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 Post subject: Thought Experiment: All Commanders have Partner
AgePosted: 2018-Sep-17 3:43 am 

Joined: 2008-Nov-30 12:36 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
This may or may not be put to practical use at some point in my group (it's an idea I'm trying to push for a future league theme, not a full-time house rule), but even if I never get to actually build decks, I'm finding it fun to come up with combinations of partners I'd like to play.

So as a thought exercise/potential inspiration for later, I thought I'd put the question to you all - if all legal commanders had "Partner" what would you build?

Naturally I have a couple of caveats or guidelines to help point you in the direction I'm aiming for. The point of this would be to build decks that you couldn't or wouldn't otherwise build without this rule modifier. Opening up new avenues for deckbuilding exploration is always a key concern.

So, what I wouldn't consider within the spirit of this exercise would be to take an existing deck - let's say, Prossh - and move one of the legendary creatures you'd already happily run in the 99 - let's say Purphoros or Mazirek - into the second commander slot. Making a deck that runs perfectly well with one commander and then just abusing the command zone because one of the MVPs in the deck happens to be a Legend is not the goal here.

Instead what I'm looking for is more along the lines of taking two commanders that have some overlapping synergies but together open up access to more colors that neither would have on it's own. Or something along those lines - as a really "on the nose" example, Gitrog + Angry Omnath - since Jund Lands is kind of on everyone's mind these days anyway, and mainly because people want to play both of those land-based powerhouses together. So we can cut to the chase and just pair them up as Partners!

In short, not asking for how best to break the format in half, just what sort of cool, FUN decks can you envision that simply wouldn't work with a single commander?

I'll go ahead and kick things off with one of the ideas that led me to this idea in the first place. I was originally inspired by this Against the Odds: https://www.mtggoldfish.com/articles/against-the-odds-zur-an-modern, where Seth tries to abuse Zur and Doran together to make things like Nix-Fleece Ram into two-mana 5/5's - one of the coolest and jankiest uses of Zur I've seen to date.

After C16 came out, giving us proper 4-color commanders, I tried and tried to come up with a way to make this deck work with both Zur and Doran in the 99 and it just would NOT come together. But having Zur and Doran as partner commanders would solve most of the problems I was having and I think I could actually build a reasonable deck that way.

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 Post subject: Re: Thought Experiment: All Commanders have Partner
AgePosted: 2018-Sep-17 6:33 am 
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Joined: 2009-Aug-20 7:49 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Hampshire
This is definitely not something I'd want to see happen - it's pretty ripe for abuse.

That said, the first thing that popped into my head is pairing experience generals, like Ezuri, Claw of Progress and Meren of Clan Nel Toth, so you can fuel their abilities off each other and also have access to more colors.

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 Post subject: Re: Thought Experiment: All Commanders have Partner
AgePosted: 2018-Sep-17 6:57 am 

Joined: 2010-Dec-14 4:04 pm
Age: Drake
Location: Boston, MA
I think any two of the legendary dragons from Fate Reforged would be cool as partners. Silumgar, + Ojutai, would be a sweet dragon control deck, and Atarka, + (Dromoka, or Kolaghan,) could bring the beatdown.

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 Post subject: Re: Thought Experiment: All Commanders have Partner
AgePosted: 2018-Sep-17 10:57 am 

Joined: 2012-Mar-31 11:52 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Dakkon Blackblade + Azusa, Lost But Seeking


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 Post subject: Re: Thought Experiment: All Commanders have Partner
AgePosted: 2018-Sep-17 11:15 am 
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Joined: 2010-Dec-10 12:16 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Most of what I would want isn't fixed with this scheme (Naya Werwolf and/or Cat General, for example), but I could go for Esper Spirits without resorting to O-Kagachi and avoiding BR. Probably Karlov and Tomorrow, or similar. Three color rogues has some appeal as well. Excepting Gwendlyn Di Corci, they are all mono or two color; so Sygg, River Cutthroat can pair with Edric for Sultai or Grenzo, for Grixis. Both of which seem interesting.

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 Post subject: Re: Thought Experiment: All Commanders have Partner
AgePosted: 2018-Sep-17 11:29 am 
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Joined: 2012-Feb-07 4:15 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
The single thing I would consider before anything else is generals where I just think they need one extra color to fully unlock what they should be able to do. Stitcher Geralf for example feels like he belongs with someone G, W, or B so he can get some kind of consistent recursion on something other than instants and sorceries. Iwamori of the Open Fist wishes he could run some black discard spells or blue copy/steal spells. Grothma, All Devouring and Thromak the Insatiable is both a flavorful and mechanical win on all sides. And even though she prefers to be monocolor, Sasaya could probably benefit from some extra draw spells and Moonfolk.

Although unfortunately, this idea goes bad too. Jolrael with access to non-green cards is a nightmare, and I don't even want to speculate all the generals that would just be insanely annoying if they had access to all four other colors. Specifically non-green generals that would benefit severely from ramp or non-black combo generals who would love to be able to shove in a couple dozen tutors.

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 Post subject: Re: Thought Experiment: All Commanders have Partner
AgePosted: 2018-Sep-17 12:31 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Feb-07 3:37 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Danbury, CT
Melek + The Locust God!!! Mwahahahaha!

...

or Kaervek + Vial Smasher!
Gisa + Geralf (not the together card, but the two individual ones)
Nicol Bolas + also Nicol Bolas
Feldon + Slobad
Radha + Radha (really, any elf + any other elf seems really good)
Any of the Kirin cycle + another legendary spirit to get Kirin triggers
Karlov + Kambul

...

Revka + Taniwha

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 Post subject: Re: Thought Experiment: All Commanders have Partner
AgePosted: 2018-Sep-17 10:07 pm 
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Joined: 2016-Nov-27 2:39 pm
Age: Dragon
Uktabi_Kong wrote:
The single thing I would consider before anything else is generals where I just think they need one extra color to fully unlock what they should be able to do. Stitcher Geralf for example feels like he belongs with someone G, W, or B so he can get some kind of consistent recursion on something other than instants and sorceries. Iwamori of the Open Fist wishes he could run some black discard spells or blue copy/steal spells. Grothma, All Devouring and Thromak the Insatiable is both a flavorful and mechanical win on all sides. And even though she prefers to be monocolor, Sasaya could probably benefit from some extra draw spells and Moonfolk.

Although unfortunately, this idea goes bad too. Jolrael with access to non-green cards is a nightmare, and I don't even want to speculate all the generals that would just be insanely annoying if they had access to all four other colors. Specifically non-green generals that would benefit severely from ramp or non-black combo generals who would love to be able to shove in a couple dozen tutors.

This is exactly what I'd do.

I'd partner Zedruu the Greathearted with any partner with access to black. Right now my control changes can only majorly benefit someone (creatures), do nothing (auras), or screw them over 100% but without making them lose yet (aggressive mining, steel golem). Zedruu with access to black means I can screw everyone over a little bit (Master of the Feast) or just straight-up make them lose (Demonic Pact), both of which are more fun and interesting to me than the rest of the options.

Or I'd pair Zedruu with Green and run a range of group hug cards like the ones Kynaios and Tiro have access to. Not all of them (e.g. Sylvan Offering) will synergise with her ability, they'll just be huggy.

I'd partner Surrak Dragonclaw and Ikra Sidiqi so as to be able to run more allied-color beatdown options.

I'd partner any two commanders that work well in a dragon deck so that I can have five-color dragons without needing The Ur-Dragon (fine and all, but I'd like to try something different) or any of the other current five-color commanders.

I'd partner Sydri, Galvanic Genius with Feldon of the Third Path to get access to the artifice colors. If comboing their abilities together gets a bit too mean I'd just pick some other red general, like Saheeli, the Gifted.

I'd partner Adriana, Captain of the Guard with someone in green to make a Naya tokens build.

In fact, I'd partner any Boros commander at all with someone in any other color: that way I get to play some awesome Boros commanders without having to deal with the awful issues Boros has to deal with (like poor-to-nonexistent card advantage options).

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Beloved precons: Atraxa, Praetors' Voice; Saskia the Unyielding; Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury.


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 Post subject: Re: Thought Experiment: All Commanders have Partner
AgePosted: 2018-Sep-18 4:43 am 
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Joined: 2009-Jun-02 3:54 am
Age: Dragon
Location: Germany, near Berlin
I refuse to take part in this thought experiment, because I still can't play Brothers Yamazaki.

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If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

Generals:
too many, and always changing... except:

Rakdos, Lord of Riots (Demon Tribal)
Melek, Izzet Paragon (Dragonstorm) -> these must stay because of a house rule


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 Post subject: Re: Thought Experiment: All Commanders have Partner
AgePosted: 2018-Sep-18 7:42 am 
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Joined: 2016-Nov-27 2:39 pm
Age: Dragon
Thor_Naadoh wrote:
I refuse to take part in this thought experiment, because I still can't play Brothers Yamazaki.

You can in this thought experiment!

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Decks: Chaos colored dragons, Mathas, the Instigator (politics and mayhem).
Beloved precons: Atraxa, Praetors' Voice; Saskia the Unyielding; Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury.


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 Post subject: Re: Thought Experiment: All Commanders have Partner
AgePosted: 2018-Sep-18 8:11 am 

Joined: 2008-Nov-30 12:36 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Sid the Chicken wrote:
This is definitely not something I'd want to see happen - it's pretty ripe for abuse.
Yes, I realize this, which is why I gave the caveats I did. But it's always fun to imagine what we can't have, right? ;)

Sid the Chicken wrote:
Gross!

Coco wrote:
I think any two of the legendary dragons from Fate Reforged would be cool as partners. Silumgar, + Ojutai, would be a sweet dragon control deck, and Atarka, + (Dromoka, or Kolaghan,) could bring the beatdown.
Interesting take, but I can't help but feel like you could do this deck already with a 3-color or 5-color dragon commander already. Maybe you're imagining something specific that can't be done without the Partner aspect?

cryogen wrote:
Dakkon Blackblade + Azusa, Lost But Seeking
LOL, I dig it. So, Dakkon is a "lands" commander, but doesn't include the best color in the game for doing land-based things, right? So you give him a green partner to fix his color identity problem, and since the green partner also cares about lands, so much the better.


Treamayne wrote:
Most of what I would want isn't fixed with this scheme (Naya Werwolf and/or Cat General, for example), but I could go for Esper Spirits without resorting to O-Kagachi and avoiding BR. Probably Karlov and Tomorrow, or similar. Three color rogues has some appeal as well. Excepting Gwendlyn Di Corci, they are all mono or two color; so Sygg, River Cutthroat can pair with Edric for Sultai or Grenzo, for Grixis. Both of which seem interesting.
Ah, see I like the idea of Sultai Rogues especially, and I kind of expected a few more answers along these lines - pairing tribal commanders with different color identities so you can access more of that tribe's cards. WotC has been checking a lot of those boxes lately - we got Edgar to bridge the gap between Innistrad's R/B vamipres and Ixalan's W/B vampires for instance. Also the Esper zombie in C18 for example. But I'm sure there are a lot of tribes out there stuck with Legends that don't include a crucial color for their tribe.

Uktabi_Kong wrote:
Stitcher Geralf for example feels like he belongs with someone G, W, or B so he can get some kind of consistent recursion on something other than instants and sorceries.
I honestly hate to be a flavor nazi but if you partner Geralf with anyone other than Gisa, I'd be deeply ashamed. ;)

Uktabi_Kong wrote:
Iwamori of the Open Fist wishes he could run some black discard spells or blue copy/steal spells.
...but I get your overall approach. Similar to the Dakkon+Azusa paring Cryogen submitted above, you start with a single commander you like and figure out what that commander is lacking or what would either synergize well or shore up a weakness. Good stuff!

Kemev wrote:
Melek + The Locust God!!! Mwahahahaha!
See, you seem to know this already but that's basically Prossh + Purphoros. It's a deck that already exists just made better by putting a card you'd probably run in the deck anyway into the command zone. Nice try, though, as I have to admit a fondness for any idea that makes Melek actually good! Sadly most of your other suggestions seem to follow this same theme. For instance, you can build a Feldon deck that is quite good already, but how does making Slobad a partner commander make the deck different? Probably makes it BETTER by some degree, but it's still essentially just a Feldon deck.

spacemonaut wrote:
Or I'd pair Zedruu with Green and run a range of group hug cards like the ones Kynaios and Tiro have access to. Not all of them (e.g. Sylvan Offering) will synergise with her ability, they'll just be huggy.
Since you mentioned them yourself, I'd just have to ask, why not just use Kynaios and Tiro themselves?

spacemonaut wrote:
Surrak Dragonclaw and Ikra Sidiqi
THIS, on the other hand seems very intresting, and is something you couldn't already build with just one existing commander. I also dig your three-color Boros idea in general. I like Aurelia + anything that can draw me cards!

Thanks for the input so far, all of you! Very fun to read your responses.

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 Post subject: Re: Thought Experiment: All Commanders have Partner
AgePosted: 2018-Sep-18 9:11 am 
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Joined: 2008-Mar-24 12:14 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Oakland, CA
thaumaturge wrote:
spacemonaut wrote:
Or I'd pair Zedruu with Green and run a range of group hug cards like the ones Kynaios and Tiro have access to. Not all of them (e.g. Sylvan Offering) will synergise with her ability, they'll just be huggy.
Since you mentioned them yourself, I'd just have to ask, why not just use Kynaios and Tiro themselves?

I can't answer for spacemonaut but personally I've been toying around with an idea for 5-color auras which would love to use Zedruu as the commander. The idea is to use Zedruu or -even better- use Puca's Mischief to trade off Auras which don't care about who controls them. Black has a few good ones, like Caustic Tar, Cruel Reality, and particularly Underworld Connections (which has extra synergy with Awakening, another enchantment that doesn't care who controls it).

I wouldn't love to lose Black but I could easily see this being a good one for Zedruu + Uril or Zedruu + Tuvasa (or any of the enchantment Commanders), which would be a lot more interesting than it would be if led by K&T.

Another idea:
Radha, Heir to Keld + Arixmethes. Throw in every 7-drop stompy effect you like and play one of them reliably on turn 4, every game.


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 Post subject: Re: Thought Experiment: All Commanders have Partner
AgePosted: 2018-Sep-18 7:27 pm 
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Joined: 2016-Nov-27 2:39 pm
Age: Dragon
thaumaturge wrote:
spacemonaut wrote:
Or I'd pair Zedruu with Green and run a range of group hug cards like the ones Kynaios and Tiro have access to. Not all of them (e.g. Sylvan Offering) will synergise with her ability, they'll just be huggy.
Since you mentioned them yourself, I'd just have to ask, why not just use Kynaios and Tiro themselves?

Because Zedruu is fun and I want to use her for a commander. :D

I also really like the ideas intreped put forward.

thaumaturge wrote:
spacemonaut wrote:
Surrak Dragonclaw and Ikra Sidiqi
THIS, on the other hand seems very intresting, and is something you couldn't already build with just one existing commander. I also dig your three-color Boros idea in general. I like Aurelia + anything that can draw me cards!

Thanks for the input so far, all of you! Very fun to read your responses.

<3

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Beloved precons: Atraxa, Praetors' Voice; Saskia the Unyielding; Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury.


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 Post subject: Re: Thought Experiment: All Commanders have Partner
AgePosted: 2018-Sep-18 11:58 pm 

Joined: 2011-Apr-15 12:02 pm
Age: Drake
I've considered for a while scribbling "partner!" in sharpie on Kei Takahashi and Tor Wauki and building the worst of decks.

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 Post subject: Re: Thought Experiment: All Commanders have Partner
AgePosted: 2018-Sep-19 12:19 am 

Joined: 2008-Nov-30 12:36 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
intreped wrote:
...or Zedruu + Tuvasa...
Okay, now I'm sold!

No, I get it - if you're building around Zedruu's ability specifically but need access to B or G, that makes sense. From space's post it sounded, to me at least, like he just wanted a WURG group hug deck, which IMO could easily be built with the kings already.

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