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Commander Review: Innistrad & Dark Ascension

January 28, 2012 by  
Filed under Review

With each new sets come new Legendary Creatures. Each a possible powerful EDH Commander. For this article we would review and discuss these newly added Legendary Creatures from both Innistrad & Dark Ascension.



New Commanders:

There are a total of 6 new Legends in both Innistrad & Dark Ascension. They are as follows.



Mikaeus, the Lunarch – W

Geist of Saint Traft – WU

Mikaeus, the Unhallowed – B

Grimgrin, Corpse-Born – UB

Thalia, Guardian of Thraben – W

Olivia Voldaren – BR

Now you know them all, let’s have a look at what each have to offer in terms of being a General.


Mikaeus, the Lunarch

At first glance, Mikaeus, the Lunarch reminds me a lot of another Black Commander, Maga, Traitor to Mortals. Both has a X in their casting cost; power and toughness depends on X, but both works on very different theme. Wherein Maga, Traitor to Mortals could be used as a finisher, Mikaeus, the Lunarch is more on the long run combine with Creature horde strategy. The power of Mikaeus, the Lunarch is that you could cast him small, say 3W or 4W, and he would grow from there by himself. Of course, he would need to stay on the battlefield long enough for you to reap the rewards. That said, Lightning Greaves and Swiftfoot Boots are good addition to help keep him alive.


Mikaeus, the Unhallowed

Like Day and Night, this version of Mikaeus helps the dark side instead. His “No Mercy” like ability kills all Human that damages you. That includes Commanders too. So if an opposing Commander is a Human, it would die when it damages you, acting like a counter-Human. Having Intimidate also makes Mikaeus, the Unhallowed a good beatdown Creature to win games, as 21 General Damage is all that is needed to end an opponent, Mikaeus, the Unhallowed being a 5/5 zombie is nothing to sneeze at. The last ability of giving all your other non-Human Creatures Undying is the most killer ability. Your whole army effective do not die, or much rather not that easily. Even if they do, as long as Mikaeus, the Unhallowed stays on the battlefield, they are all going to come back bigger.

  •  Combo: Mikaeus, the Unhallowed + Cauldron of Souls – It was already stated by Mark Rosewater that Undying was inspired by Persist. The wonders that this two abilities work is brilliant combination. Whenever a Persist Creature dies, you could choose either ability to let it comes back. And when it dies again, use the other one to bring it back, creating Creatures that do not die. Example, said Creature dies and you return it with Persist, it comes back with a -1/-1 counter on it. Then when it dies again, you would use Undying to bring it back with a +1/+1 counter. Should it die yet AGAIN, you would use Persist to bring it back. And the process goes on and on and on….
Lingering Tormentor Comes with Fear for more beatdown.
Puppeteer Clique Foil against opposing Graveyard recursion theme, exiling their graveyard of Creatures.
Rattleblaze Scarecrow Has Persist as long you control Black Creature.
Wingrattle Scarecrow Has Persist as long you control Black Creature.
Cauldron of Souls Unfortunately though, mono Black Persist Creatures are very limited and so this Artifact is used to maximize this combo.


Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

A taxing Commander which taxes all players ability to cast non-Creatures spells. The only down side to Thalia, Guardian of Thraben is that she is mono White. This greatly lessen the amount of spells you could use to maximize her taxing ability. That being said, she is more suited as a support Creature rather than an actual Commander.


Geist of Saint Traft

A General which protects itself, something which does not comes by often nowadays. Having Hexproof means that you could stack all sorts of enhancement on it and not worried about it getting killed. On top of that, Geist of Saint Traft also comes with the ability to bring another 4/4 body whenever it attacks, and that body flies. Geist of Saint Traft also has a low casting cost of 1WU, making it recasting it from the General Zone easy too. Color identity of Geist of Saint Traft is standard Control colors of White and Blue. 


Grimgrin, Corpse-Born

Truly the finisher type of Commander. Grimgrin, Corpse-Born starts off tapped but gets bigger as you untaps or attacks with it. Its color identity of Blue and Black also gives you a lot of control cards with to control your opponents. Then when the time is right, cast Grimgrin, Corpse-Born to finish off your opponents. 


Olivia Voldaren

Another General which grows by itself, Olivia Voldaren comes with an ability to kills smaller Creatures and grows bigger in the process, even though the Creature did not die from the ability. The second ability is the killer part two of the first. Whatever Olivia Voldaren cannot kill with the first ability, you controls it with the second. That includes all those opposing Generals you could target. Color identity have both Black and Red, combination of disruption and damage, an aggro theme. Another route you could take is the Tribal Vampire, since there are quite a number of Vampire lords available. 


In conclusion, Geist of Saint Traft is the strongest EDH Commander among all here in this group. He comes packed with Hexproof to protects himself, and a color identity of White and Blue to control the game. Mikaeus, the Unhallowed comes close second for his ability to make your army practically indestructible for as long as he stays on the battlefield. Mikaeus, the Lunarch on the other hand is strong but prone to board sweeper effects, a short coming for all strategy based on Creatures horde. Both Grimgrin, Corpse-Born & Olivia Voldaren are Commanders which you might play due to their color more than them as a Commander. The color combination is strong and they would usually serve you as the finisher if needed. Lastly Thalia, Guardian of Thraben is the hard one to build around for being mono-color. Be prepare to be the biggest target at the table if you go full out of the taxing theme of Thalia, Guardian of Thraben. She would serve better as a Creature in your deck than being a Commander. And with that, we come to a close for this review. We hope you enjoyed it.


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



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