Hello and welcome to A Seat at the Table, the column where I pick a commander and talk about what I’d include in the 99. This round, a new card from the March of the Machine preview and coming to us in April – Ghalta and Mavren.
This is the most Selesnya card to ever Selesnya out of Selesnya. It wants you to go wide and go tall. It makes lots of creature tokens and/or big creature tokens.
For 3GGWW, you get a Legendary Creature – Dinosaur Vampire 12/12 with trample and a textbox that token players are going to love:
“Whenever you attack, choose one –
– Create a tapped and attacking X/X green Dinosaur creature token with trample, where X is the greatest power among other attacking creatures.
– Create X 1/1 white Vampire creature tokens with lifelink, where X is the number of other attacking creatures.”
It’s time to point out that Ghalta lost her Elder type line but gained a whole swarm. She loses her cost reduction but gains Mavren’s ability to make an army.
Here are things to note:
- “Whenever you attack” means you don’t need to attack with Ghalta and Mavren to get what you want from this ability. You can play G&M and swing with a creature to get your big token or your little tokens.
- You choose the mode as you attack.
- Your commander costs seven mana and is a big threat with trample. Your opponents will be watching you.
- The Vampire tokens don’t enter attacking.
- Both kinds of tokens have keyword abilities.
- The Dinosaur token creation cares about the greatest power among other creatures attacking and the Vampire token creation cares about the number of other creatures attacking. Other is doing a big job here. It’s saying you need more than your commander to attack.
I have to stress that this is going to be how I would approach this deck. I realize that there is a Voltron build here, but I’m interested in this idea I’m presenting. Let’s dive in.
Token Doublers and Creators
I would love to stress that it has never been more obvious was white and green’s thing is: creature tokens.
Doubling Season, Parallel Lives, Anointed Procession, Mondrak, Glory Dominus, and even Primal Vigor. These will double your token production. All of them are pretty expensive, but can be worth it if that’s what your deck wants to do.
A great card in the sweet spot for this deck is Adeline, Resplendent Cathar. She gets bigger the more creatures you have which feeds the Dinosaur creation, she makes a bunch of tokens which is great for the Vampire tokens creation. You’ll have to stack your triggers accordingly of course, but this card will do work. Leonin Warleader and Hero of Bladehold make a couple little guys and gives a buff so you’re either making three Vampires or a 3/3 Dino. If you’ve got a deep graveyard, Kessig Cagebreakers can make a ton of tokens for Vampires. Not bad. Combat Calligrapher serves a similar purpose if you’re swinging at multiple opponents.
Another two cards that I think are automatic inclusions are Rabble Rousing and Nactal War Pride. Rousing gives you a bunch of little guys and potentially a free cast, while War-Pride goes as wide as your opponents do.
I promise to add extra tech for the Dinosaur creation side of this.
Much like with Yargle and Multani, you’ll have lots of power matters cards that can be good here. Sacrificing your big Dinosaurs to Greater Good gives you the kind of selection we all dream of. Return of the Wildspeaker and Rishkar’s Expertise both are very solid here as well. Toski, Bearer of Secrets is the Garruk, Primal Hunter that can’t be destroyed and always has to attack, so you’ll always get a Vampire or Dinosaur.
Huatli, Radiant Champion is a fun in a deck like this. She gets big if you tick her up on a good turn, she can pump a creature for a big Dinosaur turn and that ultimate emblem stack, and counts for each creature entering.
Garruk, Primal Hunter can draw you 12 cards when he comes in, and if that isn’t worth five mana, I don’t know what is.
You’ll want all the ramp goodies because your commander is huge. But you’re also in green, so you’re fine! Jaheira, Friend of the Forest turns all your little Vampires into Llanowar Elves and Cryptolith Rite turns them into Birds of Paradise. Tendershoot Dryad gives you a bunch of little guys if it sticks around and then they can tap for mana too. Give your team vigilance with Heliod, God of the Sun or Brave the Sands so you can attack with them and then get that mana. Traverse the Outlands empties a ton of basic lands onto the battlefield if you’ve got your commander out. You’re going to be casting your commander probably once or twice, but to do that and get more out of your turn, you’ve got to have a ton of mana, so eat your veggies!
Pack your deck with creatures that anthem or change power to add a little mystery to your decision. Vigor lets you swing without fear of damage because it’ll only make your creatures bigger. And once they have those +1/+1 counters, Mirror Entity can make them even bigger. Elder of Laurels can pump a single creature equal to creatures you control whereas Jazal Goldmane gives all attacking creatures a boost. Pathbreaker Ibex is the star because your commander doesn’t even need to attack for them to boost the team by 12. Speaking of not attacking and boosting by 12, Dragon Throne of Tarkir allows your commander to sit back and pump your board of lifelinkers or give you ever increasingly powerful Dinosaurs.
I love when there’s a big commander worth playing because it gives us a chance to look at cards like Visions of Dominance and Visions of Glory a little more seriously. Reducing their Flashback cost by seven is a solid discount.
Tangleweave Armor is a four mana 7/7 in this deck and can equip to buff another creature whenever you want to make a Dinosaur with an extra seven to tack on.
My favourite entry here is Majestic Genesis. It’s essentially commander cost Genesis Wave. Pay eight mana and then put all lands and permanents from the top seven of your library into play. Assuming you’ve used up your ramp spells in the early game, this should all be gas and should get your mana’s worth.
That does it for another A Seat at the Table. Let me know if there are any commanders you’d like me to cover! @mikecarrozza on Twitter and Instagram!