Along with our Top Commanders there are some incredibly strong cards cards that came out last year that will have a lasting impact on the format. Before continuing on with the year I figured we should acknowledge and share the list so let’s get started.
Coming in at number 10 is the first 4 colour Legendary creature since the Commander 2016 cycle. Omnath. Locus of Creation is a solid 4/4 for 4 with 4 abilities. It’s high value and landfall abilities was so powerful that it was banned in standard. Due to it’s four colour identity though it’s hard to slot into a deck as anything other the Commander and while Omnath is powerful it’s not game breaking in the format. Still a lovely card which was Standard ban worthy so I wanted it on a list.
This 7 drop 5/5 Trample Elemental Enchantment Creature is a mana tripler causes a game breaking amount of mana for its controller. Casting it is completely possible but reanimating it, cloning it, or cheating it in any way for less enables some insane turns. Considering the previous mana multiplication effects such as Mana Reflection which double mana, tripling it was a heck of a power increase. Whether as more value or a infinite combo piece Nyxbloom Ancient isn’t going away from the format anytime soon, or possibly ever.
Another year, another Teferi with insane abilities. This time we’re back to mono-blue which makes it easier to slot in to different decks. It loots, phases an opponent’s creature, and the ultimate is a Time Stretch. You can get to ultimate pretty easily since you can activate Teferi at instant speed and on each turn! While a bit silly 1v1 it gets ridiculous in a 4 player Commander pod. After you’re done looting and sculpting your hand go ahead and take a couple of extra turns, possible in between players just to mess with turn order. Bringing back Phasing was an interesting choice too but being able to remove a combo piece creature like Mikaeus, the Unhallowed, Kiki-Jiki Mirror Breaker, or Deadeye Navigator in the middle of the combo to break it is a great piece for blue. Use him for looting and get huge payoffs, what another silly card.
When Kinnan was spoiled there was immediate Basalt Monolith combo and hype for some competitive play. A Commander who boosts your resources and has a built in way to search for a win condition. The prevalence of Blue/Green has been on the rise since Oko, Thief of Crowns and decks with Simic colours continues to be visibly threatening in multiple formats. The speed of this Commander is something to behold and while it may not be the most versatile card to fit into decks the ones that it does fit into are more than a little troublesome.
The hatebear strategy gained yet another asymmetrical ability creature to add to their repertoire and this one is a doozy. Drannith Magistrate prevents your opponents from casting spells from anywhere other than their hands. Besides the combo with the usual Knowledge Pool pieces in a natural game this means no casting from exile, no flashback or graveyard effects, and no Commander from the Command Zone. This is an easy card slot to fit in a white deck that shuts down all sorts of strategies and if you can protect it from the table can/will hinder your opponents significantly.
The Commander Lotus, a controversial but possibly deadly card to start the game with. It’s not as game breaking as an actual Black Lotus but for many decks it’s the potential for a completely taking over the game as easily as turn one is something to account for. Ignoring the arguments of the cards existence and financial cost, it is not a bad card and it exists and so acknowledging that it’ll take the halfway point on the list.
4. Fierce Guardianship Cycle
So Fierce Guardianship, Deflecting Swat, Deadly Rollick, Flawless Maneuver, and Obscuring Haze. some of course significantly stronger and more versatile than others but nonetheless. A series of spells that you can cast for free as long as you control your commander is powerful especially for low cost or Partner Commanders. Rograkh, Son of Rohgahh is the exemplar of both to enable these spells, the crazy little kobold. They are just more spells to keep in mind when an opponent may be tapped out but not unprepared.
If you’ve ever been at the mercy of a Narset, Parter of Veils lock with any number of Windfall or Wheel of Fortune effects you can certainly understand this pain. Hullbreacher steps it up a notch by adding insult to injury turning any cards you may have drawn into treasures which fuels the next potential spell. While not a Notion Thief it has the same response time thanks to flash which causes a Brainstorm to actually lose you cards in hard. This merfolk pirate ranks high up as one of the two terrifying flash creatures from Commander Legends who will be around for the foreseeable future.
Whether your opponents are simply fetching for a land or tutoring for a win condition send in an Opposition Agent to take it for you. This Commander Legends card has the scariest potential as it not only inhibits your opponents from making use of their tutor spells unless they want to just give it to you. Whether they actually play the card or leave it in exile this is not the creature I want to see flashing into play. If Hullbreacher is kin to a Narset, Parter of Veils effect then Opposition Agent is the Ashiok, Dream Render with a great upside. I no longer feel safe even turn one to play fetch if my opponent can Dark Ritual into Opposition Agent. You should definitely be wary for this card folks.
The fish itself takes first place for its impact across Magic formats as a whole. With it’s enter the battlefield win condition rather than Laboratory Maniac and Jace, Wielder of Mysteries who you can attempt to remove in response to a game winning draw replacement, Thassa’s Oracle is something you need to Stifle and doesn’t care if it dies, just that the ability is on the stack. With the strongest effect in te game, the lowest converted mana cost of the effects and the absolute prevalence of this card as a win condition, there was no doubt to me it would rank at the top.
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So that’s it for our top cards from 2020 and any look at that year in general. While there have been more staples and fun toys that came out last year (Dryad of Illysian Grove is in so many of my decks now.) I think we’ll be getting back to the decks and other magical content. Do let us know what you think of the list. Was there anything that deserved a spot? Anything that should have ranked higher?
Anyways here’s to a better year of magic, and pretty much everything, for everyone. May your cardboard be shiny and your combos be sweet. Happy shuffling and take care, til next time.