Last updated on June 16, 2022
Linvala, Shield of Sea Gate | Illustration by Wayne Reynolds
Nothing is better than being welcomed to a party in a magnificent fashion. Well, all my lovely planeswalkers out there, welcome to the party! Let’s have some fun with the party mechanic. Today I’ll be reviewing all the best party cards along with some of the class cards that can enable some great combos for you. After all, who doesn’t like to party?
I’ll answer some of your big questions about the mechanic. What does the party mechanic mean? What cards can work with it? Can I actually build a deck that’s competitive with party?
Grab your best outfits, tap the kegs, and fill my cup! No need to B.Y.O.R. (bring your own rankings); I’ll provide you with all the rankings you need.
Cascade Seer | Illustration by Brian Valeza
Party was introduced in Zendikar Rising in September 2020. Your party consists of up to one cleric, rogue, warrior, and wizard. Party cards often use the numerical value of how many creatures you have in your party.
For example, when Malakir Blood-Priest enters the battlefield, your opponent loses X life and you gain X life, where X is the number of creatures you have in your party. So today I’ll be talking about any card that has the keyword “party,” and some clerics, rogues, warriors, and wizards that can help your party get the best payoffs.
Let’s start with a common rarity party card. When Kabira Outrider enters the battlefield, target creature gets +X/+X until the end of turn for the number of creatures in your party. This is a very basic card that has some relevance in Limited play if you want to swing big quickly. It’s not a great card for any Constructed decks, but just enjoy the idea of riding an ostrich and let’s keep going.
Another seemingly Limited-only white party card here. Shepherd of Heroes is a nice lifegain card and decent size flier depending on the number of creatures you have in your party. Clerics and warriors are the easiest party members to fill, so this card doesn’t add much support other than the lifegain.
Practiced Tactics might be able to fit into some of your Standard or Commander decks. It’s a cheap combat trick to use. The nice part of the card is the cost and the fact that it does twice the damage of the number of creatures in your party.
Not a lot of creatures will survive four, six, or optimally eight damage. A nice way to combat trick out an annoying big body.
Another white flying party creature. Emeria Captain is nice because it gets counters based on the number of creatures you have in your party. The mana cost of four doesn’t make it the most relevant creature, but it can definitely fit into some Constructed angel decks that use angel clerics, angel wizards, and the elusive angel rogues.
Tazri, Beacon of Unity has the highest rarity and looks like it can be a bomb card. But I’m not as impressed with its abilities. The real use of this card is that it costs one less mana for each creature in your party. You can feasibly drop a 4/6 and another creature on turn 4 to change up the board advantage.
The ability is flexible and might be useful in the late game when you’re battling to gain hand advantage over your opponent. Tazri can fit into some decks with any of the party classes, but it should be in a deck focused on the party mechanic to get the full potential.
Another nice combat trick using the party mechanic. Allied Assault gives two creatures +X/+X for each creature in your party until the end of the turn.
At instant speed and targeting two creatures, this can be a great addition to a deck with at least two or three of the party creature types. Decks centered around the party mechanic or tribal builds should think about some combat tricks to speed up the game.
Here we go! No more combat tricks, let’s get some removal into your decks.
Enchantments that take away nonland permanents are great. Not every deck has a way to get rid of enchantments, and Journey to Oblivion can help you get rid of a wide range of annoyances. It also gets cheaper for every creature you have in your party.
In theory you could use two of these removals for two mana. You should definitely give this card some consideration for any Commander or Modern decks that have the creature types for the party mechanic.
Whenever you cast a party spell (cleric, rogue, warrior, wizard), you can perpetually pump up a party creature in your hand with +1/+1. So give those creatures in your hand buffs before they even see the light of battle!
This is very good for any cleric, rogue, warrior, or wizard tribal decks. The only downside is it’s only legal in Alchemy and Historic, or this card would be in a ton of decks.
A staple if you want to build an aggro party deck, which my suggestion is if you’re going to build a party deck. Archpriest of Iona starts off small but gets bigger with each party member until you reach the full party.
A full party is when this card gets really good. At the beginning of combat on your turn, target creature gains flying and +1/+1. If you can get to a full party by turn 4 then you’re going to start doing some real damage.
Squad Commander is the bomb card you’re looking for in a party deck. Build your board presence quickly and then unleash this bad boy. You get a 1/1 Warrior for each creature in your party when you play this card. And all your creatures get +1/0 and indestructible at the beginning of combat.
If this card isn’t removed quickly and you have a full party, enjoy your victory. This is a must-have for a Commander, Standard, or Modern party deck.
Let’s start with a pretty vanilla blue party member. Cascade Seer had its time in Limited but has no real value outside of the format. It’s a nice card for the middle game so that you have a chance to scry up to four cards and set up your future plans.
#4. Seafloor Stalker
Seafloor Stalker is another blue card that was nice in Limited and maybe, just maybe, has a little value in some other formats. Being unblockable is a fantastic way to get some easy wins in Limited. This is because there aren’t as many opportunities for removal in Limited unlike Standard, Modern, and Commander.
Cascade Seer’s scry doesn’t return enough value. The fact that you can scry 3 plus the number of creatures you have in your party and put three of those cards in your hand is what gives Skyclave Plunder a higher ranking in value.
The 5-mana cost and sorcery speed is steep, but a decent way to look through hopefully at least five cards and keep the three you can use. I believe this card can have some value in Commander since you might only have one copy of other more powerful draw cards.
Here we have a nice counterspell to stop any of your opponent’s noncreature spells. Your opponent has to pay one extra mana plus an extra mana for each creature in your party.
Concerted Defense can stop planeswalkers, board wipes, and enchantments dead in their tracks at any stage of the game. Early plays can’t handle paying one or two extra mana often. Your opponent won’t have enough mana to drop a 5- or 6-mana planeswalker and pay an extra four mana.
This a great card for any deck that has at least two of the creature types in a party.
You always have to stay nimble at a party. Nimble Trapfinder is a nice ramp card in a Constructed party deck.
This card is unblockable for some early damage every time you play a party creature. If you have a full party, you get to draw a card whenever any of your creatures deals combat damage. And if you can play into a full party by turn 4 or 5 then you’ll surely have the card advantage to finish off the game.
#5. Drana’s Silencer
Don’t spend much time on Drana’s Silencer when flicking through your collection. It was nice to get a 3/2 and removal in Limited. But that six mana cost is an automatic no-go in Constructed.
-X/-X is nice to get rid of an indestructible creature, but the mana cost is too much. Let’s move on.
Now here’s something to consider. Malakir Blood-Priest is a vampire cleric and can do up to four damage for a mere two mana. This may be able to fit into some vampire builds considering vampires often have two or more creature types.
There might be more valuable vampires out there, but consider giving this party member a chance.
The 5-mana cost might be a curve buster at first glance, but Coveted Prize’s cost is reduced by one for every creature you have in your party. It also allows you to play up to a four-mana card for free if you have a full party.
This card definitely needs a little help, but the payoff is nice if you can make it work. I could see this in a Commander deck with a very aggressive mentality.
Removal spells should always be in consideration when building any deck. So if you’re thinking of a party themed deck, we have some removal for you. Deadly Alliance could be playable with the cheaper cost from the number of creatures you have in your party.
Acquisitions Expert is a card that works in party decks and plenty of other decks. It’s a very fun strategy to make your opponent discard. You have a higher opportunity of getting rid of the key card for your opponent’s strategy with each creature in your party.
I like this card a lot and have used it in several different kinds of decks. A regular occurrence in Standard at the moment.
Thundering Sparkmage could have some potential if it read “X damage to any target.” Unfortunately it says “X damage to any creature or planeswalker.”
A cost of four mana for a 2/2 with a one-time four-damage maximum effect. No thank you.
We’re getting closer to a usable card with Synchronized Spellcraft. Now the X damage from the number of creatures in your party is to a player. You can remove a pesky creature and chip away at your opponent’s life total.
Unfortunately the 5-mana cost limits it to Limited play.
Would you like a 5/4 creature with haste for your aggro deck? I think you would. You do need to have the full party to make this a reality, but luckily red has a lot of the four creature types for a party.
Mix Shatterskull Minotaur with cheap party creatures of other colors and you can do some big damage quickly.
I was a big fan of Grotag Bug-Catcher during Zendikar Rising, and I feel like we can make it work in some Constructed builds. A turn 2 creature that might get pumped by your board presence every turn, and it has trample.
This card needs to be in an aggressive build, but I believe it has some value in certain situations.
Okay, red isn’t my favorite color for the party theme, but Ardent Electromancer may be able to help with some tempo and board presence. Three mana for a 3/2 that doesn’t have any keywords or lasting effects is steep.
But I really like the idea of basically playing this card for free if you have enough creatures in your party, then continuing to play other burn or creature cards. Keeping available mana and getting creatures on the board is underrated in my opinion.
Strength of Solidarity is a one-drop for the chance to give a creature up to four +1/+1 counters. That could be a huge payoff.
This is a great card to consider in any green build that uses some of the party creatures. The sorcery speed is what holds it back just a little.
I’ll talk about Veteran Adventurer a little later for its ambiguous creature type ability. Here I’ll just mention that possibly getting a 5/5 creature with vigilance for two mana can seriously help a lot of decks.
This is a great addition for any party-based decks in any format.
#5. Ravager’s Mace
The multicolored party cards usually offer more bang for your buck. I’m a fan of equipment that automatically attaches to a creature when it enters the battlefield.
Ravager’s Mace allows a creature to gain more power and have menace. But it’s also not the best equipment thanks to its normal equip cost and the fact that it doesn’t give toughness to protect your creatures.
Spoils of Adventure gives you the opportunity to gain life and draw three cards for possibly two mana. So get your party creatures out quickly and then gain the late game advantage. Keeping hand advantage with a party deck is key to keeping pace with your opponent’s removal capabilities.
A lot of the party cards cost less depending on the number of creatures you have in your party. Zagras, Thief of Heartbeats gives you a huge payoff for getting it out early. It has three keywords, gives all your creatures deathtouch, and allows even the smallest of your minions to destroy planeswalkers. A very nice addition to some of the little creature aristocrat decks.
Another card to maximize with a full party. You can basically neutralize your opponent’s best nonland permanent if you have a full party.
Linvala, Shield of Sea Gate is also great because it can be sacrificed to give your creatures hexproof or indestructible. It’s a fantastic way to protect your party members and continue to reap the benefits of having a full party.
#1. Nalia de’Arnise
With the new release of Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate comes a great card for the party mechanic. Nalia de’Arnise allows you to cast party creatures from the top of your library and gives counters to all your creatures when you have a full party. This card will be amazing in Commander party decks!
#1. Sea Gate Colossus
Sea Gate Colossus lives up to its name as a big boy. Seven mana is too much for most decks, but the cost can be reduced by the number of creatures in your party. You might also be able to get a 7/5 for three mana in the best of scenarios.
Best Party Enablers
Now that I’ve gone over the cards with the party mechanic, let’s talk about some of the clerics, rogues, warriors, and wizards that’ll help accelerate these deck ideas. These enablers will help you fill your party and build your board presence towards domination.
I like to focus on allowing my other creatures to get bigger or come out faster. Here are some great examples of clerics to put in a party-themed deck: Luminarch Aspirant, Venerable Warsinger, Blade Historian, Venerated Loxodon, Vizier of the Menagerie.
Cheap and fast creatures should be your focus for rogues. Here are some great examples of rogues to put in a party-themed deck: Invisible Stalker, Brazen Borrower, Nighthawk Scavenger, Disciple of Deceit, Tetsuko Umezawa, Fugitive.
For warriors I like to focus on swinging big and fast. Here are some great examples of warriors to put in a party-themed deck: Ziatora’s Envoy, Workshop Warchief, Shakedown Heavy, Radha, Heir to Keld, Kargan Intimidator.
Disrupting my opponent’s strategy is my focus for wizards. Here are some great examples of wizards to put in a party-themed deck: Obscura Interceptor, Eruth, Tormented Prophet, Thunderous Orator, Malevolent Hermit, Grim Lavamancer.
A full party is when you have at least one creature of each of the four creature types (cleric, rogue, warrior, and wizard) on your board. This unlocks a lot of abilities on party cards.
Magic’s digital platforms, like Arena, keep count of the number of creatures in your party for you. For your own count during tabletop games, count each creature type once. You have a full party if you have all four types. If you have creatures with multiple party types (e.g., “rogue wizard” or “warrior cleric”), it can only count as one of the creature types for your party. But which type it counts as can be changed if a new creature with one of the types enters the battlefield.
Can You Have More Than One Full Party?
You can have more than one card of each party creature type, but the party mechanic only counts for one creature of each type, and you only have one full party. And once you have a full party it doesn’t matter if you add more party creature types to the board as long as none are removed. But you can’t have more than one full party effect.
Changelings are every creature type, so they contribute to the party mechanic and can fill whatever party creature you need. But a changeling doesn’t count as your full party if you only have one. It’s just one creature, so it can only count as one type for your party.
We also got three cards that count as whatever creature type you need for your party in Zendikar Rising: Stonework Packbeast, Tajuru Paragon, and Veteran Adventurer. All these cards have text about being a cleric, rogue, warrior, and wizard in addition to their other creature types. Just like changelings, these cards automatically fill whatever role you need them to fill, but only one.
Changelings and the three cards listed are fantastic ways to make sure you have a full party as quickly as possible.
The party mechanic is an automatic counter that changes whenever your board is changed. If a player plays a party card, you can respond by removing creatures in their party on the board. This lessens the number of creatures in their party along with the effect of the party mechanic.
It happened to me plenty of times with Acquisitions Expert. An opponent removes a creature from my party in response and now I look at less cards in their hand. But be aware that some of the full party attack triggers resolve even if a creature is removed if attackers have already been declared.
There are a lot of ways to maneuver through the stack to lessen the blow of party decks. Opponents and creators of party decks should be aware of these interactions.
Shepherd of Heroes | Illustration by Livia Prima
All parties must come to an end. I talked about what the party mechanic is and all the different cards that use the keyword. We know how the party gets filled and what happens if a party member is removed.
Now get out there and build your very own party-themed deck! This deck can still be relevant in Standard and maybe Modern and older formats with some of your creativity.
What are some of your favorite party cards? Do you have any fun stories of ridiculous party combos you or another player at your table managed to pull off? Let me know in the comments down below or join the discussion over in the Draftsim Discord.