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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Set Review: Commander 2015 Part 1 – White

May 15, 2016 by  
Filed under Review

Heliod, God of the Sun

“Behold. The Holiness of White.”

The Commander set series had came into its fourth set with the Commander 2015. Joining with everyone in the play group, I too had purchased and started building decks and trying out with the new cards. For this Commander set, there are a total of 56 new cards. As with previous set, we will look at each card in regard to their political and self value. The Commanders as usual will be excluded here in this series of articles and will be review in separate articles.

 

New Mechanic:

There are basically two new “mechanics” in Commander 2015 and they are as follow.

 

Experience counters

  • Not exactly a new keyword mechanic but basically a way to “grow” with your Commander Creature. Each of these Experience Creatures will give their controllers Experience counters whenever the condition is met. Each Experience Creatures will then become more powerful with more Experience counters you have. As the counters are put on the players instead of being in the Command Zone like Emblems, they can be actually be interact with abilities like Proliferate.

 

Myriad

  • A new triggered keyword ability which trigger on attack and put copies of the attacking Creature with the ability for each other opponents other than the defending player. These copies entered the battlefield tapped and attacking the other opponents. It is basically an ability which enables the Creature to attack multiple players at once, totally eliminating the headache of choosing who to attack and maintaining “fairness” in multiplayer. Looking at the ability from a political perspective, it is also a way to gain an ally as the choice to put a token for each opponent is not a must. Therefore you can still choose who not to attack. However the ability has no actual effect if the defending player is the only opponent.

 

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:-

 

Bastion Protector

Bastion Protector

  • When I first see the card, I was rather impress by Wizards’s effort to design card specifically for EDH. Some EDH decks are built around the Commanders and ways to protect the Commander is essential to keep it on the battlefield. The Protector is a good add for ways to protect the Commander since it also pumps the Commander by +2/+2. This is especially good pump to Votlron style Commanders. Although, it is not to be taken as a must add as Creatures are easily dispose of in EDH. Mass removal is also abundant in EDH and the Protector will die all too easily to that to matter.

  • As its main ability is related to the Commander, it is basically just a 3cc 3/3 in normal variant. The Creature is not applicable and has no impact on normal variant.

 

Dawnbreak Reclaimer

Dawnbreak Reclaimer

  • A very political reanimator card. This Angel provides some very good means for players to gain advantage against a common enemy at the table by ganging up with your ally to bring back powerful Creatures to the battlefield. The Reclaimer also comes with its own fail-safe by giving the option to choose not to reanimate the chosen Creatures if it is not beneficial to you. A considerably powerful political card to add to any deck with Creature for it to reanimate. Definitely a must add to the infamous Group Hug deck.

  • As most symmetrical cards in normal variant, the Reclaimer can be abuse by having graveyard exiling cards to restrict what is in the graveyards. That way, you can more or less pre-decide what is going to be reanimated.

 

Grasp of Fate

Grasp of Fate

  • As EDH is mostly multi-player, there is bound to be multiple threats on the battlefield. Mass removals are valued very high in such games. But there will come a time where some threats are not meant to be remove. This is where the Grasp is useful as you can selectively remove threats instead of everything for as long as it stay on the battlefield. This is especially good in the situation whereby you need some of the permanent your opponents control to keep the game balance. Definitely a good add as an extra threat removal especially for its selective nature and a very powerful political tool for making allies at the table.

  • As there is only one opponent in normal variant, this card is no different from Banishing Light and require even more color to cast (Banishing Light 2W; Grasp of Fate 1WW).

 

Herald of the Host

Herald of the Host

 

  • The White Myriad Creature. This Angel is basically a Myriad Serra Angel; complete with the similarities in cc, abilities, power and toughness. A very basic and decent attacker with Myriad. Not much great impact on EDH.

  • As Myriad is more focus on Multi-player game, the Creature is just another Serra Angel in normal variant.

 

Kalemne’s Captain

Kalemne's Captain

  • Board sweep is a very cost efficient way to remove threats and with every set of Commander, we are regularly presented and updated with more and more of such cards. The Captain is one such Creature which I find that is very well-balanced design. The basic Creature is pretty decent at 5cc for a 5/5 with Vigilance. What makes it better is its Monstrosity trigger, the new Theros block ability, which comes along with it. Many Monstrosity Creatures are already notoriously effective for their relatively low cc to high power and toughness (4cc for 4/4; 4cc for 4/5; 4cc for 5/5). Many would then become immerse threats after becoming monstrous. The Captain is the same too with its Monstrosity 3 as it becomes an 8/8 and at the same time exiles all Artifacts and Enchantments when it becomes monstrous. The ability can be use anytime, making it a bargaining tool when you have mana open to activate its Monstrosity.

  • Not too huge of an impact in normal variant. A decent Creature but not a must add.

 

Oreskos Explorer

Oreskos Explorer

  • A very good add to any decks which uses White. It provides a way to catch up to other players if you are behind them in development. The best part of that is that it tutor for Plains card instead of just basic Plains. That means it can tutor for dual Lands, shocklands and tango Lands which are all Plains, adding a degree of versatility to its Land tutoring ability.

  • Although tutoring for less Lands as there is only one other player in normal variant, the Explorer is still quite a decent beatdown Creature given its cc and stats for White Weenie decks. I can see it use together with the Knight of the White Orchid, although the latter is still superior to the Explorer in many ways (having First Strike and tutoring Plains card onto battlefield).

 

Righteous Confluence

Righteous Confluence

  • This card is the White part of the Confluence cycle, a cycle of modal spells which allow its caster to choose choices on it more than once when they cast it. The choices of the White Confluence are very value for its choices. This is especially so with the choices of putting 2/2 Knight token with Vigilance and exiling target Enchantment. If chosen three times, the Confluence is effectively a 5cc for three 2/2 bodies. On the other end, exiling three Enchantments for 5cc is also a very good deal. Of course the bottom line to abuse this card is still subject to the situation and choices made at that moment. Otherwise the spell is highly recommended for play. If there is any down side to the spell, that would be it not being an Instant thus taking the surprise element for its token producing ability to create surprise blockers.

  • The spell might be considerable useful in normal variant as a sideboard card but the high cc is debatable as to whether it can make it into decks. In my opinion, I think it might be less useful as a Sorcery.

 

Shielded by Faith

Shielded by Faith

  • A good Aura to protect your Creatures. The good thing about this Aura is its Creature hopping ability as it attach itself to new Creatures entering the battlefield. The Aura is also a political tool as it is not only restricted to your Creatures but any Creature that enters the battlefield. This can help you create allies when you attached it to opponent’s new Creature and protect it until another Creature enters the battlefield.

  • Cards slots are already short in Legacy deck for the Aura to be added. Unless the Aura gives a ton of advantages other than just Indestructible to the enchanted Creature, it is much easier to just play Creatures with Indestructible instead using the Aura to give it to the Creature.

 

And so there you have it, all the White cards for Commander 2015. The above are solely my humble opinions on the new White cards and I may have missed out on some points. If so, please 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 follow up soon. Till then…

 

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

:D~

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