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BMoor's Magic The 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.
Hi BMoor,

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 out). 

Here's the deck list: 
Creatures - 23
Hanna, Ship's Navigator
Darigaaz, the Igniter
Gerrard Capashen
Orim, Samite Healer
Rayne, Academy Chancellor
Tahngarth, Talruum Hero
Captain Sisay
Thunderscape Battlemage
Nightscape Battlemage
Multani, Maro Sorcerer
Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary
Squee, Goblin Nabob
Karn, Silver Golem
Jhoira of the Ghitu
Ertai, Wizard Adept
Thornscape Battlemage
Sunscape Battlemage
Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir
Stormscape Battlemage
Cho-Manno, Revolutionary
Barrin, Master Wizard
Alexi, Zephyr Mage
Artifacts - 15
Power Matrix
Temporal Aperture
Thran Tome
Sisay's Ring
Skyship Weatherlight
Medicine Bag
Legacy Weapon
Coalition Relic
Skull of Ramos
Tooth of Ramos
Eye of Ramos
Heart of Ramos
Horn of Ramos
Thran Dynamo
Enchantments - 7
Rhystic Study
Protective Sphere
Mana Maze
Mirri's Guile
Teferi's Moat
Planar Collapse
Planeswalkers – 1
Karn Liberated
Spells - 19
Ertai's Meddling
Allied Strategies
Argivian Find
Hull Breach
Fact or Fiction
Time Warp
Orim's Thunder
Captain's Maneuver
Breath of Darigaaz
Eladamri's Call
Urza's Rage
Careful Consideration
Skyshroud Claim
Lands - 34
Underground Sea
Tropical Island
Volcanic Island
Sunpetal Grove
Rootbound Crag
Drowned Catacombs
Dragonskull Summit
Glacial Fortress
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Clifftop Retreat
Watery Grave
Stomping Ground
Temple Garden
Scalding Tarn
Verdant Catacombs
Flooded Strand
Polluted Delta
Windswept Heath
Academy Ruins
Crystal Quarry
Gaea's Cradle

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
             a)  Draw lots of cards.  b
             b) Play lots of mana.  c
             c) Wait for other people to get softened up while protecting yourself!  (Usually involves Legacy Weapon)
             d) Beat face with little inefficient creatures and / or Karn, Silver Golem and all his friends.

2 - Attack with Cromat
             Repeat steps a), b), and c) above
             KAYO people with Cromat, because Cromat is awesome. 

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 General.


Thank you for your time! 

Ryan Fisher

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 on-theme.
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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