– Double Masters
September 2, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 4.13
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Back when Coldsnap was new, Commander was nowhere near as popular as it is now, so people tried to use Arcum Dagsson in other kinds of casual decks. Don’t judge us; it was a different time. It actually is possible to do that, as even a conditional Tinker effect is very, very strong. He’s a more reliable (though again, conditional) Polymorph effect than Polymorph, in the sense that you can search directly without the risk of accidentally hitting something on top of your deck. And he works well on opponents’ creatures when you need to do that; some decks might only have one or two artifacts and thus whiff when they look for a replacement.
Of course, Arcum’s real niche has turned out to be Commander, where he has earned that dreaded – or, depending on who you ask, desirable – label of “competitive general”. Though as with many things in Commander, I suspect the real culprit is actually Sol Ring.
Arcum Dagsson is one of the more interesting Coldsnap creatures, thanks to how his effect is worded. You can either turn one of your artifact creatures into another non-creature artifact, or you can force the same on your opponent. Creatures like Blightsteel Colossus are oft hard to answer, and this forces them off the board. You can even take advantage of the loophole that is living weapon artifacts to still get a blocker out of it, like Batterskull. The effect has a lot of fun angles you can approach from, but the main downside is that Arcum himself is a touch pricey and very hard to protect; he can shine as the centerpiece of a Commander deck built around his unique talents, but getting him to work elsewhere is maybe a bit too much hoop-jumping.
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