10 Absolutely Frickin' Worst Commander Product Commanders
The multiverse was in a radically different place when the first Commander product came out way back in 2011. Mirrodin had just being compleated into New Phyrexia and we hadn’t even visited the beloved gothic horror plane of Innistrad… what an innocent time… With Commander 2018 RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER so it seems like a good time to reflect on the previous Commander products and talk about how Wizards has influenced the format with this specialty product. Like any company though, there are victories and mistakes but not every card can be a winner in the playability stand point. That brings us to our topic for today, “The Definitive Ranking of the 10 Absolutely Frickin' Worst Commander Product Commanders Pre-Commander 2018 Edition”! Hold onto your butts!
The reason Nekusar is awful is because of a high-level concept in Magic called “card advantage”. This concept is way too complicated to explain in this article but to Boil it down, “people with more cards have an advantage”. Nekusar lets you draw more cards but he also LETS ALL YOUR OPPONENTS DRAW CARDS! In a typical pod for each extra card you get there are three more cards drawn by your opponents. You might be thinking, “BUT CAMERON!!! Nekusar deals damage to my opponents when they draw!” and to you I say, “GIT GUD”! Black mages gather around their cauldrons like a bunch of witches and chant “life is a resource” as they jam Phyrexian Arena all night long!
Nekusar might be bad but Zedruu is an abomination! Before you can draw a card you have to spend mana to cast the card then spend even more mana to give the card to an opponent (sure you can give them a land but what is this, Soviet Russia?). Think of all your precious cards being touched by that person across the table! It just makes you want to puke in your mouth! Why would Wizards do this?! At least you get to gain some life which will help you survive long enough to give more of your hard-earned cards to your opponents…
I don’t know if people at Wizards know how to play Commander… Enfranchised players know that “Commander Damage” is the best way to win a game and gaining two life doesn’t help you against that. By the time you get to enough mana to even cast Oloro you opponents will have so much stuff on the board that they can just attack around your janky 4/5 giant. Speaking of giant, what kind of giant is only a 4/5? Real giants, like Bearer of the Heavens, are 10/10’s and even the puny “Titan” cycle from Magic 2011 were 6/6’s!
Dies to Lightning Bolt… Not only did design fail on this card but where was creative? Everyone knows there are FOUR ELEMENTS so how can this be the “soul” when it is only three colors!
That would be like if the Avatar couldn’t bend air! Don’t even give me the “blue represents water and air”! It is just wrong!
Many people have been waiting for a Blue/Red artifact commander, but does Wizards listen? NO! Instead they gave us this pile of garbage that also has Black and White… On top of that you have to sacrifice your precious artifacts just to get some mediocre abilities bleh. Two mana AND sacrifice two artifacts to deal three damage to a player or planeswalker? I’ll take effects that wouldn’t even be playable in Modern Burn for 100, Alex! At least it gives you an excuse to run all those cluestones from Return to Ravnica block!
Derevi is basically that clingy ex that won’t leave you alone or that person that text you at 1:30 in the morning saying “u up”. You try to get rid of it but nope, “1GWU: Put Derevi onto the battlefield from the command zone”! People wouldn’t play it if it wasn’t so clingy with this ability! Blocking their number with Nevermore doesn’t even work! Eventually you have to switch to 1vs1 where they were smart enough to ban the bird.
Raise a glass to all those cards that are so bad Wizards had to have them go infinite with a single card. Would these cards even see play if not for Master of Cruelties, Food Chain, or Wanderwine Prophets? Come on Wizards! Good cards don’t need to go infinite with only one other card! If I have learned anything from watching Magic videos on YouTube it is better to be known for assembling elaborate combos that “break the format” and keeping one land hands.
Why didn’t Wizards talk with the Rules Committee before printing this? They really should have known that planeswalkers can’t be commanders before they printed this card, what’s next enchantments that can be your commander? As with all the planeswalkers that can be commanders this dies to Dreadbore which is a staple of the format and you can’t even win with Commander Damage!
This trashy vampire fails the “vanilla test” by being a six mana 4/4… take a moment to let it sink in that Siege Rhino was a four mana 4/5! Wizards even tried to make the card good by giving it the Eminence ability but what good are 1/1’s? I wish Wizards would have learned from the failure of Oloro that Command Zone abilities need to actually not suck in order for the card to make an impact. Like Derevi, Edgar is so bad that he had to be banned in 1vs1 Commander!
As a Modern Merfolk player, I expect great things whenever we have a low-cost merfolk printed but really Wizards?!?! Where is the merfolk synergy? Who would pay four mana to put a land into play when YOU GET TO PLAY A LAND FOR FREE EVERY TURN? Sure, I guess you get to draw a card if the top card isn’t a land, but Divination draws two cards for only three mana! Kumena, Tyrant of Orazca only cost one more mana than Thrasios and can draw cards by tapping your creatures! Instead of wasting 4 mana a turn you could be casting more sweet merfolk to draw cards! I guess you can make the argument that Thrasios obviously is worse than Kumena since it was given the throwaway mechanic of “other cards with Partner can only partner with Thrasios”.
With Commander’s popularity shrinking over the past couple years I expected Wizards to step up their game with these products to try to save the format. If they could nail it they could basically print money for themselves because people would line up to buy every single deck! I hope Commander 2018 will bring some interesting commanders. Maybe one with really cool graveyard synergies or one that works well with planeswalkers, and if Wizards really wanted to go crazy they could throw a legacy playable card in one of the decks so it would actually sell copies.
Shout out to Steve for helping refine some of the jokes here!
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