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 week, a new card from the March of the Machine preview and coming to us in April. Another mythic pairing from Innistrad, Katilda and Lier.
Katilda’s previous Selesnya iteration cared about Humans. Lier made spells uncounterable and gave instants and sorceries in your graveyard flashback. Now, combined, you see their history represented. For Bant (Green/White/Blue), Katilda and Lier are a 3/3 Legendary Creature – Human with quite a transformative ability. Let’s check out the textbox!
“Whenever you cast a Human spell, target instant or sorcery card in your graveyard gains flashback until end of turn. The flashback cost is equal to its mana cost. (You may cast that card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)”
Yowza! While K&L don’t turn your Humans into Snapcaster Mages outright (Snappy is an “enters the battlefield” ability), they give you a snappy trigger on cast. And there’s also some cool stuff to do with that.
Here are things to remember:
- You need cards in your graveyard to give flashback, so you’ll need a balance of Humans and instants/sorceries to get this deck humming.
- These colours are unconventional for both humans and spellslinging strategies, so there’s going to be some discoveries made over time. Keep your eyes peeled for more things to support this commander.
- Any noncreature with Changeling or the creature subtype can trigger Katilda and Lier.
- Giving a sorcery flashback on an opponent’s turn won’t give it Flash.
- Humans are everywhere in Magic and they are very flexible. You’ll be doing a lot of balancing in this deck.
Here are some cards I would include in my Katilda and Lier deck. I have to admit, this is one of the trickiest commanders I’ve had to build around!
I think with all the spellslinging of instants and sorceries, I wanted to find humans that specifically care about those card types, and found that we have a few Magecraft cards that will work very nicely in this deck.
Magecraft is an ability from Strixhaven that triggers whenever you cast or copy an instant or sorcery spell. Meaning that if you cast Archmage Emeritus, giving Sevinne’s Reclamation in your graveyard flashback (equal to its mana cost, I know it’s already got flashback), you’ll have spent seven mana for a great creature, two cards, and then two copies of Sevinne’s Reclamation to resolve. Pop Swarm Intelligence into the deck and Twinning Staff and your hand will never be empty.
Jadzi lets you ramp or play a card from the top for a single mana, which is super easy to pay when you’ve got Katilda, Dawnhart Prime out with humans hanging around. Deekah gives you Fractals and a way to get them through for damage. Leonin Lightscribe is the temporary pump anthem that can make for a huge turn of damage. Quandrix Apprentice makes sure you don’t miss your land drop while also costing two for cheap flashback with the commander out!
There are 1848 Human creatures currently printed in these colours for Commander. Additionally, there are 35 Changeling creatures that can be played in this deck too.
It is up to you to decide what you’d like to play, but I have a few cards I like a lot.
Cathar Commando is great utility and with flash, it’s one of the easiest inclusions for me. I think Chulane, Teller of Tales was a mistake, but there’s no mistaking that power. Cast a Human, give a card flashback, draw a card, then put a land into play. To top it off, you can bounce a creature you control to your hand again. Chulane is stupid busted for this deck.
Eternal Witness is a Human despite me (and I know I’m not the only one) thinking it’s an Elf. Cast it, flashback on a spell, but return a creature to hand – that’s some value! Wizards of Thay allow you to cast sorceries at instant speed and give you a discount, especially when they’re attacking. The OG, Snapcaster Mage, might be worth an inclusion here. And ultimately, one of the best cards for a deck like this is something powerful and efficient: Esper Sentinel is a Human. A card that will net you some cards, but also is a snappy for one mana in this deck. Hopeful Initiate, Mother of Runes, and Benevolent Bodyguard are one-drop Humans that add a lot of value to your game. Speaking of one drop Humans…
Dorks and Ramp
Noble Hierarch and Avacyn’s Pilgrim are mana dorks that come down for one mana and will help you pay for more while in the late game and maintain utility in their synergy with Katilda and Lier. I’d even include Magus of the Candelabra if you’re running lands like Gaea’s Cradle or Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx. Mikaeus, the Lunarch can be an anthem or a flexible creature to play, but he can even come down for one mana just to give a spell flashback and in this deck. That can be powerful.
Weathered Wayfarer used to be one of the best cards white has to offer. I’m still of that thought! While you are in green and likely will be pulling ahead on lands, there’s still a chance that your opponents will be neck and neck with you. And if not, you still get to use it for flashback.
Of course, the spells worth casting from the graveyard are ones that will pull you ahead, and what better way to do that than to amass a ton of mana. Green’s ramp package is astounding: Rampant Growth, Nature’s Lore, Three Visits, Farseek, Kodama’s Reach, Cultivate, and many more.
According to Scryfall, there are 2999 instants and sorceries in Bant colours. I find that number oddly low considering there are 24,431 legal cards in Commander.
That said, here are a few stand outs. Rite of Harmony nets you a card draw when creatures or enchantments enter the battlefield under your control. Particularly amazing if you run the token creation route here.
Got a board full of humans? Double it with Kindred Summons. It’s expensive, but it’s an instant and the next time you cast a Human, you can play it again, doubling your double. Is this all the Humans in your deck? Could be!
Repel the Abominable is a nice little fog that will allow you to block well and surprise your opponents who block arrogantly. Of course, there are a lot of Humans in Magic, so sometimes this won’t work out amazing, but it’s on theme!
Beast Within and Generous Gift are A+ removal, as are Swords to Plowshares and Path to Exile. Cards like Genesis Wave, Ancestral Memories, Commune with the Gods, and Fact or Fiction let you draw into your Humans while binning the spells you need to cast from the graveyard. Don’t forget your Secrets of the Dead to keep your hand fuelled while you cast your spells from the graveyard.
Changeling creatures and instants
There are some great changelings in this colour that are worth a second look. Unsettled Mariner gives your permanents Ward 1 for cheap. Realmwalker lets you cast Humans from the top of your deck. Moritte of the Frost is a great clone card that came out in recent years. But most importantly, Mirror Entity is a game closer. Amassing your Human army and just swinging knowing you can turn them into 7/7s or something can be a big deal.
That does it for this edition of A Seat at the Table. If there’s a commander you’d like covered, please let me know @mikecarrozza on Twitter and Instagram!