Commander 2017 is almost here and with it brings some sweet new cards! As many of you know this year’s commander 2017 is Tribal themed in an assortment of color schemes. Commander 2017 is looking like it is going to be a great release and is coming out Friday August 25th. So today we have a pretty sweet breakdown of all 4 Commander 2017 decks! This list is meant to breakdown the ins an outs of each commander deck as well as offer some advice on upgrading the decks, highlight some of the new cards an overall grade on the decks.
The full Commander 2017 deck lists are posted on the wizards website at: http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/feature/commander-2017-edition-decklists-2017-08-11
Feline Ferocity: Green White Cats.
Leading the pack is Arahbo, Roar of the world. Unconditionally giant growth-ing one of your cats every turn is pretty great but it is his triggered ability that makes Arahbo a great commander, being able to double a creatures power and give it trample for 3 is pretty great, especially when it can be on a well equipped 6/6 double striking Balan, wandering knight.
The offense of this deck is the best of the four being able to either go wide or get big with equipment. Arahbo is able to push one big creature through an opponents blockers as well as pump up some smaller creatures. Miri, Weatherlight duelest (An alternate commander) is able to control combat pretty well and at 3 mana is pretty forgiving if she ends up in the command zone a time or two.
Being able to tutor equipment is a very powerful ability; being able to manipulate the power/toughness as well as the static abilities of a creature is always great. Being able to find a Behemoth sledge when your life is running low or being able to find an argentum armor to destroy that pesky enchantment across the table is a great effect. This deck has 14 equipments that give all sorts of different abilities, this is desperately lacking a whispersilk cloak and a Basilisk collar, but the deck will run fine without them.
The deck does okay on defense, a few oppressive cards like alms collector and leonine arbiter prevent opponents from being able to tutor the board wipes out of their decks. This decks is very weak to flying creatures with only one flyer, one creature with reach and a wing shards. This deck is light on removal and is looking to just crush anything in its path.
The land base is a bit to complex for the style of deck this is, this deck is looking to get it’s engine running really early and only in two colors there is no real need for an evolving wilds or a myriad landscape. A few tap lands to get into colors is fine but when you are trying to slide under some of the more control style decks having all of your lands come into play tapped will just not work. This deck has some ramp and two mana doubbling effects. Simplify the land base down and this deck will run faster.
Potential cards to upgrade this deck? You can add any and all equipment if you want to weaponize your cats to their max. Sigarda’s aid is a must have if you want to keep the equipment game going, go unearth your old Amonket draft decks for a Regal caracal, and don’t forget to invite Brimaz king of Oreskos to the party!
This deck has the potential to be the great aggressive cat-mander deck we have always wanted. But a complex land base and only 14 equipments just doesn’t make much sense.
Feline Ferocity gets a solid 7.5/10.
Vampiric Bloodlust: Mardu Vampires
On the high throne of this deck is Edgar Markov. With Edgar Markov as your commander whenever you cast a vampire you also make a 1/1 vampire and when Edgar decides to take things into his own hands and attacks you get to put a +1/+1 counter on each vampire you control. Edgar is a 4/4 with first strike and haste for 6 so as a baseline creature he is easily outclassed but being able to pump your team is well worth the mana cost.
This deck has Flavor! This deck is trying to bend the game to it’s will to grow its power. This deck is great for those who like to play the politics game at the commander table, who should I kill, who should I save. This deck is all about having power, and when things don’t go your way, you make them go your way.
This deck employs one of magic’s most complicated concepts, using your life total as a resource, being able to pay life to draw cards, get +1/+1 counters, destroy creatures, and so on. The deck is a very much go back to go forward style deck, you will have to lose some things to get better things.
Value is the name of the game with this deck, always having the better end of the deal and the upper hand in all forms, this deck is looking to generate a ton of value in the early game and put other players out of the game early.
The land needs serious work. This deck is predominately black with some white and red sprinkled in. there are 58 black mana symbols, 17 white mana symbols and 15 red mana symbols. The land-base does favor black some but not enough. With no sources of ramp being stuck off double black will turn out to be fatal.
This deck is the best deck for players new to commander: This deck offers a little taste of everything on the commander menu, you will have to play some poilitics and interact with other players, you will be able to play some awesome giant creatures and you will have a bunch of small interactions going on all at once. If you are looking to get into the commander scene, this is the deck for you for sure!
Removal!: This deck is loaded with removal and answers to your opponents threats, with cards like Go for the throat and Butcher of Malakir, This deck can attack opponent’s creatures very easily and can bring down even the biggest of dragons. This deck can take care of most big creature threats for not a lot of mana.
Gaining life is great!: You will be spending your own life for some cards like Skeletal Scrying and Licia, so you will need a way to gain that life back, luckily the deck comes well equipped with many ways to keep your life total up. There are a lot of drain effects in this deck so while your life total goes up all your opponents will go down.
What to add? Olivia Voldaren and Olivia Mobilized for war will both find homes in this deck very quickly. Any and all of the Soren planeswalkers will very easily fit into this deck. And Stensia Masquerade is going to be a must have.
This deck is pretty exciting, there are a lot of cool things about it with a bunch of cool new cards and mechanics. Some struggles with the land base and a potentially very slow start are its biggest marks against it.
In the end Vampiric Bloodlust gets a 7/10.
Draconic Domination: 5 Color Dragons
In command of this deck is The Ur-Dragon. a 9 mana cost… let’s say it again NINE MANA COST dragon. He does reduce the cost of all your other dragons by 1 and if you ever do cast him he allows you to draw cards and put any permanent in your hand into play when your dragons attack.
The curve is insane: 32 cards, just under a third of the deck has a converted mana cost of 5 or more. You will often have a hand full of 5+ drops and some lands. There are only 6 creatures under 5 Cmc and even when you take into account the -1 generic that your commander gives you you still won’t be playing your first creature until turn 5-6. You will need a source of ramp which this deck has some of but with so many big creatures you will need a way to survive the first 10 turns of the game without being overrun. The deck does come well equipped with ramping cards but you will need to make some cuts for some lower cost cards.
This deck is a 5 color deck and with it come all the ups and down of a 5 color deck, You can play any card but you also have to be able to cast any card, there is always a trade-off to playing 5 colors, efficiency for power. You will be playing a lot of tapped lands and a lot of multicolor lands, you will need a few ways to reliably fix your mana. With this deck being so mana intensive you will also need to be finding a lot of mana, so you will need to tinker with the mana base. The land base comes with 18 basic lands which is way too many, drop it down to 10, 2 of each kind. You need to be able to cast your spells. On the other side of the same coin, this will leave you open to casting ANY spell you want to throw in.
Once this deck gets rolling it will be unstoppable: The power of giant flying dragons is never to be laughed at, all of the dragons included in this deck have very strong abilities as well as a large power/toughness. There are no bad creatures in this deck, the deck has an amazing creature base and has a very powerful flying offense. The pure quality of each creature outclasses any other deck in this release. The power of all the dragons is unmatched.
Getting your board wipes IS the end of the world. With such a high Curve, if you have run out a few giant flying dragons and then see a wrath of god, it is very possible you will never be able to recover, more so then other decks. In theory you will be casting one creature per turn. Maybe two if you are casting smaller dragons in the later game. So having that all taken away is pretty devastating. A bit of counter magic can help in this situation, with not a ton of blue dragons you can keep a bit of blue mana up to prevent a blowout.
NINE MANA: The Ur-Dragon is strong don’t get me wrong, but it has no built in protection and it costs a baseline of 9 mana, so if he hits the command zone a few times, he can very easily climb up to 13-15 mana.
What to add: Birds of Paradise, Chromatic lantern, Sharkhans Triumph (Dragon tutors!).
Final Grade: There are a lot of issues with the curve and the mana base of this deck but they can all be pretty easily fixed with some tinkering, but out of the box this deck will not run smoothly. As cool as dragons are, this one gets a 6/10.
Arcane Wizardry Grixsis Wizards
In Control of this deck is Inalla, Archmage Ritualist. at a fair 5 mana Inalla is one of the most fair commanders. Her Eminence allows you to make a clone of any creature you cast at the cost of 1 mana, this ability seems pretty powerful as it will allow enter the battlefield abilities to activate twice. Inalla’s activated ability says tap 5 wizards, target player loses 7 life. This ability can end games very quickly if you play defensively.
This is a control deck: Control is strange in commander. You can’t have an answer for every card someone plays but you can answer the biggest threats and find ways to handle the smaller threats. This deck is all about deciding what threats are ones you must deal with and what threats you can leave for later. This is a control deck at its base. There are a good number of removal spells in this deck and there is enough draw to keep your hand stocked, you can chip away at a players life total with Inalla’s activated ability and slowly generate an advantage.
31 Creatures: Some of the creature choices don’t make a whole lot of sense, Merchesa the Black rose, Corpse Augur, and Vela the Night Clad, all are great cards but don’t synergize with the rest of the deck or wizards in general. Some of the other creature cards in this deck just aren’t all that impressive like Merchant of secrets and Harbinger of the tides. In the end this deck has too many creatures that don’t do enough stuff.
Settle in for the Grind: This deck will extend the length of games, you will be destroying a lot of other people’s progress so that you can start your own, you may make a few… or a lot… of enemies along the way but you will also be looking to dominate the board with wizards, removal and counter magic.
Tap an Untapped Wizard you control: You will see this line of text a few times while playing this, understand that this is a powerful ability because it avoids summoning sickness and it will also allow you to tap all of your wizards for value on peoples end steps and in response to things, making your blocking Galecaster Colossus also be able to tap and bounce a creature.
The Land Base is OK!: Out of all four decks, this land base is definitely the most stable for the deck, there are always improvements to be made but this land base will get you into your colors and will give you the resources you need.
What to add: Dramatic reversal and Turnabout will allow you to use Inalla’s ability more often. The deck is lacking some basic Blue and Black cards like Demonic tutor and Brainstorm, Fevered Visions will work great in this deck for sure.
Grixsis Control has always been a deck, in and out of all formats, and this deck is bringing it to Commander. The deck needs some more non-creature spells for sure but the deck has good footing. There too many creatures and some of the creatures just don’t make much sense or aren’t very good.
This deck gets an 8/10
Final Final Thoughts
Commander 2017 is a great set and you should play and build what you want to play how you want to play it. All four of the commander decks have ups and downs to them there is no real winner or a real loser. All 4 of these decks are quite good and are worth picking up. Read the deck lists and pick up the ones you are interested in.
Most importantly, Have fun!
HAPPY COMMANDER 2017 EVERYBODY!