Hi again. As I mentioned last week, I am going through M14’s new cards to give an assessment of how I think they would fit into the EDH/Commander format. Last week’s review was a bit of a snoozefest, with a lot of powerful cards that, for the most part, didn’t really do anything interesting. But there’s some variety in the rares, so here’s hoping this week leaves me happier about the state of the set.

Without further ado, the rares of M14 in alphabetical order:

Ajani’s Chosen

This is definitely a build-around card. I’m not really all that sure why the aura clause exists, since it doesn’t really provide much protection against enemy removal unless they have some flash Pacifism effect, but even just acting as a second copy of Sigil of the Empty Throne is going to be useful for some decks. Weak, but interesting and it might even be a little fun.

Awaken the Ancient

I cannot picture this seeing any play. That having been said, I like that it gives haste to the land; playing with Koth of the Hammer in the past has lead to me making the mistake of targeting the wrong land, leaving me without an attacker or a mana source for the rest of the turn.

Bogbrew Witch

I feel like I’ve talked about this before. She’s great on a flavor level, and if any deck needs a sac outlet like Bubbling Cauldron, or a means of recurring a Festering Newt, this is a card worth playing. These are some heavy ifs, though, so caveat emptor.

The Slivers

So, I am taking the opportunity presented by Bonescythe Sliver to just talk about all of them. They’re only going to see play in dedicated Sliver decks, which tend to be fairly degenerate as is. Each one of them has a fair bit of potential, from the low curve evasion offered by Galerider Sliver to the permanent overrun offered by Megantic Sliver. The real interesting ones are at lower rarities, however; between Predatory Sliver, Manaweft Sliver, and Blur Sliver, M14 has given the deck some redundancy for its key cards… at least if you built it like I did.

Burning Earth

I initially was somewhat turned off by this, but I suppose every once in a while you’ll manage to just cripple the colorless players, plus get some damage in on the greedy ones who play overpowered manabases. I can think of worse cards to play in your 99, but it does seem like you’d need some other reason to play it (like Furnace of Rath maybe!).

Colossal Whale

A definite 10 on flavor, the Colossal Whale is a little overcosted and underwhelming in the statistics department. Still, repeatable creature removal is typically not in blue’s wheelhouse, so expect to see this card floating around from time to time.

Dark Prophecy

Yes! I mean, I’ll be honest, I wish there was a sac outlet or a choice, but this card is pretty cool no matter what. Double it up with Blood Artist to offset the life loss, and you’ve got yourself a pretty good draw engine that doubles as protection against Wrath of God.

Dismiss into Dream

This is a totally flavorful card. It’s also a fascinating one, letting blue get repeatable removal so long as you can keep targeting things. For the color that is least supported with removal, this can potentially fill a role. Plus it turns off equipment for your opponents, which is a total plus.

Elite Arcanist

Yet another tool for Azami, Lady of Scrolls. I am sure there are other things you can do with this card besides putting High Tide under him and making a ton of mana, but why would you want to?

Fiendslayer Paladin

Meh. This is yet another of a long cycle of three mana knights with abilities that usually double as color-hosers. This one has lifelink, which is cool, but a good amount of the removal in the format isn’t targeted. Sure, you’ll dodge a Doom Blade or Lightning Bolt here and there, but I’d rather they kill this guy than someone important. So, basically, it’s no Stillmoon Cavalier.

Goblin Diplomats

The best part about this massive Nettling Imp is that your opponents don’t have to attack you. In a Zedruu the Greathearted-style deck with an abundance of Propaganda effects, this card can sow a great deal of chaos when you’re not a valid target to attack.

Grim Return

Another boring card that will see play. I mean, Makeshift Mannequin sees play, and it’s more costly and has a bigger disadvantage. Not that Grim Return’s “snag it when it dies” restriction isn’t a big disadvantage, but it’s balanced out by being to snipe the best creature on the board when it dies. Plus, you can use it to beat the Mimic Vat, I think. Which is nice.

Guardian of the Ages


Haunted Plate Mail

I love it. Great flavor, useful function, not super powerful but can hold its own…this is exactly the type of thing that can do well in the format. Sure, it’s never going to be tier one, because Batterskull does what it does but better, but it’s probably going to see play in the type of deck that relies heavily on Day of Judgment and its ilk.

Imposing Sovereign

I will be putting a copy of this card into Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, but will probably continue to sideline that deck for being unfun. It’s not as good as Kismet and Loxodon Gatekeeper, but it’s a human, and that deck has a deep tribal theme. If it’s between the Sovereign and Blind Obedience, I am going to pick the enchantment every time. If you have potentially more slots for an effect like this, though, I would give it a try.

Into the Wilds

When making an ancillary order, I picked up a copy of one of these bad boys for an EDH deck. I wasn’t quite sure which one, but I manipulate the top of my library enough in the format to make it seem like something worth trying out. I am thinking of putting this into Maelstrom Wanderer, to help clear off the top of my library, but it could be good in many different things.

Jace’s Mindseeker

It’s a watered down version of a card that’s been printed twice in the last three sets. Pass.

Lifebane Zombie

The problem with narrow color hate in EDH is that every once in a while you’ll end up in a game where the hatred is completely irrelevant. Some of the protection knights still make it to the party because their ancillary abilities make them worth playing outside the incidental advantage (I am looking at you, Stillmoon Cavalier), but I don’t know that a 3/1 zombie with evasion meets that threshold. I can see playing it in a heavily tribal zombies deck, or in a meta where you know the (powerful) ability is going to always be useful… but otherwise, I would probably steer clear.

Liliana’s Reaver

At first I was skeptical of the tiny Grave Titan, but I’m coming around. It has deathtouch, a powerful ability on attack and defense in Commander, and can put you up on a lot of card advantage if anyone ends up with weak shields. Add in a relevant creature type, and I think you’re left with a card worth trying out.


Take everything I said about Lifebane Zombie and then subtract all the bits about relevant creature type. This entire cycle would be good if Painter’s Servant were still in the format, but that’s exactly why it’s banned. A 3/2 first strike is nothing in Commander, and the two points of damage isn’t even overwhelming if it does hit. Pass.

Oath of the Ancient Wood

I don’t love this card. Enchantress decks might play it, but that’s about it. I imagine you’ll see it once or twice making a Sigarda, Host of Herons into something even harder to deal with, especially since it works so well with Flickerform, but other than that it’s unlikely to show up in much force.

Ogre Battledriver

YES! In the Web of War doesn’t work with Warp World because the sorcery has enchantments come in last for reasonable reasons. But if you Warp World into this guy, not only is your whole team going to get a boost, but they’ll have haste too… and you can’t turn it off by killing one key permanent. I think this is the most interesting card for EDH in the entire set, and you can expect to see it in a lot of different types of decks.

Path of Bravery

This card would be amazing in Archenemy, since it triggers for every attacking creature, so long as one of your creatures attacks. The wording is a little weird, to prevent you from gaining a ton of life without at least getting some skin into the game, but the card itself is fairly powerful. Repeatable lifegain of that magnitude is one thing, but potentially acting as a Glorious Anthem as well seems like it’s worth consideration.

Pyromancer’s Gauntlet

There is a certain type of deck that would play Pyromancer’s Swath. Those decks will play this card too now. Most decks won’t, though, and that’s also fine.

Savage Summoning

Some decks win through general damage. Those decks are often vulnerable to counterspells like Hinder, which cause them endless trouble. This solves that problem, although being down a card makes the solution seem somewhat less useful should none of your opponents be playing blue.

Seraph of the Sword

I can see this doing a lot of work in a Zedruu the Greathearted deck. It’s a strong blocker that can swing if needed, and it holds ranks with Dawn Elemental and Fog Bank alike. But it does say “combat” damage, and it is only a 3/3 in a format full of trample. All in all I am a little underwhelmed by this one.

Strionic Resonator

There are some cool things you can do with this card. Basically, you should be getting a card’s worth of advantage off the thing every time you use it, and you don’t have to use it if you don’t have the mana. I am sure there are some killer combos to go with the Resonator, but I’d rather it see play as a value engine, like Mimic Vat.

Tidebinder Mage

This falls squarely between Lifebane Zombie and Mindsparker. The ability is on the edge of playability and merfolk is definitely a supported tribe (although less common than zombies). But it’s just a bear when it whiffs. I might try one out in Azami, Lady of Scrolls, but I am not holding my breath for it to be anywhere as interesting as it will be in EDH.

Vastwood Hydra

There’s only one deck that plays any of those dumb X mana hydras, and that’s Rosheen Meanderer. Since that deck plays completely uninteresting hydras at that cost, I am sure this one will make the cut as well. Otherwise, it’s boring and less than good.


Now we’re talking! This is how color hate should be done. A 3/3 hexproof dude for three is exactly the type of thing Enchantress and Voltron decks like, e.g. Troll Ascetic, and if the ability does trigger it has potential to grow out of control. Now, it could be worded better for multiplayer, but if you’re playing this in your ninety nine, it’s more for “hexproof” and less for any of the words that come after that.

Xathrid Necromancer

Teysa, Orzhov Scion is already a disgustingly good tokens Commander, herself acting as repeatable removal while giving all your dudes some sort of token-ey rebound effect. Adding in the Necromancer leads you to situations where you’ll be saccing one Conspiracy-ed up token to get two more, and that just seems brutal.

And that’s it for the rares! All in all it’s a more interesting crop than last time around, but not by much. Join me again next week for an examination of common M14 cards related to my Pauper Cube…it’s very likely that some EDH implications will also be discussed.

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