I must say that the Forge Chancellor’s artwork is pretty superb. He’s a cool card… until you realize he’s just a 5/5 for 7 mana. His effect sounds fun. If you have him in your opening hand, you get a free 1/1 red Goblin creature with haste, which is good for you if you’re on the play, and just sort of nifty if you’re on the draw. When you actually do get around to play him, you get as many 1/1 red Goblin tokens with haste as you have creatures on the board at that point. Problem is, many mono-red decks don’t keep a lot of creatures on the field, so you may only get 2 or 3 tokens out of his ability. Enough said, he’s not worth the 7 mana, and certainly not worth the triple red in any competitive red deck.
Let’s keep in mind that back in 2011 I knew nothing about EDH or casual formats. I really only knew what was good in Standard and Extended at that point. This card wasn’t even particularly good in draft or sealed deck from what I recall, either. At the time, of the five Chancellors from that set, it makes sense that I’d be unimpressed with this one.
However, now, Chancellor of the Forge is actually extremely good in Commander, especially in “go-wide” strategies. Recall that Krenko, Mob Boss and many other popular Goblin commanders didn’t exist yet. The commander that utilizes the Chancellor the most, Purphoros, God of the Forge, definitely didn’t exist yet. Also, the three Red mana symbols are extremely important for Devotion purposes, for cards like Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx. The fact that this doubles the amount of creatures you have on board is especially important to Purphoros (who deals 2 damage to each opponent for each creature that enters), Krenko (who doubles your Goblins), and Impact Tremors (an Enchantment that is essentially half of Purphoros).
While this Chancellor is still a bulk rare, it’s a heck of a lot better now and actually fits into some powerful strategies in Commander. It’s not really good anywhere else, but if you play Mono-Red or some other deck that wants to make a lot of Goblin tokens, this guy is definitely worth a look.
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