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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, 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.

The Complete Commander – Designing Commander

Complete Commander - CoverAuthor’s Note: Some of you don’t know this if you don’t follow me on Twitter or have read My daughter that was born 15 weeks early right before Thanksgiving so my attention turned to her and away from Magic (and especially from blogging) for a while. Luckily, is doing fantastic now. She’s still in the NICU and will be until sometime in March; she’s only 8 weeks old. Catherine is now over 3 pounds, which is up dramatically from her birth weight of 1 pound 5 oz. All she needs is more time and to gain more weight, but we’re on the right track. I’ll start posting on both sites again (because I didn’t want to just restart this blog for one post again), but it’ll be sparingly for a while. I wanted to tell you Commander fans about this as well which is why I crossed posted this post.

The exciting news coming out today is the release of Bennie Smith’s new Commander eBook: The Complete Commander. I was able to get an early copy of it, and it’s fantastic. If love Commander or want to get started, get this book. Bennie and MJ Scott did a wonderful job putting the book together and with all of the artwork from James Arnold (that awesome artwork you see on it just blows you away.

Do I want a hardcover of this book? Yes please.

What Bennie and MJ have done is gathered a ton of Commander related content and jammed it into this book. You want sample decklists? Done. How about strategy? In here too. Commander Deckbuilding 101? Got you covered. Maybe a little short story fiction? Right there with you. A glossary and a list of Commander staples? Yes, this book has everything.

And it’s $10. $10? That’s less than a booster draft. It’s criminal of you not to own it at that price.

But it’s not just Bennie’s words in this ebook. Just as Commander is a community format, this is a community book. There are a ton of players who have written in with their favorite Commander moments. Other members of the Commander community have written short stories, just like Star City Game’s Vorthos expert John Dale Beety. Gathering Magic’s Content Editor and Daily MTG’s Command Tower author Adam Styborski wrote the introduction. Level Five judge and “Godfather” of Commander Sheldon Menery wrote the foreward.

Oh, I wrote something as well.

To to continue reading…

Paying Two More Mana – Yes, I’m Back

In Every Commander Deck

I did decide to play the two extra mana to recast myself for resuming this blog. Most of you don’t really need a reason, and that’s fine. I’ve done some growing up since a few months ago (the list time I wrote here) and I would just like to say a few words and let you get ready for Monday.

No, I’m not leaving (Formally In fact, let me be the first to tell you that I’m no longer going to be published on Mondays. Trick (My main editor and head honcho over at GM) is actually moving me to Thursdays; Monday will be my last Monday there. I would really encourage you to check it out as there is a pretty neat surprise. Does it have to do with the upcoming Commander product? It just might.

But starting this blog up again I can do some silly and fun things that I couldn’t do over at GM. It’s not that Trick is mean or anything, but I bet he would’ve been less than amused at my foils piece that I did Wednesday without some writing to go along with it. Yes, I will do some small stuff like that and some extra notes about what I’ve written about over on GM. No matter what I write, and how long I’m given, I always think of stuff to add later, and this will be a perfect spot.

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Big Surprise Time – I’m Writing for ManaNation

Yes readers, I am now a published writer on one of the big Magic sites. Huzzah! Right?

I’ll answer a few questions that you may have. Yes, you in the back.

Is this the end of 99EDH?

No, it’s not. I’m still going to write here now that I’ve more of a set schedule (more on that in a minute). I’m currently working on editing the SOM EDH review that Derfington wrote and that will be up Monday or Tuesday. Seriously, I’ve blocked time off and everything to finish it. PLUS, several submitted posts that people have sent in will finally see the day of light.

Trick (who’s the main editor at, wants me to write the same stuff that you’d see here. There will be some more stuff on 99EDH that won’t appear on ManaNation simply because I don’t think that they’re long enough to be an article worthy length. Think “How to Non-Lethally Get Rid of a General” and its ilk.

While this does change some of the ideas I wanted to do with 99EDH, maybe I’ll just get to them in a little while.

How does this benefit me (the reader)?

Very good question. What you’ll get is a weekly column by me. Yes, no longer waiting to see if I post something every few weeks as been the case lately. By having someone to report to that hold me accountable, I will have to meet a deadline. It’s not like the guilt of you guys leaving me comments asking me when the next post wasn’t helping; I had to fit it into my life when I could (You’ll see a post about that on MTGCP this week, hopefully). This way, it forces me into writing it for you. It’s like when you have a personal trainer, you need someone to help push you. Trick is going to do the same thing for me.

Every Monday, when you head into another awful workweek, you can sit down at your office and read a new post of mine.  No more complaining, you’ll just get it. Awesome, right?

You’ll see the intro paragraphs here, like you normally would. But, if you want to read the rest of it, you’re gonna have to head over to I can’t post the whole thing over here for obvious reasons.

Bonus: Since I love you guys so much, you can help dictate what you want written over there. While I have some ideas, you’re free to suggest some here. If there’s something you would like tackled that you haven’t read before, suggest it. I’ve been meaning to talk about a 1v1 banned list, multi-player politics, etc. I’m not saying you didn’t have an ear before, but now you can suggest stuff and see your name in a big time Magic site.

As always, you can e-mail me (mtgcolorpie_AT_GMAIL_DOT_COM) or find me on twitter (@mtgcolorpie). I’m always open to your feedback.

So, now we’ll get back to some regular posting. I know you’ve missed it; I’ve missed it too. You guys have certainly grown on me. After all, last week was the 1 year anniversary of 99EDH and we didn’t celebrate it. But we’ll get back to normal around here soon enough.

The Inside Outside World of 99EDH

Hey everyone.

Yes, I know that 99EDH hasn’t been updated in a while. I can’t apologize enough for that. Like everything, things got busy, posts were half written and life happened. Let me tell you this: something exciting is going to happen soon. I can’t let it out of the bag just yet, but I think you’ll be happy with the results.

As for new content, Derfington has stepped in and written the Scars of Mirrodin EDH review that I’m currently editing and adding my own thoughts. If I don’t get it up tonight, it will be up Wednesday or Thursday (due to real life events that you know if you read

So, please just hold tight a little longer. I promise it will be worth it.

– Robby

Competitive Casual – Mama Said Knock You Out

With a face only a mother could love. Wait...

Editor’s Note: It’s the time again. Fan favorite Jake Kessler is back once again with a new EDH post. This was originally seen on the highly recommended Magic Deck Vortex and on Jake’s on blog, Competitive Casual, and is being published here with permission from both of them. I kept wanting to write the title as Mana Said Knock You Out.

I have a few EDH decks together at any given time; I think at present I have about five or six. This time, my general is a real mother.

I’m certainly not the only person ever to make a Wort deck, and there are several clear directions a deck builder might run with her. But let’s do something a little differently for this article. Rather than break down the deck, let’s first break down the general.

So what sort of card, exactly, is Wort the Raidmother?

#1 – She’s a Mirari

Perhaps the flashiest aspect of Wort is her conspire ability. Players have always been excited by opportunities to copy spells, from Fork in Alpha all the way up to Echo Mage in Rise of the Eldrazi. This is especially true in EDH, where longer games and multiple opponents mean really big spells have the potential to be truly powerful.

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June 2010 EDH Bannings

Gone, Baby, Gone

Oh, some changes that people were clamming for happened. Let’s get right down to them:

Refellos, Llanowar Emissary – BANNED AS A GENERAL

Channel – BANNED

Staff of Domination – BANNED

Tolarian Academy – BANNED

From the Official EDH Website:

It’s clear that especially in the post-Eldrazi world, super-fast, super-reliable early mana production is dangerous to the format. Rofellos, Channel, and Tolarian Academy have all demonstrated they can do this with quite a bit of ease.

Unbanning Rofellos as a General was a year-long experiment that didn’t pan out. We had hoped it would lead to a spate of fun-and-full-of-fat decks, but that wasn’t the case. First- or second-turn Channel into Emrakul or similar things are simply negatively format-warping. Tolarian Academy, while not quite as explosive as the Rofellos and Channel, fuels easy early-game super-production of mana.

We’ve had our eyes on Staff of Domination for a long, long time, and were hoping that someone would find uses for it that didn’t include the term ‘degenerate.’ That hope proved fruitless. Strangely enough, it’s the first and cheapest activation that has proved the most troublesome.

The watchword of the Rule’s Committee’s vision of the format is ‘interactive.’ We’d like to foster an environment where ridiculous things happen, but that everyone playing has a chance to do them. Early, reliable, hyper-production of mana often leads to a single player playing by himself and others watching, and that’s not what we want for EDH.

My Thoughts:

They’re absolutely right.

With the creation of the Eldrazi, getting easy mana to cast these big beasts early did hurt games, but you had to do it in order to keep up with the Jones’. While I’m sad that Channel has now got to go ruining my Verdeloth deck (is it time to take it apart now?), I see why it has to go. I was wondering why it was still left in the format but now it’s gone. The Refellos experiment was going okayish until Eldrazi came out and I’m surprised it took this long to see Academy axed. Staff of Domination never was used in a casual sense but always a degenerate combo one. None of these changes is a bad move.

These bannings take effect June 20th. Changes to the Banned List have been made.

Building a 5-Color Mana Base on a Budget

This article actually has nothing to do with Cromat.

So I had a dream about Cromat one night. Its awkward, bulbous head peered out of its card’s gold frame and, with its mournful eyes and undersized fairy wings, wailed, “Why does no one play me in EDH? I’d be a great general!”

I didn’t have the heart to tell Cromat that Progenitus could knock the snot out of him any day of the week. But I like a good underdog story, so I decided to join his corner. “You’re gonna be a contender, Crome-Dome,” I assured the giant, bulb-headed, wussy-winged wurm-thing. “I’ll turn you into a champ!”

(Normally I dream about being Batman, so I consider this experience entirely grounded and ordinary.)

This ephemeral journey into the depths of my unconscious produced a spark of inspiration to create my first 5-color EDH deck. I found two main challenges in building a successful rainbow deck: forming a cohesive strategy, and building a proper, consistent mana base. This article was originally going to talk about my strategy for Cromat, but I didn’t think it would be as original or insightful as talking about building a mana base for a 5-color deck.

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Guest Post: Competitive Casual – Fear the Reaper

Needs more Cowbell

Editor’s Note: Jake from Competitive Casual has graciously allowed 99EDH to repost another one of his EDH articles. After a little formatting to get the article to fit this blog, it’s up. Enjoy! (And, since I love so much, my favorite Reaper King related comic.)

This deck is my first five-color deck I can remember making, and certainly my first in EDH. I’ll explain what the deck is trying to do and the different types of cards I’ve chosen to include in a minute, but first go ahead and check this bad boy out…

Now, Wizards of the Coast has printed quite a few five-color legendary creatures over the years: Karona, False God; Horde of Notions; Child of Alara; even Scion of the Ur-Dragon. Any of these would have made fine Generals for this deck, and allowed me to use any color of cards that I wanted. So why Reaper King?

Other Scarecrow creatures you control get +1/+1.
Whenever another Scarecrow enters the battlefield under your control, destroy target permanent.

Well, the reason I chose the hulking Scarecrow lord rather than any of these other fine gentlemen (or gentle-women… wasn’t trying to exclude you, Karona) may not be what you think. It really boils down to this card, a little-used mythic rare from Alara Reborn:


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Guest Post: Competitive Casual – Harvest Time!

Celing Dragon is watching you...

I’ve been dabbling in EDH for awhile now; my friend Shawn got me into it towards the end of the summer as a less costly way than Standard to approach Magic players in a new city where I had few friends and needed a way to meet people. Although I’ve built a few decks in that time, my favorite general to work around has definitely been Teneb, the Harvester from Planar Chaos‘s cycle of alternate wedge-colored “younger dragon legends”. Teneb hits a lot of my favorites as a deckbuilder: he’s a strong enough beatstick for multiplayer, he puts me in colors I enjoy playing, he’s reanimation… and he’s three colors. You may not know this about me, but my favorite color of Magic is gold. (The last sixteen months playing with Alara block have been a lot of fun for me.)

I’m going to break my deck down into sections so I can talk about different aspects of it and how I went about designing them. Hopefully, that will be more effective than just dumping the whole list on you and rambling about a handful of random cards.

Whenever Teneb, the harvester deals combat damage to a player, you may pay 2B. If you do, put target creature card in a graveyard onto the battlefield under your control.

Let’s have a look, shall we?

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