Ranking Every Battlecruiser Card (8 CMC+) with EDHREC – Part 21: This Series is Gonna Be Exactly 30 Parts!

(Overwhelming Splendor | Art by Richard Wright)

I Am Here With Only Old News!

Good morning, y'all! Welcome back to this series where we rank every card based on the number of decks they have on EDHREC. This is a special week for me: in light of the Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate set reviews, I have the pleasure of announcing that this article has no new cards! Every card in this article has been out for at least a year; some are over 20 years old! So go ahead and consume all your up-to-date, polished set reviews on all the new cards; when you need to go back to something more comfortable, and less scary, I'll be here with old cards, such as...

100: Overwhelming Splendor: 4,386 Decks

There is a category of cards that I tend to regard as being win-cons only because very few people can actually deal with them. Glacial Chasm, Moat, Worship, but at the very, very, top of this list is Humility. Every time I play against a Humility, it blanks all the decks at the table from doing anything. Trust me, I listened to Command Zone when they said “you need to run targeted removal that isn’t creature-focused so you don’t get got by hate,” but my Inalla, Archmage Ritualist deck, for example, had maybe three ways to get rid of Humility not stapled to creatures, and 85% of my card draw was on creatures, so what the heck was I supposed to do when the deck ran into Humility? I had, like, a 5% chance of drawing the card I needed, and that was the situation for my opponents, too, so the person playing Humility basically won the game off playing a single card. That's kinda how the cookie crumbles. Are you really going to say that a Xenagos, God of Revels deck needs to run seven ways to deal with Humility? No, because in the other 99% of scenarios, that deck would much rather have a card like Gemrazer that synergizes with it, so the end result is that Humility is pretty unbeatable for most decks. Were it not for the price tag, it’d have a massively high salt score.

Overwhelming Splendor is, thankfully, not Humility, but it does absolutely have potential to lock an opponent out of the game completely. That’s without even mentioning the whole second effect that shuts off even more random things, like Cycling or Channel. That’s also not mentioning this is a Curse, which means it's a windmill slam for any Curse of Misfortunes set-ups. I don’t have to mention any of that because you know when you want this. It’s Humility, but it costs eight mana, and it’s not a million dollars. That does not stop it from single-handedly winning the game against some decks.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: At least Humility makes a common enemy for the table. You get this cast on you, most of the time your other opponents will often happily let it stand.

99: Octavia, Living Thesis: 4,452 Decks

(1,189 Decks as a Commander, 3,263 Decks in the 99)

This is the weirdest Storm commander I have ever seen. Like, 85% of Octavia, Living Thesis’s commander page is a weird but fairly normal mono-blue Storm deck with cheap cantrips, like Consider, Mental Note, and Curate, and you get the idea.

Just when you think you've got this commander figured out, though, you notice that the other 15% of the page is random Voltron creatures. There’s the token-makers, like Talrand, Sky Summoner, that you tend to expect, but then you also have Looter il-Kor and Invisible Stalker and freaking Blighted Agent for when you wanna be especially mean. It's such an odd ingredient interspersed into a fairly traditional soup that it kinda makes the whole thing worthwhile.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: Outside of Octavia's commander page, it's a lot of the typical spellslinger fare I was expecting. She’s not great if you don’t have token-makers in your deck, but she's extra cute with things like Noyan Dar, Roil Shaper that put counters on things.

98: Void Beckoner: 4,456 Decks

As a way to give deathtouch, Void Beckoner leaves a lot to be desired. Just looking at the ways to give deathtouch, there're so many I'd play over this: Basilisk Collar, Gorgon Flail, Gorgon's Head, Gift of Doom, Vorpal Sword, etc. I don’t think Void Beckoner is bad, but going away if the creature dies makes it one of the weaker options in my eyes.

As a big creature to get into the graveyard, I like this a lot better. Sure, it’s no Scion of Darkness, but it draws a card when you bin it, and it’s a big thing you can get back with Sefris of the Hidden Ways, or it can trigger Kathril, Aspect Warper. It’s still not fantastic, but it does enough to justify seeing play in some decks.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: Even with all the above, though, it’s probably still seeing too much play.

97: Mycosynth Golem: 4,697 Decks

A colorless creature version of the static ability on Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge? Yeah, sounds good to me. Mycosynth Golem has its own little niche in the format. It’s probably gonna cost five or six mana in artifact decks, and then all your creatures become pretty much free. You have to play it in a more creature-focused artifact deck as opposed to the ones that want to go off with Unwinding Clock, but those decks absolutely exist. It also has some busted synergy with Padeem, Consul of Innovation or Karn, Silver Golem. Sounds fine. This isn't my playstyle, but I’m sure someone’s into it.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Underplayed: Oh, also very cute in Bosh, Iron Golem. You’re probably able to sac him multiple times a turn. That’s closer to my playstyle.

96: Brinelin, the Moon Kraken: 4,919 Decks

(422 Decks as a Commander, 4,497 Decks in the 99)

Brinelin is my favorite thing. Everybody knows that Partner is a really good mechanic and that it allows for very lean decks with cheap commanders like Thrasios, Triton Hero that are super powerful and flexible, and then in complete antithesis to that, they’re all like, “Hey! Here’s a 6/8 Kraken for eight mana that makes you cast other things that cost six mana. Do something busted with this; we dare you!”

And to be fair, it was a good dare, as this is one of the more underplayed Partners from the block. 35th out of the 41 Partners from Commander Legends is not a great showing, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do cute things with it. Gilanra, Caller of Wirewood is the “obvious” pair for some big sea creature tribal deck, which isn’t very new but is usually pretty fun. I see Ikra Shidiqi, the Usurper on the card’s page. Sultai sea creatures deck that gains you life? Sure, why not? Actually, a lot of the two-color Partners, like Bruse Tarl, Boorish Herder and Vial Smasher the Fierce, sound like fun combinations with this!

My favorite, though, is Alena, Kessig Trapper because they heard you like big creatures, so they brought some big creatures so you cast your big creatures after casting your big creatures. Look, any build with Brinelin is going to probably involve casting big sea creatures and such but with another color or two involved. There’s not a ton of freedom of expression beyond the set dressing one puts around the Kraken, but I will admit that the set dressing is pretty fun!

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: And it’s not like Brinelin is going to be doing a lot outside of big sea creature things. It’s a fine card to play if you have a bunch of expensive spells, but the vast majority of the play comes from Leviathan.dec.

95: Magma Opus: 5,036 Decks

Magma Opus feels too much like playing towards the middle. If you’re in a deck that wants to cast big expensive spells, I can see why having a spell that doesn’t sit in your hand early on but still synergizes with your commander would be an intriguing proposition. The problem is that Magma Opus isn’t great at either job. The Treasure mode is never gonna be worth a card, and then the spell itself is pretty mediocre in Commander. Hitting a thing for four, tapping a couple things, making a 4/4 and drawing two cards is certainly a lot, but for eight mana, it’s pretty low-impact compared to something like Soulfire Eruption. Nothing this card is doing makes me particularly excited. It’s a case of not wanting any one thing this card does that much, so why bother with the whole package?

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: Even if you’re gonna “reanimate” this spell with something like Mizzix's Mastery, it’s still never gonna be the best thing you can get.

94: Blazing Archon: 5,142 Decks

Blazing Archon technically fits the Humility mold, where it keeps you alive forever if no one touches it, but being a creature and costing nine makes it a lot more fragile. It still definitely dominates most board states, but you can’t lean on it the same way you lean on Glacial Chasm or Sphere of Safety, since casting it is your entire turn, and creatures are the card type with the biggest target on their back.

That’s why most decks are cheating it into play, but that feels odd to me. It’s not very threatening; it’s a deterrent, not a win condition. If you can’t win in the time that it buys you, then it doesn’t do very much. It feels like more of a political card you play in Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis or [/el]Gwafa Hazid, Profiteer[/el] than a card like Vilis, Broker of Blood that you want to get into play by any means necessary. It’s a bit weird, honestly.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: Maybe it’s just not what I’m into, but I don’t know about cheating this into play. Let the battlecruiser decks have their battlecruiser times.

93: Platinum Emperion: 5,245 Decks

I’m personally more a fan of Platinum Angel, but I guess I won’t say no to Platinum Emperion. Angel protects you from more stuff: can’t get milled, can’t get poisoned, can’t get got by Thassa's Oracle or Phage the Untouchable from the command zone. All that’s definitely going to come up, but most games come down to reducing an opponent’s life to zero, so both Emperion and Angel are going to keep you alive. This one is a Golem, so maybe that gives it a smidge more play, but it’s more just “do you want two ways to not lose?” If so, here you go.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: Although both Angel and Emperion are incredibly fragile, so you better stock up on Darksteel Plate and Lightning Greaves.

92: Conflux: 5,368 Decks

I cannot think of Conflux without thinking of Dream Halls. Dream Halls absolutely doesn't need Conflux to be broken, but Conflux is one of the better instant-win combos with Halls since you can tutor for Halls with Conflux if you need, and then Conflux gets you gas to discard to whatever you wanna cast off Halls. Might I suggest All Suns' Dawn to get back Conflux to cast more things off Dream Halls? Yes, I do love extravagance, why do you ask?

Really, any deck playing Conflux is probably playing it as a one-card win condition. Let's ignore just searching an infinite combo, like Restoration Angel + Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, since not everyone will be into that. How about we get four Ultimatums and Double Vision? You might ask how the heck I plan on casting those Ultimatum, but considering I just cast Conflux, I'm guessing I can find a way to cast the other cards, too. If you must find a way to cast what you get, search up Nyxbloom Ancient, Faithless Looting, Reanimate, and Time Spiral. Worried about interaction? How about Silence, Reiterate, Turnabout, or Meeting of the Five? The point is that you can basically do whatever you want. Conflux is whatever you want it to be.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: If you can think of something you want to do with this card, you can do it.

91: Plague Wind: 5,455 Decks

Much as I love this cycle of Winds from Prophecy, I think the time for Plague Wind is long gone. It's pretty significantly outclassed by In Garruk's Wake. Maybe there're decks that want to run two ways to blow up all opponents' creatures that also don't want Dread Cacodemon, but those decks cannot be numerous.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: I certainly won't fault anyone playing it because they like the card. It's not that much worse than In Garruk's Wake, but it's worse enough that I personally don't see much of a need for it.

And The Last Avatar Next?

Well, I hope this was a nice break from all the new cards! Before you jump back into the spoiler stream, let me know in the comments what you think about this article. Have you come back from being hit with Overwhelming Splendor? Do you have a cool use for Conflux? These cards will continue to exist until the end of time, so no rush on getting your thoughts in the comments. Until next week!

Joseph started playing in Theros Block but decided that the best way to play the game was to learn every single card and hope that would somehow make him good at Magic. It hasn't. He is a college student in Santa Fe, New Mexico and also enjoys reading and other games of all shapes and sizes.

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