This summer, we’re being treated to an early gift (depending on how you look at it): this year’s batch of EDH pre-constructed decks, which this year, are tribal decks.
Well, someone has posted some spoilers on Twitter as to the various contents of one of the decks, and these are fairly legit looking… so let’s take a look at them, and see what impact they will have (if real).
When Wizards originally made the announcement that Commander 2017 would feature four tribal decks, the immediate question on everyone’s mind was, “Which tribes?” As an EDH player with a ridiculous number of tribal decks already, this was a highly relevant question to me!
My guess going into last week for what would be in Commander 2017 was some combination of Angels, Slivers, Dragons, and Goblins, with Zombies and Elves close behind. These have been among the most popular tribes ever released, so I can definitely see them being represented here.
Well, Twitter user @turnonethoughtseize put the EDH community in an uproar this week by uploading very believable pictures of pieces of a five-color Commander 2017 Dragon deck, including the new commanders. These do look legit enough that I wanted to make a quick mention of them (and Dragons was one of the various tribes that I figured we’d get, so it’s nice to be right).
Here’s a quick look at some of the spoiled cards:
The irony here with this card is that for a long time now, I’ve been thinking about converting our Zirilan of the Claw Dragon tribal deck, which is currently mono-red, into a five-color deck, which would have been led by Scion of the Ur-Dragon. I didn’t care for Scion’s combo-y nature, but I did want a Dragon tribal deck that could use any of the multicolor Dragons, as well as the “Dragons matter” cards like Fearsome Awakening, Haven of the Spirit Dragon, and Crux of Fate.
Well, if this guy is real, it seems I have an even better new general to work with. The Ur-Dragon is a humongous 10/10 flying beatdown machine for only nine mana (so he’s undercosted), gives you a large benefit while in the command zone (making your Dragons cost 1 less is a big deal, especially when their average mana cost is six, and will end up saving you a ton of mana over the course of a game), and his “draw a bunch of cards, dump a permanent into play when Dragons attack” is insane, letting you cheat even more on mana costs.
This guy, if real, is no joke, and I’ll definitely be looking to rebuild Zirilan as five-color Dragons upon his release.
She is not quite as exciting as the Ur-Dragon, however I did like seeing Wasitora for a few reasons. First, the Cat Dragon tokens she makes are adorable. Second, Wasitora is a MTG character from one of the early Kamigawa series of novels, so I found it very cool that Wizards has finally made a card for her.
Between this and the Ramos card that was also spoiled (a character from Mercadian Masques block), I love the direction Wizards is going in with Commander 2017 (lots of named characters, finally getting cards, like The Ur-Dragon).
Of all the leaks, Taigam is actually the most disappointing to me so far. He is a character from Khans block that finally gets a card (again, this is nostalgia, so I do like that), but his card to me is very meh. Your stuff can’t be countered? Meh. Your spells have rebound? Double meh.
I can see people pairing him up with stupid cards like Time Stretch, which is something I’d never do.
It’s cool that he finally got a card, but I don’t think it’s a healthy one for the format.
The final leaked card that I wanted to take a quick look at here today is both funny, and somewhat bad at the same time: O-Kagachi, Vengeful Kami. As with the others, this is a throwback character who has never made it onto a card; this was the leader of the Kami (spirits) during Kamigawa block, so his absence in that block was always bizarre.
O-Kagachi is actually my favorite of this leaked bunch (and not for good reasons). His ability (where you can exile things, but only if someone previously attacked you) really takes me back to Kamigawa block, making sure you have to jump through hoops to make it work.
This ability feels very ‘Kamigawa-esque’ to me (and will distract people from the fact that O-Kagachi is a huge 6/6 flying trampler for six mana, which is his real use).
I’ve been thinking about rebuilding our Spirit tribal deck anyway (it’s currently in mono-green, with Kodama of the South Tree as commander). Mono-green doesn’t really give you a lot of options for things you can do with it, and mostly sucks. The irony was that earlier this week, I was looking at a G/B Spirits rebuild with Iname as One as the general, but I was saddened that I could not use the Innistrad blue/white Spirit tribal cards… now I don’t have to use that awful general, since I can use O-Kagachi instead, and have all the Spirit tribal cards from across all five colors.
…Again, this is not going to be a good deck, but it’ll be better than mono-green Spirits!
So that’s a quick look at some of the leaked cards. If these are real, I like them a lot, and I can easily see me rebuilding some of my decks around them — five-color Dragons with The Ur-Dragon and five-color Spirits with O-Kagachi, Vengeful Kami would be sweet, and I’d love to add to my roster of bad tribal decks.
I definitely love the direction taken here, where characters that have never gotten a card before finally are doing so, and some of the ones they’ve picked are sweet.
(Now here’s hoping that one of the other decks is actually a Human tribal deck, so we can finally get a pre-planeswalker Urza card to go with Mishra, Artificer Prodigy!)
The Commander 2016 decks were a huge hit, and I expect these to be no different, since casual players everywhere love building around bad tribes. Here’s hoping these decks are on the same level as the 2016 pre-cons, since those decks were quite powerful, and had lots of useful cards in them.
One thing’s for sure: I’m really looking forward to finding out what’s in these decks!