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!

ETERNAL BARGAIN Commander Deck….Unboxing and Review

HOORAY!  The SpartanWife got me the OLORO, AGELESS ASCETIC DECK!

First of all, I thought OLORO must be the commander for me when I first saw the artwork on the card!  He’s just kicked back, relaxing, and directing a win!  (I first saw the card in the store at the Tangled Web.)

As far as a product, it is more or less exactly the same as the Derevi deck that I already reviewed as far as the packaging and presentation are concerned.  The SpartanSmurfs  both got a commander deck also(Mind Seize and Power Hungry), and they are all boxed the same, with a different set of instructions specific to their deck, a different color box for storage, and three oversized commander cards.  I might get to review their decks as well, if they don’t mess them up too bad.

Back to OLORO.

You are always gaining life with this deck.  And the cards included count on that, as many of them say “Pay X life…” as a cost for their effect.

This is what the box looks like.  You can clearly see the three colors, White, Blue, and Black, “Esper.”  The purple coloring is a good compliment, though it doesn’t mean anything else to me.  My boys were puzzled by the purple…all of the other commanders have a color of box that represents one of the REAL colors of magic.

Here’s the back.  It’s just propaganda.

All that hype aside…you open the box and see something LIKE this.  Only this isn’t the correct product.  This is what POWER HUNGRY looks like inside. not ETERNAL BARGAIN.  How did this happen?  Regardless of how I swapped out the pics accidentally, I assure you it looks like this when you open it.  You get a nice box that perfectly fits the deck….at least when the cards are sleeveless.  Three big foil cards.  And two pieces of paper.  You might as well throw the blue one away.  The other one is specifically for the deck it came with.

ETERNAL BARGAIN came with this commander on top.  OLORO, Ageless Ascetic, of course.  Read it and weep.  Basically, unless someone is playing EREBOS, GOD OF THE DEAD, you gain life constantly.  Notice the art too.  This is what struck me first.  I am an art kind of guy!  I have studied this picture several times, and am finding new things.  Notice the bandolier he is wearing…He’s a giant…He has regular sized human weapons strapped to that bandolier!

You also get this sqinx as an alternate commander.  This deck plays lots of artifacts, so this card approaches that angle.

This card also tackles the artifact angle.

This poster comes with the deck.  It is pretty, but this side doesn’t accomplish much but tell you some fantasy story that surrounds Oloro.

This side accomplishes a lot!  You get a very light summary of how to play the deck, and then the deck list.

Here is the deck list alone, if you want to try and read it.

OK, already.  What cards are in the deck?  Well, I have played the deck twice against the SpartanSmurfs, and am going to play in a more “serious” tournament tomorrow.  But I have kind of an idea how this is supposed to work.  I have a self designed life drain deck, and this accomplishes that, but on a commander scale…It could definitely be improved, but I am keeping it vanilla for awhile.  (I am just playing what was here, at least until a second more serious tournament.)

AZORIUS.  Enough said.  But cool enough, both times I have played this deck, he wound up in the graveyard, and I was able to cast him from there and get the life gain benefit!

Great card if it didn’t get burned off 😦

There is one of these in every Commander deck apparently.  This is a great card, and legal in modern!

This card is one of the staples of my self designed life gain deck.  The fact that she can give you life and burn EACH opponent is great!  She can be burned easily, though, and her abilities are indeed a tad expensive.

Sorry about the sideways action.  I didn’t get to use the ability on this card, but it is a source of card draw.

A slow source of mana….

This card is normally a complete board wipe.  Get rid of those indistructibles and hex proofers!

Same as Azorius Herald, I was able to cast this from the graveyard.  But I have never been able to pay the echo cost.  It has always appeared in the early game.

I’m glad to own this!  A panorama card comes with each Commander deck.

I played this today, I like it…But I held off and used the tokens as blockers.

Heh Heh.  Drop this onto a commander…He becomes utterly useless!

Another good source of life gain.

Now we’re talking!  A board sweeping artifact!

A big drain spell.  I usually wait ’til the very end to play stuff like this.

The OLORO deck has lost both matches…I think it’s me, not the deck.  Proshk, Sky Raider of Kherr is the one that did me in, with the commander damage rule.  Oloro pretty much forces your opponent to swing with his commander, because there is probably no way that your 40 life is going to be whittled down.

I am not going to rate this deck…  Compared to Derevi, it hasn’t won as much.  On the other hand, these are more of my natural colors…I like this deck, and love the art!  Darksteel Mutation is maybe the best card for a commander, and then the Vizkopa Guildmage also really makes it work.


Last night I played the deck at the Commander tournament…It was my first EDH tournament ever.  And each match was exceeding long.   Oloro as a Commander makes you into a target…not so much as Nekusar (SpartanSmurf #1 found this to be the case).  Just the same, Oloro did what he was supposed to.  I should have won the first match.  I played Sanguine Bond, and then a few turns later Filigree Angel.  I forgot to call the trigger.  So it was my fault.  I didn’t make good draws during round two, and SpartanSmurfs were tired out by the time that was over…

Next time I am plain Derevi.  Or maybe I will tweak this deck.  Drain is one of my favorite styles.  It just tends to be slow.  I should maybe tweak this some.