This article is the third part in the Funning For Your Playgroup series, which explores silver-bordered cards appropriate for Commander. Like with previous colors, red and green Un- cards offer a lot to a casual Commander playgroup with a strong social contract.
Blast from the Past 2R
Madness R, cycling 1R, kicker 2R, flashback 3R, buyback 4R
Blast from the Past deals 2 damage to target creature or player.
If Blast from the Past was kicked, put a 1/1 red Goblin creature token onto the battlefield.
This is possibly the marquee card for proponents of silver-bordered cards in Commander. It’s card advantage for red, very flavorful, extremely complex yet not hard to understand, and very flexible.
Burning Cinder Fury of Crimson Chaos Fire 3R
Whenever any player taps a nontoken permanent, target opponent gains control of that permanent at end of turn.
At the end of each player’s turn, if that player has not tapped any nonland, nontoken permanents during his or her turn, Burning Cinder Fury of Crimson Chaos Fire deals 3 damage to that player.
The original text on this card is a clear sign of its age. Like improperly templated cards before it, once it’s templated correctly, the mechanics become much clearer. This card is made for chaos, group slug, and Zedruu the Greathearted players alike.
Chicken Egg 1R
Creature — Bird
At the beginning of your upkeep, roll a six-sided die. If you roll a 6, sacrifice Chicken Egg and put 4/4 red Bird creature token named Chicken onto the battlefield.
Curse of the Fire Penguin 4RR
Enchantment — Aura
When Curse of the Fire Penguin enters the battlefield, flip it and put the overlay on top of the text box of the creature it enchants.
Creature — Bird
When this creature dies, return CARDNAME from your graveyard to the battlefield.
Double Deal 4R
Double Deal deals 3 damage to another target player. At the beginning of the next game with that player, Double Deal deals 3 damage to that player. (Do this after each player has kept their opening hand.)
Goblin Bookie R
Creature — Goblin
R, T: Reflip a coin or reroll a die.
There’s a rules headache here on how this is similar to the use of “retroactively” that was removed from older Magic cards. If someone is playing with this card, its intent is clear and doesn’t need to be “oraclized.”
Goblin Bowling Team 3R
Creature — Goblin
Whenever Goblin Bowling Team deals damage to a creature or player, roll a six-sided die. Goblin Bowling Team deals damage equal to the die roll to that creature or player.
Goblin Secret Agent 2R
Creature — Goblin Rogue
At the beginning of your upkeep, reveal a card from your hand at random.
Goblin Tutor 1R
When you cast Goblin Tutor, roll a six-sided die. If you roll a 1, Goblin Tutor has no effect. Otherwise, search your library for the indicated card type, reveal that card, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library.
2 — Any Goblin Tutor
3 — Any artifact
4 — Any creature
5 — Any enchantment
6 — Any instant or sorcery
Goblin Tutor is a card that fits well in a chaos deck and ports extremely well into a casual playgroup. Interestingly, in Commander, Goblin Tutor does nothing 33% of the time (when you roll a 1 or a 2).
Krazy Kow 3R
Creature – Cow
At the beginning of your upkeep, roll a six-sided die. If you roll a 1, sacrifice Krazy Kow and it deals 3 damage to each creature and player.
Mons’s Goblin Waiters R
Creature – Goblin Carrier
Sacrifice any combination of two creatures and/or lands: Add R to your mana pool.
Another card that uses the ½ mechanic and is easily simplified by combining two activations into one. A goblin tribal token deck could take advantage of this card as another Ashnod’s Altar or Phyrexian Altar variant.
Whenever a spell is put onto the stack, if it targets a single player, reselect its target at random. (Select from among all legal targets.)
The original design for this card is very thematic, but very time-consuming. The modern template philosophy shortens this up considerably with the same end result.
Rocket-Powered Turbo Slug 3R
Creature – Slug
At the beginning of your declare attackers step, you may put Rocket-Powered Turbo Slug into play tapped and attacking. At the end of your next turn, pay 3R. If you don’t, you lose the game.
Rocket-Powered Turbo Slug was the original inspiration for the Future Sight Pact cycle.
Six-y Beast 3R
Creature – Beast
If Six-y Beast would enter the battlefield, secretly choose a number up to six. Six-y Beast enters the battlefield with that many counters. An opponent guesses the number of counters. If that player guesses correctly, sacrifice Six-y Beast.
There are exactly two cards in all of Magic that use the word “secretly.” The other is the tournament-legal Menacing Ogre.
Strategy, Schmategy 1R
When you cast Strategy, Schmategy, roll a six-sided die. If you roll a 1, Strategy, Schmategy has no effect. Otherwise, Strategy, Schmategy has one of the following effects:
2 — Destroy all artifacts.
3 — Destroy all lands.
4 — Each player discards his or her hand and draws seven cards.
5 — Strategy, Schmategy deals 3 damage to each creature and player.
6 — Roll six-sided dice twice and apply the effects based on the rolls. (On a 1, Strategy, Schmategy has no effect and no further rolls.)
The Ultimate Nightmare of Wizards of the Coast® Customer Service XYRR
The Ultimate Nightmare of Wizards of the Coast® Customer Service deals X damage to Y target creatures and/or players.
This card is unfortunately strictly worse than Rolling Thunder, so it’s very unlikely anyone will actually want to play it. Otherwise, the card is very easy to understand and obviously red.
Yet Another Æther Vortex 3RR
All creatures have haste.
Players play with the top card of their libraries revealed. Noninstant, nonsorcery cards revealed this way are on the battlefield under their owner’s control in addition to being in that library.
This card is extremely strong for chaos and mono-red decks. The ability to use non-planeswalker permanents on top of your deck as if they were in play is mechanically viable and great card advantage for decks prepared to use it. (Planeswalkers revealed this way would have zero loyalty counters and immediately be put into the graveyard as a state-based effect.) It’s also mildly humorous to see tapped permanents on top of a player’s library.
Creature – Hound
Whenever a player casts a spell, you may put a chip counter on B-I-N-G-O on that spell’s converted mana cost.
B-I-N-G-O gets +9/+9 for each set of three numbers in a row with chip counters on them.
Double Play 3GG
Choose another player. Search your library for a basic land card and put it onto the battlefield. Then shuffle your library. At the beginning of the next game with that player, search your library for a basic land card, and put it onto the battlefield. Then shuffle your library. (Do this after each player has kept their opening hand.)
This is possibly the most dangerous of all the Double cards in the cycle. If a player can incur multiple delayed triggers in a prior game so as to ramp out immediately ahead of everyone else with a deck prepared to do so in the next game can be easily ruin an entire match. Double Play is also in green, the ramp and recursion effect color, making seeing the delayed trigger multiple times very likely. Playgroups that allow this card will want to seriously discuss the social contract beforehand.
Elvish Impersonators 3G
Creature – Elf
When you cast Elvish Impersonators, roll a six-sided die twice. Elvish Impersonators enters the battlefield with power equal to the first roll and toughness equal to the second roll.
Flock of Rabid Sheep XGG
Flip a coin X times. For each flip you win, put a 2/2 green Sheep creature token named Rabid Sheep onto the battlefield.
This is actually a very fair card and compares unfavorably to other token generating spells such as Bestial Menace, Howl of the Night Pack, Raised by Wolves, and Wolfbriar Elemental. However, it’s the only other card to use those Sheep tokens besides Ovinomancer.
Form of the Squirrel G
As Form of the Squirrel comes into play, put a 1/1 green Squirrel creature token onto the battlefield. When this token leaves the battlefield, you lose the game.
Creatures can’t attack you.
You have shroud.
You can’t play spells.
Free-Range Chicken 3G
Creature – Bird
1G: Roll two six-sided dice. If both rolls are the same, Free-Range Chicken gets +X/+X until end of turn, where X is the number rolled. Otherwise, if the total rolled is equal to any other total rolled this turn for Free-Range Chicken, sacrifice Free-Range Chicken.
Exile all lands and shuffle them together face down. Starting with you, randomly deal to each player one land for each land that player controlled. Each player puts those lands onto the battlefield. (Count the number of lands each player controls before exiling them.)
It is advised that everyone be using different colored sleeves for this effect.
Ghazbán Ogress G
Creature – Ogre
When Ghazbán Ogress enters the battlefield, the player who has won the most Magic games that day gains control of it. If more than one player has won the same number of games, you retain control of Ghazbán Ogress.
Growth Spurt 1G
Roll a six-sided die. Target creature gets +X/+X until end of turn, where X is equal to the die roll.
Creature – Horror
Gus enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter for each game of Magic you’ve lost to target opponent since you last won a Magic game against him or her.
Hungry Hungry Heifer 2G
Creature – Cow
At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a counter from a nontoken permanent you control or sacrifice Hungry Hungry Heifer.
Another way to slowly remove ice counters from Dark Depths, age counters from cumulative upkeep, or -1/-1 counters from persist creatures.
Each player searches his or her library for any number of artifacts, creatures, enchantments, and lands and puts those cards onto the battlefield. Then each player shuffles his or her library.
The sheer amount of potential entering the battlefield triggers and to immediately end the game necessitate this card should probably not be included in Commander. There’s always that one player that will want to play it just once to see it go off though.
Land Aid ’04 GG
Search your library for a basic land card and put that card onto the battlefield tapped. Then shuffle your library and you may untap that land.
Without the singing, this card is just a Rampant Growth variant with a more restrictive casting cost.
Mine, Mine, Mine! 4GG
When Mine, Mine, Mine! enters the battlefield, each player draws cards equal to the number of cards in his or her library.
Each player has no maximum hand size and can’t lose as a result of being unable to draw a card.
Each player can’t cast more than one spell each turn.
If Mine, Mine, Mine! leaves play, each player shuffles his or her hand and graveyard into his or her library.
This immediately hearkens back to Enter the Infinite, but is really just a way to mix Commander with the old Type-4 format. Many deck builders will swoon over the first line of text but miss the “Each player can’t cast more than one spell each turn” line. The player that casts Mine, Mine, Mine! will not be able to react to any spells or cast any further spells on his or her turn.
Team Spirit 2G
Creatures target player and his or her teammates control get +1/+1 until end of turn.
Timmy, Power Gamer 2GG
Legendary Creature – Human
4: You may put a creature card from your hand onto the battlefield.
This card seems pretty abusive, but it’s pretty par for the course with cards like Sneak Attack, Elvish Piper, Garruk, Caller of Beasts, Norwood Priestess, Kaalia of the Vast, Dragon Arch, and Quicksilver Amulet already available in black-border.
Uktabi Kong 5GGG
Creature – Ape
When Uktabi Kong enters the battlefield, destroy all artifacts.
Tap two untapped Apes you control: Put a 1/1 green Ape creature token onto the battlefield.
This is semi-comparable to Bane of Progress with the Creeping Corrosion effect, but much more expensive. Without crafting a deck built around changing creature types, Uktabi Kong is a weak token generator as only Ravenous Baboons, Uktabi Orangutan, and a handful of changelings are really playable in Commander.
Only One More
Red brings some very strong chaos effects in addition to some interesting control effects through the Un- cards. Blast from the Past is almost every red value player’s dream is very much in the same vein as many cards from Time Spiral. Green gets mana ramp and a few ways to dump more creatures directly into play, but generally isn’t improved nearly as much as the other colors have. Even the signature Timmy card, Timmy, Power Gamer, has many other variants already played in various casual formats.
In the final installment of this series, multi-color and artifact cards will be discussed. Have comments on the series so far? Please share below!