MTG Commander: ‘Goad’ to become an Evergreen mechanic

Magic: the Gathering artwork of two goblins atop a castle rampart pulling faces and mocking an unseen foe.

Don’t get mad, but there’s a new Evergreen mechanic coming to Magic: the Gathering. Goad, an ability found on cards printed for multiplayer formats like Commander, is now deemed ‘Commander Evergreen’, meaning it’ll be popping up a load more in future EDH products. Gavin Verhey, MTG designer at Wizards of the Coast, revealed in his Good Morning Magic YouTube series on Wednesday that he now considers the mechanic Evergreen. He also explained, to his mind, what’s so great about goading.

First introduced in the Commander 2017 set, Goad is an ability designed for multiplayer play. It forces a goaded creature (the goadee) to attack, and to attack a player other than the goader if possible. In the past year, three legendary creatures (who can be chosen as your Commander) have featured the Goad keyword: Karazikar, the Eye Tyrant; Laurine, the Diversion; and Kaima, the Fractured Calm.

As Verhey explains in his video, it’s very handy for Goad to appear regularly in Commander games, for a number of reasons. Mainly, it encourages (well, forces, actually) players to attack, instead of just turtling up behind big creature armies, hoping someone else at the table will take out their opponents. Goad also creates more diverse interactions with creatures, as it’s a way to affect a powerful creature that’s not just hitting it with removal spell after removal spell.

Evergreen status is a bit of Magic: the Gathering jargon used to describe mechanics which could appear in any (or every) set. It’s quite rare that an MTG mechanic makes the jump to Evergreen. Ward is the most recent keyword to do so, first appearing in Strixhaven: School of Mages in 2021, and being used ever since as a less problematic version of Hexproof. If you’ve played a game of Magic: the Gathering before, you’re probably aware of a fair few Evergreen mechanics like Lifelink, Trample, and Flying.

Of course, it’s less impactful for a mechanic to be dubbed ‘Commander Evergreen’ than regular Evergreen, since Commander games have smaller sets, and more mechanical complexity in the first place. Verhey also says in the Good Morning Magic video that Goad won’t be thrown around willy-nilly. “Goading a little is great. Goading a lot can be unfun,” he says.

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Want to play Magic: the Gathering with multiple mates? Here’s how to build an EDH deck for Commander games. And if you want to crush their hopes and dreams, here are the most powerful Commanders you can use.