|Commander / EDH||Legal|
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|Battle for Zendikar (BFZ)||Uncommon|
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Breaker of Armies
Creature — Eldrazi
All creatures able to block Breaker of Armies do so.
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Breaker of Armies Discussion
3 weeks ago
I mean, we should probably talk about that big ol' elephant in the room: Banding.
Banding is one of those abilities that should work. There are plenty of absurdly powerful combos you could assemble--I've always thought a combination of Breaker of Armies, Stuffy Doll, and Cooperation would be rather fun. On defense, a creature with banding can completely block a creature with trample, which is absurdly good, particularly given the numerous ways of giving creatures indestructible.
Now, it's pretty clear that I love the concept of banding, but there are several reasons why I do not think it worked.
Banding requires tremendous support to excel on offense, but is from an era of Magic where cards tended to be less complex. There really are not any creatures that both have banding and a way to abuse it.
Wizards had not quite figured out how to cost creatures with abilities when banding was released. 1/1s with banding (Benalish Hero and Timber Wolves) for 1 mana is quite reasonable--this is a card you want to throw in front of a trample user to buy you time. But it will not really help you much on offense. But once you start getting larger creatures like Benalish Infantry, the cost feels wrong--you're paying far too much for an ability that heavily requires other cards.
Often times, banding creatures together makes them worse in combat. There are some combos you can use, but none of those combos work well with the existing set of banding cards.
It's a wordy nightmare. I'm no stranger to complex legalese, and banding still gives me a bit of a headache.
While nothing else really compares to banding's blocking ability, there are far, far better pseudo banding options for offense such as Odric, Master Tactician.
The current selection of banding cards are far, far too slow for Legacy and Vintage, leaving only Commander. There are only two legendary creatures with banding. Ayesha Tanaka is just terrible, with a small body for 4 mana and an extremely situational ability. Soraya the Falconer has a wonderful ability to confer banding... but only to birds--a tribe which does not really have the support necessary to break banding.
1 month ago
Simic are the colours with least removal. I'll just write all I know for the sake of completion, some of them are already in your deck.Rapid Hybridization
Pongify same card, different name.
Beast Within Pongify for any permanent.
Reality Shift my personal favorite, exiling is king.
Curse of the Swine High mana cost, but you clean the board like a boss.
Titan's Presence Just perfect for this deck.
Scour from Existence Expensive but it gets any job done.
Helvault Also expensive but reusable.
Brittle Effigy Just another option.
Amulet of Unmaking It's actually a pretty bad card, but its charm is second to none, that matters.
Ovinize I count polymorphing spells definitely as removals, but the problem is you will need some help to kill them. They work best on decks with smaller creatures that let the opponent think they can attack or block safely.
Turn to Frog
Snakeform Personal favorite, the card it gives back is a big deal.
Song of the Dryads Great to trap Commanders with no access to enchant removal.
Imprisoned in the Moon Blue version of the previous one, almost as good.
Hour of Need Not designed to be a removal, most of the time it will be a bad card, but sometimes creatures are so badass that giving them a Sphynx instead is a good deal.
There are also a ton of "gain control" spells that I'm not going to list down today, they are also removal.
It's hard to tell what to cut, you are the one experiencing the deck and your meta, you know which cards are more often dead in your hand. You may be a bit high on counterspells. Let me check the list...
I'd cut Not of This World definitely your worst counterspell, meant for other colours, not blue or green.
The counters of creature spells have the perk of working on really dangerous creatures that are unkillable in the battlefield or have a problematic "enters the battlefield" abilities, but IMO are worse than removal because they offer only one opportunity to get rid of the creature. You can hold to your removal spells and wait until the creature is attacking you, with a bit of luck it will attack other players (you have huge eldrazis anyway) and maybe they spend their own removal on it. So I'd cut Essence Scatter and Deny Existence.
Serendib Sorcerer a polymorph (not the best kind of removal for this deck) on the battlefield that has summoning sickness and toughness 1 and will be killed with any pinger and will die as collateral damage of any earthquake-like card.
Blighted Agent you only have two cards to buff it up and no prolipherate and Blightsteel Colossus don't really need his help. It will take him forever to kill a player on his own. Also infect creatures are frown uppon, but that doesn't matter to the guy running Winter Orb.
Bow of Nylea Deathtouch from the bow in your deck is good with Blightsteel Colossus and Soul of New Phyrexia for their trample and with Breaker of Armies to kill everything. The +1/+1 counters are only OK on the Blight Agent. The damage to flyers will be most of the time useless. The graveard hate is nice but inefficient. I'd say this card in your deck is underperforming.
1 month ago
Banding is one of the most interesting mechanics in Magic's history. Tons of versatility, and could theoretically lead to some interesting plays on the right creatures. Unfortunately, it is a wordy and poorly understood mechanic, and fell out of favour as a result. I've always been disappointed in the complete lack of useful legendary creatures with banding.
Breaker of Armies is a card I would consider. While it is costly to cast, it synergies quite well as a finisher in banding decks. Combined with a banding creature, you can punch through all your remaining creatures. Where it gets nasty is when you give it banding through Formation or Cooperation. You can redirect the totality of their damage on a chump blocker or an indestructible creature (bonus points if that creature is Stuffy Doll).
Nemesis Mask performs the same function at a more reasonable casting cost.
1 month ago
To be honest if you have a few of All Is Dust you dont need to worry if creatures need to be blocked or are unblockable, once one of those nasty spells resolve when you have other spells suspended is where you usually either take the lead or cripple everyone.
Things I would cut...
Bearer of the Heavens, Veiling Oddity, Tromokratis, Timebender, Deep-Sea Kraken, maybe Jori En, Ruin Diver, Breaker of Armies, Colossus of Akros, Teleportal, Invoke the Firemind, Blustersquall, Psychic Spiral, and Mizzium Skin.
Also I noticed you don't have any tutors in the deck... I would look into those...
2 months ago
2 months ago
Following up here, since the card creation thread is not really a place for discussion.
I actually like the idea of a commander with banding, and have been advocating for same for a while now. Personally, I find it one of the more interesting abilities in Magic--just one that was poorly distributed on a number of mediocre cards with misguided converted mana costs. On offense, you could theoretically have interesting interactions like Breaker of Armies + Stuffy Doll + Banding. On defense, a single 1/1 with banding can completely block a 100/100 with trample.
Its versatility, and the number of options it gives for deckbuilding is incredibly interesting.
Anyway, since you had made a remark on the subject, I was curious to hear your thoughts as to why it would not make for an interesting commander.
2 months ago
I agree with SteelSentry's suggestion of banding, though I know it is a bit of an unpopular one (most people I've talked to about my desire for banding's return either roll their eyes, complain about how wordy the rules text is, or ask "what the heck is banding?").
Currently, there are two legendary creatures with Banding-based abilities, neither of which is viable in commander. Ayesha Tanaka is a measly 2/2 with an extremely poor ability (especially in multiplayer), which still costs you 4 coloured mana. Soraya the Falconer's ability to give others banding is nice, but mono-white birds are a terrible tribe--the vast majority of them are older cards, and are incredibly poorly costed for what you receive. Further, very few, if any, of these creatures really benefit from banding.
Now, why banding?
On defense, banding is extremely powerful, and provides a hard stop to creatures with trample (if the defending player blocks a creature with banding, they can choose to assign all damage to their creature, rather than have some trample over. A 1/1 with banding can block the totality of a 500/500 trample creature's damage).
But on offense is where it gets fun. For example: Breaker of Armies + Banding gifted to it by the commander + Stuffy Doll = all your other creatures successfully do damage; you assign all their blocker's damage to an indestructible creature; you reflect the blocker's damage back on target player.
2 months ago
At the risk of voicing an unpopular idea, I would love to see a deck which utilizes Banding. Currently, there are only two possible commanders with Banding--Soraya the Falconer, who is limited to a mediocre tribe, and Ayesha Tanaka, whose ability is quite substandard.
The mechanic itself provides some interesting possibilities, but is from an era where cards tend to be under-powered and vastly over-costed. Banding does some cool things on the defense, including providing immunity from trample damage. On offense, it would be really fun to band a card like Breaker of Armies with Stuffy Doll.
Since the mechanic is a bit of a wordy mess, we are never going to see it released in a standard-legal set. However, given Commander's more laid-back environment, it seems the perfect place for a limited re-release of the mechanic.