Commander 2021 Review - Lorehold Legacies
Lorehold Command by Jason Rainville
Welcome to the Commander 2021 review week here on Commander's Herald. This week, we'll be posting one article a day giving our takes on the new cards from each of this year's five decks. I'm Charlotte, and I'll start with Lorehold Legacies, which is full of all kinds of neat graveyard recursion and artifact strategies. I can't wait to dig into this deck, so let's get to it.
More Commander 2021 Reviews
Prismari Performance | Quantum Quandrix | Silverquill Statement | Witherbloom Witchcraft
You can find all five Commander 2021 decklists here.
Commander 2021 - Lorehold Legacies
New Lorehold Commanders
Osgir, the Reconstructor
Is a Giant Artificer a giant who makes artifacts or someone who makes giant artifacts? I like to believe it's the latter.
Either way, this guy is great. Making copies of artifacts from the graveyard is a neat ability and one we haven't seen before, really. You can make this ability powerful with cards like Lotus Bloom and Mox Tantalite for fast mana bursts or you can get really silly and do your best impression of a Doomsday deck by looping copies of Mirror of Fate. I'm going to try doing the Mirror of Fate thing, personally. If it has any legs, I'll let you all know how it goes.
Alibou, Ancient Witness
Let me tell you the tale of Alibou-bou and the 40 Thopters...
This card leans more into the usual red-white aggro strategy than many of its Lorehold compatriots, but looks to be lots of fun both with big artifact friends like Blightsteel Colossus or with a ton of Servo and Thopter tokens. Either way, you’re going to be throwing around a lot of damage from hasty robots and that sweet attack trigger. Throne of the God-Pharaoh seems like an auto-include if you're thinking of doing a token-heavy build.
Losheel, Clockwork Scholar
An elephant never forgets, and Losheel won't ever let you forget to draw some sweet, sweet cards.
People underestimate the value of being able to attack with impunity, but there’s a reason that both Iroas, God of Victory and Dolmen Gate command budget-unfriendly prices. Also, having unconditional card draw on a mono-white commander is nothing to sneeze at. Be sure to pack lots of repeated artifact creature creation like Retrofitter Foundry along with Unwinding Clock to maximize your draw potential.
Laelia, the Blade Reforged
While you were busy reading this article, Laelia studied the blade...
As a very unique design for a commander, Laelia makes the most of some weird cards that don’t see a lot of play. Cards like Possibility Storm and Arc-Slogger make for hilarious inclusions, along with newer cards like Conspiracy Theorist and cards with the escape mechanic, such as Phoenix of Ash. Of course if you want to play good cards, you can play Harnfel, Horn of Bounty or Magmatic Channeler, but wouldn't you rather play Chaos Harlequin instead?
New Lorehold Rares
Angel of the Ruins
While the mana cost on this card is high, there will almost certainly be good targets for its trigger by the time you can cast it, so I wouldn't count this a downside, really. Also, Plainscycling makes the high cost less of a problem. Exile is a lot better than destruction, though, and this card is maybe one of the best utility blink targets in a long while. A really great card for every Emiel the Blessed and Brago, King Eternal deck.
This card is an amazing addition to white’s land search and ramp suite. Not only does it work well on its own, it gives you something to do with all the lands you get from Land Tax and Weathered Wayfarer. This card isn't quite Burgeoning, but decks without green won't notice too much of a difference. If white can’t get direct library-to-battlefield ramp often, this is more than a reasonable substitute.
Ward isn’t hexproof, and someone who really wants to get rid of your stuff can just pay the two mana, but this card at least makes your artifacts into less appealing targets for removal and can maybe buy you an extra turn or two with a key combo piece. The variable power and double strike also make this a hefty beater in its own right and a great place to stack up power-boosting equipment like Sword of Fire and Ice or crazy auras like Celestial Mantle.
Did someone say double artifacts? Yes please! Being able to pop out a Karnstruct each time you cast an artifact spell is pretty great. Play this with Krark-Clan Ironworks and you get free triggers for artifacts entering the battlefield or going to the graveyard with each spell. Works perfectly with cards like Reckless Fireweaver and Marionette Master. Of course you can just keep the tokens around if you want an unstoppable robot army, but where's the fun in that?
First of all, I love Demonstrate as a mechanic. It’s a really great mechanic for Commander and I feel it’s best exemplified in all its political glory on this card. Get rid of the three worst nonland permanents on the board? Sounds good to me! Also lots of ability to use this to get rid of your own downside permanents like Demonic Pact for value. I'm a bit sad that the other cards in the cycle aren't as overtly political as this one, but they all look really great.
First thing first, this card isn’t anywhere close to as good as Smothering Tithe is. Smothering Tithe always gets you something, be it a treasure token or a tempo hit to your opponent. That’s not to say that Monologue Tax isn’t good, it’s just not amazing. Unless you draw it super late game, you’ll get value out of it eventually, just maybe not as fast as you’d like. Where this card will really shine is with cards like Knowledge Pool and Possibility Storm that force a second spell. I personally would love to see this effect played with those cards rather than the usual Rule of Law effects to lock out opponents fully.
Ever wanted to play the Platinum Emperion / Madcap Experiment combo in Commander? Well now you have a second (and worse) Madcap Experiment to enable the combo. Not a very good card generally, but a fun combo card that will have folks bending their decks in order to make it work, maybe. You can also just get around the downside by giving this lifelink or with cards like The Wanderer.
Illusionist's Bracers 2.0. If you’re already playing Illusionist’s Bracers, then you probably want these. I doubt there’s many decks that were waiting for this effect to be redundant before playing it, so these are just gravy for red decks already playing them or maybe a budget option. Not much else to say here.
Stop choking yourself!
I love the flavor of this card. It’s a Heat Shimmer that sticks around as a mana rock afterward. Seems solid for the decks looking for that sort of effect but hardly a must-play. For added fun, though, play this with blink effects or imprint it on a Prototype Portal for a steady stream of clone rocks.
Who doesn’t love a good Wheel of Fortune effect? The mana cost is a little pricey, sure, but this card seems sweet if you can sneak it out with something like Sneak Attack or Purphoros, Bronze-Blooded which will sacrifice it in the end step. You can also use this with Feldon of the Third Path after you mountaincycle it in order to get wheels every turn cycle. Fun?
Wake the Past
Finally a replacement for Open the Vaults in red-white artifact decks that won't also give your opponents resources back. The haste granted by this spell is a sweet bonus, letting this be a finisher all on its own with enough robots in your graveyard. Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of good ways to get a lot of artifacts directly into your graveyard in red-white, so you probably want to play this in some sort of self-mill deck with Mesmeric Orb and Grinding Station.
Well, this isn't quite a Wurmcoil Engine, but it's also 50% better maybe? Certainly 50% more fun. Make a big robot, have it split into little robots when it dies. Always a good time. Plays well with the same cards as Ruin Grinder and goes in the same decks I mentioned for that card above.
The One New Common
I doubt you could find a bigger fan of Opal Palace than me in Commander circles, but this isn’t quite Opal Palace, which leaves a lasting effect on the battlefield once your Commander resolves. However, Study Hall plays really well with any commander who interacts with your library when it enters the battlefield. Fblthp, the Lost, Tishana, Voice of Thunder, and Muxus, Goblin Grandee are likely to be some of the better decks for this card. Sadly, this card doesn't work with Eligeth, Crossroads Augur since you scry before your commander resolves, but you can still get value from it if you control Eligeth when you cast his partner commander.
Lorehold My Beer
Well, that wraps it up for my article today, but I hope I've helped you dig deeper into these cards and made some of you think about some of them differently than you had before. If you have any comments or questions about anything I talked about today, leave them below or contact me on Twitter @JqlGirl. Come back tomorrow when we'll feature our review of the new cards from the Prismari Performance deck.