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 Phyrexia: All Will Be One Commander precon leader that has been officially revealed by MTG Muddstah: Neyali, Suns’ Vanguard. It’s been a while since we’ve seen Rebels!
Neyali is a 3/3 Legendary Creature – Human Rebel for 2WR with a textbox that is very clearly trying to get you to play a certain way. Let’s take a look at that textbox.
“Attacking tokens you control have double strike.
Whenever one or more tokens you control attack a player, exile the top card of your library. During any turn you attacked with a token, you may play that card.”
The more I read this card, the more I like it. Is it Boros aggro? Yeah. But does it give you a new focus and new advantages for it? Hell yeah it does. Here are things to bear in mind.
- Neyali only gives attacking tokens you control double strike. They have to be tokens and they have to be attacking.
- “Whenever one or more tokens you control attack a player” – again, they must be tokens, but if you attack each opponent in a game of four with a token, you’ll get three triggers for the “exile top card of your library.”
- The tokens must attack and cannot come into play “tapped and attacking”, they will not trigger Neyali this way.
- It doesn’t matter whether Neyali is in play or not, if you exiled cards with Nayali’s second ability, you can play those cards any turn you attacked with a token.
I’ll be staying away from cards that are in the precon as well, since we have the official list now. There are cards I really like that are already in there like Prava of the Steel Legion, Intangible Virtue, and Loyal Apprentice. I picked a lot of them. I couldn’t help myself. Let’s begin.
Look, we’re going to get a little silly. How fun would it be to have Myr Battlesphere come down on curve after you slammed a Mirror March? Very. Flip those coins. Maybe you’ll get no copies, maybe you’ll get six or seven. Who knows! That’s the fun part. Even if you get one, you’re getting a 4/7 token with haste that brings four more Myr in play with it and can tap all eight Myr it and the original created plus the original to just deal nine damage on attack alone! Give trample and your 4/7 (with +9/+0) with double strike just seals the deal.
Picture this with Determined Iteration in play, too. Even more swingy tokens.
You can play Sun Titan and get value from it and then some. Win a flip and you get a hasty 6/6 double striking bad boy about to bring back a fetch land or Wayfarer’s Bauble or whatever you’ve got that works. I think Mirror March is the fun card that your table will remember going off or doing nothing, and it works well with this deck. Whether it’s high value creatures or even just Loyal Apprentice, it does work.
I won’t say much here except red’s cloning has been incredible lately and these two make tokens like nobody’s business. Jaxis gives you the draw on death upside and Delina might let the token stick around if you roll high enough. Huge for this deck. Rionya, Fire Dancer, at worst, copies one creature per turn making you another token. Even just copying another little token is going to get you card advantage post-combat. You can play something like Phyrexian Processor and make big, beefy tokens that swing with double strike and copy them too! Do you miss that Sun Titan in your graveyard? Feldon can make you a new token one. It’s not the original, but in this deck, it’s better.
Your tokens are going to have low (or no) mana value. If you have a way to make tokens on each turn, say with Heliod, God of the Sun or Platoon Dispenser, you’ll be able to take advantage and draw a ton of cards per turn cycle.
You’re playing white and likely will play a ton of white permanents. Why not get a free token out of casting them. Not to mention, this is great on defence and if you’re using any of the clone effects I listed earlier, playing a Soul Warden could get you an army of Soldiers and gain you back that life you used to cast Soul Warden for free… and then some.
This Chandra is fantastic for this deck. Her second 0 ability essentially reads as “draw two cards” when Neyali is in play. The -2 can come in handy if you’ve got removal like Path to Exile or Generous Gift in your graveyard. The first 0 ability could be helpful if you’ve got a red planeswalker package in the deck, but I’m not holding my breath. Having Rite of the Raging Storm in play means that you’re going to swing every turn with a token and your opponents might clock each other, too. Speaking of which…
This wouldn’t be A Seat at the Table without a nod to aristocrats. Do I think you should be playing Ashnod’s Altar and Phyrexian Altar as well? Absolutely. However, there are a ton of tokens that are just going to die or get exiled at the end of turn. You can even play cards that create Eldrazi Spawns and Scions that’ll do this on their own. Rite of the Raging Storm, mentioned above, not only gets damage swinging everywhere, giving you extra value from the double strike, but the tokens also get sacrificed. Vicious Shadows sees them dying and it won’t be long before you take the win.
Casting the cards exiled with Neyali means that you get to have fun. Nalfeshnee copies the spells you play from exile and Wild-Magic Sorcerer gives the first exiled cast cascade, which incidentally would be casting from exile again, triggering Nalfeshnee. Passionate Archaeologist requires your commander in place, but starts to make those cards cast from exile really hit hard. Keeper of Secrets does the same thing without requiring your commander.
Trample will be your best friend when you’re making big double striking swings with your tokens. Taking away the trample also means that if you have tokens behind to block, you can feel a little safer knowing that you’re blunting the assault.
There you have it! That’s another edition of A Seat at the Table.
Let me know what commander you want covered next week! @mikecarrozza on Twitter and Instagram!