At the heart of it, this is a "Superfriends" deck. The plan is to try and stick planewalkers and get the various advantages of them, to eventually out resource your opponents or simply go infinite. This might be by getting emblems, using their ultimate's, or by using their abilities enough times that you pull ahead in card advantage. However getting planewalkers to survive opponents turns in multiplayer
is one of the hardest things you can try in commander.
I will make it very clear that the main plan to aim for is getting a Rowan emblem
, and then this has a snow ball effect of getting multiple Rowan emblems
With this in mind many of your decisions should be about how to achieve this.
Starting Hands and Mulligans
With quite a lot of cheap artifact mana, you really hoping for one or two mana accelerant as Will & Rowan do cost six mana, so you can't afford to be too patient or get involved with your game plan too late into the game.
However if you have at least one mass creature removal in your starting hand like Mizzium Mortars
, Chain Reaction
, Blasphemous Act
, Cyclonic Rift
, then you can be confident that you have a more patient plan of waiting for opponents to commit creatures to the board, and then you can wipe them pre-casting your planeswalkers.
Heart of Kiran
is a really solid way to protect your planeswalkers early as well, and is an excellent incentive to keep a starting hand.
You don't want too many similar cards, except artifact mana in your starting hand. You don't want too many mass creature removal spells as they require some period of time between casting them to be good.
Similar you don't want too many planeswalkers in your opening hand, as you normally need a setup period, and if your opponents have quick creature starts, you might find yourself with no opportunity to cast them onto the board without recursive value.
Having extra turn cards in your starting hand can be a liability for the early stages, but you can be patient with them, so consider starting hands worth keeping if you do have multiples, even if they will take you into the mid game before they are really playable.
Even though there are some combo cards in Cloudstone Curio
, Rings of Brighthearth
, The Chain Veil
, they really are not good until the later stages of the game, so definitely don't keep starting hands based on having any of these, just be more happy to draw into them later.
Mostly you are looking for artifact mana to help you speed up your game plan during the early stages. You do have planeswalkers that you can cast early on three or four mana, so it is possible to just play these into a relatively open board, and just get incremental value, helping with casting further cards, as a lot of them have in built mana abilities.
During the first few turns, it can really set the tempo for your game plan. Either opponents are not playing out creatures, and this sets you up nicely to cast your three and four drop planeswalkers to get recursive value. Otherwise the opponents boards start developing with creatures, and you know you have to hold off a be patient with a well timed mass creature removal or protection instead.
Your best plan during the early stages is just develop additional mana in any way you can, and remember that a lot of the planeswalkers do provide ongoing mana. Even if there might be some creature pressure on them, but you can keep them in play with enough loyalty counters, then you can aggressively cast them. But just be calculated and careful, don't just run them out because you don't have any other play.
Protecting your planeswalkers
You might be able play some early walkers into a relatively creatureless board, but honestly this is going to be more the rare case. Assume that you have to really find a strategic time to play out your walkers to not get them killed to creature attacks.
Your main goal is to get a Rowan emblem(s).
Once you get an emblem, there is a cascading effect that you are then able to set up multiples of the same emblem. The second time you ultimate her, you'll get two more emblems, as her -8
is itself an activated ability. Then the next one you'll get triple the triggers, so you'll get four more emblems, for a net of seven emblems. This may sound fantastical, but I actually do this all the time, it's essentially the same as going infinite.
Unfortunately Rowan's +2
ability doesn't help you in a meaningful way. So just casting her as your first plan of action without support and expecting to get to the -8
isn't really the best approach.
Step 1: Casting Will Kenrith
I almost always cast out Will Kenrith
first, as his +2
actually has a way of protecting your walkers going forward.
Normally you are casting him out on a six mana curve if it looks like he can survive. This means that you probably won't have spare mana to use the -2
cost reduction for actually spells. So even though it's tempting to get the draw, most of the time you are better off just using the +2
until your next turn when you have all your mana available. That way you won't be using his -2
two turns in a row which would send him back to the commander zone. Even if there are no creatures to target with the +2
that first time you play him, don't be tempted by the -2
Step 2: Casting Rowan Kenrith
This set's you up nicely to use Will -2
on the following turn, to then cast out Rowan Kenrith
for less mana, meaning that you might also be able to cast another spell to protect the siblings.
Mass creature removal
There are a number of mass creature removal cards. You are trying to find the opportunity to be able to successfully play out your planeswalkers without them being killed by creatures on opponents turns.
Often you are in a position where you have to choose between casting removal -or- casting out a planeswalker, but often you don't get to do both in a turn during the mid game.
If you are casting a mass removal spell, then it is possible that opponents fill the board with creatures on the following turns. Meaning that you are back to where you started as far as finding an opportunity to cast the walkers.
That's why instant speed removal has been prioritized in the deck, as it allows you to be patient and cast just before your turn, so that you can play a planeswalker(s) to get traction with them more easily. Evacuation
, Mystic Confluence
can do this.
ability "-2 Deals 3 damage to each tapped creature target player controls."
can help to make cards like Mizzium Mortars
, more effective. Chain Reaction
, Blasphemous Act
to a lesser extent as these are probably normally killing everything anyway. However you are really not looking to use the -2
if you can help it, building her up to the emblem is a much better state to be in.
, ability, "+2 Until your next turn, up to two target creatures each have base power and toughness 0/3 and lose all abilities."
means that you can reduce the larger creatures, so that your damage spells are able to kill them as well. Good against making indestructible creatures, persist, etc, vulnerable to your creature removal, and specifically Rowan -2
and Ward of Bones
are a literally a prison cards against creature decks, keeping any further creatures into coming into play, and if you can get it down early or do a mass creature removal so that only
two creatures are in play then Will Kenrith +2
ability can lock down creatures indefinitely.
There are a number of extra turn cards, because using planewalker abilities as many times as you can is amazing, and even working up loyalty counters to some of the more powerful ultimate and emblem abilities is one of the main ways of winning the game. I've chosen extra turn cards that do not exile themselves, specifically to get additional use out of Mystic Sanctuary
to put them back on top of your library.
Savor the Moment
is a great low cost extra turn card, because even though you don't untap, you get to use your Superfriends, and even a bunch of these have mana producing abilities so can even potentially still cast additional spells in your turn.
You should really hold onto your extra turn cards until you are sure you can get great value out of them.
Try and not just use them as "cyclers", meaning just casting them without a way of gaining additional value, other than drawing another card and maybe getting an extra land into play.
This means that often I'll be holding onto them for an amount of time, even if I could have simply cast them out.
Remember that we really want to get a Rowan emblem, and often extra turn cards are the best way of achieving that.
They are really precious to the game plan, so you might be wondering why the deck simply doesn't have more?
Well the rest do start getting more mana intensive, so you don't want to flood out with too many of them during the early part of the game.
can really set you up for getting emblems quickly.
can turn into a win pretty quick, as you can slam planewalkers, which often have further draw, so you can chain off fairly quickly. These with Cloudstone Curio
will just win on the spot as you get infinite activation's of your Superfriends.
If you haven't managed to stick your planeswalkers for whatever reason, then you should have lots of mana to be able to cast multiple spells in a turn later on into the game. Meaning you probably can play out a planeswalker or two and have mana up for casting further protection.
But often you're going to be setup with multiple planeswalkers, and most of the time a Rowan emblem(s).
The following sections on Rowan Interactions, Kenrith Interactions and Cloudstone Curio
are mostly to do with late game interactions, that is turns 6 onward.
I've been stressing how much of your goals is to get Rowan emblems
, as this will allow you to copy each planewalker activation, getting incredible value and realistically winning you the game.
But there are a lot of other bonuses and interactions with copying activated abilities.
Her emblem allows you to get infinite colorless mana with Grim Monolith
or Basalt Monolith
With Voltaic Key
and an artifact that produce two or more mana, you can get infinite mana. You can use one activation to untap itself and the other to untap the mana artifact. Gilded Lotus
will get you infinite colored mana. Mana Crypt
, Sol Ring
, Mana Vault
, Grim Monolith
will get you infinite colorless.
Note that Mox Diamond
, Chrome Mox
, Izzet Signet
, Talisman of Creativity
, Izzet Locket
can be used with Voltaic Key
as a means of filtering to get colored mana if you have the infinite colorless.
You can get infinite with Izzet Boilerworks
and Deserted Temple
. To a lesser extent you can use Ancient Tomb
to get you colorless for as much life as you are willing to lose.
All the lands that search for lands will get you double value, allowing you to get two lands instead.
Likewise Will Kenrith
ability to target two creatures (0/3 lose abilities), will mean that you can shut down four creatures, probably locking your opponents out of relevant creatures.
An Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin
activation will be more like casting a Dig Through Time
, as you get to do it twice.
Then for the coup de grace, untap with either Minamo, School at Water's Edge
or Deserted Temple
which will have two activation's meaning that you can untap Azcanta twice, allowing you to essentially all up look at the top 24 cards of your library and put a selection of 6 of those non-creature non-land cards into your hand. This is all for plus the mentioned lands tapping.
Probably a more likely and less greedy play is to spend for a look at top 16 cards for 4 cards into hand.
You can see that her emblem can turn your land base into win conditions which is very powerful.
If you activate the The Chain Veil
with her emblem in play then you'll be able to activate planewalker abilities twice each, and each will be copied. So it net's you four of the abilities per planeswalker. It doesn't get better than that for a Superfriends deck!
Her emblem also applies to creating copies of other emblems via your planeswalkers. So when you go for your second Rowan emblem, you'll actually end up copying it, so will net three of her emblems. This will of course double each time you go to get another emblem.
The same with Will emblem, you will get two emblems for each Rowan emblem you have, which is going to put games away pretty quickly with advantage.
You can also get infinite turns with Magosi, the Waterveil
and Deserted Temple
with Rowan's emblem and setting up for a secondary Rowan emblem.
Firstly you need to have at least one Rowan emblem already AND setup Rowan again for another -8
to get an emblem. So it has to be done in a turn where you can do this. Very important
1.) You already have a Rowan emblem.
2.) You are able to use Rowan -8
in the turn you want to go infinite.
3.) Before you activate Rowan -8
to get the emblem, you first activate activate Magosi, the Waterveil
to skip a turn. It's now tapped.
4.) Because you have a Rowan emblem already, the Magosi, the Waterveil
skip turn trigger will happen twice. So you've got two turns skipped stacked up.
5.) Once this is done, then you can ultimate Rowan -8
to get two more emblems. You will now have 3 Rowan emblems.
6.) Use Deserted Temple
to untap Magosi, the Waterveil
7.) Now you activate Magosi, the Waterveil
to get an extra turn (it returns to hand immediately), but because of the 3 Rowan emblems you'll get 3 additional triggers, which means that you get four extra turns stacked up. But you've already got two turns skipped so that means you'll only get two extra turns.
But this can still be infinite as during this
and those additional turns you can cast out Rowan again and build her up to more ultimate emblems.
You repeat the pattern of going back to step one, but you'll be stacking up multiples of skip turns, but as long as you do that before you get more Rowan emblems to get more extra turns. It'll always mean you have more extra turns than skipped turns.
If you don't have a Rowan emblem(s) already then you'll only get one additional turn, meaning you'll need to fade a turn round to try and get Rowan to ultimate again.
You can actually setup Magosi, the Waterveil
with the eon counter earlier in the game if you don't have Deserted Temple
, and then use this to get two extra turns on your first activation, meaning you can setup for multiple Rowan emblems, by casting her out and building up loyalty to 8 again during those extra turns.
You can also get infinite turns with Magosi, the Waterveil
and Deserted Temple
and Rings of Brighthearth
, without Rowan's emblem. You can choose to copy just the extra turns ability, which means that you skip one turn and get two extra turns, meaning you will net an extra turn each time.
With at least two Rowan emblems, you can get infinite with Minamo, School at Water's Edge
Sensei's Divining Top
can be used to draw a card for as many times as you want to recast it for , as it will activate the draw twice, it'll go back on top of library, and then because you're drawing two card you'll draw it again.
With Ugin, the Ineffable
cost reduction this will be infinite draw.
The deck is not configured to use her +2 During target player's next turn, each creature that player controls attacks if able.
in a meaningful manner other than to build up her loyalty.
Also her -2 Rowan Kenrith deals 3 damage to each tapped creature target player controls.
ability I almost never use. The reason is that you really want to be building up for the emblem, so unless it's truly a very proactive way of protecting your planeswalkers, don't look for this ability to be something that you are actively planning for.
emblem will also pretty much wins you the game long term as you have great value instant and sorcery spells, especially the extra turn cards. A single extra turn card will get you two extra turns, and with Superfriends this can really get out-of-control for your opponents as you just gain so much value. It also makes it very hard for your opponents to counterspell what you're doing as you get two copies of each spell.
One thing that clicked to me is that Will Kenrith -2
ability will keep paying the commander tax for both Will and Rowan in that same turn used, if they keep returning to the commander zone.
With this in mind one combo is The Chain Veil
with Will Kenrith -2
You activate the The Chain Veil
allowing your planewalkers to use their abilities twice in the turn.
We activate Will Kenrith -2
ability to reduce the cost of planewalkers by a further and draw 2 cards, and we use this twice each time we cast him.
Given that his starting loyalty is 4
, this will cause Will to "die" and return back to the commander zone. But now his cost is reduced by each time, covering the commander tax easily. With this each can be "Draw 4 cards, reduce the cost of instant, sorcery and planeswalkers by ".
You can use Heart of Kiran
to remove loyalty counters from Will or Rowan to purposefully send them back to the command zone. This way you don't need The Chain Veil
for the double activation.
ability, "+2 Until your next turn, up to two target creatures each have base power and toughness 0/3 and lose all abilities."
is actually amazing at potentially locking down two of your opponents commanders
, which can often be their whole deck strategy. If you can keep doing this through the game, you will find that some opponents simply don't get to do what their deck was designed for, especially if they are looking to do effects in their own turns mainly.
A unique combo is using Cloudstone Curio
to bounce other planewalkers. Certainly not a concept you might have thought about before?
With Cloudstone Curio
in play and Will Kenrith -2
cost reduction, you can cast planewalkers, then bounce others that you have already used an ability for the turn. The intention is to keep recasting the planewalkers, with the main idea to keep netting mana (infinite), so that you can then just use the other abilities that gain advantage, as many times as you want.
Let's say that you really want to reduce the cost of planewalkers by at least for the turn.
With Cloudstone Curio
in play, you can use Will Kenrith -2
cost reduction ability, then cast another planewalkers, bouncing Will back to hand. Realistically you probably want it to be a walker that produces mana, so that you can recast Will easily. Use his ability again and now PW are reduced by .
Teferi, Temporal Archmage
can untap 4 land and/or artifacts. If we have cost reduction by for the turn, then you can always get the colored mana costs for PWs, which will be , or .
This means that you will have enough to cast any of the other planewalkers, use one of their abilities for advantage, then recast Teferi, Temporal Archmage
, bouncing that planewalker to hand. You can keep repeating this process.
Some of the artifact mana can be used with Tezzeret the Seeker
or Ral Zarek
or Saheeli Rai
, to gain the mana needed to keep recasting everything.
Koth of the Hammer
should always at the very least be able to recast themself with the cost reduction, but hopefully you'll be gaining mana with Koth of the Hammer
. Koth can get you mana if you combine it with Volcanic Island
or Steam Vents
. All the fetch-lands for Mountains and Islands are in the deck, so you should always have access to at least one of these.
You can combine these planewalkers in a number of ways, but ultimately you want to be netting mana each time you keep doing the cycle. If you're gaining mana then you can break the cycle at any time to use an ability for advantage instead, which is normally draw of some kind. Once you draw enough of your deck, you can kill opponents with walker abilities and ultimate's with disruption backup.
is able to put planeswalkers into play for just . If you combine this with any of the walkers that can produce at least (between them) then you can go infinite with Cloudstone Curio
Any of the Chandras' can do this on their own, and you can just bounce Will Kenrith
for infinite activation's to draw your deck.
Words of Wind
is another card that you can look to bounce your permanents, with using a replacement draw instead and at the cost of . So it's more difficult to use as a combo card than Cloudstone Curio
, but you can still look to do busted plays.
If you have Will Kenrith
and another planeswalker that can produce at least then you can look to go infinite with Planebound Accomplice
and Words of Wind
You can use Will Kenrith -2
draw and use the replacement effect to return both Will and the mana producing planeswalker. This in turn will eventually return all your opponents permanents..good game.
Walkers that can do this are; Koth of the Hammer
, Teferi, Temporal Archmage
and Tezzeret the Seeker
Now even if you have Chandras' that produce , Chandra, Novice Pyromancer
, Chandra, Torch of Defiance
, Chandra, Bold Pyromancer
, you can still do this loop at the cost of mana each time. That will mean returning X opponents permanents for as much mana as you have spare. The neat thing is that because you are using Will Kenrith -2
ability, you can just cast the Chandras' for their normal cost (only the last time), so won't lose them to Planebound Accomplice
and Ral Zarek
can do similar things with Gilded Lotus
, meaning you can spend an additional to loop this, returning opponents' permanents for each you invest.
Of course the math is changed if you have The Chain Veil
with an activation, it's going to be easy to go infinite with any of the mana producing planeswalkers with Will Kenrith
and Planebound Accomplice
and Words of Wind
Also if you have a Rowan emblem then you can easily go infinite, as you only need to activate Planebound Accomplice
and it will trigger twice, allowing you to put 2 planeswalkers into play. Then you only need to activate Words of Wind
once and it'll trigger twice. This means that you can loop for just returning Will Kenrith and a mana producing planeswalkers, and opponents will eventually have to return all their permanents.
I've pointed out infinite combos and the various interactions with cards, so when it comes to actually killing your opponents there are a number of ways to do this.
The thing is that all of the planeswalkers actually have a way to kill opponents if necessary. Keep in mind that you can have infinite planeswalkers activation's with Cloudstone Curio
OR infinite turns OR The Chain Veil
/Teferi, Temporal Archmage
/Tezzeret the Seeker
You can get infinite turns with Magosi, the Waterveil
and Deserted Temple
and then you can use Nexus of Fate
to keep up the infinite turns after this. In fact you can draw your deck and just use the Nexus of Fate
to get infinite turns.
In this instance you can just beat people to death with creatures after you bounce/kill all opponents creatures, so a Heart of Kiran
is more than enough with infinite turns, but using Tezzeret the Seeker -5
to make your artifacts creatures beatdowns is bonus style points.
I go through planeswalker abilities in the card choices section, but here is a quick run down of ways to kill your opponents with infinite planeswalker activation's.
can also mill opponents out by targeting them with draw.
reduce opponents life totals to zero.
Chandra, Torch of Defiance
will reduce opponents life totals to zero with the +1
and the emblem. Remember once you have infinite you can just get infinite Chandra emblems to cast a single spell to deal the required damage to all opponents.
can reduce opponents life totals to zero.
Koth of the Hammer
reduce opponents life totals to zero with emblem and use infinite turns for untapping your Mountains.
Tezzeret the Seeker
creature beats, style points only rather than efficiency.
Ugin, the Ineffable
amass an army of Spirit tokens.
can mill opponents out by targeting them with draw.
I've literally never been without options on how to kill opponents once I have exacted the deck plans, it's always just a case of picking something for efficiency, style points or trying something new.
- Although planeswalker are able to be attacked by creatures, there are also far less spells that specifically target or remove them. Against decks that have heavy creature removal, this is actually a boon for a Superfriends build. Some in fact are purely built to control creatures.
- With cost reduction and plenty of alternative mana sources in planeswalkers and artifact mana, you will be setup up against potential opposing mana denial strategies, including stax and land destruction.
- With two different commanders and six abilities to select from your command zone, your options to react to the game at a given time are quite unparalleled with commander versatility.
- There is a lot of recursive card advantage, so your ability to draw into cards you need at specific states of the game is usually very high.
- If you are unable to protect your planeswalkers for whatever reason, then you'll find it hard to get recursive value out of them.
- As a mostly creatureless deck, you can find yourself being attacked by opponents' creatures on your life total if you choose not to play out your planeswalkers. If you become the archenemy among creature heavy decks, then you'll constantly be the target of attacks.