Under-the-Radar Commander Cards, October ’22

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It's time to talk about some hidden gems that you may want to try at your next Commander table. Let's begin!

Warcraft Isn't Just an MMO

The first card I want to discuss is Master Warcraft, a sleeper with incredible potential.

You decide who attacks, you decide who blocks, and if they even do. This is a situational board wipe and also a potential player wipe. It's impossible for you to die this combat, even if they have infinite creatures that are indestructible, hexproof or with protection from you, unblockable, etc. Merely a Aven Fogbringer for four mana, though, is not worth playing, and even though this card has been reprinted and put in a lot of Commander pre-cons I've never seen anyone use it.

However, the ceiling on this card is unbelievable. You can forge alliances, destroy board positions, completely ruin the plans of up to three other players simultaneously and ultimately take complete control of a game. The best part, of course, is that you don't even need a board state to do this... you just cast the spell!

It's even great if you happen to find yourself going up against three players. Casting a board wipe stalls your opponents, sure, but it reinforces them unifying against you. On top of that, you usually lose your board as well! Warcraft is significantly better here because you can use the other players to wipe their own boards, completely kill off attackers, or even gain an ally by sparing one of the players from a one-sided combat step. This is an impressive card that can handle a mind bogglingly high number of complex situations.

The Key to a Strong Deck

Voltaic Key has always been a playable and well-known Commander card that has slowly been edged out by the massive number of new options. But Manifold Key is one of those newer options that is in surprisingly few decks. It's a diplomacy tool on top of being, generally, a great ramping artifact. A tricky, versatile, and just all-around excellent card, it's cheap and can go in a large number of decks. The ultimate backstab? Tell someone to attack and wait until they commit before not making their guy unblockable. It's removal (with extra steps)!

They Would Have Won, If Not for Your Meddling

Close to Spellskite 2.0, but with flash. It's effectively an interesting proposition that I have seen pay off spectacularly more than it fails. Most of the time, Mizzium Meddler eats a removal spell and dies. So at the bottom end, it's effectively a three-mana protection spell or a counter, which is not that great. However, sometimes it steals a bonkers-level effect. Some Auras can be snatched with this too; my best so far is Bear Umbra, which allowed me to untap my lands even though I didn't control the enchantment! With a moderate floor and a high ceiling, Meddler interacts with virtually all of the removal in the EDREC Top 100 and other unexpected situations.

Unbelievable Value for One Mana

A dude that says "let's make a deal:" Soldevi Sentry has proven surprisingly excellent at dictating combat. As a one-mana artifact that can go in any deck, the Sentry acts as a deterrent and diplomatic tool. As a Soldier, it also has a heavily-supported creature type. Is it one of the best blockers? No, because it doesn't fly or deal with trample. The real purpose is giving cards to your "friendly" opponents by blocking on their turn, attacking into them on your turn, and even eating "removal" to trigger the draw clause. It has synergy with many other deck archetypes as well such as Nekusar, the Mindrazer.

I Command You to Check Out These Cards

Prismari Command is unlikely to be that surprising, as it has hit the top 100 Instants. But that's the issue: it's just barely in at 100th place. This card is obviously good, but I feel like it's under-appreciated. Every mode on the card is solid, and picking two modes is crazy value. There is no situation where both modes won't be one of the best plays you can make. For three mana, it's an absolute bargain. Alternatively, you can use both modes to help another player by filtering their hand and giving them a Buried Treasure. If you can't solve a situation, maybe another player can. Talk about flexible!

But What About Witherbloom?

Witherbloom Command is also really useful. Four different options that are relevant at all points in a game. Early on, the second option to blow up a noncreature, nonland permanent is the play likely followed by the -3/-1 option to clear a small creature. Late-game, getting back a land like Boseiju, Who Endures or a fetch land for landfall triggers has tremendous value. It's only two mana and it trumps a lot of the commonly played EDREC top 100. Give this flexible and cheap card a second look for your green/black decks.

Izzet My Favorite Guild? Nope!

Each half of Turn // Burn is reasonably priced and playable. Fused together, it deals with a lot of potential threats. There are several cards like Stifle or Trickbind that can stop a lot of situations, and they are cheaper than Turn.

However, they do not scale the same. Late game, your relatively cheap interactions tend to not be very useful. Burn certainly won't kill much of note either, late game, yet the entire card itself scales perfectly.

Another absolutely massive advantage is its interaction with cost reducers like Goblin Electromancer. Double value off reduction is strong. Of course, in some situations, you can Turn one creature and Burn another, giving you card advantage as well.

Death to All Enchantments

Enchantments are the hidden OP permanents of Commander games, and enchantment removal is sorely lacking in most decks. Well, have you seen Reverent Silence? Everyone goes crazy over other free spells, so why not a free enchantment wipe?

While the regular card price has stayed about the same, the foil price has crept up slowly and steadily. I'm also using it in my copy of Aeve, Progenitor Ooze as a storm count builder because you cannot beat "free" for storm!

Another Blast from the Past

Sometimes killing something is pointless, as it will be recurred. But Mystic Repeal really removes any Enchantment for one mana, including indestructible things as well.

When Commander was new this saw a lot of play, but it's slowly been crowded out by other options. Not better options, mind you, merely other, newer options. The onslaught of powerful enchantments makes removal for them appreciate in value, and for one mana, Repeal is an excellent option.

A small number of cards reference the bottom of a deck. If that concept ever expands, Repeal could see significantly more play. There's also the rare situation when you can blank a Thassa's Oracle, too. Nature's Claim can never do that!

Fast Mana and Dual Purpose

A mana-neutral creature becomes, quite easily, a mana positive creature. Priest of Gix works with Jet Medallion or K'rrik, Son of Yawgmoth or even Helm of Awakening to generate extra mana. On top of that, there are plenty of other interesting things for the priest to do, like be sacrificed to Deadly Dispute or Village Rites; that generate cards and even more mana through treasure.

But, of course, black now has so many cards like Undying Evil or Undying Malice or Feign Death that you can continue to generate advantage and mana for each time you re-use the Priest. This guy is a real Black Lotus.

Your Mileage (And Meta) May Vary

These cards all play well at my local stores, and no one on SpellTable has complained yet, although Warcraft has surprised a lot of tables and Sentry has left more than one person extremely salty when they were not getting free cards. Of course, Commander is a dish best served shared. What are some of your favorite cards that you think don't receive enough attention? Let me know in the comments!

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Joe Mauri

Joe has been an avid MTG player and collector since the summer of 1994 when he started his collection with a booster box of Revised. Millions of cards later he still enjoys tapping lands and slinging spells at the kitchen table, LGS, or digital Arena. Commander followed by Draft are his favorite formats, but, he absolutely loves tournaments with unique build restrictions and alternate rules. A lover of all things feline, he currently resides with no less than five majestic creatures who are never allowed anywhere near his cards. When not Gathering the Magic, Joe loves streaming a variety of games on Twitch( both card and other.

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