Wallet Warriors: Top 10 Unstable Cards for EDH
Welcome back Wallet Warriors! The third Un-set is finally out! I hope you all have been having a blast at your release weekend playing wacky Magic! Today we’re going to be looking at the Top 10 best cards in Unstable for Commander!
For those who don’t know, the Commander Rules Committee announced on December first that silver bordered cards are legal in the format until the next banned list announcement.
I actually started writing this article before that announcement was made but I did not have to change much. I believe most people would have gotten around to trying some Unstable cards in Commander either way because the set is significantly less “jokey” than the first two Un-sets.
One of the biggest reasons I love Commander so much is that it lends itself to wacky boardstates and interactions. It is the place where you can try out your crazy six card combo and even if you don’t pull it off, you can still have fun trying something that would not be possible in any other format.
Will Silver Bordered cards be a fun addition to the format or will this blow up in all our faces? I’m not sure, but in any case, here are my: Top 10 Cards That Should Be Pretty Fun And Hopefully Not Completely Busted In Commander!
10: Earl of Squirrel
I have no idea why squirrels are so awesome in Magic but I’m not going to argue against it. As soon as the Unstable set symbol was spoiled and we knew there were going to be squirrels I was super excited to see what was coming down the conveyor belt.
I love this card for a bunch of reasons. For one, it’s insanely adorable, I mean just look at the art. Milivoj Ćeran knocked it out of the park and when our squirrel overlords take over I’m sure they will have a cosy pillow for him next to the acorn throne.
Also, it’s just a great card! It’s a squirrel lord that makes squirrels (with a hilarious keyword) and makes all your tokens into squirrels! I can definitely see people slotting this guy into their existing token decks or even as another win con since this is a nice “army in a can”.
- Very Cryptic Command
[Very Cryptic Command A] - [Very Cryptic Command B]
[Very Cryptic Command C] - [Very Cryptic Command D ]
[Very Cryptic Command E ] - [Very Cryptic Command F]
Before starting my first draft of this article I did what I would typically do for a set review which is wait until the full set was spoiled. What came as a shock to me and to a few others I imagine was that the full set was not actually spoiled at the end of spoiler season. There are a bunch of cards in the set with alternate versions that were revealed a week before the release date.
The Very Cryptic Command I was planning to write about is actually Very Cryptic Command (B) of a series (A) through (F).
Now after the initial panic of my wonderful list getting turned on it’s head I realized that most of these commands are similar in the sense that the abilities aren’t absolutely off the wall. Therefore I will keep them all at spot 9 on my list but rank them from 6 to 1 within this ranking.
6. (F) - Easily broken in commander due to the More or Less mode, can be very powerful and can combo with tons of cards.
5. (E) - Not super exciting, Most common modes used will be Counterspell and Unsummon
4. (B) - The first one that was revealed. A lot of relevant modes, versatile but not very goofy.
3. (A) - This one is unfortunately not actually that exciting but the art and story behind it puts it up to spot 3. Rest in Peace Wayne England
2. (D) - This one is the best of the non-silly ones as the first two modes are reminiscent of the original Cryptic Command and changing targets is always fun.
1. (C) - This one just has it all, drawing from opponents libraries, copying spells, turning things into frogs, and hey, a surprise chump blocker to boot.
- Over My Dead Bodies
Alright, after that cryptic situation this will be a cake-walk. Over My Dead Bodies is effectively a mass reanimation spell but will play out very interestingly. This card is similar to Living Death in the sense that it gives everyone their dead creatures back but instead of everyone losing the creatures they have on board, they just can’t interact with the dead ones.
This card will definitely be powerful but will also create a really interesting side-game where the players not only have to think about how to attack and block with their normal alive creatures but their dead ones too. This also adds another layer to the alive combat because deciding to trade off may not be so wise when you are just adding to your opponent's dead army.
- The Countdown is at One
Who doesn’t love subgames? Okay maybe not all sub-game cards are fun. (There’s a reason Shahrazad is banned in every format).
But this is one I can definitely get behind. This card mitigates the frustrating aspect of subgames, which is that they make games last way too long, in a very elegant way. Everyone’s at 1 life! You can play your subgame in a few minutes then get right back to your normal programming.
- Summon the Pack
I adore this mechanic. Opening boosters is just inherently fun for some reason. It’s been relatively common for people to include Booster Tutor in some commander decks as well as cubes even before the legality change and I’ve personally had one in my five color spellslinger deck for a while now and it's a blast to play with.
Summon the Pack is very expensive at 8 mana but hopefully you’re getting a decent-sized squad out of the deal. This card will be a lot of fun and I encourage people to try it out as a top end finisher in their black decks, even if it’s not the most reliable.
- Split Screen
This is easily the riskiest card on my list. I believe depending on the power level of your deck you may want to avoid including this one because it has the potential to be incredibly powerful. Where I’m looking to include this is in decks that can’t abuse the top of deck manipulation… that much.
This is just such a crazy effect that has never existed before and I think it would be put to great use in our format.
Ironically, I mentioned to be careful putting this in competitive decks however those decks tend to have lot of search effects which are actually made a lot worse with Split Screen in play.
- Phoebe, Head of S.N.E.A.K.
Phoebe cracks the top 4 because she so easily slots into an existing commander archetype: Stealing Everyone’s Stuff!
Commander is the format to bring out the big guns. Because of the nature of multiplayer formats, you need your cards to be heavy hitters to get anywhere. This is why cards that copy or steal other people's cards are so effective. They can be versatile answers as well as threats all in one. Phoebe fills that role and should be a great commander for any strategy looking to accomplish this goal.
- Everythingamajig (A)
Everythingamajig is another card that has 6 different versions but the only one that actually made it onto my list is the first one that was spoiled. I really like this card because it has a lot of aspects of a busted card but it's balanced by the fact that it is fairly expensive to get going. Moving +1/+1 counters onto planeswalkers to give them additional loyalty is very powerful but the card costs 5 mana to play 2 more to activate and needs to be tapped so it can’t be done more than once on it’s own.
There are tons of different niche applications for this card but it could also just slot into a deck based on counters since the first ability as well as Proliferate are very powerful.
- Baron Von Count
This card is pure evil. This villain of dastardly doom has mercilessly locked me and so many other commander deck builders into the task of scouring Gatherer to search for cards that can efficiently count down the doom clock.
Alright, maybe that’s not so bad. This is a fantastic build around commander that I will definitely be putting a lot of time into figuring out. Also, the card says “Destroy target player”! How can anyone not like it?
- Grusilda, Monster Masher
That’s right! The League of Dastardly Doom snagged the first and second spot on my list! Congratulations to Grusilda for coming out on top!
This card is wonderful because it is just on the cusp of being printed in a normal set but with that added Un-spice. Grusilda has a similar ability to The Mimeoplasm where she combines two things in any graveyards. The difference is that she combines them. She has no subtlety, she simply sees two corpses and mashes them together. This card is powerful but also fairly costed and not trivial to set up.
The reason Grusilda beats out Baron Von Count for the top spot is because I believe Grusilda has more staying power than The Count. Grusilda has the potential to be a legitimate commander that people love and tune over time whereas The Count is more on the gimmicky side of the Un-spectrum.
Alright and that’s my top 10-ish Unstable cards for Commander! You can probably expect to see a few of these cards in some future articles of mine which I’m really excited about.
I hope you all enjoy your Unstabling and I’ll catch you all next time!
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