This entry is part 1 of 26 in the series No-Show Monday

Hello everyone and welcome to what I hope will be an infrequent interlude to our normal podcasting schedule:  No-Show Monday.  


As you’ve probably already surmised by now, we don’t have a show for you this week. Ironically, my schedule of late either permits me to record a show about Commander OR actually play some Commander, but not both; seeing as how we’re right on the cusp of recording a bunch of new shows dedicated to the new set, I figured that it would be best to set aside some time to play with the new hotness rather than pulling my opinions straight out of my ass, like I usually do.


It sucks, I know, but rather than leave you with a gaping hole where our podcast usually resides, I thought it would be more fun to provide a space for us to discuss some of our collective thoughts about the new precon set.  This will also give us a chance to incorporate more of your thoughts and opinions into the show when we do record it, something I’ve been hoping to do more of ever since I took the wheel anyhow.  So, here goes nothing.


The “WTF do I even call these decks now?” section

What’s your take on the new shorthand for these decks?


Right off the bat, I still haven’t decided how to refer to the new decks without resorting to their product names, which is way too close to PR-speak for my taste.  


Me, I’m partial to Tom Delia’s “Null-color” moniker (referring to each deck by the one color that’s left out) he’s been using in his TCGPlayer articles – which are excellent, by the way. I don’t know if Tom coined that phrase or not, but he’s a total baller, so I’m giving him all the credit. Also, I have to choke back my own bile when I say that I picked up the new “Stalwart Unity” deck, so calling it the “Null-black” deck saves both my sense of decency and my esophagus.  If you put a gun to my head right now I couldn’t recall the official product names of any of the old precon decks thus far, and I’d like to keep that streak going strong.


On the other stubborn and wrinkly hand, the old man in me kinda wants to refer to them all by their old Nephilim names, but I have two problems with that.  One: that sets off my hipster early warning system and would probably just make new players feel even more on the outside of an already niche format. Two: that would mean that everybody else on the ‘cast would get a badass nickname for their decks and mine would sound like I just slipped on a squid.  Case in point: “I’m playing the Witch-Maw” deck = badass, whereas “I got the Ink-Treader deck” = check the underside of your shoe, something stinks in here.


The “Reason This Site Exists” section

Legendary creatures are literally our raison d’etre ‘round these parts, so what do you think about the newest additions to our Command Zones?


I’m not saying we have to play the ratings game here, but these new commanders are pretty much a straight upgrade from last year’s entries (except for Meren of Clan Nel Toth – that card is still plain nutty in a reanimator deck).  They’re flexible without being confining, they lend themselves to certain playstyles without being linear, and they seem to neatly avoid falling into the weird dead zone of generic five-color generals.


If you haven’t noticed, I’m a big fan.


The “Dope New Cards & Sweet Reprints” gush-all section

Which cards are you most excited for out of this new set?  


Me, I’m rocking Hoofprints of the Stag in my deck, so just watch the f*** out, y’all.  Also, I’m calling it now: I will totally lose to my own copy of Oath of Druids, probably in a spectacularly embarrassing fashion.


The “Huh?” section

What cards/commanders just don’t seem to fit?


You know there’s always some chaff mixed in with the wheat in these decks, even if these do seem like a nice mix this time around, so which ones make you scratch your head and/or shake your head in R&D’s general direction? (The first person who posts a link to C+C Music Factory in the comments gets banned.)  


I’ll be straight-up here: I don’t know wtf I’m supposed to do with Sidar Kondo of Jamuraa in this deck, but I’ll give him a shot.  I mean, I get that he’ll be pretty good with Edric, Spymaster of Trest, but… yeah.  I got nothing.


The “Refined Cultural Tastes” section

You know we were gonna get around to talking about the art on these new cards at some point, right?  I mean, this is CommanderCast, after all. So chime in, all you armchair art critics: what new artwork really gets your gears going?


We can take this all serious-like for you aspiring Picassos out there, but for my money the Weapon-X Gorilla takes the cake. Literally.  No, really, take my cake and gtf outta here with that shit.  Whose bright idea was it to give adamantium claws to a goddamned gorilla? Hil-larious.  Art dept., I want to buy you all a beer for this one.


Also, while it must be said that I’m very proud of Wizards for including an interracial gay couple right on the cover of the package – seriously, Wizards, you did good this time – upon further reflection my feelings are mixed.  Not about the politics or representation of these characters, which let me state again for the record I’m 100% on board with, but what’s going on with that hand, Tiro?

Ky & Tiro's creepy hand


Sorry, but the creepy hand along the back of the neck doesn’t say “strong, loving couple” to me;  it’s more like, “Hey Fredo, wanna go fishing?”  Kynaios just wants to stand and look out upon that dope city you guys just built. Don’t ruin it by going all Corleone on his ass, Tiro, and taking out your competition while they’re lulled into a false sense of security.


I haven’t actually polled my wife or any of my former romantic interests about this, but something tells me that planting my palm at the base of their necks and running my fingers up into their hairline doesn’t send shivers of pleasure up their spine.  Shivers of something, yes, but pleasure? No.


Who knows, though.  Maybe that’s how they get down on Theros.  Maybe I shouldn’t judge.


Alright, that should be enough to get your juices flowing this week, listeners-turned-readers.  There’s your topic, now discuss amongst yourselves.

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