Today I present to the world the SpartanNerd’s third review of a Commander deck from the 2015 set. This deck is titled “Wade Into Battle,” and features a red-white color scheme and a nifty new general named Kalemne, Disciple of Iroas.” Read on for a complete review!
“Wade Into Battle” comes in the same kind of box as all of the other Commander decks from the past few years, featuring a large window showcasing the main card in the deck, oversized and in foil. The package has a nice red-yellow look too it, like fire, or glowing metal, or lava.
Flipping the box over reveals some of the cards from the deck, and an inspiring message. (All of the propaganda doesn’t really mean anything to me. My big question is “how fun is the deck?”)
I am going to go ahead and apologize. I had some technical difficulties with the pictures. I’m not sure how, but I took some pictures, and only some of the image ever made it through. Nothing too important, as this didn’t happen to the main part of the deck. But the unboxing pictures fell victim of this. Sorry! But I assure you, that the deck was packaged exactly like the other two decks I have reviewed.
You get a nice deck box, with a plastic tray (trash) and a guide to playing Magic (also trash.) You get a poster with a decklist and instructions, which I always keep. And the cards wrapped in cellophane.
Who is this general?
A double striking, vigilant giant 3/3 soldier!
This chick is ooooozing with flavor. Apparently in the early sets of Magic, there was a card called “Hill Giant.” And he was a 3/3 red creature. Kalemne captures that. She also captures the flavor of the Theros block, Iroas being the god of war in Theros, who also had a red-white color scheme. Double-Strike was prominently featured on cards during the Theros block as well.
It is the bottom ability that is all-new. With this set of Commander, we get a new thing called Experience Counters, counters for the player that are permanent. Poison Counters were the only kind of counters before this set. But Experience Counters are a positive thing, and Kalemne, Disciple of Iroas gets +1/+1 for each experience counter you have. And how do you get these? By casting creatures with a converted mana cost of five or greater. (It goes without saying, Kalemne must be on the battlefield for you to get the Experience counters.)
Sorry for the blurry pics. But we get two other possible commanders. Anya, Merciless Angel, and Gisela, Knight of Goldblade.
These other two generals want you to build around their abilities and the fact that they are ANGELS! Gisela is a reputable Commander. Anya is looking for other players to have a pretty low life-total.
Here are the cards. I am going to drop some commentary below each picture.
First of all, the RARES. These pre-constructed Commander decks always contain an incredible amount of rares! And notice the converted mana costs…most of them are five-or-greater!
Almost all of the creatures in this deck are GIANTS. I would say this was a tribal deck.
We get two Titans. You can’t sniff at any of the cards in that cycle! Blade of Selves is a money card in this deck, giving the person it is equipped to “Myriad.” This new mechanic causes all of your opponents to be attacked by a copy of the same creature it is equipped to. Unfortunately, Myriad is a dead ability if you are playing two player Commander.
Hostility is an incredibly fun card that can get you tokens…but you have to be able to cast spells that cause damage. Still, he is a 6/6 with a six CMC.
We get a giant legendary Leonin (to further add to the Theros flavor and offer a new white commander) and Hamletback Goliath. (This guy…they sell a promo version of him on three-pack sets at Wal-Mart…the packs are from Return to Ravnica block.)
Angel of Serenity…an Angel with an O-RIng ability for three creatures.
And tons more giants including Fumiko, the Lowblood…a legendary red creature with Bushido, and is a possible red general for another deck.
Here are the lands. (This is one of those pictures with the bug, luckily it was still usable.)
Teramorphic Expanse and Evolving Wilds are begging to be replaced by better fetches. Command Tower is dedicated commander fixing. There are a few dual lands, most entering the battlefield tapped…Boros Garrison is notable because it is a bounce land. We get two vivid lands, that also enter the battlefield tapped, but have charge counters so you can produce the other color if you need to. And cycle lands.
We get a new rare dual land this time…Ancient Amphitheater.
(I am not showing you the basic lands. They are…basic…)
With these huge CMC cards, there better be some ramp. And there is! This deck has a ton of MANA ROCKS. All of these are mana rocks except Lightning Greaves, which is equipment.
Notable here is Thought Vessel, a new mana rock that lets you have an unlimited hand size. Also Dreamstone Hedron, which reflects the current storyline in Magic. (The Current storyline is Battle for Zendikar/ Oath of the Gatewatch).
Other spells in this deck, and there aren’t that many, include Fiery Confluence, which is part of a new cycle where you can make up to three choices, and can choose something more than once. This is a powerful card in this format!
Earthquake is a sweeper, as is Breath of Dirigaz.
There aren’t that many instants…(I noticed in one of the other decks there were ZERO instants.) This time we get Crib Swap, which is just creepy. Also, Orim’s Thunder, which can really hurt voltron style players.
Finally, this time I am going to show you the tokens. They are double sided as in the other decks. Here is the front side and back side.
$$$THE VALUE OF THE CARDS$$$
Not much here. Blade of Selves is the money card for this deck. I looked up the value of everything I thought might be worth something. Nothing else really. The titans here are under three dollars. Rumiko the Lowblood is also. Turns out that our “new” leonine giant is a reprint. Gisela isn’t worth much. And Kalemne is worth less than a dollar.
So if you are in the game for money, this deck isn’t for you!
EXPERIENCES PLAYING THIS DECK.
The first match was against “Call the Spirits.” This deck came out the winner! Call the Spirits created many tokens, but Earthquake took them out, and then the giants coming in after that were just too much.
Matches two and three were solitaire against “Defeat a God” and “Face the Hydra.” The first deck was just too much, too fast…several times in a row. The Hydra deck was a blast..giant hydras against giant giants! But Kalemne came out the winner.
“Forged In Stone” from Commander 2014 lost in a similar way to “Call the Spirits.” Tis time is was Breath of Diregaz, followed by Kalemne herself and a few angel friends crunching in behind. The thing about Breath of Diregaz, when it is kicked, it only deals four damage to each creature. SO….the giants and angels survive through that!
And finally, a matchup against “Plunder the Graves,” this time piloted by the SpartanKid. He discovered a combo, and made a REAL challenge for “Wade into Battle.” The combo went like this. Champion of Stray Souls plus Kraul Death Priest plus Terastodon= Churning through the graveyard to create card advantage. Terastodon continually destroys things and replaces them with 3/3 green elephants. I managed to break this combo by playing Angel of Serenity and exiling all three pieces of the combo. It had taken awhile for the SpartanKid to get that combo going, and so he was at a low life-total. Unfortunately so was I. But I top-decked Fiery Confluence for the win!
SPARTANNERD’s RATING OF “WADE INTO BATTLE.”
It took me awhile to get this review out. I haven’t had that much of a chance to play. I also had issues with the pictures. But it has been fun every time. Kalemne is a great commander who makes great use of those experience counters.
The deck could have a better mana base. And I wish the wizards would have printed the cycle of temples for us this time. The new dual land is perfect for this deck. And the inclusion of all those mana-rocks…that’s just dumb. There should be a better way, or at least better mana rocks. Why not Boros Keyrune, which can become a creature? Why no man-lands? If you are going to have fixers enter the battlefield tapped, they should do something. Guildgates are useless outside of limited.
But the creatures in this deck are fun. It is good to have no less than five legendary creatures.
And that ton of rares was also nice.
Like I mentioned, Myriad is useless against a single player. You have to have multi-player games for that to matter.
But like I said, the deck has been fun overtime. So I am going to rate it a cautious 4/5, because of the strange mana base. But it is a winner, and is fun.
Do you agree or disagree…let me know in the comments, oh Hub City Geeks!