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Saturday, July 14, 2018

Conspiracy Theory – Pretended Peace

October 6, 2015 by  
Filed under Commander/General Ideas, Review

Paliano, the High City

Politic Utopia

The plane of Fiora is a place of schemes and betrayals. The people here are power hungry and constantly trying to come out on top in the political stage. For today article, we will be looking at two good friends who were caught in the plots of power seizing games, a King and an Elf, Bargo and Selvala respectively.


Ruling from Life Beyond

Brago, the King Eternal, is the Spirit King who rules the High City of Paliano. He was born the third son to a minor house but worked his way together with his close friend, Selvala, up the ruling class of Fiora. He was a terror in the courts and council chambers with his flawless arguments. He built up a coalition of nobility, clergy, and the merchant class while Selvala fought for the rights of immigrants and convinced many of the old titled nobility to give up privileges that oppressed the public, before the public eventually rose to depose those who did not gave up their privileges. To that end, Brago was able to root out corruption and replaced it with humility and together with Selvala they drafted the Charter. After all that the accomplishments, Selvala began to explore the wilderness of the Lowlands, as she preferred the natural world to the mechanics of the artificer Muzzio’s Artifact Creatures, which only mimicked nature.


However, things did not stay well forever. Brago was diagnosed with a hereditary and incurable disease three years into his ascension to the throne. The priesthood – or Custodi – started giving him treatments to prolong his life but extended themselves too far. Their treatments actually caused Brago body to deteriorate but he wouldn’t die. Thinking it as an act of mercy, Selvala killed Brago with a dagger through his heart to end his suffering. Brago’s Spirit was released; and for killing Brago, Selvala was threw into dungeons for the murderous act. From then on, Brago’s Spirit was kept alive by the Custodi as a figurehead for they knew that they would lose power should someone else succeed Brago’s throne.

Unexpected Potential

“What? You didn’t expect me to come back?”


Selvala did not stay in the dungeons too long either. During her stay in the dungeons, she was approached and released by the Goblin dungeon keeper Grenzo in a bid to kill his enemy, Muzzio. However his plan backfired when Selvala released the Constructs in Grenzo’s tunnels. After that Selvala left the High City and went back to the wild places far below and far beyond; probably disappointed with and to leave all the politics of the High City behind.

Secrets of Paradise

“No more…. No more Politics….”



Selvala’s Charge

Come everyone draw a card, I shall have Elephants.

A new ability introduced in Conspiracy is the ability word – Parley. It is a very multiplayer ability which acts as the political tool for us EDH-ers. The main core of the ability is everyone will reveal the top card of his or her library then an additional effect will happen based on the number of nonLand cards revealed this way. Finally each player draws a card (usually the card that was revealed). Although generally limited in numbers, the few printed are quite powerful in terms of their political potential and advantages. Everyone will welcomes a free card draw regardless of what the Parley effects are. A common sight whenever someone uses a Parley in our play group will be everyone else “cursing” the Parley player to get the minimum effect out of his Parley. Basically the ability only has the potential to have a big effect but not too overpower to be view as an immediate major threat. Below are the Parley cards in the set.


Rousing of Souls Spirit tokens producing spell.
Selvala, Explorer Returned Mana, life gain and a bonus card draw.
Selvala’s Charge Elephant tokens producing spell.
Selvala’s Enforcer Potential big Creature.
Woodvine Elemental Potential big Overrun.



Exploring the Wilds

There are not many Parley cards in the set. Of the few that are available, Selvala is the one with the most playability. She showcase the ability with the most potential and is the one which many will use as the card of choice for Parley. Before we go any further. Let’s have a look at her stats.

Card Name: Selvala, Explorer Returned


Types: Legendary Creature – Elf Scout

Card Text: Parley – T: Each player reveals the top card of his or her library. For each nonland card revealed this way, ass G to your mana pool and you gain 1 life. Then each player draws a card.

P/T: 2/4

As can be seen, Selvala is an Elf; and a common design for Elves in MtG is mana producing. Selvala combines that with her color identity and let you gains as much life as she can produce in G. The reason why Selvala is the best Parley card is due to the fact that she can use it as an activated ability. This means that she can use it over and over again as long as she stays on the battlefield. The rest of the Parley cards are either one shot triggers or spells; the exception being Woodvine Elemental, which is a Parley overrun attack trigger. Selvala low cc is also what makes her an effective Creature. To top it all, Selvala also comes with a high toughness which let her to block if needed to.


Having the knowledge of the top card of everyone’s library definitely would help in activating Parley but truth be told, there are not many cards which allow that to happen; the most effective one being Lantern of Insight. In practice though, Parley is a very random ability and it is that randomness that keep Selvala alive. Alas it is very dangerous for a player to get tons of mana but that doesn’t make her a dangerous to everyone. At least that is not what most players would feel with the card draw she provides along with it. Killing her is the last thing on the mind of many players; at least that is the case in our play group. Selvala has some great Commander potential for that and her cc also contributes to it for being low enough to allow recast from Command Zone even with Commander Tax. Either way, Selvala is a great add regardless of as a Commander or common Creature for the amount of mana she can generate.


Rule After Death

Now we are done with the new ability, now let us look at Selvala’s best friend; the other Commander candidate of today article. As mentioned earlier, Brago is the figurehead ruler of the High City. He was only kept alive in his Spirit form by his subjects as they wanted to keep the power they have. Whether he is aware of that fact, Brago still a Formidable force in his Spirit form. Below is the stats of the King Eternal.

Card Name: Brago, King Eternal


Types: Legendary Creature – Spirit

Card Text: When Brago, King Eternal deals combat damage to a player, exile any number of target nonland permanents you control, then return those cards to the battlefield under their owner’s control.

P/T: 2/4

Brago has the blink style written all over him due to his combat damage trigger which let you blink any number of target nonLand permanents you control; as if to mirror his rebirth as a Spirit in his backstory. This places him very well into the Commander seat for any blink decks. He even has Flying as an evasion means to ensure his combat damage gets through.


A lot of the blink cards are actually limited to mainly blinking Creatures. Brago is the few which extends that to other permanents; and at a wide range at that. The trigger actually does a couple of things at once. Firstly by blinking Creatures, you have just made them available for blocking even after you have attacked with all of them. Blinking the Creatures also renew them if they have come back from Persist or Undying; get rid of the -1/-1 counters they had got from Infect and Wither damage; resets their counters which they use for their abilities (Djinn of Wishes). Or solely for the original purposes of blinking them for their ETB triggers. When this blink extends over to Artifact and Enchantments, it also follows the same pattern of the Creatures allowing the Artifacts and Enchantments to target new targets for their ETB triggers. This is more so especially for the Enchantments which works like Banishing Light & Oblivion Ring. Lastly and possibly the strongest permanents that Brago can blink are the Planeswalkers. Planeswalkers fairness comes from the fact they can only use one of their loyalty abilities at your every turn. Brago breaks that fairness by blinking them with his combat damage trigger. With him, you can use the Planeswalkers’ abilities before combat and then again after you blinked them. This tactic is more of abusing the normal abilities of the Planeswalkers as opposed to storing up to their ultimate since they will be reset every time you blink them and will not reach their ultimate this way. Many of Planeswalkers have some pretty game changing abilities and it gets even better when you are able to use them again in the same turn. One best scenario would be to use a minus loyalty ability and blink the Planeswalkers to use the plus loyalty ability. Even if you do not use any of their abilities, Brago is good to refresh the Planeswalkers when their loyalty is too low; or reset Planeswalkers who has only minus loyalty abilities (Sarkhan the Mad). Below are some of the Planeswalkers with their abilities less the ultimate available within Brago’s color identity. As can be seen even just with the limited two colors, there are quite a number of powerful Planeswalkers to consider much less to say if Brago is to be a common Creature instead of the Commander. Point to note though is if you have two Planeswalkers with the same sub type, one of them has to sacrifice. So don’t be too power hungry and over cast those Planeswalkers.

Planeswalkers (2)

The Power of the Top


Name Plus Ability Zero Ability Minus Ability
Ajani Goldmane You gain 2 life. Not available. Put a +1/+1 counter on each Creature you control and let them gain vigilance till end of turn.
Ajani Steadfast Up to one target Creature gets +1/+1, First Strike, Vigilance and Lifelink till end of turn. Not available. Put a +1/+1 counter on each Creature you control and a loyalty counter on each other Planeswalker you control.
Ajani, Caller of the Pride Put a +1/+1 counter on up to one target Creature. Not available. Target Creature gets Flying and Double Strike till end of turn.
Elspeth Tirel You gain 1 life for each Creature you control. Not available. Put three 1/1 White Soldier tokens onto the battlefield.
Elspeth, Knight-Errant Put a 1/1 White Soldier tokens onto the battlefield; or target Creature gets +3/+3 and Flying till end of turn. Not available. Not available.
Elspeth, Sun’s Champion Put three 1/1 White Soldier tokens onto the battlefield. Not available. Destroy all Creatures with power 4 or greater/
Gideon Jura Force target opponent’s Creatures to attack Gideon if able during his or her next turn. Not available. Destroy target tapped Creature.
Gideon, Battle-Forged Force up to one target Creature an opponent control to attack Gideon if able during his or her next turn; or target Creature you control gain Indestructible till your next turn and untap that Creature. Not available. Not available.
Gideon, Champion of Justice Gets a loyalty counter for each Creature target opponent controls. Becomes a Human Soldier Creature with Indestructible and power and toughness equal to the number of loyalty counters on him till end of turn. Prevent all damage that would be deal to him this turn. Gideon is still a Planeswalker. Not available.
Jace Beleren Each player draws a card. Not available. Target player draws a card.
Jace, Architect of Thought Until your next turn, whenever Creatures an opponent controls attacks, they get -1/-1 till end of turn. Not available. Reveal and separate top three cards of your library into two piles and let an opponent choose which pile to go into your hand. Put the unchosen pile at the bottom of your library in any order.
Jace, Memory Adept Draw a card and mill target player. Mill target player for ten cards. Not available.
Jace, Telepath Unbound -2/-0 till your next turn to up to one target Creature. Not available. Flashback target Instant or Sorcery from your graveyard.
Jace, the Living Guildpact Look at top two cards of your library and put one of them into the graveyard. Not available. Bounce another target nonLand permanent.
Jace, the Mind Sculptor Look at top card of target player’s library. You may put that card on the top or bottom of that library. Brianstorm. Bounce target Creature.
Karn Liberated Target player exiles a card from his or her hand. Not available. Exiles target permanent.
Nahiri, the Lithomancer Put a 1/1 White Kor Soldier token onto battlefield. You may attach an Equipment you control to that token. Not available. You may put an Equipment from your hand or graveyard onto the battlefield.
Narset Transcendent Look at the top card of your library. If it’s a nonCreature, nonLand card, you may reveal it and put it into your hand. Not available. Next Instant or Sorcery you cast from your hand this turn has Rebound.
Tamiyo, the Moon Sage Tap target permanent and it doesn’t untap during its controller’s next untap step. Not available. Draw a card for each tapped Creature target player controls.
Teferi, Temporal Archmage Look at top four cards of your library; put one in your hand and the rest at the bottom of your library. Not available. Uptap up to four target permanents.
Tezzeret the Seeker Uptap up to two target permanents. Not available. Tutor for an Artifact card with cc X or less. (X is the amount of loyalty counters used.)
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon Deals 3 damage to a target. Not available. Exile each permanents with cc X or less that’s one or more colors. (X is the amount of loyalty counters used.)
Venser, the Sojourner Blink target permanent you control. Not available. Creatures are unblockable till end of turn.



Riding the Political Waves

Selvala, Explorer Returned

“The Horizon still needs to be explore.”

Concluding the whole article for the two good friends. Selvala has a very good political ability which pretty much keeps her alive in the game. That makes her a good Commander since she will less likely be kill. She is also much recommended to be included as a common Creature if your deck can use her. Every deck needs mana to operate and Selvala can serve that purpose. Thus to that end, although one may not feel like building a deck around Selvala but should definitely consider adding if the deck can use her for her Parley ability.


Brago, King Eternal

Eternal Life, Eternal Rule.

On the other hand, Brago is very supportive to the blink style. With him as the blink agent in the deck, he can produce some pretty insane combos with his blink ability; for example the Planeswalkers mentioned earlier in this article. Brago definitely serve his worth as a Commander solely for that. Brago is also very effective as a common Creature if you need a blink effect in your deck (eg. blinking Scarecrows with Reaper King); or working under Roon, another blink Commander. Having said that, I would still recommend using Brago as a Commander for his wide range blink.


What do you think of the two friends? Would you use Selvala in your deck? Or build a deck around Brago? Share with us your thoughts in the comments below. And so with that, we shall end it here for now. Do stay tune for more article for the Conspiracy set. Till the next article….


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


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