Today we bring you an exciting and unique preview card from the upcoming Commander 2015 set:
This card looks relatively simple at a glance, and what it does is fairly straightforward. It pulls your commander from the command zone into your hand. What’s there to talk about?
Well, let’s think about why you would ever care to do this:
- I just can’t afford to pay that extra 8 mana for my commander on the 5th cast this game. I’ll avoid the tax by putting in my hand!
- I want to be able to discard Haakon, Stromgald Scourge so I can get him onto the battlefield somehow (previously impossible as a commander!)
- I’d like to cast Phage the Untouchable without having to rely on Torpor Orb or Sundial of the Infinite to save me.
- I want to have access to Arashi, the Sky Asunder‘s or Jiwari, the Earth Aflame‘s activated ability, which only works if I’m able to discard it.
- I want to suspend Ith, High Arcanist (which only works from the hand).
- I want to get some value out of using a Myojin of Night’s Reach as my commander (it only gets the divinity counter when cast from my hand).
- It seems fun to be able to cheat out Progenitus or any other high-CMC commander using Quicksilver Amulet and the like.
There are just a few rules interactions worth pointing out here:
- Casting a commander from anywhere other than the command zone is not counted when considering commander tax. The tax rule cares only how many times you’ve cast your commander from the command zone this game. This means you could use Command Beacon before you’ve ever cast your commander, and cast it from your hand for its normal cost. If it dies and goes to the command zone you can cast it from there for it’s normal cost again! Then if you cast Restore to use Command Beacon again, you can cast the commander from your hand once again for its normal cost. You’re a professional tax evader!
- Opal Palace is a bit of a weird one! It still knows when you’re casting a commander even if you’re casting it from your hand, but it only counts how many times you cast it from the command zone this game. That means it’s now theoretically possible to use the Palace’s second ability to cast your commander… and end up with zero counters! You probably won’t make a habit of using Command Beacon before casting your commander the first time, but it’s a fun fact nonetheless.
- One last potentially interesting thing to note. Command Beacon doesn’t target anything. It’s perfectly legal to activate the second ability even if your commander isn’t in the command zone at all. There are few reasons to do this for your own benefit (Knight of the Reliquary, perhaps?), but it’s something to keep in mind for Mindslaver players! In fact, if the commander is in the command zone when the Mindslaver’d player uses Command Beacon, the controller of the player can choose to replace “put into your hand” with “put into the command zone,” wasting the Command Beacon with no visible effect from its ability (it moves from command zone to command zone).
Have fun brewing up new and interesting ways to use this unique card!