In a never-ending attempt to reach all corners of pop culture, Magic: The Gathering and its Universes Beyond enterprise have finally given us some Transformers, albeit in collector boosters of a Standard set The Brothers’ War.
All the Transformers cards that can be opened are double-faced legendary creature/artifact (robot/vehicle) cards, and they all have an alternate More Than Meets the Eye cost, which allows you to cast the back side of the card (from any legal zone) instead of the usual front side.
probably definitely the most popular way to play Magic: The Gathering now, and if you’re a Transformers aficionado and Commander player who needs a new Transformers Commander to helm a deck, here are my 3 top Commander picks from the new Transformers cards.
Death by card drawing with Starscream
The very first legendary Transformers card that caught my attention is the second-in-command Decepticon Starscream, Power Hungry.
The very reason for this is the existence of the card Peer into the Abyss.
When Peer into the Abyss resolves, you are very likely to draw at least 30 cards, and if your commander Starscream, Power Hungry is on the board and you are the monarch, you’re definitely blowing up one opponent’s life.
It is not difficult to be the monarch because the back side Starscream, Seeker Leader will make you one the moment you deal combat damage to an opponent, and I absolutely want to watch someone pull off a Peer into the Abyss in the second main phase after Starscream, Seeker Leader is converted into Starscream, Power Hungry.
I think it’s genuinely a hilarious combo, and not many players are going to expect that, although Peer into the Abyss might be a little expensive to cast.
Having said that, monoblack still has a lot of other card draws such as Sign in Blood and Village Rites.
They are not as epic as Peer into the Abyss, but drawing cards is fun and having your hand filled with cards is extremely valuable in any Magic: The Gathering game.
With Starscream, Power Hungry as your Commander, you will also need some draw engines to keep the draws going outside of casting instants or sorceries.
Cards like the new Gix, Yawgmoth Praetor, and as well as the classic black demon Vilis, Broker of Blood have pretty good draw triggers. Vilis, Broker of Blood also works well with Peer into the Abyss, so that’s an additional bonus!
If you haven’t noticed, monoblack can revolve a lot around using your own life as a resource, so I highly suggest playing cards such as Exquisite Blood and Gray Merchant of Asphodel to gain some of that resource back.
Exquisite Blood is a combo piece with Sanguine Bond, and there are multiple ways to recur Gray Merchant of Asphodel from the graveyard in monoblack.
These cards present good alternate win conditions for any monoblack Commander deck, and are extremely functional in a Starscream, Power Hungry deck.
Cheat the big boys in with Ultra Magnus
If winning with a combo isn’t exactly your thing in Magic: The Gathering, you can consider Ultra Magnus, Tactician instead.
Autobot Ultra Magnus, Tactician allows you to potentially cheat in huge artifact creatures whenever you attack with it, so if you are a Timmy player and you like big splashy creatures/spells/plays/McSpicy, this Commander is going to be right up your alley.
Right off the top of my head, some of the best big artifact creatures to cheat in include Blightsteel Colossus and Triplicate Titan.
These big boys are instant big threats, and they are going to be extremely difficult for your opponents to deal with.
You can also choose to cheat in other artifacts like Angel of the Ruins and Meteor Golem if you need to get rid of some pesky permanents on your opponent’s board!
The downside to this deck is, however, the extreme mana value of some of these big artifact creature cards.
They can be extreme deadweight in your hand if you cannot cheat them out, so it’s very important to jam some artifact cost reducers into your deck such as Foundry Inspector and Cloud Key.
Besides playing artifact cost reducers, Mycosynth Golem and Mayael the Anima are also two great additions that can potentially help to cheat out even more big boys.
When there are many artifacts on the board, Mycosynth Golem either acts as a massive cost reducer or even allows you to cast artifact creatures for free.
Mayael the Anima, on the other hand, is not an artifact or artifact creature. It is just a normal legendary creature which allows you to dig the top 5 cards of your deck for a potentially free big boy.
It is somewhat decent card filtering when you need to force some big boys out from your deck, but the downside is its huge activation cost.
Despite that, Ultra Magnus, Tactician has green in its colours, and green in Magic: The Gathering has the best mana ramp in the game.
Along with the artifact reducers as well as mana rocks, making big splashy plays with Ultra Magnus, Tactician might not be the most difficult thing to do.
However, if you don’t like big plays nor like to win with combos, and you just want to be an insufferable opponent to deal with, I would like to introduce you to Goldbug, Humanity’s Ally.
At first glance, good boy autobot Goldbug, Humanity’s Ally makes a good Human tribal deck.
But that is not all, because there are a lot of (white) Human cards that can make the game excruciating for all of your opponents.
If you truly derive joy from depriving your opponents from joy, consider the following Humans: Drannith Magistrate and Thalia, Heretic Cathar.
Drannith Magistrate just blocks your opponents from casting their Commanders if they all ready haven’t done so, and also prevents your opponents from casting spells from the graveyard or exile zone if applicable.
Thalia, Heretic Cathar, on the other hand, just slows your opponents down to a grind because all creatures and nonbasic lands your opponents play have to enter tapped. These tapped creatures can’t block until the next turn cycle, and any of your opponent’s shock/bond/pain lands are now just slow tapped lands.
But if you truly want to slow the game down to an absolute halt, add the following Humans: Grand Arbiter Augustin IV and Thalia, Guardian of Thraben.
These cards just increases the mana cost of your opponent’s spells, and while Thalia, Guardian of Thraben is a symmetrical effect (it affects you too), it is an extremely good card to drop in Turn 1 or 2 while your opponents are trying to play mana rocks or ramp their lands.
While you watch your opponents struggle to cast anything and question the purpose of their lives, you have to win, too — and combat is probably a good way to further reinforce the point you are going to drag the game out.
Cards like Adeline, Resplendent Cathar and Rick, Steadfast Leader quickly make your board state threatening.
Adeline, Resplendent Cathar applies pressure very quickly if she comes out early with Goldbug, Humanity’s Ally on the battlefield, while Rick, Steadfast Leader is a decent anthem and gives all of your Humans good abilities.
However, for your combat damage to get through, you will need some protection from your opponents after they have either saved up the mana to blow away some of your Humans or kept some of their poor creatures untapped to block you (even if your creatures can’t die because of Goldbug, Humanity’s Ally).
Myrel, Shield of Argive prevents your opponents from doing anything during your turn while generating more tokens (sadly, they aren’t Human tokens).
On the other hand, Odric, Master Tactician can just force all of your opponents to not block, or get rid of pesky creatures your opponents have by deciding how they block.
Now that I am almost done writing this article, I am actually really keen… to build a Goldbug, Humanity’s Ally deck.
Okay, I might have accidentally called myself out, but hey stax is always a legitimate strategy in Magic: The Gathering!
Other players might not like it, but if anything, Wizards of the Coast might have actually conditioned them well enough.
You won’t always like what I do, but you will still want to play the game. :)
For real, though, it's time to find someone who is selling some of these Transformers cards or the collector boosters (no, I have not been opening collector boosters), in before the Singapore government raises its goods and service tax next year!
Jay Chan plays a lot of Dota 2 and MTG. He's terrible in Dota 2 and a scrub in MTG, and maybe spends too much money on both games.