Hey there everybody, and welcome to another Points of Synergy, the series to help you get the most out of your command zone. This time around, we have the most peaceful guy to come out of Legends: Angus Mackenzie!
As a commander, Angus has a reputation for multiple reasons. 1) his monetary value – due to being a one print, popular card from one of Magic’s oldest expansions, Angus sees himself at near $100 constantly, so if you want to build with him, you either proxy him or REALLY want to build him; and 2) he’s infamous for being durdle.dec. With his remarkable ability to do nothing and prevent your opponents from doing things (more on that in a sec), Angus earns the reputation of one of the most passive commanders in magic, which either makes him a huge threat or not one at all, depending on meta.
First off; we’ll look at those combat stats. At 3 cmc, Anafenza the Foremost showed us what a good combat commander looks like. Angus, with his 2/2 body, leaves much to be desired in this department. But, then again, his ability more than makes up for it.
1) GWU, T: Prevent all combat damage that would be dealt this turn. Activate this only before the combat damage step.
This right here is what has earned Angus his name as a ‘Pillowfort’ commander. With this ability fully online, Angus has the power to simply Fog any attempts at combat; not just towards him, but anyone. In the short run this is a rattlesnake effect that makes people less likely to attack you, and it risks tapping out for naught. However, proper harnessing of this (more on that below) can straight turn off creatures until Angus is dealt with – made more difficult of course by his access to blue for countermagic, while still being Green/White for protective enchantments like Privileged Position. Make no mistake, despite his peaceful demeanour (and cool skull hat), this guy came here to stall games and lose friends, and he’s all out of friends.
So, we have our commander who is a fogmancer, but what can we do to help him out? For a start, tapping means that he can only fog once per untap. In a multiplayer game, fogging can leave you vulnerable while people know you can’t prevent their damage. As such, I recommend running supplemental fog effects, particularly repeatable ones such as Constant Mists or Maze of Ith. The knowledge that you can continue to stymie advances even after your commander has fogged one player pushes you one step closer to invulnerability.
Speaking of which, what if you could just untap Angus every turn, along with mana to use him? Seedborn Muse is a ridiculous piece of Synergy with ol’ Angus, and sets up the two card engine that nullifies the combat step for everyone until either piece is dealt with. As a forewarn, this WILL annoy the stompy players at the table, and Eldrazi titans still hurt when they come at you, due to annihilator/ Ulamog, the ceaseless hunger’s attack trigger – it is way too good of an opportunity to pass up, however.
As an old legendary (predating even the Weatherlight saga), Angus has no offerings towards flavour corner. Instead, what better than a win condition more or less tailored to him? When all combat damage is nullified, Azor’s Elocutors can pose a genuinely terrifying clock to anybody looking to find a way out of the mist, and offers a peaceful resolution (or merciful getout) to a game in which Angus has taken over. If you’re feeling particularly impatient or would like to speed up the process, proliferate cards like Inexorable Tide or upkeep doubling effects like Paradox Haze will have the game over in a much shorter time. If you happened to be interested in this package, both of these pieces grind the game out pretty well with Darksteel Reactor, too.
I think that just about covers Angus, guys! What do you think? Razor sharp commander choice? Or still a bit foggy in places? I’d love to hear what you think, and if you’re hungry for more, be sure to like us on Facebook or our (still relatively new) Instagram page! For now though, Unmistakable out!