Hello and welcome to another edition of A Seat at the Table, the series where I take a look at a commander and discuss what should go into their 99.

This week, we are diving into the flurry that was the Warhammer 40k Commander Deck spoilers, and I’m talking about the backup legend that has everybody chatting – Marneus Calgar, a 3/5  legendary Astartes Warrior for 2WUB.

Time for a textbox!

“Double strike  

Master Tactician — Whenever one or more tokens enter the battlefield under your control, draw a card.  

Chapter Master — {6}: Create two 2/2 white Astartes Warrior creature tokens with vigilance.”  

What a beautiful line of text that first one is for the value monsters among us. Any token. You create a Clue token? I like your style, here’s a card draw for you. I know the Clue itself will draw you a card eventually, but by yourself something nice with this extra card right away. Treasure token? What are you going to spend that mana on if you have no cards?! This simply won’t stand, have a card!

This line of text could have been the only one, but this guy enables his damn self. A steep activation cost to make two vigilant 2/2 is fine, but when you’re drawing a card too, that’s not bad. Not to mention there’s already a three-piece infinite combo ready for you to use. Let’s dive in.


Let’s not mince words: people are going to hate seeing Marneus Calgar. This guy gives you a card every time you make a token. There are cards that trigger a token creation for minor game actions and now that’s a token and a card for each one. That means Marneus becomes enemy target number one or at least puts the nail in the coffin for an opponent holding a board wipe. You want to protect your general. Cards like Lightning Greaves, Swiftfoot Boots, and Whispersilk Cloak keep him from being targeted. The Cloak can also put a clock on the game, forcing your six commander damage through with an unblockable boos man. Toss a few  anthems like the new Ultramarines Honour Guard (creates tokens, too!) and you’ll be swinging for more than just six.

Gift of Immortality ensures that Calgar comes back and keeps protection. Shielded by Faith is another good aura to keep him from being destroyed. Teferi’s Protection for when your board is in danger.

Here’s something I rarely say… counterspells. Pack some stack interaction because your commander is going to draw the ire of the table without a doubt!


You need to make tokens to get those cards, honey! The obnoxiousness of the following card puts it squarely in the “man, this should be banned, but it’s White’s best card” category. Smothering Tithe is one of the cards that triggers for each draw and therefore whenever you create a Treasure token off of it, when Marneus is in play, you’ll be drawing a card for each one.

Marneus turns good cards into incidental cantrips. Bastion of Remembrance is a staple of any aristocrats strategy, which coincidentally, you can build with Marneus. With Calgar in play, Bastion comes in and gives you back a card. Court of Grace becomes a super charged Phyrexian Arena, Archon of Sun’s Grace does a good Eidolon of Blossoms impression, and Curse of Disturbance turns any attack on the cursed player into another card draw. Marneus makes players think twice while you accrue value constantly. That’s why section one is so important!


If you’re going to draw a ton of cards, you need some payoffs or ways to play them. Omniscience isn’t bad in this deck. If your hand is going to be stacked, might as well unload it into play! Psychosis Crawler is a fantastic card that pings all of your opponents whenever you draw a card. Sheoldred, the Apocalypse gains you life keeping you out of reach as your opponents’ life totals dwindle as they attempt to amass the necessary resources to take you down. Minn, Wily Illusionist makes your second draw each turn and when those illusions die, you get to put a permanent card into place with mana value less than their power. Minn is a sneaky good payoff in this deck! Chasm Skulker gets bigger and bigger every time you draw. The Council of Four turns your second spell into another token, and therefore another card draw, which then triggers the Council for a third card! If your opponents plays two spells, you draw a card. What is this madness!

You might notice that I am leaving a few options off for now. That’s because they’re either part of the combo or…

4) MILL?

You’re damn right – mill! Psychic Corrosion, Sphinx’s Tutelage, Teferi’s Tutelage, each one of these lets you mill a ton of cards just for doing what you need to do! Altar of the Brood in your token making deck means each opponent snips one off the top for every single one. Mindcrank, one of my all-time favourite cards, gets to shine when opponents lose life, milling them for that much. If you’re going to mill…


… might as well Reanimate. Animate Dead, Reanimate, Puppeteer Clique, all fantastic ways to make use of milling your opponents. Two of these can bring your commander back even. Altar of Bhaal lets you turn one of your tokens into a very cheap way to get around commander tax. Plus, its Adventure side lets you draw a card and make an attacker while drawing you a card when Marneus is out and about.

If you do end up leaning into the reanimation, Tormod, the Desecrator gives you Zombies when cards leave your graveyard and Zombie tokens equals card draw for each trigger! Bring back Death Tyrant with its own ability when an opponent swings at another opponent with tons of little blockers. That’s a bunch of Zombie tokens for you and each one is its own trigger, meaning its own card. Why have this in the Reanimation instead of Token Production sections? Because it’s both and it’s a nice surprise for the end of the article.

Honorable Mention: The Combos

Ashnod’s Altar + Anointed Procession + Tormod, the Desecrator

This is of course only one of many Calgar combos that draw your deck and give you bodies. It’s up to you to have Altar of the Brood or Corpse Knight or Bastion of Remembrance or Thassa’s Oracle to really put the nail in the coffin.

Want more Calgar combos? Take a look at this:


That does it for us today. Don’t forget to pre-order your Warhammer 40k decks because they are already in very high demand! threekingsloot.com has them available for cheaper than surrounding areas from what I’ve seen and I’ve got mine in already. I’m going to get a second and third order in. I wish I was kidding. These decks are bonkers! Buy in early because these cards are so freaking hard to reprint and WotC has no plan to do so anytime soon!

Let me know what commander you want me to write about next! @mikecarrozza on Twitter!

Get all your Magic: The Gathering news from The Bag of Loot! www.thebagofloot.com
Get all your Magic: The Gathering needs from Three Kings Loot! www.threekingsloot.com