Murders at Karlov Manor is almost among us, and, with this set, we'll finally solve the mystery of who committed the murders. Many known creatures have shown up again, and most of them have shown up as detectives to investigate what was happening on this beloved plane, Ravnica.
Iconic characters such as Aurelia, Izoni, Niv-Mizzet, Rakdos, Judith, Kaya and many others have shown up in this set as new cards. But how many of them are actually relevant for EDH?
We picked out the best cards for Commander, and divided them into colors and rarities, respectively. So, without further ado, let's see what mysteries await us!
Colors that don't have sections for common or uncommon cards didn't get any relevant cards for these rarities, such as, for instance, White.
Doorkeeper Thrull is a nightmare to some and a paradise to others. It is an excellent answer for effects like Etali, Primal Conqueror, for instance. Stax decks and similar will use it well, particularly because of its Flash, so they can catch opponents off guard.
Unyielding Gatekeeper may appear quite frequently in decks all over the world because it is a useful removal and saves you cards that you can use later. This card is a surprise blink, and can even answer Split-Second cards thanks to its Disguise, which works similarly to Morph. Considering this ability doesn't go on the stack, it might catch many players off guard when you answer cards or even when you prevent combos.
Blink decks can easily adopt this cute, charismatic elephant.
Every global removal is welcome. Now we have No Witnesses, which has the small drawback of giving one Clue to the players who have more creatures, and right afterward destroys all creatures for just 4 mana.
There are some removals that are better in this format, such as Wrath of God, but, for global removals, sometimes redundancy is good - it depends on the strategy of the deck in question.
This set only had 2 mythic white cards, and the only one to be shown in this article is, obviously, Delney, Streetwise Lookout.
Lovingly nicknamed "mini throne" because it is a Roaming Throne, but for creatures that don't have a lot of power, this card potentially seems good in several decks, such as Aristocrats and Blink, for instance, with cards like Zulaport Cutthroat and Peregrine Drake.
Reenact the Crime is a card that apparently will see play not only in Commander, but also in other formats. The mill archetype is pretty common, so it is excellent to have a card like this in Blue because there will be several interesting targets for it in your opponent's decks.
A blue "Reanimate" is relevant, even if it is conditional. Its cost, 3 blue mana, makes it a bit expensive, but nothing that is impossible to pay in this chaotic format.
There was a new enchantment subtype in this set - Cases. They have some ETB or static effect, and to solve it you must fulfill its demand. After this, it has a third effect.
The blue Case, Case of the Ransacked Lab, is quite interesting because it discounts the cost of your instants and sorceries for just 3 mana. Spellslinger decks can use this card, considering we only need to cast 4 spells in the same turn to solve it. The reward is an effect similar to Archmage Emeritus.
Forensic Gadgeteer is an excellent addition for several artifact decks. Creating a Clue any time we cast something already made this creature viable, but discounting the cost of artifacts' activated abilities by 1 makes it even more relevant.
It also enables several combos, such as the infinite colorless mana combo, when we use Forensic Gadgeteer with Basalt Monolith. Both combo-centric decks and artifact decks will really enjoy this Vedalken creature.
As Wizard Class's lost brother, we now have Proft's Eidetic Memory. Besides allowing you to have as many cards as you want in your hand, it buffs a creature without requiring you to meet a condition, unlike Wizard Class, which demanded mana to activate their effects completely.
The fact it draws a card when it enters the battlefield is also relevant, considering this way this card will be a possible target for blink decks. This card is quite interesting and can go into several decks across the world. Time will tell us where its home will be.
Also in the Case cycle, we have Case of the Stashed Skeleton. To sum up, it is a tutor for just 4 mana, considering how easy it is to get rid of the Skeletons created by this enchantment through the sacrifices Black gives us.
In Black, it is interesting to access a reasonable number of tutors depending on the strategy of the deck in question. This card plays this role well, and it is also an alternative to cards that are more expensive, such as Vampiric Tutor or Demonic Tutor. You can expect to see this card in multiple decks from now on.
An interesting card this set brings us is Illicit Masquerade. Its Flash makes it even better because it can be played as an answer to global removals.
Having to exile the creatures with an Imposter counter makes it seem a bit bad, but since this card doesn't specify is the creature in question has to be a token or not, actually, this card opens up even more possibilities. Therefore, it can be a pseudo-Living Death because it Reanimates creatures from the graveyard. This card might not be too popular, but it is interesting enough to be mentioned.
Homicide Investigator is very cheap and can create a lot of value, even though its effect only triggers one per turn. When we get as much out of it as we possibly can, it can create up to 4 Clue tokens in just one Commander round.
Decks that interact with artifact tokens may really enjoy this card, and use it as an engine for other cards that use artifacts, such as Krark-Clan Ironworks and similar.
Vein Ripper is the mythic card that stands out in this section. Its heavy cost (6 mana) makes it seem a bit slow, but paying 6 mana for a 6/5 creature with Flying that drains your opponents any time any creature dies is a potential threat on the board.
The fact it costs 3 black mana is also important, considering Mono Black decks can easily include this card not only because of its effect, but also because of Gray Merchant of Asphodel. After a global removal, Vein Ripper can be lethal, and potentially eliminate one or more opponents in many game situations.
Massacre Girl, Known Killer shows up in the new set, now in its mythic version. It is quite interesting that the creatures you control will have Wither, particularly to deal with Indestructible creatures, such as Avacyn, Angel of Hope.
Its second effect, that draws cards anytime you remove toughness from your opponents' creatures until they have none, is quite interesting, particularly when it is paired with cards like Toxic Deluge or Black Sun's Zenith, for instance, which will draw you many cards. Mono Black decks and even other builds can use it, considering the Wither damage doesn't necessarily need to be combat damage.
Demand Answers is very similar to Thrill of Possibility and etc, but you can sacrifice an artifact as an extra cost to cast it. This will already motivate players to add this card to several types of decks, particularly because you won't need to discard any card to draw another two. Therefore, you will spend 2 mana to get 2 cards, and not 2 mana to virtually get one 1 card, considering the other will have been discarded.
The fact it is an instant card is also interesting - this means you'll draw 2 cards for 2 mana while passing, and you'll only need to sacrifice an artifact as an extra cost. It may see play in several archetypes.
The card that created a lot of debate in practically any format it can play is Crime Novelist. Both for decks that indeed focus on artifacts and as a combo piece, this card shows a lot of potential in Commander.
This card allows you to sacrifice Treasures and practically create 2 mana. Krark-Clan Ironworks can also wreak havoc with this card, even more so if it is used with the mini-throne, Delney, Streetwise Lookout, triggering even more mana. It is a card that can have a lot of space in decks across the world.
Krenko, Baron of Tin Street is in this article as an honorable mention, considering it probably shines more in cEDH and not in EDH itself because it will be better in Goblin decks and new builds involving both Goblins and artifacts. It might even be combo-centric, considering Goblins usually go down that path, as well as being aggressive.
Like Dragon's Approach and Slime Against Humanity decks, I'm anxious to see builds with Slime Against Humanity. Thrumming Stone decks are always fun in Commander, and we can imagine it will be the same for this card - after all, the player will create an army of Oozes. Is it finally time for Aeve, Progenitor Ooze to shine in this format? Only time will tell.
Archdruid's Charm stands out in this article because it tutors any useful land in your deck straight into play, or even a creature that you need at that moment. Its other two modes are also quite useful because they are two different kinds of removals. It is a fascinating card that can see play in several land decks and even Mono Green decks.
Also in the Case cycle, Case of the Locked Hothouse is the green Case that triggers easily, considering we only need to have seven or more lands. It is incredibly strong to have a source that allows us to cast creatures or enchantments straight from the top of our deck and even play lands, all in one card.
Enchantment decks can see play with this card, just like several other decks that ramp well and want utility long term.
Token swarm decks are a reasonably common archetype, and cards like Audience with Trostani have a lot of potential in this type of deck. For 3 mana, we can draw much more than just one card, which would be the base this card provides us, if we play it at the right time and in the right deck. It may see a lot of play in several decks.
Reanimating a land per turn at every upkeep step might seem a good idea to recover resources and also ramp every turn. Decks that use Dredge or Mill will really enjoy Undergrowth Recon because this card recovers resources and has synergy with cards like Crop Rotation or Harrow, for instance.
The Pride of Hull Clade deserves a deck of its own or a slot in Arcades, the Strategist. It is a somewhat funny card, considering it can draw 15 cards on its own as soon as it hits and activates its ability.
It will be quite risky to use this card at the prerelease events, considering decks have around 40 cards, but Commander is better in this sense, particularly if you add another win condition like Psychosis Crawler or Laboratory Maniac. It will show up significantly in a deck focused on it or in decks that defend a lot, but I figured it was fair to give it an honorable mention.
Insidious Roots is an excellent source of mana in token decks, and it is an interesting token generator. A simple Avenger of Zendikar that comes in creating 7 tokens will create 7 mana dorks, not to mention these tokens will eventually grow thanks to its other effect when one or more creatures leave your graveyard, which will create even more tokens and buff the already existing ones.
It will probably play in decks that also have Audience with Trostani.
A Glorious Anthem added to an Impact Tremors will result in a Warleader's Call. Having these two effects in a single card is great because it can save you slots when you're building a deck, but, in this case, the decks that will use Warleader's Call would also like to have Impact Tremors, or even a Neyali, Suns' Vanguard or an Otharri, Suns' Glory.
Glancing over this card, a creature that costs 5 mana with a 4/4 body with Flying, Vigilance and Haste is already a reasonable creature. The fact it draws cards whenever you attack with 3 or more creatures makes it a bit more interesting. Finally, if you're attacking with 5 or more creatures, it will deal 3 damage to all opponents, and you'll heal 3 health points. This is Aurelia, the Law Above.
It is an excellent addition for Commander, considering this effect activates not only when you attack, but when any player attacks, which can draw you even more cards. It is a card that people will usually look at and comment, "it might see play in Commander", and indeed it seems like so, particularly in aggressive decks, such as Jetmir, Nexus of Revels and similar token swarm decks, or plain creatures swarm decks, for instance.
Ill-Timed Explosion brings loot with a removal built-in, ready to help spellslinger decks and similar. In Izzet, we have efficient removals for very little mana, but they usually only remove what we need to remove.
Drawing two cards and removing something by playing the same spell is relevant for many Commander builds.
A card that can be quite popular is Voja, Jaws of the Conclave, considering it can be an elfball for Naya, brings support for mana dorks, protections and clearly boosts damage. It actually does buff creatures reasonably, and consequently creates a strong board at an efficient speed. We can expect to see a lot from this wolf from now on.
A God that costs 4 mana with an 8/4 body and no drawback that can give us several extra combat phases or even infinite combat phases: this is Anzrag, the Quake-Mole. We can expect to see this mole around a lot, be it as a commander or as part of the other 99 cards.
Hellrider, Fog and Lure alongside this God already finishes a game and starts the next, besides the other possible combinations in Gruul, which was well-represented by this aggressive and beefy creature in this set.
Rakdos, Patron of Chaos appears again in Ravnica, this time as an excellent long-term investment. Paying 6 mana for a 6/6 creature with Flying and Trample is already excellent in Rakdos, and the fact it transforms the permanents your opponents sacrifice into non-tokens disrupts your opponents and forces them to draw you cards so they don't lose their own cards.
It might appear in several builds across the world, but, as said before, it is considered a long-term investment, so faster decks may not want this Demon.
The one responsible for the crimes and murders committed in this set also appears as Trostani, Three Whispers. Paying 3 mana for a 4/4 body is already excellent, and its three activated abilities are quite interesting.
Deathtouch with Double Strike is quite problematic for your opponents, and considering any creature can be targeted by this card's abilities, it is even better because it will make the game even more political.
It can both be a commander and part of the other 99 cards, and be popular as soon as players figure out its potential.
Clue decks were already becoming relevant lately, and Proft can create even more value for these decks. It is a viable card, balanced just right, can potentially see play in Commander and surprise us all.
Vannifar, Evolved Enigma is a card that can easily fit into an Eldrazi deck, and that is why it stands out. Several plays, such as Omniscience, Kozilek, Butcher of Truth and similar, alongside blinks like Ghostly Flicker, make this deck reasonably viable.
Decks like Kadena, Slinking Sorcerer will also enjoy playing Vannifar with a Morph theme. We chose her because she is a strong commander in a simple way, and can be popular for a time as soon as this set is indeed released.
Having some sort of Scry can help you at certain times, and it will be even better if your deck works with your graveyard, considering you can place the card on top of your deck there directly, and feed it for future plays.
This set brought several interesting cards, and also brought some that appeared in the precon Commander decks. Overall, it is an okay set with a few cool additions, but nothing that is astounding or off the curve to the point it would really stand out in Commander.
If I had to choose the best one of all, I'd choose Delney, Streetwise Lookout, because it is a mini-throne that can significantly disrupt games.
What did you think of the cards we chose? Did we miss any? Would you remove a card from this list? Comment down below!
See you next time!