So, M14 is out, and we’ve had some time to marinate with it. Or at least play with it once, in my case, as I skipped out on M14 release events this past weekend in favor of drafting Modern Masters with a few friends. And, as much as I would love to talk about that (when you phantom draft it, the signals get really clean!) I should probably actually spend some time talking about Commander in my Commander-themed column. So! Here’s a review of the new (i.e. not reprinted) mythics in M14, and my guess at the type of decks they’ll show up in. I’ll do it alphabetically, since I get bored with the color clots in more traditional set reviews of this nature. Part two comes next week, when I tackle the rares.


Archangel of Thune

This card is clearly going to see play. It provides value even without any great synergies, and in a dedicated lifegain or army deck she’s going to shine. But here’s the most disgusting thing I can think of doing with her: Ghave, Guru of Spores, Tangleroot / Carnival of Souls, and a Soul Sister or Leyline of Vitality. Infinite creatures with infinite power and slightly more infinite toughness. Seems filthy.

Chandra, Pyromaster

Mono red decks will run her, because red is short on draw engines and she offers ancillary value as well. But, other than drawing cards in a color that isn’t really good at it, she’s not that great to be playing. Sure, spell decks might like her (might!), but her ultimate seems a little weak given how good red’s X spells are. The most degenerate thing you can do with her is ultimate her immediately with Doubling Season… but is it worth it? Doubling Season and spells don’t make the best friends, unless we’re talking a GR tokens deck. So, if you’re a GR Doubling Season tokens deck, awesome? Still, clearly a good card. Just not exciting.

Devout Invocation

Ehhhhh… I don’t love it. It’s like Nomads’ Assembly. It’s theoretically an insane token creation engine with the promise to swell your ranks to twice as large a size, but it’s a win more card in a format that has too many of them already. Maybe if it had convoke or something, so you could get it down faster? I mean, that would have an interesting strategic element, making you choose whether you want fewer faster or more later, but I can see why that might not be fun to the casual player. So I don’t know how much play this will see, especially since it requires you to basically tap your board, making Maelstrom Pulse or Echoing Truth that much more of a problem. Still, it will see play in the occasional tokens deck, and watch out for it in RW Warstorm Surge token builds.

Garruk, Caller of Beasts

Wow, this guy… just wow. Did I mention I cast every single creature in my library one game with this dude’s help? Because that is a thing that happened. He’s super powerful in any deck that’s running a lot of creatures, and I especially look forward to running him in Mulldrifter builds like Edric, Spymaster of Trest. Also, he ultimates off of Doubling Season, and the ultimate is basically a Wild Pair your opponents can’t Naturalize. Only better. So, expect to see a lot more of this Garruk in the future… it is the quintessential Commander card.

Kalonian Hydra

Again, Ghave, Guru of Spores is getting some tools. Sure, you can run Kalonian Hydra as a generic beater in almost any green deck; the nature of the hydra’s growth means it will be one-shotting people soon after it hits the field. But it’s more fun in situations where the counters it doubles have neat effects. Like, maybe playing the hydra with Fathom Mage might be a laugh. Or maybe you just use Ghave to put counters on all your creatures, and then have infinite counters. The card is powerful but boring, and that’s not the type of combination that gets me excited in EDH.

Primeval Bounty

Oh my god, this is a boring card. Clearly powerful, worth running in almost any Enchantress deck, but it is such a snooze! It’s adding value to everything you do, sure, but short of the neat little obsession with threes, that value isn’t hugely relevant to the EDH table. Best utilized, it makes your Mulldrifter army a little bigger than it otherwise would be, and that’s uninteresting to me. It’s no Lurking Predators, and let’s leave it at that.

Ring of Three Wishes

I will run a copy of this card in my Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre, deck. It is a colorless tutor, and I run the other one as well (Planar Portal, if you’re not weirdly into colorless Commander decks like I am). Outside of that, though, I am not a huge fan. Maybe it’s another non-spell tutor effect for me to jam into my Warp World Adun Oakenshield deck, but let’s face it… that deck doesn’t really need any more ways to find its key spells. Honestly, this is less exciting to me than Encroaching Wastes, even, since at least that’s a new land to balance out the colorless mana base. This is a slightly better retread of Planar Portal that doesn’t really do well in the long game.

Rise of the Dark Realms

Realizing no one ever managed to pop Liliana Vess’ ultimate ability, they went and printed this card. It’s cool, as a quantification of the cost for the effect, but the effect has never really been one I’ve expected to get off. Cards like this just give people a reason to run Leyline of the Void and Rest in Peace in EDH, and I like using my graveyards. That having been said…it’s a powerful effect, and mono black decks are weirdly good at making a ton of mana. So expect to see it played!

Scourge of Valkas

The problem tribal dragons have as an EDH archetype is that the best general for that deck is five colors and doesn’t really give you a lot of reasons to play cards with come into play effects. I am, of course, talking about Scion of the ur-Dragon. Now, there are plenty of dragons you can play in that deck that you don’t necessarily want to cycle through the Scion, but usually the goal is to have a few powerful fliers, not a horde of dragons. It’s the same reason Sarkhan the Mad is in the deck but not a powerhouse; people tend to get nervous when someone at the table has a bunch of dragons in play. Still, it’s a dragon with a come-into-play effect, and it’s going to be fun to cast Rite of Replication on it.

Shadowborn Demon

This is less exciting than Shadowborn Apostle (I am going to try to make that EDH deck, knowing full well it’ll be terrible), but it’s still not a bad card. Where the conditional clause may be harder to keep up with in a sixty-card format, it’s not uncommon to have six creatures in your graveyard incidentally, let alone if it’s something you’re trying to make happen. And I like the new world order showing through; in the past, demons like this were usually 5/4s (see Bloodgift Demon), and the extra points of toughness do a lot of work holding down your airspace from attack. This one will show up in a bunch of decks, even if it just pops something problematic and provides you with a solid blocker for a turn. Even if the art looks dumb, which it does. I mean, look at it! Talk about a head like a hole.

Windreader Sphinx

And this brings us to the end of the M14 mythics, with yet another potentially powerful card that doesn’t seem to be worth getting excited about. I mean, Windreader Sphinx is obviously a good card, in that it’s a great defensive body, it triggers when anyone’s fliers attack, and it’s not particularly color intensive to cast. Because, let’s face it, by the time you hit seven mana you should be able to cast a double blue spell. But it’s such an obvious draw engine that it’s totally dull. There’s not going to be a lot of particularly interesting things to do with it, no combos or broken interactions. It’s Consecrated Sphinx, but without the fun way that card interacts with Jace Beleren. It’s powerful, you should run it, but it doesn’t exactly give me goosebumps.

I don’t know what I was expecting, honestly. They’re all powerful mythics, and the two new planeswalkers do deliver. But it seems like the power level of the cards, while high, is for the most part flat. And I tend to prefer bad cards that can be awesome over the good cards that never really change their valuation. You can see more of this opinion next week, when among other cards I’ll be reviewing Bogbrew Witch, a bad card I intend to try to make work in EDH. See you then!

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