Switcheroo: That’s No Moon

Greetings, fellow Commander players! Welcome back to Switcheroo, the only Commander column that recommends drinking seven glasses of card draw per day. Today, we take a look at the newly released Eldritch Moon and the plentiful cards available for your next Commander decks.

BREAKING NEWS UPDATED!!! If you are attending GenCon 2016 in Indianapolis, come join fellow GDCers like myself (@Alexckszeto), Mr. P (@thingsMrPthinks), and former GDC (and current StarCityGames.com) writer Erik Tiernan (@Erik_Tiernan). We will be chatting all week on Twitter, so follow us, send us a tweet and stay in touch.  Let’s play some socially-friendly games of Commander, sing the praises of the social contract, and grab some tacos from the food truck! Can’t wait to see you all there.

If you are not familiar with Switcheroo columns, I am here to help with your deckbuilding dilemmas. Here are the low-downs: I will highlight a particular card from Magic’s history, and see how a recently-printed card either replicates – or often supersedes – the original. Every card highlighted on Switcheroo is friendly on the wallet and can easily found at your local gaming store or online retailer.

First up – Why it’s important to check your credit report, health care costs in Innistrad and mono white tutors on Switcheroo.




Identity Thief: Monitor Your Credit Report Regularly

With every new set, I am giddy with new variants of Clone, because I love Clone effects and always wanted to build a dedicated clone deck.  Identity Thief takes the cake as one of most unique clone spells in its flavor and application. At first glance, Identity Thief reminded me of Cryptoplasm; Both are similar mechanically, allowing you to copy a different creature each turn that suites your needs. Unlike Cryptoplasm, Identity Thief has one of my favorite triggers ever printed written in Magic –  the “Whenever this creature attacks” trigger. I am a sucker for attacking triggers in Magic because I enjoy the interaction of combat with my opponents. Hopefully this trend will extend further into blue’s color identity in future sets.

In addition, Identity Thief has the ability to exile a creature and return it back to the battlefield later on; simply removing an opponent’s creature from blocking, getting rid of auras and equipment attached on a creature or retriggering your own “Enter the Battlefield” creatures is a powerful effect indeed. All in all, this card has all the abilities that I love stapled in a creature type that I adore and will build around in the near future.

Now for the part of Identity Thief that is terrifying and can ruin your life . According to IdentityTheft.info, approximately 15 million United States residents have their identities used fraudulently each year with financial losses totalling upwards of $50 billion. Be vigilant with your private financial information and if you suspect your information has been stolen, please contact your financial institutions and police right away. Your money is better protected and can be spent on more Magic cards.


Thalia’s Lancer: Something old, Something New

Quiz time – when was the last card printed in mono white that allows you to search for the following cards: Brigid, Hero of Kinsbaile, Darien, King of Kjeldor, or a Gerrard Capashen?

Answer: NEVER

Thalia’s Lancer is the first – the expansion of white’s color pie taken from the same concept of an existing Green sorcery Time of Need. There is a lot to like about Thalia’s Lancer, but mainly it’s the ability to search for any legendary card in your deck. It is a great addition for a mono white commander deck, because it rewards you for deckbuilding – by considering how many legendaries are in your deck in a color that normally lacks reliable ways to search your library for creature cards. I am not sure how many legendary permanents you need to justify putting in Thalia’s Lancer into a deck. My guess is around three to four creatures and maybe one to three legendary lands or artifacts/enchantments combined – in total, five to seven targets for the Lancers. At a mana cost of five, Thalia’s Lancer might be steep, but a tutor attached to a body is extremely hard to find in mono white’s color pie.


Geier Reach Sanitarium: Helvault Insurance Provider Broke Out

Here is another question – what would the insurance premiums be like for citizens of Innistrad? People living there face the normalities of every-day life like diseases or ailments, while adding on the reality of grim and terrifying predators such as werewolves, vampires, a frog monster…and don’t forget the Eldrazi.  All things that seem to dwindle down the average life expectancy rate.

Worry not; all are welcome at the Geier Reach Sanitarium. Taking a look from afar, Geier Reach Sanitarium is an innocuous effect, allowing each player to draw a card and then discard.  The “loot” effect is the same as a Lore Broker. But what I like about Geier Reach Sanitarium is the low opportunity cost to play this card; it’s a colorless non-basic land that can be played in any commander deck. Most Commander decks plays with 36 to 42 lands in their deck, and this card’s utility outweighs the lack of colored mana fixing.  Go ahead and slot it in.

Geier Reach Sanitarium can be slotted in a lot of different commander decks that don’t have this type of a drawing and discarding effect. Discarding cards from your hand can be rather useful for the decks that want to take advantage their own (or their opponent’s) graveyards.

Some players may not like giving card selections to their opponents, but that’s just the price they have to pay for healthcare in Innistrad.

Let’s Bring this Article to a Screeching Halt

What are your favorite gems from the Eldritch Moon? Will Pokemon Go take over this year’s GenCon? What insurance company would you go with on Innistrad (Would Sorin take payment in blood)? I would love to hear your comments and feedback below or via Twitter or find GDC via Facebook.

Thanks again for @ryansainio for all the excellent graphics provided in this article.

Until next time – lets chat Magic.