Riley Knight’s Knight Tribal! – MTG Commander Showcase

One of the very first Commander decks I ever built was, naturally, a Knight tribal deck. It’s always fun to bring it out and see how long it takes for people to figure out why I decided to build – out of all the tribes – a Knights deck. It’s not everyone who has one of Magic’s tribes named after them, and I don’t intend to waste the opportunity!

Most Commander Knights decks have a heavy Equipment focus, usually led by Syr Gwyn, Hero of Ashvale. I’m not into that – my Knights fight for their queen, as good Knights should, and so Queen Marchesa is my commander of choice. I started out with Aryel, Knight of Windgrace, but ultimately decided that adding red was well and truly worth it for cards like Inspiring Veteran and Adriana, Captain of the Guard – not to mention the tribal classic, Shared Animosity. So here it is: Knight’s Knights!



Commander: Queen Marchesa
1 Inspiring Veteran
1 Knight of the White Orchid
1 Metallic Mimic
1 Smitten Swordmaster
1 Worthy Knight
1 Acclaimed Contender
1 Adaptive Automaton
1 Benalish Marshal
1 Knight Exemplar
1 Midnight Reaper
1 Murderous Rider
1 Varchild, Betrayer of Kjeldor
1 Aryel, Knight of Windgrace
1 Battle Angels of Tyr
1 Embereth Skyblazer
1 Hero of Bladehold
1 Josu Vess, Lich Knight
1 Kinsbaile Cavalier
1 Valiant Knight
1 Adriana, Captain of the Guard
1 Cavalier of Dawn
1 Cavalier of Night
1 Knights of the Black Rose
1 Vona, Butcher of Magan
1 Silverwing Squadron

Noncreature spells
1 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
1 Stoneforge Masterwork
1 Arcane Signet
1 Boros Signet
1 Fellwar Stone
1 Orzhov Signet
1 Rakdos Signet
1 Sword of the Animist
1 Talisman of Conviction
1 Talisman of Hierarchy
1 Talisman of Indulgence
1 Heirloom Blade
1 Herald's Horn
1 Sigiled Sword of Valeron
1 Sunforger
1 Door of Destinies
1 Coat of Arms
1 Vanquisher's Banner
1 Obelisk of Urd
1 The Circle of Loyalty
1 The Immortal Sun
1 History of Benalia
1 Knights' Charge
1 Shared Animosity
1 Anointed Procession
1 Marshal's Anthem
1 Boros Charm
1 Crackling Doom
1 Teferi's Protection
1 Unbreakable Formation
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Winds of Abandon
1 Righteous Confluence
1 Waves of Aggression
1 Austere Command
1 Kindred Dominance

1 Arch of Orazca
1 Barren Moor
1 Blood Crypt
1 Castle Embereth
1 Castle Locthwain
1 Cavern of Souls
1 Clifftop Retreat
1 Command Tower
1 Dragonskull Summit
1 Evolving Wilds
1 Forgotten Cave
1 Godless Shrine
1 Isolated Chapel
2 Mountain
1 Nomad Outpost
1 Path of Ancestry
5 Plains
1 Rogue's Passage
1 Sacred Foundry
1 Savai Triome
1 Secluded Courtyard
1 Secluded Steppe
1 Slayers' Stronghold
4 Swamp
1 Temple of Malice
1 Temple of Silence
1 Temple of Triumph
1 Terramorphic Expanse
1 Tournament Grounds
1 Unclaimed Territory

As you might expect, like most tribal lists this deck does play plenty of lords. Inspiring Veteran, Benalish Marshal, Knight Exemplar and Valiant Knight are all Knights themselves, and then there’s things like Marshal’s Anthem, Vanquisher’s Banner and Coat of Arms as noncreature ways to buff the team. The Circle of Loyalty is another terrific lord effect that also plays into this deck’s other subtheme: tokens.

Silverwing SquadronRighteous ConfluenceAryel, Knight of WindgraceHistory of Benalia

I opted for the token subtheme rather than Equipment to explore a different direction in going wide rather than tall, and to make the most of all the lord effects in the deck. This deck has so many ways to make 2/2 knight tokens: Silverwing Squadron, Righteous Confluence, Aryel, Knight of Windgrace, History of Benalia, the list goes on. And, what’s more, all these token generators benefit greatly from Anointed Procession!

Sigiled Sword of ValeronHeirloom BladeStoneforge MasterworkSunforger

While there is some Equipment, much of it is tribal focused rather than just generically powerful. Sigiled Sword of Valeron is another way to make 2/2 Knight tokens, while Heirloom Blade and Stoneforge Masterwork are terrific tribal cards. Sunforger and Sword of the Animist are definitely in the “generically powerful” category, with Sunforger being able to fetch up three different ways to save the team from a sweeper.

Herald's HornValiant KnightEmbereth SkyblazerWaves of Aggression

This deck does require a sizeable ramp component, as it’s not the most aggressive Knights deck ever built, so there is the full contingent of Signets and Talismans in addition to a few other mana rocks and Herald’s Horn. Flooding out generally isn’t too much of an issue, as not only are there mana sinks like Valiant Knight and Embereth Skyblazer, you can always discard extra lands to Waves of Aggression!

I know this isn’t the most powerful tribal deck ever made – it’s not even the most powerful Knights deck – but I really like playing with this list, building up a board of lord effects and having my 2/2s grow to be 6/6s or 8/8s, keeping them safe with Boros Charm or Unbreakable Formation, and then winning in my all-time favorite way: burning out the table with Smitten Swordmaster!


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