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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Set Review Commander 2015 – Daxos the Returned

July 3, 2016 by  
Filed under Commander/General Ideas, Review

A brief look into the history of the Commander set, one will notice that there is a pattern to the color focus of the Commander set which had been shifting since its first introduction. The very first set was focus on the wedge color combination; two allied colors with their enemy color or now more commonly referred to as the Clan colors. This was changed to allied colors in Commander 2013 or more commonly known as the Shard colors. That would later change again in Commander 2014 with the focus on mono-color. Now with Commander 2015, the focus is on two enemy colors combination. The Commander set had also been introducing numerous mechanics which interact with the Commander Creature. From the very first Land, Command Tower, which produces mana in the Commander’s color identity in the beginning; followed by the interaction of the Commander with the Command Zone with the Commanders and the Land, Opal Palace, in Commander 2013; the Planeswalkers Commanders of Commander 2014; we have now enter into Commander 2015 with what I like to refer to as Experience Commanders, a group of Commanders who “grow with experience”.

Command Tower

Interaction with the Commanding.

 

Many will Play, One will Rise

experience counter

Experience Commanders are a group of Commanders who will put experience counters on their controllers when certain condition is fulfill. Each of these Commanders then become stronger as the number of experience counters on their controller increase. Personally I find this interaction very powerful but not on the level of overpower. First off the counters are put on the player and not like Emblem being in the Command Zone. This means that unlike Emblem which till date has totally no way to getting rid of it (except Karn’s reset ultimate) or interacting with it, experience counters can be interact with much like how poison counter works being that they can be Proliferate. Also to note is that experience counters are the same regardless of how you get it. An experience counter from Experience Commander A will counter the same for Experience Commander B and vice versa.

 

Daxos the Returned

Daxos of Meletis

Glory days of the Past

For today article of the 2015 Commanders, we have a familiar name from the past. A native from Theros, Daxos was a Solider and oracle of Heliod. He was the friend, mentor and lover of Elspeth. They had met when Elspeth first journeyed Theros before she left with Purphoros’ sword.

After her return ten years later, her feat of heroism of slaying the Hydra Polukranos with Daxos had secured her as Heliod’s Champion. It was during her training at the temple that her feelings with Daxos further developed. However things did not stay well long then as Xenagos’s plan to ascend himself into godhood went into motion. As numerous heroes gathered to fight off the Minotaur raid on Akros, Xenagos allowed himself to be captured and told Elspeth how they could win the war without fighting. The Minotaurs will able to keep the raid going on because they had constructed a giant wall to keep reinforcements out. To counteract this, Xenagos instructed Elspeth to raise the river that ran though Akros. This promptly swept the Minotaur army away.

Battle the Horde

Battle the Horde

After winning the battle, King Anax ordered a celebration held to honor Elspeth’s victory. Daxos and Elsepth confessed their love while alone in their tent. Things took a turn for the worse when Xenagos sneaked into their tent while they sleep. Putting the final piece of his plan into motion, he summoned Elspeth’s darkest memory, trapped with the Phyrexian Obliterator, causing her to strike out and kill it. It was too late when she realize she had killed Daxos instead while in her hallucination.

As with all the dead on Theros, Daxos went to the Underworld but did not stay there long. He was able to free himself from there through a cruel bargain with Erebos. As a Returned, he now search endlessly across Theros looking for his beloved Elspeth Tirel, who unknown to him had taken his place in the realm of the dead.

Elspeth Killed

Switching Places

Backstory aside, now let us have a look at the stats of our Returned Hero.

 

Daxos the Returned

Card Name: Daxos the Returned

CMC: 1WB

Types: Legendary Creature – Zombie Soldier

Card Text: Whenever you cast an enchantment spell, you get an experience counter.

1WB: Put a white and black Spirit enchantment creature token onto the battlefield. It has “This creature’s power and toughness are each equal to the number of experience counters you have.”

P/T: 2/2

Daxos is of the Orzhov colors, the color combination of life and death. In my opinion, Daxos is very flavorful in design. His Experience counter trigger is triggered upon his controller casting an Enchantment. Being a native from Theros, where there are Enchantment Creatures roaming the plane, Enchantments are not hard to come by nowadays. The best part of the trigger is that you gain the Experience counter even when the Enchantment is countered. This may had been design in part of the Enchantment Creatures to prevent Daxos from going infinite with his activated token producing ability as the tokens are also Enchantment Creatures. Those experience counters accumulated with his trigger are then used to determine the power and toughness of the tokens he produce. The deadly thing with Daxos token producing ability is that it does not require him to tap. This allow you to get as much tokens as you can pay the activation cost; adding extra attackers to the attack or creating surprise ground blockers to block. Flavorfully, these Spirit tokens are called “Eidolons” on Theros. They are the Spirit part of someone who returned from the Underworld; which means that Daxos’ Eidolon is somewhere on Theros unaware of its Returned counterpart existence.

Daxos Spirit Token

Heroes of the Past.

 

As a Commander or As an One Man Army

Sigil of the Empty Throne

Awaiting to be seated.

Daxos is not an immediate threat the moment he hits the battlefield, requiring time to build up the Experience counters in order for his token army to be threatening enough. As mentioned earlier, Enchantment Creatures can also be used to trigger Daxos’s experience counter. Orzhov colors has very some decent Enchantments which can be used to control the opponents’ board. Daxos is also conveniently enough to have a low cc which allow him to be cast from the Command Zone early if he is the Commander. This can allow you to gain experience counters as soon as possible as you cast the Enchantments to stabilize the board. Worth mentioning and a definite must add is the Enchantment Sigil of the Empty Throne. Working the same way as Daxos’ experience gaining condition, every Enchantment you cast thereafter will be an experience counter plus an Angel token. Below are some examples of Enchantments which you can use to control your opponents with.

Aura of Silence

Tax opponents for 2 more when casting Artifacts and Enchantments. Sacrifice to destroy all Artifacts and Enchantments.

Banishing Light / Grasp of Fate / Oblivion Ring / Quarantine Field

NonLand permanent threat removal.

Call to the Grave / Pillar Tombs of Aku / The Abyss

Anti-Creature. Force sacrifice on each player’s upkeep.

Debtors’ Knell

Honorable mention of non-control type Enchantment. Selective late game reanimation.

Dictate of Erebos / Grave Pact

Force opponents to sacrifice Creatures whenever your Creatures die.

Doomwake Giant

Controls opponents Creature by giving them -1/-1 till end of turn for each Enchantment that enters your battlefield.

Forsaken Wastes

Anti-life gain.

Ghostly Prison / Koskun Falls / Sphere of Safety

Tax opponents for each attacking Creature they use to attack you.

Grave Peril / Seal of Doom

“Sleeping” Creature removal.

Hidden Retreat

Anti-damage from Instants and Sorcery.

Humility

Turns all Creatures into harmless 1/1s.

Isolation Zone / Journey to Nowhere / Parallax Wave / Silkwrap / Stasis Snare / Suspension Field

Exile Creature for as long as the Enchantment stays. Isolation Zone also being one which deals with Enchantment as well.

Imperial Mask / Leyline of Sanctity / Ivory Mask / Solitary Confinement

Prevent you from being target.

Karmic Justice

Punishes opponents for destroying your nonCreature permanents.

Lethal Vapors

Anti-Creature. Comes with the cost of a player’s turn to destroy it.

Leyline of the Void

Graveyard hate on opponents.

Marshal’s Anthem

Honorable mention of non-control type Enchantment. Selective late game recurring plus army pumper.

Necromancer’s Covenant

Anti-reanimation theme plus Zombie army.

No Mercy

Punishes your opponents for attacking you.

Planar Collapse

Sleeping Wrath of God.

Porphyry Nodes

Anti-small Creatures. A good Enchantment to use against Creatures which are annoying by their presences and do not attack (Dark Confidant & Noble Hierarch) as these Creatures usually have low power.

Sacred Ground

Anti-LandD.

Seal of Cleansing

Disenchant awaiting for target.

Suppression Field

Tax activation of non-mana abilities.

Stony Silence

Anti-Artifacts.

Vow of Duty / Vow of Malice

Political tool to redirect enchanted attacker away from you.

 

Grave Pact

All are welcome.

Looking at it from another perspective, Daxos is also a very good normal Creature to use. As a fan of a one man army, I generally like the idea of a Creature being able to create an army over time. As experience counters are universal, they works for experience Commander and doesn’t matter which Creature creates them. You can use numerous Experience Commanders to gain the experience counters and build up the tokens to immerse sizes then pump as much tokens out as you can afford the cost.

Since the requirement to gain experience counters is by casting Enchantments, some way to return the Enchantments to the hand for recasting can help to speed up the process. Below are some such Enchantments which will return to your hand when they go to the graveyard from the battlefield. Now you just need to add a sacrifice outlet (Auratog) to start the cycle. Some are out of Daxos’s color identity and will require him to be play as a normal Creature instead of the Commander.

Aspect of Mongoose

Grants enchanted Creature Shroud. Out of Daxos’s color identity.

Brilliant Halo

Pumps up enchanted Creature by +1/+2. Within Daxos’s color identity.

Cessation / Despondency

Aura to stall opponent’s Creature. Within Daxos’s color identity.

Fallen Ideal

Grants enchanted Creature Flying and provides a sacrifice outlet for Creatures. Within Daxos’s color identity.

Fiery Mantle

Grants Firebreathing to enchanted Creature. Out of Daxos’s color identity.

Fool’s Demise

Protect enchanted from dying or steal opponent’s died Creature. Out of Daxos’s color identity.

Fortitude

Grants Regeneration to enchanted Creature. Out of Daxos’s color identity.

Launch

Grants Flying to enchanted Creature. Out of Daxos’s color identity.

Rancor

Grants +2/+0 and Trample to enchanted Creature. Out of Daxos’s color identity.

Sleeper’s Guile

Grants Fear to the enchanted Creature. Within Daxos’s color identity.

Slow Motion / Sluggishness

Aura to stall opponent’s Creature. Out of Daxos’s color identity.

Spirit Loop

Gain you life for as much as enchanted Creature deals. This Aura can be enchanted on opponent’s Creature as it is the controller of the Aura will gain the life. Within Daxos’s color identity.

Undying Rage

Grants +2/+2 to enchanted Creature but it can’t block. Out of Daxos’s color identity.

 

"Let's Eat."

“Let’s Eat.”

 

Conclusion

Searching for Love in the wrong Place.

Searching for Love in the wrong Place.

In my opinion, Daxos is a very build around Commander. Due to his low cc, he can be bring onto the battlefield pretty early in the game to start gaining experience counters from casting Enchantments. Also due to the condition to gain experience counters, Daxos is not too over power as it is quite slow to gain the experience counters. But with the ability to create an army of high power tokens restricted only by mana will definitely attracts a lot of attention when he is on the battlefield. This would cause him to be the target of removal very often. Regardless of that, Daxos is still worthy of a Commander to play as mentioned earlier for his low cc to cast and his token army creating ability.

What do you think of returned hero? Did we missed out any other interesting ways to use him? Will you choose him as your Commander or let him serve under your Commander? Share with us what you think in the comments below.

We will end it here for today article. Do stay tune for more upcoming reviews for the other Commanders from Commander 2015.

 

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

:D~

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