This entry is part 315 of 324 in the series CommanderCast

Hello everyone and welcome to CommanderCast Episode 299! We’re your weekly source for Community, Strategy, and Technology, hosted on and our homesite:! This week Mark and Adam are going over bad tribes. Two in fact, but first they want to talk about how people hear their Magic news. Then they discuss the best ways to round out a bad tribe with some key ideas. Then they go into discussing two tribes they feel needs some love. 


So if you’re down with that all you have to do is click the IB!!!


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CommanderCast Episode 299

Posted: Oct. 30, 2017








Keep up with the conversation on Facebook & Twitter.



Where do you go to get your Magic news?


…And then we got off-topic.  Again.




How to make a bad tribe work in EDH, starring: Centaurs & Cephalids


Add to creature pool by changing types




Manipulate creature type


Generic “creature type matters” goodstuff


Utility lands









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Calvin – Email: captainredzone(at)gmail(dot)com  // twitter: (at)CaptainRedZone


Mark – Email: mahlerma(at)gmail(dot)com


Adam – (at)squire9999 // (at)thetrinisphere


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And a big thanks to everyone here at the CommanderCast Network. We’ll see you next week with more community, strategy, and technology. Until then, LET’S GET IT!

Series Navigation<< CommanderCast Ep 298 – The Price of Boredom is Eternal VigilanceCommanderCast Ep 300a – O, the Nostalgia! >>
  • Eshed

    In my primary box of cards, there are 5 rows seperated by color.. Legends, Mythics, staples, and build-arounds tend to float towards the front of their color rows. One such group is a cluster of Centaurs all lined up behind a Pheres-Band Warchief, waiting since Theros for their chance to shine.

    • Mark Mahler


      Poor little Centaur lord. I feel like he’s the guy who goes to a Halloween party all decked out in a sweet, homemade costume, but realizes the minute he walks in the door that he’s the only one who dressed up.

      To you, P-BW – or P-B Dubs, as he’s known on the streets, I raise a beer and offer you this paean:

  • Jeremy Parsons

    As my Reaper King deck was my first 5-color deck, I included in it Sliver Overlord and Aquamoebus Changeling just because. Alas, I never lived that dream of that 2-card combo and the cards were removed. And yes, my Reaper King deck is a Reaper King deck, built to use his ability, but there’s only 7 full scarecrows in it,and only 4 of them are good. Since Tuck was also an issue at the time, I built the deck to function with a number of effects to reuse the scarecrows I did have, but also to play well with those reuse effects. Hence a lot of good ETB effects as well as Esper artifact shenanigans. But it’s definitely not a tribal deck.

    Most scarecrows themselves were too meh and designed to play with the non scarecrows in the set. Likewise, most changelings are at best an average member of your tribe. In many ways, Slivers themselves as feared as they can be, are also very meh individually. Pre M14, I tried to assemble a deck and without the Sliver Legion I couldn’t figure out a way for the deck to actually win. There just wasn’t enough innate critical mass, especially since early slivers were designed to be 2/2s.

    I did like one alternate Reaper King deck I saw that was tribal changelings and lords. Like the core of the deck was built around changelings, and then the rest of it was a mix of allies and other one off lords. Like Timber Protector running alongside Greatbow Doyen and things like that.

    I’d also like to give big kudos to the people who find theme-like spells to round out their tribal decks. Sure this spell is less efficient, but it fits in to the theme of my tribe better.

    • Mark Mahler

      I will always salute anyone who’s tried to make Scarecrow tribal a thing. It’s especially weird that Wizards keeps printing them occasionally, but they all just suck (with the exception of Wild-Field Scarecrow, who’s just a corner case/ conditional Burnished Hart). It makes me want to pour one out on the curb for poor, old Reaper King. Talk about a king without a kingdom…

      • Jeremy Parsons

        Just about all the scarecrows come out of Shadowmoor block. The others are smatterings here and there, especially out of Innistrad which is also a fearful gothic block they do fit in. I really wish the Wild-Field Scarecrow was even closer to Burnished Hart. And there is some neat utility.

        Scarecrone, the other scarecrow lord, is just good in any deck that wants to recur artifact creatures. Scuttlemut has a weird color changing ability. There’s a red-aligned one that can help grant haste for extra mana, and a white-aligned one that grants persist. But these color minding ones do a poor job of boosting each other.

        I also saw a deck that used the Chainbreaker as part of a loop to combo off with Mikaeus. And I bet it has some weird Hapatra utility.

        But that is such an apt way to put it, the Reaper King is a king without a kingdom.

  • Dadsquatch

    Hearing Adam wax prophetic on the topic of “Peak Commander” made me think he was going to start spitting mad apocrypha, speaking in quatrains and what-not…dark times, winter is coming and all that.

    One of the things I enjoy about “bad” tribal decks is that you stumble upon cards you would never normally use, which kind of hints at the origins of the EDH format. I built a warriors tribal deck, but it was in the completely wrong colors. I made Dakkon Blackblade the general. However, some of the white and black warriors from Tarkir were perfect for the deck, especially stuff like Blood-chin Rager, Arashin Foremost and Blood-chin Fanatic. These were limited chaff that I would never take a second look at, but made Dakkon particularly deadly. Esper can ramp surprisingly fast with artifacts and things like Dreamscape Artist. Make Dakkon huge, make him unblockable, attack and fling and possibly kill two opponents. Add Hatred and equipment and it’s a fun strategy.

    I have no hot cephalid tech, that’s just not my bag, baby, but, a couple of centaur cards that I’ve used are Omen-reader Centaur and Centaur Glade. Omen-Reader’s requirements are odd, and it’s a snow creature to boot, but reducing the cost of your other centaurs by two isn’t bad. Centaur Glade is a good mana dump in a mono green or mostly green deck.

    I have also made the Seton deck after hearing an entourage segment during the early days of the podcast and Adam is not exaggerating about the fuel that deck can generate.

    Here’s looking at 300!

    • Dadsquatch
      • Mark Mahler

        Nope, probably not. Which is weird, because I feel like WotC could totally get Danny Trejo to sit in for portrait session if they just asked nicely. He doesn’t strike me as an actor that says “no” to anything so long as there’s a paycheck attached. He’s like a younger Anthony Hopkins with more knives.

    • Mark Mahler

      I have no idea why we didn’t talk about Omen-reader Centaur. I remember looking over my notes after the show and literally slapping my forehead. That dude has all my favorite things: useless “Snow” prefix and cost-reducing effects for creatures.
      Truly, I have failed.

      I might force myself to try the Cephalid nonsense deck, but I think that Centaurs might actually be a thing. Not necessarily a good thing, but definitely playable and dumb fun.

      • Eshed

        The Omen-Reader is another card I have copies of, just waiting for a home… Like King Macar, it just needs a good car to drive. Or a Springleaf Drum to beat on. Earthcraft, Crytoplith Rite, Throne of The God-Pharaoh and Harvest Season, maybe?

  • Eshed

    Flavor note on Aboshan and Llawan… Aboshan was a Cephalid supremacist tyrant, while Llawan was a more shrewd politician who accepted all of her loyal subjects. She gave merfolk a fair shake they never got under Aboshan’s rule. It makes sense that their mechanics would reflect that, with Aboshan working only with other Cephalids.