Hey there Magic people! Before we get too deep into the next spoiler season, I still want to finish breaking down Streets of New Capenna. I’ve done the Commons and Uncommons, and the Main Set Rares. It’s time for the Mythics!
As I’ve been doing recently, it’s Bangers vs. Clangers. In the immortal struggle of Bangers and Clangers, the Bangers are the ones with the hero music. Clangers? They clang.
The highest rarity of cards shouldn’t have too many Clangers, right? There are 20 Mythics. How many Clangers is too many? I’m going to say 5. Let’s find out!
Hover over any card titles to see an image of the card!
- All-Seeing Arbiter – Clanger – Not only is this not a great card, it’s the big flavour fail of the set. If there’s an All-Seeing Arbiter who sees all, how is there an entire city awash in crime? Is the Arbiter corrupt? If this was meant ironically, they weren’t clear enough. What about the abilities? The body and flying are ok, but not game-breaking. The ETB is okay, but not game-breaking. The discard payoff is not exactly bad, but it’s rarely going to be consequential, and being targeted, can’t hit the Lightning Greaves-wearing menace you often need to slow. Based on the total package, I think you can do a lot better for 6 mana, or get what you really want out of this card for much less. Mask of Memory, for example, is an equip that might just give better access to the best of the Arbiter for cheaper.
- Angel of Suffering – Clanger – While you can shut down damage to yourself with this in play and an Eldrazi like Kozilek, Butcher of Truth in your deck, the fact that it doesn’t affect life loss means it only stops a slice of the things that might kill you. You can also damage yourself to self mill, but I’m not sure exactly how to do that with this at a rate better than rare card Cemetery Tampering. There’s also a weird drawback to the power/toughness versus the 4/4 of many Angels, and that’s the large number of cards that do 3 damage to all creatures, or give them -3/-3. There’s a few of those in this set. They’re not that heavily played, but they’re a thing. Angel of Suffering doesn’t seem to be.
- Arcane Bombardment – Banger – This looks bananas at first glance, but the more I read it, the more I think it’s merely very good. Merely. This throws free spells like crazy, why is it not bananas? Well yes, when you cast your first instant/sorcery each turn, you get a free instant/sorcery from your graveyard, plus a copy of each other card you’ve already done that with. But… a lot of Commander’s instants and sorceries are timing-dependent. Think boardwipes and removal. Yes, you can repeatedly use these things, but they’re not really designed for bombarding in the way a Lightning Bolt would be. Boardwipes especially. You might want to play some creatures yourself. You can choose not to play those spells, but what kind of bombardment is that? Second, this card is vulnerable to graveyard hate. It does nothing with Leyline of the Void in play. Third, the card it plays from your graveyard is random. You can absolutely set yourself up to maximize this card, but as one of the 99, it’s less easy to do that than with your Commander. Still pretty awesome though.
- Body Launderer – Banger – While Ogres have yet to shine in Magic, Rogue players should be all over this card. There are a few types of deck that could showcase this card, and it’s pretty much what you’d call ‘goodstuff.’ The body is fine, and Deathtouch is great, but the other abilities are really strong. First, Connive is fantastic. Draw plus discard plus +1/+1 counters means three very strong, heavily synergistic abilities combine into one. Triggering it via sacrifice should be fairly easy for a lot of decks, and otherwise you can let you opponents and combat kill your creatures for you. Second, the reanimation is solid, and while limited to the Launderer’s power, might grow with Connive. Overall there’s a lot to like here.
- Bootleggers’ Stash – Banger – With reservations. It’s my opinion that this is too good for casual play, and if it’s cheated in early via Goblin Welder or something, might be too much of an advantage to overcome. Treasure is probably too good, and too easy to make. Kill this on sight if you can, and hope they can’t just tap a bunch of lands and kill you with a Reckless Fireweaver in response. Keep an eye on this card.
- Elspeth Resplendent – Clanger – While she might play in 60-card Constructed, this Elspeth doesn’t seem to have abilities that will impact Commander. The +1 is okay, and good for counter decks, and the -7 is fairly strong, putting 15 power/toughness in the air for you. But the -3 isn’t really that strong for the big mana format, and might be less good than just drawing a card. Elpeth also can’t protect herself, and is a sitting duck without help. With only the -3 to synergize with other Planeswalkers, this likely doesn’t make many Superfriends decks. Apologies to one of the central story characters, but it seems like Elspeth is in steady decline from her original days on Alara, Mirrodin and Theros.
- Even the Score – Banger – While it’s not that flashy a card, and the cost restriction is real, it’s still nice open-ended card draw at instant speed. 3 blue is a lot unless you’re all blue, and an opponent drawing 4 cards isn’t that common. Even if your opponents do draw a ton of cards, casting this is only ideal at the end of the turn of the player right before your turn. While you probably have to draw 5 or more cards to justify the cost, you can. Or more than that. Flex that big mana. Card advantage wins games. It is always a notable drawback for cards like this to only target yourself, however.
- Falco Spara, Pactweaver – Clanger – I think this just falls short of Banger, which means Clanger. It’s a good flying creature for not too much mana, and shield counters are nice and so is looking at the top of your deck. But the one counter it does give you is not really the expendable kind. And without counters, the juiciest ability, playing cards from topdeck, is chopped off. When the best part of a card is possibly also a huge source of frustration, I’ll pass. I could be wrong, and a deck where all the creatures come with expendable counters is out there, and it’s an unstoppable value train. But you can already do that stuff with other Commanders and Falco doesn’t offer a unique enough angle outside the shield counter, which is a one-off, and being a great choice for a Starfox-themed deck.
- Halo Fountain – Banger – With reservations. ‘Win the game’ effects draw big time hate, and there are a lot of ways to blow up artifacts. I wouldn’t expect to win a lot of games with this card, but I might be totally wrong. If I were to include this in decks, it would have to pay off on the first two abilities. Making tokens is ok, and drawing cards is great, but there are probably better ways to do either that don’t require tapped creatures. Still, any weird drawback can be turned into upside, and I have no doubt that a Commander like Emmara, Soul of the Accord could be Master Chief of the Fountain.
- Jetmir, Nexus of Revels – Clanger – While the effect is huge, and in a lot of ways Jetmir is like a Craterhoof Behemoth out of the Command Zone, it’s hardly going to take opponents by surprise, especially as you tick up your creature count. Also your games are likely going to play very similar, where you play dorks and Jetmir and try for an alpha strike. This will still appeal to a lot of people, and could be a pretty decent Cat Tribal Commander, but I don’t think it will lead to interesting games. Might be okay in the 99, but timing will be tricky without tutors or topdeck luck.
- Lord Xander, the Collector – Clanger – There is no shortage of power with Lord Xander, and it might be even better outside of the Command Zone, because it can be cheated in much faster than casting it for 7. But there’s a few things holding this card back. First, the discard and death trigger abilities aren’t answers. They’re big, they’re splashy, and they’re scary, but they let your opponents choose to keep the best half of their stuff. The mill ability is huge, and triggers on attack, but it can’t empty a library, and will rarely happen more than once in a turn cycle. 6/6 is big, and Vampire Demon are solid types, but no evasion or protection means as long as the mill isn’t causing too much trouble, this card can be ignored. It’s better with sac outlets/recursion and even blinking with something like Teferi’s Time Twist, but for 7 mana, that’s probably too slow without green or reliable treasure production. Expect it to be a target though, because it’s scary, and because of the death trigger, will likely be exiled at the first opportunity.
- Luxior, Giada’s Gift – Banger – I think this is a Banger. I’m not totally sold. Equipping a planeswalker in Commander means that walker will probably die in a boardwipe. Or maybe heroically in combat. But it’s not likely to create a game-breaking threat. It does pair very well with Elspeth Resplendent and gives Superfriends Wonder Woman’s sword if you want. It’s really awesome with Hydras. It’s cheap to cast, and cheap to equip to a walker. Not so cheap to equip to a creature, but you can get around that. The ceiling is pretty high for this, but there’s a ton of competition and it might take some work.
- Meeting of the Five – Clanger – Ouch what a card. This is a classic example of a non-Legendary creature spell that fails completely because you can’t build around it. I’m not sure if this has any chance in 60-card Constructed either. There is a single home for this card in Commander at present, and that’s ‘Lucky Charms’ which is a 5-colour deck (Ramos, Dragon Engine is a potential Commander) that plays lots of charms like Rakdos Charm, Misery Charm and Charm School. What? No? It plays the 3 colour charms like Abzan Charm and Rith’s Charm? I guess that makes more sense, and gives people who opened Meeting of the Five some glimmer of hope.
- Ob Nixilis, the Adversary – Banger – There’s so much going on with Mob Nix that it’s almost like a little subgame of its own. What’s here more than anything is synergy potential. Counters, tokens, sacrifice, lifeloss, lifegain and card draw. While this does have the feel of a big threat, it also seems really tricky to remove, which makes it a puzzle for your opponents too. Yikes. Watch out for this one in all formats.
- Raffine, Scheming Seer – Banger – Probably my pick as best Mythic in the set for Commander. Raffine is strong and cheap to cast. The body is great. While 1 power isn’t ideal, 4 toughness is awesome, and so is flying. Raffine’s a good blocker. The Connive ability is great. Connive is great. Being on an attack trigger that doesn’t need Raffine to attack is nice so it can stay back to block or keep out of danger altogether. But Raffine can swing in and Connive and get bigger, all by itself. A Connive for 1 is good enough, and can enable Madness, reanimation, or other such synergies, but a Connive for more digs deep and synergizes deep. This might be an even better version of Varina, Lich Queen, an extremely strong Commander already.
- Sanctuary Warden – Banger – This is a very good Angel. It’s not crazy powerful like Avacyn, Angel of Hope or some others, but the shield counters are really cool, and drawing cards is a big bonus. Being able to use counters on other creatures to draw cards on ETB and attack can be really sweet, and can even remove -1/-1s and other problem counters from your stuff. White goodstuff, and a rare piece of fantastic design in white.
- Titan of Industry – Banger – This one’s fairly obvious. It’s probably not the best green 7-drop out there, but most of the abilities are solid, making it totally versatile. The body is big and meant to be a problem in combat with reach and trample. Horde of Notions loves it, and there are a lot of decent elementals out there like Flamekin Harbinger and Incandescent Soulstoke that get your Titan going early. It’s probably the name and the art, but I keep expecting this to be an artifact creature.
- Urabrask, Heretic Praetor – Banger – The upside should be plain to see with the new Urabrask. You get an extra card and opponents have to play their first draw on their turn or lose it. It’s not really much more than that, but that’s pretty good. I like how it doesn’t really punish fair decks who want to make land drops and play creatures. There are a growing number of synergies with playing cards from exile, and like Outpost Siege and friends, this makes that happen easily. Red goodstuff, but one of the least impactful of the Praetors. For the best.
- Vivien on the Hunt – Banger – I’m not one for tutors, and this planeswalker Birthing Pod is not for me, but it’s pretty good. The +1 is a possible draw 5. The ‘ultimate’ is a -1 that makes Rhino tokens. I like that the most. The thing that causes Commander players to panic at seeing a planeswalker is the scary ultimate slowly ticking up. This Vivien is just a really efficient, proven value engine. Nothing to worry about. BTW: what do you do with a charging Rhino? Whatever you do, don’t wait until its EV is ready, because it’s gonna chase you down!
- Ziatora, the Incinerator – Banger – While big old Dragons that cost a pile of mana can sometimes eat removal once or twice and get locked away in the Command Zone, at least Ziatora is in green and makes treasures. The sacrifice ability is very strong, as sacrifice abilities tend to be, and rewards you for going tall with your creatures. You can do Cosmic Larva or some silliness like that, or just grow tokens with counters. Lots of options. Go for big splash, or just go for value and treasure. I think this is in a really good spot of power and playability for casual.
So our final count is 7 clangers! That’s too many, but what can you do? Mainly, try not to get too many copies of those cards if you don’t have to. All opinions on Bangers and Clangers are just opinions, so if some Clanger was indeed the hottest of the hottest Bangers, please leave our opinion in the comments! Thanks for reading!