Conspiracy And It's Impact On Commander!
We sit down with esteemed writer AJ Hale to pick his brains on the upcoming multiplayer format Conspiracy, and how it will impact Commander!
June 6th, Conspiracy will stand revealed and we will get a chance to play with a set like we have never seen before. If you haven’t heard the news; Conspiracy is this year’s Multiplayer release! Unlike Planeschase and Archenemy before it, this sets unique mechanics means it is destined to be a draft set. The set has cards that actually interact with you while drafting and looks to be a release unlike any other. So whilst this set isn’t aimed at Commander, it seems steeped in treasures for the format. Today I’m going to touch on some of the important cards which will fall into two categories, the brand new cards and the reprints. The new cards are of course the most exciting but there are a bunch of great reprints that deserve highlighting and should be high on your list of cards to pick up from this set.
To check out the current official spoiler check here
The New Legends
Conspiracy brings us some amazing legends and they will become very important to the format. Brago, King Eternal is the leader of the pack. He’s a four mana U/W flyer who blinks any number of non-land permanents you control when he deals combat damage to a player, this is the nuts! Being able to blink a permanent is one of the best ways to get value in Commander and Brago can do it to your entire board. He will need to be protected but I’m confident he will become one of the best U/W Commanders of all time.
Selvala, Explorer Returned is a mixed bag. Green decks value among all things the ability to create more mana to feed spells like Genesis Wave, Tooth and Nail and Primal Surge. Selvala’s ability doesn’t always guarantee that and the cost, letting your opponent’s draw a card seems too high. She is definitely a fun card but I see her value in group hug decks (of the Bant variety most likely) rather than as a true powerhouse commander (but by all means prove me wrong).
Marchesa, the Black Rose is a welcome addition to the ranks of Grixis commanders. She gives all her team Dethrone (one of the sets new abilities) and I could easily see an aggressive Grixis archetype using her. He second ability to bring back creatures who die with a +1/+1 counter seems easy to abuse, bringing back anything from a Mulldrifter to a Rune-Scarred Demon seems like excellent value.
*ahem* Hi Wizards, I see what you wanted to do here, you wanted to design a fixed version of Arcum Dagsson. So you went and designed Muzzio, Visionary Architect. Nice try WOTC but you still created a degenerate blue legend that interacts unfairly with artifacts. Arcum will still be better but in a Muzzio deck it’s going be easy to set up the typical unfair combinations that will often include Darksteel Forge and Mycosynth Lattice.
Grenzo, Dungeon Warden is actually the card that makes my heart flutter. He’s as big as you want him to be and his ability is genuinely something I haven’t seen before. Grenzo has my mind buzzing with possible builds. My first idea is to focus on some sick mana generation combinations. Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, Cabal Coffers and Doubling Cube to start with and then pack the deck out with the best goblins in the format. Mix these together and use Grenzo to do a backwards impersonation of Genesis Wave. Sounds Crazy…can’t wait to try it out.
Dack Fayden is finally here and he doesn’t disappoint! The greatest thief in the multi-verse has some sweet abilities, he throws away useless cards for fresh ones and has the ability of being able to steal anything from a Sol Ring to a Blightsteel Colossus! Now that's worth losing two loyalty points for. Dack’s ultimate isn’t nearly as good as the first two, however, I compare it to Venser, the Sojourner’s ultimate that allows you to exile a permanent when you cast a spell. In Commander if you’re targeting a permanent with a spell you’re most likely destroying it or stealing it anyway.
Magister of Worth was the secret preview card for this set and it was a great choice. It showcases the Will of the Council mechanic with two huge effects, vote for grace and everyone resurrects all their dead creatures, vote for condemnation and she clears the board. All this on a 4/4 flyer for only six mana. I really like the tension between its two modes and can easily see votes swinging both ways during matches.
Fertilid has always been a staple of the format; Realm Seekers seems like a massive upgrade. Coming into play with +1/+1 counters equal to number of cards in all players hands would seem to guarantee making it a huge beater, add to that you can remove those counters to search for lands is top notch. Need to tutor for Gaea’s Cradle, Maze of Ith, Winding Canyons… Realm Seekers have you covered.
I’ve never been a fan of Cruel Edict effects in Commander unless they hit the whole board and Reign of the Pit certainly does that and potentially gives you a massive demon token to boot.
Treasonous Ogre automatically breaks one of the rules of Magic, it provides you with free mana! Ok, ok there is a cost, but in general life is just another resource and in Commander and it is often plentiful. Pair this with Children of Korlis and you could be playing some insane haymakers very early in the game.
The Reprints Now while there are plenty of new cards to be excited about, another major part of its value for Commander Player’s is in the reprints. So far Conspiracy has not disappointed in this department! the list below covers some of the more important cards you should be on the lookout for:
Reflecting Pool – Excellent fixing for any deck running three colours or more.
Exploration – This is the big reprint in my opinion. Breaking the one land per turn limit for only one mana has always been easy to abuse. This is a genuinely hard card to find having only been printed once and now we get the chance to find it in foil.
Rout – This has always been a staple mass removal spell and now it has incredible new kick ass art with your favourite Praetor, Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite! I’m going to be making sure I have a playset.
Misdirection – This only see’s fringe play in Commander but once again it’s a hard to find card that’s definitely welcome.
Brainstorm & Swords to Plowshares – Both of these cards have a number of printings and are well known staples of the format. However in Conspiracy you get the chance to find these in foil! If you open one of these in foil do not pass! Take these first pick!
Well that wraps up my first look at Conspiracy. At this moment there is still almost half the set to be spoiled and this review only scrapes the surface of this set. My big recommendation is draft this set as many times as you can it’s going to be a blast…