Commander 2019 Review Review

*This post is a look back at a review I wrote a few weeks ago of Commander 2019, with some updated thoughts (italicized) having played with/against the cards.

One of the primary reasons I wanted to do this blog was to do set reviews. It’s not so much that I wanted to do them, as I kind of was doing them already, I just needed a bit of focus and a platform for my thoughts. Here it is. This post takes my ‘review’ of C19, which I wrote for myself, my roommate, and as a pitch for writing for an MTG website, and looks back at it after having seen some of the cards in action.

I really like both reading and writing set reviews. They’re more prediction than review, and this is a fun chance to see how my own predictions panned out.


Kadena – The face commander of Morph is merely okay. Kinda bland. If morph were more directional or spicy on its own, this would be good. Maybe in the future, but morph really needs some uniting force to provide a win con. This is just morph making more morph. The best part of this card is the colours.

So I’m both right and wrong here. Kadena is very strong, but that’s because there’s a few disproportionately strong morph guys, and playing them for free on my turn is really strong, as Kadena players have learned to do. Leyline of Anticipation/Vedalken Orrery ftw. I really hate Brine Elemental. I get it, I never get to untap. You win. You don’t have to keep durdling.

Kadena’s Silencer – Pretty cool for the morph player, I guess. I’m still not sure how Morph wins the game.

From my firsthand experience, Morph wins by grinding everything to a halt and everybody agreeing to start over.

Volrath – This is spicy, if unspecific. It’s nice to have a new colour to brew with -1/-1 counters, although blue really only adds a pile of proliferate. The copycat aspect is similarly open-ended. It gives a starting point, and some restrictions, but beyond that, it’s up to you. I think this is all a positive, and will make for some great, unique decks. It will also be a really good Sultai goodstuff commander for years to come, and great in Commander cube.

Looking forward to seeing my first build of this.

Thought Sponge – I’m not a fan of this design, because I think blue-counter-carddraw is so packed with stuff like this, it’s hardly relevant. But it does several blue things, and blue players will appreciate that. I guess you can play it if you think your meta is draw heavy, or for surprise blocking value. It is really cool to have a Sponge creature. My Vorthos friend wants to know about sponges ‘flashing’ into play. Are sponges known for their speed or suddenness? More even than their square pants?

Haha, Spongebob jokes. I think this card is one of the forty or so Simic decks draw on that turn they kill you with Psychosis Crawler.

Road of Return – Love this. Slightly worse regrowth stapled to commander tax workaround? Any green deck where the commander gets killed often, or worse, is countered on sight, should give this a look.

Still love it. Discounting your Commander and buying back that key spell sounds like the start of a comeback.

Mire in Misery – This is generally going to be good based on math alone and overall quality of enchantments played in Commander. You should get a 3 for 1, and you can ding the player who never plays creatures but has Rhystic Study on turn 3 almost every game. In theory. Sometimes your 3 for 1 will be 2 tokens and Oath of Nissa or Mystic Remora with 3 age counters on it. Black enchantment removal is a positive, and this is playable, but really timing-dependent, and not helped by being a sorcery.

Haven’t see it played. Unlikely to. The black decks I’ve seen recently just go over the top of most enchantments.

Leadership Vacuum – This is terrific. There have been early comparisons to Karakas, but this is not Karakas. This addresses many problem commanders and the ubiquity of Lightning Greaves. Top marks!

This is one of those spells you could probably cast every turn. Spells like this suffer because it’s easy to hold on to them, waiting for an optimum target.

The new frames are pretty cool. I think they should shake it up every few years regardless, and give us lots of options for the common tokens.

Grismold – Fun. Plant group hug. This guy might see a few builds. There are a few reasons to give your opponents creatures, especially really fragile ones. I’m planning a ‘Beyond Vampires’ build of this, where the terrified plants given to my opponents on my end step become the victims of my celery stalkers, like Blood Seeker. I’m definitely going to make own tokens, depicting terrified vegetables, to give to my opponents.

I’m still planning to build this deck. It seems ideal for October.

Pendant of Prosperity – This is a home run for casual groups and for Zedruu. In more competitive groups, this might be a useful bargaining chip, or can help a compatible gameplan gain traction while helping you at the same time. It might also get ignored, or sacrificed to a Goblin Welder. Artifact sac outlets aren’t as common as those for creatures, but they put a bit of a damper on cards like this.

Do you take any Tempting Offer? I’m not sure I’d want to activate this if someone gave it to me, now that I think about it. I’d assume shenanigans. Best for cubes and known, friendly metas.

On the reserve list! How Stifling!

Scroll of Fate – Another home run. It nonbos etb strategies, but this could go in almost anything. Nonboing etb might be the thing that breaks this. Think Phyrexian Dreadnought or Phage, the Untouchable. But just as a utility card, this can camouflage your guys, making removal a gambit, or create handy chumps, or even put something uncastable from your hand somewhere slightly better in response to discard. Sure it might die, but it was graveyard bound anyway. It is important to note that Manifests do not have native abilities, and thus have no death triggers on them. If a creature with a death trigger dies in manifest/morph form, the trigger won’t happen. The game sees the creature in the graveyard face up, but didn’t see that ability while it went there.

I played a Marisi, Breaker of the Coil deck recently that might have some use for this. Sometimes just the threat of a chump blocker keeps the attacks back.

Rayami – Vampire tron is better when you know the meta. This might be blank vs. too many decks to bother. The best keywords are hexproof and indestructible, but that means killing creatures with that ability, or your own, which seems… less than good. Hexproof in particular is often granted by Swiftfoot boots, making it useless and hard to try and kill a creature with that ability. I think this is a miss. Too many hoops just to do inefficient keyword voltron.

I’ve heard people talking about building around this, just for graveyard hate. If one of my regular opponents always brought Meren to the table, I’d consider this too.

Surprisingly good, or no surprise?

Scaretiller – My Phenax mill deck says yes! Actually, a lot of decks probably say yes to this. This can team up with Evolving Wilds to ramp you while tapping it for value. Vehicles, especially Boros Vehicles, or anything that uses Glare of Subdual a lot can provide easy value. If you’re running Kumena and Arcane Adaptation, this seems good.

This has seemed good every time I’ve seen it in play. If your deck is struggling to accelerate like the green decks, this guy does well. The best part is that it’s a non-threatening attacker, and will likely get in without trouble.

Sudden Substitution – What a weird card! I love it. This will be a game saver, and might be a staple going forward. Stealing control of Torment of Hailfire seems like the easy dream.

Whoa boy. One opponent and counting has traded me their Pact of Negation for my commander. I don’t like this. Tutoring/Mulliganing for that is too easy, especially with the Pacts being 0 cost spells. This could be a holy terror. Play fair, people.

Gift of Doom – Morph into aura? Weird. This might be good outside of morph. Lots of decks with fragile commanders might like this, and it’s new design space for black, which usually only gets temporary, conditional indestructible.

Morph’s gum-up-the-works control suite probably likes this. Xantcha decks might like this.

Thieving Amalgam – Can anyone explain the difference between ‘ape snake’ and ‘naga’? No? This is powerful, janky, and costs a lot to cast. Seems like a commander staple to me. There’s a lot going on here. Huge body, wacky type, manifest. From there it’s also a half-baked Stolen Strategy, and conditional gaindrainer. I just want to put this in play and see what happens.

I’ve only heard about this, but apparently it’s a riot. Can’t wait to cast it myself.

Apex Altisaur – Love it. Big dino does big dino things. Like being the champ. The fight champ. Each fight is a theoretical enrage trigger, so the beats go on. I love that it can fight 9 Llanowar Elves or thopters or saprolings or humans and keep standing. Is going ten rounds of fighting before it goes down a deliberate boxing reference? Why not!

I’ve seen reviewers pan this. Terrible. I mean, you can plan a ‘Fight Sequence’ with this. If someone copies this guy with a Stunt Double and does exactly that, you will get my Commander Challenge vote.

Overall: Medium. Very niche, but some crazy standouts. Morph got some new toys but whiffed a bit on the commander.

I take it back. Kadena unifies Morph nicely. Personally, I don’t like what Morph unifies into. I have some ideas to make Morph less gummy, that I might write about at some point.

Mystic Intellect

Why was Six afraid of Sevinne?

Sevinne – What a weird ability combination. I like the damage prevention more than flashback. I’m not alone in this, methinks. Flashback is fine. Instants and Sorceries for double value kinda scales poorly in commander. You can nuke the table already in mono-red, and there aren’t a lot of spell-based payoffs beyond that. Mill? I’m trying to make it work with Melek. Sevinne feels like it’ll be taking turns and boring combo backed up by Jeskai’s best answers. Yuck.

I’ve seen a few Sevinne decks now. I’m surprised that they’re not Elsha decks, but it makes sense. Sevinne is really resilient, and kind of innocuous. The flashback thing might only be useful once per game, but there’s a few money spells for that. I’d still rather see some sort of crazy voltron.

Cliffside Rescuer – Not an Ally? C’mon! This was just a little too late to save Paradox Engine, thank the Rules Committee. Lots of potential here, and not just to protect combo (although that’s probably the first thing on the community’s mind).

Still not an Ally. Is this the new Zendikar? Resurging towards factionalism?

Dockside Extortionist – Wow. Wow. Triple double wow. In red. Can you believe this card? I can’t. Is there a deck that can cast this that wouldn’t want it? I’m not sure. This seems bananas. Some decks can win the game outright with a bunch of artifacts or treasures or sacrifice activations. Revel in Riches? Marionette Master? Tip of the iceberg. How about Brudiclad with basically any half decent token in play? And this scales beautifully. Red really needed a bomb like this. Come over to the Dockside, Red players!

This rocks. Just as ramp it rocks. It’s like Manamorphose on methamphetacrack. I know I’m going to see it abused at some point, but it feels like a staple, not an oppressor.

Pramikon – This is cool, and I might even build around it, though I have no idea what with. Fun, wacky chaos cards? Probably. This is nice and fresh, though on the competitive side of things, it suggests lockout. It also subtly suggests Planeswalkers. Planeswalkers are currently a primary target on Commander tables, and I’m a little scared of having to deal with the superfriends without combat. There are a lot of interesting flavour applications of a card like this, too.

I have soured on all points with this card. Next!

Too beautiful to die.

Gerrard – After some rules clarification, this is okay rather than regrettable. It could really do with the words ‘You may’ on it. It’s a fine inclusion in decks that fold to wraths, or have a nasty sacrifice/etb trigger sequence. Otherwise, there are better options. Like all the new Weatherlight-era legends, this has amazing artwork.

I don’t expect to see this played. Sad.

Wall of Stolen Identity – This is a possible Clone + Imprisoned in the Moon under the right circumstances. Wild! Great name, too. Sounds like a silver border card.

Tapdown is of mixed value. Sometimes this is going to be amazing, where it basically steals a powerful activated ability, and sometimes you’ll struggle for a target. The best creatures power through things like tapdown and targeting. Many ETB and GTFO. Still have high hopes for it.

Elsha – This seems like it could be a nasty artifact or enchantment commander, not just spells. Or play cheerios in a demented version of the Paradoxical Outcome Storm Vintage deck. Actually don’t do that. Go goodstuff. Jeskai doesn’t have a lot of options, and this is probably the best for goodstuff. I like it, overall, but it might be a shade too strong.

This is as strong as I thought. Just a massive enabler. Some creatures start to get a reputation as the forebears of doom. Elsha’s now on my list.

Backdraft Hellkite – This is decent for Flashback, but possibly an allstar for Dragon tribal. Reusing Rampant Growth is a pretty good start, and the sky’s the limit from there. Pairs well with Dragon Mage and Runehorn Hellkite, too.

My dragon deck needs help. Dragons need an extra dimension beyond ‘cool flying beatsticks’.

Thalia’s Geistcaller – I wish this was an enchantment. Even activated indestructible isn’t enough to keep it from being ultra fragile. It adds an unusual dimension to spirits, flashback and casting from the grave in general, but it feels unsupported and out of place, currently.

Haven’t seen one played. Still feel the same.

Mandate of Peace – Any time anything ends a phase, take note. This is very interesting, as it exiles stuff from the stack. Cheap cost too. And doesn’t end the turn. Lots of moving parts. One to keep an eye on.

Have seen this played, but just as a Fog. So far. Sneaky card.

Red Harmonize? Char-monize?

Ignite the Future – This is almost a red Harmonize. In many ways better. I expect this to be played a lot. The ‘Flashback’ ability is just gravy. Casting this off Past in Flames might make you feel like a boss.

I have a specific deck for this, but I think I’m just going to stuff it into the next deck I play that can cast it. I think it’s great and want to see it in action.

Mass Diminish – This is okay. Unlike similar cards, it doesn’t shut off abilities, and it won’t do anything about P/T buffs like +1/+1 counters. Two casts of it are great, and the price is fantastic, but it doesn’t do enough, and being a sorcery, doesn’t do it at the optimum time.

There’s better. Maybe with Elsha so it has flash.

Shoes, boots, greaves, I don’t care.

Bloodthirsty Blade – My favourite card of the whole set? Maybe! So cool, and it’s in two of the decks, so it’s abundant! I would play this in most things. Super fun. Do I have to go into detail why Goad is great? More Goad, please. Oh, and hey, check out the card Besmirch while you’re at it. Big fun.

This is not just fun, it’s very very strong. Lots of things don’t want to attack at all. I’m seeing more and more reasons to start packing Arcane Lighthouse or Detection Tower in more decks, and this pairs beautifully with those. The Blade answers the Swords of, too. Sword carriers don’t have pro-colourless too often, even if they do have protection from all of your colours.

Empowered Autogenerator – So Everflowing Chalice and Astral Cornucopia now have a big brother in the Dice Factory. This thing goes infinite real fast. We didn’t need this, but we now have it. What does that flavour text say about the Reserved List, am I right?

This has a decent price tag already. Yikes. Haven’t seen why, and not looking forward to it. It’s funny that Magic turned 25 last year, but this is the first card with the word Empowered on it. ‘Bout time.

Sevinne’s Reclamation – I forgot to write about this the first time around. I was going to say something snarky about how Sun Titan wants its legs back, but this is pretty good. If your deck is mostly mini dorks, or has a few key mini dorks, the costing on this is great. This is also pretty good to discard.

Overall: Not great except for the insanely high highs. I don’t think flashback really got much better. The commander is better for other things than flashback, which might be a great thing. Single cards make this worth pursuing, however.

This deck did a lot for Commander, but not much for Flashback. Bork.

Primal Genesis

Taking over with 4/4s isn’t just for Nicol Bolas any more. Was that seriously going to win Ravnica?

Ghired – This guy is fine. There will probably be lots of these decks. This guy is totally what commander needs: fair, naya combat with rhino tokens. These decks will lose to combo and themselves and value engines, but they should be good rhinoplastering! Personally, I feel like the reliance on combat creates too much of a pinch point, and will undermine these decks too much, but there’s so many tokens and enablers across Naya that the rest of the deck should help it a lot. Getting extra combat steps by making tokens of something like Combat Celebrant is a loop you could shoot for, if you like that sort of thing.

I haven’t seen a Rhinopop deck yet. Too fair?

Doomed Artisan – Great design. I don’t know if this is playable, but it has a really good chance to sit on the battlefield long enough to generate some value and eat a panicked removal spell. Another card that has a silver-bordered feel to it.

I’m going to shoehorn this into a deck and see how it does. Needs testing.

Atla Palani – This is amazing, either as a commander, or in a big fun monster deck like dinosaurs, or in Changelings. Or egg tribal. If a Rukh Egg dies, and you get a Rukh token and some deckmonster, what exactly is going on there? Are they both coming out of the egg? What eggsactly is Atla Palani doing with those incubators? In Magic terms, she’s doing a great job.

The only deck I’ve seen so far wanted to abuse Impact Tremors and Purphoros. I put this in Changeling tribal. It’s very popular overall.

Marisi – Goad is so great. This card seems destined to cause shenanigans. I would assume a few cheap unblockable creatures standing ready would be a good start. This could be a pretty deep build, that uses group-hug style ramp to enable creatures, then controls combat for everyone. You could even go with some sort of Damage Over Time effect as cleanup. Very spicy card. Oh, and it’s a Naya cat, which we were lacking, and a new direction for cat tribal to go in, which is nice.

I built this deck, and played it. It worked well, but the DoT is probably a bust. It needed finish, and a few more ways to avoid being alpha’ed. Goad isn’t loved as much as I love it.

5 mana Auras ftw.

Tahngarth – Whoa! They did the creature that attacks during other players’ combat steps in black border! This guy isn’t really that good, but he’s very cool. I’d be delighted to see this built. Of course you want to attack every combat step, but that’s tough to pull off without forcing attacking, which is sort of doable. It might make for a specific and unusual build of Voltron. Weird old cards like Extra Arms, Latulla’s Orders and Laccolith Rig might score you big flavour points. This also might give some of the aura curses a boost, like Curse of Opulence. Exciting design.

Clunky! I think you have to go all in on Tahn, and maybe use vehicles or something to get him tapped without having to attack on your turn. The problem is that the payoff is clunky combat.

Ohran Frostfang – Another win for the snekdeck. Good snekkin’.


Full Flowering – Yup. This is good.

No reason to doubt this.

Commander’s Insignia – As Magic diversifies with every set, it becomes harder for generic anthems to shine. Even this, with the ability to grow, is probably inferior to some tribal or triggered option to make your army bigger. Isamaru is obvious for this, and it might do well with partners, but it underwhelms.

Rhys the Redeemed probably likes this more than Isamaru.

Hate Mirage – Wowza. Getting a pair of Solemn Simulacrum tokens nets you 2 basics from your deck, 2 attacks for two, and ideally 2 cards when the tokens die while attacking, or to your sacrifice outlet. Because these are tokens that go to the graveyard if they die. They are not exiled if they leave the battlefield, so yes, Virginia, you do get the death triggers. That’s a pretty good start. One Solemn copy is a good start. There are drawbacks, as you can’t copy your own things, and it’s a sorcery, but past that getting the best two ETB triggers outside your board, or the best death triggers, or best creatures in general is pretty amazing for 4 mana. I will be playing a lot of this. And yes, Brudiclad and this are Bananas Foster. Add that Dockside Extortionist and Brass’ Bounty and just go type broken tokens into a search engine for your menu options.

I’ve only seen this once, and it was cast off a Grenzo, Havoc Warden trigger. It did a bunch of nothing, ultimately, but it did a bunch of it. I think casting this at an optimum time is going to be bonkers. I’m hoping to have a story.

Idol of Oblivion – Pretty decent. Tap to draw a card is good math. Two mana is a good cost. Making a token this turn can be easy. A probable staple.

Will be playing this.

Song of the Worldsoul – Seems good, although it wins more pretty quickly. I feel like this is a suitable game-ender of a card. It puts the means in your hands easily, but you have to jump through a hoop or two to win. I’m probably wrong and there’s a loop that ends the game on the spot, but I mostly anticipate this being played fairly.

If anyone’s still running experience counter Daxos, this is hot stuff.

Ghired’s Belligerence – In limited this would be just unfair. Bringing better-scaled mass burn to Commander is a plus for the format. The Gyrus, Waker of Corpses die-hards are happy about stuff like this.

I can’t imagine the game state this would need to be effective. You usually need to kill all the chumps, not just a few, even if you get a bunch of your own tokens. Meh.

Tectonic Hellion – This seems to cost too much for when you’d want it. I don’t care about the size of the body. I know it would be nasty if played too early, but decks that overwhelm on lands don’t go so slow either. Could this be extra pseudo-annihilator for the Raze Boar? Why not. I feel like it misses the mark, though.

Still not a fan. I’d just play Bane of Bala Ged.

Selesnya Eulogist – It won’t take much to make this pure value. The activation is a tad overcosted, however, but if you’re running Heartstone, Training Grounds, or just big ramp, that’s pretty minimal.

I think the decks that might want this have better, faster, nastier options. Haven’t seen any impact yet but the surge of Windgrace decks seem to have died down a bit.

Voice of Many – Harmon-Guyz sounds pretty sweet! Best when blinked like all ETB allstars, he’s not always going to draw three. But even 2 with a body is pretty good.

I think this will sneak into a lot of decks, even though it’s not that great. Some people just like to draw cards.

Overall: Decent. Lots of value, and not particularly niche. The new cards aren’t as bonkers as in some of the other decks, but they’re strong and interesting enough. This probably has less chase staples though, especially in the new cards.

I’m looking to play a deck that does some Populatin’ in the near future, so I’ll be trying out a lot of these cards.

Merciless Rage

I hope it’s not meth to your madness.

Anje – I feel like madness is more Lovecraft than Stoker, but vampires somehow rule that roost. This can be a combo engine, drawing the whole deck in a pinch with the right setup. I don’t feel like there’s a way to build around this while both being fair and satisfying to play. I also don’t think madness is good. Maybe as part of a greater discard strategy.

This was great in combination with Chainer/Bone Miser. With the precon, it felt fair. We’re still not quite there with Hellbent, but if that commander ever arises, this will be the BFF, for sure.

Chainer – Whoa. There’s a lot going on here. This is strong but might be fair enough in Rakdos that it could be a big star. It gives a commander cast from command zone haste, which is less than obvious. In that respect alone, it’s a great 99er. I want to draw attention to the lack of the word ‘exile’ on this card. Can’t find the word ‘drawback’ either. This could be one of the most built commanders from this year.

I’ve seen some attempts to break this, but also to play fair. I think overall the card is a positive. It’s very very good, but still feels less than oppressive. I hope I’m right about this.

Wildfire Devils – There’s a deck emerging here. It needs to get stuff in opponents’ yards, and that stuff be useful instants and sorceries, and you’re playing red, so hurdles all day. But we have a few devil cards, and they seem to do this sort of thing. And Tibalts are getting better. This is probably pretty playable, overall, but will shine best in established or known metas, like Cube.

Tibalts are getting better….

Bone Miser – There’s that Waste Not on legs. But it’s for you, not opponents. Cool? I think so. Nath loves this guy. I’d be happy if they did this guy as an enchantment, and Waste Not (ability verbatim) on a creature. I mean as well. Can you combo off with this? Probably. Sure seems good with Anje Falkenrath, or the always wheeling Nekusar.

If it’s a madness deck, you may have to kill this on sight. So good, so gas.

K’rrik – What can I say about this card? It suggests gas. Like on the fire. Like flurry of spells gas on the fire, and since it’s black, Necropotence and a variety of tutors are the kindling for what’s coming. Is there a Doomsday setup that ends the game on turn 1?

Well, is there? This guy’s expensive. In a money sense. Lots of demand.

Nightmare Unmaking – The art is unnerving. This is possibly the best card in the set. Black exile boardwipe. It takes a little work, but either you need to nuke the army of little things or the few big things. There are few situations where this won’t help you out of a jam.

I would love a few of these. I think they’re overlooked. I’m keeping on eye on cheap copies.

Aeon Engine – More from the silver-bordered design team? This seems innocuous, but you can lock a couple of players out of the game with an unwinding clock and some way to copy the Engine. It’s not legendary. Please don’t do that.

Yeah don’t. This and Pramikon go together like evil and more evil.

Curse of Fool’s Wisdom – Don’t sleep on this. There are planeswalker ults that do stuff like this, and 4 mana for it is bananas. If you’re wheeling, it only gets easier to make this a kill shot, and cast it cheaply too.

I’ve heard of at least one kill as a result of this card.

Anje’s Ravager – Looting/Rummaging just aren’t my style, but if you want to see a lot of cards quick, this is a pretty good option. This is also really good in Edgar Markov decks that want to dump chumps on the board in the early turns, then refill quickly.

Haven’t seen Edgar much lately.

Pretend you didn’t see this anywhere near Greven.

Greven – Not a fan of this. It’s like Hatred, or Skithiryx, where you either win out of nowhere or somebody stops you. Those are the weird, Archenemy-lite games you’ll probably play. This you get to see coming a bit more, but it’s not really built to do much else.

Unspeakable Symbol? Gross.

Skyfire Phoenix – Solid. Unspectacular. Probably a star if phoenix tribal becomes a thing.

This might be good with Marisi or Vaevictus Asmadi, the Dire. The new brawl dragon, Korvald, might like it too.

Archfiend of Spite – This might lead to some blowouts if you can set it up properly. Good reanimator or Mimic Vat target. Might not make you popular at the table if it keeps showing up in response to damage sources.

I expect this to show up at some point. Nath, Chainer, etc. Lots of potential.

Sanctum of Eternity – Why was this only in 1 of the decks? It doesn’t seem OP or chase. This can do work in Yuriko, Zacama, or Kozilek, but isn’t really much use saving your commander from certain doom. Solid card overall, and another fringe mechanic on a colourless land to add to the pile of utility options.

One of the more expensive cards from the set so far. Still confused at it only being in one of the decks.

Overall: Solid. Lots of good reprints. I don’t think many of the new cards here will hold value. I think madness is still at least one supplement short of being a thing. The commander may prove me wrong with simple value.

I still don’t think Madness is there yet. Using discard as a mechanic however has tons of potential, and a lot of these cards really support discard well.

Castle? What Castle?

Best build-arounds – Grismold, Pramikon, Atla Palani, Volrath, Chainer

I no longer want to build Pramikon. I did build Marisi. I will be building Grismold. Volrath is a maybe. Atla Palani went in a 99.

Best new cards

Red – Dockside Extortionist, Hate Mirage, Ignite the Future – A+ overall

White – Cliffside Rescuer, Mandate of Peace, Song of the Worldsoul – C overall

Blue – Leadership Vacuum, Sudden Substitution, Wall of Stolen Identity – C overall

Green – Full Flowering, Apex Altisaur, Ohran Frostfang – B- overall

Black – Nightmare Unmaking, Mire in Misery, K’rrik – B+ overall

Multi – Chainer, Volrath, Elsha – A overall

Artifact – Bloodthirsty Blade, Empowered Autogenerator, Scroll of Fate – A overall

Best Overall – Dockside Extortionist, Nightmare Unmaking, Hate Mirage

This guy!

This is a really strong set, with a lot of individually powerful new cards. What I don’t think really emerged, however, were any of the strategies the decks were based around other than Morph. Flashback seems better as a few cards in other decks. Madness doesn’t extend enough of a payoff past plain old discard. Populate often has weak targets and suffers from pinch points. Morph got a lot of help, but like I said earlier, really just accelerates Pickles Lock or total game gumdown. I think lumping Manifest in there was a mistake. The more we differentiate between them, the better they’ll both be. Going forward, I think C19 will be known for a lot of spicy role-players more than stars or archetypes. What do you think?

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