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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Set Review: Commander 2014 Part 1 – White

July 12, 2015 by  
Filed under Review

Avacyn Restored unknown (1)

Hope is something that all shall have.

As it came out with Commander 2014, the Commander set series had came into its third set. As everyone in the play group I am in had purchased and started building decks on the new Commanders, we also play test and review each new cards looking at what the new set have to offer. For this Commander set, there are a total of 61 new cards. We shall again look at each card in regard to their political and self value. The Commanders will be excluded here and review in separate articles.

 

New Mechanic:

As with the first Commander set, Commander 2014 also brought with it some new mechanic. Going in theme with the EDH format, there are even more focus on political play for this set. Some other new themes are additional interaction with the Commanders now and a little twist on the Planeswalkers to incorporate them into EDH.

Lieutenant

  • A new creature ability which becomes active when the player controls his or her Commander along with the creature with the ability. The ability usually involves an increase in power and toughness plus gaining an additional ability. Due to this, these Creatures are usually quite cost effective Creatures with the Commander on the battlefield.

Offering

  • Commander 2014’s political spells like Commander’s Join forces and Commander 2013’s Tempting offer. Unlike the previous cycle coming up with a new ability, this cycle is only spells with two effects. The political link here with these spells is that they require the caster to choose to share each of the effects with an opponent. This help creates allies at the table; especially good when going up against the public enemy.

Planeswalker Commander

  • These special Planeswalkers have the ability to be chosen as Commander. It is to be noted that only Planeswalkers with the new ability line “can be your commander” can be Commanders. Other Planeswalkers who do not have this line cannot be chosen as Commanders. As mentioned earlier, these Planeswalkers will be review in separate articles.

 

White:

For this article we will start with the White cards first. In total, there are 8 mono White cards in the set as follows:-

 

Angel of the Dire Hour

Angel of the Dire Hour

  • Mass removal has become a common thing in EDH. Players are also playing with Indestructible to gain an advantage from their own casting of mass removal spells. One such example is the ever famous Avacyn, Angel of Hope. Angel of the Dire Hour seems made to counteract the above mentioned. With Flash, the Angel can really be rude surprise for opponents attacking you only to have you cast the Angel wiping out his or her army. Indestructible doesn’t help either since the Angel exiles instead of destroy.

  • The balance built into the Angel is also a flaw for it to be able to shine in normal variant. The high cc makes it difficult to use in normal variant. Unlike EDH where games usually go on longer, 7cc can be a bit too high and long to reach. It would had been better if the Angel ETB effect did not require it to be cast from hand. I see it more fitted as a sideboard card than a main deck card.

 

Angelic Field Marshal

Angelic Field Marshal

  • White Lieutenant Creature. With the Commander, this is effectively a 4cc 5/5 Flying Creature with Vigilance. As if like an added bonus, the Vigilance is also granted to all your Creatures too. Very recommended for play if your Commander is always on the battlefield.

  • Creature is only stronger when with Commander, thus this is just a 4cc 3/3 Flying Creature. Not much of an impact in normal variant.

 

Benevolent Offering

Benevolent Offering

  • The White part of the Offering cycle. This Instant is very defensive for the three Flying bodies which can help to block attackers. The other part of the spell is also good in that since the card is worded as it is, the Spirit tokens will on the battlefield and there will be at least 6 life gain. The political value in this card is that it can really topple the plans of an opponent who is trying to end the game by attacking multiple players at the same time. With the Offering, the caster and the attacked player will survive and be able to gang up on the strong opponent afterwards. The two effects do not have to be targeted at the same opponent too. Thus you can give one opponent Spirit tokens and give another opponent life gain.

  • There are better spells than the Offering which does almost the same less the part of giving the opponent the benefits. Thing is that there is only one opponent in normal variant and the offering will help the opponent too much.

 

Comeuppance

Comeuppance

  • Since the insertion of Planeswalkers, Wizards had done well to make them more balance. Many cards will made to deal with them. What used to target only Creatures now has variation of it which targets both Creatures and Planeswalkers (Ostracize = Despise; Fault line = Magmaquake; Terminate = Hero’s Downfall). This spell is in fact an improve on an older card, Eye for an Eye. Both cards prevent damage and sort of redirect it back to the source; but instead of just preventing one source of damage, Comeuppance prevents all damage. In this regard, it is a very reversal spell which is much recommended in a Super Friends deck. 5C Super Friends is rather popular and powerful in EDH. Comeuppance is a nice addition to help protect the Super Friends and you. Take for instance an opponent casting a huge Magmaquake to try and wipe out your Planeswalkers only to have you cast Comeuppance.

  • Might not be as effective as most Planeswalker removals are targeted and destroy or exile style in normal variant. Good sideboard choice against horde deck though.

 

Containment Priest

Containment Priest

  • This card completely shuts down reanimation decks and any other ways of cheating Creatures onto the battlefield. A lot of Creatures with powerful stats and abilities usually have high cc, and in EDH players will find all means of ways to bring them onto the battlefield. This Creature outright stops all that. Having Flash only makes the Creature even better since you can cast it and catch your opponents totally off guard.

  • As in EDH, this card also serves well as a sideboard card in normal variant against decks who like to cheat Creatures in; examples like Show and Tell with Emrakul.

 

Deploy to the Front

Deploy to the Front

  • Good addition to token decks. Interesting that the spell also provides the caster with some amount of blockers since it puts in Soldier tokens according to the number of Creatures on the battlefield. This could easily be a massive horde of Soldier tokens if your opponents are all playing horde decks too.

  • Rather high cc to be consider in normal variant. The effect does not justify the cost of the spell and also runs the risk of being countered. It also pales in comparison to the similar Decree of Justice which has the benefit of being uncounterable except by ability countering spells like Stifle; Trickbind; Voidslime, even though Decree would produce lesser tokens than Deploy.

 

Fell the Mighty

Fell the Mighty

  • This is a very interesting board sweep in its way of selecting what Creatures to sweep. It has potential at how it can turn the table around when going up against an army of huge Creatures. The amount of flexibility in the spell makes it a very good board sweep to add to your deck, even if it is Creature heavy.

  • Very good board sweep for Weenie decks. Especially good when in a Creature standstill, wiping out the bigger Creatures and letting the smaller ones live for the attack. The casting cost is not too high too.

 

Hallowed Spiritkeeper

Hallowed Spiritkeeper

  • A very good replacement Creature given the potential amount of Spirit tokens you can get out of it dying, although it might require a little setting up of the graveyard in order maximize its LTB ability. Once the graveyard is set up, it would be the least likely to be kill Creature as killing it would mean an army of Flying Spirit tokens. Vigilance also gives it many opportunities to “kill” itself in combat, where you can send it to attack in combat and still be able to block with on defense, considering it does not has a high toughness to begin with.

  • This Avatar has some great sideboard potential in White weenie in normal variant as Creatures in these decks tends to die easily, especially against the popular board sweep Supreme Verdict. The Spiritkeeper will be a good sideboard against the Verdict.

 

And there you have it, all the White cards for Commander 2014. The above are solely my opinion on the new White cards and I may have missed out on some points. If so, do leave a comment and share with us on what interesting ways you had found to break the cards in either EDH or normal variant. The review of the rest of the colors will be coming soon.

 

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

:D~

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