Gatecrash Casual & Commander Review: Simic Combine

At the end of Dissension, the Simic Combine was all but destroyed. Since then though, a new leader has risen and reevaluated the guild’s focus into something… more. Or maybe they are just trying to combine the weirdest assortment of creature types possible. It’s hard to tell when the guild is almost as crazy as Izzet. Almost.

In multiplayer formats, blue and green is one of those color combinations that sounds like it can do anything. Green gives access to big creatures and fast mana, while blue adds in control, card advantage and evasion. And when you combine the two colors, weird things happen – like Crab Fish, Lizard Drakes and something called a Krasis. Anyone know what a Krasis is? Because I don’t think a mutated fish is a muddling of water a wine.

Gatecrash Casual & Commander Review
Orzhov Syndicate | House of Dimir | Simic Combine | Gruul Clans | Boros Legion
White | Black | Blue | Green | Red | Other

Return to Ravnica Casual & Commander Reviews
Azorious Senate  | Izzet League | Cult of Rakdos | Golgari Swarm | Selesnya Conclave
White | Blue | Red | Black | Green | Gold, Artifact & Lands

Clinging Anemones

I’m a sucker for awful creature types, and find jellyfish to be hilarious. I don’t find 4 mana walls to be that hilarious. The big difference between power and toughness means he’ll evolve easily, but that doesn’t stop the fact that this is a 1/4 defender for 4.

Cloudfin Raptor

I have no idea if this card is good. The aggro-player in me says no, but the combo player loves the idea of having a card that makes so many tokens. This is a perfect little engine piece in kitchen table 60, but in Commander, it doesn’t do enough. But bird mutants are kind of awesome.

Frilled Oculus

I love Rootwallas as much as the next person (maybe more), but paying mana for one isn’t my style.

Simic Fluxmage

This is how I want evolve to work! Being a 1/2 means the Fluxmage has plenty of opportunities to grow, but the ability to toss around +1/+1 counters on a whim is the perfect political game. You can negate undying, undo infect and more with a little mana. And it’s a merfolk!

Simic Manipulator

In long games, this guy is perfect to slap a pair of Swiftfoot Boots on and go to town. Unlike Beguiler of Wills (who never seemed to work right), Simic Manipulator is ideal for some quick counter transfers and long-term theft. Add in the Seasinger casting cost and awesome squid hand, and this card is going to cause some headaches.

Adaptive Snapjaw

I kind of want to run this in my Craw Wurm deck.


Simic has some of the best creature types out there. The combination of evolve and reach makes for some decent defense, but unless you have a way to abuse those +1/+1 counters, you’re better off with Deadly Recluse for discouraging attackers.

Experiment One

Besides having a name that sounds like this should be a legendary creature, this little evolver is a fascinating card for combo players. The one-drop evolve is nice, especially when you want something more aggressive than Cloudfin Raptor (or aren’t in blue), but I love turning +1/+1 counters into a currency in-game. Being a one-drop sometimes-regenerator is interesting in a casual 60 deck, but for Commander, I don’t see this doing enough.

Gyre Sage

Fast mana is dangerous, and fast mana that doubles as a beatstick is even more dangerous. While some players will find it hard to tap a 6/7 for five green mana, the math on this card is terrifying. If all goes to plan, the mana acceleration provided by Gyre Sage can be the equivalent of a Time Walk each turn as it adds more and more mana. In Commander, this is far too easy to abuse and far too much fun.


I can’t wait for the day when someone wins a draft with this card, but this card is going to be decisive in multiplayer. Just playing this card will cause some players to hunt you down, but when it comes to alternate win conditions, getting four of these into play sounds far easier than it really is (unless you happen to get lucky with a kicked Rite of Replication). If you end up building a 60-card deck around this, expect it to work once before getting the dark mark.

In commander, if you can pull this off, you’ll be a folk hero.

Drakewing Krasis

I love this lizard drake (does that even make sense?), but unless you are going very aggressive in the skies, I wouldn’t recommend this over Trygon Predator or Winged Coatl.

Elusive Krasis

The concept of a 0/4 evolver is interesting, especially when paired up unblockability and a cipher ability or two. In a long game, this provides solid defense on the ground until it strikes and that makes it very interesting. If you’re playing blue and green in Commander, I can see this working in your favor.

Fathom Mage

A card I much prefer the prelease version of (but how isn’t this a merfolk?), Fathom Mage is a beautiful engine that will draw you a hand or two of cards – and if you can juggle the counters, it will just get you more. The casting cost feels high, especially without any immediate effect but add in some creatures with flash and she will pay for herself.


As a combat trick, this is neat but I don’t see this going far in multiplayer. Unless you really like yelling, “SURPRISE LAND CREATURE!”

Master Biomancer

I believe a wow is in order. Mutating all your creatures is awesome from a flavor standpoint, but mutating them based on this guy’s power? That’s absurd! Toss in some counter moving and Master Biomancer turns every creature you cast (or token you summon) into a behemoth. This is not the card you want to be on the opposing side of.

Mystic Genesis

I’ve loved Mystic Snake since it debuted in Apocalypse. Getting a Mystic Snake crossed with a Draining Whelk is a lot of fun and perfect for big Commander games. A hard counter and an X/X creature for only 2G is a great bargain – especially when you can populate again and again. But the fact that you only get a token means you can’t abuse it with bounce.

Nimbus Swimmer

If you’re playing UG in Commander, this is a decent drop that can serve multiple slots in a deck, like early game evader, mid-game blocker or end-game killer. Plus with evolve, it allows you to cast a creature exactly the size you need.

Prime Speaker Zegana

The new Simic leader, Zegana is the perfect commander. If you’re trying to win by Commander damage, dropping her triggers a strong end-game clock for everyone else as you get to refill your hand and bludegeon people with a massive merfolk. That’s right, she’s a merfolk too so giving her evasion should be a breeze! And if you happen to have a way to flicker her, she’ll keep your hand nice and full too. This is the kind of Commander I want to be playing – so move over Edric.


Best two creature types ever! The combination of flash and evolve allow for some nice combo shenanigans, but this fish crab is still a 2/1 at the end of the day. But it’s an auto-include in my crab deck. It isn’t a good deck.

Simic Charm

How are all the charms so good? In commander, this can save a creature, kill a creature, save all your stuff, bounce a creature or deal that last piece of Commander damage. And this card only has three abilities! Giant Growth is handy, but a Giant Growth with options is better. Giving all your permanents hexproof is insane on so many levels. Oh, and it’s an Unsummon. If you want utility, it doesn’t get much better than this.

Unexpected Results

I love this card, but man is it dumb. While little more than a Temporal Aperture in sorcery form, I love the wonkiness of it coming back when you get a land. It isn’t a good card, but anything that makes the whole table turn and watch is a good thing in my book.

Urban Evolution

Explore and Divination have teamed up for a solid little gold card. The cost is expensive, but mid-game this provides you with the right amount of steam to stay in the game. Another perfect Simic card that isn’t ground breaking but if you’re in these colors, you’ll want to consider it.

Zameck Guildmage

The Guildmages in this block are interesting. Each of them has a very specific use in a certain kind of deck and Zameck Guildmage is no exception  The ability to pay GU to make your creatures bigger is nice (especially when you realize you can activate it multiple times). The second ability to eat counters for drawing cards is what makes me very interested, especially since this one can basically go into any UG deck. Now I need to go find my Ornithopters and Memnites

Biomass Mutation

Mirror Entity in different colors is always fun, but the whole rule about hybrid cards essentially being gold in Commander makes this less awesome for me.


Fate Transfer is much more fun.

Merfolk of the Depths

As an evolve trigger in limited, I like it. In any kind of constructed format, I’ll pass on paying 6 mana for a 4/2.

Simic Keyrune

Mana acceleration, protective powers and it is actually a hermit crab? All of those make this kind of awesome… for a mana rock.

Breeding Pool

Does your deck use islands and forests? Do you sometimes wish an island was a forest or a forest was an island? THIS SOLVES YOUR PROBLEM.

Simic Guildgate

Too cheap to buy Breeding Pools? Close enough!

Top 5 Simic Combine Cards for Casual & Commander
5. Simic Charm
4. Simic Manipulator
3. Simic Fluxmage
2. Master Biomancer
1. Prime Speaker Zegana

I feel a little bad for picking two mythics as the two best cards for casual and commander, but both the Biomancer and Zegana are so incredibly good in multiplayer.

Gatecrash Casual & Commander Review
Orzhov Syndicate | House of Dimir | Simic Combine | Gruul Clans | Boros Legion
White | Black | Blue | Green | Red | Other

Return to Ravnica Casual & Commander Reviews
Azorious Senate  | Izzet League | Cult of Rakdos | Golgari Swarm | Selesnya Conclave
White | Blue | Red | Black | Green | Gold, Artifact & Lands