This entry is part 16 of 26 in the series Staple Remover

Posted by Chris-B
email –
Twitter – @0hn0s3

Which Magic expansions are your favorites to harvest cards from for your Commander decks? It seems like I’m always finding great cards from Mirrodin block or Avacyn Restored when I’m scouring the card database. Maybe you are a newer player and the most recent sets are your go-to expansions. Perhaps you are a hipster and you don’t play anything that has the new card frame. There is also a chance you are a Staple Remover and you are about to suggest playing Commander cards from the worst set to ever be printed: Homelands.


Those of you who weren’t playing at the time or have scrubbed the memory of Homelands from your brain should know this; this set was bad, I mean REALLY bad. Homelands was so bad Wizards had made a rule for standard constructed decks that they had to contain cards from all of the legal expansions. That is why you see Serrated Arrows in some old school 60 card tournament decks. They KNEW the set was so bad the only way it would see competitive play is if they forced people to use it.  It was so bad that you would frequently doze off while opening booster packs.  It was so bad you can still get a sealed booster box for about the same price as that latest in-print expansion… 18 years after it was released. This isn’t a case of time passing Homelands by and it only appearing underpowered in hindsight. It has always appeared underpowered, but that doesn’t mean we can’t uncover some gems for your commander deck.

If this set was so bad how can we find any playables? When you take a wide open singleton format like Commander there are bound to be some hits.

I present 5 cards you could be playing from the Homelands expansion.

Merchant Scroll: It’s not as versatile as Mystical Tutor but it does put the tutor target right into your hand. Got a blue instant that you wish you had two copies of in your deck? The scroll can tutor for powerful cards like Intuition, Force of Will, Fact or Fiction, Capsize and don’t forget you can get multi colored instants like Lim-Dûl’s Vault too.







Koskun Falls: For all of the black control fans out there, we have a black Propaganda for you. Sure it does have a couple of drawbacks, such as having to tap an untapped creature you control, but the effect is just as good and the mana cost is similar. This type of effect has shifted over to Blue and White, so the falls are a rare chance to use this type of defensive tax card when you don’t have access to those colors.  It also happens to have some of my all time favorite Magic art.







Primal Order: I have a Primal Order set aside and ready to go into my Bear Force One deck. That deck is going to just use basic lands, so there is no drawback to punishing non-basics. There are plenty of decks that are going to be getting zapped for at least 5 damage each upkeep when the Order is in play. You don’t have to be a dick and destroy all of the lands, but you can make people pay the iron price for using piles of non-basics in all of their decks.







Sengir Autocrat: He works real well with Vela the Night-Clad, and gives you great value with 4 bodies for 4 mana. If you plan on devouring them or sacking them, it’s hard to get more fodder for your buck. The drawback here is that he can’t be blinked without losing any serfs you already had in play. Like with Vela, he does have the benefit of creating 4 hits-the-graveyard triggers by only having to sacrifice one dude. Hello Grave Pact.







Feroz’s Ban: Who was Feroz? Clearly he was a dick who enjoyed tax effects. There are plenty of tax effects out there for noncreature spells, like Thalia and Thorn of Amethyst, but cards that specifically tax creature spells are not nearly as common. The Ban hammer is going to help you shut down some Cloudstone Curio and other shenanigans that rely on free creature style combos. It also obviously works well in decks that are creature-light or harvest their creatures from token producing spells. Also, it might be a stretch, but didn’t we just get a couple of new commanders that get better the more you pay for them?






So now how bad do you think Homelands was?  Right, still bad.  But wait, there’s more!  Homelands was SO bad that I will send 1 unopened pack of Homelands to the first three people to email me with the subject line “I want to live the Homelands dream” and include your mailing address in the body of the message. [Edit: All claimed (a lot faster than I thought for freakin’ Homelands)  I’ll be letting the “winners” know in the next couple days]  Maybe you’ll crack one of my top five picks.  If nothing else you’ll have a sweet booster pack for the next time you cast Booster Tutor.


Are you going to be at PAX East 2014?  Tickets sold out insanely quick, but I plan on being there Saturday to jam some commander games.  Be sure to shoot me an email if you are interesting in getting a game or two of commander in and I’ll do my best to organize a playgroup of rabid CommanderCast fans. (I know its early, but you probably already know if you are going or not.)


Series Navigation<< Staple Remover 15 – Monomania Series Part 3: BlackStaple Remover 17 – Five Cards From Fallen Empires You Don’t Have The Yambags To Play >>