Hello there once again friend. I hope you had a wonderful Easter and spring break. I didn’t have to work this week which was very nice but I did move back into my parents’ house which was not very nice. I’ll be moving out again once the summer semester starts up in mid-June but until then I’ll be back and forth between my parents’ house.
Never mind that! Spring time is here and along with it comes yet another Magic set. I have to say the flavor of Amonkhet is very cool. I’m excited to get to play with cycling cards because I’ve really never done that. I wonder if any of the new cyclers are good enough for Modern Living End?
Of course, I’m also excited for the new Legendary creatures. There are 9 this time around and I’m going to be breaking them all down for you. Just like I did last time around, I’ll close out the article by ranking them by how cool I think they are. This won’t be based on power; it’ll be based more on if they add something new to Commander and how good of a Commander I think they’ll be.
Oketra the True
Let’s start with the Gods and go in color pie order. (Hey, the color pie matters okay!) The Amonkhet Gods remind me of their Theros counterparts and there are certainly some similarities. Sidenote: I’m planning on building God decks where each deck can be led by either their Theros God or their Amonkhet God.
As for Oketra herself, I think she’s pretty cool. There’s quite a lot going on here actually. Oketra wants you to play a bunch of creatures in order to ensure that you can attack with her as often as possible. However, she also has double strike which means that I would love to strap some auras and equipment onto her to send her into the red zone.
In an Oketra deck, I would obviously want to have some kind of token strategy and would want to include some “army in a can” cards such as Captain of the Watch, Cloudgoat Ranger, plenty of Elspeths, and the new Regal Caracal. However, given that our Commander has double strike, I would also include such classics as Eidolon of Countless Battles, Sublime Archangel, Pennon Blade, and Armored Ascension. Also, even though the word “cat” isn’t written anywhere on the card, I’d at least be tempted to have some kind of cat theme when building an Oketra deck.
Kefnet the Mindful
Oh boy, Kefnet means business. A 3-drop 5/5 flying, indestructible creature that draws you a card for 4 mana? Sign me up! In a Kefnet deck, you certainly want to make sure to include card draw and benefits for drawing cards. For card draw, you could certainly include things like Rhystic Study or Mind’s Eye. I would also want to include Psychosis Crawler and Venser’s Journal to capitalize on all of that cards we’ll be drawing. Yes, we’ll also want to include Reliquary Tower and other cards that make it so that we don’t have a hand size limit.
Kefnet also lets up pay 4 to return a land you control to its owner’s hand. Not only will this line of text help to ensure that we can attack with Kefnet as often as possible, there are some cool things we can do here. You could play Glacial Chasm in order to reset its age counter. You could gain some life with Radiant Fountain. You could keep a creature tapped down with Skyline Cascade, or even reset hideaways lands like Shelldock Isle (if you wanted to focus on the mill route). You could even include several land fall creatures or artifacts that let you play extra lands every turn. This is what I’m probably going to focus on when I build my Kefnet deck.
Bontu the Glorified
I just built a bleed-your-opponents-out deck with Obzedat and now they give us this awesome crocodile God? Sweet. A Bontu deck would want to make sure it had plenty of ways to sacrifice its own creatures to creatures like Viscera Seer or any other number of sacrifice effects in order to make sure Bontu can attack as often as possible. Of course, Bontu is a great sacrifice engine herself. In Bontu’s deck, I would make sure to include Blood Artist and Falkenrath Noble in order to double up on the bleed effects.
Grave Pact and Dictate of Erebos seem like natural additions to this deck as well. With these enchantments, Bontu can ensure you can keep your opponents’ boards under control. Of course, you’ll also want to make sure you have plenty of creatures you want to sacrifice to get maximum effect out of her.
Hazoret the Fervent
Next up is Hazoret the Fervent (or Hazy for short). Hazy is interesting. Clearly you want to discard cards so that you can empty your hand as quickly as possible in order to attack with your 5/4 Indestructible dog God. The problem is that dealing 2 damage to each opponent is just not that huge of a deal (especially when you have to pay 3 mana and discard a card in order to do so).
If I was going to build a deck around Hazoret, I would definitely want to include cards with Madness in order to benefit from the discarding-a-card ability. Avacyn’s Judgment, Fiery Temper, and Violent Eruption are all considerations. I would also want to play cards with Flashback and Unearth in order to reuse those cards once we’ve discarded them. You know, this might actually be the deck for Tibalt, the Fiend Blooded.
Rhonas the Indomitable
The final God is Rhonas the Indomitable. Rhonas has the coolest title in my opinion. Indomitable means “impossible to subdue or defeat” and this snake God certainly looks like he could be difficult for your opponent to defeat.
The deathtouch part of Rhonas isn’t really applicable as a 5/5 as he’s big enough to defeat most any other creature in combat. Still, we could still put the deathtouch trigger to effect by either forcing creatures to block him or by giving him trample. We could include some ping effects like Viridian Longbow or Wolfhunter’s Quiver in order to kill creatures since Rhonas has deathtouch.
Obviously you would want to play plenty of creatures with power four or greater in this deck which makes Garruk’s Packleader would be an obvious inclusion. Both Alara and Khans block had entire themes where a high power was an important factor, so I’m sure additional synergies could be found there.
Samut, Voice of Dissent
Now we move from the Gods to the other legendary creatures from Amonkhet. The first one is Samut, Voice of Dissent.
As a 5-drop, 3/4 double strike, vigilance, flash creature, Samut is already kinda cool and reminds me of Surrak Dragonclaw. What appeals me though is Samut’s activated ability. What can we do with this? Well, any creature that taps to do something will work nice with Samut. I’m thinking of a deck that includes Knight of the Reliquary, Kamahl, Pit Fighter, and Godsire. We can also include Kiki-Jiki as another way to get activated abilities out of our creatures. Both Thousand-Year Elixir and Illusionist’s Bracers can let us double up on our activated abilities as well.
Of course, there’s other things you can do since Samut will give our creatures haste. Overall, a pretty interesting Commander in my opinion.
Neheb, the Worthy
Oh boy, this is a spicy Commander! Finally, we have a pretty cool Commander for those Minotaur tribal decks people have been clamoring for. Much like Hazoret, I would want to include cards with madness, flashback, and unearth since Neheb clearly wants you to have an empty hand.
The deck being Rakdos means we would have access to plenty of otherwise mediocre Hellbent cards like Nihilistic Glee or Gibbering Descent. We also get to run bombs like Sire of Insanity to help take our opponent’s hand away as we throw our hands away. Since we’re making our opponents discard along with us, I would also make sure to include cards like The Rack and Waste Not. Maybe this is the deck we can finally play One With Nothing in…
Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons
This is another sweet Commander. The obvious combo with Hapatra is Black Sun’s Zenith which will give you a plethora of snakes. Speaking of all of those snakes, we could turn this deck into a snake tribal deck (especially since you get a snake no matter how those -1/-1 counters wind up on creatures.) Contagion Engine is another obvious inclusion in this deck since it can put a bunch of -1/-1 counters on creatures your opponents control and then turn around and give you a bunch of creatures.
Undying is another obvious combination with Haptra as once the creature dies and returns with a +1/+1 counter, you just have to use any of our billions of ways to add -1/-1 counters in order to reset them. I would also certainly want to include cards like Necroskitter and Midnight Banshee for the 1-2 punch. Man, I love Golgari.
Temmet, Vizier of Naktamun
Finally, we have Temmet, Vizier of Naktamun. Naktamun is quite the mouthful and I really have no idea what the correct punctuation of it is. That tidbit aside, I think Temmet does something that’s very unique. It inspires me to create a UW token deck and preferably ones which have big tokens so that we can take advantage of the unblockablitiy of the creature. I would want to make sure that I played Ajani Goldmane since I can only image attacking with an unblockable version of his ultimate.
Other than that, you could certainly play any of the embalm cards and I think Cackling Counterpart might have found a new home in a Temmet deck. Add some cards with populate and we can really start to have a party.
Okay, so I’ve taken you through my initial thoughts on each of these legendary creatures. But, how do I rank them? Check it out:
- Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons
- Temmet, Vizier of Naktamun
- Neheb, the Worthy
- Kefnet the Mindful
- Oketra the True
- Bontu the Glorified
- Samut, Voice of Dissent
- Rhonas the Indomitable
- Hazoret the Fervent
I hope you enjoyed this article and I hope you’ll join me next week as I start to build Commander decks around our new leaders. Also, remember to have fun at your prerelease. I know I will!