There has been an upward trend in the quality of the Commander preconstructed decks over these past few months. From amazing reprints to ingenious new pieces, there is definitely something for everyone when it comes to the commander cards from Adventures in the Forgotten Realms.
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I want to present to you, beloved reader, a bit of a Commander amuse bouche to tantalize you into inspiration for a possible new brew. Let's dive in with my top 5!
I always try to avoid including legendaries on these lists but when I saw Lorcan, Warlock Collector I was immediately taken aback. Yes, this legendary Devil may be intimidating in appearance and mana value, but his ability makes up for that and more!
When playing mono-black, your life total is always a resource, whether it's to generate mana or draw cards. However, with Lorcan, Warlock Collector, your life total helps you cast creatures from your opponent's graveyards! Rather than dying, they are recruited into the Warlock army under your control with a thirst for vengeance. And in true mono-black spirit, if they die, they're exiled instead. Who says it's not fun to be spiteful?
This counter-crazy Hydra makes its way into our number four spot due to its sheer randomness. Rather than having X be the counters that are placed on it, X is equal to the number of d6 we roll. This can lead to some insane plays, especially in green decks where mana isn't really an issue.
Pair this baddie with a Nyxbloom Ancient or a Circle of Dreams Druid and you can generate a rather large Hydra with little to no effort! The fact that Neverwinter Hydra has the ferocity of trample and the protection of ward 4 only makes it that much more impressive.
Continuing on with +1/+1 counters, we can slide into our number 3 spot with Sword of Hours. I absolutely love this Equipment because of the low threshold we need to meet in order for the equipped creature's +1/+1 counters to be doubled. That's right… doubled! We've been seeing a lot of Equipment synergies in recent sets, making this low-cost piece incredibly valuable and powerful.
Mantle of the Ancients is a strong contender for our #2 spot and only recently solidified its place here due to my recent interaction with it in a game on stream. This spell is just wow! This spell functions as an Aura and Equipment-focused Replenish, attaching and equipping everything to the enchanted creature. It doesn't stop there, though. There are even more buffs to be had.
As someone whose face was smashed to bits with this card, I can definitely say that this is a must-run for any and all Aura/Equipment decks. This is the closer spell that these types of decks have been waiting for.
What if I told you that you could have access to all the instants and sorceries your opponents play? What if I told you that you could play them for next to nothing? This is where our #1 spot lives: Rod of Absorption.
This nifty artifact exiles instants and sorceries and saves them to be cast later. I love this piece because it denies flashback and allows us to cherry pick what we want. Replaying an opponent's Damnation later on in the game when they have a snazzy boardstate seems like the perfect way to rain on their parade and level the playing field. This spell has great utility and versatility in both competitive and casual Commander. Whether you're using the Rod to cast or simply exile, the multi-faceted nature of this artifact is what makes it perfect at #1.
I hope my insights can help inspire you on what to brew or lead you down the proper path on which of the four precons to buy. Adventures in the Forgotten Realms took a leap in design to create some pretty innovative and fun new pieces for Commander players to explore. Maybe my top 5 completely misses the mark for you. Take a look at the previewed decklists and tell me your top 5!