Hello and welcome back to the Single Card Discussion series! After my pieces on The Eldest Reborn and Dualcaster Mage, it’s time to take a look at yet another multiplayer gem that I feel has been sadly overlooked.
Today’s card is one that I’ve thought was useful in multiplayer since it was first spoiled many years ago, and though it does see play, I’m shocked that I haven’t seen a lot of talk about it. Today’s featured card is Commander 2017’s Alms Collector, from the Cat tribal deck!
Let’s take a look!
Thus far in my Single Card series, I’ve looked at some great multiplayer gems.
• I started the series with Utter End, my favorite spot removal spell from Khans, here.
• I looked at a red card, Outpost Siege, my overall favorite card from Fate Reforged, here.
• Another red card, Greater Gargadon, a fantastic sacrifice outlet, here.
• I looked at the first monowhite card, the tricksy Seht’s Tiger here.
• The first blue card of the series, Gilded Drake, a potent thievery effect, here.
• I went over white control card World Queller and how to use its powerful effect here.
• I looked at the once-restricted blue recursion card Recall, the only blue card that can recur dead planeswalkers (plus any other type of card), here.
• I went over the first black card of this series, Commander 2014’s Flesh Carver, an excellent sacrifice outlet here.
• As part of my week-long look at Modern Masters 2015 cards, I looked at Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder, and his token-making prowess here.
• We went over the red sweeper Magmaquake, which hits all planeswalkers at once, here.
• I looked at Shrouded Lore, a strange black recursion spell, here.
• We discussed the power of tapping down opposing creatures with a trio of white cards: Glare of Subdual, Sandsower, and Diversionary Tactics, here.
• I took a look at two green recursion creatures, Hua Tuo, Honored Physician, and Loaming Shaman from Ravnica, here.
• I looked at an Innistrad favourite, Reaper from the Abyss, an excellent card for killing off opposing creatures, here.
• I looked at the powerful Magic Origins card Chandra’s Ignition, a mighty Wrath effect/player killer, here.
• I spotlighted Vorinclex’s potent new win condition and mana-ramp spell, From Beyond, and the possibilities of an Eldrazi sideboard here.
• I looked at my favourite modal spell from Commander 2014, the deceptively useful Wretched Confluence here.
• I looked at new Ally tribal leader General Tazri and how she would interact with the Allies here.
• I looked at the Mana Reflection/Soul of the Harvest love child, Zendikar Resurgent here.
• I looked at the super Purify slash big dude, Kalemne’s Captain, here.
• I went over one of my favorite lands from Shadows Over Innistrad block, Westvale Abbey (and its flip side, Ormendahl) here.
• I took a look at Amonkhet’s new powerhouse card drawing spell, Pull from Tomorrow, which is deceptively good, here.
• I went over the aftermath all-star, Commit // Memory, a powerful and flexible bounce spell and draw 7, here.
• I looked at a third Amonkhet card, as I looked at a second aftermath card, Dusk // Dawn here.
• I took a look at a fourth Amonkhet card, Mouth // Feed, which was the third aftermath card that I really liked, here.
• I shared my thoughts on the simple-but-powerful Commander 2013 land, Opal Palace here.
• I looked at Hour of Devastation’s graveyard-hosing Scavenger Grounds here.
• I delved into Commander’s Verdant Confluence here.
• I looked at Theros’s Bow of Nylea here.
• I took a look at a removal spell that has aged very well, The Dark’s Ashes to Ashes here.
• I looked at a simple, yet deceptively powerful Equipment card, Bloodforged Battle-Axe, here.
• We went over the surprisingly useful split card Pure // Simple, the bane of Equipment, Auras and multicolor creatures, here.
• I looked at super fun “swap my team for yours” card, Cultural Exchange here.
• I took a look at the cards with the myriad ability from Commander 2015 here.
• I looked at classic Urza’s Destiny rattlesnake card, False Prophet, an excellent way to deter attacks, here.
• I took a look at Commander 2014’s Fork variant-on-a-dude, Dualcaster Mage here.
• Finally, I looked at new Dominaria card The Eldest Reborn, which is a great mix of one-shot kill spell and recursion, here.
Much like the last card I looked at, The Eldest Reborn, today’s card Alms Collector is from a fairly recent set — Commander 2017 — and does a lot of work for white players. He was also one of my favorite designs from last year’s batch of precons, so let’s dive right in.
The Collector is what is known as a ‘hate-bear’, a creature that hoses a particular thing in Magic. Through the course of the last decade or so, we have seen a lot of hatebears printed, with everything from “I hose into-play triggers” (Hushwing Gryff), to “Your spells cost more mana” (Thalia, Guardian of Thraben), to “You can’t search your deck” (Aven Mindcensor), and many other hosing effects like them to ensure your opponents play fair Magic.
In this particular case, Alms Collector is a hatebear that loves to hose card-drawing spells that draw more than one card, forcing your opponents to play fair and not draw extra cards. Notably, his ‘taxing’ effect does not stop you from playing spells that draw extra cards, which is sweet. I also adore that he draws you a card every time he hoses someone, this is great.
It doesn’t come up often, but it’s worth mentioning that if you play a spell that forces opponents to draw two or more cards (something like Wheel of Fortune, say), the Collector will shut them down from drawing more than one card. This is fairly mean, and an effect that got Leovold, Emissary of Trest banned in EDH, but it’s worth mentioning that it is a thing you can do.
The Collector also happens to have flash, letting you time his arrival perfectly to disrupt someone’s card-drawing spell. I love flash here, it just makes so much sense on this card, and gives you lots of opportunities to wreck people.
Ironically, one of his best uses is as a removal spell in combat: thanks to flash, you can block and kill a smaller creature, even though your opponent thinks you have no creatures and you’re open.
So that’s a quick look at Alms Collector. I think this is a great card for white to have access to, since the other colors normally outdraw you if you’re playing white, and it’s a great budget option as well. Just a fantastic card overall.