Aboshan, Cephalid Emperor
Legendary Creature — Cephalid
Tap an untapped Cephalid you control: Tap target permanent.
UUU: Tap all creatures without flying.
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Aboshan, Cephalid Emperor Discussion
11 months ago
I don't usually talk too much about rearranging the lower tiers because who cares, but I think that Rayne, Academy Chancellor could potentially move up to Tier 4. Before I explain why, I want to point out the assumption I'm making: That any mono-blue general in tier 4 is going to basically be a combo/control deck that aims to deal with early threats until it assembles enough combo pieces to go off with an infinite combo (Palinchron+Deadeye Navigator, Metalworker+Staff of Domination, Future Sight+Helm of Awakening+Sensei's Divining Top, etc.). I feel that this would be the best strategy overall for this archetype, even though you could go different directions with some other generals (Tromokratis voltron, Sun Quan, Lord of Wu midrange, that one Kaho, Minamo Historian+Mana Severance deck with a million upvotes, etc.). With that in mind, let's look at Rayne and the tier 4 generals and see which of them lend themselves well to that strategy.
- Rayne, Academy Chancellor - Being able to draw a card whenever one of your permanents is targets is a very good effect. This helps out a lot in the early/mid game when you have effects like Rhystic Study or Back to Basics that your opponents will want to deal with and it protects your mana rocks from spot removal. It also helps on the combo turn - if one of your combo pieces is targeted by instant speed removal, you can potentially draw into a counterspell. The downside to this is that the format naturally favors mass removal, but if every list is optimized then spot removal will likely be more common since it's more mana efficient. There's also the relatively minor issue that you'll almost never draw 2 cards off her ability, but if you really want to then you can run Diplomatic Immunity.
- Aboshan, Cephalid Emperor - Aboshan is a card that's at odds with itself. He wants to be a stax general, but he costs 6 mana and doesn't do much to help you ignore your own stax effects. He also has no utility for your combo win condition, and his second ability is basically just a glorified Fog. I'd say Rayne is better.
- Alhammarret, High Arbiter - 7 mana Meddling Mage. Rayne is better.
- Ambassador Laquatus - Of all the mono-blue generals, Laquatus lends himself to the combo/control strategy better than most of the others on this list because he's an infinite combo outlet. I know people are going to talk about how mill is weak, so let me pre-empt those comments by saying that the win condition for Laquatus is not to mill your opponents but to mill yourself and then play Laboratory Maniac. I'm hesitant to say that he's better than Rayne because they both serve different purposes, but I'd say they're about equal.
- Barrin, Master Wizard - His ability is too narrow to do a whole lot. He does go infinite with Palinchron+Genesis Chamber but overall I just think Rayne is better.
- Braids, Conjurer Adept - Braids doesn't really lend herself well to the combo/control archetype. She's more of a midrange general who wants to drop eldrazi into play, and she's quite good at it. Because the symmetry can backfire, I'm still going to say that Rayne is better, if only slightly.
- Empress Galina - Stealing Gaea's Cradle is great, but overall I think she's just too slow. Rayne is better.
- Ertai, Wizard Adept - In my opinion, having a draw engine is better than having a repeatable way to counter spells. Although you could argue otherwise, I'd say Rayne is better.
- Hisoka, Minamo Sensei - See above, only even more so since Hisoka requires a way to keep his hand full to be viable. Rayne is better.
- Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur - The most powerful effect of any mono-blue commander in tier 4 is attached to the highest mana cost of any blue legendary. This might be a controversial statement, but I would say that Rayne is as good if not better than Jin-Gitaxias, if only because she can come down much, much earlier.
- Kaho, Minamo Historian - Yes, yes, we all know about the Mana Severance deck, but that deck is extremely vulnerable to hate and will likely only work on opponents once. It's like Sidisi Ad Nauseam with no backup plan. I'd say that Rayne is better.
- Keiga, the Tide Star - As much as I love this guy, he costs too much mana and the effect is relatively weak in a multiplayer setting. I think Rayne is better.
- Lorthos, the Tidemaker - I feel like the only reason this guy isn't tier 5 is because he can 3-shot people with commander damage. Rayne is better for obvious reasons.
- Lu Xun, Scholar General - 4 mana Shadowmage Infiltrator. Actually, Shadowmage Infiltrator would be a better general simply because it would give you access to black. Anyway, this is kind of simiar to Rayne but it's inferior because it's slower and only draws you one card at a time.
- Patron of the Moon - Goes infinite with Amulet of Vigor but requires you to run a bunch of moonfolk if you want to cast it for a reasonable mana cost, none of which are particularly good except maybe Oboro Breezecaller. Still, I think that this is one of the few mono-blue commanders in tier 4 that is even or better with Rayne.
- Sun Quan, Lord of Wu - On the one hand, Horsemanship is an ability that is almost impossible for most decks to deal with and effectively makes all your creatures unblockable. On the other hand, 6 mana is pricey and swinging with creatures is generally not the most efficient way to win in a multiplayer setting unless you have access to Craterhoof Behemoth. Rayne is better.
- Tomorrow, Azami's Familiar - Very cool effect, but 6 mana is a lot and since your draws will be replaced it means you can't win with Laboratory Maniac. I'd say Rayne is better.
- Tromokratis - see Lorthos, the Tidemaker. Seriously, what are these guys doing outside of tier 5? They're not playable in any constructed format and they're barely playable in limited.
- Uyo, Silent Prophet - I hate to sound like a broken record, but 6 mana with a weak effect is just not good. Rayne is better.
- Vendilion Clique - The best card on this list outside of a multiplayer format. Very low impact in multiplayer though. Rayne just does more for you.
- Zhuge Jin, Wu Strategist - Sun Quan is better, and Rayne is better than both of them.
So to sum up, although there are some mono-blue commanders in tier 4 than Rayne, she is better than a large majority of them. For this reason, I believe Rayne should be tier 4 instead of tier 5.
1 year ago
These are all the Blue commanders I could find that weren't in your list:
Aboshan, Cephalid Emperor, Alexi, Zephyr Mage, Alhammarret, High Arbiter, Ambassador Laquatus, Blind Seer, Braids, Conjurer Adept, Chisei, Heart of Oceans, Cloudhoof Kirin, Empress Galina, Hakim, Loreweaver, Heidar, Rimewind Master, Higure, the Still Wind, Hisoka, Minamo Sensei, Ixidor, Reality Sculptor, Keiga, the Tide Star, Lady Sun, Linessa, Zephyr Mage, Llawan, Cephalid Empress, Lu Meng, Wu General, Lu Su, Wu Advisor, Meloku the Clouded Mirror, Mistform Ultimus, Muzzio, Visionary Architect, Myojin of Seeing Winds, Patron of the Moon, Reveka, Wizard Savant, Soramaro, First to Dream, Sun Ce, Young Conquerer, Sun Quan, Lord of Wu, The Unspeakable, Uyo, Silent Prophet, Vendilion Clique, Venser, Shaper Savant, Zhou Yu, Chief Commander, and Zhuge Jin, Wu Strategist.
1 year ago
1 year ago
Trying something a little different in hopes of speeding up the updating process of the list. I created a Google doc with a version of the list that's up to date with the changes that have been approved, along with a few movements in the lower Tiers that were needed but hadn't been discussed (Venser, Shaper Savant to tier 3, Aboshan, Cephalid Emperor to Tier 4, etc).
This is mainly an attempt to help make everyone more involved in the list who wants to be. Ideally, it will store all changes until either Gigi comes back or we finally decide to create a new official list. sonnet666, NoOneOfConsequence, Didgeridooda, MTGTCG, Leinahtan, and anyone else who actively makes contributions, if you'd like editing powers, just shoot me a message with your email.
Alternatively, if the Doc is too difficult to read, I'll also be keeping an up-to-date copy here on Tappedout. Link
The Tappedout list seems to be glitched though. It defaults to regular catagories, rather than the Tier lists. To get it to list by Tier, go to the 'ordering' dropdown and scroll down to 'Custom Catagories' at the bottom.
1 year ago
Here are the best commanders for each tribe for each color combination where possible (apologize in advance for repeating earlier comments, I just want to be thorough):
- : Atogatog
- : Stangg
- Any combination of colors: Reaper King
1 year ago
As you yourself mentioned, 7 mana is a hefty sum. It's hard to get to quickly and consistently (especially after the mulligan rule change). Occasionally faster decks will either lock the board or outright win before Omnath even resolves. At his cost, he should be immediately winning either the turn he's cast or the following. That's more or less how the current Tier 2 commanders are. Maelstrom Wanderer, Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind, Bruna, Light of Alabaster, Teneb, the Harvester, and just about every other Tier 2 commander with CMC 6 or higher usually wins the turn they're cast or the turn following.
Obviously, Omnath doesn't meet that requirement. Barring a perfect hand, he takes an average of about 3 turns to goldfish a win after he's cast. For that reason, I believe he should remain in Tier 3. He fills the requirements there much better.
Moving on. It's been a while since I made any kind of serious recommendations post.
There's been a lot of debate over the number of Tiers recently. The main argument is that, currently, Tier 3 is overly crowded. The easiest solution to this issue by far is to simply marginally raise the requirements of Tier 3, thus bumping a number of commanders down to Tier 4. This post aims to do that. At some point in the near future I will do a similar reevaluation of Tier 2.
TIER 3 RECOMMENDATIONS:
Aboshan, Cephalid Emperor --> Tier 4. This seems like an obvious demotion right off the bat. There aren't a huge number of playable cephalids, so the first ability, while theoretically useful, doesn't translate well to actual gameplay. The second ability is for sure useful, acting both as a Fog and as a potent prison tool with Static Orb, Embargo, and Meekstone. However, at six mana, Aboshan is already extremely slow. In addition, while he's good at tapping things, he's not terribly good at UN-tapping things, making him far more useful as one of the 99 than as an actual commander in that regard. Tier 4 seems much more suited to his power.
Akroma, Angel of Fury --> Tier 4. No reasoning needed.
Avacyn, Angel of Hope --> Tier 4. This suggestion was made a while ago. It would be great if we could more regular updates.
Baru, Fist of Krosa --> Tier 4. He requires an infinite landfall trigger combo, which is difficult and inefficient to assemble, especially in mono green.
Borborygmos Enraged --> Tier 4. He's extremely overcosted and takes far to long to win after resolving.
Bosh, Iron Golem --> Tier 4. See above.
Crovax, Ascendant Hero --> Tier 4. He's not quite strictly worse than Elesh Norn, but he's very, very close. Norn costs 1 more to cast and can't be bounced to hand, but she grants a larger buff, and doesn't help opponents running who are white creatures. She's significantly more powerful.
Dragonlord Atarka --> Tier 4. She's a big body that kills off a small utility creature or two when she enters. Not worthy of Tier 3.
Dralnu, Lich Lord --> Tier 4 for glaring weaknesses already stated.
Gahiji, Honored One --> Tier 4. Politics. Not a viable strategy.
Garza Zol, Plague Queen --> Tier 4. She does very little, despite costing a whopping 7 mana.
Hazezon Tamar --> Tier 4. 7 mana for a 2/4 and a handful of tokens in one of the worst color combinations for sac shenanigans. Terrible.
Homura, Human Ascendant --> Tier 4. He costs a hefty sum just to cast. He then has to die to start generating value.
Hua Tuo, Honored Physician --> Tier 4. He has a rather interesting graveyard interaction, but overall he's too slow and limited to do particularly well from my experience.
Jazal Goldmane --> Tier 4.
Jolrael, Empress of Beasts --> Tier 4. He has an interesting ability, but it's cost is far too steep to be useful.
Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund --> Tier 4. Junk except in a few select metas.
Kodama of the South Tree --> Tier 4. There are some combos and cute interactions, but not enough support to merit Tier 3.
Kolaghan, the Storm's Fury: Another borderline card that I haven't seen in action enough to definitively place. Tier 4 seems fair.
Kurkesh, Onakke Ancient --> Tier 4.
Lin Sivvi, Defiant Hero --> Tier 4. There are a fair number of rebels, but none of them are extremely powerful.
Lu Xun, Scholar General --> Tier 4. No explanation needed.
Mikaeus, the Lunarch --> Tier 4
Mirri the Cursed --> Tier 4.
Mogis, God of Slaughter --> Tier 4.
Molimo, Maro-Sorcerer --> Tier 4
Nylea, God of the Hunt --> Tier 4. She's alright with infinite mana, but there are far better outlets for that in green.
Ojutai, Soul of Winter --> Tier 4.
I'm running out of time, so I'm going to get a bit lazy.Patron of the Akki Patron of the Moon Pia and Kiran Nalaar Rasputin Dreamweaver Reki, the History of Kamigawa Sasaya, Orochi Ascendant Skullbriar, the Walking Grave Thraximundar Thrun, the Last Troll Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre Wydwen, the Biting Gale Xira Arien Yosei, the Morning Star Zo-Zu the Punisher all moved to Tier 4.
That's it for now. My only request is that, once you finish the latest round of revisions, it would be great if you could reset the discussion. Things are getting a bit insane.
1 year ago
I pulled Worn Powerstone for Hedron Archive a little while back, but the more cheap ramp there is, the better. I've also contemplated running Turnabout since it's a flexible spell and could help drop a fatty a few turns early or give it haste with some equipment. I probably won't cut Sapphire Medallion as it's been very handy mid to late game to get a few spells a turn off, or to just be able to hold up one island for a critical counterspell after playing something on curve earlier on. I'll consider Aboshan, Cephalid Emperor as it seems to be rather strong rattlesnake if I keep the mana open.
Thanks for the suggestions justnthrguy!
1 year ago
+1 Huge fan of your deck! As others have stated, this feels like it embraces the ideals of Commander 100%.
I agree with your comments about the 2cc mana rocks not being enough. Worn Powerstone seems like an omission that would be good, maybe over Sapphire Medallion or Cephalid Constable? The deck looks like it will mostly be casting a single spell per turn, which makes the Medallion less good (because then it acts more like a 2cc mana rock). The Constable seems like it would be better as a burst card draw spell without a way to make it bigger - but that's just my opinion.
As more early game control, might I point you to Aboshan, Cephalid Emperor? On theme, very powerful.
Again, very nice!