Un-Commander is like, totally aspirational for me. Silver-Bordered and stupid cards are some of my favorite parts of Magic: The Gathering, and yet it’s such a rare thing for them to actually, you know, actually get used in any point.
(This article once implied I’d write a ton of blogs about MTG and never really did. You probably expected that. Hopefully I prove y’all wrong in the near future though.)
Here’s a good video, although it’s feature-length. It mentions Un-Commander pretty briefly!
There’s been 4 un-sets, soon to be 5, as well as other fun stuff like Mystery Booster Test Cards, the Holiday cards, or the Heroes of the Realm cards. A lot of these sets, especially Unstable, have been very well-received, too!
But for some reason, casual players refuse to engage beyond the sets themselves. Wizards of the Coast refuses to include them in any significant way, either. They never show up in Magic the Gathering Online or Arena, and they basically never see reprints even when really expensive or really funny.
But, as Mark Rosewater rants in the video above, why? A lot of these cards are really funny, and a lot are downright really fun. Ever since I discovered weird stuff like Mana Screw or The Countdown is At One, I’ve always really wanted to play them in full-on Un-Commander!
Well, first of all… I don’t get to play paper Magic much in the first place. One of the anti-perks of living in the middle of nowhere with no friends who play. (At least, at the time of this writing! Hopefully by the time this posts I’ll be in a better way.) If I do get to play, I’m not going to be picky. Un-Commander isn’t even a glimmer of thought in most people’s eyes, so I won’t try to bend Rule 0 to its limits just to try and get my Contraption Matters deck going out.
And yet, it all sucks because there’s so many great Un-Commander cards out there! That link took a lot of search parameters to actually bring everything up, so please click on it and browse the very cool Un-Commander designs. Sadly, this list also brings up cards that WILL be legal but aren’t released yet, so keep in mind the cut-off point. At the moment, there’s about 45 actual Un-Commander commanders to choose from.
It’s not like silly or bizarre cards are a problem; that all went out the door the moment we got a Chun-Li card with multikicker. The only thing preventing these cards from being popularly played now is that silver border. Which, outside tournament play, really doesn’t matter!
It sucks because EDHRec won’t even list silver-bordered cards as existing. Can’t well look up Richard Garfield brew stats when searching him brings up nothing. Even in deck-building sites, there aren’t options to make Un-friendly decks without all those bright glaring symbols and colors going, “NOPE this ain’t legal.”
Some of the possible commanders would totally screw up the game, I get that. But come on! It’s not like we haven’t had non-Commander creatures come out and be way too powerful before.
Honestly, it’s totally possible to achieve my dreams, with the right playgroup. Just gotta find the right people dumb enough to want Hero cards fully allowed. But finding that is a lot harder than you’d think.
Maybe with the impending release of Unfinity, with its hybrid acorn/legal approach, Un-Commander will suddenly get a lot more popular. Maybe websites will even add it as a format option, too. That, or the silver-border cards will just be ignored even further. I’m hoping for the former!