7 Underrated Commander Cards from Lorwyn

7 Underrated Commander Cards from Lorwyn

Jacob LacknerCommander

Bloomburrow is Magic’s next Standard-release set, and we’ve been told that it’s a plane where there are no humans. This made me think of Lorwyn, another humanless plane. 

In my MTG Top 10 on the most important sets in the history of Magic, Lorwyn came in at #6. It introduced two new card types – Planeswalkers and Kindred (called Tribal at the time). Obviously enough, one of those card types has had a much bigger impact on the game than the other. Regardless, Lorwyn is the only set not named Alpha to introduce more than one card type.

Lorwyn had a huge focus on creature types, and it impacted creature type lines in both the past and the future. The set introduced the race-class creature type model we’re so used to today. The release of the set was also accompanied by the so-called “Grand Creature Type Update,” which retroactively made all past Magic cards follow this model.

Lorwyn is also an important set for Commander players, introducing several heavily played cards. Some of the more notable cards are Austere Command, the Hideaway lands, and Mulldrifter. The Command is one of the format’s best sweepers, Mosswort Bridge and the other Hideaway lands give you easy access to extra cards for no mana, and Mulldrifter is one of the best creatures if you’re interested in abusing ETB abilities.

While Commander players certainly take advantage of the powerful cards Lorwyn has to offer, there are still some cards in the set that aren’t seeing as much play as they should.

The Other Four Commands

While Austere Command is undoubtedly the best in the cycle, the other four Commands are nothing to sneeze at. Modality is important in Commander, as you want your cards to be able to do something useful in all situations. The strength of Commands comes from the fact that you get to choose two effects out of a menu of four, and it’s pretty hard not to get a fairly good return on your investment. 

None of the other Commands should be played as heavily as Austere Command is, but they should all see more play than they are currently.

Cryptic Command
Played in 2% of Blue Decks on EDHRec

Cryptic Command is the one that I need to advocate for the least, partly because it’s the most heavily played of the four and because everyone knows it’s good in 60-card formats. It can easily generate 2-for-1s and the tap effect allows you to tap everyone’s creatures! The tap mode is certainly the most situational, but when it’s good, it’s really good.

Profane Command
Played in 1% of Black Decks on EDHRec

Like Cryptic Command, Profane Command can generate some sweet 2-for-1s. You can kill an opposing creature and reanimate one of yours, for example. Unlike the other Commands, it has an effect that scales all games long since it’s an X spell. So, if you have enough mana, Profane Command can completely take out one of your opponents.

Incendiary Command
Played in 1% of Red Decks on EDHRec

Incendiary Command has some problems. Two of its modes – direct damage and land destruction – are not particularly powerful. However, I think the other two modes go a long way towards making the card worth playing.

While it’s not as good at sweeping the entire board as Austere Command, s can do 2 damage to all creatures. That can have a massive impact on many boardstates, and you even get a second effect! It also comes with a wheel effect, something that has recently become more powerful with the introduction of creatures like Orcish Bowmasters.

Primal Command

Played in 1% of Green Decks in EDHRec

Of these four underplayed Commands, I think Primal Command most deserves to see more play. It comes with three very useful modes. In Commander, the fact it can tutor up a creature is often the most useful. However, it’s also great at hating on the graveyard, and it can even remove a nonland permanent. If you choose to shuffle a graveyard into a library and put a nonland permanent on top, you can even get rid of that permanent in the long-term.

The life gain mode isn’t the greatest, but sometimes you’re going to need it. It combines especially well with the tutor effect, as it increases the chances you’ll be able to play the creature you tutored up on your next turn.

Knucklebone Witch

Knucklebone WItch
Played in .0059% of Black Decks on EDHRec

Goblins are one of the most powerful typal decks in Commander. However, Knucklebone Witch hasn’t been reaping the benefits. This is surprising, given that there are some very powerful Goblins that sacrifice their comrades for value. Sacrificing Goblins to Sling-Gang Lieutenant, Skirk Prospector, and Siege-Gang Commander feels great, but it feels even better if you have a Knucklebone Witch in play!

It is true that many Goblin decks are mono-Red, but there’s no reason that Knucklebone Witch shouldn’t be played in every single Wort, Boggart Auntie deck.

Ashling’s Prerogative

Ashling’s Prerogative
Played in .011% of Red Decks on EDHRec

It’s not too surprising that Ashling’s Prerogative sees so little play. It has a super weird effect, and it’s symmetrical too! I mean, what good is it to name odd or even when your deck is made up of cards with a mix of mana values?

It’s true that you don’t want to play Ashling’s Prerogative in most decks, but there is one Commander in particular that can allow you to break this Enchantment’s symmetry – Obosh, the Preypiercer.

Obosh already pays you off for playing only cards with odd mana values. He allows you to do tons of damage in a hurry if you do just that. So, if you choose odd with Prerogative, all of your creatures will gain Haste, and many of your opponents’ creatures will enter tapped. This will allow you to dole out huge amounts of damage.

Keep in mind, this does not work if you are using Obosh as your Companion, because Ashling’s Prerogative is even-costed. This only works with Obosh as your Commander or in the 99.

Makeshift Mannequin

Makeshift Mannequin
Played in .016% of Black Decks on EDHRec

Instant-speed reanimation should not be underestimated. Not only does it let you bring back something huge to ambush block, it also allows you to reanimate creatures that have abilities that are meant to keep you from reanimating them.

For example, if Kozilek or Worldspine Wurm are put into your graveyard, they shuffle into your library. However, because this is a triggered ability, you have time to respond to it. So, you can cast Makeshift Mannequin to bring back one of these imposing creatures before they get shuffled away.

Makeshift Mannequin does have a downside – if your creature gets targeted, you have to sacrifice it. But instant-speed reanimation is hard to find in Magic, so doing it this efficiently is well worth the downside.

End Step

Those are my picks for five underrated Commander cards from Lorwyn. I hope I introduced you to a few obscure cards that will upgrade your deck! Do you think I left out any overlooked cards? Let me know on X.