While it is sometimes difficult to get Commander players excited for a new set, Aether Revolt seems to have delivered on that end of the bargain, especially with its set of Legendary Creatures. Players both new to the format and experienced are bound to pick up these cards and want to bring them to their maximum potential, and the ideas below can give everyone a headstart on the process.
Draw in any mono-color besides blue makes everyone think twice , and after careful consideration it looks like Batterskull would be a Sram commander's best friend. It doesn't take any kind of deep analysis to see that Batterskull can provide you with some much-needed card draw, as well as a potential threat. While somewhat expensive already, I can forsee the price rising just a hair due to the desire for commander players. Hopefully this has inspired you to go to Gathereror some other card database and pour over the pages!
Counterspells were already pretty great before Baral was spoiled. Now, cards like Dissolve are all Counterspells, meaning two open blue mana will always signify a resounding "No" while this legend is out on the field, cancelling your plans entirely. Arcane Denial becomes merely one blue mana to outwit your opponents. This cryptic command will lock down the board state as long as there is open mana, and is a wonderful option for the right control player. Foil your opponent's plans before they even get going with sheer force of will, or wait for them to make a mental misstep before profiting from your oppressive will.
Rishkar seemed underwhelming at first-until you notice that he turns your creatures with counters into Llanowar Elves. You could easily go into Elf tribal with this legend, however you can go in almost any direction you want with Rishkar's burst of strength. Forgotten Ancient allows you to rapidly increase your mana sources, since everyone will be playing spells as much as they can to try and keep up. Note how this card's first ability is triggered when it enters the battlefield, meaning you can find ways to flicker it, adding to both your mana base as well as an increasing savagery during combat. Once you've enjoyed the fruits of this card's natural panoply , casting as many cards as you have the mana for (which should be a lot, and quickly), the game should soon swing in your favor, and your opponents will find themselves in death's presence. A deck centered around Rishkar will certainly be a triumph of the hordes!
Red has a fatal attraction when it comes to...well, pretty much anything. As far as legends go, Kari may be the weakest amongst the Aether Revolt when it comes to being a Commander. Acting on impulse and reflexes alone won't get you far in the multiplayer format, and fortunately this article can become a useful chasm guide for you. Kari likes to work with cards like Confusion in the Ranks, swapping a tapped Ragavan for your opponent's best creature, then watching the pandemonium that ensues when they lose Ragavan and their best creature after combat ends. Use these arcane teachings to cause impact tremors in the game, and you'll have a good chance of avoiding where ancients tread.
Yahenni was made with some small measure of diabolic intent. With cards like Dictate of Erebos and Grave Pact, this commander becomes an abhorrent overlord, making everyone barter in blood. If your deck is not centered around creatures, you have a stronger chance; if not, the game becomes one of attrition, and you will soon eliminate the competition. There is no such thing as innocent blood in a game Commander , but with the right cards on the field this new legend becomes a merciless executioner, and one sinister concoction of a deck.
Wow! A new colorless Legendary! What a godsend! Now, what do we do with it? Attack, of course! Whispersilk Cloak is perfect for this creature, ensuring the ultimate evasion to get damage through in combat. This creature should be cast every first turn if it is your commander, to carry a blazing torch to your opponent's field. You may not be delivering any hot soup, however this card will certainly give you an infiltration lens on what your opponent's strategy is. It may not be a power house, and it may earn a glaring spotlight from your opponent(s) who are locked down, but if all your opponent can cast is creatures (locking out instants, sorceries, planeswalkers, artifacts, and enchantments), there will be more than just hope for victory.
These legendary creatures all have a lot of potential for the Commander format, and players around the world are excited to get their hands on them and weild them with deadly efficiency.
Prerelease for Aether Revolt is this weekend, January 14-15, and releases in stores on January 20th, 2017!