very little seen in Legacy except for Supreme Verdict. The price tag is presently high for this Creature for a reason. In fact, we are starting to think that it might be so powerful that it might get banned by Wizards soon.

And with that we are done with the Blue cards. Do leave a comment of what you think of the cards otherwise; or if I had missed out some interesting ways to use them. Also as usual, you also share a way you may have found to break the cards in either EDH or normal variant. I shall end this article here for Blue. The review of the rest of the set shall be follow up soon. Till then…..

 

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

:D~

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