Tag Archives: Tiny Leaders

Commander Legends: Cards I Love


Commander Legends? Aren’t all commanders legendary? I am the first to admit that I have not played Commander at all. But, even I know that much. Okay, requisite dorky dad joke out of the way, let’s get to the actual introduction.

After all, I am a dorky dad and I have the photos to prove it.

As we often do, Chris and I texted about each new card that we found interesting or fun. I’m not sure who started the text chain this time, but I’ll be honest, I never expected it to persist for as long as it did. Mainly, we haven’t gotten together to play in almost a year (maybe even over a year) due to Covid.

As a result, I’ve seen Chris’s passion for the game die. I’ve been able to keep mine mostly alive by playing a game against the boys. Also, xMage and Arena have kept me going. So, I was more than a little surprise that Chris said that he ordered a box of cards. I followed suit by buying a Commander gift box from Channel Fireball that included two Commander decks. So, after years of saying that I’m a Commander player who never played Commander, we are both suddenly Commander Legends.


Commanders I’d Play

Both of these have similar effects. Akroma is just straight stupid with a card like Zetalpa, Primal Dawn that is keyword soup. Prava has the added bonus of being a tiny leader in addition to a possible commander. You could build one heck of a nasty token deck around that card. If Chris gets a copy, I might just buy or trade for it.

Other Cards of Note

Austere Command is just a ridiculously versatile control card that I would run 2 of in pretty much any deck that had white. Sure, it is expensive. But, all of the effects are devastating. In addition to just learning Commander, I have also learned about the Monarch, which was introduced in the Conspiracy set a few years ago. It’s a cool mechanic that introduces new strategies to the game. Akroma’s will works well with Akroma. Not surprising, but my eyes bugged when I saw the card.


Commanders I’d Play

Turning scry into draw is a seemingly powerful effect. Heck, I just got tricked into picking this card because of that effect. Now that I think about it, though, I wish that the effect was “may” or “scry and then draw”. The second effect might be too powerful. I picked the second because of the partner effect. Unfortunately, I can’t partner the card with my Kira because the CMC has to be below 4 cumulatively. Nevertheless, if both are in play at the same time, good luck casting any removal.

Other Cards of Note

WotC is just trolling us at this point with blue cards that are 5 CMC and have “Force” in the title. Sakashima’s Will is just a cool card. I noticed a card with a similar “choose” effect when I was looking through white, but I wasn’t impressed with the card. This one is a lot of fun. I texted Chris about Body of Knowledge as soon as I saw it. Look at this dumb card, I said. Not sure it is good, but it certainly is dumb. Just my kind of card.


Commanders I’d Play

I have an “Empires” deck that I put together that was the throne, crown, and scepter of empires. Of course, I built a blue deck around them. I was thinking that I could adjust the deck to build around Armix. The only problem is that if I make it Tiny Leaders, I can’t run the crown because it is 4 CMC. Tevesh Szat is just a Commander that you run if you don’t ever want to play a game of Commander. He puts a huge target on you.

Other Cards of Note

Profane Transfusion reminds me of the card from one of the Phyrexia sets. Phyrexian Rebirth. Once upon a time I had the ridiculous idea to build a token deck around that card. Maybe with the Cat Leader from above, I finally can. As I was looking through the black cards, I noticed an elf theme. As elves are usually green, I found that interesting. Rakshasa Debaser is just one of those ridiculous cards that I get in my head will somehow work exactly the way I hope. Yet, it never does.


Commanders I’d Play

I texted Chris about Rograkh, too. I think my exact question was, “exactly how broken is this stupid card?” Actually, that wasn’t my exact question. I think I said something about “speaking of stupid” and he replied with something along the lines of “Dear God”. Looks like we can Alena, then the next turn cast Rograkh and a ton of cheap enhance spells, get a bunch of mana and then cast fireball. GG no re.

Other Cards of Note

Wheel of Misfortune and Explosion of Riches just seems like dumb Hearthstone cards. I simultaneously hate the RNG nature of that game and love the RNG nature of that game. These two cards just feel like they’d end up with half of the table laughing and the other half crying. I texted Chris about Blasphemous Act, “When you absolutely, positively don’t want any friends.”


Commanders I’d Play

(a) Did somebody say elves? I noticed an elf theme in black earlier. I surely would have been disappointed if green did not have a similar theme. Time to brew a GB elf deck of doom. (b) Cascade from hand?! That seems like crazy combo possibility with some of the green cards out there. I’m sure Chris has some ideas.

Other Cards of Note

We heard you like ramp, so we put some ramp in your ramp in Reshape the Earth. That’s crazy expensive and if you have 9 lands on the battlefield, I’m not sure what you’d do with twice that. Then again, I’m not a green mage. Court of Bounty is another interesting monarch card that gives some versatility. And not only does Apex Devastator cascade four times, but if combined with Kodama, you get a creature from hand.


There are only Legendary creatures in the multicolor pool for this set. Therefore, I’ll pick more than the two I had been picking for each color.

Commanders I’d Play

In my research about Commander, I learned about group hug strategy. I don’t entirely understand it. But, from what I gather, that bunny looks like a group hug type of guy. I picked the Boros guy simply for all you players out there who like to take notes. He tells you to do so in the text box. I texted Chris about Yurlok because he brings back mana burn. We joked about him scaring off the noobs with old school rules.

Averna let’s you ramp when you cascade. That’s a neat addition. That abomination is going in my mythical GB elves deck. And, that brings us to Nevinyrral. I texted Chris about this one because I recognized the name from the old disk card. This guy has the same effect with a sizeable body.


I joked earlier that WotC likes trolling us with almost Force of Will cards. They have done the same with Lotus cards throughout the years. This one is the closest almost Lotus that we’ve ever had. It very well could see a banning in Commander and especially Tiny Leaders. I could put the Staff of Domination in my terrible Armix deck. And, there is a cycle of diamonds in this set. I just picked this one because it’s not Mox Diamond, it’s Moss Diamond. LOL. *ahem* Colorless sucks in this set. What do you want from me?

The Verdict (Commander Legends cards are fun)

Commander Legends offers some fun stuff for players of the format. Even someone like me who has only fancied himself a Commander player who doesn’t have a playgroup can find something in this set. I have to say that there might even be better cards in here than some of the other more recent standard sets. I mean, I have been having fun with MTGA, but the Zendikar Rising cards are mostly just annoying to play against. So, I commend Chris on his decision to grab a box of Commander Legends. He won’t be let down.

Little Soldiers follow Tiny Leaders

(Editor’s Note: Must be the end of the semester. Two articles with possibly two more by the end of the week!)

Even though Chris and I hare not recording the podcast together, we still try to find time to hang out and play games. Over the last few months, time has been at a premium, thus leading to the change in direction of the podcast, but we were able to get together this month. What’s funny is we actually had two gaming nights in December after having none in the previous months. During the first of those two nights, we played some Dicemasters, started a Heroclix game that had to end early because it conflicted with my bedtime, and we also played Magic.

I find that last part to be the most interesting. Chris and I have spent the better part of the year trying to justify our interest in the hobby. He has been more successful than I as he found another play group. It’s the same guys that we played DTK sealed against earlier in the year. I have not been able to play with them since, but Chris has about once or twice a month. Nevertheless, as a result of the sealed night, I had two tiny leaders decks that I build and no live testing of either deck.

Wait, what?

All aboard my train of thought! Wait, what's that over there?!
All aboard my train of thought! What’s that over there?!

I admit that train of thought might be a bit difficult to follow, so I’ll explain. While making plans to do the sealed, it came up that some of the guys played the Tiny Leaders format. I had heard of it, but never played. I had some time and a couple of 3 mana or less legendary cards, so I put together the decks. I then forgot all of my Magic stuff on the night in question and then Chris and I got away from Magic for a while and finally had no time for any gaming for a few months.

I think it was me who suggested that Chris and I try the Tiny Leaders format during our table top night this month. My main reason is that his new group has enhanced his “Spike” tendencies, which is great. It’s given him a new outlet and interest in the game. My absence from the game has been absolute and I’ve not even looked at any of my decks. He’d simply mop the floor with me and that’s no fun for either of us. I need to either tune my current decks or go back to the drawing board and build some new tech to compete. Well, long story short (too late!), we played a couple of games and I finally go to see my decks live.

Those of you familiar with the page know that sometimes my decks maybe don't deserve life, but like their monstrous counterparts, they just want a hug.
Those of you familiar with the page know that sometimes my decks maybe don’t deserve life, but like their monstrous counterparts, they just want a hug.

Both performed will and mostly according to the strategies in mind when I designed them. First up, I put my Alesha (the first deck I built and actually tuned some) against his green/red mini ramp deck. His deck wasn’t strictly legal as he used Burning Tree Emissary as his leader, but I let it go because that’s our agreement. We play for fun above all else and I’m not going to nit pick silly rules in a kitchen table game. We both employed aggro strategy that ultimately paid off for me on the turn before he had definite lethal.

He picked B/W Constellation for his second deck. It is a deck that he has used in various forms before and one of his ongoing projects. My other deck was mono green and picked because I only had one other legal leader at the time. In no way can it be interpreted or assumed that any one strategy went into the construction of this deck. It is a hodge pogde of green Magic things. A bit of ramp, a dash of stompy (or as much stompy as 3 or less mana allows), some devotion, and a whole lot of praying that the opponent has no removal. Chris did and used it on the correct target to prevent me from killing him at 26 life on the next turn.

Pay me no mind. Just a 1/1 sitting here minding my own business. Nothing to see. No need to remove. Oh, hey, what are you doing with that black spell there? No, no, no! I'm too young (and valuable to your ultimate destruction) to die!
Pay me no mind. Just a 1/1 sitting here minding my own business. Nothing to see. No need to remove. Oh, hey, what are you doing with that black spell there? No, no, no! I’m too young (and a key instrument to your ultimate destruction) to die!

The games went quickly and were fast paced. Because nothing cost more than 3, we were able to cast at least one card every turn. There wasn’t much land/go that can sometimes happen in our other games. Both games were close, too, with a kill coming one turn before the opponent lethal. Either we are getting better at building decks or the format lends itself to closer games.

In any case, we both did remark that the singleton nature of the decks provided a challenge in more than one way. That, and the limited number of cards in each deck really make you think about what cards to include and, more importantly, what can be cut. Unlike a traditional Magic deck that sometimes has to include do nothing cards because they might be strong in certain situations, you really can’t get away with that in these decks. All cards need to have a specific purpose and need to fit the overall theme. That might have been why my mono green deck ultimately fizzled. I thought that the color might hold things together. I now realize that I might have been too scattered with my strategies. Oh well, all part of the learning process.

Overall, I enjoyed the format and it seemed like Chris did, too. I don’t know if it will be our preferred format, as he has grown attached to Modern/Legacy and I like eternal formats better, too. Still, it was a nice introduction back into the game. I’ve been drafting again and am brewing some potentially crazy new decks for our next nerd night in January.

This card, especially, has been dancing in my heads like the sugar plums are supposed to these days. Maybe that'll be my big break. The Nutcracker staring Dragonlord Ojutai.
This card, especially, has been dancing in my head like the sugar plums are supposed to these days. Maybe that’ll be my big break. The Nutcracker staring Dragonlord Ojutai.