Too-Specific Top Ten - Less Divine Convocation

(Kasla, the Broken Halo | Art by Martina Fackova)

The Less Obvious Precon Upgrades

Welcome to Too-Specific Top 10, where if there isn’t a category to rank our pet card at the top of, we’ll just make one up! (Did you know that Martyr's Soul is the only three-mana 5/4 you can cast for free?)

March of Machines brings us an old mechanic in a new set of colors: Jeskai Convoke. Is it really a new set of colors, though?

Top 10 Jeskai Convoke Cards Not Already in the Precon

The original Selesnya mechanic from original RavnicaConvoke has more or less kept to green and white throughout the years. With 51 cards bearing the mechanic in Selesnya, and only 36 outside of those colors even after 26 were added with Kasla's Divine Convocation precon, it's no secret that pickings for reprints were slim when it came to making a Jeskai Convoke precon. Still, they did their best:

Top (read: all) 10 Jeskai Convoke Reprints from Divine Convocation

  1. Hour of Reckoning
  2. Conclave Tribunal
  3. Stoke the Flames
  4. Devouring Light
  5. Ephemeral Shields
  6. Venerated Loxodon
  7. Seraph of the Masses
  8. Chant of Vitu-Ghazi
  9. Angel of Salvation
  10. Flight of Equenauts

There are a few notable exceptions which bear Convoke I can think of off the top of my head, however, so this got me wondering what other cards in the color combination they could have missed?

Criteria: Jeskai cards not printed in March of the Machines or the March of the Machines precons that have Convoke. As is tradition, all results are ordered by EDHREC score.

10. Will-Forged Golem

(222 Inclusions, 0% of 2,439,495 Decks)

Well, this ain't one of them. Don't get me wrong, I get the intent behind Will-Forged Golem. In a multicolor deck, you can tap all sorts of creatures of any color to put down a six mana guy for free. Tapping six creatures isn't exactly free though, is it? Even in a token deck, when you're talking those kinds of numbers, you're missing out on one side or the other of combat, no questions asked. So instead of piling on this fairly unplayable Golem, let's instead take a look at the stuff that it somehow beat out:

The one that's confusing to me here is Martyr's Soul. As previously discussed, Convoke doesn't really exist outside of white, and most tokens decks also share that color, so why are people playing a six-mana 4/4 over a three-mana 5/4? Sure, there's some conditions in there, and it's not like either is blowing you away in Commander, but there's still a clear winner in the comparison between the two. Heck, Ledev Guardian smacks me as a slightly better deal as well, even if it's still an awful one! As for the only remaining cards with Convoke, Conclave Equenaut isn't blowing anyone away with its rate, either, and Meditation Puzzle probably struggles to see play in even the tiniest of niches like a budget brew of Emmara, Soul of the Accord.

Still, at least we found one diamond in the rough. If you've got a chance to go aggro at all in your token deck, Martyr's Soul is worth a look.

9. Loxodon Restorer

(237 Inclusions, 0% of 1,097,349 Decks)

I can always tell when I've gone too far with my Too-Specific-ness and I'm just scraping the bottom of a barrel no one cares about. For the purposes of our conversation, the bottom of that barrel is Loxodon Restorer. No amount of budgets or themes is going to have you wanting to spend six mana in mana or creatures to get a 3/4 and four life. Maybe, maybe you could be making a budget blink deck that tries to win with lifelink tokens and Felidar Sovereign, but even then I think this is a stretch.

8. Crowd's Favor

(415 Inclusions, 0% of 1,164,565 Decks)

If you're looking for something that was and continues to be overlooked when it comes to Kasla, then look no further than Crowd's Favor. In only 9% of Kasla decks, when you have her out you don't even care what the rest of the rules text says on this card. It costs one mana and has the word Convoke on it, meaning with Kasla's Scry 2 and draw a card, it's one of the best cantrips ever printed. And if it wins you a combat somewhere along the way? Even better.

7. Conclave Phalanx

(470 Inclusions, 0% of 1,097,349 Decks)

The reason that ultra-specific budget blink lifegain tokens deck isn't playing Loxodon Restorer? Because Conclave Phalanx exists, of course! Look, I'd say I remember the days when Congregate was good, but even when it saw play in the early days of EDH it wasn't. What it was was a trap card that you fell for as a kid, and therefore had nostalgia for. Well, nostalgic kid? Meet Conclave Phalanx.

6. Conclave's Blessing

(520 Inclusions, 0% of 1,097,349 Decks)

If this had Flash, I could see a real case for it in a Convoke deck. As is? It's still just a budget niche inclusion in Walls decks, and that's okay.

5. Triplicate Spirits

(1,411 Inclusions, 0% of 1,097,349 Decks)

All right, now we're getting somewhere. The first card on our list to break a thousand inclusions, Triplicate Spirits has been around in Commander for a long time, and for good reason. If you're a tokens deck, you're always looking for more tokens, even if you already have a bunch. If those tokens manage to be "free" and come with flying? Well, that's just a slam dunk. Of course, if you don't have any tokens, then you are gonna be a little miffed to be paying six mana for three Spirits, but hey, no risk, no reward!

4. Return to the Ranks

(4,239 Inclusions, 0% of 1,102,392 Decks)

When it comes to Kasla, the real question with Return to the Ranks is going to be how many cheap creatures you're actually playing. There are 99 less-than-two-mana creatures in Jeskai that can make tokens in one way or another, so if you've gone an aggro route it is possible that this will be worth it for you. More likely, however, you'll have gone the Convoke route, where there are zero creatures that cost less than two mana and have Convoke. In other words, I really like Return to the Ranks as a card for aggro-esque token decks, but not so much in the case of Convoke decks or Kasla specifically.

3. Clever Concealment

(11,829 Inclusions, 4% of 320,204 Decks)

On the other hand, Clever Concealment seems like the first slam dunk inclusion for your average Kasla deck. Phasing out your tokens (and everything else) is invaluable when it comes to board wipes, and holding up four creatures will happen almost incidentally thanks to summoning sickness in your average tokens brew. I don't love that this card is still hanging around the $15 mark even a couple months after its initial printing, but if you have the cash this worth the slot, that's just how the math works out.

2. Bennie Bracks, Zoologist

(Helms 546 Decks, Rank #873; 17,171 Inclusions, 2% of 812,138 Decks)

When I said earlier that I could think of a couple Convoke cards off the top of my head that I would have considered for inclusion in the Divine Convocation precon, Triplicate Spirits and Bennie Bracks, Zoologist were the ones I was thinking of. In the case of Triplicate Spirits, I understand why they didn't do it. It's been a mainstay card for years, so folks are aware of it, and it's already been reprinted twice recently in Jumpstart 2022 and The List despite never having been over a quarter anyhow.

In the case of Bennie, however, I can honestly say it was immensely disappointing not to see him in the list. Since he was spoiled, he's been a hype card for any token deck, and has stuck religiously to the $20 mark. He's one of the best examples of white card draw out there right now, and he would be playable even if he didn't have Convoke. So let us play him, Wizards!

1. Obelisk of Urd

(23,258 Inclusions, 1% of 2,439,495 Decks)

I definitely wasn't expecting this to top the list above Bennie! That's not to say Obelisk of Urd is bad, nor that it won't see play in probably quite a few Kasla decks. From Elementals to Soldiers, there are tons of token and creature types that span straight across the Jeskai color pie, and I could see quite a few builds that will start from one of those creature types without a commander in mind and end up settling on Kasla. While there aren't many Convoke cards that make tokens you could pump with the Obelisk, the fact is you do need to have a ton of creatures to fuel any Convoke deck, and it wouldn't be that hard to skew towards a single creature type as your particular propellant to keep on casting your big Convoke haymakers.

Honorable Mentions

Speaking of big Convoke haymakers, here are the less-specific top Jeskai Convoke cards:

Top 10 Jeskai Convoke Cards

  1. Hour of Reckoning
  2. Obelisk of Urd
  3. Bennie Bracks, Zoologist
  4. Clever Concealment
  5. Conclave Tribunal
  6. Return to the Ranks
  7. City on Fire
  8. Stoke the Flames
  9. Devouring Light
  10. Ephemeral Shields

I do think we'll see significant changes in this list as more of these new Convoke cards see more play not only in Commander but in Standard as well. I would expect to see cards like Meeting of Minds, Complete the Circuit, and Temporal Cleansing on this list soon, not to mention all the new creatures:

Top 10 Jeskai Convoke Creatures

  1. Bennie Bracks, Zoologist
  2. Venerated Loxodon
  3. Seraph of the Masses
  4. Wildfire Awakener
  5. Knight-Errant of Eos
  6. Flockchaser Phantom
  7. Angel of Salvation
  8. Kasla, the Broken Halo
  9. Zephyr Singer
  10. Joyful Stormsculptor

There's nothing a Convoke deck loves more than snowballing creatures into more creatures, so I would expect everything on this list to more or less make the cut in your average Kasla deck, even before you do the math and find out that almost every one but Bennie is already in it.

Nuts and Bolts

There always seems to be a bit of interest in how these lists are made (this seems like a good time to stress once again that they are based on EDHREC score, NOT my personal opinion), and people are often surprised that I’m not using any special data or .json from EDHREC, but rather just muddling my way through with some Scryfall knowledge! For your enjoyment/research, here is this week’s Scryfall search.

What Do You Think?

Convoke is getting to be near a 20-year-old mechanic now (sorry about the drive-by there, Millenials), but as previously discussed, had never really broken out of the Selesnya guild until now. So, how are we feeling about it?

Finally, what's your favorite Convoke card? Has it been around for a long time, or was it just printed? Are you upgrading a Kasla precon, and if so, what resources are you using to do it?

Let us know in the comments, and we'll see you at the pallet table we all pitched in and built together. For free!

Doug has been an avid Magic player since Fallen Empires, when his older brother traded him some epic blue Homarids for all of his Islands. As for Commander, he's been playing since 2010, when he started off by making a two-player oriented G/R Land Destruction deck. Nailed it. In his spare time when he's not playing Magic, writing about Magic or doing his day job, he runs a YouTube channel or two, keeps up a College Football Computer Poll, and is attempting to gif every scene of the Star Wars prequels.

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