They say that the mark of a good set is in it’s common and uncommon cards. This makes sense for most formats that run multiple of each card. Strong commons and uncommons keep the cost of a deck down and will fuel the competitive environment. This is not so in commander. Since each deck is made up of 100 cards and only one copy of each nonbasic land, the format is fueled by the haymakers and elite cards that make up a set. Commander decks can use every card from the 1 mana value cantrip to the seven mana value knockout punch. Timmys and Johnnys alike gravitate towards packing a deck full of rares and mythics that they can use and abuse. Here are the top ten mythic and rare cards from Innistrad: Crimson Vow. Look to add these cards to your collection and Happy Brewing!
There are a lot of solid rares and mythics in this set. There are only ten cards that can rank. Here are a few cards that did not make the top ten but are worth picking up depending on the decks you like to play.
Curse of Hospitality
Not useful in combo decks, although this curse is a solid inclusion in red aggressive style decks. Giving your creatures trample helps push damage through while providing card draw. It will be excellent in aggressive tribes such as werewolves, and dragons. Vampire tribes that are heavy red will want this card too.
This is a callback to Elvish Piper. It will let you cheat large creatures into play. Designed for werewolves, this card has other destinations as a one of card in decks that looks to cheat out “good stuff.” Eldrazi will always work but I also like its potential in Golgari decks as a way to play large creatures from your hand when you draw them. Protection is key. Howlpack Piper will be targeted for removal. I don’t think your opponents will deliberately flip your card but it is a way to deny large creatures on your board. If they do it’s a tempo win for your deck as you fill up your hand. While a fun card, most decks will not use this creature out in the wild. This is why it misses the top ten.
At seven mana this card might be too expensive to see significant play in the format. EDH seems to get faster and fast as time progresses. There will be decks that want this card. Much like the Tidespout Tyrant it will bounce permanents back to your opponent’s hand. As a bonus it’s uncounterable. I can see this card played in spell slinger decks but less so storm decks. The ability to bounce spells back to your opponent’s hand can be just as effective as a counterspell for a turn. Bouncing a Craterhoof Behemoth as it is cast would feel very good and keep you from losing.
The Top Ten
10 Jacob Hauken, Inspector – Hauken’s Insight
Jacob is low to the ground costing two mana. He is cad selection allowing you to put away high mana value cards for later. Then when you get the mana you can flip him and play one of those cards for free. It is a value engine that can be used in the 99 of a deck and also can be quite effective from the command zone. What keeps this card at number ten is the once per your turn clause. This card would be much stronger if you had access to counterspells to cast on an opponent’s turn. Any blue deck with a higher mana curve will want this card.
9 Hopeful Initiate
This card is removal on a stick. It’s designed for a counters theme deck. Commander Clinic doesn’t care as much for the training mechanic although it does provide a way to put +1/+1 counters on The Initiate. White has other ways to destroy enchantments but this one is reusable. It comes in at number nine because you need to make counters and that limits the cards versatility in decks. Selesnya counters is a great deck for this card.
8 Cultivator Colossus
With Abundance, this card will play all the lands in your deck. This is an insanely powerful effect. The Colossus’ power is equal to the number of lands you control and has trample but at the end of the day it is still a big dumb creature for seven mana. It has no protection from removal and it does not have access to your command zone. I think the card is great if you draw into it, but I think there will be other large creatures you would tutor for. Green aggro and landfall decks will love it. Scute Swarm will love it even more.
7 Welcoming Vampire
White is the orphan child that is begging for card draw. Similar to a previous card in Innistrad, Mentor of the Meek, Welcoming Vampire provides card draw for playing creatures (including tokens) with two power or less. White is the color of tokens so I can see decks where this card will trigger turn after turn as a token payoff. As what is common with white, Wizards limited the effect to once per turn nerfing the card draw. Any white weenie or Selesnya tokens deck will want this card. Despite being desperately needed, Welcoming Vampire rises only to number seven on this list as it’s ability to create explosive turns is not “in the card” .
6 Toxrill, The Corrosive
As a commander this card is insane. When built properly, this deck can take over games. It’s already the number one commander on EDHREC from Crimson Vow. But it also can be an excellent card in the 99 of other Dimir Decks. Creature removal and card draw is something all decks want. Look for this card to be a staple in decks like Phenax, any Lazav and The Scarab God. Sulti decks like Muldrotha will love him too. Toxrill just misses the top five because it’s a 7 mana value card. It comes out later in the game and therefore sees less time on the battlefield to perform its wicked ways.
Editors Note: You can read about our Toxrill deck tech here. It’s not the standard give everybody tokens.
5 Olivia, Crimson Bride
Innistrad can’t be visited and Olivia Voldaren not be there. This is a card that again is versatile enough that she can be her own commander but also fits well in the 99 of other rakdos decks. Edgar Markov Mardu decks can use her as well. Free creatures are always good and black being in her color identity gives us many ways to put solid black (and other colored creatures) creatures in our graveyard. Often people think you keep the creature until Olivia leaves the battlefield, but as long as you bring out a legendary vampire first you will keep these creatures forever. There are 41 legendary vampires in Mardu colors. You can build in a few vampires to make this work. Because of these things Olivia barely edges out Toxrill on this list and cracks the top five.
4 Cemetery Prowler
The first of the Cemetery cycle comes in at number four. Mana reduction often is not needed in green decks because they ramp so fast. This card can still help you chain together multiple spells for an explosive turn. Golgari decks often have a graveyard strategy so there will be decks that can efficiently utilize this card for the mana reduction. Keep in mind artifact creatures and enchantment creatures are acceptable card options. It can provide additional value when exiling cards.
3 Consuming Tide
This is not Cyclonic Rift. However, rift-like effects are very strong in the format. In fact, some of these cards should see more play than they do. Consuming Tide should be in consideration for every mono blue deck and many of the guild color pairs as well. Unfortunately, this card is just a sorcery. But it does only cost four mana and it affects all players. This is cheap enough to help you rebuild your board and it will give you access to some extra cards which will help strengthen your position. Commander Clinic is disappointed it’s not an instant. If it was, then it would be contending for the number one spot.
2 Cemetery Desecrator
This is another card from the cemetery cycle and a case can be made it can fit into most if not all black decks. Black has ways to get cards in a graveyard and this allows you to pick and choose the highest mana value card you can put there. Like the rest of the cemetery cycle, you can use your opponent’s graveyard but why count on them when you can do it yourself. Cemetery Desecrator will remove a troublesome creature.
Unfortuneately, this card only an ETB effect. There are ways to break this, but you need to build your deck to do this. In black reanimation and unending sacrifice and return loops are possible so the card is reusable. But not all black decks will build around this. If it had an attack trigger like Cemetary Prowler this card would be number one.The card is versatile but not versatile enough for that elite designation.
1 Dig Up
Every deck wants to ramp. This is a flexible ramp spell. Depending on how much mana you wish to spend you can either fetch a basic lard or any land in your deck. This card fetches any land that synergives with your decks strategy. If you are in black Cabal Coffers and Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth are just plain great lands to fetch. If you have the money Gaea’s Cradle or Serra’s Sanctum produce mana in chunks as well. Any green deck can use this card as a staple. Other than the potential cost of this card, there is no reason this card shouldn’t be in a green deck. Thus, Dig Up is number one on this list.
Wait No Grolnock the Omnivore!
That is correct, no Grolnock. As with all top ten lists, this is just the opinion of the author. Opinions are like… belly buttons everybody has one. Your opinion may be different from mine and that is OK. Grolnock is a great and strong card. He will be another amazing Simic commander. I also see him being played in cEDH. What kept him off the list is his versatility.
I don’t think he will play well in the 99 of a deck. The best way to attack Grolnock in the 99 is to exile him from the graveyard. There are plenty of exile from the graveyard effects in EDH. Once gone, you lose access to all the cards with croak counters on them. Playing Grolnock, is a risky move and some games will be lost because of it. If he’s your commander, then you just redeploy him, but not from the 99.
Grolnock is primarily a combo deck. He can be used as value to just play cards from the graveyard as an additional hand. Although, I foresee him used to dig deep to find your combo cards. If you lose Grolnock from the 99 you will lose access to your combo pieces. To me that is way too big of a risk to include in a deck. These are the reasons Grolnock did not make the list.
How many of you were excited for a new Edger Markov? How many were disappointed the power of his card was diminished from the last one? What did you think of the wedding theme? As always Commander Clinic wants your opinion What cards would you put in Crimson Vows top 10 and why. What’s your number one card? Leave a comment below.