Commander (EDH) is one of Magic: The Gathering's most popular formats. In EDH, players build Commander decks with a wide range of themes, strategies, and competitiveness. Players enjoy brewing decks with interesting mechanics and gameplay using cards across MTG's history.
The MTG Reserved List features a list of cards that Wizards of the Coast said they would not reprint again. This means that cards on the Reserved List have a finite print run. Reserved List cards played in EDH range in price from a few dollars to thousands of dollars. I recently wrote an article highlighting three inexpensive Reserved List cards with the potential for Competitive EDH play. While not all Reserved List cards are cEDH playable, there are many seeing play in EDH. This article identifies Reserved List cards under $10.00 that are playable in EDH decks. Some Reserved List cards have the potential to shine with synergistic commanders.
Braingeyser has an advantage over similar MTG cards because it targets any player to draw X cards for two additional blue mana. Mind Spring has a similar effect and casting cost, but only works on the caster. Blue Sun's Zenith and Stroke of Genius are instant-speed spells that cost three additional mana. Braingeyser works well with the new Sultai commander Zaxara, the Exemplary. It also synergizes with Kruphix, God of Horizons, Mizzix of the Izmagnus, and The Locust God.
If you ever wanted to turn all non-Aura enchantments into creatures, look no further than Opalescence. Opalescence saw competitive constructed play due to Replenish. While Opalescence is not widely played in EDH, it does work well with a few commanders like Tuvasa the Sunlit, and Karametra, God of Harvests.
Karn, Silver Golem
Karn, Silver Golem is an adored character in MTG's lore. The Urza's Saga version is the only creature spell for Karn. Decks want Karn because of its activated ability. A popular home for Karn is in Daretti, Scrap Savant. Additionally, Karn synergies well with Horobi, Death's Wail by turning artifacts into creatures for one mana. Who does not want to destroy each creature on the battlefield?
Great Whale is a similar card to Peregrine Drake and Palichron. Unfortunately, it does not have the reduced casting cost of Peregrine Drake or the ability of Palichron. The upside of the Great Whale is its creature type and enters the battlefield trigger. Players can earn bragging rights if they combo off with Great Whale instead of Peregrine Drake or Palichron. Great Whale is included in some large sea creature decks, Animar, Soul of Elements, and Maelstrom Wanderer.
Peacekeeper perfectly describes its ability to prevent creatures from attacking. This creature hinders other player's strategies for a small upkeep cost. It works well in decks with commanders like Angus Mackenzie, Gwafa Hazrid, Profiteer, and Gaddock Teeg. White combo decks like Selenia, Dark Angel, and Heliod, Sun-Crowned may want Peacekeeper to slow opponent's attacks.
Breathstealer's Crypt is a gold enchantment from Visions with a global effect. While life loss or discarding cards may not always occur, knowing what each player draws is helpful information. Liliana, Waker of the Dead from Core 2021 seems to synergize with Breathstealer's Crypt. Also, Breathstealer's Crypt synergies with the Grixis commander Nekusar, the Mindrazer. Other commanders like Sygg, River Cutthroat, and Taigam, Sidisi's Hand may want Breathstealer's Crypt.
Márton Stromgald fits well in aggressive, go wide, creature decks. His creature types are human and knight according to Gatherer. While Márton may not be a goblin, he can increase the tribe's strength on the battlefield. Decks producing many creature tokens could include Márton. A few commanders that work well with Márton are Adriana, Captain of the Guard, Iroas, God of Victory, and Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin.
Scorched Ruins is a land that produces four colorless mana. It also requires two untapped lands sacrificed upon entering the battlefield. This drawback is similar to cards like Lotus Vale and Lotus Field. Scorched Ruins does come into play untapped unlike Lotus Field. The ideal home for Scorched Ruins is a commander deck taking advantage of colorless mana. Commanders like Kozilek, Butcher of Truth, Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger, and Kozilek, the Great Distortion may want to include Scorched Ruins. Additionally, it synergizes well with a green commander named Titania, Protector of Argoth.
Retribution of the Meek
Retribution of the Meek is a three mana board wipe that checks the power of creatures. Citywide Bust has the same effect but instead looks at the toughness of creatures. Put Retribution of the Meek and Citywide Bust in the same deck for interesting reactions from other players. The partner commanders Sidar Kondo of Jamuraa // Tymna the Weaver may want Retribution of the Meek since many of the hatebear creatures have power under four. Retribution of the Meek slots in decks like Arcades, the Strategist, and Doran, the Siege Tower since they only care about creature toughness.
Carrion is a spell that creates multiple black insect creature tokens by sacrificing a creature. Carrion's card text was updated on Gatherer, so please do not go searching for maggot tokens. Insects produced by Carrion can reduce the casting cost of Torgaar, Famine Incarnate, and Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis. Carrion could also fit in aristocrat decks like Ayara, First of Locthwain, and Mazirek Kraul Death Priest.
On October 30th, 2019, Wizards of the Coast announced Commander Collection: Green. The announcement came about a year away from the product's release on September 4th, 2020. This product will contain eight green cards playable in the Commander format. WOTC gave some hints about the collection such as many of the cards refer to popular legends and card artwork. With this information, along with known product releases in 2020, I will try to predict the eight cards featured in the collection.
Narrowing Card Options
The Commander Collection: Green is a similar product to the Signature Spellbook series. The recently released Chandra: Signature Spellbook contains eight cards related to the Planeswalker. Players can purchase a Chandra: Signature Spellbook for around $20.00. WOTC has historically reprinted cards with a combined market value above the retail price for Signature Spellbooks. Upon the initial announcement of the Chandra: Signature Spellbook, my estimated total market value for all eight cards was $50.00. This equates to a 60% premium over the asking price for the Chandra: Signature Spellbook. Using this information, I will assume that the total market value of the eight cards in Commander Collection: Green is $50.00. WOTC is selling a non-foil and foil version of the Commander Collection: Green. I foresee the foil version's retail price could be double the non-foil version. Using this assumption, I predict the non-foil version retail price is $20.00 and the foil version is $40.00.
I believe there are themes that WOTC may not include in the Commander Collection: Green. Since this product is not themed like Signature Spellbooks, I believe WOTC will exclude green Planeswalkers and any related cards. For example, WOTC may not include Nissa, Vital Force, or cards related to her like Nissa's Renewal. However, cards featuring Nissa in the artwork, such as Splendid Reclamation, could receive new artwork. I also think WOTC may exclude legendary creatures from the collection. Commander Legends seems like a better opportunity to offer non-foil and foil versions of popular green legendary creatures.
1. Beastmaster Ascension
I am predicting Beastmaster Ascension will be in the Commander Collection: Green. The original card artwork depicts a group of tigers being controlled by a shaman or druid. The new artwork featuring Yisan has some similarities with Beast Ascension. Additionally, the card's market value floats around $3.50. Considering Beastmaster Ascension is a top 50 green card according to EDHREC, I believe this is an easy inclusion for WOTC.
2. Seedborn Muse
I believe Seedborn Muse is the card assigned with the artwork featuring an Azusa headpiece. A hint was given that the creature in the artwork is not from Kamigawa. The artwork also features a plant growing from the ground. Seedborn Muse is around a $10.00 card even after a reprint in Commander 2019. In addition, it is a top 50 green card on EDHREC.
3. Eternal Witness
Eternal Witness is a top-five green card on EDHREC. I believe the most played Commander cards in green are easy inclusions in Commander Collection: Green. Even with a Mystery Booster reprinting, Eternal Witness sells for about $4.50. I do not think the Eternal Witness inclusion in Full Sleeves: the Tattoo Pack Secret Lair is a factor for ruling it out.
4. Nature's Lore
The collection would not be complete without at least one ramp spell. With cultivate reprinted in Core 2021, I believe they will include a different ramp spell. A foil printing of Nature's Lore would be exciting for Commander players. Nature's Lore is generic enough that WOTC could tie the artwork to a popular green legendary creature like Ezuri, Renegade Leader, or Titania, Protector of Argoth. With a current market price around $4.00, Nature's Lore would be a great choice for WOTC.
5. Green Sun's Zenith
Green Sun's Zenith is a powerful spell played in many Commander decks. Unfortunately, it has not seen a reprint since Eternal Masters. Green Sun's Zenith is played in over 20,000 decks on EDHREC. While current prices for Green Sun's Zenith are about $16.00, it hovered around $10.00 between October 2019 and April 2020. I believe Green Sun's Zenith is a prime candidate for Commander Collection: Green.
6. Avenger of Zendikar
Avenger of Zendikar is one of the most played green creatures in Commander. The card has doubled in price from around $6.00 to $12.00 since January 2020. The last printing of Avenger of Zendikar was in Commander 2018. It is played in decks featuring popular commanders like Yarok, the Desecrated, Lord Windgrace, and Tatyova, Benthic Druid.
For one green mana, Burgeoning provides a powerful effect in Commander. Burgeoning has seen an increase in price this year from $11.00 to $16.00. The card has not seen a reprint since 2016. I believe Burgeoning is overdue for a reprint due to its inclusion in more than 16,000 decks on EDHREC.
8. Wood Elves
The last printing of Wood Elves was in the first Commander Anthology. Wood Elves is a top 25 green card on EDHREC. It sees a wide range of Commander play thanks to its creature type, casting cost, and enters the battlefield trigger. Priced around $1.50, Wood Elves is a fine choice to round out the collection. A new foil printing would please players as well.
Which cards on this list do you believe will be in Commander Collection: Green? What other cards would you recommend WOTC to include? Feel free to leave a comment below with your predictions.
Ginbu 401 is a Chinese and sushi restaurant in Charlotte, North Carolina. The restaurant is located at 401 Providence Road. Except for Tuesday, lunch and dinner are served Monday through Saturday. Dinner is only offered on Sunday. A full-service dining area provides seating for guests. Ginbu also offers a consistent take-out and delivery service. Orders can be placed by calling the restaurant directly or through Grubhub.
Ginbu's entree menu features many Chinese favorites such as Hunan and Szechuan. Customers can order any of their dishes with chicken, beef, shrimp, scallops, or tofu. Mixed vegetables are also available with some of the options. I enjoy the Mongolian, 401 Spicy, and 401 Sesame.
Beside Chinese cuisine, Ginbu has an extensive sushi menu. There are multiple choices between maki rolls, hand rolls, nigiri sushi, and sushi platters. My wife and I often order multiple sushi rolls for takeout. Our favorite rolls are the 401 Maki, Green Dragon, Firecracker, and Rainbow. Ginbu is one of the best values in town for sushi. I believe the quality and price are hard to beat for a great sushi meal.
Another reason why my wife and I enjoy Ginbu is their friendly staff. Everyone who works at the restaurant is welcoming, helpful, and greets us with a smile. They offer a consistently high service level with takeout orders. I know my takeout order will be exactly what I wanted with no mistakes. I highly encourage others to try Ginbu for takeout. Their service and food quality will meet and exceed your expectations.
Competitive tournaments are held around the world for Magic: The Gathering. The largest tournaments offer cash prizes to top-performing players. Prize pools offered for the main event at Magic Fests range from $35,000 to $65,000. Players spend many hours playtesting to prepare for Magic Fests. Players also need to fill out decklists forms accurately, sleeves are in playable condition, etc. How can players ensure they do not miss a necessary step when preparing for a tournament? What if using a checklist could reduce mistakes and mitigate risk for players without having to improve at playing MTG.
What is a Checklist?
A checklist is a tool used to follow steps for a process, assist with a job, or serve as a reminder. They typically contain a list of steps done in sequential order. A checklist may be used for onboarding a new employee, packing for a vacation, or planning a birthday party.
Benefits of a Checklist
In the book, Checklist Manifesto, Atul Gawande talks about the importance of checklists in the medical field. As a surgeon, Gawande uses a checklist for each operation. The checklist helps Gawande avoid errors when operating on patients. Gawande mentions simple things like double-checking a patient's name or the anesthesia label can save lives. Humans can make mistakes, even when repeating the same process hundreds of times.
Gawande also mentions that checklists help mitigate risk. He references pilots using checklists before takeoff to ensure the safety of the plane and its passengers. Pilots also use checklists during emergencies to avoid fatal crashes. These checklists are designed to ensure the highest chance of success while flying airplanes.
The third benefit of checklists is that they do not require additional skills to execute. Gawande illustrates this benefit through an interview with an anonymous investor named Cook. Cook used checklists to avoid errors in evaluating a business's financials. The checklists saved Cook from investing in a business that seemed promising but had underlying issues. The issues were found by following a checklist used to examine financial statements. The checklists served as tools for improving potential outcomes without the need for any additional skills (Gawande, 2011).
Applying Checklists to Magic: The Gathering
The steps taken to prepare and play in an MTG tournament are sequential. Checklists could be used to simplify tournament preparation and reduce play mistakes. The following situations could happen to any MTG player.
Written sideboard guides are allowed in MTG. Players can review a piece of paper between games containing sideboard strategies against various archetypes. Players can also use sideboard guides for online tournaments such as the Arena Open or Magic: The Gathering Online Qualifier. A sideboard guide functions as a checklist to help players avoid unnecessary mistakes. The below sideboard guide was used in Standard for Mono Blue Tempo.
Players traveling to Magic Fests or Star City Games Opens can order cards in advance for pickup at the venue. The SCG booth can become busy on Saturday morning as players pick up the remaining cards they need for the main event. This also means that players have to pick a deck days before a tournament begins. Here is a checklist example for ordering cards the weekend before a tournament.
A Checklist for Every Occasion
Checklists can be modified to fit the needs of the user. As processes change and continue to evolve, so should checklists. For example, a sideboard guide will change with deck selection and format evolution.
When creating a checklist, ensure that it is easy to understand and use. Try to keep the contents brief and specific. Think of how to use checklists to mitigate risk, reduce errors, and improve outcomes without any additional skills. Checklists can be a game-changer for the aspiring MTG player.
Gawande, A. (2011). The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right. London: Profile Books.