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Deck Tech: Loyal Subordinate

Loyal Subordinate, by Tomasz Jedruszek, Owned by Wizards of the Coast © All Rights Reserved.

Commander 2018 has hit the shelves, and the internet has been all over the place with their reviews. Some people dig it, some people hate it, and the arguments for both are strong. Personally speaking, I couldn't make up my mind. Prices went up, I was iffy about the art work (Not Seb Mckinnon's work though. That piece is awesome), and I couldn't help but feel that it didn't come close to the amount of things it brought to the table, like its predecessors.

However, this is a great time of the year, and we will be given new toys. I will still give it a chance, and I have come to adjust to what these decks do. For fans of "Command Zone: Game Knights," see their play of these decks. I personally feel where we were given less in regards to new features, we were given more with playable deck types. I've come to love my new Estrid deck, and look forward to many more games to come.

Aside from all of this, PDH benefited from the products this year. I introduced these 5 new Loyal commanders a few weeks ago, but today, I want to dig a little deeper. I want to show you my take on how to pilot one of these 5 commanders, and how it emulates some of my favorite EDH decks. Today, I will bring you on a journey to see how you can turn Loyal Subordinate into an hourglass, and quickly degenerate your opponents before they bring their winning attack against you.

The Commander

I still recall one of the fastest games of EDH I have ever played. Do you know what happens when you have a Tribal Goblins Purphoros deck and a Nekusar deck online at the same time? I do. It means the game finishes incredibly quick. Is it funny? Of course it is. However, it was fast, and it gave us very little time to respond. I always felt that such a deck would be great to play in PDH.

In response to my wish, we have been given Loyal Subordinate. For such a low cost, you can begin to drain your opponents' life incredibly quick, forcing them to delay their own engines in response to you.

Some people have asked if these creatures will trigger their own Lieutenant mechanic. To answer that question, yes, that is exactly how it will work for us. Some times, WotC not acknowledging PDH yet is still works out for us, as we get more great mechanics. With this deck, all we need is to have the commander out, and it does its work. The trick is, we need to keep the commander out. We have a strategy, but the commander alone will not win us a game.

The first things we need to observe, are the weaknesses of this commander. First of all, it is not bolt proof. We must also consider that this will become a huge target for removal. The ability to protect itself is quite small, and black has very few ways to prevent the removal. An ability that quickly drains the life of the competition will force you to become a target, so we must understand that the commander alone will not do all of the work to win you the game.

Our goal is to drain life, while accepting that we will become the target of attacks. In the event of that, we need to prepare for this, and consider self-preservation.

The Supporting Soldiers

A first example of something you need to include is "Extort." Despite the description showing two colors, since the color symbol falls in the definition, this actually does not affect the card's color identity. These are cards that will help you keep that life total above your opponents' totals. This will also allow you to spare a few points from time to time, for gain.

As you understand the theme of this deck, our most valuable creatures will be those that can slowly pick away at the life of all of your opponents, and doing it quickly. These threats needs to be continuous, and they need to punish everyone equally.

The Aura's Bite

Understanding the creatures, it is now time to observe a special twist to this design. There is always a danger with playing mono colored decks, with limited ways to handle all problems. With this deck, we are going to try a different solution. We will not rely on removal, but punish opponents for using their resources.

Auras will be a very powerful tool for us. Opponents will plan for having their things removed, but they won't always be ready for having their things enchanted. This will place an opponent with difficult choices, as to where to focus their removal. Life drain is the most important thing, so we can force the opponent to suffer a negative consequence, regardless of their choices.

Special Weapons

The above pretty much cover what this deck is meant to do, so the final mention will be other noteworthy spells to add. These are spells that we here at PDH Home Base have mentioned before, but but they are especially useful here.

Before operating a simple deck like this, is needs to be understood that almost immediately, you will stand out, and the design of your deal will be predictable. Life gain, and inhibiting opponents' creatures with auras will be your way to preserve yourself while life is drained away. When getting ready for a game, and choosing what cards you want, it needs to be understood that the goal is too run out the clock.


Such a deck will not be a complicated piece to pilot, but will prove to be a lot of fun. After seeing the new Loyal commanders from Commander 2018, I knew that these would prove to be a lot of fun. In just a few weeks, Derek will be returning to us with his take on Loyal Apprentice. At first, I didn't think this deck would be a fun play. However, after seeing what Derek has in store, I can personally say that we are all in for a treat.

Do you agree with this design? How would you build around this commander, or what cards do you feel are the best additions for you? I am looking forward to seeing what all of you have to say, and put this new cycle of commanders into play!

Click here, or go to the following link: http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/pauper-subordinate/



#Black #2018 #Zombies #Auras #Commander


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