I was originally piloting a control-based superfriends list with Sliver Queen at the helm based on Trav_Ragnar's list on MTG Salvation, though I didn't include certain cards. Even without Humility or extra turn spells it could be a bit oppressive and sortof win out of nowhere with Doubling Season and some walker ultimates.
Later on he wanted to switch to a more token-focused build, and I started with that experimental version and continued tweaking from there. Since I enjoy this version much more, I might as well start a thread for it and document the journey, which included trying Ramos, Dragon Engine as the commander and being pretty pleased with that.
The goal is to have a pretty fair walker deck with interesting interactions. While I was aiming for medium power levels, the general resilience of enchantments and walkers always pushes the power up a bit, so it's usually the high end of medium power. I've set myself some guidelines for the deck: No Doubling Season, no Humility, avoid long turns as much as possible (it's not stuffed with proliferate effects), and Plan A means the walkers directly contribute to the win condition. Plan A is usually attacking with tokens created by walkers and buffed by walkers. Garruk, Cursed Huntsman is one of my favorite ways to buff, but not too early in the game. Given that it's good to be able to pivot to a backup plan I allow some other avenues, but generally I want walkers involved.
I've certainly got some stuff in the list to synergize and boost the walkers such as The Chain Veil, Oath of Teferi, Oath of Gideon, and Nesting Grounds, but mostly I have to work to get an ultimate and generally care more about the first 2 abilities. I have 1 or 2 lines possible for loops that can close out a stalled game, and they involve at least 4 cards.
A while back I started a thread to gather advice for running the turns more succinctly so as not to waste much time. One set of advice was to categorize walkers as to what their non-ultimate abilities could do: cards, mana, removal, tokens, creature buffs. It'll be a challenge to balance the core set of walkers because they each likely do 2-3 things from that list, and some are potentially repeatable (on a plus ability) and some might only happen once or twice (on a minus ability) -- I'm really trying to balance a set of abilities, so help will be appreciated on that front, too.
As refinement of the list continues as I play it, I've discovered I don't need certain abilities as much on walkers as originally thought. Tokens and buffs are still important because of Plan A. Mana production was the least needed, so now if I have a walker that produces mana it tends to do other things. Sarkhan Unbroken for example also draws a card when he makes a mana, and he can make 4/4 fliers -- that mana is just a bonus along with the card. I also can't rely only on walkers for card draw because I've ended up topdecking when I couldn't keep creatures or walkers on the field, so a walker that offers draw or card access needs to bring something else to the table.
I mentioned him before, but Garruk, Cursed Huntsman is one of my favorite walkers in the deck due to his abilities. He makes two tokens with a total of 4 power, if they die that buffs the loyalty on all my Garruk walkers, and that contributes to him pretty often being able to ultimate for that permanent Overrun emblem by the turn after I cast him. There are a few cards that help him do that the same turn, too (simplest being Oath of Gideon). His -3 is removal and draws a card, which is just gravy.
Several cards currently in the list I have not been able to experience in an actual game yet, but overall I've reduced walker count a bit and increased creature count. Partially, the latter was influenced by wanting to have fun with Mirrorweave. I expect I'll end up at around 20 walkers with some changes to the lineup for each card type when it's far more stable... but it's also fun to just swap new things in sometimes.
You may have noticed the uncard B.O.B. (Bevy of Beebles) in the list, too. Most pods have been fine with it, and I always offer to switch it out if they'd rather. So far some players have noticed it's a little more useful/powerful in this list than they first though it was going to be, but also that it's not too powerful and they had no complaints about its inclusion. Mostly the surprise at BOB being better then they thought was from a game where I was flickering BOB with Aminatou, the Fateshifter and then using Nesting Grounds to refuel Aminatou. This allowed me to draw 2 cards from BOB per turn, and for a moment I had Parallel Lives in play and flickered. You may wonder how BOB interacts with cards like Doubling Season, so here are the details (all from rulings and speaking with judges):
- "The number of loyalty counters on B.O.B. is equal to the number of Beebles you control. (Create or sacrifice Beebles whenever B.O.B. gains or loses loyalty.)"
Think of the number of Beebles you control as the expression of BOB's loyalty counters. It doesn't have actual loyalty counters like other walkers, it's a static thing entangled with how many Beebles you have. If you ask BOB how many loyalty counters it has
- The 4 Beebles BOB makes as it enters ("as ~ enters the battlefield" creates a replacement effect) will get doubled by: Doubling Season, Parallel Lives, Anointed Procession, and Primal Vigor. The first 3 care about effects specifically, and PV does not.
- If you +1 BOB, increasing the loyalty by 1 is the cost of putting that ability's effect on the stack. Similar to how Doubling Season does not do its thing for normal walkers when +1 means "put 1 loyalty counter on this walker", it doesn't affect BOB's "create 1 Beeble token" cost either, so you just create 1. Same for Parallel Lives and Anointed Procession -- you just get 1 Beeble token.
- Primal Vigor is the exception to the above. It is different because it doesn't care how tokens are being put on the battlefield (by an effect or not), just that they are and you double it. And because of its replacement effect, then if you have any of the other enchantments in play you'll get further doublings. Primal Vigor + Parallel Lives would get you 4 Beebles created from the +1 cost on BOB.
- Adding loyalty to BOB using an effect from an outside source such as Nesting Grounds, because BOB translates "put 1 loyalty counter on" as "create 1 Beeble token", does get doubled by those enchantments. A more insane example:SpoilerShowHave in play B.O.B. (Bevy of Beebles), Oath of Teferi, Sarkhan the Masterless, Aminatou, the Fateshifter, and The Ozolith (with no counters) during your pre-combat main phase. Let's say you have 4 Beebles currently, and we're not going to worry about activations of BOB.
Note: The Ozolith doesn't actually put counters on itself from a creature that left on its first ability - it looks back to see the types and numbers of counters that were on the creature before it left, then puts counters of the same numbers of the same types on itself. Similarly, the "move all counters" of the second ability isn't a direct transfer but more literally "remove all counters from this and put the same numbers and types of counters on target creature'.
- Activate Sarkhan to turn walkers into creatures. BOB1 is now a creature.
- Flicker BOB1 with Aminatou.
- As BOB2 enters, it makes 4 new Beebles (new total of 8).
- The Ozolith trigger looks back at Past BOB1 to see count/types of counters on BOB1.
- Past BOB1 says it had 4 loyalty counters at that point in time. The Ozolith puts 4 loyalty counters on itself (for real, total 4).
- Flicker BOB2 with Aminatou again. (Because why not!)
- As BOB3 enters, it makes 4 new Beebles (new total of 12).
- The Ozolith trigger looks back at Past BOB2 to see count/types of counters on BOB2.
- Past BOB2 says it had 8 loyalty counters at that point in time. The Ozolith puts 8 loyalty counters on itself (for real, total 12).
- Activate Sarkhan again to make walkers into creatures. New BOB3 is now a creature.
- Go to Combat and Ozolith's second ability triggers. Target BOB3. Ozolith removes 12 loyalty counters from itself, and in the process of adding 12 loyalty to BOB3, 12 more Beebles are made.
The Chain Veil + Teferi, Temporal Archmage is usually done with Teferi as the commander and with mana rocks that tap for a decent amount, like Gilded Lotus and Thran Dynamo so that you can untap TCV and the rocks with Teferi, keep paying TCV, and use the other floated mana to recast Teferi repeatedly from the command zone. Then infinite mana, dig through the library, cast stuff, win.
Note: TCV is an unusual thing because its activated ability modifies the rules of the game. Each time it resolves increases how many times you can activate each planeswalker object you control. Not just ones you controlled when that resolved, but also ones you control later that turn, such as re-cast or flickered walkers. So if you resolved TCV's activated ability twice, then you can activate each distinct walker object three times total in that turn. If another enters the battlefield under you control afterward you can activate it three times. If you flicker one of the ones you've already activated three times then it's a new object and you can activate it three more times.
Since Teferi isn't our commander we can't do it quite the same way, but the way that's closest is to get Tamiyo, the Moon Sage's emblem so that when we take Teferi to zero loyalty he'll return to hand. I also don't have large mana rocks in this deck, so something like Mirari's Wake or Garruk Wildspeaker is necessary for lands to produce enough. Tamiyo requires 5 activations to get that emblem and you need that before Teferi dies in order to loop him, but transferring a loyalty counter to him from a third walker using Nesting Grounds works.
Naya Charm and Eerie Ultimatum can also get Teferi back at least once for a second iteration of using him, and Teferi, Hero of Dominaria can put him third from the top of the library as a sort of bounce. Spark Double can clone him, too, for extra untaps. Clever Impersonator can, too, but you'll have to sac one so you'd have to wait until the original is down to 1 loyalty.
Fortunately, a lot of the walkers benefit from multiple activations even if you don't go infinite with TCV, so there are ample opportunities for win conditions among them aside from tons of tokens and draw. Garruk, Primal Hunter for example only needs 4 activations to ult. Sorin, Grim Nemesis is the same. And 4 is doable with all the other requirements minus Tamiyo's emblem since Teferi starts with 5 loyalty.
Aminatou, the Fateshifter can flicker any permanent you control, including a walker, so the goal is to have Oath of Teferi or The Chain Veil with one activation resolved. Spark Double or Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God is your second Aminatou. With two activations possible, each can repeat the loop of flickering one other thing and then flickering the other Aminatou to reset them. Whichever isn't doing the first reset on the other can just flicker other things twice.
This gets infinite activations of walkers by flickering them, infinite mana by flicker lands or certain walkers, etc. From there your win condition depends on which walkers you have on hand. There are a number that will let you dig through the deck to find haste because there are also a number of them that will allow you to make infinite tokens (and Xenagos's tokens already have haste). Without haste, flickering either Tamiyo allows you to tap everything targetable down for a trip around the table so that you can pass and attack on your next turn. Here are some other options: