NATURE OF THE BEAST Magic the Gathering Commander unboxing and review

 

Ever the cheapskate, the SpartanNerd was shopping at the Goodwill, and…what…was…in…the…case??????? (The glass case at the front for “specialty items?”)

 

That’s right!  the final Commander set that I did not own.  For $30?  Nope.  $10?  Nope.  $8?  YES!  They also had Power Hungry and Evasive Manuevers.  But I already had those!  (I thought about getting them anyways.  What a deal!)

 

So I present my unboxing and review!

 

(Disclaimer.  I used a different camera this time, with some blurry results.  Sorry!)

Here is the box.  Notice the Ceremonial sticker at the top.  $8.00!

Now for the back.

Anyone notice that this commander is a MOOSE?

Lets crack it open.

NATURE OF THE BEAST comes in a similar deckbox as the others in this set.  This time it is green, to highlight that this deck is aimed at green magic players.  (Not Martians.  People who play green magic, silly!)  When you remove the top of the box you get to see the main commander moose, Marath, Will of the Wild.  He is pretty good, having counters determined by the amount of mana spent to pay for him, and able to give those to someone else.

Now for a look at all three commander cards.  Yep.  Just like the other sets, this one has three also.

 

Of the three, I have only ever seen Mayael the Anima actually played before.  Competitive players like card draw, and green doesn’t get that much.  So that’s my theory why.

The other two, Marath Will of the Wild and Geiji Honored One both add to the Beast flavor of this deck…both can pump creatures.

So what else came with this deck?

Here’s a pic.  I don’t need to be reminded that I am a Planeswalker anymore, so I trashed that right away!

The pick also shows another paper, which is the “instruction manual” for the deck.  The most important thing here is the deck list, which I will reveal below.

First of all, there is a strong tribal vibe to this deck.  There are more Beast creatures than anything else.  Here is a picture of a select few.

Not only are they Beasts.  THEY ARE BEAST!!  And nearly every one has an ability that either has something to do with land or pumping someone else.

They’re not ALL beasts though.  Here are the other creatures.

These guys compliment the beasts pretty good.  They are all ust as expensive and all.  The least inspired of them seems to be the Archangel, who it is nice to see the classic art of.  However, it’s still just a plain old 5/5 flyer with vigilance.  Not really sure why she’s here, except that it caters to a certain style of fan.

There are some good artifacts in this deck.  I am a fan of the colored artifact hammer thing here.  Of course we get the Sol ring, which I learned the hard way was banned in Modern…Hey.  It’s a great card.  Too great I guess.  Then there is the Swiftfoot boots.  An underpowered filler.  This is the kind of thing I groan about when I get it in a booster pack.  Yet every Commander deck in this set came with a copy of this card.  Why?

There are a lot of different kinds of land in this deck, but I thought I would share my favorite standouts here.

Mosswort Bridge is a “Hideaway Land.”  I had none of these before!  It’s cool!  Basically you get to exile some cards, and then you can play them much cheaper.  A great advantage for this deck especially, with its really high mana curve.  The Contested Cliffs card is aimed at that tribal beast flavor, forcing a fight between a one of your beasts and someone else’s probably weaker creature.

Blah Blah Blah.  Yes there are instants, sorceries, and enchantments.  But lets get down and see how the first match went.

I played the first match against three family members, each of which were playing one of the other decks unmodified, except for the Nekuzar the Mind Razer deck.  (The person playing this deck really wasn’t into it today anyway.)

I used Marath, but never casted him.  I did get to cast Mayael the Anima, twiche actually…(she was sent back to my hand.)  On about turn twelve, the Power Hungry deck was finishing everyone off…I mean, it’s hard to beat that big flyer, no matter how much “trample” you can get from your beasts.

Which confirms why my Magic color of choice is BLACK and not GREEN.  I disagree with that philosophy, to sort of quote Gideon.

Regardless, I got a great value for this deck.  I’m sure I will have many more wins to it.  But for now, I am putting it with the other decks, I HAVE A COMPLETE COLLECTION!

 

I am going to rate this deck 3/5, removing a point because there aren’t many flyers, or at least people with reach.  And removing a point because the commander is a MOOSE.  (the main reason I haven’t bought this deck is simply because of that.  I think I am going to nickname THE NATURE OF THE BEAST, “The Getalong Gang!”

What do you rate it?  Let me know by sending a comment, oh Hub City Geeks!

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SpartanNerd Review…Commander Unboxing…Evasive Maneuvers

Evasive Manuevers….Commander Deck Unboxing and Review.
Commander, or EDH (whichever you prefer,) is a format for Magic: The Gathering that people seem starved for…Usually they are trying to sneak in a round in between Standard tournament matches, etc.  I have been sort of puzzled by that…thinking it is fun…but is it that fun?
My experiences with Commander come from playing at home with my boys…no surprise really.  The games would tend to be longer, but otherwise, besides the “commander factor” the same and just as fun, just more restricted fun.  (You may only have one copy of each card in your 100 card deck, besides basic land)
BUT that was before this deck!  I think the reason I have had “meh” feelings about the whole thing is that my decks didn’t really “do anything.”  They were more of a collection of cards that I like…that were generally unplayable in standard for some reason.
So my first cohesive deck is one that I buy ready made, it it works great!
Evasive Maneuvers comes in this blister packaging,  You can see the oversized foil Derevi, Empyrial Tactician clearly.  Notice the price…I used a $10 coupon, so this cheapskate didn’t pay full price!  (I hear that Oloro’s deck is fetching around $100 on the internet!)

Here’s the back.  I didn’t read it.  But it is supposed to sell you on buying the deck.  Derevi is impressive enough for me, and I have been playing his colors in Standard for awhile.  (White, Green, and Blue, also known as Bant)

When you open the box, you see this.

and here are the contents, underneath the foils.

This deck comes with not only Derevi, but also two other Commanders,
Rubinia Soulsinger, and Roon of the Hidden Realms (A Rhino!).  The deck comes with a regular
card of these also, as they complete the 100 cards.
But clearly Derevi is the star!

Here is a picture of the deck list.

Here is some blurb about how to play the deck.

and a nice poster.

I wish I could have made it to a “serious” tournament before this review…unfortunately Christmas Singing obligations kept me away from the one at the Tangled Web today.  There are two more planned for the future that I know of, and I may be able to attend those and play this deck.

So my first match was against my oldest son, who is currently playing a self built Excava, Blood Witch Commander deck.  (See Excava here.)  It is an aggressive Rakdos strategy, and he uses a lot of burn spells and haste, as well as favors goblins.

I beat him soundly!  And on all fronts.  Here are the cards I used to do so….There are certainly more cards to see, however.

The Mistmeadow Witch got a lot of attention from some veteran players last night
as I showed off  the deck to the people at the Standard tournament at the TW.
Apparently, Kithkins were a big deal in former Magic sets.  This cards activated ability was the way I ousted Excava the first time.  He was never able to get her out again before I finished him off.  (I mean he could have..he chose not to)

This card is kind of a more powerful Tidebinder Mage.  It flys…so….He had no flyers.  

This is apparently a reprinted card from the ancient past of Magic.
I used this to cast Blue Sun’s Zenith, (not shown here).  But that instant put cards in my hand when I was starting to feel a lack of fun because I had no hand anymore.

I was delighted to get to play a “level-up” card.  This deck has two!  I had never played one before,
but have played against people that do at Modern tournaments.

This was one of my last plays.  It didn’t get to do much….

I put this card onto Dungeon Geists…I never had to use it, though.

I DID use this card…Sort of a Wrath of God.  And because I had the two tokens afterward,
they were part of me winning the game!

I mention this because one of the key things was that MANA WASNT A PROBLEM!
I used this spell to get Evolving wilds back out…(It was the only land card in my graveyard)

Rubinia made an appearance, giving me control of Krenko, Mob Boss.  My son really didn’t appreciate this, so he just burned her.  A key point to remember for the future…She’s not to hard to kill off.  AND, if she’s tapped, she isn’t doing much else, is she?

Thoughts on the match…Excava is no lightweight…But I just had more access to stuff.  I had out Darksteel Ingot, Basalt Monolith, and Selesnya Signet, in addition to 12 basic lands and Faerie Conclave and Bant Panorama.  By the end of the game…with the mana-fixing artifacts coming out early giving me the power to do just about anything I wanted.

This caused another problem, though.  My hand was empty for the mid-game.  And I was powerless to do anything but block and activate abilities, of which all I had was the Mistmeadow Witch and Derevi.  Derevi’s ability was great…He got sent to the command zone twice, and I was able to get him out cheap!  But my source of card draw came from SpartanSmurf #1 playing Sign In Blood, which got the Blue Sun Zenith into my hand, which I played at the end of his turn in response to him trying to remove Mistmeadow Witch…( I wasn’t able to counter him)

The game ender came after all this.  I got out Kirtar’s Wrath, and nuked everything.  He had more stuff out than me, so it was not biggie…This gave me the upper-hand with the two spirits, then I was able to also get Derevi out of the command zone.  At the END OF HIS TURN (So he was ready to attack next turn!  Then I played Aethermage’s Touch, which got out the Skyward Eye Prophets, and I got to play Curse of Predation.  SpartanSmurf #1 didn’t have much life left, so when I swung all-out, it was curtains for him!

Commander damage didn’t even figure into all of this…It was all regular damage!

Thoughts on what you get.…You get the three commanders…all Bant, so that’s cool.  I especially like the Rhino…Rhino’s are becoming one of my favorite animals.  (Maybe it is their big nose!)  Some of the cards in here are apparently lusted after by long-time players.  “Sol Ring,” for example.  You also get a pretty nice box…But it won’t fit your cards if you sleeve them…it is a snug fit as it is.

I am keeping the deck list for reference.  The Wizards are wasting paper by including the blue propaganda that comes with almost every Magic: The Gathering product.

My Rating…I give Evasive Maneuvers a 5 out of 5!  I can’t wait to get more of these decks….I have been hint dropping the SpartanWife for Oloro, Ageless Ascetic’s Esper Commander deck.  Basically, I see him as kind of like me…Sitting in that chair, He-Man’s sword leaned up by the side, drinking a Diet Dew, totally ripped (now I’m dreaming)