This entry is part 464 of 542 in the series CommanderCast

Hello everyone and welcome to CommanderCast Episode 426! This week Mark and Adam are going Tribal! With the release of Kaldheim, building a God tribal deck is more viable than ever! So we feel that it’s time to discuss what makes a Tribal deck viable in Commander. So today we’re going over our thoughts and opinions on what a deck needs in order to gain the Tribal status in our Strategy segment. Then in our Tech segment, we go over the Gods and try to figure out how a God Tribal deck would look and work. But first, in Community we want to talk about older cards and what is going on with some of the cards that see little to no play that are going up in price due to the fact that they just so happen to be on the Reserved List.


All that, plus our usual interstitial fodder, and all you have to do is Click the IB!!!


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CommanderCast Episode 426

Posted: February 1, 2021








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Old cards retaining value = More ammunition to get rid of the reserved list.


From Peter’s MTGStocks article “Weekly Winners 2021 -02” (Jan. 15, 2021):


“…[M]any cards that are not on the reserved have been gaining value over the past months. If you check out our weekly interests, you can see Erhnam Djinn and Jeweled Bird high up on our list. These are cards that see no play in any formats, outside fanmade formats or kitchentable magic. And for Jeweled Bird that is not even true. Who plays for ante anymore? And then: who would ante Jeweled Bird at $72.50 instead of what’s actually in there?
It is not logical from the point of view of a player. For collectors and investors, it is a different case. Jeweled Bird is not on the reserved list, but it is banned or illegal in all formats. It will not be reprinted. Ever…
…Ashnod’s Altar seems to rise in price in a similar vein, but it is different in a few ways. Simply: it does see play and it is getting reprints…
…Apparently, the investment in older cards is now also driving up the price of cards that see play and reprints. It’s not a Jeweled Bird type of situation. And that is noteworthy because it suggests that old cards are increasingly getting their own price dynamic, completely outside the usual organic supply & demand dynamic. We’ve seen this for years now with cards from Alpha, Beta and Unlimited, and in that sense, it is not without precedent. But this value creep seems to increasingly involve sets that are not (historically) seen as part of that “ABU”-list.


With that in mind, it is also increasingly hard to explain why cards trend up or down. It seems to me that the only reason these cards are gaining value is because they are old. Ashnod’s Altar is a prime example of this. It is not easy to speculate if this dynamic will continue, and where it will end. And what sets will be considered old in a year, two years, five years? Will cards from Fallen Empires end up being extremely expensive and sought after? Will Mirage become an “old” set and attract investors?”


Interstitial fodder: 




What makes a Tribe viable in EDH?


EDHREC’s definition: 

“Decks are considered tribal if they have more than 10 creatures and at least 60.0% of them share a tribe.”


From Gavin’s “The Trouble with Tribals” article on the mothership:


“Generally, the way tribal decks work… is that they want to play a lot of creatures and then cards that make those creatures’ types matter. The weaker the individual creatures are, the better the tribal rewards need to be to get you to play them. The opposite is also true: the better the individual creatures are, the weaker the tribal rewards need to be to convince you to play a lot of them. (And, of course, the sweet spot is when you have very strong tribal rewards and very strong individual creatures!)


Sometimes you might have to play a couple creatures that are just below the bar of normal playability, but you certainly don’t want to fill your deck up with those.


And while you can fill the gaps in your Archer tribal deck with cards like Adaptive Automaton and Coat of Arms, as well as perhaps a way to search up your Doyen, at that point you could basically be any tribal deck. These cards are meant to provide that little bit of extra oomph, not support an entire tribal deck on their own. And while there’s nothing wrong with building a casual Archer deck with these for fun, it is unlikely to be in the competitive realm because of a lack of critical mass.”


CommanderCast’s checklist of tribal viability:


  • Ability to establish a sufficient board presence
    • Low CMC nontoken creatures (Elves/Goblins)
    • Cost reduction on big beaters (Dragons)
    • Recursion (Zombies)
    • Tokens (Elves/Goblins/Soldiers)
      • Tribes that are close, but can’t really do that in EDH (yet)
        • Merfolk
        • Faeries
        • Rogues
        • Ninjas
        • Dogs
        • Pirates


  • Support for doing what that tribe wants to do
    • “Whenever a Dragon attacks…,” 
    • “Whenever a Goblin/Elf ETBs…,” 
    • “Whenever another Zombie dies…”




  • Effects that give evasion if the tribe doesn’t naturally have it (i.e., Dragons fly)
    • Elves get trample/Forestwalk
    • Zombies get menace
    • Merfolk get Islandwalk



Mark’s tribal decks:

  • Allies
  • Beasts
  • Elves
  • Faeries
  • Merfolk
  • Ninjas
  • Snakes
  • Soldiers
  • Zombies
  • Mistform Ultimus “Tribal Tribal”


Adam’s tribal decks

  • Druids
  • Rats




God Tribal!!



Honorable mentions:




CommanderCast  – Email: commandercast(at)gmail(dot)com // twitter: (at)CommanderCast


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


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


Adam – (at)squire9999


Be sure to check out our CommanderCast Facebook page. 


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 425 – Kaldheim spoilers, Boast, RaidCommanderCast Ep 427 – Kaldheim Wrap-Up >>