Magic The Gathering: Commander 2022 – Bedecked Brokers And Maestros Massacre Previews

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  • Bedecked Brokers
  • Maestros Massacre

While Magic The Gathering releases tie-in Commander decks with most sets, we receive a bumper crop of them each year in an annual 'Commander’ release. Last year’s Commander 2021 was Strixhaven-themed and brought us loads of powerful new cards that have gone on to become format staples, like Archaeomancer’s Map and Inkshield.

This year, we’re returning to the gorgeously dangerous streets of New Capenna with five decks based on each of its demonic crime families. Across two days, all five decks will be fully revealed, and each will include a total of seventeen brand new cards exclusively for the Commander, Vintage, and Legacy formats. Today, we’re looking at the blue/white/green Bedecked Brokers, and black/blue/red Maestros Massacre decks, both of which look intimidating in their own, flavourful ways.

Bedecked Brokers

Bedecked Brokers is the blue/white/green deck of Commander 2022, based on the corrupt legal eagle Brokers family. They’ll tie your opponents up in legal red tape and fleece them for everything they’re worth, while also putting as many counters on permanents as possible.

We’ve already seen two of the three commanders in the box: the face commander, Perrie, the Pulverizer, puts shield counters on creatures before buffing your entire side of the board with +X/+X, where X is the number of types of counters you control. Meanwhile, one of the backups is Kros, Defense Contractor, which uses counters on your opponent’s creatures to tap and goad them – stopping them from blocking you and forcing them to swing out on their controller’s turn.

Angelic Sleuth

Two generic, one white Creature – Angel Advisor:

Flying. Whenever another permanent you control leaves the battlefield, if it had counters on it, investigate.

In white, there are so many ways to infinitely flicker creatures, and there are more than enough “enters with X counter” effects to make this a potential infinite clue token combo piece. In less combo-heavy decks, this is still a nice source of card advantage.

Skyboon Evangelist

Four generic, one white Creature – Bird Advisor:

Flying. When Skyboon Evangelist enters the battlefield, support six. Whenever a creature with a counter on it attacks one of your opponents, that creature gains flying until end of turn.

“Support six” means, when Skyboon Evangelist enters the battlefield, you can put a +1/+1 counter on up to six other creatures you control. It’s a great way to give your creatures a boost, make a large swathe of them modified, or help speed up commanders that care about creatures having counters like Hamza, Guardian of Arashin.

Resourceful Defense

Two generic, one white Enchantment:

Whenever a permanent you control leaves the battlefield, if it had counters on it, put those counters on target permanent you control.

Pay four generic and one white: Move any number of counters from target permanent you control to another target permanent you control.

One of the biggest cards in this deck is Resourceful Defense. It’s effectively an improved version of Ikoria’s Ozolith – it costs two more and is an enchantment rather than an artifact but cuts out the middleman and moves counters directly onto another permanent immediately. It also works with noncreatures, which could completely up-end both Saga and Superfriend decks by moving lore and loyalty counters around easily.

Contractual Safeguard

Two generic, one white Instant:

Addendum: If you cast this spell during your main phase, put a shield counter on the creature you control.

Choose a kind of counter on a creature you control. Put a counter of that kind on each other creature you control.

It’s nice to see Addendum make a comeback, considering both the Brokers and Ravnica’s Azorius (for whom Addendum was their mechanic) control the legal systems of their respective worlds. This is another fabulous way to spread out the modifications – with all the spicy counters in Commander, this could be nasty.

Damning Verdict

Three generic, two white Sorcery:

Destroy all creatures with no counters on them.

This isn’t the best mono-white board wipe in Commander, as it’s likely that your opponents will have a few counters on their own creatures. Still, this could be a good way of closing out the game for go-wide decks that need lots of counters.

Aven Courier

One generic, one blue Creature — Bird Advisor:

Flying. Whenever Aven Courier attacks, choose a counter on a permanent you control. Put a counter of that kind on target permanent you control if it doesn't have a counter of that kind on it.

While lots of the Bedecked Brokers cards work well with just +1/+1 counters, Aven Courier really needs you to diversify and have as many types of counters as possible. This might be difficult for some decks to do, especially in blue where it isn’t quite as common. It’s a way of replenishing shield counters, at least.

Shield Broker

Three generic, two blue Creature – Cephalid Advisor:

Whenever Shield Broker enters the battlefield, put a shield counter on target noncommander creature you don't control. You gain control of that creature for as long as it has a shield counter on it.

It’s fairly trivial for an opponent to get back the creature you steal with Shield Broker, and it doesn’t allow you to nab a commander and completely shut down someone’s strategy. But if you can build up the shield counters and make it harder for your opponent to get rid of them all, this could be a worthwhile tool for a lot of decks.

Storm of Forms

Three generic, one blue Instant:

When you cast this spell, copy it for each kind of counter among permanents you control. You may choose new targets for the copies. Return target nonland permanent to its owner's hand.

With enough counters, this is effectively a baby’s first Cyclonic Rift. Even just a handful of counters lets you spot-remove the most problematic piece on the board at instant speed, making Storm of Forms great.

Bribe Taker

Five generic, one green Creature – Rhino Warrior:

Trample. When Bribe Taker enters the battlefield, for each kind of counter on permanents you control, you may put your choice of a +1/+1 counter or a counter of that kind on Bribe Taker.

With Bribe Taker, you can either make it one massive trampler with lots of +1/+1 counters or lean into keyword soup with lots of different kinds. Interestingly, it can also pick up counters not normally seen on creatures, like lore and loyalty, making it a worthwhile companion to Resourceful Defense.

Park Heights Maverick

Two generic, one green Creature – Human Solider:

Dethrone. Park Heights Maverick can't be blocked by creatures with power two or less. Whenever Park Heights Maverick deals combat damage to a player or dies, proliferate.

Dethrone is reappearing in the C22 decks, having last been seen in Commander 2017. If the creature with dethrone attacks the player with the highest life total, it receives a +1/+1 counter. This is meant to be an anti-weenie tool, giving you a way to get through someone’s endless wall of creature tokens and then proliferate from it.

Family's Favor

Two generic, one green Enchantment:

Whenever you attack, put a shield counter on target attacking creature. Until end of turn, it gains "whenever this creature deals combat damage to a player, remove a shield count from it. If you do, draw a card."

Family’s Favor makes shield counters that get destroyed whether your creature takes damage or not, but getting through to deal damage to your opponent does reward you with one extra card. You could combine it with cards that remove the creature from combat to let them keep the shield counter permanently, though.

Gavel of the Righteous

Two generic Artifact – Equipment:

At the beginning of combat on your turn, put a charge counter on Gavel of the Righteous. Equipped creature gets plus +1/+1 for each counter on Gavel of the Righteous. As long as Gavel of the Righteous has four more counters on it, equipped creature has double strike.

Equip: pay three generic or remove a counter from Gavel of the Righteous.

This is a very, very slow card. Unless you can proliferate or speed those counters up, it’s not likely to make too big of a difference in all but the longest-running games. The equip cost of removing a counter from it is interesting, though.

Denry Klin, Editor in Chief

Two generic, one white, one blue Legendary Creature – Cat Advisor:

Denry Klin, Editor in Chief enters the battlefield with your choice of a +1/+1, first strike or vigilance counter on it. Whenever a nontoken creature you control enters the battlefield, if Denry has counters on it, put the same number and kind of counters on that creature.

Deny Klin is straight fire – build them up nice and strong with all kinds of counters, and everything else will receive the same treatment. The only downside is that, as Denry is only an Azorius creature, they can’t be an alternative commander for the green/blue/white Bedecked Brokers deck, you’ll have to make a new white/blue only one.

Agent’s Toolkit

One generic, one green, one blue Artifact – Clue:

Agent’s Toolkit enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter, a flying counter, a deathtouch counter, and a shield counter on it. Whenever a creature enters the battlefield under your control, you may move a counter from Agent’s Toolkit onto that creature.

Pay two generic, sacrifice Agent’s Toolkit: draw a card.

Wizards has been experimenting with nontoken versions of popular token artifacts, like Treasure and Clues in the last few months. Agent’s Toolkit has the usual sacrifice-for-card-draw effect that makes Clues decent, and throws in the ability to confer counters onto other creatures as a bonus. It’s cool that Agent’s Toolkit ‘runs out’, giving you a clear time when you should sacrifice it for the draw.

Brokers Confluence

Two generic, one green, one white, one blue Instant:

Choose three. You may choose the same mode more than once.

  • Proliferate.
  • Target creature phases out.
  • Counter target activated or triggered ability.

These effects are small as far as a Confluence goes. This is meant to either let you manage the stack or defend yourself from an annoyingly persistent board wipe, or just let you throw more counters onto everything. It isn’t amazing though, especially for that high mana value.

Maestros Massacre

The Maestro Massacre is the red/black/blue deck of Commander 22, focused on the vampiric assassin art hordes, the Maestros. They’re the ‘old money’ of New Capenna, using their incredibly long lives to steal everything decadent and luxurious in the plane and keep it for themselves.

The deck’s face Commander is the new leader of the Maestros, following the death of Lord Xander at the hands of Ob Nixilis in the Streets of New Capenna story. Anhelo, the Painter (who we met on day one of the New Capenna previews) gives the first instant or sorcery you cast each turn a casualty cost of two, letting you sacrifice creatures to create a copy of that spell. In Commander, with all its big and splashy spells, that is terrifying. But the deck also has a few other surprises, like some fantastic permanent copying effects and, weirdly, a Phoenix tribal commander.

Extravagant Replication

Four generic, two blue Enchantment:

At the beginning of your upkeep, create a token that’s a copy of another nonland permanent you control.

For so few words, this card packs a lot of punch. Creating a token copy of anything you like is a rare ability, only being found on a few cards like Mirrorpool before now. Doing that every turn without any ‘sacrifice at the end of your turn’ limitations is wild, making this easily one of the best cards in an already amazing deck.

Flawless Forgery

Three generic, two blue Sorcery:

Casualty 3. Exile target instant or sorcery card from an opponent’s graveyard. Copy that card. You may cast the copy without paying its mana cost.

Graveyard hate with the bonus of copying the spell you get rid of is fantastic. You can get rid of a sneaky flashback spell or copy someone else’s Time Warp to pull way ahead, and with Casualty you’ve got two cards from three players’ graveyards to pick from. We saw how powerful Mnemonic Deluge was in Commander Legends, and this is only a slightly weaker form of that.

Sinister Concierge

One generic, one blue Creature – Human Wizard:

When Sinister Concierge dies, you may exile it and put three time counters on it. If you do, exile up to one target creature an opponent controls and put three time counters on it. Each card exiled this way that doesn’t have suspend gains suspend.

Suspend keeps a card in exile until all its time counters have been removed, and then you can cast them without paying their mana cost. Unless your opponent can exile SInister Concierge, they’ll keep coming back repeatedly and taking creatures with them every time they die.

Body Count

Two generic, one black Instant:

Spectacle: one black. Draw a card for each creature that died under your control this turn.

Addendum isn’t the only Ravnica guild mechanic making a comeback in Commander 2022: the Rakdos’ Spectacle, which lets you pay an alternative cost if an opponent has lost life this turn, it also popping up in the Maestros Massacre deck. This will be the perfect card to cast after a board wipe or in an Aristocrats deck to gain major card advantage.

Waste Management

Two generic, one black Instant:

Kicker: three generic, one black.

Exile up to two target cards from a single graveyard. If this spell was kicked, instead exile target player’s graveyard. Create a 2/2 black Rogue creature token for each creature card exiled this way.

The flavour on this card is cool – the dead creatures mysteriously vanish, and in their place a load of scoundrels pop up out of nowhere. This could be a powerful card, no matter if you use it as graveyard hate or a finishing piece for a commander like Syr Konrad, the Grim.

Xander’s Pact

Four generic, two black Sorcery:

Casualty 2. Each opponent exiles the top card of their library. You may cast spells from among those cards this turn. If you cast a spell this way, pay life equal to that spell’s mana value rather than pay its mana cost.

Black loves to pay life to do stuff, and in Commander with its higher starting total that isn’t going to be too restrictive of a cost. Paying the casualty cost to have two sets of three cards to pick from is impressive, too.

Dogged Detective

One generic, one black Creature – Human Rogue:

When Dogged Detective enters the battlefield, surveil 2.

Whenever an opponent draws their second card each turn, you may return Dogged Detective from your graveyard to your hand.

Another Ravnica mechanic is finally back with surveil. This could be a persistent problem if one player is drawling lots of cards, and it's a good sacrifice for your casualty spells.

Make An Example

Three generic, one black Sorcery:

Each opponent separates the creatures they control into two piles. For each opponent, you choose one of their piles. Each opponent sacrifices creatures in their chosen pile.

Separating cards into two piles and picking one is always a fun Commander mechanic, thanks to cards like Boneyard Parley and Fact or Fiction. This one is a bit easier to understand, too, as you’re only having to pick from creatures on the battlefield that you’ve already seen in play. This is also the second Maestros-themed card that pairs very nicely with Kaldheim’s persistent problem; Tergrid, God of Fright.

Spellbinding Soprano

One generic, one red Creature – Human Bard:

Whenever Spellbinding Soprano attacks, instant and sorcery spells you cast this turn cost one generic less to cast.

Encore: three generic, one red.

Anhelo wants you to play instants and sorceries, and Spellbinding Soprano reduces the cost even further. This also fits nicely into attack triggers decks like Isshin or Wulfgar of Icewind Dale, working as a slightly more flexible version of Neon Dynasty’s Peerless Samurai.

Audacious Swap

Three generic, one red Instant:

Casualty 2. The owner of target nonenchantment permanent shuffles it into their library, then exiles the top card of their library. If it’s a land card, they put it onto the battlefield. Otherwise, they may cast it without paying its mana cost.

Audacious Swap has the same drawback as the main Streets of New Capenna set’s Swindler’s Scheme: it seems powerful at first but has such a massive downside that it could lose you the game. While you can tuck a scary piece back into their deck, there’s every chance they could hit that one card they need to win the game, and the risk is only doubled when you pay the casualty cost.

Smuggler’s Buggy

Four generic Artifact – Vehicle:

Hideaway 4. Whenever Smuggler’s Buggy deals combat damage to a player, you may cast the exiled card without paying its mana cost. If you do, return Smuggler’s Buggy to its owner’s hand.

This is the first artifact with hideaway, and its method to play the card for free is incredibly easy to pull off. Best of all, it bounces back your hand to do it again if you succeed, making this a total powerhouse of a card. One criticism worth making is that, after the huge variety of vehicles we saw in Neon Dynasty, all New Capenna’s vehicles look very similar. From the art alone, it’s easy to get this muddled up with Unlicensed Hearse, Getaway Car, and Mysterious Limousine.

Determined Iteration

One generic, one red Enchantment:

At the beginning of combat on your turn, populate. The token created this way gains haste. Sacrifice it at the beginning of the next end step.

Considering populate requires you to already have a token to copy, being forced to sacrifice it isn't very good. Then again, red doesn't normally have access to populate, so that is likely how it is being balanced against green and its usual creature token nonsense.Goa

Syrix, Carrier of the Flame

Two generic, one black, one red Legendary Creature – Phoenix:

Flying, haste. At the beginning of each end step, if a creature card left your graveyard this turn, target Phoenix you control deals damage equal to its power to any target.

Whenever another Phoenix you control dies, you may cast Syrix, Carrier of the Flame from your graveyard.

Finally, phoenix tribal finally gets its own commander. It’s slightly odd that it’s a Rakdos (black/red) commander, as phoenixes are a uniformly mono-red creature type, but it also makes sense. After all, phoenixes are known for rising from the dead, and black is the best colour for creature reanimation. Though this is a legendary creature in the deck, it isn’t a valid alternative commander for it, as it lacks the required blue in its colour identity.

Cryptic Pursuit

Two generic, one blue, one red Enchantment:

Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell from your hand, manifest the top card of your library.

Whenever a face-down creature you control dies, exile it if it’s an instant or sorcery card. You may cast that card until the end of your next.

Manifesting a card means putting it face down as a 2/2 creature. As these spells don’t gain the morph ability, you can turn them face-up by paying the mana cost, which makes it a good way make the spells you have access to more unpredictable. With Cryptic Pursuit, the creature dying doesn’t mean you lose access to the spell too, which allows manifested creatures to be even more difficult for your opponents to deal with.

Maestros Confluence

Three generic, one blue, one black, one red Sorcery:

Choose three. You may choose the same mode more than once.

  • Return target monocolored instant or sorcery card from your graveyard to your hand.
  • Target creature gets +3/-3 until end of turn.
  • Goad each creature target player controls.

We knew Commander 2022 was going to have a decent amount of goad in it after it became the first-ever “Commander Evergreen keyword”. We weren’t quite expecting a spell that could goad every creature the rest of the table controls, though. That could be an easy game-ender as it not only deals lots of damage to every opponent, it also taps most of them to allow you to swing in for a victory. The other two abilities are also helpful, but the goad is the big money play here.

Parnesse, the Subtle Brush

Two generic, one blue, one black, one red Legendary Creature – Vampire Wizard:

Whenever you or a permanent you control becomes the target of a spell or ability an opponent controls, counter that spell or ability unless that player pays four life.

Whenever you copy a spell, up to one target opponent may also copy that spell. They may choose new targets for that copy.

The alternative commander for the Maestros Massacre deck is Parnesse, the Subtle Brush. Many players have looked at it and asked why it doesn’t just say “you and permanents you control have ‘Ward: pay for life’”, but the reason for it is because players can’t have Ward the way it’s currently written in the rules. It’s keyword only given to permanents.

The second ability is interesting, too. As it’s a ‘may’ ability it isn’t a downside, and you can’t force a negative spell like a One With Nothing on them either. But could be a powerful political tool in a “you scratch my back, I scratch yours” kind of way.

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