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Commander 2015 Review 1

Happy Monday MTG peeps,

As promised here at MTG Realm, we are getting to a review of each of the new Commander 2015 decks.  For the first one, we are looking at the Black / White one and will likely have the next review next week, so stay tuned.

Call the Spirits
Daxos the Returned travels across Theros in a never-ending search, surrounded by spirits that are drawn to his power. As mighty enchantments enter the battlefield, the spirits he summons grow larger and larger, leaving his enemies overwhelmed.

Here are the three Black / White legendary creatures supplied with 'Call the Spirits' which may be used as your Commander -
• Daxos the Returned
• Karlov of the Ghost Council
• Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts

Daxos the Returned, 1WB
Legendary Creature - Zombie Soldier
Whenever you cast an enchantment spell, you get an experience counter.
1WB: Put a white and black Spirit enchantment creature token onto the battlefield. It has "This creature's power and toughness are each equal to the number of experience counters you have."

Karlov of the Ghost Council, WB
Legendary Creature - Spirit Advisor
Whenever you gain life, put two +1/+1 counters on Karlov of the Ghost Council.
WB, Remove six +1/+1 counters from Karlov of the Ghost Council: Exile target creature.

Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts, 5WB
Legendary Creature — Human Advisor
Vigilance, protection from creatures
Whenever a creature deals combat damage to you, destroy that creature. Put a 1/1 white and black Spirit creature token with flying onto the battlefield.

Given the name, 'Call the Spirits' of this pre-constructed Commander list, one would imagine a Spirit theme of sots, and indeed the primary commander, Daxos the Returned, does produce spirit tokens but this really is an Enchantments matters theme.  There are approximately (by our brief revie) some 21 Enchantments as well as 7 Enchantment Creatures.  There are 5 more additional creatures, 2 sorceries, and 1 artifact with a synergy with enchantments.

Daxos is all about casting Enchantments. For each Enchantment that you cast, you get an experience counter. You then can then pay the activated ability of 1WB to generate create Spirit enchantment creature token with power and toughness equal to the number of experience counters you have. These tokens can be serious threats later in the game as they enter the battlefield in continually larger forms.  These do lack evasion like flying, which is granted to many other spirit creatures but is more than offset by the promise of the potential for rather large P/T token which could land damage with the likes of Rogue's Passage to grant it an unblockable ability.  Some suggestions for modifications include going all in with enchantments which may include consideration for the other 'Constellation' cards not in the current list (Skybind, Grim Guardian, Agent of Erebos, etc.).  Consideration should be given also to the Theran gods Heliod, Erebos, and Athreos as well.

The other new Commander available in this list is Karlov of the Ghost Council.  In short, many Magic: the Gathering players may believe that Karlov does not belong in this list, even as a supporting card.  There is only 5 cards within this decklist which may gain you life so we can expect that Karlov would not be collecting many +1/+1 counters and subsequently exiling creatures.  The consensus with the MTG Realm playgroup is that Karlov would be best suited in its own list with a strong life-gain theme.  Some suggestions off the hop would to be to include a number of cards with 'Extort' to be able to trigger that life-gain or perhaps cards one would expect in a 'Soul Sisters' type of strategy.  Essentially cards that will allow Karlove to grow rapidly, perhaps with lifelink and those with a triggered ability when you gain life like Ajani's Pridemate.  Should you find that your list is providing huge life gain (with the help of Rhox Faitmender), consider an alternate win condition like Felidar Sovereign (if you playgroup allows this).  Alternatively, you may want to push Karlov off to a supporting role in a list that focuses on a theme of +1/+1 counters like Ghave, Guru of Spores.

As for the reprint of Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts, we think that perhaps this is best left in a supportive roll as a late-game bomb.  There are a few lists we've seen that look rather nice with Teysa but we feel that that this one is better in the mixx of 99 rather than in the Command Zone.

Here are the newly printed cards that are included in the 'Call the Spirits' Commander 2015 decklist.  In general, all solid support cards which could also find gainful employment in a variety of other Commander lists.
Banshee of the Dread Choir
Bastion Protector
Corpse Augur
Daxos the Returned  (Legendary)
Daxos's Torment 
Deadly Tempest
Grasp of Fate  
Herald of the Host
Karlov of the Ghost Council  (Legendary)
Oreskos Explorer
Righteous Confluence
Sandstone Oracle
Shielded by Faith 
Thief of Blood

Thought Vessel

Depending upon your taste, we suggest you pick the one of the two new Commanders (as we suspect WotC intended), and then provide some fine tuning (in the case of Daxox) or a complete overhaul (in the case of Karlov).

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