One of the phrases a red player definitely doesn’t enjoy hearing is “prevent that damage.” Against the color with easily the most spells and abilities that deal damage directly, damage prevention can be a powerful ability. So why would a red player play a card that prevents all damage to players from their spells?

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Ghired, Conclave Exile

Something you’ll learn about me as a player is that I’m quite a Selesnyan mage. I love tokens and token strategies, and while I don’t only own green and white decks, my strategies often look the same. My favorite mechanic is populate, and I’ve longed to build a Naya tokens deck but haven’t had the right Commander to do so. Now that Commander 2019 is here, I finally have a Naya Commander who populates!

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Commander 2019

Gemstone Mining will normally focus on one obscure card with a bunch of different ways to use it, attempting to highlight how something seemingly mediocre can be potentially great. This week we’re going to focus on three different gems that synergize with some of the new Commanders from the upcoming Commander 2019 set!

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Death Pits of Rath

Killing your opponents’ creatures is something you typically want to be doing. A sizable creature or group of creatures can really hinder your progress, and if you’re unable to politically bargain your way out of a combat phase or two you’re probably up a creek without a paddle. Today’s gem is rude to any deck running creatures: Death Pits of Rath.

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Bruse & Ikra

One of the first decks I ever built was Doran, the Siege Tower. Toughness matters and life gain were ingrained into its strategy and it was a blast to play. When four-color Commanders were dropped on us back in 2016, Doran had an identity crisis. Why stick to Abzan when you could introduce red? Thus, “Bruse and Ikra‘s Tough Love Shack” was born.

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Desecrated Tomb

Graveyard strategies are some of the most prevalent strategies in Magic. Whether you’re trying to dredge into Vengevine or use Past in Flames to storm off by casting things from your graveyard, it’s a powerful resource. But these strategies often focus on dumping things into your graveyard to produce some powerful effect. Our gem today, Desecrated Tomb, is a long-term value engine for being less ridiculous about your graveyard shenanigans.

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Hamletback Goliath

When considering what high mana cost cards to put into your deck, you have a ton of things to consider: Does it fit the strategy? Does it have an immediate impact? Does it help close out the game? Today’s focus is on a card that doesn’t have an immediate impact on its own but can get out of control quickly if left unanswered.

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