Command Beacon’s Zendikar Rising Top Picks

Zendikar Rising is right around the corner and it’s chock full of excellent new cards for your commander decks. We here at the Command Beacon thought we’d share some of the cards we’re most looking forward to trying out in our decks and brews. Without further ado, let’s have a look at the selections:

CASCADE.CASCADE’S PICKS

Card Name: Leyline Tyrant. Mana Cost: {2}{R}{R}. Card Oracle Text: FlyingYou don't lose unspent red mana as steps and phases end.When Leyline Tyrant dies, you may pay any amount of {R}. When you do, it deals that much damage to any target.. Power/Toughness: 4/4
Card Name: Ashaya, Soul of the Wild. Mana Cost: {3}{G}{G}. Card Oracle Text: Ashaya, Soul of the Wild's power and toughness are each equal to the number of lands you control.Nontoken creatures you control are Forest lands in addition to their other types. (They're still affected by summoning sickness.). Power/Toughness: */*
Card Name: Moraug, Fury of Akoum. Mana Cost: {4}{R}{R}. Card Oracle Text: Each creature you control gets +1/+0 for each time it has attacked this turn.Landfall — Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, if it's your main phase, there's an additional combat phase after this phase. At the beginning of that combat, untap all creatures you control.. Power/Toughness: 6/6

Leyline Tyrant: A 4/4 flier for 4 that can bank red mana similar to Omnath, Locus of Mana . This guy pairs well with rituals and Braid of Fire , and is a perfect fit for mono-red decks like Purphoros, Bronze Blooded.

Ashaya, Soul of the Wild: Not only will Ashaya increase your available mana but it will give you landfall triggers from your nontoken creatures entering the battlefield. There’s a lot of combo potential here, and it comes with the added bonus of protecting your creatures from spells like Cyclonic Rift.

Moraug, Fury of Akoum: Play a land and get an extra combat. It doesn’t get much simpler than that really. Expect to see a lot of this minotaur warrior, and you’d best hope you’re not on the wrong side of the table.

Card Name: Felidar Retreat. Mana Cost: {3}{W}. Card Oracle Text: Landfall — Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, choose one —• Create a 2/2 white Cat Beast creature token.• Put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control. Those creatures gain vigilance until end of turn.
Card Name: Omnath, Locus of Creation. Mana Cost: {R}{G}{W}{U}. Card Oracle Text: When Omnath, Locus of Creation enters the battlefield, draw a card.Landfall — Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, you gain 4 life if this is the first time this ability has resolved this turn. If it's the second time, add {R}{G}{W}{U}. If it's the third time, Omnath deals 4 damage to each opponent and each planeswalker you don't control.. Power/Toughness: 4/4

Felidar Retreat: Continuing on with the landfall theme, this is a great card for those struggling white decks out there. Playing a land can start to build up a small army or pump the team like a mini Cathar’s Crusade. Definitely one of the better white cards in the set.

Omnath, Locus of Creation: Omnath just keeps getting stronger and this time he moves in to fill a void that many players have been asking for: More non-partner 4 colour commander options! With card draw, lifegain, mana ramp and burn, he really does everything. The best part for Omnath fans is that this isn’t even his final form! Who knows what he’ll bring to the table once black mana enters the mix?

AARON’S PICKS

Card Name: Ancient Greenwarden. Mana Cost: {4}{G}{G}. Card Oracle Text: ReachYou may play lands from your graveyard.If a land entering the battlefield causes a triggered ability of a permanent you control to trigger, that ability triggers an additional time.. Power/Toughness: 5/7

Ancient Greenwarden: Commander is a singleton format, so having functional extra copies of cards is helpful. Here we have a Ramunap Excavator that’s been hitting the Kaladesh gym and deadlifting Panharmonicons. Double the landfall, double the value.

Glasspool Mimic: Clones are cool, especially at low CMC’s. If you enjoy getting maximum value out of giant creatures with even bigger enter the battlefield effects, they’re always a solid include. Having one stapled to a land when you need one is a nice bonus.

Lithoform Engine: One of the stronger generic commander cards we’ve seen in a while, this is just the kind of card you would expect to see in a lot of decks. Commander players love copy abilities and this will be seen in casual, value-centric decks and faster combo decks for sure.

Card Name: Zareth San, the Trickster. Mana Cost: {3}{U}{B}. Card Oracle Text: Flash{2}{U}{B}, Return an unblocked attacking Rogue you control to its owner's hand: Put Zareth San, the Trickster from your hand onto the battlefield tapped and attacking.Whenever Zareth San deals combat damage to a player, you may put target permanent card from that player's graveyard onto the battlefield under your control.. Power/Toughness: 4/4
Card Name: Archon of Emeria. Mana Cost: {2}{W}. Card Oracle Text: FlyingEach player can't cast more than one spell each turn.Nonbasic lands your opponents control enter the battlefield tapped.. Power/Toughness: 2/3

Zareth San, the Trickster: Who doesn’t love a sneaky new dimir commander? Not only is this a more casual version of popular competitive commander Yuriko, the Tiger’s Shadow but it can work well in the 99 of the new rogue tribal commander, Anowon the Ruin Thief. I’d recommend Command Beacon to get him into your hand, and the Command Beacon Website to get inspiration for your deck!

Archon of Emeria: Good hatebears are more needed than ever as the overall power level of cards increases. This archon is a 2/3 flier for 3 who brings everyone down to one spell per turn and slows down greedy nonbasic manabases. A good option for a lot of different hatebear commanders like Gaddock Teeg or Lavinia, Azorius Renegade.

DR. PEACE’S PICKS

Card Name: Feed the Swarm. Mana Cost: {1}{B}. Card Oracle Text: Destroy target creature or enchantment an opponent controls. You lose life equal to that permanent's converted mana cost.
Card Name: Forsaken Monument. Mana Cost: {5}. Card Oracle Text: Colorless creatures you control get +2/+2.Whenever you tap a permanent for {C}, add an additional {C}.Whenever you cast a colorless spell, you gain 2 life.
Card Name: Linvala, Shield of Sea Gate. Mana Cost: {1}{W}{U}. Card Oracle Text: FlyingAt the beginning of combat on your turn, if you have a full party, choose target nonland permanent an opponent controls. Until your next turn, it can't attack or block, and its activated abilities can't be activated.Sacrifice Linvala: Choose hexproof or indestructible. Creatures you control gain that ability until end of turn.. Power/Toughness: 3/3

Feed the Swarm: As a mono-black player at heart, of course this is going to make the top of my list. While there’s definitely room for debate, black finally has access to some generic enchantment removal that just-barely fits within some interpretations of the colour pie!

Forsaken Monument: Infinite combos with Basalt Monolith aside, what a fantastic card to immediately add to my Kozilek, the Great Distortion deck! It also pairs amazingly well with one of my favourite colourless cards, Retrofitter Foundry, thanks to the anthem effect and the ability to make extra colourless mana.

Linvala, Shield of Sea Gate: I think people are definitely sleeping on this card. If you ignore the party mechanic altogether, you have a 3/3 Flying for 3 that can give hexproof OR indestructible to all your creatures for the turn! It’s an upgraded Selfless Spirit in almost every way from a commander perspective. She even pairs just as well with Sun Titan!

Card Name: Crawling Barrens. Mana Cost: . Card Oracle Text: {T}: Add {C}.{4}: Put two +1/+1 counters on Crawling Barrens. Then you may have it become a 0/0 Elemental creature until end of turn. It's still a land.

Crawling Barrens: While I was expecting to see more creature-lands in the set, I can’t say I’m disappointed with this. Not having to animate it every time you activate it makes it more difficult to remove, and a powerful generic mana sink. Expect to see a lot of this card in pretty much any deck that has the space as there’s very little downside to playing it.

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Agadeem’s Awakening: I think the mythic land cycle is strong. Very, very strong. Hopefully they won’t be format warping, but they’re a pretty easy slot-in for most mono-colour edh decks. I’ll definitely need a foil copy for my Liliana, Heretical Healer deck!

That about wraps up our top picks from the new Zendikar Rising Set. Pre-release is right upon us and these new cards are about to start making their way out into the wild fields of commander. What do you think about these new cards? Feel there’s something huge we overlooked? Be sure to let us know in the comments, and as always, happy deck building!

Article by Dr. Peace

Before starting Magic, Dr. Peace has been an active player of various card games as long as he can remember. He began playing Magic towards the end of Tarkir block where he was introduced to the Commander format by Aaron. With the Origins core set, he built his first commander and has since been brewing and building constantly.

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