Atarka’s Command Dragons of Tarkir

Atarka’s Command

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Choose two —

-Your opponents can’t gain life this turn.
-Atarka’s Command deals 3 damage to each opponent.
-You may put a land card from your hand on to the battlefield.
-Creatures you control get +1/+1 and gain reach until end of turn.

  • MadCow

    oh my…. oh yes….

  • six color walker

    So awesome, red, green aggro staple

  • Sick card !
    Wonder where it will be played in modern. Burn is a strong candidate. Are there others?

    • Alex Egertsen

      Aggro Loam will fall head over heels for this. So. I’ll just drop an extra land and keep your life total from increasing

  • Fabien Joan Bernex

    Jund dragon here i come

  • florbot

    Seems like this will be played in modern burn :D

    • Zombie

      Modern Burn competitive player here-

      I have a raging Aggro-Chubby right now.

    • Emiliano Valori

      and it’s going to deal 3 damage even if leyline is in play. Together with swiftspear this card is really sick….

  • Master race

    Not as flashy as the blue+white one but a solid card none the less.

    • Benjamin Glaubinger

      It doesn’t need Flash, it’s already an instant.

      • Master race

        I knew someone would come with that joke when I posted that. :P

        • Benjamin Glaubinger

          Happy to oblige.

  • james chapman

    New modern burn staple!

    • Derpachus

      It could be, but judging by the first and second abilities, people will more likely run skullcrack rather than this

      • Benjamin Glaubinger

        Some of the Modern burn decks already splash green for Destructive Revelry, so I wouldn’t be surprised if this showed up in those lists as Skullcracks 5-6, with a little extra flexibility.

        • Zombie

          I wouldn’t even be surprised if it replaced Skullcrack altogether.

          Burn already has Flames of the Blood Hand in sideboards as extra Skullcracks, why not just run Atarka’s Commands in the main instead?

          • guest

            so flexible, it will definitely be 4x in main deck. on the draw you expect to have 3 lands in hand by t2 and are until then a step behind in mana production… so you want to play this eot2 for damage+land drop. in a burn-heavy, skullcracks go to the sideboard against kor firewalker removal. flames too expensive probably just drops out of the deck altogether.

      • james chapman

        I’m looking at the last ability , burn decks are running more creatures these days, with 2 swift spears this is a lightning bolt plus 4 power on your guys.

      • Zombie

        More and more Burn decks are running Lightning Helix main as well as Kor Firewalker or Soulfire Grand Master in the sideboard as life gain tools to play the attrition game.

        Skullcrack nullifies those cards’ abilities when playing them on the same turn because it stops you from gaining life as well, while Atarka’s Command does not.

        At the very least Atarka’s will replace Skullcrack in Burn lists that splash Green for Destructive Revelry. It performs a similar job while not hindering parts of your own 75.

      • guest

        no, this definitely replaces skullcrack in the main. the extra modes are both relevant… here are just a few very likely scenarios:

        t1 switspear and t2 opponent is tapped, then you play this (damage + land) plus a lava spike/bolt and get in 9 damage, leaving the opponent with 10 or 11 dependeing on whether they blocked the swiftspear (very unlikely since it was probably a t1 mana ramper). if your opponent fetched, then 9, if fetched for an untapped shock then 7… and that’s just the eot2.

        if you have 2 swiftspears on an empty board (it’s nuts already), then this is better than boros charm… 9 damage vs. 8 for boros charm vs. 7 for skullcrack. 2 points may not sound like much, but it’s always the last point of damage that wins the game, and burn is the most likely deck to either run out of gas or fizzle before the opponent stabilizes… for example, eidolon is a staple now but usually only does 4 points damage to the opponent.

        if the board is gummed up then you reserve it in hand for the lifegain prevention, as usual… it’s no better or worse than skullcrack, except in the mirror game 2 where they have kor firewalker and you need damage to get through to kill it.

        skullcrack either goes to sb or you keep 1-3 in the mainboard since you so often use the command in other modes.

  • Stef

    Better than Ojutai’s I think, but nothing gamebreaking.

  • kmk888

    Extremely interesting that they are not sticking to a single cmc. I guess the other commands didn’t either, I was just thinking about the charms and was expecting a bunch of 4 cmc spells. This means that one of them can be like some ridiculous 6 or 7 cmc thing if they wanted.

    This is obviously an excellent, highly playable card. Everything RG aggro wants in a noncreature spell except removal, which would make it broken. The threat of activation for some of these modes is actually more important than using them. Remember when people said that Abzan Charm wouldn’t see play because the last mode was weak?

    • Kameenook

      Another X command would be fun IMO. Let’s compare to the charms of old. We’ve got a 4 to a 4. Technically Profane Command is CMC 2 in all zones other than the stack, so we’ve got a 2-2. They probably don’t care to match it up like so, but that leaves us with CMC 5, CMC 5, and CMC 6.

  • gabriel

    Jesus Christ… 2 Mana for all of these options?

  • ryx

    Yes, cheap burn and a decent amount of other abilities including an answer to Jeskai charm.

  • MrAptronym

    This is interesting, I am not sure of the power level, but a skull crack, or a ramp with burn seems like set of options for many burn decks, the last ability seems like the odd duck out but could be potentially useful?

  • Melissa Juice

    That’s pretty versatile for two. Can’t wait to see Silumgar’s Command.

    • Kameenook

      Kolaghan Command is the one I’m rooting for. (After Silumgar’s command of course)

  • Zombie

    This is definitely Modern playable. With Burn decks splashing Green for Destructive Revelry as a varied silver bullet, it’s totally within the realm of possibility for Atarka’s Command to fit in the deck. It’s not implausible that I could run an extra Stomping Grounds over a Mountain to run 4 Atarka’s Command.

    I’m ecstatic for a card like this. Without a doubt it’s going to replace Skullcrack, because not only can it do a similar job to Skullcrack, it has two other options that Burn can take advantage of as well. And it doesn’t stop you from gaining life like Skullcrack (Hello Soulfire Grand Master. I’ve found your limiter removal).

    – [Your opponents can’t gain life this turn]: If you’ve been keeping up with Burn and how it’s changing over time post- Fate Reforged, Kor Firewalker is sometimes being replaced for the insane life gain and recursion of Soulfire Grand Master, sometimes even in the main deck. Atarka’s Command not only stops your opponent from gaining life, but unlike Skullcrack, it lets YOU gain life. Suddenly gaining 6 from Lightning Helix and Searing Blaze looks a lot better.

    – [Deal 3 damage to each opponent]: This is where Atarka’s Command has its only real downside. It doesn’t hit creatures. But, given that it can do a bunch of different things, I think the good outweighs the bad here. Doming your opponent for 3 + more upside is always going to be good. It’s like playing Lava Spike and then Splicing a Green spell onto it.

    – [You may put a land card from your hand onto the battlefield]: This is the ability I think will make it most attractive to Modern outside of Burn. With the popularity of R/G Tron rising post-ban of Birthing Pod, having a RG Instant that can drop an extra land and then either Lava Spike your opponent or prevent them from gaining life off of something like Siege Rhino, Kitchen Finks, Obstinate Baloth etc.? Seems pretty good to me. That extra 3 damage being able to hit Walkers as well could help Tron as well for when Karn can’t kill everything.

    – [Creatures you control get +1/+1 and gain reach until end of turn]: This is huge for Burn, or Red based Aggro in general, and this ability on a card that can also pop your opponent for 3 damage is possibly going to have this force me to eat my words about Monastery Swiftspear. Not only does it deal 3 damage, but it triggers Prowess and then pumps them AGAIN. With a single Monastery Swiftspear on board while playing Atarka’s Command, you’re dealing 6 damage. With two, you’re dealing 9. And this is just from the Swiftspears and Atarka’s Command alone. I said Monastery Swiftspear needed something to make it as good as everyone thought it was, and you’re looking at that card.

    I’m extremely excited to play with this card. I’ll definitely be sporting it in Burn the next time I play in a tournament, I can’t imagine it not being fantastic.

    Oh yeah, and it can let your stupid creatures chump-block some Flying stuff blah blah who cares.

    Edit: Was just talking to my friend about Atarka’s Command and I realized that it enables a third way for Burn to win on T3. Epic.

    I’m fairly certain this will replace Skullcrack in the main deck and Skullcrack will in turn replace Flames of the Blood Hand in the sideboard. At least that feels the best.

    • kingalexander61

      I keep getting happier that I bought like twenty swiftspears at 50 cents a piece when khans was released.

      • Kameenook

        About how much are they at now?

    • tyrone

      This card will not replace skullcrack in modern burn. One thing, you need green as well to cast, and skullcrack prevents damage from being prevented, which this doesn’t. the other two modes aren’t as relevent to burn and double +1/+1 is not that great for monastery swiftspear when you can just do it to their face with skull crack. overall, this might see standard play.. probably not even G/R tron since it has to be from your hand. All hype, don’t buy into it, but if there is a lingering souls meta, it could be playable.

      • Zombie

        But what is there in competitive decks that prevents damage that’s dominating the format?

        It’s almost never an issue. The “no life gain” is the most relevant part of Skullcrack’s bonuses, and it stop you from gaining life as well. Which means it turns off any life gain you have on the stack if you have to play it as a response, and any life gain from Soulfire Grand Master or Kor Firewalker.

        Plus, Atarka’s Command doesn’t actually target anything, so it’s damage and an extra ability that gets around Leyline of Sanctity, one of Burn’s hardest counters.

        This isn’t just hype, it’s a very, very good card in Burn.

        And about the land being in your hand? It’s almost like you have to have lands in your hand to play them, and Sylvan Scrying puts the land it tutors into your hand…

        Step 1: Play a land for the turn. Step 2: Sylvan Scrying for another land. Step 3: End of Opponent’s turn Atarka’s for 3 damage and a land drop. Step 4: Profit.

        • tyrone

          Im saying it could replace flames of the blood hand, or maybe allow snapcaster plays for value. I was really looking forward to a skullcrack reprint for standard, so this game doesnt turn into Midrange: the lifelinking. But about that sylvan scrying, id rather cast search for tomorrow because you have to pay 4 mana just to get a land out at instant speed but it’s a tron land. idk, id have to do some testing later on, but these spoilers are really lacking so far for modern playablility then again it would have to be broken to see modern play.

          • Zombie

            Why would it replace Flames? Flames is played as a replacement/extra Skullcrack because it doesn’t push negative effects on you and it does more damage. And don’t say it’s just Skullcrack 5/6 because many lists don’t even run 4 Skullcracks, but still run Flames in the board.

            Atarka’s Command performs the essential and most required abilities of Skullcrack when it needs to, and it doesn’t target your opponent to do so. That means it escapes target clauses and Leyline of Sanctity.

            You’re really not giving that kind of reach enough credit.

            Nothing HAS to be broken to see Modern or Legacy play. Monastery Swiftspear isn’t broken, and it sees both.

            In fact, Monastery Swiftspear is widely considered one of the weakest cards being played in Legacy Delver lists, but you want to know why it’s played? Because it fills a specific niche that the deck requires and has power potential.

            It’s the same deal with Atarka’s Command. It fills the niche that Burn needs of a card that fits its game plan (damage), but also provides utility that prevents Burn from doing its thing.

            Sure, broken cards easily go into non-rotating formats. But that’s not the only reason, or even the biggest reason for that matter.

            There are plenty of mediocre cards that are played in Modern because it works with the deck.

            Deceiver Exarch and Pestermite are pretty bad on their own, but with Splinter Twin they become a part of the strongest combo in Modern. Ornithopter is literally garbage, but can become a giant beatstick or consistent damage plinker in Affinity.

            It’s not always purely about card power. Atarka’s Command is a dirt-cheap toolbox card that does everything Burn wants to do in Modern, and then some.

        • Emiliano Valori

          The damage doesn’t target the opponent. so it’s playable with leyline on the battlefield. This is going to replace my skullcracks for sure!

          • Zombie

            Exactly, and it doesn’t just do damage. It pumps up all of the creatures Burn plays, it can drop an extra land if you need it, and it stops life gain for only your opponent.

            Other than its mana cost, I see absolutely no reason why this wouldn’t be played in Modern Burn format-wide.

          • Emiliano Valori

            I already play green for destructive revelry. so the mana cost is not a problem at all.

          • Zombie

            Same, though I think an extra Stomping Grounds should be in order, just for consistency’s sake.

            Which shouldn’t be a problem, because my Burn deck is just R/W splash Green right now anyway.

      • Kameenook

        How many modern turbofog decks have you come across in the last month?

    • BlahBlahBlahBla

      Spot on. Definitely going to sleeve up an extra Stomping Grounds in burn in anticipation of this.

    • Kevin Johnstone

      why would you play 3 color burn ? (you mention soulfire grand master not working with skullcrack)

      Id strait up just play 4 of these AND 4 skullcracks

      • Zombie

        Because R/W Burn splashing for Green (Destructive Revelry) is the best of the Burn world right now. You get access to maindeck Lightning Helix and Boros Charm (Two of the best burn spells in Modern, behind Lightning Bolt), and in your sideboard you can bring in the Destructive Revelry for additional enchantment/artifact hate beyond Wear/Tear that also does damage.

        Destructive Revelry hits both Artifacts AND enchantments, and while it does 1 less damage than Smash to Smithereens it’s totally worth it.

        I personally run 2 Wear/Tear and 2 Destructive Revelry in my board. The utility they provide is unparalleled.

        And now, there’s a maindeck option that can replace the 3-4 Skullcracks, and then using the Skullcracks to replace the copies of Flames of the Blood Hand in the board.

        It’s now essentially “Naya Burn”, as it maindecks 3 colors, rather than just splashing the Green out of the board, because maindeck White is just too strong to not play. R/W/X Burn decks are what did extremely well in the Modern Pro Tour Fate Reforged, 2 of which ended up in the Top 8. There’s just no reason to not play R/W/X Burn. There just isn’t.

        • OSFerret

          If we are talking Naya Burn, what about running Goyf and possibly even sideboard Huntmaster?

          • Zombie

            Because Huntmaster is too slow for Burn and Goyf would be too many creatures.

  • kingalexander61

    I love/hate how it interacts against Ojutai’s command. I wonder if they will each interact similarly against another command in the cycle, or if that’s just a coincidence.

  • Bostorket

    “I’ll pop Ajani and gain 100 life.”

    “You’ll gain nothing and LIKE IT.”

    • Happy The Cat

      *you’ll gain negative three

      • Bostorket

        Not a guarantee, but you’re thinking.

  • Leonardo Duarte


  • BRB getting new pants.

  • Kevin Johnstone

    A green and red skullcrack wtF!?!!?

  • richardshort2001

    Yes, please

  • Pepper Pirate

    This card is so flexible, its incredible. It actually can serve as bolts 4-8 if you choose to smack for three and put a land down, as it doesn’t require the land to come in tapped. That does of course require you to have a land ready in hand, but still.

  • Jazzyboy1

    Oh god, I kinda want this to be banned. Then again, I have a Gruul deck. Hmm…

    This is stupidly op though. Running just the deal 3 damage and put a land on the field options; Turn 2. Cast this for red and green; deal 3 damage. Put a mountain down. Lightning bolt. 6 damage on turn 2 and you’ve just gotten a bit closer to your big creatures. Can make a big hit on any game. Turn 3, you either start manaramping some more or you play a 4 mana beast and smack your opponent in the face.

  • Kameenook

    This is a good one. Especially in EDH.

  • Ryū

    2 of 4 good options for two mana. Very nice.

  • guest

    replaces skullcrack in modern burn immediately.

    oh it’s also one of the 2cmc pure mana ramp spells period… this plus the red dragonslave mana dork puts small dragons down t3 and big ones down t4, without requiring you to play an otherwise useless mana dork.

  • kingalexander61

    I just noticed the Efreet on the right. I guess we know what happened to them now. I liked them as monks though…

    • Vabolo

      I dunno, Frozen Wasteland Wanderer Efreet looks pretty sweet!