CMC2.85Tokens 0/0 Germ, 1/1 Sparkling, Liliana, 2/2 Knight, 2/2 Wolf, Else, Copy Clone, 1/1 Soldier Folders Resources: Commander, Utility, Utility Lists, Other Decks, EDS Kartensammlung, Keeping my Eye on This, resources, Uncategorized, Resource, Card Lists, See all 15 VotesIgnored suggestionsShared with Resources: Commander, Utility, Utility Lists, Other Decks, EDS Kartensammlung, Keeping my Eye on This, resources, Uncategorized, Resource, Card Lists, Help, Commander Staples, vol tron, Deck building, Commander “ Vol tron deck strategies are not uncommon in Magic: The Gathering's Commander format.
Costing a single white MANA, Samar will almost always be cast of the very first turn, kicking off your Vol tron strategy from the word go. Wuhan also comes alongside a clause stating that he must attack a randomly selected player each turn, but as a more aggressive strategy, this isn't a awful downside.
Radio of the Many is one of the commanders of this list that most visibly choreographs what you want to be doing with your Vol tron strategy. Most importantly however, is the instant speed nature of this ability, which allows for various equipment-centric shenanigans to be pulled on your opponents turns.
One would be hard-pressed to find a vol tron commander that fulfills this strength more effectively than SYR Gwyn, Hero of Ash vale. As if this wasn't enough, SYR Gwyn also accelerates your strategy by drawing you a card each time an equipped creature you control attacks.
The most recent commander on this list, the merfolk Lakes, Crater of Wonders is sure to make a big splash in the world of Vol tron decks. With SRAM, Senior Edifice at the helm of your Vol tron deck, such a fate is never a possibility.
SRAM's ability is very simple: whenever you cast an equipment, aura, or vehicle, draw a card. Possessing both hex proof and a versatile ability that allows for Market's controller to cast noncreature spells from the top of their library for without paying their costs, East is one of the most popular commander choices in the entire format.
While she can be utilized in numerous ways, building a Market deck around a Vol tron strategy is a viable option, allowing for massive and impactful auras to be cast for free and placed on your already difficult to remove Market. Firstly, he gets +2/+2 for each aura attached to him, creating additional advantages and incentives to build up URL as a threat.
URL, the Mist stalker may be a bit MANA intensive for some, as he possesses a converted MANA cost of five, but his flexible NASA color identity and his ability to grow and protect himself makes him the benchmark of what we want to see from Vol tron commanders. About The Author Paul Salvo (119 Articles Published) Staff Writer, Paul Salvo is a writer, comic creator, animation lover, and game design enthusiast currently residing in Boston, Massachusetts.
The tour ends in the only place it can, with the card to rule them all, or, if things get desperate, to pay the next few months' rent. The most overpowered and underpriced enchanted rocks history will ever know were traded for large dragons and slices of pizza.
An entire expansion devoted to them came out called Antiquities, telling the story of a war between brothers Ursa and Mishra. They peaked again several years later for the Artificer's Silver Age, with the great Ursa's cycle that unleashed upon our world so many powerful weapons as to echo the ancient times.
From the plane of Mirroring has come the greatest terror Magic has seen in many years. Fitting together like the pieces of a puzzle, with even the lands as artifacts and lacking any natural predators to keep it in check, Mirroring Block's Affinity decks have created the type of exponential power that Vol tron could only dream of.
Prize after prize fell as tournament after tournament and play group after play group learned the domineering power and speed of Magic's latest dominant deck. They even banned Skull clamp, but to this day Affinity is the biggest threat not only in Standard but in Extended as well.
Only their passage into the depths of time, and their new status as true artifacts, will be able to stop them now. Out of the ashes of this third artifact wave will doubtless come a new Magic, particularly given recent hints regarding the upcoming Banned and Restricted announcement.
Platinum Angel was probably the next card on the list, and it argued that it prevented you from losing the game, but I still say better luck on the next ballot. Null Rod and even IMF Statue wanted in, but I reminded them that this was the artifact list and party poppers were not welcome.
Draco's casting cost is high, but in the history of Magic it's only been put into play once from a deck that couldn't win a game off of Battle of Wits and that was on a dare. They need to deal with their gambling problem and ritual flipping out respectively, clean up their acts and petition for re-entry.
Even if it hadn't opened up the possibility of infinite turns before your opponent had finished his second one, the Vault's power was obvious. But times change, and now we have both smarter players and a little gem called Oracle.
While the idea of tying an artifact to a color may seem fresh and new, like most things it is the old made new again. In a day when the only thing stopping players from seriously considering MANA Flare was that they were too busy saving up to buy their last Mox, and they had enough respect for their red creatures to make sure most of them were tough enough to survive a Lava Dart, even if they didn't even know how good Lightning Bolt was let alone that they'd be pricking dogs with darts.
In a modern world, would it even be played let alone worth more than fifty bucks no matter how rare? Other times it would greatly improve your long game, taking away your opponents' most threatening cards and giving you lots of insight into what they were planning.
Some control decks even had a fourth or fifth way to win in them just in case they got Capped. It takes a long time to get the hang of playing Scroll Rack properly even in a normal deck.
When you use Scroll Rack with shuffling effects you can look at a handful of brand new cards each turn. Affinity is a powerful ability, and with your lands counting along with most of the rest of your permanents most players reading this can readily remember how easy it is to turn seven into a far more reasonable number.
It's a fair argument which components of the Affinity engine deserve recognition and which do not, but I have a hard time not giving the Enforcer some credit. Later on the Candelabra would be used to uncap Ovarian Academy and give you another use while making it produce even more MANA.
Then you'd use Voltaic Key to uncap the Candelabra, or Hurry's Recall to replay it, and do it again... We all just sort of mumbled through it, doing things like marking the cards with MANA paid to make sure that we were keeping ourselves honest.
No one was even thinking about abusing it, just using it to deceive their opponents, and it became the inspiration for the morph mechanic. Eventually, someone figured out something rather powerful to do with the Mask: Cast Physician Dreadnought.
There are other similar things to do with other cards, but they pale in comparison to both the Dreadnought trick and the rest of Vintage. If you can ignore the restriction, then you've paid a cost for free and get to reap the benefits of more power for less MANA.
It also made up for the distinct lack of good black creatures that existed for a time for decks based around the dreaded skull. It's the same trade-off in terms of cards for time, but MOX Diamond's Achilles heel turned out to be the MANA ratio of the decks it went into.
In the end it was worth it to decks that benefit the most from its presence, especially with Land Tax or Tithe, and now and then someone else got to use it. There are cards that can come down and single-handedly ruin your day, but Physician Processor is by far the cheapest one that can do it without an assist.
Often players would use a card like Tinker to search out any artifact at all, with options that cost far more MANA... and choose the Processor, because it was the most reliable way to win. They'd get a creature on the spot, and the threat to make more, forcing their opponent to come up with two answers rather than one.
A hand of four lands and a Physician Processor, with no further card draws, was better than most sealed decks! Juggernaut started out as nothing but a cool, flavorful and strong artifact creature.
Juggernaut was that much better than its Revised competition, despite it dying to the very popular and far more problematic Lightning Bolt. Eventually of course all this madness had to be stopped, so when the Extended format was created they made sure to put this on the banned list.
The error was eventually fixed, at which point everyone realized that Magic had changed its power curves so much that cards like Graham Jinn and Juggernaut were nothing special. A case could be made that there was no greater skill tester than Disrupting Scepter, but not because it forced your opponent to make hard decisions.
For only three manas per turn you kept the number of cards they had to work with constant unless they emptied their hand. Mind slaver is deceptively powerful, and has taken its place as one of Vintage's most popular victory conditions when combined with Goblin Welder to control your opponents' turns again and again until he has nothing left.
The more powerful and flexible your opponent's deck is, the more damage you can do when you are handed the reins. The worst is when you turn deck manipulation tricks against them: Brainstorm back the best two cards you can't get rid of, then use a Polluted Delta to shuffle them back in the deck... and fail to find a land.
So is using Patriarch's Bidding to bring back all the Goblins, then killing your opponent with his own Goblin Sharpshooter s and Siege-Gang Commander s. Have him sacrificed all his artifacts to his Arc bound Ravager, and “forget” to do damage with Disciple of the Vault. The best part is that you don't have to worry about a retaliatory strike, so you can generally turn the game around no matter how far behind you looked when you triggered the Mind slaver.
Also, if you haven't played this card by having the players switch seats, like Mark Gardner and I did in Pro Tour New Orleans, you really should. Solemn Simulacrum doesn't look like much at first glance, but the combination of his effects creates a large swing in your favor, netting an extra land, a smoothing of colored MANA, an extra land play, and replacing the card when it dies.
When you play a Solemn Simulacrum and the game is not a race against time, your opponent winces for he knows how much harder his job just became. He is so solid that the temptation is strong to put him where he doesn't belong for reasons of speed or otherwise.
Affinity becomes too powerful an ability when you get to count most of your lands, as do Arc bound Ravager and Disciple of the Vault, and there are also older effects like Goblin Welder that can make the situation even worse. They make you more vulnerable, letting opponents kill your lands, but modern mass removal spells were designed to avoid killing artifact lands, rendering the drawback far less dangerous than it would otherwise have been.
In worlds with older cards like Energy Flux and Pernicious Deed, these become a true double-edged sword. Voltaic Key looks harmless, but it is one of Magic's greatest enablers.
On its own it is nothing, but there are a ton of ways for it to prove worthwhile, and it got so bad that Wizards was forced to strike it down in some formats rather than ban other cards that served a more balanced purpose. The artifact decks were often the best at this, because they brought out their MANA so fast that they could shrug off losing two lands while they crippled their opponent's development, and decks with green MANA creatures like Birds of Paradise often used the same plan.
There were even top-level decks that tried to combine it with Static Orb to tie down opponents for the entire game. Tangle Wire looks harmless, and the first instinct always seems to be to try and ride out the effect to net an extra card.
Later on in the game, this becomes easy, so Tangle Wire decks need to finish off their opponents fast or get enough advantage that having a few dead cards doesn't matter. Antiquities took the concept of decking your opponent and elevated it from a happy accident or bizarre alternate game plan into a genuine road to victory by introducing Millstone, perhaps the most misunderstood card in Magic's history.
Most players spent years having no idea how Millstone impacted the game. After a while, it became a staple of the tournament scene because it allows control decks to reliably kill without playing any creatures at all, turning lots of their opponents' cards useless by denying them targets.
The speed of the game makes it hard to find the time for a card that doesn't directly impact the game, but the real problem was that a lot of cards started using their graveyards for fun and profit, much more so than in the past. When you might turn over Roar of the Warm or Genesis, this is not a good way to try and grind out a win.
Chimeric Idol was the best three drops in the game for two years on pure efficiency terms, and it is an artifact. Green decks used it as a free way to hedge against Wrath of God.
Hell, Rising Waters decks used it, even though they restricted your ability to uncap lands and activating the Idol taps them all! That's a good man, and anyone who couldn't afford to tap their lands on their own turn was at a disadvantage when building their creature base.
For the first Pro Tour, Wizards gave the players a strange rule to follow when building their Standard decks. In this case, the term set is being used loosely, because Homelands was not exactly your source for quality tournament cards.
The alternative was to burn five sideboard slots on useless cards, and that obviously was not a good answer. At the time, there were two functionally identical versions of the “pump knights” for both white and black.
Serrated Arrows killed them, and did it out of decks that otherwise would be unable to touch the other color's best man. Ensnaring Bridge can outright defeat many decks on its own, because it can shut down the attack step.
If you can empty your hand, which with many decks is not a problem and some even have cards like Grafted Skullcap to help out, only zero power creatures can attack you. Sometimes they'll be down to a handful of cards that can do damage to you directly, or they'll have to go look for a few removal spells.
Others have to use tricks like casting Deep Analysis to force you to draw cards and would otherwise have no game at all. Howling Mine looks like a gift, granting you at least as many cards as it gives to the person who played it.
In the meantime, most opponents wouldn't understand the source of their misery and wouldn't kill the Howling Mine even if they could. The fullest exploitation of Howling Mine was implemented in the first Pro Tour by Mark Justice.
He came packing a deck based around Howling Mine, Icy Manipulator and Winter Orb. As Preston Coulter figured out in the elimination rounds right before he knocked Justice out, you killed Howling Mine, and the deck no longer flowed properly.
Control decks loved Ivory Tower before the game got too fast for it. With Jayme Tome, a slower pace and mass removal cards like Wrath of God or even Balance, which was unrestricted for an unbelievable amount of time, you could sit in the Tower and all but dare your opponent to try and do significant damage to you without overextending while the game swung inevitably towards one in which your deck would dominate.
When you have Necropotence and Ivory Tower, you're effectively drawing three cards a turn at no life cost. It could outright kill your opponent, and many of the best decks used that as their primary way to win, trading life totals while they were at zero due to City of Brass.
I remember Darwin Castle not trusting me to kill him properly with Mirror Universe in a Vintage tournament. A lot of players used all the most expensive and underpriced cards and then effectively won the game with Jayme Tome.
The problem with Tome is that it requires a rather large investment of twelve manas before it yields a net profit in cards. You can use it to lock down your opponents' creatures, forcing him to walk into Wrath of God or other mass removal cards.
What made Icy even better was that before Sixth Edition rules you could use this to tap blockers, and they would not do damage. Cranial Plating was the replacement for Skull clamp in Affinity, and the deck may have gotten worse, but it wasn't that big a blow.
Cranial Plating turns any creature in Affinity into a wrecking ball that will take players out in two or three shots. Packing both Ravager and Plating, you can be confident that no artifact you draw will go to waste.
The pure power of Arc bound Ravager in Affinity and the amount to which it warped the Magic world for a year are enough to get it this high. This card was created to be unplayable, and most people who look at it think that the design was a rousing success.
It takes a lot of work to get good use out of this Diamond, but there are several tricks that allowed the MANA to end up being used for spells that have no business being cast on the turn in question. Eventually it was too good even for Vintage, and it proves that no matter what there are some abilities that are just not meant for this game we like to play.
When games go long and players have more lands than they need to operate, this little artifact dramatically expands your effective life total even if you aren't using it to pull off anything tricky. It could suddenly take forty or more damage to kill you, and until you get close to dead you won't be in that much trouble.
Duran Orb was so good at stalling out games that it was restricted in large part to make sure tournament matches finished. That decision also kept the Black Vise type strategies strong, and kept four copies out of the hands of those who wanted to do more than just stay alive when they were about to die.
Duran Orb combined with Armageddon or opposed land destruction to flat out give you a giant life swing on cards already headed for the graveyard, and Balance and Land Tax are even better. Chrome MOX can take over slots that would have gone to lands, because you throw away a spell instead of a MANA source.
Early on, you're happy to throw something away to get the MANA, and later on you hopefully don't need the Chrome MOX anymore. Chrome MOX needs a deck with the right colored MANA situation and a sufficient need for speed in order to make it worthwhile, but a decent percentage of decks will end up wanting it.
While this offers fast MANA, it guards against that by requiring color (since most of the most broken decks use a lot of artifacts) and by eating up a spell. If you use Chrome MOX to try and win quickly, it is hard to avoid running out of cards in your hand.
At one point, I jokingly defined a broken combo deck as one that would run Lotus Petal if given the choice. Drawing a Lotus Petal can feel a lot like a mulligan if you get it at the wrong time, but fast MANA is just that good.
At the extreme, this can become one of the best cards around, as with Brian Hacker's deck at Pro Tour Rome. Meanwhile, the words Lotus and MOX get to keep their esteemed track record.
Opponents with decks whose curves extend to seven and play cards at random don't fear the Keg, they just respect it. For decks full of one or two drops, this card can be a nightmare for which they will happily trade multiple cards, as the Keg amounts to a two MANA one-sided Wrath of God or sometimes even worse by killing artifacts like Cursed Scroll, Winter Orb or Ankh of Mishra.
The casting cost makes Keg available to everyone and gives otherwise slow strategies a fighting chance against rushes without having to sacrifice. You need to be playing the right deck to take advantage of Metalworker, which is probably the reason his power dawned on all of us so slowly.
That's all well and good, but if you can hang on to that Metalworker you often end up with eight, ten or even more MANA by showing your opponent most or all of your hand. To make the discount worthwhile, you need to have this apply to almost all your other cards and then cast a flurry of spells in the same turn.
The first to do this was none other than Jon Finkel, using the Medallion to cast spells in his Obsidian deck at 1998 US Nationals while keeping counter magic available. For a long time Winter Orb and Armageddon were considered standard tools of the trade in Magic, but the only reason they seemed normal was because they had always been around.
Winter Orb creates a completely different game, restricting players who rely on lands for MANA to a maximum of two per turn even if they always play one. Rising Waters was the core of the last top level Prison deck, using overpriced versions of several components to gain favorable or even match-ups against everything else in the format.
The other mode with Winter Orb is not to bother locking down your opponent fully, just to operate far better than he can and win the game in a fight with efficient creatures. It becomes normal for players to end up discarding half or more of their spells to the power of this card.
Blue decks used it to clear the board and then sit behind a counter wall. It later came back as Oblivion Stone, which costs a bunch more MANA and can't take out exotic lands.
Early on, Magic had few ways to turn a quick MANA boost into anything like what you can do with it these days. All of that is great, but back then there were answer cards like Swords to Plowshares that could render that moot and stick you with a rather annoying bill.
There were some people who used Vaults to do the obvious things like put out quick large men, and they did well. When the tools came out to make proper use of the MANA from the Vault, it became far better, especially when it briefly coexisted with Grim Monolith and when it was a part of the dreaded Trip.
Who needs cards when you're using all your MANA to protect your Mastic ore and using it to kill every man your opponent plays? Cursed Scroll is a means of doing continuous damage to players and/or killing creatures at no card cost.
The sad part of Cursed Scroll is that often every activation of the Scroll was as good as casting any of half the cards in the deck it was a part of, and often it would net you a card on every activation in half of your match-ups. You would use your hand quickly to get your opponent on the ropes, then hammer them with the Scroll now that your MANA wasn't busy.
Like Mastic ore, a Cursed Scroll with an empty hand is enough to beat quite a few decks over the long term, as you get to Shock them every turn while they run into lands. It's nowhere near as powerful as the Mastic ore, but it only costs and in the meantime you're bound to draw some spells along the way.
There were a lot of match-ups that come down to who gets their Cursed Scroll or gets to activate it continuously, as two decks full of cheap creatures face off. It dominated the Pro Tour in its block before being banned there, at which point things returned to normal.
It wasn't just in one deck, it was causing a diverse set of designs all of which existed largely to make use of it. Extended would have suffered a similar if less dramatic fate if Skull clamp had not been taken out in advance, allowing players to combine the card with such ideas as Cabal Therapy.
Games were coming down to who drew their Skull clamp or could keep it on the table, as that player would quickly have twice as many cards. Of course, the sad half of that is that most of those incorrect plays end up winning anyway, because this card is so overpowered.
It's crazy the number of times I saw players miss card draws, use Clamps when they should have waited, or killed off men too early. It's not quite as good as MANA Vault, but the places it has been legal make it a far more significant card.
When I first saw Grim Monolith at the Ursa's Legacy prerelease, my eyes almost fell out of their sockets. They needed a MANA Vault, and there it was staring me in the face: The exact card I would have asked for if I thought I had a chance in hell of getting it.
By the next day, I was killing on turn three and the deck survived the loss of several other cards prior to a Pro Tour that was dominated by a combination of Grim Monolith and Ovarian Academy. With the loss of Voltaic Key and Ovarian Academy, the Monolith went on to just be an amazing card that powered a lot of different artifact decks over the next few years.
There was Accelerated Blue and the German Dragon in Standard, Suicide Brown and Iron Giant in Extended, good old Mammoth's Bargain in just about everything that allowed it, and then a lot of descendants of those initial Tinker decks that continued to get refined and grow in power until they took over Extended in New Orleans. You get to break the MANA curve without paying any large costs, as the Monolith is actually far better than a land in the endgame.
Black Vise pissed a lot of players off, and was one of the big luck factors in early Magic. The harder it's going to be for your opponent to stand up to the rest of your deck, the more damage Black Vise will do.
Control decks or anyone else who wanted to keep a full hand had no choice but to deal with it, or they couldn't play their game. When the Pro Tour was created, the decision was finally made to restrict Black Vise.
Black Vise is a major thorn in both strategies, because using Land Tax means having a full hand and so does use Necropotence. Necropotence has an especially hard time because they're paying life to draw cards and the three damage a turn is likely to kill them.
Due to the timing, we'll never know what would have happened if Memory Jar had been allowed to survive for the usual month or two before being banned. It was taken out with the biggest hammer of all, the emergency ban, and we should all be thankful that the timing enabled Wizards to make that decision.
When you draw seven new cards, players have a tendency to do obscene things that often end with effects along the lines of “win the game”. Being colorless and the ability to get this with Tinker made it even worse than most similar threats, and the only thing that kept it from taking over the world completely for the week or so it was legal was that there was a second combination deck built around High Tide running around that was just as bad.
The Oxen originally didn't seem like anything special to the first players, just lands that happened to be artifacts. If you added an extra MANA to the casting cost of these cards, they might drop one slot on the list, but they also might not.
With that done, all that is left is to choose the order these five pieces of expensive jewelry would have gone in if I'd instead placed them in separate slots. As everyone knows, in the decks that made the best use of the five Oxen blue was always the most sought after color due to cards like Time Walk and Ancestral Recall, so the Sapphire wins easily.
MOX Jet is next because of Mind Twist and Demonic Tutor, as well as actual black decks. MOX Ruby is third for Wheel of Fortune, Red Elemental Blast (due to blue being that good when you unleash the ancient weapons) and occasionally a deck of little red men and several variations on doing three damage for one or two manas.
Darker Wastes is the same power level as Island, so it's safe to say that the Sapphire would have to cost what Talisman of Progress does: 2. Thus, Sol Ring is more undercoated in numerical terms than MOX Sapphire, especially if you consider that one to three is a far bigger jump than zero to two.
The one Sol Ring swung games a lot more than one MOX would have in its place. You can argue about every other placement on this list, and I'm confident that in a vote I would be in the minority on what deserves the two slot, but no one thinks this is anything but Black Lotus.
Black Lotus was created to be something special, and things went just a little overboard. There has never been a deck in the history of Magic that would not have loved to get its hand on one of these, and that's a statement that cannot be made for any other card.