Hello, everyone. Jesus here again for some discussion on Commander Legends. I know we did a recording discussing some of our top picks for CL, but there is much more I want to go into in terms of individual pieces and mechanics.
Overall, I think Commander Legends is a fantastic set with a nice amount of bling and value for your average commander player alongside a good amount of cEDH playables. This is truly a set that brings pieces to EDH for all playstyles and power levels.
Now that I have that out of the way, I want to discuss my opinions on the most notable cards of the set.
Easily the strongest card in the set, Sakashima is a Mirror Gallary Clone effect in the command zone. Despite seeming very basic at first, she is extremely flexible and can be slapped onto any partner to add blue and double down on that partner. Commanders like Tymna, the Weaver can go Esper while providing a second Tymna for card advantage while still having the option for Sakashima to copy various stax effects under your control. This can lead towards locking out opponents early into the game and developing a notable pseudo white weenie board to pressure opponents. Another key partner with Sakashima is Vial Smasher, the Fierce. A Grixis Curious Control list can burn down opponents fairly easily while opponents struggle to fight past your counterspells and card advantage from double Vial Smasher and various Curiosity effects. Then there is Krark, the Thumbless. A glass cannon storm combo list meant to constantly bounce and copy spells to increase storm count and play solitaire.
Kamahl, Heart of Krosa was my call on-cast as an underrated commander. He is a Timmy’s dream with his consistent overrun effect. Despite his high mana cost, having access to green means he is surprisingly easy to ramp into, and being able to partner with other commanders will allow you to pad out your early game with potent picks such as Tana, the Bloodsower, Tymna, the Weaver, or Prava of the Steel Legion. Overall, he is a fantastic win condition in decks that care about overrun, and even if he isn’t your commander, he is potent enough for the 99 for decks that care about it.
Obeka is a truly unique commander who really got Chris’s attention. Her ability to play politics with her end the turn effect as well as abuse previously unplayable cards makes her a true threat if she sticks to the battlefield. The ability to deny end of turn effects is huge, weaponizing cards like Glorious End, Feldon of the Third Path, and Final Fortune. Just having access to a Sundial of the Infinite in the Command Zone is massive for developing and polishing a completely new archetype, much like Atraxa did for Superfriends.
Nymris is another personal favorite of mine. As a huge fan of Faerie tribal in commander, we didn’t really have any major commanders for them with the exception of Oona, Queen of the Fae. Even then, Oona was more of a combo mill commander with faeries as an aside. Now, while Nymris doesn’t quite say “Faerie Tribal” to start, there are a lot of Flash Faeries and Faeries that help weaponize a control shell, such as Bitterblossom, Vendilion Clique, and Faerie Tauntings. The card advantage can be huge for keeping counter pressure on your opponents and playing the game on your opponents’ turns. All-in-all, I believe Nymris is extremely potent at playing towards the strengths that Faeries already have. Even if you don’t go the Faerie line, a self-mill Reanimation Control is still viable with her.
Although a strong and potent card, I do not believe Jeweled Lotus is the boogieman everyone believed it to be. It is a card whose potency is derived within the first 3 turns in the game, and loses potency as a deck has more colors. Overall, I believe the card to be strong, that is no doubt, but I do not think that the card is entirely game breaking, like many people feared. It is a cheeky way to rush out a commander that doesn’t go infinite with Auriok Salvager.
War Room is an easy card to discuss. It is a Castle Locthwain that all colors have access to. This is a notably potent inclusion in red and white, due to their lack of card advantage. Honestly this card makes me super happy with its simplicity in design and how potent it actually is because of it.
I know people are going to hate me for this, but I think the designs of these cards are fantastic, and they are very similar, so I want to discuss them together. Both of these cards are extremely potent in what they do: Level the playing field. These cards become more potent the stronger your opponents’ decks are. The more tutors and card draw your opponents abuse and take advantage of, the more punishing these pieces become. Yet, if you are up against a very Timmy deck, such as a tribal deck like Vampires, these cards become significantly weaker. They start to fall off hard and aren’t even worth running at lower power level tables. This sort of scalar design is reminiscent of Mystic Remora, which has become a pet card of mine over the years.
Overall, I just love the design of this set from an EDH standpoint, although I can understand the grievances of others. The set introduced very flavorful and unique commanders and cards that will give players more options and inspire new brews, while also bringing pieces for all power levels and much needed reprints.
You can find me @HispanicattheD5 on Twitter or find me on the Ban Discord @Hispanic! at the Disco