Opinion: Commander Takes, Pt. 4 – "Magic: The Gathering"

Welcome! If you are looking for Part Three of this series, you can find that over here.

Welcome! If you are looking for-

I'm sorry, I think we have all been here before. This all seems strangely familiar to me. I kind of hate deja-vu at times, don't you?

Anyway, this is a series of pieces covering my bases in regards to my opinions on Magic: The Gathering's Commander format, and the more troubling trends in the cards – and the cards alone. And, if you couldn't already guess, this portion of the series is about things you will see time and time again. Spoiler alert: We are covering extra turn cards and Commanders that we see too frequently for comfort. I just wanted to preamble with that, despite/because you'll see that all again really soon.

Really soon.

Really soon.

Now.

Opinion: Commander Takes, Pt. 4 – "Magic: The Gathering"
Source: Wizards of the Coast

#4. Extra Turn cards

These cards are the bane of almost every player not running blue decks because save for a few risky and/or niche examples, they're only in blue. Time is never a problem for a blue player because they always manage to make it, either by countering your spells and saving themselves the present or by giving themselves a bunch of time in the near future. It's just gross. Nobody likes Time Warp, and Time Walk is banned for a good reason or five.

Opinion: Commander Takes, Pt. 4 – "Magic: The Gathering"
And then, there's Expropriate. Source: Wizards of the Coast

Just as nobody likes not being able to play their spells, nobody who plays Magic likes not being able to play Magic. The concept is pretty intuitive. A turn is worth a ton of value. Remember that, and also to vote for money whenever someone casts Expropriate.

Take: Extra turn cards need to be monitored a ton, even if they keep getting printed. I'm glad we haven't seen one in a hot minute. Full-stop.

Opinion: Commander Takes, Pt. 4 – "Magic: The Gathering"
Source: Wizards of the Coast

#3. Common Commanders (or, "Commonders")

Opinion: Commander Takes, Pt. 4 – "Magic: The Gathering"
Source: Wizards of the Coast

There are a good many commanders who, in a given game night, you'll see go off. These include Kenrith, the Returned King, Golos, Tireless Pilgrim, and Atraxa, Praetors' Voice. Atraxa, for the longest time, was the top commander of the format by frequency of appearances in a given event (now it's Korvold, Fae-Cursed King, but I chalk that up to him being in a relatively-new set). It's annoying to see them all around, though. Because they're so tough to beat, it makes the experience even more frustrating for aa player like me. Quit your pub-stomp and get creative, friends! You don't need a cookie-cutter commander like Kenrith or Golos (both of whom are, unsurprisingly, value commanders), or even a commander that's super-versatile like Atraxa is (although breaking away with a rarer archetype in Atraxa earns you some brownie points with me – mix it up and live a little!).

Opinion: Commander Takes, Pt. 4 – "Magic: The Gathering"
Atraxa Energy, anyone? Source: Wizards of the Coast

Take: Having new commanders and all is great, but I take issue with them all being terribly powerful to the level that they're insufferable to see on the opposite side of the table, especially more than once in a night.

New Brawl Decks Pull No Punches - "Magic: The Gathering"
Source: Wizards of the Coast

#5 – Coming Up At Long Last!

My next part of this series is my last for now unless I get some more requests for this kind of content. I'd love to do more, honestly, but it may be a while even with requests. It's a lot of work to compile a subjective list like this. Also, by now, it's possible that my readers have figured out what at least one of my Top Two choices are on this list. I hate to disappoint, but if by then I haven't covered all of my bases, let me know in the comment section! Till next time.

About Joshua Nelson

Josh Nelson is a Magic: The Gathering deckbuilding savant, a self-proclaimed scholar of all things Sweeney Todd, and, of course, a writer for Bleeding Cool. In their downtime, Josh can be found painting models, playing Magic, or possibly preaching about the horrors and merits of anthropophagy. You can find them on Twitter at @Burning_Inquiry for all your burning inquiries.

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