PDH: Where the "P" is for Partner
Love is in season, so much so that even the cards are feeling it. When Wizards printed Partner in Commander 2016, many lonely commanders cried out looking for love. But they received none, as no errata came from the rules team. But what if it did? What if we gave every commander partner? It’s been talked about before in PDH circles, but as far as I know, those groups gave each and every commander partner. What I want to do is give every mono-colored commander partner. Here’s my idea, and its three rules:
Only mono-colored uncommons have partner
The commanders must be different colors
The commanders cannot go infinite with each other
I don’t feel that’s too unreasonable of demands to make of granting limitless new options for the command zone. Now, what kind of powerful new combos would we have access to? How about Rage Forger and Mad Auntie for some red/black goblin shamans? Or take Rage Forger in an entirely different direction with Sachi, Daughter of Seshiro?
By having access to that one extra color, and the second commander, the focus and goal of the deck shifts dramatically. Many people have favorite mono-colored commanders that they wish they could play, just by reaching into another color. But what other combinations are available besides new tribal support? Let’s look at some new voltron options with a favorite of mine, Mesa Enchantress. What happens if we give her green with someone like Dreampod Druid? Suddenly, not only are we drawing cards for each enchantment, but also making an army of saprolings. This works well since white also has a slew of options for team-wide buffs, shoring up one of green’s shortcomings.
But look how much Mesa Enchantress changes if we swap Dreampod Druid out for Ashiok’s Adept. Now the card draw engine gets turned up a notch into a hand attack machine. Or shift into red/white aggro with something like Monastery Swiftspear.
Of course, there’s probably some absurdly combinations out there that I haven’t thought of, so be careful with introducing them to your games. I feel that Nephalia Smuggler may be too strong of a partner, but maybe not. I can definitely see it being oppressive when paired with say Nekrataal. Another one that may end up being too strong is Blood Artist, but I can’t see what to pair with it to break it. Of course, someone could just jam Peregrine Drake, one of the format’s boogeymen into the command zone, but I like to think better of our format than that.
But let’s get back to the fun pairings, not the competitive ones. I feel that people come to the format because it’s fun and rewards uniqueness and creativity, and that’s what the partner rule rewards more of. One last thing to mention before I go, the Forerunners from Rivals of Ixalan look like they’d all be some fun partner commanders. Happy brewing!