Commander Spotlight: Reflect Damage

Welcome back to the endless drama that is our Guild-Themed Commander picks. There’s never a moment where there isn’t some drastic revelation around the corner. Betrayals, schemes, wild accusations – one surprise after another. It’s ever so exciting, isn’t it? Each episode brings unique revelations – especially when you’re dealing with strong-willed Colors…


…wait, are we talking about Magic, or soap operas?

One second while I find out.  In the meantime, enjoy this adorable puppy:






Alright, I’ve been told it’s about Magic. Sometimes, though, it’s hard to know the difference, emotion-wise. Sure, games are fun, but they can evoke all sorts of emotional responses from people while you’re playing them. In multiplayer Magic, you see it regularly: frustration over not being able to cast something, anger at someone’s provocation against you, dismay when your well-laid plans fall apart, or euphoria when they do exactly what you wanted to in a grand flourish.

The colors of the game do that too. Each color portrays a different kind of emotional response (or lack thereof – I’m looking at you, Blue). When colors are paired, we see overlapping visceral representations. We get to see many of the best – or worst – of those emotions. Allied colors complement each other. And though they say opposites attract, in Magic, that bears multiple meanings. Especially when dealing with Boros colors. Ahhh, Boros.

Red is pigeon-holed as only the color of fury, anger, impulsiveness, and while it has many other traits that evoke positive emotions, it has that reputation for a reason. White, likewise, has the reputation of the color of order, protecting others, mutual assistance, and hope. But when you put it together with Red, Magic’s impetuous bad boy, it brings out a lot of White’s righteous anger too.

Today we have: Reflect Damage

Name: Reflect Damage

Edition: Mirage

Rarity: Rare

Focus: Damage Dealing / Damage Prevention

Highlights: Players associate Red/White cards with Boros. Most Boros cards are creature-based or combat-based. Red and White are both colors of combat tricks. So, on the surface level, it’s understandable that people don’t think of Red/White spells that handle things other than combat. Well, besides Lightning Helix.

Yet Reflect Damage is a card that squarely fits into what someone should envision for a Red/White Commander card, for a number of reasons:

1. For starters, it gives an older card new life. Few formats can offer that like Commander. It’s just not a card that a lot of players will expect. Aside from nostalgia, this can provide strategic advantages.

2. It’s a lot more versatile than it seems on the surface. Traditionally, people glance at the card and say it isn’t anything but a more expensive version of other spell prevention cards like Reverse Damage, Honorable Passage, or Hallow. However, Reverse Damage and Hallow gain you the life, and Honorable Passage only throws the damage back if the source is Red. Reflect Damage can reflect any damage spell (although with Black mainly being life loss effects nowadays, it likely will mostly be Red in origin). However…

3. People neglect to notice that Reflect Damage works on creatures too. Sure, it makes a poor prevention card against a swarm of token creatures, and that’s why it’s not used most of the time. What’s more, to have to sit on a 5-cost card in a Boros-colored dual proabably means you’re doing something wrong. In Commander, on the other hand, it makes a wonderful target for that 40/40 Vulturous Zombie coming at you. What’s more, unlike, say, Boros Fury-Shield, it will be the creature dealing the damage back. (“Sorry, it would appear your Blightsteel Colossus kills you instead.”) Moreover, since the card is a replacement effect, it even works for commander damage. Watching someone’s Kresh punch themselves into a loss would be quite memorable. What’s more, you don’t even have to be the one being attacked to utilize it!

4. Even at five mana, it provides Red/White a potentially damaging blow for longer games that doesn’t revolve around having an army, and it isn’t nearly as expensive as trying to run traditional Fireball-type damage spells. All in all, it’s a sound investment for avoiding damage and handing it right back to someone in the same move.


Stay tuned for the next guild-based Commander card. In the meantime, we’ll keep the light on for you.

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