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Top 10 Cards From 2018
Another Lap Around the Sun
As the year draws to a close, people have a habit of looking back and evaluating the last year. It might seem a bit arbitrary, but it’s a way we’re collectively wired. Another way we’re collectively wired? We love lists: debating, comparing, and coming up with them is something we all seem to enjoy, and the authors at EDHREC are no different. We collectively decided to come up with our own Top 10 lists of new cards that we’re printed in the last 365 days.
The only parameters given were that they had to be new cards printed in Rivals of Ixalan, Dominaria, Battlebond, M19, Commander 2018, or Guilds of Ravnica. There are a plethora of amazing cards in both A25 and Ultimate Masters, but these were excluded since they are made up entirely of reprints.
Enjoy the lists of some of our favorite cards of this year, and stay tuned for the end of the article where we showcase the 10 most popular cards and commanders of 2018!
- Thousand-Year Storm – Emperor Palpatine says it best:
- Divine Visitation – This isn’t a card I’d typically play, because I’m not much of a token player, but is the exact sort of card that makes me want to play tokens. Very splashy and fun.
- The Mirari Conjecture – Recur my spells and then double them? Please and thank you.
- Slaughter the Strong – Board wipes that cost 3 and get around indestructibility are unheard of. It won’t work in every single situation, but when it does, it’s incredible.
- Storm the Vault – Treasures are, in my opinion, highly underrated. The fact that this gives lots of Treasure tokens and then becomes a Tolarian Academy is very fair and balanced Magic. Tolarian Academy never did anything broken.
- Pir’s Whim – A political tool, artifact/enchantment hate, and ramp, all in a tiny 4-mana package. This is the sort of card that will see play until the inevitable heat death of the universe.
- Aminatou, the Fateshifter – This is my favorite new commander from this year. It costs 3, which is great, its +1 is better than it looks, its -1 has a plethora of uses, and the ultimate ability creates the sort of chaos that’s simple, fun, and memorable, as opposed to the chaos from cards like Possibility Storm and Scrambleverse.
- Sower of Discord – One of my pet cards is Cruel Entertainment, and while this creature isn’t exactly Cruel Entertainment, it creates similar situations by incentivizing players to wreck one another. If you enjoy Saskia, the Unyielding, you’ll love this.
- Aminatou’s Augury – When I first started playing this card, I wrote it off as fun, but bad. However, the amount of potential value made it worth the slot. Over time I noticed that basically every time I resolved this card, I won the game in short order. It can whiff spectacularly, but that just adds to the excitement.
- Apex of Power – Every set has a card that’s seemingly the product of some casual EDH player’s fever dream. Behold, M19’s addition to this exclusive club.
I write the In the Margins and Superior Numbers column for EDHREC. I also appears weekly on the EDHRECast and CMDR Central podcasts. When I create content, my goal is to have the person on the other end walk away having learned at least one thing, no matter how small.” (Twitter: @danaroach)
- Experimental Frenzy – Bonkers good in other formats, but it’s a legit card in red and Boros, and maybe the best draw spell they’ve gotten since Outpost Siege.
- Storm the Vault – There’re almost 3,500 Breya, Etherium Shaper decks in the EDHREC database, which means we should have almost 3,500 decks running Storm the Vault from Breya alone, plus another few thousand from Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer, Saheeli, the Gifted, etc. But nope, there’s a mere 1,100 total. That’s wrong for a card that almost accidentally turns into Tolarian Academy.
- Twilight Prophet – This should be in every Vampire tribal deck ever printed, and a bunch more besides. It just does all the things.
- Path of Discovery – It’s a legit win condition in token decks and Elfball go-wide creature decks. It’s green’s Cathars’ Crusade, another win-con in similar decks that got slept on for far too long.
- Tendershoot Dryad – So, so much value in any token deck.
- World Shaper – Great in Lord Windgrace or any Landfall deck. It just generates value.
- Assassin’s Trophy – An immediate removal staple, and the worst thing that’s ever happened to Putrefy.
- Sylvan Awakening – A Landfall deck win-con that dodges Cyclonic Rift.
- Pir’s Whim – Even if your opponents don’t have enchantments and artifacts, you still get to grab that Cabal Coffers or Glacial Chasm. The worst case scenario here is still pretty good, and the best case scenario is gross.
- Notion Rain – What if they made Read the Bones that was even better in decks like Sidisi, Brood Tyrant or Scarab God or half a dozen other decks that care about the graveyard? Turns out, they did.
I write the Making the Cut series, where I delve into hard decisions to get decks down to the required 100. Whether it’s a new deck, an existing deck, or you’re trying to help out a friend, we’ve all struggled with those final cuts, so check out the series for strategies to make those choices easier!
WARNING: Golgari Incoming!
- Battlebond Dual Lands — Yeah, you can’t search for them, but they also cost $5 instead of $300. You’re going to see these from not on in pretty much every Commander game ever.
- Boreas Charger — Speaking of things that go in every deck now, this card… doesn’t. However, it does go in every mono-white and Boros deck, so you can keep up with the ramp and the Cabal Coffers of the world.
- Runic Armasaur — Beast Whisperer is rated higher here on EDHREC, but honestly, I feel like it shouldn’t be. Armasaur is cheaper, most likely going to draw you more cards, and has a much more relevant rear end.
- Assassin’s Trophy — You were looking to replace all your Putrefys, weren’t you?
- Burglar Rat — When I began playing EDH, I immediately threw Ravenous Rats into every black deck, only to slowly find that affecting a single player was usually not good enough. Well, here you go, past self!
- Plaguecrafter — Speaking of power creep, now all of us have to ask how many Fleshbag Marauders and Merciless Executioners is too many. However many that is, this is the first one you put in.
- Isolated Watchtower — If you aren’t already putting Terrain Generator in all of your nongreen monocolor decks, you probably should be. Here’s the thing, though: this card is much, much better.
- Ravenous Chupacabra — This hungry little guy is already budging out some of the Nekrataals, Shriekmaws, Big Game Hunters, and Bone Shredders of the world.
- Thrashing Brontodon — Did you know there are now three Torpor Orb effects? You should consider this guy in addition to (or in place of) your Reclamation Sages. Unless you’re an old-school hipster who still plays Uktabi Orangutan, of course. In that case, you do you!
- Dawn of Hope — Go ahead and search how many white cards say “draw” on them. Better yet, I’ll save you a click: the answer is 89. Of those, only a third are playable. Of those, only a third are repeatable effects, and even then, they’re either punishers like Alms Collector or build-arounds like Mesa Enchantress. Dawn of Hope is more proactive, turning incidental lifegain into cards and pumping out blockers that help it along!
- Etali, Primal Storm – Powerful enough for Legacy but playable in EDH, this card is both a commander and a 99-inclusion and shines in both roles. Free spells are good. Free enemy spells is even better. Pair with Mass Land Destruction to be the only one casting spells. Sounds dirty? It is.
- Tendershoot Dryad – Easily the best “every upkeep” token producer, this gets the City’s Blessing easily and then fills the board with medium-sized beaters. Any token deck with green access gets out of control if this sticks.
- Wayward Swordtooth – Extra lands on a relevant body? Sign me up.
- Muldrotha, the Gravetide – I didn’t include a ton of commanders on this list, but as much as this is the go-to for the unimaginative, the sheer power here can’t be ignored.
- Helm of the Host – There really isn’t a bad target for this Equipment, and if you really want the game to end with Godo, Bandit Lord or Combat Celebrant, then it’s about time mono-red had a Laboratory Maniac-tier card.
- Battlebond Dual Lands – This is technically 5 cards, but shut up. These lands are perfect.
- Vaevictis Asmadi, the Dire – Better in the 99 than the command zone, this is the Jundiest card to ever Jund.
- Windgrace’s Judgment – The worst Commander 2018 deck gave us solid removal spell we’ll be using for years.
- Estrid’s Invocation – This is pretty narrow, but I don’t care. This is my list and I want to add my favorite card from Commander 2018. Any card that can change targets to eliminate the regret of playing it too early is solid in my book, and this does a ton of work.
- Thousand-Year Storm – Big, dumb red and blue enchantments like Sunbird’s Invocation and Swarm Intelligence make it onto my lists all day, and this is the best one printed in… maybe ever.
I’m a champion of underplayed legends everywhere. Check out my series, the Underdog’s Corner, where I put a spotlight on the overlooked generals of EDH. (Twitter: @K_Mason64)
- Emmara, Soul of the Accord – Emmara commands my favorite deck, and as such, she gets the #1 spot. Among all my decks, she has never been left at home.
- Commander 2018 Legends – As someone who has 4 of the legends from C18 built and another in the brewing stage, I literally can’t pick one. These legends collectively make my #2 spot. Yes, I know it’s cheating.
- Battlebond Dual Lands – Untapped dual lands for Commander? Thank you, WoTC! These would be my #1 if not for the fact that, once again, we have to wait for the enemy-colored versions.
- Stolen Strategy – I absolutely love Gonti, Lord of Luxury, and this card delivers. Red is my least favorite color, but this card makes me look at every red-inclusive legend in hopes that one sparks my interests.
- Thousand-Year Storm – This card single-handedly makes me want to build a spellslinger deck. In my eyes, this type of grandiose effect defines EDH.
- Estrid’s Invocation – This is my favorite card in Tuvasa the Sunlist. Shenanigans can (and do) occur once this on the board.
- Journey to Eternity – I had my doubts until I saw it in action. Once it flips, it’s just a problem.
- Heavenly Blademaster – There are few cards that I have windmill slammed into an existing deck faster than this one. This does everything that my Nazahn, Revered Blademaster deck could ever hope for.
- Doom Whisper – Do you like paying life, filling your graveyard, or just manipulating the top of your deck? Doom Whisperer does all of those, and even presents a threatening body. The award for “Card-I’m-Most-Excited-To-Draw-But-Still-Haven’t-Yet” goes to this Nightmare Demon.
- Muldrotha, the Gravetide – My build is a bit ‘samey’ when compared to other lists, but I don’t mind that. While I don’t play her as often anymore, I was more excited for her than any other commander this year.
I write the Lore Seeker article series, which, as the name implies, focuses on the lore of Magic. I like to analyze a legendary creature without much mythos surrounding it, and give it both a good story and a good deck. If you like flavorful brews, check it out!
(My list is in no particular order.)
- Stitcher’s Supplier – This is a great addition to any Zombie or self-milling reanimation deck. If you know what you’re doing, this one-drop virtually draws 6 cards. That’s a lot of work for a little critter.
- Suspicious Bookcase – The flavor of this card is fantastic; I needed to include it for no other reason than that. The classic secret passage trope embodied in a Magic card.
- Plaguecrafter – A “strictly better” version of Fleshbag Marauder or Merciless Executioner. All three of these are great with a recursive engine, and unlike the prior two, Plaguecrafter still gives you value even if your opponents don’t have anything to sacrifice.
- Doom Whisperer – This card is busted. At its base, it’s a 6/6 flyer with trample for five mana. As stated with Stitcher’s Supplier, in the right deck, self-mill is basically card draw. With the abundant amount life supplied by our format, Doom Whisperer allows for some serious digging.
- Assassin’s Trophy – The spell everyone raved about in spoiler season, and which turns any of your opponents’ permanents into a basic land. I’m excited because it fits under Isochron Scepter. If you want to be a true monster, add a Sol Ring and Paradox Engine to blow up every permanent your foes control. Ouch.
- Chaos Wand – Not a particularly powerful card, but I like that Wizards is adding magic wands to the game. This card is also silly when joined with Paradox Engine. Turns out Paradox Engine is pretty strong.
- Psychic Corrosion – This is the best multiplayer mill spell (aside from maybe Mesmeric Orb). It makes mill much more viable, especially when joined with extra draw spells like Windfall. My mill deck featuring The Locust God is very happy about it.
- Lord Windgrace – I’ve been working on five-color lands deck for a few years. Lord Windgrace is an excellent addition, but I’m happiest that he generated an influx of new Landfall decks. Since my lands deck has percolated for a while, I’ve been able to give some advice for new brewers, and get ideas from new lists as well.
- Teferi, Hero of Dominaria – Looking at his price, it’s no surprise to anyone that Teferi is strong. I don’t own one yet, but I look forward to picking up a couple at rotation. Teferi is a control player’s dream, and I am wholeheartedly a control player.
- Nexus of Fate – I don’t often like extra turn spells, but this one is a lot of fun. It’s repeatable, but requires a lot of work to fully abuse. The fact that it’s instant speed also sets up opportunities to slot your extra turn between players you normally wouldn’t go between. Plus, it features beautiful foil art of an awesome moment in Magic lore.
Hey fanatics, I’m Willem-Jan, author of Shape Anew, where I build decks with popular commanders without using cards and strategies often associated with that commander. This means I’m a casual pleb, as might be evident from my card choices today. (Twitter: @ellogeyen)
- Garna, the Bloodflame – As my current favorite commander, Garna deserves the top spot. She gets cards put in the graveyard from anywhere. I cannot figure out why she’s lacking in popularity.
- Metamorphic Alteration – One of the most versatile spells of this year, it can remove a problematic creature or make it the best one on the battlefield. Almost never a dead card in your hand.
- Aminatou, the Fateshifter – I think this is the best commander from C18, because she has so many possible routes to victory. Top-deck control, blink control, creature control, control control, everything!
- Tatyova, Benthic Druid – I built a deck around this card. It owned. Maybe a little too much. I don’t understand how this is an uncommon.
- Journey to Eternity – This shines with a sacrifice outlet, not only redoing a creature’s ETB ability, but also ramping you and becoming its very own value engine.
- Ravenous Chupacabra – Possibly the cheapest unconditional removal spell stamped on a creature. Having spare bodies in black is essential, and this is already a staple in many strategies.
- Plaguecrafter – An upgrade from his former colleagues, though I mainly see it as an addition, not a replacement. We can now play three copies of this effect!
- Thousand-Year Storm – This deck single-handedly caused me to lose the greatest number of games this year, so it’s only fair to give it a spot on the list. If you see it, answer it fast.
- Grothama, All-Devouring – I love it; a story within one card, though a little hard to actually get working. This has a lot of untapped potential.
- Pir’s Whim – It does several things very efficiently, is a great political card, and most of all, it’s completely flying under the radar. Get a copy now!
- Battlebond Dual Lands – In short, these lands are clean, efficient, unconditional fixing. I love this design by WoTC to cater to us Commander players, giving us cards that meet our needs without also incurring the demand of other formats.
- Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain – This makes me nostalgic for a time when artifacts were king, and Magic was a lot less fair. Without a doubt, this is my favorite new commander of the year.
- Cleansing Nova – This card does everything you want a removal spell to do, and I can’t imagine there will be a card that replaces it for a long while.
- Bramble Sovereign – A four-mana 4/4 with an obscenely cheap triggered ability to copy our best creatures? That’s broken! This is on my short list of pet cards to find a home for.
- Twilight Prophet – One extra mana for a Phyrexian Arena on a stick that also drains our opponents? By the numbers, this card is unreal.
- Doom Whisperer – Two life to stack your deck and fill the graveyard? The perfect tutor for a graveyard deck.
- Timestream Navigator – When this ability shows up on a creature, I’m forced to take notice. I’ve shoved this card in many decks to eke out its combo potential.
- Nezahal, Primal Tide – I’ve written more about Nezahal than any other card on this list. This card does everything: it’s huge, it draws cards, and it protects itself in the process.
- Spellseeker – This card shone immensely in my Epic Experiment deck, and ever since, I’ve been wanting to find more homes for it.
- Etali, Primal Storm – I love Etali. She embodies everything I’m about. She’s big, she cheats spells into play, she steals our opponents’ stuff, she’s a little chaotic, and with some haste, she’ll do it all in the same turn.
I’m the Laboratory Maniac behind the Epic Experiment series. I look for unique ways to build each deck; once we leave the surface level of a commander, we find very interesting ideas worth exploring.
- Lazav, the Multifarious – This card begs to be broken, and there are many ways to do so. Now we’ll have to keep our eye on every good Dimir creature because of it.
- Mission Briefing – There are so many things going for this card. It’s a budget replacement for Snapcaster Mage and has a powerful, versatile effect. Spellslinger decks across the board will be happy with it.
- Teshar, Ancestor’s Apostle – Solid design in a color that suffers a lot with the lack of tools it was given. Mono-white has neither draw or ramp, Teshar provides both, attaching freebies to each of your spells. A clear step in the right direction.
- Izoni, Thousand-Eyed – I wasn’t sold on Izoni at first. I had to build a whole deck to really understand her sheer value. By using her tokens as a resource, you’ll put yourself in a position to cast her again, this time with more tokens. Repeat until you win the game.
- Muldrotha, the Gravetide – Recursion engine on legs? With access to the best three colors in the format? And it works with multiple types of permanents? The only reason Muldrotha isn’t higher on the list is because she’s a kill-on-sight kind commander, and perhaps has the tendency to durdle around too much.
- Plaguecrafter – Merciless Executioner and Fleshbag Marauder’s days are over. We have a new sheriff in town.
- Ravenous Chupacabra – The final form of Nekrataal. Cheap, unconditional removal that can be easily reanimated, flickered, or bounced is very much appreciated.
- Bonus Round – A powerful effect that can lead to very explosive turns, it still manages to feel unique when compared to similar effects.
- Najeela, the Blade-Blossom – Warriors are a varied tribe, appearing in many different planes and colors, so it’s nice to have a dedicated five-color commander for them, especially one that appeals to casual and competitive players alike.
- Stitcher’s Supplier – Cheap body that enables graveyard degeneracy both entering the battlefield and leaving it? Many graveyard based decks will benefit from this card.
I am Elijah, an EDH addict that got started in BFZ. My series, The Toolbox, discusses weird/underrated cards, delving into what they can do and where they should see more play.
In no particular order, these are my top 10:
- Tendershoot Dryad – A lord that makes tokens is just amazing. You can’t really go wrong there.
- Muldrotha, the Gravetide – I love playing a ton of things from my bin! What can I say, I love value.
- The Eldest Reborn – A five-mana Saga where every single mode is pretty good. I love the Sagas, and this one takes the cake.
- Thousand-Year Storm – This card is amazing! I love Storm and spellslinger decks, so I could not be happier with another enabler.
- Mission Briefing – Casting stuff from the bin and spellslinging are two of my favorite things. Throw in Surveil and it just keeps getting better!
- Boros Locket – I wasn’t a fan of the Lockets at first, but after playing them, I’ve come around. The mana and the ability to cash them in for cards is just great.
- Bramble Sovereign – Copying any creature you play at a reasonable cost is just perfect. Need I say more?
- Sporecrown Thallid/Fungal Plots/Slimefoot, the Stowaway – I love the Fungi tribe because they’re pretty fun guys. I’m sorry, I had to make the joke. In truth, they are underrepresented, so it’s great to see a suite of cards like this.
- Broken Bond – My favorite commander is Omnath, Locus of Rage, so a Disenchant that lets me play an extra land is incredible.
- Etrata, the Silcencer – I loved playing Etrata at GP Atlanta and think she is a super unique commander. It’s a bit of a niche pick, but I really love her design!
I’ve played Magic since Fifth Dawn. I’ve played many formats over the years, and my favorite is Commander. Curious by nature, I enjoy deckbuilding as much as playing the game. In my current series, Pursuit of Knowledge, I present the strength of individual cards based on EDH gameplay data and EDHREC statistics, and explain how this information can be used to create powerful decks.
- Plaguecrafter – Fleshbag Marauder is a staple in EDH and this new card is a better version. Plaguecrafter will find its way in to decks for years to come.
- Muldrotha, the Gravetide – With 1,176 decks on EDHREC, this mighty Elemental is the Queen of the 2018 commander crop. This commander is so versatile, no two Muldrotha decks are the same.
- Windgrace’s Judgment – Get rid of each opponent’s most dangerous threat with one spell, at instant speed? Can’t ask for anything better than that!
- Meteor Golem – While expensive, it’s a much-needed option for black and red, which have problems with enchantment removal. It’s also great for decks that can abuse its ETB effect with blink or graveyard recursion.
- Battlebond Dual Lands – They only provide ally colors, they are not fetchable, and they don’t have any special abilities like Scry or Cycling, but it hardly matters. They efficiently fix your mana and are a welcome addition to our format.
- Damping Sphere – The winner of an EDH game is often the player that can string a number of spells together in the last turn. This card shatters that plan into oblivion.
- Helm of the Host – My pick for most intriguing card of the year. Cloning your commander multiple times sounds like a fun thing to do!
- Etali, Primal Storm – In a multiplayer environment, this card is insane. The combination of card advantage and mana acceleration is quite unique, and it comes with a 6/6 body as a bonus.
- Mausoleum Secrets – It hasn’t gained much traction so far, but in a reanimation deck, the ability to tutor at instant speed could prove very powerful.
- March of the Multitudes – And here we thought Secure the Waste was the best token spell. Not only do these tokens have lifelink, but you can use your other tokens to literally double your board presence… at instant speed!
When I’m not crushing hopes and dreams in Modern or Legacy, you can find me converting 60-card decks into EDH decks in my article series 60 to 100, or singing the praises of Valduk on the EDHRECast. (Twitter: @mathimus55)
- Journey to Eternity – This sums up what I thought of 2018’s cards: very good overall, not terribly game-breaking, but can and should go in many different decks. You need a pretty good reason not to play a card that generates this much value. It does extremely Golgari things in Golgari colors, which puts it right to the top.
- Pir’s Whim – This is how I like my politics; gaining resources for yourself and blowing up everyone else’s stuff. They have their own ramp, they don’t need me to help. This ain’t no group hug deck, so kindly show yourself the door while I blow up the door you tried to use.
- Valduk, Keeper of the Flame – In my opinion, the most fun mono-red commander ever. If you’ve read my articles you’ll know I love tokens, and if you listen to the EDHRECast you’ll know doubly that I love tokens. I know it’s bold, but long term, I think Valduk has the potential to be an All-Time Top 5 mono-red commander.
- One with the Machine – I don’t play many blue or artifact decks, but I recognize an insane draw spell when I see one. If you’re playing artifact staples like Darksteel Forge, Mycosynth Lattice, or Myr Battlesphere, you’ll reload your hand very fast at a darn good rate.
- Muldrotha, the Gravetide – Muldrotha didn’t become the most-built new commander of the year by accident. She’s a value machine and might be one of the individually most powerful commanders in the past few years. Many don’t realize how combo-centric Muldrotha can be. It’s easy to run folks out of resources as they try to destroy your combo pieces, until you finally get a few to stick and win the game. 11/10, would build again.
- Final Parting – This is kind of cheating, since the reason I love this card is because of my Muldrotha, the Gravetide deck. I don’t really care, though, because this card basically reads “find whatever two-card combo you want.” Presence of Gond and Intruder Alarm is my favorite, though Aluren is a close second.
- Niv Mizzet, Parun – It takes a heck of a lot to make me want to build an Izzet deck, but the newest Niv is just too great. Drawing fistfuls of cards and mowing down the battlefield is something I can get behind. If you’re feeling extra saucy, Polymorphist’s Jest the field first for every style point you’ll ever need.
- Tendershoot Dryad – This army in a can is absolutely fantastic. It’s a bit expensive to put down a 2/2 for five mana, but it the ‘each upkeep’ wording takes over the game much quicker than a Mycoloth.
- Elenda, The Dusk Rose – If your opponents don’t answer this terrible wonder right away, she’ll balloon and become quite the hassle. I love her in my Edgar Markov deck as Wrath insurance. Any aristocrat deck would do well to find a spot for her.
- Divine Visitation – You didn’t think I could discuss these new cards and not mention the token-beefer, did you? Hmph, this oughta show you, then! I hope someone drops this with a Doubling Season and proceeds to Secure the Wastes for double digits on you. And I hope that someone is me!
Following my roots with my series Evolutionary Leap, I decided to fill my top 10 list with legends that made me excited to build tribal decks. I also do the Playgroup Brews series. (Twitter: @EVol_Leap_MTG)
In no particular order:
- Kumena, Tyrant of Ozraca – It’s about time Merfolk got a commander who actually cared that your deck was made of Merfolk! Kumena is the commander we’ve been waiting for, and boy has he been overperforming for me.
- Tatyova, Benthic Druid – As a follow up, Tatyova is a force to be reckoned with in all kinds of decks. She provides card advantage and assists in land-based decks. Any Simic deck would be happy to have her. She makes the list is because she fits right into Simic Merfolk and supports that deck archetype so well.
- Slimefoot the Stowaway – Fungus struggled to provide what you want in a tribal deck. The potential commanders never offered much, and there’s a disconnect between the synergy of Fungi that want to do Fungus things and Fungi that want to do Saproling shenanigans. With Slimefoot, we have a way of accomplishing both!
- Najeela, the Blade-Blossom – Very few words need to be said about Najeela. She combines General Tazri, Lovisa Coldeyes, and Godo, Bandit Warlord to create a monstrous five-color, extra combat phase, Warrior tribal commander. She is nuts.
- Grothama, All-Devouring – Just some goofy nonsense right here. It’s about time we got a legendary Wurm! I’m glad it has a cool ability, though I wish it had more colors. However, it’s a Wurm commander, so it’s on the list!
- Aryel, Knight of Windgrace – Knights, like Fungi, have always been a semi-decent tribe which lacked synergy and a solid multicolored legend. Aryel gives us an option I’m really excited to test out!
- Varina, Lich Queen – With an ability reminiscent of The Scarab God, Varina is a really cool idea for a Zombie commander that opens up new avenues for the new white Zombies we’ve received recently. I’m very excited to build her.
- Thantis, the Warweaver – With no synergy with its tribe and a really weird ability, I am so excited to brew Thantis Spider tribal when I get the chance. I think this is going to be a really weird, goofy, and hilarious deck that I can’t wait to see in action.
- Yuriko, the Tiger’s Shadow – I had a Vela, the Night-Clad Ninja tribal deck and was never happy with how it performed. Now, with Yuriko, Ninjas finally seem viable!
- Chromium, the Mutable – My list is all about tribal, and if you aren’t sure why Chromium is amazing and hilarious for tribal, check out my article where Nick built an astounding and hilarious “everything tribal” with Chromium at the helm. Chromium offers everything and literally nothing to tribal decks, and it’s amazing!
Hey everybody, I’m Dean. I used to write the Dig Through Time series, but that ran its course, so lately I’ve been doing set reviews. I’m planning to launch a new series in the new year, though, so stay tuned! (Twitter: @GrubFellow)
Today I’m listing my Top 10 of 2018 in no particular order. I steered clear of a few of the generically spectacular cards like Assassin’s Trophy, just because they’re obvious.
- Pir’s Whim – This is the new and improved Tempt with Discovery. People got smart about Tempt; nowadays it’s rare for someone to say “yes,” and if they do, they just search up a Strip Mine to deal with your land. Pir’s Whim gets you your land and sets each opponent back. Perfect.
- The Mending of Dominaria – This has been a blowout in each deck I run it. It sucks if it’s blown up before it can go off, but even then, you’re still getting cards in your graveyard and card advantage to boot. Put it in green-inclusive reanimator decks.
- Blackblade Reforged – One of the most powerful and important cards printed for Voltron strategies pretty much ever. It can be dropped onto any commander as a handy finisher. Eat your heart out, Josh Lee Kwai.
- Doom Whisperer – An absurd card for any graveyard deck. Theoretically [/card]Morality Shift[/card]ing your deck at the cost of some life? Hot. Make sure you’re packing a Living Death.
- Plaguecrafter – This joins the suite of Fleshbag Marauder, Merciless Executioner and Slum Reaper. These cards are powerful and get better with each redundant copy printed. If you dig necromancy, get yourself some copies of this card.
- Swathcutter Giant – I don’t know how everyone is not talking about the second coming of the Titans. It’s by no means hard to stick deathtouch and/or lifelink on this big boi and start slapping your opponents around even harder than he already was. He’s not quite Inferno Titan, but he’s close.
- Cleansing Nova – Who wouldn’t be happy about a second copy of Austere Command that costs one mana less? This thing has decided pretty much each game I’ve seen it cast.
- Slaughter the Strong – Three-mana Wraths have been gaining momentum, and this is among my personal favorites. Forced sacrifice is really strong, handily getting around indestructibility. This card has routinely emptied my opponents’ boards while leaving me with a bunch of hatebears. I don’t see this played enough. Don’t underestimate it.
- Etali, Primal Storm – Be the slice of the color pie you want to see in the world. It is not difficult to ramp Etali out on turn three and cast a Sheoldred off of the black player’s deck for free. Think that’s far-fetched? That’s what happened in my very first game playing Etali. I’ve papered this deck out, and it’s just crazy good. Etali is a sprint in the right direction for red.
- Battlebond Dual Lands – For EDH, this is the most important cycle of dual lands to come out since the shocklands in original Ravnica block. They aren’t fetchable, but they are basically unconditional untapped duals otherwise. Wow.
EDHREC’s Top 10
Andrew again! Hope you enjoyed the lists! As a bonus, I thought it would be interesting to look at the new cards and commanders that were most popular this year. We couldn’t just look at the overall number of inclusions in decks, as this would weigh heavily in favor of Rivals of Ixalan when compared with a set like Guilds of Ravnica; one has been available for 9 months longer. Instead, website designer Don Miner looked at how many decks each card has been added to per day to measure their popularity.
(Note: I took out the Battlebond lands since they showed up 4 of the top 10 slots (all except Spire Garden), and it made the list feel a bit boring. They are good. You should play them.
- Helm of the Host
- Forge of Heroes
- Beast Whisperer
- Assassin’s Trophy
- Shalai, Voice of Plenty
- Etali, Primal Storm
- Grow from the Ashes
- Blackblade Reforged
- Mission Briefing
Here are the top 10 most popular commanders from the year 2018 (using the same metric as above):
- Muldrotha, the Gravetide
- Lord Windgrace
- Niv-Mizzet, Parun
- Arcades, the Strategist
- Jodah, Archmage Eternal
- Aminatou, the Fateshifter
- Estrid, the Masked
- Najeela, the Blade-Blossom
- Yuriko, the Tiger’s Shadow
- Tuvasa, the Sunlit
Before going through these lists, I personally was a little down on the year 2018 for our format. Anecdotally, it seemed like there weren’t as many breakout cards as the last year or two, but after sifting through everyone’s lists, I was left feeling… impressed? Heartened? I’m honestly not sure what the best description would be. At any rate, there were a lot of cards of great cards printed and I’m excited to see what the year 2019 holds for Commander.
Thanks for reading, and let us know: what were your top 10 cards of 2018?
Until next time!