Commander Gems in Iconic Masters

by Chapman Sim on 15 September 2017, Friday

EDH  Commander  IMA 
Chapman Sim

Commander Gems in Iconic Masters




Iconic Masters is yet another iteration of Modern Masters and Eternal Masters and it brings back a lot of great cards from throughout the history of the game. It's also a great time for you to pick up some singles - at a lower price tag - to fill out your Commander decks.

Let's take a look at what the best cards are in each color!




Austere Command Avacyn, Angel of Hope Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite


The biggest barrier of including Austere Command in Commander decks is its expensive price tag. Now that it is being reprinted, that should bring down prices a little, and I believe it is a card that should go into any white deck, regardless of what strategy you're intending to adopt. It is just such a versatile card and it almost always breaks the symmetry if you choose your modes wisely. 


Avacyn, Angel of Hope is also extremely gamebreaking and your opponents need something very specific such as Sword to Plowshares, Cyclonic Rift or Hallowed Burial to get out of the fix. While it is not an auto-inclusion in every Commander deck, it certainly has its merits. However, Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite is great even if it is killed immediately. At least you were able to take out some of your opponent's smaller (usually utility-based) creatures. Play it both as a board sweeper, as well as a game finisher.



Honorable Mentions: Archangel of Thune is great in creature-based decks but otherwise not very impressive. When you have a huge board, you're just waiting for someone to cast Wrath of God on you. Yosei, the Morning Star is decent, but too bad it only targets one player. However, it has a lot of applications in decks with recursion and sacrifice outlets.






Consecrated Sphinx Cryptic Command Keiga, the Tide Star


Grab your Consecrated Sphinxes. Grab your Cryptic Commands. If you haven't got them yet. Keiga, the Tide Star is also very solid. They're about the best cards in Commander and should be included in all blue decks. However, the most important card in Iconic Masters for every Commander player is none other than...


Mana Drain


If you don't have Mana Drain in your blue deck, you're extremely shortchanged. It's like playing Commander with Sol Ring. Take this opportunity and buy your Mana Drains!


Honorable Mentions: Modern players will be happy to see Ancestral Visions reprinted but it is so-so in Commander. There are many card drawing options you are happy to play, such as Fact or FictionBrainstormPonderThirst for KnowledgeDeep AnalysisMulldrifter, and more. You really don't have to wait two turns for your +2 card advantage. Similarly, Legacy players should be thrilled to see Flusterstorm return but unfortunately, it's not great in Commander. Jin Gitaxias, Core Augur is nice but it just costs way too much.








I think many decks underestimate how powerful Necropotence is, probably because not a lot of decks are built to support it. In general, there are many Commander staples such as Exsanguinate or Grey Merchant of Asphodel which players often forget. There are also many tutors in black, which means that you should almost always be able to win after resolving Necropotence, and popping a tutor for some insane lifegain card, and continue to draw ten more cards. Since we start with 40 life, I don't see why Necropotence is consistently being omitted. Maybe people just like Phyrexian Arena more? Iconic Masters should drive down the prices of Necropotence significantly, so I encourage you guys to give it a try.


Rune-Scarred Demon Sanguine Bond Sheoldred, Whispering One


Rune-Scarred Demon is also one of the best end-game threats you can present. Not only does it replace itself, it enables you to find another haymaker. Sanguine Bond is also rather frightening and continues to threaten instant wins with Exquisite BloodSheoldred, Whispering One is one of the best attrition machines and win conditions. Play it!


Honorable Mentions: Kokusho, the Evening Star is bonkers! You should really... oops... wait... it's still banned as a Commander. Well, include it in your 99 and hope to draw it then. Moving on.






Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker Magus of the Moon Urabrask the Hidden


As usual, red continues to receive the short stick in all expansions, keeping up the "tradition" of being the weakest color. There is nothing exciting except Kiki-Jiki, Mirror BreakerMagus of the Moon, and Urabrask the Hidden, but all of these cards have niche and narrow applications at best.


Honorable Mentions: Bogardan HellkiteScourge of ValkasRyusei, the Falling Star, and Thundermaw Hellkite provide a lot of Dragons for the Dragon-lover, but include them in your deck with care. They're not really that powerful.






Curse of Predation Genesis Hydra Genesis Wave Rampaging Baloths Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger


Curse of Predation is extremely powerful (previously seen in Commander 2013 and Commander Anthology) and is great in a deck which can take advantage of it more than your opponents, such as mana dorks and token decks. Genesis Hydra and Genesis Wave are also great in big mana decks, while Rampaging Baloth continues to be one of the most powerful threats green can present at six mana. Last but not least, Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger is a very feared card, but it has never been reprinted (until now) since New Phyrexia. Vorinclex should see more play now that more copies are in circulation.


Honorable Mentions: Channel is banned, I don't know what they were thinking. 






Supreme Verdict



Supreme Verdict is the best gold card in Iconic Masters for Commander. Sadly, the list ends here as the other cards have very narrow uses. Being dual-colored also doesn't help, since it restricts the ability to play these cards.


Honorable Mentions: Bladewing the Risen makes a great Commander or inclusion in a Black-Red Dragons deck, obviously. Corpsejack Menace is popular in tokens and counters decks.





Artifact and Land


Oblivion Stone Thran Dynamo


The most important pick ups for Iconic Masters (aside from Mana Drain) are Oblivion Stone and Thran Dynamo. They are great in all Commander decks and I don't see why you won't play them.



Honorable Mentions: Oh yes, if you play Modern, do pick up some Mishra's Baubles too. They should be down to $5 instead of $50? My personal guess. Lastly, I'm really confused why they reprinted Nimbus Maze. It's not even that good in a White-Blue deck and nobody seems to even care about it.



Thanks for reading and I hope you like my insights on Iconic Masters! Iconic Masters goes on sale on 17 November, but you can prepare your shopping list right now! Now, let's wait for the Ixalan spoiler, so we can do some real work working on the new Standard!



The Traveling Philosopher

Chapman Sim

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