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Funning For Your Playgroup: Silver-Bordered Cards in Blue and Black Appropriate for Commander

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This article is the second part in the Funning For Your Playgroup series, which explores silver-bordered cards appropriate for Commander. Like white, blue and black Un- cards offer a lot to a casual Commander playgroup with a strong social contract.

Blue

Carnivorous Death-Parrot 1U
Creature — Bird
Flying
2/2

 

Checks and Balances 2U
Enchantment
Whenever a player casts a spell, each of that player’s opponents may discard a card. If each opponent does, counter that spell.
You can’t cast Checks and Balances unless there are three or more players in the game.

This card is perfectly political for a Commander game and is one of the cards forming the basis for this article. There is the potential downside that no player will ever be able to cast their commander. However, this could simply bring an entirely new dynamic to the social contract worthy of exploration.

 

Chicken à la King 1UU
Creature — Bird
Whenever a 6 is rolled on a six-sided die, put a +1/+1 counter on each Bird creature.
Tap a Bird you control: Roll a six-sided die.
2/2

Another creature lord for a Derevi, Empyrial Tactician or Kangee, Aerie Keeper tribal bird deck.

 

Clam-I-Am 2U
Creature — Clamfolk
Whenever you would roll a 3 on a six-sided die, you may reroll that die instead.
2/2

 

Clambassadors 3U
Creature — Clamfolk
If Clambassadors damages a player, choose an artifact, creature, or land you control. That player gains control of that artifact, creature, or land you control.
4/4

Another Donate effect for a Zedruu the Greathearted deck.

 

Common Courtesy 2UU
Enchantment
Sacrifice Common Courtesy: Counter target spell.

 

Denied! U
Instant
Name a card. Target player reveals his or her hand. If the named card is in the player’s hand, counter target spell controlled by that player.

This card is blue’s counterspell version of Cabal Therapy. The concept could easily see print in Magic one day, as the procedure for playing it is very clear under modern templating. If a version of Denied! is ever printed, it has potential to see play in Legacy alongside Gitaxian Probe and Thoughtseize.

 

Double Take 3UU
Instant
Choose another player and draw two cards. At the beginning of the next game with that player, draw two cards. (Do this after each player has kept their opening hand.)

 

Fowl Play 2U
Enchantment — Aura
Enchant creature
Enchanted creature loses all abilities and becomes a 1/1 Bird. (Its color does not change.)

 

Free-for-All 3U
Enchantment
When Free-for-All enters the battlefield, exile all creatures face down.
For as long as any of those cards remain exiled, at the beginning of each player’s upkeep, that player chooses a card exiled by Free-for-All at random and reveals it. If it is a creature card, that player puts it onto the battlefield.
If Free-for-All leaves play, each player puts all creature cards he or she exiled this way into its owner’s graveyard. (Noncreature cards remain exiled face down.)

Free-for-All functions as a chaotic board wipe for blue at a very affordable mana cost. Chaos-style or Zedruu the Greathearted decks will be interested in including this along with Homeward Path. Also note that with the original text, permanents animated as creatures will not be put onto the battlefield and remain exiled face down. Magic Rules Manager Matt Tabak concurred with this interpretation.

 

Johnny, Combo Player 2UU
Legendary Creature — Human
4: Search your library for a card and put that card into your hand. Then shuffle your library.
1/1

A repeatable tutor is way too easily abused (especially with infinite mana) and probably should not be included in any Commander playgroup.

 

Mise U
Instant
Name a nonland card, then reveal the top card of your library. If that card is the named card, draw three cards.

With Sensei’s Divining Top or any number of deck manipulation cards, Mise is too easily abused, making it functionally identical to Ancestral Recall, which is banned in Commander. While easily portable into Commander, it is probably not a good idea.

 

Moniker Mage 2U
Creature — Human Wizard
U: Moniker Mage gains flying until end of turn.
U: Moniker Mage gains shroud until end of turn.
2/2

 

Psychic Network U
Enchantment
Any player may look at the top card of an opponent’s library at any time.

 

Smart Ass 2U
Creature — Donkey Wizard
Whenever Smart Ass attacks, defending player may reveal his or her hand. If that player doesn’t, Smart Ass can’t be blocked this turn.
2/1

 

Topsy Turvy 2U
Enchantment
The phases of each player’s turn are reversed. (The phases in reverse order are ending, postcombat main, combat, precombat main, and beginning.)
If there are more than two players in the game, the turn order is reversed.

 

If ever there was a Johnny card, Topsy Turvy is it. The ability to punish players that draw extra cards outside of their turn by checking maximum hand size will be quite a kicker. Hoping to topdeck into an answer or land drop diminishes greatly. The Topsy Turvy player will have to run effective vigilance creatures like Sun Titan or untapping effects as aggressive creature strategies with tapping creatures are only be able to attack every other turn. Seedborn Muse, Murkfiend Liege, and Prophet of Kruphix get even more backbreaking by essentially moving the untap step back to “the beginning of the turn” to any player in control of one while everyone else is still hamstrung. Lastly, it functions as a pseudo-Time Walk for the first and second players behind the Topsy Turvy player when the turn order reverses as well. It is also important to note that “end of turn” triggers remain mostly unchanged with Topsy Turvy on the battlefield as the net result is that at the beginning of the next player’s turn, they’ll play out their ending phase and all end of turn triggers will happen at that point.

Damia, Sage of Stone would a great commander to run with Topsy Turvy. The Damia player could play his or her general with Topsy Turvy and presumably a Seedborn Muse effect on the table, untap, refill his or her hand, and pass the turn. Damia players have a great chance to protect Damia and empty their hands as their games progress. The deck can be further strengthened by spells with alternative, non-mana casting costs like Force of Will.

 

Black

B.F.M. (Big Furry Monster) BBBBBBBBBBBBBBB
Creature — Beast
As an additional cost for B.F.M. (Big Furry Monster) to enter the battlefield, you must have both halves in the same zone.
B.F.M. (Big Furry Monster) can’t be blocked except by three or more creatures.
(While B.F.M. (Big Furry Monster) is on the battlefield, it is single creature. If either half of B.F.M. (Big Furry Monster) leaves the battlefield, sacrifice the other half.)
99/99

An obvious question not answered by the original text of B.F.M. (Big Furry Monster) is what happens if a spell or ability attempts to move it from a zone, like the graveyard or hand, to the battlefield. However, there’s an old Fifth Edition ruling from Stephen D’Angelo that answers the question: “You can put the BFM [onto the battlefield] using Living Death…or any other effect that puts…multiple creature cards [onto the battlefield] at once (if both halves are present). You cannot put it [onto the battlefield] with Animate Dead, Eureka, Spatula of the Ages, or any other effect which only puts one creature card [onto the battlefield].” If a spell or ability puts all creatures from a zone onto the battlefield, then it’s like a fused split card counting as one spell. If a spell or ability puts a single creature card onto the battlefield, then B.F.M. (Big Furry Monster) goes to the graveyard instead. Obviously this creature is big. Really, really big. No, bigger than that. Even bigger. Keep going. More. No, more. Look, we’re talking krakens and dreadnoughts for jewelry. It is big!

Also note that both halves of B.F.M. (Big Furry Monster) are considered to each have a converted mana cost of {15} when not on the battlefield.

B.F.M. (Big Furry Monster) has possibly the highest secondary-market value of any of the Un- cards. Recent eBay auctions of B.F.M. (Big Furry Monster) for both halves together sell for a wide range between $7.50 and $25.00 (for Buy It Now). Retail stores average around $14.00 for both halves together, but those same stores don’t always have both halves in stock at the same time. The result is that B.F.M. (Big Furry Monster) appears to have the highest casual appeal of a non-tournament legal set, followed by the Un- basic lands, creature tokens, Blacker Lotus, Jack-in-the-Mox, and a few others.

 

Bad Ass 2BB
Creature — Donkey Zombie
1B: Regenerate Bad Ass.
3/1

 

Double Cross 3BB
Sorcery
Look at another target player’s hand and choose a card from it. That player discards that card. At the beginning of the next game with that player, look at that player’s hand and choose a card from it. That player discards that card. (Do this after each player has kept their opening hand.)

 

The Fallen Apart 2BB
Creature — Zombie
The Fallen Apart enters the battlefield with two arm counters and two leg counters.
Whenever damage is dealt to The Fallen Apart, remove an arm or leg counter.
The Fallen Apart can’t attack if it has no leg counters and can’t block if it has no arm counters.
4/4

 

Infernal Spawn of Evil 6BBB
Creature — Beast
Flying, first strike
Forecast — 1B, Reveal Infernal Spawn of Evil from your hand: Infernal Spawn of Evil deals 1 damage to target opponent. (Activate this ability only during your upkeep and only once each turn.)
7/7

The biggest rules question about this card is what creature type does it have? Demon is crossed out and replaced with beast as an obvious nod to creature type practices at the time, but the next card on the list has the opposite as another nod to the change of creature type assignment post-Onslaught. In light of the release date of the card and Infernal Spawn of Infernal Spawn of Evil’s creature type, Infernal Spawn of Evil should probably be a beast.

Infernal Spawn of Evil has the same price discrepancy that B.F.M. (Big Furry Monster) does. Infernal Spawn of Evil can sell for as high as $5.00 or so on eBay, but goes for a fraction of that price in retail stores.

 

Infernal Spawn of Infernal Spawn of Evil 8BB
Creature — Demon
Flying, first strike, trample
While you’re searching your library, you may pay 1B and reveal Infernal Spawn of Infernal Spawn of Evil. If you do, Infernal Spawn of Infernal Spawn of Evil deals 2 damage to target player. Use this ability only once each turn.
8/8

An 8/8 flying, first striking, trampling demon that provides a mana sink to deal 2 damage for each search through the library is something Kaalia of the Vast decks might want.

 

Jumbo Imp 2B
Creature — Imp
Flying
When you cast Jumbo Imp, roll a six-sided die. Jumbo Imp enters the battlefield with that many +1/+1 counters.
At the beginning of your upkeep, roll a six-sided die. Put that many +1/+1 counters on Jumbo Imp.
At the beginning of your end step, roll a six-sided die. Remove that many +1/+1 counters from Jumbo Imp.
0/0

Jumbo Imp could have a place in Corpsejack Menace/Doubling Season/Primal Vigor-synergy decks, but risks being too inconsistent to see any real play.

 

Necro-Impotence BBB
Enchantment
Skip your untap step.
At the beginning of your upkeep, you may pay X life. If you do, untap X permanents.
Pay 1 life: Exile the top two cards of your library face down. Put those cards into your hand at the beginning of your next end step.

One of the few ½ cards that is easily ported into modern templating philosophy by simply combining two instances of the activated ability into one. Unfortunately, this card is not as good as Necropotence and requires crafting the deck to support a lot of life gain. Paying a minimum of X (where X equals the number of tapped mana generating permanents you control), every turn will be a very steep cost, even in a 40 life format, just to have a much more efficient Necropotence effect.

 

Organ Harvest B
Sorcery
As an additional cost to cast Organ Harvest, you and each of your teammates may sacrifice any number of creatures.
For each creature sacrificed this way, add BB to your mana pool.

This sacrifice outlet is slightly reminiscent of the maligned join forces mechanic from Commander 2011. However, in a team-oriented format such as Emperor, the ability to ask your teammates to join forces to fuel a potentially game-ending spell may be strategically useful. It’s possible that Wizards may move this effect into the tempting offer mechanic on a future card and keep the effect similar. Until then, it is an additional one-shot Ashnod’s Altar for black decks.

 

Poultrygeist 2B
Creature — Bird Spirit
Flying
Whenever a creature dies, you may roll a six-sided die. If you roll a 1, sacrifice Poultrygeist. Otherwise, put a +1/+1 counter on Poultrygeist.
1/1

 

Temp of the Damned 2B
Creature- Zombie
Fading 0
When you cast Temp of the Damned, roll a six-sided die. Temp of the Damned enters the battlefield with a number of fading counters equal to the die roll.
3/3

That’s All for Today

In summation, like white, blue Un- cards offer a lot to the casual Commander playgroup, especially for control players. Checks and Balances is a great cooperative control card to keep “that player” in check along with Free-for-All. Common Courtesy works well as a Counterspell version of the Seal of cycle. Topsy Turvy alters the game substantially and veritably creates an entirely new control archetype.

Meanwhile, black has some interesting and very situationally strategic creatures, but unfortunately, only one enchantment to try to build anything around, and one not nearly as risky fun as something like Lich.  Timmy players will greatly enjoy the expanded large creature options at least.

Red and green will be covered in the next article in this series. Look forward to seeing one of the most modal spells ever designed.

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Kirsin Koch

Kirsin Koch

@duneecho     -     Email     -     Articles

Kirsin Koch works as an IT professional and trainer. As a Magic: The Gathering player since Revised in 1994 and one of the original founding members for CasualPlayers.org, he deeply enjoys Commander, Legacy, and Draft.
Kirsin Koch

About the author

Kirsin Koch

@duneecho     -     Email     -     Articles

Kirsin Koch works as an IT professional and trainer. As a Magic: The Gathering player since Revised in 1994 and one of the original founding members for CasualPlayers.org, he deeply enjoys Commander, Legacy, and Draft.

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