Tymna the Weaver & Ishai, Ojutai Dragonspeaker | Illustrations by Winona Nelson, Zack Stella
The introduction of the partner mechanic gave us the ability to play two commanders at once. While more recent iterations of the mechanic have introduced us to narrow partners that want to play with a specific gameplan, the original partners gave us broadly powerful commanders to pair together.
Tymna the Weaver is one such commander that offers an abundance of free card advantage straight out of the command zone. While it sees plenty of play at cEDH tables, there’s also room for Tymna in more casual play.
Just take a look at today’s deck, which draws on a classic Limited archetype: fliers!
Aven Mindcensor | Illustration by Eric Deschamps
Tymna the Weaver
Ishai, Ojutai Dragonspeaker
Warden of Evos Isle
Kangee, Sky Warden
Watcher of the Spheres
Ornithopter of Paradise
Donal, Herald of Wings
Raffine, Scheming Seer
Errant and Giada
Sephara, Sky's Blade
Magus of the Moat
Thalia, Heretic Cathar
Archangel of Tithes
Swords to Plowshares
Path to Exile
March of Otherworldly Light
An Offer You Can't Refuse
Talisman of Dominance
Talisman of Hierarchy
Bident of Thassa
Talisman of Progress
Creeping Tar Pit
Caves of Koilos
Cave of the Frost Dragon
Sea of Clouds
Vault of Champions
You’re playing a pretty straightforward Esper () fliers deck, here. This is an aggressive deck that wants to get your opponents down to zero with a flying force that ignores any of their blockers. Most of your creatures have flying, so it’s pretty hard for any of your opponents to engage with your creatures in combat.
You want to end the game quickly, so you’ve got a bunch of ways to pump your fliers. You’ve also got plenty of card advantage to go with your clock to make sure you’ve always got a good number of cards to work with.
The deck also has access to plenty of removal thanks to its shard. Esper has some of the best removal spells in Magic that allow you to interact with pretty much any gameplan your opponents have. The removal suite gives this deck everything it needs to slow down opponents until you beat them in the air.
This is a lower-powered deck that doesn’t do anything too fancy with its cards. It doesn’t pack a bunch of infinite combos or crazy lines, making it an excellent deck for casual play and a great one to lend to a new player to help them learn the ropes of Commander.
Your first commander is Tymna the Weaver. Trading life for cards is a familiar transaction for black players, and Tymna does it quite well. All it asks of you is to deal damage to several opponents and pay a bit of life. It’s easy to draw plenty of cards with Tymna in this deck.
Building Tymna around fliers is a natural extension of its abilities. It’s not uncommon to reach board stalls in Commander that could make attacking tricky, but a few fliers can usually slip through. Evasion makes it easy to attack multiple players each combat, even if there are several people playing on the board.
Having this source of card advantage is super useful in the context of an aggro deck. It’s hard for you to win the game if you run out of steam. Tymna keeps the gas flowing so your fliers can keep attacking and take your opponents down, which lets you draw more cards.
I’ve paired Tymna with Ishai, Ojutai Dragonspeaker. Ishai has flying and benefits from all the cards you have to boost your fliers. It’s also a formidable threat in its own right. It only takes a few turns for it to become a massive attacker that can deal plenty of damage to take out planeswalkers or players.
Even more critically, it gives you the colors needed to support your gameplan. When you’re pairing partners together, you have to consider both effects and colors. It’s hard to build a flying-themed deck without access to blue. It’s arguably not even worth the effort. Ishai gives you access to that critical color to help bring the deck together while working with your other themes.
First things first, let’s look at the flying lords. These cards bolster your team and help you deal the damage you need to win the game.
Serra the Benevolent gives you lots of impact in a small package. It’s a lord with its uptick granting all of your flying creatures +1/+1 until the end of turn, but it does a lot more than that. This Serra also creates Angels and, perhaps most critically, provides a valuable source of protection with its ultimate.
Empyrean Eagle and Thunderclap Wyvern also give your team buffs. The Wyvern having flash gives you a sneaky way to win combat. You can easily leave a few fliers back that look too small to profitably block and blow an opponent out with a flash anthem.
Kangee, Sky Warden provides great offensive and defensive capabilities. It’s not quite +2/+2, but it’s about as close as this deck gets. You can enable plenty of alpha strikes with Kangee, especially when paired with the other anthems. It’s hard to attack a team getting +0/+2 with every block.
You’ve also got Favorable Winds, another anthem for your fliers, with two critical differences: this is the cheapest of these effects at a mere two mana, but it’s also an enchantment. It doesn’t add to your board presence, but it’s trickier to interact with than the other lords.
While you have Tymna to help draw you cards in the command zone, one source of card draw isn’t enough because it’s too easy to disrupt. That’s why I’ve added other ways to draw cards for extra resiliency.
Faerie Mastermind is a brand new card from March of the Machines. This little flier draws you cards in tandem with your opponents drawing extra cards. It’s also a mana sink that lets your opponents draw cards, but gives you two cards for four mana (assuming you use it on an opponent’s turn).
You’ve also got Spectral Sailor as another mana sink that draws you cards. The Sailor is just a small beater that can apply early pressure but draws you several cards once you get to the late game.
Conniving isn’t quite card advantage, but the filtering lets you ditch lands in favor of gas. Ledger Shredder can easily slot into this section. It’s an early drop that quickly becomes bigger and filters through your deck. You’ve got plenty of cheap cards and draw spells to trigger this yourself, but you also benefit from your opponents casting their spells.
Another new card in this deck is Errant and Giada, which gives this deck a narrow Future Sight effect. You have a couple cards with flash, but those also have flying. This card lets you play most of your creatures right off the top of your library, which is another source of card advantage.
Raffine, Scheming Seer is another connive effect to help you tear through your deck. Like Tymna, Raffine wants you to attack with multiple creatures to maximize its triggers. Raffine turns any of your creatures into a dangerous threat while sculpting your hand.
Loyal Drake is another great way to draw cards. Unlike most of your other options, the Drake doesn’t depend on dealing damage or repeatedly casting spells. It just draws at the beginning of combat. With two commanders it’s easy for you to keep one in play.
While we typically see card advantage as drawing cards, there are other ways to generate card advantage, like getting extra effects every time you play a spell. Donal, Herald of Wings is a great example of this type of card advantage. Any time you cast one of your flying creatures, you get a token copy. This generates an insane board advantage that spirals out of control quickly.
Windreader Sphinx represents a terrifying amount of card draw. This triggers off each creature with flying that attacks and triggers off any flying creatures under your opponent’s control. This draws a silly number of cards, especially in the late game.
Bident of Thassa and Reconnaissance Mission wrap up this section with damage-based card draw. They both offer a similar effect: draw a card whenever you deal combat damage to an opponent. Kind of like Raffine, these effects build off what Tymna already wants for a cohesive suite of card draw.
Protective spells are a must, especially for a proactive deck like this one. You don’t want your opponents to disrupt your gameplan, so you need to stop that from happening. You’ve got two kinds of protective spells: ones to protect your creatures, and ones that protect your life total.
Siren Stormtamer is a familiar friend from Standard of days past and is still an effective card to protect you from spot removal.
Jubilant Skybonder is another way to protect your creatures from spot removal. Paying two extra mana to target your creatures is a steep tax. Opponents either need to wait to use the removal spell, or point it at something you don’t control.
Sephara, Sky's Blade might be the ultimate protection spell for your creatures. It gives everything else indestructible, protecting them from board wipes, and lets you do what you like in combat. It’s also just a massive threat that can close a game quickly.
Malakir Rebirth is a fantastic protective spell that buys back any of your creatures that opponents are trying to remove. Being a modal double-faced card gives Rebirth incredible flexibility since it can be a land drop in a pinch.
Teferi's Protection is the first card in the deck to keep you safe from board wipes, which can be devastating to aggressive strategies. This card keeps your creatures safe and doubles as a protective spell to keep you from dying to combat damage.
Akroma's Will doubles as a finisher and a protective spell. You’ll often look to it to give your team indestructible, but giving the team double strike can easily enable a win. Especially if you have a commander out to give all your creatures a billion keywords!
Clever Concealment is potentially free. Convoke lets you play this spell for as little as no mana and provides a wide range of protection. This can also keep your noncreature permeants safe, like Bident of Thassa.
Magus of the Moat is the first of the spells dedicated to protecting yourself. It’s a powerful disruptive tool that grinds other creature decks to a halt while leaving you mostly unfettered. This puts a bit of a target on you, but it also enables you to win the game. How hard can they target you if they can’t attack?
Windborn Muse, Ghostly Prison, and Propaganda all ask a similar question by forcing your opponents to pay more to attack you. Rather like the Skybonder, this is a significant enough tax that they likely divert their creatures elsewhere. This leaves you open to attack with little fear of rebuttal. The tax makes it harder to develop their own board states and helps you pull ahead, if your opponents attack you.
Archangel of Tithes is the last card in the list that taxes your opponents when they attack. It’s also got the benefit of taxing them when they block. It puts a lot of pressure on your opponents to keep mana up for your turn, which also makes it hard to develop their own board. It’s even harder since your opponents won’t know who or if you’re attacking until it’s your turn.
You’ve got a robust suite of removal thanks to your colors. It’s primarily spot removal since board wipes don’t mix well with a creature-focused deck. The interaction is focused on removing threats that threaten you or prevent you from attacking.
Thieving Skydiver is a unique interactive spell that allows you to steal one of your opponent’s artifacts instead of destroying it. You can cast this for four mana to steal a mana rock like a Signet or Talisman, or even a powerful artifact like Bolas's Citadel if the game goes long enough.
Skyclave Apparition is a powerful spell that deals with a smaller permanent when it hits the battlefield. Unlike most Fiend Hunter effects, this card permanently exiles the threat instead of temporarily removing it. This means it won’t come back, and you won’t have to worry about it again.
Swords to Plowshares and Path to Exile are some of the most efficient creature removal spells you can play. Darksteel Mutation is a fun little removal spell that shuts down a creature. It’s especially effective against commanders since it removes them without changing zones, so they don’t return to the command zone.
Despark, Void Rend, March of Otherworldly Light, and Anguished Unmaking give you some catch-all removal spells that answer pretty much anything your opponents try to win or disrupt you with.
An Offer You Can't Refuse and Dovin's Veto let you interact with opponents’ noncreature spells on the stack.
Counterspell and Delay stop anything your opponents throw at you from resolving.
The Mana Base
The mana base has a pretty solid assortment of ramp and color fixing to get you out of the gate quickly and allow you to beat opponents down with a flock of
seagulls curious fliers.
Warden of Evos Isle and Watcher of the Spheres give you a pair of flying cost reducers that let you play more fliers on the cheap, which works great with your sources of card draw.
The mana rocks include the near-mandatory Sol Ring alongside all three on-color Talismans. Mind Stone and Fellwar Stone are here to add to a solid base of explosive artifact mana.
Cartographer's Hawk is great to help you ramp out and keep pace with opponents who are ramping ahead in lands. It also works well with Donal, Herald of Wings to create tokens.
You’ve also got Blinkmoth Nexus and Inkmoth Nexus as threats in your mana base. An extra flier can come in handy to close the door on a game. Inkmoth Nexus also lets you win through infect and poison counters, which is effective with all the anthem effects in the deck.
Beyond these, you’ve got plenty of mana-fixing lands to ensure that you can play your spells on curve and whenever you’d like as much as possible.
You’re a full-speed aggro deck looking to play creatures and turn those creatures sideways. Ideal opening hands have either ramp or card draw. Both are ideal, but you’re playing a 100-card deck. Since Tymna provides card draw in the command zone, hands with ramp are a little more important than hands with card draw.
The card draw is vital to prevent running out of steam. People do plenty of powerful things in Commander, so you need to close the game quickly before they can do the powerful thing that kills you. Card draw ensures you don’t run out of steam and keep pressuring opponents. This is also why the ramp is important: to keep you ahead of the curve.
With your removal, you want to look for cards that disrupt you or kill you. A great example is Ghostly Prison. You’re running this card to stop your opponents from attacking you, so you don’t want to see it on the other side of the table. Cards that force you to stall need to go, as do things that put you on a fast clock.
The countermagic also helps with this but shutting down plenty of other threats. Something to keep an eye on while holding up your countermagic is board wipes. Those are pretty much the scariest things your opponents can play. You can’t Void Rend a Toxic Deluge, so try to keep the countermagic back to catch a wrath unless you’ve got a protective spell or the threat is that dire.
Combos and Interactions
This is a simple deck that’s light on any complex interactions, which is part of what makes it such a good deck for new Commander players.
One thing to keep an eye on is using Aven Mindcensor. This is best held and cast in response to an opponent starting an action that lets them search their library, like cracking of a fetch land or casting a Vampiric Tutor or Rampant Growth. Oftentimes the top four cards don’t have enough to find what they wanted or to fulfill the effect; if there aren’t any basic lands in the top four cards, the spell goes to the graveyard, wasting two mana and a card.
Another neat card in the deck is Feywild Visitor. This background pumps out a bunch of tokens with a maximum of six in a turn. To do this you need to have both of your commanders in play and the ability to hit each of your three opponents once in combat. This card gives each of your commanders the ability to create tokens, letting you make two instead of one for each opponent dealt damage. The swarm of tokens helps enable Tymna in turn. What a sneakily powerful card.
Rule 0 Violations Check
Again, you’re playing a simple deck that most players aren’t going to have an issue with. That said, there are a few cards that may raise some eyebrows.
Some players dislike the stax package with all your cards that tax them for attacking you. Serra Ascendant is also a card that could rankle some players because it’s just a 1-mana 6/6 in Commander. But the deck misses most salt-inducing cards without land destruction, prison elements, or infinite combos.
This isn’t the priciest deck on the market, but you could make some budget cuts to help keep this deck friendlier to your wallet.
Serra the Benevolent is replaceable with something as simple as a Glorious Anthem to help keep your fliers big. If you’re replacing Serra, it’s best to do so with an anthem and not another flier, even though it makes a 4/4.
Ledger Shredder can do a lot of work in this deck, but it also does a lot of work in lots of formats. Hello, soaring prices. You’re primarily interested in it as a source of card advantage, so a possible swap is Military Intelligence.
Serra Ascendant is another fantastic card with a high price tag. A good alternative is a cheap, effective flier like Selfless Spirit.
Archangel of Tithes is a valuable piece and the most expensive of the taxing effects. A potential replacement is Dissipation Field, which also incentivizes your opponents not to attack you.
Emeria's Call gives your mana base some flexibility, but you can swap it out for a simple Plains.
Teferi's Protection is a pretty pricy card that’s replaceable with something cheaper like Make A Stand or Unbreakable Formation. These can also be replacements for Akroma's Will or Clever Concealment. Of the three, the Will is the most valuable because of how easily it ends games.
Bitterblossom does a beautiful job keeping your board full of fliers, but it does so at a heavy price. There’s not a perfect replacement, but something like Lingering Souls or Spectral Procession that makes a bunch of tokens can do the trick.
The sky is pretty much the limit on how you want to build Tymna the Weaver. All it asks is that you play a bunch of small creatures to attack your opponents and start drawing cards. You can do anything you’d like by pairing Tymna with other partners.
Another strategy is to pair Tymna with something like Prava of the Steel Legion for a tokens strategy that’s also great at enabling Tymna’s draw ability. Another potential pairing is Tana, the Bloodsower for a 4-color deck themed around combat damage-matters effects.
Cartographer's Hawk | Illustration by Donato Giancola
Tymna the Weaver may be the best of the original partner commanders. It’s a flexible and cheap source of card advantage that takes very little work to enable. You can pair Tymna with pretty much anything that wants to play to the board and have a solid deck.
This list takes Tymna to a power level more appropriate for a casual game night and builds a classic Limited-style deck that’s great for newer players. What did you think of the list? Who would you pair Tymna with? Let me know in the comments below, or over on the official Draftsim Twitter.
Thanks for reading, and stay safe!
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