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Commander Highlights: Theros Beyond Death


Morganator 2.0:
The first set of 2020 is already showing lots of cards for Commander players to toy with, from amazing mana ramp to new combo pieces. We also got reprints of Gray Merchant of Asphodel, Idyllic Tutor, and Underworld Dreams. There are also new commanders for you to try out, but I'm not going to go over them. I'm just going over the cards you'll want to use in existing decks. TBD has a lot to cover so let's dive into it.

Destiny Spinner
It's a bit of a shame that this card isn't uncounterable, but that's hardly a downside. If counterspells frequent your playgroup (or if a lot of your stuff is just worth countering) and you have an enchantress deck, this card was made for you.

There's also this other ability that does something with a land. Why am I bothering? No one's ever going to use it.

Dryad of the Ilysian Grove
If you happen to have a green deck that uses Chromatic Lantern, here's the replacement. It doesn't tap for mana itself, but the extra land drop will make up for that.

Eidolon of Obstruction
There were a lot of good Planeswalkers last year. Something had to even then out, and The Immortal Sun just doesn't cut it. I'm not sure Eidolon of Obstruction will hurt that much, but if there's a superfriends deck in your meta you might want to consider using this to slow them down.

Heliod, Sun-Crowned
This is weird. I'm not used to seeing white legendaries with combo potential. The obvious interaction is Walking Ballista and/or Triskelion. Because mono-white tends to have trouble with combo consistency, I'm expecting this combo to show up in other commander decks.

Hyrax Tower Scout
Another card that combos with Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker. It also allows the Birthing Pod combo to start with a CMC 2 creature (Hyrax Tower Scout -> Felidar Guardian -> Karmic Guide -> Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker).

Ilysian Caryatid
Not much to say about this. It replaces a Sylvan Caryatid or Paradise Druid. It's alright mana ramp, but there's better from this set. Moving on.

Nyxbloom Ancient
Here's the better mana ramp. This card is quite obviously insanely powerful. Even if it just said "lands" it would be a powerful card, but any permanent? Signets now tap for 6 mana! Most big-mana decks will want this card.

Nyx Lotus
Oh would you look at that, a card that goes really well with the Nyxbloom Ancient I just mentioned. While this card is good, it's getting a little over-hyped. Green decks already had access to Karametra's Acolyte, which is more or less the same thing. But if you are playing a non-green deck where you can get your devotion high, this might be a good card for you.

Omen of the Sea
Even at two mana this is a decent draw effect, and it has a nice secondary activation. Will likely be a good budget option.

Stinging Lionfish and Wavebreak Hippocamp
Rashmi, Eternities Crafter players can rejoice as two new cards made counterspells even better. Stinging Lionfish might see some play in control decks, but Wavebreak Hippocamp will be in a lot more. Counterspells are inherit card disadvantage, so having something that evens it out is perfect.

Thassa's Oracle
These next two cards are the real highlights of Theros Beyond Death. Thassa's Oracle has a good ability even without the "you win the game" part attached. But with that ability? You've got a Laboratory Maniac effect that isn't stopped by removal, only counterspells. It's also lead to the new "Fish Hulk" combo which is ripping it's way through competitive commander. This card is also finding it's way into Doomsday piles and other combos. Best of all, it's not a dead card, because that ability is just good on it's own.

Underworld Breach
With Yawgmoth's Will on the reserve list and out of most people's reach, this card comes as a close second. It might make an appearance in storm decks and decks that gets lots of cards in the graveyard.


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