Gathering Deck Garage
Commander Contest Winner #3:
"The Weatherlight Coalition"
April 18, 2012
Most would argue that Commander has done
more for legendary creatures than just about
anything else in Magic's history-- more than
Legends, more than Kamigawa block, more than
their inclusion in Tenth Edition. But
Commander has had one negative impact on
them-- it's made people forget what it
really means for a creature to be legendary.
Legendary creatures earn their supertypenot
by having powerful, unique abilities.
Powerful, unique abilities are given to
legendary creatures because it is felt that
they deserve it. And they deserve it because
they are the main characters in the lore of
Magic: the Gathering-- the ones that aren't
planeswalkers, anyway. A lot of players
sometimes forget that Magic: the Gathering
even has an involved storyline beyond "these
are the two sides in this conflict and these
are the spells they cast", but a few players
remember. And because of that, I had to
recognize this deck.
Here's a pet commander deck of mine.
The Commander is Cromat from Apocalypse.
I can't decide if that or Sliver Queen is
more important -- but more on that later.
The theme is the Coalition (and / or
Weatherlight Crew, and / or people that help
Here's the deck list:
Creatures - 23
Hanna, Ship's Navigator
Darigaaz, the Igniter
Orim, Samite Healer
Rayne, Academy Chancellor
Tahngarth, Talruum Hero
Multani, Maro Sorcerer
Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary
Squee, Goblin Nabob
Karn, Silver Golem
Jhoira of the Ghitu
Ertai, Wizard Adept
Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir
Barrin, Master Wizard
Alexi, Zephyr Mage
Artifacts - 15
Skull of Ramos
Tooth of Ramos
Eye of Ramos
Heart of Ramos
Horn of Ramos
Enchantments - 7
Planeswalkers – 1
Spells - 19
Fact or Fiction
Breath of Darigaaz
Lands - 34
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
The first thing you'll notice is that there
are many things shoehorned in here.
All cards that make the cut are somehow
related to the side of Angels in the
Weatherlight Saga, but some are better than
others. The most tangential are
probably Alexi, Zephyr Mage and Rhystic
Study, and she's basically in there because
she hung out with Barrin, Master Wizard for
a little and helped fight the Keldons (in
Prophecy, I think.)
Anywho, there are two general lines of play:
1 - Play Control
Draw lots of cards. b
lots of mana. c
for other people to get softened up while
protecting yourself! (Usually involves
face with little inefficient creatures and /
or Karn, Silver Golem and all his friends.
2 - Attack with Cromat
steps a), b), and c) above
people with Cromat, because Cromat is
Commander Dilemma: Since there's no
perfect 5C Commander to lead the Coalition
Forces to victory, I'm stuck with either
Cromat or Sliver Queen. Cromat isn't
featured in the story, but it's a big dumb
monster that I'd argue fights against
Yawgmoth, just by way of its living.
On the other hand, Sliver Queen, while evil,
did surrender the parts of the Legacy back
to Karn during Rath and Storm, so maybe that
would Qualify? Cromat's awesome
abilities probably make him a better
The first thing that strikes me about
Fisher's list is the list of legendary
creatures as long as a polearm, but the
absence of Time of Need. I wasn't going to
say anything, since it's a Kamigawa spell
and the theme here is the Weatherlight saga,
but Fisher is running cards like Careful
Consideration, Sift, and Tidings which are
"general purpose" enough that Time of Need
should be okay too. Besides, a spell called
"Time of Need" would fit right in given the
suspense of the Weatherlight Saga.
The next thing I notice is that Fisher seems
to believe that the "one copy each" rule
applies to basic lands as well. Just as the
"four copy maximum" doesn't apply to them in
Standard, the "one copy maximum" doesn't
apply to them in Commander. Then again, with
a five-color deck and all the dual lands
needed to support the mana base, perhaps the
land list is as it is because Fisher
couldn't find any on-theme mana fixers and
wanted to ensure he could cast Cromat and
use its abilities to the fullest. I would've
used the Ravnica bouncelands to better
enable that, but of course they're not
Then there's the question of the general--
is Cromat a better choice than Sliver Queen?
From a power level perspective, I'd say so.
The Queen is +2/+2 bigger and can make
creature tokens, but Cromat is more
versatile and can protect itself. But of
course, you don't build a deck like this if
you're worried about power level, do you?
You want it to be a fair representation of
the storyline! Alas, the Weatherlight Saga
was before I began playing-- Mirrodin Block
was the first Magic story arc I experienced,
so arbitrating on which one works best as a
leader is a bit beyond me I'm afraid. Still,
I'd support either decision.
I'm glad that one of the deck entries was a
thematically-built deck, because I think it
helps remind us all what Commander is, and
can be if we keep our imaginations open and
don't get too focused on win/loss columns.
Tomorrow our last two winners will be
announced, so come on back and we'll explore
two more of the myriad ways Commander can
bring out the stuff of legends in all of us!
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