Saturday, January 28, 2023

New Commander-Exclusive Spoilers Reveal MTG Rules Change!

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Even though some of these cards have been leaked via the rampant unofficial reveals for Phyrexia: All Will Be One, the official reveal of the exclusive Set Booster Commander cards appearing in Phyrexia: All Will Be One bring along with an MTG rules change for the format. These cards look primed to support the themes that emerged in the previous set, so players enjoying the preconstructed Urza and Mishra decks have much to be excited about here. Finally, the recent DailyMTG revealed a rarity glitch with one of the most anticipated cards in the set, which may make it much more challenging to acquire than expected. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the Commander exclusive cards recently revealed!

Tangleweave Armor

While Tangleweave Armor is not the most exciting Commander card revealed during the recent DailyMTG stream, it does reveal the new rules change coming to Commander. Like many of the Commander cards coming out alongside Phyrexia: All Will Be One, this card pays homage to a popular mechanic that appeared in past Phyrexia-themed sets. Living Weapon, much like the new For Mirrodin! mechanic spawns a creature token that is immediately equipped with the equipment that has the ability.

Tangleweave Armor does something pretty simple: give the equipped creature +X/+X, where X equals the greatest mana value among Commanders. If you’re running something like Beledros Witherbloom as your Commander, this turns into a four-mana 7/7 that, if dealt with, can give a massive pump to your Commander, presenting a Voltron threat.

The rules change that comes alongside this card addresses a corner case that came up with the old ruling for cards that care about your Commander’s mana value. This isn’t the first time a card has cared about a Commander’s mana value, but it is the first time that a card that cares about a Commander’s mana value directly affects a card’s power and toughness. Technically, if a Commander is being cast, Tangleweave Armor wouldn’t recognize the Commander on the stack. Trying to cast your Commander means that you would inadvertently kill your Germ token created off of Living Weapon. The rules have now been adjusted so that this will not happen.

The Return of Birthing Pod

What could possibly be more terrifying than an MTG card that got banned out of powerful formats like Modern? How about a blue version of it? Admittedly, this isn’t as powerful as the constructed menace, but Synthesis Pod does seem like a very fun addition to EDH decks that like to cast spells – notably any spell and not just Instant and Sorcery ones.

Unlike Birthing Pod, which wants to sacrifice creatures you control, Synthesis Pod wants to exile spells you control on the stack. Past that point, you can reveal cards off an opponent’s library until you hit a spell with a mana value of one plus the sacrificed spell’s mana value. You can cast that card for free.

The first two ideas I had when looking at this card were repurposing spells that become useless on the stack and using this card to turn some mediocre copy effects into something more powerful. In our Adventures EDH tech, for example, once you start copying your Adventure spells, some copies can become irrelevant if there are insufficient targets. This is especially true for counterspells in the deck. Instead of having multiple copies of a counterspell whiff after the first counterspell successfully counters the spell, Synthesis Pod can potentially repurpose a dead spell into a threat. As a result, I can see this being included in decks that make a lot of copies of spells or decks that create complicated stacks.

The +1/+1 Counter Rule Broken

Lux Artillery breaks the rule that Wizards of the Coast stressed would be a part of the set: no +1/+1 counters in Phyrexia: All Will Be One. This is sort of an exception to the rule since Lux Artillery is not supposed to be draftable. Therefore, it still honors the playability purposes of the decision since it is not impacting Limited play.

Lux Artillery is a very cool artifact that, like many of the new Commander cards introduced, supports artifact decks. Granting Artifact creatures, Sunburst makes multi-colored decks capable of creating huge threats through this spell. This is, notably, very strong in the Urza’s Iron Alliance preconstructed deck.

Lux Artillery comes with a very flashy second ability that should be easily abusable for the decks that care about doing that. Sure, some decks will have fun blasting opponents for ten damage every turn, but the requirement to do so is pretty steep.

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A Rarity Discrepancy

Recent price trends suggest that the leak of this Myr Commander was a colossal deal to the MTG community. While the Commander has been officially spoiled thanks to today’s DailyMTG reveal, Urtet, Remnant of Memnarch comes with a twist that we’ve seen in recent sets. This card’s rarity is different between different packs.

In a Set Booster, Urtet can be found at a Mythic Rarity. In Collector Boosters, you can find the full-art Urtet at a normal rarity. This may make Urtet more expensive than intended because the card is easier to access in more expensive products, which may force players hoping to open Urtet naturally to spend more than they expected. It is likely that Urtet will have a secondary market price, but this is more related to the havoc that this card’s leak has already wreaked on the secondary market. We wrote about that in more detail here.

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More Artifact Support

Alongside these new Commander cards available in Set booster packs come a series of cards meant to support artifact-focused synergies. While some players may be sick of seeing some more artifact stuff after a set so heavily focused on the archetype, Mirage Mockery is at least viable in any deck that wants to copy cards. It’s just better in decks that have both artifact and non-artifact creatures since it can Entwine both of its options. This should see some Commander play.

Affinity decks looking for a Commander-sized boost need look no further. Monumental Corruption can draw an absolutely disgusting number of cards in decks that care about their Affinity to artifact count. A hidden mode on this card is using it as a burn spell to target your opponent if your Affinity count becomes too overwhelming. This is rather hilarious, alongside a Mycosynth Lattice effect. Notably, a one-sided Lattice is being released in the new set.

A bizarre callback to some obscure artifacts from Mirrodin, Chiss-Goria is a fantastic tool for artifact Affinity decks. Generally, an Affinity deck wants to ramp out cards that either function as win conditions or find more cards, and Chiss-Goria does both. A threatening 5/4 flier can slam your opponent as soon as it enters play and find another artifact spell to cast in your top five whenever it does. Granting the artifact Affinity for artifacts ensures that your game plan can keep snowballing out of control.

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More Cats!

Finally, the new white card revealed to appear exclusively in Set and Collector Booster packs is Skyhunter Strike Force. This 2/2 Cat Knight is great for decks that want to attack with a lot of creatures since it will grant everything Melee as long as you control your Commander. Cat decks like to go wide, so this is an easy auto-include in decks that want to interact with that traditional strategy. Notably, this helps Jetmir Commander decks get even more out of control than they already are, making the pseudo-Craterhoof Behemoth Commander end the game even more abruptly than it already was.

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