10 'Magic: The Gathering' Commanders That Ruin The Game
Magic: The Gathering is a complex card game, think Pokemon on illegal steroids or good clean cocaine from the 80’s. The basic conceit is this: you’re a mighty wizard (player) and you use your book of spells (deck of cards) to battle your opponent until their health is depleted (their points are at zero.) With over twenty thousand cards at players’ disposal and almost 30 years of history, it’s a game with a high level of variance and replayability. The most popular format is called Commander. Players choose one legendary creature to command their forces and then choose 99 other cards to compliment that card's particular strengths. The legendary creatures below are some of the most loathed commanders in the game. Some are grueling like a mandatory work happy hour with no booze. Some are cruel like ending a four year relationship with a text. But they’re all brutally punishing to play against.
Niv-Mizzet is the kid who bullies you in class for answering the teacher’s question correctly. When a player casts a certain type of spell, this ancient dragon punches them right in the mouth. It’s very rude and completely cuts off the winning strategies of many decks. He’s a bully who steals your lunch money aka draws a ton of cards. And the worst part? That “can’t be countered line?” He’s the captain of the football team and is socially untouchable. Sorry nerds.
Chulane, Teller of Tales
Oh good, a friendly grandpa to tell us a story. NOPE. This grampy is here to f*** your s*** up. He draws, ramps, and combos off like a monster. Plus he can attack and then still do all that. So basically he’s a rich guy who can spend his money investing in a guaranteed money market that’s going to increase his wealth exponentially. Just like living in our current oligarchic hellscape, it’s utterly demoralizing to play against him.
Jhoira of the Ghitu
Jhoira is that ex you hate. At the beginning of the relationship, she seemed so nice. You got along great, she was happy to let you do whatever you wanted, happy to let you be yourself. Then you realize she’s been secretly hanging on to every resentment, every little thing you did wrong. And the moment you have an argument BAM. She throws it all back in your face. It hurts man, it hurts bad.
Brago, King Eternal
In Magic there’s an effect called flicker which basically allows cards to re-enter the battlefield again…and again…and again. This is bad news because many cards have devastating effects when they first come into play. Brago is essentially a billionaire who pays no taxes because he’s found a loophole. F you Brago.
Nekusar, the Mindrazer
Card advantage is a big deal in Commander. Having more cards in hand gives you more options for how to play around and against your opponents, so most Commander decks have more than a little card draw as part of their strategy. Nekusar doesn’t shut that down, he just punishes you harshly. Like a step-dad finding you stole a cigarette and then making you smoke the whole pack.
Yahenni, Undying Partisan
Yahenni is fast, they’re mean, and they’re almost impossible to kill. Much like Bezos in search of profits, they don’t mind destroying the lives of their underlings for their own personal gain. And just like Daddy Beezy (probably) feels a sick satisfaction every time a small business goes under, Yahenni gets stronger whenever an opponent's creature dies. Just despicable stuff.
Edric, Spymaster of Trest
This guy’s so toxic that some Commander organizations have totally banned him in 1v1 play. Edric’s your older brother who palms your face with one hand and holds you at arms length while you futilely try and wail on him. The creatures Edric attacks with to draw cards feel more like your bro’s friends rifling through your room and taking all the money you’ve been saving up. Straight up MEAN.
Kess, Dissident Mage
Kess is a horrible mom at Thanksgiving. Dredging up issues you thought were over and done with. She’ll bring up that failed AP math test, she’ll bring up when you crashed the car the first day you got your license. She’ll NEVER let you forget that your sister is a doctor. And yet, there’s no escaping her. The flavor text on this bummer of a card says it all “Loss has no meaning here. You cannot take from those who have nothing.” Yikes ma.
Derevi, Empyrial Tactician
Stupid bird. This dumb wizard doesn’t even abide by one of the most basic tenets of Commander. When a commander returns to the command zone after being killed or exiled, players must pay two more mana to cast it for each time it’s been cast from the commander zone. That’s a complicated sentence, but we’ll break it down in layman’s terms: this guy is the boss’ son and no matter how many times they f*ck up at work, they’ll never be fired.
Sen Triplets is your most toxic friend. They say they’re not picky, but after you’ve listed five or six restaurants, even though they swear they’re totally fine with anything, they’ve vetoed every single one. When you do finally sit down to eat somewhere, you know they’re stealing your fries even though THEY ORDERED THE SIDE SALAD.