This article underlines some of the strengths and weaknesses you’ll come to find when using the three color combinations known as Shards (Friendly) and Wedges (Enemy) in commander.
Associated Commanders - Jenara, Asura of War, Derevi, Empyrial Tactician, Rafiq of the Many, Roon of the Hidden Realm. Rubinia Soulsinger. etc.
Bant is potentially one of the strongest color combinations, the availability of green allows for ramp and enchantment removal as well as some hard hitting creatures. The white makes for easy creature protection, Board wipes and permanent removal from the game. The blue is for it’s usual stuff; Flyers, Counter spells and bouncing things.
I find that the commanders for Bant are very general, I find that some players will want a deck that does something specific, but then never use the commander, because it doesn’t support what they are doing. I find that players who use bant will just build a good stuff deck around Derevi or Rafiq and then use a combo to win.
Associated Commanders - Oloro, Ageless Ascetic, Zur the Enchanter, Sharuum, the Hegemon, Sydri Galvanic Genius, Sen Triplets etc.
Esper is another very strong shard, and a popular one. It has many of the strengths of bant allowing for great removal across all three colors, the black combined with the white also allows for rapid life drain. Esper has at least two artifact commanders so artifact decks are very popular in this shard.
Like Bant, Esper has the good stuff reputation, if you see an Oloro on the other side of the board, you can be almost certain he isn’t leaving the command zone. Commanders like Zur, Sharuum and Sydri are quite notorious for being combo heavy too, which draw a massive target on you.
Associated Commanders - Marchesa, the Black Rose, Jeleva, Nephalia’s Scourge, Thraximundar, Sedris, the Traitor King, Nekusar, the Mindrazer etc.
The grixis shard has some of my favorite commanders in it and they are all really strong. Have you ever had to deal with a Marchesa deck? It ain’t easy.
Grixis is notoriously bad at dealing with enchantments, which makes Privileged Position, Asceticism, Sphere of Safety (insert other enchantment I like to use) and any other protection a problem.
Associated Commanders - Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund, Shattergang Brothers, Kresh, the Bloodbraided, Sek’Kuar, Deathkeeper, Prossh, Skyraider of Kher.
Jund hits hard, it’s abundance of Devour, Dragons and Tokens means it can recover from board wipes quickly and hit twice as hard next time. Also, it has good removal such as Terminate, Beast Within and Maelstrom Pulse.
Jund has trouble permanently removing things, as without white or blue it can’t really exile them. Sorry Jund but it’s likely that you will never be rid of that Sun Titan, oh well.
Associated Commanders - Mayael, the Anima, Uril, the Miststalker, Marath, Will of the Wild, Gahiji, Honored One etc.
A great shard for Tokens, Voltron or Cheating out big creatures. Naya also has plently of ways to protect itself from a lot of threats with some of the enchantments mentioned above and creatures like Sigarda, Host of Herons, Tajuru Preserver, Avacyn, Angel of Hope and Iroas, God of Victory, which prevent your commander from being sacrificed or your tokens from being wiped out.
Since Naya is a very popular token and Enchantress commander it is weak to cards such as Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite, Virulent Plague, Black Sun’s Zenith and Ratchet Bomb as well as Bane of Progress, Back to Nature and End Hostilities
For some of these it was really difficult to come up with weaknesses, Grixis is the only one with a real weakness for most their only weakness is their reputation.
Say I have a Mirrorworks out, and I cast Sharuum the Hegemon and copy it, can I send the actual Sharuum to the graveyard and then recur it with the Mirrorworks token?
There are a lot of triggers involved here, but the short answer is yes.
By the time the second Sharuum’s enters-the-battlefield ability triggers and is put onto the stack, the original Sharuum will already be in its owner’s graveyard thanks to the Legend Rule. The same thing of course happens again and again: each time Sharuum returns to the battlefield, the Legend Rule makes it die all over again, just in time to be a legal target for the newest instance of the enters-the-battlefield trigger.
This also works with anything else that can copy Sharuum, such as Phyrexian Metamorph or Sculpting Steel (or an actual second Sharuum). Combine with Disciple of the Vault or Summoning Station for maximum hilarity.
I hope this still falls into the category of speed painting, I took a bit longer to refine this one (2.5 hours).
While environmentals have been a ton of fun to create and practice with, I feel like I need to keep the ability to render characters honed. It’s really easy to get caught up in drawing mountains and forget how to paint wings and faces - at least from my experience. XD Does anyone else have the problem of degeneration? Use it or lose it?
The character depicted here is Sharuum, the Hegemon, a sphinx from the Magic: the Gathering universe. There’s so much more I would have loved to do with this, but isn’t that a constant problem with speed paintings? C'est la vie.
Comments, critiques, and shares are awesome! But not as awesome as you. ;>
I know sideboards may not seem that useful in that commander, since you have an already larger than normal deck, you should have enough room for all the cards you need, right? But like the standard format, certain cards are needed to be effective against certain matchups. I don’t usually sideboard because I don’t remember the last time I had a short game of EDH. But they may be useful in competitive 1 on 1 commander games. So, I’ve tried to come up with some good sideboard cards for some of the more popular archetypes.
Against Artifact Decks
Vandalblast is an awesome board wipe against Artifact matchups such as Sharuum the Hegemon or Memnarch, It can be used to destroy an artifact for a single red mana, or all artifacts you don’t control for five mana, it’s also commonly used as a finisher when mixed with Massacre Wurm and Mycosynth Lattice.
Hum of the Radix
This card does the opposite of the affinity effect making artifacts more expensive for each artifact a player controls. This can put an insanely high tax on even the cheapest of artifacts
Against Mono-Color Decks
Iona, Shield of Emeria
In my opinion, this creature should be banned along with Deadeye Navigator and Palinchron. Iona can shut down the strongest colour of any deck just by sitting there, and even then she can be flickered out to choose another colour if that becomes a problem.
This spell is very useful against mono-color wiping out entire creature board states. It focuses on creatures so it’s probably not as useful as Iona but it can definitely clear a path
Against Creature Tokens
The mana cost of creature tokens is 0, so you don’t even have to put counters on this for it to be devastating to creature token decks.
Sever the Bloodline
This is effective against a huge group of creature tokens with the same name. If a creature token deck focuses on producing a single type of token such as Eldrazi Spawns or Saprolings then this card is what you need.
Since tokens fizzle when exiled or destroyed, throwing one of these down engulfs a large group of tokens with the same name much like Sever the Bloodline. Unlike sever though it is very difficult to recur.
Illness in the Ranks/Virulent Plague
Anything that deals small amount of damage to a large amount of creatures will do but these focus on creature tokens and they shut down some of the smaller tokens.
Erebos, God of the Dead
Completely shuts down your opponent’s life gain, also allows you to draw cards for a small amount of your own life. Also, it’s very difficult to get rid of.
I would say Tainted Remedy over Rain of Gore, Leyline of Punishment or Havoc Festival because apart from the former they all stop you from gaining life as well as your opponents.
I was recently reminded of this creature. If he deals combat damage to a player, he gives them an emblem that disables any life gain, it can’t be removed unlike the others. Pretty evil
Easily one of the most useful cards in EDH. If you can get this off at an early stage of the game, you can steal the combo pieces long before the opponent can tutor for them and get rid of them for ever.if you can get to 10 mana pretty quick you can pretty much devastate the deck.
This may only allow you to steal one of the combo pieces, but it stops them from having it, and what’s more you can use it if it benefits you.
This only works if the combo has pieces that are sorcery speed, if all of the pieces are instant speed you may have to mix in a Render Silent or Silence to stop them from casting spells or a Trickbind or Stifle to stop activated abilities. But I have stopped a few combos with this card
Against ETB/Entry Hazard decks
Torpor Orb/Hushwing Gryff
These two completely stop entry hazards such as Purphoros, God of the Forge and Warstorm Surge. It also stops other annoying abilities such as Ashen Rider and Acidic Slime which is also very good.
These two stop a triggered ability at a pinch which may be useful to stop an Ashen Rider from exiling your stuff or a Child of Alara (aka Angry Baby) from destroying everything.
I think quite a lot of these cards would probably be main board anyway. But I’ve had quite a few times where I’ve have needed a few more cards to cope with some situations but have struggled to find anything in the deck to supplant because everything had its place. I do hope you find this useful and happy deck building.