On April 23rd, 2021, WotC will release five new Commander 2021 decks. This coincides with the release of Magic: The Gathering's latest set, Strixhaven: School of Mages. Each Commander 2021 deck features one of the following two-color commanders:
These commanders offer unique effects and abilities not previously found on a creature. The opportunity to create new strategies, synergies, and gameplay is exciting. Players are already discovering game-ending combos with a few of MTG's latest commanders.
Among the five commanders, the most interesting to me are Osgir, the Reconstructor, Willowdusk, Essence Seer, and Adrix and Nev, Twincasters. Each commander can blend existing themes with new and powerful interactions. Let's explore some of the exciting synergies players should consider adding to their decks.
Osgir, the Reconstructor is a Boros commander that sacrifices and creates artifacts. His second activated ability is the most appealing, making two token copies of an artifact exiled from the graveyard. One of the strongest plays for Osgir, the Reconstructor is creating tokens of mana-producing artifacts, like Mox Tantalite and Lotus Bloom.
Using Osgir, the Reconstructor token creation ability on Mox Tantalite or Lotus Bloom produces incredible value. Having two copies of either artifact will quickly ramp you into powerful cards. There's a bit of setup putting artifacts with suspend into the graveyard, but thankfully, Faithless Looting and Daretti, Scrap Savant can fill the graveyard with ease. Adding a copy of Cathartic Reunion might not be a bad idea, too.
Another card that efficiently puts artifacts in the graveyard is Goblin Engineer. This Goblin Artificer can place any artifact from your deck into the graveyard for Osgir, the Reconstructor. Also, Goblin Engineer can resurrect suspend artifacts and any others with three or less mana. If you're looking for a synergistic creature card, Goblin Engineer is a top candidate.
Scarecrone is an excellent artifact creature option that can sacrifice itself to draw a card or resurrect other artifact creatures from the graveyard. Scarecrone second ability can serve as a backup to Osgir, the Reconstructor by returning high mana cost artifact creatures like Triplicate Titan to the battlefield. Speaking of the Artifact Creature subtype, Scarecrone synergizes well with the new cards Alibou, Ancient Witness and Losheel, Clockwork Scholar.
Probably the single most synergistic and impactful inclusion option is Anointed Procession. It appears other players agree—the average selling price for Anointed Procession increased when Osgir, the Reconstructor got spoiled. This wondrous white enchantment doubles the number of tokens you create. What's better than creating two Mox Tantalite tokens with Osgir, the Reconstructor? How about creating four tokens of Mox Tantalite! Feldon of the Third Path, Myr Battlesphere, and Triplicate Titan also pair well with Anointed Procession. If there's one card to splurge on for an Osgir, the Reconstructor Commander deck, Anointed Procession is the top choice.
Willowdusk, Essence Seer activated ability adds +1/+1 counters at sorcery speed, depending on the amount of life lost or gained during a turn. Green and black are two of the best colors to take advantage of +1/+1 counters. While there are plenty of card options that synergize with +1/+1 counters, a few cards are near the top of the list.
One of the best combo inclusions for Willowdusk, Essence Seer is Wall of Blood and Rite of Consumption. They can take out any player with a life total less than yours. By adding Willowdusk, Essence Seer to the combo, Wall of Blood power can double. Rite of Consumption eliminates an opponent while gaining life equal to Wall of Blood power. Also, with Aetherflux Reservoir, the life gain could easily be enough to end the game for another player. Essence Harvest is another card similar to Rite of Consumption for players to consider.
Cards that allow a repeatable life loss activation synergize well with Willowdusk, Essence Seer. Unspeakable Symbol is an incredible enchantment that does everything Willowdusk, Essence Seer wants to accomplish. Necropotence is another excellent enchantment that causes instant life loss and adds cards to your hand. In conjunction with evasive, lifelink creatures like Vampire Nighthawk and Nighthawk Scavenger, Unspeakable Symbol or Necropotence could finish off opponents using Willowdusk, Essence Seer activated ability.
Unfortunately, Willowdusk, Essence Seer, has a drawback due to summoning sickness. It's plausible that Willowdusk, Essence Seer dies in a Commander game before your next turn arrives. To avoid this, give Willowdusk, Essence Seer haste. Players have a few options besides relying on Lightning Greaves or Swiftfoot Boots.
Instill Energy an aura that gives haste and allows a creature to untap an extra time once each turn. Thanks to Instill Energy, Willowdusk, Essence Seer can use its activated ability twice the turn it comes into play, and during each of your subsequent turns! The opportunity to combo off the turn Willowdusk, Essence Seer comes into play is valuable.
Touch of Vitae is an instant that does everything written on Instill Energy, plus allows you to draw a card during the next turn's upkeep. Sadly, Touch of Vitae only grants the abilities of Instill Energy for one turn. I believe Instill Energy is a better choice over Touch of Vitae, but you could include both cards in a Willowdusk, Essence Seer deck for redundancy.
Predator's Rapport is a spicy common from Gatecrash that synergizes with Willowdusk, Essence Seer—it's an instant that gains life equal to the power and toughness of a creature you control. Essentially, Predator's Rapport lets you triple the counters on Wall of Blood, or can assist Aetherflux Reservoir with ending the game.
Seasoned Commander players may notice Adrix and Nev, Twincasters token copying ability is the same as Parallel Lives. Both cards possess a powerful ability that can take over a game. Parallel Lives is a fantastic addition to a deck featuring Adrix and Nev, Twincasters, and players should consider running other cards that create tokens to maximize synergies.
The average selling price for Doubling Season has steadily risen since October 2020, likely due to its popularity and power level. Doubling Season is probably the best enchantment inclusion for an Adrix and Nev, Twincasters Commander deck. Quadrupling any tokens with Adrix and Nev, Twincasters on the battlefield can get out of hand quickly. The fact that Doubling Season also makes twice the number of counters placed on permanents is fantastic.
Helm of the Host average selling price spiked when Adrix and Nev, Twincasters was spoiled. Equipping Adrix and Nev, Twincasters with Helm of the Host will create 2059 token copies on the third turn if left unchecked! This two-card combo is impossible to ignore. If Helm of the Host doesn't cause fear in the eyes of your opponents, then the next card may do the trick.
Koma, Cosmos Serpent is a big, green game-ending machine that spews out a 3/3 blue Serpent creature token at the beginning of each upkeep. Combining Koma, Cosmos Serpent with Adrix and Nev, Twincasters, or any other card that doubles tokens will overrun the battlefield. Since Koma, Cosmos Serpent can't get countered, your opponents will have to work even harder to stop you from winning the game.
Another reason to run Koma, Cosmos Serpent is the interaction with Spawning Kraken—a new card included in the Adrix and Nev, Twincasters 2021 Commander deck. With Spawning Kraken on the battlefield, Koma, Cosmos Serpent 3/3 Serpent creature tokens create 9/9 blue Kraken creature tokens when they each deal damage to a player. I hope you have a lot of creature tokens handy when including Spawning Kraken and Koma, Cosmos Serpent in your deck.
One other option for a creature finisher with Adrix and Nev, Twincasters is Tendershoot Dryad. For five mana, Tendershoot Dryad creates a Saproling creature token at the beginning of each upkeep. It won't take long to receive the City's Blessing and make the Saprolings more significant threats. Tendershoot Dryad pairs well with Ruxa, Patient Professor to grow an army of lethal Saproling tokens.
The cards mentioned above provide additional benefits to new commanders, but aren't the only card upgrades or options. Players can tune their Commander 2021 Decks to fit a particular play style or strategy. The opportunity to discover new synergies and card combinations is part of the fun when deck building. I encourage you to experiment with some of the highlighted cards, along with other cards that excite you the most.