The 2016 Commander Oscar Winners

Oscar HeadLate last week, I threw out the nominations for the first annual Commander Oscars. I received a great deal of interest and now I can share those results. On social media I was asked several questions and why X card was snubbed. I’ll detail the answers as we go along.

First, I pulled information from EDHRec.com, a fantastic Commander resource where you can see information about what other people have put in their Commander decks. It was a judgment call from across the varies sets (cards from older sets have had more time to be used in more decks), but I tried to grab what I believed were the most used cards for each subsection. If you disagree, you can submit your own decks to EDHRec (which I suggest you do), but I feel as if it was seeing play in decks people are putting online then it must be good. It’s not an exact science, but neither are the Oscars.

Speaking of the Oscars, /u/ayjel89 suggested it should be named like the “Solies” for Sol Ring or off of some other well known Commander cards. Since this project was a success and I’m going to do more build up for next year, a real name should be used. I’m open for suggestions but I won’t look into next year until the next Oscar nominations. But a new award name will be chosen.

No one voted for the winner 100% of the time. The closet were five entrants that voted for the winner 81.9% of the time (Nine out of Eleven times). Zach from Twitter, Riley, Shai and Mark from Reddit and Brandon from Facebook. Be proud.

And now, the winners:

Set Design: Best Land
Blighted Woodland – Battle for Zendikar
Commander Beacon – Commander 2015
Haven of the Spirit Dragon – Dragons of Tarkir
Mage-Ring Network – Magic Origins
Shrine of the Forsaken Gods – Battle for Zendikar

Wastes/Mirrorpool were released in 2016 (strong shots for their nominations next year), and I tried to keep off mirror cycles (the Tango lands). The Blighted cycle was different enough.

Winner: Commander Beacon – Commander 2015

Achievement in Colorless Cards
Conduit of Ruin – Battle for Zendikar
Scour from Existence – Battle for Zendikar
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon – Fate Reforged
Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger – Battle for Zendikar
Void Winnower – Battle for Zendikar

Winner: Ugin, the Spirit Dragon – Fate Reforged

Art Direction: Best New Art on a Non-Standard Reprint
Boros Signet – Commander 2015
Decree of Justice – Duel Decks: Elspeth vs Kiora
Kiora, the Crashing Wave – Duel Decks: Elspeth vs Kiora
Primal Command – Duel Decks: Zendikar vs Eldrazi
Vendilion Clique – Modern Masters 2015

This was the closest race by far; out of 432 votes, only 25 separated first and second place. The biggest snub in this category was Mother of Runes from Duel Decks: Elspeth vs. Kiora. This was the only purely subjective category and you can certainly get mad at me for not including this art. Maybe because I’ve playing longer than the original art has been printed, but I didn’t like the new art. Would it have won? That’s a great debate.

Winner: Vendilion Clique – Modern Masters 2015

Best White Card
Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit – Dragons of Tarkir
Emeria Shepherd – Battle for Zendikar
Grasp of Fate – Commander 2015
Monastery Mentor – Fate Reforged
Tragic Arrogance – Magic Origins

Winner: Monastery Mentor – Fate Reforged

Best Blue Card
Clone Legion – Dragons of Tarkir
Mystic Confluence – Commander 2015
Reality Shift – Fate Reforged
Supplant Form – Fate Reforged
Ugin’s Insight – Battle for Zendikar

This really wasn’t Blue’s year for Commander. Clever Impersonator might have challenged the winner for this one. This was by far the most lopsided of all the categories.

Winner: Mystic Confluence – Commander 2015

Best Black Card
Crux of Fate – Fate Reforged
Dark Petition – Magic Origins
Ob Nixilis Reignited – Battle for Zendikar
Sidisi, Undead Vizier – Dragons of Tarkir
Zulaport Cutthroat – Battle for Zendikar

This had the most debate online. There was a group of players trying to decide between Dark Petition and Sidisi, Undead Vizier. Early on it was pretty even until the winner pulled away. Originally I had left off Legendary Creatures from colors that weren’t nominated as Commanders, but revisited it when I looked at how many people put Sidisi in their decks. Am I glad I did.

Winner: Sidisi, Undead Vizier – Dragons of Tarkir

Best Red Card
Flameshadow Conjuring – Magic Origins
Impact Tremors – Dragons of Tarkir
Outpost Siege – Fate Reforged
Mizzix’s Mastery – Commander 2015
Mob Rule – Fate Reforged

Winner: Mizzix’s Mastery – Commander 2015

Best Green Card
Evolutionary Leap – Magic Origins
Greenwarden of Murasa – Battle for Zendikar
Nissa, Vastwood Seer//Nissa Sage Animist – Magic Origins
Pathbreaker Ibex – Commander 2015
Shamanic Revelation – Fate Reforged

Green is the weirdest category for me this year. When I finally decided to allow Legendary Creatures, it knocked off what I was surprised for most used Green card: Shaman of Forgotten Ways. This was a judgment call that I didn’t think people wanted that effect because I didn’t think it was going to win. In fact, the card I thought was going to win because it was used in the most amount of decks, Shamanic Revelation, came in dead last. No one complained about Shaman missing though. Let me know if you did, then I can reevaluate my process for next year.

Winner: Evolutionary Leap – Magic Origins

From the Vault Lifetime Achievement Award
Akroma, Angel of Wrath

Every once in the while the Oscars give out a Lifetime Achievement Award for someone who never received an Oscar but their body of work is great enough for one. For the first year, I’m giving it to Akroma, Angel of Wrath. Akroma, for the longest time, was considered to be one of the best creatures in Magic. She was used in Vintage Oath decks, reanimator, anything that just needed a huge beat stick. When you have that many keywords on your card you’re going to gain a following. She won the mysterious 64 Legend Bracket DailyMTG hosted 10 years ago and I feel she would still do well if they held one today. She was the poster child for the Time Spiral Timeshifted sheet. When From the Vault: Angels was announced, she was basically a shoo-in. Printed in Legions, Time Spiral (Timeshifted sheet), Duel Decks: Divine vs Demonic, and From the Vault: Angels, Akroma hasn’t been resting, nor has she been dealing mercy for over 12 years. A huge contingent of fans, Akroma deserves this award.

Best Muilticolor Card
Bring to Light – Battle for Zendikar
Kiora, Master of the Depths – Battle for Zendikar
Narset Transcendent – Dragons of Tarkir
Savage Ventmaw – Dragons of Tarkir
Sire of Stagnation – Battle for Zendikar

All of the Devoid cards were considered for the mana symbols in their mana cost because they could only see play in those decks. Talk to the Rules Committee if you want that rule changed. This explains Sire of Stagnation’s spot on here even though it’s a “colorless” card. In the end, it didn’t matter.

Winner: Bring to Light – Battle for Zendikar

Prop Design: Best Artifact
Alahammarret’s Archive – Magic Origins
Blade of Selves – Commander 2015
Hedron Archive – Battle for Zendikar
Hero’s Blade – Fate Reforged
Sword of the Aminist – Magic Origins

The most commonly used Artifact in Commander 2015 is left off this list. Why? Because I just didn’t think anyone would vote for Thought Vessel. According to EDHRec, it’s used in more than 3 times more decks that Blade of Selves, but there’s five times more Thought Vessels than Blade of Selves. This one was close for a while until the winner pulled out an easy win.

Winner: Blade of Selves – Commander 2015

Best Legendary Creature as a Commander
Alesha, Who Smiles at Death – Fate Reforged
Ezuri, Claw of Progress – Commander 2015
Omnath, Locus of Rage – Battle for Zendikar
Meren of Clan Net Toth – Commander 2015
Tasigur, the Golden Fang – Fate Reforged

The second biggest snub was leaving off Mixx of the Izamgnus. I know Izzet players love the little Goblin Wizard but I couldn’t justify putting it on there when four other Legends from the same set had more decks (Meren, Ezuri, Karlov and Daxos). I explained that it was like Ex Machina being left off the Best Picture list this year (One of the best Sci-Fi I’ve seen in a long time). Does this mean I open up the biggest and most important category to more Legendary Creatures like the Academy does for Best Picture? Let me know, because this is one that I’m okay with opening up to more options; however, it will dilute voting if there’s too many choices to people to make.

Winner: Meren of Clan Net Toth – Commander 2015

And there you have it.

I want to thank to everyone who voted, all 441 of you. Without you, this wouldn’t have been possible. I would also like to say congrats to Jeremy on Twitter for winning the Original Magic Art Tokens. I’ll be contacting you on Twitter.

Agree? Disagree? Voice your opinion on Social Media, right here on the comments, or even at me on Twitter (@MTGColorpie – #CMDROscars). I’ll be tweeting more information about the ballot there over the next few days.

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