The Commander’s Chair #2 – Off Color Remarks
Blue mages are notorious thieves. They have an extensive list of tools they can use to steal permanents from their opponents. But, what do you do if you are not a fan of tapping islands? Today, I am here to let you know that you aren’t stuck destroying and exiling creatures. You can be a thief too.
When you are not playing the blues, your options are limited. The control magic you can use will take a little more effort to get to work. The advantage you have to using non-blue control magic is you get to have the surprise factor on your side. Who doesn’t like the look of surprise and confusion on your friends face when you do something completely unexpected?
Preacher is a strong card, it cost 3 to get it out, and it has a tap ability. The downside here is that your opponent gets to choose the target. I suggest playing preacher after a wrath as a rattlesnake effect. Your opponents will be apprehensive about playing strong creatures when you can steal them at will. White has enough spot removal that you can remove creatures you don’t want to make it easier to steal the good ones.
You have to love planar chaos. This card is hilarious. You grab control of the creature and the player who you stole it from will take additional damage for as long as the creature sticks around. Unless you are taking back one of your own creatures, there is no downside.
This card is probably the hardest card to get going on the list. You either have to be playing a vampire tribal deck or be playing with cards like Mirror Entity or Conspiracy. This card also has some of the biggest advantages of any cad on the list. It can steal multiple creatures. In addition, it’s one of the few cards that allow you to retain what you have stolen after it dies. The more you steal, the better it gets.
Red has many ways to take creatures or permanents until the end of the turn. Doing so is not incredibly surprising. Stealing something permanently is a little harder.
Ok, so technically he doesn’t really steel things from opponents, he just gets them back. When you talk about control magic, it is hard not to mention this little fella. He has been steadily increasing in popularity since Memnarch was made a general. There are no small numbers of blue decks that depend on control magic to survive. When you take that tool away from them, they aren’t nearly as scary.
It may say its creature type is bandit on the card. In truth, it is a human rogue. This is the same type as Aladdin. Wizards decided that it is ok to have an off-color ability, it’s just going rogue. This is another card that pairs well with spells that change permanents into artifacts. My favorite part of this card is the “You lose control of target artifact if Scarwood Bandit leaves play or at the end of the game”. Can you imagine if wizards had not printed that last tidbit?
Ok, so he is a 1/1 that costs 4 mana and looks . . . well it just looks terrible. It may be a little hard to keep him alive, but you do you can steal someone’s general with your mono green deck. The confused look on someone’s face when they read the card is more than worth it. It’s very similar to the Satyr in the picture.
You may be confused right now. Vedalken Shackles is usually played in decks that play islands. Well thanks to some fancy tech made popular by certain Extended decks, Vedalken Shackles aren’t just for blue mages anymore. By adding Prismatic Omen or Elsewhere Flask, you can start shackling enemy creatures at will.
This is an artifact that can be used by most decks. Of all the cards on the list, I would recommend trying this out first. You can use it multiple times, and it has a relatively low mana cost. It gives decks a sacrifice outlet for cards like Solemn Simulacrum. In red decks you can cast a Threaten effect, and then sacrifice the creature to kill one of their creatures and steal another.
I’ve yet to see anyone else play this particular card. I sometimes prefer it to Helm of Possession because an Icy Manipulator or Clock of Omens won’t get someone their creature back. The biggest problem is the intensive mana cost required to both cast and activate its ability. To take the biggest advantage of this card you will want to sacrifice something that hurts the opponent such as Forbidden Crypt, Nefarious Lich or Transcendence.
This all goes to show you that control isn’t just for blue. Choose whatever colors you want to play and don’t let yourself be restricted by preconceived notions of what that color should let you do.
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Posted on April 5, 2011, in Articles, The Commander's Chair and tagged casual, Commander, Commander's Chair, EDH, Magic the Gathering, MTG, MTGO, Multiplayer, SwordsToPlow. Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.