One of the biggest things I see or hear is, "What are Commander staples?"
Depending on who you ask, you get the small selection of cards everyone agrees on. After the first 10-15 cards however, the waters get a bit murky and personal opinion comes in to play. Most of us can agree that Sol Ring and Arcane Signet are staples in our commanders’ arsenal, but then are signets considered staples? Talismans or even Cluestones? Do we really need Jewelled Lotus as a staple…
Jewelled Lotus definitely caused a splash in the commander community. People discussing if it was right or even worth it, while others were going wild that black lotus was reprinted in commander. Which, it is good to have these talks, but does that make it a staple? Sure, it can fit into every deck and can have a positive impact when used correctly, but the question is should it go in every deck?
This led me to research what lists are currently out there in regard to staple-cards? One thing I found is that none are fluent and match. EDHRec has a category for the most commonly used cards in decklists online in the last 3 months, but they depend on what’s trending in the commander slot, or what’s been released. Granted there are the odd few cards that marry up between websites, but then they go different directions and will take traits of the player who writes the list. I.e. Vanquisher’s Banner (Tribal players) or Shimmer Myr (Artifact strategies).
This got me thinking, what if we tried to unify these lists and remove the playstyle-specific cards. But then that would leave my bias in the list, so I would have to combat that also. What if we were to make a list that had commander staples, but were not specific to a person’s playstyle? Just a generic set of cards from which the player could personalize if they wish to. A base to build off that any player could have to brew from.
So, we have a task on our hand: How would we do this and where to begin? I feel we start with a project with the help of the community! The more people involved on this list, the less personal choices will slip their way in.
This led me to an interesting thought. As a collective, what if we compiled a list of staples taken across a large number of decks to truly figure out what "staples" are; could we just have ONE binder that holds 1 copy of all of our "staple" cards for Commander? One can flip through this binder and start putting in all relevant cards for the deck, such as ramp, removal, protection, card draw, etc. Simply replace the cards pulled for the new deck, thereby maintaining a constant supply of staples.
This is not going to be my list of staples I think people should have, this is "our" list of staples, I want community input -- your choices, your ideas. That way we have an IntoThe99's community staple list!
So, we need to plan this out and not rush straight into this. First things first.... our binder has 360 slots: the 5 colours, colour-less, multi-colour, artifacts, and lands. So we shall evenly distribute this to 8 categories, grouping colourless with artifacts, for a neat set of 45 cards per section.
We have to start by collating data from the community on each section of the folder so we can see what has the most votes to qualify for the list. It will be exciting to see what cards are considered staples, but also to maintain this as new sets come out and see how this list evolves over time.
If you wish to see the list and its progression, please feel free to check it out at:
Remember, this does not mean you have to agree with this list! Please modify this list to your tastes or playstyles. Keep in mind, this was more for players to have a basis to start from and build up a collection of cards that will be useful to brew with.
I look forward to seeing how this will progress in the future.
You're all amazing!
Toni Lotusbloom McCorkindale