Commander Preview: The Mo' Fo's The Better!
I'm totally stoked to have the privilege of previewing one of the brand new three-color wedge Legends being introduced in the Commander Deck products going on sale June 17. Check out this Fomorian badass…
Ruhan of the Fomori is featured in the Political Puppets deck alongside Numot, the Devastator and a Minotaur Monk named Something the Greathearted that looks more like a goat than a Minotaur… but let's not get distracted from the Giant Warrior right in front of us.
No, I think people are going to have to pay close attention to Ruhan!
At first blush, he seems to be just a hyper-efficient beatdown creature, a 7/7 for four mana, no special abilities, and no real drawback in duels. Those kinds of stats might even see him find homes in Legacy decks.
Around a multiplayer table though, his “drawback” becomes much more interesting! First of all, think about all the games you've played where someone gets a big creature out relatively early and can't really decide whom to attack; nobody has played anything threatening or is more ahead than anyone else is. Do you just attack the gal to your left and go clockwise? Do you pick at random? Do you get revenge on someone for the game from last week? Or do you just not attack anyone, which is the safe route but usually pretty disappointing?
Ruhan's beginning-of-combat trigger takes the choice out of your hands—he's going to attack and attack at random, a very red ability apropos to the pointy end of the R/W/U wedge.
Now, Ruhan of the Fomori is quite the beatdown machine, and his stats are perfectly crafted to terrify. Seven points of power is exactly what you need to kill someone with Commander damage in three hits no matter what their life total. It's not going to be uncommon to see this guy played out there on turn 3 of the game. Sending such a beatstick at someone that early could be seen as overly aggressive and not very friendly.
Perhaps as a nod to his blue mana component, Ruhan lifts that burden from your shoulders. “It's not my fault,” you can say. “Ruhan attacks who he wants…” and then you roll the die to determine the opponent who gets a tree-trunk club upside their life total. Better yet, ask your opponents to roll dice to see who “loses” and gets punished. You lost the die roll, dude; it's your fault you're getting pounded. Blame the victim! Pretty slick, huh? You begin to see why such a beater is in a deck called “Political Puppets.” Ruhan gets the Red Zone party started quickly while absolving you of blame for rocking the boat.
Of course, as fast as Ruhan is, it would always be better if he were faster, and luckily there are plenty of options. Mass Hysteria, Ashling's Prerogative (on even), Lightning Greaves (recently shown to be included in the Commander decks), Fervor, and Obsidian Battle-Axe (since Ruhan is a member of Warrior guild) can all make haste with our horned friend.
Later in the game, even a 7/7 can get a bit outclassed by other creatures on the battlefield, so it would probably be wise to include some other equipment in your deck to make sure he can be formidable no matter when he's on the table. Ruhan is in the right colors to play Equipment fetchers like Stoneforge Mystic, Stonehewer Giant, and Godo, Bandit Warlord to go find your Loxodon Warhammer, Sunforger, Bonehoard, Sword of Vengeance or Tenza, Godo's Maul. It's really not your fault that someone lost the die roll and is getting smacked by a 10/7 trampling, lifelinking monster!
Check out the awesome art by Raymond Swanland, who also did the “extended vanilla creature art” for Future Sight's Fomori Nomad. You can certainly see the difference between a Fomori Nomad and a Legendary Fomori Warrior. Don't mess with the Ruhan!
Art by Raymond Swanland. All preview links or copies must be accompanied
by artist credit, WotC Copyright, and preview sourced to StarCityGames.com
Man, I cannot wait to get my hands on these Commander decks! They go on sale exactly one week before my birthday… hint hint…