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Become the Dungeon Master With This Dungeons & Dragons Commander Deck

The natural world is in turmoil. The druidic circles warn of ancient beings that stir as catastrophe approaches. The Omenspeaker sings of an apocalypse brought by the Approach of the Second Sun. The divine prepare for foretold doom that only they understand, seeming not to care for the civilization that their angelic wings beat down upon. Heroes are needed now, more than ever. Will you answer the call?

 

 

This is the adventure that Chulane, the Dungeon Master, has prepared for you- or, at least, that’s the flavor of this deck! One of the best things about Magic for me has always been the ability to creatively express myself. This is yet another example of this, following swiftly behind my beloved Elden Ring theme deck, combining my deep affection for playing the role of D&D DM, with my favorite TCG. 

This deck is designed to emulate the feeling of playing as a benevolent dungeon master, hoping to bring a fun (if still very dangerous) adventure to the table. It combines value, control elements, and a healthy dose of pillowfort and politics to keep players guessing. As for the choice of Chulane, Teller of Tales as the commander? Just look at that art and tell me he isn’t about to start running an unforgettable adventure.

Chulane, Teller of Tales

 

The deck starts with the rulebook, the Tome of Legends, filling in the DM’s toolkit with a variety of control elements. The Dungeon Master dictates the flow of the game, all the way up to a full ret-con with Time Wipe or Austere Command. Don’t forget the memorable moment when someone rolls a one, a critical Fumble turning the tides in your favor.

Tome of LegendsFumbleHeroic InterventionDisdainful StrokeInsidious WillSummary DismissalReins of PowerTime WipeAustere Command

 

A good D&D game is filled with NPCs that guide the plot forward, and these come through beautifully with a variety of powerful enters-the-battlefield effects and other value plays. Chulane loves to see efficient bodies and land-based effects, so you can bet his campaign is designed to take full advantage of them. 

OmenspeakerElvish VisionaryWall of OmensFarhaven ElfKefnet the MindfulYasharn, Implacable EarthFrilled MysticTatyova, Benthic Druid

 

The core of the deck is a combination of more value plays, the kind of treasure that adventurers might find throughout Chulane’s campaign, and a selection of cards for a venture package. While the mechanic isn’t powerful, it feels good to play your way through a dungeon or two over the course of a game. Notably, venturing through a dungeon doesn’t feel threatening, letting you build value in a sneakier way than just playing out powerful cards.

Sol RingImmovable RodGiant Killer // Chop DownArcane SignetDelver's TorchYou Find a Cursed IdolYuan-Ti MalisonSylvan RangerDungeon MapVaris, Silverymoon RangerNadaar, Selfless PaladinGlasspool Mimic // Glasspool ShoreThorough InvestigationSolemn SimulacrumWandering TroubadourMidnight PathlighterEllywick TumblestrumRadiant Solar

 

A benevolent Dungeon Master isn’t just out to mess with his players – they aren’t the villain! While the DM wants to dictate the flow of the adventure, and therefore the Commander game, it shouldn’t all feel bad. The majority of the removal in the deck is designed to have an “upside” for the opponent. Sure, they’re losing their thing, but they get to enjoy a card, a token, or still get to swing with their favorite creature (just not at you)!

Swords to PlowsharesSwan SongNature's ClaimArcane DenialBeast WithinGenerous GiftDivine ReckoningPromise of Loyalty

 

Sometimes, however, the “friendly” removal just isn’t enough, so the players need to be taught a lesson. A generous amount of pillowfort and punishment effects will help the table learn not to mess with you. It only takes one well-timed Comeuppance or a vengeful Sunblast Angel to keep the players on-track and therefore pointed away from you.

CrawlspaceArachnogenesisKarmic JusticeGhostly PrisonPropagandaStalking LeoninComeuppanceSelfless SquireSphere of SafetySunblast AngelMartyr's Bond

 

While the adventurers and dungeons don’t add too much of a threat to the Dungeon Master’s arsenal, every campaign has a BBEG (Big Bad Evil Guy) or two. Chulane’s world has many threats to close out a game – ancient monsters that threaten to overrun civilization, malevolent divine forces moving against the order of things, and even a celestial shift that can end the world if it isn’t stopped. The game has to end, and these cards help make sure it ends well for the DM.

Luminarch AscensionCataclysmic GearhulkSage of Ancient Lore // Werewolf of Ancient HungerGod-Eternal OketraAesi, Tyrant of Gyre StraitDragonlord DromokaRampaging BalothsApproach of the Second SunSandwurm Convergence

 

Every land in the deck has been picked out for a combination of general adventurous aesthetic and, in most cases, “liveability.” I want the mana base in a flavor-driven deck to feel like the creatures that inhabit it could easily exist in the lands. I believe every pick is a clear flavor win, with some also having potential ties to the kinds of quests Chulane is throwing around.

Command TowerPath of AncestryExotic OrchardSpara's HeadquartersSeaside CitadelGrand ColiseumAsh BarrensEvolving Wilds (Dungeon Module)Fabled PassageKrosan VergeDungeon Descent (Dungeon Module)Reliquary TowerBreeding PoolSimic Growth ChamberBotanical SanctumTemple of MysteryCanopy VistaStirring WildwoodSelesnya SanctuaryFortified VillagePrairie StreamAzorius ChanceryNimbus MazePort TownIsland (458)Forest (470)Plains (454)

 

It all may be wonderfully flavorful, but by now you must be asking, “But, how does it play?” The early game begins with ramp and value plays. You want to see early value engines, like Yuan-Ti Malison, ramp like Arcane Signet or even an early Luminarch Ascension that can run away with the game on its own. 

The midgame is the home of your commander. Play out Chulane, hope he sticks and start accumulating even more value while you hide behind your politics and punishers. Make sure the table knows you’re prepared to make life hard with a timely board wipe or a ready Comeuppance if someone dares to swing your way.

The endgame is where the deck starts to really feel like the end of a good D&D campaign. The DM is thriving while the BBEG plots the demise of the opposition. Your big threats can hit the table and build huge boards on their own, Rampaging Baloth and Oketra both producing even more bodies with the help of the DM. If all else fails, you can continue to hide in your pillowfort while waiting on the Approach of the Second Sun as a surprisingly reliable “I win” button.

 

Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons alike are driven by creativity, so it should come as no surprise that combining the two is easy. This combination is becoming even easier as Wizards of the Coast has continued to release sets based in the worlds of D&D. Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate is bringing even more D&D flavor to Magic, and a number of cards from the set are potentially impressive upgrades.

Lulu, Loyal Hollyphant might as well be Chulane’s personal familiar, the Monster Manual is a clear flavor inclusion that both recurs a powerful card and cheats out large threats and any of the initiative cards give access to an entire new dungeon for the DM to run adventurers through. Literally any card in the set could be at home here, so you can feel comfortable adding exciting new pulls into your Dungeon Master’s arsenal – I know I will.

The Dungeon Master Theme Deck

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Planeswalker (1)
Cards 99

 

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